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What Luther Says

Pope Francis Performed An Exorcism In Public!?!

Wow! It's less than 6 months into his new gig as Pontiff, but Pope Francis can already add "Performed A Bona Fide Miracle In Public" to his Resume.

The good news for him is that I guess he just earned himself a ticket to Heaven then, since Roman Catholicism preaches a "Works Righteousness" false gospel despite what Ephesians 2:8-9 says.

Dearly beloved (that includes my Catholic friends who may be reading this), I'm sorry to be so "snarky" from the outset here, but I just learned about something very peculiar that has me fired up and feeling a touch of righteous anger since I can see where this is likely headed.

Lord, in light of what You clearly tell us in James 1:19-20, please forgive me for these feelings I'm having...

I'm not sure if you're aware of this or not, but apparently Pope Francis just performed an exorcism -- in public and in front of the TV cameras -- this past weekend following a Catholic mass in St. Peter's Square to celebrate Pentecost.

Given what we have studied and presented before about the Roman Catholic Church, as well as her likely role in the fulfillment of the Bible's end times prophecies (using Catholicism's own so-called "prophecies" in comparison to the Bible's), I think it's pretty clear (at least, I pray that it is by now!) of how we all need to be wary of such "miraculous" events happening in Rome from the hands of the Pope.

Actually, I'm going to assert that I believe this sort of thing will continue to happen and will continue to be reported, and I'm sure they'll become more frequent, intense, and downright unbelievable in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

Why do I say that? Where do we even begin? Well, let's start with the basics and establish a firm foundation using the Word of God.

This story involving the Pope calls to mind two key questions that are relevant to this discussion.

*- Can a Christian perform an exorcism today?
*- What does the Bible say about casting out demons?

Here's an excellent Scriptural summary I found to help us answer both questions.

Exorcism (or commanding demons to leave other people) was practiced by various people in the Gospels and the Book of Acts -- the disciples as part of Christ's instructions (Matthew 10); others using Christ's name (Mark 9:38); the children of the Pharisees (Luke 11:18-19); Paul (Acts 16); and certain exorcists (Acts 19:11-16).

It appears that the purpose of Jesus' disciples performing exorcisms was to show Christ's dominion over the demons (Luke 10:17) and to verify that the disciples were acting in His name and by His authority. It also revealed their faith or lack of faith (Matthew 17:14-21). It was obvious that this act of casting out demons was important to the ministry of the disciples. However, it is unclear what part casting out demons actually played in the discipleship process.

Interestingly, there seems to be a shift in the latter part of the New Testament regarding demonic warfare. The teaching portions of the New Testament (Romans through Jude) refer to demonic activity, yet do not discuss the actions of casting them out, nor are believers exhorted to do so. We are told to put on the armor to stand against them (Ephesians 6:10-18). We are told to resist the devil (James 4:7), be careful of him (1 Peter 5:8), and not give him room in our lives (Ephesians 4:27). However, we are not told how to cast him or his demons out of others, or that we should even consider doing so.

The book of Ephesians gives clear instructions on how we are to have victory in our lives in the battle against the forces of evil. The first step is placing our faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9), which breaks the rule of "the prince of power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2). We are then to choose, again by God's grace, to put off ungodly habits and to put on godly habits (Ephesians 4:17-24). This does not involve casting out demons, but rather renewing our minds (Ephesians 4:23). After several practical instructions on how to obey God as His children, we are reminded that there is a spiritual battle. It is fought with certain armor that allows us to stand against -- not cast out -- the trickery of the demonic world (Ephesians 6:10). We stand with truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, the Word of God, and prayer (Ephesians 6:10-18).

It appears that as the Word of God was completed, the Christians had more weapons with which to battle the spirit world than the early Christians did. The role of casting out demons was replaced, for the most part, with evangelism and discipleship through the Word of God. Since the methods of spiritual warfare in the New Testament do not involve casting out demons, it is difficult to determine instructions on how to do such a thing. If necessary at all, it seems that it is through exposing the individual to the truth of the Word of God and the name of Jesus Christ.


I would also like to simply add that the popular contemporary notion that Christians can be demon possessed and also in need of an exorcism is not a Biblical one either.

There is not one Biblical example anywhere of a "born again" believer in Christ Jesus needing an exorcism to be set free from an evil spirit. Everyone who had demons driven out of them as recorded for us in the Holy Bible (whether by Jesus or the apostles and disciples) were either heathens or unsaved Jews.

