The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Exorcism Q&A

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Q1: HOW DO PEOPLE GET POSSESSED IN THE FIRST PLACE?

What people call demonic possession is a case of demons gaining temporary control over someone’s earthsuit.  Your earthsuit is the miraculous machine that you see when you look into a mirror.  It has three main components: a brain (which is like the computer that runs the whole thing), a body, and emotions.  When demons possess your earthsuit, they can force your earthsuit to do things that you don’t want it to do.

Your earthsuit and your soul are two entirely separate entities.  If you think of your earthsuit like a car, then your soul is the man driving the car.  While the driver is not the car, he will feel very upset if the car starts malfunctioning. 

It’s critical to understand that demons never gain possession of your actual soul.  The most they can ever do is gain temporary control over your earthsuit.  Because your soul is the part of you that relates to God, demons can do nothing to prevent your soul from communicating with God, nor can they block God from communicating with you.

Because humans often think of the soul and earthsuit as a single unit (which is not correct), they make the mistake of thinking that when they are possessed by demons, demons gain control over their souls as well as their bodies. Demons greatly encourage this false belief, because it works well for them (see Spiritual Bondage: Exposing the Scam).

All humans—regardless of their age or their beliefs about God—are being protected by God 24/7.  God is the reason we’re not constantly possessed by demons.  God is a Sovereign Creator—meaning that He reigns with absolute control over everything that He creates.  This means that demons can’t do anything to anyone without God’s permission.  So possession never happens unless God wants it to happen.  When He does, He gives demons access to someone’s earthsuit, they take control of it, and they remain in control until God kicks them out.

It’s critical to understand that while demons are possessing someone, they are still under the control of God.  This means that demons never have their total way with any human that they possess.  When it comes to harassing humans, demons can only ever choose between limited options that God gives them.

Q2: HOW DOES EXORCISM WORK?

When God decides that He’s done having a demon possess someone, He simply forces the demon out of that person’s earthsuit.  Imagine yourself flicking a dried up kernel of rice off of a tabletop and onto the floor. This is how simple exorcism is to God.  It’s not a strain.  He doesn’t need to say magic words or rest up to conserve His power.  He just decides that a demon needs to leave, so He flicks him away.  The demon will then not be able to repossess the human unless God once again gives him that option.

Q3: HOW DO HUMANS ASSIST GOD IN EXORCISING DEMONS?

They don’t.  Humans contribute absolutely nothing to the exorcism process. This is because in the God-demon-human power structure, humans are the bottom rung.  God does not take orders from us, and demons do not fear us.  But of course human pride loathes the idea that we’re just impotent specks who can’t make any supernatural being do our bidding.  So the very arrogant and absurd theory that God actually needs our help to cast out demons is aggressively promoted in many Christian circles.

Q4: IF HUMANS CAN’T DO ANYTHING TO DRIVE OUT DEMONS, THEN WHY DID JESUS TELL HIS DISCIPLES THAT THEY MUST FAST BEFORE THEY COULD DRIVE CERTAIN DEMONS OUT?

Some translations of Mark 9:28-29 have Jesus making a comment about fasting.

After Jesus went into a house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive the demon out?”

And He told them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”

So what’s Jesus doing here?  He’s intentionally lying to His disciples about the way things work in the supernatural realm.  And it’s hardly the first time.

In the Gospel books, Jesus gives His disciples many absurd guarantees which have no foundation in truth.  For example, He once told them:

“Whatever you ask in My Name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (Jn. 14:13)

Naturally Christians love to include this gem in their Bible promise books, but what a crock it is.  Go ahead: ask for ten million bucks to suddenly appear in front of you in the Name of Jesus and watch what doesn’t happen.  Or try guzzling some deadly poison to find out if you’re really saved or not, because if you are, Jesus says the poison won’t harm you.

“And these signs will accompany those who believe: In My Name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (Mk. 16:17-18)

How absurd is it for Christians to claim that God never lies when Jesus is cranking out so many fantastic fibs in the Gospel books?  How many times does a supposed  “promise” have to fail before we stop pretending that it can be counted on?

So then, are demons adversely affected by the contents of your GI tract?  No, they’re really not.  And God doesn’t get a power boost when you start skipping meals, so it’s time to throw out the absurd idea that fasting has any relationship with exorcism (see Practicing Discernment: Jesus Lies and All About Fasting).

Q5:  WHAT ABOUT PROPS—THINGS LIKE HOLY WATER, CROSSES, AND BIBLES?  ARE THOSE USELESS AS WELL?

Yep, they sure are.  So the next time you see some career exorcist trying to sell you replicas of his potent exorcism tools, don’t fall for the scam.  Physical props have no supernatural power (see The Laying On of Hands).

