Manifestations of evil spirits

Discussion in 'Evangelism, Missions and the Persecuted Church' started by Pergamum, Mar 21, 2008.

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  1. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    This has been an interesting thread. It seems that there are two views regarding the power of demons. One is that their power is based on deception, their basic strategy is to deceive. Another holds that they have power in more objective ways. Anecdotal evidence at times seems to support one view, at times seems to support the other. I thought the terminology of an "excluded middle" was very helpful, and applied to a lot of the Enlightenment thinking that seems to be popular even among Reformed Christians. But I wonder if characterizing those who hold to the first view, that all demonic power is based on deception as "excluding the middle" is altogether accurate. If all demonic activity is deceptive, it makes sense that one of the things the demons would deceive about is precisely the nature and scope of their abilities. I think you can illustrate it from temptation. A factor in some temptations to sin is that they seem to come with a feeling of inevitability: "you know you're going to give in eventually, why not now?" If you accept the premise, "you will inevitably give in to temptation" then you usually do; but when you see that this premise is a lie, the temptation loses a lot of its force. So if demons can convince me that they have some sinister powers and bring me into fear, have I not thereby given them a power over me that they would not otherwise have had because I believed their lie?
    It seems to me from Ephesians 6 that God has given us two weapons in spiritual warfare: the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, and prayer. And Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who did not exclude the middle, by any means, taught that in dealing with demonized people you had to explain Biblical doctrine, give them an overview of Scriptural teaching on the most prominent doctrines. So it is not by exorcistic rituals, but by meditation on and proclamation of God's word, accompanied with fervent pleas for understanding and faith that demons are vanquished. As we see the truth, their lies lose their force, and they lose their power.
     
  2. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Leslie:

    I do not exclude the middle, but neither do I want to expand the middle.


    All spiritual warfare should be Godward and nothing should be addressed to Satan or focused on the demons. If someone is possessed (which I believe I have seen) then my weapons would be prayer to God and not any speech towards the demons.

    Once a fetish is removed from the animistic participant it is nothing but wood or metal and I can keep it as a souvenir or a trophy. The evangelists in my area have broken apart stones used to worship spirits and have bathed in sacred springs. I myself have been cursed, but no ill can come to me.

    However, I have heard of nonbelievers dying of curses.

    So, I agree with much of what you say. I am not excluding the middle, but also much that passes for spiritual warfare is merely Third World animism that the missionary has gotten infected with. The devil is very active, but is a weak foe.

    As for as burning charms go, the book of Acts gives something of a precedent, but they burned these books out of devotion to God, not because any innate power was present in the books. Locals here burn their charms...but I am free to keep them if I desire because I am not tempted to use them and they are nothing to me (just like what Paul says about idols..it is nothing in the world)....
     
  3. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    The terminology of the "excluded middle" comes from a Paul Hiebert articel (google it).

    Leslie, amen to much of what you say about the essence of animism being the effort to manipulate the spiritual powers.
     
  4. Zenas

    Zenas Snow Miser

    I doubt this myself. Different tools appear to be used for different societies. Where in one place superstition and witchcraft serve to enslave the culture, in ours, atheism, unbelief, and rampant sin serve the same end.
     
  5. Mushroom

    Mushroom Puritan Board Doctor

    I spent much of my childhood in countries where demonic manifestations were considered common. In those pre-conversion days I had the theory that those things only happened to people who were willing to believe in such things. I didn't, and never saw anything I considered demonic.

    My first quasi-christian thought on the subject came at the age of 18, when I saw the movie "The Exorcist". I walked away thinking how idiotic it was that these people would think some ceremony would move God to remove a demon. If He could do it at all, why would the chantings of some priesty-dude move Him to do so more than simple prayer? That may have been my first reformed thought.... why bother yelling incantations at a demon when God was obviously in control of whether they could possess someone or not?

    By age 20 I was involved in a very pentecostal/charismatic "deliverance" ministry. They saw a demon behind every rock, and every sin was the product of demonic manifestation. Drug demons, alcohol demons, tobacco demons, perversion demons, vulgarity demons.... on and on. I tried very hard to believe, but saw that my problems with sin had more to do with the wretchedness of my own heart, so eventually walked away from all that.

