The apostle Paul speaks of two dreadful events that will occur just prior to Jesus' return. First Paul reveals that in the last day there will be a falling away from the faith of the church. Second, he warns that an evil spirit of Antichrist will overtake many believers who are turning away who will follow doctrines of devils.
Paul warned of a departure from the true faith when he wrote, that in the last days false prophets would infiltrate the church, preaching another gospel and another Jesus. Many such false prophets have already appeared to preach the gospel of the Antichrist,"For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way," (2 Thessalonians 2:7).
Is Demon Possession Real?
Why should the Christian Church be interested? Dr. J. L. Nevius writes in his book, Demon Possession a very strong argument concerning possession by evil spirits. He says:
- The one under demon-power is an involuntary victim. (The willing soul note 1 is known as a medium). (1)
- The chief characteristic of demonomania is a distinct "other personality." (This is different to demon-influence, for in this men follow their own wills, and retain their own personality.) (2)
- The demons have a longing for a body to possess according to Matthew 12: 43, 8: 31, as it seems to give them some relief, and they enter the bodies of animals as well as men. There are distinctly individual peculiarities of the spirits.
- They converse through the organs of speech, and give evidence of personality, desire, fear.. (3)
- They give evidence of knowledge and power not possessed by the subject. note 5 In Germany, Pastor Blumhardt gives instances of demons speaking in all the European languages, and in some languages unrecognizable. In France there were some cases having the "gift of tongues," speaking in German, Latin, Arabic. (4)
- The demon in possession of the body, entirely changes the moral character of those they enter, compelling them to act entirely contrary to their normal behavior. Reserved, reticent men will weep, sing, laugh, talk, meek souls will rage, ordinarily pure-tongued men and women will speak of things not to be named among children of God, and act in manner and conduct contrary to their normal dignity and behavior (5)--all of which they are not responsible for whilst under "control" of this other personality within them. In brief, they will exhibit traits of character utterly different from those which belong to them normally.
- There are also nervous and muscular symptoms peculiar to demon possession in the body.
- There is also an afflatus of the breast, which is a special mark of demon possession, and Oracular utterances are given in jerks and sentences, (6)quite unlike the calm coherent sequence of language seen in the utterances of the apostles at Pentecost.
- There is "levitation" of the body. (7) --well known by spiritists--when
the subject will say he is quite unconscious of possessing a body--and there is invariably a passive mind. (8) There is often a distinct voice which speaks through the lips of the subject expressing thoughts, and words unintentionally.
Demoniacal activity in later times.
Sir Robert Anderson writes:
- "The Gospels testify to the activity of demons during the ministry of Christ on earth; and the Epistles warn us of a RENEWAL OF DEMONIACAL ACTIVITY in the "latter times," before His return. "All Scripture is God-breathed"; but it would seem that sometimes the revelation was made with special definiteness, and this particular warning is prefaced by the words; "the Spirit saith expressly." And it relates not to any new development of moral evil in the world, but to a new apostasy in the professing Church, a cult promoted by "seducing spirits" of a highly sensitive spirituality, and a more fastidious morality than Christianity itself will sanction (1 Tim. 4). (9)
The Gospel narrative indicates that some demons were base and filthy spirits that exercised a brutalizing influence upon their victims. But the Lord plainly indicated that these were a class apart ("this kind" Mark 9: 29). They were all "unclean spirits," but in Jewish use the word akatharios connoted spiritual defilement. That it did not imply moral pollution is proved by the fact that the Lord Jesus was charged with having a demon, though not even His most malignant enemies ever accused Him of moral evil. It was only by prayer that these filthy spirits could be cast out; whereas pious demons acknowledged Christ, and came out when His disciples commanded them to do so in His Name . . ." (10)
The Physiology of the Spirit.
Gleanings from "Primeval Man unveiled." By James Gall.
- "The natural body has its senses, the spirit also has its senses . . ."
