Jesus went to church and cast an unclean spirit out of a man. This event amazed those present. They said, “For with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits and they do obey him. And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee” (Mark 1:27-28). We all want to see the honor of our Lord spread. This scripture says deliverance ministry launched Christ’s fame immediately.
Jesus didn’t waste any time flowing in Holy Ghost power after the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. At the River Jordan Jesus was baptized by John. John was the last of the Old Testament prophets. I consider him a transitional prophet. Today’s prophets, five-fold ascension gift prophets, are of a different order, the order of Melchizedek (Ephesians 4:11). During this baptism of water the heavens were opened unto him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him” (Matthew 3:16). This baptism is the start of Christ’s ministry. Christ means the anointed one. Jesus did not anoint himself. He was anointed by the Holy Ghost. This is when the anointing came on him.
HOLY GHOST MINISTRY ACTIVATION
The Holy Ghost coming on Jesus activated his ministry. It will put your ministry in motion too. In the church an unclean spirit spoke saying “let us alone” (Mark 1:23-28). “Unclean”, Greek akathartos, means morally corrupted, sexually perverted, debased, lustful, lewd in thought and life. Jesus rebuked it and cast it out. In other words he told it to shut up and come out of the man. This unclean spirit is also known as a pneuma spirit.
There are several demonic pneuma spirits mentioned in scripture including: Pneuma poneron, an evil spirit (Acts 19:15). Pneuma python, a python spirit or spirit of divination (Acts 16:16). Pneuma plana, a seducing spirit or spirit of error (1 Timothy 4:1). Pneuma astheneias, the spirit of infirmity (Luke 13:11). Pneuma alalon, a dumb spirit, one without speech (Mark 9:17). Pneuma akathartos, an unclean spirit (Mark 1:23).
Christ did not ignore this unclean spirit, he cast it out. Christ never taught his followers to ignore demonic spirits. He modeled the way for us regarding confrontations with demon powers and healing the sick. Scripture declares, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).
WAIT FOR THE PROMISE
When Holy Ghost anointing falls so do blessings, miracles, breakthroughs, demonic confrontations, healings and deliverance. Christ did not perform any miracles, heal any sick, raise any dead, or cast out any devils until the anointing of the Holy Ghost came on him. This is why He told his disciples after his resurrection to wait for the promise of the Father, the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:4). That gift would endue them with power, the same power that launched Christ into ministry, cast out devils, healed the sick, and performed mighty signs and miracles among the people. These waiting believers and later others were baptized with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues (Acts 2:1-8; 8:14-18; 10:45-46; 19:5-6). They were ready to cast out devils, heal the sick and testify of the resurrection of Christ.
Word got out that Jesus was anointed by the Holy Ghost. He was the Son of God with power. Multitudes followed him and were healed of sickness and delivered from demon powers. “For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues. And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God” (Mark 3:10-11).
A HOUSE DIVIDED
A house divided cannot stand and demon spirits cannot cast out demon spirits. Another time Jesus cast a deaf spirit out of a person. Afterwards he was accused of casting out devils through Beelzebub the chief among devils. “And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake and the people wondered. But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils” (Luke 11:14-15). Instead of these religious rejoicing over the miracle of deliverance and healing they moved into false accusation against the King of kings. They were treading on dangerous turf, blaspheming the Holy Ghost. Blaspheming the Holy Ghost happens when people “continually practice” calling the wonderful works of the Holy Spirit the works of Satan.
Beelzebub was known as the chief of devils and lord of unclean spirits. This is like saying Jesus cast out devils by the power of Satan. Jesus responded by asking, “How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself and be divided he cannot stand but hath an end” (Mark 3:23-26). Notice how Jesus answered:
- Satan cannot cast out Satan.
- A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.
- A house divided against itself cannot stand.
- If Satan attacks himself he is divided and cannot stand.
A “house divided” can also mean a family divided or a family of devils divided. “And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges” (Matthew 12:27). The answer is these religious accusers were not casting out demons or healing the sick therefore the fruit of their own ministries would judge them.
The bottom line is that Satan cannot cast out Satan. An unclean spirit cannot cast out an unclean spirit. A wicked spirit cannot cast out a wicked spirit. An evil spirit cannot cast out an evil spirit. Nor can a spirit of sickness cast out a spirit of sickness. Scripture confirms, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth” (Philippians 2:10).
EARLY CHURCH AND DELIVERANCE
The apostles of Christ and the early Church fathers cast out devils and healed the sick. They taught that all believers were given spiritual authority by Christ and equipped by the power of the Holy Ghost to cast out spirits and heal all manners of sickness:
- They knew demons and evils spirits existed.
