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Spiritual Warfare discuss Satanic or Demonic Attacks on Christians in the The Christian Walk forums; What are some of the actual, practical symptoms of someone being demonically oppressed or attacked? What are your thoughts? Do you think there is an ...

  1. #1
    C. Matthew McMahon's Avatar
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    Satanic or Demonic Attacks on Christians

    What are some of the actual, practical symptoms of someone being demonically oppressed or attacked?

    What are your thoughts?

    Do you think there is an overly conscious movement towards sin that could be a part of it?
    C. Matthew McMahon, Ph.D., Th.D.
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    Saiph is offline. Inactive User
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    [quote:d7686a221f]
    Do you think there is an overly conscious movement towards sin that could be a part of it?
    [/quote:d7686a221f]

    Or an extremely faithful habit of prayer.

  3. #3
    C. Matthew McMahon's Avatar
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    Strangely enough, how about both of those? - prayer and sin?

    How cna one tell if they are demonically attacked, esepcially around a critical point or move in thier life?

    Just curious to everyone's ideas.
    C. Matthew McMahon, Ph.D., Th.D.
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    I believe one of the main ways that demons can and will attack is by "whispering things in your ear." In other words, those strange doubts that seem to come out of nowhere, especially ones related to you're being "unworthy."

    Gotta run... more later!
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    Saiph is offline. Inactive User
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    Have you ever read "The Screwtape Letters" ??

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    Yes.
    C. Matthew McMahon, Ph.D., Th.D.
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    Ok, I'm back!

    At the last church I went to, there was a cassette series in the library from a ministry called E.S.P. ministries, and it had actual "footage" of a demon speaking to someone. What would happen is:
    the man "channeling" the demon would start his tape recorder, and then the demon would speak thru this same man, and he could play the tape back and listen to it. This person was trying to get out of this "demon activity" and was staying with the ministry founder and his family. Well, he backslid (so to speak) and moved back to England, but later when this ministry man was cleaning out his room, he found this tape and used it as an example of the way demons can work.

    Basically, the demon acted like he was this guy's friend. In fact, he tried to undermine the fact that this guy has ANY other friends, and that no one could be trusted. He tried to gnaw away at this guy's self-esteem, but did it so subtly that you could barely tell. He criticized this guy's baptism, his wedding, and especially, the lack of progress this guy had made financially. It was so subtle, that no one would ever expect that a demon would act or talk like that. It was completely devoid of any "Hollywood" style antics that one would assume would have to be present. The demon was very sarcastic, and belittling.

    What I learned from listening to this "demon" was that they try to play on your fears and insecurities, and they try to mix a lot of truth in there so its harder to distinguish the lie. They try to promote fear and doubt for what you're doing to weaken your effectiveness in God's kingdom.

    I'm the biggest skeptic on earth, and I'm 100% convinced that what I "witnessed" was as real as it gets. Too weird!!!
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    Christopher,

    I appreciate your post, but that is not exactly what I am looking for.

    I certainly know, first hand, about non-saved people being influenced, or possibly possessed by demonic activity.

    I am curious as to everyone's thoughts around Christians who are oppressed by demonic activity in their lives. How far or evident does this exist experimentally?
    C. Matthew McMahon, Ph.D., Th.D.
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    alwaysreforming, are you saying that the demon actually spoke in human words that were legible? Are you sure this demon possessed fellow didn't babble into the voice recorder himself?

    I've heard of all kinds of things happening coming from a pentecostal/charismatic background. Some of which was a girl who disapeared when the demonic activity increased in her (she was possessed). And when she reappeared she was scratched from head to toe. And supposedly there were thousands of witnesses daily to this, even a videorecording.

    Also, I think many people diagnosed with schizo and multiple personality disorder are demon possesed. Though schizo is a valid medical disease, most of the diagnosis are wrong. Or perhaps those actually suffering from diseases of the such are under strong oppression.

    I knew a number of people like that. They would try to kill me with poisonous mushrooms and write their Satan symbols all over my stuff. And he was definitely thought to have had this disease (in my opinion falsely diagnosed).

    Also I think there is an increase susceptibility rate while in the unconscience state- sleeping. People can have s*xual contact with demons. I forget what pentecostals call this "spirit." But it really does happen.

    I attended a spiritual warfare conference (which was complete garbage) along time ago, put on by the latest spiritual experts. They had a whole list of all the demon spirits. Some of which were the python spirit (which wrapped around people's heads apparently). Ha, I wish I kept the papers from all that garbage. Ya'll would get a kick out of it.

