Do Believers Today Have Authority Over Unclean Spirits

Do Believers Today Have Authority Over Unclean Spirits

Introduction
The concept of believers having authority over unclean spirits is a topic that has been debated among Christians for a long time. Some believe that this authority was only given to the apostles during the time of Jesus, while others argue that this authority is still relevant to believers today. In this essay, we will explore the biblical basis for the belief that believers have authority over unclean spirits.

What are unclean spirits?
Before we can discuss the authority that believers have over unclean spirits, we need to understand what unclean spirits are. In the Bible, unclean spirits are often referred to as demons. They are spiritual beings that are opposed to God and seek to do harm to human beings. They are under the authority of Satan, who is their leader. The Bible describes them as having the power to possess human beings, causing them to do things that are harmful to themselves and others.

The Authority of Jesus over Unclean Spirits
To understand the authority that believers have over unclean spirits, we need to first look at the authority that Jesus had over them. Throughout the gospels, we see Jesus casting out demons from people. In Mark 1:23-26, Jesus encounters a man with an unclean spirit in the synagogue. The unclean spirit recognizes Jesus and says, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you areā€”the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebukes the spirit and commands it to come out of the man, and the spirit obeys.

In Matthew 8:28-34, Jesus encounters two men possessed by demons. The demons beg Jesus not to send them into the abyss, but instead, to allow them to enter into a herd of pigs. Jesus allows the demons to enter into the pigs, and the pigs run into the sea and drown. This demonstrates Jesus’ power over unclean spirits and his ability to command them.

The Authority Given to Believers
After Jesus’ death and resurrection, he gave his disciples the authority to cast out demons. In Mark 16:17-18, Jesus says, “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name, they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

In Luke 10:19, Jesus says to his disciples, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” This demonstrates that the authority to overcome unclean spirits was not just given to the apostles, but to all believers.

The Use of Jesus’ Name
The authority that believers have over unclean spirits is not based on their own power or ability, but on the power of Jesus’ name. In Acts 19:13-16, we see an example of some men who try to cast out a demon using the name of Jesus, but the demon responds, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” The demon then attacks the men, demonstrating that their use of Jesus’ name was ineffective because they did not have a personal relationship with Jesus.

Believers must have a personal relationship with Jesus and believe in his power to have authority over unclean spirits. In John 14:12-14, Jesus says, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified



Signs of Demon Possession
Before discussing how believers can exercise their authority over unclean spirits, it is important to identify the signs of demon possession. The Bible gives us some indications that a person may be possessed by a demon. Some of these signs include:

Extreme emotional outbursts
A sudden change in personality or behavior
Inability to speak or hear
Superhuman strength
Unexplainable physical ailments
Acts of violence or self-harm
It is important to note that not all unusual behavior is a sign of demon possession, and it is important to seek the guidance of a trained pastor or counselor if you suspect someone may be possessed by a demon.

How Believers Can Exercise Authority over Unclean Spirits
Believers can exercise their authority over unclean spirits through prayer and faith in Jesus Christ. When encountering someone who is possessed by a demon, it is important to remember that the power to cast out the demon comes from Jesus, not from the believer. Some steps that believers can take to exercise their authority over unclean spirits include:

Pray for the Person: Before attempting to cast out a demon, it is important to pray for the person who is possessed. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and to give you the words to say.

Speak to the Demon: When addressing the demon, it is important to speak with authority and to use the name of Jesus. In Mark 9:25-29, Jesus casts out a demon from a boy by speaking to the demon directly and using his authority as the Son of God.

Rebuke the Demon: Once the demon has been addressed, it is important to rebuke the demon and command it to leave in the name of Jesus. In Acts 16:18, Paul casts out a demon from a woman by saying, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!”

Pray for the Person Again: After the demon has been cast out, it is important to pray for the person and to ask God to heal them from any physical or emotional harm that the demon may have caused.

Conclusion
In conclusion, believers today do have authority over unclean spirits, but that authority comes from Jesus Christ, not from their own power or ability. The Bible teaches that this authority was not just given to the apostles, but to all believers who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When exercising this authority, it is important to pray for the person who is possessed, to speak with authority and use the name of Jesus, to rebuke the demon, and to pray for the person again after the demon has been cast out. By following these steps and relying on the power of Jesus’ name, believers can exercise their authority over unclean spirits and help to bring healing and freedom to those who are oppressed.




Do Believers Today Have Authority Over Unclean Spirits
Shalom