by D. Allen Briggs (Gad)


It is time I put my foot into an area where I’ve been quite reluctant to venture — a reluctance made even stronger from having come out of an area of demonic influence (Buddhism) back into the fold of Christ.  I have never desired for further encroachment in my being of matters pertaining to the demonic sphere — a world I have understood far deeper than those whose understanding has been spared their influence.

The Apostle Paul used the expression “brethren, I would not have you ignorant.”  There is definitely a great deal of ignorance where it comes to demonic possession (which means being vexed or possessed with demonic influence) and casting out of demons. 

Possession is not a mental aberration caused by physical deficiency (lunatic) but is actual demon influence:

  • Mt 4:24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.

Where the Bible states Jesus cast out demons, he was not curing a mental problem.  Jesus was able to discern demons and even those demons acknowledged his authority over them.

Now demons are confined to a portion of Sheol where they are bound until the end time.  The earth acts as a prison which binds the demons, fallen angels, until such times as they are purposely let loose upon the earth.  An angel, even though fallen, has immense power, and if it were not for their being bound within Sheol,  they would be able to destroy millions through their power.  This binding of demons, besides being physical, is mainly spiritual in nature as we are dealing with spiritual beings, beings which have a spiritual body rather than a physical body. 

These demons are not able to do physical acts except by proxy — through the agency of human beings which are influenced through their minds using any fault which can be manipulated by influence to their purposes — being for the most part anything contrary to God’s purposes.  The human faults which can be used are deficiencies in our nature into which the demon can obtain a foothold and these footholds are called possessions.  So a possession isn’t necessarily a full blown possession of the entire human being as one would envision in movies pertaining to exorcism, but can be a misuse of such as a sexual drive into a full blown sexual perversion contrary to the word of God.  It is this partial possession that Jesus addressed in the Apostle Peter:

  • Mt 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Jesus had just praised Peter for his being influenced by the Holy Spirit in revealing that Jesus was the Messiah, and then Peter, under the influence of Satan, told Jesus he shouldn’t be crucified.  It was this later influence that Jesus was addressing in the above verse.

Every one of us has habits and weaknesses which could be exploited by demonic influence.  These can become toe holds into which a demon can insert his influence and these are indeed possessions — demonic vexations or influences.  The adverse affect of any demonic possession, in addition to sin, is from the aberrant nature of demons and the reaction of the possessed to the vexation.

We can only see, perceive, out of the eyes we have.  Blind folks can’t see — period.  Spiritual sight is perception of what we can conceive.  Those that are not of God are also not of God’s discernment and God has given them up to their passions and possessions.  Spiritual blindness is as blind as  physical blindness.

  • Isa 44:24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I [am] the LORD that maketh all [things]; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; 25 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise [men] backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;
  • 1Co 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where [is] the wise? where [is] the scribe? where [is] the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
  • Ro 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves (homosexuality):
  • Ro 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature (lesbianism):

God has created our universe so man’s wisdom is destroyed and brought to nothing and the wisdom of the world is foolishness aside from God (where such are given up to their own lusts).  So much more so has God given up the demons, fallen angels, to their own aberrant evil.

But it’s not only those who are unclean that demons can influence.  The born again can also be influenced to where a demon can have a foothold (possession) on a portion of their lives.  And those that are of even a small possession are also in need of being set free from possession.  This brings us to the casting out of demons.

A research of the Bible shows the following New Testament verses apply to casting out of demons: 

    Mt 7:22; 8:16; 9:33; 10:8; 12:24,26,27,28; Mr 1:34,39; 3:15,23; 6:13; 16:17; Lu 11:18,19,20; 13:32; Joh 12:31; Re 12:9

Casting out (Grk. ekballo) of a demon means to eject: — bring forth, expel, leave, pluck (pull, take, thrust) out, put forth (out), send away (forth, out).  The method of casting out is only related to us as being by voice command.

  • Mt 8:16 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with [his] word , and healed all that were sick:

Laying on of hands for healing is well established in the Bible and was the procedure we note used by Jesus and the apostles for healing:

  • Mr 5:23 And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: [I pray thee], come and lay thy hands on her , that she may be healed; and she shall live.
  • Mr 6:2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing [him] were astonished, saying, From whence hath this [man] these things? and what wisdom [is] this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
  • Mr 6:5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed [them].
  • Lu 4:40 Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.
  • Ac 5:12 ¶ And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.
  • Ac 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, [even] Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
  • Ac 14:3 Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
  • Ac 28:8 And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him.

Laying on of hands is also noted for the receiving of the Holy Ghost in baptism:

  • Ac 8:15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they [their] hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. 18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
  • Ac 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, [even] Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
  • Ac 19:3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5 When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
  • 1Ti 4:14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.  (See also 1 Cor 12)
  • 2Ti 1:6 ¶ Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
  • Heb 6:1 ¶ Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit.

It is unknown if the casting out of demons was ever accomplished through the laying on of hands, but healing and spiritual baptism are specifically mentioned as being accomplished through the laying on of hands and it is possible that casting out of demons was also affected through the laying on of hands.

The strongholds that are used by demons are our imaginations, bad habits, and thoughts:

  • 2Co 10:2 But I beseech [you], that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

The pulling down of strongholds (Grk. kathairesis ochuroma) refers to pulling down or destruction of fortifications (like in castles). 

There is a practice related to the casting out of demons which has crept into the Christian church.  If one will do a careful study of the verses in which casting out of demons is effected, there is no mention of “I bind thee.”  The factor is that demons are already bound in Sheol and can only influence minds — concentrating mainly on those who are in control of power and principality (government). 

Jesus, in speaking of the binding of the strong man, was saying that God had already bound the powers of Beelzebub in Sheol and therefore the works done by Jesus could not be the works of Beelzebub (the Devil) but were the works of the kingdom (the Holy Spirit).  The Pharisees and Scribes stated Jesus accomplished his miracles by the power of Beelzebub and Jesus refuted this by saying Beelzebub was bound and could do nothing like the miracles and healings and wonders that were performed by the Holy Spirit. 

  • Mt 12:27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast [them] out? therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. 29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
  • Mr 3:22-28 ¶ And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils. 23 And he called them [unto him], and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. 27 No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.

The above binding (Grk. deo) of demons in Sheol  is the same primary verb used for tying something or someone up.  The following verses also uses the verb for binding but they are now being used in the literal and figurative context of authority.  It means that Jesus is giving the apostles his authority to act for him and he will back up their decisions.

  • Mt 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
  • Mt 18:15 ¶ Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear [thee, then] take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell [it] unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

In conclusion:

  1. Even small footholds of demons are possessions and need to be cast out
  2. There need be no mention of  non-efficacious statements as “I bind you” in order to cast out demons.

Next week - Who can cast out demons.

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