Common Question: “How Can Evil Spirits Live in a Believer?” by Don Dickerman
One of the most glaring omissions in my Christian education is that Christians can, and often do, have demons. I had always been taught, (and believed), that a believer cannot have demons. One scripture that is used as basis for this is (2Cor. 6:14): “What communion does light have with darkness”.
First of all this scripture is talking about earthly relationships, marriage. It is not a good scripture to use to support a belief that evil spirits cannot indwell believers. I have learned a very simple truth…when demons are present, IT IS NOT FELLOWSHIP, IT IS WAR!
Obviously, there is no fellowship between evil spirits and the Holy Spirit. If this scripture taught that no evil could exist in a believer then there could be no sin or evil thoughts. There certainly is no fellowship with sin or sinful thinking, but do they dwell in a believer. Of course!
No Man Can Serve Two Masters
What about “He that is within is us greater than he that is in the world.” Without doubt the Holy Spirit is greater. This is not the question. Let me ask you to think with me along these lines. The Holy Spirit can be “quenched” by the believer and the Holy Spirit can be “grieved” … the power of the Holy Spirit in our life is dependent upon us. We can walk “in the Spirit” or walk in the flesh. That is our choice. No man can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and cling to the other or…you see there can be two masters but the believer constantly must choose which he will serve. We can only serve one master…at a time. Certainly, some experience yielding to a different master than Jesus, on occasion.
Demons cannot “possess” a believer for possession implies ownership and we are bought with a price…we are the ownership of Jesus Christ. But that does not mean that we cannot give control of areas of our life to demons by the choices we make. They can possess areas of our life. Dr. Charles Stanley says, “A Christian cannot be totally possessed by demons.” Invasion into the life of a believer is certainly possible and probably more common than we will ever know.
When a Christian opens their life to demons, the evil spirits dwell in the flesh and soul, not in the spirit. The spirit of man is where the Holy Spirit dwells. Compare the tabernacle or temple of the Old Testament with the tabernacle of man. Man is a trinity…body, soul spirit. We are a spirit that has a soul that lives in a body. The body, the flesh could be compare to the courtyard of the tabernacle, the soul to the holy place and the spirit to the holy of holies.
Perhaps it will help you to understand and receive the truth if you can see the comparison. As long as you remain blind to the truth you will be subject to deception and control. It is difficult to combat an enemy you don’t know you have. If you will search scripture with Holy Spirit guidance you will see the truth and once you do you can help to liberate others. If the scripture was not clear enough on this, I would have to believe it anyway after experiencing thousands of believers being delivered of demons! One of the foremost Southern Baptist preachers in America recently was delivered of demons.
They Cannot Just Decide to Invade a Believer
Just as God will not, cannot, impose Himself on someone, neither can evil spirits. As God honors our free will and choice, so must the demons. God will come where He is welcomed and invited, so will evil spirits. They cannot just decide to invade a believer, they certainly can and do attack us but to gain entrance and possess areas of our life they must be invited. Believers should never fear that evil spirits can come out of one person and enter them. They do not have this right. Christians invite demons when they carry unforgiveness and when they carry anger. If you will prayerfully read Mt. 18:23-35 you will see that unforgiveness is a “God-given” right for the tormentors to come to a believer. What an absolutely, powerful, undeniable truth revealed here and no one ever told me this in the seminary or from the pulpit.
We Had a Debt We Could Not Pay
Look at the parable Jesus used to illustrate the bondage that comes from unforgiveness. A man had a debt he could not pay…101 million dollars…but the great debt was forgiven! Just wiped away. This same man goes out and finds someone who owes him $18.00 and threatens the man with prison if he is not paid. When word got back to the one who forgave the great debt, he said, “Find that man and deliver him to the tormentors until all is paid.” In verse 35 Jesus said, “So likewise will your heavenly Father do unto you if you from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses.” Wow!
We are the one who had the debt we could not pay and God forgave us, just wiped it away! When we refuse to forgive someone after receiving God’s great forgiveness. It is the ultimate insult to God and the most severe penalty comes with it. God turns the unforgiving believer over to the tormentors. No, we don’t lose our salvation, we are never disowned, but God allows demons access to our life. Don’t think they will not come. They do and they have a God given right to be there as long as there is unforgiveness.
The Demons Do Much Damage
This is why many are sick and why many are depressed, deprived and desperate, even though they are saved. The demons do much damage. They do the work of their master, Satan, who came to rob, kill, steal and destroy. The demons will not go until forgiveness is repented of, it is sin, and they are commanded to go. Even though one repents of forgiveness, the demons will stay until they are rebuked in the Name of Jesus Christ. This often explains why a person can appear to have his/her life in order and still experience the torment.