- "There are busy senses within, examining and judging, approving and condemning, joying and grieving, hoping and fearing, after a fashion of their own, which no bodily sense can imitate . . ."
- "There is a spirit within which we call ourselves, and it is perfectly distinct from the body in which we dwell . . ."
- "If our spirits, which are generated in or with our bodies, are elaborated from immaterial substances into separate existences, constituting individual spirits . . . these individual spirits must be presumed to be composed of spirit substance or substances, and possessed of different faculties . . ."
- "Our very language implies that the human spirit is an organism composed of parts mutually related, which, though individually different, are generically the same . . ."
- It is a well established doctrine of Scripture, that the body is animated by an intelligent and immortal spirit, that feels and acts by means of its material mechanism, without being itself material . . ."
Demon Possession among Christians.
The Case of a Christian Lady.
Extracts from private letters, by an Evangelist of repute in Germany.
- ". . . In the Spring of this year (1912) [this servant of God] who was possessed, came here, and the spirits possessing her spoke through her in voices utterly unlike her own. They would utter through her the most awful blasphemies against God, and against our Lord
- Jesus Christ, and would prophecy concerning the Church . . . (12)
- Much prayer has been made for her, and with her. When the frenzy comes upon her, she is fearfully shaken, dashes about the room, made to howl like a dog, and her hands clenched, her face drawn with horrible contortions, etc., etc. But the marvel to everyone is that, although the frenzy is upon her every day, and sometimes once, twice, or more in one day, her health is perfect, she sleeps well, and in the interval is the MOST LOVELY SPIRITED CHRISTIAN WOMAN . . ."note 10Later. ". . . This sister is not one who has not got faith. She is well grounded in the same faith, and has the same light as we have; but we have here to do with a demon, the like of
which I have never met before, nor read about . . . . (13)
- It would also be an error if one were to think that PRAYER AND COMMANDING had not been of any use, for in these last three weeks God has done great and glorious things, so that we are full of adoration. The demon is still there, it is true, but he has broken down mightily, so that he cannot any more torment the sister. He is quite powerless in her, and she looks so radiantly happy with a heavenly gladness, fresh and strong. Also the demon has been divested of all power over her lips.note 11 Instead of the blasphemies and ravings, there is only a desperate and plaintive howling . . and that lasts all the time we pray." (14)
- Later. "For about a fortnight now the demon has been silent. For eight days he did not speak a single word, only he cried out twice: 'THE AUTHORITY CASTS ME OUT!' The only thing he does is howling and gnashing of teeth. Some days ago we prayed for about one-and-a-half hours. In this way it goes on now for ten or fourteen days--there is only this terrible crying, as if in great fear. There is not any blasphemy, nor cursing God, no more asserting threatenings, and all the sayings that he would not depart, that it would not suit him--all this has ceased. Instead of the dreadful ravings and outbursts of rage, there is now the desperate howling, often a dreadful screaming as if of fear, and the sister is almost free from his tormenting her . . . . (15)
- The demon must have received a terrible blow from God, so that his blasphemies have been silenced. It was so last evening; when we prayed, the desperate cry began at once, and I felt once more the impulse to command the demon in the Name of the Lord Jesus to depart.note 12 He then gave a great start, he trembled, howled, stretched out both hands as if imploring mercy, and begging us not to do that, but he was not allowed to utter a single word . But there followed strong reaction and vomiting, and this was repeated as often as I spoke the command in the Name of the Lord Jesus to depart. (16)
- Of course we have to go on praying just as earnestly, but as God has done such great things, and if we go on praying, also the last blow will be given. The demon will have to depart." (17)
- Note: Further particulars of this case are given in "The Strong Man Spoiled," by A.R. Habershon. (id. Morgan & Scott, London). The lady is now quite set free, and has been able to return to her mission
work. It is stated clearly that her mental faculties were unimpaired, and she was able to prepare all the accounts and balance sheet of the mission she was engaged in, not long before the attacks became manifested.
