What is Exorcism?

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Do evil or bad spirits really exist? What are exorcisms and can just anyone perform these miracles? Are all people who perform miracles sent by God?

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Jose Ramirez: My name is Jose Mendoza Ramirez and my doubt is that if exorcists really exist—sometimes they come to swindle us.

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Jose Ramirez

San Miguel el Grande

Oaxaca, Mexico

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Brother Bob Pellien: Thank you very much, Jose for that comment or question. As we can notice from Jose’s video submission, he’s wondering, or maybe it’s more accurate to say doubting, if there are really people who can perform what he calls exorcisms, because he feels that, well, there [are] people who are just swindling others and being deceptive for the purpose of dishonest gain. So, today, dear friends, we’re going to ask, well, two important questions based on what Mr. Jose has said. First of all, what is exorcism? 

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QUESTION: What is exorcism and are there those who can really perform them?

Brother Bob: And are there those who can really, truly perform them?  And then secondly, if one does perform such a miraculous work is that the evidence that that person is really sent from God?

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QUESTION: Does performing miracles prove that a person is from God and therefore we should follow what he or she says?

Brother Bob: And of course then should therefore be followed and believed and everything that they will teach and say? Let’s start by defining exactly what is exorcism? Exorcism from the dictionary, well, it’s the act of casting out or expelling an evil spirit or demon from someone. 

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-Exorcism

[ek-sawr-siz-uh m, -ser-]

(noun) the act or process of exorcising.

(verb) exorcised, exorcising.

1. to seek to expel (an evil spirit) by 

Adjuration or religious or solemn ceremonies:

To exorcise a demon.

Source: Dictionary.com

Brother Bob: The dictionary calls it or considers it to be a noun, they act or even process of exorcising, as a verb exorcised, exorcising, to seek to expel an evil spirit, by adjuration or religious or solemn ceremonies: to exorcise a demon.  

Who performs exorcisms? Do bad spirits really exist?

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QUESTION: Are there really those that can perform exorcism or cast out evil spirits or demons?

Brother Bob: So according to the Bible, are there really those that can perform exorcism, or what the Bible describes as the casting out of evil spirits or the casting out of demons?  Let’s go to the Bible to start receiving some biblical guidance and answers. So it may be that the term exorcism is not found in the Bible, but what is found in the Bible? Matthew, chapter 8, verse 16, I quote: 

When evening came, people brought to Jesus many who had demons in them. Jesus drove out the evil spirits with a word and healed all who were sick.

[Matthew 8:16 Good News Translation]

Brother Bob: So we can read here in the Bible, dear friends, where Jesus—

He did have the ability or the power, the authority to perform what Jose called exorcism or the casting out of evil spirits.

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QUESTION: Is he the only one that had that ability according to the Bible?

Brother Bob: Is He the only one though that had that ability or had that authority according to the Bible? Well, let’s continue. The Bible also teaches us the following in Matthew chapter 10, verse 1:

Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and every sickness.

[Matthew 10:1 Good News Translation]

Brother Bob: So evidently, according to the Bible, exorcism did take place or the casting out of demons did happen. And the Bible mentions those, for example, our Lord Jesus Christ, and in this verse His apostles were given that authority to drive out evil spirits. They were able to perform that miraculous work. There’s no question of course, that our Lord Jesus Christ even his Apostles, and others enumerated in the Bible, just like them are in fact instruments of God. 

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Our Lord Jesus Christ , the Apostles and others enumerated in the Bible like them are instruments of God.

Brother Bob: There’s no question that they are specifically because they’re specifically described that way in the Bible that they were given that authority from God. And as instruments sent by God, messengers of God, we should follow them, we should obey what they teach. Why? Because what they teach are God’s teachings. They are God’s messengers and they bring God’s message. 

Can anyone do an exorcism?

Brother Bob: Well, but does it mean though, that just anyone who was able to perform miracle—and this is this is the point that Mr. Jose is posing. This is what he’s noticing. This is what he was commenting about because he saw some that were performing miracles or some that were claiming to have all these wonderful things and then they were deceiving and swindling the people. So does it mean that anyone who performs miracles, this is our question, Mr. Jose.  

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Question: Does it mean that anyone who is able to perform miracles or exorcism is then a messenger of God, which in turn should be followed and obeyed? Is that the only proof necessary?

