I wrote recently about how important the ministry of deliverance is to the church. Jesus often freed people from the influence of evil spirits, and He commissioned the church to do the same: “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons” (Mark 16:17). When the church neglects this vital ministry, those who should be set free often remain in chains.
The topic of demons and deliverance is undoubtedly a controversial one. It is surrounded with many questions and fears. Some believers have been exposed to bizarre and harmful things done in the name of deliverance, and Hollywood’s portrayal of demon-possession conjures fear and misunderstanding. There is a great need for clear, biblical teaching and practice in this area.
Every time I teach on deliverance or dialogue about the topic, there are many questions that arise. But the most common question I encounter is “How can a Christian have a demon?” I understand this question because I used to have a forgone assumption that a genuine Christian cannot have an evil spirit or need deliverance from a demon.
However, my presumptions about this question were not founded on biblical grounds. They were based on what seemed logical to me. After all, how can an evil spirit dwell in the same place as the Holy Spirit? How can light and darkness live together? The very thought of it seems repulsive and altogether impossible. But does the Bible actually teach that a Christian cannot have a demon?
Whether or not a Christian can have a demon is an important question with far-reaching implications. (It is with this in mind that I released the book Can a Christian Have a Demon?). How we answer this question will determine—at least in part—how we minister to those in the church who are walking with oppression, bondage, or torment. If we can overcome some of the common misunderstandings about deliverance ministry, the confusion will be cleared, and the way paved for many to be set free by the power of God.
My heart in bringing up this question is not to be controversial, but to bring understanding. In my next article, I will outline some biblical reasons why I believe that Christians can in fact need deliverance from demons. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit for His insight and wisdom into this important topic!
Have you or someone you know ever experienced deliverance from a demon? What are your thoughts on the question, “Can a Christian have a demon”?
Demons can be in the body and in the mind but not in the spirit where the Holy Spirit dwells. Have had many demonic strongholds myself. The last demon I got rid of was a lying spirit called Unreality and Fantasy. I saw it attack me in a dream. What this thing did to me for years was lie to me and I’d hear thots like:
“You’re going to choke on those raw vegetables and die and no one is here to help you.”
“You are going to fall down those stairs and lay there for hours in pain.”
Or when crossing an icy road to the mailbox, “You will slip and fall and a car will hit you.”
Or in the car with my husband driving, “You are going to have an accident and suffer and die.”
Or, my husband would open the car door on our street and leave it open and go to get the mail and I heard, “A car is going to come and rip off the door.”
I always thot they were my own thots until the dream showed me a fantastic unreal butterfly with a body of a bird that was attracted to a dumpster full of garbage and then came and landed on my back. I screamed for it to get off my back! It was a fantasy creature. I asked the Lord about the open door for it and He reminded me of my past when I used to read a lot of fantasy and scifi! I had repented, but this thing was still hanging on! I finished by binding it, casting it out, declaring it’s tools and lies and plans were destroyed in Jesus Name.
Thank you for that good example.
Glad it was helpful!
I have a God-fearing, Jesus-professing, praying friend who I see as being in demonic strongholds. I know they are around her, but I don’t know about “in”. When she would come over to visit, the dog would bark and bark and look up at her head. I figured the dog saw (or sensed) what I couldn’t in the physical realm. She would be making great strides towards positive things and be sabotaged right back into the pits again and again.
This is a very interesting topic. I was heavily involved in a church for four-five years that focused on spiritual warfare (how Satan was doing this and that/what demons were operating/pastor wanted everyone to read the Rebecca Brown books) and deliverance, but inside I was dying and lying about it, and I felt like the church was hurt as a whole in the heart. It might have just been me and my own issues, but I experienced this church as a cult, even though there were true, highly committed believers. Maybe its mentality as “elite” Christians bred cult-like characteristics. Anyway, when I left –whether it was due to allowing myself to be influenced by the severe satanic attack against the church, or that there really was a powerful strain of error infecting the body — I was delivered from satanic paranoia and a critical mean-spiritedness from the series of crisis that I underwent after leaving, which totally purged me and straightened me out and healed me the more I relied on Jesus and doing His word, thinking his thoughts. Thank you, Jesus, for all the ways that you save us. I strongly believe that some of the attitudes that I had and how I acted were demonic strongholds, especially as I compare it with the peace and sense of wholeness I have today. Thank you, Jesus.