More on casting out demons

What do you think about people today casting out demons?  Was that only for the Apostolic era?  Can Christians do that today?
Good question. I wrote a book called How to Meet the Enemy and it will give you some further detail about it.  Let me express this to you in sort of a condensed way if I can.  John F., Jr. MacArthur
We do not have the power to command the demons–that is a power that belonged to Jesus Christ.  There is no one in the Old Testament who ever exhibited that power, not a prophet, not a priest, not anybody.  That is not something that is germane to belonging to God–to have command over the kingdom of darkness.
What happened when Jesus came into the world is that the kingdom of darkness “cranked up” its major assault to obviously thwart the purpose of God, and the conflict was raised to a fever pitch.  So as I said the other night, demons were then, I think, more aggressively trying to hold on to the souls that were within the hearing of what Jesus was preaching, and the conflict was tremendously heightened.  But that was only a part of it; the real issue was, the Messiah, if He was going to save souls, save sinners, would have to move people out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of His dear Son, as Paul put it.  So, the Messiah had to demonstrate not only power over disease, and power over nature, but He had to demonstrate power over Satan and demons, not only on His own behalf, such as in his temptation, but on the behalf of other people.  So, everywhere Jesus went, two things were happening: He was doing physical miracles and He was casting demons out.  There is no occasion where He ever did that to anybody who is identified as a believer.  There was no spiritual process going on by which that person was divested of the demon other than the absolute authority of Jesus over those spirits.  You find, what we said the other night in Luke 4, that the demon is saying, “Is this it?  Are you here to destroy us?”  They know that He has that power and they know that their ultimate destruction is already written–they know.  They were saying, “Is this the time?”  If you remember, the demoniac of Gadara, when Jesus sent the demons out of that individual after an amazing conflict into the pigs and they all dove into the sea.
This kind of exhibition of power goes on throughout the life of Jesus, to demonstrate that He has absolute authority over the kingdom of darkness, and to verify that the Apostles were in fact the representatives of Jesus Christ, who spoke the truth in the midst of all kinds of teachers and preachers and philosophers and religionists who paraded around.  What set them apart as the preachers of the truth was not that they squared up with the Bible because the Bible hadn’t been written, there was no New Testament, so how would you verify that they were the true representatives of the true Messiah?  Jesus knew how, they could do, essentially, the same kind of miracles that He could do, and that has to do with physical miracles and the casting out of demons, so that in 2 Corinthians 12:12, Paul says, “These things are the signs of an Apostle.”
When the Apostles pass from the scene–those things pass from the scene.  And that is why you have absolutely no instruction anywhere in the epistles of the New Testament as to how to do that, because that is not something we are capable of doing.  I cannot command demons to do anything.  I cannot bind Satan, which is absolutely ridiculous.  I cannot bind demons.  I cannot pray them out of my house or somebody else’s house.  I cannot pray away territorial spirits–that is absolutely ludicrous.  I have no authority over them whatsoever.  But I can resist the devil and he will flee from me, and if I come to Christ then my life is not going to be a dwelling place for demons–it’s going to be the temple of the Holy Spirit.
So what we need to do is to resist the devil, put on the armor, that’s indicated in Ephesians six and we will win the battle.  I said this the other day and I will say it again, people who are running around talking to demons…
I was at a pastors conference one time where a guy got up and said, “Let’s pray,” and here is how he started his prayer, “Satan!”  I’m telling you, I almost fell off my seat!  Is he talking to Satan?  I’ve never said a word to him in my entire life and don’t intend to, besides he’s not omnipresent–he might not even hear me, and if he did, “Ha, ha, ha, what is that?”  “Satan we bind you!”  I don’t want to mock that kind of thing, but who are these people kidding?  The Bible says, “He goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour,” it doesn’t say “comma, until you bind him!”  You can’t bind him!  And by the way, whoever is binding him keeps letting him loose!
This idea of praying against demons, that’s not spiritual warfare.  I tried to say before, when you look at 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, that is a definitive passage on spiritual war.  If you understand that passage then you understand spiritual war.  It is an ideological war.  It is a war engaged between the truth and error, and if I want to free men from the bondage of Satan’s lies then I have to bring the truth to their minds.  Chasing demons is pointless–it’s pointless.  We’re not called to evangelize demons.  We’re not called to bind demons.  We’re not called to talk to demons. We are told to preach the truth to every one, to give the gospel to men.  The real spiritual war is fought when we bring the truth against the ideologies that have been raised up against the knowledge of God, and the truth shatters those ideologies and the walls come down, and we bring those people out and bring them captive to Christ.
So these people who spend all their time fussing around with demons–it’s like Shakespeare said, “It’s much ado about nothing.”  OK, that’s kind of a short answer, but that book will help you.
By the way, just as a little footnote, Jesus said to Peter, “Satan desired to have you.”  Remember that, Luke 22.  If I had been Peter I would have said, “You told him, ‘No’ right?”  Jesus said, “Actually, I told him, ‘Yes,’ just like I told him with Job.”  So you might be chasing away Satan when Jesus sent him.  Who do you think you are to be trampling around in that realm anyway?