    So what are the facts? I'm not positive, but I guess I still have some of that pre-conversion attitude that these things are a matter of what one is willing to believe. I personally believe that my Redeemer is ultimately in authority of all that exists, even demons, and I have no surplus of time to spend worrying over things that cannot affect me unless He ordains it. When someone says they or someone they know is demon possessed, I tell them the only solution is to believe on the one whom God hath sent. The most hilarious thing I've ever heard is the old "I rebuke you Satan in the name of....". Why talk to the underling? Talk to the Boss.

    The devil has no power over the elect of God. He flees before the awful and awesome voice of the Judge of Eternity. All we have to do is resist, and he flees from us. Why not tell the unbelievers that? Why not tell them that their superstitions are powerless deceptions, and their fears of demons are unfounded? There is one Whom they should fear, and He is the Lord Sabaoth, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Ancient of Days!
     
  6. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    I like your quote about talking to the Boss and not underlings.
     
  7. Raj

    Raj Puritan Board Sophomore

    "The devil has no power over the elect of God. He flees before the awful and awesome voice of the Judge of Eternity. All we have to do is resist, and he flees from us. Why not tell the unbelievers that? Why not tell them that their superstitions are powerless deceptions, and their fears of demons are unfounded? There is one Whom they should fear, and He is the Lord Sabaoth, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Ancient of Days!"

    This reminds of me of my story. Along with eternal life in Christ, this point also helped to seek refuge in God of Bible and be secure forever.
     
  8. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    People differ in their vulnerability to evil spirits as well as in their ability or inability to discern their presence. Believing that one is immune from evil spirit influence makes one more prone to being affected by a curse. This is from the mouth of a Burmese animist who witnessed my being cursed, the subsequent illness, and final deliverance. He and I discussed it at length.

    Christians per se are not immune. Christians who know about the phenomena and access the power of God can deflect a curse. I am vulnerable. My husband is not vulnerable. He can be in the presence of occult ritual and remain unaffected.

    It grieves me to hear PB brothers, some of whom are pastors, treating the evil spirit world in a cavalier manner. Demonization, curses, and the like occur in the states. Go into any large bookstore, into the teen section, and you can find books about how to put a hex on someone. There are, in many (not all) cases real effects. My daughter, who is a school psychologist, deals with this. She takes a dim view of evangelicals, maintaining (with some grounds) that it's only the evangelicals who deny the reality of the middle storey, who don't believe the worldview of the Bible that they love. The New Agers all realize this stuff is real. Christian teenagers are caught in the middle. They cannot talk to their pastors who dismiss the reality of the evil spirit world (for fear of being labeled as schizophrenic or worse), they suffer with curses from New Agers, and are prevented by conscience from seeking occult solutions to their problems. When I stick my neck out and talk about my experiences with the occult, people come out of the woodwork, just dying to tell me of their experiences that they've suffered with in silence. As the occult trend increases in the states and pastors continue to embrace an excluded-middle worldview as non-learners, they will lose their teens to the charismatics and the occultists.
     
  9. Mushroom

    Mushroom Puritan Board Doctor

    Well, I for one don't consider myself immune from evil spirit influence, but I am not my own, and my Owner is immune. In fact, He is ultimately sovereign over whether or not a demon can do anything at all to me or anyone else. Any other view is open theism.

    As for "losing our teens", being stubbornly convinced that God keeps all His promises, I trust Him to bless the covenant children He has placed in my care with His protection and providence.

    I'm sure there are lots of demons and demonic forces surrounding us in this world, and if that is so, it proves my point.... if they were able to have their way, we would all be dead and none saved. But that is not the case, so obviously God is protecting us from them. And if there are that many demons, there are innumerably more angels of heaven around us as well.... greater is He that is with us than he that is with them.

    I'm not saying that demons do not do harm to people. I've known folks that I considered sane and trustworthy who report experiences that were terrifying. But I do consider them to be at least insufficient in their understanding of God's complete sovereignty over all that exists, and if Christians, not yet trusting in His providential protecting love for them at a level that dispels such fears.

    There are no "occult solutions" to any problem. That would simply compound wickedness, seeking help from the very source of the problem. We have no allies in the devil's cohort.
     
  10. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    An alternate explanation is this:

    There are demons and there are demonic possessions.

