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Can a Christian Have a Demon?

by Steve Wittmann



Can a Christian Have a Demon?

Click the play button to begin video lesson and follow along with the lesson notes below the video window.

What Does it Mean to Have a Demon?

  • What is a demon?
    • The Bible is unclear as to the origin of demons. Some theologians believe they are the spirits of a pre-Adamic race while others believe them to be fallen angels or even the offspring of fallen angels. Whatever their origin, it is clear through Jesus’ ministry that demon spirits hold man in bondage in both mind and body.
  • What does it mean to “have” a demon?
  • Demons see man as a “home” – a place to reside.
  • Mat 12:43 “Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. Mat 12:44 "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.
  • Luk 11:21 "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed.
    Luk 11:22 "But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied and distributes his plunder.
    Luk 11:23 "He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.
    Luk 11:24 "When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.'

Can a Christian Have a Demon?

A Christian can have a dog and a Christian can have a cold. A Christian may also have a demon, but a demon is nothing like a cute little puppy. A good analogy of a demon is influenza or the flu. The flu is an infection that makes you sick. It doesn’t own you and you don’t own it but its effect over you can be devastating sometimes even to death.

If you have the flu, you treat the infection so that you will be free of the illness. Demons are much the same way, however unlike the flu, knowing how you got a demon can help in getting rid of it.

Can a Christian “have” a demon?

Argument: Light cannot dwell with darkness (2Co 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?) – This refers to marriage & relationships, not evil in the temple.

  • The body is a temple for the Holy Spirit, but do we still sin?
  • Gal 3:1 Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ's death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of His death on the cross. (NLT)
  • If God’s Truth is foolishness to the man of the world (1Co 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.) and all spiritual truth is discerned through the Holy Spirit (Joh 16:13 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.), then these Galatians had to know Christ when evil came upon them.

Woman with a Spirit of Infirmity is Daughter of Abraham

Luk 13:11 And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all.
Luk 13:12 When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your sickness."
Luk 13:13 And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again and began glorifying God.
Luk 13:16 "And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?"

Can Unbelievers Have a Demon?

Mat 12:45 "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." (Emphasis Added)

Where Do Demons Do Their Work?

If we look at scriptures detailing how demons work, we see that they attack the mind and body as seen in:
  • the lunatic boy (Mat 17:14),
  • the man with the Legion (Mark 5:9)
  • the woman with a spirit of infirmity (Luke 13:11)
  • the man who couldn’t speak (Mat 9:32)

Robert L. of GreatBibleStudy.com wrote, “What do demons do to people? Many people believe that only the extreme cases of mental problems are caused by demons, or that you have to be heavily involved in the occult or Satanism in order to have demons, but the Bible is clear that this is not true. The Bible speaks of perfectly sane people who have been crippled by demons. It is perfectly normal to have absolutely no demons affecting your mind in any way, and still have a demon. The Bible speaks of people who were perfectly sane, who Jesus cast spirits of deafness or dumbness, even blindness or infirmities out of (Luke 13:11, Mark 9:25, Matthew 12:22)!”

How Can a Christian Get a Demon?

More often than not, a demon enters a believer’s life because the believer invites the demon to enter without realizing it. This is done through choices and acts that are in agreement with the nature of the demon which are in rebellion to God’s word and is often referred to as “opening a door” for a demon to enter.

Ecc 10:8 He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.

Eph 4:27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.

Saul was tormented by an evil spirit only after he rebelled against God. (see 1Sa 16:14, 19:9)

Do Open Doors Guarantee a Demon will Enter?

No, an open door is an opportunity for a demon to enter. It’s possible to have an open door through which no demon enters. However, the longer the door remains open, the greater the possibility a demon will take advantage of it.

Believers may also encounter demons that are rebelling against God’s work in the believer’s life. For example, while writing this lesson, the spirits of distraction and procrastination worked to slow my progress and delay me.

What about unbelievers?

Unbelievers have no protection and live in captivity to all forms of demonic bondage including generational curses, however because all spiritual truth is discerned through the Holy Spirit and spiritual truths appear as foolishness to the man of the world, demonic influence is not recognized and is dismissed as foolishness.

