Posted in demon possession, encouragement, john macarthur, joy, S. Lewis Johnson, salvation, sin

The joy of submitting to Jesus, and the tragedy of rejecting Him: two anecdotes (and a third)

There are two responses to the Gospel, yea or nay. Here is S. Lewis Johnson with an anecdote about a person who said yea.

Paul, His Gospel, and Thomas Jefferson

George Cutting is a man who is best known for the fact that he’s the author of a little pamphlet. You usually find it in tract racks of Christian churches. It’s entitled, “Safety, Certainty, and Enjoyment.” Mr. Cutting was just a simple Christian man who went around preaching the gospel. He was also a business man, as I remember, and one day he was bicycling through Norfolk in England. He was an Englishman. And he said it was early in the morning, and as he was going through, he was a very quiet man, he suddenly gained from the Lord the distinct impression that he should shout out a Bible verse. And so, right in the midst of this small town, there were just a few houses around, he shouted out “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” He said he cycled on a little bit longer, and the Lord seemed to say definitively to him, “Say it again.” So he said he shouted out, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” 

Six months later he was visiting in that little village, and he was doing, as he frequently did, just knocking on door after door. His first question, he said, was always, “Are you saved?” That’s called the direct approach. [Laughter] So a woman opened the door and he said, “Are you saved?” And she said, “Oh yes. About six months ago I was in great distress of soul. I plead with God to help me, and even while I was calling upon him, I heard a voice cry out, ‘Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.’” And she said, “I was startled. I wondered if I had really heard right.” She said, “I prayed again to the Lord, and I said, “Lord if that is the message, repeat it again.” 

[Laughter] And she said, “And I heard it again and I trusted Christ, and I’m saved.” And Mr. Cutting had the joy of telling her that it was he who had called out the verse. That’s preaching. You know, when Paul tells us to be instant in season and out of season. And imagine there were lots of citizens in that little village who thought that it was very much out of season to hear a Bible verse shouted out early in the morning from one of their streets. But it was in season for that lady. 

there is only one response to the message of the apostle, and that is to believe in our Lord Jesus Christ. Does salvation come by praying through? No. Does salvation come by paying the church? No. Does salvation come by good works? No. Does salvation come through religion? No. Does salvation come through some religious ritual which we practice, baptism, or sitting at the Lord’s Table? No. Does salvation come through the organization of the Christian church? No. You must be born again.

Here is John MacArthur with an anecdote on a person who said nay.

The Tragedy of Neglecting Salvation

And so, we believe it is a warning to the intellectually convinced, those who have heard the gospel, know the facts about Jesus Christ, know that He died for them, know that He desires to forgive their sin, know that He can some into their life and change their life but are not willing to receive Christ as Savior. And may I hasten to add that’s the most tragic category of people in existence. And I’ve told you a story once before that points it up as graphically as anything. I’ll never forget on one occasion when a lady came into my office and informed me that she was a prostitute. And she said, “I need help” And I said, “I guess you do.” And she said, “Please, I’m desperate.” 

And so I presented the claims of Christ to her from beginning to end and I said, “Would you like to invite Jesus Christ into your life?” And she said yes. She said, “I’ve had it.” She was at the bottom to say the least through the dope scene, the whole bit. So she prayed a prayer and evidently she invited Christ into her life. And I said, “Now,” I said, “I want to ask you to do something.” I said, “Do you have your little book that you have all your contacts in with you?” And she said yes. I said, “Well, let’s just take a match here and we’ll burn it.” And she looked at me and she said, “What do you mean?” I said, “Just what I said. I mean, if you’re really going to live for Jesus Christ and you’ve really accepted His forgiveness and you really met Him as your Savior, let’s burn that book and we’ll just have a little party here and just praise the Lord.” And she said to me, “That’s worth a lot of money.” She said, “That’s worth an awful lot 

Then she said to me, “I don’t want to burn my book.” Put it in her purse and looked at me right in the eye and said, “I guess I don’t really want Jesus, do I?” And she left. 

Now you see, there was somebody who when the..when it really came down to the nitty gritty and counted the cost, she wasn’t ready. I don’t know what the story of that dear girl is. My heart has often ached for her and I’ve often thought about her. But I do know that she knows the facts and she believes them, but she’s not willing to make the sacrifice. And it’s a bad bargain, for what she kept wasn’t worth anything compared to what she could have had in Jesus Christ forever.

These days in 2015 it is not popular nor even accepted to speak of hell or demons. But they exist, they are active in the world, and they still do possess people, just as they did in the time of Luke 4:31-37. That’s the passage John MacArthur was preaching when he related this anecdote:

This is a rare thing. I’ve preached the gospel for a long time and only about three times in my whole life have I ever heard demons speak, been confronted. One of them was a few weeks ago, I told you about last week, right down in the front when a demon-possessed person came running down the aisle after I was preaching the gospel, exalting Christ’s power over the kingdom of darkness, came at me and said, “Why are you attacking me? Why are you trying to hurt me?” Which is exactly what the demon said here.

But it was some years ago when I had first come to Grace. We had built the family center and we were having services there before we built this facility. It was a Sunday night and after the service was over I was over having some food with somebody from the church and I got a call from Jerry Mitchell who was here a few weeks ago. He was on the staff at the time. He said, “You’ve got to come down here, John, I’ve got a…I’ve got a girl in here whose got all kinds of demon voices.” He had never experienced anything like this and I never had either. And I said, “Well I don’t know if I could be much help but I’ll come right down.”

So I came down, I walked in and there was chaos in the office. It was over in the building by the family center, and I walked in and the place was in disarray and it was obvious that she had been terrorizing things. She had overturned the desk and poor Jerry who was a boxer in the Navy was having a hard time defending himself against this girl, and that is characteristic of New Testament accounts where there’s a certain level of strength that’s beyond normal. And I’ll never forget the greeting when I walked in the door. I walked in the door and this…out of this girl’s mouth — whom I had met and with whom I had spoken because she had been coming to the church — came this voice, and I can’t, obviously, replicate it. But in my memory I know what the voice said. It’s something like: “Not him, not him, not him, get him out, get him out, get him out,” to me.

