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Spiritual Warfare discuss How do you know if you are being spiritually attacked? in the The Christian Walk forums; How do you know if you are suffering under particular spiritual attack? I know that the Devil works and that the forces of evil are ...

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    Pergamum's Avatar
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    How do you know if you are being spiritually attacked?

    How do you know if you are suffering under particular spiritual attack?


    I know that the Devil works and that the forces of evil are out there and always working. I know that our sinful natures also trip us up. But, it does seem that satan and his demons do target folks from time to time.

    How do we know when and if this happens.

    And what do we do when we suspect that this is the case?
    Pergamum


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    TheocraticMonarchist is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    I don't know a lot about this subject, but I'll give you my though on this question:

    And what do we do when we suspect that this is the case?
    I don't think we are necessarily supposed to handle the ‘outside’ devil any differently than we handle the flesh, our ‘inside’ devil. We should cling to the truth God has revealed in the Scriptures, and seek strength from Him.

    How does someone overcome the flesh that wants to wallow in self pity, or the devil who wants to depress? Both are similar, and I believe both are overcome the same way, by going to Jesus Christ in prayer, and the Holy Scriptures for victory.
    1 Corinthians 8:6

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    Perg,

    Sometimes external events -- circumstances -- can be orchestrated against us; I experienced what I perceived to be an attack when 6 or 7 different people / groups complained against me to my boss (this while I was in human services in NY), and I had to meet with him. It was just too nicely set up to be random. I was active in the media preaching and taking stands for righteousness (in the school system, etc), and had a lot of enemies. I fasted briefly, called some friends to pray for me, asked the Lord for help, and spoke audibly (in private) against any demonic attack, what I would call "warfare prayer".

    Sometimes depression can be an assault. Sometimes people close to us, even intimate family members, can be gotten to and used as vessels for satanic attacks: i.e., condemnation, strife, bitterness, anger, etc. While I realize that people are responsible for what goes through them (I do not believe in the nonsense of "sanctification by exorcism"), I will nonetheless take a stand against the demonic powers, asserting the authority of Christ in the spiritual world.

    I will pray thus, "Satan and you evil spirits who are against ______ and operating through them against me, in the name of Jesus Christ, and in the power of His Spirit who dwells in me, I break and bind your power over them and over me, and I command you to depart."

    I hymn or poem I have had in my Bible for ages reads,

    Principalities and powers
    Mustering their unseen array,
    Wait for thy unguarded hours
    Watch and pray!

    I assume the presence of evil ones continually, though my staying close to the Lord and walking in His presence, working His works in various aspects of my life, is sufficient warfare. Preaching / witnessing is a powerful means of warfare.

    I guard my mind, as the devil often works as a deceiver. I watch my thoughts and desires. Are they really mine? Or are these thoughts or feelings projected into me from alien entities? If I have negative thoughts about my wife I will examine them, for I am set to love, cherish, and instruct her in godliness, and I can tell if they are either of "the flesh" or the devil, and I resist them. The spirits can impersonate my thoughts, and often we will be thinking negative sinful things and believe they originate with us, but not always so. Many folks do not guard their minds and hearts, and are sitting ducks for fiery darts.

    When I discern occult or extra-ordinary phenomena in people in my circles, I will often pray against the demonic powers as noted above.

    I am not a charismatic, but solidly Reformed, though I came out of the sixties counterculture in the U.S. where the drugs and spiritual paths of those times propelled multitudes of us into the demonic realms, and sorcery and witchcraft were commonplace. Were it not for the mighty Christ wading into our midst and calling His elect to Him, we would have perished in the strong delusions we were bound in. I am exercised in these things because from thence the Lord called me, and I have often had to take a stand. I realize that many dear Reformed brethren do not share my views concerning occasional active resistance against the demonic, but I must walk the path the Lord has put me on.

    A book I recommend is, War On The Saints, by Jessie Penn-Lewis, with Evan Roberts. Here are two online editions of it:

    War On The Saints - Contents

    War On The Saints - Contents

    Satan and you evil spirits who are against Perg and his family, in the name of the risen and exalted Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth, and in the power of His Spirit who indwells me, I break and bind your power against them, and command you to go from them. Lord Jesus, watch over Perg and his, and guide him in Your way. Grant him Your joy even in the midst of tribulation, as he stands for Your name and Gospel in a foreign field. Grant him to know Your pleasure in him as he labors in Your fields. Grant him to discern attacks on his mind, or spirit, or emotions, and to draw near to You, and be filled with the power that is in Your heart, and to cast off all that is not of You. Thank You, Lord, that by Your Spirit You dwell within us, and we are filled "with all might, according to [Your] glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father..." (Col 1:11, 12). We look forward to seeing You face to face, Lord. Until then, thank You for Your mighty keeping power. Amen.

    I'll keep you in prayer, Perg. And you know your High Priest does (Heb 7:25).
    Steve Rafalsky
    Member, Queens Presbyterian Church, Astoria (PCA)
    Queens, New York
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    " (Colossians 1:11)

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    I have a brother who accepted the Lord years back. He is from a Roman Catholic background. I believe he has truly accepted the Lord as I've seen work of God's grace in his life . He is not grounded in the Word of God (he is a baby Christian) and coming out from many superstitious beliefs.

    They live in Southern part of the Philippines where there are many Muslims and tribes that are spiritistic. They hired a maid from a very remote part of the country and she
    practiced healing inside their home and started giving him "Words from the Lord". He healed my brother from a very bad sore throat . My brother who is also exposed to a charismatic group inside the Catholic Church is drawn to this and believed that this is from the Lord. I told him to get rid of the maid and not to get involved with this but he just got very angry.

    I've been telling him for years to move to a Protestant Church like what I did but he won't. Now he is fully deceived and his mind is controlled. He was once a very loving brother and now he hates my Mom and views us as enemies. He has changed and is no longer the brother that we know. The maid dictates him what to do.

