CASTING OUT DEMONS
Mark 16:17 KJV 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Luke 10:17 NIV 17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” * Note - see "definition" of demon from the original Greek, below...
THE GREAT VOID...
Today, in the modern 21st century world of Christianity - the idea of "miracles, signs, and wonders" are sadly; something we have to read about in the Bible; or we may not hear or experience it in the churches and denominations we attend or are part of. That is a fact.
If there is a void, or area in the modern church that is seldom mentioned anymore(at least not from the pulpits), that is the subject of "casting out demons" or "evil spirits"... The strange thing is - The Bible, especially the New Testament is replete and filled with numerous examples of Jesus Christ himself, as well as his disciples and other followers casting out demons as a normal and very ordinary part of their everyday ministry. Finding a church, a ministry or minister that believes Jesus words above found in Mark 16:17, that "in my name shall cast out devils"; is extremely hard to do. That begs the question: Where have all the demons gone to? Why are so few churches and ministers today not teaching/preaching and doing what Jesus clearly expected his followers to do when He left His disciples behind to take care of His church? One would think that this great "silence" on the subject of demons and casting them out of people, means that they are no longer around - no longer something to concern ourselves with as believers. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!
Okay, I admit talking about the devil, demons, and evil spirits is not a pleasant topic, especially when delivered from the pulpit; but that doesn't excuse churches and preachers for not doing what the early church did on an ongoing basis: CASTING DEMONS OUT OF PEOPLE!
There I said it. I hope the "thought police" in the church today don't come and confiscate my computer... Seriously, when is the last time you heard a minister teach or preach, or actually engage in the area of "casting out demons"? Love, hope, and faith messages abound, and that's all good and fine. But, when people come into the House of God tormented by demons, depressed and oppressed of the devil, and no one notices or discerns that's going on - we as a church are in big trouble.
WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL THE DEMONS?
To look around at the Christian Church today(especially here in the West), you would think that demons and evil spirits are no longer a problem; they must have been eradicated and taken care of long ago by the early Christians. Nice thought, but not the right answer. Nope, just watch the evening news, or pick up any newspaper or News mag, like Time or Newsweek, and you'll find horrid stories of "school and mall massacres", and even worse that most of us have become numb to and sadly - unmoved by. Killing on a mass scale, with body counts of more than 2 or 3 are the norm, and if not, they might not even make the news. That we've become accustomed to these kind of incomprehensible acts of murder and torture is deplorable, but the fact that we as Christians are slow or unable to discern the "demons behind most" of these horrific acts is inexcusable... The devil is having a field day killing, maiming, and destroying lives wholesale, and most Christians act clueless as to who or what is really perpetrating these iniquitous crimes against us as humans.
John 10:10 NIV 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Ephesians 6:12 NIV 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
When we as Christians fail to recognize the face of evil, when it is right before our eyes, staring us in the eyes; we are allowing evil to flourish, and permitting the devil and his legion of demons to kill and torment unsuspecting persons without a struggle or any resistance. The demons are still here, still tormenting poor unsuspecting souls throughout the earth - still destroying homes, families, and lives in large numbers that are incalculable if one were to try to count them. Not all people doing evil, or who are evil have a demon, or are possessed, but make no mistake - many persons walking around today are possessed and many others are "oppressed" by demon spirits. When the modern church fails to recognize or believe in the devil, demons, and the existence of "evil" as it is described in the Bible - we have abandoned the Christian faith that Jesus taught, and that the early disciples and church fathers lived and handed down to their congregations and local churches.
A REAL DEVIL, REAL DEMONS, AND REAL EVIL
It has been said, the two objectives of the devil are this: First, to convince people there isn't a "God", at least not the God of the Bible, the One true God from whom all things derive and have come into being, and that includes belief in His only begotten son, Jesus Christ. And, secondly - that there is no devil, no real Satan of the Bible, who is out to take anyone and everyone to hell. The "evil one" who opposes everything God stands for, everything good - everything that we have learned about good and evil in the Bible.
