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Demons in the Temple of God

In my last article I asked the important question, “Can a Christian have a demon?” As I teach on the topic of deliverance from evil spirits, this is the most common question that arises. Since believers are the temple of the Holy Spirit, it would seem impossible for a demonic spirit to also be present. But, does this reasoning really line up with Scripture?

Let’s apply this same logic to the temple in the Old Testament.

Israel’s history is plagued with idolatry, and at times idols were even brought into the temple of God. For instance, of King Manasseh Scripture says, “He even set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God” (2 Chronicles 33:7). This is important to our discussion because there is a direct correlation between idols and demons.

Paul makes this connection in 1 Corinthians 10:19-20: “What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.” A sacrifice made to an idol is actually a sacrifice made to a demon.

Even though God’s manifest presence was in the Holy of Holies, it was possible to bring demons into the temple. King Manasseh brought idols into God’s house and set up altars to make sacrifices to them, giving demons entrance. There is therefore a biblical precedent for demons entering the house of God. If this could happen in the Old Testament temple why could it not happen in the New Testament temple, the body of a believer?

To say that being the temple of the Holy Spirit automatically takes away the possibility of having a demon sounds logical but it is not a biblical fact. Evil spirits certainly do not belong in God’s house, but that does not mean that it is impossible for them to be there.

Other things to Consider

When considering the question of Christians needing deliverance from demons, there are other Scriptures to consider. Paul warned the believers at Corinth that they could receive a “different spirit” if they embraced a false gospel (see 2 Corinthians 11:4). He also exhorted the Ephesians to not “give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27), implying that believers can have open doors to Satan and his demons.

If demons cannot be in Christians, then why cast them out at all? Why not just bring people to Christ and the demons will automatically leave? This was not the approach of Phillip the evangelist, who went to Samaria preaching Christ, healing the sick, and casting out demons (see Acts 8:5-7).

The deliverance ministry of Jesus was done primarily for the people of God, and He referred to it as “the children’s bread” (Matthew 15:26). I have seen genuine believers be delivered from evil spirits time and time again. Deliverance is the children’s bread; it belongs to the children of God. As we embrace the ministry of deliverance in the days ahead, we’ll see more of God’s people set free!

What are your thoughts or experiences with believers being delivered from demons?


About Jake

Jake Kail is a teacher, author, and speaker who is passionate for the kingdom of God. He was called into ministry during his college years, after a life-changing encounter with God. The focus of his ministry is on teaching and equipping believers, strengthening local churches, and seeing awakening and restoration come to the church. He also ministers often in the area of deliverance from evil spirits, seeing people set free from bondage, torment, and oppression. Jake is the author of three books: Restoring the Ministry of Jesus, Can a Christian Have a Demon?, and Abiding in the Vine. He speaks at churches, retreats, conferences, and other venues. Jake lives with his wife and family in Lancaster, PA where he serves on the pastoral team at Threshold Church. Check out Jake’s website and blog here: http://www.jakekail.com.

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  1. Hi Jake!
    I did not know about the Biblical precedent for demons entering the house of God. Ouch! Wonderful correlation with that and believer’s temple. I have forwarded your article to others, I always do. So needed! Thanks so much! Personally, can verify the truth of this!!!

  2. How abt 1 cor 3:16 and 2 cor 6:14-16

  3. According to those scriptures(1cor 3:16 and 2 cor 6:14-16) God and demons cannot share the same temple(body).
    According to 2 cor 5:17. A born again beliver is a new creation…how can demons remain in Him/Her then?

    • Thanks for the comment, Philip. What you brought up are some of the common arguments made to teach that a Christian cannot have a demon. What you said seems logical, but it is not what the Scripture actually teaches. Nothing in 1 Corinthians 3:16 or 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 states that Christians cannot have a demon. Demons certainly do not belong in a Christian, just like idols did not belong in the Old Testament temple, but that does not make it impossible to happen. The stuff Paul warned about are things that should not be, but not things that can not be. (For example, Christians are told not to be yoked together with unbelievers, but it is certainly possible that that to happen).

      Yes, we are a new creation, but are we made perfect yet? Using the same logic you would have to conclude that it is impossible for a Christian to ever have an evil thought since we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). I deal with these things in much more detail in my book Can a Christian Have a Demon? and recommend you check it out for more info!

      God Bless,


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