Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer
AS JESUS DID IT
Jesus is our example in casting out demons. At the start of His ministry, He cast out many demons (Matthew 4:23-24; Mark 1:39,34). In the Gadarenes He cast demons out of two men (Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-17; Luke 8:20). He cast demons out of the daughter of a Canaanite woman (Matthew 15:21 Mark 7:20), and cured a demonized man (Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-36). He healed a boy with seizures and demons (Matthew 17:14-20). He cast seven demons out of Mary Magdalene as well as out of other women followers (Luke 8:2; Mark 16:9).
How did Jesus cast demons out? Before casting them out He rebuked them (took their power away) (Matthew 17:18; Luke 9:42). Then He “drove” them out (Mark 1:39). He did it verbally (Matthew 8:16), not by a certain ritualistic procedure. He didn’t let the demons speak (Mark 1:34; Luke 4:41), expect Legion and that was just to give his name so others would know what was happening (Mark 5:9). He never let them say who He was (Mark 1:25; Luke 4:35; Mark 3:11-12). He told them to “be quiet and come out” (Luke 4:35; Mark 1:25). Other times He told them to “go” (Matthew 8;32). Sometimes He was quite far from the person whom He was delivering (Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30). When He cast them out He forbid them to ever return again (Mark 9:25).
AS THE DISCIPLES DID IT
We have many examples of the disciples casting out demons, too. Jesus gave them power and commanded them to use it (Matthew 10:1; Luke 10:17; Mark 6:7; 16:17). They cast out demons as a regular part of their ministry (Mark 9:38; Luke 10:17). Paul cast out demons (Acts 16:16-18; 19:12) and so did Philip (Acts 8:7). When trying to do it in their own strength (without dependence on God) they failed (Mark 9:18, 28-29).
How did the apostles cast demons out? Paul brought deliverance by a word, too (verbally). He said, “In the name of Jesus I command you to come out” (Acts 16:16-18). When God was showing that Paul was His spokesman there was a time when just touching a cloth that Paul had used brought deliverance (Acts 19:12). That was a special event, not a pattern to follow! When directed by God, Paul defeated the demons in Elymas (an unbeliever) by making him blind so he’d stop interfering with God’s word (Acts 13:6-12).
AS WE ARE TO DO IT TODAY
When one is surrounded the best thing to do is to attack. That is what God wants us to do, too, when seemingly surrounded by Satan’s forces. We are to follow the example of the apostles. They did what they did following Jesus’ example and in His power (Matthew 10:1,8; Mark 3:15; 6:7; Luke 9:1). We, too, are given power over the enemy (Luke 10:19; Matthew 10:1; Zechariah 3:15). We have the authority and power to bind demons and loose oppressed believers (Matthew 16:18-19). This must all be done in the power of Jesus’ name (Matthew 8:22; Luke 9:49) for that is the only thing demons will obey. Always refer to His full name: “The Lord Jesus Christ.” We, however, must be a clean vessel for Him to fill and use for deliverance (Revelation 12:10-11).
First pray for God’s protection around us, our families and our properties as we begin (Job 1:10; 3:23; Isaiah 5:5). Ask for protection from the enemy’s interference, that all things would be done decently and in order that angels would be present to minister and protect, that the demons would not hide or interfere and that the Holy Spirit would lead and guide in all that will happen. Claim your authority and power over the place, time and people involved. Forbid anything to interfere, distract or embarrass as the session continues. Ask God to take their power and authority away, as Jesus did when He rebuked the demons (Matthew 17:18; Luke 9:42). Seeing God’s power over Satan’s forces today brings glory to God (Psalm 149:6-9). God promises victory, saying we will see Satan crushed under our feet (Romans 16:20). The very gates of hell cannot prevail against God’s work on earth today (Matthew 16:18-19).