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14 Responses to “More on casting out demons”

  1. Mrs. Campbell Says:

    Henry Wright teaches that Theophostics is of the devil and opens doors to the enemy. I was sick and dying and when I got right with God on some things I got better. It blows my mind how many people accuse Henry Wright of things when they have never been to a week of his ministry. To say you have no authority over demons in Unscriptural . So what happens when someone has dabbled in the occult or practiced witchcraft and needs to be free? Do you just say, ” oops, sorry I guess your stuck.” Jesus quit on you guys after He died for you? ”We can teach you how to be saved but beyond that your stuck,” Its the Power of the Holy Spirit that is given to us to remove the bondage that people are in! He gave us authority to trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy. Luke 11. Also, we are to do all Jesus did and more. What about Satan walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. This was for the church! The enemy Is all through the New Testament! Warning the church. the biggest Lie Satan ever told was to Christians that he can’t touch them. Most Christians are in as much bondage as the world, they are as sick and as miserable and there is Christian counceling everywhere. What about Pornography addictions? Do you deny also that that could be demonic? I am sorry, but I have to disagree with you. i do not expect to change your mind and you will not change mine, Mr MacArthur is no doubt a man who loves God, and seeks to do his will, However he is in error on this subject. I do not agree with hokey stuff that is being brought into churches these days and that is one thing I appreciate about Henry Wrights ministry, He rebukes it. Listen to his Cds. Its called Inner Healing what is it and what is it not? I have been to his ministry 4 times.I don’t agree with him on everything, As I have yet to find someone I do agree with 100% However, this blog has error all over it about this ministry and its false and gossip.

    • wrightiswrong Says:

      Thank you so much to adding your comments to our blog. I feel that your heart is in the right place but that you may have been misled. You are correct on many points and a bit off on others. The purpose of this blog is to try and discern the truth. You said that this blog has errors all over it about Henry’s ministry and its false and gossip. Please list three errors that I have stated that you can support biblically and I would be glad to apologize to all the bloggers. I had not read up on THEOPHOSTICS until you brought this to my attention. The work of the THEOPHOSTICS in part simulates some of the teachings of Henry Wright.

      Please do not jump to assumptions that none of us have attending Henry Wright’s ministries. Most of us are objecting to his ministry not for what we have heard “gossip” but what we have experienced with our own eyes and ears. Most of us have attended at least one of his week long workshops and some of us have spent months in Georgia. You are right, all ministries have some issue we may not all agree with, but when it is the major thrust of the ministry that is unbiblical than the truth needs to be revealed.

      Yes, we have all sinned and we will all sin again whether it is lying or dabbling in witchcraft. Some of us had addictions to lying, or sex or pornography or alcohol. As you know, God’s economy is not like ours – hating someone is as bad a murder. Sin lives in us if we are nonbelievers or sin surrounds us if we are a follower of Jesus. Christians should be miserable here. This is not our home! We are to be a light to the world and share Jesus’s love. It is the job of us believers to help nonbeliever to find God’s forgiveness and to help each other to stay on the right path. God accepts us as sinners. He accepts our sincere repentance and through his word and the work of the Holy Spirit we are changed. God just needs a willing spirit in us. When I accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior I no longer was under the dominion of Satan and his demons. They can bug me from the outside but they don’t live inside of me. Christ lives in me now. You need not cast out demons from me because Jesus and demons can’t occupy the same temple at the same time. All casting out of demons in the New Testaments was done to nonbeliever. (Please let me know if I am wrong.)

      You are correct. I may help someone to find Jesus then the Holy Spirit through God’s word divided properly will help them to grow. Yes, there are thousands of Christian counselors because many of us church goers don’t have time for each other. We are too busy with our own little lives. I don’t have a degree in counseling and yet if my sister is going through trials I will counsel her to praise God anyway, read your bible anyway. Come share your thoughts with me. Come go to church with me anyway. Come let us pray together anyway. Let’s seek God’s truth. I will not tell my Christian friend that her suffering is caused by sin in her life because it may not be true. I will not tell her that her problem is one of those numerous hokey blocks that Henry Wright made up. I will tell her that God is sovereign and He loves her very much and He is walking with her in whatever she is going through.

