WHY when that was the first power Christ gave to his chosen Twelve? when that was the first joyful report by the returning Seventy?
AND when [Jesus] had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. (New Testament | Matthew 10:1)WHY when the New Testament book of Acts has several accounts1 openly proclaiming the casting out of unclean spirits and devils?
And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: (New Testament | Mark 3:14-15)
And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; ... And they cast out many devils, ... (New Testament | Mark 6:7, 13)
THEN he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. (New Testament | Luke 9:1)
And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. (New Testament | Luke 10:17)
WHY when Nephi's vision (of the Savior's life and mission) twice references devils and unclean spirits afflicting people and that by the power of the Lamb of God, they were cast out?
And he spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked, and I beheld the Lamb of God going forth among the children of men. And I beheld multitudes of people who were sick, and who were afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with devils and unclean spirits; and the angel spake and showed all these things unto me. And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God; and the devils and the unclean spirits were cast out. (Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 11:31)WHY when our second scriptural witness to Christ also states:
And these signs shall follow them that believe—in my name shall they cast out devils; (Book of Mormon | Mormon 9:24)WHY when our Doctrine and Covenants states:
And in the name of Jesus did he [Nephi3] cast out devils and unclean spirits; and even his brother did he raise from the dead, after he had been stoned and suffered death by the people. ... And as many as had devils cast out from them, and were healed of their sicknesses and their infirmities, did truly manifest unto the people that they had been wrought upon by the Spirit of God, and had been healed; ... (Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 7:19, 22)
Require not miracles, except I shall command you, except casting out devils, healing the sick, and against poisonous serpents, and against deadly poisons; And these things ye shall not do, except it be required of you by them who desire it, that the scriptures might be fulfilled; for ye shall do according to that which is written. (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 24:13-14)
And whoso shall ask it in my name in faith, they shall cast out devils; ... (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 35:9)
And these signs shall follow them that believe— In my name they shall do many wonderful works; In my name they shall cast out devils; (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 84:65-67)
And these signs shall follow him—he shall heal the sick, he shall cast out devils, and shall be delivered from those who would administer unto him deadly poison; (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 124:98)
WHY when this was placed first of the signs that follow those that believe?
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (New Testament | Mark 16:17-18)Do we deny / ignore Jesus' healing modality because we think we are more rational? more scientific? more sophisticated? more knowledgeable than Jesus, the Creator, the Great I AM?
Are we embarrassed / ashamed to admit that unclean spirits might be attached to, possessing of, or seeking to influence us2: our thoughts, actions, choices?
Are we more untouched than "Mary Magdalene out of whom [Jesus] had cast seven devils"3?
What do we think the devil, opposition, and testing are all about?
Have we not yet discerned the first Law of Attraction? that "the devil is more obsessed with those who are seeking to do and be good than those who are not"? that a good portion of the adversary's agenda is to get good people enamored with the culture, wealth, amenities, and philosophies of Babylon? OR, on the other hand, to encourage descent into overwhelming self-loathing, depressions, and despair?
How many have labored in agony over thoughts, feelings, addictions, obsessions, etc. that they think are self-generated from some flawed, un-redeemable core when they are, in fact, under attack by a lying adversary intent on capturing or destroying a child of God?
Whenever I hear of a suicide (and they are becoming so much more frequent), I wonder if, by being
▪ unbelievers in Christ's healing modality;we have done everything but that most powerful thing?
▪ unbelievers in the reality and extent of opposition and evil agendas;
▪ unprepared to ask and act in Christ's name in faith;
▪ afraid to look foolish, judgmental, or acting beyond authority;
▪ ignorant of the when-to, how-to,4
[W]hoso shall ask it in my name in faith, they shall cast out devils; ... (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 35:9)I have already written a lot on this subject in prior posts because it distresses me that we seem to be unbelievers in one of the great rescuing / healing powers of God.