Before anything positive can happen the person must be willing to submit their whole lives to God (Romans 12:1-2) and be willing to deal with any sin in their lives (1 John 1:9). There can be no known sin they are holding onto, no immorality or pride. They must be committed to daily Bible reading and prayer as well as regular attendance at a Bible-believing church. If they are not willing to obey and submit to God they won’t find deliverance. Ask them to pray confessing any sin that is still in their life and to reaffirm their total submission to Jesus and their willingness to deal with whatever He shows must be dealt with.
It is not in response to our faith that God delivers, but faith in Him is of the utmost importance. It’s not that if we have enough faith good things will happen and if we fall short they won’t. God’s deliverance isn’t determined by nor limited to our faith. Still, faith in God to be able to deliver and trust in Him to bring to light what is necessary are primary ingredients for God to work.
Now it is time to start gathering information. Before a doctor writes a prescription or gives treatment he first gathers all the facts he can. He will know by the symptoms and patterns what to prescribe and how to proceed. The same is true in spiritual warfare. These are some of the questions I ask those I am counseling. Other questions might arise depending on their answers.
Can you briefly tell me what some of your earliest memories are? (this can shed light on childhood events, trauma, etc., that may have contributed to the demonizing)
When did your problems and difficulties begin happening? (going back to the start is very helpful in understanding why they began. If they’ve always been there then generational spirits can be assumed)
Do you know of any event that may have caused the first one? (this can show an opening that needs to be taken back or a sin that needs to be confessed)
How long have you been a Christian? (make sure they understand what it means to be a believer and really have trusted Jesus. Seeing when they became a Christian in relationship to when the demonizing started is helpful as well.)
Does anyone else in your family or any ancestors have/had the same things happening to them? (this shows generational demonizing)
Where are your parents spiritually? (this can show if it is generational as well as how the person was influenced)
Are you married?
Where is your mate at spiritually? (through the sexual union and through soul bonding demons can claim access to the other person)
Have you ever been sexually involved with anyone outside of marriage? (through the sexual union and through soul bonding demons can claim access to the other person)
Is there any sin you are allowing to remain in your life? (God will convict them of this. If they aren’t honest not much good will proceed from here.)
Have you experienced any trauma in life? (abuse, car accidents, extreme fear can break down a person’s defenses and take control of their lives out of their hands, thus creating an opening for the demonic.)
Do you have a church you attend? (the Bible commands we are to not forsake the assembling of ourselves. If this command is being broken it is sin and disobedience and must be changed for God to work in their lives. Only in very extreme, rare circumstances is it all right to not be attending a church.)
What denomination is it? (this can tell you something about their beliefs and practices.)
Were you ever involved in occult or demonic activities? (many people have used Ouija boards of something similar in the past and this is a definite opening to demonizing.)
Do you speak or pray in tongues? (I and many others in spiritual warfare have found that a false tongue, really a demon, is present and entered through one asking for a spirit of tongues)
Did anyone ever lay hands on you to receive the gift of tongues, healing or any other reason? (when someone lays hands on another and prays for them, anything demonic he or she may be open to can be transferred to the person they are praying for)
At this point, I may ask them to fill out the list of symptoms of demonizing (page 20) and or the list of sins that lead to demonizing (page 32-33, 37-38) if I feel more detailed information is needed. I may have them fill those papers in before we meet or at the very start. I will use these papers and notes I have taken as I’ve asked them the questions to guide my praying. Don’t rush this stage, the final product will only be as good as your gathering of this information has been. Like a doctor, the results depend on this part of the process.
Of course, any sins that come up with will have to be dealt with and confessed (1 John 1:9). The person themselves must be the one to pray and confess the sin. You can’t do it for them. Demons are like rats attracted to garbage, so get rid of the garbage to get rid of the rats.
It is of the utmost importance to make sure that forgiveness of others who have hurt them in the past or present, including parents, ex-mates, etc., is dealt with at this time. Ask if there is anyone they hold anything against, anyone they are bitter towards or don’t like to see prosper. You will sense this as they have answered the previous questions but now forgiveness must take place for deliverance to continue. Unforgiven gives demons a solid stronghold from which to work (Ephesians 4:26).