Brother Bob: Anyone performing miracles and casting out demons, can it be said that they are therefore a messenger of God, in turn to be followed and obeyed? Is the casting out of demons or other kinds of miracles or healings and such, is that the only proof that is necessary to determine that one is truly an instrument of God? Let’s listen together, dear friends, to the answer of our Lord Jesus Christ. To those who feel that they’re with Him, well, because well maybe they’re able to cast out demons, maybe they’re performing different kinds of wondrous works, here’s the response of Jesus to them. It’s recorded here and in Matthew chapter 7, verses 22 and 23. He said this:

Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied In Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many many wonders in your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

[Matthew 7:22-23 New King James Version]

Brother Bob: So here, dear friends, according to what is written, Jesus Himself, well, He cleared up any misconception that if one is able to perform exorcisms, as Mr. Jose calls them, or the casting out of demons, or any other miracle, for that matter, even if one uses the name of Christ, the idea of many as a well is that then that automatically proves or presents the evidence that they must be God’s messengers.  But we can see from what Jesus said here, that’s simply not true. Christ, who was of course the greatest messenger of God and He’s the one who knows those who truly God has sent, because he’s the only mediator between God and men in the first place, He said of some who performed the casting out of demons and performed the grand healings and other kinds of miracles, what did he say to them? He said:

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“I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practices lawlessness!”

Brother Bob:  But you know, some might be wondering how [can] one who’s not sent by God is able to perform such kind of wonders and miracles and healings and casting out of demons and all these things?

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QUESTION:  How is it then that one not sent by God is able to perform such wonders?

Brother Bob: If he’s not doing God’s work, then, well, whose work is he doing? Let’s turn to the writings of the Scriptures once again for the Bible’s answer. We turn 2 Thessalonians 2, verses 9 and 10, which says this: 

The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

[2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 New King James Version]

Brother Bob: Here, dear friends, what we can see, what we’re learning here is that Satan can use miracles. 

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Satan can use miracles or wonders as deceptions.

Not all miracles are from God

Brother Bob: Satan does use miracles, uses wonders in his attempt to deceive. This means that Jose, you know, Mr. Jose presented those doubts and skepticism, it actually has some validity. Why? Because the devil himself uses these powers to swindle people, to deceive people, according to what we just read here from Apostle Paul. So, if these miracles, signs, or wonders are used by the devil to deceive people, one might ask, “why does God allow these things to take place?”

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Question: “Why does God allow these things to take place?

Brother Bob: Listen again to the answer of the Holy Bible, here in Deuteronomy, chapter 13. Let’s Let’s read together, verses 1, 2, and 3:

“Prophets or interpreters of dreams may promise a miracle or a wonder, in order to lead you to worship and serve gods that you have not worshiped before. Even if what they promised comes true, do not pay any attention to them. The Lord your God is using them to test you, to see if you love the Lord, with all your heart.

[Deuteronomy 13:1-3 Good News Translation]

Brother Bob: So, dear friends, according to the Bible here, if any one of us would witness somebody performing what appears to be a miracle, a miraculous event takes place, or it’s a grand wonder, they should not automatically listen, automatically perceive that that someone to be followed because they’re from God. No. We already learned earlier that the devil could use these powers to deceive people. And here now we learned that, well, why does God allow that to happen? In order to test His people. Why? To see if they really love Him with all their hearts and they’ll cling to this. If that were the case then how would any one of us go about passing God’s test?

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QUESTION: How would one go about passing God’s test?

Brother Bob: If God does not want us to pay attention or just be so easily duped by Satan’s deceivers, it wants us to pay attention and not follow just anyone who might claim to come from God, even if they perform miracles, even if they perform various kinds of wonders, then who should we follow? We find the answer in the very next verse of the Bible, Deuteronomy 13. This time we’ll read verse 4 wherein it says this:

It is the Lord your God, you must follow and him, you must revere. Keep his commands and obey Him; serve him and hold fast to him.

[Deuteronomy 13:4 New International Version]

Brother Bob: So, dear friends, the answer is very clear. In order to pass God’s test, one must follow God by obeying His commands. And as we can clearly – and we already know, that His commands are what’s written here in the Holy Bible. And so this is the reason why performing miracles or wonders like exorcism, casting out of demons, it’s not the basis we can use to determine if someone is really from God. 

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Performing miracles or wonders like exorcism is not a basis we should use to determine if someone is from God.

Brother Bob: Why not? Because even if one is able to perform such miracles, it could easily be God’s enemy, the devil, trying to trick us into going against God’s words. We should understand that well, those sent by God, they will speak God’s words. 

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Those sent by God will speak God’s words.

Brother Bob: They will teach God’s teachings and God’s commands written here in the Bible. Therefore, that’s what we should always follow. That’s what we should always use as a foundation of our faith. This is what we should firmly believe in because that’s in the Bible.

Brother Bob: Friends, when you are ready to learn more about the fundamental teachings found here inside the Church Of Christ, please visit

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Brother Bob: Thank you for joining us today. We’ll see you again next time on That’s in the Bible

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