    The Enlightenment made us think not. BUt now Postmodernism is on the rise. And missionaries and Third World Christians from animistic countries still retain a bit of their cultural biases too, such that while some exclude the middle others fall into a Christian animism (especially since the rise of Pentecostalism in the Third World) and expand the middle.

    I.e. those that exclude the supernatural are wrong, but so are those that are superstitious and have allowed animism into their Christianity. Much of the modern spiritual warfare movement is such superstition


    I want to affirm that demonic possessions do seem to occur; but that I distrust most of the accounts becuase the sources seem hyper-sensitive to interpreting phenomena as having a demonic source (i.e. for instance, I have one friend, who is highly gullible, who claims to have lived in not one but 2 haunted houses during her lifetime...however, I have moved more than she and statistically why have I never lived in a haunted house when she has lived in two? Also, statistically, most reports of the demonic come from those who are open to seeing such things.)
     
  11. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    It simply is not true that only those who believe in demonic phenomena are vulnerable. The opposite is true. It was when I embraced an excluded-middle-storey worlview that a classmate put a curse on me, resulting in a life-threatening illness. This illness and the subsequent healing/deliverance changed my worldview, as well as that of my husband. Nothing else would have done so. A Burmese, animist friend explained to me, after the deliverance, that it was my naiveté that made me vulnerable. He told me that the whole tropical medicine class (55 students) knew of the curse except for me and my Norwegian friend; they were laughing at my distress and cluelessness (if that's a word). Now, understanding and identifying problems at an early stage and having a husband who will pray for me makes me much less vulnerable. It has been over 10 years since the last demonic problem.

    The reason why it seems that only those who believe in this stuff are vulnerable is that it is only those who believe in it that are willing to talk about it. Others are susceptible but they suffer in silence, fearful, humiliated, and totally alienated from clergy and friends who dismiss the middle storey as superstition. You simply would not believe the numbers of people who come out of the woodwork, wanting to talk of their own suffering, once they have the ear of someone who doesn't write them off as crazy. You (plural) will never hear from these people because they know, before they start, that they will be regarded as unbalanced, gullible, or worse. I myself would never write this stuff either if I had to face any of you in church next Sunday morning. It is only the relative anonymity of the net and my compassion for the afflicted in your congregations that lends the courage to come forth.
     
  12. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    Leslie,
    I've had quite a bit of direct experience with demons and I don't care how many people want to offer their take on what actually happened. If you can't back up the analysis and remedy with scripture then you are playing according to the demons rules.

    Here is an excerpt that I wrote in an earlier thread in which we were discussing this topic:

    The story that Shelli told in the original post is very similar to experiences that my family went through. It's definitely not always a matter of schizophrenia, though one of my daughters was treated for that at the time.

    When these things happened to us we called in a deliverance ministry and it seemed to be the right thing to do- twice. As I have learned more about God's sovereignty I am convinced that engaging the demons in 'warfare' is the worst thing one can do. Engaging the demons in any way is empowering for them and it causes us to doubt the absolute sovereignty of God.

    I have read many, many books on spiritual warfare, I have engaged demons directly and I even thought I was winning at times. As long as a demon can keep you in the battle they win even if you think you're having a positive effect.

    Let me give you the most powerful book on fighting demons. It's a book that proves beyond all doubt that demons attack humans, hurt humans physically and mentally, can even destroy a life. The book is called Job and if you study the way Job takes on Satan you will learn the secret to battling the demon. Can you think of the weapon that Job used against Satan? No you can't. Job never mentioned Satan, never spoke TO him, never spoke OF him, never engaged him in any way. You even have to wonder if Job knew there was a devil.

    What I missed out on when I was 'fighting' demons is the sovereignty of God. I thought God won some days and Satan won on others and the prayers of the people could sway the battle. Jesus Christ is Lord in the midst of attack. We must go to the scriptures and reaffirm the truth of the Father's sovereignty and Christ's lordship. Never, never, never address the demon. This is praying to a demon. Don't even try and take authority over a demon in Jesus' name. I thought this was working for years but I found out that demons have lots of time to wait. They will let you think you're winning just to keep you in the game.

