How & Why Spirits Transfer Between People

How and Why Spirits Transfer Between People

by Chris Simpson

The purpose of this document is to explain how and why spirits transfer between people and to explain some principles regarding this phenomenon.

I would be willing to wager that most people have never been exposed to a teaching quite like this: it’s not the average topic about which you would expect to receive instruction. If you were going to a church meeting where a pastor regularly preaches a sermon, it’s not the type of sermon you would expect him to preach. Nevertheless, transference of spirits is a phenomenon that you probably experience every day. Since it is both a common occurrence and one that is rarely examined or understood, I believe that it is wise to consider the subject from a Scriptural standpoint.


Let’s begin with a concept that is already familiar. We all know how diseases can be transferred through germs. Somebody shows up at work and they’re sneezing on everything. They sneeze on the copy machine right before you have to press the button to operate it. You think twice about touching that button because you wonder if you’ll catch whatever it is that’s making them sneeze. Maybe sometime during the day you have to use an elevator. You push the button to call for it. When the elevator arrives, the door opens and you see someone inside the car sneezing. You realize that you are going to have to walk into that car full of whatever they just sneezed out into the air. You probably look at them politely and say, “No thanks. I’ll take the next car.” These are examples of common situations where, if the conditions are right and people are susceptible, diseases can transfer by an unseen element called germs.

Spirits can transfer in much the same way. For example, have you ever been in a room when somebody in a very lousy mood walked in? Their mood had a tendency to transfer to those around, particularly if the person was your mate or your boss. Have you ever seen your boss come into work angry and his mood affected everybody else in the office? These are examples of transference of spirits. Let’s look into the Word at some illustrations of these phenomena recorded there.

Mark 15:6…

6 Now at [that] feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired.7 And there was [one] named Barabbas, [which lay] bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.8 And the multitude crying aloud began to desire [him to do] as he had ever done unto them.

The multitude was crying out to Pilate for the death of Barabbas because he was a known murderer.

9 But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? 10 For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. 11 But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. 12 And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do [unto him] whom ye call the King of the Jews? 13 And they cried out again, Crucify him. 14 Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him. 15 And [so] Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged [him], to be crucified.

At the outset, the mob was crying out to Pilate to execute Barabbas because he was clearly guilty of a terrible crime. But, the chief priests came among the mob, manipulated them, and persuaded the crowd to call for the execution of Jesus instead. Perhaps they whispered to people, “No, no, not Barabbas, Jesus is the one.” It took just a handful of priests to sway the entire mob from one extreme to the other to get them to demanding the crucifixion of Christ. It was as if the mob was over on one side and with just a little push, they completely shifted to the other side.

Consider, also, the events that occurred during the week when Jesus was crucified. He entered Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday. As Jesus rode into the city, the multitude was crying out in adoration, welcoming him with shouts of, “Hosanna, hosanna! Blessed is He that comes in the name of David!” They threw down palm branches before him as a token of honor and worship. But that same crowd just a few days later was the one we saw in Mark 15 shouting, “Crucify him, crucify him!”


Have you ever noticed how easy it is to go along with the crowd? There’s something that can occur in groups of people called “mob mentality” or “mob psychology.” It occurs when each person in the group tends to start doing what everybody else is doing. No one wants to “stick out” or draw undue attention to themselves. If you had been present in Jerusalem on the day the mob was turned against Jesus saying “crucify him,” you wouldn’t want to be the only one saying, “release him.” You would run the risk of having attention drawn to yourself as being different. People might have looked at you and said, “Crucify HIM!” about you!

Here’s a practical illustration: Suppose that at lunch time you walk into the office break room and you’re getting yourself a cold drink. You notice that there are a couple of people sitting around a table talking. At first you ignore them but then you begin to listen in. You begin to realize that they’re all talking about “Mr. X.” You’re sitting there, innocently getting your drink, and you’re listening to this. Your spirit says to you, “I shouldn’t listen to this. This is gossip.” But you ask yourself, “well, am I sure it’s gossip? Let me listen to make sure. I need to know what they’re saying so I can ‘witness’ to Mr. X.” Before you know it, you’re actively listening. And did you know what happens? The spirit of gossip and evil speaking and bitterness and resentment that is on them jumps on you. You walk out of the break room and you’re going down the hall and there’s “Mr. X,” the person they were talking about.

And “Mr. X” says, “hi,” …and you respond somewhat uneasily, “hi.”

Something is now “on” you that wasn’t “on” you before and it’s making you react uneasily where normally you would not. You have just inadvertently “gone along with the crowd” and accepted an untested popular belief.


Sometimes you open yourself to this by hearing someone deliberately speak evil of another person. This is called “third party judgment.” This can occur when somebody “unloads” or “dumps” on you about another person. You see someone during your day

“How are you doing today?” you ask them. “Terrible,” they respond. “Well, what’s the matter with you?” you inquire. “Well….” …and they start “dumping” garbage statements about “Mr. X.” Now you didn’t know much about “Mr. X” before. Maybe you even liked him. But when you heard evil-speaking about him, you said to yourself, “come to think of it, I do believe that he IS a….. (fill-in-the-blank).” Something has transferred on to you and you’ve picked up this “third party judgment.” Before you know it, the same bad spirit that was on the person who dumped on you has transferred on to you. This is a very common phenomenon and Scripture has something very clear to say about it.

