Are Epileptic Seizures Demonic?

Allow me to make the disclaimer that I am not saying every incident of a seizure is caused by a demon (or demons), however, the Bible does leave open the possibility that it can be the cause.

In the Bible, there is an account of a boy with epileptic-like seizures recorded in three of the four Gospels (Matthew 17:14–18; Mark 9:14–29; Luke 9:38–42). Only in Matthew’s account (in the ESV, NKJV and several other Bible versions) is the word epileptic used to describe the boy; the NASB and KJV say “lunatic,” based on the original Greek word’s meaning of “moonstruck.” The NIV, ESV and several other Bible versions say, “He has seizures.” In Mark and Luke, the desperate father of the boy states that his son is “possessed by a spirit” and “a spirit seizes him.” To summarize what occurs with the boy in terms of the symptoms in the three Gospels: convulsions, sudden screaming, foaming at the mouth, gnashing of teeth, lack of speech, falling or slammed to the ground, rolling on the ground, rigidity, and self-harm. Jesus, Matthew, Mark, and Luke all call it a demon (or devil in the KJV), and Jesus cast it out as He did other demons. He called the spirit an impure spirit or unclean spirit (or deaf and dumb spirit in the KJV) and told the spirit to not return.

If the cause of a person’s convulsions or seizures is demons then the issue is fundamentally a spiritual issue. No medical treatment can be a remedy for a spiritual issue.

The following are testimonies of deliverance by such a spirit by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ:

A thrilling and moving story is told by Mrs. Frances Manuel, a Christian worker of Orlando, Florida. At the leading the Lord, this dedicated servant of God was to become the adoptive mother of Beverly, the girl whose deliverance from demonic power is recounted here.

When Frances Manuel first met Beverly, she was not really a child but almost as helpless as one, though in her late teens. Her face showed unmistakable evidences of fear and terrible inner turmoil. Her body displayed the scars of suffering and sin. Her whole being seemed to cry out in pitiable desperation, ‘Help! Please, somebody help me!’

The Lord had helped her. In fact, He had saved her just a few months before at a well-known bible camp. But the perplexing thing was how any Christian could be in the distressing condition Beverly was in.

Part of Beverly’s trouble was due to her having been addicted to heroin. When she was saved, however, she had been completely delivered from the habit. Even so, one doctor to whom she had been taken advised that unless she resumed taking heroin in small doses under his direction, she would die.

‘I don’t have to live’ was her reply, ‘but I do have to stay away from dope! God saved me from that!’

In the early days of her association with Mrs. Manuel, Beverly had several strange seizures in which she lapsed into a prolonged coma. Asked how long she had been having these spells of unconsciousness, she said they had never been really bad until she had believed on Christ and was saved.

Mrs. Manuel had already concluded that Beverly’s condition might be demonic. But how could this be? She had been taught and fully believed that a Christian could not be demonized. Yet, here before her was a case that apparently denied that and made her cry out to the Lord for wisdom to discern the truth.

It was at this time, as Beverly came out of her first coma and Mrs. Manuel witnessed her utter helplessness, that the Lord spoke to her about adopting Beverly as her daughter. It was a task she knew to be totally beyond her. But her faith surmounted all obstacles. After conflict, she yielded and entered into the assignment of becoming Beverly’s new mother.

At that time Mrs. Manuel declared, ‘It was not Beverly’s sin… nor the enormity of her need… that impressed me. It was the purity of her heart…. In her subconscious state she revealed a cleansed spirit and a heartfelt knowledge of the Lord Jesus… that moved me greatly.’

But the new mother-daughter relationship, instead of bringing victory, was the signal for war. Violent seizures– more violent and frequent than any the daughter had gone through up to that time faced them. In the deep comas, she would be hurled out of bed on her hurled out of bed on her head with fearful force, as if by an intelligent being. In this state of unconsciousness she could not be awakened, although during these blackouts she occasionally spoke from her subconscious mind.

During such lapses into the demonized state, when the evil spirits took over, she would manifest superhuman strength–screaming, writhing, kicking, foaming at the mouth, clawing, and biting. Her eyes would glow with an ominous supernatural luster. Most despicably she would spit, usually the offense being aimed at her mother.

As she grew increasingly worse, at times she would make bestial sounds with her face taking on an animal-like expression. At times she would snarl and bark like a dog. At other times she would hiss like a serpent or laugh like a hyena.

