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Setting the Captives Free:
An Essay on Demons
by Lynn Ridenhour
Essay on the power, modalities, pervasiveness even among righteous Christians, and means of removing demons.
Are Demons Real -- Discussion Board
A woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him and came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. But Jesus said unto her, Let the children of the kingdom first be filled; for it is not meet to take the children's bread and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord; thou sayest truly,yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs. And he said unto her, For this saying, go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. "
--Mark 7:24-29 (JST)
Are they real? Out of the blue I heard...
"Does Lynn Ridenhour have any demons?"
"Yes!" snarled the boy.
That was over thirty years ago and I can still hear those words. Piercing. Cutting into my soul like a knife.
Brother Murrell, our neighbor and evangelist friend, had just asked his eleven year-old son, Billy, who was manifesting demons, if I had any.
"Who are they?" continued Brother Murrell.
The young lad went on to name about fourteen more. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's back up...
I had always wanted to love Jesus with all my heart, but something seemed to be in the way.
I Inherited Occult Demons:
My grandmother could "blow fire" out of you and remove warts from your body by saying something under her breath. She was a wonderful person and everyone in our small town loved her. The whole town called her "grandma."
Grandma wouldn't harm a flee and was always the "life of the party" everywhere she went.
When I was 13 years old she removed a wart from my right elbow. She took a raw pea, rubbed it in a circle around the wart, mumbled something under her breath, and blew on my arm at the same time. Then she told me, "....Take the pea, go down to the creek, and throw it over your right shoulder. The wart will disappear within three days."
It did! That was years ago.
Linda, my wife and I were living in Alexandria, Louisiana. We were attending the "Sheep Shed" over in Rustin about forty miles away. Since we had recently been filled with the Spirit, we felt as though we needed "shepherding." The "Sheep Shed" was an actual shed where Spirit-filled believers met on Sunday evenings for worship. We attended our various churches on Sunday mornings, then came together for praise and worship in the evenings.
One evening I received a phone call from my neighbor, Conrad Murrell. Brother Murrell was a Baptist evangelist. He said on the phone (rather quickly too), "....Lynn, I need your help. Billy [his son] is manifesting demons." I could tell he was nervous. I didn't know what to say. I had never seen demons manifested before. I had read about them in the Bible. I said, "I'll be right there."
Brother Murrell lived no more than three minutes from our house. I told my wife what was happening. We went over. Brother Murrell opened the door. Walking in, we witnessed an eleven year-old boy scooting along the floor on his hands, making sounds like a dog and hiding from the light.
"....Turn that lamp off. Turn it off. I don't like it," he yelled with a deep voice.
That scared me. I mumbled under my breath, "This ain't church" and sat on the couch next to my wife, not knowing what to expect. Billy would only respond to commands given "in the name of Jesus" and to phrases mentioning the blood of Christ.
Brother Murrell was in charge. Linda and I were just sitting there. For an hour or so we watched demons scream, bark, slobber, and come out of the lad's mouth with a vengeance. I witnessed my first demonic deliverance. It wasn't a pretty sight and I didn't enjoy it. "Church," with its soft lights, prelude music and its sentimental singing is much more peaceful. The demons would talk back. Say ugly things and yell, "We're not leaving. You can't make us leave. We've been here a long time."
Then Brother Murrell, to my surprise, asked one of the demons, "Does Lynn Ridenhour have any demons?"
"....Yes, " it snarled.
My heart sank. Sweat popped out on my palms.
"Who are they?" asked Brother Murrell.
What I heard next floored me.
The demon went on to name about fourteen more. Brother Murrell got a pencil and started writing down their names. I knew that eleven year-old boy on the floor didn't know what he was saying, didn't have that kind of vocabulary, nor did he know that much theology. Someone else was doing the talking. Then it dawned on me, big time...this is real. I asked for deliverance.
