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Unforgiveness Brings Demonic Torment

Paul warned the believers in Ephesus that they must, “not give a place to the devil.” Satan is looking for opportunities to gain a foothold in our lives. He, “ … walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour,” (1 Peter 5:8). One of the ways that we give a place to the devil, and welcome demonic torment, is through unforgiveness.

In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus told a parable about the importance of extending forgiveness to others. In the story, a king forgave one of his servants a large debt that he was unable to repay. That same servant then found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount of money. Instead of extending the same mercy he had received and forgiving his fellow servant, he had him placed in prison.

When the king heard what had happened, he was furious: “And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him,” (Matthew 18:34). The words of Jesus in the next verse are very sobering: “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

Our sin against God is a debt that we could never pay. Yet, God provided for our forgiveness through the death of His own Son on the cross. In turn, when others sin against us, He expects us to show the same mercy to them that He has shown to us.

Getting free from the Prison of Unforgiveness

Living in a fallen world, we all experience the pain of being sinned against to one degree or another. How we respond when this happens will have major implications on our spiritual life.

When we harbor bitterness, anger and unforgiveness in our hearts, we end up like the man in the parable: imprisoned and tormented. Unforgiveness places us in a spiritual prison, and gives the devil permission to torment us. It does not hurt the person who sinned against us, it hurts us. We receive tremendous healing and breakthrough when we forgive the people who have sinned against us.

Forgiving others is a choice not a feeling. If we wait until we feel like forgiving, it will probably never come. When we choose to forgive, it is not condoning the hurtful behavior of others; it is not making what they did to us okay. But it is releasing the bitterness and resentment that we have in our hearts toward them. When we do this, we are setting ourselves free from a spiritual prison.

Is there anyone that you need to forgive? You don’t necessarily need to speak to them in person, but between you and God, forgive them from your heart. Say a prayer like this:

God, because you have forgiven me I choose to forgive others. Specifically, I forgive _____________________. I lay down all bitterness, anger and resentment. I command any evil spirits that are tormenting me because of unforgiveness to go now in Jesus name!

Receive God’s love and set yourself free from the prison of unforgiveness!

How has extending forgiveness changed your life? 

About Jake

Jake Kail is a teacher, author, and speaker who is passionate for the kingdom of God. He was called into ministry during his college years, after a life-changing encounter with God. The focus of his ministry is on teaching and equipping believers, strengthening local churches, and seeing awakening and restoration come to the church. He also ministers often in the area of deliverance from evil spirits, seeing people set free from bondage, torment, and oppression. Jake is the author of three books: Restoring the Ministry of Jesus, Can a Christian Have a Demon?, and Abiding in the Vine. He speaks at churches, retreats, conferences, and other venues. Jake lives with his wife and family in Lancaster, PA where he serves on the pastoral team at Threshold Church. Check out Jake’s website and blog here: http://www.jakekail.com.

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  1. I agree with the overall thrust of this article on unforgiveness. I do find it frustrating though that most articles on this subject all say pretty much the established truisms. We all know unforgiveness is bad. However, I think for people who have had lives full of trauma, abuse, violence, deep grief pain and loss, its not as simple as there being say, five people you need to forgive over specific incidents that occurred between you. I really don’t like using cancer as a comparison, but I can’t think of anything else at the moment. Its comparable to say, trying to remove a tumor or lesion that is limited to a certain area. It has clear boundaries and can be safely identified isolated and removed. But what about when its all over the place? I can just about imagine making long lists of offenses and trying to forgive each one. In fact, I’ve done that. I get that forgiveness is not a feeling. But it doesn’t seem to come at my bidding by an act of the will either. I’ve tried the “make a decision of the will” to obey approach many, many times. It has never worked except in the most topical way. Which leaves me wondering why and if this is something you’ve heard of before, where someone was blocked for whatever reason in this manner, despite real efforts at obedience and forgiving.

    An additional concern I have is that often in Christian circles and articles on the subject, people seem to think that the proof of having forgiven is that you aren’t seeking justice and you are willing to fellowship with the one who did the harm. I don’t think that is necessarily true. Did Paul wish to fellowship with Alexander the Coppersmith? No doubt if the infamous Alexander manifested fruits of real repentance he would have. But not carte blanche without condition. Also, the Corinthian Christians were instructed to put a disorderly immoral man out of their fellowship. They were not to fellowship with him until he demonstrated repentance. Same with the divisive person or the reviler. An abused wife or a parent using the bearer of the sword ( upholders of the law ) police, etc, to bring consequences and to stop an out of control wicked person from continuing to do harm, is not guilty of unforgiveness.

    Look forward to your thoughts.

    • I was a victim most of my life. So much trauma through the years. I was bitter, and unforgiving. As a result I was tormented by demons continually and didn’t even know it until my 50s . God wants us to obey him because he knows what will happen if we don’t. Satan will have an inroad into our lives through our unforgiveness and be aloud to torment us due to our disobedience.
      God is wanting us to trust him by being obedient. All the feelings took time to sort through once I choose to forgive. It’s a daily walk to stay free of unforgiveness and bitterness. I have found that refusing to become offended in the first place helps me. We must trust God with the outcome after we forgive. Once we choose to forgive others we get out of the way of God working in the life of those that hurt us. Doing things Gods way is always best. It doesn’t make what happened to you right. However God can bring much restoration into your life when we stop looking for payback from our offender. Give them to God. His way of dealing with the situation is so much better than us meddling and trying to make things right.

  2. What happens if u can’t forgive because of the pain

  3. Janet- I’ve always have seen things in the spirit, and several months ago I seen a demon/devil come up to my face and said ( you have aids) I was like whatever I’ve been checked out because I’ve been giving blood and the tormenting night and day begun I went to the the doctor they did blood test and said they found nothing but yet I’m tormented day and night the only relief I find is reading scriptures or prayers and it leaves but keeps coming back, I keep thinking it’s a spiritual problem, but I call upon the lord for help. Am I missing something? It’s really weird and not sure how to fight this but god said the battle is his, but how can I seek the lord and the torment keeps coming? Any help would be appreciated thank youz

    • Do you trust the comforter. ( Holy Spirit ) our Lord sent ? If so have Faith with your prayer believing God our Father will answer, ask your God and Father what possible open door is still there giving that tormentor and avenue. Then verbally decree it in your atmosphere as sin to God your Father through Christ Jesus your intercessor and that enemy or enemies will have to flee for God our Father says submit to Him resist the devil and he has to flee ! ! !

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