What Does it Mean to be Possessed?

In teaching on demon possession, Robert L. of Great Bible Study writes, “Another misconception is that a person who is demon possessed is owned and fully operated by a demon. This is not true either… You can be perfectly sane, and yet have a demon. The word possessed in the NT Greek actually means to be under the power of a demon or to have a demon. This is like being under the power or influence of alcohol, the more you drink, the more you come under it's control. (The) Same is true with demonic bondage, the more bondage you are in, the more you will come under that demon's influence or control.”

“The Bible makes it clear that there are different kinds of demons that cause different problems the person to whom they dwell. Some demons cause blindness, others cause deafness, others cause madness (mental illness), others cause fear and depression (King Saul), others cause epilepsy (Matthew 17:15-21), and so fourth. Therefore, if a person is under the power of a spirit of blindness, they won't see (Matthew 12:22), if they are under the power of a spirit of infirmity, they will have some sort of physical infirmity (Luke 13:11), if they are under the power of a spirit of fear, they will be fearful, or if they are under the power of a spirit of anger, they will have uncontrollable anger.”

Should Demons be Cast Out of Unbelievers?

Deliverance from demonic possession is for believers, not non-believers. Jesus warns us against expelling demons from a non-believers in Mat 12:45:

Mat 12:45 "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."

The spiritual covering or hedge-of-protection around a believer comes from right standing with God or righteousness through the cross. It’s this protection that prevents an expelled spirit from returning to its house. Non-believers do not know Christ and cannot claim this protection. This is why Jesus warns us that the state of the man will become worse. The only way to receive protection is to come under the blood of the cross.

What Does Demon Possession Feel Like?

While God’s Word tells us much about demons, it does not tell us what it feels like to be under the influence of a dark spirit. Why would you want to know what a demon feels like? So you are better equipped to recognize a demonic possession, its behaviors, and its symptoms when you encounter them.

What Does a Demon Possession Feel Like?
  • You feel like something else is in control of your mind & body
  • You don’t feel like your choices are yours
  • You do things you really don’t want to do, but for some reason you do them anyway.
  • You feel certain physical ailments that appear without reason that feel out of place.
  • No matter how hard you try, you can’t get something out of your mind.
  • Feelings sometimes overwhelm you that are disproportional with the reality of a situation.
  • You have a deep and dark hunger to do something you’re ashamed to admit.

Do Demons Make You Crazy?

James 1:7 refers to a “double-minded man.” Frank and Ida Mae Hammond, authors of Pigs in the Parlor, dedicate a portion of their deliverance ministry to free people from the double-mindedness of the spirit of schizophrenia. This type of demonic possession manifests as insanity but is rare when compared to spirits that commonly torment believers such as the spirits of illegitimacy, rejection, and unworthiness.

Jas 1:7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,
Jas 1:8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Another verse that gives insight into the mental state of demonic possession is when Jesus cast out the spirit Legion from the man from the tombs. After the man was freed of his demonic possession, we see him in described in Mark 5:15. Notice his state of mind in this verse.

Mar 5:15 They *came to Jesus and *observed the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the "legion"; and they became frightened.

Notice the man is now “in his right mind” after being delivered from the demonic possession.

Are There Different Kinds of Demons?

There are many different kinds of demons. Many are identified by what they do and often their manifestation mirrors their name. The bible names a few demon spirits by name but not all. Among them are the spirit of heaviness and the spirit of Jezebel. There are many, many more.

Apart from their names, I have constructed a broad categorization of demon spirits that I have encountered. By no means should you consider this a comprehensive list, only one that reflects my own personal experience.
  • Physical – Can control your body and/or can fill a body cavity
  • Mental – Affects conditions of the mind including incorrect thinking and strongholds
  • Familiar – A behavior that appears necessary or one you’re comfortable with. ie: suspicion = safety
  • Oppressive – Witchcraft spirits of rebellion that are often in direct rebellion of Christ’s completed work on the cross. ie: heaviness, unworthiness, illegitimacy, abandonment, rejection, guilt, shame, suicide, condemnation, etc.
  • Resistance – An obstacle ie: confusion, distraction, procrastination
  • Fleshly – Lusts & Desires of the Flesh ie: Jezabel, pleasures of the self or flesh
  • Power – Compels you to comply ie: power, control, intimidation, manipulation
  • Sorcery – Alters the mind’s perception examples include nicotine, pharmakia, & drugs

ICM's Top 10 Signs That You May Have a Demon

Please watch the video to hear ICM's Top 10 List.

