Satanic or Demonic Attacks on Christians

Discussion in 'Spiritual Warfare' started by C. Matthew McMahon, Apr 19, 2004.

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  1. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    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?
  2. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    Do you think there is an overly conscious movement towards sin that could be a part of it?

    Or an extremely faithful habit of prayer.
  3. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    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.
  4. alwaysreforming

    alwaysreforming Puritan Board Sophomore

    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!
  5. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    Have you ever read "The Screwtape Letters" ??
  6. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

  7. alwaysreforming

    alwaysreforming Puritan Board Sophomore

    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 through 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!!!
  8. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher


    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?
  9. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    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.

  10. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

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

    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.

  11. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    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.
  12. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    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]
  13. cupotea

    cupotea Puritan Board Junior


    [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.)
  14. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    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.
  15. sundoulos

    sundoulos Puritan Board Freshman

    I think deep depression (after ruling out physiological causes) and chronic doubting is often demonic.
  16. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    Those are certainly two symptoms you will find in people who have been victims of ritual abuse. That's been my experience.
  17. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    honestly, I don't think Christians are to be concerned with demonic attacks.
  18. Irishcat922

    Irishcat922 Puritan Board Sophomore

    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)
  19. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

    "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.
  20. rembrandt

    rembrandt Puritan Board Sophomore

    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.

  21. cupotea

    cupotea Puritan Board Junior

    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.
  22. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator

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

    That's really funny, I like that. :lol:

    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.
  23. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    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?
  24. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    What do I think of the devil? Not much. He's a loser.

    Christ is triumphant.

    Flee evil in all its forms.

    Trust Christ.
  25. alwaysreforming

    alwaysreforming Puritan Board Sophomore

    "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.
  26. Craig

    Craig Puritan Board Senior

    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.
  27. Larry Hughes

    Larry Hughes Puritan Board Sophomore

    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,

  28. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    There is much I agree with in that post, Larry, very much. Thanks!
  29. CalsFarmer

    CalsFarmer Puritan Board Freshman

    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 G-d was walking with me through the darkness. PS 23

    I KNEW that G-d would get me through (Romans 8:28) and He did. Remember Job?
  30. Texas Aggie

    Texas Aggie Puritan Board Freshman

    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, p0rnography, 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. :cool:
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