DO WE HUMANS HAVE THE ABILITY TO CAST OUT DEMONS?
II Timothy 2:24-26 says, “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of THE SNARE OF THE DEVIL, who are TAKEN CAPTIVE BY HIM AT HIS WILL.” Unsaved people can be taken captive by the devil at his will, so people cannot cast him out by their own power.
Acts 19:13-16 says, “Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And THE EVIL SPIRIT ANSWERED and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And THE MAN IN WHOM THE EVIL SPIRIT WAS LEAPED ON THEM, AND OVERCAME THEM, AND PREVAILED AGAINST THEM, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” Those unsaved Jews could not cast out the evil spirit by their own power, and not even by using Jesus’ name could they prevail. Instead, the evil spirit showed his power over them.
Mark 5:1-5 says, “And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs A MAN WITH AN UNCLEAN SPIRIT, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and NO MAN COULD BIND HIM, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: NEITHER COULD ANY MAN TAME HIM. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.” It is obvious that no one in their human strength could control that man or cast the unclean spirit out of him.
Luke 22:31,32 says, “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, SATAN HATH DESIRED TO HAVE YOU, THAT HE MAY SIFT YOU AS WHEAT: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Once again, even the Christian in his own human strength, is no match for Satan.
Ephesians 6:10-13 says, “Finally, my brethren, BE STRONG IN THE LORD, AND IN THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. FOR WE WRESTLE NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD, BUT AGAINST PRINCIPALITIES, AGAINST POWERS, AGAINST THE RULERS OF THE DARKNESS OF THIS WORLD, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” These verses tell us that physical strength has no power at all over the foes with which we are dealing.
Luke 11:17-26 says, “But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: BUT WHEN A STRONGER THAN HE SHALL COME UPON HIM, AND OVERCOMETH HIM, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. WHEN THE UNCLEAN SPIRIT IS GONE OUT OF A MAN, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, HE SAITH, I WILL RETURN UNTO MY HOUSE WHENCE I CAME OUT. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. THEN GOETH HE, AND TAKETH TO HIM SEVEN OTHER SPIRITS MORE WICKED THAN HIMSELF; AND THEY ENTER IN, AND DWELL THERE: AND THE LAST STATE OF THAT MAN IS WORSE THAN THE FIRST.”
There are two choices as to how the sons of the above people were dealing with demons (“And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.”). They were either like the sons of Sceva that we saw in Acts 19, (“Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.”), which sons obviously used chants and sayings,, etc., to try to cast out demons (they tried to use Jesus’ name to cast them out, so obviously they tried many things). These people were called “vagabond” Jews, which means that they wandered about, and did not stay in any one place. It also has the connotation of being a “tramp” or “disreputable.” They might be compared to the “medicine men” of the pioneer days of America, when those men traveled around with their “elixir cures.” They claimed mighty cures from people drinking their “medicine,” but those men kept constantly on the move, because they were really fakes. That could very well have been the case with Sceva’s sons, who claimed to be exorcists. They had to keep on the move, because they really had no power to cast out demons. As to the people’s sons to whom Jesus was talking, they obviously did not believe that their children were supposedly casting out demons through Satan’s power. So Jesus was just showing them their hypocrisy by accusing Him of casting out demons through Satan’s power.
There are only two choices: people are either fakes, pretending to cast out demons; or else they are truly saved, and casting out demons through God’s power.