Brother Murrell sat a chair in the middle of the room and asked me to sit in it. He took charge, covering those present with the blood, and commanded the spirits in me to manifest themselves. He had no sooner spoken 'til I was literally picked up out of the chair and thrown on the floor. It was like I was coming out from underneath anesthesia. I lay there and could hear everyone talking out there but they sounded so far off. So far away. I couldn't move. My motor skills had shut down, had been taken over. I couldn't even talk. Something was choking me. And I was frightened.
Brother Murrell commanded the spirits to let go of me and to leave. I heard my vocal cords screaming back, ".We're going to kill him! We're going to break his neck!" Then my neck started twisting until I thought it would snap. Brother Murrell responded, "....You'll not kill him. I have authority over you in the name of Jesus. You must obey me."
One of them screamed, "....We're giving him a heart attack."
All of a sudden, my heart started racing out of control. I experienced shortness of breath. My face broke out in a cold sweat. Brother Murrell put his hand upon my chest and commanded the demons to stop. The throbbing stopped and my heartbeat immediately returned to normal. I was really terrified. Four hours later the session ended. All the spirits didn't leave, but many did. (I was exhausted.) I went back for deliverance sessions for two weeks. Finally, I was free! Free in Jesus. 0, what a difference it made. No. What a difference it makes.
I had forty-eight spirits in me. Some of them affected my body; others, my mind. I remember, for example, on a number of occasions I could "feel something" traveling up and down my spine. I was always going to chiropractors. My spine would not stay in line. I had no idea it was spirits "nesting" in my spine, causing my vertebrae to be subluxated. My spine was their home. Chiropractors could not get my vertebrae "to tick." To stay in line. And I went to a number of them. In a matter of two r three days, (usually a matter of hours) my vertebrae would be out again.
Since my deliverance, for the past thirty years my spine's been fine. That something" traveling up and down my spine has left me. Yes, I was born again when all this was happening. And yes, I was Spirit-filled. Just recently my wife and I had been introduced to the blessed Holy Spirit.
But I had inherited a bunch of occult demons from my grandmother long ago and didn't even know it. I probably was born with them. (My goodness, we were never taught anything like this in our Baptist church! And most of my Baptist friends would have run out of the room like a Texas jackrabbit if they had witnessed what I had just gone through.) My blessed grandmother had no idea she was practicing white magic on her grandchildren when she "blew fire" or removed warts from them. But she was. She read the Bible often.
I was set free thirty years ago and I've been free in Jesus since. 0, the joy of deliverance. It's part of the gospel, you know. Was the humiliation worth it? Ask my wife. She lives with me. I'm a different person. I've got one thing to say--Praise his holy name. I owe my very life to him.
Let's turn our attention briefly to the restoration. Does the restoration gospel include the ministry of deliverance? Did Joseph Smith believe in casting out demons? And are we to cast out demons today?
The answer to all three questions is yes.
Joseph Smith and Demons:
I find it exceedingly interesting--the restoration began with a deliverance session! One very much like I attended. And I heartily advocate--saints, return to your heritage. We must. So many are hurting. So many saints need our help.
The date was April 1830. The place was the home of Joseph Knight in Colesville, Broom County, New York. The occasion: the Church's first miracle. Joseph Knight had a son, Newel, who was anxious to pray publicly but he was shy. Joseph Smith's own account reads ".his visage and limbs distorted and twisted in every shape and appearance.finally he was caught up off the floor of the apartment, and tossed about most fearfully. " I know the feeling.
A demon had manifested itself and Joseph was there.
The young man asked Joseph to cast the devil out of him. "I replied, " said Joseph, "'....If you know that I can, it shall be done;' and then almost unconsciously I rebuked the devil, and commanded him in the name of Jesus Christ to depart from him.'"
What happened next?
"....immediately Newel spoke out and said that he saw the devil leave him and vanish from his sight..."
Joseph recorded, "....This was the first miracle which was done in the Church." (Vol. I p.p.84-86).
