Can Christians Be Demon Possessed? A Biblical Analysis

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

 

Is it possible for a demon to take possession of a believer in Christ?  Who can be possessed by demons?  Has demon possession happened in the past?  Does demon possession still happen today?

Is it Possible For a Demon to Take Possession of a Believer in Christ? 

Can a believer in Jesus Christ, who has been born-again and saved be possessed by the devil or by a demon or fallen angel?  The short answer is no.  The Bible seems very clear about who is in control of the spiritual world.  In 1 John 4:4 it says, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”  Christians are called children of God and the Holy Spirit dwells within each and every believer.  Demons can not occupy the same space that is occupied by God the Holy Spirit because God is greater than any evil spirit since God is the Creator of everything, including angels.  This supremacy of God includes even the fallen angels or demons.   We can know and recognize false spirits and by God’s Spirit we can discern them and resist them since God lives inside every believer (1 John 4:15).

Who can be Possessed by Demons?

Every time we see Jesus or the apostles casting out demons, they are people who don’t know Jesus yet and those who are not saved. We can read the many stories of demons or wicked spirits being caste out by the power of Jesus’ name or by Jesus Himself and then and only then can they come to faith in Christ.   Mary Magdalene was demon possessed when she came to Jesus for help.  Luke 8:1-3 says, “After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases [including] Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out…”.

Again, every time you read of someone being possessed by demons or wicked spirits, they are always unbelievers.  Another example is in Matthew 8:28-33, “When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding.  The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.” He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men.”

Has Demon Possession Happened in the Past?

In Mark 5:15-20, Jesus exorcised a demon possessed man and so we know that this happened many times in the past from reading the New Testament.  In the case of the man that had the demons cast out, he became a believer in Christ.  This clearly indicates that if you are not a believer, it is possible to be possessed by demons, however once you come to faith in Christ, it is impossible since God dwells within the believer.  Mark 5:15-20 shows that those who lived in the area knew a certain man who was possessed and were afraid to go near him:  “When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well.  Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region. As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”  So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.”  Here the man that was freed from a legion of demons.  This is incredible since a legion in Roman occupied Palestine was 6,000.  This formerly demon possession man then began to tell others about Jesus Christ.  From that day forward, this man would never have to worry about being demon possessed again.

Does Demon Possession Still Happen Today?

Since demon possession has happened in the past then it most certainly can be happening today.  There are numerous stories of people being possessed in modern times.  Many times they are dabbling in the occult, trying to contact spirits, and some even openly worship the Devil.  This is truly asking for trouble.  The first king of Israel, king Saul, was troubled by an evil spirit but it was only after the Spirit of God had departed him (1 Sam 16:14-23).

Jesus gives a clear warning about wicked spirits in Matthew 12:43-45 saying, “When an evilf spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”

Today there are so many stories of demon or wicked spirits possessing people that it is clear that it still happens today.  There is truly only one way to avoid be possessed by a wicked spirit or demon; to accept Jesus Christ and believe in Him for no wicked spirit can dwell where the Spirit of God dwells.  Demons can not occupy any place that God has conquered (1 John 4).  You can know for sure that demons will never possess you because, “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God” (I John 4:15).  That is your true assurance that wicked spirits or demons will never possess you.  If God lives in us, it is impossible (1 John 4:12b).

Was this Article Helpful?

If this article was helpful to you, please consider linking this article to your own blog or sharing this through the social buttons to the left. You might also find some of these other good Christian Answer articles helpful:

What Does the Devil Look Like?

What Does The Bible Say Heaven Is Like?

What Do Christians Say About 2012?

Sources

The Holy Bible, New International Version

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Richard March 29, 2017 at 6:42 pm

I do believe that the devil can make you think you are possessed but as you stated in your article I do not believe a true spirit-filled born again believer can be possessed by demons, unless you turn away from God and His church.

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Jack Wellman March 29, 2017 at 8:02 pm

Thank you sir.

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albert munemo March 30, 2017 at 7:58 am

Its good to know about the word of God

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Carol. Welch April 1, 2017 at 2:33 am

I agree with what this article depicted about Christianity, however I really would of like to ask a question that revolves around being a christian; which I could answer to the best of my ability. Question first…what defines a christian, for example there are churches like the Brooklyn tabernacle and other major city churches that attract the unmarried, furnicators adulters, and every one seeking second chances but still continue to partake in ungodly actions, does such people who are praising god but continue to do wrong according to his word; will he dwell in them? Since sin keeps the body which is the temple of the true and living god,,,dirty. From my perspective those church goers are not Christian’s since Christianity is a complete package, not a half full glass that could allow evil spirit to dwell or continue to dwell since some evil spirits enhances or mimic sexual desires.

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Jack Wellman April 1, 2017 at 8:47 am

Hello Carol. I think you are right…churches that allow sins such as this are not churches of God but churches of Satan, so it won’t be preaching the gospel of repentance and belief.

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Katie November 4, 2017 at 2:54 am

Carol, it’s not a sin to be unmarried! Of course fornication and adultery are sins, but simply being unmarried is not.
Forgive me, I know I’m going off-topic; but as a single Christian woman myself, I felt a little hurt that you put being unmarried in the same sentence as sexual sins. There were a number of unmarried followers of Jesus in The Bible. Some people have that gift. I actually haven’t met a man yet who I could imagine being married to. Maybe I will one day; but if not, and in the interim I’ll carry on being a single celibate devoted follower of Christ.
Please sister, Christians need to love and support one another, regardless of marital status.
Thank you, and God bless you

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Isabel June 29, 2017 at 3:21 am

Hi Carol! This is a question that I have also struggled with… with so many people calling themselves christians but not living in a godly manner and not showing any fruit I am finding it hard to find myself christian as I do not associate with the behaviour of 80% of people who call themselves christian. I currently cannot find a church to go to that is not filled with false doctrine… I have learned that the most important thing is to focus on God and his word… his Holy Spirit is teaching me and I do not need a church to teach me… why get a middle man if I can get my information straight from the source! I have heard pastors say that this is a dangerous path to take… thus saying that God cannot teach a person directly…. The Church definitely does have a role to play for those who are seeking…. but I find it lacking for those who are truly seeking the way of Yeshua.

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Deborah January 17, 2018 at 7:01 am

Isabel
I do not go to church either. I was going to one online but unsure about whether the Pastor is speaking the truth. I will be fasting for the whole month of February. Maybe I will get my answer then.i do not want to go to a church where I may be led astray from God

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Neil W. DORIAN January 19, 2018 at 10:04 am

Dear Deborah,
Since it is now January 19, 2018, and I am curious if your fear of being led astray or your February fasting has helped reveal to you which is the right path to follow ad a house of worship?
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man, whom you search for a church to worship HIM in.
One salesman on TV used the phrase, “An educated consumer is our best customer,” to encourage people to shop in his store.
Perhaps there is a lesson evident in this concept.
What would you think of attending, with an open mind and an open heart, several main stream churches in your area over the next year or so? All the while praying to God in their services, letting HIM know that even though you are not 100% sure if you are with the right denomination for you, Ms. Deborah, you are still offering to our Creator all the prayer, worship, homage and love that you know how to freely give, at this point on your journey to HIM.
I too, humbly beseech our LORD Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, to continue to guide and watch over you, asking his Angels to continue to protect you from evil, as you draw nearr to GOD, in mind, body and spirit. While growing and developing a closer conscious contact with the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
May you have increasing success and re- awakening of your spirit until you come to stand before HIM, on that day when there is no sunset nor any dawning.
In JESUS Name, I pray.

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