What are Demons

Demons, the mysterious little goons of the Bible days, little seems to be known about them or taught about them in churches these days so I feel it is necessary to recap over these creatures and get our worldview straight with the Bible. As always, let’s look in to the Word of God to find out what these things are, why they exist, and what our actions towards them should be.

Synonyms : demon(s), unclean spirit(s), devil(s)(KJV only)

Daimonizomai (13 times), G1139- To be under the power of a demon.
Daimōn (5 times), G1142- An inferior deity, whether good or bad, an evil spirit.
Akathartos (30 times), G169- Unclean, in a moral sense, unclean in thought or life.
Pneuma (47 times), G4151- A spirit devoid of matter but possessing ability or life.

Accusations About:

Mat 11:18, Luk 7:33, Luk 11:15, Jhn 7:20, Jhn 8:48-49, Jhn 8:52, Jhn 10:20-21, Mat 9:34, Mat 12:24, Mat 12:27, Mar 3:22, Mar 3:30

Deliverance From:

Mat 4:24, Mat 8:16, Mat 8:33, Mat 9:33, Mat 12:22, Mat 17:18, Mar 7:26-30, Luk 4:35, Luk 9:42, Luk 11:14, Mat 7:22, Mat 8:31, Mat 10:8, Mat 12:27-28, Mar 1:34, Mar 1:39, Mar 3:15, Mar 5:8, Mar 5:12, Mar 6:13, Mar 9:38, Mar 16:9, Luk 11:20, Zec 13:2, Mat 12:43, Mar 9:25, Luk 6:18, Act 5:16, Act 8:7, Act 19:12

Authority Over:

Mat 7:22, Mat 10:1, Mar 1:27, Mar 3:11, Mar 5:13, Mar 6:7, Luk 4:36, Act 19:15, Rom 8:38, Eph 6:12, Luk 11:24-26

Possession By:

Mat 8:28, Mat 9:32, Mat 11:18, Mat 12:22, Mat 15:22, Mar 1:32, Mar 5:15-16, Luk 4:33, Luk 8:29, Luk 9:42, Luk 11:14, Luk 11:18-20, Mat 12:43, Mar 7:25, Rev 18:2, Act 19:16, Luk 11:24-26

Activity Of:

Mat 8:28, Luk 4:33, Luk 8:29, Luk 9:42, Luk 11:14, Mat 8:31, Mar 1:39, Mar 5:12, Mar 16:9, Luk 11:18, 1Ti 4:1, Jam 2:19, Rev 16:13-14, Rev 18:2, Zec 13:2, Mat 12:43, Mar 1:26, Mar 9:25, Luk 11:24, Act 19:15-16, Luk 11:24-26

Worship Of:

Lev 17:7, Deu 32:17, 2Ch 11:15, Psa 106:37, 1Cr 10:20-21, 1Ti 4:1

Conclusions

Multiple demons can indwell or possess someone at one time as with Mary of Magdalene (Mar 16:9) and the man in the tombs (Luk 8:30) also in (Luk 11:26).

Demons recognize Jesus as the Son of God and know He has power to torment and punish them on a coming day of judgment (Mar 1:24, Mar 3:11, Mar 5:7, Luk 4:34, Jam 2:19).

Demons can move from a human to an animal host (Mat 8:31-32).

Demons can make the person they have possessed speak out, often intrusively and offensively (Mar 1:23-24, Luk 4:33-34).

Demon possession can cause it’s host person to be mute until the demon is cast out (Mat 9:33, Mat 12:22, Luk 11:14, Mar 9:25).

The demon possessing the person may induce self-mutilation (Mar 5:5) or have an interest in death (Mar 5:3, Luk 8:27, Mar 5:13).

The possessed person may acquire superhuman strength as with the man of the tombs who broke chains and shackles off of himself and could not be withheld by any man (Mar 5:4, Mat 8:28, Luk 8:29). This was also present with the man whom the sons of Sciva tried to exorcise (Act 19:16).

