HOW TO FIGHT DEMONS WITH THE WORD OF GOD ACTS 16:16-18
Posted by Job on May 14, 2007
Luke 10:17-18 – And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
What is the big trick; the big secret? It is that is that there is none. The whole process is contained in Acts 16:16-18. Paul A) recognized that there was a demon present and B) told the demon to leave in the Name of Jesus Christ. That really is all that he did! Paul did so regarding a demon dwelling in a human, but it can also be done with demons dwelling in places and afflicting situations, and there is nothing preventing you or any other born – again Christian from doing the same at any time and place: to spot or acknowledge the presence of an evil spirit, determine that the evil spirit’s presence is undesired (which will almost always be the case), and to tell the evil spirit to leave in the Name of Jesus Christ. Now there are particulars that must be done in certain situations, and those can be learned with experience. But the problem is not the learning curve required to master the experience, or even the failed attempts that one may encounter while gaining it. No, the problem is that Christians do not try to do so in the first place. The overwhelming majority of Christians have never even attempted to cast out or drive away a demon, and also the overwhelming majority that do fail to mount the same type of sincere effort that they would invest in learning how to operate a new DVD player or microwave oven (or for a more spiritual comparison try to figure out the meaning of a Bible verse). So, this is not intended so much to be a practical “how to” instruction sheet for casting out demons after the manner of “Pigs In The Parlor” by Frank and Ida Mae Hammond or “They Shall Expel Demons” and “Expelling Demons” by Derek Prince (“Expelling Demons costs only $2!) as it is a treatment of why Christians are so ineffective in this area.
Be not deceived, people: God is your only defense against Satan. You must first receive salvation through Jesus Christ, click here to complete that process if you have not. Do not delude yourself into thinking that you can take part in any victory that is given in Christ Jesus if you have not first repented of and rejected your sins, accepted Jesus Christ in your heart, and God’s Authority over your life. Once you are saved, you are then empowered to use principles and techniques given in the Word of God to resist the devil and overcome demons, because then you will have God on your side. God will go out before you in battle, and gain the victory for you with His Right Hand (Psalm 98:1). The Word of God is described as a rod, a two – edged sword, a hammer, and fire. So, when you battle demons in His Name, God is your battle – axe made of unquenchable fire. But if you contend against demons without God on your side through salvation, the consequences can be very severe (Acts 19:13-15). But before you can fight your enemy Satan, you must believe that he exists. You must also believe that God exists. In other words, you must believe that the Bible is true, and its descriptions of the spirit realm: a righteous God and His angelic messengers warring against an evil fallen angel Satan and other angels who joined him in rebellion, are true. You cannot receive anything from God if you call Him a liar. But if you believe that God’s Word is true, then you will believe the promises in that Word; that it has power and gives life (John 6:63). The life that you get from God’s Word is your being a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17) that hates and desires to defeat sin and evil within and without you, and the power that you receive is in the Name and Blood of Jesus Christ that you use to call upon God, who then grants your desire by defeating the external and internal evil. Why? Because it is also God’s desire for that evil to be defeated. Thus, when you engage in spiritual warfare, God is using you to establish His Will on earth as it is in established in Heaven (Matthew 6:10). There is still one thing required of you, however. Before you can become an effective spiritual warrior for your God, you must make a conscious decision whom you will serve (Matthew 4:10), and know that once the decision is made, there is no turning back. Battling the enemy for God is not a game. It is not an “extra – credit assignment”, or something that can be done to impress yourself or others or even to validate your own faith. You must be willing to commit yourself to be totally used by God. You must also know the stakes: not only are people’s health, minds, families, churches, etc. at risk but even lives are on the line. The personal cost is also great. Be prepared to expend lots of time and energy, to be shocked and appalled by the true nature of what sin and depravity does to people, and to be rejected by friends, family, and church members. But know that if you are not willing to give up all those things and more for Him who gave up even more, you are not worthy of Him (Matthew 10:37). This is not taking on some self – persecution complex or exalting yourself as one who is so righteous and prideful, but rather a simple acknowledgement of explicit Biblical truth. Know that spiritual warfare is made possible by the fact that Jesus Christ, God Himself, sacrificed Himself for our sinful nature so that we could be redeemed (which means bought from slavery and set free) from the enemy (Psalm 107:2, Isaiah 