The human mind is prone to pleasure-seeking activities and eventually becomes addicted to it. In the process of seeking pleasure, it develops many thrust areas for entry of unclean spirits. Some acts and habits of men are done stealthily and these act as side doors for evil spirits to enter. This stage is generally known as Infestation. Many of us fall under this category. Jesus talks about these circumstances with an illustration where the sheepfold symbolises the heart of a man.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.” John 10:1
Oppression of Innocent People
After entering the human heart, these evil spirits induce fear and create an insecure feeling about one’s future. At this stage, the human mind is always conscious of its deeds. As they continue in their evil deeds, fear gradually destroys their personality and they seclude themselves from others and doubt surmounts their life. They doubt others in all their deeds and speech as a sense of withdrawal overrides them. This stage is known as Oppression. Jesus enlightens us about the deeds of the evil spirit and announces the reason of His coming.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
Oppression of Godly People
One of Devil’s strategy is to oppress people who have escaped infestation, but God’s mercy and blessings are always there with the humble and the righteous. However, they might become the envy of others because of these privileges that they relish through freedom in Christ. Satan uses these people to lead the righteous towards oppression. They will align themselves with the righteous in the name of fellowship and see their blessings and the freedom that they have in Christ. They will criticise righteous ones, in all they do for the glory of God, to discourage them. They do this persistently so that the righteous withdraw themselves from others and cannot continue to proclaim God’s word. Paul explains this situation in a believer’s life in the following verse.
“Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery”— Galatians 2:4
If a person continues to live in oppression, sooner or later he will be possessed by the evil one and lose his identity. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus met a man possessed by evil spirit in a synagogue. The evil spirit in that man identified Jesus and started praising him. Remarkably, the evil spirit addressed him as Jesus of Nazareth and the Holy one of God. Again, in the third Chapter of Mark, we see an unclean spirit addressing Jesus as Son of God.
Behaviour of Unclean Spirits
Scripture says that Jesus did not allow the evil spirits to speak and the reason behind it is an eye opener to all of us. Jesus does not want people to identify him through someone else but he wants each one of us to experience him personally. The unclean spirit in a man identifies Jesus and acknowledges him but not the man. Few years ago when I was praying for the deliverance of a man, the unclean spirits in him refused to come out and tossed him violently. After an hour of continuous prayer they understood that they cannot stay in him as God started sending His fire from heaven. At once they casted a disguise and that man started praising Jesus and jumping in Joy. Holy Spirit guided me to the Gospel of Mark 1:24 -25 to make me understand that these praises are from unclean spirits and not from man. When I commanded them to be silent and come out in the name of Jesus they came out of him. Wherever the word of God is shared, there the devil prominently acknowledges the presence of God but never allows the person in whom they stay to identify Jesus. People and the preachers are astonished by the demonstration of evil spirits but fail to achieve the end result of deliverance and salvation.
Deliverance Is From God
But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. Mark 1:25– 26.
The word of God drives out demons from people and the credit goes to Jesus every time. God calls us to manifest His love and compassion to the world through our words and deeds. He does not tell us to manipulate His course of actions for gaining influence among people. Let us not focus on the reaction of people during their encounter with the power of God, but remember His mercy that He showed in our ministry.
“If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:6-7