As to forgiveness, what is forgiveness? Forgiveness is not forgetting or letting someone off the hook. Forgiveness is choosing to not desire revenge, to not want to see the other hurt for the hurt they have caused us. When we hurt we want to hurt back or see the other hurt for the hurt that caused us. This desire for justice is normal but forgiveness means we don’t expect justice, we will take our hurt and deal with it instead of turning it into anger at another. Remember, anger is a secondary emotion coming from hurt. To forgive means giving up any right you might have to see the other suffer for what they did to you. You can’t forget, but whenever the hurt or anger come back, you make that choice again to give up any right to see them suffer. That’s how God forgives us – He gives up any right to see us pay for our sin against Him. Therefore when we forgive we are being like Him and when we don’t we aren’t. If you have trouble forgiving just tell God you are willing but struggling. As God heals the pain you will better be able to forgive.
PRAYER TO FORGIVE OTHERS
I thank you for forgiving me. It is my free will choice to ) Forgive me for anything I may have thought or done to hurt them pack. I turn that pain over to You for you to heal. In Jesus’ name, I take back any right I might feel I have to see them suffer for the pain they caused me., I pray
When you feel ready to proceed first explain what will be happening so they know what to expect. People have all kinds of strange ideas of what ‘exorcism’ is. While this is not exorcism (demons forced out by a religious ritual) but deliverance (free will consent and taking back of access by the person demonized) many may not know the difference. Tell them you will pray and take back access the demons have claimed as well as commanding them to be gone. I explain it like opening a door and allowing someone to enter a room, then realize you shouldn’t have done that. You need to close the door so no one else enters, but you also need to command those who already have entered to leave. Confessing the sin and taking back the access closes the door. Rebuking and commanding them to be gone cleans the room. Both steps must be taken, in that order. Remind them there is nothing to fear (Luke 10:17-21) and that fear is one of Satan’s biggest tools against them. Tell them to be sensitive to anything God is telling them in their mind or heart. If He brings up sins to confess ask them to interrupt the process so the sin can be dealt with at that time. If God says it needs to be removed then it must be removed to proceed.
As you pray for them start with the oldest problems and accesses first. Put any claim they make under the blood of Jesus, forbid them to do any more work against the person, and send them immediately and permanently to where ever Jesus wants them to go. Usually starting with generational spirits first is a good idea. Make sure there aren’t any of them working and then go from there.
Next pray about childhood events and experiences: trauma, rejection, etc. Put them under the blood of Jesus, take back any access demons claim through them and send them to where Jesus would have them go.
Then deal with sins and openings that have come since childhood. Take your time and be thorough. There is no hurry and no rush.
As you proceed be sensitive as to who the main ruler (strong man) is. Sometimes it is best to attack him first for he holds the other demons there. Other times he is too entrenched and must be weakened by first casting out the lesser demons, the ones creating the symptoms of sin and difficulties in the person’s life. Ask for wisdom and be sensitive as to how God would lead you in this important step.
Usually it is best to bind the main ruler first (Matthew 12:29), then in Jesus name bind up any and all demons involved (Matthew 16:18-19). Demons never work alone. Search out the “root” spirits (the rulers) and pray against them. Quite often this will be a demon named ‘Death’ for that is Satan’s ultimate plan against all of us. Other powerful rulers may be ‘Fear,’ ‘Pride’ or similar works. Each name describes the work of the demon. You can know their name by seeing what they do in the person’s life. Remember, behind every demonic problem lies a flesh problem. By identifying the flesh problem that is at the root of everything the identity of the main ruler can be discovered. However that flesh problem must be completely confessed and renounced. Get rid of the garbage and you’ll get rid of the rats!
You can weaken their structure by breaking up their organization, for they do feed off each other. Break off her children and claim them in the name of Jesus. Take back any access through blood line, name, etc., and set them free. You can separate the power structure in her from that in their mate, parent, or whomever you sense is involved. Just bind the demons into those people and forbid them to bind together or help each other in any way. They are often the same demons who share the person but limiting them to one person helps. Divide and conquer. Forbid any other spirits to come take their place or help from without. Satan’s tactic is to isolate us, cut us off from other Christians and God, and then when we are weak work against us. The same strategy works against him, too.
