"Voices" or demons? What to do?

Discussion in 'Spiritual Warfare' started by shelly, Jul 27, 2007.

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  1. shelly

    shelly Puritan Board Freshman

    I don't quite know where to start. How do I get into this without a long background story? There is history that goes further back than I will start with right now.

    About 7 years ago my sister and her husband bought a house out west. They got a good deal on it because it was reported to be haunted and someone was murdered in it. There was a visible presence every afternoon. Things were audible and moving, opening and shutting. After 1 to 1 1/2 years she "made peace with the house". Those are her words.

    Before that time she had a fairly reliable sense of "knowing". She and I were very much alike in that way. After making peace her abilities greatly increased. I won't go into the specifics but the thinking was that this was beneficial to her. After about 3 years the benefits price began to be evidenced. She began to hear voices and had some really intense paranoia and saw people there that no one else could see. She believed they were after her and her son(he is not quite 3). She has been checked in 3 times and is currently in right now. I am watching her son.

    She and I both moved back "home" so she would have family near by when these episodes took over and I moved so I could be here to help. I told her in some rare lucid moments before she was checked in that she needed to give it back and instead pursue God 100%. She went to church with me last Sunday. We just moved here the first of July and it was only my 3rd time at this church. She was able to engage in the singing time, pretty much. During the sermon was another thing. She carried on conversations with the voices in an eerie whisper. I'm glad we sat at the back.

    I'm leaning towards thinking it's a demon kind of thing with the voices etc. If it is...then what? If it's not, then do we ignore the rest of it as being irrelevant? Do we just proceed with a drug answer?

    This is the cliff notes version. I'd appreciate any input. I've already talked to our new pastor. He had some good counsel. I think that our family issues are overwhelming. There are 2 other things going on that are equally intense and of course it all runs at the same time. He doesn't know us in a background kind of way. It's more like ER. Help! So he is having a difficult time in counseling us on the other 2 issues.
    The church we came from(we visited there for 3 months and my husband is still attending there until we sell our house) is very supportive of the local church and our pastor as the one who should be involved.

    The good thing that has come from this time of intense struggle is that I'm learning to pray for real. I've prayed more in the last month than I have in the last 2 years. I just haven't prayed much until recently. I guess it just shows my hard heart that it takes so much to get me to pray and to run to God.

    This is one of the 3 major things going on in our family right now. I'll make a separate post for the one about my son.
  2. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I would not rule out demons. But I fear to say more since I have limited grasp on this subject. I don't think modern conservative Christianity has really wrestled with demonology.

    I was going to start a post on demons but this sort of covers it. I don't know at the moment. Thanks for sharing this.
  3. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    we don't mind praying for you here. but the person in the best position to address the needs of the situation--you are already speaking to him, the pastor, which is the right move. we are almost as likely to give you bad information specific to your situation, as we are good.

    i will address the one question, regarding what could be going on with your sister's mind. one thing i do not think, and that is that she is receiving communications from dead people. nor do i think that she ever lived in a haunted house, whatever weird stuff happened there. as reformed believers, it is not as though we ignore the spirit-world. but we realize that with Jesus having sat down to reign, that satan and his ilk have LESS, not MORE power and freedom since the resurrection. we are "informed skeptics" on the subject of demonology and angelology, and we seldom run to such explanations for the inexplicable, prefering to say "i don't know," rather appealing to demons out of ignorance.

    i can think of a few possibilities and combinations of factors which could explain why your sister seems to hear things. The following list is far from exhaustive:
    1) she is imagining things.

    2) she has an organically-caused problem in her brain.

    3) she is hallucinating; there can be many causes for this, from simple sleep deprivation all the way to overdosing/misusing drugs.

    4) she is suffering from acute hearing. ordinarily we utilize methods we developed naturally in infancy to filter our hearing. later we overlay that natural development with environmental filters. changes in our circumstances can cause us to develop new environmental filters, as our cognitive faculty attempts to process raw auditory data according to our pre-conditioned categories. the retraining of the mind can even affect our instinctively developed filters. but the bottom line, we can convince ourselves of what we are hearing based on deeper-level concepts. as christians, we are supposed to be strengthening our deepest concepts on the "sure foundation" of revelation. the truly sad thing is today, people are setting up the basis for their thinking on concepts derived from science fiction, from tv shows like "ghost whisperer", etc. this is no different from the way that paganism developed. and satan continues to use people's false thinking and broken minds/brains to exploit their weaknesses. possibly your sister's wrong thinking precipitated her wrong hearing, which may have led her to this very confused place where the physical reality she occupies has become an unfamiliar, scary place, uninterpretable to her.

