There are many signs that someone may be under demonic influence. All of these signs that I will list could also be caused by other reasons as well. However, I want to take a look at the man in the scripture below. The man exhibited extreme behaviors and was chained up in a cemetery because of them. Let’s take a look at a few signs that could indicate someone is under demonic influence.
“Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.“
– Mark 5:1-5
Sign #1: Violent Behavior
This man could not be tamed and often broke the chains others put around him. If someone is under demonic influence, you may be able to tell by the amount of violence that lives within their mind, mouth, and ultimately, life. Unfortunately, uncontrollable anger and an explosive temper are very strong behaviors that may live in a victim. These behaviors affect not only that person, but all those who love them as well.
In today’s music industry, violence is prevalent. It staggers me that someone can listen to those lyrics without a bother of consciousness. Yet, before I met Christ I also listen to that kind of music. People of this world are truly blind which is why we must always operate in compassion and understanding.
However, it makes sense that this kind of music would inspire those who do not have Christ to strive and reach after the lifestyle portrayed in these songs and albums. All the devil has to do it get these lyrics in the mind of people. Once he does that, then the victims will begin to think upon these lifestyles. And as the Bible says, “As a man thinks, so does he become.” (Proverbs 23:7)
There are many other avenues the enemy can use to influence people to commit violent acts to one another. For example, he can instigate an argument by infiltrating someone’s mind. He can also use violent video games, the media, and movies. The opportunities are unlimited in today’s advanced society. Be sure to guard your heart and mind and those of your children.
Sign #2: Insomnia
Although there can be many reasons that someone is lacking sleep, a sign of demonic influence is insomnia. If you look at the end of the above scripture, you will see it says the man was crying day and night. Sleep is a blessing and a gift from God. Without proper sleep, it’s impossible to function to the best of your ability. If someone is truly struggling with sleep and there seems to be no medical reason, then it’s possible a demon is harassing them.
Sign #3: Loneliness Caused By A Desire Of Solitude
This man was living away from all the other people for many reasons. Someone under a demonic influence will want to be left alone, but will then feel loneliness. I understand this feeling because when I suffered from depression, I would want nothing but to be alone. When I got hit with a wave of sadness, I just wanted to lay in bed, cry, and sleep. Although I wanted to be left alone, I also felt unwanted because no one was around me.
It’s a strange emotion indeed, but you probably know some people who are like that. They may say they’re shy or introverted, but could it really be that an enemy is holding them back from connecting with others? Where there’s unity, the enemy loses ground.
Sign #4: Tormenting Unhappiness
The man in the above story was extremely unhappy. He stayed up all night and spent all day crying. There are definitely times where crying and grieving are normal, but it should not be a way of life. These things can be healthy, but once they become a permanent residence in someone’s life it can cause extreme damage. Remember that “the joy of the Lord is our strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10) If the enemy takes our joy, we will soon be left weak.
Sign #5: Multiple Personalities Or Extreme Personality Changes
“And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.”
– Mark 5:9
“So all the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us to the swine, that we may enter them.”
– Mark 5:12
In this case, the demons that lived within the man became activated by the presence of Jesus. They had a chance to speak through the man’s own mouth and beg Jesus to allow them to live in the pigs.
Therefore, we can see that demons can speak through someone and influence their actions. While there may be other reasons someone can suffer from personality changes, this could definitely be one of the signs of demonic influence.
Sign #6: Suicide Or Self-harm
When I suffered from depression (which I know was demonic oppression or even possession), I hated myself and my life. So much so that I tried to kill myself multiple times and inflicted-self harm more times than I can remember. I know for a fact that this was caused by the enemy.
Without the Lord Jesus Christ, many people have no hope. They don’t have a purpose to live and can’t see the big picture. For them, there is no big picture. This man was in the cemetery cutting himself while he cried from his tormenters. I know that I’m not the only one who has gone through this experience. In fact, many people are still going through this experience.
That’s why as believers it’s important to know how to identify demonic behaviors. Counseling and medication helped a bit, but the truth is the only one who can set us free is Jesus Christ. He said, “the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32) When I learned the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I was instantly set free from depression.
I then knew that I was loved and accepted by God. He had forgiven me of all my despicable sins and I had a new slate to begin a new life. There are no words that can describe my appreciation.
If you do not know how to handle a demon but know someone who is struggling with suicide, then do not hesitate to supply them with the suicide hotline number: 1-800-273-8255
Ultimately, continue to share the gospel of Christ with that person and pray for them.
There are many lessons to be learned by examining the demon-possessed man in Mark chapter 5. Signs of demonic influence can show up as many things such as:
- Violent behavior
- Solitude and loneliness
- Tormenting unhappiness
- Personality changed
- Self-harm or suicide
The Bible tells us to not be ignorant of Satan’s devices. Always pray and love those around you without ceasing. I pray you found this article helpful. If so, please share this content and comment below. Thanks for reading!