    Rembrandt

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    [quote:957e130db9][i:957e130db9]Originally posted by webmaster[/i:957e130db9]
    Christopher,

    I appreciate your post, but that is not exactly what I am looking for.

    I certainly know, first hand, about non-saved people being influenced, or possibly possessed by demonic activity.

    I am curious as to everyone's thoughts around Christians who are oppressed by demonic activity in their lives. How far or evident does this exist experimentally? [/quote:957e130db9]

    I didn't read this until after I posted my post. Sorry.

    I don't mean to sound strange. And this is not really "oppression." But let me tell this story: Back in my pentecostal days, when I was being discipled by a thirdwave witch, this witch tapped on one of her glasses lens really hard. The moment she did that, perhaps a split second before, my eye (the same eye she tapped- left) felt like someone stabbed/poked me in the same spot on my eye. I still have those twitches. I wonder if it was a curse... well I guess that is what witches do...

    And I was a Christian (a very new one) during that period... needless to say I didn't stay around there too long.

    sorry, this probably isn't what you are looking for.

    Rembrandt

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    Matthew,
    I followed your suggestion and read Cotton Mather's Magnificent Work of Christ in America, (not the entire thing, just as it related to demonic oppression) and saw many similarities to what my family has experienced. I believe Mather was dealing with real demons however he put the blame and cause at the feet of those poor souls whom he had burned.

    What impressed me the most is that, in the example he sited, the husband and wife were godly and devout folk trying to raise their children in a christian principled home. My wife and I have stuggled for years to ascertain why God would allow our family to suffer so at the attacks of the demonic.

    Reading Mather it answered the question that demons don't seem to be able to read minds.

    I heard a voice once, in my head that was during a 'so called' deliverance. It was frightening but not as frightening as what my daugther was going through. In fact the voice was telling me to stop the others from praying. But it couldn't force me to do anything. It would take too much space here to relate all the things that happened.

    The problem with incidents and experience is the demons, as deceivers don't have to follow any particular pattern. They can pretend to be ghosts, Mary, Elvis, aliens; they can influence pets, furniture; they can frighten and behave quite benignly. They will use health conditions such as allergies to mask activity. They will try to get us to form a method for dealing with them and in so doing we become demonically obsessed.

    Possession happens (but I'm not sure it happens to believers), oppression happens a lot, and obsession is the big mistake we fall into.

    I do wonder if anyone in the reformed camp has dealt seriously with these matters since Cotton Mather.
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    Another thought, I have a dear friend, Rod Henry, who was a missionary in the Philipines, in fact he has written a book called, The Philipino Spirit World.

    The demons in the Philipines do not have to be as discrete as they are here. In an animistic culture they don't have to be concerned with 'overstepping their bounds' as they do here in America. This is why we always here about the demonic in those far away places where missionaries go.

    It still happens here in our 'sophisticated' culture but the activity is tailored for our expectations. A great example, the New Age movement.

    [Edited on 4-20-2004 by maxdetail]
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    Newly Reformed is offline. Inactive User
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    Wowser

    [quote:a7ae28707e][i:a7ae28707e]Originally posted by maxdetail[/i:a7ae28707e]
    The demons in the Philipines do not have to be as discrete as they are here. In an animistic culture they don't have to be concerned with 'overstepping their bounds' as they do here in America. This is why we always here about the demonic in those far away places where missionaries go.

    It still happens here in our 'sophisticated' culture but the activity is tailored for our expectations. A great example, the New Age movement.

    [Edited on 4-20-2004 by maxdetail] [/quote:a7ae28707e]

    I have never been too interested in demonology. I try not to fill my brain with too much information in that area, so forgive my seeming ignorance. But...demons are bound by cultural standards? A demon would act differently in an animistic culture as opposed to our "on the surface" Christian culture? (Which is sliding toward the muck rather quickly.)
    "To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect." John Owen, III:433

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    Right Newly Reformed,
    except the demons aren't bound by cultural standards, they use the cultural standards. What I mean't by 'overstepping their bounds', and it was just a figure of speech, was that they will eventually go to far and betray themselves. They will become overt. My theory is they get proud and go too far. Demons do their best work when they can go unnoticed. Sorry for the confusion and you are right not to fill your head with demonology. There are much more God gloryfying disciplines.
    When it comes to havoc, I WREAK!
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    I think deep depression (after ruling out physiological causes) and chronic doubting is often demonic.
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    Those are certainly two symptoms you will find in people who have been victims of ritual abuse. That's been my experience.
    When it comes to havoc, I WREAK!
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    honestly, I don't think Christians are to be concerned with demonic attacks.