      A lot of our suffering is due to our own unwise choices. Some of that suffering for nonbelievers is to bring them to Christ. But we are actually guaranteed by God that we will suffer persecution if we truly want to live for Him. Sickness and disease – both physical and emotional – can generally (with time) be overcome in this life by faith in God (for most of us – not Paul), but suffering will remain part of our lives on and off until we pass beyond this temporal existence into what God has prepared for those who love Him.

      For the Christian, suffering helps us to keep our eyes on things of eternal value, to have compassion on others, to develop patience, to prove our love and loyalty towards God, and to prove to men the genuineness of our convictions and our love. It helps us to understand the heart of God better, because God suffers constantly – because He loves so much. God is sovereign. He is in control and would like nothing better than to give each of us an easy life but he knows what we will do with that liberty. We like the people of Babel will want to be gods! We will forget about him and live only for ourselves. God is good.

      Henry Wright does NOT teach you to read the bible in context thereby he can get you to believe anything he wants you to believe. What you have done is a good example of reading one verse alone, out of context, and thereby missing the real message. You quoted Luke 10:19. “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Contextually: Luke is written for Gentiles to learn the history of God and his work. The context of the chapter: Is that here, the Lord is sending out just “72″ to do his work. He did not give anyone else authority to cast out demons nor did he give the 72 authority to pass on this power to others. If true, this invalidates the Christian tradition that all the disciples (other than John) were to become martyrs, with many suffering terrible fates.

      You might have quoted Mark 16: 15-18 He (Jesus) said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.’ Again contextually Jesus was talking to the 11 disciples only. If we are all commanded to drive out demons, heal the sick and speak in tongues then we should all pick up snakes and drink deadly poison as well. We seem to take half of the verses we like and ignore the others.

      May I encourage you to read verses in context and the following may be of interest to you.
      PDF] CAN BORN-AGAIN BELIEVERS BE DEMON POSSESSED?
      ministers.ag.org/pdf/Possessed.pdf

      May the Lord bless you and help you to continue to seek HIS truth.

  2. neville campbell Says:

    In recent years, I have experienced many supernatural situations and manifestations that JESUS THE ANNOINTED CHRIST spoke about and did during HIS lifetime, theirfor I believe wholeheartedly in henry w wright’s ministry. henry well done good and faithfull servant.

  3. Els Says:

    Here is what Jesus said on this subject – Mark 16:15-18. There are more scriptures teaching that Jesus sent out His diciples to cast out demons. Also occasions where they failed, Jesus then said “only with PRAYER and FAST the will go out”. Jesus did sent out his discipels earlier and also read Mark 16…

    • wrightiswrong Says:

      Thanks for your comment. The passage you are referring to: Mark 16:15-18 New International Version (NIV) says “15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” I can see where you have come to the conclusion that we should all go cast out demons BUT understanding proper hermeneutics will help here. Many are willing to utter words to cast out demons but few are willing to pick up poisonous snakes! We need to ALWAYS look at the context of the book, the chapter and the passage. CONTEXT, context, context. It is clear that Jesus is talking to his apostles and not to you and me. Christians can’t be possessed by demons nor Satan because greater his HE that is in us than Satan and his demons. You may want to read the comments on “More on casting out demons” again. The points there are well researched and stated. Keep pursuing God’s truth. Do study hermeneutic. Dr. R.C Sproul has a great study on the topic! God bless!

      • Els Says:

        From my side I now want to thank you for your responds.
        Something I trully don’t understand is, that you can say, that you “can see where I have come to the conclusion that we all should cast out demons” – and that with just a short comment of me. In there I didn’t mention such at all, so don’t ‘put words in my mouth’ I didn’t say by taking my word out of CONTEXT!! It is like in verse 17 “And these signs will accompany THOSE WHO BELIEVE: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues” AND in much cases, first preparing with prayer and fasting. Also – the discipels were told to preach the GOSPEL! Like we all have the command to preach (share) the Gospel. To WHOM would they (we) preach (share) the Gospel??? To UNBELIEVERS (non Christians) – and from THESE people often demons were cast out – as soon THEY became believers (Christians) and were baptised, the signs would (will) accompany THEM!!! And indeed, a Christian can’t be possessed – Jesus owns them, paid for them,, so Christians are His possession, but Christian can still be afflicted with / by demons – satan will always try to tackle Christians – we should be very aware and allert, NOT scared, as indeed, He (Jesus) Who is in us is greater then satan (and demons). Here a very good teaching from Derek Prince http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ed8j33e8viE

        Kind regards,
        Els Borra

      • wrightiswrong Says:

        Sorry if I put words in your mouth. You are correct, your comments were rather brief. I’m not sure what point you are trying to make. I totally agree with you that we should all be sharing the gospel. You jump from what the apostles were told to do, to us also preaching, and back to the verse again. I would not have picked this verse to make that point because I would be only referencing part of the verse and that’s taking a part of a verse out of contest. But there are many verses that tell us to bring the good news to non believers. Was that your point or was your point that we should find non Christians and after pray and fasting we should cast out demons that are in them? How do you know if they have demons? Some of my best non-Christian friends act more Christian than some of us. Do we assume that all non-Christians are demons possessed or not? If I have missed your point completely than maybe you can fill me in with more detail. Thanks,

  4. clifton Says:

    when folks never cast a demon in their lives the twist the word of God to justify their powerlessness…using their vain imagination and personal experiences is not the way to interpt scriptures…let us understand that there is a real devil ….so stop this foolish attack..

