Casting Out Devils
Mention the Great Commission and most Christians only think of “preaching the gospel to every creature.” Yet Jesus gave other commandments in the sixteenth chapter of Mark. One of which in verse 17 is to cast out devils. That commandment must be of importance since it is listed before speaking in tongues and laying hands on the sick.
Many churches in Western nations don’t do deliverance ministry at all. Some ministers believe Christians cannot have a demon. I can testify that is not true. Over the years I’ve witnessed numerous devils cast out of God’s people. I’ve also done my share of exorcisms.
During the mid-1990s I became close friends with “Anita” (not her real name), a middle-aged woman who was frequently placed on my team during our church’s street evangelism outreaches. Despite her faithfulness in sharing the gospel, Anita was often oppressed. One particular afternoon while I prayed for Anita, these words came out of her mouth: “You can’t have her! You can’t have her!” I recognized this as Satan speaking through my friend and commanded him to come out in Jesus’ name. Anita fell over and was motionless on the floor for several minutes.
Sadly, my friend didn’t stay free as she continued giving place to the devil through bitterness. One night after an outreach, Anita burst into the church yelling wicked accusations against the evangelism pastor. She had to be forcibly removed from the premises. The last time I had any contact with Anita was when a mutual friend handed me a note from her laced with profanity.
Christians can become “repossessed” by being disobedient to God’s word. After healing the man by the pool called Bethesda, Jesus told him in John 5:14, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” Jesus also warned in Matthew 12…
43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.
44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.
45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”
Every human being is going to be full of something. One must feed on God’s word to stay strong spiritually especially after receiving deliverance. Otherwise, that leaves room for the devil to get in.
I like what Jim Kaseman says: “If you talk more about what the devil is doing than what God is doing, then you are a devil worshipper.” We don’t need to be demon hunters looking for demons behind every doorknob. But when they manifest, we must be prepared to deal with them.
“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." - Mark 16:17-18