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    Demonic attacks

    Edwards says in Charity and its fruits that the greatest battles the Christian faces are in his own heart. Our sinful nature is the seat of most of our depression. Satan can only capitize on the weaknesses that we allow him to. The apostle Paul tells us that he had learned to be content in any situation and crowns it by reminding us we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
    Phillipians 4:12-13 (my paraphrase)
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    "honestly, I don't think Christians are to be concerned with demonic attacks."

    Wow! I really tried Paul, I really did. My wife tried, she even tried not to tell me about the 'phenomena' because she thought I'd think she was crazy. The previous owners of the house left because of the 'hauntings'. I tried to explain the 'bleeding bathtub' in scientific terms, 4 plumbers told me to call a priest, I'm serious. My daughters room was spook central. I tried so hard not to be concerned but ignoring it didn't seem to have any effect at all.

    I'm up to my eyeballs in experience with the demonic with very little sound doctrinal advice but not being concerned was never an option - oh that it was.

    The worst is that if you bring this stuff up, many will think you're nuts, or fringe or charismatic or whatever - but everyone has their stories, they just won't talk about them.
    When it comes to havoc, I WREAK!
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    Okay, I guess that is pretty serious. What do the hauntings do? I mean, if I was just hearing noises, I wouldn't really care, unless it was waking me up at night. But if a demon started putting my bookshelf out of order, I might get alittle mad. But nothing I can't fix. :book:

    Bleeding bathtub? Did you try a water filter? Is this Satan's version of transubstantiation? (just kidding)

    This is what the Pentecostals call "territorial spirits." They latch on to a piece of land. According to them you must go around and look for evidences of witchcraft and call the spirits down from their high places.

    Frankly, I don't think their ideas are biblical. But what you are saying does sound pretty serious business! Since there are no places in scripture that address this (atleast I don't think there are), I still think that the supernatural realm is none of our business. And if things are happening in the physical realm, well, thats just plain weird.

    I am interested to know what else was happening.

    Rembrandt

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    Bottom line? I'd be out of that house so fast it make Linda Blair's head spin. (I am SO sorry, it just popped out.)

    Flee. I'd flee from the evil.
    "To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect." John Owen, III:433

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    "I'd be out of that house so fast it make Linda Blair's head spin."

    That's really funny, I like that.

    Rembrandt, I think what you're trying to say is that talking about such things gives to much attention to the demonic and it's not very God glorifying and I agree with that. That is why I DON'T like to talk about it or sensationalize it or entertain people with the stories.

    Nothing frightens me anymore but I was very frightened only at what was to become of my 2 daughters. They were so sweet and they loved the Lord and it was hard to see them tormented and changed, not by 'psychological' idlings but by very real external and evil forces.
    When it comes to havoc, I WREAK!
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    Can anyone explain this to me?

    Okay, I'm reviving this old thread, sorry!

    I seem to have a blind-spot about this, don't know why, maybe some of you can explain.
    I grew up in a Christian(Dispy) home, then we became Pentecostal. When I left home, my folks were still Pentecostal. After some while I decided that i didn't believe in Christianity anymore and studied many ancient religions and the American Indian approach as well. Then I got saved.

    For some reason, people have had to keep explaining to me about the devil. Honestly, I seem to forget, then can't seem to figure out why I'm having trouble. Then someone reminds me again...

    What do y'all think?
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    Originally posted by turmeric What do y'all think?
    What do I think of the devil? Not much. He's a loser.

    Christ is triumphant.

    Flee evil in all its forms.

    Trust Christ.
    [FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=2][COLOR=black]Ivan Schoen ~ [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=2][COLOR=black]The Church in [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=2][COLOR=black]Poplar Grove, IL[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
    [SIZE=2][FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black]=================================[/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE]
    [LEFT][SIZE=2][FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black][SIZE=2][FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black]"As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives." ~ Henry David Thoreau[/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE][SIZE=2][FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black][/LEFT]
    [/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE]

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    "For some reason, people have had to keep explaining to me about the devil. Honestly, I seem to forget, then can't seem to figure out why I'm having trouble. Then someone reminds me again..."


