When Jesus left His disciples to return to Heaven, one of the things He said was: “In My Name ye shall cast out demons.” Mark 16.
You will remember that a large part of his ministry was combats with unseen hosts of darkness.
One would think in reading our modern Christian literature and listening to the average preacher’s sermons, that demons had gone out of existence, or else they had been herded together in the slums of the city and were spending their entire time among the lower strata of humanity.
Of course this is not true.
When Paul wrote to the Ephesian church, he told them that their combat was “not against flesh and blood but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness.”
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul spoke of “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, … always striving for you in his prayers, that ye may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.”
Notice the word “striving”. It literally means wrestling, struggling, combating.
With whom was Epaphras struggling?
Surely not with the Father whose eternal purpose is to bless men.
Throughout the New Testament scriptures, there are glimpses of a hidden force that is intelligently warring against the purposes of God.
The reason why many men do not accept Jesus as their Savior is because they are held by the power of demons. The people are hungry; they want deliverance from sin; they crave eternal life; but they are unable, many of them, to break loose from the bonds that are holding them.
Many are prayed over for healing in Jesus’ Name, but they find it very difficult to take their healing. The difficulty is often in the fact that they are held, bound, by the power of demons. They are delivered when you say, “In the Name of Jesus, demons leave this body.”
For successful work to be done today, for believers to be in a place of continual victor, they need to know that the source of their danger lies in demoniacal power, and that the power to conquer it is in the Name of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God.
The more quickly we recognize that the very air about us is filled with hostile forces, who are attempting to destroy our fellowship with the Father, and to deprive us of our usefulness in the service of our Master, the better it will be for us.
Three things are necessary in order to pray and deliverance and victory over demons.
First, we must be children of God.
Second, we must not have any unconfessed or unforgiven sin in the heart, for, if we do, the demons will laugh at our prayers.
Third, we must know the power of the Name of Jesus, and know how to use it.
If your own life has been defeated and hemmed in by the power of the Adversary, rise up in that Almighty Name of Jesus; hurl back the enemy; take your deliverance; go and set others free.
What does the expression “in His Name” mean?
The expression “in Christ” as used about one hundred and thirty times in the New Testament, shows us the believer’s position, his Legal Standing, his place in the family and in the purposes or program of God.
When Jesus gave to the Early Church the Right to use His Name, that Right meant that they were to represent Him; they were acting in His stead, and when they prayed in Jesus’ Name, it was as though Jesus Himself was praying.
Christ is at the Right Hand of the Father. We are here as His representatives, not just collectively, but individually.
When we pray in Jesus’ Name, we are praying “representatively”.
We take Jesus’ place, and use His Name, as though Jesus Himself is here.
The only difference is that instead of Jesus doing it, we are doing it in His place, at His command.