Can Christians Be Demon-Possessed?

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Written By Pastor Vlad

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There’s a debate among Christians. The main question is: Can Christians be demon-possessed or have demons?

I decided to answer this question.

First, from an exorcist’s perspective. Most authors who write on this topic are theologians or pastors who’ve never cast out demons.

Second, I’ll explain why only the minority of Christians fight against demons and others don’t.

Third, I’ll show you in the Bible how demons work among Christians, and how we need to cast them out.

You may have never dealt with demons.

I deal with demons almost every day.

Those who call me about demonic activity in their lives are born-again Christians. They love God, believe the Bible, and are part of local churches.

Shocking. I know.

As a pastor and exorcist, I often hear people ask the same questions:

Can Christians be demon-possessed?

Or…

Can Christians have demons?

These questions usually come from those who discover demonic activity in their lives. They seek help to get rid of demons because they don’t know how.

Can Christians be demon-possessed or have demons? Who debates this?

I’ve counted at least seven groups of people who deny the Christians’ need for deliverance.

1. Theology Theorists Living in Their Ivory Towers

The vast majority of Bible school professors are theorists. I’m not against theory. Every subject has its own theories and practices.

But most theology professors don’t know how to cast out (exorcise) demons.

2. Cessationists

Another group are cessationists.

They state that the gifts of the Holy Spirit and miracles ceased when the last apostle died.

They also believe that only Jesus and his disciples cast out demons. Thus, there’s no need to cast out demons today.

3. Rationalists

Rationalists are people who try to find rational explanations of spiritual phenomena.

They don’t believe in demons.

They interpret the biblical cases of demonizaion as mental illnesses.

But they fail to explain how “mental illnesses” were shrieking when Jesus cast them out.

So, rationalists don’t see a need in the deliverance ministry today. If demons don’t exist, there’s nothing to cast out.

4. Assumers

Assumers assume Christians can’t have demons for several reasons found in the Bible.

They present their assumptions about demons and demonization of believers as a fact.

Like theorists, they never cast demons out of anyone.

They wouldn’t even want to know an exorcist. They’re content with their own assumptions about the demonic.

5. Deceivers

Deceivers are the malevolent ones. They know the truth, but they twist it to deceive those who don’t read the Bible.

They do the devil’s work, attacking deliverance ministers and smearing their reputation.

6. Spiritual Civilians

Most Christians stay away from spiritual warfare. I call them “spiritual civilians”.

Although they don’t cast out demons, they believe that Christians can’t have demons.

7. The Ignorant on Purpose

The ignorant on purpose believe that if they don’t mess up with the devil, he won’t mess up with them.

They prefer to know nothing about the devil and his operations. But they often accuse exorcists of speaking about the devil too much.

Who Doesn’t Debate If Christians Can Be Demon-Possessed or Have Demons?

The brief answer is that only exorcists don’t debate this issue.

You will find out why if you keep reading.

Words Have Meanings

When asking if Christians can be demon-possessed or have demons, we must define certain terms.

People may have differences in understanding what the term “Christian” means.

To answer the question from this post’s title, I will use clues and definitions from the Bible.

Who’s a Christian?

The New Testament defines a Christian as a person who:

  • Is born of God (the Holy Spirit) and water (God’s Word) (John 1:12-13; 3:5-8), and
  • Is saved by faith in Jesus Christ, and by God’s mercy and grace (Ephesians 2:4-5).

Jesus calls such a person “born again” or “born from above” (John 3:7).

This biblical definition requires no additions. It distinguishes between the born-again and the dead in spirit.

Being born again signifies belonging to God as His child and reveals one’s holy lifestyle. To be holy means to be set apart for divine purposes.

Therefore…

No Need to Enhance the Term “Christian”

I understand we live in the world where scammers fake genuine things.

Corrupt media produce fake news without fact-checking. Crooked artists forge famous masterpieces to sell them to the rich. Dishonest writers plagiarize works of acknowledged authors.

Unfortunately, we also encounter people believe that they’re Christians, but they never had an encounter with God.

They’re involved in religious activities. They may pray and take part in the Holy Communion. But they reveal their true colors in due time.

Like a corpse with no signs of physical life, fake Christians are spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1).

Fake Christians aren’t Christians at all.

When we say “Christian,” it should actually mean a born-again child of God.

