From the time of Babylon, through Greek andcultures up until the present day, the ideas of demon possession and exorcism (the process of removing a demon from the host) has been around for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and Romans actually embraced the idea of spirit possession. They called upon their god Dionysus, and would drink to transport them into an altered state. During their ceremonies to Dionysus, the participants would first offer alcohol to their god (a two-fold one, as the god of fertility and drunkenness) and then throngs of women there would drink and dance to music. It was through repetitive rhythmic movement and dancing that they individuals came to a state of spirit possession. The drunken dancing frenzy and sexual orgy would then finish with a animal sacrifice. By eating the flesh of the goat, those at that ceremony would become one with their god.
Not all events surrounding demons was pleasant or pleasurable. Often any adverse event was believed to be the work of evil spirits. Many believed that a demon could enter in through the pores of the body.taught the demons could come through the thoughts and ideas that were entertained and then expanded upon by a person. He said that they came by internal means rather external ones. We are commanded by him to cast down anything not aligned with His word and doctrine, and thus subduing any evil force that sought to enter in our hearts or minds.
If a person became possessed, the demons were said to give that person a superhuman strength, the ability to speak in an unknown tongue, (perhaps also the desire to roam unrestrained or naked, a unnatural hatred shown towards the name of Jesus) and cause them to recoil from religious symbols. Obviously not every sign alone means that someone was possessed, but if they were placed together then the probability was great.
This one example of demon possession. "And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again. Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him." (Luke 8:32-39)
However, it's safe to say that not every reported demon possession has happened. Here are some signs of truth to consider before starting anything else. These signs should be considered prior to any action taken against the enemy of mankind. In any warfare whether spiritual or physical, it's vitally important to know and understand you opponent.
The first truth.
Satan is our enemy. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8) The devil is constantly seeking our demise. He hates you seeking your impediment and destruction in all matters. Sometimes he will either use of afflict your loved ones to get at you.
The second truth.
Satan is a liar. He is ever deceiving the whole world as deception is his greatest weapon. "When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8:44 part b) "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." (Revelations 12:9)
The third truth.
In the first part of John 8:44, Jesus said the following words. "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him." The devil would enjoy your physical destruction, though his chief aim is your spiritual and thus eternal wasting. In other words, he is greatly motivated to completely destroy both your body and soul.
The fourth truth.
The principal method of Satan's attacks are through our fives senses. While the devil at times was permitted by God to attack people physically (Job 1:12: 2:4-7), his primary and favorite method is by the five senses (sight, tough, taste, hearing, and smelling). If Satan can get you to believe his lie, he's got you under his control.
"Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:1-5)
The enemy here used the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." (Genesis 3:6) "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." (1 John 2:16)
The devil used the same exact methods of Jesus after his baptism and commencement of his public ministry. He will also attack you as never before after your baptism (immersion) because of your belief in the name and blood of Jesus Christ. "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him." (Matthew 4:1-11)
Sometimes Satan will use those closest to you to bother or oppose you (and the will of God that you follow). "From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." (Matthew 16:21-23) "Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one (Judas) of you is a devil?" (John 6:70) Here two close associates of the Master oppose Him.
The fifth truth.
The devil uses distraction, confusion or misdirection. He wants to confuse or distract from hearing and embracing the truth of God's word. "And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty." (Matthew 13:3-23)
The sixth truth.
Only the truth sets us free from deception. Our opinion does not matter, but the word of God expresses His and it alone counts. "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32) "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." (John 17:17) Sanctification is the act making something holy, separate unto God's proper and correct use.
When we put on the armor of God, we must be place upon ourselves the truth of His word to escape the tricks or wiles of the devils. 'Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye 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. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." (Ephesians 6:10-18)
The seventh truth.
God created humans with the ability to choose. He did not create a bunch of zombies or robots. When we receive this beautiful ability to choose, we are held liable (to the point of ability to understand our choices) for them. Joshua exhorted the new generation of believers to continue in the word of God and in His service. "Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:14-15)
The eighth truth.
