The First Step in Deliverance is to Make Sure You Are Filled with the Holy Spirit
This is not just a one-shot trip to the altar. We're talking about a day by day, hour by hour, even minute by minute reliance on the Holy Spirit for the power to live above the power of sin. When I was a teenager in the evangelical church, we used to joke about being saved, sanctified, and petrified. The kind of Spirit filling we're talking about here is the starting point of a growth process, not being sealed in Lucite until the rapture.
If your church's theology is of the Wesleyan variety, you may understand the filling by the Holy Spirit to be in conjunction with being sanctified in a second, definite instantaneous work of grace. If you are of the Pentecostal persuasion, you will hear about being baptized in the Spirit, perhaps in association with speaking in unlearned languages. And, if your church follows the teachings of John Calvin, you may see the filling by the Holy Spirit as happening when you first accept Jesus Christ as a personal Savior and are born again. The key issue here is not theological orientation but the reality of being filled with the Holy Spirit. You have no chance of resisting the temptations of Satan and his demons if you are not filled with the Holy Spirit.
In the fall of 1988, Geraldo Rivera produced a TV special for NBC titled "Devil Worship: Exposing Satan's Underground." This program was reported to be the highest rated two-hour news documentary in the history of NBC up to that time. I saw that program and I was disappointed. At least 95 percent of the time and energy of that program involved highlighting the bizarre activities of persons involved with the forces of evil. Little if anything was said about the solution to the problem.
The same kind of thing happened on May 16, 1985. The ABC program "20/20" examined the problem of Satanic and demonic worship. Again, the program completely ignored the solution. Neither the NBC program nor the ABC program seemed to be aware of the solution clearly spelled out in Matt. 8:32a. This is where a man filled with a legion of demons is brought before Jesus. (A Roman "legion" was made up of 6,000 soldiers.) The demons recognize Him for Who and What He is and know He has total power over them. Therefore, they beg to be allowed to enter a herd of pigs in a nearby field. Jesus said to the demons, "GO!" -- and they went, into the pigs. The same Son of God who could say to a storm at sea "peace, be still" could say to a legion of demons "go into that herd of pigs" and they went. Just a word was all it took.
Receiving freedom from demons is a two-stage process. First, you need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Second, you need to pray constantly to the Holy Spirit for ongoing protection.
Filled with the Holy Spirit
When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, the vacuum in your soul is filled and there is no room for Satan and his demons. You may be hearing about being filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time. Or, You may be Wesleyan in doctrine and believe that you are filled with the Holy Spirit after you are saved, in a second, definite, instantaneous work of grace known as entire sanctification. You may have a Pentecostal background and believe you are filled with the Holy Spirit when you are baptized in the Spirit, sometimes with the evidence of speaking in unlearned languages as the Spirit gives you utterance. Or, you may be Calvinist in doctrine and believe that you are filled with the Holy Spirit at the point you are saved, in a single work of grace. One thing applies in every case: be sure you ARE filled with the Holy Spirit. If you aren't, you're vulnerable to the attacks of Satan and His demons. You can try in your own power to avoid all the activities and practices which have been listed in this booklet as putting you at risk of becoming demon possessed. However, without the filling of the Holy Spirit, you are lacking the only source of power capable of giving you freedom from demons and keeping you free.
Covered by the Blood
When Jesus Christ died on the cross as your supreme sin sacrifice, His blood didn't just seep into the ground and return to dust. It became the active agent in the salvation of all persons who accept Him as their personal savior. Satan respects the power of the Blood and recognizes it as the source of your salvation. Therefore, not only do you need to be filled with the Holy Spirit initially, you need to pray constantly to God for the power of the shed blood of Jesus Christ to cover you, and for the power of the Holy Spirit to surround you.
The Holy Spirit has the power to protect you from evil, both seen and unseen. However, you have to remain in contact with that source of holy power.
1. Seven Steps To Deliverance from Your Demon Possession
If you have the symptoms of demon possession as described in Section 7 of Part 1 of this booklet, you can follow the steps outlined below to seek deliverance:
A. Find A Counselor and Helper
Find a mature evangelical Christian who understands spiritual warfare and who is willing to serve as your counselor and helper in helping you find deliverance. If you're not sure of the qualifications of a person to help and counsel you during your deliverance, ask the questions listed below. Look for someone else if you get any "no" answers or any hesitation when giving an answer. Not all ministers or prominent church members will be able to answer your questions appropriately.
