The very first time I witnessed a healing from an unclean spirit was, funnily enough, in a shopping centre in England! Through a dream, the Lord showed me a particular lady in a situation and I just had that Holy Spirit gut knowing that she had a spirit of fear. I happened to bump into her in the shopping centre in town and asked her if she struggled with fear, to which she said “no”. I offered prayer anyway, as I didn’t like the thought of not accomplishing what the Lord had given me, and, thankfully, she agreed. As we were in a busy café, we agreed to go behind the shopping centre lifts where it was quieter – just her, her friend and me. I asked her if it was ok to place my hand upon her shoulder then, by faith, I commanded the spirit of fear to come out of her.
At that moment she convulsed as it started to manifest so much that she keeled over onto the floor, and then she proceeded to cough it out of her mouth! I was in total amazement as I was witnessing exactly how I imagined it would have been in the Bible where it says (in Luke 9: 42) “the demon threw him down and convulsed him”. A few weeks later, she confessed that she had, in fact, struggled for nearly most of her life with anxiety, but she’d never made the connection to fear, which is why she said “no” when I’d asked her previously, but now she was completely healed of it. Amen!
I then started witnessing more and more of these kind of manifestations as I continued praying for various people. They would all testify to the same kind of pattern – that they could feel something in the stomach area, working its way up to the throat and leaving through the mouth. I wasn’t always given a name for the spirit, but they seemed to leave quite easily. Sometimes if other people were praying alongside me, I could see some get a little uncomfortable and be scared to place their hands upon them, but Jesus usually prayed and then imparted the anointing by touch. In the case of the demon-possessed man in Mark 5, the demon begged that Jesus wouldn’t torment them or cast them out. They even begged that Jesus would give them permission to enter into the pigs, so how much more permission do you think they would need to enter someone filled with His Spirit, because “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John4: 4).
Then one day, I came across something new. While after a church meeting, a lady asked me to pray for her and, more out of not wanting to make myself vulnerable to any accusation, I asked an elderly couple to pray alongside me, so they could also act as witnesses. I like this practice when praying for strangers of the opposite sex, especially when there aren’t many people about. Well, to my surprise, this lady really manifested into a rage. She started screaming and shouting all manner of foul language. I was so glad the couple were with me and, unbeknown to me, they had had much more experience in deliverance. So I was privileged to witness and learn how they ministered.
This spirit seemed to be more difficult to get out, like it held a stronghold over the person, but through prayer the Lord revealed its identity and as we named and rebuked it, the Lady convulsed and screamed as the unclean spirit left her (Mark 9:26 – “And the spirit cried out”). But as we continued in prayer, she started to manifest again, not as violently as before, but there was a noticeable difference in her facial expressions and she began making different noises, until the couple named the second unclean spirit and, again, she convulsed and screamed before manifesting yet again with a completely new set of expressions. She actually ended up screaming out 6 unclean spirits, but she also manifested a 7th,, although this time she kept her eyes tightly shut, gritting her teeth while growling (Mark 9:18). But this unclean spirit never seemed to leave. She just calmed down, but it was so frustrating, witnessing the evidence and knowing that it was there and not being able to understand why the 7th never came out.
A couple of days later while praying for someone else, the same thing happened – the unclean spirit manifested but it wouldn’t leave. I started to question my walk with God, or whether I was missing something. So I made an agreement to pray and fast for them both before having another attempt. Well, I was so eager and wanted to get right on it, I did the Esther fast, - nil by mouth for 3 days solid – a tough fast for me as I was doing a manual labouring job in the height of the summer. At one point, on the last day, I actually thought I was going to collapse through exhaustion and dehydration. So, the fast now finished, I rang the first one to make arrangements for some prayer time, and her answer was this, “I’m feeling a little better now, so I don’t think I’m going to bother”. So then I rang the other one and her response was exactly the same! All the time I was blaming myself, but neither of them really wanted to be delivered!
Over time, I also began to recognize circumstances where a person needed to acknowledge and repent from areas in their lives, which gave the unclean spirit a legal permission to be there, just as Paul gave the Holy Spirit filled congregation of Ephesus a warning “not to give place to the Devil” (Eph 4: 27). A couple of years passed and then someone asked if they could bring their friend round for some ministry, who in fact turned out to be one of the ladies I’d fasted for. Well I welcomed another opportunity to try and deal with that 7th spirit and pondered if she would actually turn up.
When the evening came she actually manifested more of a rage than I’d ever witnessed before, shouting and screaming profanity so much that I did wonder at one point, if my neighbours would call the police! Telling her to be quiet had no effect, but at one point the unclean spirit inside her actually spoke to me (see Luke 4:34, Mark 1:24, Mark 5:7 for references for unclean spirits speaking to Jesus). It spoke in a childish voice and said, “you can’t see me, you can’t see me, can you?” It was so frustrating, but as I was praying and asking God to reveal what this was, He showed me that it was a spiritual stronghold of incest. This put me in a dilemma really, because I felt that if I’d have named this spirit of incest, that this could really cause embarrassment for both of us and, regretfully, I just let the whole situation calm down.
But about a year or so later, I happened to be ministering with a family member to this particular lady and part of his confession and healing process was to do with family incest, confirming the word which the Lord had given me. It was extremely sad that something which had happened to both of them in their childhood, through a dysfunctional upbringing, had managed to give the Devil a “foothold” (Eph 4: 27). And though they had both become Christians in later life, the Devil’s barrage of tormenting their thoughts with guilt, shame and forcing their emotions into feeling completely disqualified, had managed to wreck nearly all of their adult lives.