One of the best Biblical pictures of this is found in Numbers 13:27-. You may know the story. A small band of twelve men were sent out to search the promised land. When they returned to Moses and all the people of Israel, they gave a report of what they saw. They said,

27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this [is] the fruit of it.

These twelve spies that returned from the promised land had this big old stick with a giant bunch of grapes on it. By saying, “look at the fruit of the land” they mean “This is a great land.”

28 Nevertheless the people [be] strong that dwell in the land, and the cities [are] walled, [and] very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.

I imagine that this statement cast the beginnings of fear and doubt over the crowd. The spies continued on and said,

29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.

All of a sudden these spies who have returned from the promised land are saying that in the mountains, in the desert, and by the sea are enemies, Enemies, ENEMIES! Enemies are everywhere! The people must be saying among themselves, “Sure, there’s good fruit in the land, but all of these dreadful Amorites and Canaanites are there! So are the children of Anak!”

The children of Israel were probably thinking good things before the spies actually arrived. Then one day someone saw them returning from their expedition. They saw them on the horizon and they were excited! They said, “I see them! here they come! They’re back from their expedition! A couple of them have BIG bunches of fruit! All right! Time to fight, time to take the promised land!” But when these twelve returning spies arrived back at the camp of the Israelites, they arrived full of their fear and unbelief. As a result, fear and unbelief began to come out of their mouths. It began to spread over the Israelite assembly in the same way that germs would have spread if someone had started sneezing on them. The Israelites began to catch the “germs” of fear and unbelief as if they were catching some kind of disease.

One man was able to see what was going on. His name was Caleb. He jumped up and tried to stop the spread of the panic:

30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.

But look..

31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they [are] stronger than we.

The reaction of the men to Caleb’s statement seemed, at this point, to be one that was based upon common sense. But in reality, fear is at work here.

32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, [is] a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof;

It got worse. They began to say that the land would eat up its inhabitants.

32b …and all the people that we saw in it [are] men of a great stature.

…Then they said that there were giant men.

33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, [which come] of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

Have you ever noticed that when people tell a story, the more they talk, the worse it gets? The spies in this story started out sounding just a little discouraged. Before long, they were talking about themselves as grasshoppers in a land filled with giants. Finally, the whole congregation cried out in anguish. They couldn’t stand it. In Numbers 14, they basically said “Oh, no, we’re a bunch of grasshoppers and if we go hopping in the land of the giants we’ll get squished!”

Numbers 14:

1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.

The whole nation of Israel was infected. The spirit of unbelief and fear on twelve spies transferred to hundreds and thousands of people. Can you see that? The Word goes on to say…

2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!

I have found that certain moods, attitudes, and dispositions tend to spread like wildfire. Once they start and build momentum, it’s hard to stop them. Caleb tried to stop the fear and unbelief spread by the spies, but he failed. Gossip and tale-bearing have their own power and momentum, too. Unfortunately, bad news often travels faster and farther than good news.


I want to show you a couple of principles we can develop about transference of spirits. They can be illustrated in the Word. Let’s look at Esther 3. To properly delve into the allegory of Esther would require a separate publication. Suffice it to say that the character Haman in the Book of Esther was a “bad guy.” He moved in demonic power. Look at Esther 3:15…

15 The posts went out, being hastened by the king’s commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.

In the book of Esther, the King Ahasuerus aligned himself with Haman. Haman was of the lineage of the Agagites, who were related to the evil Canaanites. God wanted to do away with these wicked people. Haman was a hater of the Jews, the “Hitler” of his time. The Word comments on the result of the King’s alliance with Haman by stating that “when they sat down to drink that the city was perplexed.” The entire city was negatively affected by the king sitting in the presence of an evil man. Can you see this? The King is the local authority figure. Because he as the authority consorted and fellowshipped with evil, the whole city was affected.

Here’s our first important principle about the operation of Transference of Spirits:

1.)When a person is in any kind of spiritual authority over anybody, whatever spirit is on them may easily transfer to those in their charge.

When an authority figure is in error, their sin and attitudes may transfer to those who are under their authority.

Practical examples:

Adolf Hitler, leader of Germany during World War II, had his entire nation hypnotized. I’ve studied a lot about Hitler over the years and I’ve been fascinated by the accounts I’ve read of him. Did you know that Hitler appears to have operated under a spiritual anointing? This anointing didn’t “break the heavy yoke,” this one brought a heavy yoke. It was a demonic anointing. Folks who have written about Hitler note that when he would get up to speak, it seemed as if a spirit would come on him. Have you ever seen an old newsreel of Hitler talking? When he would speak, he would mesmerize thousands. Historians say that he would speak and his talking would get louder and louder, building to an almost romantic climax. His audiences of literally hundreds of thousands of people would fall utterly under his spell. It was reported to be an incredible, almost religious experience.

