Transferal of spirits

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We have found ourselves in awkward situations when we stayed in the hostel in Jerusalem. People from all walks of life go to Jerusalem for different reasons. People are often eager to share their faith, prophesy or pray for whomever is interested. I once shared a table with a lady in the kitchen at breakfast time and she wanted to pray and prophesy for me. She was doing the same for everybody she encountered. How are we to deal with this? Should you allow a complete stranger to lay hands on you and pray for you?

It is taught that we are to be careful whom we associate with or whom we allow to lay hands on us, for evil spirits, may be transferred to us. In this study, we will search scripture to find out if this statement is true.

We will first look at how demonization takes place in a person. We know from scripture that demons can and does inhabit living creatures including people.

How can a person become demonized?

There are different ways in which a person can become demonized. To be demonized is to be either inhabited or afflicted by demons. When a demon/demons inhabit or afflict a person, they have a right to do so. This right is given to them by the person self or by a person in authority over him/her. Here are a few ways by which a person can become demonized:

Generational curses

Generational curses through the family line can cause demonization. We have written in detail about this. You can go to the link if you want to read more.

Deception, believing lies

Computer technology has made it possible for us to be exposed to much information. However, not all of it is true and can lead to deception. Deception is spread by people who through their craftiness trick people into following them both online and in real life. They can use different tactics, fear is a popular one. Be careful!

Ephesians 4:14
14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;

Our fallen nature seems to gravitate to people who appear to be strong and authoritative leaders. If we are not careful to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit, we may become deceived. It is our responsibility to test everything we hear and read against YHVH’s Word, sadly many people don’t. If we do not use good spiritual judgement, we will end up being deceived. Deception is demonic and this strong leader, who is deceived, will transfer the spirit of deception to his/her followers.

Y’shua warns that we are to look out that the light in us is not darkness. What may seem like light to us, could be darkness.

Luke 11:34–35
34 “The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35 “Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness.

We will know this by the fruit produced. I must say that I wonder sometimes about the Messianic movement. If we were to judge the movement by the fruit it produces, then we clearly see that something is amiss. Could it be because the real light which is Y’shua is being extinguished? I dare say that I think this is the problem. We can have love for each other and unity in Y’shua, however, love is not always a characteristic of this movement. Those who love Y’shua and proclaim His name have love and those who has moved Him aside often don’t. This is a good example of deception. When Y’shua who is the Living Torah, is rejected, people tend to become hard and all they do is collect and compare knowledge. They feel empty and want to fill up that emptiness with something. This knowledge becomes so important that they will do anything to prove they are right. This produces strife, confusion and disunity. It really is a sad situation.

I know this because there was a time that we considered our faith in Y’shua as less important than keeping the Torah. This was about eight years ago. It happened gradually. We were about four years into this walk and spend all our Bible study time studying Torah. Our study involved mainly listening to and reading other people’s material without really studying for ourselves. We just couldn’t accumulate enough knowledge. We were very zealous, but have become hard. We were scrutinizing others to determine the earnesty of their walk and judged and criticized them based on what they knew. This was very wrong. In our fifth year we were doing the Torah Club studies focussing on Y’shua in the Torah and it started dawning on us that Y’shua has become a stranger to us.

YHVH is faithful. He used people to restore us back to Y’shua, the author and finisher of our faith.

We had much contact with Christian friends at this time and it was amazing to see how they lived in absolute faith and how they experienced miracles and YHVH’s leading in their life. It perplexed me how YHVH could do so much for people who live in disobedience in my eyes. It dawned on me that YHVH obviously saw them differently and that was the catalyst for change in our lives. We understood that their eyes have not been opened to YHVH’s truth that the Torah has not been done away with, but they lived in absolute devotion according to their understanding. This changed how we view Christians and Messianic believers in general. We now see them as brothers and sisters in the faith and love them for who and where they are in their walk. Each of us is on our own journey and YHVH reveals what we need to know when we need it.

We thought we had the light in us, but our light was darkness. Our reliance on others for our learning and taking our eyes off Y’shua and what He has done for us, changed us and made us legalistic. It made us hard and focused on knowledge. Knowledge became more important than following Y’shua. We have allowed ourselves to become deceived. The balance between the law and grace was gone.

For this reason, we are to be careful and not believe every spirit, but test every spirit to see whether they are from YHVH.

