This article was written by Pst. Kwenda Kwenda of Choma Central Baptist Church, Zambia.

We have heard so much about the subject of demons and casting out demons in this 21st century. But how exactly is the casting out of demons done? Is there such a thing as someone being demon-possessed? Should Christians cast out demons from those who are demons possessed? Let’s see if we can see what Scripture says on these matters. I must mention that this is a very diverse topic and may have differing views. Nonetheless, we must all strive to do what Scripture says.

First of all, it is always good to define our terms. What are demons? Demons are fallen angels. They are spiritual beings. They are also referred to as evil or unclean spirits (Matt 12:43-45. Acts19:12). These spiritual beings can speak. They are also very powerful spiritual beings. They possess a level of power which human beings do not have. Remember the story of the person who was demons possessed would be tied with chains and he would snap them like tiny ropes? Yes, they are very powerful beings. Demons are also very intelligent. They possess a high level of knowledge. Some of the verses like Mark 1:23; Acts 19:15 and Mark 5:2-7) can help us see what I am trying to say.

The second item we need to take note of is that demons can possess and torment people. They can posses (indwell) unbelievers. They cannot possess believers. They cannot possess believers because the believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and Light and darkness cannot mix (2 Corinthians 6:14-15).

However, believers can be tormented. By this, I mean God can permit that they inflict pain on the believer especially where there is unrepentant sin. An example is where Paul asks the Corinthian Church to surrender one of the members to Satan for the destruction of the flesh (1 Corinthians 5:5). Another good example is when the Bible tells us that Saul was tormented by an evil spirit (1 Samuel 16:4; 18:10). Sometimes God permits it to happen for his own sovereign purposes. A good example is that of Job.  So always remember that there is a difference between demon possession and being tormented by demons. 

Can Christians cast out demons from a demon-possessed person? Yes, they can although I would like to qualify the statement. Casting out of demons has come to be known as a person telling evil spirits to leave someone. But it’s not just a matter to uttering words. It is Spiritual work. It is God working through the believer to help the person who is demon-possessed.  So it is not you as an individual and by your own strength commanding a demon to be cast out. Remember what we said about the strength of demons? They are very powerful and human strength cannot compete with them.

Well then, how is the casting out of demons done? Situations may differ but whatever the case there must be sharing the gospel to the possessed person. This is very important. It is only when Christ has indwelt the unbeliever that they are safe otherwise it is a case of Matthew 12:43-45 where the demons leave and come back and find the house swept and bring with him others eviler than him.  Casting out of demons is finding a way of sharing the gospel with the demon-possessed person. When Christ takes possession, he becomes Lord of one’s body and there is no room for demons to linger around that person. Casting out demons is presenting Christ to the demon-possessed person because only the power of God is able to make demons leave.