Also be sensitive as you proceed to sins that the counselee needs to confess. If God pricks your thoughts go along with this and make sure you stop to deal with any sins that come up. Sins of attitude must be dealt with as well: fear, unforgiven, guilt, pride, revenge, jealousy, etc.
How can you know if the force against you is demonic or not? We are commanded to “test the spirits” to see their source (I John 4:1). Challenge them with the deity (I John 4:11), Lordship (I Corinthians 12:3) and blood of Jesus (I John 5:6-7). Be sensitive to the response in the other person or in your own spirit. Angels do not indwell people, nor do they communicate through people as demons do. Remember that demons always lie and deceive, they may even claim to be God or the Holy Spirit. Be sensitive to thoughts put in your mind or the mind of the one you are counseling. If God supplies someone with the gift of discernment as part of their spiritual gift mix (or if you have that yourself) that can be very helpful (Acts 13:9-10; I Corinthians 12:10).
Remember the things covered earlier: we are safe in Jesus and aren’t to run from the enemy. We are to use our power and authority. Make sure all opening are confessed and access taken back.
Command the demons to be gone in Jesus name (Matthew 10:1; Luke 9;49; 10:17; Mark 8:22). Do it in faith in Jesus (Matthew 17:18-27; John 5:4), not fear (Joshua 1:9; 10:8; 23:9-11; Leviticus 26:8; Exodus 14:13; I Samuel 17:45-47; II Samuel 22:33-35,40-41). Be in an attitude of prayer (communication with and sensitive to God – Mark 9:29). Don’t be proud, stay humble and submissive to Christ (Luke 10:10; II Peter 2:11; Acts 19:12-16). When cast out commit the demons to Jesus’ authority in where He would have them go, that He would carry out His sentence against them (Psalm 149:6-9; Romans 16:20; Job 30:3-8). Remember the “house” must be filled with God’s Holy Spirit when the demons are removed or things could be worse than before (Matthew 12:43-45).
Sometimes God may lead you to lay hands on the person you are praying for, and on occasion Jesus Himself did this (Luke 4:29; 13:11-23; Matthew 8:15) as did the early church (I Corinthians 1:14f; 12:4; II Corinthians 1:21f; James 5:13-16). Be sensitive to God’s leading in this area and do whichever it is He leads you to do. One way is not better then the other. Being obedient to what God would have you do is the determining factor.
Quote Scripture as much as possible (Matthew 4:1-10). God’s word is more powerful than and words we may use (Hebrews 4:12) and carry much more weight with Satan’s forces. Our authority is God’s Word (I Jn. 2:14). Our sword of the Word is our only offensive weapon.
Playing Christian music during deliverance or at other times in your home is often very helpful for demons don’t like to hear Jesus praised (I Samuel 16:23). There is power in praise (Psalm 22:3), so use praise in your warfare praying. You can praise God in prayer or in song during deliverance or afterwards. Use this whenever attacked.
Do not converse with demons, either by having them give messages to a person’s mind or to speak verbally through a person’s vocal cords. The object in deliverance is not to get in contact with demons but to remove them. Communication with them makes you a medium and God’s words forbids that (Deuteronomy 18:9-13). There are good reasons to not communicate with them. Neither Jesus (Mark 1:25) nor Paul would (Acts 16:17). They are liars and deceivers (John 8:44) and you can’t believe what they say. God wants you only to be in touch with Him (Deuteronomy 4:24). Through the Holy Spirit we have access to all truth and power (John 8:31-32; I Corinthians 12:7-11). By communicating with them you give them recognition, allow them to stall, make things much harder on all people involved, and open yourself up to pride. Besides, they are total liars and deceivers so nothing positive will come from it.