Yet, did you know his consorts called him the “carpet chewer?” In The Rise and Fall if The Third Reich by William Scheier, it is recorded that Hitler would actually fall on the carpet and chew the edges of it when he got mad. I ask you: is this not highly suggestive that Hitler had demons? If ever anybody had a demon, he did. The whole nation was hypnotized under his demonic power and as a result of his involvement in World War II, close to fifty million people directly or indirectly died.

Another example is that of Jim Jones, the cult leader who persuaded his entire congregation to move to Guiana. He seemed to have a mesmerizing, hypnotic power that brought people under his “spell.” When authority figures are moving under the influence of a spirit, how easy it is for that same spirit to transfer onto those under them.

How many of you parents know that the “spirit” in your life transfers to your children? In fact, it’s interesting that most parents never really seek deliverance for themselves until the little kids starting getting of age to mirror the problems of their parents. They see problems in their children and say to themselves, “Oh my God, Junior’s acting like my husband! Not me!” or “I see my wife’s sin in her!” Then you get honest and begin to see your own sin in that child. You try to rebuke it out and you feel guilty. “How can I punish this child when it’s in me?” At this point, I’ve seen many parents come looking for some serious deliverance in their life. Before you have kids, you can often avoid looking at your sin problems and the resulting bondages of the demonic. But when it starts becoming generational and you see your struggles showing up in your offspring, you become highly motivated to deal with it.

This is also true with spiritual authorities. If you’re in any kind of spiritual authority over anybody, whatever spirits are on you can transfer to those in your charge. A pastor can come into his church and be in a “certain way” and people pick it up. They don’t even know what they are picking up; it just flows through. It has something to do with authority. I’ve told people, and I’ve seen this many, many times: you can feel the character of the pastor by walking in the midst of the people. You go into a church and you hang around a little while (you’ve got to be there a while) and you can tell the character of the pastor by the tenor of the people. Why is that? The same thing is true with a family. You can tell a lot about dad and mom by just looking at the kids.

2.) When an authority figure is walking in righteousness, their passion and attitudes may transfer to those who are under their authority.

Transference is not limited to negative influences. Positive influences may be transferred from an authority to those in his charge, as well. If we read on toward the end of the Book of Esther, we find out that things changed for the better. Mordecai, the good guy, became the king’s companion and Haman, the bad guy, was sentenced to hang on the gallows.

Esther 8:15-

15 And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.

Now we see the city full of joy. It all had to do with the king becoming associated with a good man. The whole city was affected. The authority figure in this case had the unique privilege of transferring positively. I’ll give you one of the most amazing examples that I’ve seen in the last ten years. When Ronald Reagan was elected President in 1980, the United States was still heavily affected by what I call the “Vietnam blues.” Patriotism was totally on the outs. That grieved me because I’ve always been a patriot and not necessarily opposed to the Vietnam War. I would have gone if my lottery number had been low enough.*

* (Now praise God it wasn’t. This was one of the first prayers Jesus ever answered in my life. I got saved in 1971 and two months later my entire future was laying at the end of the driveway. It was the newspaper with the lottery pulling of my birthday. I remember looking at it and I said, “my future is at the end of the driveway.” I went and got the newspaper and I gave it to my mother. She knew my number was 124. My mother read it and she went , “Oh my God, Chris. In St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana they’re drafting up to 125.” I said, “You’re kidding.” I looked at it. I was 124 and numbers 125 and down were going to ‘Nam. I got on my knees and I’d been saved only two months. I had friends coming back in pine boxes back then. I said, “Oh Jesus, please keep my out of Nam. Now I’m a patriot, but not that much.” By 1971, you could see that the government was playing games down there. They weren’t fighting it like Desert Storm where we went in, we did it and we got out. That was a war, that thing down in Vietnam. But you know, Jesus answered my prayer because and 118 my draft board hit their quota. So I decided to join the Lord’s army instead. Praise God! )

During Reagan’s terms as President, his open displays of patriotism and nationalism transferred positive feelings to a majority of the American population. The resulting waves of optimism pulled America out of the “Vietnam Blues.” I’ll never forget that time. It was in the early 1980′s. Even commercial advertisements on radio and television conveyed a revived sense of love for one’s nation. Regardless of what you may think of Ronald Reagan the man, his spirit of patriotism pulled the whole country out of the post-Vietnam era depression. It was a wonderful example of how a good spirit can transfer to a whole nation.

I’ve seen this on a local level, as well. I live in Houston, Texas. If you live anywhere near Houston, you may remember the fear of crime that was in the city both before and during former Mayor Cathy Whitmire’s fifth and final term. People were even getting murdered on the freeways and the populace was scared. When Whitmire was replaced by Mayor Bob Lanier and his new administration was put in place, something changed in the city. The crime rate dropped incredibly and continues to do so. There have been polls taken in the city of Houston that indicate people believe it’s a safer place to live since Lanier took office.

So we see that authority figures can transfer good and bad over a whole city. That’s why we’re called to pray for our authorities. Pray for them because they’re the key. “Oh Lord, save Bill Clinton. Break the Jezebel spirit off of him. Let him be the man of the house and of the White House. Help us, Lord!”