    • wrightiswrong Says:

      I’m sorry but your comments are so brief I’m not sure I understand your point. I don’t feel that I am powerless since through pray I have God’s ear and HE is not powerless. Are you in agreement with the bases of this blog or against what I am trying to clarify? I totally agree that there is a real devil. But I also understand that casting out demons, as a common occurence, was for the Apostolic era only.
      1. No one in the Old Testament ever exhibited that power, not a prophet, not a priest, not anybody.
      2. The Messiah had to demonstrate not only power over disease, and power over nature, but He had to demonstrate power over Satan and demons and as many were claiming to be the Messiah
      * John 2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
      * John 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
      * John 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
      * John 6:2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.
      * John 7:31 And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?
      * Acts 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
      3. Jesus never cast a demon out of a believer
      4. Jesus gave the power to cast out demon to his 12 apostles and 70 believers only.
      * Mark 3:14-1614And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, 15And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:
      * Mark 6:12-14 KJV 7And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; 12And they went out, and preached that men should repent. 13And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.
      * Mark 16:17 14Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
      * Luke 10:1 After these things the LORD appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
      * Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name
      5. This power set Jesus’ apostles and the 70 founders of the faith apart as the preachers of the truth verifying that they were the true representatives of the true Messiah.
      * Acts 8:6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
      * Acts 15:12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
      6. Once the church was set up there was no need for verifying the true Messiah by casting out demons. Now we are to choose
      * 1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
      * Hebrews 2:4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
      7. Christ wanted follower who believe in faith and not miracles
      * John 12:37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
      * 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 KJV 6Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

      * John 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

      8. No where in the Bible are believers given the power to talk to or cast out demons.
      9. No where are believer instructed or told how to cast out demons
      Also, how do you explain where Jesus says that we will cast out demons?
      Where do you read that? If you are referring to Mark 16:9-20, then read the disclaimer that precedes it: “The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20.” Which is another way of saying that these verses are not considered inspired scripture, and thus should not be used to build doctrines or to even preach on by themselves, since they are considered unreliable and were most likely added to the scriptures by some scribe.
      The following is a quote from the notes found in The MacArthur Study Bible, copyright 1997 Word Publishing, Nashville, TN:
      “Mark 16:9–20 The external evidence strongly suggests these verses were not originally part of Mark’s gospel. While the majority of Gr. manuscripts contain these verses, the earliest and most reliable do not. A shorter ending also existed, but it is not included in the text. Further, some that include the passage note that it was missing from older Gr. manuscripts, while others have scribal marks indicating the passage was considered spurious. The fourth-century church fathers Eusebius and Jerome noted that almost all Gr. manuscripts available to them lacked vv. 9–20. The internal evidence from this passage also weighs heavily against Mark’s authorship. The transition between vv. 8 and 9 is abrupt and awkward. The Gr. particle translated “now” that begins v. 9 implies continuity with the preceding narrative. What follows, however, does not continue the story of the women referred to in v. 8, but describes Christ’s appearance to Mary Magdalene (cf. John 20:11–18). The masculine participle in v. 9 expects “he” as its antecedent, yet the subject of v. 8 is the women. Although she had just been mentioned 3 times (v. 1; 15:40, 47), v. 9 introduces Mary Magdalene as if for the first time. Further, if Mark wrote v. 9, it is strange that he would only now note that Jesus had cast 7 demons out of her. The angel spoke of Jesus’ appearing to His followers in Galilee, yet the appearances described in vv. 9–20 are all in the Jerusalem area. Finally, the presence in these verses of a significant number of Gr. words used nowhere else in Mark argues that Mark did not write them. Verses 9–20 represent an early (they were known to the second-century fathers Irenaeus, Tatian, and, possibly, Justin Martyr) attempt to complete Mark’s gospel. While for the most part summarizing truths taught elsewhere in Scripture, vv. 9–20 should always be compared with the rest of Scripture, and no doctrines should be formulated based solely on them. Since, in spite of all these considerations of the likely unreliability of this section, it is possible to be wrong on the issue, and thus, it is good to consider the meaning of this passage and leave it in the text, just as with John 7:53–8:11.”

