Christians & Demons

Scriptures Supporting Christians Being Influenced or Oppressed By Demons and Fallen Angels

So to keep me [the Apostle Paul] from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. (2 Corinthians 12:7 ESV)

31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32 ESV)

1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife's knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? (Acts 5:1-3 ESV)

19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. (1 Cor 10:20-21 ESV) [Paul is speaking to Christians and implying that they can in fact be participants with demons.  Also see Deuteronomy 32:17 {They sacrificed to demons that were no gods}]

18 We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning [this doesn't say we instantly stop sinning - implying that once we are born of God our desire is to please God and we work towards ceasing from sinning. out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12)], but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. 19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. 21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (1 John 5:18-21 ESV)
Why avoid idols? Because it is a sin that breaks the First Commandment (Old Testament) or Greatest Commandment (New Testament). And if we do we will become like the idol - spiritually deaf and blind. (Psalm 115:8) and behind every idol is a demon (1 Cor 10:19-22). See above.

You shall not bow down to them [idols/demons] or serve them [idols/demons], for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me... (Exodus 20:3-5 ESV)


The penalty for idolatry is so severe that the consequences are passed on to the children for up to four generations! For example, if you or your father or your mother or your grandparents, etc. have a foul mouth your children will probably be predisposed to have foul mouths - unless they can consistently renounce it as sin early on in their lives. These bondages don't always disappear the moment we are saved - hence the need to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. This is why parents NEED to pray for their children regularly and ask God to "cut off" the natural inheritance and the iniquity of the forefathers that we see coming through to our children. Adopted children will have the predisposition to repeat the sins of both their natural birth parent's and their adoptive parent's!

More on Idolatry: Covetousness which is Idolatry -> Keeping Up With the Joneses

Slaves to Sin or Righteousness

...whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. (2 Peter 2:19 ESV) [whatever is the Greek word "hos" which can also be translated as whoever.  Whoever makes more sense since slaves are persons who are enslaved to masters who are also persons - physical or spiritual]

Do you not know that if you [habitually] present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness [two and only two possibilities]? (Romans 6:16 ESV)

Our Soul was not Designed to be Master

The NIV translates 2 Peter 2:19 as: "people are slaves to whatever has mastered them".  Based on these related scriptures, Gen 4:6-7; Rom 6:6,18,22; Gal 4:3,8; Matt 6:24; Matt 18:34, we can only have either earthly masters or heavenly masters or both and the heavenly ones can only be God himself or fallen angels and the earthly ones can only be people or demons. If the Holy Spirit lives in us then Satan's counter to the Holy Spirit, a demon, can also dwell within us. Otherwise how do we account for it being so hard to stop a sin that you have been trapped by - actually it's impossible without God's help prompted by our confession, renouncing and repenting of our sin in the presence of God.

Some will say a demon and the Holy Spirit cannot indwell a person at the same time but there is no scripture which indicates this to be true.  Clearly the scripture says that "your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you" (1 Cor 6:19).  The main difference I believe to be true is that a demon only has access to our mortal physical body, and only when it has permission to be there due to unrepentant ongoing sin, lies believed, emotional shock (rape, incest, beatings, war, etc.) and unforgiveness, whereas the Holy Spirit has access to our immortal (in Christ) soul (mind,emotions,will) and immortal (in Christ) spirit.  We are body, soul and spirit (1 Thes 5:23).

Something to consider, regarding indwelling demons and keeping in mind that James and Paul are addressing Christians... 

1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions [or pleasures] are at war within you [or your members]? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions [or pleasures]. (James 4:1-3 ESV)

but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. (Romans 7:23 ESV)

as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. (Romans 6:19 ESV)

And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell [AKA Hades, a principality angel; Rev 6:8]. (James 3:6 ESV)

And consider the following as evidence that we can receive a different spirit from the Holy Spirit in the same way we receive the Holy Spirit...

For if someone comes [versus an apostle who is sent] and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive [Greek: lambano] a different spirit [demon or fallen angel] from the one [the Holy Spirit] you received [Greek: lambano], or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. (2 Corinthians 11:4 ESV)
This is scriptural confirmation that a Christian, who is saved, can also let a demon indwell them (receive).  Believers receive [Greek: lambano] God's Spirit (John 7:39: Acts 10:47) also see 1 Cor 6:19-20 which says that the Holy Spirit lives within us. This scripture is very important - Paul is speaking to Christians.

Other Verses Pertaining to a Spirit or Spirits of Bondage

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the [Holy] Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”  (Romans 8:15 ESV)

Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery  (Galatians 2:4 ESV)

3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods [demons].  9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?  (Galatians 4:3,8-9 ESV)

Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar.  25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.   (Galatians 4:24-26 ESV)

8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations  (Colossians 2:8,20 ESV)

The Good News

The good news is that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8, Col 2:15).  Freedom starts by embracing the truth.  Jesus said, "you will know the truth and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32) - this is a Truth Encounter.  Also God gives us a double command with a promise: "humbly submit to God then resist the devil and the devil will flee from you" (James 4:6-7).  It is our God given responsibility to resist the devil - this includes demons and fallen angels. By humbling ourselves before God by naming and repenting of our sin EVERY time we see or detect our sin and asking, in some cases even crying out in a loud voice, for His help and the help of a spiritual authority in our life (husband, father, mother, pastor, etc.) praying with us and for us (James 5:13-14), we will get help - this is a Power Encounter - the power is from God. Tougher cases may require prayer and fasting (Mark 9:15-29).  More on all this in the "Freedom" section of this website.

We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning... (1 John 3:9, 5:18 ESV)

Real Life Issues

Most Christians have spiritual issues which we need freedom from - I certainly did and still do because my sanctification is ongoing. Freedom from believing Satan's lies and from sins of the flesh is not necessary for salvation but it goes a long long way towards allowing us to be fruitful in God's kingdom. Just one shocking statistic: More than half of men professing to be Christian have a pornography addiction. This is a sin by which many Christians have become trapped and enslaved - we can only be a slave to a master, in this case a demon becomes the master because it has permission to become the master due to our unrepented of sin. The good news is that Jesus came to set us free and allow us to become FREE INDEED as slaves of righteousness, slaves to God and bondslaves to Christ (Rom 6:17-33, Eph 6:6).