After all, we don’t divide children into true children and fake children.

We never question the fact of a baby’s birth. A born baby breathes, moves, cries, eats, pees, poops, etc. It’s obvious to everyone that the baby’s alive.

I don’t understand why we should treat the fact of being born again differently.

One is born again or “dead in one’s trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).

Thus, it’s strange to add modifiers to the word “Christian.”

You may have heard the following expressions:

  • True Christian/believer
  • Genuine Christian/believer
  • Born-Again Christian
  • Regenerate Christian
  • False/fake Christian
  • Unregenerate Christian
  • Backsliding Christian
  • Nominal Christian
  • Self-proclaimed Christian,
  • Etc.

These modifiers (adjectives) are obsolete based on the biblical definition of a “Christian”.

From this point on, I will use the term “Christian” in its biblical sense. I’ll avoid adding modifiers to this word, as they only blur out the intended meaning of this word we have in the Bible.

Definition of “Possessed”

The online Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines possession as “the act of having or taking into control; ownership; domination…”

So, when people use sentences like “He is demon-possessed,” it implies that demons have or own the person.

In the book of Ezekiel, God says,

“Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4, KJV).

Thus, God claims ownership of humans, regardless of their faith status. He never renounced his rights to own our souls as the Creator.

So, Christians CAN’T be demon-possessed. Indeed, demons CAN’T possess (aka “own”) or have Christians. Period.

Can Christians Have Demons if Demons Can’t Have Christians?

As for Christians having demons, it’s a different story.

Theologians and pastors who believe having demons and being demon-possessed are the same thing turn many Christians away from the simple truth:

Demons CAN’T have Christians, but Christians CAN have demons.

Those theoreticians state neither demons can have Christians nor Christians can have demons. That’s their theory. But that’s not a biblical idea.

I will show that later in this post.

I’ve heard people say, “It’s a matter of semantics.”

Exactly!

If we ignore semantics, why bother using correct words to convey a correct meaning?

Ignoring semantics will cause miscommunication and misunderstanding.

But the Bible is very specific in the word choice. We should follow suit.

In his book “Pigs in the Parlor,” Frank Hammond suggests,

“The word translated ‘possessed’ by the King James version is the Greek word daimonizomai. Many Greek authorities say this is not an accurate translation. It should be translated ‘demonized’ or ‘have demons’.”

(-Location 83, Kindle Edition)

So, when one is demonized or has demons, he experiences demonic oppression in his body and in various areas of his life.

The Bible has many instances when sraelites and Christians experienced demonic oppression.

Demonic oppression comes in various forms:

  • illnesses,
  • diseases,
  • mental conditions,
  • emotional breakdowns,
  • sabotage of success,
  • poverty,
  • loneliness,
  • isolation,
  • depression,
  • and thousands more.

Why Are Western Pastors Against Deliverance Ministry?

Most Western pastors I’ve met deny that Christians can have demons. That’s why they propose many arguments against deliverance ministry, the ministry of Jesus.

They quote biblical texts that allegedly teach against casting out demons. And they use those verses to contest the ones that mandate deliverance.

So, they fabricate contradictions that don’t exist in the Bible to justify their theory.

I’ll show you the most common arguments the anti-deliverance (AD) folks use against exorcism.

I’ll also provide my counter-arguments so you could see both perspectives on this issue.

Arguments Against Casting Demons Out of Christians

1. Deliverance Is Not for Today

The anti-deliverance folks say that deliverance is not for today.

Why?

Because demon-possession, they say, is rare compared to Jesus’ time.

Counterargument:

If deliverance is obsolete today, where did all the demons go? Did Jesus, during his ministry, cast out all the demons that had existed?

2. Casting Out Demons Was Time-Specific

The AD people also say casting out demons signified the coming of God’s Kingdom in Jesus’ time. They believe this sign is obsolete today.

Counterargument:

Casting out demons is part of the so-called Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-18). The Great Commission applies to the disciples and us. We must carry it on.

If we should obey the Great Commission, we should cast out demons.

If we shouldn’t cast out demons, what other commandments should we ignore?

Jesus told his disciples to teach the new believers everything he commanded.

Does “everything” exclude casting out demons?

What else does the Great Commission exclude?

Should we only do what we like about Jesus’ commands and ignore the rest?

