Chapter 1 Healing of the Spirit: Introduction

Course Overview

My intention in offering this booklet is to educate the believer with regard to the process of spiritual healing. Scripture offers many truths which are hidden to the untrained eye, scriptural truths which are designed to “set us free” (John 8:31-32). And, as King David confirmed, God desires “truth in the inward parts” (Ps. 51:7).

For those who believe and who are familiar with God’s Word, bringing these truths to great-er light and understanding allows us to see more clearly how to utilize God’s design in the process of healing. As Christ read from, and in fulfillment of, Isaiah 61, He announced that God sent him (among other things) “to proclaim liberty to the captives.”

This booklet attempts to reveal God’s truth with regard to many of the areas of bondage in which an individual finds himself, that he/she might be “made free,” for truly, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). It is intended to be both a self-help guide to those seeking freedom from bondage and a manual for intercessors, pastors, and deliverance min-isters who pray for those who are bound.

After accepting Jesus Christ with all their heart, a person must be ready to remove from their life all that prevents the absolute working of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, inquiry should be made about areas in the person’s life that may still be in bondage; we cannot set something free which has not first been surrendered.

Deliverance is not about shouting! It is about focusing on discovering what it is that is giv-ing the enemy authority to remain in a person’s life. God’s motive is to restore human beings to His image and likeness. The Hebrew and Greek words for “salvation” imply the ideas of deliverance, safety, preservation, healing and soundness.

Finding oneself in spiritual bondage is akin to finding oneself bound with many chains or ropes, each chain or rope representing a different area of one’s life where bondage has occurred. First the cause of these bondages is discovered (there are always more than one), then the individual renounces these ties, and cuts the ropes one at a time. Once these ropes or ties are all cut, the de-mon(s) then has nothing on which to continue their hold, and with much joy it must go when it is commanded to leave. And the person is free to the glory of God.
Many believers have not been taught, and are therefore unaware, that before they knew the Lord Jesus Christ they submitted their life—or areas of their life—to a different lordship. These believers have never been led to take back or renounce the authority given over to the enemy, who may still be maintaining his position—if only partially—and who will assert his right whenever possible, thereby oppressing the believer. Whatever authority hasn’t been given to Jesus is claimed by Satan. Evil spirits can only inhabit where they have authority. Satan always stands at our right hand ready to bind us, if we allow it. If we open our hedge, a serpent shall bite us (Eccl. 10:8).

Why Preach, Teach and Minister Inner Healing and Deliverance?

Many Christians do not recognize or know they are in bondage, that they have strongholds and open “gates” or “doors” which allow darkness to influence them. The scriptural admonition stated in Hosea 4:6 is still applicable today: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Isa 5:13 says “my people are gone into captivity because they have no knowledge”.

One of Christ’s purposes in coming to earth was to destroy the works of the devil (I John 3:9-10). He came first to “preach the gospel to the poor” (those spiritually oppressed, Luke 4:18) and to “proclaim liberty to the captives” (Luke 4:18; Is. 42:7, 49:9 and 61:1), then, second, “to pro-claim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:19, Is. 61:2). The order is very important.

Scripture also tells us that Jesus came to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:4, Matt 12:28). Several other scriptures help us understand what the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is; “not in word, but in power” (I Cor 4:20), “But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you” (Luke 11:20), “the Kingdome of God is within you” (Luke 17:21) and “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom 14:17). These suggest the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is reclaim-ing that which belongs to God, but has been temporarily occupied by the kingdom of darkness.

Being in bondage to sin separates us from God. Bondage blinds us and keeps us from see-ing and hearing the Word of God (Is 6:9-10 29:18, 35:5, 42:7-9, 42:18-19, Zeph 1:17, Mat 13:15, 2 Cor 4:4 John 12:40, 2 Cor 4:4, I John 2:11. Bondage keeps us from seeing, hearing and understand-ing. (Mat. 13:13-17). In ministering to others we first loose them from darkness so they can spiritu-ally see and hear, then we preach the Good News to them and then they bear fruit even 30, 60 and 100 fold (Matt 13:23)