Well my first reaction was, “I’m leaving. I’m not sure I’m up to this.” Wow! And my second reaction was, “They know who I am and they know whose side I’m on, that’s very affirming.” It was affirming. I sort of started feeling apostolic. Paul I know and Jesus I know and John MacArthur, you know? Wow! Amazing!

I don’t think that demon was afraid of me humanly. I don’t have any human power to deal with demons. In fact, Jerry and I didn’t know what to do. We started trying to send the demons away. We sent them everywhere you could think of, the pit, the abyss, Phoenix, anywhere hot, you know. And the bottom…the bottom line is they didn’t go anywhere and so we just were praying and saying, “You know, this isn’t working, this casting out thing isn’t working. I’m not Jesus and we’re not apostles and we don’t have authority over that kingdom.” There’s only one way that this girl will ever be delivered and that is when Christ delivers her in the act of salvation.

So we wrestled, literally physically trying to restrain her and get her in a chair and she was so exhausted physically and finally calmed down and we gave her the gospel. And she confessed her sin. I’ll never forget it, just really gushed out her sin before the Lord and embraced Jesus Christ and then it was just this calm that came everywhere. There was deliverance. Nothing to do with me, nothing to do with a formula, nothing to do with an exorcism, nothing to do with that at all, that…that is not what deals with demons. She needed to be delivered from the kingdom of darkness, you understand that? And she was. She was.

The demon was terrified of me not because of something I could do in the human. The demon was terrified of me because the demon connected me with the message of the gospel. And the demon knew that if the gospel came to this girl and she believed that he was finished. And that’s exactly what happened. She was as clean as the driven snow after that and never had another occasion of that kind of terrifying experience.

Anyone who is not of Christ and in His sheepfold is under bondage to the god of this world, satan They are serving him, whether they believe it or not. And anyone who has not confessed their sins and submitted to the Gospel is at risk for being possessed by a demon.

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6). Does that means He might be far? Yes. Someday, He might turn a person over to their sin in a hardened heart and salvation might not be possible after that. His grace, peace, mercy, and love is manifold. Having the gentle and lovely Spirit inside of us is a ‘burden’ that is easy. As we saw from the anecdote about the demon, having satan in us is a burden that is harsh and heavy. How many woes lay in the demon direction, and how many blessings there are in Christ. Seek Him while ye may!

Posted in demon possession, discernment, exorcism, priests, vatican

Vatican struggling to keep up with exorcism demand

“Traditionally there are certain signs that often accompany true cases of possession,” the priest said, “things that are difficult if not impossible to explain otherwise.” These signs include aversion for sacred objects, the sudden ability to speak languages that the person has never studied or had contact with, the movement of objects with no physical cause, sharp changes in mood that are not attributable to psychological reasons, and other such things, he told Breitbart.

And so begins a recent article titled  Vatican Exorcism Course Draws 170 Students to Study Demonic Activity, where the Vatican reports an increase in demonic possession and the increasing need for ‘exorcists’. The article focused on the busting-at-the-seams demonic deliverance training classes now being held at the Vatican.

One concept to note in that quote, and there is much to discuss about this, is that the priest holding the demon-busting classes said that frequently a sign of possession is speaking in a language one has not learned. This is known as speaking in tongues.

Typically when a ‘miracle’ or ‘manifestation’ of something supernatural appears, witnesses usually ascribe it to Jesus or heaven. However, just because an event occurs which is obviously supernatural, it doesn’t mean it is sent from heaven. Usually it is NOT. In 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 we read that men masquerade as false apostles, satan appears as an angel of light, and demons disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.

Satan and his unholy angels have powers that allow them within limits to counterfeit miracles. Read Exodus 7:8-11,

Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 9“When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Prove yourselves by working a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.’” 10So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. 11Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts.

Getting even more specific, in discussing the particular gift of tongues, that was a gift given to the early church and the early church only. The gift of tongues is recorded in Acts 2:4-5.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.

A Roman Catholic Crucifix.

This is a sign gift, and the gift of tongues and other sign gifts were temporary. They ceased with the passing of the Apostles. People do not speak in tongues anymore. Not genuinely anyway. (For biblical reasons why this is true, go here )

As for the non-genuine ways people speak in tongues, you might be surprised to discover that speaking gibberish, jerking involuntarily, and falling down insensate is a sign that a person is possessed by a demon, not speaking a heavenly language or filled with a heavenly spirit.

You might be even more surprised to discover that those signs as they are manifested in a person are commonly manifested in false religions, such as Hinduism.

Now, this may be a little bit anticlimactic because this has already been discussed somewhat. But for those who may be tuning in on the Internet and haven’t been here at the conference, which theological group does the following: heretic jerking and shaking, uncontrollable laughter, being slain in the Spirit, they prophesy and they speak in tongues. Of course, most people would think of Charismatics/Word of Faith, it’s actually Hindus.

Hindus do all of these things as well and has already been mentioned in this conference, you can look at video clips of Hindus practicing this thing known as Kundalani(?), it’s a subset, a little discipline within Hinduism. You can look at clips of Hindu Kundalani, and look of clips of professing Charismatic Christians and they are absolutely indistinguishable. You cannot tell the difference, the exact same kind of behavior. And so that should give us really a lot of pause before we start to say, “Oh, well so-and-so is speaking in tongues, or so-and-so is being slain in the Spirit, that’s a sign of God’s hand on that person, that’s a sign of spirituality.” Absolutely not. There may be a spirit at work, but it is not the Holy Spirit…it is not the Holy Spirit. (Source)

The irony, sadly, is that the Catholic priests being trained to exorcise these demons are dividing their own kingdom. The Catholic Church and its priests and adherents are under the bondage of satan, not submitted to Christ. The RCC is the most satanically successful religious organization on earth, it is not of the true faith. Trained or not, its priests have no authority over satan but are sadly under his authority.

In this passage, when Jesus cast out a demon from a man, and healed his muteness and blindness, the Pharisees descended to a panic when the people began wondering if Jesus was the promised deliverer of Israel.

And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” 24But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” 25Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.

In his commentary, MacArthur says of this verse,

And it is further true that Satan often disguises himself as an angel of light, (2 Cor 11:14). In that role he may pretend to cast out a demon by restricting its power over the possessed person in order to give the impression of a cleansing. That sort of supposed exorcism has been common throughout the history of the church and is practiced today by various cults, false healers, and exorcists.

