Page updated 28 September 2018
What does the BIBLE say about Demons
Willful Sin Brings Demonic Attacks
Writer: Betty Miller | bibleresources.org/demons
And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. Mark 3:11
The majority of Christians today are totally ignorant of the nature of evil spirits (demons), and many would prefer that they were not even mentioned. They choose to ignore this portion of God's ministry because they are fearful of things beyond their understanding. The result of this ignorance is that multitudes live in needless torment. One of the deadliest misrepresentations of the truth of God is that a Christian should not be concerned with thoughts that a demon could be their problem. This is taught within many churches and gives the devil a "field day" to bring fear, mental torment, jealousy, hatred, lust, pride, self-pity, addiction, gluttony and many other forms of bondage, oppression, and defilement.
When we practice willful sin, Satan eventually sends one of his demons that is compatible with that particular sin to dwell within us. Then each time we give way to that sin that spirit takes over. Since their personalities mesh with those of their victims, it takes spiritual discernment to detect them. We must remember that demon spirits are "invisible beings" with wicked intelligence that seek bodies in which they can express themselves. These spirits are emissaries sent from Satan having personalities and characteristics that make up an intelligent being. They walk, hear, speak, see, obey, seek, think, know and dwell in the body to accomplish their evil purposes
(Matthew 12:43-45(verse 43) When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
(verse 44) Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth [it] empty, swept, and garnished.
(verse 45) Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last [state] of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.Matthew 12 verses 43-45, Mark 1:23-24(verse 23) And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
(verse 24) Saying, Let [us] alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.Mark 1 verses 23-24, Mark 3:11And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.Mark 3 verse 11). They are made subject to Christ and believers by the atonement, the name of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Each principal demon or "strongman" has a particular mission which we are able to recognize by its fruit or manifestation. We need to seek God and study His Word to find the truth about this controversial subject.
Can a Christian have a Demon?
One of Satan's clever devices is to cause division among Christians over just such a subject, for then he is allowed to work freely on both sides. One side refuses to believe that a Christian can have a demon, while the other side sees demons in everything. Both sides are extreme, but if we look to God's Word we can find balance. To answer the question, "Can a Christian have a demon?," we need to understand the two main causes of a Christian's problems.
The first problem is what Paul calls the "flesh" in Romans 8:5-8,
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
The "flesh" is defined here as the "carnal mind" and it is spoken of as enmity with God. The carnal mind is in the soul of man. After a Christian experiences the "new birth," he is a new creature; however, he finds he still has the problem of walking in the flesh instead of the Spirit. His mind has not been renewed yet by the Word of God, so unless he reckons the "old man" dead when tempted, he fails God and gives in to his "flesh." To maintain a walk in the Spirit one must totally dedicate his life to God and continually choose the path of God. The "flesh" of man is under Satan's dominion as it is part of the old Adamic nature. The "flesh" and the "world" are under Satan's influence, so when we sin we have yielded to an attack by Satan in an indirect way.
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves, servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness. Romans 6:16
The way to get rid of the devil in these instances is to submit to the Lord and resist Satan so that he will flee (James 4:7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.James 4 verse 7). We are to crucify the flesh and choose God's way in the situation.
And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. Galatians 5:24
Filthiness in Flesh and Spirit
The second cause of a Christian's inner problems is evil spirits or demons which Satan uses to fasten upon some aspect of the "flesh" that has not yet been overcome. These demons do not relinquish their hold unless compelled to do so. Some argue that a Christian cannot have a demon in him. They say he now has Christ in his spirit, and the Spirit of Christ and evil spirits cannot co-exist. Because of this erroneous teaching, many are bound by dark powers when they could be free. This is contrary to Scripture as also James is speaking to Christians when he admonishes them in James 4:5,
Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, the spirit that dwelleth in as lusteth to envy?"
Having therefore these promises, dearly be-loved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1
The Holy Spirit certainly needs no cleansing, but man's soul or flesh has filth in it and many times filthy (unclean) spirits need to be cast out. Jesus talked about our bodies being houses. He made it plain that if, after cleaning, we were not continually filled with the Holy Spirit, a demon could return:
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation. Matthew 12:43-45