Mt. 3:4 π Acts 13:8-10 π Acts 16:18; 2nd π 1 Cor. 9:25
In the casting out of evil spirits, the voice may be strong or weak, as it is governed by the circumstances of the occasion. If it is weak, the weakness may be caused by fear, ignorance, an immaturely developed spirit, or it may be the result of the strength of the opposing spirit. The Holy Spirit who energizes the man for the act of "casting out," is of necessity hindered in His operations by these factors in the believer. Especially is an undeveloped spirit a limitation, for this shows the non-use of the spirit in general conflict. The spirit grows strong in maintained resistance and conflict with the powers of darkness, and by obtaining complete mastery over soul and body, as did John the Baptist in the wilderness ( Mt. 3:4 ); for "every man that striveth for the mastery" ( 1 Cor. 9:25; top ) over himself, gains a capacity of spirit for the Holy Spirit's energizing, which can be obtained in no other way.
The special influx of the Holy Spirit which equips believers for co-operating with Him in wielding the authority of Christ over evil spirits, is dealt with in another chapter. ( Acts 13:8-10 ) The Holy Spirit in the spirit of the believer, is the power at the back of the act of casting out, and the servant of God should watch keenly not to move to any aggressive step apart from Him. Paul endured for many days the attack of the evil spirit upon him through the woman possessed with a spirit of divination, but there was a moment when, "sore troubled," the Apostle turned upon it ( Acts 16:18; top ), and, speaking direct to the spirit and not to the girl, commanded it to come out of her. The believer who can discern the sense of the spirit knows that moment, and co-working with the Spirit of God moving in his spirit, finds the power of the Name of Jesus over the demons of Satan, as effective to-day as in the time of the Apostles and the Early Fathers of the Church.
The chief factor in the casting out, or commanding evil spirits to come out of a man, is FAITH IN THE POWER OF THE NAME OF JESUS. This faith is based on knowledge that evil spirits must obey the authority of Christ, exercised by Him through those who are united to Him. Any doubt on this point will render the commanding fruitless.
The casting out is always done by speaking directly to the spirit in possession, and in the Name of Christ, the believer saying:
"I charge thee in the Name of Jesus Christ to come out." ( Acts 16:18; top )
[11.16] The True Fasting from Food in Conflict
[11.18] Can Evil Spirits Be Transmitted
11: War upon the Powers of Darkness - Table of Contents Table of Contents π Topical Index
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