    That's really weird, Meg. I know you to be a VERY intelligent and informed Christian, so to have a blind spot in this one area is very peculiar indeed. Perhaps there's something to this, but I can't imagine what, except for the fact that perhaps Satan would rather you not believe he exists. Its hard to fight against an enemy you don't know is present...
    Maybe that's his strategy.
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    Craig is offline. Inactive User
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    I also seem to have a "blind spot" when it comes to the devil and/or demonic activity.

    I chalk this up to my newer understanding of Christianity...before, I accepted things rather blindly from Pentecostals...I don't do that anymore. I am not sure I have a "Reformed" compartment for demonic activity yet. It's been a struggle understanding and accepting most of Covenant theology.

    Does anyone else seem to have struggles understanding this aspect of our faith NOW that you're Reformed. I'm not asking if you have always struggled, but if this is a "new" struggle since becoming Reformed.

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    Dr. McMahon,

    For my own experience I've never "heard voices" or any such obvious items that one might "measure" internally or externally. That is as if such were clearly detected as utterly foreign. The devil guises himself much more clever than that. Such things would probably not be subtle enough deception for an ex-atheistic/agnostic type who's background was highly skeptical.

    However, I do know that right after I came to faith (absolutely sovereignly) that doubts began to plague me. A lot of times it would surround understanding doctrine/theology, indewelling sin, perfectionism and such. These doubts so plagued me that at times I doubted any salvation I had in Christ. The torments and doubts caused by this were tremendous. When I was alone they were worse. I can remember many times literally falling to my knees or flat on the floor crying out to God so hard I thought I'd have a blood vessel burst in my head. The torment was knowing the truth but wondering, "Do I have a part in Christ at all". Forsaken is a good term here!

    But it was always around the word and understanding it correctly. For example Jer. 23 (I think) in which Jer. describes the deceptiveness of the heart and who could know it. My misunderstanding of that scripture alone made me doubt even what I affirmed. I would think to myself, "What if I'm just so deceiving myself and I really do not possess ANY saving faith. I was looking to and trusting in "my" faith. If the heart is deceptive then who could know?" It was almost a Hume version of utter doubt.

    But it was always around the Word and doctrine. Fundamentally, thanks to Luther's works that I read, it was that my eyes were off of Christ alone. I now affirm, the my emotions sometimes plague me, that TRUE assurance can only come from looking to Christ. As soon as one's eyes look inward the devil will have his way with you and eat you alive. At least if you are predisposed to inward gazing to the point of morbidity.

    Language is also a huge thing. I would hear otherwise good pastors speak of the Christian "not desiring" to sin, that this is the difference between a true Christian and a false professing one. But when we sin do we not at the very moment of the act "desire" to do it thus we do it? How can one self-act against one's desires be they good or evil? I think Martin Luther both theologically and experimentally had this best understood. He understood the issue of the heart.

    The fact that most of this occurred around the Word and doctrine and its design toward unbelief is why it was/is harrassment. For an ex-skeptic this would seem the logical way to harrass and attempt to engender unbelief - cause utter doubt and ruin one's joy.

    There were times that I was so absolutely despondant that thoughts of suicide would "suddenly dart in my mind". If you knew my personality you would understand just how crazy that normally would be. The terrors were very dark and if not for the grace of God I could not sustain through them. These silly ideas of how the devil attacks from Roman Catholicism or charismatic corners do not know the real force of demonic harrassment. That stuff is almost a joke. The devil's chief end is to engender unbelief in God's word, he need not tempt us (much at least) to the normal sins of the flesh which the flesh hankers after anyway.

    Again, it was always around Word and doctrine and doubt of the same. I cannot say that enough. In part that is why today I despise alter calls and rededications and Praying the prayer for the billionth time and re-baptisms. All those things can divert one's eyes from Christ alone. People say that things like a right understanding of baptism is not "essential" - and it is not in terms of fellowship - but if one has ever internally wrestled with harrassing doubts which goes straight to the issue of "when one was baptized" one would not be so glib about it.

    I must say it was true reformed doctrine along with solid Luther teachings that pointed me and helps me look back to Christ alone - even today when the doubts come in.

    Another point is the way that "thoughts" come into your mind. Spurgeon once said that if they (dark thoughts) "dart in" illogically, then one can be assured where they came from. I would say experimentally this is true. Or
    Bunyan's "Christian" in the Valley of the Shadow with all the noise and the demon whispering behind him such that Christain could not discern his own inward voice from the demons - thus wondering how could a Christian think such things!

