Demon Possession/Oppression

Demon possession and oppression is a topic I have dealt with throughout my Christian walk. Shortly after I became a Christian in 1989, I remember my Youth Pastor and a female youth group leader praying over a Christian girl from youth group who was thrashing around and obviously had a demon. Later in college at Asbury University, I would be sitting next to a friend of mine who was the son of missionaries. An altar call was given where everyone was given a penny and asked to come forward and place it in a jar to recommit their lives to Jesus Christ. My friend couldn't move. He curled up and rolled over. I asked the speaker, a Professor at the University, to come over and a circle of us ministered to him for I'd guess an hour until the demon finally left. He spoke in a demonic voice, telling us we had no power, there was no power in the blood of Jesus, and other lies. We never asked his name, how many were in him, or how they gained permission. I spoke to my friend after who was in shock because he knew he was a Christian and had no idea how that could have happened. I wish I had answers for him then. Later I would attend a small spanish service at a Pentecostal church when a young man came in late and soon manifested demons. We took him in a back room where a group of us tried to cast the demon(s) out but it or they wouldn't leave. I'm not sure what happened to him after that. I have learned a lot since then.

It is important to define things before we proceed. The word typically used in the NT for demon is "daimonion." It's a diminutive noun. It occurs 63 times:

δαιμόνια — 32 Occ.
δαιμονίων — 11 Occ.
δαιμονίοις — 1 Occ.
Δαιμόνιον — 15 Occ.
δαιμονίου — 4 Occ.

Another word used in the NT for demon is the noun daimón, which occurs only once in the NT (Matthew 8:31).

It is important to note that he KJV (King James Version) of the Bible incorrectly translated daimonion as "devil." There is only one Devil and it should be used excusively as the English of the Greek word diabolos (38 occurances) which means "slanderer" or satanas (36 occurances) which means "the adversary."

Another word we need to define is the Greek verb daimonizomai (13 occurances) which is often translated as "to be demon possessed" but this can include believers, although believers can't be owned by Satan, only influenced and controlled to a degree.

δαιμονισθεὶς — 2 Occ.
δαιμονίζεται — 1 Occ.
δαιμονιζομένῳ — 1 Occ.
δαιμονιζομένων — 1 Occ.
δαιμονιζόμενοι — 1 Occ.
δαιμονιζόμενον — 2 Occ.
δαιμονιζόμενος — 1 Occ.
δαιμονιζομένου — 1 Occ.
δαιμονιζομένους — 3 Occ.

Demon possession is different than demon oppression/being demonized. Demon possession is where the demon takes control of an unbeliever and attaches to their spirit. Demon oppression or demonization, on the other hand, can happen to a Christian and the demon attaches to their soul (mind, will and/or emotions). I have not gone through the occurances in the Bible and tried to differentiate who was a believer or not, and I don't believe we can judge that. This is not differentiated in the Bible so it apparently doesn't matter, however we do know that Satan cannot own a Christian and therefore cannot possess his spirit.

For some people, a radical shift in their worldview needs to happen for them to accept this. However, I assure you this is Scriptural (see Ephesians 6:12-13; 1 Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7; 1 John 5:19) and clearly my experience and the experience of others in ministry. While I may not agree with everything they write, Charles H. Kraft has a good book on this subject entitled "Defeating Dark Angels" and Derek Prince has a book named "They Shall Expel Demons." However, I don't think these books are for everyone but I recomend them if you are involved in ministry.

From talking to many strong believers who see in the spirit and expel demons, I believe that every believer has a demon on them at some point in their life, but they can come and go. They also often affect people physically, although usually subtly, when they pick, grab, and harass us. Spend some time with a person who can see in the spirit and they will verify this and they can explain exactly what is happening while someone is being harassed or influenced. A wondetful book written by a seer is The Veil by Blake Healy.

When Jesus began His public ministry, He stated His purpose (Luke 4:18-19) by quoting from Isaiah 61:1-2:

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord"

We know that Satan uses demons to blind the minds of unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4 and 1 Timothy 4:1 warns, "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons." Jesus refers to Satan as "the ruler of this world" (John 14:30), by Paul as "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2), by Peter as "your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8), and John says, "the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one" (1 John 5:19).

In Matthew 12:28 (also in Luke 11:20), Jesus makes the statement, "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you." Clearly this is an important sign of the Kingdom and something the Church needs to rise up and do. In the Gospel of Mark, more than half of Jesus' ministry is devoted to delivering the demonized. In Luke 13:32 Jesus made it clear that His ministry to the demonized and sick would continue unchanged: "Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected." This phrase is called a Hebraism that could be paraphrased, "from now on until the job is finished."