Yet, with all these evidences, Mrs. Manuel still wondered if her adopted daughter suffered from true demon invasion. god answered her through a missionary from Brazil who had dealt with many cases of demonization on the field and who was thoroughly conversant with the phenomenon. When the missionary saw Beverly in a seizure, he immediately recognized her condition as not only a bona fide case of demon invasion, but one of unusual severity.

Uncertainty was now turned to assurance as far as Mrs. Manuel was concerned. The missionary, standing as her ally, with prayer confronted the demonic powers in Beverly with the bold command: ‘Demon, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I demand you to give your name and come out of her.’

Immediately eight demons gave their names in voices utterly distinct from Beverly’s, though her vocal cords were employed. As the demons left, Beverly writhed, screamed, and nearly choked. Awakening out of the demonized state, she was left limp and exhausted. But perfect peace settled over her as she thanked and praised God for His mercy.

The missionary outlined the procedure to repulse further attacks and pointed out the strategy for an offensive to secure eventual complete deliverance. Further onslaughts came in the following months, always suddenly without warning. Beverly’s mother, together with a small band of recruits who stood with her, would sing, read Scripture and pray, directly confronting and challenging the demons.

The fierce struggle with the demonic host indwelling Beverly lasted until October 14, 1956, the day she marked when her final deliverance took place. During this long war with intermittent terrible attacks, an incredible number of demons were expelled. Yet the struggle had been largely defensive, the sinister powers somehow taking the offensive and attacking at will and almost wearing out their opponents with exhaustion.

This undoubtedly was one of many reasons for the protracted conflict. There were obvious other reasons. God was showing Beverly and all concerned the exceeding heinousness and harmfulness of sin as well as His grace and holiness. If quick victory had been granted, Beverly might have been tempted to give ground for reinvasion of the demon hordes.

Then, too, Mrs. Manuel and her helpers needed to discover that they had foolishly allowed the powers of darkness to take the initiative to attack at their will to wear them down and delay, if not rule out, complete victory altogether. When God’s servants saw their mistake and boldly seized the offensive, complete victory was promptly realized.

At the last memorable session, when the final demons made their exit, Beverly writhed, groaned, and coughed in indescribable agony. Suddenly there was a complete lull. There she lay fully conscious, perfectly relaxed. Looking up at her mother and smiling serenely, she said faintly, ‘Mother, they’re all gone!’ Totally exhausted, she fell into a deep and restful sleep.

At last the Lord’s child, taken captive by the powers of darkness, was free-free indeed! ‘If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed’ (John 8:36).

On two occasions afterward, Beverly had encounter with the demon army that had invaded and possessed her. They returned to demand reentrance. But no longer could they enter at will. It required Beverly’s consent. This, of course, she steadfastly refused. Praise God! These evil spirits have long since ceased their wicked demands. Beverly was perfectly delivered to live a normal happy Christian life, later assuming the role of a devoted Christian wife and mother.”

(What Demons Can Do To Saints, 75-78)

Christian author and theologian Kurt Koch wrote:

“While on a lecture tour of Brazil a few years ago, a young man of 31 came up to me after one of the meetings. He told me that he suffered from severe attacks every fours weeks, in fact during the nights of the full moon. His doctor had tried treating him for epilepsy but there had been no improvement at all in his condition. However, what troubled him most was not so much his strange illness but rather the fact that he found it almost impossible to exercise faith and to pray. After talking with him at considerable length I discovered that both his mother and grandmother had been active charmers. In south America these sorcerers are called the ‘bruchos’. The term seems to be derived from the German word ‘Brauchen’, which means a process of magical charming. Further questioning revealed that my story-teller had been once charmed as a boy against an illness.

As a result of this counselling session the young Brazilian confessed his sins, and in prayer renounced the occult practices of his ancestors. Following this, by the grace of God he was wonderfully healed, or rather delivered.

An example like this, which could be supported by hundreds of similar instances from a ministry which has lasted now for 40 years, raises innumerable problems in the minds of many people.

Many of today’s modern theologians and doctors are immediately angered when they hear of epileptic fits and similar attacks being associated with sorcery. A well-known psychiatrist once said, ‘Theologians should stop meddling in illnesses like this, and leave them to the experts.’

Does this mean then that we should just throw in the towel? Never! However, to avoid any misunderstanding arising let me say quite clearly that some forms of epilepsy are entirely explicable in medical terms and are completely unrelated to the sins of sorcery. For instance, the type of epileptic fit that can be localized to a particular part of the brain by means of probes is demonstrably pathological in nature. Let each one of us then keep within the limits of his own practice.