1 John 4:1–3
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from Elohim, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of Elohim: every spirit that confesses that Y’shua Messiah has come in the flesh is from Elohim; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Y’shua is not from Elohim; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.

Only YHVH’s truth can change deception, but we are to be willing to yield to His truth. Speaking of yielding. Unyielded areas in our lives can open us up for demonization in that area.


John 8:34
34 Y’shua answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

Committing sin gives satan the right to afflict us. When we sin, the protective hedge (Job 1:10) around us is broken and we can be afflicted by demons. In the article Defiled Land, we explain how sin can bring a curse on us or our land. We become a slave of the one we obey.

Romans 6:16
16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

When we sin, we obey satan and become his slave. When we obey YHVH, we become His slave, or bondservant.

This demonization that can take place when we sin, is according to YHVH’s will. The evil spirit may be sent by YHVH. Saul is a good example of a person demonized by an evil spirit from YHVH . He was disobedient to YHVH and first YHVH’s Spirit left him and then YHVH allowed an evil spirit to terrorize him.

1 Samuel 16:14
14 Now the Spirit of YHVH departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from YHVH terrorized him.

This spirit caused him to feel unsure of himself and made him want to kill David as a result thereof. It ultimately caused his destruction.

Sin always originates with a thought. Judas is a good example.

John 13:2
2 During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him,

Judas entertained this thought. Y’shua discerned what was happening (because He foreknew it)and said the following:

John 13:21
21 When Y’shua had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.”

The disciples wanted to know who it was, Y’shua showed them and Satan entered into Judas.

John 13:26–27
26 Y’shua then answered, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.” So when He had dipped the morsel, He took and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Y’shua said to him, “What you do, do quickly.”

What happened here? Judas allowed Satan to enter into him. He has made up his mind to betray Y’shua. This is how it works with us as well. Satan puts thoughts in our minds or heart, he creates a desire in us to do something sinful. We have two choices, we can either reject the thought or entertain it. When we entertain it, we allow satan to enter us and we will fulfill that desire. It is for this reason that Y’shua said if a man has looked at a woman with lust in his heart, it is as if he has comitted adultery with her. Only time sits between the entertainment of a sinful thought and the sin itself. For this reason, we are to take every thought captive that is contrary to YHVH’s word. Our mind is the battleground and we are to be astute warriors.

Soul ties

We have written two articles on soul ties, how they develop and how to break them if they are not righteous. Here are links to both: Relationships – Ties that bind and Entangled by unrighteous ties.


Severe trauma can cause demonization. A good example is ritual and sexual abuse. Not only does unholy soul-ties form, but demonization can also take place.


Influence is a form of control we give to another.

1 Corinthians 15:33
33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”

The word corrupt is explained as follows in the Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament.

88.266 φθείρωc; διαφθείρωb; καταφθείρω: to cause someone to become perverse or depraved, as a type of moral destruction—‘to deprave, to pervert, to ruin, to cause the moral ruin of.’φθείρωc : ἔκρινεν τὴν πόρνην τὴν μεγάλην ἥτις ἔφθειρεν τὴν γῆν ἐν τῇ πορνείᾳ αὐτῆς ‘he condemned the great harlot who was leading the world into moral ruin with her immorality’ Re 19:2.

διαφθείρωb: διαφθεῖραι τοὺς διαφθείροντας τὴν γῆν ‘to destroy those who ruin the earth’ or ‘… cause the earth to be depraved’ Re 11:18; διαπαρατριβαὶ διεφθαρμένων ἀνθρώπων τὸν νοῦν ‘constant arguments from those whose minds are depraved’ 1 Tm 6:5.

καταφθείρω: ἄνθρωποι κατεφθαρμένοι τὸν νοῦν ‘people with depraved minds’ 2 Tm 3:8.2

Proverbs 22:24–25
24 Do not associate with a man given to anger; Or go with a hot-tempered man, 25 Or you will learn his ways And find a snare for yourself.

If a child hangs out with a rebellious child, he or she will become rebellious. If a person spends their time reading every report about what Isis is doing, they will become fearful. That is by the way how they control people, with fear. The spirit of fear is transferred very easily through media. When we read and share their articles, we believe and perpetuate their lies, spreading the spirit of fear.

Whomever or whatever we spend our time with, will influence us. Don’t think you can go to nightclubs as a believer to reach people for YHVH. Changes are, you will be influenced by them instead. Demons love these places of unrighteousness and you being there, makes influence not only possible, but a fact.

