How do you know if you are being spiritually attacked?

Discussion in 'Spiritual Warfare' started by Pergamum, Sep 8, 2008.

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  1. Jerusalem Blade

    Jerusalem Blade Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    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.
  2. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    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.

    - 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.
  3. AVT

    AVT Puritan Board Freshman

    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".

    Last edited: Sep 11, 2008
  4. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    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.

    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.
  5. Mushroom

    Mushroom Puritan Board Doctor

    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.
  6. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    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.
  7. Jerusalem Blade

    Jerusalem Blade Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    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.

  8. ManleyBeasley

    ManleyBeasley Puritan Board Junior

    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.
  9. AVT

    AVT Puritan Board Freshman

    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...
  10. Mushroom

    Mushroom Puritan Board Doctor

    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?".
  11. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    we thought we were having great success when we were casting demons out of my daughter and my house. They responded readily to all the things we were told to do. I repent of all my family's sins throughout history. I walked my property and proclaimed that I was the owner. We anointed door posts with blessed olive oil. We found out their names and cast them out in Jesus name. We fasted, and it all seemed to work.

    What was really happening was the demons were sucking us in, keeping us in the game. Yes a demon will cast out a demon or multiple demons will make it look like they are on the run. Christ and the apostles cast out demons as a sign of his messiahship the the coming of the Kingdom. Christ bound the strong man but his death throes are quite potent.

    Neil Anderson, God bless him, is helping to keep people in the demon's game.
  12. ManleyBeasley

    ManleyBeasley Puritan Board Junior

    Thats basically what I meant. We need to depend on God through it. The real attack from the devil is not in manifestations but in causing in us fear and doubt so we don't trust God and rejoice through the trial. Luther didn't curse the Devil for the difficulties he faced but for the temptations to not face them faithfully.
  13. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Mr. Winzer, I found your posts on this topic quite thought-provoking. I do have one question. When we read in Luke of the devil departing from Jesus "for a season" are we not to conclude that there are ebbs and flows in the tide of demonic activity?

    Now in general, ff Satan is transformed into an angel of light, would we not expect to see him rather more often in disguise than otherwise? Russellism is a proselytizing religion, in a way it doesn't seem that shamanism ever was.
  14. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    That statement should be taken in the context presented by the biblical narrative wherein Christ was sent into the wilderness as the second Adam and true Israel to suffer temptation. It was a specific time of testing which was necessary as a precursor to His ministry, and one which was under the divine guidance of the Spirit of God. Hence the "season" was not a cessation of temptation -- Jesus was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin; the tempter rather sought a more adequate "opportunity" to subject the Son of God to his dominion.
  15. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    But doesn't that still mean that there was a respite? And if there are seasons of respite for us as well (as I hope there are), then aren't there times when there is more of an attack than at others? No doubt Job, for instance, faced temptations before his great season of trial came upon him; but a season of trial was also readily distinguishable from his life before and after.
  16. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    The desire to immediately apply the temptation of Jesus to the situation of believers is pious, but not in keeping with the acknowledgement of His representative character. There is something unique in this temptation which is not characteristic of the believer's battle. There could be "seasons" of attack precisely because it was an attack on His mediatorial sovereignty. Outside of that unique temptation we know that His battle was one continual struggle with sin and its curse, as is the case for all those who have been brought out of darkness into His marvellous light.

    PS. Believers undoubtedly feel the heat of the battle differently at times, but that is due to the fact that this is a fight of faith and a believer is not always functioning according to the full persuasion of faith.
  17. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Thanks for the reply, Mr. Winzer. It answers the inconsistency which I thought might be present in your view.
  18. AVT

    AVT Puritan Board Freshman

    I agree with you that demons can play tricks on us and pretend they are gone. God has gifted some of his children with discernment.Satan is our most subtle enemy.

    I have seen successful deliverance and I have seen one who was not delivered. It does not mean God has failed or it is a measure of God's faithfulness. God is always faithful but he allows evil to persists in other people's lives because of his perfect wisdom. Some people need to experience rock bottom before they will come to God. He also delivers people from evil in His own time. We cannot dictate God, he does as He pleases and He uses evil as a means. He ordains the means and the ends.

    I think, I am in the same boat with you. I've renounced all the statues and the saints, asked forgiveness for all my sins and my family's sins up to the 4th generation. I have a brother
    who is in touch with occultism and is deceived. It causes us grief, for 3 years now we have prayed that he will walk in the truth. But my brother continues in this darkness. I've warned him, told him that it is wrong but he won't listen. After wrestling in prayer and having many sleepless nights, I have real peace! God will accomplish what he has purposed in His life and I know my brother will go through a tough time. God's will be done!

