How to Deal With Demons in Yourself and Others—Updated

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)

How to Deal With a Demonic Spirit in Yourself or Someone Else

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The Three Types or Levels of Demonization

Matthew 17:21, This kind [of demon]. There are different kinds of demons that influence humans. The Testimony of Yeshua speaks of being “possessed with a demon” or “demons,”  “vexed with a demon,” or “severely possessed with a demon” (Matt 4:24; 8:16, 28, 33; 9:32; 12:22; 15:22; Mark 1:32; 5:15, 16, 18; Luke 8:36; John 10:21). 

All these ideas are expressed by the Greek word daimonizomai meaning “to be under the power of or possessed by a demon, or demonized.” There are levels of demonization.

The Bible reveals that demons can influence humans (e.g. from fiery darts of Satan shot at the saints by which he attempts to influence them [Eph 6:16], by lying to humans [1 Kgs 22:22–23], through unclean spirits [e.g. Matt 12:43; Mark 1:23, 26; 3:30] and by literally living in or possessing a person. The latter is the most extreme form of demonization. In this passage, a demon lived inside of a child (v. 18), and when Yeshua rebuked the demon, it came out of the child.

When a person is possessed with a demon, prayer and fasting may be necessary on the part of the deliverer to cast out the demon. This is because the deliverer has, to one degree or another, himself been weakened spiritually by faithlessness and perverseness and therefore lacks the spiritual power and faith to cast out the demon (vv. 17, 22), or because he has been negatively influenced by those around him who are this way (v. 17), and thus has been weakened by his spiritual environment. This is why Yeshua, at times, had to put the spiritually weak and faithless people out of the room before healing a sick person (Mark 5:40). Prayer and fasting energizes a person spiritually by afflicting the soul (the mind, will and emotions) and forcing it into conformity with the word, will and Spirit of Elohim through which one gains the spiritual power to accomplish supernatural feats such as  casting out demons.

When Yeshua speaks of “this kind” of demon (v. 18). What did he mean? What kind of demon? The Bible reveals that there are various levels and types of evil, satanic spirits (e.g. Eph 6:12). The Book of 1 Enoch teaches and second temple Jewish sages based on this that demons were the disembodied spirits of the nephilim (see Gen 6:2–4), who after their human bodies died continued to live (as ghost-like figures) roaming in search of a body (human or animal) or object to possess (1 Enoch 15:8–10). This may be what Yeshua is referring to here.

With regard to the origin of demons, the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia under the articles entitles “Demonology” states,

The speculation regarding the nature and origin of these demons and their leaders led as early as the second pre-Christian century, in those fragments preserved under the name of the Book of Enoch, to the story of the fall of the angels (Enoch, vii.-viii.; lxix.). Like Beelzebub, or Lucifer (Isa. xiv. 12; compare Slavonic Enoch, xxix. 4), two hundred ‘Irin or “watchers” fell, attracted by the beauty of the daughters of men (Gen. vi. 4); only tradition obviously differed as to the leader of the rebellious host, whether it was Azazel or Shamazai. At any rate, they acknowledged the supremacy of Satan (liii. 3, liv. 6), though occasionally many satans are mentioned (xl. 7 et al.), and these fallen angels became “the evil spirits” (xv. 8, xix. 19) who taught mankind all the arts of deception, witchcraft, and sin (vii.-viii., lxix.). But their children, the offspring of this mixture of an earthly and a celestial race, became, when slain, the hybrid race of disembodiedspirits or demons doing the work of destruction until the Day of Judgment (xvi. 1). 


 

18 Attributes of a Demonic Spirit

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Mark 5:1–20, The Gadarene demoniac. This encounter between Yeshua and this demon-possessed individual teaches us about the characteristics of one who is tormented or even possessed by an evil, unclean spirit.

  1. One with an unclean spirit is “unclean in thought and life” (Mark 5:2).
  2. Such an individual may have a pre-occupation with things relating to death and dying (Mark 5:3).
  3. They may possess superhuman strength thanks to the aid of the demon in him (Mark 5:4).
  4. They may act wild, and unable to be restrained (Mark 5:4).
  5. They may be prone to fits of shouting loudly (Mark 5:5), shrieking or making a shrill cry (Mark 9:18).
  6. 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).
  7. The demoniac may possess supernatural knowledge (Mark 5:7).
  8. The demon can speak through the demonized person (Mark 5:7), or cry out (Mark 9:26).
  9. 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).
  10. They may be clothed improperly or scantily (Mark 5:15).
  11. They will not a possess a “right [sound, self-controlled, sober]” mind (Mark 5:15).
  12. 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), wallowing or rolling around on the ground (Mark 9:20).
  13. Epileptic-type seizures or madness can be some symptoms of demon possession (Matt 17:15).
  14. A demoniac may foam at the mouth (Mark 9:18, 20).
  15. A demoniac may grind or gnash of the teeth (Mark 9:18)
  16. A demonic spirit can cause one’s body to waste away, dry up or become rigid (Mark 9:18).
  17. Demonic spirits can accompany people as they come into the congregation of YHVH (Mark 1:23; Luke 4:33).
  18. A demonic spirit can make one to be mute or unable to speak (Mark 9:17).

 

What Are Some Symptoms That a Person Is Tormented by Demons?

Mark 5:1–20, The Gadarene demoniac. This encounter between Yeshua and this demon-possessed individual teaches us about the characteristics of one who is tormented or even possessed by an evil spirit.

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  • 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 him, Mark 5:4).
  • They may act wild, and unable to be restrained (Mark 5:4).
  • They may be given 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), 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).
  • 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), wallowing or rolling around on the ground (Mark 9:20).
  • Epileptic-type seizures or madness can be some symptoms of demon possession (Matt 17:15).
  • A demoniac may foam at the mouth (Mark 9:18, 20).
  • A demoniac may grind or gnash of 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).

 

Symptoms of Demon Possession

Mark 5:1–20, The Gadarene demoniac. This encounter between Yeshua and this  demon-possessed individual teaches us about the characteristics of one who is tormented or even possessed by an evil 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 him, Mark 5:4).
  • They may act wild, unable to be restrained (Mark 5:4).
  • They may be given to fits of shouting loudly (Mark 5:5), shrieking or making a shrill cry (Mark 9:18).
  • They may cut oneself, 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), 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 to homes, to objects like idols or books (Acts 19:19).
  • 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), wallowing or rolling around on the ground (Mark 9:20).
  • Epileptic-type seizures/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 of 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).

But thanks be to YHVH Elohim, our Father, who has given the saints of Yeshua the power over demonic spirits through the blood, the Word and the name of Yeshua the Messiah!

Luke 9:1, Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.

Luke 10:18–19, And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

See also James 4:6–10; 1 John 4:4; Revelation 12:11.