Matthew 12:43-45 gives me the impression that demons are constantly in the lookout for humans with "open doors" to inhabit. They find no comfort in living anywhere other than a human.

43 “Now when the unclean spirit comes out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and brings along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they come in and live there; and the last condition of that person becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.” (Matthew 12:43-45 NASB)

In contrast, Ephesians 6:12 appears to suggest that the demonic forces spend most of their time in the heavenly places:

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 NASB)

Where do demons spend most of their time: in humans or in the heavenly places? Does the answer depend on the rank? What about high-rank demons, principalities or Satan himself?

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    We do not know - there is no statistical information given the Bible.
    – Dottard
    Mar 1, 2021 at 3:45
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    I think you have (almost) answered your question. (Up-voted +1 for question and partial answer.)
    – Nigel J
    Mar 1, 2021 at 7:14

4 Answers 4


Luke 4:13

When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

Where do demons spend most of their time: in humans or in the heavenly places?

From the demon's point of view, this dichotomy is somewhat artificial. While a demon is inhabiting a human body, it has communication with other demons in the heavenly places. While a demon is not physically inhabiting a human body, it is working hard in the proximity of a human to influence his evil actions.

Some demons spend more time than others inside or near a human. It's up to what Satan wants it to do. I doubt there are any general statistics about that.

Revelation 13:1

The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.

Where do demons spend most of their time: in humans or in the heavenly places?

It depends on Satan's game plan at the time.


The question is where do demons spend most of their time. In people are heaven. This verse is referencing that those who repent of their sins and begin a new life with Jesus, have'swept their house'. And when we choose to stop following God in our new life, the demons which left us being more and the quality of our life is worse than it was before we knew God.

For answering the question, I am not knowledged enough in this area at this time.

  • Hi Kevin, welcome to the site. I see a partial answer to the question here, but I believe it would be stronger with further detail included. Please be sure to take the site tour, and thanks for contributing! May 7, 2022 at 1:54

Three heavens. (Remember Paul being swept up to the third one?) The one God dwells in. We can’t see. Space which we can sort of see. And the sky or firmament which of course we can see. I would suggest that the latter two are part of earth. And this is likely what is being referred to in Ephesians, that demons are in fact still in their domain in these two heavens. They are only restricted from the third heaven in which God dwells. It would also explain the demonic presence of so-called aliens. Maybe I’m wrong but this seems to make sense for both arguments.

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    – Community Bot
    Nov 29, 2023 at 4:54

You seem to be assuming that the ‘spiritual forces of wickedness’ refers to demons? And this isn’t correct. Instead the focus needs to be on the passage you quoted from Matthew, which specifically names ‘unclean spirits’. (demons)

What would help understanding here is knowing the difference between demons and angels. Some assert they are the same - but - researching the origin of unclean spirits will clearly reflect that angels and demons are not the same, (but that’s another question so we won’t sidetrack.).

Angels have bodies, heavenly bodies, demons don’t. They have no body. But, to do anything, they need to ‘work’ through a (someone’s) body.

MAT 12:44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order.

In this passage Jesus is talking about a spirit that leaves ‘its house’. House from the Greek ‘oikos’ which Strongs G3624 has as part of its meaning ‘any dwelling place - of the human body as the abode of demons that possess

Unclean spirits can not enter the Heavenly realm, but neither can they enter the ‘regions’ under the earth (Hades/Tatarus). Isaiah tells us this. They are destined to ‘roam’ around looking for a ‘house’, so as to find rest.

Now, to your Q asking where do they spend most of their time - not sure this could be answered. I’m not aware of any reading that references this? This outline is to explain that of the two choices you offered, ‘heavenly places’ was not an option.

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    "Angels have bodies, heavenly bodies, demons don’t. They have no body. But, to do anything, they need to ‘work’ through a (someone’s) body." - any sources to back this up?
    – user38524
    Mar 1, 2021 at 3:53
  • This would require an answer in itself. With demons... they requested to at least go into the pigs (body) or after being expelled in the wilderness they come back to their cleaned out “home” (body). They cannot manifest without a body, Jesus said a spirit has no body, demons are spirits/persons without bodies. Heavenly beings have bodies 1Cor15:40. These are spiritual bodies, meaning they have spiritual properties but they are BODIES nonetheless. Demons require bodies as they are disembodied. Mar 1, 2021 at 4:48
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    You have not substantiated much of this and it remains as your opinion. 'Angels have bodies'. 'heavenly bodies' (What is a 'heavenly' 'body' ? ? ?) 'Demons don't.' 'Unclean spirits cannot enter the heavenly realm'. 'They can enter the regions under the earth'. This is all unsupported speculation without the citation of valid references.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 1, 2021 at 5:40
  • @Spirit Realm Investigator ? You want a passage to support the notion that ‘demons’ have no body and need one? How about that passage from Matthew that you quoted in your Q? That’s exactly what Jesus is saying. To fully outline this would require more than a ‘comment’, as Nihil Sine Deo suggested
    – Dave
    Mar 1, 2021 at 17:30
  • @Dave - I want evidence that 1) demons don't have heavenly bodies; 2) angels do have heavenly bodies. Matthew 12:43-45 is evidence that demons don't have physical bodies, but it says nothing about heavenly bodies.
    – user38524
    Mar 1, 2021 at 17:52

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