1 Corinthians 10:12
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.

All of the above can cause demonization, it makes us receptive. This is important to remember. Now that we know how demonization can take place, let us look what we can find in scripture regarding the transfer of demons. Demons are spirit-beings and can and want to inhabit living creatures; it is their nature. In Matthew and the corresponding passage in Luke, we find an example of demons being transferred from one living creature to another.

Matthew 8:31–32
31 The demons began to entreat Him, saying, “If You are going to cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.” 32 And He said to them, “Go!” And they came out and went into the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the waters.

In order for a demon to inhabit a person, he must find that person inhabitable. That means he needs “permission” to enter. This “permission” is given by the person if any of the areas we discussed above are present in their lives. In Matthew, Y’shua also explains how a demon that was cast out, can return.

Matthew 12:43–45
43 “Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. 44 “Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. 45 “Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.”

A demon was cast from this man, yet the man didn’t seem to choose to live for YHVH, for when the demon came around again, he found the man empty and receptive. He entered in, bringing seven more demons with him.

How can we interpret this? When a person choose to live for YHVH, in obedience, YHVH makes a protective hedge around him. Also, if YHVH’s Spirit is in him, the demon won’t find him unoccupied. In the parallel passage in Luke, Y’shua said the following:

Luke 11:28
28 But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of Elohim and observe it.”

Y’shua is describing obedience. Blessing comes from obedience. The Greek word “makarios” was translated as “blessed

25.119 μακάριος, α, ον: pertaining to being happy, with the implication of enjoying favorable circumstances—‘happy.’ μακάριοι οἱ ἐλεήμονες, ὅτι αὐτοὶ ἐλεηθήσονται ‘happy are those who show mercy, for God will be merciful to them’ Mt 5:7. This passive construction in Greek (ἐλεηθήσονται) is generally regarded as a so-called ‘passive of avoidance,’ that is to say, the use of a passive form in order to avoid a direct reference to God.2

This favorable circumstances comes from obedience. A protective hedge is formed around those who live in obedience. Disobedience breaks the protective hedge and will cause the Spirit of YHVH to leave. This makes a person receptive to demonization.

The question is: can a demon transfer from one person to another? Can any spirit transfer from one person to another?

Transfer of the Holy Spirit

We know from scripture, that the Holy Spirit can transfer from one person to another. However, this is not willed by the person, but by YHVH. The seventy elders received of the Spirit that was on Moses.

Numbers 11:17
17 “Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit who is upon you, and will put Him upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you will not bear it all alone.

Numbers 11:25
25 Then YHVH came down in the cloud and spoke to him; and He took of the Spirit who was upon him and placed Him upon the seventy elders. And when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do it again.

Another example is found in scripture. YHVH instructed Moses to lay his hand on Joshua and commission him before the people.

Numbers 27:18–20
18 So YHVH said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; 19 and have him stand before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and commission him in their sight. 20 “You shall put some of your authority on him, in order that all the congregation of the sons of Israel may obey him.

Moses layed his hands on Joshua and he was filled with the spirit of wisdom.

Deuteronomy 34:9
9 Now Joshua the son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; and the sons of Israel listened to him and did as YHVH had commanded Moses.

We have also learned that the disciples laid hands on people and they received YHVH’s Spirit.

Acts 19:6
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.

Acts 8:17
17 Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.

These verses attest to the transfer of YHVH’s Spirit from person to person. It is my opinion that other spirits can transfer in a similar fashion to a person who is receptive to receive it. It is important to accentuate the fact that the person has to be receptive. To be receptive means willing and able to receive, like Y’shua described the man from who a demon was cast out (Matt 12:43-45) If a person has accepted Y’shua as his Savior, he will be receptive to receive YHVH’s Spirit. In the same way, if a person choose sin, he or she would be receptive to evil spirits.

I don’t believe that it can just happen by being in the company with someone who is demonized. It is more complex, the receptiveness has to be there. We are to be willing to receive from them.

When we allow a person to lay hands on us or pray for us, we are willing to receive from them. There is a danger in this, if we don’t know the person. They may be living in rebellion or sin and when we allow them to lay hands on us, they may transfer this to us if we are receptive. For this reason we wouldn’t allow complete strangers to pray for us or our children.

Let’s look to scripture to see what we can learn regarding the transfer of evil spirits.