    We did a background check on the maid and we hired a private investigator .Report says she belongs to a Cult .

    We've been praying for 2-3 years now but my brother has totally disengaged from us.

    Does he need deliverance? We've asked so many people and churches to pray . Can somebody give us advice? My mom has lost a lot of weight and is in grief due to what happened. My Mom is a Christian and we were advised to keep praying and not to use force.
    Arlene
    PCA
    North Carolina
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    Thanks Steve.

    I see that your are in Cyrpus. Leslie on this board is in Ethiopia and has similar views on spiritual warfare. I am also in the third world and have seen some weird things (and I guess have participated in what could be called an exorcism).

    The three of our views sometimes seem at odds with Western reformed Christans.

    Why?


    Have we bought into a little bit of animism or has the West bought into Enlightenment, or a combo of both? I am constantly trying to fit my experience into my Western assumptions.
    Pergamum


    "If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"
    -- David Livingstone

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    Perg,

    You ask, "Why?" I think it's as simple as the old saying, "Out of sight, out of mind."

    It's not part of the functional world view or the experience of the Western Christian. The devil is not unhappy with such a state of affairs, either. It gives him more operating room.

    There's no buying into animism on my part. Though we do not see -- at least we in the West -- evidences of demonic activity (save in the intellectual / spiritual spheres), we are to be those who live by faith, not by sight. The Scripture is clear we have active and present spiritual adversaries. There is nothing amiss in rebuking the devil with the word of power.

    Nor in being vigilant with a discerning eye.
    Steve Rafalsky
    Member, Queens Presbyterian Church, Astoria (PCA)
    Queens, New York
    USA

    "I am set for the defense of the gospel" (Philippians 1:17)

    "Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious
    power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness...
    " (Colossians 1:11)

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    turmeric's Avatar
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    I strongly disagree that spiritual attacks don't happen in the West; they do, but I also don't believer in addressing Satan or demons in prayer time! I'm certain that we are not called on to do this since the Apostolic age has passed. However, we are called on to pray and ground ourselves in the promises of Scripture. We don't do enough of that in the West for sure! (I should speak for myself, I suppose!)
    The man who is disposed to think of his sin as a great calamity, rather than as a heinous crime, is not likely either to reverence God or to respect His law. - John Kennedy, 1873
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    Pergy, I, too, share your views, and I believe what my family experienced this past summer was clearly both an answer to prayer and an attack from the enemy. God so often uses the vices of our enemy to turn them around for good.

    While I don't think that we need to give undue attention to our enemy, I do believe that there are times when we must verbally claim our position in Christ and tell our enemy to leave us alone. We also need to rely on the prayers of others in those times.

    If spiritual warfare was only something for the times of the apostles, I don't believe Paul would have addressed the Ephesians on the issue, nor would have Peter and James told their readers to be sober and watchful and to resist the devil.

    Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:11 ESV

    Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 ESV

    Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. I Peter 5:8 ESV
    J Baldwin
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    Quote Originally Posted by turmeric View Post
    I strongly disagree that spiritual attacks don't happen in the West; they do, but I also don't believer in addressing Satan or demons in prayer time! I'm certain that we are not called on to do this since the Apostolic age has passed. However, we are called on to pray and ground ourselves in the promises of Scripture. We don't do enough of that in the West for sure! (I should speak for myself, I suppose!)
    There is no cultural, racial barrier as to what Satan can do. No country is excempt from the wiles of the enemy.

    I was in an IVCF Camp in the Southern part of the Philippines. We had many students coming from different schools and one convert is from a Muslim background with exposure to occult. While we were having our prayer time
    she was speaking in tongues and praising God but with a mocking voice and laughter. A British missionary stood up, held her in the arm and commanded
    the evil spirit to leave and give her peace. He said " I command you to leave this girl and give her peace".

    There was fear in our midst and the campers were scared but immediately peace and a strong presence of the Holy Spirit calmed all of us.

    The girl was delivered. Praise be to God!
    Arlene
    PCA
    North Carolina
    Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.

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    I have some thoughts on "Why." Perhaps, because of the Judeo-Christian influence in the west, overt demonic activity would be recognized by many as such. Where there is no previous exposure to the gospel there is less opportunity for those so entrapped to see through it. Here our demonic adversaries use the garb of Christendom to lure people into just as deadly a trap. Easy believism, consumerism/materialism, psychobabble, authoritarianism and a host of pharisaical abominations plague our churches. But we often fail to recognize the satanic trappings in them because they appear as angels of light to us so often.
    We must not be fooled. Satan is alive and well, and devouring many on the western face of the earth. The colors, flavors and smells may be different, but the result is the same - idolatry and eternal damnation.
    For the Glory of our King,
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    The difference between one region to another is merely the level of superstition. Superstition is the lever by which weak demons produce the appearance of great and frightening power.

    They will make efficient use of the local superstitions and expectations of the groups, village, church, whatever and they will create schemes to fit those localities. Given the right superstition package, the demon can scare a group to death, destruction or at least exhibit control.

    Meg is correct, we should never address the demons directly. This is no different than praying to an angel and we simply don't do that, there is no need.

    I used to believe that the economy of the demonic world was power. I don't believe that anymore, they trade and work in superstition. Our own superstition and expectations 'empower' (actually it's all an illusion) the demons. Take away superstition by teaching a Biblical worldview and preaching the Gospel and removing fearfulness and you have removed the demons ability to affect people.


    There are three beliefs regarding demons but only these first two are common:

    1. Demons exist and they are powerful and frightening, and
    2. Demons do not exist, they are explained by natural phenomena and subconscious brain functions.

    The 3rd, and I believe Biblical response is that demons DO exist but they were greatly weakened at the establishment of the Kingdom. Any real power is gone and they must rely on misconceptions, fears and superstitions but that is enough. Demons have studied humans since we've been here. They know our weaknesses, they know how susceptible we are to fear and that we can be controlled by it.

