Exorcism Today? Yup.
The following is my critique on an article from the Jehovah’s Witness website that was referred to me by a super-awesome friend. To use ecclesiastical terms, it seems to me that such an article could have also been written by a dispensationalist-leaning theologian from the evangelical community. In that case, all one needs is to capitalize “Holy Spirit.” (1)
As for the matter of exorcism, I enjoyed reading this article and may have agreed with its premise some years ago. I found it interesting how at the end of the article, it acknowledged that Christians do encounter demonic oppression and attack. Their proposed solution focuses on alternative methods regarding how to be free from the demonic attack by submitting and clinging to God as we resist the devil. I agree with such dimensions of spiritual warfare that include intimacy with God, renewing our minds with truth, praise and worship, etc. Casting out the demons is just one aspect of the deliverance process.
The article assumes that exorcism procedures are no longer valid or effective today, using the case study of the woman in the first paragraph who died after an exorcism attempt. I think more information would be required in determining the legitimacy of modern-day exorcism procedures than the one case with the Roman Catholic priests and the German lady. In the medical field, many people die after attempted surgery due to unforeseen complications. However, would it follow that surgery is no longer for today? There are many factors to consider, including the ability and mental state of the surgeons (or exorcists). Even the twelve apostles, the best exorcists of Jesus’ day, couldn’t drive out a demon from a boy in Mark 9/Matthew 17. When they asked Jesus why they couldn’t do it, Jesus instructed them on the root cause of the problem and how they could do better next time. (2)
Just as in a physical war there are often casualties, so also there may be unfortunate losses from instances such as with the tragic case of the German lady. Just as after the failed exorcism by the disciples in Mark 9:28 when they went to Jesus privately afterwards to ask, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?,” Jehovah-Nissi can teach us how to attain victory as we pursue Him, take refuge in Him as our strong tower, and are empowered by His Holy Spirit to do the same and even greater works that Jesus did, for His glory (honorable, powerful, good reputation). C.f. John 14:12-17.
Throughout my time in Japan, I watched hundreds of successful exorcisms on YouTube channels such as “Bob Larson: the Real Exorcist,” “Emmanuel TV,” “Hungry Generation,” etc. Many of the videos on these channels contain testimonies about the people’s lives both before and after their deliverance (“exorcism”). This data, personal experience, and most importantly the word of God lead me to conclude that deliverance from demons (through casting them out/exorcism) is for today. (3)
For those who believe in Jesus, the following is a prayer for how we might proceed in these matters. You can say it aloud if it expresses the desire of your heart:
I thank you for delivering me from the domain of darkness and for transferring me into the kingdom of Your beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Thank You for your very great and precious promises by which I can become the child You created me to be. As I seek refuge in You as my strong Tower, I thank You for healing my wounded soul and for strengthening me by Your Spirit to be filled with Your power. As I love You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, thank You for teaching me and conforming me into the likeness of Your Son.
Thank You for the blood of Jesus, which cleanses me from all sin, breaks the legal authority of all curses over my life, has sealed an eternal covenant with You, and defeats every evil spirit.
Thank You that I am being filled with Your dunamis power (which means excellence of soul, moral power, and the power to perform miracles) by Your Holy Spirit. Right now, covered by Jesus’ blood, I receive Your dunamis power to flood into my intellect, will, and emotions, making me excellent of soul as my intellect, will, and emotions are made one with Your’s. I thank You that I will prosper and be in health even as my soul prospers, so that I can love You and the people around me the way You desire.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen (“So be it.”)
C.f. Colossians 1:13f; 2 Peter 1:4; John 1:12; Proverbs 18:10; Psalm 91; Psalm 147:3; Isaiah 61:1; Ephesians 3:16; Matthew 22:37f; Romans 8:29; 1 John 1:7; Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 13:20; Revelation 12:11; Acts 1:8; Isaiah 53:10-12; John 17:20ff; 3 John 1:2.
If you haven’t yet entered into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ but would like to find out more, I recommend my other blog-posts, such as “Would You Like to Kick Satan’s Butt Personally?”
See the Jehovah's Witness article under critique here.
See my old post here for more discussion on this Mark 9 passage.
See my old post "Why Casting Out Demons is Integral to Biblical Discipleship" for more information. This Excel document is a partial list or database of some healings and deliverances for your own research and/or viewing pleasure.