Manifestations of evil spirits

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

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  1. HaigLaw

    HaigLaw Puritan Board Sophomore

    I appreciate the delicateness of this answer -- avoiding overwhelming someone with too much "correctness" who already has overwhelming problems, but still avoiding treating prayer as some kind of gimmick.

    But I think some of the answers above reflect a lack of experience in confronting evil. Someone who moves out in faith to confront evil will find empowerment by the Holy Spirit without regard to a lot of precise methodology.

    And for those who have no clue what I'm talking about, you might watch the movie The Exorcist to get a feel for the dangers of confronting demons without the indwelling Holy Spirit.

  2. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    With all due respect David, The Exorcist is the last movie anyone should want to see, especially to learn about confronting demons. That movie, following quickly on the heels of Rosemary's Baby is responsible for this nonsense that demons can out power God and can act outside his will. Don't watch the Exorcist, it is sensational fiction and not reflective of spiritual warfare.

  3. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    Having a no-electricity day today, I was reading Our Father Abraham by Marvin R. Wilson. On page 152, he says something pertinent to one's whole approach; I quote the essence.
    "The Hebrew knew he did not know all the answers. ---He refused to oversystematize or force harmonization on the enigmas of God's truth or the puzzles of the universe.----All things, therefore, did not need to be fully rational. The Hebrew mind was willing to accept the truths taught on both sides of the paradox; it recognized hat mystery and apparent contradictions are often signs of the divine.---Thus we have the natural tendency to impose more rational and systematic categories of thought on the Bible. The Bible, however, tends to reject most carefully worked-out charts and thoroughgoing attemps at schematization. Neither God nor His word may be easily contained in a box for logical or scientific analysis.

    We see and acknowledge paradoxes and tensions in other areas of theology--predestination and free will; providence and the efficacy of prayer; salvation by grace and yet one who does not give up all cannot be a disciple; Jesus the prince of peace bringing a sword.

    There is likewise paradox/tension in the realm of our understanding of the demonic. The latter chapters of Isaiah sound as if idols are nothing--no mention of demons and yet Paul says that the things Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons. Satan is a defeated foe and yet Paul wrestled with the power of darkness, implying some effort and significant power. The book of Revelation, likewise ascribes significant powers to Satan and his cohorts. What the Bible tells us about the demonic (that they are personal and countable and vary in degree of wickedness, that they desire to indwell people) is true, but it does not give data for a comprehensive, systematic demonology. We can learn some things about the nature of the powers of darkness from our experiences in confronting them as believers.

    I'm no expert but do have great respect for those believers who have confronted them in the Spirit and prevailed. One can label them animists, but then so was Jesus. He saw demons behind lameness, blindness, deaf-muteness and a variety of other unspecified conditions--circumstances that most of we Westerners would have understood in naturalistic terms, if we had been there. Paul also in Ephesians 6 saw demons in various places, and the book of Revelation--however one looks at it--is clear that the forces of evil will be or were (for preterists) active in world events.

    Having known some of those with track records in deliverance--getting people out of Satanism, breaking occult and **** addictions and the like, my impression is that there is fair unanimity in considering that inanimate objects can at times be indwelt by evil spirits with negative consequences for the owner. I would never possess an object used for pagan worship. If that makes me a Christian animist, so be it. My goal is to have a balanced view, consistent both with scripture and with the realities of real life in the pagan world. My husband and I have burned more than one object with significant results.

    My concern is that in Western culture, including the States, teenagers dabble in paganism quite commonly. Pastors discount their experiences with empty, naturalistic explanations as if naturalistic presuppositions were scriptural. This creates a social, religious, and cultural barrier between teens and their pastors, causing the teens to shut up about their experiences and either suffer in silence or seek answers elsewhere. In a university town setting, when we were forced by circumstances to talk about our encounters with the world of evil, young folks came out of the woodwork, wanting to tell us about this or that experience, always with "No way would I tell Pastor" and pastor in this case was a very congenial, open-minded kind of guy. It wasn't just him. These folk just wanted to be heard and in some cases helped with prayer.
  4. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    I in no way think you are a Christian animist. But I am struggling with these issues as well.
  5. HaigLaw

    HaigLaw Puritan Board Sophomore

    Alright, I'll withdraw that advice, but having watched the movie, my take was not "this nonsense that demons can out power God and can act outside his will." Rather, my take was that demons can only successfully be engaged in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Roman Catholics had over centuries developed some liturgy for casting out demons. Which may have "worked" back centuries ago when the priests were born again and indwelt with the Spirit. But in the modern era, all these priests had was the liturgy, and it didn't work. The demons the priests were trying to cast out came into them and caused their deaths.