To do this, the devil has learned that debunking and discrediting the scriptures, and the Bible as a whole is the surest and best way to accomplish those two things with one shadowy sweep of his hand. That being said, if you want to know what God thinks about evil, the devil, and demons - you have to first go to the scriptures, and there we will find exactly what we need to know about these 3 subjects that are behind all of mankind's ills. From sickness, to the most vile and wicked acts of depravity and perverseness - we find the devil's "fingerprints" are all over the place. Read what these scriptures have to day about the devil, demons, and evil.
We won't attempt to cast out devils if we don't believe in them. We won't be able to free anyone from evil if we fail to discern what it is, and who's behind it - who's really responsible for the "death, destruction, and evil" all around us. We are surrounded by many persons who need to be delivered from darkness, from their addictions, and from the strongholds of Satan that keep them bound and unable to be free. Recognizing evil, discerning who and what is causing it, and being able to confront it and overcome it through the spiritual weapons Christ has given us - is our duty, a "holy command" - that may mean the difference between life or death for those we come in contact with.The only thing worse than not believing in a literal devil, demons, and evil - would be to "believe" in the devil, demons, and evil - and do nothing to oppose and destroy them!
Matthew 6:13 NIV 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
1 John 3:8 NKJV 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
Matthew 8:16 NIV When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.
FINAL THOUGHTS - You don't have to look for demons, they'll look for you. You don't have to believe in demons or the devil, he hopes you don't. The simple truth is, if you pose little or no threat to the devil, and his kingdom - he will not expend any more energy or resources than needed. The devil is many things; but wasting his time on lazy or unbelieving Christians is not something he is going to waste time doing. If the "signs" that Jesus spoke of in Mark 16, verses 16-18, aren't manifesting in the church today - we may rightly say then the reverse: These signs won't follow them that don't believe, right? Where we see no miracles, no signs or wonders - little or nothing out of the ordinary; when the supernatural manifestations of God are only found in your bible text - we may rightly conclude: We have stopped believing the words of Jesus Christ. When the "signs" that Jesus spoke of are not manifesting, it's a sure sign that something is missing...
I'm not proposing we go on a "do you have a demon" campaign, and go out looking for demons to cast out. No, I'm simply saying this: Let's believe what Jesus said, and expect to do what He expects us to be doing. The "signs" of casting out demons, and having people "healed" by the laying on of hands - is still God's desire, still God's will for us as Christians. Let us not be afraid to confront evil, to cast out devils, or to lay our hands on the sick. I believe the "signs" that Jesus spoke of, are still for us today. The only question is: DO YOU?
TO BE CONTINUED...
Blessings to all/michael/fool4CHRIST
p.s. next, I'll share about my experiences with confronting and casting out demons as a new believer/Christian
VINE'S EXPOSITORY GREEK BIBLE:DEMON
not a diminutive of daimon, No. 1, but the neuter of the adjective daimonios, pertaining to a demon, is also mistranslated "devil," "devils." In Acts 17:18, it denotes an inferior pagan deity. "Demons" are the spiritual agents acting in all idolatry. The idol itself is nothing, but every idol has a "demon" associated with it who induces idolatry, with its worship and sacrifices, 1 Cor. 10:20,21; Rev. 9:20; cp. Deut. 32:17; Isa. 13:21; 34:14; 65:3,11. They disseminate errors among men, and seek to seduce believers, 1 Tim. 4:1. As seducing spirits they deceive men into the supposition that through mediums (those who have "familiar spirits," Lev. 20:6,27, e.g.) they can converse with deceased human beings. Hence the destructive deception of spiritism, forbidden in Scripture, Lev. 19:31; Deut. 18:11; Isa. 8:19. "Demons" tremble before God, Jas. 2:19; they recognized Christ as Lord and as their future Judge, Matt. 8:29; Luke 4:41. Christ cast them out of human beings by His own power. His disciples did so in His name, and by exercising faith, e.g., Matt. 17:20.
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