The some core telltale signs of a demonic attack (or demonic oppression) is that demons compel and enslave. It could be a compulsion to use drugs, drink alcohol, watch pornography, masturbate, to attack someone (verbally, physically or other), to 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 will be the enemy manipulating the emotions of a person to be enslaved to such negative feelings.
But something what I think can easily be overlooked is that demons can cause physical sickness. 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 sickness is 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 linked in the medical field with bitterness and unwillingness to forgive with physical sickness bolsters the idea, in my view, it could very well be an infliction by a demon particularly a spirit of infirmity.
I believe Hollywood has greatly distorted our ideas on tell tale 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 were afflicted or inflicted by them. For examples, 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 for 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 in which a person opened the doors to because of 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 for the enemy to come in.
The scriptures also reads how not to hold onto anger, resentment, embitterment or wrath which can allow the enemy into your life, “(Ephesians 4:26-27) 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:27 Neither give place to the devil.“
There are many other scriptures that reads similar 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 minimal deliverance through prayer unless the person let’s 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 and 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.