Demonic possession and oppression are a real phenomena and instances where people have dealt with them are all through the Bible from the Book of Genesis to Revelation.
Knowing how spirits work and operate not only allow you to identify them in someone’s life but enables you to walk in victory in every area. Spiritual warfare is real, and we have an adversary who roams around like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour.
We pray that this article train and equip you to stand against the fiery darts of the enemy and allow the mighty works of God to flow through you!
Names of Spirits Mentioned and Their Functions
Spirit of Adoption
“the placing as a son, that is, adoption (figuratively Christian sonship in respect to God)”
Romans 8:15 – For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The Spirit of Adoption has to be understood through sonship and understanding how the father and son relationship works within the covenant of God. The scriptures call the individuals who go about doing wickedness “the children of the devil” and those whose hearts are after righteousness “the children of God”. Spiritual adoption takes place when God draws us to Himself, takes away our heart of stone and gives us a heart of flesh. Once this happens, our hearts that once desired to do wickedness now cry out Abba Father. Through this adoption, the Holy Spirit seals our hearts through faith in Christ. Although we may still stumble, we continue to get back up. The scriptures declare, for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes in Proverbs 24:16. This is also shown in the story of the prodigal son.
Spirit of fear; Power, Love, Sound Mind
2 Timothy 1:7 – For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
“(to be put in fear); alarm or fright: – be afraid”
Spirit of Fear
The spirit of fear uses intimidation to cause one to worry, doubt and live in unbelief. Fear is in direct opposition to faith and can hinder the flow of confidence that it takes to walk in the spirit of Christ. This spirit causes its host to play out scenarios that do not or may never exist, making one afraid and hopeless. It is said that the acronym for the word FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real, and this makes perfect sense.
When discussing the spirit of fear we must also address the healthy types of fear mentioned in the scriptures, such as the fear of The Lord. The Bible says this fear is the beginning of wisdom. This fear is more of a respect for His authority rather than being afraid of Him. Proverbs 8:13 says that The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way. This is wisdom.
Spirit of Power
“Greek word ‘Dunamis’ which means miracle working power/ Might, Strength”
Power relates back to Acts chapter 1:8,
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, we receive power to be witnesses unto God. That’s the “dunamis”, or the miracle working power. The scripture also says in Mark 16:17, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues.” Throughout the scriptures we see the prophets, disciples and apostles doing supernatural feats including healing, divine multiplication, prophesying, foretelling the future and having knowledge of the past, casting out of demons and performing many other great signs and wonders. This power was not just for them, but their exploits are left as an example for us. The writings of Paul urge believers to desire and to “lust” after spiritual gifts that are freely given by God to all.
Spirit of Love
2 Timothy speaks about the Spirit of Love. In scripture, the Greek word used and its context is very important, because there are different words for love that show varying degrees of how much love is being shown. The Greek word used here for love is Agape, which is the greatest form of love and is also one of the manifested fruits of The Holy Spirit. It is no respecter of persons and knows no wrongs. The other types of love mentioned in the New Testament are from the words Phileo, Storge and Eros.
Phileo is the love we have towards friends and it oftentimes can we wavered and built upon stipulations.
Storge love is the love that parents instinctually have towards their children and shows a deeper connection in friendship that the Phileo type of love.
Eros is the passionate and romantic type of love dealing with the emotions and on a sexual level.
These three levels of love can change in a person’s life and relationship due to circumstance and actions, but the Agape form of love is the highest of the named words for love. This is the love that the Heavenly Father extends towards us, and we are to take that same love into the world through fellowship with The Holy Spirit. Some of the traits of this love can be found in the book of Galatians chapter 5:22-23, which reads, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” These are the manifested character traits that come from The Spirit of Love. These are specifications by which Jesus commands us to judge all things. We are not to judge by doctrine or dogma, but by their fruit. Out of all things, Love is the greatest.
A Sound Mind
The spirit of a sound mind is like the previous example of Agape love, because its essence comes out of fellowship with God through spiritual practice. It is also mentioned as a fruit of the Holy Spirit. The meaning comes from the Greek word meaning temperance or self-control. When studying these principles, in order for one thing to be true, the exact opposite must also apply. The opposite of self-control is what the scriptures call having “Fits of Rage”. These are known as the deeds of the flesh. The spirit of a sound mind is in operation when the world is falling apart all around us, but we are able to keep cool, calm and collected in these situations. This is a peace that is supernatural because it comes straight from Jesus as mentioned in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. It is what we call a peace that surpasses all understanding.”
Deaf, Dumb & Foul Spirit
Mark 9:25 – When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
The deaf and dumb spirit is a literal spirit of infirmity that causes one to not be able to hear or speak. These spirits can be cast out by the power of God and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The Testament of Solomon says of these spirits in verse 54, “But I blind children in women’s wombs, and twirl their ears round. And I make them deaf and mute. And I have again in my third head means of slipping in. And I smite men in the limbless part of the body, and cause them to fall down, and foam, and grind their teeth. But I have my own way of being frustrated, Jerusalem being signified in writing, unto the place called ‘of the head.” For there is fore-appointed the angel of the great counsel, and now he will openly dwell on the cross. He doth frustrate me, and to him am I subject.”
