My wife and I were in the market for a new couch. The old one just didn’t do anymore. So, we decided to get rid of our used one and purchase a new one. As it turned out, I happened to be in contact with a dear Roman Catholic lady who actually offered me her couch for free. It was actually in fairly good condition except for one small broken piece of wood inside, which acted as a support at the back, but which I felt I could fix, so I graciously accepted it.
My friend and I picked up the couch and brought it back to where my wife and I lived. Upon getting back home, I began to try to fix the wooden support at the back. I undid a few screws, and opened it up and looked inside. I then knelt down in order to crouch down on the floor. What I didn’t realize was that, as I began to work on it, I suddenly became overwhelmed with these overwhelming, ugly, perverse, foul, women-hating thoughts. They were really ugly and profane, and they swept over me like a flood. I had never experienced anything like this!
At one point, I got back up again off the ground in order to talk with my wife and our friend who had helped me with the couch, and the thoughts suddenly went away. Then, I crouched down low again in order to do some more work, and the foul thoughts began to come back again. What I didn’t realize was that when I crouched down low, I was actually approaching a demon that was residing inside of the couch!
When I got close to it, the foul thoughts would come over me. When I backed away from it, the foul thoughts would go away. All of a sudden, I decided to get an even closer look at the crack in the piece of wood which was located near the back of the couch. I began to put my head inside the couch (from underneath), and — all of a sudden, with a “shotgun” type of approach — “bang!” a demon lunged out at me. There was tangible, spiritual, power present, and I felt it’s awesome, ugly presence lunge out at my face. To describe it is a little difficult, but it was something like a very strong and sudden magnetic “power” or “force field” of sorts lunging out at my face. But it was more than a force field! This thing was living!
Let’s try and explain it another way. If you stand beside someone who is asleep, sometimes they will actually wake up because they sense someone is standing beside them. The reason they wake up is because there is an interaction of spirits taking place. That’s right! You have a spirit, and the other person has a spirit. When you stand close to one another, even though the other person is asleep, they can sense your spirit close to them. And you didn’t even touch them or move the bed! Try it sometimes if you’ve not done it, and you’ll be amazed. The person will actually wake up when you are standing right there beside them. It doesn’t always happen. But it does happen.
Well, in the same way that people can sometimes sense a human spirit beside them when they are asleep, it’s also possible to sense an angelic spirit. Now angels can be good or bad. The bad ones are called demons. Satan himself is just a demon. He’s powerful, not because he is any bigger than the other demons, but because he commands the demons and they listen to him. Many people don’t realize this, but there is an authority structure set up in the demonic realm. However, since demons are, by nature, disobedient and rebellious, it is not a perfect authority structure to be sure!
When this thing lunged at me, there was an interaction with my spirit! This thing was real and it was living! Not only was this thing pouring woman-hating thoughts into my mind, I felt its aggression when it lunged at me! It was a rude awakening. Clearly, this demon didn’t like me!
I backed away rather quickly! I was shocked. But, more than that, as a God-fearing Christian, I was suddenly overcome with a sense of truly righteous indignation. God’s Holy Spirit began to fill me right then and there and there was no mistake about it! I knew who was on my side, so there was no need to “get all upset or angry” about it (in the flesh, that is). God was with me. He would deal with it!
Prayer of Renunciation & Deliverance
I told my wife and my friend who was still with us at our apartment what had happened. We joined hands and I prayed as I sensed the Lord was leading me. I prayed something like this:
“Father, thank-you that you gave us this couch. This couch comes from you and we receive it. But there is a demon inside this couch that does not come from you and we have nothing to do with this demon. We speak a blessing upon this couch in Jesus name, plead forgiveness over this couch, and repent of any sin associated with it. We also command any demons to leave right now and to flee and never come back. Please forgive anyone associated with any sin associated with this couch and heal them. In Jesus Name, Amen.”
