Demons Can’t Swim!

By: David Wilkerson

The title of this message is no joke – I’m not being facetious. I believe the Bible speaks very clearly on this subject of demons: They can’t swim – because they hate water!

“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none” (Matthew 12:43). Unclean spirits – or demons – roam about in dry places, where there is no water. (The New American Standard translates “dry places” as “waterless places.”) And the “rest” they seek is possession – a body to live in, a dwelling place that’s dry, without water any kind.

The Bible gives us a very clear picture of this in Mark 5. Jesus was approached by a Gadarene man who was possessed by a legion of demons (that is, about 2,000 of them). When the demons saw Jesus, a spokesdemon cried out: “What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not” (Mark 5:7).

The demon begged Jesus to send them all into a herd of swine that was grazing on a hillside nearby. I believe those unclean spirits had every intention of driving the herd into the wilderness – a dry place, where
they could wait until they found other humans to inhabit.

Jesus did permit them to possess the swine – but then, Scripture says, “The herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea (they were about 2,000;) and were choked in the sea” (verse 13). What an incredible

I have often wondered why Jesus allowed those demons to enter into the hogs. Why didn’t He just send them into outer darkness, where they could never harass another human?

The fact is, Jesus never said or did anything without a powerful spiritual truth behind it. And I believe this incident has great spiritual significance for us today!

As I was studying this passage, the Holy Spirit whispered to me: “Demons can’t swim!” I answered, “Lord, I don’t know what that means. Please show me!” And He began to open to me the significance of what Jesus
allowed to happen:

I believe those hogs – suddenly possessed – were compelled by the Spirit of God to run pell-mell down the hill and plunge into the sea. Jesus is Lord over all of nature – and He commanded the swine, “Go! Take them now into the sea!” That was the end of that demonic possession – the Gadarene man was saved and delivered. Yet as the hogs ran into the water, the legion of demons went screaming in terror, out into dry
places – because they hate water!

Throughout the Bible, From Cover to Cover, Water Is a Type of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus Himself said, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this he spake of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive)” (John 7:38-39).

The Holy Spirit is living water! He falls like rain (both the former and latter rains). He springs up like a well within thirsting believers. And His life is poured out as a flood upon the world – like streams in the desert!

When I say demons can’t stand water, I am talking about the Holy Spirit! Every demon in hell knows that water in the Bible represents God’s Spirit. And they know that since Jesus is now bodily with the Father,
their arch enemy is His Spirit – and wherever He abides, they must flee! They can’t stand the water of the Holy Ghost – in you, in the church or in the world. And the sea that the swine were driven into was a type of
the Holy Spirit! This was to serve as an object lesson to all succeeding generations.

Yet dryness represents one who is void of the Spirit of God. Dry places are a type of spiritless people – God’s Spirit does not dwell in them. David said, “The rebellious dwell in a dry land” (Isaiah 68:6). This is true of the believer who has neglected the Lord: he has become “dry,” empty of all things of God. And dead, dry churches and Christians become the dwelling places of unclean spirits. Demons roam about them, looking
for rest – because dryness opens one up to demonic harassment.

Scripture Clearly Warns That in These Last Days The Earth Will Be Invaded By a Mad Devil!

Right now, Satan and his armies of unclean spirits are pouring out their demonic fury on mankind: “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (Revelation 12:12).

Already we’re seeing the evidence of this:

* America’s youth are armed to the teeth with guns, knives, assault weapons, machine guns! We face anarchy on our streets very soon. It’s happening in Chicago and Detroit, and in nearly all major cities.
Already in New York many housing developments have become war zones. A few weeks ago a young minister was shot in the head while passing out literature – cut down in the cross fire of a gang drug war!

* Legions of demonic power have possessed leaders of our society! For example, the chancellor of New York City’s school system recently introduced a curriculum that would teach first-graders that  homosexuality and lesbianism are acceptable life-styles. He claims that such teaching is needed to educate children against AIDS! I ask you: who but someone with a demon-possessed mind could present such an idea with a straight face?

The blindness and deception are incredible. Yet these same deceiving spirits have now invaded the church as well! “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1). We are seeing Paul’s warnings fulfilled:

* Anti-Semitic doctrines are sweeping through evangelical and charismatic churches. These teachings come straight out of the pit of hell! The devil hates Jews, because God still has a covenant with them.
He hates anything having to do with the covenants of God.

How could Satan get such doctrines into our churches? It is because many have become dry – empty of God! And they are now grazing grounds for demonic powers!

* A new “Cushite doctrine” of black supremacy is seducing black evangelical churches across the nation! Many white churches are teaching doctrines of white supremacy as well. These satanic teachings are
whispered into the hearts of spiritually dead shepherds – and they end up being manipulated by demons, preaching doctrines of hell!

God Says the Unbelievable Troubles Just Ahead Will Be Beyond Anything the World Has Ever Seen!

Right now America is witnessing the entire breakdown of our way of life. Yet this kind of breakdown is not just happening here – it’s worldwide:

* In Germany, young people are full of hate, especially toward immigrants from Eastern Europe. They are burning down housing projects where the immigrants are taken in. They especially hate Romanians, who
are not even allowed to hold jobs.

