Resisting Wicked Spirit Forces
What should one do who is harassed by demon assaults? What is the key to victory?
GOD’S Word emphasizes the need for Christians to resist the demon powers that are harassing and misleading mankind. Counsels the Christian apostle Paul: “We have a fight, not against blood and flesh, but . . . against the world rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.” This means that every Christian must “take up the complete suit of armor from God, that [he] may be able to resist in the wicked day.”—Eph. 6:11-13.
In these wicked days of the “time of the end” the demons appear to be intensifying their attacks against Christians and against those who are just beginning to learn God’s truth. What, then, if a person who wants to do God’s will finds that demon powers are pressing an attack against him, trying to wear him down physically and mentally by disturbing his sleep? What if one is hearing “voices” that pretend to be “good spirits”? What if “voices” try to turn one away from God’s kingdom and his Kingdom witnesses?
When wicked spirits assault one, the sedatives and tranquilizers and drugs that are useful in nervous and mental disorders are not able to bring relief, since the cause of the trouble is attack from demon powers. Only God provides the remedy for resisting successfully in this wicked day. This is “the complete suit of armor from God.” Hence the “fine soldier of Christ Jesus” will put on this armor and fight, resisting demon forces in this wicked day.—2 Tim. 2:3.
SHUNNING SPIRITISM, OMENS AND “VOICES”
Any person who believes that he is under attack from wicked spirit forces should calmly, not in hysteria, prepare for a counteroffensive. First, one might scrutinize all his practices, to make certain that he is free from all forms of spiritism, which is demonism. One can hardly resist demon forces if he is dabbling in occult and magical practices.
What one should do, then, is make a searching examination of all his activities. Does one, for instance, use a ouija board or planchette or even have such an instrument in the house? Is one giving in to hypnotism in any degree? Is one going into any self-induced trance, perhaps through so-called concentration exercises and postures peculiar to demon religion? Is one, in his desire to be free of some illness, going to a practitioner that is using psychic or clairvoyant diagnosing and healing methods?
The demons sometimes ensnare persons by inducing them to become interested in dreams or in omens, so that one seeks omens for guidance in life. A person so deceived may then look at a bird or animal or object as an omen, indicating some course he should pursue. Reject such suggestions! Refuse to look for omens. Rely on God’s Word for guidance, keeping in mind that Almighty God condemns “anyone who looks for omens.”
One should likewise be certain he is free of any kind of divination, whether it be for lost objects, water, minerals or anything else, perhaps with the use of a pendulum or a divining rod. One should also be certain he is not consulting professional foretellers of events, whether they be crystal-ball gazers, astrologers (and their horoscopes) or extrasensory perceivers.—Deut. 18:10, 11.
One of the most common ways demons both ensnare and harass persons is by “voices.” The invisible voices pretend to be departed relatives or good spirits, spirits sent from God. But this is falsehood, deception! No matter what the “voices” claim to be, they are wicked spirits, misleading men under the guise of being good spirits. God’s Word foretold for our day that some men “will fall away from the faith, paying attention to misleading inspired utterances and teachings of demons.” (1 Tim. 4:1) So shun any thoughts that God is dealing with one in a special way, giving such a person direct counsel from a spirit. Jehovah is dealing with his people through his Word and his organization. (Matt. 24:45-47) Beware, then, of any “voice” or “voices” pretending to be sent by God. The demons are misleading, lying spirits, masters at deception. They are responsible for what the Bible calls “lying signs and portents.” (2 Thess. 2:9) Give no ear to voices from the invisible realm. Resist every suggestion, appealing to God to give you victory over the deceptive spirits.
SURROUNDINGS AND ASSOCIATION
Suppose a person is being harassed by “voices” or by unexplainable bedroom disturbances, such as movements that keep one from sleeping. If such a person has scrutinized his activities and found them free from spiritism of any kind, then he should next examine his surroundings and associations. It may be that the person is living in a house with someone who is a medium for the demons, such as a voodooist, ouija-board or psychic medium. Is there any mystic or practitioner of occult things in the dwelling in which the afflicted person lives? If so, a wise measure would be to find living quarters free from close proximity of any spiritist.
Serious thought should also be given to one’s associates. It may be that the harassed person is associating with someone under demon influence who is acting as a medium in some way. This associate may be dabbling in black magic, witchcraft, sorcery or be trying to attain so-called “self-realization” by cultivating psychic powers. It is often true that there is some individual in close contact with the afflicted person whom the demons use. This sometimes unknown, unsuspected individual may be used as a medium by which the demons prey upon the body of the victim. Therefore, break off bad associations, heeding the divine warning that “bad associations spoil useful habits.” (1 Cor. 15:33) Seek friends and associates among true Christians.
One troubled by demon attacks should also be aware of objects or articles that may have been given him about the time such attacks began. Practitioners of witchcraft sometimes cast spells on persons by having an object or article brought into the victim’s presence. This brings the victim into contact with the demons. In one case a garment was sent by a voodooist to a victim, and as long as the victim had that garment and wore it, it resulted in demon attacks and movements, especially at night. The removal of this garment resulted in relief. Hence, there may be some article or some individual who is in close contact with the oppressed person, one whom such a person would have to detect as being the channel through whom the demons are trying to take control of him, by reducing him to a state of exhaustion, nervously, mentally and physically.
Hence, it would be most appropriate for one troubled with demon harassment to make an investigation of his surroundings and his local contacts or associates, asking for divine guidance as he does so.
