Tag Archive | Demons

Can a Christian Be Demon Possessed?

Can a Christian Be Demon Possessed?
David W. Appleby

No. A Christian is already possessed by Jesus. This point of confusion/contention, however, has theologically paralyzed the church. Demon “possession” is a confusing and misleading term. Certain translations of the Bible refer to a person being “possessed by a demon,” but the word referring to possession is not present. The Greek words used, daimonizomai (“to be under the influence of a demon”) or echein daimonion, (“to have a demon”) may be better translated as being “demonized.”

Possession implies ownership, and demons own nothing. The New Testament views demons as squatters or invaders of territory that does not belong to them. A burglar can trash my home but that doesn’t make it his. Demonization is defined as being under the influence of one or more demonic spirits.

This continuum of influence can range from mild to serious, even life-threatening.

The Bible tells believers to stop giving a place to the Devil in Ephesians 4:27, suggesting at least a minimal association with a demonic spirit. Acts 5 says that Satan “so filled” Ananias and Sapphira, two members of the early church, that they lied to the Holy Spirit, an involvement major enough that God struck them dead (a particularly effective, but not recommended form of deliverance).

So Christians may not be “possessed,” since they belong to Christ, but they can certainly be demonized, or “under the influence” of demons. For such situations, deliverance is the biblical remedy.

David W. Appleby is president of Spiritual Interventions, Inc. in Lynchburg, Virginia, and author of It’s Only a Demon (BMH, 2009)

The above article, “Can a Christian Be Demon Possessed?” is written by David W. Appleby. The article was excerpted from www.LeadershipJournal.net web site. August 2013.

The material is most likely copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.

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The Believer’s Attitude and Defense Against Satan


Section Eight: ANGELOLOGY


“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he
may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your
brethren that are in the world.” 1 Peter 5.8-9

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of
God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6.10-11

I. The Believer’s ATTITUDE Toward Satan

Seven Realities:

A. Responsibility

We are not directed to speak of him with contempt, for God is his judge (Jude 8-9; Eph. 4.27; James 4.7 cf.
God’s judgment on Cain, Gen, 4.11-15).

B. Recognition

We are to recognize Satan as a spirit-creature, powerful, yet limited by God’s permissive will (Job 1.21, 2.10).

C. Remember

We are to remember that God permits Satan to accomplish His own Divine purposes in our lives (Luke
22.31-32; Acts 5.1-11; 1 Cor. 5.4-5, 2 Cor. 12.7).

We must remember that we cannot fight him at all in our own strength (2 Thess. 3.3; James 4.7; Zech. 3.11).

D. Realization

We are to realize Satan is a most dangerous enemy, never a friend or ally. He cannot be appeased by
humanity (Zech. 3.1; Matt. 4.8; 1 Pet. 5.8).

E. Revolt

We are to view Satan as the commander-in-chief of the army which opposes the Lord Jesus Christ and His
“army” (Eph. 6.11-13; 1 Thess. 2.18; 1 Chron. 21.1).

F. Regard

We should keep in mind that he is already a judged and sentenced enemy (John 16.11; Col. 2.14-15).

G. Reject

We must not give him control in our lives, thinking and conversation. Seek the Lord’s glory even as you
learn of Satan and his wiles (Phil. 4.8-9; James 4.7).

II. The Believer’s DEFENSE Against Satan

A. Our Intercession

The Lord Jesus Christ, our Great High Priest, presently interceding for us, ministers for us before
the Father as He did in His earthly ministry (John 17.15; Luke 22.32).

B. Our Caution

We must be vigilant and watchful regarding the evil one and his activities (1 Pet. 5.8; Mark 14.34).

C. Our Protection

We need to put on the whole “armor of God” depending upon God for His protection (Eph. 6.11-18).

D. Our Opposition

We are to “resist” the devil by submitting ourselves to God Who is greater that he (James 4.7).

E. Our Verification

We are “sealed by the Holy Spirit” and are to trust God to guard and protect us from the evil one (2 Thess.


Recall situations in your life recently, which were attacks by the evil one and declare how God delivered
you in these attacks.

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The Demise of Demonology


Section Eight: ANGELOLOGY


“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire
prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matt. 25.41

“And the devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimestone where the beast and false
prophet (are). And they will be tormented day and night forever.” Rev. 20.10

The opportunity of freedom from judgment is relatively short for Satan and his fallen angels.