    In Scripture, Jesus was asked at one point why the disciples had not been successful casting out a demon, and He said that those could only be cast out with fasting and prayer. In other words, the disciples were not sufficiently anointed for that task. The point is -- doing this work is not gimmickry. It's not a matter of using the right ritual. It's not knowing all the right "how to" tricks. So, if you're not sufficiently anointed, I'd agree with Bawb's advice not to confront them. This is not for the faint-hearted. I've participated in deliverance ministry training that at times I felt had become too gimmickry. I suppose the bottom line is -- if God has not called you and sufficiently equipped you for this ministry, don't do it.

  6. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    There are two of us struggling. Christian animist has negative conotations but from a simply objective point of view, it's a label not far off the mark. Animist I take to mean someone who has a lively belief in the realm of evil spirits. Christian precludes one's using some forces of evil to negate other forces of evil. From the looks of your picture, I'm probably old enough to be your mother and have struggled since '86. That doesn't mean, however, that I'm much wiser or have any great answers. It just does my heart good to know that others are also searching along with me.
  7. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    I certainly believe in the sovereignty of God but there is another factor in here also. God can read our thoughts and He knows better than we do how our inner psyches work. Evil spirits do not have that power. It is possible that "works" and "doesn't work" is a matter of the evil spirits "overhearing" what one is saying. There may also be another factor. If your 5 year old son called you into his room to pick up his toys for him, what would your response be? It would likely be "Do it yourself," assuming he was healthy. If the power over evil spirits that Jesus gave the disciples is also our legacy in the current dispensation, then aren't we like the 5 year old? Perhaps God's nonresponse to our prayers is His telling us "Do it yourself--you have the power. Use it." I'm not sure about this, wouldn't want to be dogmatic. The second explanation is one that is common amongst people who deal with demonic oppression. The natural question is then why can't we raise the dead etc. There's no good answer to that. However, everything doesn't have to make sense. There is some evidence from church history that power over demons lasted much longer than other healing powers.
  8. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    It would be interesting, if there were quite a number of artifacts and if you knew the dates of arrival of the same, to ascertain if these persons or organizations had unusual problems (of the kinds you describe in your other post) dating from that time. If you find an affirmative answer in some case, it would be interesting thereafter to have someone steal the artifact and burn it without telling anyone (DON'T store it in the furnace room). What happens to the problem(s)?

    My son is a missionary in Chad in a remote tribal group. After a batch of conversions, they had a fetish burning ceremony. The new believers all brought their fetishes, all made of combustible materials. When thrown in the fire, however, they did not burn. My son and some others prayed over them to evict the evil spirits and then tried again. They burned. Before that he was accepting of the presence of evil spirits but with misgivings. Seeing this first-hand made him a believer. He told me about this himself, right after it happened.
  9. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    I think I do understand where you're coming from, and I didn't mean to imply that you don't think God is sovereign. But I think Ephesians 6 would disallow the 5-year-old analogy. There we certainly are told to be strong --but it is in the Lord. We are given spiritual weapons --a shield (faith), a sword (the word of God) and praying always with all prayer and supplication. So that explicit teaching, as well as the general Biblical thrust of promoting absolute dependence on God, would lead me to think that God never says, "do it yourself", for after all Christ already said, "without me ye can do nothing."
  10. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    Again, we have to remember that demons are very real and are capable of making their presence known. That right there gives them the ability to really frighten someone.

    Their great deception is taking a 'trick' and creating leverage with the superstitious folks by causing an illusion of being ALL powerful. What happened in the burning of the fetish trick? They stopped something from burning. THAT'S IT!!!! But that trick is enough to create such fear as to keep an entire village in tow. This is not a battle of spiritual power, it's the exposing of an illusion, a trick.

