Since Jesus is our great example in all we do, especially in spiritual warfare, what lessons can we learn from how He delivered the man in the Capernaum synagogue (Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-37).
LESSON FOR TODAY: It is not coincidental that it was Jesus’ presence and teaching that caused the demon to react (see also Mark 5:39). When Jesus is lifted up and His Word communicated, demons who are present will be affected for they can’t stand to hear these things. Correct teaching of God’s Word is essential for a church or individual to grow spiritually. Don’t be surprised when it stirs up opposition against a person, family or church. Satan will do what he can to silence it, to keep the light from shining in his kingdom of darkness.
LESSON FOR TODAY: The first ocassion of an act or event in the Bible often sets the prototype for others to come, and that is true of this first deliverance in the Caernaum synagogue. The exact methods used by Jesus to cast out spirits are mentioned in only five specific cases and in only one generalized case (which appears first on the following list):
Matt 8:16: “he cast out the spirits with a word.”
Matt 15:28: “Then Jesus answered her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed instantly.”
Mark 1:25: “But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent, and come out of him!’”
Mark 5:8: “For he had said to him, ‘Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!’”
Mark 9:25: “He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ‘You dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again.’”
Luke 13:12-13: “He called her and said to her, ‘Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.’ And he laid his hands upon her ….”
So generally speaking, it is true to say that Jesus cast out the spirits “with a word.” This refers to a short sentence or phrase according to the five examples given above, and not to some singular word. And what was that “phrase?” According to the above examples it was: “Be it done,” “Come out (3 times)” and “You are freed.” Jesus cast out spirits by a verbal command. In three of these cases, the command was, “Come out” (exerchomai ek), which is an adjuration. In the remaining case[s] it was, “Be it done,” [and “You are freed,”] which are decrees of accomplishment. In two of these cases, He accompanied the verbal command with a verbal “rebuke.” This rebuke was once stated as being, “Be silent.” Hence, the commands used by Jesus contained variety, being tailored to fit the occasion or the subject. He used no rigid formula, no incantations, no rituals, no charms, etc.as did Hebrew exorcists. There are no special prayers, no ‘magic’ words or phrases to use or pray, no set way of “doing deliverance.” Each situation is different, but all include the believer using Jesus’ power and authority to stop the demons’ work and to command them to be gone. Be sensitive to God’s Spirit when dealing with such things and proceed as you feel Him leading you. Don’t expect Him to lead the same as He does others, nor will He always lead you the same way. It’s not our words or actions that bring deliverance, it’s always and only His power. Just tap into it!
LESSON FOR TODAY: Always forbid the demons to return when you cast them out (Mark 9:25). It’s good to forbid any others to replace the ones driven out. Also forbid them to enter anyone else but to go where Jesus sends them. All this must be done in Jesus’ name and power. Ask God for wisdom and be sensitive as to how He leads.
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)