Q6: AND VERBAL DECLARATIONS—ARE THEY USELESS AS WELL? 

Correct.  You can say anything you want—demons couldn’t care less (see Understanding Verbal Blessing & Cursing: So Much Hype, So Little Power).

Q7: SO ARE YOU SAYING THERE IS NO POWER IN THE NAME OF JESUS?

What exactly is the name of Jesus?  It’s a word that you say—a sound you make with your vocal cords.  Of course there’s no power in it.  You’re not a God, you’re just a created speck, and as such, supernatural beings really aren’t impressed by your verbal utterances.  Whether you’re declaring things in the name of Jesus or in the name of boiled ham, you’ll find that your words have no effect on demons (Worship Song Analysis: THE NAME OF JESUS by Chris Tomlin).

Q8: IS IT TRUE THAT CHRISTIANS ARE PROTECTED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS WHEN THEY’RE IN THE PRESENCE OF A POSSESSED PERSON?

No, it’s not.  For starters, Jesus is a God, not a human.  He has no physical body or blood.  When Jesus showed up in a human form in Israel, that was God wearing a costume.  The God has power.  His costume doesn’t.  So when Christians today worship elements of the physical costume that Jesus the God once used—such as His body and blood—they’re just being idolatrous.  We’re supposed to be worshiping God alone—not God plus a bunch of created things that we associate with Him.

As we explained earlier, it is God who controls the activities of demons.  Christians like to think they receive an extra measure of protection from God, but this simply isn’t true.  God often allows demons to intensely harass Christians, so there’s nothing about being saved that guarantees that God won’t allow demons to come after you (see The Spiritual Benefits of Being Trampled by Demons).

Q9: THEN HOW CAN I AVOID BEING HARMED IN AN EXORCISM SITUATION?

For starters, you shouldn’t even be on the scene of an exorcism without specific direction from God.  If you go ahead and involve yourself without His permission, you’re just begging Him to discipline you.

The common Christian style of handling exorcisms is grossly disrespectful to God.  By the time they’re done hauling in a bunch of useless props, chanting special prayers, and promoting themselves as God’s special forces, Christians are claiming to have power that they don’t have and trying to take the glory for the things God does.  Such obnoxious behavior is often rewarded by God allowing demons to increase their harassment of those who attempt exorcisms, and this is why you’ll hear some exorcists complaining about the great personal cost of helping others get spiritually free.  Pompous exorcists often perceive their troubles as signs that demons are retaliating against them, when so often it’s just a case of God disciplining exorcists for their rebellious soul attitudes.

Q10: WHAT ABOUT ALL OF THE VIDEOS OF EXORCISMS THAT I SEE ON THE INTERNET?  ARE ANY OF THEM REAL?

It’s incredibly easy to fake an exorcism.  All you need is someone with decent acting skills, a little rehearsal, and a cameraman.  Throw in some low budget special effects and you can really put on quite the dramatic show.

Since demons do not take orders from humans, and since demons really aren’t intimidated by Christians, you can know you’re being scammed when you watch exorcisms in which the possessed person portrays their demon host as being afraid of the human exorcist.  Of course all that’s happening here is that the possessed person is either talking in a strange voice, or having someone off stage doing a voice over for them to get that classic guttural demonic tone.  Often in these shows the exorcist and the demon will engage in some scripted argument which has been carefully written to increase your awe of the exorcist.

Since God does not take orders from humans, you should find it totally fake when the self-exalting exorcist always manages to drive the demon out according to his own schedule.  What’s really being suggested by these dramatic shows is that the human exorcist is controlling God—making God wield His Divine power at the exorcist’s command.  You’re supposed to walk away feeling so impressed by the way the human got both God and demons to perform on cue.  And of course any message that encourages us to exalt created beings instead of the true Gods is wrong.

Q11: WHICH OF THE THREE REAL GODS DRIVES OUT DEMONS?  YAHWEH, JESUS, OR THE HOLY SPIRIT?

The three real Gods are equal in power.  They are also omnipotent, which means any One of Them could uncreate all demons at any time without any assistance from the Others.  You’re not going to be able to determine which God was acting during a certain exorcism, nor does it matter.  The important point for you to understand is that God alone deserves the credit for exorcisms.

Q12: SO IF HUMANS ARE SO USELESS AT EXORCISMS, WHY WOULD GOD EVER INVOLVE THEM?

God enjoys involving humans in His activities.  Exorcism is no exception to this.  Often God exorcises demons without any third parties around.  Other times He intentionally gathers an audience to watch His show.

