Demons Or Unclean Spirits
(Notes from the Finis Jennings Dake Annotated Bible)
Demons or Unclean Spirits (Ps. 106:37)
1 Definition and usage of the terms devil and demons. The word demon is not found
in Scripture, but it means evil spirit or devil. The word devil is used of Satan, the prince
of demons (Mt. 9:34; 12:24). He is the chief devil and the original source of evil in the
universe. The Gr. word for devil used in connection with Satan is diabolos, meaning
adversary, false accuser, slanderer, devil. It is used of men and translated false accuser
and slanderer in 1 Tim. 3:11; 2 Tim. 3:3; Tit. 2:3. It is translated devil once as applying to
Judas when he became an adversary of Christ (Jn. 6:70). In 34 other places it is
translated devil and used of Satan as the chief adversary of God.
In the other 77 places where the words devil and devils are found, they refer to evil
spirits or demons and are derived from the Gr. words daimonion and daimon,
meaning evil spirits or devils, and daimonizomai, to have or be possessed by a devil.
There is only one prince of devils but many demons. He has an angelic body and cannot
enter bodily into anyone (see note n, Lk. 22:3); but demons are disembodied spirits and
do not seem to be able to operate in the material world except through possession of the
bodies of men or beasts.
Luke 22:3 (note n)
Satan, as an angel, could not possibly enter bodily into Judas, for he has his own
personal spirit body as big as a man. The so-called doctrine of interpenetration. that
is, persons entering bodily into each other, is false. The Bible does speak of the
Corinthians and Philippians being in Paul’s heart (2 Cor. 7:3; Phil. 1:7); God being in
Christ (2 Cor. 5:19); Christ being in God (Jn. 14:20); God and Christ being in each
other (Jn. 14:10-11); men being in both the Father and the Son (1 Jn. 2:24); men
being in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17); men and the Spirit being in each other (Rom. 8:9);
Christ being in men (Col. 1:27; Rom. 8:10); man and Christ being in each other (Jn.
14:20); all creation being in God (Acts 17:28); and Satan entering into men (Lk.
22:3; Jn. 13:27). However, these passages refer to being in union with, being
consecrated to the same end—one in mind, purpose, and life. They do not teach
bodily entrance of one being into another. It may be best understood by a man and
woman becoming one in life together, being in each other’s plans, life, etc. Hence,
Satan entering into Judas simply means Judas submitted to Satan’s temptation to
betray Jesus. He became one with Satan, like men become one in spirit with God
when joined to Him in consecration (1 Cor. 6:17).
2 The nature of demons. They are evil (Judg. 9:23; 1 Sam. 18:9-10); intelligent and
wise (1 Ki. 22:22-24; Acts 16:16); powerful (Mk. 5:1-18); disembodied spirits (Rev. 16:13-
16); not angels (Acts 23:8-9); not human, for they possess men and can be cast out (Mt.
10:8; Mk. 16:17); and are individuals (Mk. 16:9). They have knowledge (Mt. 8:29; Lk. 4:41:
Acts 19:15); faith (Jas. 2:19); feelings (Mt. 8:29; Mk. 5:7); fellowship (1 Cor. 10:20-21); doctrines (1 Tim. 4:1); wills (Mt. 12:43-45); miraculous powers (Rev. 16:13-16); emotions (Acts
8:7); desires (Mt. 8:28-31); and other soul and spirit faculties.
3 The work of demons. They possess people and cause: dumbness and deafness (Mt.
9:32-33; Mk. 9:25); blindness (Mt. 12:22); grievous vexation (Mt. 15:22); lunacy and mania
(Mt. 4:23-24; 17:14-21; Mk. 5:1 -18); uncleanness (called unclean spirits 20 times; Lk. 4:36);
supernatural strength (Mk. 5:1-18); suicide (Mt. 17:16; Jn. 10:10); convulsions (Mk. 9:20);
lusts (Jn. 8:44; Eph. 2:1-3; 1 Jn. 2:15-17); counterfeit worship (Lev. 17:7: Dt. 32:17:2 Chr.