The bad report

When the twelve spies returned from spying out the land, ten of them brought a bad report. Through this report a spirit of fear and unbelief was transferred to the people.

Numbers 13:27–33
27 Thus they told him, and said, “We went in to the land where you sent us; and it certainly does flow with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 “Nevertheless, the people who live in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large; and moreover, we saw the descendants of Anak there. 29 “Amalek is living in the land of the Negev and the Hittites and the Jebusites and the Amorites are living in the hill country, and the Canaanites are living by the sea and by the side of the Jordan.” 30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.” 32 So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size. 33 “There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

The effect on the people was profound. They were filled with fear, they cried and rebelled against Moses, Aaron and YHVH.

Numbers 14:1–4
1 Then all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2 All the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3 “Why is YHVH bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 So they said to one another, “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt.”

The people, listened to the report and were bombarded with thoughts of what might happen; “their wives and little ones would become plunder” and reacted to it by rebelling against YHVH and their leaders. It was a spiritual attack of immense proportions and only Joshua and Caleb was not influenced. Why were they different?

Following YHVH fully

It is written that Caleb had a different spirit in him and followed YHVH fully.

Numbers 14:24
24 “But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it.

By implication the same is true about Joshua.

Numbers 14:30
30 ‘Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.

We know what the outcome was. The Israelites were not going to be allowed to enter the land, only Joshua, Caleb and the “little ones” the israelites were so concerned about. The key to our understanding is the phrase “followed Me fully.” I understand from scripture that the Israelites didn’t follow YHVH fully.

We read that the Israelites took with them the tabernacle of Moloch and the star of the god Rompha.

Acts 7:41–43
41 “At that time they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their hands. 42 “But Elohim turned away and delivered them up to serve the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, ‘It was not to Me that you offered victims and sacrifices forty years in the wilderness, was it, O house of Israel? 43 ‘You also took along the tabernacle of Moloch and the star of the god Rompha, the images which you made to worship. I also will remove you beyond Babylon.’

Here are a few more references:

Amos 5:25–26
25 “Did you present Me with sacrifices and grain offerings in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel? 26 “You also carried along Sikkuth your king and Kiyyun, your images, the star of your gods which you made for yourselves.

Joshua 24:14
14 “Now, therefore, fear YHVH and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve YHVH.

From these references it is clear that Israel did not follow YHVH fully. This made them receptive to the influence of the spirit of fear, doubt and unbelief. Joshua and Caleb on the other hand had a different spirit in them and followed YHVH fully. They lived in righteous obedience and that is the difference. They were filled with YHVH’s Spirit and because of their obedience were protected by the hedge YHVH made around them.

Israel became defiled through their worship of other gods. It became a snare to them and made them receptive to demonic influence. Whatever unrighteousness, we expose ourselves to, will with continuous exposure, influence us and make us receptive to demonization. The media is a great example. Music is especially powerful. Excessive alcohol and the use of drugs makes us easy targets for satan (Prov 23:29-35). We are to be vigilant and guard our hearts against any unrighteousness.


From this study, we have learned how certain things in our life can cause demonization. There are steps we can take to prevent it.

  • Generational curses can be broken in Y’shua’s name and any demons associated with it driven out.
  • We are to search for truth, by proving everything we hear and read and listen to YHVH’s Spirit directing us. This will prevent deception.
  • We are to turn from sin and ask forgiveness. This is probably the most important. We are to live in obedience to YHVH’s instructions. If we do, then He will protect us.
  • We are to break unrighteous relationships and sever the soul ties formed.
  • We are to ask YHVH to heal us from the effects of trauma, and reveal it to us if we have dissociated from it in order for us to heal.
  • We are to choose our friends wisely and limit worldly influence.

If we don’t do this, we become receptive to demonization. We are to diligently guard our hearts. We are also to be careful who we allow to lay hands on us or our children or prophesy to us.

Proverbs 4:23
23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.


  1. All quoted passages are from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995. We have substituted YHVH for LORD and Y’shua for Jesus.
  2. Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, pp. 769–770). New York: United Bible Societies.

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2 responses to “Transferal of spirits”

  1. Dianna

    Excellent article on ALL points! Thank you so much for sharing the truth. May The Lord bless and keep you.

  2. Cherlene

    Great article! Sound biblical truth and reliance of the Holy Spirit for guidance with the foundation of Jesus being our Lord. Perfect! Perfect

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