Demons travel to find rest and are not omnipresent (Luk 11:24).

Demons seek a host to dwell in (Luk 11:24).

When a demon is being cast out of a person by the authority of Jesus it causes the person to scream, or to convulse (Mar 1:26, Mar 9:26, Luk 9:42).

About Demons

The origin of demons is a highly disputed one, the popular theories today state that demons are either the spirits of the fallen angels that rebelled with Satan (Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28:17-18, and Revelation 12:4 &7-9), or they are spirits of some other group of beings that are now disembodied and have evil intent. The later theory assumes the existence of a race of people before Adam (gap theory perhaps) that were judged by God, died and now their spirits remain locked on the Earth and seek evil expression via physical body (aka us). This theory assumes a lot and does not have very much scriptural basis. The other theory suggests that demons are actually the same fallen angels that rebelled with Satan and were kicked out of heaven down to Earth. However this view has some scriptural problems of its own. For instance read these two scriptures that say plainly that the angels that fell with satan are currently locked up awaiting punishment:

2Pe 2:4 – For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;
Jud 1:6 – And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;

Those scriptures portray ALL not just some of the angels that sinned as being locked away not on the Earths surface, not roaming free as we see demons doing, but locked up in a compartment of hell. Another scripture in Matthew 25:41 states that hell was prepared for the Devil and his angels, not Devil and his demons. Thus the fallen angels that are locked away are destined for hell not free to roam and harass mankind as demons are. I have yet to find a scripture that clearly draws the connection between “angels” and “demons” being the same entity. I have found that Revelation 12:9 says that Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven into (eis, Greek#1519) the Earth which may be interpreted as into hell.
My stance in neutral: I am undecided and I think it’s ok because this seems to be what I call a “peripheral issue”, it’s not crucial to achieving victory over them. Whatever demons are they were originally created by God and He has power over them. If we are in Christ we can ask help from Him and He will deliver us.

Demons on Earth?

Something many don’t know about hell is that it was made originally for the punishment of the fallen angels (Matthew 25:41). Many only imagine demons as scarey red creatures that torture people in hell, this however is not a Biblical picture of demons. Through the Bible we do know that demons are not in hell, wherever it may be. We know this simply because they are recorded as only roaming the Earth and causing much trouble for man kind (Luke 11:24-26, & 6:18).
Just as angels are servants of God to help believers to and in salvation (Hebrews 1:14), demons are servants of Satan who’s ultimate goal is to draw people away or out of salvation (John 8:43-45).

Authority over demons

As Christians we are not to live in fear of demons, because God has given us a spirit of peace. But we should live in a mindset of victory of demons because of Christs blood that was shed.

So, what are we  Christians to do about all this demonic business? We are to realize that we have authority over demons (Luke 10:17-20, Mark 16:17, Luke 9:1) because we are children of God who created and has authority of demons. If we see someone that is demonically controlled or influenced, or feel a dark presence in a place that we enter we can boldly use the name of Jesus Christ against that agent of Satan and it must flee. Demons simply can’t stand the truth, and ultimate truth is the person of Christ who has defeated them and their master. When in that situation remember we are not to operate in fear but in wisdom. Simply use the name of Jesus Christ the Son of God with faith. However, if we are not walking with the Lord or are living in sin I would not expect the Lord to work on your behalf at every beckoning call.

A question is often asked “Can a Christian be possessed by a demon?” The answer is no, the reasoning behind this is that since a believer is indwelt by the Spirit of God at the moment of salvation meaning He is in them (Romans 8:9-11, 1Corinthians 3:16), the Spirit of God will not let an evil spirit indwell the same person at the same time. However it is my strong believe that Christians can acquire what is called “demonic attachments“. These attachments are not internal like possession is but  external and they greatly effect the believers everyday life and increase their struggle as they try to pursue God and become like Christ. I will discuss this subject in an up coming blog.