* Yugoslavia is being ripped apart by demonic strife, and Russia is still being tom by ethnic strife. There are wars and rumors of wars. I see terror coming to this world on all fronts: looting, killing, no respect for life or property; schools out of control, government with no solutions; earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes such as we have never seen.

Sometimes, as I see these things coming, I think to myself: “Lord, I’m tired of all this – I want to go home and be with You. I don’t want to be here when all hell spills over!” But, beloved, God has no intention
of letting the demons frighten His church! He is not about to stand by and let a mad devil take over. He has a glorious war plan – a sure-fire way to send unclean spirits into a chaotic frenzy:

God Promises to Issue Out of His House Living Waters!

God is going to send forth floods of water on dry ground, where devils work! He is going to have well-watered gardens where before there was only dryness. How? you ask. He is going to chase demons out of His house by flooding it with His Spirit! We see a picture of this in Ezekiel 47. The Lord showed Ezekiel a vision in which His Spirit overflowed and became “waters to swim in”:

“He brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house” (verse 1). Ezekiel saw water begin to trickle out from under the doorway of the Lord’s house.
First it came up to the prophet’s ankles… then to his knees… then to his loins… until finally, he said, “It was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over” (Ezekiel 47:5).

Then the Lord said to Ezekiel: “Every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live” (verse 9). In other words: “Wherever this river flows, there’s going to be life. Living water will flow out from My house!”

Beloved, that house signifies us! We are God’s house – our bodies are temples of His Holy Spirit! And the Holy Ghost is a well that continually springs up within us: “The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).

When You Get Alone With Jesus to Worship And Adore Him, Those Living Waters Begin to Flow!

That is how God is going to fight the devil’s invasion! No demon can hang around when the Holy Ghost’s water is flowing within you. He’ll flee to a dry place!

God sees every heart that is thirsty – and He is going to open up rivers of His Spirit for all who cry out to Him. Isaiah prophesied:

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee…they that war against thee shall be as nothing… For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand…. Then the poor and
needy seek water and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them… I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water” (Isaiah 41:10-18).

God is saying to us, “Don’t worry about the devil taking over. I’m about to pour out My glory! All the dry places where seducing devils roam about will be turned into places of praise and glory to Me. The
wilderness will become a lake of life!”

This flood of water is going to chase away all demonic powers and turn the dry places into gardens: “In the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes” (verse 7). According to
Isaiah, it’s all going to sprout and grow with life because God will chase all dragons of death away!

Yet the promise is not just for us, but for our children as well: “I will pour my spirit upon thy seed [your children], and my blessing upon thine offspring: and they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows
by the water courses” (Isaiah 44:3-4).

God has given us His everlasting word that He will fill our offspring with the very life of Jesus Christ! I am claiming this promise for the young people in our churches – the promise of a Holy Ghost flood – so
that demonic powers will flee from them in terror, losing their influence and hold upon them!

Are you worried or fearful about the future? Do you wonder if a mad devil has become temporarily more powerful than our Lord? God says to you: “Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no
power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness” (Isaiah 50:2).

The Lord is able to turn our school systems upside down with His Spirit! He says,”I am the One who controls the waters. I merely speak the word, and there comes either flood or drought!” Isaiah prophesied: “Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you…. For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs of water” (Isaiah 35:2-7).


God says His waters will break out! (The New American Standard translates this phrase, “gush out.”) To “break out” means to come with such force that it overflows all boundaries – “flooding all surrounding

Beloved, when your church becomes flooded with the water of the Spirit; the other dry churches in town will get some of the overflow. It will probably happen like this: Suddenly, in the middle of a service, someone will get a little touch of the Holy Ghost – which has overflowed from your church. He’ll get out of his seat and walk toward the altar. And he’ll cry out, “Pastor, I want to be saved!”

The pastor and his elders won’t know what to do. But God is going to reach every thirsty heart! And whether the congregation wants it or not, the Holy Ghost is going to flood through the thirsty hearts in that
dead, dry church – and mighty and wonderful things will happen! What God Has Promised Us Through His Prophets Is Amazing and Glorious!

Ezekiel prophesied that the flood is going to flow in ever-increasing intensity. It will grow from a trickle… to a river… and finally to an ocean to swim in!

Some would say, ” Wonderful! We want the Holy Spirit to gush out of us. We’ll just gather together to pray and believe God to open the windows of heaven and flood down upon us. We’ll sit here in faith and wait for
the gush to come.”

No – the Bible says something altogether different! The water was only a small trickle when it was in the house; it increased in intensity only when it got to the outer gate. You see, God’s water flows through us –
but it cannot become a sea to swim in until it flows outside His house!

If we keep this living water to ourselves, we will enjoy a measure of life. But if we want to see demons put to confusion in all of society, the water has to pour out of us! Every true believer is to be a fountain
– overflowing outside the walls. We are to be wells that spring up and gush – not just in church, but in our home, on the job, on the street – everywhere we go!

As Ezekiel watched the flood turn into an ocean, the Lord told him to come up out of the water and look back over the banks that once were barren. “Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river. Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other” (Ezekiel 47:6-7).

