You Should Talk to Demons... Properly
-Donald J. Ibbitson, PhD
The tongue is one of the post powerful weapons so why don’t more Christians use it more frequently to speak to the demonic realm? Demon spirits cannot read our mind or understand prayer languages (speaking in tongues) but they certainly can hear.
If the truth be known, the demonic realm is fearful of Christ-followers who walk in the fullness of the Word, power and authority we have and we need to use every advantage at our disposal.
The tongue is a creative force for good or for evil (Proverbs 18:21). We know that God spoke the world into being, that Christ commanded us to speak to our mountains and that the same power that raised Christ from the dead indwells believers.
Mark 16:17 tells us that Christ’s followers have the authority and the power to drive out demons. Deliverance is one aspect of spiritual warfare but discerning and resisting spirits is another. When we discern a demonic spirit in proximity, how do we send it away?
- By praying to God to do it?
- By binding and rebuking?
- Just ignore it and maybe it will go away on its own?
In Matthew 4:3-10, Jesus had a “conversation” with Satan. If you look at that conversation, it was more a case of Satan talking and tempting and Jesus responding with Scripture. At the conclusion of the exchange, Jesus said, “Away from me, Satan”. After two temptations, He commanded the devil to go and then gave him a final scripture (Deut 6:13) to explain why!
Is that our model? Are we to talk to demons at all? Some deliverance ministries believe that one can ask demons about their legal rights to be in a person when they are having difficulty getting them to leave. We generally don’t subscribe to that approach (demons are liars after all so how can you believe what they say?) but have used that approach on occasion.
We believe that one in general should not interact with demons. We command demons to leave during the deliverance session just as Jesus did; in fact that was His primary way of communication with/to them. What does it mean for us today? In terms of spiritual warfare apart from deliverance ministry, we suggest two approaches:
- Speak scripture out loud as Jesus did. It had the effect of letting Satan knew that He (Jesus) knew who He was and that the temptations were not going to be effective. The same principle applies to us: declaring the Word builds up our faith and lets the demons know their tactical adventure has failed. Remember, if you want demons to hear you, you must speak out loud. They do not read minds.
- Command the spirits to depart! Jesus did it! This one may be a little controversial for some but we believe that if you discern a spirit you can command it to leave! Don’t you think it’s possible that that’s one application of what James had in mind that when we submit to God and resist the devil (or demons), he/they will flee! There are certainly times when this is not feasible (when someone else is around typically) but my experience is that demons tend to get our best attention when we are alone!