Sons of Sceva, Matthias Scheits (c.1630-1700)

Yes, satan is a real being and actively at work in this world sowing evil, lies, and despair. He is a destroyer. However the priests have no authority over any demon, and any one they cast out would be a false show, a lie, or an accident. Remember the Sons of Sceva?

Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. (Acts 19:13-17).

Matthew Henry says of trying to exorcise demons outside the authority of God,

It was common, especially among the Jews, for persons to profess or to try to cast out evil spirits. If we resist the devil by faith in Christ, he will flee from us; but if we think to resist him by the using of Christ’s name, or his works, as a spell or charm, Satan will prevail against us.

HuffPo via Washington Post and Getty Images

In one last quote from the article, Vatican Exorcism Course Draws 170 Students to Study Demonic Activity,

Pope Francis has spoken of the devil repeatedly, insisting that he is real and must be fought. This generation, the Pope said last October, “was led to believe that the devil was a myth, a picture, an idea, the idea of evil. But the devil exists, and we have to fight him.” Pope Francis has praised the work of exorcists, priests dedicated to the work of deliverance and casting out demons. According to the Pope, priests devoted to the ministry of exorcism “manifest the Church’s love and acceptance of those who suffer because of the devil’s works.”

Well we all suffer because of the devils’ works, the unsaved and the saved. But of course they are focusing on the exact wrong thing, satan, when we all should be focusing on Jesus. But RCC priests cannot focus on Jesus becuase they are an enemy to Him.

In general, if a person is not in Christ, he is a friend of satan. 1 John 2 outlines the dichotomy. If you love the world, you’re not a friend to Jesus, and vice versa. Satan can certain possess any person who is of this world because this world is temporarily his. (2 Cor 4:4). Satan dividing satan is not logical, as Jesus eloquently explained to the Pharisees.

Alternately, if you’re a Christian, you cannot be possessed. The Holy Spirit is sealed within us as a guarantee of the deposit of our inheritance (Ephesians 4:30, 1:13-14). No one can break that seal, only God, and God has said He will not. (James 1:18, John 10:28). Moreover we are called to resist the devil, (James 4:7) not take classes in demonic ninja and then go out to find him and fight him.

What fruit will it bear to keep our eyes on satan, when our eyes should be on Jesus? Chasing after demons brings nothing to Jesus but pride, arrogance, and wasted time. HE is our all in all, sufficient for all battles. (Judges 7:7).

Friends, do not let all this talk of increasing demonic activity pique your interest. The Catholics, Hindus, and other adherents to false religions may play at exorcism, may utter what they believe is heaven sent gibberish, may seek satan on the battleground, but we are to seek Christ-

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! (Psalm 105:4).

Our weapon is prayer. Do we believe we have the strength to overcome 5000 demons, the number that was reported inhabiting the man in the Gadarene tombs? (Luke 8:26-39). Our strength is puny compared to the heavenly power of even the unholy angels, whom we dare not blaspheme (2 Peter 2:12). We are to rely on His strength, and He will deliver us one way or another.

If someone comes to you with a report of supernatural activity such as tongues, demon deliverance by any other method except salvation, or any supernatural miracle, be skeptical. Very skeptical. Seek the Lord, who is Good; not satan, who is evil.

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Further Reading:

Can Christians be demon-possessed?

According to 1 Peter 1:5, when Christ reigns in a person’s life, that person is kept by God’s power. As a result, “the evil one does not touch him”  (1 John 5:18). When the Holy Spirit inhabits a person, no demon can set up house as a squatter. Indwelling by demons is only evidence of a lack of genuine salvation.

Can a Christian today perform an exorcism? What does the Bible say about casting out demons?

Interestingly, there seems to be a shift in the latter part of the New Testament regarding demonic warfare. The teaching portions of the New Testament (Romans through Jude) refer to demonic activity, yet do not discuss the actions of casting them out, nor are believers exhorted to do so. We are told to put on the armor to stand against them (Ephesians 6:10-18). We are told to resist the devil (James 4:7), be careful of him (1 Peter 5:8), and not give him room in our lives (Ephesians 4:27). However, we are not told how to cast him or his demons out of others, or that we should even consider doing so.

Vatican Exorcism Course Aims Comes Amid Growing Interest in Occult

The Vatican was holding a course about exorcism this week amid a burgeoning interest in the practice and the occult in general, according to one of the organizers. “We have held this course for the past 10 years, and the numbers of those who want to attend keep growing,” said Giuseppe Ferrari of the Research Group of Socio-Religious Formation, one of the event’s organizers. “Initially we had 50 students. This year we had 200 people from 30 countries around the world,” he said on Friday.

Posted in demon possession, divination, ouija

"Three American friends hospitalised after becoming ‘possessed’ following Ouija board game in Mexican village" Updated

Updated to include new Answers in Genesis link at bottom

UK Daily Mail reporting today

Three American friends have been taken to hospital after reportedly becoming ‘possessed’ by evil spirits while playing with a Ouija board. Alexandra Huerta, 22, was playing the game with her brother Sergio, 23, and 18-year-old cousin Fernando Cuevas at a house in the village of San Juan Tlacotenco in south-west Mexico. But minutes into it, she apparently started ‘growling’ and thrashing around in a ‘trance-like’ state. Meanwhile, Sergio and Fernando also reportedly started showing signs of ‘possession’, including feelings of blindness, deafness and hallucinations. Paramedics were called to the house and took the trio to hospital, according to Alexandra’s parents.

‘They had involuntary movements and it was difficult to transfer them to the nearest hospital because they were so erratic. ‘It appeared as if they were in a trance-like state, apparently after playing with the Ouija board. ‘They spoke of feeling numbness, double vision, blindness, deafness, hallucinations, muscle spasm and difficulty swallowing.’

Alexandra’s parents said they had called paramedics after a local Catholic priest refused to perform an exorcism on the three because they were not regular churchgoers.