Ask these questions:
a. Do you know how to pray?
b. Do you pray daily?
c. Are you born again?
d. Are you filled with the Holy Spirit?
e. Do you believe in the holy power of angels?
f. Do you believe in the evil power of demons?
B. Believe In the Blood of Jesus Christ and The power Of The Holy Spirit
Jesus Christ had total authority over demons in New Testament times and He still does today. Profess your belief in Jesus as the Son of God and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Your prayer can be very simple and can go something like this:
"I believe God, the Father, is the creator of the universe and that He made everything in it, including me.
"I believe Jesus Christ is my supreme sacrifice for sin and that He came to earth to die on the cross for my sins so I won't have to die for those sins. I ask that His Blood cover my sins right now.
"I believe the Holy Spirit is in the world today to guide me into truth and to guard me from evil, both seen and unseen. I ask that the Holy Spirit fill me right now and evict the demon(s) in me.
"I believe God has commanded His holy angels to watch over me along the pathway of life. I ask God to send His holy angels to help me fight against my demon(s) right now.
C. Be Prepared for a Battle
When you profess your belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and as your personal Savior, your demon may realize he is up against the ultimate holy power and leave quietly. However, the experience of many people who have been delivered from demons indicates you should be prepared for a spiritual battle. You should be prepared for resistance from the demon (or demons) which is possessing you. You are its home. You are its claim to fame in the demonic underground. You are its purpose for existing. It may not let you go without a struggle.
D. Expect a Recurrence after Deliverance
After you have been delivered from your demon(s), expect it to come back and try to possess you again. This is why it is so important that you are filled with the Holy Spirit when you seek deliverance from your demon. When the Holy Spirit is inside your soul, He will both cleanse you from the effects of demon possession and give you the power to stay free from demons as well.
E. Pray Regularly
Pray regularly for the Holy Spirit to help keep you free of your demon(s). Prayer is your source of power. Without regular prayer for the help of the Holy Spirit to keep you free and clean, the demon will wait until your back is turned and try to sneak in again.
F. Read Your Bible Regularly
Read the Bible regularly, starting with the scriptures about the power of Jesus over demons as recorded in the Gospel of Luke, and as outlined in Section 2, Part 1 of this booklet. This section will also give you some tips on what translation of the Bible to read.
G. Attend Church Regularly
Start going to church regularly. If you don't know what church to attend, look in the phone book for one of these churches:
a. Assemblies of God
b. United Pentecostal Church
c. Church of the Nazarene
d. Wesleyan Church
The people in one of these churches will be likely to understand what you're talking about when you explain that you have been delivered from a demon(s).
2. Helping Another Person Find Deliverance From Demon Possession
A. Make Sure Of Your Salvation
Make sure you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and that you are personally filled with the Holy Spirit. Dealing with demon possession should not be attempted by a person who is not on speaking terms with God, the Father, God, the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
B. Be Free From Unforgiven and Hidden Sin
Make sure there is no unforgiven hidden sin in your life. Demons play dirty, especially when their happy home is being threatened. They may know about your unforgiven sins and won't hesitate to blurt out all the dirty little facts through the mouth of the victim you are trying to help.
C. Verify The Symptoms
Be very careful about assuming that someone is demon possessed. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you guidance and spiritual discernment. Verify that there is a strong behavior pattern of violence, lust, greed, or unnatural persuasion, singly or in various combinations and in varying intensities.
D. Get The Victim's Permission
Obtain the victim's permission and pledge of cooperation before attempting to facilitate deliverance from a demon. If there is any hesitation, offer additional prayerful counseling before going any farther. As you begin to pray for deliverance, the demon may take over the victim's personality for periods of time. Make sure the victim is whole-heartedly in favor of deliverance before the demon begins to intervene in the victim's use of spiritual and mental faculties.
If the victim is a child, make sure you have the same permission and pledge of cooperation from a parent or guardian, as well as the child's consent, before beginning the deliverance process.
