SPECIAL TOPIC: EXORCISM
Exorcisms were common in Jesus' day, but Jesus' methods were radically different (cf. Matt. 8:16; Mark 1:27). His exorcisms were a sign of the New Age (cf. Luke 9:1). The rabbis (cf. Matt. 12:27; Acts 19:13) used magic formulas (see Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus, The Messiah, vol. 2, Appendix XIII, pp. 748-763; XVI, pp. 770-776), but Jesus used His own authority. There is so much confusion and bad information circulating today about exorcism and the demonic. Part of this problem is that the NT does not discuss these issues. As a pastor I wish I had more information on this subject. Here are some books I trust.
1. Christian Counseling and the Occult, Kurt E. Koch
2. Demons in the World Today, Merrill F. Unger
3. Biblical Demonology, Merrill F. Unger
4. Principalities and Powers, John Warwick Montgomery
5. Christ and the Powers, Hendrik Berkhof
6. Three Crucial Questions About Spiritual Warfare by Clinton Anton
It surprises me that exorcism is not listed as one of the spiritual gifts and that the subject is not addressed in the Apostolic letters. I believe in a biblical worldview which includes the spiritual realm (i.e., good and evil), present and active in the physical realm (i.e., Job 1-2; Daniel 10; Eph. 6:10-18). However, God has chosen not to reveal the specifics. As believers we have all the information we need to live godly, productive lives for Him! But some subjects are not fully revealed or developed. Believers need to remember that exorcism is a visible evidence of the victory of Jesus over evil (cf. Luke 10:17-20). The NT makes a clear distinction between exorcism and healing (cf. Matt. 8:16; Mark 1:32; Luke 4:40-41).
See Special Topics:
1. Special Topic: Satan
2. Special Topic: Personal Evil
3. Special Topic: The Demonic in the OT
4. Special Topic: The Demonic in the NT
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