On hearing of me ministering with her family member and witnessing them being healed and transformed, the lady became aware that I must now know the dark secrets in their family history and so she eventually approached me. Furiously, she said to me that “they were ‘the unseen people’ who look like normal families, but on the inside live in darkness”. I sensed there was a sort of boastful pride in the way it was spoken and was reminded of when the unclean spirit had previously bragged about how I couldn’t see it. At this moment, I realized that this was, in fact, the unclean spirit that was speaking and not her. I stated that I could definitely see it now and offered prayer and support but, unfortunately, she just backed away and ran, eventually backsliding and ending up having a serious breakdown. Interestingly, the Lord showed me that although she had been living in torment of hopelessness, her mind had eventually been deranged into thinking that she had been given great power over men.
2 Thes 2:9 – The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
It’s interesting how, that because she felt that the unclean spirit gave her power, that’s why she didn’t want it to leave. I can relate to this from when I had some deliverance myself years ago. At the time, the Lord kept showing me through a series of dreams, that I had a little black puppy, which had become my best friend, and I took him everywhere. Well, not long after these dreams, someone prayed for me and said that they kept getting a vision of a very large vicious black dog, snarling and growling. Then the Lord gave me the revelation that this was my best friend (that little black puppy), and he’d been there for that long that I’d become very attached. He’d become a kind of false confidence for me, a great strength, and my “plan-B” in some situations. Well, when I finally got delivered of this spirit of anger, the following day I felt so empty, as if a part of me was missing and for a time I felt very vulnerable until I learned to yield more to the Holy Spirit and move in the confidence and strength in Christ. This vulnerability is the reason why some people leave the door open for these unclean spirits to come back.
Mat 12:43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. (In other words, he came back to find it back in order but EMPTY) Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”
See, when an unclean spirit leaves you, the responsibility for not allowing it access back into your life is yours. Putting on the “new man” doesn’t just happen automatically. It’s by putting your faith into action as you yield your will to His will, in obedience in your relationship with Jesus.
Eph 4:21 “if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness”.
Now, these unclean spirits come in many different types, have different strategies and they work together, tormenting, deranging your thoughts and distorting the true nature of God in many different ways, and not just the mind. Given enough time I’ve witnessed spirits gain so much influence that they’ve actually manifested into physical appearance and illnesses. I remember one guy being brought to me at church for prayer with a bad back. I asked him if there was anything else and then he mentioned that in his earlier days he’d been into Ouija boards. I just knew that this could get a bit messy, so in this church they had a small glass-fronted sound-proof room usually used for noisy children, and so with a lady member of the prayer team we moved into this room.
I placed my hand upon the painful area of his back and started praying, but nothing seemed to happen at all, and I was quite surprised. Then, just as I was about to stop praying, all of sudden he started to groan. And, at the same moment, the lady from the prayer team, who was standing in front of him, ran to the corner of this small room and started frantically praying! To my surprise, as I moved around to face the front of him, he had started to foam at the mouth (Mark 9:20) and his eyes had rolled round, so that you could only see the whites of his eyes. I placed my hand upon the stomach area and then commanded the unclean spirit to come out of him! He fell back so hard that he went right over the sofa and, even though the lady was looking petrified, she ran over to him to see if he was ok. Just as she knelt at his side, the guy put his arms down his sides and started moving like a snake across the ground. I’d never seen anything like it. The lady leapt up and ran back into her corner, frantically praying (probably for God to take her out the room!), so I knelt down beside him as he was trying to slither to the door, placed my hand upon his chest and commanded the “serpent spirit “out! He stopped moving, let out a scream and then burst into tears. At this moment, the door flung open as his wife, who had been watching the whole thing through the window, came rushing in and cradled him in her arms and started crying too. It was such an emotional experience and a privilege to witness the kingdom of God at work. The man was completely healed of his back pains ,and probably a lot more in his mind and marriage, observing the reaction. Then, just as the couple left the room the lady from the prayer team just went crazy at me, as though it was all my fault!
In some cases, I can testify to unclean spirits manifesting in people who have actually tried to reach out to grab me, but when they’ve got to about an inch away from me, it was as though the Holy Spirit wouldn’t even allow them to touch me, let alone harm me.
1 John 4:4 “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
See, these unclean spirits recognize the Deity and Lordship of Christ (Mat 8:31-32, Mark 1:24, James 2:19) and thus are bound by the authority given to Him, which in turn is given to you as you yield to Him by faith, allowing yourself to be transformed into the “new man” and thus allowing Him to work through you, becoming the living proof of His good and perfect will (Rom 12: 2) by His glory to “be” His glory. But if you’re lacking in your identity or faith, those unclean spirits will recognize that too. Acts 19:15 says the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” See, they understand the spiritual realm and their rights of eviction more than most Christians do. They know that everyone who sets up idols in their hearts puts before themselves that which causes them to stumble into iniquity (Ezk 14:3) and they have a legal right to tempt you in your lack of self control (1Cor7: 5) and worse, they know exactly who has given them permission to gain legal access (Eph4: 27) See, an unclean spirit can only use what it’s been given access to, always seeking embodiment to distort God’s truth and take people away from entering into His promises, robbing them of the real joy and peace of God, trying to prevent His sons and daughters to be who He has called them to be.
Eph 6:10 – “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Kevin Dexter, Derby UK