Dealing with Demons (2)

Although demon possession is rare, we should be prepared to expel evil spirits if necessary. From this account, as well as the longer one in Mark’s Gospel ( Mark 5:1-20), we may derive certain guidelines: Recognize the presence of evil spirits. Genuine demon possession may be characterized by certain symptoms: Inner turmoil; self-destructive behavior; violence towards others; extraordinary strength; an extreme reaction to the presence of Christians or to the name of Jesus; multiple personalities; and speaking with another voice. Refuse to enter into dialogue with the evil spirit. These spirits sought to engage Jesus in a conversation, perhaps even to “bind” Him with an oath, but He would not fall into their trap. Remember, demons are servants of Satan, the supreme liar. Reveal the name of the demon(s). In this case, their name was Legion, the title for a Roman army division, for they were many. Knowing the name is not always necessary, but it can be useful. Rebuke the demon(s) in the name of Jesus Christ. A Simple command will do. There is no need to shout or engage in prolonged wrestlings in most cases, but you must insist upon the authority of Christ over the evil spirit(s) and believe that the name of Christ will win the victory. Require the demon(s) to leave the person whom they possess and send them elsewhere. Many exorcists now command them to go to Jesus, who knows how to deal with them, as He did in this case. Even the youngest believer, when confronted with evil spirits, can invoke the all-powerful name of Christ and rely on His supreme authority to drive out evil spirits from anyone whom they have possessed.