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What do you say to a man who constantly battles feelings of inferiority, thoughts of suicide, or habitually hearing voices telling him he's a loser who will never measure up as a husband, dad, son, or child of God?

He tells you he's prayed, fasted, memorized Scripture, and studied his Bible, but the ideas, accusations, and voices never release their paralyzing grip, at least not for very long.

Do you tell him he just needs rest? That it's a chemical imbalance? Do you assume he's schizophrenic because he says there are voices in his head? Or might this battle be something more than physiological or psychological?

"Karl, do you think this could be demonic?" I've heard this question so many times I no longer presume the person speaking is neurotic or weak willed. This initial question is often followed by "Now I don't want you to think I am crazy" or "I'm afraid you won't believe me, but …" or "I've never told anyone about this, but I assure you I am not making this up." I've heard this from the churched and unchurched, from those in the pew and those who fill the pulpit.

What would you say to a pastor, for instance, who flies to your city to discuss demonization, indicating that his mind is being consumed with thoughts and images of his wife having sex with other men? It is not true, and he knows it. But the incessant mind games are not only personally debilitating emotionally and physically to him, they are in the process of destroying his marriage, family, and ministry.

Do you tell him to read his Bible? Well, he studies his Bible and memorizes Scripture, and he has written more theological books than most Christians have read. Do you tell him that he just needs to be more disciplined in his thinking?

Or might he be demonized?

Over the last 30 years, I have worked with hundreds of Christians across the denominational and non-denominational spectrum who are tormented by spirits they have not been able to remove on their own.

Laying the Foundation

There are some foundational truths to keep in mind as we tackle this topic.

First, assisting those caught in demonic bondage does not depend upon a particular type of giftedness. Some gifts may make this type of ministry easier for some than for others. But the authority, victory, protection, and position necessary for successfully banishing demons is something freely available to every Christian under the authority of Jesus Christ.

Second, your attitude toward demons is important. They are not superiors to fear or defer to. They are not colleagues to respect. Demons are not your spiritual equal or sparring partner. Positionally, they have been placed beneath the feet of all believers under the delegated authority of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

When you respond to a demon as an equal, you embolden it to resist and fight rather than submit to the authority the Lord Jesus Christ, which has been delegated to you (Luke 10:18-20; 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Eph. 1:18-2:7).

Third, your personal involvement in the process ...

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From Issue:Spiritual Warfare, Spring 2012 | Posted: May 7, 2012

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Displaying 1–5 of 40 comments

Julie Cole

January 13, 2014  5:08am

Fantastic article- practical, powerful, grounded in Christ and scripture. Remember, though, that Satan and his demons are legalists (as shown when tempting Jesus in the wilderness) and will use all of their rights' to maintain oppression over a person. Discerning those 'rights' is key, (as is replacing the void left after deliverance with the Holy Spirit) but I would caution against asking/forcing the demons themselves to tell how they come to be there. They will tell you as little truth as possible, as twistedly as possible, to try and mislead you in your prayers of deliverance. I prefer to get the truth of each situation from God, as He is the one who can shine a light on ALL the devil's 'hooks'.And, after the person has been delivered, I would ask God if there is any loophole left open for the demon to return or look for a nearby/family/other victim that needs to be closed. Remember, the devil roams because he has no place to live permanently!

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Cynthia H.

October 28, 2013  1:30pm

To Tristan from March 12, 2013. If you don't believe in demonology, just come to MY neighborhood where ALL my neighbors are involved in the occult. One guy burns sacrifices at all hours (6 wks ago at 5am not 100ft from my home he was burning something UNGodly which woke me up and started my dog barking madly) - for ages I merely thought he was a pyromaniac til I figured out what he was really doing. Another neighbor has a 9ft tall statue of satan in his FRONT yard. The former 80 yr old nun down the street has an 8ft tall pillar in her backyard. Not to mention the crazy behavior I've endured from all neighbors over the last 10 yrs. So, sorry Tristan, but demonic behavior is EVERYWHERE these days: OPEN YOUR EYES!!!

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Derek Bradish

September 28, 2013  11:38am

I wa mislead last summer from playing football and going into the military into smoking weed everuday after school. To having thoughts like idt be so cool to manipulate peoples minds and nasty sexual thougths of my friends mom girls at school. Then I started meditating because I at the time thought ot was hods will. I was going to school high telling people of a third eye I opened from meditation. I've over stepped all myy family and friends relationships from talking about this. I then dropped out of school to work a dead end job job at my dads factory. Then I told him dad I think I'm possessed and he said well your not floating or breaking your back. Then I went to amental hhospital where I meat my girlfriend. Theres been times I'd be underthe infulence of alcohol or marijuana and I'd completely go nuts and not be able to sleep because a very strongstiffness in the air. I open up to my friends parents about it then bad things happen that day. I'm not a nut case. I know what happened

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Derek Bradish

September 28, 2013  11:18am

Someone please help me or guide me in the right direction to getting help. I've never been a major church goer nor have I thought I would be dealing with this. My mind isnt minee. My toungr is guled to the roof of my mouthwhen I go to lay down my head vibrates rapidly. I've went to a church my grandpa attends and the only help he could give me was I need to find god. I've also went to a Catholic church and asked to speak to the priest and told somone my issues and he asked if I do drugs. I said no and got discouraged. Everyone says I look miserable and like I'm just sad. I live with my dad who doesn't belive any of this and I've got no one to confidr in

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Andrew Ekblad

August 21, 2013  3:00pm

Thank you for addressing this vital, though mostly ignored, issue in Leadership. Deliverance is not addressed in most seminaries, pastor's conferences, or churches. We seem to have no trouble believing in God but little room for believing in the demonic. As C.S. Lewis said, this is one of Satan's great victories in the believers life. We are doing our people a great dis-service by failing to be equipped and then equip in this ministry.

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