When Jesus sent out His twelve disciples, He told them to expel demons and heal every kind of sicness and disease (Matthew 10:1, 7-8). Mark reports "And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them" (Mark 6:13).

Later Jesus sent out the seventy in pairs to prepare the way before Him. On their return, they reported with giddy joy, "Lord, even the demons are subject tous in Your Name" (Luke 10:17).

After Christ's death and resurrection, Jesus again commissioned His disciples, and the first sign He mentioned is that they would "cast out demons" (Mark 16:17).

One clear example of a disciple who patterned himself on the ministry of Jesus was Philip. He is the only person in the New Testament specifically described as an "evangelist (Acts 21:8) and his ministry described in Acts 8:5-13, 26-40 is the pattern for New Testament evangelism. His message was focussed on Christ. Acts 8:6-7 reports, "And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed." Paul also clearly evangelized this way as well. "Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them" (Acts 19:11-12).

Our churches are full of people in bondage, many of whom don't even know that believers are called by Jesus to set captives free (see Luke 4:18-19; John 14:12; John 20:21). When a person becomes a Christian, they can see be demonized after. That is why Philip spent time expelling demons and not just preaching and baptizing. And many Christians become demonized.

People have a lot of emotional and spiritual problems. When this happens, demons can sometimes attach to them, whether the person is a Christian or not. Sometimes these demons attach before the person became a Christian or when the person is very young. I believe the devil chooses the weakest moment and the weakest place. Think of a fear and think back to a time when you had the greatest fear. Or think of a sin you are struggling with and think back to a time when you were weakest and started to struggle with that sin. This may be the weakest moment and the weakest place that the enemy could use to attach to you. It is like our physical bodies. The human body is regularly attacked by cancerous cells. When the body is healthy, the immune system an withstand the attacks and kill the cancerous cells. But when the body is weakened by illness or emotional shock, or the immune system is compromised, it can't do it's job effectively and cancer can develop somewhere in the body. We also see this in the animal kingdom where the weak animals are the ones preyed upon and attacked.

Jesus and His disciples made it clear that evangelism and healing people naturally includes expelling demons. Some people swing to the extreme that any kind of problem, whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual, is demonic but this is not Scriptural. Others place the focus more on the person being delivered or even the Minister, but the focus needs to be on Jesus. Satan will do whatever He can to take the focus off Jesus, to keep the Church from doing it, and to discredit the practice altogether.

I have only assisted in exorcisms but I do hope I can bring deliverance to more people and learn more about this. I believe this should only be done by experienced Christians, especially deliverance from the occult or other strong demons.

If you believe you are demon possessed or demon oppressed/demonized, please get help or let me know so I can get you help. I believe one of the main reasons Christians struggle with so many issues, have trouble in relationships, and experience a lot of negative emotions is because of demonic oppression. You do not need to remain that way and you will be much better off when you're free from the demon or demons.

NAMES OF DEMONS

Here is a list of the natures/names applied to demons in the Bible:

OLD TESTAMENT
Jealousy/feelings of jealousy - Numbers 5:14, 30
Ill will/evil - Judges 9:23
Distressing/evil - I Samuel 16:14-23; 18:10; 19:9
Lying/deceiving - I Kings 22:22; II Chronicles 18:20-22
Perverse/distortion/dizziness - Isaiah 19:14
Deep sleep - Isaiah 29:10
Heaviness/fainting/despair - Isaiah 61:3
Harlotry/prostitution - Hosea 4:12; 5:4
Unclean/unclean/impurity - Zechariah 13:2
Familiar - Deuteronomy 18:11
Sorrowful - I Samuel 1:15


NEW TESTAMENT
Mute/robbed of speech/Deaf and dumb/ deaf and mute - Mark 9:17; 9:25
Infirmity/causing sickness/ crippling - Luke 13:11
Divination/predicting the future - Acts 16:16
Deceiving/deceitful - I Timothy 4:1
Fear/timidity - II Timothy 1:7
Error/falsehood - I John 4:6
Unclean - Matthew 10:1
Divination - Acts 16:16
Bondage - I John 4:6
Deceiving - I Timothy 4:1
Error - I John 4:6
Death - Hebrews 2:14-15

There are also many other names that ministers have encountered. Some are as follows:

Physical Infirmity
Arthritis, Asthma, Cancer, Crippling, Epilepsy, Head Pain, Migraine, Sinusitis, and Thrombosis.

Other Areas
Adultery, Claustrophobia, Criticism, Disappointment, Envy, Fantasy, Gossip, Hatred, Hopelessness, Masterbation, Murder, Perversion, Rebellion, Rejection, Religion, Self-Pity, Stress, Suicide, Violence and Witchcraft.

Demons all have names and sometimes their names are in different languages and hard to pronouce, but their names correspond to what they do.


© Todd Tyszka
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