The parable of the sower seems to verify this. (Matt 18:23). I believe those who received seed on the good ground are those that have searched their hearts, confessed and repented of any road blocks to God and the Holy Spirit they found there and enjoy spiritual freedom. (Ps 139:23, Jer 17:10). Else they fall into the group that is blinded. (Is 6:9-10 29:18, 35:5, 42:7-9, 42:18-19, Zeph 1:17, Mat 13:15, 2 Cor 4:4, John 12:40, 2 Cor 4:4, I John 2:11)

Wasn’t the reason Jesus came that He might destroy the works of the devil, and bring forth the Kingdom of God on earth? (I John 3:8) Isn’t healing and setting people free from darkness part of the process of bringing about the Kingdom of God? (Luke 11:20) Jesus told His disciples to go preach the Kingdom of God. I believe this means retrieving the souls of men and women that origi-nally belonged to God but who now are under the control of Satan. I think the commission Jesus gave to Paul explains it pretty well. (Acts 26:18)

“to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me”

Other reasons we should preach, teach, and minister include:

  1. Casting out demons was the first sign mentioned for those who believe (Mark 16:17).
  2. We should follow Christ’s example, wherein an estimated one-third of Christ’s ministry was demonstrated through casting out demons.
  3. Jesus cast out demons to bring the Kingdom of God to seekers (those seeking out Jesus; re-fer to Jesus’ declaration in Mat. 12:28).
  4. Jesus cast out demons to show that the Kingdom of God is not in word only but in power (see Mat. 6:13, 28:18, 10:1 and 12:28).
  5. We preach, teach, and minister to bring release to seekers, giving “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Is. 61:3).

Two Kingdoms

Scripture teaches us that before we were formed in our mother’s womb, God knew us (Jer. 1:5, Eph. 1:4-5). God even knows the number of hairs on our head (Luke 12:7). He created us in love. From the very beginning of time, God desired for us to be healthy: spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Again, the order is important, as hereinafter revealed.

God created Adam and Eve in perfect health, in His own likeness and image (Gen. 1:26); He gave them dominion over all the earth (Gen. 1:28). Sickness and disease did not exist in the Garden of Eden. From the very beginning of his creation, man was not created to be sick or to die. Thus, we know that God’s perfect will is for us to be in spiritual and physical health. In addition, from scripture, the attributes of the Kingdom of God versus those of the Kingdom of Darkness are made evident.

The Kingdom of God: God’s kingdom is one of love, acceptance, and forgiveness. He of-fers us mercy and grace. He is the God of all hope. He is our peace. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He is our deliverer (Rom. 11:26, Mat. 6:13), who has destroyed the “works of darkness” (ungodliness).

The Kingdom of Darkness: Satan came, bringing disobedience, rebellion, sin, sickness, separation, pain, and torment. He is known as “the prince of this world” (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11). He is called the “God of this age” (2 Cor 4:4). ”and the whole world lieth in wick-edness”. (1 John 5:19). We know that Satan’s kingdom is one where there is no love, no joy, no peace, no acceptance, and no forgiveness; his purposes are to steal, kill, and destroy (based on John 10:10 and other verses). In the Kingdom of Darkness, there is only rejection, disillusionment, destruction, deceit, division, and despair.

We know that before man inhabited the earth Lucifer was expelled from heaven to the earth. On earth Satan continued his rebellion against God by tempting man to disobey God. Man sinned and became alienated from his Creator. Man then became vulnerable to Satan and the supernatural beings under Satan’s control, known as fallen angels, demons or evil spirits. Satan has a plan for your life, to steal, to kill, and to destroy. (John 10:10) He first wants to keep us from believing in God and Jesus, if he fails in this, then he wants to keep us from knowing Jesus Christ personally, and if that fails, he wants to keep us from serving Jesus Christ effectively.

The Kingdom of God and the kingdom of evil are engaged in fierce conflict one against the other for the souls, spirits and bodies of men and women on earth. But God, not willing to allow His creation to come under the influence of darkness, prepared a way of escape (salvation) for man-kind and sent His own Son, Jesus to earth to show us the way. It is through the message of Jesus and His works on the cross giving us power over the darkness that we are redeemed and set free.