There are many reasons why God might want certain humans to witness an exorcism firsthand.  Perhaps He wants to raise their awareness of how real and powerful demons are.  Perhaps He wants to increase their understanding of how powerful He is.  Perhaps He wants to increase their understanding of how dependent on Him they are for protection and help.  Perhaps He wants them there to comfort the possessed person after the exorcism is over (because both possession and exorcism can be a very traumatic experiences).  If God should ever place you at the scene of an exorcism, He will have a positive spiritual purpose for doing so.  The best way for you to respond to an exorcism is by asking God to help you learn everything He wants to teach you.  Exorcisms should never be viewed as entertaining experiences, but rather as opportunities to grow closer to God.

Q13: WHAT IF I’M POSSESSED AND I WANT TO BE EXORCISED?  WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Rather than turn to powerless humans for help, you should go directly to God and realize that He’s the reason you’re possessed in the first place.  You should then ask Him to help you learn anything He wants to teach you and you should ask Him to help you fully submit to Him as the Supreme Authority that He is.  If God has allowed you to become possessed, then He wants something from you.  He either wants you to repent out of some rebellious soul attitude that you’re currently embracing, or He wants you to learn something.  The fact that someone is possessed does not necessarily mean that God is mad at them or punishing them.  Each case is different, and the quickest way to benefit from the trial is for the possessed person to start engaging with God.  Forget about useless props and silly rituals.  Talk to God yourself, and ask Him to help you align with His will for your life.

Q14: HOW SHOULD I PRAY FOR SOMEONE WHO IS POSSESSED?

You shouldn’t.  Your prayers have no effect on how God handles another soul. He isn’t going to cast a demon out because you were begging Him to, nor is He going to leave someone possessed forever because they didn’t happen to have any praying friends.  Christians have a very exaggerated idea about how much their personal prayers influence God (see Praying for Other People: Why It’s a Bad Idea).

You are the only human who you should ever be praying for.  God judges you by the choices you make in your personal relationship with Him.  There is great value in you asking God to help you be all that He wants you to be, but there is no value whatsoever in you trying to influence the way God is interacting with another human being.

As a Being who is infinitely wiser than you are, God knows that you don’t know what you’re talking about when you tell Him what to do for someone else.  Your prayers for other people merely reflect your own desires for them, and not what is truly best for their souls in the long-term.

Think about how you pray for others and you’ll find that your true motivation is often making yourself more comfortable.  Because you find it distressing to see your friend in misery, you pray for God to make that misery go away.  Because you feel personally threatened by living in a world with terrorism, war, and poverty, you pray for God to make those elements go away.  We humans pray very selfish prayers that are really about making ourselves feel better.  We don’t begin to love other people as much as God does, and for this reason, other people are far better off in God’s care than they are in ours.  Even when we’re sure God is handling someone else all wrong, the truth is that we don’t know what we’re talking about.  If we could see all of the factors involved, we would understand why God’s choices are far better than ours.  Happily, God does not allow our requests to derail Him from doing what He knows is best for other souls, and this makes our attempts to pray for others utterly useless.

Q15: DOES IT TAKE LESS TIME FOR GOD TO EXORCISE ONE DEMON THAN IT DOES FOR HIM TO DRIVE MULTIPLE DEMONS OUT OF SOMEONE?

No, it doesn’t. The manner in which God exorcises demons varies greatly.  Sometimes He finishes the job in a fraction of second.  Other times He makes a long, dramatic affair out of it.  The style He chooses depends on the lessons He wants to teach to all of the beings involved.

Q16: ARE DEMONS CAST INTO HELL ONCE THEY ARE EXORCISED?

No, they’re just locked out of the earthsuit that they were possessing.  God might allow the same demon to re-possess the person later on, He might allow a different demon to come, or He might never allow any demons to possess that person again.

Be aware that humans are incapable of differentiating one demon from another (see The Spirit of Jezebel: The Futility of Classifying Demons).  This is because we have no reliable ways of detecting demons, while they are very skilled actors who can easily imitate each other.  So when you hear people claim to know exactly which spirit possessed them, realize that such people really don’t know what they’re talking about.  In general, humans bring far too much arrogance with them when they study the supernatural realms, and this causes them to refuse to face how powerless and easy to deceive they are.  Any time you come across an internet site which promotes certain demon personalities, realize you’re dealing with spiritual fools and move on.  God promotes Himself, not demons.  Folks who spend a ton of time focusing on demons and trying to analyze demon behavior and personalities are embracing the wrong spiritual priorities.  When we aren’t listening to God, He turns us into spiritual dingdongs, which is why self-proclaimed demon “experts” tend to dole out the worst spiritual advice.

FURTHER READING:
Satan Q&A
Angel Q&A
Better than Exorcism: Dealing with Persistent Demon Problems
Deliverance Ministries: Scamming You in the Name of Jesus
Spiritual Warfare in the Church: Delusions vs. Truth

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