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"The entrance of thy words giveth light (Psalm 119:130)."

Hallucinations

Hallucinations, in the secular world, are often misunderstood—even by medical doctors. Let's start with a common secular definition, in layman's language, of "hallucinations."

"Hallucinations are false or distorted sensory experiences that appear to be real perceptions. These sensory impressions are generated by the mind rather than by any external stimuli, and may be seen, heard, felt, and even smelled or tasted."1

Notice two things: 1) This is a very broad definition. 2) Hallucinations are "generated by the mind rather than by any external stimuli." There is, of course, no such thing as hallucinations caused by demons.

This article will focus on hallucinations that are caused by demons. But first, let's briefly discuss hallucinations that likely have nothing to do with demons or are only indirectly related.

There are many causes of these hallucinations, including:2

  • Being drunk or high, or coming down from such drugs as marijuana, LSD, cocaine (including crack), PCP, amphetamines, heroin, ketamine, and alcohol.
  • Epilepsy that involves a part of the brain called the temporal lobe (odor hallucinations are most common).
  • Fever, especially in children and the elderly.
  • Narcolepsy.
  • Sensory problems, such as blindness or deafness.
  • Severe illness, including liver failure, kidney failure, AIDS, and brain cancer.

There is a wealth of information available on the internet on this topic.

But, there are other types of "hallucinations" that really are caused by demons. And it's important to distinguish between the two.

The key to determining which type of "hallucination" you are experiencing is to remember that demons have a function in this world and their activities fulfill that function: "The thief (Devil, demons) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy (John 10:10 NKJV)." They have no other purpose.

Their activities will attempt to cause you distress, get you to violate Scripture or harm you in some other way. They may try to get you to harm or kill yourself. They may try to get you to harm or kill other people.

Before continuing, I should mention that hallucinations caused by legitimate medical conditions are not caused by demons—even if they are distressing. Diabetics, for example, may experience disturbing visual and auditory hallucinations that are directly related to abnormal blood sugar levels.

Most demonic hallucinations are auditory. When I worked at a crisis center, clients hearing voices were an everyday experience. The voices usually said derogatory things about the client and would tell them to do things that they shouldn't do. Since it was a secular program, I couldn't tell the clients that the voices they were hearing were demonic. But I could tell them "Don't trust the voices." The clients would almost always respond "Oh, I know that!"

The content of these "hallucinations" are rather predictable. Two client examples: First client: The voices "call me stupid," "pick on me," "harass me" and tell me to "drink more." Second client: Heard voices telling him to "kill yourself," "hurt yourself" and "you need to die."

Some demonic hallucinations are the result of a spiritual foothold—but not all. The ones that are the result of a spiritual foothold—usually anger—are harder to get rid of. In this category, I remember a young man who was molested by his psychopathic father. The young man would hear voices telling him to "kill the child molester." To get rid of the voices, the young man would need to make progress in terms of forgiving his father.

For a more extreme example of "hallucinations" involving a spiritual foothold, be sure to read my article on the occult.

Demonic hallucinations that are not the result of a spiritual foothold are easy to get rid of, at least for Christians. All you have to do is pray and/or rebuke the Devil in the name of Jesus. For an example, read my article on sleep paralysis.

Prayer and rebuking of the Devil may also work with demonic hallucinations involving a spiritual foothold. Prayer is especially effective if you pray with another Christian. If so, the result will be temporary. The "hallucinations" will continue to recur as long as the spiritual foothold exists.

Never try to rebuke the Devil until you first get saved. That is potentially dangerous (Acts 19:13-17).

The most common reason why Christians cannot get rid of recurring hallucinations is because of the spiritual foothold of anger. The use of psychotropic drugs usually makes it impossible to learn to use the Bible to effectively deal with this issue.

It should be noted that medications often do make the hallucinations go away while you are taking the drugs. And this is true whether the cause is medical or spiritual.

Hallucinations involving sexual content are relatively rare, but they do occur in both sexes. I remember a woman who told me "I get raped every night." She was, of course, not actually being raped. But she felt bodily sensations as if she was. This was clearly demonic.

Demonic hallucinations can occur in conjunction with demonic delusions as part of a spiritual attack. For example, one client heard her therapist's voice (me) and believed that what she was hearing was my thoughts. Of course, what she 'heard' was disturbing to her and untrue.

It is very important to teach people not to be afraid of disturbing voices, images, feelings or ideas that come from the Devil. And not to dwell on these things. And to never allow themselves to believe a lie.

In evaluating someone with hallucinations, there are several salient considerations.

First, hallucinations caused by a medical condition can quickly become emergencies. So, early medical evaluation and intervention is of the utmost importance. Of course, most doctors cannot distinguish between legitimate medical conditions and the spiritual.

Second, is the person detached from reality? If the person is insane, he/she should not be left alone. Family monitoring and supervision is essential. And professional help may be needed. Be sure to also read my article on Delusional Individuals.

I hope this article has been helpful to you. As with other mental health issues, once you determine what is going on, then, and only then, are you in a position to know what to do.

1 http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Hallucinations

2 Excerpted from article entitled "Hallucinations" by Medline Plus: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003258.htm

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