Demonic Faith James 2:19-20

What’s the difference between my belief and the demons belief?  

Yesterday, we finished LOOKING at Dead Faith

How would you explain dead faith?

Today, we want to LOOK at Demonic Faith in verses 19-20.

Open GODcha to the Book of James.

Work in Split View >

NOTE: If you don’t have GODcha Get It >,

OR use your hardbound Bibles and follow along.


Let’s Pray and Ask for Help

Lord, as we come to Your Word today, prepare our hearts to hear You. May we be attentive.  May we shut out all other voices, and all noise. Help us to lean in and drink in every Word You speak. Grant us understanding. Thank you!


LOOK at What God Says

Now, let GODcha guide you in your discovery.

Open GODcha’s LOOK Segment >

How will you get under way?

READ God’s Word

Read James 2:14-20, asking the 5W’s and H.

True Faith Produces Works >

Slow down, hear God speak!


Now, zoom in on James 2:19-20.

What is true of these Jewish converts?

What do the demons believe and do?


Unlock the Meaning of the Text

What words do you want to unlock that are Key to these 2 verses?


Understand God’s Words

Check Out the Meaning

Dictionary Tutorial >

Do you remember learning about believe when we looked at faith?

Believepisteúō; to have faith. To believe is to have faith.

What are the 3 vital elements of faith? The 3 C’s?

Trials: Test Our Faith Part 3 >

Faith and believe come from the same root word.

Faith is the noun and believe is the verb.

Faith is NOT just saying, ‘I believe that.’

No, faith is surrendering to God’s truth and living accordingly!


To make this point, James brings up demons who believe.

Demonsdaimónion; Generally, a god, deity; an evil spirit, devil, subject to Satan (Matt. 9:34), implying him to be a fallen angel. The authors of moral evil to mankind.

Foolishkenós; empty, hollow. When used not of things but of persons, it predicates not merely an absence of good, but also, since a vacuum does not exist in man’s moral nature, the presence of evil (James 2:20).

TIP: Remember to take the definitions back to the text.

19 “You believe [have faith] that God is one. You do well; the demons [devils, evil spirits]also believe [have faith], and and shudder.” 

20 “But are you willing to recognize, you foolish [empty, hollowfellow, that faith without works is useless?”

What is it that these converts from the 12 Jewish tribes know and believe?

They believe that God is one. (Jam 2:19)


Let’s Understand What God is Saying Through James.

Truth Explains Truth

CR-Cross References-Word Search Tutorial >

To believe God is one is the well known “Shema” (Deut 6:4-5)

“Hear (shema), O Israel! The LORD (Jehovah) is our God (Elohim), the LORD (Jehovah) is one!” (Jehovah our Elohim is one Jehovah.)

“Love the LORD your God with all your heart…”

We see: God is the one true God, therefore, we are to love Him with all our heart...


Let’s look at this passage in CONTEXT for clearer understanding.

See: Deuteronomy’s Overview.

Deuteronomy was the 2nd giving of the Law to a new generation so they would:

know their God and

know how to live in the land God was giving them.

1. What would prove their love for God? What did the Lord require of the people? What would be the result? 

a. As the people were about to go in to possess the land the Lord gave commandments for them to do, so they would fear the Lord and keep all His statutes. (Deut 6:1-2) 

b. They were to diligently keep the commandments the Lord God commanded them. They were to do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord…(Deut 6:17-18)

We see: Doing – keeping – obeying the Word of God, God’s commands is how they showed their love for God.


How do I show, prove my love for God?

Am I obeying His Word?


2. What did Paul say in Romans about all, Jews and Greeks, who are under sin?

There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Rom 3:18)

We see:

men/women were to obey and fear God,


men/women DON’T fear God.


Do I fear God?

If not, why not?


3. In contrast, what do you learn about the demons?

Demons believe, and shudderfear God(Jam 2:19)

THINK: Does their belief save them?

REASON: To believe and fear God is not proof of saving faith.


4. Demons believe, well what do demons believe about Christ?

They bore witness to Christ’s deity, the Son of God. (Mat 8:29-31)


5. What else do demons believe and do?

a. Demons believe there is an appointed time for their judgment(Mat 8:29-31)

b. Demons believe in the existence of the abyss, the place of punishment. (Luk 8:31)

c. Demons submit to the power of Christ’s Word. (Mar 5:1-13)


6. What do you see if you compare the demons belief to the definition of faith.

Demons have a thorough Conviction of who God and Jesus are.


