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Published on November 10th, 2016 | by Discussion Questions

How should Christians think about the demonic?





TRENT WRITES: Recently, a friend of mine has had some strange things happen at her house: creepy voices, weird scratch marks on family members’ skin, and just an overall “dark” feeling. Since that time, the family prayed over the entire house, and hasn’t had any problems with it since (everyone in this family are Christians). There’s still some fear and uncertainty about it all. It got me thinking, what does the Bible really say about the demonic? I’ve heard that they cannot possess Christians, but can only oppress us. Does that include physical, emotional, or psychological harm?

The more scripture references, the better! Thanks y’all!


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  • Rachel M.

    Just a quick disclaimer, I copied and pasted this whole thing from GotQuestions.org so these are not my own words.

    Demons are fallen angels, as Revelation 12:9 indicates: “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” Satan’s fall from heaven is symbolically described in Isaiah 14:12–15 and Ezekiel 28:12–15. When he fell, Satan took some of the angels with him—one third of them, according to Revelation 12:4. Jude 6 also mentions angels who sinned. So, biblically, demons are fallen angels who, along with Satan, chose to rebel against God.

    Some of the demons are already locked “in darkness, bound with everlasting chains” (Jude 1:6) for their sin. Others are free to roam and are referred to as “the powers of this dark world and . . . the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” in Ephesians 6:12 (cf. Colossians 2:15). The demons still follow Satan as their leader and do battle with the holy angels in an attempt to thwart God’s plan and hinder God’s people (Daniel 10:13).

    Demons, as spirit beings, have the ability to take possession of a physical body. Demonic possession occurs when a person’s body is completely controlled by a demon. This cannot happen to a child of God, since the Holy Spirit resides in the heart of the believer in Christ (1 John 4:4).

    Jesus, during His earthly ministry, encountered many demons. Of course, none of them were a match for the power of Christ: “Many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word” (Matthew 8:16). Jesus’ authority over the demons was one of the proofs that He was indeed the Son of God (Luke 11:20). The demons who encountered Jesus knew who He was, and they feared Him: “‘What do you want with us, Son of God?’ [the demons] shouted. ‘Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?’” (Matthew 8:29). The demons know their end will be one of torment.

    Satan and his demons now look to destroy the work of God and deceive anyone they can (1 Peter 5:8; 2 Corinthians 11:14–15). The demons are described as evil spirits (Matthew 10:1), unclean spirits (Mark 1:27), lying spirits (1 Kings 22:23), and angels of Satan (Revelation 12:9). Satan and his demons deceive the world (2 Corinthians 4:4), promulgate false doctrine (1 Timothy 4:1), attack Christians (2 Corinthians 12:7; 1 Peter 5:8), and combat the holy angels (Revelation 12:4–9).

    The demons/fallen angels are enemies of God, but they are defeated enemies. Christ has “disarmed the powers and authorities,” and He has “made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:15). As we submit to God and resist the devil, we have nothing to fear. “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

    • Olivia R.

      That was great. I love Gotquestions.org it’s a great website. :)

  • Joy Swen

    I don’t know much about this topic. But what I do know I have pulled directly from
    scripture.

    Paul tells us when writing to the church in Ephesus that, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12, ESV) So we know that there is a Spiritual War happening in this world. At the root of every problem is the Spiritual War that will be fought until the day that Christ returns.

    But how are we supposed to fight and react to the Spiritual War happening in our everyday lives? Paul tells us in the following verses: “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,” (Ephesians 6:13-18, ESV)

    To prepare and fight this Spiritual War we must spend time studying God’s Word, the Sword of the Spirit, and spend time praying. This will help us resist temptation and be ready for the storms that come in this life.

    I know it wasn’t much but I hope this helps y’all.

  • Amanda

    Hi Trent! I’ve heard lots of stories like this. Apparently the demons decide to show up in the physical realm once in a while. It’s a bit creepy, but nothing to be afraid of; we know Who has already defeated them forever. Ephesians 6 talks about the armor of God and says that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.”

    As I was preparing for a mission trip to Uganda, my team talked a lot about the armor of God and how we needed to be prepared for spiritual warfare before, during, and after our trip. During the trip, one night the girl staying in the hotel room with my mom and me woke up and saw a dark figure looming near my mom’s bed. She told it to go away in Jesus’ name, and it did. Usually this seems to work, even if you can’t see anything; sometimes you just feel the presence and can send it away.

    Anyhow, that’s about all I know…lots of prayer and Scripture reading. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James)

  • Regan Seba

    Rachel M. has a great Biblical description of this- a lot of scripture is behind it. I have actually had some personal experience with this.

    I was at a camp this past summer. I love this camp- I made some incredible friends and honestly had experiences there that I will never forget- ever. I got to see the power of God firsthand in a mighty, mighty way.

