Demon Possession

Demon Possession


  • All demons are fallen angels under the command of Satan, in contrast to elect angels under the command of God.
  • Satan is the ruler of demons, Mat 9:34; 12:24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15.
  • Demons are called ministers of Satan, Luke 4:32‑36; 9:1; 4:2; John 10:21.
  • Demons are well-organized under Satan, Eph 6:10‑12. There is rank and authority in Satan’s organization. Every angel is smarter than all human beings.

Eph 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

  • “Powers” = Officers.
  • “Rulers of this world” = Counter Intelligence.
  • “Principalities” = Generals in Satan’s Forces.
  • “Spiritual wickedness in high place” = Privates, Lower Rank Demons.

Biblical Nomenclature:


  • SAIR – שָׂעִ֔ר means, “hairy, shaggy, rough one; used for a he‑goat, or a demon; a satyr.” Lev 17:7; 2 Chron 11:15; Isa 13:21; 34:14.
  • SHED – שֵׁדִים means, “idols or demons;” idols represent demons. It also means “destroyers,” a reference to human child sacrifice, Deut 32:17; Psa 106:37.


  • DAIMON – δαίμων (dah’-ee-mown) means, “demon,” Mat 8:31; Mark 5:12; Luke 8:29; Rev 16:14. This word almost always refers to a disembodied spirit, compare with Mat 12:43-45.
  • DAIMONION – δαιμόνιον (dahee-mon’-ee-on) refers to, “a specific category of demons determined by the context,” Mat 7:22; 9:33-34; 12:24-28; Mark 1:34, 39; Luke 4:33-35, 41; 8:27-38; 11:14-20; John 8:48-52; 1 Cor 10:20‑21.
  • DAIMONIODES – δαιμονιώδης (dahee-mon-ee-o’-dace) means, “demonic,” James 3:15.
  • DAIMONIZOMAI – δαιμονίζομαι (dahee-mon-id’-zom-ahee) means, “to be demon possessed or to be tormented by a demon,” Mat 8:16, 28, 33; 15:22; Mark 5:15-16, 18; or “to be influenced by a demon.”

Demon Possession Versus Demon Influence:

  • Demon possession is defined as demon invasion of the body of the unbeliever only. Generally, this occurs through the phallic cult or some form of way-out religion.
  • In contrast, demon influence is the demon invasion of the soul with satanic thought. Satanic thought isn’t just expressed in terms of evil, but in terms of improving this world, doing nice things for your fellow man, and supporting crusades. It is false thinking comprising of the policy and principles by which Satan operates.
  • All demonic activity is related to man’s free will; human consent must be involved. Demon possession never occurs apart from human consent; whereby, some form of bad decision is made, so that the demon can invade the body of the unbeliever only.
  • The believer is indwelt by God the Holy Spirit who makes a temple out of the body of the believer, 1 Cor 6:19-20. A demon cannot dwell in that temple.
  • The attack on the unbeliever is to line him up with Satan’s policy. The attack on the believer is to discredit him and to utilize him in some way against the Lord.

Decisions or Methods that Result in Demon Possession Include:

  • Idolatry1 Cor 10:19-21. Wherever idolatry is practiced today, there are demons behind the idols.
  • Drug addiction. Users of drugs are all liable to demon possession in the case of unbelievers, or demon influence in the case of those who are born again, Gal 5:20.
  • The phallic cult is a basis for contact with demonsIsa 2:6; Luke 8:2; Mark 16:9. This includes demonic orgiastic response, auto-eroticism, lesbianism, homosexuality, verbal response demons, promiscuity demons, group orgies, human sacrifice, idolatry, and unrestrained sexual lust. (In themselves, these things do not imply demon possession.)
  • Mental attitude sins carried to the extreme. Many cases of neurosis and psychosis are cases of demon influence, Mark 5, where the demon-possessed individuals had all of the characteristics of psychosis.
  • Religious reversionistic sensitivity, dabbling in the occult, playing with the Quija board, consulting mediums, the function of necromancyIsa 8:19. This is designed to turn the body and soul over to some higher type of power, i.e. demons.
  • However, idolatry is the basic system for demon possession, as taught in Lev 17:7; Deut 32:17; Psa 96:5; 106:37-39.
  • Demon influence, by way of contrast, is the infiltration of satanic thought into the soul of a believer or unbeliever1 Tim 4:1; Eph 4:17, or the substitution of emotion for thought. The believer enters demon influence through the various stages of reversionism.
  • Satan uses certain demons to produce disease or physical handicaps in human beings, Job 2:6-8; Mat 12:22; Luke 13:16; Acts 10:38. Demon influence attacks the body through demon‑induced illness. When the mentality of the soul is in certain conditions, it brings on certain kinds of diseases.