Since authority has such an influence, take any authority given to you by the Lord very seriously. If you’re a parent, consider that your kids will remember any humility you model for them. This is so important. A lot of times we minister to divorcees. When you have someone who has gone through a divorce and the kids usually have to go visit the other parent periodically. I’ve had many a primary custody parent scared to death about what the other parent does or say around the kids. They come into my office or call me on the telephone and say things like, “Why he’s being a total jerk!” or “She’s telling the kids this and that about me or putting me down.” All I tell them is, “Listen. In the final analysis, when these kids get older, they will remember the authority figure that behaved in Godly manner.”

It never pays to slander the other parent. If one of the mates is acting in a bad spirit and the other is acting in a good spirit, ultimately the kids will honor the one who acted in the good spirit and follow them. It always works. Do you know why I know that? Because over the years of ministry to so many people who grew up in divorced homes, they always talk plainly with clear, concise discernment about which parent really loved them. When they get old, they can see. When they are kids, they can’t tell. So parents, don’t ever fall into vengeance. Even if you wind up in a divorce situation, don’t ever operate in a bad spirit. Just love your enemy. Do good to them. Pray for them. Bless them that persecute you. Teach your children to pray for them. Don’t ever speak evil of your mate to your kids. Don’t ever do that. Even if the mate is doing evil. Teach that child to love. It’s the same principle here.

Carrying this a little bit further, look at Proverbs 22:24-25. This is one of the clearest commands in scripture. Obedience to it can halt the transference of some spirits.

24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: 25 Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.

Few things transfer as easily as anger. Have you ever been around someone who is angry and before you know it, you’re angry, too? Particularly if they’re angry at you! Do you know what the results of anger transference are? When an authority figure is angry, he produces depressed subjects. When a dad is angry, he’s going to have a family, both his kids and his wife, who always wrestle with depression. When a pastor walks in anger, he’s going to have a whole body of people who that are constantly battling depression, whether it’s overt or subtle. Angry fathers tend to bring up discouraged and rebellious kids. There’s a verse in Colossians where it says, “love your children. Don’t correct them with wrath lest they be discouraged.” A child who is mired in discouragement often feels insignificant because of the angry nature of his father as his authority figure. I’ve found that angry people tend to have constantly contentious relationships. Nothing surprising about that.

This illustrates another important principle about the operation of Transference of Spirits:

3.) When one person is soul-tied to another person, spirits can more readily transfer between the two persons.

“Soul-tie” is a word we have come to use in our fellowship to describe a bonding between two people. It can be a healthy or unhealthy bond. There are such things as a healthy bonding. Remember Jesus said, “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” That’s a healthy bonding. A married man and woman are one. They will “leave” and “cleave” to each other. In Genesis, the Word says that married couples will “leave their father and mother and cleave one to another and become one flesh.” Other healthy bondings include those between people of a fellowship and their pastor; between siblings, or parents and kids.

Unfortunately, there are also a lot of unhealthy bondings, or “bad soul-ties.” When there’s an unhealthy bonding, we have come to find that demons can “ride” or transfer across the soul-tie. Some of you may already understand what I’m talking about. If you have a deep or intimate relationship with someone, you may find that whatever their mood is, you pick it up, even when you don’t want to. It just kind of comes over you. If that’s the case with you, that soul-tie must be broken! This is an unhealthy type of soul-tie. It has a power to rob you of your autonomy with Jesus and to foster dependence on people ahead of him. Christ wants you liberated even from the closest relationships that would bring you under their power.

Christ did this himself. His mother and brothers came knocking at the door in the middle of the meeting. They as much as told him, “Son, you come on back to the house.”

Granted, that’s reading between the lines. They actually said, “Master, your mother and brethren are calling you.” Jesus felt this “Jewish mother’s” control and guilt from Mary. It’s an interesting passage in the Bible. Jesus had been casting our demons and the Word says that his mother and brothers remarked, “he’s beside himself. Let’s bring him into the house.” Healing was one thing but these “demon casting out things” were something else. So when they said, “come on back home” Jesus replied said? “Who is my mother, who are my brethren?” Why did he do that?! He was breaking that soul-tie with mom. He was saying, “No! You are not going to control me. All these people around me are my mother and brethren. I’m in a new family.” Jesus would not get under any body’s power.

Remember when Elijah got under Jezebel’s power? Elijah defeated all the prophets of Baal and had them killed. When Jezebel heard of this she responded to Elijah by threatened him saying, “you’re going to be like them tomorrow.” He ran for his life. He was under the fear of Jezebel’s power and control. That same evil controlling witchcraft spirit of Jezebel and Ahab still destroys churches to this day when it’s not checked. Elijah was unable to break the power of that soul-tie, but Christ broke it. Unhealthy soul-ties are freeways upon which evil spirits may readily transfer.

