If you want to be effective in this spiritual war we find ourselves in as Christians, then it’s necessary to know what kind of enemies we’re up against. While we can put the flesh to death by reading the Word, praying, studying, and spending time with God, that’s not enough if we’re dealing with a demon. Demons have to be cast out by believers in the name of Jesus. But how can you cast out a demon if you don’t know how to recognize them? Below are nine characteristics of demons that you should look out for.

While these are indicators of demonic influences, there may be other reasons for these afflictions. It’s important to remember that we’re waring against our flesh and well as demonic, spiritual enemies.

Demons are beings. They have a voice and a personality. They are real just like you and me. However, they don’t have bodies. That’s why they desperately crave to live in one. For example, a demon of alcohol addiction needs a body to consume alcohol with. These very real enemies have two main objectives:

  • To keep people from knowing Christ as savior
  • To keep people from effectively serving God

All scriptures are taken from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.

Tempt

Demons try to persuade people to sin and do things that are harmful to their bodies or the kingdom of God. Here are a few scenarios:

Scenario:

John is working for a company. It’s not a minimum wage job, but the employees complain about their hours being cut while having an increase in workload. They have a great team, but they feel like the company doesn’t care about them. After a few months, John’s excitement for the job fades and he begins cutting corners. There’s a little voice in his head that says, “Don’t give this company your all. They don’t care about you anyway.” So he stops doing the best he can. He does the bare minimum to get by and sometimes neglects some of the important things. John knows they probably won’t fire him, so he continues to do a horrible job and get paid for it. All the while, the voice is encouraging him, saying things like, “No one will know it was me who didn’t return this to the right spot,” or “Why should I care about this company? They don’t care about me.”

Explanation:

This behavior is really common among workers, but it’s demonic. Anything with a voice that speaks has a person attached to that voice. The Bible calls us to be excellent and people with integrity. This means God expects us to go the extra mile and do what is right even when no one is looking. We know God sees our every move and we want to glorify Him in everything we do. Also, if we’re getting paid to accomplish certain tasks and we purposely don’t complete them, then we’re stealing and lying. We’re stealing because we’re getting pay for a job we’re not completing and we’re lying because we’re not keeping the word we gave when we got hired that we’d complete the job assigned for the wage given.

Demons tempt us to do all sorts of ungodly actions such as steal, lie, overeat, procrastinate, treat others unwell, compromise, and a whole list of other sins. If you learn to say no to temptation, the enemy will eventually give up trying to tempt you in that area.

Harass

Demons harass people all day long. Whenever you see someone who is highly agitated and irritated, it’s likely that they’ve been under attack from a demonic force. Our enemies watch and study us. They wait for the best time to strike.

Scenario:

Emily has overslept and is not rushing through the house to get ready for work. She quickly eats her breakfast, does her hair, and runs out the door. She takes her coffee with her on the go. While driving faster than she should, a car cuts her off causing her to slam on her brakes. Her coffee spills all over her car and now she’s driving 10 MPH under the speed limit. Angry, she looks at the time unsure if she’ll make it to work on time. When she finally gets to work, she can’t find a parking spot nearby so she has to park further than usual.

When she walks into work, she’s informed that the air conditioning is down for today. They’re waiting for a repairman to come out and fix it, but until then it’s going to be really hot. Her manager comes and tells her his boss called and will be making a surprise visit sometime within the next two hours. She needs to put off all her routine work in order to help the team prepare for this visit. This day is filled with nagging, complaining customers, a to-do list that grows ever-longer, and to top it off, the repairman never comes.

After this frustrating day, she climbs into her car only to realize her car has been stained and reeks of spilled coffee. She walks into her home and the babysitter informs her that the children broke something valuable of hers. At this point, Danielle completely gives up and starts throwing a huge fit. She takes out all her frustration on her children and the babysitter.

Explanation:

In this case, a demon of harassment was following her all day piling on the negative emotions that caused her to blow up on her children. The demon watched throughout the whole time planting seeds of anger hoping she would do something damaging like quit her job. As a result of their diligent seeking, they got Danielle weak enough to express her built-up anger on her children. Under normal circumstances, she wouldn’t have gotten as mad as she did toward her children. It’s only because of the constant harassment she dealt with all day that caused her to verbally hurt her children.

I’ve certainly dealt with these types of attacks before. The best way to deal with them is to recognize them and resist. The enemy is powerless if you refuse to allow them to take your peace. The Bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) Therefore, if we allow the enemy to steal our joy, we become weak and vulnerable to the plans of Satan.

Torment

“Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.”

– Matthew 19:22-24

In the parable of the unforgiving servant, Jesus tells a story to the disciples about a servant who refused to forgive the debts of his servants. As a result, the master delivered him over to the torturers. The torturers for us would be demonic forces. If we refuse to forgive those who have wronged us, the enemy has legal rights to torment us.

Any form of torment comes from the enemy, especially if it’s constant. A common way the enemy torments is through fear. Someone who lives in fear is being tormented. Another way to torment would be through illness, sickness, infirmity, or disease. They can torment us in our minds as well as our bodies. Thoughts like, “No one loves me,” “I’ll never be good enough,” and “I’m worthless” no doubt causes a form of torment.

While the Lord may allow torment, He’s not the source of its origins.

