"Can A Christian Have a Demon?"

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Author's response:  

Whether a Christian can have a demon has been the source of controversy in the church for decades.  There are several reasons why I believe that a Christian can have a demon.  Jesus cast demons out of many people in the New Testament without first asking them if they believed in Him.  Their very presence in the throngs of people seeking healing suggests to me that they did believe he had power to help them.  Jesus’ commentary on what an evil spirit does once it is cast out suggests that it would be harmful to a non-Christian to cast a demon out of him or her because the spirit could return with seven additional wicked spirits, making the final condition of the person worse than before: 

43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation."  Matthew 12:43-45 NKJV

A Christian who has been freed of a demon has the opportunity to “fill” his or her life with Christ so that the evil spirits are unable to re-enter.  Having expelled demons out of several Christians during my years as a prayer minister helped confirm to me that Christians can have demons.   

People sometimes question how the Holy Spirit could occupy the same vessel as an evil spirit.  In thinking about this, it occurred to me that there is another, similar hurdle for the Holy Spirit – our thoughts.  The reality is that Christians, though they are saved, still have evil thoughts welling up from their hearts.  Somehow, though we are saved, we still battle with the “old self” daily and have to put on the “new self” in Christ.  How could the Holy Spirit live in us when we are still harboring evil thoughts in our hearts?   

I think the answer is that the Holy Spirit is united with our spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17), which is separate from our soul and body.  Evil spirits oppress through the body and soul, but are not able to touch our spirit.  An analogy that I’ve heard used is that of the Temple compared to the Body.  The Holiest of Holies represents the spirit.  This is where our spirit dwells with the Holy Spirit. Nothing unclean can enter this part.  The Inner Courts represent the Soul and the Outer Courts represent the body.  Unfortunately, I don’t have scripture linking the individual parts, except that our bodies are identified as temples of God: 

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.  1 Corinthians 6:18-20 NKJV 

If we assume that Christians can have demons, then the next point is that the Lord desires to free his children from such oppression. God desires that we be free to live a new life as new persons in the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit. Through Jesus, God has given every believer the authority and power to expel demons and live free of demonic oppression.  This freedom can come through self or group deliverance ministry, depending on the person and the situation.  In cases where many demons may be involved, it is best to join with other Christians for deliverance prayer instead of trying to do this by yourself.

Believing in Christ obligates us to live in a godly manner by not engaging in our former sin habits that perhaps opened the door to the demons in the first place.  As Paul wrote in the above passage, we will do well if we focus on glorifying God with our bodies and minds, instead of using them for sin.   

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