Commentary on Demonic Possession by John MacArthur

Commentary on Demonic Possession by John MacArthur

1. Demons can only function outside of a Believer

The Holy Spirit of God dwells in those who belong to Christ. Thus, our body becomes the Temple of the Spirit of God. The evil one cannot touch them. Even if Satan is the ruler of the world, we have overcome the world through Jesus.

The enemy has no dominion over Christians. Hence, he can only function outside.

1 John 5:18
We know that everyone born of God does not sin, but the One who is born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.


2. The enemy has no internal access

Satan and his demons have no internal access because of the Holy Spirit who dwells among Believers. However, they can still tempt and influence us if we give in. Therefore, we need to resist sin.

1 John 4:4
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them because the one in you is greater than the one in the world.”


3. He can’t touch you unless you keep sinning

Those in Christ have overcome the evil one. The devil can’t touch you unless the LORD permits it to do so. However, it can influence a Christian, usually by nibbling at your weakest point, which are the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

1 John 5:18-21
We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.


4. Only Jesus and His apostles can cast out demons

To resist the devil has nothing to do with chasing away demons. “You don’t have Apostolic power. You can’t go around casting out demons like Christ and the apostles,” MacArthur said.

Defeating the evil one is about turning to Christ. The power that works in us is the power that raised Christ from the dead.

Matthew 10:1
Summoning His 12 disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to drive them out and to heal every disease and sickness. These are the names of the 12 apostles…


5. God may allow Satan to torment you

There are times when the Lord uses demons for his purpose. For example, Apostle Paul asked God to remove a messenger from Satan.

He was having a hard time emotionally and physically, and he pleaded with the LORD to lift his pain. Yet the Lord said no. He told Paul, “My strength is perfected in your weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12)

God also did the same thing to Apostle Peter. Jesus told him, “Satan desires to have you that he may sift you like wheat.” God is sovereign and causes all things to work together according to His sovereign purpose.

Luke 22:31
“Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you like wheat.”


How do you resist and stand firm?

  • Do not love the world or anything that is in the world. The world is passing away.
  • Do not cultivate sin and the pride of your heart.
  • Know to him, who can do far more abundantly beyond all we ask or think according to the power that works within us.
  • Come to Jesus: If the enemy approaches, you don’t fight the battle but go to the commander, and he’ll come out and fight that battle for you.
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