What is demonic oppression

Demonic Oppression – Is it NOT God’s will

It is very disappointing when I see many who are being harassed by evil spirits being told that it is normal for God’s children to be oppressed. What a lie from the pits of hell! They are actually preaching a very weak version of the gospel! The Jesus that I serve came to set the captives free, and heal ALL who were oppressed, clearly showing us that oppression is NOT God’s will:

Acts 10:38, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”

I do not serve a Jesus that wants His people to be harassed or oppressed by demons. My heavenly Father wants His children set free! Does this theology work in the real world? Yes! I have seen people who are oppressed SET FREE as demons and their legal rights and strongholds were dealt with… not simply resisted or ignored!

“Isn’t resisting the devil the answer to oppression?”

Many use James 4:7 to establish a doctrine that if we resist the devil and draw near to God, the devil will flee; thus solving the problem of demonic oppression. This is true when interpreted in the context of James 4, which is speaking of temptations that is thrown at us in the world today. What James 4 is not talking about is demonic oppression, vexation, possession and harassment. This verse was taken out of context to say something that it never really said! I have a teaching just on this verse that you may like to read: Resist the devil and he’ll flee (Exposing a misinterpretation)

How Jesus did NOT handle oppression

Many people today believe that us Christians are to handle oppression simply by drawing near to God, resisting the devil, and their demons will go away. Sounds great… but that’s not how Jesus helped to those who were oppressed.

Acts 10:38, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”

Jesus did NOT tell the people, “You should be drawing near to God and resisting those things… they’ll leave you alone!”… did He? No, He did something about their oppression… He didn’t tell them to deal with it themselves by resisting those demons and drawing near to God.

Demonic oppression and vexation

Oppression in the NT Greek is referring to a person having a host of fallen angels (Satan’s army or ‘domain’ if you want to get Greek savvy) exercised against a person. To be vexed with a demon means to be harassed, tormented or troubled by an evil spirit. The meanings of these two words are virtually saying the same thing.

If you have a demon(s) exercised against you (oppressed of the devil), you will be tormented, troubled or harassed by evil spirits.

Matthew 15:22, “And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.”

If you look up the phrase ‘vexed with a devil’ in the NT Greek, we find the word daimonizomai, which is the same word used behind the phrase ‘possessed with a devil’. This Greek word has several meanings. It can mean a person is under the demon’s power, harassed, troubled, tormented by evil spirits or simply to have an unclean spirit.

How did Jesus ‘heal’ (make whole or cure) those with unclean spirits?

When people that try to tell me that it is normal to be oppressed, it is usually coming from individuals who have little or no experience with casting out of demons. In Matthew 12:22, we are told of a man who Jesus healed from an unclean spirit.

“Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.”

If we look down the page a few verses, we find out how Jesus healed this man:

“But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.” (v.24)

The word healed means to be made whole or cured of something. When Jesus healed those with unclean spirits, He was making them whole and curing (restoring) them by removing those unclean spirits. What means did He cure (restore) the man’s eyesight above? By casting out the unclean spirit behind his blindness!

How did the early church handle oppression?

Not surprisingly, this pattern of ‘healing all that were oppressed’ was carried right into the early church.

Acts 5:16, “There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.”

Notice that everyone who was vexed (harassed, tormented or troubled) by evil spirits were healed – that is – made whole or cured (restored). People came to the early church that were oppressed, and they were gloriously set free… not some… but EVERY ONE of them!

How do you minister to the oppressed?

If somebody is being harassed by an evil spirit, I believe there is always a reason for it. What they are experiencing is the symptoms on the surface of an underlying spiritual problem. It could be as simple as a stronghold that the demon is using as a means to harass the person. There could be a legal right he’s using as an excuse to trouble the person. I usually like to address these two first, and if the person is still harassed, I believe it is time to walk them through a deliverance and go after the spirit(s) that are troubling them.

The truth is, without the casting out of demons, a minister will turn away many who are oppressed without ministering complete freedom to them. They will walk away still oppressed and harassed when they could have been set free. Balanced deliverance ministering requires three key elements: the tearing down of strongholds, the breaking up of legal grounds and the casting out of demons. If you attempt the operate in a deliverance ministry and address only 1 or 2 of those areas, you will turn many away without completely setting them free. They may feel a change from your ministering, and some may be completely set free, but there will be those who will walk away still in a measure of bondage, and some that you will be unable to help at all. You wouldn’t dare try to make a pizza with the dough and the sauce but omit the cheese, would you? You wouldn’t attempt to use your computer with a keyboard and mouse but no monitor, would you? Why attempt to run a deliverance ministry and omit one of the three major areas where ministering is required? I believe it is important to be balanced and complete in this ministry.

Is there such a thing as spiritual warfare? YES! But it’s not the same as oppression! There is also a teaching that will show you the difference between spiritual warfare and oppression. Beyond the teachings on this site on spiritual warfare, I also have a special Spiritual Warfare Series that is packed with helpful teachings on this subject.