    I believe the highest priority of Satan and demons in their harrassment of Christians is to suppress them through doubts and unbelief. This steals their joy and simultaneously does not glorify Christ.

    My dear wife once said to me, "You speak so beautifully on the grace and mercy in Christ, it is deep and dear to you and this comes out - yet you doubt so much for yourself. Do you not know that when you do that you cause doubt on the former that you speak of to those that might hear the later."

    I don't know if that helps but it is a 'snap shot' if you will of my own experiences.

    In Christ Alone,

    Larry
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    There is much I agree with in that post, Larry, very much. Thanks!
    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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    CalsFarmer is offline. Inactive User
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    When I became a new believer I had a dream one night. I dreamed that Satan had my by the neck and was holding me under water. I awoke screaming and sputtering "Jesus save me"! I was SO terriifed that I did not sleep the rest of the night. I actually had to get my breath back.

    Then 14 years later a horrible thing happened in my personal life. The ONLY THING I had to cling to was: Perseverance of the Saints. Honestly this point and all the scriptures surrounding it got me through the most horriffic of horrors and a time where I was afraid to sleep because I knew if I did...IT would get me. Mind you I did not know what IT was but I knew that I would know IT when and if IT got to me. IT was trying to capitalize on my self esteem, business acumen (self employed) and even my faith. When I could not pray, I had a concrete doctrine to hold onto that I could see G-ds love and mercy through..a mirror to Him at that time in my life. waking up each day and not seeing the sun is a terrible thing. Seeing no light at the end of the tunnel is worse but I knew that light was waiting on the other side of the darkness and that God was walking with me through the darkness. PS 23

    I KNEW that God would get me through (Romans 8:28) and He did. Remember Job?
    Grace Farmer
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  30. #30
    Texas Aggie's Avatar
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    From my perspective, demons are especially after God's elect. Those who are not written in the Book of Life are in the same condition as the fallen angels. I tend to believe that Christians are the primary targets. Why?... I have no idea other than the notion that they are trying to get the elect to sin continuously and lead a life storming toward self destruction. They want you to sin willfully over and over again after you have received the knowledge of the truth and been made a partaker of the New Covenant.

    Self indulgence & depression are rampant amongst us. Demons work craftily over long as well as short periods of time. They can even bring down the largest elephant amongst us by introducing Christians to perversions and lies. Our will is definitely involved.... what do we allow through our gates (our five senses)? What do we let into our mind/body (as the temple of God)? What spirits have taken up residency within the temple of the Living God?

    Don't be fooled by the idea that we as Christians are not prone to demon attacks because the Holy Spirit will "drive them away." Our will is involved with the provision of sanctification provided under the terms of the New Covenant. We can choose to allow unholy spirits to work wonders in our life.... they know what we desire (money, power, sex, fame, whatever). They know how to lure us (advertisements, pornography, television, movies, food, narcotics, human interaction, night-life, beautiful geographic locations, on-and-on). Unholy spirits are plentiful and there are all kinds with different degrees of power. They have strongholds over individuals, families, communities, areas, cities etc.

    Just a few biblical symptoms include: unclean behavior, unsanitary living, nakedness (the desire to be naked in terms of both vanity as well as disgrace), crying, depression, self mutilation (desire to cut yourself), profane language, wildness (wild behavior), sexual perversion (with animals & same sex), abnormal strength, suicidal thoughts, abuse (towards animals & children) anti-athoritative tendancies, visions, hearing voices and having imaginary friends. Good Luck.
    Matt Daniel
    Attending First Presbyterian Church, Las Vegas NV

  31. #31
    turmeric's Avatar
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    Demons cannot possess Christians, the space is occupied by the Holy Spirit. They can influence us however, by tempting and casting doubt on God's Word.

    Matt, where did you get this info about "strongholds" and all these behaviors you listed? Just curious.
    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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  32. #32
    Joshua is offline. _
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    Originally posted by turmeric
    Matt, where did you get this info about "strongholds" and all these behaviors you listed? Just curious.


    Originally posted by Texas Aggie
    Just a few biblical symptoms include: unclean behavior, unsanitary living, nakedness (the desire to be naked in terms of both vanity as well as disgrace), crying, depression, self mutilation (desire to cut yourself), profane language, wildness (wild behavior), sexual perversion (with animals & same sex), abnormal strength, suicidal thoughts, abuse (towards animals & children) anti-athoritative tendancies, visions, hearing voices and having imaginary friends.
    Many of these things are not merely symptons of demonic endeavour. We mustn't forget the depravity of our nature. We are born desperately and passionately intent on sinning. Most of these on the list are merely an outworking of such depravity. They are the works of the flesh (as opposed to the fruit of the Spirit).