      2 Corinthians 10:3-5 or though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
      5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. It is an ideological war. It is a war engaged between the truth and error, and if I want to free men from the bondage of Satan’s lies then I have to bring the truth to their minds. Demons may cause physical and spiritual problems. To master evil spirit, Satan or demons:

      James 4:7 – Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
      1 Peter 5:8 – Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
      John 4:4 – You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
      Revelation 20:1-2 – I saw an angel coming down out of heaven…he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.

      Matthew 7:21-22
      Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

      Do you not agree?

  5. anon Says:

    I feel like the point is this…the ministry focuses on demons not on Christ. Christ did not “focus” on demons in his ministry to others. Did he cast a few demons out..sure. But he also healed the sick and taught many parables and rescued women who were about to be stoned and flipped the table of a few money changers and ultimately sacrifieds his life to fulfill the law plus much more. The issue with HW is that he made up a false story about the origins of devils,(spirit world blah blah blah)and a false first flood…all so that he could focus on devils, not mention Christ and focus on the law and the curse. Therefore, I believe that this ministry is anti Christ in origin. It espouses and thrives on the very things that Christ overcame. YET Christ is really not mentioned. I went to the program 3 times…I heard very little of JESUS and VERY much about the devil I feel it is just wrong focus and wrong testament.
    Kinda backasswards.

  6. Abel David Says:

    Luke 10:17
    ….and these were not apostles!

  7. Irene Says:

    OK then, you smart folks- (sorry for being a bit cheeky, but I just couldn’t “resist” this time)…….tell me how do you explain the cancerous tumor that fell off Julie’s face when she repented of self-hatred and the pastor prayed deliverance from the spirit of “self hate” over us as a group (which included her) ??? There was NO charge for ministry at that time, we were there and we saw it happen. Also, my husband was DELIVERED from a spirit of addiction to smoking while there. He had tried all sorts of things to no avail over THIRTY years, but when the spirit of addiction to nicotine was cast out, HIS TASTE BUDS CHANGED. He suddenly could taste the horrible flavor of cigarettes, which before the deliverance he always said he liked the “taste” of it! It was very sudden and very obvious that he had been delivered. Oh, and the cat (ghost)/demon that was masquerading as our dead cat….playing show and tell with my husband, my teenage daughter and myself. The things we all heard were experienced individually and at separate times (none of us knowing about the other’s experiences until it got worse and I- Mom spoke up). My husband prayed to get rid of the lying spirit that was trying to caused fear in our home. It did not work and so I asked God why my husband’s prayers didn’t work. He clearly told me that I am a JOINT owner of this home and I also needed to pray. I did and that was THE END of the show and tell game. God was training our hands to war and showing us that he acknowledges the laws and vows man makes as well. The spirits are real and Christ has enabled us to identify, renounce, repent where necessary, and REMOVE them. I’ve seen it, I’ve lived it. And I believe it. I’d be a blind fool not to. I hope and pray that the eyes of your understanding will be opened to this Truth of God. Oh, and by the way….it is possible that Henry Wright has made mistakes, probably several of them. Good, it proves HE is not GOD! He’s just a man, and he tells people that all the time. The insights God has given him and his team have set many many people free even of “incurable” diseases. Let’s remember that Be in Health is a ministry to shed light onto the SPIRITUAL ROOTS to disease. Of course there will be much talk about the enemy. We’ve been there twice and taken 3 courses. Christ gets the glory, believe me. But why should you believe me? You don’t even know me. I encourage you to open you heart and learn what you can from the ministry of Be In Health.

    • wrightiswrong Says:

      God can heal but not always. Can you recognize a Faith Healers or Fake Healers?
      By Rev. Keith Gibson

      Among the celebrities in the Word Faith Movement, none is more well known than Benny Hinn. From his lavish life-style to his on-stage performances, Benny Hinn has become the modern stereotype of the faith healers, even providing at least partial inspiration for Steve Martin’s character in the movie Leap of Faith. Hinn claims that thousands have been healed in his crusades. There have even been claims of the dead being raised. But when pressed for documentation, the ministry has been woefully unable to provide much, if any, evidence for these assertions. Despite years of exposé’s by both Christian and secular sources alike, his ministry continues to have thousands of ardent followers. It is estimated by various sources that his organization takes in over one hundred million dollars per year, though this amount is disputed and is impossible to verify as the ministry refuses to publicly disclose its finances.

      The purpose of this article will be to take another look at faith healing by focusing on the ministry of Benny Hinn and attempting to evaluate his results. Undoubtedly, some will see this article as simply “anti-charismatic.” Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no intent to disparage any branch of Christianity. It is essential, however, that Christians test those who claim to speak for God and who claim a special anointing from God (cf. 1 John 4:1; 1 Cor. 14:29). It is hoped that, by looking at Hinn’s ministry, discernment may be gained for evaluating other purported faith healers as well. It is certain that we have not seen the last of them.

