Demon Possession --
unclean spirits = evil spirits = demons
And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.
And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered alld of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.
Note the link between magic arts and demon possession
demon oppression = demon possession
That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.”
On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out. It convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him. And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astonished at the majesty of God.
Disabling spirits may be a type of evil spirit
Note the similarity between a person with Parkinson's Disease and the woman in Luke 13:11-13:
And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself.
When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, 'Woman, you are freed from your disability.' And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God.
They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes.And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea.
Demons are spiritual parasites, forces that feed off of the spirits of the living, whether human or animal.
As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.
-Demons may use certain "powers" as lures to get you demon possessed -- e.g.
divination, predicting the future, superhuman strength (Legion in Mark 5), etc
-Don't give in to the bait! The demon wants to kill you!
-Idolatry implies demon worship:
1 Cor 10:18-22
Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
They served their idols,
which became a snare to them.
They sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to the demons;
they poured out innocent blood,
the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
and the land was polluted with blood.
Thus they became unclean by their acts,
and played the whore in their deeds.
-Demon worship is one way to get demon possessed
-Demons prefer humans to animals
-Opening yourself up to demons is one way to get demon-possessed (worshiping them, praying to them, etc)
Don't do it!
The demon's goal is to kill its host!
They can cause a wide variety of illnesses and problems -- mental disease
There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
1 Samuel 18:10-12
The next day a harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand. And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice. Saul was afraid of David because the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul.
-Music can ease the symptoms of demon possession:
1 Samuel 16:14-23
Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the LORD tormented him. And Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold now, a harmful spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the harmful spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.” So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.” One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the LORD is with him.” Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.” And Jesse took a donkey laden with bread and a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them by David his son to Saul. And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.” And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.
If nothing is done to a person who is demon-possessed (i.e. if the demons are not cast out of him or her) he or she will eventually die!
-How do I get them out?
-Prayer, prayer to Jesus, prayer to God!
-Jesus says: "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer (and fasting)" - Mark 9:29
And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried outd and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?
-Demons shudder because they know they're going to hell! They know who Jesus is and the authority he has to destroy them!
-Some types of demons are more evil than others:
“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”
-unclean spirits after going out of a person pass through waterless places
-signifying lack of life; people need water to live
-if you were to think about this as "spiritually dead", "spiritually without water", then the demon needs, if you will, "spiritual water to live"; demons need other spirits to feed off of and to live, thereby killing their hosts
-this causes the problems that the hosts have
-"I will return to my house from which I came" -- this means the "house" for the demon, or where it lives, is another person or animal
-demons can bring other demons with them
-some demons are more evil than others
-Note that Jesus is talking here about DEMON POSSESSION, not solely about works or lack of works
-they can cause insanity, epilepsy, disease, and more
Other ways to cast out demons: Possibly through the laying on of hands, but be careful -- if you are the one trying to cast out demons by invoking Jesus's name -- and you don't have the proper authority from God -- the demon may turn on you and attack you! (see again Acts 19:11-20). Praying to God and asking Him to do the casting out rather than you doing it yourself, may be the better option here!
-You can pray to God for him to cast out demons out of other people and out of yourself
-How do you know if there are demons inside you?
-Are there certain areas in the world that have more demons than others? I.e. certain deserts or areas in the world, perhaps in the wilderness,
that have more demons, places to which demons like to go for some reason, also, are there
demons that are in people and in animals, and demons that are, to use the word, "free", not spiritually free in Christ but out in the world, not currently possessing someone or some animal at the time?
Moving around in "spiritual space", looking for something to live in, to inhabit?
Also some areas in the world demons may be more attracted to perhaps because it gives them a certain power or makes them grow in power or something
-Some people already are in a condition that make it more favorable for a demon to invade and to live in that person
If you want to know about the future, ask God for the Holy Spirit.
Don't turn to magic, sorcery, necromancy, or any of those wicked abominations.
The Holy Spirit is directly opposed to magic and sorcery.
Remember if there are magicians and sorcerers and necromancers and people like them out there, God is the one allowing them to do what they do. He can at any time take their power away from them, put them to death, etc, and do anything he wants.
Music can help ease the symptoms of demon possession. Now in the example of Saul in 1 Samuel 16:14-23, the evil spirit actually departs from Saul when he hears the music. Possibly demons also depart from you for a time when you listen to certain music.
Demons can cause perception distortion in people, and not only that, but they may attempt to cause confusion, not just in one person, but also in groups of people. Remember, God has complete control over all of this. Jesus has complete power over all of this. God can make all demon possession stop if he wants to. When he casts a demon out of a person, He may allow it to enter another person. It's all being allowed by God as He wills.
Another thing is that people can go insane when they are demon-possessed because they are trying to get the demons out but by themselves they cannot; with God and Jesus they can. They go crazy; you have Legion cutting himself, you have people who cut themselves today -- it may or may not be for the aforementioned reason. They even might be driven to attack people or do other crazy things; not that they have no choice, but the demons may impel them to do so. And the demons themselves may cause them to do those bad things. Now, all demons may have a power to distract and twist things and your mind. If you're thinking good thoughts, they may try to get you to forget about them; they might try to get you to actually forget about the good things; they may try to get you away from prayer; they may try to get you to feel guilty, they may try to get you to forget about something you were going to pray that was good, to God; they might try to twist what you're saying, and they might actually try to verbally cause you to have a speech impediment, or to stutter, or to not say something in prayer to God that's actually good, that's truthful, that's good. They may try to get you to doubt, to think about something bad, they may try to confuse you, they may to try to get you to think that something good is not really what it is, or try to get you to pray to the devil. They might try to get you to turn to the devil rather than to God. They may try to twist good things into bad things. Some demons are more evil than others and have more power than others. I think all demons have the power of trying to twist things and trying to get you to forget good things and get you toward bad things, and demons do grow more evil over time, but some demons have more powers than others.