The Early Disciples and Delierance

We have just seen the account of Paul casting demons out of the slave girl in Philippi (Acts 16:16-18).  We have the same power and authority in Jesus that Paul had, so we must learn from his example. 

LESSON FOR TODAY: Notice that Paul cast the demon(s) out in Jesus’ name (Acts 16:18).  We have no power or authority of our own to do this, only in Jesus.  Jesus has given us that same authority to use today (John 14:12; Matthew 28:18-20).  Satan deceives us into thinking we are powerless victims but that is a lie.  As God’s children we have access to the same resources Jesus did when He lived on earth.  For more information about this see the following sections:  II. LIFE OF JESUS,  C. SPIRITUAL WARFARE IN JESUS’ MINISTRY,   6. POWER & AUTHORITY GIVEN   (Luke 9:1; 10:1, 17-19).

We have this power available to us as well (Acts 1:8; John 14:12).  It is His power that transforms us into a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) as He gives us new life (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10).  His power delivers us from temptations and trials when we rely on it (1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 2:14).  He has power to put His divine nature in us (2 Peter 1:4) and give us live abundant now and eternal life in heaven (John 3:16; 10:10). 

            LESSON FOR TODAY:  How did the apostles cast demons out? Paul brought deliverance by a word (verbally, just as Jesus did).  He said, “In the name of Jesus I command you to come out”  (Acts 16:16-18). Paul was not establishing a pattern for us to following by using cloths to cast out demons. When God was showing everyone that Paul was His spokesman there was a time when just touching a cloth that Paul had used brought deliverance (Acts 19:12).  That was a special event, not a pattern to follow!  When directed by God, Paul defeated the demons in Elymas (an unbeliever) by making him blind so he’d stop interfering with God’s word (Acts 13:6-12).

            We have many examples of the disciples casting out demons, too.  Jesus gave them power and commanded them to use it (Matthew 10:1; Luke 10:17; Mark 6:7; 16:17).  They cast out demons as a regular part of their ministry (Mark 9:38; Luke 10:17).  Paul cast out demons (Acts 16:16-18; 19:12) and so did Philip (Acts 8:7).  When trying to do it in their own strength (without dependence on God) they failed  (Mark 9:18, 28-29). 


(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 or download it from  My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)

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