      What Is a Miracle?
      As we begin to evaluate the claims of Benny Hinn, we must first determine the boundaries for ascertaining a true miracle. Often, in articles of this sort, the assumption is made that a general consensus exists regarding what constitutes a miraculous event. However, the word itself has become so commonplace in modern usage as to simply indicate a stroke of good fortune. But a true miracle is more than an unusual, fortuitous event. Webster’s Dictionary defines a miracle as, “an extraordinary event manifesting a supernatural work of God.” (1) Norman Geisler similarly defines a miracle as, “a special act of God in the world, a supernatural interference into nature, a special divine intervention.” (2) He further goes on to state, “A miracle is not simply an extraordinary event but one that would not have occurred without special divine intervention.” (3)

      This definition of miracles is significant for evaluating modern faith healers, including Hinn. It may be conceded that many sick and hurting people leave the crusades feeling better, but this is not the same as saying that they have been cured miraculously. There are numerous possible explanations for apparent healings as we will see.

      Comparison to Christ
      One way to evaluate whether or not ministers like Hinn possess healing power would be to compare their miracles to those of Christ. When this is done, striking differences begin to appear. First, Christ healed specific individuals. Never once do we read a passage where Jesus say’s anything like,

      A muscle condition has been healed. I give you the praise. Just now lift your hands and call upon His precious name, dear Jesus, dear Jesus, dear Jesus. Sinuses have just been healed, I give you praise. A neck injury has been healed, I give you the praise. In the audience God is touching people right now right here, the Lord is touching many of you in this audience right here in this studio, I give you praise Jesus. In your homes, many of you are being healed. Someone’s shoulders have just been released from pain, someone with a shoulder problem has just been healed, I give you praise Jesus. (4)

      Yet this is standard fare among healers like Hinn who regularly stands at the front of the auditorium and recites illnesses supposedly being healed as though he is taking roll. Those who think they are among the recipients of healing are then invited to come to the front to testify.

      It should be noted too that all of this is carefully orchestrated by Hinn’s associates. Many who are not considered a good healing risk are restricted from access to Hinn. Dr. Stephen Winzenburg, a professor at Grand View College in Des Moines, Iowa has conducted research into evangelists’ ministries. Concerning Hinn, Dr. Winzenburg states, “He’s very much like a circus ringmaster when he’s there in the arena. People may be coming for healing, but it’s very much controlled hysteria.” (5)

      Another difference is that the miracles of Christ were immediate. Christ never commands a follower to claim a healing that did not occur or to go home confessing a healing and waiting for it to materialize. But again, this is common in Word Faith circles.

      Those Jesus healed did not relapse, either. But compare this to the case of Ernestine Rodriguez of Santa Fe, NM who was pronounced healed of brain cancer by Hinn during a 1992 broadcast. Tests performed three weeks later demonstrated the cancer remained. Hinn’s explanation on a later broadcast was, “I do know this: Healing is received by and must be kept by faith. There’s been the cases where they’ve lost their healings.” (6) Another example is Jordie Gibson, who determined to stop kidney dialysis and fly to a Hinn crusade in Anaheim. Gibson is still a believer and believes that he experienced God’s healing power, though he has had to return to dialysis. (7) Yet, never do we see Jesus instructing those He has touched to maintain their healing by faith.

      Christ’s healings were always successful. But listen to the story of William Vandenkolk of Las Vegas as related in the Los Angeles Times,

      Sitting cross-legged in front of a big-screen TV, the 11-year-old squints through Coke-bottle glasses at a Miracle Crusade video made more than two years ago in which he starred as a boy who miraculously recovered from blindness. “I liked it at first because I thought I was being healed,” says Williams in the living room of his aunt and uncle’s home. On the screen, Hinn bends down to William, his hands on the child’s face. “Look at these tears, “ says Hinn, peering into the child’s eyes. “William, baby, can you see me?” Before more than 15,000 people in a Las Vegas arena, William nods. In a small voice, the boy says, “As soon as God healed me, I could see better.” Hinn, an arm wrapped around William, tells the audience that God has told him to pay the child’s medical expenses and education. People weep. Today William is still legally blind and says his sight never improved, and that his onstage comments were wishful thinking.” Incidentally, the family has yet to receive any of the promised money for medical or educational expenses. (8)

      An HBO special documented Hinn’s crusade in Portland, Oregon. On stage Hinn performed 76 alleged miracles. The documentary’s producers asked the ministry for the names of the healed. Thirteen weeks later, only five names were received. Upon investigation, none had received an actual healing. One of those was 10 year-old Ashmil Prakash who had been stricken with two brain tumors. Despite the “healing” pronounced by Hinn and the pledge made by his impoverished parents to give thousands of dollars to Hinn’s ministry, the child died seven weeks after the crusade. (9)

      Lastly, the healings of Jesus were not psychosomatic. Jesus raised the dead and gave sight to those born blind and lame. Despite the claims, no good documentation exists that any of today’s healers have done similar miracles. The sad fact is they can’t even heal their own family members. Hinn’s mother was diabetic and his father died of cancer. (10) The stories of other faith healers are similar.