    1 John 2:4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.

    This verse tells us that it is the one who keeps the commandments out of gratitude and knowledge of God is the one who has perfect love. Many try to obey out of fear. That is superstition. If we fail we have a High Priest who makes intercession. There is no need to fear. John goes on to say in 4:12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

    We must love one another and again this perfects our love.

    Finally in verse 16 he says
    So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
    John tells us how love is perfected and then gives us the most powerful weapon against demons - love that is perfected by God's removal of future punishment, love of our brother, knowledge of Him, hatred of the world casts out fear. Where there is no fear, there is no foothold for the devil. He may accuse but it has no effect, he will attack the sovereignty of God and the authority of Christ but we know Him.

    The doctrine of the sovereignty of God and the authority of Christ allow us to pull the curtain back and see that the Great and Powerful Oz with his ability to breed fear is really just a little weakling who knows how to manipulate those who aren't as smart as he is. He may understand physics, psychology, chemistry, anatomy and the art of illusion but he is a toothless and defeated lion. Don't be fooled, don't be frightened.
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    Yes, I have never addressed a demon.

    But, addresssing a demon would NOT be the same as praying to an angel - it is not a prayer, it is a demand to leave.


    But, having said this, I only talk to God. I take the Jude passage to mean that if the angels themselves would not rebuke satan, than I should not but ask God to defend me instead. Am I taking this passage out of context or even quoting it correctly (haven't been through Jude in awhile).
    Pergamum


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    MW
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    Ephesians 6:12 applies to the whole of the Christian life. To think in terms of individual spiritual attacks is to "demonise" one area of evil, which is unhealthy and unbiblical. Job's trials were Satan's attacks, but Job saw every incident of his life as being under the dominion of God, not Satan.
    Yours sincerely,
    Rev. Matthew Winzer
    Australian Free Church,
    Victoria, Australia

    "Illum oportet crescere me autem minui."
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    Quote Originally Posted by armourbearer View Post
    Ephesians 6:12 applies to the whole of the Christian life. To think in terms of individual spiritual attacks is to "demonise" one area of evil, which is unhealthy and unbiblical. Job's trials were Satan's attacks, but Job saw every incident of his life as being under the dominion of God, not Satan.
    I don't buy this.

    It does appear to be times that we are specially attacked.

    Your view is representative of many in the West I was referring to above - almost a desire to hush up or ignore the spiritual/demonic. But the NT presents a very active foe that is attacking us besides just our own sinful lusts.

    Is your own worldview tainted by the Enlightenment? And would you admit this if it were so?




    OF COURSE (DUH) every event in our lives is within the will of GOd. But spiritual attacks are no less real and authentic attacks because of this.
    Pergamum


    "If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"
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    MW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pergamum View Post
    Your view is representative of many in the West I was referring to above - almost a desire to hush up or ignore the spiritual/demonic. But the NT presents a very active foe that is attacking us besides just our own sinful lusts.
    I would have thought that the view which includes all forms of evil as Satanic attacks was the one which was farthest from ignoring the spiritual/demonic. It seems to me that the highlighting of specific forms of evil and calling those "attacks" over and above other forms of evil is the view most likely to undermine the idea of Satan as an active foe, and certainly provides a convenient shadow under which Satan can mask his activity.
    Yours sincerely,
    Rev. Matthew Winzer
    Australian Free Church,
    Victoria, Australia

    "Illum oportet crescere me autem minui."

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    Quote Originally Posted by armourbearer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pergamum View Post
    Your view is representative of many in the West I was referring to above - almost a desire to hush up or ignore the spiritual/demonic. But the NT presents a very active foe that is attacking us besides just our own sinful lusts.
    I would have thought that the view which includes all forms of evil as Satanic attacks was the one which was farthest from ignoring the spiritual/demonic. It seems to me that the highlighting of specific forms of evil and calling those "attacks" over and above other forms of evil is the view most likely to undermine the idea of Satan as an active foe, and certainly provides a convenient shadow under which Satan can mask his activity.
    You are only illuminating a half-truth. Satan IS always attacking, but he attacks especially in some cases. All forms of evil are satanic, yet Legion was much different from Ananias not giving what he promises. There needs to be an admission that there is a difference in type and degree.
    Pergamum


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    MW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pergamum View Post
    You are only illuminating a half-truth. Satan IS always attacking, but he attacks especially in some cases. All forms of evil are satanic, yet Legion was much different from Ananias not giving what he promises. There needs to be an admission that there is a difference in type and degree.
    Obviously there are different degrees and types of evil. This is somewhat different from the idea of folk being targetted. I think if you measure evil by certain subjective material or mental phenomena then you could speak of such targetting, but the reality is that every Christian has to combat the evil of the world in various shapes and sizes every day. Ananias' lie was undoubtedly something insidious which required immediate divine action so as to bring fear on the church.
    Yours sincerely,
    Rev. Matthew Winzer
    Australian Free Church,
    Victoria, Australia

    "Illum oportet crescere me autem minui."

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    Hello Matthew and Bob,

    I appreciate your caution, Bob, but the devil is also known as a murderer, as well as a liar, and a deceiver. That he targets individuals should be clear from Scripture, and that he uses individuals to do this is also clear (namely Job, the Lord Jesus, Judas). It is from the power of darkness I have been delivered when God translated me into the kingdom of His dear Son (Col 1:13). When tempting the Lord Jesus in the wilderness he exhibited supernatural power, which was, as we know, nothing compared to the might and wisdom of the Son of God.

    When the devil or his minions infiltrate a soul -- demonize him or her -- it is a radical act of alien power. Yes, they have been granted this access through sin, the sins of parents (say, they practice witchcraft or other occult activity), or one's own. I am not talking of -- all the time, at any rate -- Biblical possession, but varying degrees of enslavement, psychologically, physically, spiritually to sin, aided and amplified by these aliens that are cloaked with invisibility.