The first miracle of the Church was a deliverance session!
Thus, was birthed the restoration movement. Joseph set the first captive free! And we're to continue setting the captives free. The restoration gospel hasn't changed. Deliverance is still a vital part of the restoration gospel. The Master, himself, spent most of his time in the deliverance ministry. He spent most of his earthly ministry casting out spirits. And we probably emphasize it the least.
Which brings up the question....
How Do We Approach This Subject?
First of all, Satan's perfectly happy if you share two attitudes toward him: 1) an attitude of exaggeration, or 2) an attitude of neglect. Both ways he wins and both attitudes will get you in to trouble.
How do we Christians approach this subject? From a standpoint of victory. Jesus made it clear. It's not even debatable, "....All power is given unto me in heaven and earth" (Mt.28:17). Satan has no power. None. Jesus has all power.
Second, we approach this subject by not becoming preoccupied with it. The prophet Isaiah shares words of wisdom here, "....Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee" (Isa.26:3). Whose mind is on the lord, not demons. I have met Christians who get more "riled up" about the Anti-Christ's coming than Christ's. Their mind is stayed on the wrong thing. On 666. No wonder they have no peace.
Third, don't arrange your theology in order that you won't have to deal with the reality of demons. I know a lot of saints who are guilty of this one. Nephi has the all-important word here:
".And behold, others he [Satan] flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them, I am no devil, for there is none. " -II Nephi 12:27
It's the devil flattering you, telling you--I am no devil, for there is none. Nephi nailed it. So did C.S. Lewis.
"....There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race fallabout the devils," says Lewis in his marvelous book The Screwtape Letters. "....One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an
excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors." (p.3) I've got friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, (I'm sure you do too) who tell me not infrequently, "....Lynn, I just don't believe in that stuff" [meaning deliverance ministry and the reality of demons). I know who's whispering in their ear.
"....and he saith unto them, I am no devil, for there is none."
Am I being hard on my friends? No.
Nephi says, they've fallen prey to the devil's wiles. My friends have
arranged their theology so they won't have to deal with the reality of the devil. And that's spiritually dangerous. I have never met a saint who's witnessed a deliverance session who no longer believes that Satan doesn't exist.
And finally, how do we approach this subject? By not assuming all our struggles and problems originate from our Adamic natures. (Which some of us are inclined to do. Especially the theological liberal Christian.)
Question: how do you tell the difference between the flesh and demons? Between the old nature and demonic influence? (Haven't we all asked that question before?) That's an important question too, for you can't crucify a demon and you can't cast out your old nature. You have to know who you're dealing with: the flesh or the devil. You're to crucify your flesh and cast out the demon. Well, fortunately the three books solve the dilemma. They give us an unerring principle, and here it is: The three books promise that with prayer, a disciplined life, and in some instances, with fasting, a Christian can get rid of any problem that originates from the old nature. And that's quite a comfort to know.
We can crucify the flesh daily, reckon it dead, and walk in the Spirit every day of our lives (Rom.6.6-11, 8:1-2). Praise his name. Here's the key: If the problem persists, then we're not dealing with the flesh but demons. It's an unchanging principle in God's Word. So, with the
possibility of demonic influences acting upon our lives, we need to look into the....
Reality of the Demonic World:
Two words: diabolos and daimonion. The devil and demons.
"Devil" is translated 35 times; false accuser, 2 times; and slanderer, 1 time. The word devil is mentioned 94 times in the Book of Mormon, and always in the singular.
The word is translated 64 times as demon spirits; demonized 9 times;unclean spirits 17 times, and is mentioned 12 times in the Book of Mormon. Let's briefly give an overview of the devil, then go into some detail concerning demons.
He appears 4 times in the Old Testament:
1) Genesis 3
2) Job 1
3) 1 Chronicles 21:1, and
4) Zechariah 3:1.
And he's called Satan, Lucifer, and Beelzebub.
