If you’ve ever felt intimidated by the idea of casting out demons and wondered where to even start, this is a beginner lesson on how to do so. Casting out demons isn’t just something for super Christians or people who are highly trained. The Bible says that all believers will cast out demons. Mark 16:17-18 (ESV) says,
“And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Notice it says, “These signs WILL accompany those who believe.” If you are a believer, that’s you! If you believe you believe in Jesus, in His name, it says you will cast out demons. You will speak in other tongues. You will pick up serpents with your hands and if you drink deadly poison, it won’t hurt you. There is divine protection for those who do spiritual war in Christ’s name. They will lay their hands on the sick and they will recover. So if you haven’t seen sick people recover, it is not because God cannot do it through you, it is probably because you have not allowed Him to do so by a simple act of obedience through laying your hands on people and praying.
Authority Through Jesus
Where does the power to cast out demons come from? You have authority through Jesus Christ. If you are not under the authority of Jesus, you cannot cast out demons. But, if you are under the authority of Jesus, you can. I have two daughters, and sometimes when they argue, the older one comes to me and says, “Dad, my little sister won’t stop annoying me.” I tell my daughter, “Go tell your sister that I said to stop it.” When she goes back to her little sister, now her sister listens to her. Her little sister doesn’t listen because her older sister has authority, but because I, her dad, have authority, and then delegated it to the older sister. When the little sister hears her big sister say, “Hey, Dad said you better stop or he’s going to deal with you,” she changes her behavior. The situation changes when the older sister exercises her delegated authority. When you are effective at casting out demons, it is not because you are a powerful person, but it’s because you have been given power and authority by Jesus. The demons respond to Jesus, through you!
Authority and Power
Matthew 12:28 says, “But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (ESV). Imagine that you are a police officer. The badge you wear is a visible sign of your authority. The weapon that you carry as a police officer is the power that you use to act on your authority. So, in a sense, Jesus is the visible authority (your badge) and the Holy Spirit is your power (your weapon). If you shoot without a badge, you’re considered a criminal. Similarly, if you go out and try to fight crime without a weapon, the criminals will easily overpower you. So to have Jesus without the Holy Spirit means you’re powerless. It means you have authority but nothing to enforce your authority. Conversely, to just have the Holy Spirit but not the authority of Jesus is like shooting without a badge. There are people who have tried to cast out demons without belonging to Jesus, and the demons say, “We know Paul, but who are you?” You can try to cast out demons, but in order to be effective, there has to be a reality of your reliance on the Holy Spirit.
How Do You Know It’s A Demon?
So, once you have your authority (Jesus) and power (the Holy Spirit), how do you know if you’re encountering a demon? I can personally speak from my experience in deliverance. In deliverance, one needs to constantly diagnose and assess, which requires discernment through the Holy Spirit. Not every issue is due to a demon. Sometimes, our issues are due to the flesh. In some circumstances, a person doesn’t need deliverance, they need discipline. The Bible tells us in Galatians 5:24, “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (ESV). You can’t cast out the flesh. The flesh needs to be disciplined and brought under the control of the spirit.
Opening Up A Doorway
However, if you perpetually give in to the desires of the flesh, there is a very high likelihood that you have opened up a doorway in your life to the demonic through that repeated sin. We use discernment from the Holy Spirit to determine what that situation calls for. The analogy I always give for discerning whether you’re dealing with a demon or it’s the flesh is this. You have King David and you have King Saul. King David sinned and made mistakes, but he was quick to repent. King Saul was unrepentant, which means that the sin in his life was perpetual. As a result, we see that King Saul was vexed by demons, but we do not have a biblical account that King David was vexed by demons.
Imagine your home. If you left the doorway to your house open all the time, it’s only a matter of time until something like a squirrel, a stray cat, a rat, or a raccoon comes in. King David and King Saul were both sinners who made mistakes. However, the difference was that Saul opened a door through his sin but left it open. David also opened a door through sin, but immediately slammed it shut through repentance. Repeated disobedience opens a door to the demonic. Repentance shuts the door.
What Do I Say to Cast a Demon Out?
We can look at the biblical accounts of Jesus himself casting out demons in order to determine what to say to cast a demon out. In every account, it’s different. He simply has a dialog with the demons. Jesus never offered a formula, and I believe this is for a very specific reason. Those who are religious are always trying to learn rituals, formulas, and the words to say. Witches and warlocks say the right words. They have incantations and spells that they cast that require specific words. That’s not what happens with deliverance. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit will teach you all things. There is no repetition of specific words. You must be reliant on your relationship with the Holy Spirit who will then reveal to you what you’re dealing with. That’s why it’s important to have a heart posture like John the Baptist: “I decrease so that God can increase.” Over the years, I’ve learned that you don’t get better at deliverance, you become more surrendered to the Holy Spirit.
What Prevents Effectiveness In Deliverance
What are the things that prevent you from being effective in deliverance? One of the things that will stop you from being effective is pride and unconfessed sin in your own personal life. It also could be a lack of knowledge, which just means in a certain situation you didn’t know what to do. Another thing that can prevent your effectiveness in deliverance is that you haven’t built your reliance on the Holy Spirit. This results in doing ministry out of your head or heart, which is the soul realm, not the spirit realm.
Where Do You Start?
The first person that you should get good at doing deliverance on is yourself. The scriptures teach us that there is a necessity to unlock the shackles and chains and “loose thyself.”
The very first deliverance I ever did was my own. As a teenager, I vomited uncontrollably in my shower as I went through the process of breaking curses off of my life and then casting demons out of myself. It was so liberating and such a confirmation of how real the supernatural realm is.
So before you cast a demon out of someone else, begin with yourself!
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