Posts Tagged ‘demons’

Why are people not casting out demons today like they did in biblical times?


Casting out demons was and still is considered a sign gift. The doctrine of spiritual gifts is derived through textual criticism of scripture in the original languages as it is interpreted within the context of the whole of scripture.


Spiritual gifts are identified as:

a. Pneumatidos – 1 Cor 12:11 “spiritual things” not natural talents.

b. Charisma – grace gift (1 Cor 12:4) received through grace given to all believers.

c. Special ability of service in the body of Christ (Mt 25:14-28), given to all believers (1 Cor 12:7, 11; 1 Pet 4:10), according to God’s will (1 Cor 12:18, 28; Eph 4:11; Rm 12:6), to be used within and for the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27; 14:12; 1 Pet 4:10).


There is a further distinction between spiritual gifts as sign gifts verses abiding gifts. A sign gift is a supernatural gift given by God to someone to confirm a message or a messenger. The abiding gifts are granted to believers upon salvation through the Holy Spirit for the purpose of building up the church.


1) Sign Gifts

a) Tongues (1 Cor. 14:22; Mk 16:17).

b) Healing (Mk 16:17; Acts 4:16; 5:12; 16).

c) Exorcism or casting out demons (Mk 16:17; Mt 10:8; Acts 16:16-18).

d) Ability to raise the dead (Mt 10:8; Acts 8:36-42; 20:7- 12).

e) Prophet – Giving revelation & foretelling (future) 2 Pet 1:21.

2) Abiding Gifts

a. Apostle – 12 apostles with sign gifts or root sense of “one sent” (Acts 14:4)

b. Prophet – forthtelling (proclaims truth already given/known) (Heb. 2:1)

c. Evangelist – proclaim the gospel all should do the work (2 Tim 4:5) some have the special gift.

d. Pastor/Teacher – grammatically connected (2 Tim 4:2- 3; 4:12-13)


There are three different doctrinal views on whether the gifts are for today:  all the gifts exist today, none exist today or some exist today. I have studied all views and I have found the arguments for the cessation of gifts to be insufficient. So today I align myself with the belief that all of the gifts exist today. But this begs the question: Why is exorcism so rare today if this is true?  To that I answer with another question, “Who says it wasn’t rare during biblical times as well?” Not all gifts were manifested by all believers, not 2000 years ago and not now.


The point is also made that sign gifts were more prevalent during a time when the message of Christ was being affirmed by God through the apostles. That is not to say that God does not act through miraculous wonders and signs today to affirm the gospel message, but it is recognized that relatively few practice the sign gifts today. Are demons still being cast out in the name of Christ? Many Christians testify that they have witnessed this to be true. Some churches teach and practice deliverance from demonic activity today all over the world. It is possible that advancement in our understanding of physiological illnesses has reduced the frequency of believers to attribute biological or mental illnesses to demonic activity, but that does not negate the actuality of demonic activity today. On the other hand, not all illnesses can be attributed to spiritual influences, not 2000 years ago and not now.


That being said, however, sudden and complete healings routinely dumbfound physicians who cannot claim credit nor explain what seems miraculous. God still delivers today. He is still a God of healing and He is still a God of miracles. Our understanding of how He works is still in process, but He remains the same – yesterday, today and forever. Perhaps the deficient practice of sign gifts is a result of the church’s neglect in training believers. I encourage you to explore this issue for yourself rather than trusting every teaching or tradition without examination.