At the present time some demons are confined, “reserved” for this judgment that is coming (2 Pet. 2.4; Jude 6). Some are not confined, but dread the coming judgment (Luke 8.30-31).

Choosing the enticement of the devil over their creator, some angels rebelled and revolted against God’s rule. Electing Satan’s rule, they shall receive Satan’s verdict- the lake of fire. One may not repress the rightful rule of God.

I. All Angels are Created

“Praise Him, all His angels; praise Him all His hosts! Let them praise the name of the LORD, for He commanded and they were created.” Psalm 148.2, 5

A. Some Are Obedient

“Bless the LORD, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word.” Psalm 103.20

B. Some are Disobedient

They are “evil” (Luke 10.17-18); “powerful” (Luke 8.29); “unclean” (Matt. 10.1); “many” (Mark 5.8-9).

II. All Angels are Confirmed

A. Some are Holy

They are confirmed, with Christ (Matt. 25.31); “elect” (1 Tim. 5.21); “innumerable” (Heb. 12.22).

B. Some are Unholy

They are “seducing spirits” having their own doctrine (1 Tim. 4.1-3); knowing Jesus as the Son of God
(Matt. 8.29); accepting the worship of men (1 Cor. 10.20- 21).

III. All Angels are Committed

The Lord Jesus Christ took upon Himself the “form of a servant,” (Phil. 2.6). He became a man, and as man, died on Calvary’s cross to satisfy God’s righteousness against sin’s penalty.

Christ did not become an angel. He did not die to pay the penalty for the angelic rebellion. There is no salvation for angels. There is only glory, in the presence of God, or the lake of fire, forever separated from the presence of God.

All the fallen angels who rejected God’s dominion will spend eternity in the lake of fire and brimestone. They will be joined by all humanity who reject the Lord Jesus Christ as God’s salvation.

Christ died for mankind. He gave His life, that you might experience the fullness of His salvation. Trust Him, Who is able to deliver you into the presence of His Father.

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved…” Acts 16.31

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Details of Demonology


Section Eight: ANGELOLOGY


“Then one of the multitude answered and said, ‘Teacher, I have brought You my son, who has a mute
spirit. And wherever he seizes him, he throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast him out; but they could not.’

He answered him and said, ‘O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.’

Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.

So He asked his father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ And he said, ‘From childhood. And
often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us to help us.’

Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’

Immediately the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’

When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to him,
‘You, dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and enter no more.

Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that
many said, ‘He is dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up and he arose.” Mark 9.17-27

The reality of the evil spirit, demonic fallen angels,is questioned by the ‘rational world.’ Consider, however,
the reality of the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. He recognized their presence. He rebuked their action. He spoke to them according to the revelation of their nature. He commanded them to depart from the possessed. To disbelieve in demons is to disbelieve in the Saviour commands them.


A. They attack the Purpose of God

They attack the program and purpose of God by action against the human race through governments and national leaders (Rev. 16.13-16; Dan. 10.13-14; 1 Kings 22.19-23).

B. They attack the People of God

They attack the human race through sickness and physical maladys:

1. Imposed dumbness and deafness (Matt. 9.32-33; Mark 9.25)

2. Physical blindness (Matt. 12.22) and spiritual blindness (2 Cor. 4.3-4)

3. Lunacy and paralysis (Matt. 4.23-34)

4. Oppression (Acts 10.38)

5. Infirmity, deformity (Luke 13.11-17)

6. Convulsions (Mark 9.20)

7. Uncleaness, the doorway to disease (Luke 4.36)

The Scriptures do not attribute all ailments and sickness to demons.

Conversely, all healing, particularily through a so- called “healer”, is not necessarily Divine.

If a demon can cause sickness, then he can relax that infirmity, therefore instant “healing”. This action
focus attention on the deceived “healer”, who represent himself as a minister of righteousness (cf 2 Cor. 11.13- 15).

Healing, genuine supernatural complete and instaneous caring, is accomplished by God alone. This
healing is to the praise of His glory and is testified as such.