Screen shot from Daily Mail video. Note her clenched hand
and severe restraints. She was alternately growling and laughing

As for the priest refusing to help, it reminded me of this,

But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. … Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” (Luke 10:29-31; 36-37)

Demon possession was frequent in the day of Jesus’ incarnation. He cleansed the land by healing and performing miracles and by freeing people of demons. The people of that day knew demons were real and they were all around. (Matthew 4:24, Matthew 8:16, Matthew 15:22, Mark 1:23, Mark 5:16) & etc.).

Undoubtedly they were more frequent during that time because satan opposes Jesus and during the time of His incarnation they would want to oppose him strongly. They knew what was what. (Matthew 8:29).

But demons are real and so is the spirit world. In the Old Testament we read of the magicians who could match miracle for miracle the ones Moses did, to a point. (Exodus 7:9-13).

The very fact that demons can enter human or animal bodies shows they can pass through barriers that would restrict human beings. . . . Demons are not humans; neither are they God. But they are superhuman with superior intelligence and experience and powers. To deny the existence of demons is not skepticism; it only displays ignorance. To be unrealistic about their power is foolhardy. ~ Charles Ryrie,  Basic Theology (Chicago: Moody, 1999), p. 186

In the New Testament we read of a demon possessed slave girl who could read fortunes and in so doing had made a lot of money for her masters. (Acts 16:16).

But there the demon possession stops. Right?

Not so fast.

It happened in the Old Testament. It happened in the New Testament. Does it actually happen today? It is my belief that it does. After reading the account of the legion of demons being sent into the pigs of Gadara, S. Lewis Johnson said in his sermon The Present Activity of the Great Dragon and His Demons

And this calls, I think, for a separate consideration of the question of the demons and demon possession. And so, tonight we are going to devote our time of study to the question of demons and demon possession. That such a thing exists is clear to all who accept the Bible. And I began tonight by reading these passages so that you would have no question in your mind but that the Bible speaks of demons and demon possession. Now, regardless of what we may think about it, we will have to agree that the Bible speaks of demons and it speaks of demon possession. And it speaks of demon possession as something different from insanity. It is not just an ancient way of referring to a modern phenomenon as some have attempted to say. It is a very real thing, apparently, and it is something different from insanity. So, the Bible speaks about demon possession.

Now, does it exist in modern times? Capitol D – In modern times. Now, there is no question but that some restraint exists over the activities of the demons outwardly in Christian lands. I would rather think that this is an expression of 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2 in verse 7 in which the Apostle Paul refers to the fact that there is a “restrainer” in the present time who is restraining the manifestation of the man of sin. And so, there is restraint of sin today. And it is done, apparently, in order that the work of God may be carried out to its certain conclusion.

But, even though there is restraint, I personally feel that on the basis of the evidence that we possess that it can be said that demonic activity, demonic possession does exist today. It exists, often, as it is manifested in spiritualistic phenomena. We only have to think of Bishop Pike and his beliefs and practices with regard to the spirit world to see a manifestation of it, in my opinion.

I have the same opinion. I believe actual demon possession occurs today. I would venture to guess that because of Jesus’ triumph of the cross, and having made a spectacle of the demons and of satan, (Colossians 2:15) they are MORE intent than ever on grabbing as many souls as possible.

In the book “War on the Saints”, the authors speak of possession this way, as having three possibilities.

“The needed degree for ground given to an evil spirit in order to possess, cannot be clearly defined, but that there is-
1. sin without evil possession
2. sin which opens the door to possession
3. sin which is unmistakably the result of possession

The bible is extremely clear that active involvement of any of the supernatural divination such as fortune telling, seeking to speak with the dead, summoning spirits, spell casting, astrology, or any other type of such activity, is strictly banned. Do not do it.

Planchette from 1920s-1930s

Ouija (wee-gee) is a ‘game’; where people place their fingertips on a heart shaped piece called a planchette  that hovers on short legs over a game board. The board has letters, numbers, a few words, like ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and also some symbols. The seekers prepare the space, say an incantation, and ask a question to the spirits, and supposedly the heart shaped piece moves of its own accord over each letter, spelling out an answer.

The practice of it has been going on for a long time. In Hosea 4:12 we read that the pagans and even the Israelites used to ask questions of a piece of wood, a divining rod as it were (much like today when supernatural people use a diving rod to find water. The rod is held over the land and the piece of wood supposedly leads them to water and then quivers over the spot when it finds it.) Divination simply means seeking knowledge or attempting to gain insight by asking it of the divine realms. Diviners are trying to gain knowledge that is purposely hidden,

The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29).

Attempting to gain information by going around God instead of to God is a disobedience of the highest order. In addition, everything He wants to be revealed to us is already revealed, in the bible.

There is only one way to seek supernatural knowledge safely, and that is to read the bible, where the only true information from the Divine and about the Divine comes from. Anyway, here is Hosea 4:12,

My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner’s wand informs them; For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray, And they have played the harlot, departing from their God.

And there is the main point- when one is involved in any of the above-forbidden activities such as divination, one is NOT seeking God, but seeking satan, the one who opposes God. You are making a choice to depart from God. Therefore, adhering to only the knowledge God gave us is mandatory. Entering the realms of the demons means a person will be deceived, or worse. The demons could possess.

John MacArthur preached on Demons and Magic. He spent a good deal of time laying out examples from the then-culture (1973), including the origins of the massively successful best seller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach. Bach said many times that he was delivered the book by a force that took him over and whispered it to him. (Exactly like Sarah Young in Jesus Calling and Beth Moore in When Godly People Do Ungodly Things). MacArthur said,

Now, all of that I’m only saying so that you understand that this whole thing of the demonic activity is not something to laugh off, and it’s not something to poopah. It’s something very real, very active…Demons are active in what they’re communicating on paper. They’re active in what they’re doing through black magic, through white magic. They’re working in religion. They’re working everywhere. Why? Because in the universe, there’s a basic conflict. God is supernatural, but so is Satan. Satan is not as powerful as God, but he is nevertheless supernatural. He is beyond our senses, and he is doing everything he can to capture men, and if he can work supernatural wonders to hold men captive, he’ll do it.

Engaging in such a forbidden sin as divination is a sin that opens the door to possession. When one engages in it if they are not a Christian, things go from bad to worse pretty quickly.

