Unclean Spirits - Six You Need To Know About

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There are several different spirits mentioned in the New Testament including:

  • Pneuma poneron, an evil spirit. “And the evil spirit answered and said Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye.” (Acts 19:15)
  • Pneuma python, a python spirit or spirit of divination. “And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:”(Acts 16:16)
  • Pneumata plana, a seducing spirit or spirit of error. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.” (1 Timothy 4:1)
  • Pneuma astheneias, the spirit of infirmity. “And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.”(Luke 13:11)
  • Pneuma alalon, a dumb spirit, one without speech. “And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit.”(Mark 9:17)
  • Pneuma akathartos, an unclean spirit. “And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out.”(Mark 1:23)


St. Mark wrote the man had an “unclean spirit” and St. Luke wrote he had an “unclean devil.” Mark used the Greek word pneuma meaning spirit, and Luke used the Greek word daimonion meaning demon (Mark 1:23; Luke 4:34). From these two writers, we understand clearly the man had an unclean demon spirit influencing his life. “Unclean,” Greek akathartos, means:

  • Morally corrupted
  • Sexually perverted
  • Debased
  • Lustful
  • Lewd in thought and life.

Typically bad people don’t hang out in a church. Usually, good people do. This man was probably a “son of Abraham” and a member of this local synagogue. He was a Jew. Nobody knows if he was married, had any children, or how long he suffered from this unclean spirit. We don’t even know where the unclean spirit came from, how the man got it, or if it was a generational curse. The one thing we know for sure is Jesus did not ignore this demon and deliverance was possible in the presence of the Anointed One. It was time for deliverance for this man.


Can you picture this church service in your mind? Jesus walks into the church, and a demon spirit speaks out of a man saying “let us alone.” I like the Lord’s reaction. He doesn’t ignore the demon. He doesn’t ask the choir to sing a song. He doesn’t ask the ushers to drag the man outside the church. No, He confronted the unclean spirit and commanded it to shut up and come out. “And Jesus rebuked him, saying hold thy peace and come out of him” (Mark 1:25). This is the Son of God in action. He is our man of war, the anointed one.

This akathartos spirit revealed there was more than one spirit inside this man. The unclean spirit said:

  • “Let us alone.”
  • “What have we to do with you?”
  • “Are you come to destroy us?”

This was the voice of a strong man with several spirits accompanying it. Jesus, anointed by the Holy Ghost, responded by casting out the unclean spirit, “Jesus rebuked him” and out they all went.

“And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him. And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.” (Mark 1:25-28)

The results of this deliverance were telling:

  • The unclean spirit obeyed Christ.
  • The man got free from demon influence.
  • All the demons left when the unclean spirit was cast out.
  • The people were all amazed.
  • Jesus had authority over demons.
  • Jesus commanded (ordered) spirits.
  • Christ’s public reputation increased.

You can tell by the congregation’s reaction that deliverance was uncommon. I believe it. Deliverance is uncommon today. It shouldn’t be. 

Deliverance belongs to us. It is the children’s bread. Devils have no right to harass and torment the citizens of Zion. Scripture declares deliverance is the first sign that follows every believer. “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils and they shall speak with new tongues” (Mark 16:17).

Up to this point, there was no hope for deliverance. The man suffered, was tormented in mind and imaginations, his family suffered, and there was never any hope for freedom. But then the Anointed One and His Anointing showed up in the church. The anointing was on the Word. (The anointing, the Holy Ghost, was on Christ, the Word incarnate.)

As already said, the first miracle of Christ was deliverance from demon powers. To God be the glory, great things He hath done. The results were in. The man got free, and Christ’s celebrity increased throughout the land after this deliverance event.

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