Demonism Related to Idolatry and Human Sacrifice:

  • Sacrifice to demons is prohibited by God, Lev 17:7; Deut 32:17.
  • Heathen nations and their worship were strictly demon possessed and influenced, Psa 96:5. The idols of these nations were demons.
  • Demon worship and idolatry included the most horrible sexual practices, such as; rape, homosexuality, bestiality, and the sacrifice of children, Psa 106:37‑39.

Two Goals of Demon Possession:

Angels of Light: They appear as servants of righteousness to deceive the weak into believing various falsehoods purported to be “true worship” or Christianity, 2 Cor 11:13-15.

They Teach a Worthless Savior:

1) John warned his readers to test the spirits, for demons influence false (human) prophets, 1 John 4:1-4. A major test of orthodoxy, though not the only one, was the affirmation of the reality of the Incarnation; for if Christ had not taken on Himself a human body, He could not have died and been our Savior.

2) Paul also warned of this attack on the Incarnation in the teachings of demons, 1 Tim 3:16-4:3. If 1 Tim 3:16 is a summary of truth contained in what was likely part of an early Christian hymn, then we may assume that demons attack not only the Incarnation, but also the historical resurrection and ascension of the Lord.

They teach a works salvation1 Tim 4:3-4: By promoting asceticism as a good work, they replace the grace of God with a works program for salvation.

They teach a libertine ethic: The “deep things of Satan,” undoubtedly promoted by his demons, attempt to teach people that wrong is right, Rev 2:20-24.

Roaring Lions1 Peter 5:8: They are wicked, unclean, and vicious. Many passages might be quoted in proof of this statement.

Mat 8:28, “When He came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs. They were so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way.”

Mat 10:1, “Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.”

  • There seem to be degrees of wickedness represented by these spirits. Mat 12:43-45 states that the demon, returning to his house, “takes with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself.”
  • Demon possession explains supernatural phenomena. Supernatural phenomena includes such things as; “divine healing,” speaking in tongues, the rise of certain world rulers, certain wars, anti-Semitism, contacting the dead, etc. Demons attack both through weirdo activity and antithetically through culture and intellect.

Demon Possession Today:

The question is often raised whether demon possession exists at the present time. Although the authentic records of such control are mostly limited to the three years of the public ministry of Jesus, it is improbable that demon possession did not exist before that time, or has not existed since. It is reasonable to conclude that they like their monarch adapt their manner of activity to the culture of the age and locality. In the case of cultural recognition of God’s Divine Institutions and Divine Establishment Principles, God will impede gross demon activity, which results in the more sublime nature of false righteousness. In the case of cultures where there is an absence of that authority orientation, the more extravagant the manifestations of demon possession. Therefore, it is evident that they are not now less inclined than before to enter and dominate a body.

Demon possession in the present time is often unsuspected because of the generally unrecognized fact that demons are capable of inspiring a moral and exemplary life. This is further disguised by appearing as the dominating spirit of a “spiritist” or “medium.”

Missionaries observing conditions in heathen lands record the grosser manifestations of demon possession. These demons too, like their king, sometimes appear as “angels of light” but more often as “roaring lions.”

