Paul and his party did not seek her out; she followed them. She shouted at them and acknowledged who they were. Lastly, Page comments on the practice of exorcism in the modern world. He suggests three options. This is concluded to be unscriptural and not a viable option. Second, we can acknowledge that demons exist and that possession is possible, but we must see the incidence of demon possession as being limited to the ministry of Jesus and the Apostles.
The flaw here is that it is difficult to maintain scripturally that there is no room at all for the potential for demonic possession and the provision of casting out of demons.
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Third, we may accept the reality of demon possession and consider exorcism as a valid and appropriate way of treating it. At this, Page concludes:. It should be remembered that exorcism is not mentioned in the commissionings of the risen Lord. It should also be remembered that neither Jesus nor the apostles sought out demoniacs. It should not be cause for concern if the need for exorcism does not present itself. As the list of authors progresses, the reader may notice that there has not been any recognizable order to them.
Perhaps their order will be clear with this next author, John MacArthur Jr. His material is very strict in Scripture and presents some strong points which may conflict with points previously stated. He says:. No one today has authority over demons and disease like the apostles did.
Our method of dealing with Satan is to resist him, firm in our faith James ; 1 Peter Now this point of view is very different from those which precede it. MacArthur has his reasons and they must be dealt with by proponents of the spiritual warfare movement because the reasons are sound, biblical teachings. However, to put MacArthur into a category may be forcing too much of a constraint on his views. He strongly concludes time after time that Scripture does not warrant the kind of spiritual warfare which is practiced by many today, but rather it keeps calling the individual to repentance and faith in the One who has all power and authority.
Second, and perhaps the most important point, MacArthur points out that the miracles of Jesus were His messianic credentials and therefore must not be seen as normative for the believer today. Fourth, MacArthur warns that to believe signs and miracles are the key to evangelism is to slight the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit.
Hendrik Berkhof is an author who captures the exaltation of Christ in His full authority over the powers of evil. This text is a highly suggested read for every Christian. Read carefully his analysis especially as it pertains to the body of Christ, the church:. Less is too little.
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His point is that Christ is in complete control over the powers and that the evil powers do nothing that Christ does not allow them to do. Christ has overcome past tense the evil powers and we must live in the light of His victory not as if the battle is to be fought anew. The battle is still being fought, but it must be done according to the victor Who has already won.
Specifically, look for the element of command in the verses here. If there is the use of the imperative, thus a scriptural command, that statement must carry more authority and emphasis to the believer today than a Scripture which simply reports an allowance by God of some action. Again, all Scripture is relevant and controlling in all areas of life, yet there is a difference in the application of Scripture to life depending on what that Scripture says. If it is a command, we must apply it.
If it is a description of an event, we must learn from it, but this may not raise to the level of a command. In this event of the temptation of Jesus, we do not see Jesus casting Satan away with a certain mystical phrase or motion of the hand.
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No, His weapon is Scripture itself. They are considered evildoers. Their concern is more with their own life and glory than with the glory of the Lord. How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me. This Scripture shows the ultimate supremacy of Christ over the devil and even.
The disciples clearly had an expectation that they could cast out the demons, but they failed. Notice the different methodologies in this passage. The methodology Christ proposes here for the disciples is faith in Him see 1 John coupled with prayer and fasting. The methodology Christ uses is the action of rebuking the demon. We must cast out demons the way Christ tells us to do it because He has the authority, not us.
Does this mean we can cast out demons the way Christ casted out demons? We must look to Christ as our model for ministry, but we must also keep clear the difference between Him and us. When Christ commits acts of God because He is God, how can we expect to commit those same acts when not one of us is God? He is our model, but there is a difference.
Humans are not deity. Humans are under the authority of the deity, Jesus Christ. Here we have a scriptural command in the imperative. We must go and make disciples and in that process baptize and teach them. We have no authority of our own. Any authority we will ever have comes from Him, and in fact must come from Him. Also notice that there is no mention of casting out of demons in this passage. Notice that the Lord is still in complete control here.
It is up to Him to determine who to allow to use His power even if He did not apparently grant it.
He commands the disciples here not to hinder the one casting demons out in His name. Contrast this verse with Matthew and it will be clear that the Lord Jesus Christ will decide who wields His power. That is, it is still possible for one to cast out demons in the name of Jesus but not be under the authority of Jesus.
If one is unsure about this power, it would be wise and scriptural not to put the Lord to the test. This passage is the passage which would directly allow the believer today to do these things listed. This is the passage that Page passes over. Nonetheless, this passage would allow for a believer, today, to have the God-given authority to cast out demons.
We must not be prideful that we may be called on by God to wield this power. In this instance God would grant the authority.
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However, notice that this possibility is not in the form of a command. Jesus was specifically speaking to the seventy after they had come and reported to Him what they had done. He specifically gave them this authority. The lesson to be learned here is that we must keep our focus on the proper priority.
Our authority is only from Christ and for His glory.
Dr. Cory Gonyo
We must not take our eyes off of the author and perfecter of our faith. Christ and His work of redemption must remain unfailingly central and exalted in all our life and ministry. Any dealing with the devil must remain a peripheral to the ministry. Notice here the failure of the use of the name of the Lord Jesus as an incantation. If anyone is confident in himself that he is Christ's, let him consider this again within himself, that just as he is Christ's, so also are we.
Along with Ephesians , this passage delineates the true character of our spiritual warfare. Paul uses his authority here to build up believers. The weapons of spiritual warfare are divinely powerful and used to destroy speculations and every lofty thing brought against the true knowledge of God. This is another scriptural imperative command.
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This is something we must do. Prayer is the framework in which this battle is fought. All the armor is defensive except for the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Our posture is to stand in resistance to the enemy, Satan, not to attack. Each piece of armor refers to an Old Testament description of God Himself. We are to put on Christ as our protection. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. This is yet another, specific, scriptural command in the imperative.
Note that the stance in spiritual warfare here is focused on resistance of the devil which is intensely tied to drawing close to God in true and deep cleansing and repentance. We are to be humble and let God exalt us. We do not do the exalting.