The devil appears 6 times in the New Testament:
1) Jesus' temptation (Lu.4)
2) Sowing false seed (Matt. 13)
3) Judas at Last Supper (Lu.22:3)
4) Contended with Michael for body of Moses (Jude)
5) Makes war with woman (Rev. 12)
6) Cast into Lake of Fire (Rev.20)
The devil speaks three times in the Bible, each time remaining true to his character: he's accusing.
1) In Genesis 3 the devil accuses God to man.
2) In Job 1 he accuses man to God.
3) In Luke 4 he accuses the God-Man.
Now let's turn our attention to....
Demons are real persons. We need to grasp that.
"The evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are ye?" -Acts 19:15
That's a person talking.
A prerequisite for knowing something is intelligence. James points out "....the demons also believe and tremble" (Js.2:19). A pre-requisite for trembling is emotion. Demons possess intelligence and emotion, just like people. They can feel and they can know things. For they are people.
They are real people without a body. They're disembodied spirits--like air, wind, or breath--looking for a body to inhabit. Paul told the saints at Ephesus to give no place to the devil (Eph.4.27). You can tell when they're in the air. When they've been given a place to dwell. You can "feel" them.
Take the atmosphere in a local bar. If the Lord would pull back the curtain in a bar room and let us see into the Spirit world on a late Saturday night, we would see spirits entering in and exiting out of drunken bodies at will. For when a person becomes intoxicated, he relinquishes his will.
Spirits can come and go. In and out of bodies. And they do in bars.
How Do You Classify Evil Spirits?
Satan has an elaborate kingdom with rank. It's an unruly rank, but ranked nonetheless. For example, I remember one morning we were casting out spirits from a young man and one of the spirits said, "....Well, if I have to go, so do you." He was talking to another demon. When he left he took his friend with him. He kicked him out. My point is two-fold: 1) certain demons have power and rank over other demons, and 2) even demons don't get along with demons. They break rank. They're rebellious. Even to one another. Satan's kingdom is truly a rebellious kingdom.
We've also discovered in our deliverance sessions spirits who are "head demons." Without exception, all who have spirits have a head demon residing within. He's the one in control. He's always the last to leave and he's always the most powerful.
A head demon can muster his forces. Can invite others to come and join him in his fight to stay. Spirits come and go at his will and at his command. That's why it's crucial for the person administering the deliverance session to be operating in the power of the gifts of the Spirit. The word of knowledge and the gift of discerning of spirits especially must be in operation. We're up against supernatural forces here. And we need at our disposal supernatural knowledge. It's a must.
What determined a particular demon to become the head demon? Sin. That is, whatever particular sin that person habitually practices will sooner or later attract that demon with that name. For example: lust. If a person habitually falls temptation to lust and commits lust in his heart over a period of time, a head demon named "lust" will take up residence. You can substitute: lying, masturbation, adultery, deceit, thievery, pride...or whatever. We've encountered all of the above as head demons residing within people.
Let's move on....
There are four main divisions to Satan's kingdom: 1) principalities, 2)powers, 3) rulers of the darkness of this world, and 4) spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph.6:12). These are the upper-ranked echelon, the lieutenants in charge of territories, if you please.
A more common classification of demons is:
1) the obviously wicked spirits. These spirits call themselves by the particular kind of wickedness they project. Demons have names. Such as: murder, lying, deceit, hateful, suicide, rape, thievery, filthiness etc.
2) unnatural spirits. Spirits that cause unnatural behavior. Such as: laughter, crying, and sleeping. I'm referring to behavior that's inappropriate in a particular setting. Such as sleeping through worship services and scripture readings, giggling and laughing at funerals, or
crying for no reason at all.
3) religious spirits. False doctrine, teaching, revelation, prayer,worship, deity, humility, idolatry, pretense, church. I even met a spirit once who called himself "Jesus." Of course, it was a false Jesus. When the
spirit left the young man, we led him to the real Jesus. What a change we witnessed in this young man.