3. He Who Is in You Is Greater…

The AD people like quoting the following verse from the Bible to prove Christians can’t have demons:

“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” .

(1 John 4:4)

Counterargument:

The AD peeps assert that this is a valid argument.

They take this verse out of context.

It’s not about casting out demons. And they present it as though it is.

This verse is in the middle of the passage on false teachers whom John’s readers have overcome.

Never take the Bible verses out of their original context to justify your flawed ideas.

4. Already Delivered

Another AD argument is that Christians are free from demons, as they put their trust in Jesus Christ.

They use the following verse to justify their reasoning by taking it out of context again.

“… in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.”

(Ephesians 2:2)

Counterargument:

The above verse has nothing to do with casting out demons or spiritual warfare.

It talks about God’s saving and resurrecting grace for those who are “dead in their trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).

It doesn’t say that when you get saved, demons leave automatically.

The Bible doesn’t say anywhere at all that demons leave when someone gets saved.

5. Christians Do Not Live Under the Demonic Authority Anymore

I’ve no idea why AD people keep using verses that don’t even talk about deliverance to justify their beliefs. But here’s another one:

“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

(Colossians 1:13-14)

Counterargument:

God delivered us from the domain of darkness indeed. But the Bible doesn’t say He delivered us from the presence of the devil and demons.

It says,

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”

(1 Peter 5:8-9)

One kind of oppression the devil practices is persecution of Christians. And we must resist the devil by being firm in our faith.

6. Nothing In Common

Also, the AD folks state that Christians have nothing in common with darkness or Satan.

They add that the Holy Spirit can’t co-exist with a demonic spirit inside the same person.

So, they conclude, Christians can’t have demons. To prove this, the AD crowd uses this verse:

“What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?”

(2 Corinthians 6:15)

Counterargument:

As you suspect, they also take this verse out of context.

The Apostle Paul wrote this verse following up his first letter to the Corinthians. In it, he wrote about the relationships between the believers and those who pretended to be ones.

They even allowed marriages between the believers and the heathen. Some of them also took part in the idol worship along with the heathen.

So, Paul rebuked and warned them because they risked getting demons and weren’t immune to that.

7. No Biblical Example

The AD folks also claim the Scripture has no examples of Christ followers having demons.

They assert all biblical cases of casting out demons involved unbelievers.

Counterargument:

Unbelief was a signal for Jesus not to perform any miracles.

For example, in Matthew 13:53-58, Jesus was preaching in his hometown of Nazareth.

His fellow citizens rejected him. As a result, Jesus didn’t perform any miracles there “because of their unbelief” (Matthew 13:58).

In Matthew 16:1-4, the Pharisees demanded from Jesus a sign from heaven. He turned down their demand because of their unbelief.

Jesus always rebuked people for their unbelief. He never performed miracles to please people or their curiosity.

Jesus answered many people’s faith by casting out demons, healing the sick, and forgiving them.

8. Permanent Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

Next, the AD people say Christians can’t have demons because the Holy Spirit indwells them for good.

In other words, the Holy Spirit in a believer can’t co-exist with demons.

To justify their logic, the AD folks use the following verse:

“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”

(Ephesians 1:13-14)

Counterargument:

As always, the AD folks use any verse in the Bible taken out of context to substantiate their argument. Again, the above verse isn’t about casting out demons or demons living in a believer.

The co-existence of the Holy Spirit and demons is a much broader topic.

If God and demons can’t co-exist in a believer, how can God and demons co-exist in the universe?

God is omnipresent. Yet somehow He tolerates demons in His omnipresence.

When Jesus showed up somewhere, demons would manifest themselves in people.

But they never volunteered to leave. Jesus had to command them to leave before they did.

Thus, the seal and indwelling of the Holy Spirit don’t prevent anyone from having demons.

The above passage says that the seal of the Holy Spirit guarantees our inheritance. It doesn’t say it guarantees the absence of demons in Christians’ lives.

9. New Creation

The AD folks further say Christians can’t have demons because they’re a new creation in Christ. They quote this verse:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Counterargument:

When a person becomes a Christian, does his physical body disappear?

Does he become sinless?

Do all his demons from the previous life leave of their own accord?

If so, which Bible verses support these claims?

That’s right. None!