For many years I labored under intimidation, feeling intimidated by people that judged me. It used to be that people that were real quiet yet angry drove me nuts. They would come around me and I was convinced that they were angry at me and that they were being quiet because I did something to them. Have you ever felt that way about anyone? I know some people who are afraid to go to a football game because every time the team gets in a huddle, they think that the player are in there talking about them. Do you know what God did to me because I had this problem of quiet angry authority figures? For about five or six years, all I had for authority figures were quiet angry men, bosses, pastors even small group leaders. Everywhere I went, I ran into another one! Do you know why? God was sending them one after another until that “thing” was broken in me. I had to learn to stand up and not get under any body’s power.

Oh, what a great place to be! I want to be like Jesus. When Jesus walked into the room, He was boss. He was the Man. He didn’t get under any demon’s power. In fact when He walked in, demons freaked out as soon as they saw Him. They said, “We know you! You’re the one we can’t get on! You’ve come to cast us out!” Bingo! He walked in a solidarity with His Father and broke every ungodly tie. He even called his best friend “Satan” one time. Simon Peter got a little presumptuous and Jesus said, “Satan, get behind me.” Jesus was showing that he wasn’t going to get under anybody’s power. That’s the way you get free from the soul-ties that would cause evil spirits to transfer on to you. You’ve got to be willing to lose that relationship to get it back. When you’re willing to lose the relationship, God will break the psychic power of the ungodly soul-tie and you can have a beautiful relationship with Christ. After that you can have a relationship with that person that will be in God’s order and you’ll be able to speak truth to them.

Look at what Jesus had to say about this.

Matthew 10:34 -

34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes [shall be] they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

He’s basically saying, “I will be a cause of division for you among people. I’m going to put a sword of truth between you and others because you have bad spirits between you.” We have to learn to allow a living two-edged sword of God’s Truth in the Word to be between us and any close relationship. I don’t care who it is! I don’t care if it’s your mother, father, husband, wife, or your kids. That last one is the one we don’t like to talk about. You know, some mothers have bad soul-ties with their kids. Mary did. You know the attitude, “Just don’t talk about my kids. Yes, that husband of mine, I know I have a soul-tie with him. And I break that in the name of the Lord! I’ve been telling all my friends about it. But my kids; those are my kids!”

The maternal instinct is a good thing, but a lot of times the maternal covering can turn into control. At that point, a mother can’t hear common sense or wisdom from others about her own kids. God wants to break every soul-tie so He can speak to you about your kids, through your kids, or vice versa. At that point, you won’t be under their control. One of the saddest things mentioned in the Bible is found in Isaiah 5. God talks about his people having children rule over them. One of the most troubling things in life is to see a parent who is intimidated by his or her own children. The baby just starts to scream, he times it, and momma’s in there. When baby wants this, baby screams, momma comes. You know there’s a point, momma, when you need to say, “Scream your stupid head off, Child. I’m not under your power. I love you child, but I’m not going to come running every time you scream.”

I was at my brother and sister-in-law’s house recently. My dad and I were sitting on the couch and my little nephew was screaming at the top of his lungs. My brother and sister-in-law were totally ignoring him, just going about talking. I couldn’t even hear myself think for the baby’s screaming and the parents were just ignoring him! I went over to my sister-in-law and said, “Uh, the baby appears to be upset.” She replied, “I know. We’re ignoring him” And I thought to myself, these guys have wisdom! Sure enough, the baby eventually realized he had no buttons to push and he quit screaming. It was great! They had learned something. I guess every parent learns that after a while. Somebody once said, it’s those parents with eleven kids who get to a point where NOTHING can phase them. A bomb can go off and they just casually turn their head.


Now here’s a good one. You don’t want to be under anybody’s power in this way because this is not a spirit you would want to transfer onto you.

Proverbs 13:20:

He that walks with wise men shall be wise. But a companion of fools will be destroyed.

Here’s another principle:

4.) We tend to be like those with whom we associate, good or bad.

If you hang around meek and sensitive people, you’ll be meek and sensitive. If you hang around bold and out-going people, you’ll be that way, too. If you hang around discerning and wise people, you’ll pick it up. If you hang around hurt and resentful people, you’ll feel hurt and resentful. If you hang around anxious and fretting people, you’ll fret. That’s why the Word tells us, “make no friendship with an angry man lest you be like him.”

Now someone might say, “I’m married to an anxious woman. You say that the Word tells me to make no friendship here, but I’m married to her. What do I do now?!” Well, you’d have a good point, but the admonition is clear. So pay attention here. I’m going to give you an answer to that. You need to disassociate yourself from them spiritually when they walk unrepentedly in ungodliness. Before you shy away from this, read this statement again to see what I’m really saying. You need to spiritually disassociate yourself from them when they walk unrepentedly in ungodliness. When the Word says, “make no friendship with an angry man,” it’s talking about someone who walks in anger or frustration without repentance. I’m not suggesting that we have nothing to do with anyone who struggles with anger, hates it and is trying to get delivered from it. There is a difference. I’m talking about somebody who is given over to anger. That’s the way they relate and that’s the way they’re going to relate. If that is the case, and you are intimately tied with them, you need to dissociate yourself spiritually. You need to break those ties in the name of Jesus so that you can have authority to speak truth to them and not get under their intimidation or control. Otherwise, it will ruin your spiritual life and rob you of eternal reward.

