“And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.” John 11:43-44.
I want to invite you to join me as we go through the foundational teachings on demonic afflictions and demons, and how to cast them out. This is to help you come to an understanding of the wiles of the devil, because he is on a rampage and is taking advantage of ignorant believers who think Christians cannot be in bondage.
The Scripture above is a fitting picture of how a person can receive resurrection life—in other words, be born again–yet still remain bound. Lazarus rose from the dead, yet came out of the grave bound in the face, hands, and feet. The symbolic picture is that he was bound in his vision, ministry, and mobility. He was alive and still bound. The command of the Lord in this instance is, “Loose him and let him go.” There are many Christians in this situation, and this series of three columns is for them. They need to be loosed and let go.
When a person is bound or oppressed, he does things that are beyond human reasoning and plays the fool beyond his or her control. Notice, I did not say possessed. This is because a Christian cannot be possessed–he or she can only be demonized or oppressed. For a Christian to be possessed, he or she ceases to be a Christian, because the demonic forces have completely taken over his or her spirit being. This has to occur willingly. Only an unbeliever whose spirit is defenseless and open to occupation can be possessed.
Demonic oppression kicks in gradually, and grows in hooves and horns when nothing is done to confront it. The trap is that the devil starts with a toe-hold, moves to a foot-hold, steps up to a body-hold, and culminates in a stronghold.
We see the Lord Jesus confronting satanic strongholds on several occasions in the Bible. I will examine two instances. The first is when He cast out demons from the strong man of Gadara, who was possessed with a legion of demons. The Lord commanded the demons to leave, and having given them permission to possess a great herd of swine that ended up drowning in the sea, the man “…possessed with the devil, and having the legion,” was found “sitting and clothed, and in his right mind” thereafter (Mark 5:15). The second is in Mark 9:17-27, where Jesus’ disciples could not cast out a deaf and dumb spirit. After he cast out the demons, His disciples asked Him, “Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.”
This brings us to a crucial understanding concerning demons: There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. You must be equipped in order to deal with demonic entities.
Before I dive into how to cast out demons and the tools required to deal with them effectively, let’s take a look at how people get contaminated in the first place. In the case of a Christian, we are talking about demonic oppression, because evil spirits cannot take over the human spirit where Christ or the Holy Spirit indwells. But for an unbeliever, as we read in the case of the mad man of Gadara, it is utter possession. The spirit of an unbeliever is vulnerable to easy possession and lacks resistance to evil forces.
One major source of demonic oppression is by evil transference through:
● Sex. Any sexual relationship with a person outside of marriage spiritually involves demonic contamination.
● Wrong association. The domineering personality inadvertently transfers spirits on those they dominate through the weapons of fear, anxiety, and coercion.
● Deliverance. Careless deliverance ministry to a demonized person can be costly. For example, a minister walked away from his marriage of many years, leaving his wife and four children in the cold and running away with a young woman after getting contaminated during a deliverance session. He was seduced and overwhelmed by her alluring immoral suggestions.
● Soul ties. Bonding with either father or mother to the point of hindering one’s marriage because of unrealistic comparisons.
● Divination. Seeking to know the future through false prophets and visions is an open door to demonic contamination.
● Consulting the dead or necromancy. Also, astrology and horoscopes are practices of the heathen that lure the innocent into satanic strongholds.
● Demonic hair extensions. Ladies can be contaminated by the marine spirit (spirits from the sea) through this source. Most ladies who have hair extensions that I pray for during deliverance go through terrible demonic manifestations. Sometimes innocent people are contaminated through evil hands on righteous heads. One case in point is a hair stylist who pulled crowds because of the speed at which she did hair styling but discouraged the use of a mirror while she was plaiting hair. One believer insisted on looking in a mirror, and what she saw scared the living daylights out of her–several invisible hands joined the stylist’s two hands to do her hair!
● Voyeurism. Watching others have sex or visiting pornographic websites.
● Partaking in demonic communion. Eating food offered as sacrifice in respect of the dead. Mostly common among Africans, who throw big ritual parties for long-dead loved ones.
● Involvement with false religions such as Rosicrucian Order, AMORC; Christian Science; Eckankar; Grail Message; Jehovah’s Witnesses; white garment churches; etc.
● Consulting palm readers to know times and seasons.
● Shaving one’s hair in honor of the dead, a traditional African practice; sleeping on graveyards; or offering blood sacrifices at burial sites. These are open invitations to demonic contamination.
● Incisions and tattoos. These are unknowingly blood covenants with the devil.
● Engaging in homosexuality, lesbianism, sodomy, obsessive masturbation, bestiality, and prostitution.
In part 2, Pastor Ayeni describes the symptoms of demonic oppression and the requirements for safely engaging in deliverance ministry.
Taiwo Ayeni is president of Rehoboth Bible Ministries, Inc., in Grand Prairie, where he lives with his wife Abidemi and their son and daughter. You may contact him at [email protected].