    Some things I need clarification on:

    I'm not quite sure I understand your take on Nakedness.
    Crying?
    Abnormal strength?

    Originally posted by Texas Aggie
    From my perspective, demons are especially after God's elect. Those who are not written in the Book of Life are in the same condition as the fallen angels. I tend to believe that Christians are the primary targets. Why?... I have no idea other than the notion that they are trying to get the elect to sin continuously and lead a life storming toward self destruction. They want you to sin willfully over and over again after you have received the knowledge of the truth and been made a partaker of the New Covenant.
    Partially, I agree (in that satan would love nothing more to see a Christian wilfully sin over and over again. However, if this *pattern* occurs for all his life, willfully sinning over and over, should this man have examined himself to see whether he be in the faith? Would there not be repentance? Confession? Disgust?

    On the other hand, the plethora of passages that speak about demons, unclean spirits, or evil spirits, primarily are speaking of lost people. Here are a few exceptions:

    1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons
    In essence, though, this is STILL talking about unbelievers...i.e. those who have not persevered until the End...proving they never belonged to Christ (in a salvific sense) in the first place.

    James 1:14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
    These are characteristics that would be fitting for a demon...not merely characteristics born from demons. As noted earlier, we're born with these attributes.

    We must be careful to obey the Scriptures and fight our warfare they way it says to. Most of it has to do with a tough defense: The primary focus is not the offensive tactics of believers, but the defensive Armor (signifying portective gear) of God. We are to stand against (denoting a defense, not an offense) the schemes of the devil (he is on the offense, we're not to demon hunt, go looking for demons, etc.). It is offensive at points, but only b/c of self-defense. We "wrestle" against Satan and his minions, nevertheless, it is spiritual. We are to withstand (denoting again defense). Defensive weapons: Armor of God, made up of: Belt of truth (Containing offensive weapons as well), breastplate of righteousness (a defense), readiness provided by the gospel (an alertness and awareness of environment), shield of faith (defense against satan's arrows), helmet of Salvation (perseverance), and here's an offensive weapon: The Sword of the Spirit...but it is ALSO defensive (Jesus and His temptation). Then, prayer.

    Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints
    Praise be to God for His provision to His elect. Glory to His Name. Amen.
    Josh
    CCRPC, RPCGA
    The Lord doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. - Ps. 147

  33. #33
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    I am not an expert on demonic affairs. My belief comes from biblical examples and educated/informed hypothesis using logic & reasoning. For example I have made the following conclusions:

    1. We know there is an order amongst the creatures in heaven... therefore there must also be a similar order with those who have fallen.

    2. Angels in heaven have different roles (for example Lucifer himself was a light bearer as well as a musician). Fallen angels therefore were also created with different roles before the fall. A good topical bible reference will list all the different types of spirits for you (examples include: spirits of perversion, spirit of lasciviousness, spirit of drunkenness, unclean spirits, restless spirits, haughty spirits etc.). There are a ton of examples. After you look all these up, you can begin to see the certain spirits which influence those around you... it's entertaining, interesting and flat out scary.

    3. Some order of demons may to be territorial (over specific geographic regions). These may be certain strongholds... not to mention spirits with similiar roles (a stonghold of perversion has a little kingdom of homosexual followers). Territorial strongholds may be a group of demons that are responsible for the deviant behaviors found in many cities. For example, the demons in Mark 5 did not want Jesus to send them out of the country (Mark 5:10). In addition, they also did not want to be sent into the abyss (Luke 8:31). The word abyss is the Greek word tartarus (found multiple times in Revelation as the place of demons). I believe this is a holding pen for them where they await their expulsion into the lake of fire (Rev 20:1-3). I would imagine they do not want to be sent there prematurely for they will be rendered useless until the time they are released again as indicated in Rev Ch. 9.

    4. Angels can manifest themselves into visible forms (such as the angels that stayed with Lot and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah). Fallen angels may have the same ability.