One description of voodoo possession in the country of Haiti is as follows. “The subject enters a trance like state (usually after undergoing convulsions), during which one of the loas enters his or her body and ‘rides’ it. The human personality is displaced by the superhuman, the human features take on the characteristics of the spirit’s desire (masculine or feminine, good or evil, old or young, crafty or honest), and the human throat utters the Ion’s words, some of them in wholly unintelligible ‘tongues.’ The possession may last minutes or hours or sometimes days, during which time the person invaded by the spirit is fed the spirit’s favorite food and drink (often quite impossible for unpossessed humans to consume) and offered his favorite diversions. Afterward, the human remembers nothing of his behavior as a god.” (Carter Harman, “The West Indies,” Life World Library [New York: Time, Inc., 1963], pp. 53-4).

The characteristics of demon-possession can be as varied as the activities of demons, ranging from mild to severe and even bizarre. A few specific symptoms of demon-possession are described in the Bible, which includes the following physical and mental abnormalities like:

  • Dumbness, blindness, and convulsions, Mat 9:32-33; 12:22; 17:15-18; Mark 1:26; 9:20; Luke 9:39.
  • Tendencies to self-destruction, Mat 17:15; Mark 5:5; Luke 9:42.
  • Abnormally violent, Mat 8:28.
  • Inflict suffering, illnesses, and deformities, Mark 9:20; Luke 9:29; 13:11-17.
  • Insanity, Mark 5:5; Luke 8:26-35; John 10:20.
  • Nakedness in public, Luke 8:27.
  • Grinding the teeth, Mark 9:18.
  • Living among dead bodies, Mark 5:3.
  • Superhuman strength, Mark 5:3-4; Luke 8:29; Acts 19:15-16.
  • Occult powers, Acts 16:16-18.

Satan uses healers in his false system of religion. Satan orders the removal of a demon induced illness and the person appears to be cured. He also “heals” in certain strategic times, like during the tribulation, Mat 24:24; Acts 19:13-14; 2 Thes 2:9; Rev 16:14.

Though demons can do these things in people, this does not mean that all illness comes from demon activity. The Bible clearly distinguishes demon-induced diseases from illnesses due to other more natural causes, Mat 4:24; Mark 1:32-42; Luke 7:21; 9:1; Acts 5:16.

Mat 4:24, “The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them.”

Demonism and Judgment:

Demonism and possession was the basis for the administration of capital punishment, Lev 20:27. Authority Orientation is necessary to restrain demonism.

Jesus Christ controls history by the restraint of demonism.  An example of His control was the first-born judgment on Egypt, Exo 12:12. At the same time, demons were also judged, Num 33:4. Without the judgment of demons in Egypt, Israel would not have become a nation. Conversely, demons are powerless to change the course of history, Isa 19:3.

The nations of Canaan were destroyed because of their demon activity, Deut 18:9‑12. The same is true of Athens, Persia, Assyria, and the Mycenaeans. Military disaster can occur because of demon influenced leadership.

The practice of necromancy was the cause of personal judgment to Saul and Manasseh, 1 Chron 10:13‑14; 2 Kings 21:2‑9. The Jews reached the lowest form of apostasy because of demon activity.

Demonism brings the fifth cycle of discipline to a nation, Isa 47; Jer 27:6‑10.

Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem on the basis of divination, Ezek 21:21 ff.

Demon Possession is a Source of the Present Tongues Movement:

  • Tongues was a sign to warn the Jews of the coming of the fifth cycle of discipline. They were warned by being evangelized in foreign languages for forty years. Isa 28:9‑13is said to be fulfilled in 1 Cor 14:21‑22.