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14 thoughts on “What are Demons

  1. This is a great post.
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  2. This is a great amount of information on demons… thank you very much. I especially appreciate you recognizing that demons are fallen angels and not the spirits of a long-extinct race of humans from times past. (yeh I know, believe it or not, that is a common belief in some theological circles.)
    Understanding demons helps us ot undestand more about how to defend ourselves against the powers of darkness.

    • Yep! Some ministers will role their eyes at this stuff and think it unnecessary but I think it’s every bit necessary to understand our enemy. One of Satan’s best ploys in being successful is convincing his opponent, mankind, that he doesn’t exist!

  3. Good information! And we as believers had better brush up on this, as demonic activity is on the rise. One of the prophetic leaders of our day, Paul Keith Davis, said in a meeting awhile back, that the Lord specifically told him that such ‘activity’ that India and Africa are know for, will be coming to America soon. We must be prepared.

    Just as we are about to see the greatest move of God in all of history, be assured that Satan will try to confuse and distract with a ‘revival’ of his own. He’s not terribly original.

  4. Rob I am aware of that theory and it does answer plenty of questions that are not there with the fallen angels theory. I am however hesitant to assume there was ever a pre-Adamic race. After doing some more reading it is getting harder to believer that demons are fallen angels. Let me explain a little:

    Demons are strictly Earthbound, they never ascend to the heavenlies where other evil spirits are for some reason (Eph 6:12), nor do they descend in to hell where the sinful angels were sent. Also differing from angels they long to express there evil lusts through a physical body as if they use to have one and desire to return to their old habitat – a physical body.
    I don’t recall any scriptures that say fallen angels were cast down to the surface of the Earth where demons seem to stuck.

    In Jude 1:6 it says: “And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day” so it sounds as if the angels that fell with Satan are bound permanently in chains until final punishment unless this refers to the fallen sons of God in Genesis 6, for they had left their proper abode and sinned. That’s also a possibility as to who Jude 1:6 is referring to.

    2 Peter 2:4 agrees with the previous point in that some angels sinned and were cast to hell and kept there until destruction.

    Matthew 25:41 seems to draw a line between angels and demons and says “the Devil and his angels”.

    I am undecided as to where the unclean spirits of demons came from but really I think it’s a peripheral issue, all that matters is that they are bad and Jesus is stronger and we can have freedom from their very real presence in our lives.

    I will clarify this in my posts.

  5. I’am interested in where your continued studies lead you…

    I do believe that demons and fallen angels are the same beings, just two different titles for the one type of creature.

    I am sorry, but I don’t see anyhting about demons being earthbond in Eph 6:12 and also in Matt 24:41 I see no line being drawn at all. I’m sure it’s my ignorance showing!

    But we can easily agree to disagree on all this stuff. I agree totally these issues are very unimportant in the big picture. What is important to know is that Christ has given us the victory over all the powers of darkness (Satan, fallen angels or others).

    Good work looking into both sides of the issue!

    • Thanks, I do want answers, especially about demons or fallen angels (or both) being in any heavenly realms, such as 2nd heaven, certainly they could not be in the 3rd heaven but then again Satan did approach God in the story of Job so perhaps it’s possible for him only?

      Oh and I mean Matthew 25:41, “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels”. The Devil is grouped with his angels, not with demons (although if they are the same than angels became demons). But it makes sense if the fallen angels were kick out and locked up in hell that the everlasting fire, which is not necessarily the whole of hell, is prepared for them at a later time (after the millennial reign? or the Great White Throne judgment).

      I think a good skill of any scholar, preacher, or intellectual type is knowing when to pull the reigns and say “I can’t know this for certain, thus I should not teach it as fact or at all”. And knowing when to draw the line between rock solid doctrine and something that is peripheral/distracting and carnal.

      I updated the About Demons paragraph.

