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Can a Christian have a Demon?

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Demons do not possess Christians, as this would mean they own us.  They clearly do not.  We belong to God. Nowhere in the Bible does it say the actual words 'Christians can have demons' but it does make mention of followers of Christ having demons.
The Bible clearly shows us that deliverance is geared towards God's children. What would be the point of deliverance if all demons were expelled from us the minute we accepted Jesus and become a Christian?
Deliverance is not for the unbeliever. Jesus clearly warned us that if we cast demons out of someone they need to learn the knowledge of the truth, otherwise they are bound to return, each spirit bringing 7 more even worse spirits with it... "“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”" (Matthew 12:43-45 NKJV)

Paul who was one of the greatest of the apostles and one of the greatest saints who has ever lived had a demon that he referred to as a thorn. "Even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud" (2 Corinthians 12:7 NLT). The word flesh when taken back to Greek is translated as sarx. Sarx means the carnal nature of man (the soul) and the physical part of man.  Paul had a messenger of satan in his soul and/or physical body.  Paul was clearly born-again as He operated in the Holy Spirit all the time.

Christians ask 'how can the Holy Spirit dwell in us alongside an unholy demonic spirit?'. What they do not realise is that our bodies are made of 3 distinct components - Spirit, Soul and Body. "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:23 NKJV). Demons can inhabit the physical body and soul (mind, will and emotions) of man. These are known as the flesh - the carnal part of man. The soul is also referred to as the heart of man and according to the Bible is 'most wicked'. The spirit of man belongs to God, and is the breath of God. The spirit is born-again upon salvation. Demons cannot live in, or touch the spirit once it is born-again.  The spirit is where we commune with God, and where our spiritual gifts operate from. Our human emotions can interefere with discernment, especially when we try to discern the source of the voice.  Pauls 'thorn' was in his 'flesh' (physical body and soul).  It is unclear exactly what his thorn was but Scripture gives us an idea that it can include any of our weaknesses. And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.  Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 10:7-10, NKJV). 

Demons that inhabit the physical body usually manifest themselves in physical infirmities. Often when a spirit of Infirmity is cast out of a Christian it is accompanied with some form of physical healing. When a demon inhabits someones soul it affects their mental processes and emotions including any deviant or sinful behaviour. Uncontrolled thoughts, resentment, anger, and bitterness are some examples.  Demons who are inhabiting  areas of our souls can make it difficult for us to read the word of God, completely trust God, and truly worship God in spirit and truth. 

So what is the difference between the Soul and the Spirit? We are a spirit being and we live in a body and we possess a soul. The real person inside of us is our spirit. Our heart/soul is made up of 4 chambers, just like our physical heart.  These areas are Mind, Will, Emotions and ConscienceOur spirit is our God conscience - I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit (Romans 9:1, NKJV). Our soul (heart) has an evil conscience until it is purified. Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:22, NKJV). We live in our earthly bodies while we are here on earth. 

How did the demons get there? - From our own personal experience in the deliverance ministry, the demons entered before the believers conversion to Christianity. The demons legal rights to inhabit them came from generational curses and previous sins they have committed. Once the demons authority has been revoked through the breaking of the generational curse line and forgiveness and repentance of sin, the demon must be instructed to leave in the name of Jesus Christ. They often will not automatically leave on their own.

Can a Christian have a Demon? - it really is a very controversial topic. Many people interpret the Bible in different ways. But we must try and interpret it whilst applying true life experience because that is all we truely know. We have seen and experienced demons living in ourselves and fellow Christians. Their manifestations leave without any shadow of doubt the fact that its source was an internally dwelling demon. Only through direction from the Holy Spirit, from confirmation of 2-3 others, do we know what the cause of any underlying issue is - we should not make our own assumption! Sometimes it isnt demonic, but mostly it is! Based on all of this, our interpretation of Scripture is that Christians can have demons. Re-addressing the question above, really, what would be the point of deliverance if all demons left when we become a Christian? The practice of casting out demons didn't end when Jesus went up to Heaven. Before Jesus went to sit at the right hand of God, He made it clear that those who believe will be casting out demons!... "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons" (Mark 16:17 NKJV)

Scriptural references:

Luke 13:11-17 - This believer, a "daughter of Abraham", had a spirit of infirmity.
Luke 22:3 - Judas Iscariot - One of the twelve disciples was entered by Satan.
Acts 5:3-4 - Ananias and Sapphira were believers - Satan entered the heart of Ananias.
1 Corinthians 5:1-5 - The sin of an unnamed Christian in Corinth.
2 Corinthians 2:10-11 - A believer receives a spirit.
2 Corinthians 12:7-9 - Pauls Thorn in the Flesh.
Galatians 3:1 - Galatians who were bewitched.

By Mark Francis