Plus, in many cases, it was the exorcism of the demons that enabled the person to become a true follower of Jesus. They followed Christ because He had set them free from evil spirits. The Gadarene demoniac being a prime example (Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5; Luke 8:26-39).

What's the primary Scriptural argument I have against the possibility of Christians having demons dwell within them after becoming a "new creation" in Christ?

1 John 4:4 (ESV) Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

If both the Holy Spirit and demons indwelled our earthly bodies, then the apostle John would have to be more specific as to whom he was making reference to in the above verse.

Not only that, but the apostle Paul also tells us plainly in 2nd Corinthians 5:17 that "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."

Coming full circle, and to look at this incident from a prophetic perspective, I just can't help but to keep thinking of a few things.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 (ESV) 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Matthew 24:24 (ESV)
For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.

2 Corinthians 11:4 (ESV) For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (ESV) 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

Galatians 1:6-8 (ESV) 6
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.

The Bible teaches that there are two sources of spiritual power in the world. One is by far the greatest and that is the power of the Lord God Almighty. The other source of spiritual power is the power of Satan and his minions. There is no third option as far as the Bible is concerned. All power beyond the natural realm stems from one of these two sources. Plain and simple.

The Bible teaches that Satan is a liar and the Father of lies (John 8:44). The Book of Genesis records his first deceptive action when he appeared in the pages of Holy Scripture (Genesis 3:4-5). Aside from this, the opposite is true concerning God. God cannot lie! Scripture declares this as impossible for Him (Hebrews 6:18). Jesus declares Himself as the truth (John 14:6). The Scripture also speaks of the Word of God as truth (John 17:17). So, absolute truth is found in two sources -- one is the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the other is the Holy Scriptures, the very Word of God!

Therefore, when we come back to the so-called "miraculous" signs and wonders taking place at a preaching of a counterfeit gospel like the one preached Sunday by the Pope in Rome, then these signs and wonders (like this apparent exorcism) seem to validate the teaching coming forth from such a church service.

If this sign of exorcism is truly from God (as is suggested), then the teaching from Pope Francis who is leading worship at that time would have to be the truth. For as we have just shown from Scripture -- God cannot lie. He is the truth and so is His word.

Well, the next question that arises then is this: Is the teaching coming forth from the Roman Catholic Pope at the Vatican true? Does it stand up to the scrutiny of Scripture?

If the teaching in such worship meetings is not Biblical, then the signs and wonders that are being labelled as genuine "miracles of God" can only be from Satan, because God could never approve of what is false!

But the opposite is true of Satan. In such circumstances, he is in his ideal environment where his lies can abound. That's why I am convinced that in such an atmosphere it is very easy for his kingdom to demonstrate (complete with "lying signs and wonders") in order to deceive the elect.

Matthew 24:23-24 (ESV) 23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.

The Bible teaches that just before the Lord returns there is to be an increase in signs and wonders that will lend themselves to the deception of, if possible, the very elect themselves. The Antichrist arises in such an atmosphere (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)!

To know the source of such supernatural activity, all one needs to know is if the Scriptures are being taught accurately. We can never trust our feelings in such matters for the Bible cautions us in Jeremiah 17:9 that "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?"

Do Christians ever need exorcisms? No. Furthermore, and to bring this study home on a more personal level, the Bible teaches that every Christian is a priest who needs no other mediator than Christ Himself (1 Peter 2:5; 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6; Revelation 5:10), and that the Holy Spirit makes every Christian capable of resisting Satan (1 Corinthians 10:13; Ephesians 6:11; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:6-11).

Brothers and sisters in Christ, please exercise extreme caution about such things and be discerning and test the spirits like God instructs us to (Ephesians 5:11; Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1).

Grace and peace to you and yours and keep looking up (Luke 21:28)!


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

1 comment

  1. Remember how we stated that whether or not the truth was being proclaimed would ultimately determine whether or not we should accept any "miracle" as being legitimately from God?

    This is a prime example of what I was talking about:

    Pope Francis Says Atheist Can Be Good:

    For starters, he exhibits woeful ignorance of the holy Scriptures in this case. I mean, what about God's Word to the contrary?

    Psalm 53:3 (ESV) They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.

    Romans 3:11-12 (ESV) no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.

    That's just two examples.

    Furthermore, the very concept of morality (i.e. what is "good" and what is "bad") has the Lord as its source. He has defined morality for the world. So then how can an Atheist who rejects God be "good" when they reject the very notion of there being objective morality, or objective "right" and "wrong" in this life?

    This is why it's critical to be discerning, my friends (Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1).

    In Christ Alone,


Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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