    I can go right now to a small group of three professional illusionists and commission them to create an illusion where I throw an object into the fire and it doesn't burn. Then I say a prayer and throw it in the fire and this time it explodes. They would laugh. They would say, "Give us a challenge!"

    Well if three buddies familiar with the mechanics of illusion (chemistry, physics, mechanics and presentation) can do this then why should I fear some creatures you are just a lot smarter and have a lot more experience in illusions and presentation.

    I used to live in a house in which the demons would turn the lights on and off during the night and you could hear them walking up and down our stairs. Was my wife frightened? She was terrified and too frightened to tell anyone for fear she'd be thought crazy. Turns out the previous owners left as a result of the 'ghosts'.

    What's happens is our brain says, "Oh my, if they can turn on a light and make me hear footsteps then they will hurt me and do all those things they did to that little girl in The Exorcist." (Most people will tell you the same thing.)

    But what did they actually do? They turned a light off and on. They made disembodied footstep sounds. Sure that's creepy but that's not a demonstration of power. It's just part of a presentation to deceive people into distrusting the sovereignty of God and perhaps that's why it is permitted. God tested Jobs trust but Job never blamed a demon and never confronted one either.

    I have seen a bleeding bathtub, heard steps, seen lights turn on and off, heard them speak in my head, and the worst, seen my daughters controlled by demons and I still say they are weak. They're strength is in deception and being able to exploit our superstition.
  11. sekacavelle

    sekacavelle Inactive User

    Well the question is why does Evil exist. It exists for good. God is righteous and all he does is so. He tests us and refines us using satan and his subjects. Then when we most need God under satans onslaught because God created him and made him more powerful than us, we realise we need a Saviour inevitably we run run run , in all kinds and manner of prayer as Paul taught ,to the Master of the Universe our Father God Almighty.

    So I pray silently, sometimes Iget a better response crying out loud like the two deaf guys in the Gospels wanting their sight restored even when people tell you keep quiet. If there is anyone righteous of course lay hands on me i need it. Kneel down, stand and clap to the lord. Throw yourself at his mercy oh well and if u still have not received an answer pray again silently. Remember the woman who kept going to the unjust Judge. What more your Father what good will he hold back from his Children in need and at the onslaught of the devil.

    So satan wherever you are the Lord God Almighty is the master of the universe it is he we pray to. Forget the ways evil work in artefacts or whatever. satan has immense power given to him , but we learn Gods righteous works in redemtion of humanity in Christ. IT IS THE WORD LOGOS THAT MATTERS
  12. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    we have fetish burnings here too.

    Usually there is a time of renewed vigor in the faith afterward. Even as one who is suspicious of modern "spiritual warfare" fads, I do admit that I do not believe that God will bless a people who are still hanging onto their talismans. These fetish burnings are to show renewed devotion to God, however, and not to evict any spirits residing in the fetishes...
  13. HaigLaw

    HaigLaw Puritan Board Sophomore

    Yes; no spiritual gimmicks!

  14. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    The fetish burning that I was related was to show devotion to God rather than reliance on evil spirits. The fetishes made of ordinarily-combustible materials would not burn until they were prayed over. Hence it is probable that there was some sort of spiritual reality connected with these fetishes.
  15. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    Obviously without God we can do nothing but He has given us responsibility and (except for dispensationalists) authority over evil spirits. Ephesians 6 only confirms that our encounters with the forces of evil are, by nature, struggles.

    Do any PB members know of anyone with a fruitful ministry of freeing people from evil spirits (addictions, eating disorders, hallucinations, self-destructive behavior post-traumatic stress disorders and the like) who simply prays to God for the person in question? Have any of you pastors seen people (or even one person) set free in your own ministries with this approach? I've never heard of such but then I've not been around that long.

    All the fruitful ministries in this regard that I've ever seen or heard of are either of the Neil Anderson kind of truth encounter, or else the Peter Wagner kind of direct confrontation. In my situation, national pastors are extremely valuable. They tend to do the direct confrontation.
  16. HaigLaw

    HaigLaw Puritan Board Sophomore

    My wife and I have attended some "deliverance training" sessions. Can't say we've seen any really-dramatic healings, but then again, some of those healings are by their nature internal.