The heart of every unconverted sinner is the devil’s palace, where he dwells, and where he rules. ~Matthew HenryReturn of an Unclean Spirit
When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ “And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. “Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.” (Luke 11:24-26)

Salvation is the only protection from possession! Become the Lord Jesus Christ’s treasured possession today.

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; (Exodus 19:5)

We Christians are grafted in to that treasure held so dear by our God.

It breaks my heart to read of children and young adults such as the three Americans in Mexico overcome by such deep evil. It is a cold and dark and lonely place to be, drowning in the depths of sins, with no future ahead unless they become saved by the grace of Jesus. The salvation by the grace of Jesus IS the universe’s mightiest rescue!

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Further reading

Believers cannot be possessed (Q&A Joihn MacArthur)

The Dangers of Divination, by Bob Dewway

Can drug use cause demonic possession?(Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry)

Can a Christian use an Ouija board? (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry)

What are Ouija boards? Should a Christian play with Ouija boards?” (GotQuestions)

Toys’R’Us promoting new ouija board for girls (2010) (The End Time)

Do You Believe in Ghosts (Answers in Genesis)

Posted in demon possession, demonic influence, pope

Did Gabriele Amorth really exorcise 160,000 demons?

The Catholic Church has a premier exorcist. And he is swamped. Eighty-eight year old Gabriele Amorth has been busy, busy, busy casting out demons from people, and wants pope Francis to start training up the younger priests because he doesn’t see any let-up any time soon. There are so many demons, and they are so persistent.

Top exorcist claims to have ridden the world of 160,000 demons

“The Catholic Church’s top exorcist, who claims to have sent 160,000 demons back to h-ell says he wants Pope Francis to allow all priests to start performing the ritual to deal with a rising demand for exorcisms from the faithful.”

“An 84-page update of exorcism rites compiled in 1614 and drawn up in 1998 stipulates how Catholic priests trained as exorcists should operate. According to the guidelines established by the church, they have to follow a ritual known as “De exorcismis et supplicationibus quibusdam,” or “Of exorcisms and certain supplications.””

What is wrong with this picture? Is Jesus still on the cross? No. He is risen. (Matthew 28:6).

Let’s look at his assertion that he has exorcised all those demons. First, understand that the Catholic Church is a false religion and its adherents have no access to heaven and are not friends of Jesus. They are actually friends of satan, being unregenerated and without the Holy Spirit.

Secondly, we understand that there is demonic activity in the world today. We know the devil prowls about the earth, seeking someone he may devour. (2 Peter 2:4, Job 1:7, Job 2:2). Are his demons with him also? Yes. Demons exist, and they are active on earth, in the air, and in heaven. (2 Corinthians 11:14-15, Ephesians 2:2, Ephesians 6:12).

Third, let’s take a look at where the demons are. Mr Amorth says that he is sending them “back to hell.”

Are they in hell? Well, some are.

“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; ” (2 Peter 2:4)

“And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day” (Jude 1:6)

“And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss.” (Luke 8:31)

“And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” (Mark 1:27)

So some fallen angels (demons) are roaming around with satan, possessing people and influencing kings and ministers of the Gospel and doing what they do. Other demons are not on earth. They are held in chains in the abyss, a place typically interpreted to be a pit under hell. The bible says they are to be held there until a time when they shall be released on His Day, and in future event Revelation 9:2-3 we see this happen.

Now if Mr Amorth says that he is sending these “back to hell” that means two things. It means that the word of God is weak and God is not sovereign, because we have some escapees that God Himself put there. It also means Mr Amorth has an equal power to Jesus because he is claiming authority over demons and can send them to hell just as Jesus did.

A final point is that if Mr Amorth is casting out demons from “the faithful” as he states, that it means a Christian can be demon-possessed. It means that demons have somehow broken the seal of the indwelling Holy Spirit God gave us (2 Corinthians 1:22) and overcame the blood of Jesus to be able to get inside us. (Left, Sons of Sceva, by Johann Christoph Weigel, 1695)

Of course, these things can’t be true. First, the demons who Jesus sent to the abyss are still there. They won’t be escaping until God tells the angel to open the shaft and they fly out in Revelation 9. Second, the Holy Spirit dwells inside us (Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19) and it is not possible that the demons would dwell in there too. The other demons that are roaming around aren’t possessing “the faithful” Christians, they are possessing non-Christians.

I mentioned first that the Catholic religion is false and its members who adhere to its doctrines do not have the Holy Spirit. So if a Catholic “faithful” is possessed it means they are not saved.

Yesterday another demons and Catholics story was published. It involves the Pope.

Man Pope Prayed Over Still ‘Possessed’
Edward Pentin’s Perspective: A 43-year-old Mexican father of two, who claims to be possessed by demons — and whom Pope Francis prayed over earlier this month in what some witnesses likened to a public exorcism — insists that he still has demons inside him. Identified only as Angel V., the man told Spanish-language newspaper El Mundo that he had undergone some 30 exorcisms by 10 exorcists, including the renowned Roman exorcist Rev. Gabriel Amorth, who all tried unsuccessfully to free him from his affliction. The interview was reported in the Italian daily La Stampa. “I still have the demons inside me, they have not gone away,” the man said, noting that he felt much better after the Pope prayed over him. El Mundo reported that the man is able to walk. He was in a wheelchair when he met Pope Francis on May 19 at the conclusion of Mass on Pentecost Sunday.

Pastor and Author Dan Phillips wittily commented,  “So much for the doctrine of once poped always poped.”

Another story about this possessed man is here.

If an unsaved pope or priest tries to cast out satan, it is like the time when the Pharisees said that Jesus cast out demons by the power of satan. Satan cannot cast out satan. The Sons of Sceva tried.

“Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took on them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the LORD Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you? …” (Acts 19:13-15; also Matthew 12:25-27a).

The possessed man rose up and beat the Sons of Sceva out of their clothes! (Acts 19:16).

To paraphrase using today’s example, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you, Pope Francis and Gabriele Amorth?”