John writes,

“If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”

(1 John 1:6)

It means Christians do not lose the ability to live in darkness, although they’re a new creation.

Our responsibility is to keep our temple clean and to keep its doors shut tight. We must choose to live a pure life, lest the devil defile us.

Thus, becoming a new creation doesn’t guarantee staying a new creation.

We must maintain this newness through lifelong sanctification.

10. Temple of the Holy Spirit

The AD folks also take the following verse out of the context to prove Christians can’t have demons:

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Counterargument:

It’s funny. The AD people use this verse from a passage on sexual immorality.

The Apostle Paul rebuked the Corinthian believers for a sexual sin he had not even seen among the heathen.

Paul says that sin defiles a believer as a temple of the Holy Spirit. But the AD folks use this verse to say that Christians can’t have demons and defile the temple.

Read your Bible before you make such ridiculous arguments.

11. Can’t Separate a Believer From the Lord

The AD brothers often quote the Bible, saying evil powers can’t separate a believer from the love of God.

So, Christians can’t have demons.

They use the following verse as a justification:

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

Counterargument:

See how the AD folks manipulate you?

They equalize having demons with the separation from the love of God.

Demonized Christians run to Christ for deliverance, because there’s no dividing wall between them and God.

They put their trust in Jesus because they know He loves them and his power is available to them.

Jesus said,

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17)

I’ve provided the major arguments the AD folks use trying to cancel today’s deliverance ministry.

I’d like to share with you some questions that will help you think whether Christians can have demons.

  1. If Christians can’t have demons, how can they have sicknesses caused by demons, according to the Bible?
  2. If Christians can’t have demons, why cast them out? Let people get saved, and demons will volunteer to leave.
  3. Why did Philip cast out demons in Acts 8:4-8 after his listeners heeded his message? Wouldn’t it make sense to get them saved and let demons automatically leave?
  4. Do you know any legit deliverance minister who believes Christians can’t have demons?
  5. Show one verse in the Bible that explicitly says Christians can’t have demons
  6. Paul says if you have anger, you give a place to the devil (Eph. 4:27). Where does the devil go to when you give him a place?
  7. If Christians can’t have a demon, how could Satan fill Ananias’ heart in Acts 5?
  8. Satan entered Judas. Judas was an apostle. Was he a Christian?
  9. Is there one verse in the Bible that says deliverance is not for born-again believers?
  10. If deliverance is not for believers, wouldn’t demons come back 7x worse?
  11. If deliverance is not for believers, who do you cast demons out of?
  12. Why do you not accept the testimony of Christians who say God delivered them after He saved them?
  13. Can you name one verse that says that deliverance changed after the Pentecost?
  14. When did demons from your unsaved life come out?
  15. Can you show in the Greek language the difference between possessed and oppressed?
  16. Can you show one verse that says a demon was on someone and not in someone? Did Jesus ever cast demons off of anyone?
  17. Can you show one verse in Scripture that shows casting out demons was only for the apostles?
  18. In Mark 16:16, it says that believers will cast out demons. Does it say anywhere that this verse no longer applies to us? If so, where?
  19. The only method in Scripture against demons is to cast them out. If we shouldn’t do it today, what other biblical method should we use to get demons out of people?
  20. If we shouldn’t cast out demons, what should we do with the demonized people?
  21. If deliverance were for today, wouldn’t it be the devil’s job to convince you it’s not?
  22. If we should cast demons out of unbelievers only, why don’t most churches do it?
  23. If Christians can’t have demons, who have you ever cast demons out of?
  24. If I refer you to Christians who used to have demons and are free right now, would you allow their answers to destroy your theory? Or will you let your pride ignore the facts?
  25. Show me one verse in the Bible that says salvation solves the demonization problem automatically.

Final Thoughts

Demon possession is a wrong term to use for Christians who experience demonic oppression. Christians can’t be demon-possessed.

But Christians wear a bull’s eye on their backs because Satan hates us.

“[The devil] prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Deliverance from demons is a sign God’s Kingdom has come.

If you’re a Christian and experience demonic oppression, you need to acknowledge that you may have demons.

This is the first step towards deliverance.

God wants you to live a fruitful life for His glory.

If something sabotages your success as a Christian, you should check for demonic activity in your life.

If you need help to get rid of demons, contact me today.

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