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?