In this book, the demon's acknowledgment of the power and authority granted to those who commanded him, and the other spirits to depart, is striking.
- The spirit in possession said: "Oh, this authority, this authority which they have now recognized, is an awful thing for hell!"
- Pleading for mercy at another time, "Do leave off your commanding. For three weeks I have suffered unbearable torments because of it. Do not tell anybody that we had to yield to the authority...Oh, these prayers of believers... they always pray, they are no longer afraid..." (18)
The working of evil spirits in Christian gatherings.
Supposed "conviction of sin" by deceiving. (19)
"...I united with a number of brethren and sisters one whole week every month, in prayer to God to pour out more of His Spirit, gifts and power. After having done this for some time with great earnestness, such powerful and wonderful manifestations of God and His Holy Spirit (apparently) took place, that we no longer doubted God had heard our prayer, and His Spirit had descended into our midst, and on our gathering.
Amongst other things this spirit, which we thought to be the Holy Spirit, used a 15-year-old girl as his instrument, through whom everyone belonging to our gathering, and having any sin or burden of conscience, had it revealed to the gathering. Nobody could remain in the meeting with any burden of conscience without it being revealed to the meeting by this spirit.
For example: A gentleman of esteem and respect from the neighborhood came to the meeting, and all his sins were exposed in the presence of the gathering by the 15-year-old girl. Thereupon he took me into an adjoining room, so broken down, and admitted to me, with tears, that he had committed all these sins which the girl had exposed. He confessed this and all other sins known to him.
Then he came again into the meeting, but hardly had he entered when the same voice said to him, 'Ha! You have not confessed all yet, you have stolen 10 gulden, that you have not confessed.' In consequence, he took me again into the adjoining room and said, 'It is true, I have also done this... This man had never seen this 15-year-old girl in his life, neither she him.
With such events, was it astonishing that a spirit of holy awe came over all at the meeting, and there was one controlling note which can only be expressed in the words, 'Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?' Fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. There was a most earnest spirit of adoration, and who could doubt when even the strong were broken down, and nobody dared remain in the meeting if they were a hindrance.
And, yet we had to unmask this spirit which had brought about these things--and which we took to be the Holy Ghost--as a terrible power of darkness. I had such an uneasy feeling of distrust which could not be overcome . . . As I made this known for the first time to an older brother and friend . . . he said, 'Brother Seitz, if you continue to foster unbelief, you can commit the sin against the Holy Ghost which will never be forgiven.' These were terrible days and hours for me, because I did not know whether we had to do with the power of God or a disguised spirit of Satan, and one thing only was clear to me, viz., that I and this meeting should not let ourselves be led by a spirit when we did not have clear light, and confirmation whether this power was from above or below.
Thereupon I took the leading brethren and sisters to the uppermost room of the house, and made known to them my position, and said we must all cry and pray that we may be able to prove whether it was a power of light or darkness.
As we came downstairs the voice of this power said, using the 15-year-old girl as his instrument, 'What is this rebellion in your midst? You will be sorely punished for your unbelief.' I told this voice that it was true we did not know with whom we had dealings. But we wanted to be in that attitude, that if it was an angel of God, or the Spirit of God, we would not sin against Him, but if it was a devil we would not be deceived by him. 'If you are the power of God, you will be in accord as we handle the Word of God.' 'Try the spirits whether they be of God.' We all knelt down and cried and prayed to God in such earnestness, that He would have mercy upon us, and reveal to us in some manner, whom we had dealings with. Then the power had to reveal itself on its own accord. Through the person which he had been using as his instrument he made such abominable and terrible grimaces, and shrieked in such a piercing tone, 'Now I am found out, now I am found out . . . ." (20)
For some time now it has been on my mind to try to put into language some of the things which it has been my painful experience to witness, and pass through, in connection with the workings of Satan as an "angel of light," but everything seemed so complicated and confused...