      What Is Going On?
      So what is one to make of all of the testimonies of miraculous occurrences? What of all those who every day are paraded on a host of shows on TBN and other networks including Hinn’s own, This Is Your Day? Several items must be considered by the discerning Christian.

      1. Some of the healings are psychosomatic. People whose primary problems are psychosocial in nature respond positively to placebo affects such as faith healers. In fact, the entire atmosphere of the crusades is orchestrated to build to a climax at the appearance of Hinn and the healing touch. Jesus never had to set the mood in order to be able to work. These emotionally charged events can have great impact on those whose conditions are more psychological than physical.

      2. Many are not healed at all. Having a person stand on stage and claim to be healed of cancer or other ailment doesn’t prove the healing has actually taken place. Such healings should be verified by a qualified physician using proper medical studies. These claims to healing can be the result of:

      Temporary euphoria- many people are caught up in the moment. The adrenaline rush and anticipation, even the excitement of being in the presence of one considered so anointed, may be enough to provide momentary relief. This is especially true of conditions whose primary symptom is pain.
      Positive Confession- what happens at these crusades cannot be separated from a theology that teaches its adherents they possess what they confess. In the belief system of many of these people, to confess that they are not yet healed would be to guarantee that they wouldn’t receive it. Many of them are simply confessing what they believe they will receive at some point.
      Hero Worship- There is tremendous desire on the part of many of these participants not to embarrass the healer. They believe so much in the person that they will react as they are instructed, even when they know it is not true. Consider the story of a woman supposedly healed of blindness by Oral Roberts. When instructed by Roberts onstage, “Tell us what’s happening inside you.” She replied, “There- There was a light.” However when interviewed the next day she admitted that nothing had happened. She stated simply, “I didn’t want to disappoint him.” (11)

      3. Some are outright fakes. James Randi, a magician, in his book, Faith Healers, documents many of the tactics used to deceive the gullible. Some are as simple as placing staffers in the audience who pretend to be healed. W.V. Grant would pull the heel of one shoe out slightly to make it appear that he was lengthening a leg. Peter Popoff received his “Words of knowledge” through a transistor in his ear through which his wife, via radio transmission, instructed him as she read from cards collected by staffers. Several faith healers have rented wheelchairs to use as props. Some have even encouraged people who walked into the crusade to sit in one of these chairs so they could be taken up to the front to get a better view. These same people were then pulled out of their wheelchairs to the amazement of the crowds. (12) The list of tricks is almost endless.

      4. Some are natural occurrences. The fact is that many illnesses get better naturally. This is true regardless of the treatment provided and sometimes without any treatment at all. These, then, are not miraculous healings, but rather the result of the wonderful way humans have been created by an all-wise God. For instance, ninety percent of all patients with low back pain will recover in approximately six weeks regardless of whether the pain was caused by a simple strain or a herniated, degenerative or bulging disc. (13) Even cancer has been known to have spontaneous remissions. These occur among believers and unbelievers alike, people who were prayed for as well as those who weren’t, and are presently without medical explanation. (14)

      Many people claim that their healing began at a crusade and then occurred gradually over time. But simply because a person got better after seeing Benny Hinn does not mean the person got better because of Benny Hinn. In logic, this is referred to as the Post Hoc Fallacy (“After this; therefore, because of this”). An example should demonstrate the problem. A balding man may realize that he didn’t begin to lose his hair until after he had children. He may surmise from this that he lost his hair because of his children and may genuinely believe that to be the case. However, it is also possible, even probable, that the man is losing his hair because of his genetic make-up and would have lost his hair even if he never had children. His children are merely incidental to his hair loss but are not the cause. In the same way, many who are “healed” at Hinn crusades are simply experiencing the natural course of the body healing itself. The visit to see Hinn was merely incidental to their recovery and not the cause of it at all. The recognition of true miracles demands tougher criteria.

      5. Despite the lack of evidence, the possibility should be left open that some may be legitimately healed. As Justin Peters, a Southern Baptist minister from Mississippi quoted in the Los Angeles Times, says, “As much disdain as I have for Benny Hinn, the vast majority of people who see him are real Christians….When 25,000 people are praying for God to heal them, it would be surprising if God did not heal some.” (15)

      Concerns
      So what’s the problem anyway? False hope is better than no hope right? Maybe Benny can’t heal but who’s he hurting? Perhaps we should just leave him alone.

