Exorcism Basics

All of us are involved in a spiritual war in time and space, a war that is constantly waging around us. Every nation on the planet, every people group, every tribe, and every segment of society is caught up in a vicious battle with the forces of evil. This war is fought on a variety of different levels; it is a war that that has eternal consequences. Sadly, very few truly understand the magnitude of this spiritual war that we are in the midst of.

It is my hope that this site will shed some light into this spiritual war we find ourselves in. It is a conflict with the forces of evil-the flesh, the world system, the devil and his demons. The apostle Paul in the New Testament describes this battle in Ephesians 6.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Our spiritual war is not against merely the flesh (the part of humanity that is opposed to the will of God) or the world system (the present societal reality we currently live in that is opposed to the truth of the gospel) but rather against real entities that are spiritual in nature. We are battling fallen angels, whom are under the direction of Satan. They are inherently evil and they hunger for destruction. We need to be aware and understand these evil beings we are fighting against in this spiritual war.

Having been warring against these evil beings and ministering deliverance to more then 10,000 souls for over a quarter of a century. I know something about their intentions and their works. I’ll be attempting to answer the most commonly asked questions about spiritual warfare and demonic supernaturalism. Answers to these questions will be rooted in Scriptural truth which will hopefully assist you in understanding this war we find ourselves waging.

What is spiritual warfare?

Spiritual warfare is our battle, in time and space, against the flesh, the world system, and the demonic. The apostle Paul tells us of this reality in 2 Corinthians 10,

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”

Notice what Paul tells us, we do not “wage war as the world does.” We are fighting a spiritual war not a fleshly one. We are battling unseen forces that can only be countered by spiritual weapons. This battle is what is considered spiritual warfare.

Do believers have authority to cast out demons?

The Lord Jesus Christ has given all of His followers the command and authority to drive out evil spirits.

Matthew 10:8: Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Mark 3:14-15: He appointed twelve—designating them apostles—that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.

Mark 16:17: And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues.

Luke 9:1: When Jesus had called the Twelve together; he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases.

How do demons attack people?

The devil utilizes many weapons to afflict people. He has employed deception, lies, hauntings, oppression, fear, the world system, disease, pain, and insanity to terrorize people. In Luke 8:2 we read of Jesus “healing” those afflicted with demons.

“…and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons…”

There are times the devil attacks people with afflictions that not only require deliverance but healing, as the devil has brought a physical problem to the body. People can also be afflicted mentally too.

Another classic example of how demons attack individuals is found in Mark 5:

“They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!”

Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.”

You will note that the demons had driven this hurting soul to the point where:

  1. The man lived among the tombs.
  2. He endured constant torment as he would “cry” out day and night.
  3. He was enslaved to cutting himself with “rocks.”
  4. There were attempts to “chain” him.
  5. He was suffering mentally as it is recorded after his deliverance he was “in his right mind.”

We are not given all the details of the various physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual afflictions this hurting soul had to overcome but we do know he suffered greatly as a result of the evil powers in control of him.

How do demons afflict believers?

In many of the same ways non-believers are attacked. In Scripture we see the devil and his demons attacking and afflicting believers. Job, a righteous man, was afflicted by the devil, we see this in the Book of Job 1& 2. His family, his livestock, and his family’s home were destroyed by the enemy. Furthermore, the Scripture tells us, “So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.”

Satan and his evil spirits attack the believer in various ways. He attacks the believer directly like in the form of a physical affliction or indirectly by attacking those closest to them. Satan tempts, seduces lies, destroys, slanders, accuses, energizes his angels to attack believers and manipulates those whom follow the Living God.

In spiritual warfare are there other forces we battle against?

Yes. In Galatians 5 we read of the “sinful nature,” the inner aspect of humanity that is opposed to the will of God.

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.”

In 1 John 2 we read of the world system, the present societal system that is opposed to the will of God.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

In Ephesians 6 we read, of course, of the demonic supernaturalism that we wage war against.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Followers of Jesus battle their inner sinful nature, the world system, and the demonic world. But be encouraged, the Lord Jesus has overcome!

How do we fight against the enemy?

We fight the devil in the power of Jesus.

Jesus once said,

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Apart from Jesus we can do nothing! In Jesus nothing is impossible. For the Scriptures tells us,

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Jesus, who is in you, is greater then the one in the world-the devil.

Satan is no match! Jesus has risen from the dead bodily, ascended to the Father, where is now and where every other power is in submission to Him.

Jesus Christ “who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.”

So, in Christ, you have victory, as in Christ all powers are in submission to you.

I have also learned the following spiritual weapons will also assist in any battle you might find yourself in against the enemy.

  1. The Scriptures. Reading it, embracing it, living out its truths, and using it as a literal weapon against any demon that you might encounter.
  2. The symbol of the Cross. The death of Jesus is represented through the cross; it is a powerful symbol that can be used against he enemy.
  3. The church. The body of Christ is a powerful weapon against the devil as the “gates of hell” will not prevail against it.
  4. Anointing oil which symbolizes the presence of the Holy Spirit.
  5. Holy water.
  6. Blessed objects.
  7. God’s Angels. Call upon the Holy Angels to assist you in any battle you might have with the evil spirits.
  8. Singing praise to Jesus.
  9. The name of Jesus. Just the mere mention of His holy name, his blood, His resurrection and ascension will expel the darkness.
  10. Prayer and fasting.

In battles against Satan will he leave immediately when utilizing the above spiritual weapons?

No! Satan is a defeated being but a stubborn one at that. Even in his encounter with Jesus in Matthew 4, he didn’t leave the presence of God immediately. He tried and tempted the Son of God several times. You would think after one failed attempt he would cease but since he’s stubborn, he continued on to his own demise.

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
”‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.”

We need to persevere when utilizing spiritual weapons. Satan is prideful and stubborn and must be dealt with in perseverance. Be patient and continue to use the weapons God has given you and you will prevail.

When should one call upon a fellow believer for spiritual assistance, leading to an exorcism, against any invading evil force?

A believer should seek the help of a fellow believer when the attacks are such that they overwhelm you. Often times a believer can simply resist the devil and the devil will flee. In some cases, the devil and his demons have invaded the individual and the need for the demons to be cast out is needed. When one is invaded by evil forces, the need for spiritual assistance, leading to an exorcism, is needed, so call upon a mature brother or sister in Christ to help you with the demonic element in your life.

What occurs during an exorcism?

An exorcism is simply a labor of love in rescuing someone who is afflicted by demons. It is a ministry event that involves dealing demons and calling upon Jesus to intervene. It is an event that glorifies Jesus as the victim of the demonic affliction is led in prayer to Holy God to repent of any sins that led to demon invasion and to exert their authority in Christ over the enemy.

Final Word

In spiritual warfare we are battling unseen forces; thus much of the warfare is mysterious. There is not a pat answer for every question one might have when dealing with this vast subject. We know some basics but other then that; we are left to trust in the loving God who stands with us in war.