Click to Change

Return to Top

Return to Top

Printer Icon


The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Do Demons Actually Exist?

Choose a new font size and typeface
Don Stewart
Are there such personages as "demons" or "unclean spirits?" Can we really believe in their existence? The Bible is clear that such creatures do indeed exist. On fifty-two separate occasions in the New Testament we have references to demons, and there are another twenty-three references to unclean spirits.

They Do Exist

We find throughout the Bible the testimony that demons do exist. The fact that they influence the destinies of individuals and nations is well-documented. The biblical teaching on the subject is widespread - not limited to one place and time. With Scripture as the final authority, the existence of these spiritual beings is beyond question.

1. Old Testament Authors

The Old Testament writers accepted the existence of demons though not much is said about them.

They sacrificed to demons, not God, to deities they had never known, to new ones recently arrived, whom your ancestors had not feared (Deuteronomy 32:17).

These evil spirits are not called "demons" in the Old Testament since "demon" is a Greek term. However some translations do use the term "demon" when they translate certain Old Testament terms (as in the above example).

2. Recognized By Jesus

The fact that demons do exist was recognized by the Lord Jesus. We find Him speaking about them and to them. When Jesus was engaged in a conversation with the religious leaders He said the following.

If I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you (Matthew 12:27,28).

From these statements, He obviously believed in the existence of demons. We also find Jesus rebuking demons and driving them out of humans.

When He [Jesus] came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs coming out of the tombs met Him. They were so fierce that no one could pass that way. Suddenly they shouted, "What have You to do with us, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?" Now a large herd of swine was feeding at some distance from them. The demons begged Him, "If you cast us out, send us into the herd of swine." And He said to them, "Go!" So they came out and entered the swine; and suddenly, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the water (Matthew 8:28-32).

In other parts of the gospels, we find Jesus dealing with the subject of demons. The fact that He accepted their existence is beyond question.

3. Recognized By The Seventy

Jesus sent out seventy disciples. Part of their mission was the driving out of demons.

And the seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject unto us in Your name (Luke 10:17).

The Gospels are very well-aware of the spiritual conflict between the Lord and the forces of evil. Without a doubt, these forces were very active against the ministry of Jesus.

4. Recognized By Paul

The Apostle Paul also recognized the existence of demons. The Book of Acts gives the following account.

One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling. While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, "These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation." She kept doing this for many days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And it came out that very hour (Acts 16:16-18).

5. James

The New Testament author James also testified to their existence.

You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe - and shudder (James 2:19).


The existence of spirit-creatures called "demons," or "unclean spirits" is clearly taught in Scripture - especially by the Lord Jesus. As God who became a man, He would be in a position to know whether or not they did exist. He made it clear that demons do exist, and that they cause all sorts of problems with humanity.

Therefore the Bible says that a spiritual realm exists that is unseen to the human eye. Along with the one true, God, there exists, in this realm, such personal beings as angels, good and bad, and demons.
BLB Searches
Search the Bible

Advanced Options

Other Searches

Multi-Verse Retrieval

Daily Devotionals

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one's mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.