      But people are hurt. False hope is actually devastating. Listen to the words of Brian Darby who works with the handicapped in Northern California: “You can’t minimize the impact of not being healed on the person, the family, the extended family….They have a sense of euphoria at the crusade and then crash down.” (16) The effect of not being healed can be terribly disillusioning. However, healers such as Hinn can always deflect criticism by blaming the sick for not having enough faith.

      And what about those who might stop taking essential medication thinking they have been healed without medical verification? On the September 30, 2003 episode of Hinn’s, This Is Your Day, a young woman is brought to the platform with what appears to be a blood sugar test kit. It is referred to by Steve Brock as her diabetes “pack”. After stating that God has healed her, she proceeds to throw the pack down on the floor of the platform. (17) Left untreated, diabetes can cause a host of debilitating medical complications and ultimately death. One sincerely hopes this young lady visits her physician to verify her healing. Healings of diseases such as diabetes and cancer cannot be validated within the confines of the crusades. There is serious concern for the welfare of many claiming healing.

      There is also concern for the Name of Christ and the reputation of the church. The actions of Hinn and those like him bear little resemblance to Christ’s as we have seen. When did Jesus ever slay anyone in the Spirit? Would Christ throw his coat on people to knock them down? Or blow on them? Despite promises to reduce his theatrics, Hinn can be seen on the same show referenced previously waving his hand at the choir shouting, “Receive it!,” at which point the entire choir falls. Hinn runs through the front rows touching heads causing people to fall. Are any of these actions even remotely reminiscent of Christ? Flamboyant hucksters like Hinn who live in mansions on the donations of the desperate bring reproach on the name of Christ. Those who continue to blindly follow these false teachers cause the church to appear gullible in the eyes of the world and, indeed, far too many who name the Name of Christ are just that.

      As Christians, we are a people of faith. There is an aversion to believing that anyone who claims a relationship with Christ would be anything less than honest and ethical. Additionally, many Christians want to believe in healers like Hinn as evidence that God is still at work. And indeed, God is still a God of miracles. But biblical faith is not blind or irrational. It is time for the people of God to demand more than anecdotal stories from those claiming the power of the apostles. While documentation of real miracles is lacking, documentation of those who have died at Hinn crusades, such as in Kenya, is not. (18) The miracles of Christ and the apostles were real. The same cannot be said for Benny Hinn and others like him.

      Rev. Keith Gibson

      NOTES
      1 Webster’s Illustrated Dictionary.
      2 Norman Geisler, Signs and Wonders , 24.
      3 Ibid., 24.
      4 See Sandy Simpson, Benny Hinn’s Response to Dateline NBC, (November 1,2003) accessed at www. deceptioninthechurch.com/hinndatelineresponse.html which cites Hinn’s appearance on the Praise the Lord TV program, December 29, 2002.
      5 Kamon Simpson, “Benny Hinn: faith healer or fraud?,” Kansas City Star (August 8, 2003). This article originally appeared in the Colorado Springs Gazette.
      6 G. Richard Fisher and M. Kurt Goedelman, The Confusing World of Benny Hinn , 64-65. Emphasis added.
      7 William Lobdell, “The Price of Healing,” L.A. Times Magazine (July 27, 2003).
      8 Ibid.
      9 M. Kurt Goedelman, Hinn, Bonnke Focus of HBO Special, accessed at http://www.pfo.org/hinnhbo. The special ran on Easter Sunday, 2001. Bonnke’s crusade occurred in Nigeria and the results were worse than Hinn’s. As Bonnke spoke invoking a fear of witchcraft and evil spells, the crowd became frenzied and 15 people were trampled to death trying to leave the field.
      10 Ibid.
      11 Fisher and Goedelman, The Confusing World of Benny Hinn, 111.
      12 James Randi, The Faith Healers. Chapters 5-14 are an in-depth look at a number of healing ministries. Mr. Randi’s background as a magician gives him a unique perspective from which to evaluate these ministries. Randi’s organization has for years offered $10,000.00 to anyone who can demonstrate a true miracle which, to date, has never had to be paid out.
      13 “Treatment of Low Back Pain,” internet article posted in 2000 found at Spine-health.com.
      14 Geisler, Signs and Wonders, 56.
      15 Lobdell, “The Price of Healing.”
      16 Ibid.
      17 This incident, as well as other troubling cases, can be viewed by visiting Benny Hinn’s ministry website and viewing past broadcasts of This is Your Day.
      18 See Personal Freedom Outreach Journal (2000), accessed from their website at http://www.pfo.org/four-die.htm.

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