Mark 5:1–20, The Gadarene demoniac.
Eighteen Attributes of a Demonic Spirit
This encounter between Yeshua and this demon-possessed individual teaches us about the characteristics of one who is tormented, oppressed or even possessed by a demon or an evil, unclean spirit.
- One with an unclean spirit is “unclean in thought and life” (Mark 5:2).
- Such an individual may have a pre-occupation with things relating to death and dying (Mark 5:3).
- They may possess superhuman strength thanks to the aid of the demon in them (Mark 5:4).
- They may act wild, and unable to be restrained (Mark 5:4).
- They may be prone to fits of shouting loudly (Mark 5:5), shrieking or making a shrill cry (Mark 9:18).
- They may cut themselves, or resort to other acts of self-mutilation (Mark 5:5) or self destruction (e.g. burning oneself by fire, Matt 17:15; Mark 9:22), or attempts at drowning (Mark 9:22).
- The demoniac may possess supernatural knowledge (Mark 5:7).
- The demon can speak through the demonized person (Mark 5:7), or cry out (Mark 9:26).
- A demonic spirit wants to possess or inhabit something; if not a human, then an animal (Mark 5:12), or a house, an objects like idols or books (Acts 19:19; Rev 13:15) or even a mechanical device or “matrix” (e.g. the image of the beast in Rev 13:13–14).
- They may be clothed improperly or scantily (Mark 5:15).
- They will not a possess a “right [sound, self-controlled, sober]” mind (Mark 5:15).
- A demonic or an unclean spirit may cause convulsions or spasmodic contractions, bodily contortions within a person, or cause a person to be hurled to the ground (Mark 1:25; 9:18, 20) resulting in one wallowing or rolling around on the ground (Mark 9:20).
- Epileptic-type seizures or madness can be symptoms of demon possession (Matt 17:15).
- A demoniac may foam at the mouth (Mark 9:18, 20).
- A demoniac may grind or gnash their the teeth (Mark 9:18)
- A demonic spirit can cause one’s body to waste away, dry up or become rigid (Mark 9:18).
- Demonic spirits can accompany people as they come into the congregation of YHVH (Mark 1:23; Luke 4:33).
- A demonic spirit can make one to be mute or unable to speak (Mark 9:17).
How does one deal with a demon or demonic influence in a person? The short answer is this: Preach the gospel to them, and if they believe in Yeshua the Messiah, then, in the name of Yeshua, cast the demon out of them (Mark 16:15–17). Remember these Scripture promises:
Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. (Luke 9:1)