    At said camp each Wednesday night the counselors put on a skit called the Everything Skit. It is an incredibly powerful skit. I will post the link to it- please go and watch it. It really sets the stage for what happened next.

    After this skit ended, we were all sitting, thinking, and praying when noise began coming from the other side of the room. My counselor, who was praying with me, looked up. We both realized it was another girl from my wing. I figured out pretty quickly that we were dealing with something not of this world. I am convinced my wing mate was literally possessed by a demon. The counselors immediately began praying, reading Scripture, and commanding the demon to leave her in the name of Jesus.

    What commenced was a literal spiritual battle for 2 hours. We(the campers) and the counselors were over a hundred strong in Christ praying, singing, and really just being in intercession for this girl and another boy, who was struggling with something spiritually significant as well(don’t ask me what, I didn’t know him). I honestly cannot describe exactly what it was like, only that I have never felt the Spirit the way I did that night. I prayed for the Lord to guard the building with an army of angels to keep the darkness out. I praised Him because I knew the Light would win, because it always wins. I thanked Him for being mighty and a conquer. During all this, my mate was sometimes shouting or moaning in a voice which was not her own.

    We prayed and sang for two hours. We would have gone all night if that’s what it took. I firmly believed that the Lord would conquer the darkness, because He is great and He was most certainly there(“where two or more are gathered, He is there”).

    My wing mate and the other boy ended the night praising Jesus, saved by Him and redeemed, rescued from the darkness by His grace and power. I praise the Lord to this day for that. She is free because of His grace. I thank God I was there and able to be a part of it.

    There were so many things I came away with from that night. The first is that the Lord is powerful. He is not a soft, cuddly, teddy-bear God that sometimes people make him seam like. He is loving, but He is powerful and He is mighty and just. I thank Him for that. The second is that when the the Church as it is supposed to be- believers bound together by Christ- moves, the Lord can work in us and through us in mighty, mighty ways.

    The third is that there is a spiritual battle going on which we rarely see and only sometimes can feel. That night I was in tune enough with the Spirit to feel that spiritual battle being waged. I later thought about my prayer for an army of angels surrounding the property, lining the borders and covering the building. I would give both my legs and my right arm to be able to see a snapshot of all the angels that were there. At the time I didn’t really think about how many angels an army consists of, but I’m pretty sure it’s a lot. As in, a LOT. The darkness is there, and it is real. But it cannot and never will be able to overcome the Light, especially when the light is hundreds strong. And I thank God for that. As Amanda said, Jesus has already defeated them. And if we resist the devil, not in our power but in the Lord’s, he will flee from us.

    Remember that demons know exactly who Jesus is. “Whenever the evil spirits saw him they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God!” Mark 3:11. This verse not only shows that demons know who Jesus is, but that they are completely subject to Him. Jesus says later “How can Satan drive out Satan?” Mark 3:23. No one but those in Christ are able to drive out the demons, because only He has power over them.

    If you’ve read this far, thank you. I hope this helped and gave a little more first-hand experience. I can honestly say that my experience at camp made the spiritual world very, very real. But I am not afraid, because I know the Lord wins, always. And I know I am in Him, and I am forever free from the darkness. Thank You, Lord.

    • I just was reading through these comments and found this video. This so so powerful. I got the shivers watching it. Thank you for sharing!

      • Rachel M.

        I know! I have watched this over and over and get goosebumps every time. Thanks for sharing it @Regan Seba.

      • Regan Seba

        Absolutely! It is absolutely incredible on video, and just overwhelmingly powerful seeing it live. It is such a testimony. I’m really glad you watched it.

    • Calista

      Wow, I got the shivers as well. What a powerful, incredible video and story.

  • Karen I.

    Just as the Bible did not emphasize the topic, so are we Christians. The Bible focused on the unsaved souls and their tremendous need of salvation. That is the heart of Scripture and the point of all history: Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. While it is true that there are such creatures existing in our world, we ought not to entertain them. Rather, we are to fervently pray without ceasing on more important matters and apply the whole armor of God in Ephesians 6.

    • Regan Seba

      I disagree. I am convinced this is a vital topic to be at the very least aware of. There is a spiritual battle going on, Karen, one that you cannot see. Jesus thought it important enough to cast out a whole lot of demons and talk pretty extensively on the topic… I’d say it’s pretty important. It’s real, it’s there, and there is nothing more important than the battle for a soul.

      • Karen I.

        You’re right about at least being aware of, Regan. Yes, it IS written in the Bible for a reason. Demon possessions and casting out demons are real and happening. Yet understand that it is not as gravely emphasized as God’s power in salvation is.

