Do I have a demon? (Common Biblical symptoms)
This is a brief list of some of the common Biblical symptoms a person may manifest when they have a demon. This list is only a general guideline, and not every symptom is a guaranteed demonic bondage, nor is this a complete list of manifestations.
Compulsive sinning against your will: Satan caused Judas to dishonestly gain money at the cost of Jesus’ death. There were two men who were possessed with demons who were said to have uncontrollable anger problems (Matthew 8:28), so much that nobody could get near them they were so fierce. King Saul also became very angry after he picked up an unclean spirit, and even tried to murder David (1 Samuel 19:9-10)! Babylon was known as a habitation of devils (Revelations 18:2) and it was well known for sins of every kind, indicating that demons can and do promote sin in a person’s life. Canaan is also known to be a cursed nation, and was known for their problems with sin as well. Notice it was the curse that came, THEN the problem with sin and not the other way around.
Self-mutilation is a sin because it’s harming our bodies which are temples of the Holy Ghost, and we find the man with the legion roaming the tombs cutting himself uncontrollably. Compulsive behavior is known to be demonic.
Mark 5:2,5, “And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit… And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.”
In the ministry of deliverance, many people are set free from all kinds of compulsive sinning, even pornography addictions and compulsive masturbation. If it’s compulsive and you’ve tried everything to stop, but you can’t… there seems to be a compulsive force ‘driving’ you to sin, then there may very well be a demon that needs to be driven out. It is true that we have been set free from the bondage of sin, but there’s a big difference between the bondage of sin, and being in bondage to demons and their way of affecting you is driving you to sin.
Fear and depression – irrational heaviness in the soul: King Saul was tormented with fear and depression by an evil spirit. 1 Samuel 16:14, “Now the Spirit of the LORD had left Saul, and the LORD sent a tormenting spirit that filled him with depression and fear.” (NLT) The Bible also speaks of a spirit of heaviness in Isaiah 61:1,3, where it’s speaking of how Jesus came to preach deliverance from such a spirit and give us a garment of praise in exchange. There are a lot of people today who suffer from irrational fears, depression, headaches, nightmares, etc. from demon spirits and after a successful deliverance they are set free.
Unhealthy obsessions: Obsessions with things such as death like the man in Mark 5:3 had (“Who had his dwelling among the tombs”) clearly demonstrates a demonic bondage. Usually obsessions with items of darkness, death, occult, demons, etc. is a sign that something is wrong.
Compulsive cutting or self-mutilation: The man with the legion of demons was said to have been cutting himself with stones (Mark 5:5). Obviously, back then he didn’t have knives available to do the job with, so he was finding sharp stones and using them to cut himself.
Constant calamities in one’s life: Job is a good example of what the demonic kingdom can do in a person’s life. He had an almost endless list of calamities take place in his life due to an unclean spirit. Job greatly feared such calamities coming upon him (Job 3:25), and did not trust God to protect Him in those areas. This is why I believe God allowed Satan to enter into his life and play havoc on everything he owned, including his own body. Why would a loving God cause His servant to go through so much, just for the sake of ‘proving’ something to Satan? I don’t think it really lines up with God’s loving nature towards His people. In Deuteronomy 27, there’s a list of things that can cause a person to come under a curse, and in chapter 28, it tells us what kind of problems a curse can cause in a person’s life. Not every time a person is under a curse means they have to have demons driven out, but it’s certainly something to look into and get freed from.
Physical health problems: The woman with the spirit of infirmity, for example, was bound by a spirit of infirmity (Luke 13:11) and as a result, she couldn’t lift herself up, she was crippled over. Arthritis is found to be demonic by many ministers today. Job suffered physical affliction from evil spirits by means of boils all over his body (Job 2:7). Matthew 9:32-33 speaks of a man who was possessed with an unclean spirit that caused him to be unable to speak. Matthew 9:25 also speaks of a deaf spirit, “When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.”
Mental health problems and insanity: In Matthew 17:15, a boy is said to be a lunatic as a result of indwelling demons. The NT Greek word for lunatic is sele.niazomai and means the person is moon struck (mentally not well) or crazy. Mental problems are clearly shown in other parts in the Bible as well, including the man with the legion in Matthew 5:2-5, “And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.” Does that sound like somebody who’s in their right mind to you? What would somebody in their right mind be doing roaming the tombs? This tells me that there was a spirit of death involved, which gave him exceeding interest in the dead. Who in their right mind would be roaming the tombs day and night crying and cutting themselves with stones? When Jesus cast those demons out, the man was said to have been “in his right mind” once again (verse 15).
Luke 8:27, “And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.” What kind of a person in their right mind would go running around in the tombs naked?
Matthew 9:17-18, “And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.”
Supernatural strength or abilities: The girl with the spirit of divination was able to foretell the future through an evil spirit in Acts 16:16. It is pretty solid proof a person has a demon if they have magical powers, such as the magicians who laid out their staffs and they turned into snakes before Moses in Exodus 7:12. The man with the legion of spirits was known to have superhuman strength in Matthew 5:2-4: “No man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.”
Racing compulsive thoughts and mental torment: As you can see from the list above, demons can affect a lot of areas in a person’s life. One of the ways it works is through our thought lives to cause fear, depression and torment is through our thoughts. The Bible also uses the term ‘vexed with a devil’, which means to be tormented, harassed or troubled by an evil spirit. It is not uncommon for a person with a demon to testify to racing thoughts that are completely against their will. When I was vexed with demons, I remember a distinct personality in my mind, it felt as if I was sharing my mind with another person or spiritual being. I would experience racing thoughts, irrational desires, compulsion to think and say things I would never normally even think about, etc. I was not alone either, there are a LOT of people who are being affected just like I was. It is not uncommon in this ministry to see people’s minds or thoughts being influenced or controlled by evil spirits.
Psalms 143 is a powerful passage speaking of Kind David when he was being tormented by evil spirits. In verses 3 and 4 we read, “For the enemy hath persecuted my soul (mind); he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead. Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.” In verses 11 and 12, we read, “Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul (mind) out of trouble. And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul (obviously not physical enemies, but spiritual): for I am thy servant.”