If we reject the truth, God will allow this but with every choice there are consequences. "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.." (Romans 1:20-25)
God will not withhold the effects of delusion if we fail to love the truth. "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (2 Thessalonians 2:7-11) Remember that Satan and his associates can perform lying signs and wonders. Therefore miracles alone without the truth backing them mean absolutely nothing. "We walk by faith, (and) not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7)
The ninth truth.
The etymology (the origin or history of a word) of the word demon. It comes to us from Latin daemon "spirit," from Greek daimon "deity, divine power; lesser god; guiding spirit, tutelary deity." It can refer to a spirit of a greater knowledge or sphere. The demon ofwas a daimonion, a "divine principle or inward oracle." However the Jews authors employed the Greek word in this sense, using it to render shedim "lords or idols." The fact remains in many countries that have idols in their lands, demons are released there in greater numbers than in Christian countries (those areas who claim Jesus Christ as their God or example, and actually follow Him). Those who employ any guide or spirit to follow other God, are liable to have a familiar spirit (or one that attaches to them, their family or hometown).
The tenth truth.
They are mentioned directly only twice in the Old Testament. "They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not." (Deuteronomy 32:17) "Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils." (Psalm 106:37)
About 85.9% of all demon activity in the New Testament was recorded in the fours Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). Demons are also known as unclean or evil spirits, which points out their moral character. Though spirits (Matthew 10:1 Luke 24:39), they desire a body to inhabit and possess it. This recorded in Matthew 12:43. Multiple ones could inhabit a body. (Mark 5:9, 16:9 Luke 8:2, 30) They have personalities, and are keenly aware of the judgment that awaits them all. (Mark 5:7; James 2:7-9; Luke 8:31)
The eleventh truth.
Some of the signs of demon possession in the word of God or Bible are the binding of the tongue, body distortion, seizures and the casting of a body into a fire. Despite those torments, the demons could communicate with Christ. However, they never spoke of a victory over Him, but spoke of Christ as the Master over them. They told the truth about Jesus, and their future judgment. They often sent their victims into cemeteries and those possessed people had great strength. (Luke 8:27)
The twelfth truth.
The servants of the Lord still have the power today to cast away every evil or demonic spirit influence through belief and by the power of His name. "Jesus Christ (is) the same yesterday, today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8) We serve a changeless God in a ever changing world. "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed." (Malachi 3:6) Past, present and future are one and the same to God, even as abides outside of time (His created device).
and all believers were given this promise by Christ Himself. "And He (Jesus) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." (Mark 16:15-18) Believers can cast out devils in His name, speak in new tongues (by speaking forth the truth in righteousness and holiness), drink (in or hear) deadly things (false doctrines not based on the word of truth can also seen as a deadly thing) but recover, and lay hands (or pray) for the sick to see them recovered.
The Apostle Paul had a deadly serpent bite him, but to no effect. (Acts 28:5) But he was in the service and will of God, not going about seeking his own personal pleasure or prosperity. He also casted out demons by means of handkerchiefs or aprons. (Acts 19:2) The Apostles Peter and John healed a lame man. (Acts 3:1-9) Peter also healed a lame person and raised the dead. (Acts 9:32-41)
There are some people today that say God cannot perform the same miracles of the past, that these things were only meant for the elder generation, or the fathers of the faith and Apostles. That is nothing more than a cop out, or an excuse. As Jude tells us all to "earnestly contend for the faith once once delivered unto the saints." We may also read of the two witnesses in the book of Revelations who perform great miracles and signs in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Revelations 11:3-6) I have seen people recover from cancer after prayer was made for them. As have others. God alone heals or delivers in all these matters, and uses a person as the vessel only. Nobody is so holy as to heal another by their own power or authority. Nothing is impossible for God.