    Jesus has authority over the demon already, God has sovereignty over the situation and the demon is God's agent in revealing your lack of knowledge of God and his salvation. Read specific scriptures and acknowledge God's power in prayer and teach the person who is under attack but don't engage the demon. Don't bother anointing door posts with oil, don't draw blood lines, don't speak to the demon, don't try to learn it's name.

    Don't try and build a doctrine of spiritual warfare from the anecdotal battles between Jesus and demons or the apostles and demons. They were uniquely empowered to fight spiritual beings, we are not.

    You might say that Ephesians tells us that we wrestle not against flesh and blood. That is true but it only describes that there may be spiritual attack, it doesn't mean we are to try and fight these beings in their realm.

    Anyway, there is so much I can write but I quit here for now. Bottom line, don't engage a demon, teach the truth of God's sovereignty to victims of attack.
     
  13. Mushroom

    Mushroom Puritan Board Doctor

    Pretty close to what the serpent told Eve, isn't it? I think every animist or diviner or occultist of any stripe would wish that every Christian would believe that.

    Sorry, sister, while I sympathize with your plight, I believe Bob's right. Using darkness to battle darkness just leaves everyone involved in the dark, which is the aim of the enemy. Could it be that your experience happened before you had a better understanding of God's sovereignty, and so the demon allowed you to appear to win just to keep you thinking occultic solutions were viable? Or could the animist have simply taken advantage of coincidental circumstances?
     
  14. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    Who's using the powers of darkness to battle demons? When I was ill and delivered it was a matter of a Thai Christian simply praying for me, nothing more. My husband had previously prayed as in "Please make her healthy" with no effect whatsoever. When a Thai Christian explained that the problem was demonic and prayed specifically against the spirits involved, the effect was instantaneous. There were no fireworks, no incantations, no shouting against demons. In some cases it's not that easy. Per the Luke account it took Jesus Himself at least two tries to deliver the Gadarene and He engaged in conversation with the demon. Paul addressed the demon in the girl who was prophesying. So what?

    The Burmese guy in question was a classmate who became interested in Christianity after he saw the power of God evident in my deliverance in response to simple prayer. He had witnessed the curse and my illness and recovery. He was simply saying that I suffered for so long because of not recognizing the illness has having an occult origin. He was suggesting that if I had not had an excluded-middle worldview, I would have recognized the curse earlier and prayed against it before being disabled for a matter of months. What's deceptive or occult about that? He was right.

    My problem with stateside churches is that they don't recognize the demonic as a possible source of major problems (not the only source). One hears statements like "It's not demonic, only schizophrenia" (or anorexia nervosa or psychosomatic whatever). That's like saying "It's not staphylococcal pneumonia, he's only short of breath". Staph pneumonia is one cause (amongst others) of shortness of breath. Demons are one cause (possibly amongst others) of schizophrenia and anorexia nervosa.

    An actual, true case in point: A patient I'll call Jenny had anorexia nervosa. She had multiple hospitalizations and treatments and counseling with no effect whatsoever. When some believers talked to her, they discovered that she had a "friend" called Jenny B who lived inside her head and told her what to eat and when. With some great effort, they convinced her to pray to Jesus to make Jenny B leave. She did. Jenny B was then outside of her but still talking to her. With time, and prayer and discipling, she was entirely freed from Jenny B and gaining weight. She again began to menstruate, was perfectly healthy and married a couple years later. There is no way she could have discussed Jenny B with her pastor who dismissed the middle storey as superstition. If she had told him, he likely would not have recognized the demonic nature but would have recommended yet another psych hospitalization.

    I'm traveling in a few hours and off the net for 6 days.
     
  15. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Safe travelling and God bless. I'll wait till you come back to re-engage.
     
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

  17. sekacavelle

    sekacavelle Inactive User

    The Bible clearly teaches that witchcraft is a sin and is evil practise. Christ died a true physical death on the cross to defeat a real presence of evil. The workings and power of satan are not imaginaon ry manifestations neither does the Bible teach deception. The word of God is real and without error. So when the Bible describes the workings of evil it is exactly as stated even if one has never witnessed it for themselves. I am horrified that anyone would even think of saying the Bible does not mean what it says. Would God forbid witchcraft that does not exist, would he tell us how in the Last days there will be a false prophet who will cause fire to fall from the heavens using demonic secret powers. What sin of man dares challenge the inerancy of scripture.

