Dealing With Demonic Manifestations
No one ever forgets the first time that a demon manifests during their ministry. Suddenly all of the principles that you have learned seemed to fly out your head as you face the reality of dealing with a demon face to face.
The first times for Craig and I was just as startling. We were holding a home church meeting when during praise and worship, a woman started manifesting a demon and shouting at us. Her voice changed, her eyes changed and it was clear that when you looked at her face, she was no longer in control of her senses.
So we made the first mistake everyone usually makes. We told the demon to get out. It did not. We shouted. The demon shouted. We shouted louder. The demon shouted louder. Clearly we were not getting anywhere. She was only getting more violent and for a moment she launched at me, stopping an inch from my face.
In that moment I felt such a peace of the Lord come over me. I knew this enemy and I knew that he was defeated 2000 years ago. I looked the woman straight in the face and I called her by name. I did not talk to the demon.
He was really not worthy of my time. It was the woman I wanted to help out here and as I looked at her, I felt a deep compassion for her. The demon stopped short, just staring at me with a bewildered look on its face. Then I reached out, took the woman͛s hand and said, Hey, I love you, the Lord Jesus loves you and we want to help you break free here.
The demon gave me one more confused look and then the woman’s face changed as she returned to her senses. After that we could counsel her and get her to renounce the hold the enemy had on her. We had another similar experience in a public meeting. As I was leading praise and worship a woman started manifesting a demon at the back of the meeting hall.
Dressed from head to toe in a classy white suit, she was yelling and rolling on the dusty wooden floor from one end to the other. Craig walked politely up to the woman, tapped her on the shoulder and said, Could you come with us please.͟ He did not argue and he did not try to fight it out with the demon right there. Instead he spoke to the woman.
Together with another minister he took her aside and they could minister to her and help her break free. She had experienced this manifestation for many years and thought that it was the power of the Holy Spirit throwing her all over the floor all these years.
Not only was this manifestation an interruption to the meeting every time the anointing began to flow, but it was a blockage in this woman’s life. She always came so far in her walk with God and no further. She could not understand what that blockage was.
Once they showed her in the Word the kind of gentleman Jesus was, she was ready to renounce that bondage. No further demonic manifestations were needed. She submitted herself to God, repented of her sin and told the enemy to leave. The manifestations did not return and she made the first real steps forward in her spiritual growth.
The reason I have shared a few of our own examples is to bring some balance between two main camps in the church when it comes to demonic manifestations. You have some who are just too afraid to go there and avoid the demonic realm altogether. Then on the other end of the pendulum you find deliverance ministries who see demons everywhere that they go.
Yes, demons are real. Yes, angels are real. However, never forget:
Philippians 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth.
Luke 10:19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
I cover a lot of detail regarding the doctrine of demons and angels in Prophetic Warrior, but I will mention one point here that is poignant. If you do a study, you will notice that the Apostles did not go around casting demons out of believers.
You see the work of Jesus and He often cast demons out of people, but this was before he was crucified. These people were not born again and this kind of deliverance was not restricted to Israelites either.
He cast demons out of Israelites (Mary) and He cast demons out of the Syrophoenician s daughter. However, in the New Testament even though it was clear that Simon the Sorcerer was demonized, Peter did not do deliverance on the man. Rather he said, You do not know the spirit you are of! I sense bitterness in you. You need to repent. (Acts 8)
This comes back to the point I made earlier in our counseling section of this book. There are times when you will have demon manifestations that you have to deal with right away.
Then there are instances where the demon has gained entrance through hurts from the past or bitterness that the person has held onto. While this is an extensive subject, I am going to give you some simple steps to follow on how to handle both of these situations.
1. KNOW YOUR AUTHORITY
I am going to let you in on a secret here. Demons are not walking around just jumping into people. If someone is demonized, then they gave that demon license. Is this not true of your salvation? The Lord says that He stands at the door and knocks. When you were born again, the Holy Spirit did not just overpower you and enter into your spirit without your free will, did He?
No, the Lord has set up this earth and our lives with clear rules and guidelines. It was for Eve to choose to obey satan or not.The moment that she obeyed satan and ate the fruit that she was not supposed to, she gave him license into this world.
As a result, a curse entered into the earth. Adam and Eve lost their freedom and instead of walking in the blessing that God had given, they lost it. Satan stole it, because they gave him that license in this earth. When God placed Adam into the garden, He gave him authority to tend it. Adam had the reins. He had the keys to lock and unlock.
