What Is An Unclean Spirits?:

The Bible refers to “unclean Spirits” repeatedly. We will explore what “unclean spirits” are and what effect they have in our lives. This study will teach tells us not to believe every spirit, but we are to try the spirits whether they are of God.

The term “unclean spirit “means possessed with the devil or to be under the power of a demon. The New Testament speaks of these people as being afflicted with especially severe diseases, which could be either bodily or mentally, whose bodies have been entered with demons. They held possession of these people not only to afflict them with illness but to overwhelm the reasoning power of the people involved. They take over the reasoning so to take its place in the consciousness of the people. (#4154. Strong. 2001).

Scripture gives us many example of “unclean spirit “and we can glean a better understanding and knowledge what effect hey have in and on our lives. We know that Jesus called his twelve disciples to Him and gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. (Matthew 10:1; Mark 6:7).

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, the spirit walks through dry places. That is without water and water is the Grace of the LORD God. The unclean spirit seeks rest and finds none. The unclean spirit then returns into the place or house where he came from and finds it empty (that is cease from labor or to be idle). (#4980. Strong. 2001 ), swept and garnished (that is to put in order, arrange, make ready, prepare metaph. to gain honor. (#2885. Strong. 2001). The unclean spirit then takes with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself and they enter in and dwells there. The person that was entered then is in a worse place than before. (Matthew 12:43-45).

Unclean spirits recognize Jesus as being the Holy One of God. Jesus commands them out of with great authority and unclean spirits obey Him. (Mark 1:23-28). It is interesting that the unclean spirits recognizes Jesus to be the Son of God and obeys His authority when many of those proclaiming to be followers of Jesus do not recognize His power or authority. Mark 3:11-12 tells of another account when an unclean spirits, when they saw Jesus, fell down before Jesus, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. Jesus admonished them that they should not make Him known.

Jesus makes it very clear that no man can enter into a strong man’s house and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. The house is what contains the soul it is the body which contains the soul. This is saying when an unclean spirit cannot enter a body that is strong in body mind and soul. Jesus does give a warning about anyone who speaks blasphemies against the Holy Spirit does not have forgiveness and is in danger of eternal damnation because they have an unclean spirit. (Mark 3:27-30)

When Jesus crossed over to the other side of the sea into the country of the Gadarenes there was a man who ran out of the tombs with an unclean spirit. Jesus commanded them to come out of the man. Jesus then asked them their names. They said Legion because there are many. They asked Jesus to send into a herd of swine. The unclean spirits went out and entered into the swine then the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, there were about two thousand who were chocked in the sea. The man, who had been possessed with the devil and had the legion, then was sitting in his right mind and begged to be with Jesus. (Mark 5:2-19).

The Greek, woman a Syrophenician by nation, had a young daughter who had an unclean spirit. She had heard of Jesus and came and fell at His feet and begged Him to come cast forth the devil out of her daughter. Jesus said to her; “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” (Matthew 15:28). Mark 7: 29-30 reports that Jesus told the mother of the daughter with an unclean spirit to go her way; the devil is gone out of her daughter. Once she returned home she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.

Jesus rebuked an unclean spirit, a foul spirit, saying “you dumb and deaf spirit,” Jesus charged it to come out of the boy and enter him no more. The spirit cried and convulsed him and came out of him. The boy was as dead but Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up and he arose. The disciples had tried to cast out this unclean spirit and they could not they asked Jesus why. Jesus told them that this kind of unclean spirit can only come forth with prayers and fasting. (Mark 9:25-29).

We read that Jesus had commissioned His disciple to cast out unclean spirits. Simeon Peter went to prison because he had healed those with unclean spirits. The multitude came out of the cities around about Jerusalem asking Peter to heal their loved ones. It was the high priest and those Sadducees with him who were filled with indignation laid hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. (Acts 5:14–18).

Paul and Silas also were beaten, had their clothes tore and were cast into prison. They were at Philippi when Paul went to pray when a certain damsel possessed with an unclean spirit of divination who followed Paul for many days and grieved them. Paul commanded the unclean spirit in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And the very same hour it came out. (Acts 16:16–23). Instead of being thanked for doing this miracle the master of the damsel with the unclean spirit heard what happened called the magistrates because Paul had stopped the money he had gotten because of her soothsaying that is delivering an oracle and prophesying.

Paul in 1 John 4 tells us not to believe every spirit, but we are to try the spirits whether they are of God. This is because there are many false prophets that have gone out into the world. We are taught to know the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. Every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Chris came in the flesh is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, and now is already in the world. (1 John 4:1-4).

There are seven spirits of the LORD God that are given to rest on all Christians at their baptism. (1) Spirit of Christ allows the other Spirits to come to a Christian. They are:
(2) Spirit of Truth (John 14:17)
(3) Spirit of Life (Romans 8:1-11)
(4) Spirit of Adoption (Romans 8:14-17)
(5) Spirit of Promise (Ephesians 1:13-14)
(6) Spirit of Grace (Hebrews 10:29) (Phil 1:25)
(7) Spirit of Holiness (Romans 1:3-5)
(McFarland, 2005).

1 Corinthians 12:4-11 tells us: “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
A portion of the Spirit of Discerning is one of the Spirits of the LORD God that is given through the Holy Spirit as a gift to particular and specific individuals. The Spirit of Discerning is able to judicially estimate and discern spiritual beings. A person that has been given the gift of a small portion of the Spirit of Discernment is able to immediately recognize the different Spirits of the LORD God. He is also able to recognize the spiritual being of other people, and discern their spirits through the Spirit of Discerning. (McFarland, 2005).
Christians have the ability to discern good and evil through their living their spiritual lives. It is when a Christian matures in his spiritual life, that his ability to discern good and evil increases through practice and walking the walk with Jesus Christ as Christ has led them to walk.


McFarland, Kathy L. (2005) “The LORD God’s Spirits of Counsel, Creation, Deep Sleep (Slumber), Deliverance, Discerning Spirits, Evil (Trouble), Faith.” The Beginnings of All Things Created” Retrieved from http://www.guidedbiblestudies.com/002spi4.htm

Strong, Jame (2001).The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Cite Article Source

MLA Style Citation:

Holstein, Joanne “What Is An Unclean Spirits?:.” Becker Bible Studies Library Jan 2015.< https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=1939,>.

APA Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2015, January) “What Is An Unclean Spirits?:.” Becker Bible Studies Library. Retrieved from https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=1939,.

Chicago Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2015) “What Is An Unclean Spirits?:.” Becker Bible Studies Library (January), https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=1939, (accessed).

Joanne Holstein is a Becker Bible Studies Teacher and Author of Guided Bible Studies for Hungry Christians. She is a graduate of Psychology/Christian and Bible Counseling with Liberty University. She is well-known as a counselor to Christian faithful who are struggling with tremendous burden in these difficult times. She is a leading authority on historical development of Christian churches and the practices and beliefs of world religions and cults.

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