    5. Some of the symptoms of demonic activity/influence/possession can be clearly seen with the following passages concerning the Gadarenes demoniac mentioned in Matt, Mark & Luke.

    a. Living among tombs may indicate an obsession with death. Mark 5:3.
    b. The unclean spirits gave him great strength. Chains could not bind him. Mark 5:3.
    c. He was a wild man. No man could tame him. Mark 5:4.
    d. He was constantly crying. Mark 5:5. Indicates depression, pain and/or suffering.
    e. He was cutting himself with stones. Mark 5:5. This is self mutilation.
    f. He was exceeding fierce... no fear, dangerous, possibly murderous. Matt 8:28
    g. The demons invoked suicide in the pigs after they were cast out. Matt 8:31-32.
    h. He was in his right mind in Mark 5:15 which indicate he was previously out of his mind.
    i. He was clothed in Mark 5:15 which indicate that he was previously naked.
    j. Luke 8:27 verifies he was naked living amongst the tombs.

    6. Believe what you wish on the process of sanctification. Christians are supposed to be brought up to spiritual maturity and made holy through the workings of God and the Holy Spirit. I do not believe this occurs overnight. I believe sanctification also involves your will and how your choices may squelch the Holy Spirit indwelling in you. Obedience to Godīs law and purging sin enforces that righteousness that exceeds the scribes and the Pharisees. Your job is to guard your gates. These are the gates to the temple of God. Once you begin to let something in, you may want more and more.
    Matt Daniel
    Attending First Presbyterian Church, Las Vegas NV

  34. #34
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    I agree with you that we are to avoid known sin and to repent and keep short accounts with God. I also believe that giving in to temptation again and again is a dangerous practice. However, the reason for this, in my life at least, is the seemingly bottomless pool of depravity in my own heart. I am always underestimating this. Sin isn't only like dirt to be washed off, it's something within which must be gradually neutralized and destroyed by faith in Christ's righteousness imputed to me, and faith in the atonement provided by His death & ressurrection. This is why I need to preach the Gospel to myself every day.

    Even as a Christian walking with the Lord, there is so much wickedness even in our best services to God that there would be ample room for Satan to tempt us and raise doubts in us if God did not defend us. If we draw near to God, the devil will flee from us.

    Love in Christ,
    Meg
    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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  35. #35
    Robin is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    Originally posted by rembrandt
    honestly, I don't think Christians are to be concerned with demonic attacks.
    I'd agree with this....and yet, I recall a time where I had to visit a Roman Catholic service -- a statue of Mary was carried and praised throughout the church (festival to Mary.) The children were singing to Mary's honor in a very intense presentation, putting flowers at the feet of the statue. (Blatant idolatry.)

    I have a fairly solid-faith but found myself so very low; grieving and downright incapacitated. I left the room overwhelmed with mourning. (strange, physical experience) This was far worse than a Wicca event I had to previously work at. (I have a wierd job.)

    Granted, not many share a calling to visit varieties of what we know are doctrinally-demonic meetings...so far, I cling to focusing upon Christ-His Word-the knowledge of Him.

    Frequently, though, I think ignorant-weak Christians attribute the consequences of their own sinfulness to the powers of Satan. Especially when they are more eager to focus on Satan rather than taking responsibility for their own repentance. They hardly ever suspect the human proclivity to sin as being part of their predicament.

    Satan and his minions are more involved with distorting the Gospel. Satan knows Scripture better than most professing Christians. The struggle we face with our own flesh is more than enough to keep us busy...Satan knows this -- he's got bigger "fish to fry" by attempting to thwart the Gospel...(again, knowing the time is short.)

    Let's rate how is he doing. How much hardship does the proclamation of the Gospel receive these days? How well are the saints prepared to fight for the Gospel?




    Robin
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  36. #36
    Robin is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    Originally posted by maxdetail
    Right Newly Reformed,
    except the demons aren't bound by cultural standards, they use the cultural standards. What I mean't by 'overstepping their bounds', and it was just a figure of speech, was that they will eventually go to far and betray themselves. They will become overt. My theory is they get proud and go too far. Demons do their best work when they can go unnoticed. Sorry for the confusion and you are right not to fill your head with demonology. There are much more God gloryfying disciplines.
    You're on to something....I've noticed that the New Agers do claim contacts and strange events...usually the result of their probing and opening up to it. By that time, the bait is ingested. But, all of it is tied around a false gospel -- distortion of Law and Gospel. Attempting to minister to a NA is not for the novice believer.

    I also affirm, the Christian is to focus and labor to know about Christ. Knowledge = study God's Word = about Christ (not about satan, primarily -- and not about triumphalism.) Knowledge about Justification; the Gospel; Redemption; Covenant.



