Can a Christian have a demon?
This one of the most important questions we are regularly asked. It is as well as one of the most important but not unique issues in our ministry to wounded, hurting believers. The basic, honest, simple answer to; “Can a Christian have a demon?” is yes. The truth of this problem is a bit more profound than the superficial way this question has been treated by many in the church. People’s theological opinions are often not based on scripture and linked to ministerial experience grounded in reality of a fallen world. Reality has a profound way of confronting and confounding our belief systems. This lack of understanding that Christians may indeed harbor demons leads us to possibly see why even “mature” believers appear so many times legalistic, judgmental, religious, wounding, wounded, abusive, abused, powerless and ineffectual and lacking in love.
I once heard someone ask John Wimber during one of his seminars if a Christian could have a demon? He said, “Christians can have anything they want but who would want to have a demon?” Christians do not want to have demons but often they actually do and that is a terrible thing to experience. It is even more dangerous and cruel to do nothing about it because one believes it is impossible for a Christian to have a demon.
Christians can make decisions or suffer under the decisions of others, act and react in ways that open them to the demonic. Being a Christian does not mean we do not suffer consequences for our choices or from the decisions and actions of those over us in authority.
However there is a marvelous solution to this common problem. Jesus has given to us, as His church, His power and authority through the Holy Spirit deep healing and deliverance. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil anywhere we find them and often we find his work holding believers in bondage and suffering.
An important aspect of demonization is that the demons are not the most important problem but why they are there is the problem. This helps us also understand demonization of Christians. Rats are attracted to garbage. The garbage is the problem not just the rats. The spiritual, generational and emotional garbage gives demons rights to habit in people even Christians.
Paul wrote to the believers in Ephesus with this warning. “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil.” Ephesians 4:26-27 The word “room” in Greeks is TOPOS which is used in a variety of ways in scripture where they for the most part mean an actual physical place as when Joseph and Mary were look for a place to stay in Bethlehem-scripture says that there was not TOPOS or room for them at the inn they made their request. It is used also I know first hand, about this issue of anger as I was healed of deep wounds in my soul and set free from demons when I was in seminary by my spiritual father Dr. Charles Kraft. My healing and deliverance from the demonic occurred at the same time I was also in the process of ordination as a pastor after being a missionary for many years in Mexico. As a missionary I dearly loved Jesus and His word. I had much obvious fruit in my ministry. I led many short-term teams in outreaches over the years. I preached the gospel. I had led many people to become born again in Christ. I prayed for the sick and saw miraculously Jesus heal people. I spoke in tongues and prophesized. I even cast out demons of other people.
That very real experience of demonization actually started many years earlier
For over 30 years I have established a lot of clinical experience with hurting and demonized people (more than 6000 people) from a broad range of cultural, religious and philosophical backgrounds. I have moved to a ministry default position that in the case of most people who are demonized is that they fall into the category of those who Jesus would diagnose as, ¨this one comes out with prayer and fasting¨. Don McCurry said all Muslims coming to Christ need deliverance. That is a large portion of the world that needs deliverance. I would say all people coming to Christ need healing and deliverance. I would say that deliverance is only for Christians (see Mark 7:27) While I am always open to discovering new speedy methodology or growing in faith and authority in my ministerial abilities my pragmatism leads me to discern and minister to every Christian client at the deepest levels possible. Thus using the default position ¨That one comes out with prayer and fasting. Here is a list of my reasoning that leads me to that particular default conclusion.
• In fact I have only met one healthy man in my life and his name is Jesus.
• The rest of us are fallen and having varying degrees of emotional problems, physical wounds, unbelief or incorrect belief systems, demonically perpetrated worldviews and sin in our lives that need Jesus´ Kingdom of God treatment.
• Every Christian that has come to Christ still needs healing of some kind. They are saved but wounded at a variety of levels, that may be physical or relation with God, self and others.
• This level of wounding is often emotional and sets us up for on going reaction patterns in our life that are not healthy but based on that past wounding. When similar on going wounding events occur we react in the old unhealthy pattern.
• The demonic always takes advantage of this human brokenness and fallen issues for their gain, maintaining power and continue to try and advance their kingdom even through born again Christians.
• These spirits may be working from the inside (Topos, Greek, Eph. 4:26, 27) as in demonization as well at the same time working from the outside.
• The demons may have lost the person to salvation but still try and rob the new saint of giving God glory and fighting him at every turn along the way.
• They try and keep the new Christian as a prisoner of war trapped in old ways of feeling, choosing and believing by keeping them operating from their pre-Christian O.S. (operating system) for their worldview and life..
• The demons do this strategically to main control of the Christian to reinforce what is going on inside demonically, to provide their demonic teammates reinforcements by sending in new demons to join the team and, providing back up power, information and guidance.
• The demons from the outside and inside tempt the new Christian to sin and to continue to live under the power of the old man our flesh.
• This condition of having demons on the outside and being in the fight is a condition all Christians experience and needs to be taken seriously as a threat even if they do not have demons on the inside.
• When we have moved from the power of Satan to God we have become Satan´s natural enemies.
• So reality and scripture teaches us that their are three basic conditions of humans.
• First is the whole world is under the power of the enemy and while they still serve him whether they believe in him or not they need to be moved from the Kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God.
• The second condition is people are brought into the kingdom of God, saved but can still be broken, wounded and demonized and thus being still under a varying degrees of influence of Satan. Salvation and sanctification are two different processes.
• Third there are those who are saved and free from demons on the inside but pursued by the enemy from the outside but still being transformed into the likeness of Jesus.
• All Christians in the second category need to be moved to the third category, to become true threats to the enemy by moving in power and authority of Jesus.
• Our goal is to become warriors of God fighting against Satan and his kingdom and to imitate Jesus in destroying the works of the devil wherever we are guided and wherever we find evil spirits thus giving him and Father glory 1John 3:8