“Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Matt. 12:25)

Jesus' statement follows criticism by the Pharisees after Jesus healed a blind mute person. While the people witnessing this proclaimed that Jesus must be the “son of David” (see previous verse), the Pharisees had made offensive statements about Jesus, accusing him of being satan or a demon.

Jesus questioned these statements logically: Why would a demon remove other demons? That would create a house divided.

Jesus was able to extract demons utilizing the Spirit of God, who is the Supreme Controller, Who has the ultimate ability to control everything, including where demons live. This of course, contradicts any notion that God somehow has a competitor in satan. God has no competitor. God is in control over everything. At the same time, however, God gives us the choice of being His loving servant or trying to enjoy like Him - being jealous of Him. Those who choose the latter become demoniac - symbolized by satan. In other words, all of those who have chosen to enjoy separately from God, and become offensive against Him and His servants, have become demons. They are, collectively and symbolically, satan.

This concept of driving out demons has been quite controversial in modern times. Modern scientists have questioned the concept of demon possession, while the media has perversed the concept in movies and other dramatizations.

The question is, what is a demon, and how can a demon get in and then be removed?

Let’s fist consider that a demon is someone who commits demoniac activities. What is a demoniac activity? This would be an activity that goes against the will of God. A demoniac activity is an action that is displeasing to God. Worse, a conscious demoniac activity is an action where the doer is aware the action is displeasing to God, yet the action is performed anyway.

Practically everyone living within the physical world is a demon. How do we know this? Simply because each of us fell from the kingdom of God because we became envious of God, and took on physical bodies: this is the symbolic meaning of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Once Adam went against God’s request not to eat of the tree of knowledge (i.e. wanting to enjoy like God), he was pushed out of the Garden (symbolic for the spiritual world) and given a temporary physical body:

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. (Genesis 3:21)

Now what would would these "garments of skin" be then? We are not talking animal hides are something. The "garments of skin" are physical bodies, since our physical bodies are each covered by skin. In other words, once we decided not to follow God's instructions, but instead became envious and wanted to be like Him:

"The man has now become like one of Us..." (Genesis 3:22)

We were banished from God's kingdom, the spiritual world, and put into temporary physical bodies.

The physical world is like a rehabilitation center. Once within this physical kingdom inside our 'garments of skin', we are constantly given the choice to change. We are given various lessons, and then tested as to whether we wish to continue to act against God, or desire to return to Him. Those who continue to act against Him are demons. Those who desire to change, and eventually re-develop their loving relationship with God, become His loving servants and eventually return to the spiritual world. This is only accomplished by being re-introduced to God through one of His representatives.

So what is Jesus driving out when he drives out demons? There are two types of demons being discussed. Firstly, a demon can be a habit or particular activity that one is attached to that is a result of our selfish activities of the past. This type of demon is symbolic. It is real in that this habit or addiction can grip a person, and this habit or addition can also express themselves physically in various ailments. But in this case the demon is not a separate entity.

In these cases, as Jesus introduced people to the Spirit of God, their attachments and habits were cleansed away from them, and with that purification comes physical healing. They were able to be released from their bad habits simply by the power of God. Now this does not mean they cannot then choose to return to those bad habits - one reason Jesus instructed many of the people he healed not to tell others. Each of us is constantly being given choices, yet the psychological draw those habits previously had upon the person were broken by the power of God working through Jesus.

Now in some cases, unembodied demoniac individuals may take up residence in another physical body, alongside the body's major inhabitant - the personality or soul of that body. Each body maintains a personality - a spiritual individual - who inhabits it. That body primarily reflects the decisions and intentions of this personality.

According to their activities, after the death of the body, a demoniac personality with great physical attachments may become stuck within the ghost dimension - the ethereal plane - without a gross physical body for a temporary period. These personalities are stuck watching the physical world but cannot take part in it. This is an extremely frustrating situation for the unembodied personality.

In some cases, however, the demoniac spirit may be able to locate a physical body inhabited by a weakened personality. In this way, the demon can take up a shared residence in a physical body, where it can at times influence the body's actions.

The entry-ways for these demons are physical and mental states that make our bodies vulnerable. Drinking alcohol is one of the easiest ways to open entry to an unembodied personality, for example. When a person becomes drunk, the personality within relaxes its attachment to the body. This can allow unembodied personalities to enter. For this reason many alcoholics have a “Jekyl and Hyde complex.” When they are drunk they act like another person. This is because the alcohol allows the unembodied personality to take more control over the body’s activities while the personality's attachment is weakened by the alcohol. Other activities that can offer these unembodied personalities entry include drugs, ritualistic ceremonies, horror movies, and chemical/nutritional imbalances - all of which can open the nerve pathways to outside entry.

This type of "demon possession" can also be exercised by those empowered by God. Ultimately it is God who extracts the unwelcome personality in these cases. Typically, merely the Names of God can expunge the personality. Jesus’ method was described repeatedly: He touched the person while praying to God. The prayer brought upon that person God's presence, which drove the unwelcome personality out of the body. This is because the unwelcome personality - as most demons - are uncomfortable with God's presence, because they are envious of Him.

A side point here is that Jesus' followers seem to have referred to Jesus as the son of David. Does this make sense in a literal context, however? Everyone knew that David was born centuries before. Does it make sense that someone would be called the son of someone born several centuries earlier?

As explained in previous verses, the subtle translation error between “son” and “loving servant” ("follower") has been made here. The Greek word υἱός can mean, according to the Greek lexicon either son or intimate servant ("one who depends upon another or is his follower"). Here "follower" or even "disciple" is applicable because Jesus was not David's son (or even great, great grandson). He was an intimate loving servant - or follower - of David, as Jesus' teachings reflected David’s teachings. This makes sense, since both Jesus' and David's teachings were empowered by the same Person: God. The bottom line is that Jesus' teachings were passed down through a lineage of teachers coming in line with David. The ancient expression of this student-teacher relationship is being "a servant of the servant of the servant of God."