Five Levels of Demonic Oppression

The perennial question is Can a Christian have a demon? There are those (mostly non-Charismatics) who say categorically no. Usually, however, these people are also those who don’t really believe much in demons at all. In reality, most of us deal with demons and their effects throughout our lives. I’d like to propose this scale:

  • Possession
  • Oppression
  • Familiarity or “Stronghold”
  • Externalization
  • Victory

Possession is what only a non-believer can experience. Where the demon can actually take control over the person’s will. A Christian can be oppressed, and in some cases severely, even with manifestations, etc, but it can’t take over your will. You are able to confess Christ as Lord and seek freedom. These two levels are the most common when discussing dealing with demons. This is where they have the most power and the most dramatic deliverance happens and is needed. This is not what I want to talk about in this post, however. I want to talk about the levels that are most common to the dealings of average Christians.


Familiarity is the level that I believe most people operate on with the devil. He has a stronghold in your behavior and/or your mind, but you don’t know it, because it’s a part of your personality. He’s not controlling you, but he’s “set up” or enmeshed in some part of your personality and he holds a specific demonic thought pattern in place. Now I’m drawing a fuzzy distinction between oppression and familiarity. When it’s a strong uncontrollable thought pattern, I’m calling that “oppression”, when it’s a wrong thought pattern that you think “on your own” that’s “familiarity.” Make no mistake, it’s still the devil who is influencing you to it. As we grow in our walk with God, these are the areas he blows up. He comes into that place and evicts the devil and his thought process, and replaces it with God’s thoughts and Spirit. This can happen in a deliverance session, some kind of “Freedom in Christ” process, your personal prayer time, worship, or a word of prophecy. Whatever does it, the key is that you become aware of something significant that was holding you back that was not in alignment with God, and you repent of it and separate. This could be called “deliverance” but I think it’s something fundamentally different from what happens at the levels of demonic possesion and oppression. This is more of process of externalization or re-identification.


This is God putting his finger on it to be dealt with and it usually results in a funny thing: the demon manifests! Once it’s been exposed and you stop agreeing with it, it’s no longer a part of your personality. It’s not familiar anymore, it’s externalized. You thought all along that it was you, but suddenly you find out that it wasn’t just you. There was something inspiring it. One of the most common ways I’ve seen and experienced this happening is in your dreams. When you evict the devil he tries to come to you to intimidate you or inflict damage on the way out. When you are in agreement with him, he’s happy because the path itself is the damage, so he stays quiet. When you stop agreeing, he turns up the heat. That’s where you have to stand up to him and assert your God given authority. Be aggressive, deepen your repentance, assert your authority in God, and kick him out for good! If you’re above the demonic “oppression” level and he’s coming at you from the outside, that’s usually a good sign, because he’s not on the inside.


Victory is the place you walk when you have dealt with the key personal strongholds that hold you personally back. The enemies goal is keep you at those lower levels with several strongholds. That way if you start to break free of one, he can pull on another to cause the whole door to be reopened. So I believe every Christian has several personal strongholds to defeat before they see the walk of power they long for. See A.A. Allen’s book “The Price of God’s Miracle Working Power” for a similar perspective on this. Your goal is stay in faith and the presence of God as He breaks the series of strongholds in your life. When you have defeated them, you’ll have the authority that the Bible says you are supposed to have because you are no longer under the authority of the devil in some important area of your life. Now God can and does use people at lower levels — in fact that’s where most of us are. It’s just that there are these huge limitations on us. When a man or woman breaks through to victory they operate on a completely different level. Now I’m not saying that everyone who has a major anointing has victory, but I think they had it at one point.

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  1. An excellent post BUT i think we need to be carefull in this area. Speaking from a position of having had a demon manifest in me, a tale for another time maybe, i do agree with most of what you have put

    I dont think the Devil is involved with me persoanlly or with many people. We have to remember he is NOT God or even like God. He can only be in one place at any given time so to say that he personally has a hand in our lives is false.

    There are however myriads of demons who can be. Its interesting that in th NT Jesus never casts our the Devil from people but Demons.

    I also think that us Charismatics often get drawn into blaming the sin in our lives on the devil / demons when it is infact our sinfull nature and flesh.

    Certain novels / books from the eighties and nineties over egged the demonic and this has crept into popular charismatic circles.

  2. Thanks. Maybe I should have been more technical. When I was referring to “the devil” what I should have said was “a demon.” Perhaps this distinction is more pronounced in British parlance.

    Also, I wouldn’t be one to suggest at all that the devil is “to blame” I’m really saying that a demon is involved in the process of sin. When you sin, you let him in, and he sets up so that he can keep you in, so when you stop, there is often an eviction process. So while I’m not a “demon under every bush” person, I lean toward seeing sanctification as closely aligned with taking victory over personal demonic forces.

  3. Looks like it is the old uncommon language barrier again!

    Yeah i agree there is a kicking out process much as you have outlined.

  4. Hi,
    I am a leader in our church and I do have a prophetic annointing in intercession. I have a question concerning demonic lustful and perverted dreams attacking me and other intercessors as well as our Pastors lately. Talking with them I am confident that they have not opened up a door in that area and neither have I.
    Haven’t been anywhere but at church. This has happened to each of us at least twice in the last month or two.
    I have took authority over the spirit of lust and perversion and plead the blood of Jesus over my dreams and evrypart of my body and mind, even my sexual organs. And I have not had anymore problems. The only thing that we have had in common to picking up any thing is at church. Could we be having attacks by being in contact with someone or someones who have lustful and perverted influences in their lives? And I mean contact like in hugging or handshake or even in praying over them? I just don’t think it is a coincidence. In the dreams there seems to be a common person that shows up also. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks and God Bless you.

