Some core telltale signs of a demonic attack (or demonic oppression) are that demons compel and enslave the person. It could be a compulsion to use drugs, drink alcohol, watch pornography, masturbate, attack someone (verbally, physically, or other), dabble with the occult, etc. Basically, anything that involves sin. It is possible for a person to be enslaved to a demon of anger, bitterness, hatred, or wrath. Not letting go of anger or having hatred, animosity, or bitterness towards someone can very well be the enemy manipulating the emotions of a person to be enslaved to such negative feelings.
But something that I think can easily be overlooked is that demons can cause physical sickness or infirmity. Research shows that lingering feelings of bitterness can affect you physically:
We all experience a bout of sour grapes from time to time, but experts are warning that being too bitter too often can actually make you ill.
Researchers who have examined the relationship between failure, bitterness and quality of life found that blaming others can lead to physical disease.
‘Persistent bitterness may result in global feelings of anger and hostility that, when strong enough, could affect a person’s physical health,’ says Carsten Wrosch, a professor in Montreal’s Concordia University Department of Psychology and a member of the Centre for Research in Human Development.
Unforgiveness is classified in medical books as a disease. According to Dr. Steven Standiford, chief of surgery at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, refusing to forgive makes people sick and keeps them that way.
With that in mind, forgiveness therapy is now being used to help treat diseases, such as cancer.
“It’s important to treat emotional wounds or disorders because they really can hinder someone’s reactions to the treatments, even someone’s willingness to pursue treatment,” Standiford explained.
Of all cancer patients, 61 percent have forgiveness issues, and of those, more than half are severe, according to research by Dr. Michael Barry, a pastor and the author of the book, The Forgiveness Project.
I don’t doubt that a lot of physical sicknesses are spiritually caused. However, I am not going to be dogmatic and declare all physical sickness is the consequence of a demonic attack. But with my experience in deliverance, I have come to know that harboring feelings of bitterness or forgiveness or deliverance can open doors for demons to come into a person’s life. The established link in the medical field with bitterness and unwillingness to forgive with physical sickness bolsters the idea, in my view, that it could very well be an affliction by a demon, particularly a spirit of infirmity.
I believe Hollywood has greatly distorted our ideas on telltale symptoms of demonic affliction. Not everyone who has demons acts like the little girl in the film The Exorcist (which by the way the people involved with the film got messages via the use of the Ouija board) with her head-turning and crawling up the wall, although the Gadarenes demonic (Luke 8:26-39) could fit this description. There are cases in the Bible where people had demons, but if we would encounter them today, it would likely never cross our minds the person was afflicted or inflicted by them. For example, the blind and mute man (Matthew 12:22) and the woman with a bent back (Luke 13:11).
In Matthew 18, Jesus gives us this parable about our need to forgive and the consequences of not forgiving others:
“23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”
Who are these tormentors? These tormentors in my view are demonic spirits to which a person opened the doors to because of a lack of forgiveness.
The scriptures also read that bitterness can defile a person:
(Hebrews 12:14-15) “14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;“
I take it to be defiled in a spiritual sense. When one holds onto bitterness, that just rolls the red carpet out for the enemy to come in.
The scriptures also read how not to hold onto anger, embitterment, or wrath which can allow the enemy into your life, “26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:27Neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27).
There are many other scriptures that read similarly that we should put away bitterness and lack of forgiveness:
Ephesians 4:31 “31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:”
Matthew 6:14-15 “14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Mark 11:25 “25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Ecclesiastes 7:9“9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.”
Proverbs 10:12“12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.”
From my experiences with deliverance, sometimes a person won’t receive any (or will receive only minimal) deliverance through prayer unless the person lets go of their lack of forgiveness and confesses it to the Lord. Forgiveness issues and other unrepentant sins (especially sins involving the occult and New Age) seem to be the biggest legal rights one can give the enemy to come in.
The Bible is clear in Ephesians 6, “12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
A lot of the battle takes place in the mind. We have to submit all of ourselves to the Lord, resist the devil, and he will flee (James 4:7).
If this resonates with you or someone you know, share, and please don’t hesitate to send a message for counsel or ask for prayer for deliverance.
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can receive Him into your heart, and He can deliver you from darkness and sin and have your name written in His Book of Life.
If you are sincere, you can say this simple prayer to the Father (it doesn’t have to be word for word):
“God, I recognize that I have not lived my life for You up until now. I have been living for myself and that is wrong. Please forgive me of all of my sins just as I forgive others. I need You in my life; I want You in my life. I acknowledge the completed work of Your only begotten Son Jesus Christ in giving His life for me on the cross, I believe in my heart Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead and I long to receive the forgiveness you have made freely available to me through this sacrifice. Come into my life now, Lord. Take up residence in my heart and be my king, my Lord, and my Savior. From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin, or the desire to please myself, but I will follow You all the days of my life. Those days are in Your hands. I ask this in the Lord and GOD Jesus’ precious and holy name. Amen.”
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