C. They attack the Proclamation of God

They attack the Word of God by hiding the Gospel (2 Cor. 4.3-4), promoting false doctrine (1 Tim. 4.1-3) and encouraging heresy (1 Tim. 4.1)

D. They attack the Provision of God

They oppose the Christian’s walk by faith, even to the point of open warfare. (Eph 6.11-12)

1. Enactment

By enacting counterfit worship (Lev. 17.7; Deut. 32.17; 2 Chron. 11.5; Psa. 106.37; 1 Chron. 10.14-21)

2. Error

By error, contrary to the Word of God (1 John 4. 1-6, cf. 2.18-22; 1 Tim. 4.1)

3. Emotionalism

By emtionalism, charismatic workings, experiential “feelings” apart from direct direction of the Scriptures.

Spirituality is not obtained from experience, “holy rollers”, “gibberish talking” and the like. These things
do not make an individual spiritual.

Spirituality is obtained by a moment by moment dependence upon the Holy Spirit, Who manifests forth the “Christ life” in and through the dependent saint.

Emotionalism, feelings, anything the agents of evil can substitute in place of the Word of God will be the
things they use.

Trust God the Holy Spirit to make the Lord Jesus Christ real in your life and give you the experiences He
has for you because “All Scripture is profitable… that the man of God may be perfect…” (2 Timothy 3. 16-7)


A. Demonic Possession

1. Demonic Possession Defined

Demonic possession is exactly what the term implies. A demon, a fallen spirit creature, enters into and resides within in a person for the express purpose of controlling and dominating the physical body of that individual.

This process finds the individuality of the demonized under the direction of the demon. Dr. Merrill Unger, states regarding possession.

“The loss of what may be called ‘individualism,’ or the consciousness of a distinct and self-determining
individuality, with the power of self-origination in mental and moral actions, which distinguish the human
soul from the animal, accounts for the hideous, inhuman, and often bestial behaviour of the demonized. Their conduct is not due to mental disease, where injury to the brain or nervous system may cause previously existing mental impressions to be excited without corresponding outward stimulas in maniacal disorders, nor is it due to vice as involving the power of moral self-origination and self-action, but it is attributable to the presence of an inhibiting superior power of evil. (*Biblical Demonology*, Scripture Press Publications, Wheaton, IL, p. 96.

2. Demonic “Possession” Demonstrated

Review an Extreme Example- Mark 5.1-20, parallel passages: Matt. 8.28-34; Luke 8.26-39

-The possessed man’s abode, the “tombs” (5.2- 3,5) caves in rock cliffs.

-The possessed man’s plight “with an unclean spirit” (5.2,8,12,13).

-The possessed man’s state – self-destruction: “could not be bound” (3-4); “crying and cutting himself…day and night” (5); “chains plucked asunder” supernatural strength (4).

-The demon’s abode, the “possessed” man (15).

-The demon’s plight – confrontation with the Lord (6-13).

-The demon’s state: having to “worship” the Lord Jesus (6); pleading “torment me not” ( 7); having to vacate the host “come out” (8); request “send us into the swine” (12).

Refer: Matt. 4.24, 8.16, 28; Mark 1.32

3. Demonic Possession Deliberated

Not all examples of possession are as violent or harsh upon the host as the previous example, but all can be eternally damning unless the Lord Jesus Christ intervenes.

-Some are religious, Satan’s ministers (1 Cor. 10.13-21 and 2 Cor. 11.13-15).

-Some are rebuked, Saul & the witch of En-Dor (1 Sam. 28.7-20; cf. Lev 19.31, 20.6-7, 27; Deut. 18.10-12).

-Some are revealing, Satan entered Judas (John 13.27; Luke 22.3).

B. Demonic oppression

1. Demonic Oppression Defined

Demonic oppression or influence is the activity of one demon, or more, influencing, oppressing or harassing a person from without, exerting indirect control over actions, attitudes, etc.

2. Demonic Oppression Demonstrated

Refer: Acts 13.6-12

Seeking to “withstand” the Lord, a demon possessing a sorcerer, hindered the testimony of believers. Paul perceiving this perversion and rebuked the evil spirit, encouraging belief in all who witnessed the event.

Refer: Acts 16.16-18

Attempting to undermine the Lord’s work, a demon-possessed slave girl continues to harass Paul and company. When the demon was expelled from the girl, her masters lost their source of ill-gotten gain. Subsequently, they accosted Paul and Silas and brought them before the city magistrates, who beat them and cast them into prison.se “All Scripture is profitable… that the man of God may be perfect…” (2 Timothy 3. 16-17)

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The Doctrine of Demonology


Section Eight: ANGELOLOGY


“The Lord Jesus Christ… came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the Sabbath days. And they were astonished at His doctrine: for His Word was with power.