What of today’s Christian casting out demons? Can a Christian cast out a demon?  GotQuestions says,

“Interestingly, there seems to be a shift in the latter part of the New Testament regarding demonic warfare. The teaching portions of the New Testament (Romans through Jude) refer to demonic activity, yet do not discuss the actions of casting them out, nor are believers exhorted to do so. We are told to put on the armor to stand against them (Ephesians 6:10-18). We are told to resist the devil (James 4:7), be careful of him (1 Peter 5:8), and not give him room in our lives (Ephesians 4:27). However, we are not told how to cast him or his demons out of others, or that we should even consider doing so.”

What of binding and loosing satan? Does a Christian have the power to do that today? No.

“Jesus had power over demons. The Apostles had power over demons, but that’s where it ended. And that’s why the Sons of Sceva said in the book of Acts, ‘Jesus we know and Paul we know, but who are you?’ when some erstwhile Jews tried to exercise power over demons. We don’t tell satan what to do. We resist him by resisting his field of temptation. By resisting his influence. By resisting the power that he has unleashed in the world around us, which finds its way into our flesh and solicits sin. You resist the devil by being strong in the Lord and strong in His word, that’s how you overcome him.” (source)

If Mr Amorth has had any ‘success’ in casting out a demon it is because the demon wanted to go. And if it wants to come back, it will.

Return of an Unclean Spirit
“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.” (Matthew 12:43-45)

Additionally, an unsaved person may have decided to reform, morally. Maybe they were in prison and decided not to do any more crimes when they were released. Maybe an adulterer decided to stop fooling around. Maybe a person joined a church and is pressured to ‘do good’. A person can clean up their act, to a degree. Then a demon will leave.

But nature abhors a vacuum, and if they do not allow Jesus in to their empty heart, their moral transformation will end. It may be after a short amount of time or a long time, but their final state will be worse than the first. The demon will come back, likely bringing a lot of his friends with him.

But what of Mr Amorth’s ‘success’ all these long years in casting out demons? I am sure he would say to you that he has seen and heard many things in his work that convinces him he is a true exorcist. Satan can appear by deception to have been exorcised, because it is obvious from the bible that false apostles appear to exorcise. The Pharisees made reference to that when the charged Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub. (Matthew 12:25-27a). Jesus will shockingly tell the false ones on His day that though they performed exorcisms, they never knew Jesus.

“Not every one who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and do many mighty works in Your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'” (Matthew 7:21-23, emphasis mine)

Christians can be oppressed. That is, satan has power that he has unleashed in the world around us, which finds its way into our flesh and solicits sin. But possessed? No.

A believer was in the kingdom of satan but when Jesus saves them, they now dwell in the kingdom of God. They are a possession of Jesus, not of satan any longer. We are His purchased possession! (Ephesians 1:14).

“who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:14)

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further reading:

Is it possible for a Christian to be demon-possessed?

Can a Christian today perform an exorcism?

How to know if you are a real Christian?

A Believer’s Assurance: A Practical Guide to Victory over Doubt

Posted in demon possession

Can children be possessed by a demon?

Someone asked me this week if a child could be demon-possessed. There are occasional cases in the news where a possession seems to be a central focus, or there exists a problem with a child or youth that medicine or psychology cannot solve. So the question was asked. Clearly, every tantrum a two year old throws isn’t a demonically inspired rant. Often, medicine or therapy can aid the child who is exhibiting symptoms of uncontrollable behavior, and demonic possession is not indicated. But cases where a spiritual problem is the root cause do happen and as John MacArthur says below, “I think much more common in the world today than we understand or the demons want us to understand.”

Medieval illumination

People are  fascinated with the demonic. I was riveted when I read the scene with Jesus and the Gadarene demoniac. (Mark 5, Luke 8, Matthew 8). Just as we are fascinated with the physics and biology of how the Holy Spirit indwells Christians, we are equally fascinated with how it works when a non-believer has a demon inside him. We love to get glimpses of the other side, of the heavenly glories and also of the demonic.

MacArthur preached a sermon called Jesus’ authority over demons, and in it he stated, “And as I said last time, the victims of demon possession are not necessarily the most evil people, sometimes children were possessed, as we shall see in the New Testament. And they’re not to be confused with people who somehow aren’t functioning normally, mentally, because every time Jesus confronted a demon, the conversation was always comprehensible and rational cause you’re dealing with a rational being in dealing with a demon. Somebody who is completely spaced out, flipped out, incomprehensible, talking double talk, nonsense is…you’re probably not engaging a demon.”

In the scenes in the bible where a demon is present, whether inside a human or as a spirit, we see that they are vocal. In 1 Kings 22:19-23, a lying spirit came forward when God inquired of them how Ahab should be brought to the fullness of his iniquity. The lying spirit spoke aloud and had a rational conversation with God. You often find that when the demons speak, they are rational, lucid. The slave girl following Paul around had a spirit of divination in her and she kept shouting, “These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.” (Acts 16:14-21). Not wanting satan’s publicity, Paul commanded the demon to come out of her, and it did that very moment. But she was shouting rationally, and what she was shouting was true.

I’ve often mused about the impact to our biology when we as Christians host the Holy Spirit inside us and when a non-believer hosts a demon. We don’t know what it feels like to have the Spirit leave us, because He is sealed within us, (Eph 1:13, 2 Cor 1:22). And we don’t know how it felt to have the Spirit come into us. He is gentle, merging seamlessly and painlessly into our body. But when a demonic spirit enters or leaves an unsaved person’s body, it often is recorded that it rips and splits the biology. Going in and coming out are hard on the person. While it is in there, they could cause the human host to cut themselves, they are thrown about, they are caused to scream till hoarse, hurl themselves into the fire, and other biologically hurtful things. Sometimes they are seemingly calm, like when the slave girl was following Paul, but the bible says she was shouting, not speaking. When it is time to leave, demons don’t go willingly, as we see in the scene of the Gadarene demoniac. When they left the man they went into the pigs, who immediately went mad and hurtled down the hill and drowned in the lake.

Doing a study from the bible on all the instance of demons inside a person or oppressing a person would be interesting. Look at the person they harass or possess, and their biology. What changes do they cause to their human host physically? Mentally? Emotionally? How do they go in or come out of a person? Do they speak, and if so what do they say, and why? How do they interact with Jesus or God? Those are a few of the ways one could approach a study of the subject.