    • Rob, as I said I have been continuing to study this subject of the origin of demons and I have come to another conclusion last night while reading the 3 scriptures I mentioned to you earlier (Jude 1:6, 2Pet2:4, and Matt 25:41) that the first two talk about angels who have sinned, left their proper domain or authority, and are currently imprisoned in hell awaiting judgment are the sons of God mentioned in 6:4 who left their proper stationing by God and sinned by cohabitating with human women. Thus the angels that lost the battle in heaven with Satan were kicked out to Earth or possibly 1st or 2nd heaven. I am undecided on what I believe about Eph. 6:12 and heavenly realms. So if the chained up angels were from before the flood, than demons on Earth must be fallen angels referred to as stars in Rev. 12:4. It may be that there will be another battle in heaven (Rev. 12:7-9) sometime during the last days where satan and his angels will lose again and will be expelled from the mysterious heavenly realm in which some or all dwell currently.
      And lastly Matt 25:41 can’t mean that that satan’s angels are bound (as the sons of God are) because satan isn’t bound either, during this scripture the millennial reign has not yet occured nor has Satan’s expelling to the lake of fire. So it seems plausible that it simply means the lake of fire is prepared and ready for satan and his angels to one day be sent there, as with all condemned souls of man or angels (including the currently locked up sons of God).
      What are your thoughts on this?

  6. I’m following you logic, and agree with the basic Bible teachings you have shared with us. Like you, there are a few of the fallen angels / demon verses that do take much thought and prayer to come to a definite conclusion on.

    I really do appreciate you walking us through your process of studying this subject. If nothing else, it makes me feel much better knowing that there other Bible students, who like me, struggle with certain Biblical doctrines.

    One of my college teachers used to always tell us, “it is easy to come to a set of beliefs based on what a doctrine book or commentary say… But it is a much more difficult issue to study for ourselves what the Bible teaches” Throughout my years of pastoring, I have thought back many times to that teacher and the words of wisdom he shared with us.

    Anyhow, several years ago, I went through a study on the subject of fallen angels/demons and after several weeks of study came to the same conclusion you are coming to. One thing that has always stuck in my mind about the whole subject is that, in my mind…. EVERY verse that speaks of fallen angels COULD apply to demons as well with no contradictions to other Bible truths. Likewise, EVERY verse teaching on demons COULD be referring to fallen angels as well.

    My point is this, sometimes, the plain, easiest answer for a doctrinal issue is the best answer. I always wonder why some people complicate things by ignoring what seems to be obvious for that which is complicated and much inference is needed.

    Sometimes, I think there are some who choose to set aside the easy answer on purpose. Then they can say they have a special revelation from God about a certain issue. Then they imply that they are “more spiritual” than others who accept the more common truth.

    This topic is the perfect example: IF demons are not fallen angels, then where did they come from? The Bible is entirely silent on the issue. We have to make huge assumptions like… God had created another set of beings before the creation account in Genesis and these eventually, became demons.

    Since nothing in the Bible seems to contradict the idea, why not accept the easiest explaination as truth, until we see something in Scriptures to contradict it?

    Anyhow, GREAT post… it got all of us thinking!

  7. I have been a first hand witness to the demonic spirit or spirits which have decided to dwell and wreak havoc in my son’s home and cause much pain, some physical, some emotional to he and his family. Especially my 2 yr.old grand-daughter. For unbelivers of the evil spirit I am here to tell you they do exsit. I am a woman of GOD and a faithful Christain and to have been witness to this demonic spirit brings one that much more closer to our great LORD.

    • Thank you for commenting and sharing your first hand experience. I too have experiences some demonic activity. I have been involved in at least one genuine demonic deliverance of a dear friend of mine. I can personally attest to the principle of “the latter state will be worse than the first” in Luke 11:24-26 because the friend of mine did not guard his heart or continue to crucify his flesh and not let those demons back in his life – he slid back in to the world and is now worse off then before. He even came back to Christ and church later but slid back to His old ways. I believe demons blind and bind the unbelievers and they afflict the believers, thankfully we have their creator on our side!