Authority Given Us by God.

You must be totally convinced of the absolute victory of the completed work of Jesus, of His abso-lute victory over darkness. (Rom 8:38-39). God gave Adam a measure of authority over the earth (Gen 1:26) Eve, through deception and Adam, through rebellion gave Satan their authority and subjected all mankind to demonic control (Luke 4:6, Romans 5:12-14, Eph 2:1,2, 2 Cor 4:3,4, 1 John 5:19). Satan offered his authority to Jesus in exchange for worship of Satan. Jesus declined (Luke 4:7). When Jesus died, rose and ascended, He totally and completely stripped Satan’s au-thority over any child of God (Col 2:13-15, Heb 2:14, 1 John 3:8). The Scriptures tell us that Jesus has absolute authority in heaven and earth. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (Matt 28:18)

“Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come, And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church”. (Eph 1:21-22)

“And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it”. (Col 2:15)

Jesus gave this power and authority to the 12, (Matt 10:1) to the 70 (Luke 10:9,19) and to us. (Mark 16:17-18) Those who belong to Jesus come out from under Satan’s authority, influence and control and move into God’s domain and are given the authority over Satan and his demons. (Rom 8:37-39, Col 1:13, 1 John 4:4, 5:18) The only authority the darkness has is what you or someone else gives them. Whatever you come into agreement with, you empower.

We are one with Christ. He is with us and in us. This principle of unification with Christ took place when you received salvation. You and Christ are one. (Rom 6, 8, Eph 2, 4, Gal 2:20). We need to be assured of who we are, and who’s we are in Christ, and that we have absolute au-thority over darkness given us by Jesus Christ.

Remember that demons aren’t being made anymore. There’s the same number wandering around the planet today as there were in Jesus’ day, yet the population of people has increase into the billions. On top of that we all know from Scripture that there are two angels for every demon. And since Jesus has ALL authority, (Matt 28:18) that leaves none for the devil. The “All” has been handed over to us. The devil can only influence us if we give him legal permission to be there, ei-ther through our sins, or someone else’s sin against us. When we renounce the permission he has to be there, and we remove the legal spiritual permission he has been given, he must go.

Some authors have observed that not all believers can cast out demons (Mark 16:17). There-fore they make the case that while all believers have authority from Jesus Christ to do so, most be-lievers do not yet have the power to do so. The example given is the policemen standing at the cor-ner under a speed limit sign. The policemen’s authority comes from the governmental jurisdiction, but the “power” is the pistol on his hip. We know he has authority, but we probably would not slow down unless we knew he also had the “power”. Spiritual power comes from a closeness to Jesus, an anointing by the Holy Spirit, faith, education and experience.

Authority Prayer

I am a child of the King, I am a co-heir with Jesus. All Jesus bought and paid for is my inheritance. I am united with Jesus, I have been crucified with Christ. I died with Him, I am buried with Him, I was raised with Him, I am seated with Him in the heavenlies far above all rule, all power, all author-ity, and above every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. Therefore I carry the authority of Christ. I have authority over sickness, over sin, over demons, and over the world. I am the salt of the earth. I am the light of the world. I will displace the darkness, I have the full armor of God. I put on the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the helmet of sal-vation, the sandals of peace, I take up the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit, for the weap-ons of my warfare are not fleshly. They are divinely powerful to tear down the strongholds of darkness. I can do all things through Christ, because greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world. (credit to Rodney Hogue)

How Darkness Gets in

Adam and Eve listened to Satan’s lies and allowed sin to enter God’s beautiful world, thus causing all mankind to inherit the effects of sin, including sickness and death.

Because God knew we would be born into a world whose prince (Satan) is evil, He created a spiritual “hedge” (as illustrated in Job 1:10) around us to shield us from the influences of that evil (Job 1:10 and 2:4-6). Even so, God provides spiritual armor for our protection (Eph. 6:13-18). Al-so, God’s angels camp round about us to preserve and to protect us (Ps. 34:7 and 91:10-12).

