In My name they will cast out demons… – Mark 16:17
As believers, we sing many songs about Satan’s defeat and the victory gained for us in Jesus’ name. The lyrics to one such song is as follows:
Satan’s defeated, hallelujah!
Satan’s defeated, hallelujah!
We have the victory, hallelujah!
We have the victory, hallelujah!
Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess, Jesus is Lord, Jesus is Lord.
Every knee shall bow, every tongue will confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord.
I love that song because it is about Satan’s defeat and our victory in Christ Jesus. However, when I first began to learn about my spiritual authority in Christ and was asked by the late Pastor Noel Bruce if I was afraid of Satan, I shamefully replied, “Yes.” I am of the opinion that many believers, like myself back then, are afraid of Satan, yet boisterously sing songs about his defeat and the victory acquired through Jesus’ sacrifice every day in church.
Lyrics to yet another song we sing are as follows:
I am a soldier, in the army of the Lord, I am a soldier, in the army!
I am a soldier, in the army of the Lord, I am a soldier, in God’s army!
I got my war clothes on, in the army of the Lord!
I got my war clothes on, in the army!
I don’t mean for you to stop singing songs of victory, but there is a need to understand why we partake in these ‘battle cries.’ Yes, they are battle cries. Clearly the war is won but the battle will be ongoing until Jesus returns. Until that time comes, a huge part of our responsibility as believers is clearly stated in Luke Ch. 10 v. 19, *“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Someone might be thinking that was said to the disciples and not to us or that was at a different era. However, Jesus said in Mark Ch. 16 v. 17-18, “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues…they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover” Christ’s disciples are those who believe and we, my comrades, are believers.
Now, there are two kinds of battles that all believers are supposed to be involved in. The first is the battle of self and the second one is the battle of the deliverance of others. The battle of self involves three things. The first is resisting temptation— “Therefore…Resist the devil and he will flee from you” James Ch. 4 v. 7. The second is changing your way of thinking— “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Rom. Ch. 12 v. 2. The third is adjusting your attitude— “…Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” Rom. Ch. 12 v. 1.
The battle of the deliverance of others consists of knowing. Knowing who you are in Christ Jesus and more importantly, (according to Watchman Nee), knowing who Christ is in you.
Many believers are uncomfortable with the fact that they have to battle evil spirits and demons from time to time. They are okay with speaking with new tongues and laying on of hands for healing but opt to bypass and ignore the very first line of the scripture verse in Mark Ch. 16 v. 17, “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons.” The spirit of fear cripples some believers when the idea of engaging in spiritual warfare becomes part of the battle strategy.
Adding further to their apprehension, there are believers who think only those who hold office in the church, like pastors and prophets for example, are anointed to cast out demons. Then there are those who believe if they do not trouble demons, they will not trouble them. To the latter I say, from the day you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you troubled the entire kingdom of Satan and became a target— *“Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down” Rev. Ch. 12 v. 10.
To the former I say, read again Mark 16 v. 17-18, “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues…they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.”
Every time Jesus mentioned Satan in the bible, it was to raise awareness about the characteristics of who we’re up against. Knowledge about your adversary and his stratagem helps to keep you alert and vigilant when in battle. “For we are not ignorant of his devices” 2 Cor. 2 v. 11. So, let us take a look at what Jesus had to say about Satan.
Matthew Ch. 4 vs. 3 says he is the tempter— “Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
Matthew Ch. 13 vs. 19, Satan is called the wicked one— “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.”
Matthew Ch. 13 vs. 24, 25 & 39 identifies him as the enemy— 24“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares (dangerous weeds resembling corn when young) among the wheat and went his way. 39The enemy who sowed them is the devil…”
In fact, Satan means adversary in Hebrew.
He is the root cause of sickness and infirmity in Luke Ch. 13 v. 16— “So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound – think of it – for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”
In the book of John Ch. 8 v. 44, Jesus calls him a murderer, a liar and the inventor of lying— “You are of your father the devil and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
Incidentally, Satan is also called the ruler of this world in John Ch. 12 vs. 31, “Now is the judgment of this world: now the ruler of this world will be cast out.”
Matthew Ch. 4 vs. 3-11 tells of the encounter Jesus had with Satan in the wilderness and was also our first lesson in spiritual warfare. 3Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
4But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
5Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,
6and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge concerning you, in their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone’”
7Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not test the LORD your God.’”
8Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
9And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
10Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”
11Then the devil left Him and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
There are a few things to note from the scripture above: First, Satan’s unrelenting advancements to get Jesus to sin. Second, Jesus’ unrelenting and unwavering stance. Third, use of the written word by both of them. Fourth, all that Satan has to offer man in return for his soul is represented in verse 8 and for that reason he is called the ‘ruler of this world.’
So, now you are aware of who we are up against and how he is dealt with, it is time to get into battle gear. The word of God clearly states in 2 Cor. Ch. 10 v. 4, “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the flesh)— This means it is not a battle fought in the physical therefore, our weapons are not guns or knives; but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.”
Paul explains in Ephesians Ch. 6 vs. 12-18 in the following:
10Finally, brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil.
12 *For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Our fight is not with another human being but with Satan and his well-organized ranks of evil spirits and demons.
13Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16above all, taking the shield of faith with which, you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
18praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
All of the underlined words above represent the power of Christ in us. Hence the reason why Paul encouraged the brethren in verse 10 to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” for *“He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” 1 John Ch.4 v.4.
Saints, Jesus did not go through the process of leaving heaven to become a man, taking on our physical nature; to sacrifice His life for us and take back what was craftily taken away from man by the devil, just for us to be afraid of Satan. Hebrews Ch. 2 v. 14 explains, *“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.”
My fellow believers, who have been partakers of deliverance services, it is very important for you to understand that continuously repeating the phrase, ‘the blood of Jesus’ does not inflict any spiritual wounds in the spiritual warfare. Jesus used the word of God, Paul said the sword of the Spirit is the word of God. Not a phrase said repeatedly.
Some people even engage in beating the person whom they are delivering with a bible or their fists, which only serves to make the person sore. Please desist from doing so or stop anyone who engages in that sort of physical assault for the sake of deliverance. It is unscriptural.
Casting out demons is just a matter of commanding the demons to come out, in the name of Jesus. Paul’s encounter with the slave girl in Acts Ch. 16 v. 16-18 depicts the aforementioned— 16“Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling.
17This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.”
18And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out that very hour.””
Comrades, because of the sacrifice Jesus made, there is no need to fear Satan, demons or evil spirits; for we are well equipped to deal with the “fiery darts” aimed in our direction in every aspect of our lives, “…for the battle is not yours, but God’s” 2Chronicles Ch. 20 vs. 15.
God bless every one of you who read this blog entry and may you recognize that greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. Amen!
All scripture was taken from the New King James Version.
* – Scripture used when taking part in deliverance services.