Most spirits will fall into one of these three categories.
Where Do Evil Spirits Come From?
There are three theories:
1) Spirits of Pre-Adamic Race. These spirits caused chaos between the first few verses of the Bible, Genesis 1:3 and 4 (I.V). If you compare Gen.1:30-32 to Gen.9:1-2, those scriptures hint that the earth may have been inhabited prior to Adam. We know Lucifer's angels had to go somewhere.
2) Offspring of angels cohabited with women (Gen. 8).
3) Fallen angels that fell with Lucifer (Rev. 12).
Where Do Demons Inhabit?
....heavenly places (Eph.6:12)
.... the air (Eph.2:2)
.... the earth (Job 1:7)
.... the sea (Mt.8.33)
.... waterless, or dry places (Lu.11:25)
.... animals (Mk.5:10)
.... kings of the earth (Rev. 16:14)
.... bodies of men (Mt. 12.-38).
Of all the places, they would rather inhabit the bodies of men. It's their way of getting back at the Son of God. If they can't kill the Son of God, the next best thing is to kill the testimony of the Son of God in the earth. They do that by inhabiting humans. By rendering humans spiritually ineffectual.
How Is A Christian Affected by Demons?
Now we've come to the heart of our essay. Can a Christian have a demon? And if so, how? And to what extent?
Yes, I know--this subject is a theological "hot potato." But it need not be. It can be easily cleared up. Our confusion lies in using a false classification. In not sticking to biblical terminology. Most confusions
(and contentions) within the Body of Christ concerning the deliverance ministry are a result of using the terms: possession, obsession, and oppression.
The classification is wrong; the terms are non-scriptural. And because of the misleading information, many of our brethren mistakenly believe Christians cannot have a demon. Especially our Pentecostal brethren.
Let me say, there are times when we can get by--that is, communicate without sticking to biblical terms. I would say most of the time. This is not one of those times, however. We're searching for clarity. We must be precise here. So....
What is the proper biblical terminology for explaining how a Christian (and non-Christian) might "have a demon?"
The biblical terms are: possessed, oppressed, hinder, vexed, and driven. Let's list them and briefly identify biblical passages where each term is used:
.... possessed: the Gadarene living among the tombs (Lu.8.37)
....oppressed: Jesus healing all that were "oppressed of the devil" (Acts.10:38).
....hindered; Paul would have come to the Church at Thessalonica, but "Satan hindered us" (I Thess.2:18).
....Vexed: Canaanite woman's daughter (Mt. 15:21), a man's lunatic son (Mt.17:15), and multitudes of people (Lu.6:18).
... driven: the Gadarene "driven of the devil into the wilderness"(lu.8:29).
Notice two forms of Satanic activity here: 1) driven to do things you normally wouldn't do, and 2) hindered from doing those things you normally should do. Demons either push a person or they hold a person back. The terms "oppressed" and "hindered" hold a person back; the terms "vexed" and "driven" drive the person unnaturally. I was driven. Religious demons drove me unnaturally to read the Bible, to pray, to never miss church, to do religious things out of improper drives and motives. Out of fear of God's rejection and hope of his acceptance. And I was miserable; never fulfilled. Demons had tricked me into believing I had to earn God's love. That I was never humble enough to receive it. I had no peace.
Christians are under two forms of attack: 1) oppress and hinder, which means to overpower, to press down, to bind. The Psalmist said his soul was ".cast down" (Psa.42:5). He couldn't pray. He couldn't worship. He was hindered. And there are Christians today who can't pray; they can't worship and they can't forgive. They're hindered.
The second form of attack is: To vex and to drive, which means an unfulfilled and unnatural drive. I know Christians there too.
