It is very important to understand the role of the demonic and how active it is. Jesus was constantly aware of this realm and on many recorded occasions interacted with it—often, to deliver a person from its power of sickness, confusion and destruction. Very certainly, not enough is taught to Christians regarding this realm (e.g. fortune tellers, ouija boards, horoscopes, etc.) where even a simple spirit of curiosity can lead to serious involvement with the occult.
Witchcraft is real, and both 'black magic' and 'white magic' are of the same cloth. Regarding this, the first battleground is in the realm of the mind, where evil spirits encourage us to adopt as our own, thoughts of judgment, superiority and disdain for others. This opens the door for even more oppressive thought which can lead to depression, despair and even suicidal thought.
Hopefully, the testimonies below will assist you to gain a better understanding regarding the demonic realm.
THE DEMON OF THOUGHT (CIRCA 1984)
At the age of thirty nine I married my beautiful and wonderful friend Suzanne following my complete conversion to Christ at the age of thirty-six through the ministry of Billy Graham. I say “complete” because prior to my encounter with Christ (through the gift of the Holy Spirit) I was a nominal believer but an unredeemed soul. Yes, I knew about Jesus and sort of believed, but I did not know him personally. (You may wish to read my conversion story here: [My Testimony]
Suzanne has been, and to this day, continues to be a gift of God to me, and her strength has given me direction these many years since. Given my life style before marriage, I had a lot of cleaning up to do, and I began a personal journey of discovery seeking to know the Lord and His ways better by reading Scripture and personal study. Following my conversion, it was during one of these times of personal study that an event occurred which was remarkable, and which helped me understand to a significant degree the realm of the demonic. This experience would prove fruitful to me in the years to follow.
It begins like this. I am downstairs with my wife sitting on a couch before our fireplace in Marblehead, MA, reading a small booklet entitled Grains of Wheat. This booklet encouraged one to walk in the ways of the Lord and to practice generosity and various spiritual disciplines. At my heart level I was responding very affirmatively to this good teaching when I heard myself think: "I really don't want to do this." Somehow, this surprised me, and through an amazing grace, I perceived that this thought while apparently my own, had an alternate source. Responding to this discernment, I quickly turned and looked over my left shoulder where I clearly saw a spirit hovering and looking directly at me. You may ask: "Good grief, were you terrified?" To which I can respond: "No, not at all." In fact, I was very much at peace. Secondly, you may wish to ask: "What did the spirit look like?" Well, this is where part of this experience may prove difficult for you. The spirit was smallish (the size of an large watermelon), purple in color (it was a light form - thus ethereal in appearance), having little specific form (almost Casper the Ghost in appearance), with eyes which you could look through into the surrounding room. It took this spirit at least three of four seconds before it realized that I could actually see it, and then, as a narrow beam of purple streaking supersonic light it passed out of my sight right though the wall of my house as if the wall did not exist.
"What was that all about?" Well, Jesus speaks about spirits that roam the face of the earth seeking a place to rest, and undoubtedly this spirit was such a being (Matt 12:43 and Luke 11.24). And, if I had accepted the voice of that spirit as my own (which, it seems was a form of temptation), it would have found a resting place from which it could begin the process of shaping the way I thought—and ultimately, the way I acted. Moreover, this spirit would have worked hard to influence my thinking to such a degree that it would have invited some of its friends to accompany it. This would have constituted the beginning of a spiritual oppression, the bitter fruit of which can be, and often is, deep depression and suicidal thoughts. The goal of this spirit was my ultimate destruction.
Many years later, through reading of the book "Unbound" by Neal Lozano, and sponsoring and attending several of his conferences, I began with some others to offer deliverance prayer for persons carrying oppressive burdens of all kinds. Some had been abused, some had suffered terrible trauma, some had been betrayed, and some had been active in the occult. In deliverance, one thing marked all of them; they almost always report the experience of a lifting weight upon a word of command. It could be off the chest, the back or some other body part. Some even report an improvement in sight (a deliverance from an afflicting spirit), and some huff and puff out stuff unseen.
Having experienced earlier in my life the appearance of the demon of thought in its futile attempt to ensnare me, I understand better to some degree what must be occurring in these deliverance and healing events. In my mind's eye, I can see that purple ethereal spirit (and its allies) once again loosed wandering through dry places—until they can once again find another host on which to latch and begin their work of destruction anew. Alas, it seems that in this age of confusion and madness, they may not have to journey very far.
Yet, that spirit of which I write, or one of its many accomplices, also sought at an earlier time to ensnare me. When I think of it and how close I came to agreeing with it—I sometimes shudder. Read below, and you will understand. Why Don't You Ask Satan to Help You? (Circa 1970)
WHY NOT ASK SATAN TO HELP YOU?
Before my conversion to Christ, I drank to excess (although strictly speaking not an alcoholic), and I looked in all the wrong places for love and acceptance. If you asked me then, I would have told you that I was a good person, and was really looking for a good woman to settle down with to have a family. You see, the truth was, I never really wanted to sin, but I did not have the strength to avoid it, and I was on the pathway to perdition.
So, there I am, about thirty-three years of age, in a bar in Boston. A young single lawyer, fairly successful, and very available. Yet, it seemed to me that no woman really wanted or desired me, and I was painfully lonely. Given my view of things, I hoped that some day in some bar I just might meet the right person. Well, then walks into this bar a very lovely red head who strolls up to the bar, sits and orders a drink. I look intently at her wondering if I should join her and start a discussion to see where it might lead. Then it happened! I hear: "Why don't you ask Satan to help you?". Yikes! You might ask, was I startled? Was I frightened? No, not at all, and I am not sure why. But, I did know that I had a decision to make, and that if I desired it (that is—her), that there was someone who was willing to help me attain my goal.
Reflecting on this offer I delayed a few moments, but then left the bar saying to myself: "No, I will do it on my own." This prideful thought saved me. Even to this day, I tremble at what might have been, as Satan himself was more than willing to open to me a door to success, sexual pleasure and power.
The Devil led him [Jesus] up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him:
"I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours”
Jesus answered, “It is written: “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”
[Luke: Chapter 4:5-8]
Knowing what I know now, if I had accepted that offer, it would have all led to a terrible oppression and then deep depression—and perhaps even suicide.
Someone else was praying for me on that evening, and I avoided my Waterloo.
We always need the prayer of others.
For that I am eternally grateful.
Be blessed and believe.