According to ABC News the devil must be busier than ever in the new millennium. The posted article reads in part….”Exorcism, the ancient rite of casting out Satan and his demons from the souls of the possessed, is thriving in America, and was, long before recent revelations that Mother Teresa underwent one, and Pope John Paul II preformed them. The Catholic Church has at least ten official exorcists around the United States, making exorcism more readily available today in the U.S. than perhaps ever before", writes Michael Cuneo, a sociologist at Fordham University in his new published book American Exorcism.
Cuneo suggests that the hit book and movie “The Exorcist” brought the subject to national attention in the 1970’s, resulting in a growing popularity in the ensuing decades. Cuneo has found exorcists reporting the kind of bizarre supernatural behavior featured in movies: levitation, mysterious scars and wounds that might form pictures or spell out hateful words, and more.
The Italian media reported that the Pope attempted to exorcise an evil spirit from a 19-year-old Italian woman who displayed superhuman strength, and that the Pope’s efforts did not rid her of the hostile spirit. As strange as it seems, the Catholic Church, Hollywood and the Bible are all in agreement about the existence of demonic spirits. The Scriptures record a telling incident when Jesus met a man “who had dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones” (Mark 5:3-5). It was determined that the man was possessed with many unclean spirits, but at the command of the Lord they entered into a herd of swine which subsequently ran into the sea and drowned. It is widely rumored that the evil spirits then left the pigs and fled to California.
The story in its totality reveals some of the most prominent marks of demon possession which are: (1) an affinity for dead bodies (the walking dead); (2) unnatural strength (Marvel comics); (3) nakedness – Luke 8:27 (Naked and Afraid); and (4) doing penance by self-mutilation. All of these symptoms can be observed on nightly television or at the movies. Everyone in both Testaments believed in demons and the Devil. According to all humanists and Liberals, that classifies “the holy scriptures” as literature written by ignorant, superstitious, non-scientific cultures, but it seems more than a little odd that so much money has been made fussing over things that don’t exist.
The main passages dealing with those who traffic with demons and devils in the Old Testament are: Ex. 7:11; Lev. 20:27; Deut. 18:10-14; Isa. 8:19, 14:13; Dan. 2:2, 4:7, 5:15. The words in a dictionary defining necromancers may have similar definitions, but there are various shades of meaning: (1) “Wise men” (Ex. 7:11) – Chakamin: men who used magic to counsel a ruler.( 2) “Magicians” (Ex. 7:11) – Chartummim: scribes or priests who used ritualistic magic in worship like Jannes and Jambres in II Tim. 3:8. (3) “Diviners” (Deut. 18:14) –Qosemim: people who tell the future through communion with spirits. (4) “Observer of times” (Deut. 18:10) – Anan: a diviner who uses signs or omens. (5) “Charmer” (Deut. 18:11) –Charbar-cheber: not only someone who uses charms and amulets in practicing magic, but a hypnotist or someone who casts spells on people to bring them under his power like a voodoo priest does. (6) “Familiar spirit” (Lev. 20:27) – Owb: a demon who comes at the call of a person.” “A consulter with familiar spirits” would be any yogi or fortune teller. The Greek form of the word meant “ventriloquist.” (7) “Wizard” (Deut. 18:11) – Yiddehon: literally, “knowing one;” the Greek word would be gnostic. It is someone who practices magic from arcane knowledge found in books…popularized by the works of Tolkien and the Wizard of Oz. (8) “Astrologers” (Dan. 1:20) –Ashshaphim: those who predict the future from the planets and stars. (9) “Stargazers” ( Isa. 47:13) – Chozim-bakkokabim: people who predict the future from looking at the constellations. Astrologers and stargazers use horoscopes to do this. In the same verse “the monthly prognosticators” use the moon to divine. (10) “Sorcerers”: (Ex. 7:11) – Kashshap: in the New Testament the word involves the use of drugs and potions to practice magic. (11) “Witch” (Ex. 22:18) – Kesheph; someone who invoked the power of the spirits of nature (animism) through spells and incantations. Popularized by Harry Potter, Aleister Crowley, and “Dungeons and Dragons.”
The presence of these purveyors of evil in ancient as well as present societies speaks to a sense of reality. But these whose work is in the field of individuals is small potatoes compared to what Paul warned us about: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). A word search reveals the Apostle was speaking primarily about governments and the satanic attacks leveled at them. If it’s possible to conduct an exorcism on an entire city, Washington, D.C. would be an excellent first candidate!