Unfortunately, though when they fell into sin, they handed that license over to the enemy. Suddenly sin became an issue and that nasty little seed of sin entered into the world. That is a doctrinal study all on its own, but the greatest part of all is that the Lord did not leave it there. Right at that point the Lord said to them that He would send a Seed of His own through Eve that would crush the head of that serpent!
That seed was Jesus and through His blood we can now take back the authority that was lost to man in the Garden. Not only does it make you appreciate your salvation all over again, but it also makes you realize that you have authority in the name of Jesus!
John 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. (KJV)
I will never forget the look of confusion on that demon͛s face when I reached out to that woman in love. It is true that satan cannot understand love. It is completely contrary to his nature. It is as confusing as light is to darkness just like the scripture says above.
When your intent is to minister and help set someone free, you do not need to worry if you have the authority or the faith. This is a situation where your love will draw on the power of God to give you the gift of faith that you need.
2. TALK TO THE PERSON
It looks pretty awe-inspiring to see someone slithering around under demonic manifestation while the itinerant minister barks out commands and communicates with the demon. Now let me ask you this question. If you were the person slithering around on the floor, how would you feel?
When someone comes to me with an intimate problem, I counsel them privately and help them break free. As a counselor they trust me to bare their hearts and even share their sin so that I can help. So how does this differ when it comes to demon manifestations? If someone does happen to manifest when you are ministering to them, you are not going to make any progress until you can get that person to be in agreement with you.
It is like I said before. If there is a demon, then that person gave it license through sin or direct demonic involvement. This could be through false religion, getting into heresy or even receiving an impartation from someone who was also bound. This is when you take Peter's approach when dealing with Simon the Sorcerer.
He spoke to Simon, not to the demon he obviously had. In the same way, if someone manifests, avoid the urge to struggle it out with the demon.That demon has been given license in that person͛s life and he knows it.
Your goal is to cool down that manifestation and to get that person in their right mind long enough to be able to help them break free. Look at the person directly and call them by name. Ignore the demon and talk to the person sitting in front of you.
Talk in love and wait for them to regain their control. Rest assured that even if the demon is going off like crazy that the person can hear you and that they can choose to take control again. Never forget that they have the Holy Spirit inside of them and that they can break free.
NOTE: The only time this differs is if the person is an unbeliever. In the case of an unbeliever you can tell the demon to leave. When it leaves, it is important that you follow through with salvation or you stand the chance of them reverting once again.
DEMONS IN BELIEVERS VS. UNBELIEVERS
My dad shares an illustration between the difference of someone who is demonized who is a believer and someone who is not. He shares a story where a believer who was demonized had a standoff with a warlock.
While they both manifested a demon, there was one part of their experience that was decidedly different. The unbeliever could not remember everything that happened during the time the demon manifested. It was as if they had blacked out.
The believer however could remember everything. They said that it was like standing and watching themselves say and do things, although they knew it was not really them doing it. What makes the difference here is that a believer has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Remember the parable Jesus shared about the man who was set free of a demon?
He said that the house is swept and made clean, but if that demon returns and finds it unoccupied, he brings back seven other demons and the man will be in a worse condition than before. What Jesus was saying is, that it is not just good enough to go around casting out demons. The person also needs to get their house occupied. In other words, they need to get saved and have the Holy Spirit come and dwell inside of them.
When the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside of you, He takes up permanent residence! Satan cannot control your spirit any longer. What he can do however is control your soul and this is what he will use in a believer. He will manipulate your mind, emotions and your will until he is told to leave. When you understand these main points, you are ready to help set that person free.
3. BRING TRUE DELIVERANCE
Once the person has calmed down it is for you to bring conviction of sin. Just because someone manifested a demon does not mean they want to get rid of it. I just shared how satan takes control of the mind, emotions and will and this is where he plays his game.
Not only does he control this person, but he gives something to them as well. Perhaps the person in question is very insecure and unsure of themselves.
This demonic force may give them the boldness that they lack. So it is not always a case of ͞casting out demons. If you have seen someone set free of a demonic bondage only to regress again, this is the main reason why. The enemy͛s license was not removed.
That person liked his demon. It sounds crazy hey? You only have to be in ministry for a short time to see the truth of this point. This is why the Word of God is vital in this situation. A conviction of sin must come and that means relying on the Holy Spirit to bring that conviction.
