38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. 39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. 40 For he that is not against us is on our part.
Hustlers like Benny Hinn and Oral Roberts will use a passage such as this to “prove” that they are working by the power of the Holy Spirit rather than by the spirit of Satan. Men don’t do miracles in this age. Christ performs miracles at His will and choosing through specific men at specific times but not like in the age of the Apostles. We have our miracle in a perfectly preserved Bible, without proven error.
Let me say it again, there is no man in this age who has the power of the Holy Spirit residing on him continually, day in and day out, to heal miraculously, to speak in foreign languages in which he has not been trained, or to raise the dead. God can and will use individuals from time to time to accomplish such things but those who make hundreds of millions of dollars from people who are desperate and fearful are wicked, evil men who are doing lying wonders and false signs of Satan.
Who was this man who was not part of Jesus’ company that was casting out devils in His name? Matthew Henry reported that some thought he may have been a disciple of John the Baptist who believed Jesus was the messiah. He reports that others assumed there may have been many like this that were not part of Jesus’ inner circle but believed in Him and were given power as a result.
I am reminded of this passage in the Old Testament.
Numbers 11: 27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. 28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. 29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD’S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!
Let us not imagine that all things being equal and their doctrine is true and correct that there are not others out doing the work of Christ who are not part of our own assembly. In heaven there are no Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, or any other denomination or faith tradition; only those who have trusted Christ and have been set apart for His purpose.
There are churches that state quite emphatically to a newly saved person that if they are truly saved that person will soon be attending that church. These verses would imply that that church could very well be in error. Remember, Philip did not hang around to tell the Ethiopian eunuch who he should hang out with to get the best preaching (Acts 8:26-40).