What about when deliverance is slow or not at all? Remember sometimes God has a greater purpose than casting out every demon as soon as we pray. Sometimes there is delay. Jesus even had times when He had to persevere for awhile (Luke 8:31 Greek). Usually deliverance is a process. Its like peeling the layers off an onion. As new sin is revealed and removed, more ground is taken back from Satan’s forces. This gradual process allows the person to better fill the ground which has been reclaimed with God’s Holy Spirit and gives him time to grow spiritually (Psalm 59:11; 119:50,67,71) before the next ‘layer’ is removed. That’s why the Jews under Joshua only conquered the Promised Land bit by bit instead of all at once. If they would have driven out the Canaanites immediately then lions would have come in and harmed them. There is a learning process involved that can be used to help others, too (II Corinthians 1:3-4). Other times complete deliverance never comes. Paul’s thorn in the flesh is an example (II Corinthians 12:7). Paul testifies God then provides the grace needed to withstand. God wants us to learn to depend on Him (Psalm 119:59,92). Of course if the opening is allowed to continue then the demonizing will continue, too (Psalm 94:12-16; 81:11-14).
When you start sensing that as much as will take place has taken place you can begin changing the direction you are going. Ask the counselee if he has had any thoughts of impressions that he should share. Deal with whatever these may be. Ask if there is anything they would like to talk about or pray about.
Pray again for wisdom, asking God if there is anything else to be dealt with at this time and for His continued leading and guidance. Ask God what else needs to be done. Some times there is lots of spiritual growth and maturity needed. Other times it is consequences of sin that need to be faced. Faith gets tested. Quite often there are other demons or rulers (which are demons, but the leaders) that will need to be dealt with later.
Make sure they understand what has happened and what to expect in the next few hours and days. Doubt, unbelief, guilt are quite common tactics of the enemy. Encourage them to stay faithful, pray, read the Bible, memorize and use verses when attacked and write down any questions they might have. If they don’t fill the vacated spaces in their lives then the demons will return in even greater number (Luke 11:24-26; Matthew 12:43-45).
Encourage them to call for prayer whenever needed. That very act on their part can be humbling and work against their pride, thus it can be very freeing. If demons know they will be calling for prayer help they will be more hesitant to attack than if they know the person will try dealing with them alone.
Remind them that this is a process, not a once-and-done procedure. It’s not that clear cut and dried. Remember Paul’s thorn in the flesh? Ultimately God has the final say, not the demons. Remember Job? So when demons remain after we think they should be gone the first thing we must do is ask God what He is trying to teach us, what He wants to show us. He uses it all for our growth. Do we need to learn perseverance? Patience? Dig deeper for a root sin? Humble ourselves more? Trust? Are we an example to others (as Job was)? The ultimate answer to the questions you are asking lie in God’s will, not in a demon’s power.
Close with a prayer of thanksgiving and praise for what God has done. Ask God to continue the good work He has started in the person. Pray for their protection and growth. Ask for their memories to be healed and the parts that have been emptied to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Forbid any demons to return or others to do the same work. Ask God to bless them and use them for His honor and glory.
TO SUMMARIZE, SUCCESSFUL AND LASTING DELIVERANCE REQUIRES:
1. HUMILITY: no pride in yourself or your own strength (James 4:6-7; 5:16)
2. HONESTY: admit any sin (Psalm 32:5; 139:23-24)
3. CONFESSION: put any and all sin under the blood of Jesus (I John 1:9)
Make sure there is no unforgiveness of others (Matthew 6:14-15; 18:21-35)
4. ACCEPT FORGIVENESS: do not carry any guilt around (I John 1:9)
5. REPENTANCE: attitude of willingness to turn from all sin (Amos 3:3; Ezekiel 20:43)
6. RENOUNCE EVIL: verbally reject anything (openings) that have given Satan access, take back that access, and do whatever you must to right any wrongs you have committed (Acts 19:18-19; Matthew 3:7-8)
7. PRAY: ask God to deliver you in Jesus’ name (Joel 2:32) Don’t forget YOU have the authority to cast demons out in Jesus’ name and God expects you to use it.
8. CONTINUAL WARFARE: daily prayer and battle against sin & Satan