As we transition into the new year, it is perhaps timely for us to take stock and do some spring cleaning of our hearts.
For in Hebrews 12:1-2, we are admonished to "lay
aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and run
with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the
author and finisher [perfecter] of our faith".
However, as the late Derek Prince noted, "it
is not sufficient that we deal with things in our lives that are
actually sinful. We must also eliminate weights—things that are not
sinful in themselves, but yet would hinder us from concentrating every
effort on our service for Christ."
runner in a race strips down to the bare minimum. He does not carry one
ounce of unnecessary weight. We must do the same. Here are some of the
things that we may need to eliminate: social obligations that have no
spiritual significance – sentimental attachments to people, places or
pets – excessive concern with the stock market, sports or women’s
fashions – window shopping – worries about money, health, family or politics."
"Concerning each thing to which we devote time and attention, we need to ask two questions. Does it glorify Jesus? Does it build me up spiritually?"
P/S: The above quote can be found in the book Rules of Engagement: Preparing for Your Role in the Spiritual Battle.
Sunday, 31 December 2017
Sunday, 29 May 2016
In their book “AManual for Children’s Deliverance”, the late husband and wife deliverance team, Frank & Ida Mae Hammond, explain why children, as young and innocent as they may be, can be plagued by demons.
There are two accounts in the Gospels of Jesus healing children plagued by demons. A study of these passages brings to light several foundation principles which give direction for children's deliverance.
The first account tells of a father who brought his son to Jesus. He had already taken his boy to the disciples, but they were unable to deliver him. Here is the scriptural account:The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him. A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him. I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.”“O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.”Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. And they were all amazed at the greatness of God. (Luke 9:37-42)
The second account is that of a Canaanite mother who came to Jesus on behalf of her little daughter who was suffering from demon oppression.
Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.”Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel”The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.He replied, “It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to the dogs.”“Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. (Matt. 15:22-28)
CHILDREN CAN HAVE DEMONS The first truth that we discover from these two passages is that children can have demons. Neither of these parents had any problem identifying the source of their children's torment. How different that is from most parents' perception today. Most mothers and fathers would recoil in horror if someone suggested that their little ones were oppressed by evil spirits.
We are reminded of those days when the Lord was leading us into deliverance ministry. For us, it was a gradual process of comprehending for whom deliverance applied. At first we thought it was only for those who were deeply enmeshed in sin: the prostitute, the alcoholic, the dope addict. Next, we added the mentally and emotionally ill to our list of deliverance candidates. What a shock it was to us and those of our fellowship, when a visiting minister discerned and cast demons out of Ida Mae.
Then, after each adult in our fellowship had gone through a measure of deliverance, a young mother requested that we cast oppressing demons out of her little son. We recoiled at the idea. “Surely,” we thought, “this is taking deliverance too far!” The mother insisted that she was sure that her little boy had demons. She pointed us to Matthew 15:21-28 where Jesus delivered the Syrophonecian's little daughter of demons. This convinced us that it is possible for a child to have demons, which gave us the faith to proceed. We cast the evil spirits out of the child, and his behavior improved.
Children are very vulnerable to the infiltration of demons. Why? Children are totally dependent upon others for their care and protection. Parents are the God-appointed, spiritual guardians of their children, yet too few parents are knowledgeable and vigilant in providing a spiritual covering for their children. When we recognize the gates through which demons enter, we can then understand what parents must do to guard their children.
Corrective punishment is a companion to deliverance. As Scripture puts it, "Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him" (Prov. 22:15). Along with the casting out of demons, a stubborn, rebellious child must sometimes be disciplined repeatedly and consistently. The goal is to bring the child to the point of self-discipline. Unless the flesh3 is disciplined, the demon of rebellion and his companions will soon return.
DETECTION OF DEMONS A second truth derived from Jesus' ministry to the two children, is that the presence of evil spirits in children may be determined by what is happening to the children. The boy whose father brought him to Jesus exhibited symptoms of epilepsy. The father described the demonic symptoms as follows: "A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him" (Luke 9:39).
Such physical trauma in a child would motivate most parents today to seek treatment from a medical doctor. Jesus concurred with the father's diagnosis and "rebuked the evil spirit." The child was instantly healed and handed back to the father.
The Syrophonecian woman explained to Jesus how she concluded that her little girl was beset by a demon. She said, “My daughter is grievously vexed with a devil” (KING JAMES); “cruelly harassed by a demon” (WEYMOUTH); “seriously afflicted with insanity” (LAMSA); “in a terrible state – a devil has got into her” (PHILLIPS) (Matt. 15:22).
Jesus did not challenge the mother's conclusion that her child was demonized. In fact, Jesus showed agreement with the mother when He declared, “You may go; the demon has left your daughter”" (Mark 7:29).
Some theologians have contended that Jesus simply accommodated Himself to the superstitious beliefs of the woman. No, Jesus did not play games with words. He who is Truth never agrees with error.