    We are told that we wrestle against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph 6:12), and this does indicate individual responsibility as well as activity on our parts. Wrestling is intense personal conflict, and there are weapons used against individuals, such as "the fiery darts of the wicked" which I am told to quench using the shield of faith. As an offensive weapon I am given the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. This weapon I may wield in a number of ways; one is by the word of my testimony (Rev 12:11), another is by the preaching of the Gospel, and another is in my "resist[ing] the devil...[that he] flee from [me]" (James 4:7). I am told by Peter that my adversary the devil walketh about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, and whom I am -- as an individual -- to resist stedfast in the faith (1 Pet 5:8, 9).

    When resisting a spiritual foe I am to use spiritual means / weapons: as I use the sword of the Spirit, I stand in and proclaim the word of my God and Savior, which is a word of power.

    In John Bunyan's classic, Pilgrim's Progress, Mr. Great-heart is questioning newly-met Mr. Valiant-for-truth concerning his adventures, and asks why he did not cry out for help when overwhelmed. Valiant answers, “So I did to my King, who I knew could hear, and afford invisible help, and that was sufficient for me.” Then said Great-heart to Mr. Valiant-for-truth, “Thou hast worthily behaved thyself; let me see thy Sword;” so he shewed it him.

    When he had taken it in his hand, and looked thereon a while, he said, “Ha! It is a right Jerusalem blade.” And Valiant, “It is so. Let a man have one of these blades, with a hand to wield it, and skill to use it, and he may venture upon an Angel with it. He need not fear its holding, if he can but tell how to lay on. Its edges will never blunt. It will cut flesh, and bones, and soul, and spirit and all.”

    It does seem to me, according to the Scriptures, that I as an individual will have extraordinarily evil days where I will be in "hand-to-hand" (wrestling) combat with spirit foes. My weapon is by the word of my mouth, wherein I take up the sword given me by God and wield it. I direct it against my adversaries, and they do indeed flee, and by His grace I withstand in the evil day, and having done all, stand (Eph 6:13).

    Matthew, when you say,

    I would have thought that the view which includes all forms of evil as Satanic attacks was the one which was farthest from ignoring the spiritual/demonic. It seems to me that the highlighting of specific forms of evil and calling those "attacks" over and above other forms of evil is the view most likely to undermine the idea of Satan as an active foe, and certainly provides a convenient shadow under which Satan can mask his activity.

    I would agree with this in the main. Yet sometimes an attack presents itself in a particular instance and I must deal with it, while remaining, as you suggest above, circumspect with regard to the entirety of my experience.

    My one caveat to your statement pertains to the evil arising from within myself -- the "remaining corruption" -- and I do not attribute that to the devil. It is my own, and I repent of it when it manifests, and seek cleansing at that fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness (Zech 13:1).

    When our young people (and we older ones!) give themselves to computer / video games they give themselves over to an alien realm, as I indicate in the story, The Game-Master. We are a species under siege, often distracted from the warfare by games, movies, TV shows, or other activities. Is not the antichrist spirit rampant and ravaging in these days?

    How many sleep? How many are awake?

    Steve
    Steve Rafalsky
    Member, Queens Presbyterian Church, Astoria (PCA)
    Queens, New York
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    power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness...
    " (Colossians 1:11)

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    Thank-you all who have contributed. Let's keep this discussion going, as this is an important issue to work through, especially for western folks.
    Tim Lindsay
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    Good post Steve,
    I wish I had more time right now to address it. My two additional cautions would be, as we attempt to put together a spiritual warfare manual we must be oh so careful (as with any other doctrine) that we don't use an incident in the naratives of the acts of Jesus and the apostles to build a doctrine upon.

    Yes Job was personally attacked by Satan and yes, he was wrestling with Satan but that is just info to let us know that there is more than meets the eye. Job never addressed, confronted or even mentioned Satan. As far as Job knew, he was wrestling with God and I contend he WAS wrestling with God's agent of wrath. Job took his contention to God, not Satan.

    During the ministry of Jesus and the apostles, the demons had become hyper-active. Their power was greatly diminished by the cross and they were increasingly crippled by the teaching of the apostles (the spread of the Gospel).

    The demon has not lost his 'power' to deceive anymore than David Copperfield has lost his 'power' to deceive. They are both very effective and very practiced.
    When it comes to havoc, I WREAK!
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    Bob: Get me that manual when you are finished!

    Yes, I do not support ever addressing anyone except God. If you suspect evil at work (isn't evil always at work), pray to GOD!

    However, it is an assumption that there were "More than the usual amount of demons about" during the days of Jesus. It is not an unfair assumption but still an assumption.


    MY THEORY:

    It appears to me that as the Gospel is proclaimed to a people-group, then the Strong Man is being bound and the cases of the demonic decrease.

    This means that in the Third World or in unreached areas we should not be surprised to see more of this type of stuff - it is the front lines where the Strong Man has not yet been bound, so to speak.

    Does this explanation make sense? There is room in this explanation for an amil and/or postmil eschatology of claiming the whole world (we march forward and bind the Strong Man in all the world) for Christ and this explanantion also allows for demonization even while not seeing a devil on every corner.
    Pergamum


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    That's not a bad explanation Perg for explaining increased activity in the Third World. I still contend that it's not the activity that is increased but rather in a culture steeped in animistic superstition the demons don't have to be so sophisticated because the peoples expectations of what demons do is so extreme.