    While I respect the warnings some have cited on this thread about dabbling with demons, and so forth, I do have to ask the question -- why wouldn't we expect God to heal such mental-emotional disorders when He sees fit to do so?

  17. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    I have been involved in some very intense direct encounters. Were they successful? The 'deliverance minister' would say they were. They were dramatic and there were direct effects. The demons even stopped bothering for a few years. I've read all of Anderson's books, and Mark Bubeck's and Timothy Warner (even spoke to him on the phone).

    These are good men who really believe they are helping but really all they are doing is providing a self-consistent model for real and imagined demonic behavior. They provide the superstitions and expectations that the weak demons will use to level 'real' fear over people. They will let you think you are winning. They love it when you blame them for a tendency toward worldliness or fleshy sin. That is the illusion of power. Scripture tells us that we have three enemies, the wold, the flesh and the devil. If you are already given to worldliness and serve the lusts of your flesh then you are exactly the person that 'the roaring lion' is seeking to devour. In that case, God's agent of wrath (the devil) may yet bring about your repentance.

    A successful deliverance is an embracing of God's sovereignty and Christ's Lordship and authority and recognizing that demons rely on deception and superstition.

    Last edited: May 25, 2008
  18. sekacavelle

    sekacavelle Inactive User

    The Bible teaches that amoungst men there is The Kingdom of God and the kingdom of satan. The True Church which is the Body of Christ is the Kingdom of God. We are baptised into the Church by the Holy Spirit.

    Those outside the Church are lead into the way of error and deception and evil by demonic spirits. Those in The Church are lead into the way of truth and eternal life by the Holy Spirit. So The Church washes and cleanses us by the word. So these people that run these excorsisms and the like and not preaching the word of truth I do not know what mandate and from whom they operate. My question is they may themselves be deceived and in the way of error. The Glory of god is manifest in the Church.

    The Churchs Mandate is to preach The Gospel which is the means for salvation. PREACH PREACH PREACH.

    Burning fetishes, laying of hands and exorsims does not bring about salvation. The Lord does heal anyone even the unsaved , we have hospitals ,pshycologists and the like but this is just a relief for both believers and non believers but eternally they profit nothing. So seek the Kingdom of God and all, all, all righteousness will be added. The Church is cleansed from all evil, anorexia,baulimia,mental illnesses,immorality and such evil by the washing and cleansing of the Word of Truth.

    So any ministry not preaching The Gospel of Salvation through Sovereign Grace in the Death and Ressurection of Jesus Christ for the elect is vanity. Everything done outside The True Church is a deception and evil and is ultimately Vanity of Vanities.

    Yet again Teach the Word

    When you have preached Christ crucified died and was buried and Rose up on the third day according to the scriptures then
    Teach Christ Crucified again and again.
  19. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Faith (our shield) is opposed to fear.
    Truth (our sword) is opposed to error.
    Prayer is opposed to self-reliance.

    So if we believe the truth, and preach the truth, and pray for God's blessings upon the truth to us and to the audience, it seems that this is the spiritual warfare. But that is the ministry of the church, not a particular "deliverance ministry".
  20. sekacavelle

    sekacavelle Inactive User

    My brother Blessed be the Lord for this is the full council of God. His Glory manifested in The Body of Christ through his word and reprobation outside the Church.

    It baffles me these deliverance ministries who know nothing of Gods Sovereign act in election and reprobation. How can you grant deliverance to reprobates. How can you excorsise the reprobate. I can preach to a reprobate and the onus is on them to accept Christ and if they dont then its up to God to deliver judgment. Even if you burn all the fetishes and killed all the witches and wizards amoungst the reprobate they still will not be believers nor remain in the faith. No amount of purging of idol worship in Isreal in the Old Testament ever brought about true faith. This is solely the work of The Holy Spirit.

    So I am not supposing we pin point reprobates but rather PREACH the word and let the chips fall where they may and pin point those who take up the cross so we can be built up in The True body of Christ.

    Thanks my brother for your insightful forite.
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