    R.
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  37. #37
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    "Satan knows Scripture better than most professing Christians."

    That should read 'all professing Christians'. Maybe not experimentally, but he's got it memorized and knows how to use it for his purpose.
    When it comes to havoc, I WREAK!
    Bob Vigneault
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  38. #38
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    Originally posted by Texas Aggie
    I am not an expert on demonic affairs. My belief comes from biblical examples and educated/informed hypothesis using logic & reasoning. For example I have made the following conclusions:

    1. We know there is an order amongst the creatures in heaven... therefore there must also be a similar order with those who have fallen.

    2. Angels in heaven have different roles (for example Lucifer himself was a light bearer as well as a musician). Fallen angels therefore were also created with different roles before the fall. A good topical bible reference will list all the different types of spirits for you (examples include: spirits of perversion, spirit of lasciviousness, spirit of drunkenness, unclean spirits, restless spirits, haughty spirits etc.). There are a ton of examples. After you look all these up, you can begin to see the certain spirits which influence those around you... it's entertaining, interesting and flat out scary.

    3. Some order of demons may to be territorial (over specific geographic regions). These may be certain strongholds... not to mention spirits with similiar roles (a stonghold of perversion has a little kingdom of homosexual followers). Territorial strongholds may be a group of demons that are responsible for the deviant behaviors found in many cities. For example, the demons in Mark 5 did not want Jesus to send them out of the country (Mark 5:10). In addition, they also did not want to be sent into the abyss (Luke 8:31). The word abyss is the Greek word tartarus (found multiple times in Revelation as the place of demons). I believe this is a holding pen for them where they await their expulsion into the lake of fire (Rev 20:1-3). I would imagine they do not want to be sent there prematurely for they will be rendered useless until the time they are released again as indicated in Rev Ch. 9.

    4. Angels can manifest themselves into visible forms (such as the angels that stayed with Lot and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah). Fallen angels may have the same ability.

    5. Some of the symptoms of demonic activity/influence/possession can be clearly seen with the following passages concerning the Gadarenes demoniac mentioned in Matt, Mark & Luke.

    a. Living among tombs may indicate an obsession with death. Mark 5:3.
    b. The unclean spirits gave him great strength. Chains could not bind him. Mark 5:3.
    c. He was a wild man. No man could tame him. Mark 5:4.
    d. He was constantly crying. Mark 5:5. Indicates depression, pain and/or suffering.
    e. He was cutting himself with stones. Mark 5:5. This is self mutilation.
    f. He was exceeding fierce... no fear, dangerous, possibly murderous. Matt 8:28
    g. The demons invoked suicide in the pigs after they were cast out. Matt 8:31-32.
    h. He was in his right mind in Mark 5:15 which indicate he was previously out of his mind.
    i. He was clothed in Mark 5:15 which indicate that he was previously naked.
    j. Luke 8:27 verifies he was naked living amongst the tombs.
    I'm not discounting all that you're saying, but I believe we can pay much tribute (wrongfully) to demons and satan, when it's actually our own sinful hearts that are tempted, when we're drawn away by OUR OWN evil desires. Hence, merely reaffirming what I said earlier:
    Originally posted by joshua
    Many of these things are not merely symptons of demonic endeavour. We mustn't forget the depravity of our nature. We are born desperately and passionately intent on sinning. Most of these on the list are merely an outworking of such depravity. They are the works of the flesh (as opposed to the fruit of the Spirit).
    6. Believe what you wish on the process of sanctification. Christians are supposed to be brought up to spiritual maturity and made holy through the workings of God and the Holy Spirit. I do not believe this occurs overnight. I believe sanctification also involves your will and how your choices may squelch the Holy Spirit indwelling in you. Obedience to Godīs law and purging sin enforces that righteousness that exceeds the scribes and the Pharisees. Your job is to guard your gates. These are the gates to the temple of God. Once you begin to let something in, you may want more and more.
    I agree. I'm not sure where I've implied any dissent from such notions. I'm with Meg on this.
    Josh
    CCRPC, RPCGA
    The Lord doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. - Ps. 147

  39. #39
    Robin is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    Originally posted by maxdetail
    "Satan knows Scripture better than most professing Christians."

    That should read 'all professing Christians'. Maybe not experimentally, but he's got it memorized and knows how to use it for his purpose.
    Bob

    r.
    Robin
    Christ Reformed Church, Anaheim, CA
    Laity, under the care of Pastor, Kim Riddlebarger
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