Related: Beware Of These 12 Demonic Spirits

Compel

Almost everything that’s compulsive is a demon. If someone is being coerced by a compulsive demon, they will find it almost impossible to not give in to the urges it’s recommending. In case you don’t know compulsive behavior, I’ll give you a couple examples.

Scenario:

A child walks into the kitchen where she sees a bowl of candy. Her mother sees her look at it and tells her, “You can’t have any until after we finish dinner.” The child hears her and understands her reasoning. However, the candy looks so irresistible. Her mother walks out of the room to grab something from the other room. While the mother’s gone, the girl takes a piece of candy and hides it. When her mother returns, the child leaves the kitchen, goes to her bedroom, and eats the candy in secret.

Explanation:

The girl understood that she wasn’t allowed to have candy at that moment. Obviously, the child loves her mother and wouldn’t want to hurt her mother. However, the candy looked so attractive she couldn’t stop herself from reaching for the candy. That’s what compulsive behavior looks like. The child was driven by a very strong urge to enjoy the candy, even if it meant disobeying her mother.

Additional example:

A person who is a compulsive liar may not always intend to lie. They just can’t seem to help themselves.

In my opinion, I believe compulsive behavior comes right before an addiction.

Enslave

People who are enslaved by anything are under demonic influences. They may not be possessed, but there can be areas in their lives where they don’t have full control of themselves. I’m aware of many Christians who are enslaved by various things without recognizing it may be evil. What’s worse is the fact that the church condones it.

Addiction

Enslaving and addiction go together. When someone is a slave to something, they can’t say no to the forces controlling them. It’s the same for an addict. It seems like the outside force is too much to fight and they will never get out of the addiction.

There are many addictions that Christians live with and ignore. For example, many churches would widely recognize that an alcohol or drug addiction would be demonic and that person would need God’s help with deliverance. But how many churches do not condemn a food addiction? There are many church-goers who are addicted to eating and drinking.

The body belongs to God and is His temple. We shouldn’t neglect our bodies nor yield to bodily addictions.

Another addiction that seems common is a television and phone addiction. These are real addictions that have harmful effects on society. I do believe in entertainment and that’s what they’re there for. However, entertainment should not be the sole purpose of our existence.

Wherever there is an addiction, you can be sure there’s a demon influencing that person.

Defile

Throughout the Bible, evil spirits are also called unclean spirits. These spirits desire to defile humans with ungodliness and fleshly sins. They make people feel dirty and disgusted with themselves. They strive to ruin holiness and purity within humans.

Defiling, unclean spirits are in the mainstream culture in Western societies. Not only are they widely accepted, but if you question them or challenge them, you’re deemed hateful. However, dirty movies, songs filled with foul language, and sexually perverse environments come from unclean spirits who seek to defile those who partake in them.

As Christians, abstain from these things and keep yourself holy before the Lord. If you give into these things, you’re giving the enemy ground where he can work in your life against God and God’s perfect purposes.

Deceive

You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”

– John 8:44

The Bible calls the devil the father of lies. All lies come from a demonic force. There are seven things the Bible lists as an abomination unto the Lord and two of those seven are lying tongues. (2 Proverbs 6:16-19)

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. (John 16:13) Jesus said He is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6) He also proclaimed that the Word of God is truth. (John 17:17) God does not operate in lies, only the devil does.

Pride opens the door for deceit. The truth doesn’t always feel great. Therefore, people who love and worship their flesh and soul may avoid the truth. Also, it takes humility to admit when you’ve been wrong.

I believe that when we encounter lies, we have a moral obligation to correct them. The correction may fall on deaf ears, but it could also shatter the facade the enemy placed in their heart.

Personally, the lie that I was unloveable was shattered by the truth of God’s Word that God loves me and created me. Exposing the lies of the enemy with truth is an effective way to fight against his kingdom.

Click here to read my testimony and how God saved me from the lies of the enemy.

Weaken Or Make Sick/Kill

“So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.”

– Revelation 6:8

In revelation, we see death riding on a pale horse. This clearly illustrates that death is a person. God gives life through creation and Jesus gives eternal life through salvation. The enemy seeks to destroy that God-given gift.

Life and health is a gift from God. From the book of Job, we see that God holds back diseases and can cure them at His discretion. Likewise, during the plagues in Egypt, the Jews were kept safe from those punishments.

I’m not against science and medicine. I believe we should seek God and if He leads us to get medical attention, we should obey. I’ve had wonderful doctors in my life. However, if you’ve gone to the doctors and there’s nothing anyone can do to help, that very well may be a demonic attack.

You May Also Like: Signs Someone Is Under Demonic Influences

Conclusion

There are nine characteristics of demons to be aware of. These include:

  • Temptation
  • Harassment
  • Compulsion
  • Enslavement
  • Addiction
  • To defile
  • Deceit
  • To weaken/make sick
  • Death

While these are indicators of demonic influences, there may be instances where that’s not the case. We do have a flesh that wages war with us as well so it’s important to know the differences between the flesh and demonic forces.

I pray you’ve found this article helpful. If so, please share this content. Also, feel free to leave a comment below. As always, thanks for reading!

 Characteristics Of Demons To Look Out For

 Characteristics Of Demons To Look Out For  Characteristics Of Demons To Look Out For  Characteristics Of Demons To Look Out For

Characteristics Of Demons To Look Out For

Thanks for sharing!