  5. You could have a number of things happening, but I don’t think any of them are related to a handshake. Here are some options

    1. A member of your leadership team is involved in and covering up sexual sin.
    2. Witchcraft against your team. If this is the case, the “common person” that shows up is likely NOT the person associated with the sexual sin, but a person that the devil wants to victimize.
    3. You have been rebuking principalities such as “The Spirit of Lust over the City.” The Bible does not instruct us to rebuke principalities of the air, only demons of the earth.

  6. Hi there. I am a church youth leader. And I have experienced deliverance before. And I have a problem now. I am fighting against lust. Which I believe that I have a demonic struggle. I remember once, a questionable leader layed hand upon me and It was during an encountering God retreat. But later I learned that the person who prayed over me was some kind immorall. I believe there is something to deal with this.

    I just want to ask advice from you on what I will do.
    And I also want to know if there’s anything to do with my lustful struggle nowadays.
    And what is the urgent thing I need to do.

    Waiting for your reply.

  7. I’m an ex-born again Christian and have deliberately committed “the blasphemy against the___ spirit”, which is stated in the New Testament to be the alleged “unpardonable sin”! I’m now a committed. steadfast Atheist but, have an extremely evil demon in my home that constantly, physically tortures me like a bees severely stinging my skin from head to foot and emitting airborne poisonous dust contacting my skin irritating with mild stinging! The day this torment stops is the day I’ll believe the cosmic creator is somewhat benevolent and not the traitor and coward with a perverted psyche, I presently think it is for sending this unjust terrorism! Your god is a myth but, the true cosmic creator which is far more powerful than yours, caused me all my grief! I’m probably hopeless unless someone helps me move from my home to escape this nightmare or myself coming suicide! The cosmic creator controls the human involuntary nervous system and thwarts suicide, contradicting authentic free will by hijacking it with survival instincts preventing suicide! The stinging doesn’t occur anywhere primarily but, only my home except for a couple of minor occurrences.

    1. I’m very sorry about the oppression you are experiencing. One thing I can assure you is that participation in the unpardonable sin internet meme does not mean you have really committed the unpardonable sin. God still loves you. Can I ask why you left Christianity in the first place?

    2. Hey Dennis,

      There’s alot here and thus alot to say. Let’s start with small things and we’ll go onward in another comment if you desire.

      First, it sounds like to me that you got hurt at some point and blamed God and thus this is why you took such an intense turn. Dude, I’ve been there. More than once. …and, over BIG things. Bigger than most can possibly relate to. So.. if this where you are I first want you to know you are not alone, my man. I feel you.

      Second, my God IS the Cosmic Creator. You, like millions of others, may have been unfortunately exposed to what I refer to as the “Ned Flanders God”, which crusades under the banner of the name of ‘Yahweh’ and ‘Jesus’. This one is a certain counterfeit. And, you are right…. this god is a joke. This so-called “Christian” thing you are disgusted with I know well – and do not like either. Good news though…. Jesus is not “Christian”! The REAL Jesus IS the Cosmic Way; the inter-dimensionally existent Avatar of God, Manifested Breathing Truth, The Living Spirit Guide of the human psyche (and psuche), The Energy Giver, and the Source of all that is desirable. (there’s MUCH more here I could say but I think we get the general point).

      Third, I’m guess I’m confused here… but, it seems you are saying that you know God did this to you and yet you don’t believe He exists? What am I missing here?

      Fourth, I can come through the phone and pull this thing off you. I do it all the time for people. BUT… I first need to know where you are at, man. If I do this and your heart is not ready then the end state will indeed be worse than the first. I first have to know if you are committed to knowing and walking in eternal Truth. (and, don’t put words in my mouth, friend. I am not saying “truth” as you are likely thinking I am saying. I mean REAL, quantum, eternal, living, experiential Truth. Not, some Ned Flanders howdy doody religious contortion of “truth”).

      Fifth, God does not totally control the human body. The body rests firmly under a cosmic curse. It thus can make a fine habitation for hell if ya know what I’m saying. WE must subdue it. WE must RULE it, knowing we are the kings of our temple kingdom (aka “body”). We were giving god-likeness in many ways and this is one those ways: we must rule and reign over our physical/psyche desires, with the aid of the divine empowerment that the Great Cosmic One gives us upon receiving the Holy Awakening (aka: heart-level confession of Jesus as the “Avatar”/Messiah/Son of God and thus our rightful Master/Lord). It’s that “Ned Flanders Christianity” that says “God is in total control, hallelujah”. Forgive me for anger but.. That Is a Retarded Religion. God is most certainly NOT in total control. Not even the Bible paints a picture that He is in total control in this world! It takes a sheltered, ignorant person to actually live in this world and think God is total control.

      Lastly, God put US in control of this world. When He has to step back onto the scene, the play is over. Meaning: He gave His children magnificent abilities and with these abilities WE are more than capable of ruling the world. BUT… it takes something very few Christians seem to have: powerful faith. Thus, this is why many unsuspecting people have got the idea that God is not always good, or that He did something mean or evil. …and to make it worse the “Ned Flanders” types keep chanting “God is in total control”. It makes for a confusing world, doesn’t it. ;>)

      Best to ya man!

      If you want more info just hit me at

      We can go from here if you’d like.

      I can most definitely help ya if that’s what you want. :>)

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