There is one other form of attack on Christians we have yet to mention: bodily afflictions. Luke tells us, "....there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and wasbowed together.... " -Luke 13:11
One day Jesus was ministering, "....And he was casting a demon out of a man, and he was dumb. And it came to pass, when the demon was gone out, the dumb spake." --Luke 11:15
In both incidents, bodily afflictions were caused by evil spirits.
Back to our question: Can a Christian have a demon?
What's the answer? Think of yourself as a temple. In fact, scriptures tell us, "....ye are the temple of the living God" (I Cor.3:16, II Cor.6.16). Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost (I Cor.3:17).
Don't lose that comparison.
Solomon's temple had three parts: outer court, inner court, and holy of holies. During biblical times, unclean Gentiles were allowed into the outer and inner courts. They could come and go at will. But only the priest could enter the holy of holies.
I want to interject an illustration. Have you ever had a cold? If you have (and I'm sure you have), who possessed the cold? Did you possess the cold, or did the cold possess you? In other words, your body was not "cold possessed" but your body was influenced by the cold, hindered by the cold, affected by the cold. It's the same with demons.
Back to the temple illustration.
Of course, the outer court stands for your body. The inner court stands for your mind and soul, and the holy of holies stands for your human spirit. Solomon's temple illustrates man's makeup. Demons are allowed into a Christian's outer court and into his inner court, but not into his holy of holies. Demons can affect a Christian's body and soul, but not his spirit. His human spirit is reserved for the Holy Spirit.
Now, let's continue with the "cold" illustration. A Christian's body and soul may become "demonized:" under the influence of, affected by, demons. It doesn't mean that person's demon possessed; it means he's "under the influence of' demons. He's vexed or hindered. Driven or cast down. Affected by.
Who Can Have A Demon?
Every non-Christian is open season year 'round. He has no defense. Spirits can come and go in his life at will. They can enter his body, enter his soul, and even enter his spirit. Only the non-Christian can be "possessed" in the biblical sense of the word, for his spirit ran be controlled by demons. Demons have full access to the inner sanctuary of a lost person's heart.
Of course, demon possession is unlikely for most non-Christians. Most of the time demons enter their minds and bodies, not their spirits. Paul puts it like this, "....if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost; in
whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.... " --11 Cor.4: 3-4
The mind is the realm of the soul. Demons enter the mind of man. And that's usually sufficient to keep most sinners from believing in the simplicity of the gospel. When demons enter the spirit of man, that's different. That man is possessed. Jeffrey Dahlmer was demon possessed. Charles Manson is demon possessed. Satan worshipers are demon possessed.
What about Christians? Christians cannot be possessed.
Christians can be "demonized" in the soul and in the body but not in the inner sanctuary of their human spirit. As pointed out, the human spirit is reserved for the Holy Spirit who takes up residence in every believer. Again, to use the analogy of the temple, unclean Gentiles were allowed access to the outer and inner courts. But not the holy of holies. And therein lies the battle: to keep spirits out of our inner and outer courts. Out of our souls and bodies. Which brings us to....
When and How Can a Christian Be Invaded?
There are two types of invasion: involuntary and voluntary.
Involuntary invasion takes no cooperative part of your own, and usually occurs through two sources: inheritance and physical/emotional trauma. I've discovered over the years, Christians are generally ignorant of involuntary invasion of spirits, though it's in the Bible. Can a person inherit demons?
You say how?
"....Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.... " --Duet.5:8,9
Yes, the Lord will visit iniquity upon children up through the fourth generation, especially to children of whom those parents and grandparents have put other gods before them. Those who have been involved in the occult. Children inherit their demons. That's what happened to me. My grandmother was involved in the occult. I inherited her demons.
This would be a good place to briefly list some of the occult practices our ancestors could have been involved in.
"....There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord. "
The Lord's speaking here of occult practices and forbidding his people to participate. The Lord's talking about such occult practices as: water witching, horoscopes and signs, palm reading, tarot cards, astronomy, seances, Quija board, ESP, 900 psychic hearings, drugs, and the New Age movement--to name a few. By the way, the New Age movement in these last days will be the Last Great Battle for the souls of men before the Lord returns. In all likelihood, you're under a curse, your mind unable to believe the simplicity of the gospel, if you or your ancestors have dabbled in the occult. You need deliverance so you can believe.
