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What does the Bible say about Demons?

Demons are evil spirits which follow the will of their prince, Satan (Matthew 12:24; Ephesians 2:2). The Bible does not explain how they came to be, except to say that God is the creator of all things originally, both spiritual and physical, and that he created everything good in the beginning (Colossians 1:16; Genesis 1:31). According to the Old Testament, the idolatry which was so vehemently condemned by God in the Old Testament, involved the worship of demons (Deuteronomy 32:17; Psalm 106:37; 1 Corinthians 10:20-22). Demons are evil spiritual beings with an influence over many people.

In the ministry of Jesus, we encounter the idea of demon possession as Jesus does battle with the forces of Satan and drives them out before him like a conqueror. The most indepth story of demonic possession and exorcism is the story of the Gardarene demoniac (Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20). In this case, a man who was super strong and super violent and very self-destructive in his behavior came to Jesus and fell down in front of him. His voice cried out, “What do you want with me Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear that you won’t torture me!” Jesus replied, “Come out of this man you evil spirit!” Then Jesus asked the demon, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion, for we are many,” he replied. As the story goes on, Jesus drives the demons out of the man after which they enter a herd of pigs which then go running over a cliff and drown in the sea. In this account, the demons caused horrible self destructive behavior which was also dangerous to others. The demons spoke using the man’s body and the man’s voice. However, the fact that the man came to Jesus and fell down before him, suggests to me that the demon possessed man still had some of his own free will. He wanted to be rid of the demons. Jesus freed him from the demons. Then, when the man was clothed and in his right mind, Jesus told him, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you!” (Mark 5:19). The demons had great power over this man but could not stop him from coming to Jesus.

In Matthew 12:22ff Jesus cast a demon out of a man who was blind and mute. When the demon had been cast out, the man could both see and talk. The demon’s presence, then, seems to have been related to the physical maladies of the man. On another occasion, a demon caused a man to convulse violently (Mark 1:25). Another man, whose son was possessed by a demon, foamed at the mouth, knashed his teeth, and became rigid. The demon would often throw the child into the fire or into the water to attempt to kill him. The disciples could not cast this demon out. Jesus told the father that everything is possible for the one who believes. The man’s reply is classic, “I believe! Help me overcome my unbelief!” Jesus, of course, drove out the demon, but the disciples wanted to know why they were unable to cast it out? Jesus replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer,” (Mark 9:29). Some manuscripts read “This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting.” This seems to imply that some demons are stronger and more resistant than others.

Jesus’ campaign of casting out the demons was about binding the strong man so Jesus could rob his house (Matthew 12:29). He was conquering Satan’s territory during his ministry and the decisive battle against Satan was won at the cross. But somehow, after the cross, there was still demon possession.

Philip the evangelist drove the evil spirits out of the Samaritans (Acts 8:6-8). Paul and Silas cast the evil spirit out of the slave girl at Philippi (Acts 16:16-19). There is the strange story of the demon-possessed man who attacked and beat up the seven sons of the Jewish chief priest, Sceva, so that they ran from the house naked and bleeding. These Jewish men had tried to exorcise the demons and the demons had said, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” (Acts 19:15). Jesus told his disciples, “These signs shall follow them that believe . . . in my name they will cast out demons . . .,” (Mark 16:17).

For the Christian who has been delivered out of the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of his beloved Son, the armor of God is the answer to our daily battle with the demonic powers (Colossians 1:13; Ephesians 6:10-18).




  1. Actually the Bible does explain how they came to be in the book of Isaiah. Lucifer was an angel responsible for praise and worship. He was prideful and felt that he can be God. So God kicked him out along with his followers and sent him DOWN TO HELL


  2. banana Brains

    June 6, 2012 at 9:07 am

    i just thought id share something i have come across recently. although we use the name lucifer to mean the devil, it is actually a poor translation or understanding of the text. to make your own mind up study Isaiah 14:3-20. to get the right picture you will need to study the text.

    morning star, son of the dawn (lucifer) is the name used for both kings of assyria and Babylon.

    Although it would appear to fit satan in verses 12-14 he does not fit well with the rest of the chapter.

    It is more likely to be one of the two kings, it could be said that they were filled with pride under the divils influence though not the devil himself. this matches revelations 17;18 where babylon is pictured as the seat of evil. in this case Nebuchadnezzatar would fit the description. a powerful human king with supreme power, worshiped as a god , wanted to rule the world, their people looked on them as gods etc etc

  3. Does the bible ever talk about why people experience demonic experiences? And why it happens?

  4. acutally Lucifer was a man. And I truly believe that the demons are manifestations of our own making. You believe in something hard enough you will bring it to reality. The demons are of our own making. It is the darkness that is of this world. But once you live in the light and start having the mind of Christ, those images will go away. Rebuke them in the name of Jesus.

  5. I have a friend who just had a prophecy over them that “you have demons and evil spirits on biting at your heels but have no fear the demons will be smite from you heels” Can you explain this more to me. I was always taught that demons are within and posses an individual. His understanding is that it a group of people that are after him legally. Can you please expalain to me. I feel like God was trying to tell him something and Satan twisted and decieved him, as he has been doing for many years. This particualar person suffers from many addicitons.

  6. William Holbrook

    July 30, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Emily, if we are true Christ followers we must believe in the holy trinity, father (God), son (Jesus) and the Holy Ghost by default we must believe that demons are real also. Just as if we believe in God we have to believe that the devil is real same as believeing in heaven and hell. Satan was an angel and thought that he could over throw God and God defeated him and banished him and all his followers these followers are Satans demons.

  7. The bible does explain how demons came about. Genesis 6:1_5. The sons God took the daughters of Adam as wives and they had children who were continually evil. They grew to great heights and were very powerful. The giants. When God destroyed the earth the spirits of the demons aka nephilum could not go to heaven or hell they exist till this day. Seeking a body to continually do more and more evil. They possess thousands if not millions of people. Hence this terrible world we live in.

  8. Hi just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.|

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