As to the question of whether children could be demon possessed, first we look to the bible to see if there are any instances of demon possession in children. Is this thing even possible? Always, brother and sister, go to the bible first when a question comes up. We could read books on the subject, but nowadays so many books are fraught with error that I hesitate to recommend even one. So, if child possession is even possible, what does the bible have to say about it?

The bible records several instances of demonic possession. Matthew 9:32-33; Mt 12:22; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 4:33-36; Luke 22:3; Acts 16:16-18.

As a matter of fact, Jesus and the disciples spent a good deal of time exorcising demons and dealing with harassing demons. But were any of them children? Yes. There are two recorded instances of demonic possession in children. In one, the demon-possessed is referred to as a boy, and in the other, the possessed person is referred to as a daughter, later as a child. So we take from these facts that it is possible for demons to inhabit children.

In this example the father said of his boy that his son has been possessed “since childhood”:

“Mark 9:14-29– “And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?” Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.” He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

“When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.””

The demon’s exit was so horrific, the boy was as dead. I’d surmise that the demons want to do so much damage that though they must obey the voice of God, they shred as much flesh as they can on their way out.

In the second case of a demon-possessed child, it is recorded in Mark 7:26-30; “The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.” She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

So a boy and a child are shown to be possessed by a demon. The answer to the original question is “yes.” MacArthur expounded in his sermon ‘Food from the Master’s table‘.

“Now she [the mother] has a problem. She kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. She kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. Matthew says the demon was an unclean spirit…an unclean spirit. In a sense, all demons are unclean. Demons are fallen angels who operate in the kingdom of darkness. They indwell unbelievers. This is a little girl. This is a young girl, an unmarried girl under the age of twelve, thirteen, when people got married. Who knows? Eight, nine, ten…seven…who knows? A demon-possessed child. Horrific experience for a mother. I think much more common in the world today than we understand or the demons want us to understand.”

I agree with this statement. Demons are still around. They possess people, adults and/or children. Their presence on earth increased as Jesus first came to earth and their presence will increase in advance of the second time Jesus comes to earth.

MacArthur again:
“Demons can take up residence in non-believers and they did that in an escalating fashion during the time of Christ, at least they manifested it in an escalated fashion. As I said, they like to stay hidden but under the confrontation of Jesus, they just literally blew their cover. They were just traumatized.”

The next logical question comes, “How could God do this to the innocent children!” But that is a false question. He doesn’t do it to people, sin and satan’s evil causes demon possession. And I often get a reply like, “OK, well, how could He allow it, then?! They’re children!”

We have to remember that the world is corrupt. Rather than see the “badness” of God, see the evil of sin and its corrupting effects. Society’s most vulnerable are not immune to the ravages of evil in the form of demon infestation. We may live in a beautiful place with green grass and swaying pine trees and undulating blue ocean, with stars twinkling overhead, and all that is beautiful to be sure. But creation groans for release from the evil that permeates it. We humans are corrupt too, Christians are only cleansed because we are saved by the blood of Jesus.

It is a fallen world and all societies that try to create civilization in this fallen world fail. Society’s most vulnerable are always most vulnerable. Children, the weak, the lame, the mentally retarded, all vulnerable. Herod killed thousands of children under the age of two because he feared the new King spoken of by the Wise Men. Imagine being that Roman soldier, given a duty to stab babies.

In Ezekiel 5:10 the siege went on so long the people began to eat their children. Children are passed into the fire of Molech. The Old Testament records many such atrocities against children. God allows people their sinful desires and the outcome of those are evil. However, He is always working within our society for the good! What mans sinfully creates as an evil, He turns to the Good.

Remember, He also offers a remedy to those who are lost. We do not have to remain vulnerable to demonic possession. He offers His Son and showers unto us grace through Him. If one repents and accepts His salvation, then one will not be vulnerable to demon possession, not you or your house. Being saved, walking with the Lord, raising up your family in Godly statutes means you are likely to be harassed, but with prayer and constant repentance and bible study, you will recognize demonic attacks when they come- and have the faith to oppose them.

The day is coming when no more atrocities against any person, especially children, will occur ever again.

Here is a final thought from the sermon I quoted earlier, “The point of the text is that Jesus meets this demon-possessed situation and totally dominates the demon. The demon panics under the preaching of the gospel because the gospel raids the kingdom. The gospel steals the man that he’s living in and plying his wicked influences and so the demon panics under the preaching.”

“Let me tell you something. People run around, “I cast you out, I bind you,” that doesn’t do a thing to any demon anywhere, anytime. If they laugh, they laugh at that…exorcisms, human manipulations, like Acts, you know, the sons of Sceva going around…they were Jewish exorcists, you know, they had these little incantations, chants and formulas and the demon said, “Jesus we know, and Paul we know, but who are you? We’re not impressed.” Basically. They shudder not under human manipulation, they shudder under the power of the gospel because the gospel goes into the kingdom and raids it. The gospel goes into the house, ties up the strong man and plunders his goods. That’s what smashes their fortresses. I said, that’s…that’s what frees the souls of their captives and brings them to Christ.”

The captives could be adults or they could be children.

The Gospel. It always comes back to the Gospel. Jesus saves. He is the Victor over sin and death. With His Spirit indwelling us, the demons cannot enter. Glory to Him in the highest!
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Posted in demon possession, devil attack, end time, prophecy

Devil attack at Trinidad & Tobago, follow up

On November 16 I reported (HERE) that an incident had occurred in an elementary school the previous week, in Trinidad & Tobago. Seventeen girls from the upper grades seemed to become suddenly demon-possessed. They exhibited behaviors such as the Gadarene demoniac had, and were en masse rushed to the hospital. Please read at the link for the initial story and background. But the first reporting is never the whole story. Stories unfold, as new details emerge. And new details have emerged as this incident becomes more fully known.

Here is one follow up to the original story-

Pupils collapse; parents want exorcist
“More than two dozen secondary school pupils were being treated at hospital last night, after they collapsed in their classrooms. And their parents are convinced that the teenagers, all girls, are possessed by demons and are pleading for an exorcist to intervene. The pupils were taken to the San Fernando General Hospital and Princes Town District Hospital but medical experts were unable to say what caused their children to scream and then collapse. “The children came in here, screaming. They shouting that a fireman running them down and they running around the wards. We are trying do simple tests, like blood pressure readings, and the machines are going crazy. I don’t know what is happening,” a nurse said.”

