Does the Scripture teach that a true believer can be possessed by demons?
…in them, or be possessed by an evil spirit… Again, I’m just going to say what Scripture says, Let’s ask this: Biblically, what can the devil do to believers? Tempt them. How do we know that? Christ was tempted. Right. He is called “the tempter,” right? And Paul feared lest the Christians at Corinth were being tempted just like Eve was tempted. So yes, he can tempt Christians. What else can he do to Christians? Remember what he asked permission to do to Peter? Sift him. Sift him. What do you think that is? Probably another way to say “tempt.” What is temptation? Temptation is luring to sin. Not causing to sin. But enticing to it. Peter was sifted. He was put in a situation where he denied the Lord. He was sifted to see what he was made of. Yes, he was tried. What’s something else that Satan can do to a child of God? He accuses. Day and night, he accuses our brethren. He can accuse us. He can slander us. What else can he do? He can tempt, sift… Slander, accuse… can he deceive us? He is the deceiver. And the thing is with temptation is a lie, right? There’s always a lie. Yes, any times he tempts us and we fall into the sin he tempts us into, he’s deceived us. What’s something else he can do to us? Now he goes about seeking to devour, but can he actually devour a true Christian? What can he do? With God’s permission, what can he do? (Job) What did he do? He destroyed his children, his wealth, his health. He can take your health away if God grants him permission. But he asks permission to sift. Let me tell you what, he’s like a dog on a chain. He can only do what is within that little dog pen that he’s allowed to run in, and God can reel the chain in or let it out anytime God determines. Is there any account where a Christian is possessed? There isn’t. There isn’t. Flesh and blood, but what do we wrestle against? So there’s a fight. We can wrestle. He can do battle with us. But when it comes to possession… What does Satan do to lost people that he can’t do to us? What’s true of Satan’s relationship with lost people? I’ve been memorizing Ephesians chapters 1 and 2. What’s something that’s said there concerning, the lost do what? They follow the course of the world, they follow the prince of the power of the air, and what’s he described as? The spirit that’s now at work in the sons of disobedience, he’s at work in them. He’s actually got control of them. Can anybody think of somewhere else that Scripture talks about? He’s their father. says, “we know that we are from God, but the whole world” does what? “It lies in the power of the evil one.” He is the spirit at work in the sons of disobedience. They all lie within his power. He has dominion over them. Does he have dominion over us? No. He that is with us is greater than he that is in the world. In fact, Christ likens Himself to what? The One who is stronger than the strongman, and has the ability to come and bind him up and take what’s his, and that’s what He’s done. He’s freed us. He’s no longer our father. We’re no longer in that bondage. We’re no longer possessed in that way. By this it is evident who are the children of God and who are the children of the devil, whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. I’ll tell you another thing Satan can not do to God’s children, he can not so control us as to move us into a place where we practice sin and don’t love the brethren. He can not do it. Can he tempt us at times to fall into sin? At times to have unloving gestures towards the brethren? Yes, but can he move us into the practice of that? No way! He does not have the power to do it. In fact, if that’s true in your life, you are of the devil. You are not of God. Whoever practices sin is not of God. They’re of the devil. That’s specifically and exactly what the Scripture says. Let me tell you something else, you talk about his question: can a Christian have an evil spirit? Now obviously they can have an evil spirit that tempts them, that they wrestle with, that brings spiritual warfare to them, but you know what’s true of every child of God? What do they have in them? The Holy Spirit. And in fact, in Romans 8:9, “you however are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you,” now listen to this: “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ, does not belong to Him.” So if you do belong to Him, you have the Spirit, and where that Spirit is, it’s the Holy Spirit and I’ll tell you this, unclean spirits and the Holy Spirit do not abide together and live together in the same place. Those that we were told about in Scripture that were possessed, Acts 8:5, “Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ the crowds of one accord paid attention to what was being said to Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs that he did, unclean spirits came out of many who were possessed.” But they’re the lost folks. Mark 7:25, “Immediately, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an unclean spirit heard of Him and came and fell down at His feet.” Mark 5:18, the demoniac, you know the one that had the legion of demons, “As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons…” But these are all lost people. Never do you have an example in the Scriptures of somebody that’s saved that’s said to have been possessed.