First off, do demons exist at all, and do they cause or exacerbate evil actions in people? Any belief in the Bible in any way would require the answer to be yes, as virtually no book of the Bible is absent references to angels (with demons being merely angels who have rebelled against God like Satan), and many books contain numerous references. Simply put, denying belief in demons means denying belief in angels, and if you are going to deny belief in angels, then what manner of Christian are you that you would limit your belief in the supernatural to God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit (and even that is assuming that you believe in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit) and nothing else?
So, how much evil action is attributable to demons, and in how many people? To answer that question, one would have to deal with how many demons there actually are, and how many people a particular demon can influence at one time. Other than the Bible saying that 1/3 of the angels followed Satan and became demons (Revelation 12:4) we seem to have no direct scriptural indication of how many demons there are or how many people they influence. We DO have an indication from Ephesians 6:12, Ephesians 3:10, Romans 8:38, Colossians 1:16, and Colossians 2:15 that Satan’s kingdom is organized by rank with certain ruling spirits assigned geographical areas, meaning that A) there are enough evil spirits to need to organize their activity and B) that certain classes of high ranking and very spiritually powerful evil spirits can influence – even if only indirectly – not only multiple people but large groups of people at once. Then you add to that the traditional Christian view that each Christian has assigned to him a guardian angel (and some say it is THREE guardian angels). That is not something that was just made up, but rather had scriptural basis, such as Psalm 91 and more specifically Job 1:8-10. So, that would lead us to believe that the number of angels is absolutely gigantic, with the number of demons 1/3 of that gigantic number. And when you consider that a great percentage of God’s angels are involved in doing God’s business that requires little interaction or involvement with humans (with tradition also telling us that the angels that are regularly involved with humans are lower in rank) then though demons are fewer in number than angels, a far higher percentage of them are available to indwell and oppress humans on an individual level, and to be managed and organized in a fashion to cause widespread misery by their rulers. Consider the example of, say, an army or a police squad. Now you do not need a policeman for each person or home to enforce law and order, or a soldier for each person or home to occupy a nation. Because of organization and projection of influence, authority, and power, a few hundred policemen can manage a whole city, and 100,000 soldiers can subdue an entire nation. Of course, were the people of the city or nation to come together in concert and use the correct tactics, they could easily overwhelm the police or occupying army. But they would have to A) have a desire or an awareness of the need to do so, B) be willing to fight, and C) be willing to fight in the correct manner. Many people, including Bible believing Christians, refuse to acknowledge the existence of demons and/or refuse to oppose them. Further, of the Christians who do attempt to fight, many of them use the wrong methods. So, even if there are only a relatively small number of demons of, say, sexual immorality, the unawareness of the existence of said demons, the refusal to fight them among those who are aware, the refusal to fight them correctly of those who do fight, and the fact so many people LIKE the sins of sexual immorality would make it possible for a relative few spirits of sexual immorality to plunge an entire nation into sexual depravity.
As it is, I happen to believe that the number of demons is huge, and that they literally indwell (the term “possessed” is misleading) a large percentage of the population. Where do I get this belief? The gospels. They are filled with examples of demons being cast out of people, including the seven devils from Mary Madgalene. Further, when Yeshua HaMashiach sent the seventy out two by two, they all returned saying that they had cast out demons.
Also, consider the nature of demonic possession, which caused mental illness and sickness in what were basically random unremarkable people known only because Yeshua HaMashiach delivered them. Now, Satan does not have his demons just floating around afflicting this person and that for no reason. If there were only a few demons at his disposal, Satan would not have them indwelling peasants, wasting his resources. Instead, they would have been reserved them for people in great influence and those close to them. So, the fact that there were seven devils in Mary Madgalene and a legion of demons in the insane man of the Gadarenes and Yeshua HaMashiach’s references to demons’ “wandering dry places, returning to his house” (presumably because there were no other places to go) “and taking seven more wicked than he” (presumably because there were no others for them either) in Matthew 12:45 would logically seem to indicate that there are a more than adequate amount of demons out there: enough to vex and afflict the population of the world several times over. And when you add to that the fact that demons are organized and generally unopposed or ineffectively opposed, that only INCREASES their ability to wreak havoc. There would have been no reason for all the demons in the world to concentrate themselves in Israel; not when Satan hates and desires to destroy the entire human race.