If you will look at 2Cor. 2:10,11 you will see that Paul told the believers at Corinth that unforgiveness gives Satan an advantage in our lives. In Eph. 4:26 Paul tells the believers at Ephesus that anger that lingers gives a “place” for the devil.
Jesus Must Have Had Something in Mind When He Gave Believers Authority
There are many sins that can be invitations to evil spirits. A believer cannot have two masters, he will choose which one is prominent in his life. Evil spirits will come where there is an open door and they will stay until they are commanded to leave in the Name of Jesus Christ. Jesus must have had something in mind when he gave believers authority over evil spirits. He must have known something that we have failed to see when he said, :These signs will follow them that believe…in my Name they shall cast out devils…”
May I ask you why devils would be cast out of unbelievers? What is to be gained? The unbeliever would have no resistance and evil spirits would come again. The unbeliever would still go to hell, without receiving Jesus Christ as Savior. All of the instruction in the New Testament is for believers and we are told to fight, we are told that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against Principalities and powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies…”we” wrestle with the demons, “we” are in the warfare of using the mighty weapons of God to tear down strongholds in us. It is believers that need to be delivered, who do you think Jesus was talking about when he referenced the “strongman”? Who is it that is to be bound on earth? Why all of the instruction in the epistles about spiritual warfare, why are we constantly reminded that principalities and powers have been defeated?
Power of Attorney
Jesus never sent out disciples that He did not give them authority to cast out demons. He said that all authority had been given unto Him, in heaven and in earth and He gave authority to every believer to tread on serpents and scorpions, (Satan and his demons).
He gave us “power of attorney” to act in His Name
I know this makes many of you uncomfortable as you read this, because you have always been taught that Christians can’t have demons. That’s what you prefer to believe and are ready to defend your position, so was I. I had to come to grips with something in the ministry God has given to me. I continually encountered people who were confident of their salvation but were tormented. I met a young female inmate in a Canadian prison who was raised in the occult, ritualistically abused. She wound up in prison and received Christ as Savior.
She came up to me after a service and said, “I don’t know why I’m telling you this, I feel drawn to you and I believe you will understand…”
God Set Me Up
She began to tell me about how she knew she was born again but was still being tormented by the demons who had come into her life as a Satanist. I had to deal with this. Saved…with demons. I had met a deliverance minister who I had confidence in and told the young lady I would bring him to Canada for a deliverance. God set me up! That’s ok, I’m glad He did, he set up Moses, too. He taught me something. Theplans were made and a date set for the deliverance, but, guess what? The deliverance minister could not come, I was there alone and the young lady wanted to be free. I knew what the scripture said, but I had never acted upon it!
This day I did. I bound demon spirits in the Name of Jesus Christ, bound the “strongman” in order to spoil his house. I commanded the spirits to be obedient, knowing that Jesus said the spirits were subject unto believers. Again, guess what? They obeyed, they spoke, they threatened, they resisted, but they came out in the Name of Jesus Christ! I am learning that many believers have evil spirits! In a 14-month period since that first encounter, I have seen more than 25,000 believers delivered. Inmates, housewives, school-teachers, businessmen, Sunday school teachers, deacons, all walks of life, all levels of scriptural growth and understanding. Most had believed they could not have demons since they were saved.
Virtually All Had Unforgiveness In Their Life
Most wanted to believe that demons could NOT be inside them but they knew something was wrong and genuinely wanted to be free. Virtually all of them had unforgiveness in their life at the time and for a significant time earlier in life. Some had dealings with horoscopes, astrology, witchcraft, tarot cards, fortune telling, Ouija boards, many had been abused in childhood, bruised, rejected etc. at some point in their life. I know several Southern Baptist Chaplains, who had believed what I once believed who are now casting out demons on a regular basis. They, like me, kept encountering it and one day God revealed the truth to them. What a blessed ministry it is to see the captives set free in the Name of Jesus Christ. It is part of the job description given by God for His ministers. Lk. 4:18,19 is the job description and it comes with anointing. Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, even so send I you.”
Seeing It Happen is an Awesome Experience
Once you see people set free and experience God honor His Word, you will become bold in the faith, knowing that the spirits are subject unto us and “seeing” it happen is an awesome experience. Pastors allow their congregations to remain in darkness simply because this is an unpopular truth. However, the days of hiding behind denominational skirts is over. God is raising up a people who will act on His Word regardless. I believe He wants His People set free and I know He can do that without me or you…I WANT to be part of it. I love it and I can give you hundreds of testimonies of believers who have been delivered from the power of the enemy.I challenge you to seek God about this undeniable truth. It may revolutionize your ministry, your life, your family. One thing I know, I once was blind to this truth, but now I see! and I give Him praise for it!