        Romans 15:4 says,
        “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

        Sometimes the Bible is silent on other matters in demonic relations because God deems rightfully so. Few of Scriptural references there is when Jesus casted out demons from a man and onto the pigs. This is beneficial for us because it shows that nothing could overpower God’s might, not even Satan and demons. Thus, proved that He is the only true and living God when He overcame death after He died for your sin and mine. Hope you get the point.

        • Regan Seba

          I completely agree on this point- the Lord is far more powerful than anything else, and His salvation is the answer. He can overcome anything, and He has saved us. If you read my post below I say something pretty similar. I just wanted to make sure you weren’t blowing it off. Obviously you’re not! 😀

    • Angela Pycroft

      I’m going to have to disagree. Demons are a very real danger and should not be passed over by any means. To put it bluntly, Satan loves this kind of idea because it is what lets him slip right under your nose and do his work while your back is turned. The demonic is very real and very dangerous.Not by any means can it even hold a candle to God’s awesome might, but we cannot stand against it alone. Now that doesn’t mean that we need to be casting demons out of the car when it backfires, but do be aware of the demonic and its clever deceptions.

      • Karen

        Hi Angela. You might want to check out my comment to Regan Seba. God bless. :)

        • Angela Pycroft

          Ah. I,see. Your explanation to her made a little more sense :). Thanks!!

  • Okie Gal

    Okay, these guys already made some great points. So I won’t repeat them, I’ll just take it from a different angle.

    Spiritual oppression is real, and it’s definitely not something we should take lightly. But on the other hand, you don’t want to be casting demons out of your toaster everytime something burns. That’s unhealthy fear, and it won’t help you towards godliness.

    So, yes. Read about it. Think about it. But always make sure you’re in the word, and putting the emphasis where scripture puts it.

  • Angela Pycroft

    First of all, don’t take it lightly. Demons are no joke, and Satan uses our skepticism to his advantage. But you don’t have to be afraid of them. After all,”if my God is for me, then who can stand against me?” God will comfort and protect us if we are attacked by every single demon there is.
    But, on another note, demons can be a lot more subtle than a creepy house. If you have ever read C.S.Lewis’s Screwtape Letters, you can see how the Devil works in very subtle and clever ways. He doesn’t just use the obvious. He might use your tiredness to sleep in just a little more, or maybe make you remember that really cool novel you were reading when you go to get your Bible.
    But, that being said, the demonic is to be shunned and refused. Psychics, tarot cards, mediums, all are demonic. These should not be joked about. We should always remember that Satan is our enemy, and really did take one third of the angels of Heaven with him when he fell. And they in turn really can cause damage and do really bad things. But as long as we remember that God is our hiding place and our refuge, and that He is our shield against all such things, we can stand against it.

    • I NEED TO READ SCREWTAPE LETTERS

      • Angela Pycroft

        Oh yess, you most certiantly do! Hurry up and finish it before school!!
        😀

  • Jeremy Zabel

    There are so many posts that all I want to do is add two small things: 1.) while we need to know what is demonic and be able to differentiate between what is and what isn’t, an obsession is likely unhealthy. Don’t research EVERYTHING there is to know. It should be obvious, but it isn’t for some people. 2.) You need to make sure not to give the devil power where he has none and not jump to conclusions. For example, if your car won’t start on Sunday morning, and you immediately believe that Satan must be trying to kill your relationship with Christ by keeping you from church, then your faith must have already been pretty dead(if killing your car is a good strategy for Satan).

    • Lol I don’t think that that’s what OP is talking about.

  • Faith B

    The enemy has no power over your friends or your family. He is just a lier for the beginning, do not be afraid only believe. Satan has power but he is already defeated don’t give him authority he does not have! You have prayed over it when you have done all just stand. I encourage you to search out the truth for the word and ask God to reveal it to you.

  • Siah Humphrey

    One of the reasons we are sometimes afraid of demons is because we don’t have a clear vision of who we are working for. We serve the God of Gods! Many people don’t realize it, but Jesus has Satan on a leash! Satan likes to act like he has a lot of power or something, but against God, he is utterly powerless. Many people also don’t realize that when you accept Jesus, the Holy Spirit physical enters your body. So, right now, your body literally contains God! It is an EXTREEM privalage that God has given us. You have the most unfair advantage over demonic powers! If you pray and seek God, they will be afraid of you because they know we serve a great God. Also, I’m not saying that your wimpy or something when you feel afraid of demons. I’ve felt that same fear many times. We’ve gotta realize that we are much more powerful in the spirit than we think we are. It might sound sorta weird, but Christians need to be aware of their identity as sons and daughters of God, and that makes them incredible warriors in the spirit. I hope you begin to grow your relationship with Holy Spirit. He is the best helper we could ask for!

    • I was going to comment but I have nothing to add to that! :)

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