All of us are born with a spiritual hedge like Job’s, but because of the original sin of Adam and Eve (and subsequent sins we commit, or others commit against us), we have doors or gates open in our hedge that allow Satan to inflict us, as Satan inflicted Job. Eccl: 10:8 says “. . . .whoso breaketh a hedge, a serpent shall bite him.” These open doors have many causes; the most common causes are listed below, although others will also be discussed throughout out this study.

  • Our own sins (lying, stealing, cheating, pride, etc.)
  • Unforgiveness (bitterness)
  • Participation in or exposure to the occult,
  • Sexual sins
  • Abortion
  • Divorce
  • Curses
  • Inherited or Generational Sin: See Exodus 20:5 regarding the iniquities of the fa-thers being passed on to the children of the third and fourth generations.
  • Curses
  • Objects & Places
  • Secret societies
  • Involuntary exposure to darkness
  • Trauma
  • Words, Lies
  • Vows and death wishes
  • Hurts, Emotions and Memories, Wounds and hurts deep within our spirit
  • Sins of others against us (physical, verbal, or sexual abuse, rejection, etc.)
  • Abuse, sexual, emotional, physical
  • Rejection
  • Our Image of God

How It All Works

Sin opens doors or gates in our spiritual hedge, allowing spiritual pollution to enter, thereby causing spiritual as well as physical problems.  Sin can actually make us sick—spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.  There is no “safe dabbling” or “demon free zone” when it comes to associations with the powers of darkness.

Even so, the Good News is that God loves us and determinedly wants to restore us to His Kingdom, so much so that he sent His Son Jesus to earth that we may be forgiven, saved, healed, and delivered (Is. 53:5 and 61:1-3) from the works of darkness.  The Good News is that God wants to restore us to Himself that we might walk in the peace and protection of His will.

Sins, wounds, and hurts are always barriers which separate us from approaching God or from feeling connected to Him.  These dark influences in our lives (at times resulting in bondage) hinder or prevent us from being restored to our rightful relationship with the Lord, from hearing His voice and knowing His will for our lives.  Dark influences severely restrict our ministry; they keep us in bondage and prevent God’s healing power from working in us.

Nonetheless, know that God wants whatever is separating us from Him to be healed.  He wants to close the open gates in our spiritual hedge and to set us free from the influences of darkness.  He wants to remove all the chains (or ropes) binding people in the different areas of their lives.  The Good News is that God’s love can heal us, can rebuild our hedge and restore our spirit, our emotions and our body to wholeness, and can transform us to allow us to experience and live the abundant life promised through Christ.  Again, God wants us to be restored to Him in the purity and innocence that Adam first had in the beginning.

Unfortunately most Christians don’t believe they can have these open gates and dark or binding influences—because they have experienced baptism.  While baptism provides forgiveness for our sins if we repent, it does not necessarily take away the consequences of our sins or of those of our ancestors.  These consequences (passed on through the generations as spoken of in Exodus 20:5, as well as in other scriptures) are called “iniquities.”  Plainly stated, sin is the cause and iniquity is the result, consequences, or effect of the sin.

For example, if you are driving drunk, hit a pedestrian and put him in the hospital, and this person then has a permanent disability, will the Lord forgive your sin?  Yes, if you repent.  He provided for our forgiveness on the Cross; but will He immediately remove the consequences of that sin?  No.  The sin is on the head of the driver but the result or consequences of that sin is borne by the pedestrian.  Christians can be totally repentant and still unknowingly be under the influence of darkness in parts of their spirit as a result of the consequences of previous sin.

The problem is one of awareness.  Again, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).  “Where there is no counsel, the people fall” (Prov 11:14).  “My people are gone into captivity because they have no knowledge” (Isa 5:13-14). A person who is sick and doesn’t know it will never go to a doctor.  A Christian who is crippled on the inside, but who thinks his life is normal, will never ask God for healing; and “we have not because we ask not” (Jas. 4:2).  Many Christians struggle with major issues in their lives but are ignorant of the fact that the victory Jesus won for them on the cross not only assures them of eternal salvation but also provides the keys to healing (Is. 53:5, Mal. 4:2).