      Pattif if it is not too personal what do you believe the demonic entrance(s) were in to your sons life?

  8. The demonic activity which you have experienced was it an attack on yourself ? My Pastor did a demonic deliverance at my son’s home at the end of April. Demon gone and everyone so happy and things going well. That is when my son’s family decided to be saved. They started goint to church, reading the bible, praying, etc………they stopped all of that about 3 months later. Low and behold that demon has returned. My son is 20, daughter-in-law 19. They have 2 babies, one is 1 and the other is 2. Pastor interviewed all the family living in the home and found no “reason” why the demon decided to dwell there. He did say the demon was
    using my 2 yr old grand daughter as she was the easiest “target”. Unimaginable occurences to place there. My grand-daughter was so stressed, she was pulling her hair out until almost bald and it seemed as if the demon would never let her sleep. Night time was the worse. Ava is my gd and she sees 3 “monsters” that are “scary but will not hurt her”. It seems the portal of the demon was the crawl space to the attic, it took my rosary to the attic, but now it has moved its portal to the outside cellar doors, which are directly under Ava’s bedroom. A 22 yr. old college student I recently befriened claims to be a woman of God and says she has a “special gift” of seeing entitys. She wishes to go to my son’s home to check out the situation and to aquaint herself with Ava. Will you please let me know what you think about that, if it would be a good or bad idea ? She plans to visit this tuesday. Thank you and please keep in touch.

  9. Keep interceding for those children and your children as well! Concerning your new friend who claims to see spirits- that judgment call is up to you. As you get to know her better, you can see the fruit of her walk with Christ and see if she truly is a woman of God or not. Lots of nuts out their call themselves men or women of God but it’s their fruit and life that reveal the truth. If you just met her you may not know her fruit yet. So it’s up to you.
    One of the 9 gifts of the Spirit is “discernment of spirits” which normally means people discern whether a demonic or angelic spirit is in a place or on a persons life. However I can’t say that it is restricted to just feeling, there are people who have seen demonic beings as well as angelic ones and this may be considered discernment of spirits as well.
    So get to know this lady more and ask her about her past experiences with this stuff, judge from the scriptures and the Holy Spirit if she is fit to enter your families home and if it would be more helpful than harmful. Remember to keep your emotions and flesh in check when dealing with all this spiritual stuff, emotions can be very misleading and convincing.

  10. Thank you so much for writing back. I spoke to 3 christain friends 2 days ago about all of this. I know my friends well and 2 of them are attending Valor Christian College in Ohio. All 3 of them gave me the same advice that you just have. Especially on the intercesory praying.
    How ironic do you think it is that the house that the demon dwells in belonged to a family whose last name was “GROVE”, yes, this just dawned on me, as I am thinking your last name my be GROVE ? The house is way out in the woods off of dirt roads, It is surrounded by old farm houses who are currently inhabited by all descendants of the GROVE family.
    God is showing me the fruit of my new found friend. By the way she called me tonight to cancel her visit to my son’s home. Claiming she had a nightmare about her visit there and it was not a pretty sight. She said she feels the demon would “attach” itself to her. I know that this is not of Christ and that a christian has the authority to rule over the demon and demand it to flee in Jesus name. My pastor has taught me to be lead by the spirit and not my emotions.
    A good note : when Ava saw 3 “monsters” asking her to “play” this past friday night, her mom told her to tell them “Go away, in Jesus name you to not belong here, you are dead, go to the light” After Ava recited this her mom asked her is the “monsters” were still there, Ava said “no, gone, light”
    Thanks for leading me to Luke 11. I read it to my daughter in law tonight. The 3 friends of mine I mentioned earlier had quoted the scripture but was not sure of its location in the bible at that time.
    Thanks so much for your interest and response, it means alot to me. Please keep in touch and may God continue to bless you.

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