Is demon possession real? Are evil spirits real? Yes, the Bible clearly speaks about demons and evil spirits. During this kind of possession, demons and evil spirits can actually control a person, which is much worse than demon oppression. The Bible warns it will get worse as the end times approach. But, a better question is, can Christians be possessed by demons and evil spirits?
Many Bible scholars and commentators believe demons are powerful angels who joined Satan in his rebellion against God.
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. (Revelation 12:7-8)
These demons and evil spirits have a real and dangerous position on the Earth. For many years, I have thought that the Hollywood fascination with demons and the dark powers of evil have been making us numb to the horror in preparation for the real thing. But, the reality is far worse than scary imaginations, and should not be played with.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12 KJV)
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 NLT)
This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world. (Ephesians 6:12 GWT)
But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve. (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)
Accounts of Demon Possession
The Gospel of Mark records many accounts of possession by unclean spirits or evil spirits. The power and control of these demons during possession is terrible and frightening. (The Devil made me do it)
- 1139 daimonízomai
- (from 1142 /daímōn) – properly, demonized, i.e. coming under the power of a demon (fallen angel). –HELPS™ Word-studies
- δαιμονιζόμενοι are persons afflicted with especially severe diseases … whose bodies in the opinion of the Jews demons (see δαιμόνιον) had entered, and so held possession of them as not only to afflict them with ills, but also to dethrone the reason and take its place themselves; accordingly, the possessed were accustomed to express the mind and consciousness of the demons dwelling in them; and their cure was thought to require the expulsion of the demon –Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
- when the demon was driven out (Matthew 8:33)
- a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him (Matthew 12:22)
- Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy (Matthew 17:18)
- preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. (Mark 1:39)
- Jesus restores a demon-possessed man (Mark 5:1-20)
- you many go; the demon has left your daughter (Mark 7:26)
- Even evil spirits obey him (Luke 4:37)
- he commanded the unclean spirit to come forth from the man (Luke 8:29)
- An evil spirit keeps seizing him, making him scream (Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:39)
- Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute (Luke 11:14)
- Paul said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out (Acts 16:16-21)
- Disciples of a charlatan Jewish exorcist at Ephesus are beaten by demons (Acts 19:13-20)
Jesus Christ Defeated the Power of Demon Possession
There is no hope without Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. He defeated sin and death. He destroyed satan. He disarmed all these demons and evil spirits. He removed the power of demon possession.
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross. (Colossians 2:13-15)
Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers accept his authority. (1 Peter 3:22)
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Jesus Christ’s Power over Demon Possession
The Gospels record many accounts of Jesus Christ’s power over possession by unclean spirits or evil spirits. Most striking are these early accounts.
Then Jesus went to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught there in the synagogue every Sabbath day. There, too, the people were amazed at his teaching, for he spoke with authority.
Once when he was in the synagogue, a man possessed by a demon—an evil spirit—began shouting at Jesus, “Go away! Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
Jesus cut him short. “Be quiet! Come out of the man,” he ordered. At that, the demon threw the man to the floor as the crowd watched; then it came out of him without hurting him further.
Amazed, the people exclaimed, “What authority and power this man’s words possess! Even evil spirits obey him, and they flee at his command!” The news about Jesus spread through every village in the entire region. (Luke 4:34-37)
As the sun went down that evening, people throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus. No matter what their diseases were, the touch of his hand healed every one. Many were possessed by demons; and the demons came out at his command, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But because they knew he was the Messiah, he rebuked them and refused to let them speak. (Luke 4:40-41)
The Holy Spirit’s Power over Demon Possession
Now that Jesus Christ has ascended to the Father for the time being, the Holy Spirit has power over the dark powers.
“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:25-27)
Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way (2 Thessalonians 2:5-7)
The Christian’s Power over Demon Possession
I am convinced that a Christian, who has accepted the gospel, who has been born again from above, as a new creation in Jesus Christ, with Jesus Christ dwelling in his heart, cannot lose their salvation and cannot be possessed by a demon. Jesus Christ is a jealous God, he doesn’t play well with others.
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2 Corinthians 1:20-22)
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
You will also know the unlimited greatness of his power as it works with might and strength for us, the believers. He worked with that same power in Christ when he brought him back to life and gave him the highest position in heaven. He is far above all rulers, authorities, powers, lords, and all other names that can be named, not only in this present world but also in the world to come. God has put everything under the control of Christ. He has made Christ the head of everything for the good of the church. The church is Christ’s body and completes him as he fills everything in every way. (Ephesians 1:19-23)
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:1-6)
Demon Possession Will Get Worse in The End Times
Now the Spirit expressly states that in later times some will abandon the faith to follow deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, (1 Timothy 4:1)
The coming of the lawless one will be accompanied by the working of Satan, with every kind of power, sign, and false wonder, (2 Thessalonians 2:9)
I know your affliction and your poverty–though you are rich! And I am aware of the slander of those who falsely claim to be Jews, but are in fact a synagogue of Satan. (Revelation 2:9)
“I know that you live in the city where Satan has his throne, yet you have remained loyal to me. You refused to deny me even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was martyred among you there in Satan’s city. (Revelation 2:13)
But I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned the so-called deep things of Satan: I will place no further burden upon you. (Revelation 2:24)
Demon Possession Can be Overcome by Jesus Christ
However, I am a firm believer in psychosomatic evil spirits. That is, people feeling like they have an evil spirit. Acting like they have an evil spirit. And, it can take over their lives. So, if someone ever tells you they have an evil spirit, do not scoff at them or minimize their experience. They need Biblical Counseling exactly as if they really did have an evil spirit. In Matthew 4, Jesus Christ was allowed to be led into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. Three times he defeated the devil’s temptation with the Scriptures. That is the same tool that will defeat satan and his demons in your life.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4:7-10)
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:10-12)
What to do if you, or someone you know, is possessed by a demon or evil spirit?
This is one of those 911 moments, hang up and call for help. This is a poison control situation, read the Bible instructions and call for help. Do not attempt home remedies. Even a well-meaning amatuer can make things worse. Immediately seek Biblical Counseling from someone who is trained and equipped to handle this situation.
Therefore, your minds must be clear and ready for action. Place your confidence completely in what God’s kindness will bring you when Jesus Christ appears again. (1 Peter 1:13 GWT)