Now one might ask why God created, say, 100 trillion angels in the first place. Well, because of His prerogative. God can just as easily create 1 angel as 100 trillion, and He can create 100 trillion angels just as easily as He can create the earth, planets, stars, etc. Realize that those are not as plants and animals, which produce after their own kind. Each of the innumerable host of stars, comets, asteroids, nebulae, planets, etc. were all specifically created by God. It is not hard to imagine that the number of celestial objects in the universe exceeds the population of planet earth. So why would not the number of angels? Asking why God would create angel number 50 trillion is the equivalent of asking why He created some space rock in some galaxy 100 million light – years away (the size of the universe is estimated to be AT LEAST 156 billion light years). So God is willing to create all of that in the natural realm without having similar vastness in the spiritual one?
The only reason why we think so is because we live in the natural world, and to us the natural world is more real and important than the spiritual one. The opposite is true. God is a spirit. The spirit realm pre – existed the natural realm, and the natural realm was created from the spirit realm. Furthermore, WE are spirits. We existed as spirits before we existed as natural beings, and our spiritual existences will go on long after our natural existences cease to be.
And moreover, consider our NUMBER. Every person that has ever been conceived and ever will be conceived has a unique spirit. And even though every conception is the result of human action that may or may not need God’s involvement, every SPIRIT that each conception receives was uniquely made by God. Indeed, some believe that all human spirits, every person who has lived and will ever live, existed before the creation of matter, time, and space, and that the purpose of creation was to create a way to redeem those spirits that would be redeemed. But whether all human spirits were created before Genesis 1:1 (or sometime shortly after) or whether God makes a new spirit everytime someone is born, it is still clear that we long ago reached the number of human spirits that far exceeds the six billion people that are currently alive. Indeed, the number of human spirits is unfathomable. Even if God creates a spirit everytime someone is born, then that means that there are billions and billions and billions of spirits that have lived out their natural life on earth and are awaiting judgment. So if there are that many human spirits – and recall, people are higher than angels for we are in the image of God and shall judge angels (I Corinthians 6:3) – how can one assert that God created only a few angels? It is a position that one can take for sure, but it is not one that is based on anything scriptural, scientific (again, consider the sum total of objects in the universe), or logical. Rather, it would be something that comes from the desire of man to deny the spiritual realm because the natural realm is all that he sees.
So that is why whenever I see or hear a preacher rail against those of us “who see demons under every stone and give the devil too much credit”, I grit my teeth. Such a person is trying to make the Bible into a natural book instead of a spiritual one, and is only doing so because of the limitations of his own faith, or the expectations of his congregants. Which is understandable: people are people, and they want solutions to deal with how to raise their kids, manage their finances, succeed on their jobs, and deal with things like fatigue, depression, guilt, grief, uncertainty, etc. and are not interested in spending all night praying against demons, and pastors have the job of meeting their congregants where they are in their faith. But just because a pastor has to give his congregants milk does not mean that they are to deny the existence of meat!
See, the main power of demons is to go undetected. Even those who deal in witchcraft, Satanism, the occult, and similar either do not know that they are dealing directly with demons, or do not know what demons REALLY ARE. So for a Christian pastor to deny the proliferation of demons merely because he and his congregation really do not want to deal with the topic is spiritual negligence. A pastor has to let his congregation know that if there are certain problem areas in his life, evil spirits may be the culprit and he may need deliverance. He has to let his congregation know that rules, traditions, rituals, dedication, and even fasting and prayer may not be enough. A great many times, there are evil spirits that have to be dealt with in a person, and evil spirits that have to be dealt with in a church. If the person does not want to fight the evil spirits, then that is his free will choice. But the pastor cannot and should not deprive the person of that choice with his false doctrine!
So many churches and denominations deny the spirit realm by focusing on human problems, and then trying to come up with human solutions for those problems, even if those human solutions are framed in spiritual terms. Well, denying the truth does not nullify the truth. It only makes you one who doesn’t want to deal with the truth. That doesn’t make the problem go away: it only makes it worse. I am hoping that you are a Christian (and if you are not, you can take care of it by clicking on this link) and you will from henceforth be such as one who will expose the devices of the enemy and battle them in accordance with God’s Word: by using the Name of Yeshua HaMashiach to cast them out of people and drive them out of places and situations.