1 Corinthians 1:22-24, “For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

  • The first historical reference in Acts 2:1‑11states that the purpose is to turn cursing into blessing.
  • Tongues was given to the Gentiles in the early church at or just after salvation as part of the sign to Israel. To show that the Gentiles were also partakers of the gifts of the Holy Spirit entering them into the Royal Family of God for the Church Age, Acts 10:27-48. It also demonstrated the beginning of the changeover of client nation status from Jews to Gentiles, Rom 12:11-25, 30.
  • After the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and the completion of the Canon of Scriptures, the gift was removed, 1 Cor 13:8‑10.
  • Tongues continues to be perpetuated by Satan for his use in the Tribulation, 2 Thess 2:7‑12.
  • The mechanics of tongues is related to the Engastramuthos (ventriloquist) demons, Isa 8:19; 29:4; Rev 16:13‑14.
  • Tongues is a satanic cheap substitute for doctrine, 2 Cor 6:11‑16; Rom 16:17‑20.
  • Tongues becomes an authorized spiritual function again only in the Millennium, Joel 2:28‑29.

Should We be Afraid of Demon Possession or the Demon Possessed? 1 John 4:4; 2 Tim 1:7

“At times, I hear people talking about demons, and I am amazed at the great power they ascribe to the devil and his cohorts. While I certainly believe in demonic power, I don’t quake at the thought of it. I am in union with One who is so far greater than all the demons of hell put together that there truly is no comparison. The devil is a creature, made by God and always under God’s dominion. He exists only because God allows him to exist. He has no authority over God, no ability to win a victory over God, and no power equal to that of God. As believers, we should give very little credit to the devil and demons. They exist, they exert influence, but they are totally within the confines of God’s authority. The Bible states very clearly that the Holy Spirit resident in us is far superior to any power manifested by evil. John wrote, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them (the false teachers, antichrists that reject the Person of Christ), because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)”. (Charles Stanley on Satan, Our Unmet Needs, page 33)


  • Demon possession can only occur to an unbeliever.
  • Demon possession never occurs apart from human consent, either consciously or unwittingly.
  • Some bad decision is made which results in demon invasion of the body of the unbeliever.
  • These decisions are related to cosmic involvement, idolatry, the occult, drugs, etc.
  • The phallic cult uses human sacrifice, idolatry, and unrestrained sexual lust.
  • Idolatry is a basic system for demon possession.
  • Passive submission to demons is accomplished through drug addiction, idolatry, the phallic cult, the deliberate development of emotional revolt of the soul, the satanic mass, and any prolonged involvement in the cosmic system.
  • Active submission to demon possession can be both violent and painful, Luke 13:11-17. This woman was positive, trying to get to Jesus and apparently couldn’t speak because of the demon.
  • Whenever Jesus cast out a demon, there was always some arrogant, self‑righteous, person standing around to challenge exorcism by Jesus, Mat 12:22-28; Luke 13:11-15.
  • In Mark 3:15, Jesus delegated the authority of exorcism to his disciples. In Acts 5:16; 8:7; 19:12, He delegated that authority to the apostles of the church.

Because demon possession involves human sacrifice, it was the basis for capital punishment under the laws of divine establishment, Lev 20:27.

  • In the control of historical trends, our Lord often judges demon activity, Exo 12:12.
  • Demons are powerless to control history, Isa 19:3.
  • Demon activity results in the administration of the fifth cycle of discipline, Deut 18:9-12.
  • Demons are often used by God for the administration of the sin unto death, 1 Cor 5:5; 1 Tim 1:19-20.
  • Demonization of a nation results in the destruction of that nation, Isa 47; Jer 27:6-10.
  • Satan uses certain demons to produce disease. Some diseases are demon induced. Healing is often Satan removing one of his demons to produce a cure.
  • Demon possession is a source of the current tongues movement.
  • The believer should not fear demon possession or the demon possessed.
  • Demon influence, like the activity of Satan, is prompted by two motives: both to hinder the purpose of God for humanity, and to extend the authority of Satan. Those demonically influenced, therefore, at the command of their king, willingly cooperate in all his God-dishonoring undertakings. Their influence is exercised both to mislead the unsaved and to wage an unceasing warfare against the believers, Eph 6:12.

John 13:2, 27, “During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him; (v.27) After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.””

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