11:15; Ps. 106:37; 1 Cor. 10:20: Rev. 9:20); error (1 Jn. 4:1-6; 1 Tim. 4:1); sicknesses and
diseases (Mt. 4:23-24; Acts 10:38); torments (Mt. 4:23-24; 15:22); deceptions (1 Tim. 4:1-2; 1 Jn. 4:1-6); lying (1 Ki. 22:21-24); enchantments and witchcraft (2 Chr. 33:6); heresies (1
Tim. 4:1); wickedness (Lk. 11:26); fear (2 Tim. 1:7); love of world (1 Jn. 2:15-17; 1 Cor. 2:12);
bondage (Rom. 8:15); discord (1 Ki. 22:21-24; Mt. 13:36-43); violence (Mt. 17:15); betrayals
(Jn. 13:2; 1 Ki. 22:21-23); oppression (Acts 10:38); sin (Jn. 8:44; 1 Jn. 3:8); persecution (1
Pet. 5:8; Rev. 2:10); jealousy (1 Sam. 16:14:18:8-10); false prophecy (1 Sam. 18:8-10; 1 Ki.
22:21-24); and every other evil they possibly can, to work against man and God.
4 They can teach (1 Tim. 4:1); steal (Mt. 13:19; Lk. 8:12); fight (Eph. 4:27; 6:10-18; 1 Pet.
5:8); become fierce and wrathful (Mt. 8:28: Rev. 12:12); tell fortunes (Lev. 20:27; Acts 16:16);
be friendly (called familiar spirits 16 times; Lev. 20:6, 27); go out and come back into men
as they will, unless cast out and rejected (Mt. 12:43-45); travel (1 Ki. 22:21-24; Mk. 5:7,
12); speak (Mk. 1:34; 5:12; Acts 8:7); imitate departed dead (2 Sam. 28:3-9:1 Chr. 10:13; Isa.
8:19; Dt. 18:11); and do many other things when in possession of bodies they are permitted
to operate through.
5 They are called devils (Mk. 16:17); familiar spirits (Lev. 20:6); unclean spirits (Mk. 1:27);
evil spirits (Lk. 7:21); and seducing spirits (1 Tim. 4:1).
6 General facts about demons. They are subject to Christ and made subject to believers
by the atonement, the name of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (Mt. 8:16-17; 12:28; Mk. 16:17; Lk.
10:17;Acts 19:15). Thousands of them can enter into and take possession of one man at
the same time (Mk. 5:9). They must be discerned, tested, resisted, and rejected by
believers (1 Jn. 4:1-6; 1 Cor. 12:10; Eph. 4:27; 6:10-18; 1 Pet. 5:8-9). They have more than
ordinary intelligence (Mt. 8:29). Their rightful place is in the abyss (Lk. 8:31; Rev. 9:1-21).
They have personality (Lk. 8:26-33); are disembodied (Mt. 12:43-45); are Satan’s
emissaries (Mt. 12:26-29); and are numerous (Mk. 5:9). They can enter into and
control both men and beasts (Mk. 5:1-18) and seek embodiment (Mt. 12:43-45; Lk. 8:32).
Demon possession and demon influence are different (Mt. 4:23-24 with 16:21-23). Demons
know their fate (Mt. 8:31-32) and recognize those who have power over them (Acts 19:13-
17). They fear God (Jas. 2:19); inflict physical maladies (Mt. 12:22; 17:15-18); wage war on
saints (Eph. 6:10-18); and influence men (1 Tim. 4:1-5; 2 Pet. 2:10-12). All unbelievers are
more or less in league with them (Eph. 2:1-3). The only resources against them are
prayer, bodily control, and the whole armor of God (Mt. 17:21; Eph. 6:10-18).
There are demon spirits for every sickness, unholy trait, and doctrinal error known
among men. They must be cast out or resisted in order to experience relief from them.
Disease germs, which are closely allied with unclean spirits, are really living forms of
corruption which come into the bodies of men bringing them to death. Just as refuse
breeds maggots, so man in his fallen state of corruption breeds germs through unclean
living and contact with corruption in the fallen world. They are agents of Satan, corrupting
the bodies of his victims.
7 Traffic with demon spirits is forbidden in both testaments (Lev. 19:31; 20:6; Dt. 18:10; 1
Chr. 10:13-14; Isa. 8:19; Lk. 4:41; Acts 16:16; 1 Tim. 4:1-5; 2 Pet. 2:1-3; 1 Jn. 4:1-6).
Demons Or Unclean Spirits