53:5). Though the power to defeat Satan in spiritual warfare is not in or of ourselves, we still have the power and authority to tread on scorpions and serpents – to defeat evil spirits – (Luke 10:19) because of what Christ did. See, the very reason why a lot of Christians deny the existence and influence of demons is that they lack faith that they can be defeated. Rather than acknowledging the existence of a foe that they do not believe can be defeated, they follow after naturalistic explanations that offer some hope of remedy to them. But those people are denying the full meaning of Christ’s sacrifice; how important Christ’s death and resurrection was and what it gave to them. In this respect, Christ’s death was in vain and wasted on these people. Yet, even those of us who do claim this victory should not be prideful. We should not take on the persona of some “demon hunter” character that we see as the “heroes” in fantasy movies and comic books. That is why the next verse, Luke 10:20, has Christ saying that we should not rejoice over our ability to cast out demons, but rather in our salvation. A lot of people are fascinated by the ability of a Christian to work miracles by God’s supernatural spiritual power because they still struggle to believe that a spiritual realm exists. It is, quite simply, a faith issue. Such people are able to profess a faith in Jesus Christ and salvation, but they either do not completely mean it, or do not understand that it means. Well, Christians need to acquire the understanding that the same spirit realm dynamics that created their need for a Saviour and created a way for their salvation allows them to cast out demons and work miracles. So, instead of marveling in it because of their lack of faith, and allowing their faithlessness and the fascination that results in it turn into false practices (viewing it as some sort of a magic show) and false doctrines and movements, people need to realize that it is really something that comes as a part of their salvation, accept it through faith as they accepted their salvation, and move on. But the fascination and doubt in this area is no different from a person buying a car and being SHOCKED that a radio comes with it, and the focus of his attention shifts from the car to the radio, and his future car purchases are determined by the sort of radio that is in it. The problem is that most people see their salvation as something natural: the result of answering an altar call, saying a prayer, getting baptized, and joining a church. They do not realize that THEIR SALVATION DOES NOT EVEN TAKE PLACE IN THE NATURAL REALM! Instead, it is 100% spiritual. It is your spirit man that gets saved and spared a spiritual death in a spiritual lake of fire on judgment day, and this is done by the workings of the Holy Spirit. That is why it can only done by faith through hearing and believing the preaching of the gospel. And even the “hearing” does not refer to hearing of the ears, but hearing in the spirit what was taken in by the senses. (Otherwise, no deaf person could be saved.) So, your very act of getting saved was spiritual warfare, and your first successful spiritual battle; you literally had to overcome evil spirits doing all that they could to hinder your hearing the gospel and believing it. Sadly, because people fail to realize that fact, their first spiritual warfare victory is also their last. So, casting out demons (or speaking in tongues, healing, interpretation, prophecy, administration, helps, preaching, teaching, evangelism, comprehending the Bible) is not some new strange thing, but rather a continuation of what began with your accepting the gospel. The reason why so many people fall into this is because they trust their feelings. The enemy is able to manipulate the soulish man (your will and emotions) with demonic lies and worldly circumstances to create doubt concerning the reality of spiritual warfare, the ability of any Christian to participate it, and the fact that your victory is already gotten through Christ. So reject your feelings, and reject the false teachings and doctrines that both claim that there are no miracles and the fake “faith – healers” and so forth that make a mockery of it. Realize that a fake faith healer is even worse than a doctrine that claims that there are no more miracles and that there REALLY aren’t any demons. Why? Because a fake faith healer admits the existence of the spirit realm, but then perverts it and makes it unattainable by causing you to think that only a “great man with great gifts and someone that God gave a mighty anointing” can do these things. You cannot do these things, because you have not spent all the years fasting, praying, preaching, tithing, and doing missionary work that they have: you have not earned it through works and you have not “developed your faith.” So, you need to send them your money and buy your miracle from God through them because you are not as good a Christian as they are and you never will be! Both are lies from hell, and are why you should trust the word of God. The Word of God said that we ALL have ALL POWER in the Name of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18). Now that does not mean that all of us have gifts of the spirit, but it does mean that we all have the power of the Name of Jesus Christ to cast out demons, just as we all have the ability to preach the gospel and win converts. Will some people be better at