Unfortunately many Christians believe that because they have been saved and born again they are protected from darkness.  Satan loves such spiritual blindness and false beliefs.  The author has personally prayed with hundreds of people influenced by darkness and everyone said they were a Christian.  To think salvation and baptism shields us from darkness is one of Satan’s biggest deceptions.  As an example, look at the Apostle Peter.  Peter was obedient, he followed Jesus (Matt 4:19), he had power to cast out demons and heal the sick (Matt 10:1), he had faith to walk on water (Matt 14:29), he was a part of the miracles of feeding the 5000 (Matt 14:21), and the 4000 (Matt 15:38), and he was prophetic when he knew who Jesus was (Matt 16:16).  But when he was rebuking Jesus about going to Jerusalem, Jesus said unto Peter, “Get thee behind me, Satan” (Matt 16:23).  Many believe Peter had a demon; else Jesus would have spoken to Peter, not Satan.

Look at the struggle Apostle Paul had.  In Romans chapter 6 & 7 Paul talks about his fight against sin, “I do what I hate” (Rom 7:15), “evil is present in me” (Rom 7:21) and says “Oh wretched Man I Am” (Rom 7:24-25). He mentions the word “I” over 40 times.  But in chapter 8 he admits he can do nothing and needs the Holy Spirit.  He mentions the Holy Spirit 16 times.

Healing of the Spirit involves the applications of the cross, the blood of our Lord Jesus, and the resurrection life and light of Jesus—to whatever in the person’s spirit has not yet been redeemed.  With the help of the Holy Spirit and the assistance of godly intercessors, the Lord is asked to walk through our spiritual house, to cleanse it of all defilements and of every deposit of evil and sin. When this is done, many times physical healing comes, as well as inner spirit healings.

God’s promises of healing, and the inherited rights of the believer given to us by Jesus’ death on the cross, are for those who have accepted Jesus into their hearts, have been baptized, and have a desire to follow Him.  Before we address a number of the more common open gates in our spirits, and how to close them, we need to review four types of healing, and the scriptures relating to them.

Scriptures on Healing

Francis MacNutt, ( Healing (1974). ISBN 0-87796-074-0). 1974 wrote the classic book Healing. He, listed four types of healing. Reading many of the scriptures under each category listed below will help increase your faith in the healing process.

Also, read Luke 4:18-19 to review the six aspects for which Jesus was anointed: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me

(#1) to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me
(#2) to heal the brokenhearted,
(#3) to proclaim liberty to the captives,
(#4) and recovery of sight to the blind,
(#5) to set at liberty them that are bruised, (#6) to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” These are identified below under each of MacNutt’s categories of healing.

Healing of the Spirit

(dealing with repentance and forgiveness)

(#1—“preach the gospel to the poor” [in spirit]) (Also see Matt 5:3 It is the first Beatitude)

  1. Healing, forgiveness, and repentance are interconnected.
    1. Mat. 9:2
    2. Mark 2:5
    3. Luke 5:20 and 7:47 Jas. 5:1
  2. Forgiveness and repentance are required to complete the healing process.
    1. Mat. 3:2 and 4:17
    2. Mat. 6:15
    3. Mat. 18:35
    4. Mark 6:12
    5. Mark 11:26
    6. Luke 13:3, 5
    7. Jas. 5:9

Healing the Wounded Spirit

(dealing with inner healing of emotions, wounds, and hurts)

(#2—“heal the brokenhearted” and #5—“set at liberty them that are bruised”)

  1. Prov. 20:27
  2. Is. 61:1-3
  3. John 13:21
  4. Ps. 30:5, 11 and 45:7
  5. Ezek. 11:19 and 18:31
  6. 1 Cor. 6:20
  7. Ps. 51:10 and 92:10
  8. Ezek. 36:26-27
  9. 2 Cor. 4:16
  10. Ps. 35:18 and 41:4
  11. Mat. 6:22-23

Healing from the Powers of Darkness

(dealing with release from bondages)

(#3—“to proclaim liberty to the captives”)

