|SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Demons of Sickness and Infirmity
HIS GLORY REIGNS
Sep 26 2008 08:00AM
Jesus made no hard-and-fast distinction between healing sickness and expelling demons.
"Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his
hands on every one of them, and healed them. And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art
Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ." Luke 4:40-
This account makes it clear that many of their sicknesses were caused by demons. Demons can, I (Derek Prince)
believe, be the cause of almost every kind of physical pain and sickness, but it takes discernment to distinguish
between sicknesses or pains that have a demonic cause and those that are purely physical. With our limited
understanding, we may find it difficult to envisage how a spiritual entity such as a demon can occupy a physical space,
such as an area of the human body. But whether we understand it or not, the fact is that it happens and that is
depicted frequently in Scripture.
The gospels record that Jesus healed the mute, deaf, and blind by expelling demons (see Matthew 9:32-33; 12:22;
Luke 11:14). In Luke 13:11-16 Jesus met a woman who had suffered from what we might call spinal curvature or
scoliosis for eighteen years. Although her condition seemed to be purely physical, Jesus declared that she had been
bound by a "spirit of infirmity." On that basis He set her free and she was completely healed. In Mark 9:17-29 Jesus
dealt with a boy who had the symptoms of epilepsy. He confronted it, however, as "a dumb and deaf spirit" (verse 25).
When the demon was expelled, the boy was healed. Nearly two thousand year have passed, but the same principles
In the early 1970's a young woman of eighteen came to Lydia and me (Derek Prince) for prayer. She had been
diagnosed with epilepsy, which was controlled by medication. When she heard some of my teaching, she wondered if
her epilepsy might be caused by an evil spirit.
When Lydia and I prayed for her and commanded the demon of epilepsy to leave her, it came out. But then I felt the
Lord telling me, Your job isn't finished. So I asked the girl, "How did your seizures start? Was it through a physical
"Yes," she replied. "I was struck on the head by a baseball, and after that the seizures started."
I explained to her that the physical injury opened the "door" by which the spirit of epilepsy entered. "Now that the spirit
has gone out" I said, "we need to close the door so that it can't come in again."
So Lydia and I laid hands on her head and prayed for the healing of her brain. We remained in contact with the young
woman for about two years. During that time she took no further medication and suffered no further seizures.
A few years ago another woman came to me with her daughter of about eighteen.
"Mr. Prince," she said, "ten years ago you prayed for me and I was delivered from the spirit of epilepsy. Here's my
daughter. She has the same problem. Please pray for her."
Ruth and I prayed for the daughter, commanding the demon of epilepsy to leave, and she was healed, just as her
mother had been.
A friend of mine, an evangelist, was asked to pray for someone with epilepsy. When he came against the epileptic
spirit, the spirit - not the person - replied, "You fool! I've been medically certified.
Demons know how to adapt to modern medical procedure and terminology!
I should add here that two members of our large combined family, not related to one another, have received healing
from epilepsy through prayer without any outward manifestation - so Jesus still has different ways to deal with people
As a general rule, I (Derek Prince) do not pray for those who expect to be released only on the basis of my prayers. A
person unwilling to take an active stand against the demon will probably not have the defenses to keep it from
returning. Matthew 12:43-45 warns us that the evil spirit will return, bring "seven other spirits more wicked than himself...
and the last state of that man is worse than the first." The experience of Esther provides an example of demons trying
Blindness, Deafness, Muteness and Arthritis
In Hawaii a young man brought to Ruth and me (Derek Prince) his grandmother, who was about eighty and blind. She
was from French-speaking Switzerland, and her mother tongue was French. Although I was not conscious of having
any great faith, Ruth and I began to pray for her. Then, speaking in English, I commanded the spirit of blindness to
leave the woman. After a few moments, the woman turned to me and said in French, "Je vous vois" ("I can see you"). I
was both amazed and delighted.
In 1985 Ruth and I (Derek Prince) led a ministry team to Pakistan. Because it had been advertised that we would pray
for the sick, people came from all over Pakistan. Most of them were illiterate and quite undisciplined. One day the
women, who in that culture are seated separately, were extremely noisy and disorderly. Seeking to establish some
discipline, I announced, "This morning we will pray only for men."
Immediately about two hundred men rushed up to our team, all wanting prayer. Ruth and I encountered a man who
touched first his lips, then his ears, indicating that he was a deaf mute. Recalling that Jesus had expelled an evil spirit
from a deaf mute, I decided to do the same. I cannot say I had any special faith.
"You deaf mute spirit," I said, "in the name of Jesus, I command you to come out of this man."
I knew the man could not hear me, nor would he understand English. But the demon understood.
When I said to the man, "Now say hallelujah," he opened his mouth and shouted, "Hallelujah!" I took him to the leader
on the platform, who began to tell the people in Urdu about the miracle.
This report stirred up faith, and people began to bring other deaf mutes to us. (In a Muslim nation there is an unusually
high proportion of such cases.) In the next few minutes Ruth and I cast out deaf mute spirits from at least ten or more
men or boys, and all were healed. One exciting case was a boy of about five whose first word was umma (mama).
In 1980, at a large conference in South Africa, I (Derek Prince) was asked to conduct a seminar on healing and
deliverance for about a thousand people. The first day I taught on healing, then began praying individually for the sick.
