"Why there is not anymore the practice of casting out the
demon or healing,lay hand,..in this generation which had previously been
practiced during Jesus' time and also 1st century disciples? what is there
are now a demon possessed person,how can we as disciples help them? What
is the biblical view over witchcraft, sorcery, divination?"
The easiest place to start is the biblical view of witchcraft, sorcery
and divination - The biblical view is that they are off limits to the
Christian. This view is seen in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
"A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put
to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.'"
"When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not
learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one
be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in a the fire, who
practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,
or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.
Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of
these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations
before you. You must be blameless before the LORD your God. he nations
you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination.
But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so. The
LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your
own brothers. You must listen to him."
As we can see the Old Testament was vary specific about it - it is interesting
to note that most of what people call "New Age" practices are
actually thousands of years old - they are just resurfacing with different
In the New Testament we see that God has the same attitude towards these
practices - the bottom line is we can't condone these practices as Christians.
"So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires
of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to
the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They
are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the
sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish
ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the
like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will
not inherit the kingdom of God."
"He said to me: 'It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning
and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from
the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this,
and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving,
the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic
arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery
lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death.'"
Demons and Laying on of Hands
In asking the question you have correctly linked these topics
together. In a nutshell as Jesus was active in the land so was Satan in
a very powerful way. Satan attempted everything he could to kill Jesus
and to foil his ministry here on Earth. Ironically this actually ended
up giving a greater testimony of Jesus and his power.
The Laying on of Hands that imparted Spiritual
gifts was a special gift given by God to believers to testify to the truth
of the Gospel of Jesus. Only the Apostles were able to impart this gift
to other believers. With the collection and canonisation of the New Testament
scriptures we no longer needed the special gifts to act as a testimony
as we now have the Bible.
Demons as a whole are an interesting topic and you will find many varied
opinions on them. A lot of people today claim that the "Demons"
in the Bible were really mental illnesses or that serial killers today
are demon possessed. A lot of fiction has grown up around the idea of
demons and demon possession especially with the slew of movies out these
We do know that in Jesus' time that demons were intelligent beings that
possessed a separate consciousness from the person they were possessing.
They could predict the future and knew that Jesus was the Messiah and
were terrified of him.
Today I believe that God can work in miraculous ways and that spirits
and angels go amongst us fighting a spiritual war - as to demon possession
I cannot say - I have not seen or read of any modern day possession that
is verifiable. I do believe that if you encountered someone that was possessed
that all the tools you need are given to us in the Gospel - faith, belief
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the
full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's
schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against
the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world
and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore
put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you
may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything,
to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your
waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet
fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition
to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish
all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and
the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit
on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in
mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."
We are told that we will never face a challenge that is beyond us - I
believe this would also extend to demon possession and dealing with any
such possession. Have a look at the following two verses.
1 Corinthians 10:13
"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God
is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.
But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can
stand up under it."
"When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before
him. 'Lord, have mercy on my son,' he said. 'He has seizures and is suffering
greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him
to your disciples, but they could not heal him.' 'O unbelieving and perverse
generation,' Jesus replied, 'how long shall I stay with you? How long
shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.' Jesus rebuked the
demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.
Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, 'Why couldn't we
drive it out?' He replied, 'Because you have so little faith. I tell you
the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to
this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will
be impossible for you.'