Hmmm. The school was in a panic. When transported to the hospital, the hospital went crazy. The machines used to test the girls were going crazy. Empirical data. However, psychiatrists are not convinced:

Mass hysteria, not demon attack, say mental health experts
“Mental health experts have dismissed claims of supernatural activity at the Moruga Secondary School where pupils reported being “attacked” by an unseen force yesterday and on Wednesday. Psychiatrist Dr Hari Maharajh said the “demon attack” appeared to be a case of mass hysteria. A similar opinion was given by consultant psychiatrist at the St Ann’s Mental Hospital Dr Iqbal Ghany.”

That prompted a reader to send a letter stating his opinion:

Hysteria or demons, Trinidad and Tobago wants to know
“Many faiths (Christianity, Islam and others) teach as doctrine the existence of unseen beings, albeit by differing names (ie jinn in Islam, spirits in Christianity). What is disappointing but not surprising, however, is that some intellectuals (self-proclaimed or degree-qualified, it doesn’t really matter) in our society seek to explain these strange occurrences from a psychological/scientific perspective. Their idea is what cannot be proven through the basic human senses cannot exist. There’s no denial this may be the case sometimes, but when there’s overwhelming opposing factors, one has to think twice. Qualified psychiatrists are dismissing the event as merely episodes of hysteria and copycat behaviour (psychological illnesses, not demons). We ask however, how will they explain to the many eyewitnesses (students, teachers, even MTS security guards) who saw unimaginable feats of strength (confirmed report), gravity defying leaps, speech in tongues and suicidal whispers (reported by a victim)?”

Which in turn prompted another reader to send in his opinion:

Demon possession? get real, people
“The report of female students at a high school in south Trinidad simultaneously stricken by a mysterious illness, which had them fainting and flailing on the ground screaming, is rightfully a cause of great concern and fright for many. Given that T&T is a land ruled by the organised superstition we call religion, there is now the typical talk of demon possession, pagan devilry and spiritual forces at work in the school. Similar events like this have been recorded throughout history but it is only now they can be observed and scrutinised with the light of science and reason…”

People who believe and people who do not believe will go on back and forth ad nauseum. However, in researching the follow-up, one sentence in one of the articles alerted me to the true status of this incident. It convinced me it is a true case of demonic possession. Aside from the men in authority at the school observing that the girls were not faking and called EMTs, aside from the hospital workers trained to observe symptoms and deciding how to act accordingly, aside from the fact that the machines were “going crazy”, there is something embedded in the statement one parent made that prompted me to search further:

It turns out that Hindu Pandit Bramdeo Maharaj, former president of the Inter-Religious Organisation, had conducted a Hindu celebration at the class. One parent believes the demons were released during the Divali pooja (Hindu prayer) at the school. “I think the man (pundit) did something wrong and released bad spirits. I think the spirits are looking for souls, but I know what to do and they not getting my child,” he said.” His daughter, age 16, was being treated at the San Fernando General Hospital. “She is conscious and looks good. I heard that she had to be strapped down because she was uncontrollable. [italics mine].

Divali, or Diwali, is short for Deepawali, a pagan Hindi festival celebrating false deities. A pandit is a scholar, a teacher, particularly one skilled in Sanskrit and Hindu law, religion, music or philosophy. The English loan word pundit is derived from it. The background to the festival is that Narakasura, a demon, ruled the kingdom of Pradyoshapuram. Under his rule, the villagers suffered much hardship as the demon tortured the people and kidnapped the women to be imprisoned in his palace. Seeing his wickedness, Lord Khrishna set out to destroy the demon and the day Narakasura died was celebrated as Deepavali, the triumph of good over evil. Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Rama, along with Sita and Lakshman, from his fourteen-year-long exile and vanquishing the demon-king Ravana. In joyous celebration of the return of their king, the people of Ayodhya, the Capital of Rama, illuminated the kingdom with earthen diyas (oil lamps) and burst crackers.

The class was doing a pooja (puja) which is the act of showing reverence to a god, a spirit, or another aspect of the divine through invocations, prayers, songs, and rituals. An essential part of puja for the Hindu devotee is making a spiritual connection with the divine. Most often that contact is facilitated through an object. Shortly afterward the prayer, the girl called her father and mentioned that the classmates were “acting strangely.” When the father called his daughter back a little later, he was told she had been or was being transported to the hospital.

So! All becomes clear! We know that there is NO “connection with the divine” aside from walking in faith with the One True God. If people were making connections with the divine, invoking gods, or otherwise worshiping something other than Lord Christ, they were in fact consorting with demons.

If you ask a demon to come, he will. They seek lives. In the story from Mark, many of them possessed the man from Gesara. He lived in torment for years as the demons wrought havoc and violence with impunity. It got so bad that no one would even pass that way any more. When Jesus arrived, the demons begged Him not to send them from the area, but instead, at least, allow them to inhabit a body, any body, such as begging to be sent into the herd of pigs nearby. They want lives, as the parent said, and this is true. Satan comes to steal and destroy.

MARK 1:39 – “And He went through all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and expelling the demons.”

If you are a Christian reading this who disbelieves that demonic possession can occur today, ask yourself why you disbelieve. Prior to the bible’s recording of Jesus expelling demons, no record exists of such expelling. That is because ONLY JESUS has that power. Then Jesus came and He demonstrated His power over them by casting them from bodies and locations. In Matthew 10:7-8 He gave the Apostles the power to cast out demons, again as a sign of who He is and that His power has now come to earth. (For the record, I believe only the Apostles had the power to expel demons, a sign that expired upon their death. My interpretation.) We are repeatedly told in the bible that the kingdom of satan is on the earth and its near environs (Eph 2:2; Job 1:7; Mt 4:8-9). Demons exist and they want you. Inviting them in through false gods is one easy way to enter. “When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:24-26). The are aware, have intent, and will return, if your house is not filled with the Holy Spirit!

Those girls need prayer. They would not have been entered if they had been filled with the Spirit. Pray that they are convicted of their deeds (worshiping false gods for one) and that they will allow the Spirit of the One True God to fill their house, so that no spirit may ever enter again!
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