Daily Devotional: Day 84
“Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?’” (Acts 19:13-15, NKJV).
Acts chapter 19 tells us that Paul entered the city of Ephesus, and for several months, taught the people about Jesus Christ. While Paul was in the city, God did unusual miracles through him. At one point, even his aprons or handkerchiefs were placed on the sick and the diseases as well as demons left. Observing this extraordinary phenomenon, some Jewish exorcists decided it would be a great idea to invoke the Name of Jesus as part of their exorcism ritual. Among these were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest. Much to their chagrin, however, these seven men discovered that demons know the difference between authorized use of Jesus’ Name and unauthorized use of the Name.
One day, the seven men wanted to cast out an evil spirit by invoking the Jesus preached by Paul. But the evil spirit was quick to call them out, saying: “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” The evil spirit subsequently charged on them and gave them a thorough beating. Lesson: Evil spirits are not ignorant of our spiritual standing and our spiritual authority in Christ. They can tell a true Christian when they meet one. Every true Christian has, by default, the spiritual authority to command evil spirits to flee (see James 4:7). However, when a false believer uses Jesus’ Name for exorcism, he does so illegally, because his action is not backed by a faith-relationship with Jesus Christ.
As a child of God, if you must cast out demons, you are not allowed to appeal to the faith of Paul, or the faith of your pastor, or the faith of any other person, dead or alive. The only name you are authorized to invoke is Jesus. And this is the Name demons will obey without question. To command evil spirits to depart, stand in the authority of Jesus’ Name and speak for yourself as a believer. This is casting out demons: 101.
In the Name of Jesus, every demonic activity in my life, I command you to cease. And I forbid you, satan, from manipulating my life. Amen.
For further study: Luke 10:17-20