The deaf spirit is mentioned in the Testament of Solomon in verse 76, “The fifth (demon) said: “I am called Iudal, and I bring about a block in the ears and deafness of hearing. If I hear, ‘Uruel Iudal,’ I at once retreat.”
The Testament of Solomon is a key piece of writing in understanding how spirits work and operate. It also gives info on which demonic spirits are associated with different ailments and infirmities, and also includes the accompanying angels and planets that bind them.
These spirits work by intimidation, causing people to be void of understanding and knowledge and causing them not to be able to learn or hear the truth.
These spirits can cause someone who knows the truth to be intimidated into keeping silent, succumbing to self-doubt, fear, and timidity. The spirits understand the power of the spoken word in confessions (1John 1:9), positive affirmations (Proverbs 18:21) and declarations (Romans 10:9-10). These spirits know about the law of binding and losing. They would stop at nothing for you to be blind to the power that resides within you.
“impure (ceremonially, morally (lewd) or specifically (demonic): – foul, unclean.
The foul spirit abides on its hosts and entices one to be lewd and nasty in manner and language. There are times during the deliverance of this demon that the person undergoes a change of countenance. Their face could change, even morphing on some occasions. I have seen some of the most shy and polite people change in an instant and begin to utter the most horrific profanities imaginable that they would never use. The foul spirit also tries to make the person degrade themselves, in many cases playing with their own urine or feces, leaving the person mentally disturbed. That is the state that they wish to see their prey in.
The foul spirit often carries with it a rude stench similar to that of garbage, vomit or rotting flesh. Many people have experienced this smell while performing exorcisms during the deliverance of demonic spirits. However, while in ecstatic experiences with God there are accounts of smelling beautiful aromas of honey, incense, frankincense, flowers and sweet smelling fragrances.
Song of Solomon 1:3 says, “Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out.”
Spirit of Heaviness
“To be weighed down, Tired, Under Pressure”
Isaiah 61:3 – To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.
The spirit of heaviness operates in many ways, one being the lack of motivation due to circumstance and situations. This brings about hopelessness to cripple an individual spiritually. This spirit acts as a yoke of oppression and can even feel like a literal weight upon ones shoulders. When the spirit of heaviness is released, the person oftentimes feels lighter physically, emotionally and spiritually. Many who operate under this spirit feel as if they must have an answer for everything and feel like they have to carry everyone else’s burdens. Empaths using the discernment of spirits can actually feel this emotional and spiritual baggage carried by individuals around them. When an empath comes in contact with a person under the spirit of heaviness, they could feel this baggage and weight and mistakenly believe that it is their own. This spirit must be dealt with through intercessory prayer and consecration. If not, the spirit will then also linger with the empath who had the supernatural gift to sense its presence. Another way to get free from this spirit’s oppression is to offer up the sacrifice of praise unto God. For the scripture says in Isaiah 61:3, “to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” Praise immediately brings right focus to every circumstance and situation that we are facing and acts as a garment of protection or a hiding place from unclean spirits in the demonic realms.
Spirit of Whoredom
“Idolatry, Chasing after of other things”
Hosea 4:12 – My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.
The spirit of whoredom causes one to live and die by the acceptance or rejection of others. It will go from person to person, group to group looking for affirmation that is only found in Father God alone. It is essentially the spirit of prostitution that causes the person to sell themselves short for momentary acceptance. Contextually this term is used when Israel turned her back on Yahweh and went after foreign gods. Most of the time, the person inwardly knows that what they are doing is wrong and they continue to do it to lash out or prove a point to someone. The individual ends up with more baggage than they expected, because they have entered into contracts with beings that have their own interest in mind.
Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
The haughty spirit is an unteachable spirit. It influences a person to always have to be right, even when proven wrong. Cognitive dissonance is when a person refuses to change their mind or belief, even when shown proof of its falsehood. Operating under cognitive dissonance, the person under the influence of the haughty spirit will cling to a belief tooth and nail, never admitting error in fear of losing validity. This spirit disables a person or teacher from walking in true humility by lording prideful arrogance through doctrine and dogma. It is a controlling spirit of pride, which cometh before a fall.
Spirit of Antichrist
“an opponent of the Messiah”
1 John 4:3 – And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
Many people confuse the spirit of antichrist with the antichrist of Revelation. These are two different representations of the same spirit. 1 John 4:3 tells us, “but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” You will find this spirit abiding within well-meaning people who seem to be some of the nicest people imaginable. Things change when the name of Jesus is mentioned and their countenance begins to change simply over the mention of that name.