And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice. Saying, “Let us alone; what have we to do with Thee, Jesus of Nazareth? Art Thou come to destroy us? I know Thee who Thou art; the Holy One of God.” And Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Hold thy peace, and come out of him.”

And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him and hurt him not. And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying “what a word is this! for with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” Luke 4.31-36

I. The ORIGIN of Demons

Even though the Bible has much to say about them, No single verse of Scripture declares “God created demons…” The origin of demons however, may be realistically concluded.

A. False Views Concerning the Origin of Demons

Non-Biblical Views:

1. They are merely superstitious explanations of certain diseases.

2. They are spirits of deceased men (Reincarnation).

3. They are disembodied spirits of a pre-Adamic race of humanity.

4. They are the unnatural offspring of angels and the daughters of men.


B. Factual Views Concerning the Origin of Demons

This is the declaration of the Scriptures:

1. Demons are the “devils” of the Scriptures

The term is a Greek word DIAMON, Strong’s #1142. This term is distinguished from “the Devil,” Greek
DIABOLOS, Strong’s # 1228.

2. Demons include fallen angels who are not confined

Demons were part of the original angelic creation, who chose to follow Satan in his rebellion against God

Their number – information unknown to men, known to God (Rev. 12.4, 7-12; Matt. 8.29 ff. and 12.43 ff.).

Their nature – instruments of evil, rebellious against God

Their nation:

Aligned with Satan (Matt. 25.41)

Attentive to Satan (Matt 12.26)

Active for Satan (Eph 6.11-12, Matt 12.24-27)

3. Demons include fallen angels, who are confined

They, like their unconfined number favored Satan over God.

Some are confined in the “Abyss” (Luke 8.31; Rev. 9.2, 11 “Bottomless pit” cf Rev 16.13-14). This confinement includes those demons who will serve to make the “Great Tribulation” hell on earth. Those demons free during the Lord’s day apparently feared this judgment of confinement.

Some are confined in “Tartarus” (2 Pet, 2.4-5; Jude 6-7). This confinement includes those angels who “left
their first estate” and like Sodom and Gomorrah went after “strange (Heteros – literally of a differnet kind)
flesh” perversion of normal sexual relations.

These “sons of God” (Gen. 6, cf. Job 1.6, 2.1, 38.7; Psa. 29.1, 89.6 and Dan 3.25) “saw the daughters of men that they were fair” and cohabited with them, producing a race of “giants in the earth” (Hebrew NEPHILIM, literally fallen ones), part man part angel. Satan’s purpose was obvious, infiltrate the human race, thus destroy the humanity of the “seed of Woman”.

This rebellion however brought instant retrobution from God, Who “spared not the angels that sinned” and
used the flood to purge the earth of all but Noah and his descendants, who was declared “perfect”.


A. They are a highly organized army with structure and authority (Eph. 6.11-12)

1. Satan is their commander (Matt 12.24.; Mark 3.22; Eph. 2.2)

2. Their army contains “principalities” ruler- magistrates (cf. Rom. 8.32; Col. 2.10, 15 cf. Luke 12.11)

3. Their army contains “powers” (cf. Eph. 1.21, 2.2, 3.10; Titus 3.1; Rev. 9.3, 11.6) those with authority.

4. Their army contains “world ruler of darkness”, literally world holders (cf. 1 John 2.15-17, 4.5, 5.19).

They hold the world, however it will pass away.

5. Their army contains “spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies” (Matt. 22.18; Luke 11.39; Rom. 1.29;
1 Cor. 5.8).

B. They are a well informed army

Demons maintain constant surveillance upon their opposition, the Lord Jesus Christ and them that are His

1. They know the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 1.24; Luke 4)

2. They are subject to Him (Mark 1.24; Luke 4)

3. They know of their judgment (Matt. 8.29 “before the time.” cf. James 2.19)

4. They know of God’s sole provision of man’s redemption (2 Cor. 4.3-4)

5. They know their own system of doctrine (1 Tim. 4.1-3)

Your enemy is prepared for battle and activitely engaged in it, are you?
-Adamic race of humanity.

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