How Do I Know if I Have a Demon?

  • If there is uneasiness in your spirit – this is the voice of the Holy Spirit. The feeling is sometimes called “grieving.” It’s an uncomfortable feeling that doesn’t feel “right” as if something was out-of-place but you can’t put your finger on it.
  • If you have the spiritual gift of discernment of spirits, listen for the spirit’s name.
  • Listen closely to your own words. Sometimes without realizing it, you may speak the spirit’s name or acknowledge its bondage over you. If you find yourself saying things like, “I’ve never been able to….” or “This always happens,” you may be seeing the fruit of demonic bondage in the form of a scheme.
  • Look for patterns in your life where certain situations seem to repeat themselves. For example, maybe you are prone to accidents and dismiss it by saying your clumsy. The reality may be that you’re in bondage to a scheme of infirmity.
  • Look for results that seem out-of-place. For example, perhaps every job you ever had you’ve only been able to advance so far and no farther as if there were a glass ceiling over you. The ceiling may actually be a scheme or curse of insufficiency.

How Do I Get Rid of a Demon?

To answer this question in its completeness, we would have to discuss the full spectrum of deliverance ministry, however the short answer is you already have freedom through Jesus, you simply need to receive what He has already provided - you’re not in right standing with God. Jesus declared His work perfect and complete. Your freedom has already been provided, somewhere along the way though, you made a choice and stepped out from under God’s hedge of protection over you and opened a door that allowed a demon spirit to enter.

Do you remember the verse that talked about how a demon will return to its house to find it swept clean and put in order? Mat 12:44 "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. How exactly is that done – sweeping a house and putting it in order?

If your soul, part of which is your mind, is upswept and cluttered, how exactly do you clean your house?

You clean house by stepping back into right standing with God – back under His spiritual covering and protection – back into righteousness which means right standing with God.

I’ve prepared a guide to assist you in cleaning your house. The guide will tell you what God’s word requires of you and then ask you if you agree with it. If you do agree with it, then the guide gives you a proclamation you may read aloud to proclaim your agreement with God’s word.

You may download your own copy of ICM's House Cleaning Guide Here.

The enemy doesn’t like this at all. He’ll try to corrupt your house cleaning by getting you to think your righteousness comes from the words you speak. That is a lie. Your righteousness comes from Jesus Christ and Him alone.

God’s word tells us that the Word was made flesh – that’s Jesus. God’s word tells us that His Word is the truth – so, the Word of God is the Truth. Jesus said “I am the way and the Truth.” If God’s Word is the Truth and Jesus is the Truth, then Jesus and God’s Word are one in the same. When you speak your proclamations in faith, you’re not just speaking words - you’re speaking Jesus Himself into and over your life. This is what brings you back into righteousness and right standing with God.

The house cleaning guide is not a one-size to fit all situations. Many will experience immediate deliverance from an oppressive spirit by cleaning their home while and others will need follow up counseling and personal ministry. ICM College offers Christian Counseling services. Please contact us for more information if you feel you need additional counseling or seek counseling from the leadership in your own church.

Can a Demon Come Back After It Has Been Cast Out?

Jesus said in John 8:31-32 "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; Joh 8:32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

Notice that Jesus links your freedom in Him with your continuing in His word. Freedom from demons and their oppressions is yours if you abide in God’s word.

Know however, that God gave us free will including free will to sin again. The evil spirit of the Lord that tormented Saul shows us what happens when we choose to sin.

If you choose to continue in God’s word, the demonic door will remain closed and locked and you will remain free. If you choose to sin and open the demonic door, your demon spirit may return to its home to find it swept clean and put in order.


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Recommended Courses

To further your studies, be sure to look at ICM's other deliverance & spiritual warfare courses Unchained & Under Cover and Foundations in Spiritual Warfare.

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