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"The entrance of thy words giveth light (Psalm 119:130)."

What are Demons?

Satan was not alone in his rebellion against God. He was joined in his rebellion by one-third of the angels in heaven (Revelation 12:4). These rebellious angels were also cast out of heaven and are now on earth (Revelation 12:9). These “fallen angels” are now referred to as demons.

Because there are many angels (Luke 2:13, Matthew 26:53), it follows that there are now many demons.

These demons, under Satan’s control, constitute an organized evil spiritual army which seeks to harm or destroy every Christian (Ephesians 6:10-18). These demons can also afflict non-believers (e.g. Mark 5:1-20).

Demonic activity can sometimes directly cause physical health problems such as seizures (e.g. Matthew 17:14-21). However, the battleground is primarily in the mind. Satan seeks to get us to engage in sinful thinking which will harm us even if it does not result in sinful behavior. For example, the sin of unforgiveness is often associated with anxiety, depression and a variety of painful physical ailments (Matthew 18:21-35).

Demons can sometimes possess a non-believer (Mark 5:1-20). That is, they can exert near total control. More than one can inhabit an individual.

When these same demons are cast out, the results can be dramatic (Luke 8:26-39).

Demons cannot possess a believer: "He who is in you (God) is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4 NKJV)." However, demons can obtain spiritual footholds which enable them to create emotional and/or physical distress in a variety of ways (Ephesians 4:26-27).

Demons do have a personality. For example, demons are recorded as begging Jesus for mercy in Mark 5:12. This becomes evident to any Christian counselor who works with individuals having "hallucinations."

Demons are not the same. Some are capable of more evil than others (Matthew 12:43-45). This is another core concept necessary to understand mental illness.

This battle between Christians and satanic forces is referred to as spiritual warfare. It is discussed in detail under the topic: Spiritual Warfare.

Demons harass most Christians in some way. However, they can't really do much damage to Christians who understand what is going on unless they are first able to obtain a spiritual foothold (Ephesians 4:26-27). See the next topic.

Next topic: What is a Spiritual Foothold?

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Scripture quotations marked "NKJV™" are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.