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1.Recognize the meanings of the terms: demonic possession, demonic influence and demonize. Also recognize the New Testament language regarding demons.
- 1. Demonic “Possession” – an unfortunate misnomer as a general term
- a. The traditional translation, “demon possession” (in the Great Bible of 1539; KJV, 1611; NIV and other modern versions) implies the extreme case.
- 2. Demonic “Influence” – a key, general term indicating that there are degrees of influence.
- a. Degrees of influence have been implicitly recognized by attempts to classify demon influence by gradation, e.g., oppression, obsession, possession, etc.
- b. “Demonic influence” removes the distortion that the term “demonic possession” places on the Biblical text.
- c. Can Christians experience demonic influence? Yes! There are degrees of influence on both Christians and non-Christians.
- d. “Demon possession” is the extreme case. If we use this term, people assume Christians cannot be under demonic influence.
- **Illustration: Alcohol – Eph. 5:18
- “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”
- The various degrees of alcohol influence on a person are similar to the various degrees of demonic influence. Alcohol’s effect can range from the smaller influence of a small glass of wine to the extreme influence of being drunk. Likewise, demonic influence occurs in various degrees on people.
- 3. “Demonize,” a transliteration functioning as a flexible term: daimonizomai (passive Greek verb, meaning “to be demonized”), meaning “demon influenced.”
- a. Demonize is a good term that allows room for interpreting the degree of influence in a particular case within its context.
- 1. Term: Demon (daimonion)
- The pagan Greek view – in classical Greek, daimonion /“demon” was often used in a good sense, even to describe a god, or one with divine power (cf. Acts 17:18). It was sometimes used inter-changeably with theos, meaning “god.” There seemed to be little concern for discerning good from evil in a being’s character.
2. The New Testament view – demons are malevolent spirits, evil disembodied personalities (exhibiting intellect, emotions and will), who are actively opposing God’s people and purposes, serving their master, Satan, and harming people who bear the image of God. Their intent is to express their evil natures through people whom they are holding in captivity. The result is the distortion, harm and ultimately the destruction of their victims.
3. The NT terms below reflect various degrees of demonic influence:
*“He/She who is demonized” (daimonizomenos) = a demoniac (KJV “possessed”)
- *The 13 New Testament examples: Matt. 4:24; 8:16, 28, 33; 9:32; 12:22; 15:22; Mk. 1:32; 5:15; 16, 18; Lk. 8:36; John 10:21.
- *One has to look at the context of each passage to see the degree of demonic influence.
*“With an unclean spirit” (en pneumati akatharto)
Examples: Mk. 1:23; 5:2
*“Having……demons,” Lk. 8:27
- *A dumb spirit, Mk. 9:17
- (An) unclean spirit(s), Mk. 1:23, 7:25; Acts 8:7
- *A spirit of an unclean demon, Lk. 4:33
- *A spirit of infirmity, Lk. 13:11
*“Those who were troubled (enokhloumenoi)
*By unclean spirits” Lk. 6:18
*“Those afflicted (okhloumenous) with unclean spirits,” Acts 5:16
*“A spirit seizes (lambanei) . . . him.” Lk. 9:39
- *“Seize” indicates a stronger degree of influence than the terms listed above.
- *The terms below indicate an extreme degree of demonic influence.
*“For many demons had entered into him,” Lk. 8:30, implied Lk. 8:2
*“Satan entered into Judas,” Lk. 22:3, cf. Jn.13:27
*“Ananias, why has Satan filled (eplerosen) your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?”
- *Acts 5:3; cf. same word in Eph.5:18.
- “Expulsion” is a better term than “exorcism,” which implies ritual.
- Either explicitly or implicitly, NT references to deliverance also seem to indicate that demons “come out” of their victims.
Recognize the demonic entry points caused by a person’s own sin.
1. Willful disobedience can lead to bondage and its destructive force
2. Enslavement to Sin
3. Entry points through specific sins of:
a. Anger; hatred
b. Unforgiveness; bitterness – that is not dealt with, resolved and released.
c. Lust/sexual immorality
- d. A spirit of fantasy can even be present.