▪ Jesus: à la mode? at http://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.com/2016/08/jesus-la-mode.htmlI have heard latter-day psychologists, therapists, counselors etc, openly disdain the idea of unclean spirits — of casting out. And I continue to wonder if we will ever have the faith and courage to believe that God has given believers6 the power and authority to ask and act in His Name.
▪ What Did Jesus Do? at http://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.com/2016/12/what-did-jesus-do_16.html
▪ “We Are Legion”??? at http://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.com/2016/10/we-are-legion.html
▪ A Gift of Awareness? at http://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.com/2016/12/a-gift-of-awareness.html
1. New Testament | Acts 5:16 ~ There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
New Testament | Acts 8:6–8 ~ And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city.
New Testament | Acts 10:38 ~ How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
New Testament | Acts 16:16-18 ~ And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
New Testament | Acts 19:12 ~ So that from his [Paul's] body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.
2. Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 28:20–22 ~ For behold, at that day shall he [the devil] rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good. And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell. And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.
3. New Testament | Mark 16:9 ~ Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
4. Some examples from Scripture:
New Testament | Mark 9:17-29 ~ And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
New Testament | Acts 19:13–17 ~ Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 50:30-35 ~ But know this, it shall be given you what you shall ask; and as ye are appointed to the head, the spirits shall be subject unto you. Wherefore, it shall come to pass, that if you behold a spirit manifested that you cannot understand, and you receive not that spirit, ye shall ask of the Father in the name of Jesus; and if he give not unto you that spirit, then you may know that it is not of God. And it shall be given unto you, power over that spirit; and you shall proclaim against that spirit with a loud voice that it is not of God— Not with railing accusation, that ye be not overcome, neither with boasting nor rejoicing, lest you be seized therewith. He that receiveth of God, let him account it of God; and let him rejoice that he is accounted of God worthy to receive. And by giving heed and doing these things which ye have received, and which ye shall hereafter receive—and the kingdom is given you of the Father, and power to overcome all things which are not ordained of him— [This instruction was given to Joseph Smith, "appointed to the head" but may be instructive to all, along with individual guidance of the Holy Spirit in each circumstance.]
Pearl of Great Price | Moses 1:18–22 ~ And again Moses said: I will not cease to call upon God, I have other things to inquire of him: for his glory has been upon me, wherefore I can judge between him and thee. Depart hence, Satan. And now, when Moses had said these words, Satan cried with a loud voice, and ranted upon the earth, and commanded, saying: I am the Only Begotten, worship me. And it came to pass that Moses began to fear exceedingly; and as he began to fear, he saw the bitterness of hell. Nevertheless, calling upon God, he received strength, and he commanded, saying: Depart from me, Satan, for this one God only will I worship, which is the God of glory. And now Satan began to tremble, and the earth shook; and Moses received strength, and called upon God, saying: In the name of the Only Begotten, depart hence, Satan. And it came to pass that Satan cried with a loud voice, with weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth; and he departed hence, even from the presence of Moses, that he beheld him not.
5. New Testament | Mark 9:38 - 40 ~ And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part. [But also consider Act 19:13-17 quoted above in footnote 3.]
6. Who is a believer? Does it require a triune state, as in thought, word, and deed? See footnotes 4 & 5 above and also:
Old Testament | Deuteronomy 7:9 ~ Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; [also Deuteronomy 11:13; 22; 19:9; 30:16]
New Testament | John 14:15 ~ If ye love me, keep my commandments.
New Testament | John 14:23–24 ~ Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: ...
New Testament | John 15:10 ~ If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
New Testament | Romans 3:22 ~ Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
New Testament | 1 John 5:3 ~ For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 46:8-9 ~ Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given; For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me, that ask and not for a sign that they may consume it upon their lusts.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 95:12 ~ If you keep not my commandments, the love of the Father shall not continue with you, therefore you shall walk in darkness.
New Testament | Mark 11:23 ~ For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.