Many Christians already find it difficult to understand why Jesus was prepared to say that certain people were demon possessed, when for all intents and purposes they appeared to be suffering from epilepsy. The so-called experts of today usually retort that Jesus was merely a child of his times. ‘He didn’t know any better, and anyway, the Bible isn’t a medical textbook. Today, we are more informed.”

However, I find it impossible to accept this present day outlook. Many years of counselling have shown me that Jesus was right in all that he said.

(Occult Bondage, 7-8)

The following quote is quoted in the book Battling the Occult (26-27):

This 32-year-old, twice-married female was brought in because of failing spells which had been treated with all kinds of anti-convulsant medication. She was examined on the neurosurgical service and after all examinations including EEG, brain scan, and a pneumoencephalogram were negative, she was transferred to the psychiatric service. Her mental status examination was unremarkable and all of the staff commented that she seemed normal until she had her first “spell.”

While standing at the door of the day room, she was violently thrown to the floor bruising her arm severely. She was picked up and carried to her room, all the while resisting violently…. Her facial expression was one of anger and hate. Sedation resulted in sleep. During the ensuing weeks, the patient was treated psychotherapeutically and it was learned that there was considerable turmoil in her childhood home, but because she was “pretty” she was spoiled…. After her second marriage she continued to associate with her “high living” friends. When her husband demanded she give up her friends and her parties, she started having the “spells.” The usual psychotherapeutic treatment for hysteria including interviews under sodium amytol only aggravated her spells. Seclusion in the closed section brought her assaultive and combative behavior to an end, but sh would have spells in which she became mute, especially when religious matters were discussed. More dramatically, when the names of Jesus or Christ were mentioned she would immediately go into a trance. One one occasion, while in a coma, in desperation, an exorcism was conducted and a demon was removed and her “spells” ceased…. The patient had recovered and been well ever since.

The author further wrote:

“This psychiatrist concludes his article by saying that, reluctant as he was to accept the activity of evil spirits, he nonetheless found that real healing came only when deliverance prayer in the name of Jesus was offered in faith. He said that a number of his patients had not responded at all to conventional treatment, and he was now convinced that what they really needed was spiritual help and deliverance from evil.”


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.”

8 thoughts on “Are Epileptic Seizures Demonic?

  1. Anonymous

    I am not possessed. I have epilepsy and the fact that people deny that epilepsy is purely physical is absurd. So you’re just gonna assume I’m an awful person cause I have seizures. Wow, christians probably break the Americans with Disabilities Act a lot.


  2. Abc123

    I am not possessed. I have epilepsy and the fact that people deny that epilepsy is purely physical is absurd. So you’re just gonna assume I’m an awful person cause I have seizures. Wow, christians probably break the Americans with Disabilities Act a lot.


  3. Steve

    Of course the Bible describes epilepsy under the nature of demons because the culture in this era did not have the science that we take for granted. This doesn’t mean that epilepsy is imposed by demons. The culture of Biblical era did not even have a microscope to learn that the brain was composed of more than 100 billion cells with intricate pathways that when damaged could cause an effect. It is terribly unethical for someone to abuse the authority of the Bible citing epilepsy under the nature of demons because it will result in a cultural response that blames the victim. Nobody will check the authority of this assumption, they will all just “OK” under the fear that they will go to hell if they don’t. So if you choose to believe that epileptics are possessed by demons, you better turn to the church the next time you puke from the flu and get those demons cast out of your body. Don’t get a vaccine, as it will be sin when you will surrender to the devil’s science. That authority is a little dangerous isn’t it?


  4. I have a friend who I believe hears demonic voices speak to him often. He withdraws and suffers alone. his name is Joe and I’ve known him since I was 8 years old. if you know how I can help him please respond.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. elias herman

    my sister has epilepsy and she is also possessed, when those spirits invade her she falls down her body tightens. when she is taken into prayer some voice speaks in her, they claim she is intelligent, but they don’t want to be so. she was invaded at the age of 12 now she is 18 her school is going well as previously. all that time we have been earnestly praying but she has not delivered, our prayer is not in vain because sometimes when she is possessed she runs anywhere luckily she has never disappeared always our prayer brought her back.
    one day she disappeared until the middle night, we never slept we prayed all the time. around 00:00s a.m we heard a car around our apartment, then someone knocked on the door when we opened it, a man entered with my sister behind so he told us how he found her, and more miraculously he claimed to be driven by strange power to help her when we asked her what happened she said an elder woman convinced to take her home so she had been following that an old woman. it is a long testimony to appear here but until now my sister has not fully delivered. what else can we do or should we keep waiting for the right time of god?


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