    Ever since satan rebelled there entered evil into existence. Remember evil is power used in direct conflict to God in whatever way and satan has a lot of it which he still uses today. However we all know that is should that God still remains sovereign over all creation.

    The Word preached by the power of the Holy Spirit defeats evil. This is the way of salvation from evil. I see no scriptural evidence instructing us in ritualistic excorsism. Even more dangerous Jesus Christ warned against using his name to exorsise people. Why? Actually when anyone commands an evil spirit to leave a person on the name of Jesus Christ who is God it has to obey, but if the person whom is exorsised is not indwelt with the Holy Spirit that person will be reinhabited by even more evil spirits hence actually that very person will be worse than before in the long run.

    So actually there is no basis for exsorcisms, preach and let Jesus Christ indwell whomever he wants to at his own predestined time. However if there is anyone with Pauls or apostles gift of the Holy Spirit that spoke to them directly audibly then i suppose the Holy Spirit knows exactly when each individual is to be indwelt. However i dont know of any apostles.
     
  18. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Sekacavelle:

    Yes I am AMAZED at how many references against animism and idolatry exist in the OT, and I always glossed over these passage before becuase I grew up in the Ozarks and never saw anyone bow before a stone before or practice overt animism. Witchcraft is indeed a sin and one in which the Bible is more clear on than many many other issues...
     
  19. sekacavelle

    sekacavelle Inactive User

    Pergamum:

    Exactly thats why I am amazed that almost everyone here in the west grapple with witchcraft and treat it as if it doesnt exist. So by default they call God the Holy Spirit a teacher of false things and we all know that our greatest sin from the garden was to disbelieve Gods word. Adam was not deceived like Eve and disobeyed knowingly our Mother Eve disbelieved that death will be the result of eating. What I am saying is now the West wants to experience the power of witchcraft to prove Gods word. This is sad as the Bible clearly teaches us that even Solomon was introdroduced into witchcraft by his foreign wives.

    Yes witchcraft may not be profound here in the west but where I come from it is a pandemic and affects our daily Lives. Actually the presence of the Gospel has slowed its devastating effects and the western Law because in the old days we had countless cases of people killing their babies in the practise of witchcraft.

    Demonic possession is prevalent here in the west but here they have medical terminology for it like schizophrenia,self harm,alcoholic,stress, the list is enormous but spiritually its just plain demonic possession. These ailments are beyond purely physical nature. In true salvation we witness a gradual change to addiction and mental health problems and generally living less sinful lives. Besides this is sanctification through the new Holy Spirit. And here the whole process is not excorsism but prayer ,worship,preaching and realy actually its the lifestyle of an elect saint.

    So It graples my surprise when we have people who say demonic activity is not real and evil witchcraaft activity is an illusion. So then if its not real then Jesus Christ chasing demons and making the deaf with demons speak is an illusion, invariably then even the presence of the Holy Spirit is an illusion. The story of the scorcerer in acts is an illusion and the list goes on.

    I dare say I will take the Bible seriously and know that God has saved me from many evil Spirits which roam and inhabit the unsaved. I pray for such to be saved and this is a real prayer to a real god for a real affliction that is on earth. So those who deny these Biblical facts may be blinded by the evil one who blinds them from the truth to believe a lie that evil and satan is a Biblical myth as atheists believe
     
  20. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    One manifestation of evils spirits may be nightmares; I'm not talking about possession but just their presence. My grandson awakened my daughter nights on end with nightmares. She negated my suggestion to pray audibly in his room against evil spirits at bedtime until I pointed out that she did not have many other options and she had nothing to lose. So she did it and that was the end of the problem. It doesn't prove anything but it works and I don't see anything wrong with it.
     
  21. sekacavelle

    sekacavelle Inactive User

    Leslie the Bible is truth and yes satan will want you to say that nightmares are an illusion. Then if nightmares are an illusion then why bother pray to God about fiction. So if you dont then satan has a free reign of your life even in dreams when u r to rest. I pray myself even when I get sinful dreams coz I know satan has power to influence us using dreams. I pray the Lord teaches me righteousness in dreams. Jesus said that you dont have coz u dont ask. So if u dont ask that satan be stoped from tormentng you which he enjoys then you will suffer, dont ever think satan feels sorry for us. Leslie pray pray and pray again after you have finnished pray again. Remember all the Glory of triumph belongs to God. Bless you my sister we wrestle not flesh and bood but evil in the heavenly realm.
     
