The biblical narrative is replete with descriptions of spirit-beings who inhabit the earth and spirit-beings who come to earth from beyond this physical realm. Additionally, the Bible contains hundreds of direct and indirect references to angels, demons, Satan, and a variety of other spirit-beings who inhabit the spirit realm.
Although much is said in the Bible about spirit-beings loyal to God the Father and Christ and those that are not, few people truly understand that evil spirits are extremely powerful and dangerous and should be dealt with accordingly.
Many of the Sovereign Father's earthly children feel there is no danger from the spirit realm because of a misconception that they cannot be deceived by evil. This misconception is mainly due to the following English mistranslation of Matthew 24:24:
"For there shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (KJV).
The words "if it were possible" are where the mistranslation conveys the thought that it is impossible to deceive the elect. However, the correct translation is "if possible" which conveys the correct thought.
Is it possible to deceive a person who has the indwelling of the holy spirit? Yes, it is possible to deceive the elect and to lead them astray under certain circumstances. The biblical record of the early church documents some of the elect being deceived and led astray. See Rom.16:17-18; 1.Tim.1:18-20.
Evil spirits in positions of authority and power in both the heavenly and physical realms are a clear and present danger to members of God the Father's earthly family of king-priests.
If it were not possible to deceive the elect, the many warnings given by Christ and the apostles about false christs, false prophets, and counterfeit Christians and ministers would not have been necessary. Moreover, the many detailed instructions about how to resist evil influence and how to do battle with evil spirits and defeat them would have also been unnecessary.
Because almost all opposition to God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the elect comes from the influence of evil spirits, it is extremely important for anyone who is serious about their salvation to be able to discern when there is an evil influence or the presence of an evil spirit and to know how to appropriately deal with these situations.
Both Peter and James warn that the devil is an enemy who is actively attempting to destroy the righteous and that the way to conquer the devil is to resist him and to have faith that the Father will deliver the righteous:
"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you" (1.Pet.5:6-10 KJV).
"Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. . ." (Jms.4:7-8 Para.).
Although our own failings and lustful desires are formidable foes to conquer, you must also be aware of powerful spiritual forces that are a tremendous threat to your salvation. Paul warns that the most powerful enemies of the elect are not of this world, but are from the spirit realm and he encouraged the elect at Ephesus to use the power and protection that has been provided to help them in their battle against evil and evil spirits:
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph.6:10-12 KJV). See also verses 13-18.
The existence of the dark side of the spirit realm was common knowledge to those called to salvation during the days of the early church. Paul gives an exhortation to the elect at Rome concerning the power of God in one's life to overcome physical trials and spiritual evil:
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, Nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom.8:35-39 KJV).
"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good" (Rom.12:21 KJV).
The spiritual warfare the elect are engaged in is a life and death matter. A major goal of Satan and other evil spirits is to destroy the Sovereign Father's earthly children. In order to become victorious over these evil beings (Rom.12:12), you must know and understand who and what the enemy is and its strengths and weaknesses. If you do not know these things about your enemy you are at a serious disadvantage when you encounter an evil spirit. Once you know the enemy and its potential for destruction, you must thoroughly acquaint yourself with the superior weaponry of God's spirit which is provided to each of the Father's elect in order to overcome evil.
Throughout the biblical record are descriptions of the resources and weapons necessary in order to wage spiritual warfare and defeat the enemy. Without these resources and weapons needed to wage spiritual warfare and the knowledge and understanding of how to use them, your battle against evil spirits is lost before it begins.
Although evil spirits are powerful adversaries, they are no match for the elect who truly believe in the Father and Jesus, because the elect have been given powerful authorizations to remove and control evil spirits.
The removal of evil spirits from individuals within whom they reside and the resisting of an evil spirits' influence are the two primary areas the elect need to be concerned with when dealing with evil spirits. Although there are obviously other areas of concern, these are the two which are most likely to be encountered in one's daily life.
God the Father controls, energizes, and sustains all that exists and nothing can or will exist unless he allows it. This is one reason that evil spirits fear the authority of the Father, Jesus Christ, and those who have been delegated authority over them.
Evil spirits easily recognize the Father's earthly children and their authority. Two examples of an evil spirit's ability to recognize a person who has the indwelling of the holy spirit and those who do not are the accounts of the apostle Paul and those traveling with him and the seven sons of Sceva the priest. See Acts 16:16-18; 19:13-16.
Evil spirits clearly know and understand what authority the elect have and do not have over them. They also understand that the Sovereign God is a God of law and that all things must be done in accordance with his law and within the boundaries of a fixed set of rules.
From what is recorded in the New Testament, there is a distinct difference between the authority that elders and congregational members have over evil spirits. Therefore, when dealing with an evil spirit, you must know and understand your authority level and the rules which determine how to deal with evil spirits.