    The only element of spiritual warfare that I am pushing that is different than the majority is that I'm saying that demons are not powerful. Because they a spirits they can follow some avenues that we (illusionists) can't but they are still pretending to be powerful. Can a demon beat up a man? Yes, but so can my brother-in-law. Can a demon make things go bump in the night? Ditto for my brother-in-law. Can a demon make a pastor commit sexual sin? The demon isn't necessary BUT fallen men love to have that excuse. That's where we enable the demons. We have three enemies - the world, the flesh and the devil and we should fear them in that order. The anti-christian pattern of the world and my weak flesh is all I need to shipwreck my family and my faith. The demons, like Al Quada, are only two happy to take the blame for my downfall. The demons lost there power but they can make it appear like they have it back.
    When it comes to havoc, I WREAK!
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    Thanks Bawb.

    Can a demon make one physically sick? Can a demon affect my thinking? Can a demon put sin in my path or knock down a tree by the river to try to crush my canoe? Can a demon stir up a pagan people into a frenzy so that they desire to kill the local "witch" without thinkig too long and hard about it?
    Pergamum


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    Again Perg, give it the 'brother-in-law' test. I don't believe demons can read your mind or get in your brain but they certainly can make you extremely anxious and frightened just by manipulating things around you. A movie can mess with your head.

    Demons and my brother-in-law cannot act independent of God's providence but they can mess up things around me. Let's just get rid of the spookiness though. The spookiness is superstition.

    If a demon knocks down a tree then we assume that a demon can do all the things they did to that little girl in "The Exorcist" and God has to run and hide. Yes a demon can knock down a tree, if God permits it.
    When it comes to havoc, I WREAK!
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    I should say here, unless some don't realize, I have confronted demons and been attacked by demons and pretty much clobbered by them. Today I have two daughters that I am fighting for and praying to be brought into the Kingdom, who were caught in the middle. I'm not trying to minimize the effect and affect that they can have on folks, even the believer. They nearly destroyed my daughters and even now I am afraid I could lose Tiffany.

    Nevertheless, I was my own worst enemy. Running to the deliverance ministers and Neal Anderson and Tim Warner, though these men mean well they are spreading superstition that plays into the hands of the demons. They are empowered by our ignorance. Demons are real but they are not real powerful. They depend on illusion, superstition and fear to cause you harm. Take away the fear and superstition and they have nothing.

    My daughter (24) will not sleep in her bed right now. She has bad dreams, she said something strokes her arm and stomach. She believes they followed the bed from the last 'haunted' house we lived in, it's an antique. My wife wants me to get rid of the bed. I am going to go sleep in the room, in the bed and I already know what will happen - NOTHING!!!!!!!!

    They won't bother me except through my family. Why? Because I'm more spiritual? NO!!!!!! My wife is Mary Poppins, she's practically perfect. I just will not buy what they (the demons) are selling. I don't fear them and they are powerless. I've looked behind the curtain. I won't play by their rules anymore.

    I say all this to let you know I am testing my theories even now and so far I am finding the demons to be as weak as I had guessed.
    Last edited by BobVigneault; 09-10-2008 at 12:47 PM.
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    Believe me, I am not running to Neil Anderson. Everything that the locals say not to do out of fear I do and tell them to see that demons cannot hurt a child of God. I have laughed off curses. My co-workers have cut down "sacred trees", bathed in sacred springs and destoyed piles of rocks that are bowed to.
    Pergamum


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    Quote Originally Posted by BobVigneault View Post
    I should say here, unless some don't realize, I have confronted demons and been attacked by demons and pretty much clobbered by them. Today I have two daughters that I am fighting for and praying to be brought into the Kingdom, who were caught in the middle. I'm not trying to minimize the effect and affect that they can have on folks, even the believer. They nearly destroyed my daughters and even now I am afraid I could lose Tiffany.

    Nevertheless, I was my own worst enemy. Running to the deliverance ministers and Neal Anderson and Tim Warner, though these men mean well they are spreading superstition that plays into the hands of the demons. They are empowered by our ignorance. Demons are real but they are not real powerful. They depend on illusion, superstition and fear to cause you harm. Take away the fear and superstition and they have nothing.

    My daughter (24) will not sleep in her bed right now. She has bad dreams, she said something strokes her arm and stomach. She believes they followed the bed from the last 'haunted' house we lived in, it's an antique. My wife wants me to get rid of the bed. I am going to go sleep in the room, in the bed and I already know what will happen - NOTHING!!!!!!!!

    They won't bother me except through my family. Why? Because I'm more spiritual? NO!!!!!! My wife is Mary Poppins, she's practically perfect. I just will not buy what they (the demons) are selling. I don't fear them and they are powerless. I've looked behind the curtain. I won't play by their rules anymore.

    I say all this to let you know I am testing my theories even now and so far I am finding the demons to be as weak as I had guessed.
    Bob this post was extremely helpful to me man, I think this is whats happening with my daughter, thanx now I no more of how to deal with her.
    Richard W. Roldan "Ricky"
    Member and Teacher of Iglesia Presbiteriana Reformada Berea (PCA)
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    " I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel," Paul

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    Ricky I'm not saying I've solved the problem yet.

    Things are dicey in my family.

    My 24 year old is insisting it's demonic. Her room in our last house was spook central. 'Ghosts', sounds, etc. I had a grown niece who stayed in that room one night and she didn't know anything about the 'going's on' and she saw a women walk into the room and pass into the closet. My daughter had seen whole groups of people do that. So the spooky level was real high.

    Deliverence ministers came in and things got real freaky.

    Now I am trying to sell my wife and grown daughter on the fact that WE were enabling the demons by playing along. They aren't convinced and now my daughter is complaining again in our new home of more strangeness. She is very angry at me because she thinks I'm not taking her serious. I'm taking her serious, I'm just not taking the demons serious.

    I'm so afraid my new and younger children will hear our whispers and then they'll be frightened and then here we go again. This is a struggle Ricky and I will pray for you.
    When it comes to havoc, I WREAK!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobVigneault View Post
    Ricky I'm not saying I've solved the problem yet.

    Things are dicey in my family.

