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Can the unsaved cast out demons?

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  • Can the unsaved cast out demons?

    Mt. 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? (23) And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you. Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness."

    According to this verse, some people will have the ability to cast out demons and prophesy without knowing the Lord. This doesn't make sense to me, as other passages in Scripture seem to indicate that only those given authority by God will be able to cast out demons:

    Mt. 10:7 And as you go, preach, saying "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." (8) Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."

    Acts 19:15 And the evil spirit answered and said "Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?"

    One would think that God would only give a person whom He knows the authority to cast out demons, but according to the Matthew verse, this isn;t necessarily so. So, then, are we to conclude that God also works through those who are unsaved to cast out demons, because of His mercy towards those who are possessed?

    Or is this verse referring to the charlatans whose ministry is based on showmanship rather than the power of God.....i.e. they do not really cast out demons, but "put on a good show."

  • #2
    Originally posted by Welder4Christ View Post
    So, then, are we to conclude that God also works through those who are unsaved to
    cast out demons, because of His mercy towards those who are possessed?

    No, we can't conclude that. The verse says that Jesus never even knew them. Why would God work thru someone that He never knew? Keep in mind, the verse says that Jesus never knew them. It doesn't state they never knew Jesus. Also you need to read this verse from the perspective of all of the preceeding verses in that chapter.

    When it states that He never knew them, that tells me that they were never a part of God's kingdom, thus they wouldn't be able to prophesy nor cast out demons by the Spirit of God. Look at verse 15.

    15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves

    There is no way that false prophets prophesy via the Spirit of God.

    Comment


    • #3
      Those who don't know Christ do not do any of those things in the power of the Holy Spirit. But, prophecies, healings, etc. can take place apart from God's power, ie the devil's power. And those doing such things may or may not be deceived into thinking they are doing it in God's power.
      Many people do many things 'in the Name of Jesus', as if using that name puts a badge of honor on it.
      The raping, pillaging, and murder done in the Crusades was all done 'in Jesus' Name' also.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Welder4Christ View Post
        Acts 19:15 And the evil spirit answered and said "Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?"
        You missed the rest of the story.... They unsaved tried to cast out the demons, that is when the demons said the above statement. Jesus obviously they knew, Paul they knew because of the power of Christ in him.

        But the Non-Christians, they ended up being attacked, for them it did not work.
        Understanding the bible is simple...

        First know God; then you will know His Word.

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        • #5
          I may have missed something and if so, I apologize, but it isn't the person who casts out demons, it's God. He USES a person but ultimately, He is the One doing the work, whatever that work may be.

          Can He use an unsaved person to accomplish His will? - certainly.
          I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
          - Mahatma Gandhi



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          • #6
            Originally posted by Vhayes View Post
            Can He use an unsaved person to accomplish His will? - certainly.

            For the most part, I won't disagree with this. But this is not what the context in Matt ch 7 is speaking to, It tells us that we can can know them by their fruits, and to be aware of false prophets, etc. Clearly these are not doing so according to God's will. Verse 21 tells us that only those that do the will of the Father shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. These are not doing according to the will of the Father, nor would God allow any of these use of His Spirit to further their iniquities.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by faithbuilders View Post
              You missed the rest of the story.... They unsaved tried to cast out the demons, that is when the demons said the above statement. Jesus obviously they knew, Paul they knew because of the power of Christ in him.

              But the Non-Christians, they ended up being attacked, for them it did not work.
              That was my point.....these men did not know the Lord, therefore, they could not cast them out.

              The Matthew verse refers to those who do not know the Lord, but apparently, can cast them out. How is this possible?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Vhayes View Post
                I may have missed something and if so, I apologize, but it isn't the person who casts out demons, it's God. He USES a person but ultimately, He is the One doing the work, whatever that work may be.
                No...You're not missing anything.

                You speak the truth.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by divaD View Post
                  For the most part, I won't disagree with this. But this is not what the context in Matt ch 7 is speaking to, It tells us that we can can know them by their fruits, and to be aware of false prophets, etc. Clearly these are not doing so according to God's will. Verse 21 tells us that only those that do the will of the Father shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. These are not doing according to the will of the Father, nor would God allow any of these use of His Spirit to further their iniquities.
                  If they are false prophets, and they are not doing it by God's power, the onbly other conclusion is that they are doing it by Satan's....but this seems to contradict the teachings of Jesus:

                  Mark 3:21 So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: "How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end."

                  So, then, we must conclude that the casting out of demons is done only by the power of Christ, which leads back to the original question...Why would God use someone who does not know Him to cast out demons?

                  Obviously, not all who cast out demons are saved.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Welder - I'm "winging" this because i have about a bazillion things I need to try and accomplish today but I wanted to share what I think. Please excuse the lack of scripture references...

                    I think God will accomplish His purpose in a persons life. If a person goes to a false teacher and a demon is cast out by the Holy Spirit, that person will be curious, thankful, hungry, etc. He may stay under the false teachings for a time but I think God will open his eyes and heart to the "wrongness" of the teachings and he will begin to investigate and move on.

                    Denominations all have their own focus. I personally think one of the reasons there are so many denominations is because different people need to learn different lessons at certain periods of their lives. If and when they learn the lesson that particular denomination has taught them, they will be led to move on and find a new church home for yet another lesson.