it than others? Yes, especially those who A) have the Holy Spirit gift of discernment, B) have studied the scriptures regarding spiritual warfare and regularly apply them, and C) have been placed by God in situations that lend themselves to frequent opportunities. But remember: it is not a race. You are not competing for a “#1 demon hunter” trophy. As a matter of fact, the most important part of being an effective spiritual warrior is knowing the battles that God has called you to fight, and fighting those and only those. Doing any less or any more is disobedience, the former the likely result of faithlessness or ignorance, and the second the likely result of restlessness or pride. And that is the key: trusting God and His Plan. Yes, you need to trust that God is not going to allow some demon to overpower you. (A reason why people fear direct spiritual warfare is their fear that demons will enter into them, or harm them and their families; a fear derived from superstition and from the horror book/movie genre, but with no factual basis in reality for Christians given in scripture.) But even people who are not encumbered by a fear of demons need to trust God to guide and lead them with regards to which battles to fight, how to fight them, and the time and place of the battles. This is not so much out of a fear of Satan’s power and a need to maximize your advantage (for Satan is a defeated foe already) but rather doing so in a manner that keeps things orderly and in accordance to God’s Plan so that God can receive all the glory. “When God gets the glory, I win and all Christians win” should be the spiritual warrior’s motto (Romans 8:28). But that is only achieved through complete obedience to God and only God (Proverbs 3:6), and if we follow our own emotions we will be deceived (I Samuel 16:7) for despite our salvation only God is good (Luke 18:9), and we still need His guidance to discern good from evil. Further, we need God’s omniscience. Satan is no match for the power of God, but he does have advantages at his disposal that he knows how to use. But with God as our Master Battle Planner, Satan has no chance. Satan has no problem tiring you out and distracting you with ultimately meaningless confrontations in order to hinder you from fighting God’s Battles and winning real victories. That is the main trap that people who become prideful (#1 demon hunters) and people who are fascinated because of their faithlessness (“Gee, I can’t believe this is really happening, this is SO COOL!”) fall into. Trusting in the Lord completely ensures not only that you will always win (Psalm 28:7), but more importantly that your victories will always be meaningful in the larger spiritual context of the war between good and evil. The effective spiritual warrior actually speeds the return of Jesus Christ! See, you have to realize that YOU are not REALLY the one doing the fighting. God has already overcome the world through Jesus Christ’s Blood on the cross (John 16:33). Know that this victory is already yours through nothing that you have done (I Corinthians 15:57). That realization should give you both the faith to take on any battle that God sends your way, but it should also ground you; to keep you thinking that what you are doing is the result of some great spiritual power earned by you through works or legalism. It is true that Jesus Christ said in casting out a demon “this kind comes out only by fasting and prayer” (Matthew 17:21) but the reason for doing that is so that you can overcome your own flesh and get it out of the way of serving God in spirit and in truth. It doesn’t give you your victory or add to your victory, but rather it removes that which is hindering your victory. Realize the context of Matthew 17:21: the disciples had been distracted from spiritual things by arguing amongst themselves which one was greatest. Fasting and prayer would have gotten their minds back on serving God … that is unless their purpose for fasting and prayer was to become greater, which a lot of people in fact do. But recall what Jesus Christ said about John the Baptist: the greatest prophet who ever was, yet he that is LEAST in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater (Matthew 11:11)! So you cast out demons because of Christ’s victory and not your works, and the only role that works could possibly play would be to humble yourself so that you will be reminded of it. That is why our most powerful weapon is praise (Joel 2:26). Yes, demons hate praise, and it weakens their evil spiritual power, and causes them to flee, and it strengthens the angels that fight on our behalf (although please keep in mind that we are not to be trying to contact or petition angels during spiritual warfare; we really do not even have to be mindful of their presence … we should be concentrating on the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and let God dispatch the angels as He sees fit; again people who are overly fascinated with angels are faithless and do not truly understand what their own salvation means), but the real power comes from giving utterance to the fact that it is God who is doing these things and not us. Such a thing pleases God, and it helps remind us that we are not doing these things: that we do not have to rely on our intelligence or physical strength. Demons LOVE to get into battles of endurance, strength, and wits with Christians. A demon will argue back and forth all night long