BS1 Setting the captives free 4

The aim of this devotional study the practice of deliverance in the life o fPaul


Acts 16:16-18

16  One day as we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a young servant woman who had an evil spirit that enabled her to predict the future. She earned a lot of money for her owners by telling fortunes. 17  She followed Paul and us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God! They announce to you how you can be saved!” 18  She did this for many days, until Paul became so upset that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I order you to come out of her!” The spirit went out of her that very moment.

Acts 19:11-17

11  And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12  so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.

13  Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I command you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14  Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15  But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16  And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

17  And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was greatly honored.


  1. In Acts 16:16-18, how did Paul cast out the evil spirit from the woman? What happened (in your own words)?
  2. In Acts 19:11-17, how did Paul cast out the evil spirits from people? What happened (in your own words)?
  3. In Acts 19:11-17, how did the “itinerant Jewish exorcists” cast out evil spirits from people? What happened (in your own words)?

Reflection and Application

  1. Why could Paul do extraordinary deliverance, but the Jewish exorcists could not, even though they also invoked the names of Jesus?
  2. How did the demons “know” or recognize the authority of Paul?
  3. Would you be recognized as one living in Christ?


Spend some time praying affirming your identity in Christ – this list of Scriptures can help. Let the focus be worship of God’s generosity:

Setting the captives free 3

The Aim of this devotional study is to discover the relationship between the preaching of the gospel and deliverance from demonic activity,


Mark 1:39

39  And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.

Mark 3:13-15

13  And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14  And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach  15  and have authority to cast out demons.

Mark 16:15-20

15  And he said to [the 11 disciples], “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17  And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18  they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

19  So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20  And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.


These three sections from Mark is selected which summarized the ministry of Christ according to Mark, and the appointment of the 12 apostles and then the Great Commission before his ascension.

  1. What pattern to you seen in these three texts? What – according to Mark – accompanies the preaching of the gospel?
  2. Why would the preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom of God be accompanied by the casting out of demons? (hint: think clashing of kingdoms)


  1. In Mark 16:17 Jesus promised his disciples “These signs will follow those who believe… in my name they will cast our demons…” Have you ever experienced the fulfilment of this promise?
  • If you have – where and how? When last?
  • If not – why not? Do you believe that demons exist? And do you believe that in Christ you have authority to cast them out?
  1. According to Mark the casting out of demons accompany the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God – the reign of God and victory of Christ. When last have you shared that gospel with someone?  With whom will you share it this week?


Jesus sent his disciples to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God to everyone, and promised that signs will follow – including deliverance from demon-oppression and possession.  Pray to God for boldness to preach that gospel to see the captives set free!

Setting the Captives Free 2

The Aim of this devotional study today is to reflect on the deliverance ministry of Jesus, and learn from his discernment and authority.


Luke 4:16-21, 33-41

16  And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read.  17  And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

18  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19  to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20  And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21  And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

33  And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34  “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God.” 35  But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. 36  And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!”

37  And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

38  And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. 39  And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them.

40  Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them.  41  And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.


Note: the reference to “proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” refers to the year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25)– every 50 year the Lord commanded that all Israelites rest that year, and that all Jewish slaves be set free, and all property return to the families and clans to whom it belonged originally, thus everyone bound in debt was restored.

At the beginning of his ministry Jesus was given this portion to read from Isaiah’s scroll his home town Nazareth.  Then he sat down and everyone listened as he should teach.  But all Luke recorded Jesus said was “This text is fulfilled in [me].”

  1. List the ministry of Jesus according to Isaiah’s prophesy quoted above. (v16-21)
  2. Regarding the quotation from Isaiah: note the two references to “liberty” those who are oppressed, plus the reference to the year if Jubilee. What does that suggest of the importance of deliverance I Jesus’ ministry?
  3. Reading the rest of the chapter we note a few other instance where Jesus commanded sickness and evil spirits to let people go – a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy of Jesus’ ministry. List the instances of deliverance recorded above.  What do you learn from that?
  4. How did Jesus exercise his authority over demons?


  1. As “modern, educated” people we tend to rationalize everything. If you were with Jesus when he performed these miracles of healing and deliverance – do you think you would have “rebuke(d) the fever” out of Simon’s mom or even recognized the man in the synagogue was demon-possessed, or that the demons were speaking through people who were set free?
  2. If Jesus were to walk with you in the course of your every-day life, where would he set people free from demonic oppression, temptation or possession? Or perhaps even you?


Jesus once said he only did “what he saw the Father was doing.”   Pray to the Lord for this gift of discernment – to see what He is doing or wants to do in your life, and where he wants to set you or those around you free from oppression.

Setting the Captives Free 1

The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on Jesus’ compassion over oppressed people and his authority over demons.

This 3min video dramatization will greatly add to your Bible reading today (



Mark 5:1-20

1  They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes.  2  And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit.  3  He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, 4  for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him.  5  Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones.

6  And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. 7  And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.”  8  For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9  And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” 10  And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country.

11  Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, 12  and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” 13  So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea.

14  The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. 15  And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 16  And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. 17  And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region.

18  As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 19  And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”  20  And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.


  1. In studying this section describe what you observe about all these key characters as Mark reports relays this account – noting the five key sections:
  • The man in need of deliverance (verses Mar_5:1-5).
    The confrontation between Jesus and the demons (verses Mar_5:6-10).
      The perishing pigs (verses Mar_5:11-13).
      The swineherds and the people to whom they report (verses Mar_5:14-17).
      The cured man’s request and Jesus’ reply (verses Mar_5:18-20).
  • 2. Considering the five main paragraphs and their key characters above,
  • Who was pitiful? Who was merciless?  Who was merciful?
  • Who was powerless? Who was overpowered?  Who was most powerful?
  1. What do you learn about demons from this account? What are they like?  What do they like?  List the characteristics that are mentioned here.
  2. What do you learn about Jesus’ compassion for people oppressed by demons?
  3. What do you learn about Jesus’ authority over demons?

Application and prayer

What is the thing in this life that you fear, or that is too powerful for you to control?  Do you believe that Jesus is more powerful than it?  Then praise Jesus as the One who has All Authority, pray against this challenge in Jesus’ Name as you feel the Holy Spirit leads you.20