PAUL'S THIRD MISSIONARY JOURNEY -The Exorcists
What is an Exorcist?
At Ephesus, Paul performed many extraordinary miracles of healing and deliverance. So powerful was “the name of Jesus” when he cast out the demons, that onlooking exorcists also began to use the name of Jesus. Exorcists are men who cast out spirits by the power of another spirit. Actually, a bigger demon pushes out a smaller one. This is very common in India where people go to
exorcists to be healed. They pay money to have a spirit expelled from them but unfortunately they receive a greater bondage, for then they are controlled by another spirit.
Formulas Do Not Work
“We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.” The exorcists who are mentioned here thought they could use Paul's formula (the name of Jesus), but they were in for a big surprise. When they tried to expel a powerful demon from a man, the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
Demons Know Who is Who
The spirit world knows who is who. The demons recognized Paul immediately. They knew he was a messenger from the kingdom of light and that he had special authority over them. Thus, the demons were terrified of him. The spirits also knew that these unconverted exorcists were children of darkness held in bondage by Satan, and that they could not have the mastery over them. Satan's kingdom is very confused, disorganized, and competitive. When the seven men attempted to cast out this evil spirit from the man, using the name of Jesus, the man with the evil spirit attacked them with great violence and overcame them. This reminds us of the maniac of Gadara whom men could not bind, not even with chains and fetters (cf. Mk. 5:3-4). Only Jesus could tame him.
Demons know who people are, and they know if we are real. They know if a Christian is living his message or not. There was a missionary in a certain country who had tremendous authority over demons. One day an outsider offered the missionary a handsome sum of money, but the incident was very dishonest. That night when the missionary tried to cast out demons in the service, the demons
replied, “We had the utmost respect for you until you took that money. We will not obey you, you have no authority over us.” The man of God quickly returned the money. We should understand from this lesson that we are being watched all the time. The spirit world knows who we are and if we are real. The only way we will be able to bind the bigger principalities and powers is by first being dead to self. We cannot be hypocritical and expect to have authority over the Evil One.
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