Sunday, March 17, 2013

Question on Casting Out Demons Today-Yes, I Want Your Feedback On This Not Your Typical Sunday Worship Practice

Question: In my church we practice casting out demons . Is this wrong?

The standard answer is –yes-cast out demons.  They make horrible pets.
Clearly demons and the devil are real by witness of the New Testament.
The New Testament gives account of demons being cast out by Jesus and His followers.
Today some Christians feel that this time of demon possession is past.
Demon possession and the casting out of demons in today’s church in America is not talked about outside of Pentecostal or Charismatic churches.

Here are three views of demon possession and casting out demons (exorcism)..
1)      Some Christians will say demon possession and casting out of demons was from a prior dispensation that has ceased (cessationistt theology) .
2)      Demon possession happens all the time and demons need to be cast by church members on a regular basis.  (The extreme actions of some churches make some Christians concerned about abuse of this practice.)
3)      Yes there are cases today of demon possession.  We need an accurate biblical response


Demons were thrown out under the power of Christ and not under the persons authority in the New Testament.
I have no experience or witness in my life of this happening.
I would hate to participate in a side-show made up by scoundrels to draw a crowd and dishonor Christ.
I would hate also not to aid a person in an act of biblically based Christian service.

Read these New Testament verses that are some of many that describe taking on evil on earth.   

Jesus describes the occurrence of demon activity in humans.
Matthew 12:43-45 ESV
“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”

James the half-brother of Jesus instructs us how to make the devil flee from us.
James 4:7 ESV
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Paul tells us spiritual warfare is real and to prepare for it.
Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, ...

Paul says we have an evil advisory on this planet.
1 Peter 5:8 ESV
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Jesus equipped his followers to take authority over demon activity.
Luke 10:17 ESV
The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”

Paul did cast out demons after the resurrection.
Acts 16:16-18 ESV
As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.

One day Christ will cast the devil and his angels into the lake of fire.
Revelation 12:7-9 ESV
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

Do you have authority to cast out demons?
Acts 19:13-16 ESV
Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 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.

Readers -your thoughts?

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