    My 24 year old is insisting it's demonic. Her room in our last house was spook central. 'Ghosts', sounds, etc. I had a grown niece who stayed in that room one night and she didn't know anything about the 'going's on' and she saw a women walk into the room and pass into the closet. My daughter had seen whole groups of people do that. So the spooky level was real high.

    Deliverence ministers came in and things got real freaky.

    Now I am trying to sell my wife and grown daughter on the fact that WE were enabling the demons by playing along. They aren't convinced and now my daughter is complaining again in our new home of more strangeness. She is very angry at me because she thinks I'm not taking her serious. I'm taking her serious, I'm just not taking the demons serious.

    I'm so afraid my new and younger children will hear our whispers and then they'll be frightened and then here we go again. This is a struggle Ricky and I will pray for you.
    THis is very similar to my problem, thanx again brother, i needed this
    Richard W. Roldan "Ricky"
    Member and Teacher of Iglesia Presbiteriana Reformada Berea (PCA)
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    " I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel," Paul

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    MW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerusalem Blade View Post
    My one caveat to your statement pertains to the evil arising from within myself -- the "remaining corruption" -- and I do not attribute that to the devil. It is my own, and I repent of it when it manifests, and seek cleansing at that fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness (Zech 13:1).
    Thankyou, Steve, for your well thought out post. I fully agree with the general thought of the above statement, and that sin is our responsibility for which we ought to seek repentance and cleansing. But we should also acknowledge the working of Satan even in our remaining corruption. We see this clearly in the rebuke of our Lord to Satan in the person of the apostle Peter, Matt. 16. It was Peter's own carnal ignorance and prejudice which influenced him to dissuade Christ from the cross, but it was Satan himself who was an offence to the Lord Jesus. Believers savouring of the things of men and of the world are instruments of the evil one. We might also consider what the apostle Paul teaches concerning sinful anger and giving place to the devil, Eph. 4:26, 27. Our indwelling sin is undoubtedly the more heinous because of the usefulness the devil is able to make of it, which should compel us to wash away our filthiness in the blood and righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Yours sincerely,
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    Bob and Ricky,

    I've been praying about the things you spoke of.

    The other day a curious "street" cat wandered into my house, and as my wife and I don't want animals inside I quickly chased it out (I'm also allergic).

    From what I hear you saying, whatever power you do or do not grant them, these spirits are entering your home and family. I would not tolerate that a moment. Were I in your shoes I would start a short fast, say one or two days, and be praying both against them (how else can one wield the "sword of the Spirit" if one does not speak?) and to the almighty Savior and God, to rid and cleanse your home.

    What Luther said concerning sin applies here: One cannot stop birds from flying around one's head, but one can keep them from making in nest in one's hair.

    Bob, you said,

    Demons are real but they are not real powerful. They depend on illusion, superstition and fear to cause you harm. Take away the fear and superstition and they have nothing.

    Scripture tells us the devil (with his demons) is a liar, murderer, tempter, seducer, accuser, deceiver, and thief. He does have access to our minds / hearts by way of projecting thoughts and images to our minds -- these are often what the "fiery darts" consist of. The shield of faith enables us to resist such: In the name of Christ I refuse and resist such thoughts, etc. How else will you resist the devil? You can't push him away. The shield of faith is an active force of the knowledge of God's keep power, believed in the heart and expressed verbally. The sword of the Spirit is the power of God's own word projected into the spirits, and they do flee, as His might and glory terrifies them.

    The fact that spirits can materialize so as to be seen, and can influence physical objects, is sufficient power for the saint to war against it when it enters his / her home and family.

    Deliverance folks and exorcists are not what is needed. Resistance must come from the people being oppressed, and as it is your own flesh and blood being so affected, even if not you yourself, they've crossed the line.
    Steve Rafalsky
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    Thanks Steve, I sure wish we were sitting in the same room discussing these things.

    I'm not convinced that the devil projects things into our minds. We are controlled by what we desire most. The devil only has to know us well enough to present us with the proper stimulus or set of circumstances to 'control' our thoughts. We give foothold to the devil by entertaining misaffections.

    You are correct, he is a deceiver and apart from Christ we want to be deceived. Anything is better than facing the wrath of God. Even the believer will entertain deceptions. Take ****. A demon will know a man's desire to view p*orn and a demon will make it easy for you to do so. Sin is so comfortable and desirable and the only protection is to resist. We resist out of gratitude for what Christ has done and a powerful affection for God (first commandment). Resist the devil and he will flee means you remove the snares from your life and you never cease in building a Biblical worldview. (You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.)

    Worldview is the biggest battleground. Our worldview is the basis for our thoughts, principles and actions. Isn't it true that one definition of faith is a cognitive commitment? A cognitive commitment is that grace which God gives us to commit to certain first principles.

    Examples:
    - There is a God and He has revealed himself in the Bible.
    - God is sovereign over all things.
    - All power and authority have been given to the Son.
    - I have a Redeemer.

    It is this Biblical worldview that is the focus of the devils attack. It is not a battle of power but a battle of truth. Satan uses illusion and delusion to achieve this but his attacks are superintended by God. His attacks will bring suffering, discipline, and for some they will bring destruction. ("Do not fear the one who can destroy the body, but Him that can destroy the soul.")

    Illusion is an erroneous perception of reality or what is true. Delusion is a fixed false belief that is either false, fanciful or derived from deception. The father of lies, the deceiver is the master of illusion.
    When it comes to havoc, I WREAK!
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    People who are not superstitious can be demonized.

    A co-worker came to me one day and said "I don't know if you will believe me . We bought a house and several times, there was loud knocking and pounding on my son's bedroom door, my son was asleep and no one was there but me, also , we find huge footprints in our carpet, we cleaned our floor and then it keeps appearing".

    She is from a Roman Catholic background and so I told her, " I know you pray to Mary and all the saints to ask for help but the Bible tells us to call on God alone (God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost). Only God has the power to protect you from evil and He is the only one who can send Satan away from your home."