What a wonderful sight! Once there had been nothing but dryness – but now multitudes of trees had grown. In fact, everywhere the water flowed, life had sprung up. “And it shall come to pass, that every thing that
liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live” (verse 9). All death had departed – every demon had fled!

If there is a promised latter rain to come – a final, great outpouring of the Spirit – then a great harvest of souls is inevitable. Ezekiel saw this and said: “There shall be a very great multitude of fish, because
these waters shall come thither” (verse 9). That means a catch of exceedingly many fish – multitudes of souls saved!

The vision was so overwhelming, Ezekiel couldn’t comprehend it all. Beloved, it is because he was seeing our generation! He was prophesying that we will witness more of God’s flow than any past generation ever

Years ago, when I saw Ezekiel’s prophecy, I prayed for God to let His flood flow through me. The Lord said to me: “David, if there is nothing in you that blocks the moving of My water – if you’ve got the sweet
fountain of Jesus in you – then everything you preach and say in the Spirit is going to produce life!”

Dear saint, if you have His life in you, then you are spreading life – because life produces life!

In Light of All These Prophecies, I Ask You: What Is Coming Out of You? Life – or Death?

“Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?” (James 3:11).

I believe that many who read this message are going to be shocked on Judgment Day. They are going to wake up to the truth that they have neglected and departed from the Lord!

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3). To neglect means to “be careless of” – to act as if something doesn’t really matter. And this verse comes immediately after the warning “to give more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip” (verse 1).

Suppose I knocked on your door today, looked you in the eye and said: “I’ve been sent by the Lord to warn you of something dangerous in your spiritual life. And I have a word for you, directly from God’s throne:
You are not going to make it! You will not be with us in glory – you’re marked for eternal hell. You have opened yourself up to demonic activity, because your heart is dry and empty!”

No doubt, you would be offended. You’d say, “That can’t be! I praise and worship God with my hands upraised. I feel the Spirit move on me. How could I be a dry place where demons seek rest?”

My answer would be: “What you receive in such meetings isn’t from your own well. It is the overflow of living water that God pours out upon awakened saints all around you! They walk daily in the Spirit, they
commune daily with Jesus – and they have developed the upwelling of the Spirit of God. But your well is bone-dry! Ever since you’ve known the Lord, you’ve had time for everything but Him. And you have done just what He has warned against: you have neglected your great salvation! You have departed from Him in your heart!”

“But,” you argue, “I love people – I’ll do anything for anybody. I’m not living in sin. I pray, I give. Don’t tell me I don’t love Jesus – you’re judging me. God knows my heart!”

I would answer: “Yes, He does know your heart – and He sees every hour of your day! But you don’t hunger and thirst for Him. You don’t take the time to pray or dig into His word. Instead, you let it all slip by as if
it really doesn’t matter.

“Neglect has become a way of life for you – it has turned your heart into a dry wilderness! That is why you are so harassed, depressed and bitter at times, It is why you are attacked so often in your body. If the Spirit were flowing in you daily, all unclean spirits would have fled. But instead, you have become a dry ground – open to demonic harassment!”

Beloved, I am not suggesting that all sickness is the result of demon activity. Nor am I saying we need to pray and read the Bible all day long. God has made time for us to rest, play and enjoy our family and
the good things He provides. He is not a hard taskmaster.

But when your whole day is spent on self, family, work and play, and not one hour for the Lord – not fifteen minutes to be refreshed by fellowship with Him – that is neglect! That is acting as if it does not matter! And on Judgment Day, God will show more mercy toward the addict, the fornicator and the drunkard than He will toward you!

Soon it will be too late for you! You may think that when the world literally begins to fall apart, perhaps then you’ll start to seek Him. But your heart will be so dry and empty, you’ll have nothing to draw on.
You won’t want to pray. Instead, your condition will get worse – and you’ll grow harder and colder than ever. When you come to church and see others running to God because they know the hour of judgment has come, you’ll be so harassed and confused you won’t know what to do! If you won’t come to Him while His mercy is available, you won’t come during the flood of judgements!

If All of God’s People Came to His House Full of The Water of the Spirit, We Would Never Have to Bind Demon Powers or Rebellious Spirits!

There would be such an ocean of God’s Spirit, all demonic powers would flee in panic. There would be a breaking forth of His glory like nothing we have ever seen. No sinner could remain neutral!

But what breaks God’s heart most of all is that the majority of those who neglect Him are the ones He so wants to use as soul-winners. You could have your fountain opened up – the Spirit could flow His life-
giving water through you. You could be a life-giver instead of a dry bush in the desert.

Is God’s life-bringing water springing up out of you daily? Or have you become a dead, dry well? God has so much in store for you, if you will only repent and confess your neglect to Him. Call out to Him now:

“Lord – I have been dry for so long. I have neglected You and departed from You in spirit. Forgive me! I’m so dry, so lifeless. Fill me with Your life-giving water – drive all harassing spirits away.

“Flood my soul, Lord! I want to experience Your life-giving flow. Use me – and let me see Your ocean of living water poured out in my life!” Amen!

(The above material was published by World Challenge, Lindale, TX.)

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