Spirit of Divination or Spirit of Python
“a Python, (by analogy with the supposed diviner there) inspiration (soothsaying)”
Acts 16:16 – And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
It can be a little tricky to understand the spirit of Python due to the translation of the Bible. The English the word used is “divination”. Divination by itself is not something bad or something to be afraid of. This is not a correct translation because the passage is talking about a woman who is channeling the spirit of Python. The Greek word used here is Python referring to the Pythian serpent that was said to have guarded the oracle at Delphi and that was slain by Apollo. The prophets and disciples all participated in forms of divination and ritual in order to communicate with God. It is all about the intention and manner of which one uses this tool. In the case of the spirit of Python, the texts show us how people are able to channel foreign spirits in order to gain information about people and circumstances. In the end there is usually a high price to pay for this information.
“Impure, morally (lewd) or specifically (Devil)): – foul, unclean.”
(See Foul Spirit Mentioned Above)
Matthew 12:43 & Luke 4:33 – When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
Spirit of Slumber
(Referring To Isaiah 29:10) “Perhaps by some confusion”
Romans 11:8 – According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear; unto this day.
The spirit of slumber, or spirit of “Deep Sleep” as mentioned in Isaiah 29:10, was sent directly from Yahweh to close the eyes of the prophets and seers. The spirit of slumber was used by God upon the ones who were well learned and well-studied in the wisdom of books and universities. This spirit prevented them from understanding the mysteries of God, because it is not something to be learned from a book. On the contrary, the mysteries of God are to be experienced through the living word of God. The Bible says that God has made it impossible for them that are learned to understand the wisdom of the scriptures. The scripture states that, “Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful” 1 Corinthians 1:27. We also see this when Jesus chose his disciples from a group of men who were unlearned and rough around the edges. God does this so that we cannot boast in our own understanding and studies. He bids all men to come unto Him and learn and He alone will reveal unto them the things that cannot be fathomed by mortal men, the secrets of Heaven.
“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:14
Spirit of Error
“Straying from orthodoxy or piety: – deceit, to deceive, delusion”
1 John 4:6 – We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
The spirit of error refers to someone who is being led away into strange doctrine contrary to what has already been established by the apostles. In many cases, this is speaking about straying away from what Paul calls the simplicity of the gospel. Many people who are called into the deep waters of the mysteries of God soon find themselves like Peter. Once they step foot off of the boat, they find themselves sinking in unbelief and trying to rationalize their faith and doubts. This is not a bad thing, it is a part of the process. The way to make sure that you don’t sink is to simply do what Peter did while sinking in the ocean of despair. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Do not forsake your first love. Let everything that you do and everything that you share be fueled by the fire of that first love of Christ Jesus. This is what it means to guard your heart. This is also what Paul is referring to in the book of Galatians when he says, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you not to obey the truth.” The word bewitched used here is means “to fascinate (by false representations)”. Many well-meaning people have itching ears and have been led off of the boat only to drown in the sea of forgetfulness.
Spirit of Jezebel
“to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication”
Revlation 2:20 – Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
The spirit of Jezebel gets its name from Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, whose main goal was to kill the prophets of God. We learn the way that this spirit operates in the story of Jezebel in the book of 1 Kings. It is by lying, gossip and deception that we see this spirit operating in many churches today. In Revelation 2 we see that this was God’s major concern against the Church of Ephesus. They allowed the spirit of Jezebel to roam freely throughout their members. She is a master manipulator and will stop at nothing to silence the prophets of God, both then and now. Jezebel goes after those with a God given voice and brings along with her jealousy and envy. Jealous of the anointing, favor and platform that those around her have, she feels as if she deserves the notoriety and spotlight that is given only by God himself. One of the main ways that Jezebel tries to silence the prophets of God is by means of intimidation. If the person operating under the spirit of Jezebel does not repent, this person must be put out of fellowship in order to keep the fellowship of the saints safe.
“A spirit that has been with ones family in previous generations i.e. Generational Curse (ventriloquist, as from a jar): – bottle,”
1Samuel 28:3 – And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land
The familiar spirit is a spirit who tries to entice men with secrets. Bringing with it the spirit of err, the familiar spirit will entice a person to consult with demonic and unclean spirits through divination and soothsaying in order to get privy information that should come straight from the Father. The spirit knows that men and women thirst for knowledge and the spirit beckons to share it with others for a small fee, yet the price is never worth of consequence of the knowledge. Many new agers practice forms of channeling in which they open themselves up to familiar spirits and allow an entity to speak through them. In Wicca, this spirit is embodied within a spirit animal, which is why black cats are usually kept by practicing witches. Being with a family lineage for generations, this spirit also works to bring the sins of the fathers back unto the children, forming generational curses.
Spirit of Infirmity
“feebleness (of body or mind); by implication malady; moral frailty: – disease, infirmity, sickness, weakness”
Luke 13:11 – And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
The spirit of infirmity is a spirit of sickness and disease. Jesus knew this and thus knew that mental disorders and ailments usually stemmed from forms of demonic influence. This is why Jesus walked in authority, cleansing people vexed with spirits of infirmities. When a person is vexed with unclean spirits, it can lead to them having hypochondria. This is where the spirits will tell the person that they have many infirmities that they do not really have. This leads to worry and anxiety and will cause health and mental breakdowns.
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Have you ever seen any of these spirits at work? Have you ever taken part of a deliverance session and cast out a demon?
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