We live the Christian life with our eyes set on eternity and eternal rewards. Even marriage is not so sacrosanct in the eyes of God that it takes precedence before eternal reward. It should be held lightly before the Lord Jesus. Christ said in Luke 14: “except you hate your brother, your sister, your wife, your kids, you’re not worthy of Me.” That’s what He said. Now what does He mean? He means, “Don’t let anybody get between you and Me. And if they are, hate them.” Heavy words but those are the words of a disciple. Christ knew that He must be Lord of our lives. In Luke 14 He is telling us, “Break those unhealthy bondings and transferring soul-ties that keep you constantly, emotionally in turmoil. Let rivers of living power flow out of your belly. Let the life of Christ in you infect others. Quit being infected. Quit being a thermometer; become a thermostat.” A thermometer reflects the climate around it. A thermostat controls the climate around it. Take an honest inventory of yourself. Are you a thermometer or a thermostat? God wants to look down on your soul and set the temperature according to his standard. He wants to regulate the climate of your environment because you’ve broken those unhealthy ties and psychic and demon links.

I want to offer you yet another principle about transference of spirits that I believe is from the Holy Spirit.

5.) In many cases, spiritual transference occurs as a result of Occult involvement and activities by you or your ancestors.

Maybe you’ve been involved in some kind of occult practices in your past like spiritualism, new-age thought, psychic thought, out of body experience or any types of occult experience. You may find yourself unhealthily and psychically linked as a result. Those links have to be renounced and broken in the name of Jesus and any attached demons cast out. Then, you will have freedom to walk in the Holy Spirit without constantly being attached to others. You can never love someone truly until you’re free from them. What I mean by that, is that until you lose your life and give up your rights to “your” relationship with them, you won’t find it. You’ve got to lose it to get it. Are you aware of this principle? As long as you’re hanging on to anything, it will have power over you.

The Apostle Peter was dependent upon his relationship with several of his Christian brothers who came from the Jewish tradition, as did he. Although he understood that the Jesus’ death and resurrection fulfilled the Law, we find out from the Word that he was somewhat unwilling to let go of it. As a result, he lived in fear of judgment. In Galatians 2:11-13 Paul rebuked Peter for this. When Peter was around Gentile Christians, he would not observe the various Jewish laws regulating food handling and cleanliness. He knew that the Gentiles were not raised under the Law, and he also understood that the Law had been fulfilled by Jesus, not by works. He was free around the Gentiles to walk in the unrestrained liberty of God’s grace. But when Peter was in the company of both Gentiles and Jewish Christians, he would observe the Jewish dietary laws out of fear of the Jewish Christians judging him. He was hanging on to a need for their approval This dependence upon them had power over him. He had to become willing to lose his friendships with them and their approval and to stand upon the truth of God’s grace.

Let’s look now at some of the reasons why people become susceptible to transference of spirits from others. I have two key points here to touch on here. First, how do we become susceptible to transference from others and second, what causes you to transfer to others.


Ephesians 4:14

We hence forth be no more children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine. The slight of men and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait. But speaking the truth in love may grow up into him in all things which is the head, even Christ.

Here’s the first main reason that some people tend to be susceptible to transference from others:

Spiritual immaturity.

Paul talks in Ephesians about speaking the truth in love so that we may grow up, and not be little children. In the Greek, the word for children is “nepeos” which means children without the power of speech. He admonishes us to no longer remain as little children, but to become grown men and women, adults; to become a rooted tree and not a tumble weed.

Do you know what a tumbleweed is? When I first moved to Texas I’d seen these cowboy movies as a kid and I thought Texas had tumbleweeds. I’ve been in Texas since 1975 and I’ve yet to see a tumbleweed. Now they can be found in West Texas, but they are not around in the Southeastern portion of the state where I live. So if you want to see one in Texas, “Go west, young man.” But, I have seen a lot of believer tumbleweeds. When the devil comes blowing through, they just tumble down the road. A tumbleweed is like happiness. Happiness is a result of a situation. A rooted tree is like joy. Joy is a fruit of the spirit. Mood swings are indicative of spiritual passivity and dullness. And that’s what Paul is talking about.

As soon as a tumbleweed believer tries to overcome transference from others, the enemy just sends something very familiar in your life to keep them from doing it. If you’re a tumbleweed believer, you’ll tend to be tossed to and fro. As soon as you begin to take a stand, you’re going to come against Satanic attack, and Satan is going to send some familiar thing into your life, a familiar spirit, a familiar torment to jerk your chain and keep you in line. He will dare you to get free! But you can get free! You’re going to have to understand that there’s going to be resistance from the enemy.

Here’s the first principle you need for freedom from anything getting on you.

Until you’re delivered of the thing inside you that tosses you to and fro, you’ll be subject to it transferring to you from others.