First, his attacks seem to be made upon the most spiritual souls--those who have made the fullest surrender to God, and who recognize a spiritual affinity, which they believe if broken, mars the whole purpose of God (1 Cor. 1: 10). The lying spirit insists on one mind, and judgment, and one expression. These souls thus "joined" form the "Assembly," so called, and claim Psalm 89: 7. Everything is brought into the "Assembly" for decision, the assertion being that no individual soul can get the mind of the Lord, based on Prov. 11: 14, 5: 22, and 20: 18. Hours were spent in bringing the tiniest details of daily life before the Lord. The leader spread each matter, asking that all might be brought to one mind. The response was then given by each one in some word of Scripture. The attitude taken to receive the supposed "word of the Lord," was the RESISTANCE OF ANY THOUGHT OR REASON, and LETTING THE MIND BECOME A PERFECT BLANK. If anyone ventured to give an opinion--or any judgment--they were ruled out of fellowship; the fact of reasoning being the proof of the "flesh-life." (21)
The discipline ministered to such was severe indeed. They were not allowed to speak to anyone, or to do any kind of work. In some cases this lasted for weeks, and even months. The effect upon the mind was very terrible. The only way back was by making a statement in the "Assembly" which satisfied them that there was true repentance.
Prov. 21: 4, and Isaiah 59: 3, are the words given for not working, and Rom. 8: 8. Prayer and reading the word--all adds to sin--consequently the soul is shut up in torment and despair, being excluded from all meetings.
Second. The "manifestation of the Spirit" in prophecy, prayer and travail. One person would often pray for an hour, and sometimes two hours, without a break. Messages, too, would often last for two hours, and the whole meeting for eight or nine hours. Anyone yielding to sleep or exhaustion, was at once pronounced "in the flesh," and a hindrance to the meeting.
"Travail" was manifested by tears, groans and twisting of the body; and with some it was exactly like hysterics, and would last for hours. This was greatly encouraged as the means whereby God would work for the deliverance of souls--and those who did not come under this manifestation, were judged as preserving their own life, not willing to "let go"--lovers of themselves; and it was believed that when the whole company were unitedly under the so-called "manifestation of the Spirit" then God would break through in Revival. I might say here, that all this began with a nightly prayer meeting for Revival, with no limit as to time.
The paralyzing fear of resisting God by any lack of submission, and evading the Cross by an unwillingness to suffer, just sways the soul; and it dare not yield to one thought contrary to the "mind of Christ" in the "Assembly..." (22)
Supposed manifestations of the Holy Spirit
From a book recently published, said to contain the very words of the Lord Jesus, spoken THROUGH some of His children, and written down as spoken in the first person, the following brief extract is taken, showing the extract of the mediumistic control by deceiving spirits, which some are believed to be the work of the Holy Spirit. he Lord Jesus is supposed to have said:- (23) "The manifestations of the Spirit, in some things, are very strange. Sometimes He will twist the body this way, and that, and the meaning is dark to you. I want you to know some things about this part of the Spirit's work. I want you to see that they are not useless.
If you had spoken in your own tongue, when the Spirit came in, it would have graciously blessed you; but perhaps you might have thought it was yourself , as many have. So the Spirit comes in and speaks in an
unknown tongue to you, that you might know that it was NOT YOURSELF SPEAKING . . .
Your hands He has often lifted up, and again He has raised your fingers in various ways. Your eyes open and shut by the Spirit now, as they did not before. Your very head has been shaken by the Spirit, and you have not known why He did this. You have thought sometimes, it was just to show He was living there, and that is true, but there is more in it than that, and He will show you as well as He can, in a few words, what some of these things are...
Some things in the manifestations are very peculiar to you. You have gone on wondering about them. Don't think it strange that the Spirit works in you in many ways. His work is more than a two-fold work. It is manifold. This is puzzling many minds. They see the Spirit shaking. They hear Him singing. They FEEL HIM LAUGHING, and they are sometimes tried with His various twistings and jerkings, as though He would tear them to pieces.
