N.T. Greek word: δαιμονίζομαι
definition: demon-possessed, to be under the power of a demon (fallen angel).
Persons afflicted with bodily or mental diseases such as paralysis, blindness, deafness, muteness, epilepsy, melancholy (depression), insanity, unnecessary (irrational) fears and anxiety, inability to sleep (insomnia), unusual dreams, sexual perversion, sensuality, extreme passiveness, confusion, unusual or inappropriate emotional reactions such as laughter, anger, quarrelsomeness, involuntary bodily movements, tingling, prickling or feeling of hair standing on end, feeling of something touching or brushing against face, nose, cheeks, forehead etc, twitching or involuntary change in facial expression, involuntary eye movement, scrunching up of face, scowling or puffing up of lips, a warming or “burning of the bosom” sensation, involuntary exhaling or grunting, addictions, domineering personality, extreme self-righteousness, thoughts and visions directing a person to go against God’s will, a sense of being unique, a morbid curiosity in semantics and speculations about spiritual things, avoidance of society, fascination with celibacy or virginity and abstaining from certain foods, disrespecting and disobeying parents and those in authority such as at work (managers, supervisors) school (professors, teachers) and church (priests, pastors, elders).
The news about Jesus spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, the demon-possessed (daimonizomai), epileptics, paralytics, and He healed them.
When evening came, many who were demon-possessed (daimonizomai) were brought to Jesus, and He drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.
When Jesus arrived on the other side in the region of the Gadarenes (Gergesenes) two demon-possessed men met Him on their way from the tombs. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. What do you want with us, Son of God?they shouted. Have You come here to torture us before the proper time? In the distance a large herd of pigs was feeding. So the demons begged Jesus, If You drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs. Go! He told them. So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the waters. Those tending the pigs ran off into the town and reported all this, including the account of the demon-possessed men. Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to leave their region.
As they were leaving, a demon-possessed man who was mute was brought to Jesus. And when the demon had been driven out, the man began to speak.
Then a demon-possessed (daimonizomai) man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed the man so that he could speak and see.
A Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David, my daughter is severely demon-possessed (daimonizomai).
When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus and knelt before Him. Lord, have mercy on my son, he said. He has seizures and is suffering terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not heal him. O unbelieving and perverse generation! Jesus replied. How long must I remain with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy here to Me. Then Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.
Then Jesus and His companions went to Capernaum, and as soon as the Sabbath began, Jesus entered the synagogue and began to teach. The people were astonished at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. Suddenly a man with an unclean spirit cried out in the synagogue: What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God! But Jesus rebuked the spirit and said, Be silent! Come out of him! At this, the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and came out with a loud shriek. All the people were amazed and began to ask one another, What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him! And the news about Jesus spread quickly through the whole region of Galilee.
On the other side of the sea, they arrived in the region of the Gerasenes (Gadarenes). As soon as Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came from the tombs and met Him. He had been living in the tombs and could no longer be restrained, even with chains. Though he was often bound with chains and shackles, he had broken the chains and shattered the shackles. Now no one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day in the tombs and in the mountains, he kept crying out and cutting himself with stones.When the man saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees before Him. And he shouted in a loud voice, What do You want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You before God not to torture me. For Jesus had already declared, Come out of this man, you unclean spirit! What is your name? Jesus asked. My name is Legion, he replied, for we are many. And he begged Jesus repeatedly not to send them out of that region. There on the nearby hillside a large herd of pigs was feeding. So the demons begged Jesus, Send us to the pigs, so that we may enter them. He gave them permission, and the unclean spirits came out and went into the pigs, and the herd of about two thousand rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the water. Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. Those who had seen it described what had happened to the demon-possessed man and also to the pigs. And the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region. As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons (daimonizomai) begged to go with Him. But Jesus would not allow him. Go home to your own people, He said, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy He has shown you. So the man went away and began to proclaim throughout the Decapolis (the Ten Cities) how much Jesus had done for him. And everyone was amazed.
Then Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath He began to teach the people. They were astonished at His teaching, because His message had authority. In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon. He cried out in a loud voice, Ha! What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are, the Holy One of God! But Jesus rebuked the demon. Be silent! He said. Come out of him! Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without harming him. All the people were overcome with amazement and asked one another, What is this message? With authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out! And the news about Him spread throughout the surrounding region.
Soon afterward, Jesus traveled from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with Him, as well as some women who had been healed of evil spirits and diseases: Mary called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had come out.
They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes (Gadarenes) across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, He was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothing or lived in a house, but he stayed in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before Him, shouting in a loud voice, What do You want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You not to torture me! For Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was bound with chains and shackles, he had broken the chains and been driven by the demon into solitary places. What is your name? Jesus asked. Legion, he answered, because many demons had gone into him. And the demons kept begging Jesus not to order them to go into the abyss. There on the hillside a large herd of pigs was feeding. So the demons begged Jesus to let them enter the pigs, and He permitted them. Then the demons came out of the man and went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside. So the people went out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and found the man whom the demons had left, sitting at Jesus’ feet, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. Meanwhile, those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes (Gadarenes) asked Jesus to depart from them, because great fear had swept over them. So He got into the boat and started back. The man whom the demons had left begged to go with Jesus. But He sent him away, saying, Return home and tell how much God has done for you. So the man went and proclaimed all over the town how much Jesus had done for him.
Suddenly a man in the crowd cried out, Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, for he is my only child. A spirit keeps seizing him, and he screams abruptly. It throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It keeps mauling him and rarely departs from him. I begged Your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable. O unbelieving and perverse generation, Jesus replied, How long must I remain with you and put up with you? Bring your son here. Even while the boy was approaching, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father.
With loud shrieks, unclean spirits came out of many who were possessed, and many of the paralyzed and lame were healed.
Causes of demon-possession may include involvement in the occult (sorcery, witchcraft, divination). Many demoniacs who come to Church to get help were ritualists or had involvement in the ceremonies related to it. Other causes may include the administration of drugs (pharmakeia) and engaging in forms of sexual immorality (porneia).
The power of casting out demons was bestowed by Christ while on earth upon the apostles (Mt 10:8), and the seventy disciples (Lu 10:17-19), and was according to His promise (Mk 16:17) exercised by believers after His ascension (Ac 16:18) but whether performed by our Lord Himself or by His followers, the N.T. never applies the terms “exorcise” or “exorcist.” Nor is the office of the exorcist mentioned by Paul in (1 Cor. 12:9). A particular order of exorcists did not exist until the close of the third century and its introduction can be ascribed to the fancies of the Gnostics. Even the simplest of the faithful can cast out demons through prayer, however, certain kinds can only be cast out by prayer and fasting (Mt 17:15, 20, Mk 9:27-28, Lu 9:40). Through repentance, confession, prayer, forgiveness, and salvation offered by the Church in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (James 5:13-15, Acts 2:38, Acts 19:2-5, Acts 22:16, 1 Peter 3:21, Ephesians 1:22-23) those who are demon-possessed become healthy, stable and socially responsible persons. The breaking of the power of demons by the Lord Jesus Christ opens the door for the Good News and leads to the expansion of the Church.
That possession is most probable in those who yield to sensual temptations may be conjectured from general observation. The cases of the habitually lustful, the opium-eater, and the drunkard, bear marks similar to those of scriptural possession. The observation of the suddenness and completeness of conversion seen in cases of sensualism tends to confirm the record of Scripture. We find early fathers alluding to its existence as common, mentioning the power of Christian exorcism as a test of the truth of the Gospel. By degrees the mention is less and less frequent, till the idea is lost or perverted.