    She started reading the Bible and asked God to protect her family and to send Satan away from their home. She stopped asking help from Mary and other saints.

    When I asked her if the knocking persists, she replied "You know what? The pounding and knocking has stopped and the footprints are gone ! Her family prays every night and Jesus has shown His power to this family!

    This is not in the third world or remote places of Asia, this is in the heart of the Research Triangle in America with the most well educated and not superstitious people.

    The fallen Angel Lucifer rebelled against God and became the enemy of God and he is our enemy. I also believe that God ,because He is God can control all things including Satan.
    Satan remains Satan, he works consistent with his evil nature and he hates God and his children! He is our adversary. Satan works to destroy God's people.

    I seek comfort in God's sovereign promise "That all things work together for good for those who love the Lord."

    I wait for the great day when God will cast the devil and his angels to hell forever and forever. For now, he causes us grief and we can only beg for God's mercy to help us and to overrule his hatred and wicked crafts.

    I pray, " And lead us not into temptations but deliver us from evil".

    Amen!
    Last edited by AVT; 09-11-2008 at 10:37 AM.
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    Thank you for sharing that Arlene. I do like to hear of experiences so I can apply my model to them.

    You did begin by saying that "People who are not superstitious can be demonized" and then told us of someone who prayed to Mary and the saints.

    Think about that again Arlene. Did you really mean to imply that this woman was not superstitious? She was soaking in it. We all have superstition to a certain extent. Superstition does not imply primitive beliefs, some superstitions are very sophisticated and even technological. Anyone tried those pads you put on the bottoms of your feet and they suck out toxins while you sleep? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. All they really do is suck money out of your budget.

    Superstition:
    1. a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.
    2. a system or collection of such beliefs.
    3. a custom or act based on such a belief.
    4. irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, esp. in connection with religion.
    5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.

    Wearing a cross because it somehow gives you a point of contact with Jesus is superstition. Going to church only on Christmas and Easter is superstition.
    When it comes to havoc, I WREAK!
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    The devil and demons are completely under the authority of God. Just as God used the Assyrians to chastise and purify the Israelites, then destroyed them, so does He use the devil and his minions to chastise and purify His people, and in the end will destroy them.

    The Israelites would have been in error to see their afflictions to be the result of the Assyrians' evil intent for them; they were the result of their own turning away from God. The solution was not to fear the Assyrian and ascribe great power to him and to attempt to skirmish with him, but to return to God in repentance and humility.

    That the 'Assyrian' devil is being used to savagely attack those in rebellion against God should come as no surprise, and even more so in cultures that are militant against the gospel of His Son. He commands all men to repent.

    Superstition is just another form of unbelief. It ascribes power to created beings or objects that is the province of God alone, so yes, the 'Assyrian' will be utilized to chastise that unbelief.

    The christian finds through that chastisement that the solution is not to engage the 'Assyrian', but to turn instead to the One who rules over even that 'Assyrian', not to fear any that can only harm his body, but He who can destroy his body and cast his soul into hell. The armour of God has nothing to do with scrapping with demons, it has everything to do with believing the truth about God and operating accordingly. It is comprised of truth, righteousness, faith, the gospel of peace, salvation, and the word of God. These are not things meant to be used to engage the 'Assyrian', they are the means whereby we are to draw near to our Redeemer, trusting in Him, relying on Him, resting in Him. And when our own faithlessness (unbelief) moves our God to send His Assyrian to assail us, it is those things that we are to use 'fend him off' by returning to faithfulness. Unbelief is the root of all sin, and is the enemy we battle. God has decreed both it's existence and it's destruction for His glory. Quibbling with the agents He uses in that decree is pointless, we are to close this transaction with God Himself.

    The devil flees when we resist him by believing God, not because we've beat him away, but because his Creator causes him to do so.
    Brad

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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pergamum View Post
    Thanks Bawb.

    Can a demon make one physically sick? Can a demon affect my thinking? Can a demon put sin in my path or knock down a tree by the river to try to crush my canoe? Can a demon stir up a pagan people into a frenzy so that they desire to kill the local "witch" without thinkig too long and hard about it?
    The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The confirmation of the diagnosis is in the treatment's being effective when that treatment only works for the diagnosis in question. Exorcism works for demonization, not for pneumococcal pneumonia or sickle cell anemia.

    Can a demon make one physically sick? Yes. I had life-threatening weight loss, weakness, and neurological deficits which were only reversed when the demon was ordered to leave. A friend of mine was an invalid for over 5 years; the demon left and she was healed by working through the truth encounter approach of Neil Anderson. An anorexic girl was delivered from her "friend" who lived inside her head and told her what she could and could not eat. I was in Thailand at the time of my deliverance; the other two events happened in the states.

    The church as a whole has bought into the naturalistic, humanistic, mental-health model of illness which sometimes is appropriate. However, this model minimizes or totally dismisses the scriptural relality of the middle storey inhabited by good and evil spirits. The scriptures teach that they exist so they exist. If we buy into the NT gospels as presenting a balanced view of reality, we should expect one case of demonization for every two cases of medical illness (more or less). Why does the church which professes 'sola scriptura' buy into a non-scriptural view of reality?

    The passage in Jude prohibits railing accusations, not taking the authority granted us by being members of Christ. In other spheres we readily make the distinction--why not here? One tells his son firmly, "Clean up your room" and that's a tad different than railing accusations, e.g. "You filthy, no-good slob".

    There is nothing in the scripture to indicate that it is wrong to simply addressing the demon(s) with the authority we have in Christ. Since it works and it cannot be shown to be wrong, then it is right. It also provides corroborating evidence that the western view of reality is wrong and the scriptures are right. We shouldn't need that, however.
    Mary Vanderkooi
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    Soddo, Ethiopia

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    Hello Brad,

    The LORD used not only the Assyrians to chasten and bring repentance upon Israel, but other nations as well, as we see often in Judges. When His people cried out to Him with contrite hearts He would send judges and warriors to lead His people into battle, and to prevail. We see this with Gideon and the Midianites. This is typical of the warfare we ourselves wage, and of the chastening our Master often sends upon us.