E. Verify the Victim's Salvation
Make sure the victim has accepted Jesus Christ as a Personal Savior. Jesus Christ has the power to create the universe but He will not invade the soul of a human being against that person's will. In the process of the victim's accepting Jesus Christ as personal Savior and asking to be filled with the Holy Spirit, the resident demon may quietly withdraw without a struggle.
F. Get On-Site Help
Get on-site help from other evangelical praying Christians who believe as you do about the Holy Spirit and demons. In addition to on-site help, or if on-site help is not available, enlist the long-range prayer support of other praying Christians.
Make sure the on-site helpers are both male and female, even when the victim is a child. The reason for the male/female rule is very simple. Demons have an intense interest in illicit human sexuality. They may attempt to stir up sexual attractions among you (you, the victim, and the on-site helpers) of a heterosexual or homosexual nature.
In this same regard, if any of the on-site helpers have ever been delivered from homosexuality, such persons should excuse themselves from any on-site participation in the deliverance. Demons have no preference between heterosexual and homosexual lust feelings which they can stir up among humans.
G. Expect Spiritual Warfare
Expect resistance from the subject demon as well as other demons. Under normal circumstances, a demon will keep a low profile within the soul of a victim for many years and may not reveal its presence to a person without spiritual discernment. However, once you have let the demon know you're aware of its presence by your prayers, it will show its true colors. Even though the victim may be a close acquaintance or relative, you may hear a barrage of foul and abusive language. The voice of the victim may become coarse and guttural as the demon takes over the victim's powers of communication.
Make no response to anything the victim says while under the demon's control. Pray for the spiritual assistance of the Holy Spirit and the physical assistance of the holy angels but say absolutely nothing to the demon.
The demon may cause the victim to struggle violently, especially if you need to apply physical restraint to ensure the safety of all concerned. Make sure the restraint is passive. It will be a good idea to make sure the size and number of on-site helpers are adequate to provide passive restraint in a safe and effective manner.
H. Curb Your Ego
Don't overestimate your importance in the process. Your role (and that of the on-site helpers) is to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit through prayer. You are a catalyst in the overall deliverance process and nothing more. If deliverance is achieved, to God be the glory.
I. Don't Communicate with Demons
Don't attempt to communicate with a demon or Satan. Talk to the Holy Spirit and let Him do all the dirty work.
Avoid such statements as these:
"Demon, tell me your name. . . . Demon, I command you to release (victim's name). . . . Come out this instant."
Neither you nor any other human has the power and authority to command a demon to do anything. All demons have names but they are none of your business.
Instead of wasting your time trying to talk to the demon, pray in this vein:
"Blessed Jesus, cover us with the power of your blood. Please deliver (victim's name) from this demon. May the power of the Holy Spirit fill (victim's name) right now. Heavenly Father, send your holy angels down to help us with this struggle, in the Name of Jesus." It's not necessary to memorize this prayer and recite it word for word. Just pray extemporaneously, asking for the help of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and holy angels.
J. Be Patient
Don't expect instant results or even deliverance during the first session. If the first session is not successful, provide additional prayerful counseling and enlist additional prayer support from both on-site and off-site helpers. Then, try again.
K. Plan For On-Going Support
Be prepared to provide post-deliverance support and counseling. Make sure the victim has a praying helper on call for the first few days after the deliverance. The demon may attempt to re-enter the victim and prayerful support needs to be instantly available.
3. A Special Message To Sex Criminals
If you have committed sex crimes (such as rape or child molestation), or if you have suppressed urges to commit such crimes, the chances are very high that you are suffering from possession by a lustful demon. Nothing can give you permanent relief except deliverance through the power of the Holy Spirit. There is no cure in treatment. If you are arrested, convicted, and incarcerated, the relief will only last as long as you're locked up. As soon as you're out of jail, the demons will be right back, prompting you to resume your criminal activities.
By the way, the Holy Spirit may not keep you from being arrested for crimes committed before you were filled with His power. And if you are arrested, the Holy Spirit may not keep you from being tried, convicted, and incarcerated. But, if you are truly filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, the demons will be evicted and you will be free and clean as long as you continue to pray for the help of the Holy Spirit.