                    I hope that makes a little sense; as I said I'm trying to do way too many things today...
                    V
                    I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
                    - Mahatma Gandhi



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Vhayes View Post
                      Welder - I'm "winging" this because i have about a bazillion things I need to try and accomplish today but I wanted to share what I think. Please excuse the lack of scripture references...

                      I think God will accomplish His purpose in a persons life. If a person goes to a false teacher and a demon is cast out by the Holy Spirit, that person will be curious, thankful, hungry, etc. He may stay under the false teachings for a time but I think God will open his eyes and heart to the "wrongness" of the teachings and he will begin to investigate and move on.

                      Denominations all have their own focus. I personally think one of the reasons there are so many denominations is because different people need to learn different lessons at certain periods of their lives. If and when they learn the lesson that particular denomination has taught them, they will be led to move on and find a new church home for yet another lesson.

                      I hope that makes a little sense; as I said I'm trying to do way too many things today...
                      V
                      Yes....absolutely.

                      Thanks!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Welder4Christ View Post
                        the onbly other conclusion is that they are doing it by Satan's....but this seems to contradict the teachings of Jesus:

                        Mark 3:21 So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: "How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end."

                        I agree. My thoughts exactly. This would be in contradiction to Scripture, so it's not satan doing this either. The truth is, no one is actually doing anything.

                        If these claimed to have prophesied in Jesus' name, yet we know that they're really false prophets, and if thay claimed that they did many wonderful works in His name, yet Jesus claims that He knew them not, and tells them to depart from Him, ye that work iniquity, then what does that tell us about casting out demons in His name? If the first and last were false claims by them, then so would be the casting out of demons. To put it simply, they never did cast out demons in His name, They only thought they did. IOW, phonies from head to toe.

                        This passage in Matt ch 7 doesn't imply that anyone cast out demons in Jesus' name. It implies just the opposite.

                        Why do I come to this conclusion? Because Jesus said He never knew them. It didn't say that He knew them for awhile, and that something later caused Him not to know them anymore. He specifically stated that He never knew them to begin with. And with this in mind, no one in this passage ever literally cast out demons in His name, unless one wants to also assume that false prophets work via the Spirit of the Lord, since they claimed to have prophesied in His name also.

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                        • #13
                          Okay, so they never really cast out demons? In other words, they were charlatans.

                          That makes sense. Thank you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The verse in the OP sound to me like these people are being called on the carpet by the Lord to answer for themselves, and they're pulling whatever "God-related" things the can out of their sleeves to try and get on His "good side" and cover for a lifestyle of disregarding Him, as if doing so is going to save their hides, so to speak. They're not even repenting of their sin. And they didn't know Him at all or they would have known that His emphasis is on love and service, not on flashy displays of supernatural power. When His disciples came to Him rejoicing that even demons were subjects to them, wasn't His reply to rather rejoice that their names were written in Heaven? People that spend enough time bothering to get to know Jesus will come to realize His priorities, that is something that cannot be helped.

                            Either way, their lives obvious must not have been a reflection of anything solid or their response would have been "did we not obey the Scriptures?" or "were we not good people who tried to do good to others?" and other such things. And Jesus was clear that these people were practicing lawlessness, which means they were involved in a lifstyle of sin, far away from God. It's interesting to note what they didn't say in an attempt to side themselves with the Lord when He called them to judgment for their lives. There are a thousand other things these people could have used to answer for themselves. Obviously, they had nothing, and knew it, and now they're pulling at straws, thinking that invoking His name alone will save them, when His name is irrevocably attached to His Person, who they obviously never bothered to get to know. Think about it in the context in which these statements were made.

                            I could of course be way off with my viewpoint here (I often am) but that was just something that struck me.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DaniHansen View Post
                              The verse in the OP sound to me like these people are being called on the carpet by the Lord to answer for themselves, and they're pulling whatever "God-related" things the can out of their sleeves to try and get on His "good side" and cover for a lifestyle of disregarding Him, as if doing so is going to save their hides, so to speak. They're not even repenting of their sin. And they didn't know Him at all or they would have known that His emphasis is on love and service, not on flashy displays of supernatural power. When His disciples came to Him rejoicing that even demons were subjects to them, wasn't His reply to rather rejoice that their names were written in Heaven? People that spend enough time bothering to get to know Jesus will come to realize His priorities, that is something that cannot be helped.

                              Either way, their lives obvious must not have been a reflection of anything solid or their response would have been "did we not obey the Scriptures?" or "were we not good people who tried to do good to others?" and other such things. And Jesus was clear that these people were practicing lawlessness, which means they were involved in a lifstyle of sin, far away from God. It's interesting to note what they didn't say in an attempt to side themselves with the Lord when He called them to judgment for their lives. There are a thousand other things these people could have used to answer for themselves. Obviously, they had nothing, and knew it, and now they're pulling at straws, thinking that invoking His name alone will save them, when His name is irrevocably attached to His Person, who they obviously never bothered to get to know. Think about it in the context in which these statements were made.

                              I could of course be way off with my viewpoint here (I often am) but that was just something that struck me.

                              I'm not going to say that I agree nor disagree with this, but what I get out of this passage is this. Our salvation isn't simply dependent on us knowing Him. He also has to know us. That's what counts.

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