with you, even quoting scripture. What demons hate, however, is being told “You are already defeated through the Blood of Jesus Christ so be quiet, get behind me, and get moving.” So, we must praise to remind ourselves of and give glory to the Name, the God that has given us the victory. It fills us with confidence and joy that breaks down what is hindering our faith. The Holy Spirit uses it to bring to our remembrance scriptures, teachings, and doctrines that can be used to discern and cast the devils out. See, when a demon sees someone all somber or heartbroken because he is tormented by the evil that the demon has done, or fearful because he is scared of the demon and of the spirit realm and what might happen, or doubtful because he lacks confidence in his ability to cast the demon out, he is happy, because he knows that there is a chance that he can remain. But when a demon sees someone filled with sincere praise so that the joy of the Lord becomes their strength (Nehemiah 8:10) then he knows that it is time to go. Songs and hymns that remind you of the resurrection, return, Lordship, and victory of Jesus Christ are the best ones to play during deliverance services, and when you are preparing yourself for deliverance. Demons hate it, angels love it, but most importantly they remind you of where your victory has already come from and what this is all about, which is serving God for HIS glory and not your own. And remember, do not fall for their tricks. Remember, demons are LIARS. Their only weapon against you is their ability to deceive people that are either too prideful or faithless, or are not grounded in the Bible. Demons will always try to convince you that you are unworthy to cast them out. They will convince try to convince you that you are not really saved, so rely on Romans 4:7 for your assurance. Then they will try to convince you that you have not been faithful enough or are too flawed in your Christian walk to cast them out; that it is a job for someone better than you. But realize that the Name of Jesus Christ is all that you need to cast them out (James 5:15), because as soon as you are saved that Name becomes yours to do with as God pleases; to do greater things using that Name than the bearer of it Himself did while He was on earth (John 14:12). And demons will threaten you. As a matter of fact, one of the worst things about false charismatic preachers is that they actually teach their congregation to be deathly afraid of demons, and of course tell their church that THEY are the church’s only line of defense against certain destruction. And of course witches and people who deal in occult will claim the ability to harm and kill you and your loved ones. But it is all a lie. If you are covered in the Blood of Jesus Christ, God will not allow demons to harm you (Proverbs 30:5). Therefore, there is no reason to fear demons or their wickedness (Exodus 14:14). Make no mistake: no matter what some lying demon says, you have the ability to cast out demons, and it is an ability that God desires ALL CHRISTIANS to use (Matthew 19:26). Not only are we to do it, but we are to do it fairly commonly; even to rebuke things such as sicknesses (Luke 4:39). Again, thinking that spiritual warfare is some amazing thing that is only done by special people in extraordinary circumstances is a person who does not understand the nature of his own salvation. Can you do these things and become a spiritual warrior without God? No (John 15:4)! But that is only a problem of those who are not saved. But you know what? If you believe this document, which explains the gospel (the death of Jesus Christ to pay for your sin and His overcoming death by resurrecting so that by believing you also overcome death and sin, and your need to acknowledge that you are a sinner and to reject and turn away from it to follow God), then you are saved already and can do what people who have been saved all their lives have never done and start casting out demons right now! Sound to good to be true? Well remember: for you it is impossible, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26)! What is amazing is the context of Matthew 19:26: it is Jesus Christ speaking to Nicodemus about salvation, being born again. This proves my entire point in this essay: casting out demons is no more remarkable than your own salvation, and in truth it is actually less so. Therefore, people who insist that it is impossible for “regular” Christians to cast out demons, or that casting out demons is rarely done and rarely needs doing, or that they really do not need to get involved because they can serve God and give and receive the same benefit in other ways truly do not understand what their own salvation means. But by believing this document, you know what it means, and there is nothing hindering you from going out and doing it!
Father YHVH in the Name of Yeshua HaMashiach, we ask you that more Christians would understand that spiritual warfare is attainable for them, and that it is Your desire that they engage in it. May they further, Lord, restrain themselves to the time, place, and nature of spiritual warfare engagements that You choose for them, so that You will get the glory and their warfare will be expedient and effectual for all who are called by Thy Name. Amen. Deliverance:
The demons that work in this area are false doctrine, false teaching, and faithlessness. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!