Casting Out Devils

 
ARTICLE XII – SECTION F: CASTING OUT DEVILS

This topic will not be handled exhaustively in detail. Some obsess over casting out devils in religious services, and build their whole ministry around fake forms of it. For sure it should not be ignored; Jesus did insist that it is part of the gospel commission:

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”  Mar 16:15-18.

However, more often than not, this part of the ministry is ignored, and it is greatly needed given the amount satanic activity occurring in our world.  The demand is obvious; therefore, prayer to discern the need and act upon it is vital.

Instruction and execution is not so clear-cut in the Bible.  Paramount to any effort to cast out devils, heal the sick, receiving the Holy Ghost, or effective prayer, should consider the condition of the soul in question.  Christ and the Apostles are the only examples we have as a guide.  The key is found in the name of Jesus.

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils...  Mar 16:17.

And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.”  Act 16:18.

The sons of Sceva prove that you cannot confront devils in Jesus’ name if Jesus is not Lord of your life:

Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.  Act 19:13-16.

The devils know who is and who is not walking in Kingdom authority.  So, more important than the name used, is the life of the individual using the Lord’s name.  Some in the Bible used a formula where the Lord’s name was not uttered, which indicates more that it is the life led by the individual that is important.

Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.”  Act 5:15-16.

And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.  Act 19:11-12.

But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.”  Act 9:40.

Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.”  Act 13:9-11.

The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.”  Act 14:9-10.

We are given a power of attorney in Christ’s name to act in His behalf, or “in His name.”

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”  Col 3:17.

Although we are told to do all in His name, it is not required that we constantly quote the name, or use multiple repetitions to cast out devils.  We work under His lawful authority, thus we must avoid treating the use of His name as a magical incantation.

All beings are under the God’s law, even devils.  Satan cannot do anything against you unless you “willfully” consent, or have been deceived into consenting unknowingly.  It is this deception area where he operates.  The Devil deceived everyone in the Bible who violated God’s law from Eve to Judas.

When you come into full obedience to God’s will (like the apostles were walking in), the lawful authority then exists in “Jesus’ name” to command devils to cease their deception or possession of whomever they have possessed.

The art, for lack of a better word, of casting out devils has been lost in the modern church because the modern church teaches against obedience to God’s word.  The modern church loves pleasures of the world and sinning so much, that they would rather have that than living a holy life for God.  

 Living holy for God to them is boring compared to all the benefits and privileges the world offers for their pleasure.  Living holy for God is not boring; the main problem is that the delusion of the world has convinced them that it is.

Additionally, the modern church has allowed the color of law (of the world) to infiltrate and influence its beliefs.  Color of law is where Satan operates, so if you allow the world’s laws to mingle with whatever you like about God’s laws and discard the rest, you are no longer serving God and are in violation of His law, mainly the first half of the Ten Commandments.  You are now in idolatry, the nest of devils.

You will never walk in the fulness, joy, and excitement of God until you come out of the world.  As long as you spend your efforts watching TV, playing video game, following sports, politics, social media, basically being like the world, you will never walk in any of the gifts of the Spirit or have Kingdom authority to cast out devils and heal the sick.  The world’s delusion will perish, and then you will not only find yourself unholy, but damned.

As far as casting out devils, no where in the Bible does it indicate that it was done by laying on hands.  It does not seem important, if it were important, a strict formula would be in the Bible.   

Basically, there is no hard and fast method listed other than acting in the lawful authority Jesus has given us.  If you are walking in obedience to His commandments (to include walking in the Spirit), the authority exists, and the devils know they have to obey because God’s law commands it and your willful use of faith dictates it.

We should avoid making a rule out of isolated incidents in the Bible when it comes to casting out devils.  Some teach we are to talk to devils like Jesus talked to Legion; but no one else did this.  Also, what if you end up talking to a lying spirit?  

Some teach, or practice that folks will cough up or spit out devils, but this does not seem realistic since they are spirits and invisible.  Casting out devils is not a special gift that one may possess, whereas discernment is, especially recognizing doctrines of devils from false teachers.

Look at those who have ministries dedicated to “so called” casting out devils or healings, and you will see a ministry that draws more attention to Satan than Christ.  So, method doesn’t seem to be the central characteristic.  More often than not, the requirement is to relinquish sin:

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.”  Mat 12:43-45.

The devil has access to a person because of their will, gospel deliverance begins with repentance.  The need to cast out devils maybe secondary, i.e., treating the symptom not the cause.  The evil in a man may have preceded the entry of devils.

The gospel is deliverance, preaching the Word brings the power of God, salvation from sins, and deliverance.  Rebirth is the power of the Holy Ghost overcoming evil, devils, and Satan.  It is illogical, and not even taught in Scripture that after regeneration a man needs further deliverance.  If so, then what was he delivered from in the first place?  “…The yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.   (Isa 10:27b).

Not everything affecting a man is possession oriented.  Discernment should detect when there are no devils.  Watch for hypochondriacs, and those that find illnesses useful for attention or sympathy.

If a ministry focuses on possession, by default exist the suggestion that some automatically have this condition.  A fear of possession may produce simulated symptoms, especially if someone indicates possession.  It is dangerous to tell others they are possessed, it is better to encourage ways out through faith (build faith).

Some become victims of suggestion, then go from one to another looking for cure.  The cure may be, “you have no devil.”  Taunting or provoking Satan is unwise, like those who pride themselves in being exorcists (“demon” hunters):

Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”  Jud 1:9.

Devils should be commanded to leave when encountered and that should be the end.  Our primary task is the preaching of the gospel, this is the main means of deliverance.   

Today, there is a great fascination with the occult.  Occult means, “hidden things,” it is magic meant to bring the spirit world’s knowledge and service under one’s control.

The following picture graphic is old compared to a lot of the newer media uses of occultism in entertainment.  However, I think you will get the point.  When you become involved, even with tell-lie-vision, and its occult programming you are opening the door for deception, Satan’s back yard:


 

True religion is the opposite, where one surrenders to God (not control God), through faith not knowledge.  Occultism is severely condemned in the Bible: 


And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.”  Lev 20:6.

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”  Gal 5:19-21.

Is it possible for the Christian to be devil possessed?  The forces of the devil should not be ignored, it is a spiritual war.  However, do not underestimate God’s deliverance through Christ.

When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.”  Luk 11:21-22.

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:”  Col 1:13.

The Christian can choose to allow devils in; he is not immune from the power of the devil if he sins.  The Lord prayed that Peter’s faith not fail, not that Satan be prevented from trying him.

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”  Luk 22:31-32.

When you willfully sin and backslide, this provides an open door to devils:

Neither give place to the devil.”  Eph 4:27.  

Take the armour of God, use the means provided to wage thy battle with a spiritual foe looking for opportunities to attack you.   

There have been those who interpret Bible passages where it discusses things like a spirit of fear as meaning there is an evil spirit of fear that needs to be cast out.  I do not know where I got the following picture from, but it is an interesting read that rebuts this kind of thinking:

 

Devils thrive on publicity, they are selfish and proud.  We should not publicize their activities, or scare our fellow brothers or sisters with the fear of them.  If you are walking in the fullness of the light, and using the means of grace given, there is nothing to fear, God will part the heavens to help you.  There are over 300 hundred references to angels and only about 80 to devils.  If you are serving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, then the enemy does not have a place to dwell in you. 

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