BEN: Helpful are the following sentences: “The kingdom of darkness will lose what is essentially a spiritual war of attrition, for the gates of hell will not be able to withstand the church. This is why believers are never commanded to rebuke spirits and demand their flight in the name of Jesus. It is unnecessary. Their authority has been withdrawn by the Most High. Believers in turn are commanded to reclaim their territory by recruiting the citizens in those territories for the kingdom of God.” (pp. 258-59). This seems exactly right to me. We are not called to confront evil spirits! The real spiritual warfare comes in proclaiming the Gospel and fulfilling the Great Commission. The banishing of satanic forces is a by-product, not the task we are called to itself. You are right that Ephes. 6 is about standing and nothing is said about exorcisms here, but rather letting truth and the Gospel do their work and dismantling false arguments, taking every thought captive for Christ, leading a holy life? But is there a place and a time today for the exorcism of a non-Christian like Jesus and his disciples originally did?
MICHAEL: I think this is subject to Providence. I’ve never had such an instance personally, but I’m close to double digits now of having pastors and other believers (in the US or other countries) tell me they’ve had to address demonic possession or some other territorial confrontation with a supernatural cause. These are quite believable to me, not only because Scripture leaves this door open, but because in the instances with which I’m familiar, the encounter was never a centerpiece of gaining attention or popularity. Rather, it was matter-of-fact, here’s what needs to be done in these sorts of circumstances. In other words, there was no vainglory in the picture.