    What you say is true; this is the classic Reformed view, and in your remarks I hear the stances of Frederick Leahy in his Satan Cast Out (BOT 1975 / 1990), and also David Powlison in Power Encounters: Reclaiming Spiritual Warfare (Baker 1995). These books are highly recommended to those caught in the excesses and delusions of "the spiritual warfare movement".

    I concur that preaching the Gospel and the victorious Christ, are the primary weapons in our warfare. And yet, in cases where we have aligned ourselves with the working of evil spirits, as in occultism, or the demonic deceptions and counterfeits of the Holy Spirit as in the "Holy Laughter / Toronto 'Blessing' " movement, or by other means, and find ourselves involved with forces of spiritual evil, what then? Or -- to use my own background -- what of the generations that were introduced to actual sorcery through the use of Biblically-forbidden drugs and potions, and thereby trafficked in the demonic, and became subject to their wiles and dark influence? This is widespread in America, though little talked-about.

    What about -- and I think of a friend here -- some who have become victimized by deceiving spirits afflicting their minds? Supposed DSM-IV disorders diagnosed as OCD and yet are actually afflicted by spirits projecting blasphemous and wicked thoughts in their minds, impersonating the mental processes of the victims so that they think they themselves are thinking these things. Often they are just given medications to decrease the symptoms, whereas in reality this but masks the spiritual nature of the affliction, and one more saint is incapacitated from fully functioning mental / spiritual vitality, for the meds do tone down one's vitality. (I must add that not all OCD comes from spirits!)

    Is this what Leahy calls (quoting Lloyd-Jones) "capitulation to phenomena" (p. 166)?

    The saints up through the ages have accepted that the tempter can present images and thoughts to their minds, and we are to resist them. (Powlison has a whole chapter on his approach to "Resist the Devil".) While Powlison's approach is crucial to a sane and balanced view, I must differ with him (and Leahy) in some particular instances, and opt to embrace Penn-Lewis' view (in the book, War on the Saints, mentioned in an earlier post in this thread). She and Evan Roberts were involved in the Welch Revivals in the first decade of the 1900s, and saw much aberrant spirituality, due to the lack of a strong doctrinal basis in that revival. She was a Calvinistic Methodist (after Lloyd-Jones), and I'm not sure what Roberts was, possibly the same.

    The primary practical objection of Leahy and Powlison is that we will opt for "power encounters" against supposed spiritual evil rather than address the moral evil of the people supposedly afflicted, and this is sound. But it is not the whole story.

    Thanks for your valuable remarks, Brad.

    Steve
    Steve Rafalsky
    Member, Queens Presbyterian Church, Astoria (PCA)
    Queens, New York
    USA

    "I am set for the defense of the gospel" (Philippians 1:17)

    "Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious
    power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness...
    " (Colossians 1:11)

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  38. #38
    ManleyBeasley is offline. Inactive User
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    Martin Luther yelled and even cursed at the Devil! I think it can be appropriate for us to express our hatred for the enemy.

    I have some experience with demonic manifestation. When I was a teenager I was attacked demonically. I had trouble sleeping at night (weird experiences) and nightmares for 6 months. I finally talked to my Dad about it and he helped me alot (he's a pastor). He told me that "Satan only has the power over us through lies". This is clear through false teaching and ideals but was true for me in that I believed he had power that I should fear. The truth is, we should not fear him but fear God. He can do whatever God allows but if I don't fear him he has no power over me. As someone said before, trust in God. Nothing can happen unless God decrees it. God doesn't always remove the problems but teaches us to trust and rejoice in Him in the midst of the difficulty so He is glorified.
    [B]Manley Beasley[/B]
    Southern Baptist Convention
    Fayetteville, Arkansas

    [B]Wir sein pettler. Hoc est verum (We are beggars. This is true.).--Luther's dying words[/B]

  39. #39
    AVT's Avatar
    AVT
    AVT is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobVigneault View Post
    Thank you for sharing that Arlene. I do like to hear of experiences so I can apply my model to them.

    You did begin by saying that "People who are not superstitious can be demonized" and then told us of someone who prayed to Mary and the saints.

    Think about that again Arlene. Did you really mean to imply that this woman was not superstitious? She was soaking in it. We all have superstition to a certain extent. Superstition does not imply primitive beliefs, some superstitions are very sophisticated and even technological. Anyone tried those pads you put on the bottoms of your feet and they suck out toxins while you sleep? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. All they really do is suck money out of your budget.

    Superstition:
    1. a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.
    2. a system or collection of such beliefs.
    3. a custom or act based on such a belief.
    4. irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, esp. in connection with religion.
    5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.

    Wearing a cross because it somehow gives you a point of contact with Jesus is superstition. Going to church only on Christmas and Easter is superstition.

    Okay Bob,

    I agree with you that she has a background on idol worship being a Roman Catholic---so that qualifies her as having superstitious beliefs.

    My question is, she told me ,

    "All my life, I've never experienced this, it only happened when we moved to the house we bought".

    Not all superstitious Catholics experience this (like me, I was once a superstitious Catholic before I got converted from darkness to light) but never experienced this strange phenomena.

    Could it be that there is really the presence of evil spirit in the house that need to be cast out ? I am comfortable in asking Jesus to send them away...
    Arlene
    PCA
    North Carolina
    Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.

  40. #40
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    Mushroom is offline. Puritanboard Doctor
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    Shouldn't the main question be "Why is God allowing this to happen?", rather than, "How is the devil doing this and how can I make him stop?".
    Brad

    PCA

    These toadies just keep holdin' me down, man!

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