There’s the first key. What transfers to you from others is what’s already in you. If you have fear and unbelief inside of you, then when somebody walks up with fear and unbelief, it jumps on you. If you’ve got lust inside of you, or if you’ve been delving in a lot of lust, and somebody walks up full of lust, you’ll spark a connection and a transference will occur. That’s how it works. You have to get it out of you and then God replaces it with a NOT-welcome mat at the door of your life. And then, when it comes on you, there’s a shield in place and it just can’t transfer.

The first key to freedom transference from is get deliverance in your life.


Hebrews 12:14-

Follow peace with all men and holiness without which no man will see the Lord. Looking diligently lest any of you fail of the grace of God lest any root of bitterness spring up, trouble you and thereby many be defiled.

A root of bitterness in one person can transfer to and defile many people. Few things spread like a root of bitterness. Roots of bitterness are usually the driving forces behind gossip, evil-speaking, judgmentalism, resentment and unforgiveness. Interestingly enough, the author of Hebrews tells us to look “diligently.” In the Greek, the word for “looking diligently” is “episcopio” and what it literally means is “to oversee.” The author is addressing the elders of the church, the “episcopios.” He’s saying “look diligently, you elders, lest the root defile everybody.” He’s stating that one of the most important jobs of a pastor or a spiritual leader is to root out bitterness or it will defile the whole place. As a pastor, it is one of my major burdens is to root out bitterness in folks so that they can see it and get free from it. You’ve got to get bitterness out of your spirit because it poisons you.

So we come to the second tool we need to have to stop the transference of evil spirits from one person to another. This one has to do with keeping yourself from transferring any spirit on you to anyone else.

To be set free from bitterness, you’ve got to choose to forgive.

You’ve got to get to the point where you can love your enemy, bless those that curse you, and pray for those that abuse you and despitefully use you. A lot of us need deliverance here. That root of bitterness may be generational. Prejudice is generational. You may need to break some generational curses in that area to get delivered. So one’s ability to resist transferring to others is directly related to your diligence in dealing with bitterness.

I want to encourage you to learn to use the word forgive a lot. Do it in one of these in these two ways:

“I forgive you”  and  ”Please forgive me.”

Don’t say, “I’m sorry,” or “I apologize.” Use the word “forgive.” Forgive me, Amen? Forgive me! And I forgive you. That’s the key, forgiveness. Christ said of his executioners, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” Stephen said of those who murdered him, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” Forgive! “Whoever’s sins you forgive, you’re forgiven, but whoever’s sins you retain, they’re retained. For if you forgive not your brother his trespasses, neither will your Heavenly Father forgive you yours.” That’s heavy stuff.

Failure to observe this command can cut you off from the living God and puts you under this thing I call the “Angel of Light god.” I’ve had people tell me, “well, God told me this and God told me that.” The people were spirit-filled, speaking in tongues, walked with Jesus 20 years and talk about God and yet I knew in my spirit it wasn’t God talking to them. It was a demon from hell in a “glorious angelic light.” (See II Corinthians 11:14) Do you know why? Because there’s bitterness in their life. There’s unforgiveness in their life, particularly if it’s towards me. I know that if you’re walking in bitterness and unforgiveness, the living God isn’t even forgiving you your sins. What does the Lord’s Prayer say?

Matthew 6:9-

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done….Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.

I’m telling you, it’s scary when I consider the number of people I’ve seen consorting with demons and becoming terribly demonized with pride in their head. Some are church leaders. Some of you know people like that. Pray for them, but don’t get under their power! Understand that if there’s bitterness or resentment or judgmentalism, then there is a Satanic force present. Why do I say that? Because Jesus said, “You know them by their fruits.” Humility and brokenness are the fruits of a Spirit-led life.

Do you know how you can tell if someone’s a “real” Christian? They love their enemy. That’s all there is to it! Listen to Jesus’ words: “Many are going to say, Lord, Lord. We cast out demons, we did…” …fill in the blank.. And He will say, “I never knew you.”

I submit to you that there are spiritual leaders that aren’t even born again.

Make no mistake about what I am saying. I am stating that I believe that there are tongue-talking pastors of Charismatic churches out there that have never been born again. “How can you say that?!” you may ask. Simply from examining the their fruit. According to Jesus, that’s the only criterion. When you blow it all away, the wood, hay, and stubble, all that’s going to be left is gold, silver and precious stone which is humility and brokenness: the character of Jesus.

You can usually recognize another believer. Your spirit bears witness when you encounter them. You can feel it in your gut and you can feel the love of Jesus coming from them. Even when they’re being an arrogant fool, you feel the love of Jesus, because you know if they knew the truth, they’d really be repentant. They may be blinded right

now but you know in your heart they just need to know the truth…and you know that they’ll hear truth if confronted with it. But do you know a believer or maybe spiritual leaders who just won’t hear? These are people who’ve gotten it all figured out and you just kind of know that they won’t hear and if they do hear, it’s not going to sink in? I tell you, pray that they be born again! They may not even be born again. I’m not saying they are or aren’t. It’s likely they’re not, because of the fruit.