The power of God was present and there were several dramatic healings.
Then a woman came forward with arthritis. I said to her, "I believe that your arthritis is a demon. Are you prepared to
have it cast out?"
She nodded, so Ruth and I laid hands on her and commanded the demon of arthritis to go. Within a few minutes she
said, "All my pain has gone! I'm healed."
As the people applauded and thanked Jesus, I sensed that their collective faith had risen so that it was no longer
necessary to minister to each person individually. I asked all those suffering from arthritis to stand. About thirty people
all over the auditorium rose to their feet. After explaining to them what I intended to do, I took authority over every
demon of arthritis and commanded them to go in the name of Jesus. Then I told the people standing not to sit down
until their pain had left and they knew they were healed.
As Ruth and I went on praying for people with other sicknesses, those with arthritis began to sit down one by one. After
about fifteen minutes, none was left standing.
Some weeks later, traveling around South Africa, Ruth and I met several of these people individually, and they
confirmed to us that they had been healed that day.
Both Esther and her daughter, Rose, were delivered from a spirit of death. The spirit had entered Esther when she had
nearly died on the operating table - a moment of special weakness. We need to remember that Satan is a murderer
(see John 8:44). He uses the spirit of death to kill a person who would not die through purely natural causes.
This was corroborated by a Christian doctor, head of a clinic, who came to me after a meeting. "What you taught us
about the spirit of death," he said, "has helped me understand people who die without our finding any sufficient medical
cause of death. Now I realize that they are victims of the spirit of death."
Natural or Demonic? Discerning the Cause
In the previous chapters I have spoken about lying spirits that attack people's minds. In 1994 Ruth and I (Derek Prince)
experienced a different kind of attack from lying spirits. After battling a series of major illnesses for several years, Ruth
had received a word from the Lord: Your time of sickness is over. A few weeks later, on a day we had set aside for
prayer and fasting, Ruth was attacked by pain in every area of her body, from her head to her feet. She said, "O Lord,
please, not again!"
Through these years Ruth and I have learned not to give way to infirmity, but to stand on God's promises. So she said
to me, "I know I would feel better if I could worship the Lord, but I don't have the strength. Would you put on the Russian
worship cassette from the conference we did in Moscow last year? I believe it will help me."
Ruth was on the floor of our bedroom, and as she began to relax and worship the Lord, she exclaimed, "These are lying
symptoms - lying spirits - trying to steal God's promise from me!"
When we took our stand together, in the name of Jesus, against those lying spirits, Ruth was completely delivered from
In God's amazing grace, He went on to grant us a special serendipity for which there is no natural explanation. In Ruth's
quickly!" When I returned to the bedroom, I gasped! The whole room and adjoining bath were
fragrant with the scent of roses - like an English garden. It was as if the Lord Himself was there. I fell
on my face on the floor in adoration.
God had made Ruth and me "more than conquerors" (Romans 8:37). We came out of that trial with more than we had
when we went into it.
This experience brought to my mind other Christians who had received a genuine healing from the Lord, against whom
Satan had apparently directed lying spirits to undermine their faith and destroy their testimony. We need to "put on the
whole armor of God, that (we) may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11).
I (Derek Prince) need to emphasize that not all sicknesses are caused by demons. Many have other, natural causes.
This makes it important to identify sicknesses that are directly caused by demons.
In I Corinthians 12 Paul lists nine supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit available to believers. Of these there are two that
may help us to identify demons: literally, a word of knowledge and discerning of spirits (see verses 8, 10).
I have given a literal translation of these two phrases because the text indicates that each word of knowledge and each
act of discerning is an individual gift. Each, too, operates on a supernatural plane, not as the product of natural
reasoning or intelligence.
In Hebrews 4:12 the writer says, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword,
piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts
and intents of the heart."
It is this kind of insight that can come through a word of knowledge. It can penetrate the invisible areas of human
personality and reveal the identity of evil forces lurking there. Often the revelation comes in the form of a single word
or phrase impressed on the mind of the person ministering deliverance, or sometimes of the one receiving deliverance.
A demon thus identified might be colitis, crippling, asthma, schizophrenia, or cancer.
The presence of a demon, however, may not necessarily be revealed supernaturally. It may simply come about in the
normal course of personal counseling, in the same way that a doctor may diagnose a disease from the symptoms a
patient describes. In any event, it is particularly helpful to identify, if possible, the moment or place of
weakness through which a demon gained entrance.
There is another way demons can be contributory causes of sickness: there exists negative emotional spirits. While
not actually causing sickness, they can produce an attitude of mind that either opens the door to sickness or else
prevents sick people from receiving their healing by faith. Some examples of such negative spirits are rejection, fear,
grief, unforgiveness, discouragement, disappointment, and despair. In such cases, it is usually necessary to expel the
negative spirit before seeking to minister physical healing.
I have related just a few of the occasions on which I have seen the authority of Christ used with great effectiveness
against demons of sickness and infirmity. But I still regret the many occasions on which I did not follow the pattern of
Christ's aggressive approach to such demons. I have learned that moving on this supernatural plane requires
continuing, day-to-day dependence on God, trusting Him for discernment and authority. In this ministry we must affirm
with Paul that "we walk by faith, and not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7).
They Shall Expel Demons, by Derek Prince, Copyright 1998, Chosen Books.
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