The curse must be reversed!
And that's what Nephi said.
"....Wherefore, if ye are cursed, behold, I leave my blessing upon you, that the cursing may be taken from you, and be answered upon the heads of your parents. " -11 Nephi 3:12
The curse has to be taken from you. That's what happened to me. The curse was reversed; that spirit of generational inheritance was broken during those two weeks of deliverance sessions with Brother Murrell. 0, praise his holy name. I can now embrace the gospel without the least bit mental harassment. As a matter of observation (and I'm aware, I'm digressing), one of the main reasons for increase in demonic activity, especially occult activity, in America these days, is--God's people are not walking in the Spirit and in the power of the gifts of the Spirit. Demonic activity is nothing more than an imitation of the power of God. For example, much of the occult activity is an imitation of God's gifts to his Church.
Take the word of wisdom. The word of wisdom is:
....for divine aid in persecution (Lu.21),
.... to minister the Word of God (Acts 6), and
.... to escape a snare (Matt.22).
The word of knowledge is:
.... to reveal a person's need (Jn.4),.
....to expose a hypocrite (Acts 5), and
.... to reveal a person's identity (I Kings 14).
The working of miracles is:
....to recover a lost item (II Kings 6),
....to provide in need (I Kings 17), and
for mastery over elements (Mt. 14).
Back to the matter of demonic invasion.
As we said, there are two types: involuntary and voluntary. Involuntary invasion usually occurs through two sources: inheritance (which we've covered) and traumatic events, which we've not covered.
What about trauma?
Demons enter in when a person's will is overwhelmed. What events have a tendency to overwhelm a person's will? Trauma events: Near drownings, abused childhood, frightening scares when you're out of control, births and deaths, physical injuries and accidents--to name a few. I was in a gasoline explosion when I was a teenager. Ninety-five percent of my body suffered second and third degree burns. I experienced tremendous life-and-death trauma for months. During the two-week deliverance session, it was discovered that demons had entered in during that awful time of my life. My will was overcome.
Let's talk about....
Voluntary invasion is a result of two sources.
Involvement in: 1) sin, and/or the 2) sensational occult. Believe it or not, most people suffer demonic problems as a result of practicing sins of the flesh. Not occult participation. If you walk in the flesh, you will pay the piper.
The Bible says, "....the wages of sin is death...." (Rom. 6:23). Sin has a price and that awful price is demonic invasion! Sometimes spirits invade, then kill their victims. Many have gone to an early grave because spirits killed them. Sad to say, that's true of Christians as well as non-Christians. And the rule of thumb is: the sin you habitually practice will eventually attract that spirit with the same name. You actually "give place" in your body to that particular demon (Eph.4:27).
I like the way Nephi says it:
"....And the righteous need not fear, for they are those who shall not be confounded. But it is the kingdom of the devil which shall be built up among the children of men, which kingdom is established among them which are in the flesh." --1 Nephi 7:48,49
Walk in the flesh and you help build up the kingdom of the devil--whether you're a believer or not. Walk in the Spirit and you need not fear. You're protected. The righteous are placed in the Ark of Safety, in Jesus Christ himself.
Another warning from Mosiah:
"....remember, that he that persists in his own carnal nature, and goes in the ways of sin and rebellion against God, remaineth in his fallen state, and the devil hath all power over him. " --Mosiah 8:77
It's not worth it! We have no safety net, no defense whatsoever, outside of walking in the Spirit. It's worth staying close to Jesus! Well, what should we do? What if we have been exposed either involuntarily or voluntarily to demonic spirits? How do we get rid of them?