  22. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    If nightmares are demonically induced, then I guess I have been bothered by demons now for the last 4 months when nightmares first became a regular occurrence for me.

    But I still don't understand any need to pray AUDIBLY.

    Why? ...so the demons can hear? And what of that?

    I am praying TO God for HIM to do the work.

    In Jude, even the angels did not address Satan did they - but they left that part to God, right?


    I affirm the work of Satan, but I do not affirm any need to interact with demons but to only pray to God. Why pray audibly and why even address demons instead of addressing God.
     
  23. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    I don't understand it but I do know that audibly works and silently does not work for me. Also, my husband's praying for me seems to work better than my praying for myself--again I don't understand why. Try it both ways--I'd be interested in someone else's experience. Usually I don't talk about this stuff in polite society but the net makes it easier. It's well outside my comfort zone, given my western, largely scientific education. Another possibility is that your nightmares are the price of your keeping artifacts. In at least one case, getting rid of an artifact (burning it) solved a nightmare problem.
     
  24. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    Why is God letting Satan have at you in your dreams?
     
  25. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    This is a good question. He hasn't told me. It does appear that some persons are vulnerable to demonic influences and others are less so.

    It seems to me that, as long as one does not use occult means to deal with demonic stuff, it is legitimate to find out what works, analogous to dealing with herbal/natural remedies. If it's not an act of disobedience and it works to take care of a problem, why not?
     
  26. HaigLaw

    HaigLaw Puritan Board Sophomore

    This is a very important point. In my view, the most miraculous thing that ever happens to any of us is the new birth; and it always amazes me that people who will acknowledge being born again will deny the supernatural in other areas.

    :detective:
     
  27. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    This is true. It also seems that in the states where New Age, Harry Potter, and New Paganism are all on the rise, it's the evangelicals (using the term broadly to include Reformed) who are the most adamant about taking an entirely naturalistic view of the world. Which phenomena are caused or impacted by the spirit world and which are not is a legitimate question for debate. One can go overboard either way. I'm aware of one counselor with secular credentials and licensing who deals with this kind of thing with some amazing successes. It would be good if pastors could deal with this. It's the church, not mental health clinics where ministry to the oppressed should be happening.
     
  28. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Leslie, I can certainly sympathize with the pressure to do something to get rid of nightmares, as they can be very harrowing. But I've got to admit I'm a little uncomfortable with the language of different methods of prayer "working" more than another. If we remember that prayer is making our requests known to God, it sounds like we think He can be manipulated by unimportant changes --audibly vs. silently, etc. (Was it Rebecca Brown who thought her friend became demon-possessed because she wouldn't kneel to pray?) If we forget that prayer is speaking to God, then of course one thing may have a different psychological impact on us than another (and I don't undervalue the psychological benefit aspect of prayer); but if that's what it primarily is to us, isn't that already a great loss?

    I don't want to pile on when you're obviously dealing with a difficult situation, but do you see why the "works" language with regard to prayer seems inappropriate? Prayer "works" or not according to God's sovereign will.
     
  29. timmopussycat

    timmopussycat Puritan Board Junior

    Scripturally, attributing any or all of these things to demonic activity is not ruled out. I might believe demonic involvement in any or all depending on other details in the accounts. Equally I might conclude demonic involvement not necessarily present.

    Two possibilities: either the devil is bound where the gospel is preached to a certain extent or where the gospel is preached he uses more subtle methods.
    Given the decline of Christian faith in Europe and North America it won't surprise me if more overt demonic activity begins to occur.

    This argument can be restated thus: do I really need to pray to God for anything since He has promised to supply all my needs?

    Claiming protection in Christ's name may, in some circumstances, be an ill-thought through application of the biblical truth that we must wrestle in prayer against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Eph. 6), but, in others, it may be the very thing needed. Certainly we must wrestle in prayer against these enemies and we need to be strong in the Lord and clothed in the armour of God to do so.
     
  30. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    I have sent many "artifacts" to churches and people in the West - am I inadvertantly spreading demonic tools then if these artifacts hold some sort of power in and of themselves? This all sounds a bit animistic to me.
     
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