PUTTING ON THE SUIT OF ARMOR FROM GOD
Positive action must also be taken to make certain that one is living according to God’s Word. Since the Christian’s warfare is not against flesh and blood but against wicked spirit forces, successful resistance calls for putting on the “complete suit of armor from God.” The apostle Paul at Ephesians 6:11-18 describes the pieces of this armor, such as the girdle of truth and “the breastplate of righteousness.” When one denies God’s truth, indulges in unrighteousness and disobeys Jehovah, he is depriving himself of the protection of such spiritual armor. Keep in mind Samuel’s words to King Saul: “To obey is better than a sacrifice, to pay attention than the fat of rams; for rebelliousness is the same as the sin of divination, and pushing ahead presumptuously the same as using uncanny power.” (1 Sam. 15:22, 23) Because King Saul disobeyed Jehovah, holy spirit was removed from him, and the demons were able to move in and fill the vacancy. King Saul’s case shows that if one’s life is not filled with Jehovah’s spirit, it is likely to be taken over by a demon spirit.
Obedience to God, then, is of paramount importance in resisting wicked spirits. One who rebels against Jehovah’s commandments is depriving himself of holy spirit and divine protection. One professing Christian married an unbeliever, in defiance of 1 Corinthians 7:39 and; 2 Corinthians 6:14, which clearly state God’s will about a Christian’s not yoking himself to an unbeliever. This person’s unbelieving marriage mate had a close relative that practiced demonism and who cast a spell on the professing Christian, with lamentable physical damage.
By rebelling against Jehovah’s commandments and by pushing ahead out of self-will, one is ignoring the power of Jehovah God and is in God’s eyes like one “using uncanny power” supplied by the demons; hence, in effect, such a person is not resisting demons but is cooperating with wicked spirits and with spiritists. How, then, could such a rebellious one expect divine protection? Obedience to God is vital for resisting in this wicked day.
If a professing Christian, then, comes under demon attack, it may be that he is not using all the spiritual armor God has provided. The command is to “accept the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, that is, God’s word.” One may not be building up his Christian hope by Bible study, thus he may leave his mind open to attack. Read and study God’s Word regularly; use the Bible-study aids that Jehovah has so bountifully provided to fortify one’s mind against demon assault. One harassed by demons may not only be neglecting Bible study but he may also be filling his mind with that which is contrary to divine principles, contrary to the rule stated by the apostle Paul: “Whatever things are true, whatever things are of serious concern, whatever things are righteous, whatever things are chaste, whatever things are lovable, whatever things are well spoken of, whatever virtue there is and whatever praiseworthy thing there is, continue considering these things.”—Eph. 6:17; Phil. 4:8, 9.
God also provides equipment for one’s feet—”the good news of peace.” (Eph. 6:15) So use the “sword of the spirit, that is, God’s word,” to bring to others the good news of God’s kingdom, which brings true peace of mind. When one is beginning to learn God’s truth or is abandoning some form of spiritism, the demons often assault this person to turn him back to false worship. Reject, then, any “voices” that turn one away from Jehovah’s kingdom and his Kingdom witnesses. The demons sometimes like to wear one down physically by keeping him awake all night so that the next day he might feel too weary to use his feet to preach the “good news of peace.” No matter how weary one might become fighting wicked spirit forces, he should never give up his Christian ministry. Resist by preaching the Kingdom good news, the truth, which Jesus said “will set you free,” and this will aid in overcoming demon assaults.—John 8:32.
FAITH AND PRAYER
Moreover, “take up the large shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the wicked one’s burning missiles.” (Eph. 6:16) Put real faith in Jehovah God. It would be a lack of faith for one to go to agents of the Devil, spiritists, to get relief from assaults of wicked spirits. Such a course would make one indebted to the Devil for relief and would bring Jehovah’s disfavor. Look to Jehovah God for help, trusting that he is able to break the power of demons, as he has done in innumerable cases. Put fear aside. Have faith that Jehovah is the Protector of his servants against demonism. Keep in mind what the Scriptures encouragingly say regarding God’s people, namely: “There is no unlucky spell against Jacob, nor any divination against Israel.”—Num. 23:23.
So by having real faith, by keeping busy in God’s service and by unceasing prayer one can break the enemy’s power and fortify oneself to resist further assaults. Yes, use God’s Word, study it, “while with every form of prayer and supplication you carry on prayer on every occasion in spirit.” When under demon assault pray to God, using his divine name, since “the name of Jehovah is a strong tower. Into it the righteous runs and is given protection.” If demon voices harass you, pray to Jehovah out loud, relying on Him for help, “and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your hearts and your mental powers.”—Eph. 6:18; Prov. 18:10; Phil. 4:7.
If demon assault comes at night, light may be helpful. Under no circumstances give way to hysteria and panic, which might induce a nervous breakdown—just what the demons want to bring about. Pray. Study God’s Word, such as Psalm 119. Realize that Job and Jesus Christ were under assault from the Devil; they resisted successfully, and so can you.
Furthermore, do not try to fight the battle against wicked spirit forces alone. Do not be a Don Quixote or an isolationist. Christians need the help of fellow soldiers of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul, though fully armed spiritually, asked for the prayers of his brothers. (Eph. 6:19, 20) So elicit the prayers, help and guidance that mature Christians can provide, and stick close to God’s people, not missing meetings.
If wicked spirit forces assault, realize that the key to victory is to resist; yes, RESIST! Never tire of resisting. Keep on fighting, never for a moment relinquishing your Christian privileges under demon pressure. “Oppose the Devil, and he will flee from you.” (Jas. 4:7) Keep on opposing the Devil by seeking Jehovah, and he will deliver all those whose hearts are pure and clean and complete toward him with unselfish devotion and an undivided fear toward him. Keep your heart and mind upon the Word, will and work of Jehovah God. Keep on your spiritual armor, “that you may be able to stand firm against the machinations of the Devil,” resisting successfully till God’s kingdom stands triumphant over all wicked spirit forces.—Eph. 6:11.