  1. Matthew
    1. 8:16
    2. 8:28-33
    3. 10:1, 8
    4. 12:22
    5. 12:27-28
    6. 15:22, 28
    7. 17:15
  2. Mark
    1. 1:23-26
    2. 1:32, 34
    3. 3:10-12
    4. 3:14-15
    5. 3:22
    6. 3:30
    7. 5:1-14
    8. 6:13
    9. 7:25
    10. 9:17-26
  3. Luke
    1. 4:33-35
    2. 4:41
    3. 6:18
    4. 7:21
    5. 8:2
    6. 8:27-37
    7. 9:1
    8. 9:28-42
    9. 13:11-13
  4. Acts
    1. 5:16
    2. 8:7
    3. 16:16-18
    4. 19:12
    5. 19:13-16

Healing of the Body

(#4—“recovering of sight to the blind”)

  1. Matthew
    1. 4:23
    2. 8:13, 15-16
    3. 9:6, 28-29, 36
    4. 10:1
    5. 11:5
    6. 12:11
    7. 14:14
    8. 15:28
    9. 20:34
  2. Mark
    1. 1:31-32, 41-42
    2. 2:5-9
    3. 5:23, 29, 41-42
    4. 6:5, 13, 56
    5. 7:34, 37
    6. 8:25
    7. 10:46-52
  3. Luke
    1. 4:39-40
    2. 5:12-13, 17-18
    3. 6:8, 19
    4. 7:14-15
    5. 8:47, 55
    6. 9:1
    7. 14:4
    8. 18:42-43
    9. 22:51
  4. Acts
    1. 3:1-7
    2. 5:16
    3. 9:33-34, 40
    4. 14:10
    5. 19:12
    6. 28:8
  5. John
    1. 4:50
    2. 5:5-8
    3. 9:6-7
  6. 1 Pet. 2:24
  7. Is. 53:5

(#6—only then did he “proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord”)

It is interesting to note that most people who come for prayer come for # 4 healing of their bodies. This is their # 1 priority. However God’s highest priority is healing of the spirit (repentance). We seem to have the priorities backwards.

C. Peter Wagner and others have classified “spiritual warfare” into three separately-identified levels, as stated below:

  1. Ground or Personal Level: where the casting out of demons from an individual (common-ly called deliverance) is practiced. This procedure is more thoroughly covered in a separate section titled “Healing from Influences of Darkness.”
  2. Occult Level: which deals with demonic activity occurring in objects, such as is practiced in Satanism, witchcraft, shamanism, curandero, and freemasonry (as discussed in several other sections within this material).
  3. Territorial Level: spiritual warfare which deals with powerful principalities and powers over houses, neighborhoods, city, territories, regions, and nations (and is likewise further discussed in the section on “Setting Your Church Free”).

What Unclean Spirits Do

There are countless demons, one that corresponds to every sin. The book Pigs in The Parlor lists over 250 demons. Characteristics of unclean spirits mentioned in the scriptures include:

  1. Continues to tempt people to sin (Gen. 3:1-6)
  2. Afflicts and destroys (Job 2:3-6)
  3. Opposes God’s angels (Zech. 3:1)
  4. Speaks, cries out (Mat. 8:29-31, Luke 4:41)
  5. Indwells humans and animals (Mat. 8:28-32)
  6. Steals truth from our minds (Mat. 13:19)
  7. Tries to express their nature (Mat. 17:15)
  8. Throws people (Luke 4:35)
  9. Torments people (Luke 6:18)
  10. Steals the Word of God from the hearts of the people (Luke 8:12)
  11. Breaks chains (Luke 8:29)
  12. Drives people into the wilderness (Luke 8:29)
  13. Recognized Jesus and Paul (Luke 9:38)
  14. Causes people to foam at the mouth (Luke 9:39)
  15. Bruises people (Luke 9:39)
  16. Binds physically (Luke 13:16)
  17. Opposes, harasses, and hinders the work of God’s servants (Luke 22:31, 2 Cor. 12:7)
  18. Tempts God’s people to sin (Luke 22:31)
  19. Steals, kills & destroys (John 10:10)
  20. Places wicked thoughts and plans into the minds of people (John 13:2, Acts 5:3)
  21. Enters and controls a person—as when Satan entered Judas (John 13:27)
  22. Lies (Acts 5:3)
  23. Counterfeits the genuine (Acts 8:9-11)
  24. Causes sickness and suffering (Luke 13:11)
  25. Attacks physically (Acts 19:16)
  26. Tempts believers to engage in immorality (1 Cor. 7:5)
  27. Blinds people’s minds to the truth of the gospel (2 Cor. 4:4)
  28. Transforms himself into an angle of light (2 Cor 10:4)
  29. Takes advantage of weaknesses (2 Cor. 2:11)
  30. Orchestrates the work of demons (Eph. 6:11-12)
  31. Hinders the spread of the gospel (2 Thes. 2:1-10)
  32. Sets traps and snares to cause believers to fall into sin (1 Tim. 3:7)
  33. Encourages false religions and spirituality by doctrines of demons (1 Tim. 4:1-3)
  34. Attacks viciously (1 Pet. 5:8)
  35. Incites persecution against believers (Rev. 2:10)
  36. Deceives all men (Rev. 12:9)
  37. Accuses and slanders believers (Rev. 12:10)