Sometimes it seems He is imitating the animals in various sounds and doings. This has been all a mystery to the saints. His work, I say, is manifold. He seeks, in some, to show them that they are all one with each other, in the whole creation . . . If He shows you, by making a noise as of some wild animal, and that you are like that, you must not despise His way of working, for the Holy Spirit knows why He does it. He makes these noises in the animals, can't He make them in you? (24)
Deception by evil spirits in modern times
In the special onslaught of the deceiver, which will come upon the whole of the true Church of Christ at the close of the age, through the army of deceiving spirits, there are some more than others who are specially attacked by the powers of darkness, who need light upon his deceptive workings, so that they may pass through the trial of the Last Hour, and be counted worthy to escape that hour of greater trial, which is coming upon the earth (Luke 21: 34-36; Rev. 3: 10), wrote Jesse Penn-Lewis. (25)
For among those who are members of the Body of Christ, there are degrees of growth, and therefore degrees of testing, permitted by God, Who provides a way of escape for him who knows his need, and, by watching unto prayer, takes heed lest he fall (1 Cor. 10: 12, 13). He is the Sovereign Lord of the Universe, and Satan is set his limit with every redeemed believer (see Job 1: 12; 2: 6; Luke 22: 31). Some of the members of Christ are yet in the stage of babyhood, and others do not even know the initial reception of the Holy Spirit. To such this book has not much to say, as they are among the weaker ones who need the "milk of the Word." But there are others, who may be described as the advance guard of the Church of Christ, who have been baptized with the Holy Ghost, or who are seeking that Baptism; honest and earnest believers, who sigh and cry over the powerlessness of the true Church of Christ, and who grieve that her witness is so ineffective; that Spiritism and Christian Science, and other "isms," are sweeping thousands into their deceptive errors, little thinking, that, as they themselves go forward into the spiritual realm, the deceiver, who has misled others, has special wiles prepared for them, so that he might render ineffective their aggressive power against him. These are the ones who are in danger of the special deception of the counterfeit Christs and false prophets, and the dazzling lure of "signs and wonders," and "fire out of heaven," planned to meet their longing for the mighty interposition of God in the darkness settling upon the earth, but who do not recognize that such workings of the spirits of evil are possible, and so are unprepared to meet them. (26)
These are the ones, also, who are recklessly ready to follow the Lord at any cost, and yet do not realize their unpreparedness for contest with the spiritual powers of the unseen world, as they press into fuller spiritual things. Believers who are full of mental conceptions wrought into them in earlier years, which hinder the Spirit of God from preparing them for all they will meet as they press on to their coveted goal; conceptions which also hinder others from giving them, out of the Scriptures, much that they need to know of the spiritual world into which they are so blindly advancing. Conceptions which lull them into a false security, and give ground for, and even bring about, that very deception which enables the deceiver to find them an easy prey. (27)
The Church Under Attack
Satan is man's enemy, as proven by the book of Job, and is a destroyer of all good things, but, every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of Lights with whom there is no variableness. It should be easy to identify the source of what is happening by the results that are before us. God is a good and the giver of all good things; Satan is just the reverse of God. The influence of each is easily discerned by the end results. (28)
The Church of Jesus Christ is under attack in America. Regrettably, many do not understand what is happening to them. Most people in the leadership believe that witchcraft has no chance of effecting the church or Christians. The most Christians erroneously assume that witchcraft cannot act physically and spiritually on a Christian. They unwisely believe that being born again automatically protects against any type of curse, spell or hex, etc., sent by people practicing witchcraft.
Nancy has been sick with a strange decease called Torticollis Syndrome. This terrible infirmity had affected the muscles in her face and would throw her upper body into uncontrollable spasms. She had been living with this disorder since the seventies. She was instantly delivered. The praise goes to Jesus Christ.
Nancy told a strange story of an infiltration of her home prayer meeting. She was working for a Catholic College. She said a nun began coming to her prayer meeting. She didn't think anything about it because she'd seen nuns where she was working. However, this nun began to bring mixtures of oil with other things. She'd rub the mixture on the bodies of Nancy's children. Then the nun would take her veil off and rub the concoction on her head. Soon mushrooms began to grow out of Nancy's carpet.