When I was first saved, I thought that I had all this figured out. That was twenty-two years ago this year. I believed then that to get born again you say the “sinner’s prayer.” You know… it goes, “Forgive me Lord, Jesus come into my heart, Amen.” And then BOOM! You’re saved! But over the years, I’m realizing that “conversion” really means “conversion.” It’s not some little prayer, it’s conversion. Repentance means repentance. Repentance is not a word, it’s what you do. You stop and go the other way. “Metamelomai,” not “metanao.” These are two Greek words. The first means “Godly sorrow.” The second just means “worldly sorrow.” Are you all discovering the same thing, too, that the longer you walk in the Way, you realize how little you really know? The only thing you really have to go on to identify someone as a Christian is the fruit. You get to where you quit listening to what people say and you start listening to their heart.

I remember I had to talk to a man’s wife once and tell her that I believed her husband was not saved. It freaked her out. But in the final analysis she said, “I think you’re right.” I told her, “You need to know this so that you’ll know how to pray correctly. Don’t kid yourself, pray for the truth and God will answer you.” Let’s quit kidding ourselves about people. Jesus said that people would know we are his disciples by what? By all the tongue-talking charismatic meetings we have? No! By the love of Jesus. It’s his love in us that shows we are his disciples.


Allow me to show you a man who was totally free from transference. The apostle Paul was on a boat going to Rome to see Caesar. He and his shipmates ran into a storm.

Acts 27:14-

14 But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon

Read on to verse 19:

19 And the third [day] we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. 20 And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on [us], all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.

This is a bad scene. They’re out in the boat, a hurricane’s hitting them, they had to throw everything out and they’re totally in despair knowing that they’re all going to die.

21. But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.

I love it. He had to throw that in. According to the Word, he had warned them earlier in the voyage saying , “Now I perceive this is not going to be a good voyage.” They ignored him. So now he says, “I told you so.” I love Paul. You see his humanity popping out all through the book of Acts.

22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of [any man's] life among you, but of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

In other words, if God says Paul has yet to go to see Caesar, then everybody right here and right now is going to be saved so that Paul can get to God’s appointed destination for him. Hanging around with Paul at this point in time was a guaranteed safe and secure place to be. Paul was not yet in Caesar’s palace and God said Paul was going to end up there.

25 Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. 26 Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island.

You have to understand the scene. These folks were in the middle of a storm. The time is two- thousand years ago. There are no electric lights to illuminate one’s path. Paul is telling them in the middle of this storm to “be of good cheer, an angel appeared unto me, and it said that I have to go to Caesar and all of you get to go with me. Now the ship will be destroyed, but none of you will be hurt.” He promised them that the whole ship would be destroyed, but that they would all be fine. Do you see that? Paul had guts didn’t he? He could say this because he knew it was truth.

Now look at verse 30:

30 And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship, 31 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. 32 Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off.

This is incredible. Some of the men were going to get into the life boat and try to get away. Paul stops them saying, “if any of you gets into the life boat, then everybody dies! Stay with the big boat and you’ll all survive.” Somehow they all believed him and they chose to cut off their last means of escape. Isn’t that wild? Can you imagine the spiritual power on Paul at this point? It was more than sufficient to convince the crew and passengers. Let’s read on,

33 And while the day was coming on, Paul besought [them] all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing. 34 Wherefore I pray you to take [some] meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. 35 And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, …..

Just like Jesus once did…

35b … he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken [it], he began to eat. 36 Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took [some] meat. 37 And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls.

The apostle Paul at this point is a beautiful picture of a believer walking in power. He didn’t let anything transfer. Was there depression? Was there despair? Was there hopelessness on the boat? Big time! But Paul said, “No! I’m not going to allow anything to come upon me. I’m going to let what is in me transfer on to you.” And he did it! At dawn, we see a beautiful scene. It says in verse 33:

33 And while the day was coming on…

It was dawn. It was finally calm. They were lost in the sea. The sun began to come up over the horizon and Paul stood forth. Paul owned the moment. Do you see that? He owned it! The whole boat was looking to him. And at that point he the word says….

35b … he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken [it], he began to eat. 36 Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took [some] meat.

This is a place to which our Lord calls us! A place where we are free from receiving a transference of evil spirits from others, and open to the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ flowing through us and out of us onto others.


1.) Seek after Spiritual maturity (Ephesians 4:14-).

Insist upon speaking the truth in love so you may grow up spiritually, and not be little children. Stand on the truth of God’s word: what it says about Jesus, what it says about you, and what it says about others. Seek deliverance from anything inside you that tosses you to and fro, you’ll always be subject be it transferring to you from others.

2.) Get deliverance in your life.

Remember that what transfers to you from others is what’s already in you. You have to get it out of you and then God replaces it with a NOT-welcome mat at the door of your life. The key to deliverance from transference from is get deliverance in your life.

3.) Search for hidden roots of bitterness.

A root of bitterness in one person can transfer to and defile many people (Hebrews 12:14-). You’ve got to get any bitterness out of your spirit because it will poison you and others around you.

4.) Learn to forgive others and to ask forgiveness for yourself.

Choose to forgive, love your enemy, bless those that curse you, and pray for those that abuse you and despitefully use you. Learn to say “I forgive you” and “Please forgive me.”

Copyright © 1996, by New Wine Christian Fellowship.