- “One-flesh tie” - sexual union outside of man/woman marriage brings a spiritual joining that may need to be broken so it does not continue to exert influence. If a person has been sexually victimized, a one-flesh tie is involuntary and not caused by their own sin. But the tie still needs to be broken. (cf. 22.2)
- A series of sexually immoral relationships create a collection of spiritual bonds. One can pray to break the tie by saying, “I break the one-flesh tie with [name each person] in the Name of Jesus.”
e. Perversion – involves distorted perspectives, as well as referring to sexual perversion. There is often a spirit of perversion behind homosexuality.
g. Jealousy – wanting something another person has and/or resenting their having it.
h. Fear; anxiety – or a foreboding of impending harm.
i. Any work of the flesh, Gal. 5:19; Eph. 4:22-5:14; Mk. 7:21
j. We all are capable of doing any sin. But habitually practicing a sin can open us up to a demon coming into
- k. Occult, drugs
- i. Divination
- l. Witchcraft
- m. Greed/idolatry (addiction)
Recognize the demonic entry points caused by being sinned against.
**Demons are not fair or nice. They take advantage of innocent victims.
1. Victimization - e.g., incest, sexual abuse or rape, can lead to demonization. As with voluntary sexual union, sexual victimization brings a spiritual joining, a “one-flesh tie,” that may need to be broken so it does not continue to exert influence.
- 2. “Bloodline” bondage (multi-generational or ancestral)
- a. If certain practices (e.g., deep involvement in the occult or drug use) are in a person’s generational bloodline or they had a relative who was deeply involved in them, the demonic influence can be passed on to the person.
- 3. “Soul-tie”
- a. Francis MacNutt (Deliverance from Evil Spirits: A Practical Manual, 127) refers to this as “harmful spiritual identifications.” E.g., “co-dependence” – a dominating or over-controlling relationship where you lift a person up to a place where only God should be in your life.
4. Trauma, exposure, accidents
Recognize the symptoms of demonic influence.
4. Abnormal emotions
5. Abnormal attitudes
7. Destructive thoughts, impressions
8. Abnormal fears and anxieties
Recognize the tactics of demons.
**Once you start praying to expel demons, they may use any of these tactics:
- 1. Fear
- a. E.g., the demon may tell the person it is harassing that it will harm someone they love or the person praying for them.
- 4. Mocking
- a. E.g., the pray-er may feel silly or stupid while she or he is praying.
- 5. Hiding
- a. The demon refuses to reveal itself at all or hides after it has already manifested.
- 6. Dumbness
- a. The demon makes the person unable to speak.
- 7. Manipulation of environment
- a. This tactic is not typical. E.g., the lights going off or the temperature getting really cold.
List (in 1 phrase each) five of the ten weapons useful in deliverance ministry and explain each weapon in
- 1. Jesus’ Name
- a. The name of Jesus is an “atom bomb,” trumping any demon no matter how strong he is.
- b. In Jesus’ Name, tell the demon what to do (e.g., if it is lying, tell it, “Shut up!”).
- c. Take control in Jesus’ Name. Demons are like two-year-old brats. You cannot be timid. You must be assertive.
- 2. Gifts/empowerments
- a. Having discernments of spirits or Spirit-empowered (prophetic) insight is helpful.
- 3. Authority
- a. The key is: knowing you have authority over demons. The Lord says you do! Jesus said, “All authority on heaven and earth has been given to me.” So you go do it.
- b. Take a commanding presence. Like a police officer, act like you are in control with your words, tone of voice and body language.
- c. You must have resolve. If you don’t, the demons will know it and take control.
- 4. Word of God
- a. Speak aloud any Scripture passages that the Lord brings to mind.
- 5. Armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18)
- a. You have the breastplate of Jesus’ righteousness. Be secure in his righteousness. While on earth your righteousness is never complete, so throw yourself on Jesus. Therefore, it is important to always keep dealing with your own sin DAILY.
- 6. The demon’s name
- a. Sometimes ask the demon its name. Or you may sense its name and then order it to leave. E.g., “Spirit of lust, in Jesus’ Name, I command you to leave now.”
- 7. Experience
- a. As you pray for various people over time, you gain experience and know better how to pray and what to do.
- b. Gaining experience especially gives you more confidence to pray for deliverance.
- 8. Timing: God’s versus people’s
- a. You may sense that God is not wanting you to pray for deliverance right now, so don’t do it.
- b. If you do sense God wants you to pray now, the deliverance may happen quickly.
9. After the demon has left, always pray for the Holy Spirit to fill the void in the person.
- 10. Team/Community
- a. A team of 2-3 people is best. Especially use a team if a pray-er and the prayee are of different genders.
- i. Diversity of gifting
- ii. Strength of support
- a)Some team members should be praying silently and not speak aloud.
- iii. Safety
- a)After the session and the prayee has left, the team should pray a prayer of cleansing from any demonic influence they may have picked up while praying.