Then one day a friend came to Nancy's home and pointed out that all the crucifixes in the house were bound by cords. "Only the eyes were not bound." Nancy's friend told her that the nun was practicing Hoodoo." The binding of the cross was to keep the family from serving Jesus Christ!"
Nancy's house was destroyed, divorce, and then her children fell away from Christ. Nancy has been able to hang onto Jesus since these strange phenomenons began. She was a captive of Torticollis which distorted her face and she was bound by devils in every area of her life. All her finances were drained by doctors and medications.
Jesus Christ, through the anointing of the miracle-deliverance ministry Pat Holliday, set Nancy totally free from the powers of witchcraft. This is glorious, but at the same time, it is very sad that Nancy, as a born again Christian had to suffer these ungodly torments because the church was spiritually ignorant of the devices of the Devil.
Another woman, whom I will call Jesse, received deliverance from environmental chemical poisoning was healed. This woman also has walked through many years of violent demonic bondage and torment because the American Church does not want to set the captives free.
Jesse was bound to the point that she could hardly leave her home. She could not even read the Bible because she had allergies to the ink. During her deliverance she was screaming with great pain in her head.
She said that evil spirits were seen walking around her house. She could see them. They were tormenting her day and night. Jesse was radiant when Jesus delivered her. She was ecstatic when the finger of God and His kingdom came upon her through deliverance.
Another young man came and he was in the choir. He was being tormented by a spirit of homosexuality. After being set free, his face was beaming. 'Only Jesus Christ could do this,' he said.
A young graduated from high school. I'll call him Dave. In Florida, every high school graduate is "rewarded" to a free day at Disney World. Dave had been attending our church for several years. He was spiritual and a virgin. He got separated from his Christian class mates. Some of the secular people provoked him to go to the "Haunted House."
When Dave sat down in the conveyance seat, a green spirt sat down beside him. This was effected by a mirror but it seemed to "real" to him. This spirit spoke to him and said, "I'll be with you throughout your ride and even after you leave." He told us that he saw a skull that was whirling around talking and a room full of demonic figures dancing and many other scary things. At the end of the ride, the green spirit seem to merge into him.
Dave told us that ever since his trip to Disney World, he was being tormented and followed by a spirit. He could not sleep at night and a voice was speaking in his mind, saying, "You are a homosexual. You were born that way." Finally, when he came for deliverance, he manifested during deliverance, just as if he had been engaging in full blown acts of homosexuality. He was delivered, however, he was just one, out of thousands of Christian young people that are being exposed to this den of iniquity every year.
It is sickening, especially when I heard one Christian leader say that she "loves Disney and when she goes there, she charges as much of ten thousand dollars on her credit card!" May God have mercy on our blinded church.
Through the miracle-deliverance ministry, I can report:Kevin has been healed of AIDS, was in the intensive care in May 1998. His mother was told by a Hindu doctor that all hope was over and advised her that all the machines should be turned off. Marilyn asked for time to pray. The Hindu doctor reinforced his diagnosis but she insisted. God gave Kevin the strength to recover enough to come to Miracle Outreach Ministries. Jesus did the rest. Kevin was instantly delivered from the demonic infirmity in June. He received a clear blood test without a trace of the disease and August 2 Kevin returned to work driving a 18-wheeler truck!
Since his healing, Kevin is a father of a three year old girl. After her birth, I ministered to her and cast the spirit of Aids out. She had manifestations of deliverance. She was just one month old! Both Kevin and His daughter are doing well, to God be the glory.
Annette was healed of cancer in July. She shouts it from the rooftops that Jesus Christ is still alive and cares about her.
Barry was delivered from Turrets Syndrome. He had been afflicted with this illness since he is was thirteen-years-old. He twenty-five now and his face is lit up with God's glory.