Symptoms of the Possible Demonic Habitation in Ascending Order of the Degree of Influence

  1. Restlessness exhibited during worship services
  2. Tried everything else
  3. Sleep disturbances
  4. Feels compulsions for little or no reason
  5. Extreme behavior
  6. Commands to do something unrealistic
  7. Chronic fear, anxiety, or hatred—for no apparent reason
  8. Heaviness in the chest
  9. Feels conditional forgiveness
  10. Unrealistic suggestions
  11. Dislike revealed for anything associated with religion and/or Christianity
  12. Not reading the Scriptures or praying (at all)
  13. Not going to church
  14. Can’t read the Scriptures for any length of time
  15. Withdraws from church people
  16. Can’t pray
  17. Can’t say the name of Jesus
  18. Feels something is inside of them, controlling their actions and/or their speech
  19. Hearing voices in their mind speaking to them
  20. Exhibiting counterfeit spiritual gifts
  21. Having suicidal thoughts
  22. Attempting suicide
  23. Cutting themselves
  24. Having glazed eyes or a vacant stare
  25. When their speech is not their own; there’s evidence of a change of voice (or multiple voices) or animal sounds
  26. Sudden appearance of marks on the body
  27. Having conversation with unseen beings
  28. Unusual behavior: animal-like movements, the inability to sit still, unusual postures or gestures, including nearly-impossible contortions of the body
  29. Their eyes becoming white, unearthly, and vile; a stench or bad odor exists
  30. Object begin to come out of the nose or mouth
  31. An unseen force throws the person
  32. Uncontrollable fits and foaming at the mouth

More comprehensive lists are available in Healing & Deliverance by Horrobin (pages 55-84) and in The Occult Trap by Wallace (pages 211-216), Don Dickerman’s When Pigs Move In lists 60 symptoms p 225.


Much has been written about words to define or classify the degree to which a person is in-fluenced by demons, such as demonized, influenced, oppressed, or possessed. Jesus did not use any of these words. The Greek only uses one term “demonized” to cover all of the situations from in-fluenced to possessed. Nor does the Bible define them, and uses “possessed” or “had” most often. Because there is no agreement on the definitions of these terms, and because we believe that rather than levels of influence it is a matter of degree of influence, a continuum, from being mildly to se-verely influenced, with no distinct categories, we will not use these terms here. Some may feel the words describing demonic activity such as oppressed, demonized, possessed, devils, evil spirits are important (see Prince (p 12-15), and MacNutt (pages 67-72). Even the different versions of the Bible don’t agree. It truly does a disservice to the seeker to describe them either within their hear-ing, or elsewhere using one or more of these inconsistent terms. Why do we have to use definitions at all? In this work, we have chosen to use terms such as “Healing of the Spirit”, and “influenced by darkness”, which are much more kind to seekers, and much more acceptable in many congrega-tions. When some hear the word “deliverance”, or “demonized”, they think of “The Exorcist” mov-ie. They become anxious and fearful. It is possible to provide ministry to those influenced by darkness without using any of the more common terms. We need to put the seeker first in our con-siderations.