In Luke 4:31-39 and Matthew 10:1, 5-8, Jesus cast out demons and unclean spirits. He taught his disciples to do the same. I’m going to show you one of the ways this might have happened.
Let’s begin with demons because they are the least understood, and surprisingly, they are one of the easiest to exorcise.
So if a serpent-like creature came out of a person, especially in ancient times, there might be a tendency on the part of people to connect it with demon-possession. Let me show you how “serpents” were coming out of people at that time.
There’s a disease that has been chronicled for thousands of years called Dracunculiasis. It’s still present today, but only in four African countries. It’s one of the best documented, human parasite-caused diseases in history with references to it going back to 1550 BCE. It’s also been found calcified in Egyptian mummies.
The medical name comes from a Latin term meaning “afflicted with little dragons.” The burning sensation experienced by infected people has led to the disease long being called “the fiery serpent.”
Some think the Old Testament description of “fiery serpents” may have been referring to guinea worm parasite: “And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.” (Numbers 21:4–9).
The British discovered it in Guinea and named it the guinea worm.
The parasite is a long and thin roundworm that enters a person in the larva stage through the drinking of contaminated, stagnant water. The female parasite can grow to three feet in length. It migrates under the surface of the skin, usually to the lower leg.
Approximately one year later, the female emerges with a very painful, burning sensation as it forms a blister on the leg or foot. The blister ruptures, exposing one end of the worm.
Great burning pain sends victims to the nearest water source (often to small stagnant ponds or wells the community uses for bathing and drinking) to relieve the pain where the parasite then deposits up to one million larvae.
How do you cast out this fiery serpent or demon?
The traditional method of extracting guinea worm is to twist the worm around a stick. Physicians of that day were trained in removing these serpents. You cut a slit in the patient’s skin in front of the moving worm and as the worm crawls out the cut, you submerse the affected area in a bucket of water. This causes the worm to discharge many of its larva, making it less infectious. The water is then discarded on the ground far away from any water source. Submersion results in relief of the burning sensation and makes extraction of the worm easier.
To extract the worm, you wrap the live worm around a piece of gauze or a stick and carefully wind the exposed end around it. The process can take anywhere from hours to months. If one simply pulls off the protruding head of the worm, the worm will break and leak high levels of foreign antigen which can lead to anaphylactic shock and fast death of the host. It’s also possible that what is left inside the person will decay and cause problems or petrify. Hence it is important to remove the worm slowly.
Here’s an article about how they are fighting the fiery serpent in Sudan in this decade.
It’s thought that the current symbol of medicine, a snake wrapped around a pole and called the rod of Asclepius (an ancient Greek physician who was deified as the god of medicine), comes from this practice. Because this parasite was so common, early physicians advertised their services by displaying a sign with the worm on a stick.
What other forms of worms might have made people think they were possessed by serpents/unclean spirits? Roundworms, pinworms, hookworm, tapeworms.
The Gospel of the Holy Twelve was one of the writings that was not included in the Bible. It has a story telling how Jesus caused a worm/snake to come out of a man that was the length of his body. It sounds like a tapeworm. To the people of that day it would look like a serpent possessed the man and had disrupted his health.
How are you casting out demons by removing parasites? We’re talking ancient medicine and imagination here. If you know little about parasite life cycles, roundworms or tapeworms, serpent-like worms can come out of more places than the skin, like from other body orifices. The pictures are not pretty.
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When you look up the meaning of the Greek word translated as “demon or devil” – daimonion, this is what you find: 1) a divine power, deity, or divinity, 2) a spirit, inferior to God, superior to man, and 3) evil spirits, messengers of the devil. You’ll have to decide for yourself why translators picked “demon or devil” fifty-nine times to once for “a divine power.”
I prefer to think of the second definition as a spirit/power/influence that is stronger than your own. Parasites can overpower and debilitate the strongest people.
Look at all the symptoms you can relieve if you know how to get rid of parasites: abdominal pain, constipation, anemia, blindness or worsening vision, central nervous system impairment, chest pain, chills, chronic fatigue, colitis, coughing, diarrhea, digestive disturbance, dizziness, fever, enlargement of various organs, headaches, immunodeficiency, insomnia, iron deficiency, itchy anus, jaundice, joint pain, lung congestion, mental impairment & memory loss, muscle spasms, nausea/vomiting, night sweats, swelling of facial features, skin ulcers, unusual weight loss, weakness or fatigue
How can you cast out demons?
#1 – Learn how to twist the fiery serpents around a stick and go help in Africa.
#2 – Learn about and apply natural treatments that help eliminate parasites from the body: clove powder, black walnut hulls, pumpkin seed, garlic, false unicorn root, male fern root, etc. Or use modern pharmaceutical medicines.
Since 90% of the people in the world have experienced parasites of one kind or another, you don’t have to leave the country to find people who can be helped. I mentioned these things to a member and she said the day before, her nephew had ringworm on his arm. She went outside, got a black walnut, cracked it open and spread the yellowish substance from the hull on his arm. The ringworm is gone.
#3 – Support agencies who specialize in treatment of these easily treated conditions.
The Carter Center has continued to lead the guinea worm eradication efforts, primarily through its Guinea Worm Eradication Program. When it started in 1986, there were 3.5 million cases reported that year. Today there are only about 4000 cases per year in four African countries. Other major actors in the eradication of Guinea worm disease include: World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and UNICEF, but the global coalition now includes dozens of other donors, nongovernmental organizations, and institutions, most especially the ministries of health of the affected countries themselves.
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Along another line of eliminating demonic influences, the ELCA’s Malaria Campaign is helping in the global fight to eliminate demons and unclean spirits caused by malaria. You can learn about it here.
High fevers cause hallucinations and delirium. To the people of the first century who had no explanations for this behavior, why wouldn’t they think someone was under the influence of a demon or evil spirit?
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This is my recommendation for the quickest and easiest way to cast out devils and demons: write a check.