Sure enough, having prayed that prayer, the “power in me” – that is, Holy Spirit, who lives in all genuine believers in Christ – dealt with the demonic presence, and here is how it happened:
At a certain moment during the prayer, as we were all holding hands together, intently focused on the Lord, there came a definite, tangible “breaking point,” at which time I’m quite sure was the moment when the demon fled and got up and went. The evil presence that I was clearly able to “feel” just moments before suddenly had disappeared entirely from the room.
In a way, it was really an enjoyable prayer for me to pray, because, for one, the demon had given itself away when it had assaulted me. What more was there to do but command it to get out?
The Believer’s Spiritual Authority
There is power in the name of Jesus. If you are His child (have been born again by His Spirit, according to John 3:3), you, too, have this authority residing within you. Jesus says, in His word, “Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions [i.e. evil spirits], and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you.” (Luke 10:19).
I feel a word of caution is warranted here, however, because the authority He gives us must always be “contained” within the jurisdiction of our calling. If we are a father, we have authority within our family – and must use it. If we are a schoolteacher, we have authority within the confines of our classroom – and must use it. I think you get the point. The bottom line is, use the authority that God has given to you. However, don’t step beyond the boundaries – for then, Luke 10:19 – yes, not even that verse — will be able to save you from the consequences.
I have heard of people who tried to rebuke principalities and demonic powers that have rulership in certain regions or even cities. You can read about some of these demonic powers in both the book of Daniel as well as in the book of Ephesians. But the Bible never commands us to rebuke these. I have heard of someone becoming completely paralyzed as a result of trying to do that! The Bible does not give us the authority to rebuke these demons because their authority is established through the sin and unbelief of the people in their region.
So if you want to see demonic powers and principalities lose their stronghold, the biblical means of dealing with it is to do what Daniel the prophet did when he fasted and repented on behalf of the people and himself, and asked God for forgiveness for the sins that had been committed. As the Lord leads you, you should also share the love of Jesus Christ with those around you, and, little by little, people will come to faith in Christ, and the hearts will be turned around to the Lord, which will automatically cause the demonic powers and principalities to begin to lose their grip in that region.
So, go ahead and proclaim a fast and repent, and ask God for forgiveness for the sins that have been committed in that area that have given the demon the right to be there. And, as God leads you, share the love of Christ with those who live in that area. This is biblical. In this you will have success!
The other thing I want to mention is that the thoughts were not my thoughts but the demon’s. Satan can actually do that. He or one of his demons can actually put thoughts into your mind – even thoughts in the first person that appear to be your own. For example, a thought might go through your mind, “I hate that person”. Was it you saying it, or was it a demon? The Bible says we are to take every captive to the obedience of Christ! (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) That means checking up our thoughts against what the Bible says is right, and not just trusting them. People get themselves into many a problem right there, because they assume that everything that flows through their mind is from them. They will even assume guilt that is not there’s because they had a bad thought. Instead, we are to reject such thoughts and hold fast to what good. Of course, if we dwell on a thought, and entertain it, then it becomes our responsibility. This is the dividing line between what we should own and what we should not own. We should not own the original thought, but if we dwell on it, then we should own that, and take responsibility for that, and repent of those thoughts that we know are not in line with what the Bible teaches.
I’m not sure how close a demon has to be in order to put a thought in our minds, but my assumption is, it does not have to be close. Or, perhaps demons visit us on a fairly frequent basis, quite rapidly, as it were, in order to put thoughts in our minds. I just don’t know how that works. What is clear to me is that if you happen to be in the presence of a demon, and you are close enough, then that demon can easily influence your thinking and your behavior and even begin to “fill you” as it were, with its own ungodly thoughts. You need to be very careful. If you encounter such an incident, whether that be anger, abuse, violence, foul thoughts, or anything else that is not in line with the word of God, then you need to stop and take notice and consider that you might very well be in the presence of a demon. Deal with it in a godly way, by humbling yourself, praying, asking forgiveness, and proclaiming a cleansing on the location.
May the Lord bless you as you consider these things.
Updated: March 16, 1998
Updated: March 25, 2007
Originally entitled: Authority in the Heavenlies, Part II