Dealing with Evil Spirits
When it is discovered that there is an evil spirit or evil presence within or associated with a person, or there is an evil spirit or presence is manifesting itself in your surroundings, the appropriate action is to carefully and thoughtfully assess the situation and decide what action is necessary. The action to be taken depends entirely upon the circumstances of the situation. Sometimes no action is required because the circumstances are temporary and will not affect you, your loved ones, or others of the elect during or after the encounter.
If it is determined that you must take action, speak or project your thoughts directly to the evil spirit(s). This will reveal to the spirit(s) that you are aware of their presence and that you know you have authority over them from the Father and Christ.
The following are some of the authorizations that the Father's elect children have a right to exercise over evil spirits:
Command the spirit(s) to remove itself or its influence from your home, property, or surroundings.
Command the spirit(s) to never come into your presence again.
Command the spirit(s) to keep silent and not bother you.
Ask the Father to take care of the situation.
Commanding Evil Spirits
A command directed to evil spirit(s) does not need to be lengthy; it just needs to contain what you want done and your authority to command. However, you must be very clear as to what is being commanded, because evil spirits go by the letter of the law in their response to a command. Therefore, you must say exactly what you want to be done or not to be done and leave nothing to be interpreted by the evil spirit(s).
The statement in which you deliver your command to the evil spirit(s) must contain your authority to command and what you want done, as in the following sample statements:
I command you to (whatever is to be done) in the name and authority of Jesus Christ.
By the authority of Jesus Christ the Son of God, I command you to (whatever is to be done).
In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to (whatever is to be done).
Fear of Punishment
When Jesus went to the country of the Gergesenes, he was met by two men who were possessed with evil spirits. When the spirits recognized Jesus, they asked him if he had come to punish them before their appointed time? See Matt.8:28-33.
There are many punishments reserved for spirit-beings who rebel against God, but some punishments are more unpleasant than others. This is why these spirits said what they did about being tormented. Evil spirits know that they are going to be punished for their rebellion against God, but they do not want to receive this punishment before it is due. Therefore, you can use this fear of punishment to your advantage by telling the spirit(s) to obey what you are telling them or you will ask the Father to punish them before their time. If you use this approach, you must follow through as soon as the opportunity presents itself and tell the Father what you have done and ask him to honor your threat of punishment to the evil spirit(s).
Masters of Deception
Evil spirits are masters of deception and throughout the ages they have cleverly produced many counterfeits of the Father's truth, his good news message, his worship system, and his way of life for humanity.
Although powerful adversaries, evil spirits are no match for those who truly believe in the Father and Jesus, because they have the power to overcome evil through the power that is in the blood of Christ and the holy spirit.
The Bible was written primarily for those whom the Father calls to salvation during this age. Through the things written in this book, we can learn from the experience and teaching of others and gain valuable knowledge, understanding, and inspiration to help us in our daily walk with God. Moreover, we can learn how to use spiritual gifts and authorizations of spirit-power:
"Every scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; So that a godly person may be perfect, fully finished for every good work" (2.Tim.3:16-17 KJV Para.). See also Eph.6:10-17; Heb.4:12.
"Now all these things happened to them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come" (1.Cor.10:11 KJV). See also Dan.12: 9-12; Col.1:7-10.
Listen And Obey God's Instructions
Because God speaks to us through his written word, we should study it in order to build a strong foundation of knowledge to help us grow and overcome:
"All who listen to my [i.e., Jesus'] instructions and follow them are wise, like a man who builds his house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents, and the floods rise and the storm winds beat against his house, it won't collapse, for it is built on a rock. But those who hear my instructions and ignore them are foolish, like a man who builds his house on the sand. For when the rains and floods come, and storm winds beat against his house, it will fall with a mighty crash" (Matt.7:24-27 LBP).
The biblical record shows that the elect are given certain authorizations to control evil spirits and their influence upon people and this physical existence; therefore, it is the responsibility of each of the elect to be aware of the authority and control they have been given over evil spirits and their influence, the dangers involved from communication and interaction with evil spirits, and the responsibility to oppose this real threat to one's salvation and eternal destiny.
It is important to remember that being delegated authority to use the power of the Father's holy spirit is not only a great blessing and privilege, it is also an awesome responsibility which must be taken seriously. Moreover, it is wise to study the biblical accounts which show how Christ, the apostles, and others of the early church dealt with evil spirits in order to understand your authority and how to use it correctly.
Because there are hundreds of references and allusions to the spirit realm and spirit-beings in the biblical record, there is absolutely no way to explain the spirit realm, the purpose of righteous spirit-beings, the dangers posed by evil spirits and how to do battle with them in a short and concise document.
For detailed information about the spirit realm and good and evil spirit-beings, get a copy of my book, Our Place in the Spirit Realm Gods, Angels, and Demons (ISBN 978-0-9844608-7-8) or download a free copy of each chapter.
B. L. Cocherell b8w3