    I have prayed for you and your daughter today, our responsibility is to persist in prayer and
    trust the Lord. I rest on the sovereign promise "All things work together for good to those who love the Lord".
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2008
  19. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    Daniel Dyke argues from the temptations of Christ that believers should be alert to the fact that the Devil seeks opportunities to attack "according to the several estates, conditions, and dispositions" (Michael and the Dragon, or Christ Tempted & Satan Foiled, "Doctrine 3: The Devil Fits His Temptations to our Dispositions," p. 90).
  20. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    A successful deliverance is one in which the individual ascribes all power in heaven and earth to Jesus Christ. Thinking and acting as if demons have power over one's mental and physical condition is a mindset from which the individual requires the deliverance of faith.
  21. Jerusalem Blade

    Jerusalem Blade Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Rereading this of Pastor Winzer, it occurs to me it may be understood two ways:

    A successful deliverance is one in which the individual ascribes all power in heaven and earth to Jesus Christ. Thinking and acting as if demons have power over one's mental and physical condition is a mindset from which the individual requires the deliverance of faith.​

    The first sentence is without doubt true.

    The second is also true, insofar as believing that demons have power over a Christian reflects a lack of faith, and one does need deliverance from such unbelief.

    But now my believing that others -- including Christians -- may be afflicted by demons spiritually, psychologically (this includes mental, emotional, volitional), or physically, this belief on my part I do not need deliverance from!

    I do not want to seem as if I am withdrawing from my earlier statements. I am not. But I want to acknowledge truth when I see it.

    The cure / deliverance of those I see so afflicted is as Pastor Winzer says: when "the individual ascribes all power in heaven and earth to Jesus Christ", this is the heart of it.

    The practical application of that to individual circumstances and conditions must needs vary, and the counsel to those who "give place to the devil" (Eph 4:27) through sin so they do it no longer, must be given. And if through ignorance, understanding must be given.

    Calvin, on this verse, says,

    I suppose we shall differ on this matter, and continue on our paths, and give account to Him with whom we have to do, on the day we see Him face to face. My He correct us (especially me!) from error, and from leading others into it as well!
  22. Roldan

    Roldan Puritan Board Junior

    "I feel the dragon's breath on the back of my neck/ I don't see the fire but I'm startin to sweat/ its dark and its wet/desperate cry's from within/my fear is not of mortal men/ but the portal grimm and all forms of sin/which makes me thirst the earth again/I was born in the wrong but I was torn from my skin/the battle wages on but Word is Born Ima win!"

    This is the chorus to my rap son called "Roldan vs Godzilla" - Reform Ordinance - Winter Haven, Florida - Hip Hop / Lyrical / Christian Rap -
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2008
  23. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Steve, we are not in disagreement here. I suppose the clarifying question is, whether this "demonic" activity is moral or amoral. Can it be tested in terms of the classic formula taught in Scripture -- Jesus is Lord? Or is this activity perceived in terms of the horror genre, which ascribes an amoral, physical influence to demons? If the latter, then yes, we will have to concede that there is a basic disagreement; but if the former, then I see no reason to disagree over words where we are in basic agreement so far as concepts are concerned.

    As an aside, have you read any literature relative to the newer translation of "demons" instead of "devils?" It seems to me that the very use of "demons" carries an association which conveys to the modern mind the idea of superior power, which is not inherent in the biblical use of the word.
  24. CarlosOliveira

    CarlosOliveira Puritan Board Freshman

    Could you elaborate on it, Matthew? I must confess this is new to me.
  25. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Carlos, the reformation versions translated "devils," whereas modern versions transliterate "demons." A demon, in popular mythology, is an inferior deity. Classical literature describes their activity as prevalent over all of life. The choice to translate "devils" was likely with a view to avoiding the classical associations and simply to show that this kind of being was of the same class of nature with the Devil himself.
  26. CarlosOliveira

    CarlosOliveira Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks for the explanation, Matthew! Does Satan Cast Out by Frederick Leahy deals with this distinction between "devils" and "demons"? I'm asking because I ordered it this week on you recommending it.
  27. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Are not the activity of demons "prevalent" over all of life? They are active and present in the world. I don't see what demons versus devils matters.
  28. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Not that I can recall.
  29. MW

    MW Puritanboard Amanuensis

    It's an issue of worldview. The Bible acknowledges such influence so far as moral values are concerned, James 3:15. The classic view sees demons as exercising a physical control over life, and that amorally. I think this thread has at least acknowledged an agreement that "demonic" influence is not amoral, but intricately tied to the problem of evil.
  30. AVT

    AVT Puritan Board Freshman

    I agree that a successful deliverance is one that acknowledges that power is
    in Jesus Christ. The person has come to faith in Christ. No doubt about that. That's why the Gospel has to be explained to the person and the family and the person should understand the necessity of putting her/his faith in Christ who delivers us from darkness to light.

    My question is, how come Job, a righteous man was afflicted with boils? He was plagued with physical afflictions from Satan and how come there is a big change in the mental disposition of those who are freed from opression or possesion?

    Have you seen a real demon possesion? I have seen one in the Philippines, a woman had enormous strength, 5 men could hardly control her.She was possessed after her family brought her to a quack doctor or faith healer. (This is rampant in the remote parts of the country.) She is not a normal person at all. She is angry with Christians and with those who pray but not angry with others. She can spot who is her enemy in the crowd.

    I am a nurse and could recognize psychiatric cases and depression due to low serotonin in the brain and other causes but it is different when one is attacked by the devil. All faculties need to be freed.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
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