- They understood that demons possessed, influenced, and made people sick.
- They taught that Christ gave His disciples authority over all devils.
- They knew devils had no choice but obey the name of Jesus.
Tertullian, (160-220 AD) was an early church father and defender of the Christian faith. In “Apology of Tertullian”[i] he responds to “treason against the gods” in a letter to Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and the Roman Senate. In his defense of Christianity he emphasized power over demons (and the gods of Rome) through the name of Christ.
- How demonic spirits inflict diseases and stir up mischief.
“It will be sufficient to my purpose to explain their operations, or their ways of acting upon the sons of men. I say, then, that the ruin of mankind is their whole employment; these malicious spirits were bent upon mischief from the beginning, and fatally auspicious in their first attempt, in undoing man as soon as he was made; and in like manner they practice the same destructive methods upon all his posterity, by inflicting diseases upon their bodies, and throwing them into sad disasters, and stirring up sudden tempests and preternatural (abnormal) emotions in the soul; and they are fitted by nature for both these kinds of evil, the subtlety (difficult to detect) and fineness of their substance giving them an easy access to body and soul both. These spirits certainly have great abilities for mischief.”
- Philosophy (school of thought or belief system) is not what demons respond but the name of Christ.
“Philosopher is a name the devils value not; they stand in no awe of a philosopher’s beard, nor will the hem of his pallium (garment) cure any diseases. But Christians did not only outlive them in virtue, but outdid them in power. For Christ was a name that made the very devils tremble; a thing which the philosophers with all their mighty wisdom were so far from pretending to, that they worshipped those very demons next to their gods. So that Christianity and philosophy differ just as much as heaven and earth, as a name that can do everything, and a mere empty title.”
- All authority and power over devils is in the name of Christ.
“All the authority and power we have over them is from our naming the name of Christ and recalling to their memory the woes with which God threatens them at the hand of Christ their judge, and which they expect one day to overtake them. Fearing Christ in God and God in Christ, they become subject to the servants of God and Christ. So at one touch and breathing, overwhelmed by the thought and realization of those judgment fires, they leave at our command the bodies they have entered, unwilling and distressed, and before your very eyes, put to an open shame.”
- Demon spirits sow murders, wars, adulteries, extreme behaviors, and all kinds of wickedness.
“God, when He had made the whole world, and subjected things earthly to man, and arranged the heavenly elements for the increase of fruits and rotation of the seasons, and appointed this divine law–for these things also He evidently made for man–committed the care of men and of all things under heaven to angels whom He appointed over them. But the angels transgressed this appointment. and were captivated by love of women, and begat children who are those that are called demons; and besides, they afterwards subdued the human race to themselves, partly by magical writings, and partly by fears and the punishments they occasioned, and partly by teaching them to offer sacrifices, and incense, and libations, of which things they stood in need after they were enslaved by lustful passions; and among men they sowed murders, wars, adulteries, intemperate deeds, and all wickedness.”
- Deliverance was common with “many of our Christian men exorcising demons in the name of Jesus Christ.”
“Numberless demoniacs throughout the whole world and in your city, many of our Christian men, exorcising them in the name of Jesus Christ who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, have healed and do heal, rendering helpless, and driving the possessing demon out of the men though they could not be cured by all other exorcists and those who use incantations and drugs.”
Cyprian was Bishop of Carthage, modern Tunis wedged between Algeria and Libya in North Africa, and died September 14, 258 AD. Cyprian was introduced into magic and sorcery by his parents[iii] but later converted to Christianity.
- He wrote that evil spirits “immediately obey us” and are cast out.
“Nevertheless these evil spirits adjured by the living God immediately obey us, submit to us, own our power, and are forced to come out of the bodies they possess.”
deliverance ministry and healing the sick was common and practiced by the followers of Christ throughout the world in the first and second century. When Christ called his disciples he “gave them authority over unclean spirits to cast them out and to preach the gospel” (Matthew 10:1), to “bind the strong man” (Mark 3:27), and then to take his goods. The goods were captive people harassed and made sick by demonic powers.
Jesus taught when unclean, vexing, harassing, tormenting or demonizing spirits are cast out of people the Kingdom of God is manifesting. “But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you” (Luke 11:20). Deliverance is the children’s bread.
If we want what the early church had then we have to preach what the early church preached. You have been given spiritual authority to cast out demons and heal the sick in the mighty name of Jesus. Use your authority just as the early disciples and early church fathers.
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