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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: What Are Some Practical Considerations in Dealing with Demonic Forces?

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Don Stewart
As we have explored the subject of demons and their activity there are a number of practical considerations that we can make.

1. Follow The New Testament Guidelines

Any deliverance from demon-possession must be done according to the guidelines found in the New Testament. As our final authority, Scripture tells us what we can, and cannot, do with respect to demon-possession. Christ and His apostles are our example. It is imperative that we do as they do.

2. Exorcism Is Not Enough

Exorcism, by itself, is not enough. When a demon leaves a person there is a void. Unless the Holy Spirit comes into that individual's life, they can be repossessed by even greater evil spirits. Therefore the new birth is absolutely necessary for one who has been exorcised of a demon.

3. Using The Name Of Jesus Does Not Prove Anything

The mere exorcism in the name of Jesus does not prove anything, in and of itself. Jesus warned that there would be many who exorcised demons in His name whom He never knew.

Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and do many deeds of power in Your name?' Then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; go away from Me, you evildoers' (Matthew 7:21-23).

The Word of God must be our final standard when it comes to explaining events where demon-possession is suspected.

4. Genuine Believers Cannot Be Demon-Possessed

Genuine believers cannot be demon-possessed - Christ cannot dwell with the Devil. However professing Christians, who have never trusted Christ as their Savior, are open to demon-possession.

5. Believers Can Be Devil's Instrument

Believers can come under the influence of demons and even be an unwitting tool of their evil work. This is not the same as demon-possession.

6. Not Commanded To Diagnose Possession

Believers are never asked to diagnose cases of demon-possession. Instead, prayer should be made for that individual who is suspected of being under the influence of a demon.

7. Christ Should Be Magnified As Lord

In cases of supposed demon activity, the Lordship of Christ is what should be emphasized. Since the Bible teaches that Christ has achieved victory over Satan and his forces, believers should stand upon that truth, and not be afraid of demonic manifestations.

8. Not That Much Space Devoted

There is not much space given in the New Testament to believers resisting demonic activity, or instruction about how to deal with demons. The emphasis, rather, is upon urging believers not to sin. Whenever Paul brought up a particular problem in a church, he attributed the problem to sin, not the influence of demons. Though the reality of the demonic is recognized, this is certainly not the main focus of the New Testament. The problem with sin lies with the individual and their own responsibility - it cannot be blamed upon the demons.


When we treat the subject of demons and their activity it is imperative that we follow the example of the New Testament. We should not attempt to do more or less than we find Christ and His followers doing with respect to demons. They do exist, and they do cause problems. But they should not be the focus of the Christian when problems arise. The real problem is sin - something each of us is responsible for.
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