    that is why i dare not say that your sister is NOT suffering from true spiritual oppression. i just don't know how direct or indirect it might be, if there is a real (and not imaginary) influence. the way to help her is:
    1) get medical help if there is a physical problem.
    2) get spiritual help (and i personally do not recommend modern, evolutionary, unbelieving mental-health types); continue getting it from your pastor.
    3) get the Holy Spirit's help, by praying for his aid upon her; if she needs conversion first, he has to do that before he helps her any other way; then He will cast out/away any demons (if there are any)--that's not a human's job. and He will also work through His revelation (both natural and special) to reorder her mind and body back to its natural function--proper hearing, mental stabilbity, etc.

    i pray you and your loved ones all run to God, who is the One who truly heals. i realize this "help" is mostly theory, and not so practical, but you need a firm theoretical foundation on which to operate and move forward and make your practical decisions. don't get distracted with excorcisms and rituals and all that nonsense. what your sister needs is to get reconnected to the real world, to God's world, and most importantly to God himself.

    Last edited: Jul 27, 2007
  4. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    Sounds like a classic case of schizophrenia. Get her medical help soon. It is very difficult to deal with spiritual issues when you are hearing voices and feeling paranoid. It's a brain/chemical problem and can be treated.

    Look - you're going to get a lot of advice - a lot of it bad. This is the Internet after all. Please don't hesitate to get her to a doctor. I worry that the longer you wait, the more spiritual damage this medical disorder is going to cause - and the greater the risk to her and her daughter.
  5. Chiefmusician

    Chiefmusician Puritan Board Freshman

    I am really interested to hear what you men believe on this subject. I have yet to find a good reformed book on demonology and would gladly take book recommendations if anyone has any.

    Without giving a lot of background history. What would you say to a 21 year old and his 2 atheist friends who all not only heard but saw some kind of spiritual creature. Spoke with it and even video taped it on numerous occasions. Also the video can only be seen if watched through the camera itself. It has not only been documented by news and other groups, but they have been offered thousands of dollars for the camera, and one kid was injured by this demon. The young man realized after this incident that he was playing with fire and came to us for help. Would this fall under schizophrenia? This sounds strange, but I am not one to find a demon in every bush.
  6. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    Satan Cast Out by Frederick S. Leahy.
  7. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    Hi Pastor Hill,
    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.
  8. Coram Deo

    Coram Deo Puritan Board Junior

    Here is a really good article from a Reformed view on Demons and Possessions by Rev. Jason Kortering to First Evangelical Reformed Church, Singapore which is part of the Protestant Reformed Church....

    I think it is well balanced and non charismania.....


    Some points...

    1. There are demons that taunt and war against Christians.
    2. Christians can not be possessed by the true nature of the indwelling Spirit.
    3. Non believers can be possessed..
    4. The miracle of casting out demons ceased with the Apostles...
    5. But Ministers can cast out demons by Pray in the authority of Jesus but not calling demons out but into the Abyss.. Calling Demons out be be dangerous for both the Victim and YOU.... Jesus cast the Demon into the Abyss and not out....

    It debukes Excorism by Catholicism, and Charismatic entertainment by any method to cast out demons.
  9. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    I agree with that list except for number 5. Unless you are Jesus or one of the 70, don't speak to the demon. You can't send it anywhere.
  10. Anton Bruckner

    Anton Bruckner Puritan Board Professor

    is there anything you don't know:up::up:
  11. Richard King

    Richard King Puritan Board Senior

    Bob Vigneault's response is not unlike what I have been through with one of my family.
    I responded with the same approaches and in the end I came to the same conclusions.

    A word of caution to advice givers...
    The stock answers or suggestions are often filled with twists and turns and blockades you cannot imagine.
    It is easy to say get medical help but a parent of an adult child has no rights to force medical help on their child. I was denied when I asked them to do a jailhouse medical/mental health exam because only the wife has that right and she refused due to the fact that she preferred to "call down angels and wait for a miracle."
    In an even more complex catch 22 situation ...as my child went downhill he quit going to his church, then when we needed his pastor the pastor decided NOT to help because my son had not been attending for months so the pastor considered him not to be one of the flock.
    You just cannot know the hell of this watching from the outside.
  12. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    Prayer (to God) appears to be the best weapon in spiritual warfare. :judge:
  13. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    Richard Gilpin, Demonolgia Sacra, or A Treatise of Satan's Temptations

    Others in this vein worth reading include:

    Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices
    Jean Taffin, The Marks of God's Children
    William Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armour: Daily Readings in Spiritual Warfare (complete edition online here)
    John Downame, The Christian Warfare
    Charles Spurgeon, [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Warfare-Believers-Life-Spurgeon/dp/1883002028]Spiritual Warfare in a Believer's Life[/ame]
    Isaac Ambrose, The Christian Warrior: Wrestling with Sin, Satan, the World, and the Flesh (available online here) (see also here)
    Isaac Ambrose, War with Devils: Ministration Of, and Communion with Angels
    William Spurstowe, The Wiles of Satan
    Daniel Dyke, Michael And The Dragon Or, Christ Tempted & Satan Foiled
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2007
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