Matt 23:27-28 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Matt 12:26 “If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.
But reality is, anyone who call upon the name of the LORD can cast out demons, even the Pharisees whom Jesus referred to as hypocrites as Jesus Himself mentioned.
Matt 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 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?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
There are some important points about casting out demons:
- Jesus made it very clear that Satan cannot cast out Satan but by the finger of God
- Jesus acknowledged Pharisees casting out Satan.
- Jesus also made it very clear that even those who practice lawlessness can cast out demons.
Jesus is making a point that God can use anyone, even a hypocrite like Pharisees who call upon the name of the LORD to cast out Satan. Jesus also explained that certain unclean spirits can only be cast out by fasting and praying (Matt 17:21). The only exception to this is Satan, who cannot cast himself out.
Luke 9:1 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.
Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. …(17) Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
There is a specific event where Jesus sent the seventy to whom demons were subject to. In an another place, Jesus gave the twelve authority over all demons.
Mark 9:39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me.
In an another instance, Jesus Himself explained, those who work a miracle in His name can soon after speak evil of Him. In the explanation provided by Jesus, there is a disconnect between Jesus and the miracle performed by the other person.
We can see how God is glorifying the name of His Son. At the same time, Jesus never knew those who practice lawlessness and iniquity, who still can use His name to do miracles and cast out demons. Hence, Jesus is making extremely clear that casting out demons or doing miracles or prophesying is not a sign of God’s approval of that person.