4. Attention Parents of Young Children
Here's a special message for parents of young children. Please share this with your kids. Paraphrase it if you can; read it if you must.
"If any grown-up person has been doing anything to you in the private places of your body, tell Mommy or Daddy about it right away. And if any grown-up person has been making you do things to the private places of that person's body, tell Mommy or Daddy about it right away."
Parents, if your child of whatever age reports sexual molestation by an older person, pay immediate attention to what you are hearing. You see, the demon-infested persons who do these kinds of things are able to keep on doing them because of fear and shame. Not their own fear and shame but the fear and shame in the minds of the children they are molesting, as well as their parents.
5. Defensive Spiritual Warfare
Achieving freedom from demon possession is just the first step in a successful Christian life. You will need to be on the defensive as far as future involvement with demons is concerned. In Eph. 6:10-18, the Apostle Paul gives an action plan for dealing with Satan's demons and for taking a defensive stance in the spiritual warfare which always rages between Christians and demons. What kind of warfare is Paul talking about? He tells us, very clearly in 11-12: "Put on the whole armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." In addition to describing a Christian's armor here in Ephesians 6, Paul also gives a very basic defensive command-- the word "stand" .
"Stand" is an ancient military command to form a hollow square with all weapons pointing toward the outside so the enemy cannot approach from any angle. Listen to Paul's instructions in this regard: V.11: Take your stand; V.13: Stand your ground; V.14: Stand firm. And above all, in verse 18 we are told to: Pray in the Spirit. This is the true secret of success over Satan and his demons-- prayer in the Spirit. You may need to do it dozens of times a day. Often it may be no more than three words: Come, Holy Spirit!. You may want to use the words of Bill Gaither's song: "Come, Holy Spirit, we need you. Come, sweet Spirit we pray. Come in your strength and your power. Come in your own gentle way."
6. Find a Good Church
Not all churches will have the ability to serve as a spiritual resource for persons who have been delivered from demons. If your church doesn't teach about the power of the Holy Spirit and how He can protect you from Satan and his demons-- find a church that does. Although you may not choose to leave your old church entirely, (at least not at first), you need to learn more about the Holy Spirit and to be around people who are filled with the Holy Spirit. No Christian of any degree of spiritual maturity can last long without the constant protection and power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not a doctrinal option. He is an absolute necessity!
If you don't know where to find a church which teaches about the power of the Holy Spirit, get your phone book and use these names of international denominations for a start:
a. Assemblies of God
b. United Pentecostal Church
c. Church of the Nazarene
d. Wesleyan Church
7. The Legal Implications of Demon Possession
Demon possession provides some serious questions for the criminal justice system. Should a person who commits a violent crime while under the influence of one or more demons be punished for that crime? Will demon possession become a ploy for a crafty defense counsel? Should a demon-possessed person be considered legally insane, and therefore not to be held accountable for his or her crimes?
More than one born-again Christian has gone to prison for crimes which were committed before that person accepted Jesus Christ as a personal Savior. Demon possession is a moral and not a legal issue. Demons gain access to a person through activities done while the person was in full control of his/her faculties.
Demons are evicted through the power of the Holy Spirit. The law is not involved. Just as Ted Bundy was executed for his crimes, even after professing a faith in Jesus Christ, a demon-possessed person may be required to pay for crimes committed while under the influence of a demon.
You may encounter a situation where you believe a house or other building is occupied by a demon. Demons do possess houses in addition to people, and the so-called ghosts which people claim to see are either figments of their imagination or the activities of demons. Deliverance for a house that is troubled by one or more demons can only come through prayer by persons who are filled by the Holy Spirit, as detailed above. If you don't believe you are filled by the Holy Spirit and have never prayer for the Holy Spirit to deal with anything, especially demons, you may want to contact someone from another church.
Sanctify and dedicate your home
It's a good idea to practice defensive spiritual warfare when moving into another home, especially a used house. I know of a family that bought a house previously owned a by non-Christian family. Certain rooms in the house were even used for pagan shrines. Before the new family moved in, they went from room to room, praying in each. They asked the Holy Spirit to fill each room and evict any evil presences left behind by previous occupants.