It is for you to allow them to see that they have sinned against God and as a result satan has a hold on their lives. No matter how much they are benefitting from this demon, it is stealing their ability to rise up. Only when they are ready to look at their sin, can you progress to the steps I have mentioned below.
SETTING SOMEONE FREE
STEP 1: IDENTIFY THE OPEN DOOR
Like I said before demons do not go around just jumping into people. They have been given license through sin. Either that license came through family generations or through their own involvement. In many cases the open door will be clear.
If the person has used drugs or gotten involved in false religion, this is certainly a good place to start. In many countries witchcraft is a part of growing up. When ministering in places like this it can be really difficult. We had a gentleman attend one of our conferences and ask for prayer.
He had experienced out of body experiences since he was a child and he needed to know if these things were of God. God was starting to move him into the prophetic ministry and he was suddenly uncomfortable with all these strange experiences he kept having. When we asked him when they started he said they were with him from birth.
He went on to share that his parents were into voodoo and raised him in this until he got saved. That open door was pretty obvious. We told him that these manifestations were definitely not from the Holy Spirit. How could they be? He did not even have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit when he experienced it for the first time! He was keen to deal with it and break free. No demon manifestations were necessary. He told it to leave and it left.
Some situations are not so clear. What does help is to ask the person when they first started experiencing these manifestations in their lives. It will usually come down to a specific time when they received something or got into something. Once you know where the enemy got in, you are well on your way to victory.
STEP 2: REPENTANCE
James 4:7 says to submit yourself to God, resist the devil and he will flee.
You cannot tell the enemy to go without submitting to God first. You disobeyed the Word of God through sin and you need to get right with God before you will have the authority to break free.Jesus does not condemn you for your sin. He came to save you from it.
However, the enemy is not as congenial. If he can take out a believer, he will use any means that he can. So restore your relationship with the Lord first. The Word says that if our hearts do not condemn us, that we can approach the throne with boldness.
You cannot break free if your heart condemns you. So lay the sin aside. Repent of doing what you did or going where you went. In the case of generational bondages, break those generational links! Daniel was a prime example of one who prayed on behalf of his people’s sins.
You can do the same regarding generational curses. You can repent for accepting whatever curse or bondage you allowed into your life. Once you have set things right with God, the most important thing is to tell the demon to leave.
STEP 3: DELIVERANCE
The scripture says that we have been given authority over serpents. Every believer has this authority, not just certain ministers. This means that the person in front of you has all the license and authority he needs to tell the demon to leave. It was them who invited the demon through their sin - they have the same authority to take away that license.
This is such a powerful step for anyone. It is one thing to repent, but another to tell the devil to leave. When someone gets born again they make a choice to accept Jesus and to put off the old man so that he can put on the new. He takes the hand of Jesus and then deliberately chooses to tell the devil to get lost.
This is very much the same concept. Our words carry power! When you speak words into the earth, things happen! With every healing and miracle Jesus did, He said something. He did not nod or do a dance. He said something.
When he raised Lazarus from the dead, He said, “Come forth!” He did not just stand around praying to God. In the same way a person who has repented must say out loud, I tell you to leave in the name of Jesus! The hold I have given to you I now take back. Get lost! Once they have prayed, you can step in and stand in agreement.
If you flow in the gift of discerning of spirits, you might see the demon in the spirit you are dealing with and you will also be able to sense if the prayer was effective. These are the same steps that you would follow if you are praying for inner healing or helping someone break free of the bondage that they got themselves into through a recent sin.
STEP 4: HEALING
Like I shared in the Ministry of Inner Healing chapter, very often a lot of bondage comes through the reactions of hurts in our lives. If the open door that you found relates to a situation where a hurt occurred, then you need to follow through with healing.
In cases such as witchcraft, deception or receiving contaminated impartations, then you will not need this step. However, if the open door came through abuse or any other kind of hurt, you need to ask the Holy Spirit to come and heal that hurt once and for all.
Multiple Choice Questions
2. True or false?
3. Which one of these is NOT a sign of bondage in the life of a believer?
4. What must you do first before you can tell the devil to flee?
5. Complete this sentence: Demons do not just go around jumping into people. They have been given license through ______.
6. True or false?
(This article is taken from the book Spiritual Discernment Workshop)
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