Setting the Captives Free:
I list seven things:
1) You must realize--Satan is a strategist. He can only have what you give him. And you have surrendered to him (though illegally) "squatters rights" to your territory. To your body. Your personality.
2) You must take back the ground given.
3) You must set your will against all evil, against the spirits within you by: 1) asking forgiveness (you have offended God), and 2) by turning away from evil spirits. Your will plays a vital part in your being set free. There is a sense in which you "will the spirits out."
4) You must speak a verbal command; tell the spirits to leave. Command them to leave.
5) You must, in all likelihood, get help; that is, receive ministry from the body of Christ. From someone who knows firsthand the deliverance ministry. Don't go to someone who's not experienced.
6) You must go into the session (or sessions), operating from a position of victory. "....One thing I know, they have to leave!"
7) You must not lose your deliverance. You can lose it if you don't stay close to the Lord and to the Body of Christ. Spirits can come back. You must stay in fellowship with brethren who understand you and who support you.
It's time to rejoice. This is a happy time in the earth. These are the last days. God is setting the captives free, preparing his bride for his endtime move. Deliverance is a joy not a shame. It's not a disgraceful thing you're going through. Quite the contrary: it's a grace....full thing.
You're about to meet a God full of grace. Jesus refers to the deliverance ministry as "children's bread" (Mk.7:26). It's bread to our souls. We're to feast upon deliverance. Deliverance belongs to us!
It's part of the restoration. Our beloved prophet, Joseph, commenced the first deliverance session. And we're to continue.
We're to set the captives free.
The Fruit of the Reformation
The Crystals of New Age
I'm going to make a statement, then come back to it: the Reformation spawned the New Age movement.
The reformation almost destroyed Christianity. It divided us into rigid structures-a thing never intended by God. The fruit of the reformation is sects. And Americans have had it with denominations. We're fed up with all the rules.
One of the fastest growing "religious" movements in America today is the-unchurched movement. We're talking about the typical "subdivision family." Here's an interesting statistic. According to a major research product conducted by George Gallup, Jr., for 30 denominations and religious organizations, a significant number of "unchurched" Americans feel there is not enough emphasis on spiritual experience in the churches. (That's a twist.)
At a news conference at the Interchurch Center, the pollster commented that "more of the unchurched than the churched have had a sudden religious experience. They're all charged up with no place to go."
I'll tell you where they're going. To the New Age gospel. Unstructured and trendy. Pop cultured and mind-expanding. Deeply religious and love-centered. For the New Ager, the "Christ-Conscious" experience comes devoid of all sectarian trappings. I'll say it again.
The Reformation spawned the New Age movement. It left a void in the human heart.
The Last Battle:
In these last days, churchgoers will be driven out of institutional churches by the droves-for lack of spiritual experiences.
They're not aware--they're jumping from the frying pan into the fire. The God behind the New Age gospel is Allah, the head demon of Eastern religions. And that's the Last Battle before the Lord returns--the battle between Allah and Jesus Christ, our Lord for the souls of men. Even the elect will be deceived. That occult demon, Allah, a "false Christ," will persuade multitudes to follow him. The wounded, the misfits, the excommunicated--those who have embittered themselves against organized Christianity-- will be his prey. Those who can no longer find it within themselves to submit to men in church authority are his to snare. And the false Christ--Allah--appears so much like the real Christ. History has ripened for his appearing. The reformation set the stage.
In these last days, the battle will not be between political conservatives and liberals, between democracy and socialism, between communism and capitalism, nor between cultural ideologies. The Great Battle of the Ages will be fought between Allah, head demon of all Eastern religions, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In America, itís the New Age movement.
It will be religious through and through.
|Are Demons Real -- Discussion Board|
|Fear Sparks Mass Hysteria Among 100 Camp Students - massive fear of ghosts invites possession|
|Who Can Help Set My Son Free? - Q/A Response to the above essay.|
House? - Q/A Response
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This page posted on October 25, 2000
Last updated on October 22, 2006