Demons have NOT surrendered, NOT Committed, themselves to the Lord.

Their leader is Satan. They hate God, the Lord and the Spirit. 

Demons do NOT have a Conduct that gives evidence to a conviction and commitment to the Lord.

They have not changed.

They are not righteous, holy, godly, or heavenly.


Of course the Cross References are not exhaustive. 

If you feel like digging, perhaps search out ‘demons’ by doing a Word Search. It’s all just a tap away!

Video CR-Cross Reference/Word Search >

CR-Cross Reference/Word Search Tutorial >


READ God’s Word

How does James conclude, (Jam 2:20)?

James says this fellow is foolish [empty, hollow] to think one can have a faith without works.

Such faith is useless!

Why is it useless?

Because it cannot save!


 What Did We LEARN

Sum It Up!


The 12 tribes, the Converted Jews, believe.


The Demons believe.

They have conviction, but no commitment or conduct.

The Demons also shudder, fear God.

Man is foolish to think one can have a faith without works.


Understand: James is telling us that intellectual assent, mental assent, does NOT save us.

Understand: Saving faith is a surrender to Jesus, then He gives us a new heart and His Spirit that becomes an active force in our lives, where we demonstrate a changed life.


Could We Have a Better Offer?

To be brought into an incredible relationship with the LIVING God,

with His presence within us through His Spirit,

made alive,

making us new,

given new promises,

a new hope and

a new future!


Hear God Speak 


What’s the difference between my belief and the demons belief? 

Is my faith transforming my life, right now?

Do I fear God? 

Have I thought I could have a faith without works?

Why would I think Jesus left heaven to confine Himself to the womb of a woman He created, to become flesh purposely to die for me, was Resurrected, now sitting at the right hand of God the Father,

so I could just say a prayer, and walk away unchanged?

Am I willing to recognize that I am foolish, empty, hollow, lulled into a false confidence?

What am I willing to do?

Respond to God…LIVE it out!


Our Day Has Come to an End!

You have heard God speak.

Were you quick to hear?

How has God moved you, stirred you?

Contemplate all that He is teaching you.

Oh, talk to the Loving Father!


Journal Your Notes

I can’t encourage you enough to put your discovery in your Notes.

Record the personal things God has touched you with.

Video Tutorial>  Notes Tutorial >


Turn What We LEARNED Into Prayer


FATHER GOD, more vital Truths to thank you for. Oh, I pray You have touched hearts today! May Your Word to us burn down to our souls! For You tell us Your Word is like fire and like a hammer which shatters a rock, (Jer 23:29). Your Word is the Sword of the Spirit, (Eph 6:17) and sharper than a two-edged sword, (Heb 4:12).  Oh Father, again I ask that we would examine our hearts, our lives, our faith! What is the difference between our faith and the demons faith? Oh, to think that they believe and fear You is quite a shock! But even though they are thoroughly convinced about You, and You, Lord Jesus, and You, Holy Spirit, they hate these Truths and they hate You. Their belief has not saved or changed them. Oh Father, may we recognize and admit if we have been foolish, thinking such faith, without a change, can save us. Help us to pull everything we have seen in Your Word together and understand when You raise a dead sinner to new life, You give us a living faith with a new heart, and YOU, the Almighty God, come to dwell within us through Your Spirit, (Eze 36:26-27)! In fact, in Christ, we have the whole Godhead in us, (Col 2:9). May we not be foolish, but know that we know, that a definite, radical change takes place. We by no means are perfect, and have much that needs to be refined, but may we stand firm on Truth, knowing that faith without works is DEAD! And Dead faith is not a saving faith! Thank You for Your Words to us that are pure, perfect and have the power to renew our minds and transform us, (Rom 12:2)!


Next: We will LOOK @ Living Dynamic Faith, verses 21-26.

Need the GODcha Bible Guide? Go to and subscribe.




About the Author:

Janette has started Bible studies everywhere God has moved her—most filling up to over a 100 men, women, young adults and kids. She continues to make disciples and raise up leaders, training and teaching the Word of God.

Leave A Comment