Can a Christian have a demon?

If a person wants to see a room full of Christians get sparked into a heated debate, they need only ask one question "Can a Christian have a demon"? Another similar scenario would be to ask a room full of parents, "should a child be spanked or not"? To the second question my answer is, it would be a sin to spank some children because they are so sensitive or have such a good nature about them just as it would be a sin NOT to spank some children when it is seen that they have acquired a disdain and disrespect for rules and authority.

(:remember a spanking should not be a beating, but an attention getter to ward off the signs that a child is developing patterns of bad behaviour, that words alone have not been able to alter.)

But back to the question, can a Christian have a demon? Because of the differences of doctrinal beliefs that separate denominations from having harmonious agreement with each other this is one of those questions that cause similar disagreement. Why? Because of what Jesus Christ and His disciples warned us about, false prophets, teachers and teachings in the body of Christ, (especially on the topic of spiritual warfare and deliverance).

2 Peter 2:1-3 NIV But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them-bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

I want to clarify that many of our false teachings do not come to us by evil men with evil intentions but they come from the false teachings that were taught to them and in return they teach to others. Our greatest enemy in the church are the misinterpreted, watered down, compromising teachings that leave a Christian ignorant as to what God can achieve for a believers life and what we as a believer can achieve because of God.

        Additional reference scriptures: Matthew 7:15, Acts 20:29-31, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

I know some Christians believe that once a person makes the decision to become a Christian, that a spiritual shield immediately lowers itself in place around that new believers life (without that Christian doing anything more than just making the decision to become a Christian to attain that protection) and that satan will no longer be able to oppress this person in any way ever again.

Some also believe that if a person was demon possessed before accepting the Lord that upon accepting Jesus Christ into their heart that whatever spirit was there would now have to stop afflicting them and just leave. But accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour is not the basis of deliverance but the beginning to getting it. I have never seen a person freed of spirits, oppression, nightmares, sickness etc., just by accepting the Lord as their Saviour. But I have seen many people freed of many things when they were ministered to with the proper knowledge and encouragement to prepare them for their deliverance and when God's authority and anointing was used to finalize their deliverance.

Many people are answering Jesus Christ's call to come to Him and so we have the sick, the oppressed and the demon afflicted coming into our churches looking for their lives to change and be healed but unfortunately many of our churches don't know how to deal with the sick, the oppressed and the demon afflicted, which adds to that persons frustrations.

         Can a Christian have a demon? Let's talk about this using Mark 9:17-27 as an example.

Mark 9:17-27 NIV A man in the crowd answered, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech.

18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not."

19 "O unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me."

20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

21 Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like this?" "From childhood," he answered.

22 "It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."

23 "'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."

24 Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. "You deaf and mute spirit," he said, "I command you, come out of him and never enter him again."

26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, "He's dead." 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

In the dynamics of this story we observe several things, the first being the testimony of the child's father saying that the child was demon possessed since childhood and that the spirit had the ability to rob him of speech.

Secondly, that the spirit was able at times to cause the man's son to foam at the mouth and go into convulsions. Also at times throughout his life the spirit would throw him into water or fire to try to kill him.

Thirdly, Jesus Christ recognized and called this a deaf and dumb spirit.

And fourthly we see where Jesus Christ commanded this spirit to come out of this man and that it came out.

There was another observation that this scripture didn't mention but did mention in the same account told by Matthew in Matthew 17:18. That upon this spirit coming out this young man was healed, (could both speak and hear again)

Matthew 17:18 NIV Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.

Many Christians are afraid to entertain the thought that any such thing could happen to them or their children and so the teachings that say that satan can't touch a Christians life or cause them any sort of oppression, comforts their fears. But this written account in the bible that I used as an example tells a different story. Jesus didn't laugh and correct this man in his claims that his son was demon possessed but rather took him seriously. The greatest observation we see in all of this though was that Jesus Christ commanded this spirit to come out of this man and it came out. Something can't come out unless it is first in. Right? In verse 25 Jesus Christ also said, "and never enter him again", which also implies that this spirit had entered into this man and had been working within the parameters and dynamics of this person's body.

There are those who say that yes a person can have spirits, but not a believer in Christ, (a Christian). But I say that you can't cast a spirit out of a non-believer. It is only a believer in Christ who can do the type of things that Jesus Christ did in the way of casting out demons (and Jesus said so in Mark 16:17 and John 14:12) and it is only a believer in Jesus Christ (one who has made a committed decision to accept and abide by God's rules of righteousness) that can expect to benefit from Gods power working in their life to save them from the works of the evil one. A person must first accept God's Light in their life before they can expect to see satan's darkness removed from it.

In the example story I just gave Jesus questioned this man's faith in God's abilities when the man said, 22 But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us." 23 "'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."

24 Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. "You deaf and mute spirit," he said, "I command you, come out of him and never enter him again."

I also believe that this man's son believed or trusted to believe in God's power as well or else the spirit would have just remained harbored within this man because of his unwillingness to want to trust in God for his freedom.

Here is another example story from the bible that makes reference to a man being possessed by a spirit.

Luke 4:33-37 NIV In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice,

34 "Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are-the Holy One of God!"

35 "Be quiet!" Jesus said sternly. "Come out of him!" Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.

36 All the people were amazed and said to each other, "What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!"

In this case we see another dynamic at work within this person that we didn't see in the first example story. This spirit was able to speak through this man's very own vocal cords and in God's very own synagogue. In doing deliverance though this is not an uncommon occurence.

A lot of Christians scratch their heads as to how a believer in Christ following His instruction and growing in His ways could be possessed by a spirit, but many of these spirits had come into their lives well before they had accepted Jesus Christ.

Also I want to address that there has been a misunderstanding, or mistranslation for the word possessed. The word "possessed" in the King James version comes from the Greek word "daimonizomai", but many Greek authorities say that the proper translation for that word should have been "demonized", not possessed.

The word demonized means "to have demons". To be "possessed" by a spirit would suggest that the spirit had total ownership over that person, but with a person who is demonized by a spirit (who has, is oppressed or afflicted by a spirit), that person is only affected or afflicted in the area of what type of spirit has gained access and influence to their life.

For example a deaf and dumb spirit (by the type of spirit it is) has the ability to manipulate a person's ability to hear and their ability to speak. That is their specific job.

a spirit of fear has the ability to create fear to the mind of a person even when there is no real threat to validate that fearful response. That is its job.

a spirit of infirmity or sickness has the ability to create a unjustified sickness in a person's body. That is its job.

a spirit of restlessness, or insomnia, or nightmare has the ability to manipulate the pattern of a person's sleep and/or to cause them to have nightmares. That is its job.

There is much to learn about deliverance. One thing being that there is always a root as to how a spirit or spirits gain access to a person's life. Another thing being that it doesn't matter what spirit lays claim to a person by which to afflict them, we have the ability to make them leave because of our Godly position. There is a process though and it all starts with a person realizing that what is afflicting them is a trespasser into their life, as well as by learning how to rescind those spirits rights and remove their access.

Can a Christian have or be afflicted by a demonic spirit? Absolutely! Can that Christian come out from underneath that affliction? Absolutely!!!!! There are other writings on this site that can help a person better understand how they can be set free from whatever has them bound or oppressed.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NIV For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

Matthew 7:15 NIV "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 4:23-25 NIV Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

Mark 5:7-10 NIV 8 For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!" 9 Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many." 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.


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