There are two ways to determine the presence and activities of demons: discernment and detection. Discernment is supernatural; a gifting of the Holy Spirit; the ability to distinguish between spirits (See: I Cor. 12:10). “Detection”' is derived from the Latin word for discover. “Detective” comes from the same root word. A detective is one who examines the evidence and discovers the truth.
If a child is stubborn, rebellious and untrainable it does not take supernatural discernment to know what spirits are manifesting. They are readily detected.
A woman who lived about twenty miles from us brought her infant daughter for deliverance. She said, “My little baby is just two weeks old, and I want you to deliver her of evil spirits.” She explained to us that the RH factors between her and her husband were not compatible, and, at birth, the baby required a blood exchange. This procedure entailed the extraction of the infant's blood which was replaced with blood transfusions. Ever since the blood exchange, the baby had been nervous and hyperactive. She was not sleeping normally. There was a constant nervous jerking of her body.
The doctor had sent them home from the hospital with a prescription for Phenobarbital, with instructions to give the barbiturate to the baby. The mother said, “Something in my spirit just says that I cannot start my baby out on drugs.” We agreed that her baby's vexations were symptoms indicative of the presence of evil spirits. We had not had any experience with such things, but we thought it possible that the trauma of the blood exchange could be the root cause of the child's affliction.
It was a precious deliverance. Ida Mae held the infant in her arms and quietly commanded a vexing spirit to go. The baby cried briefly and then became peaceful. A spirit of irritability was commanded to leave. Again the infant cried and then became quiet. This pattern of crying followed by peace, repeated itself over and over as demon after demon was commanded out. A week afterward, the mother telephoned us. She reported that her baby was sleeping, and the nervous jerking had stopped.
Through this experience, the Lord confirmed to us that even infants could need deliverance.
Sunday, 22 May 2016
If your child complains of being “disturbed” by imaginary friends or playmates, do not automatically dismiss what he/she is saying, but investigate further, as it could be a sign of a demonic attack. In his book “Confronting Familiar Spirits”, the late Frank Hammond, author of numerous books on deliverance, shares two cases:
It is not unusual to find a child who has an imaginary playmate. The invisible companion is very real to the child. In fact, the playmate may be invisible to others but appear visibly to the child. The imaginary playmate becomes a companion and a teacher of the child.
What begins, in the child's imagination, as a technique to offset loneliness, evolves into a relationship with a familiar spirit. A four-year old boy, to whom we ministered, had an imaginary playmate whom he called Charcoal. We asked why he called his playmate "Charcoal”, and he insisted that the playmate told him that his name was Charcoal. In order to be set free, the boy first had to fall out of agreement with the familiar spirit and command him to go. Although he was normally an obedient child, he was so threatened by the prospect of losing his companion that he stubbornly resisted his father's coercion to renounce the demonic presence. After a successful deliverance, there was a marked improvement in the child's personality and behavior.
In another case, my wife and I ministered to a young woman who was plagued by extreme supernatural phenomena. Poltergeists manifested themselves in her house; she experienced unsought astral travel, and possessed undesired psychic insights. The root cause for all the supernatural phenomena was, in her particular case, an early childhood relationship with an imaginary playmate. Her parents had divorced when she was four years old. Rejection and insecurity resulted because she was passed around to different family members who raised her. She began to play with an imaginary friend, a familiar spirit, named "Genie." Interestingly, Genie (a derivation of jinn) is one of a class of spirits that assumes various forms, exercises supernatural power and serves his summoner. The familiar spirit, Genie, was responsible for the occult phenomena.
Sunday, 15 May 2016
Church Leader Becomes a Homosexual and Leaves His Wife and Family to Live With A Man. Then Something Amazing Happens…
In his book “Powerof the Blood”, the late deliverance minister H.A. Maxwell Whyte shares this amazing story of a church leader who unwittingly opened his life to the spirit of homosexuality, and even went so far as to leave his beautiful wife and family to live with a man. However, something amazing happened, as we read below:
IS THERE HOPE FOR ME? Perhaps the best Scripture on this subject details the story of the man whose house was garnished, swept, and cleansed after the evil spirit had gone out. This demon was not so easily defeated. He wandered around, waiting for a convenient moment to return. Finally, the man backslid, and the demon did return and brought with him seven other spirits worse than himself. (See Matthew 12:43-45.)
To say that this man was not saved is to misuse the plain meaning of words. Obviously, he was saved, delivered, and cleansed in the blood; but he chose to backslide and consequently returned to his previous habit, and seven other demons came to plague him. The frightful possibility of such a relapse was made very real to me a number of years ago.
The telephone rang. “Is that you, Pastor Whyte?” The same man who had been delivered
from twenty demons in our church kitchen seven years before was on the line.
“Yes,” I replied. “What can I do for you?”
“Are you in the same place?”
“Do you still have the same ministry?”
He sighed with relief, saying that God had directed him to call me. He was trapped in the pit of sin again. “Do you think there's any hope for me?” he sighed. “I'm in a terrible mess.”
I assured him that there was indeed hope, for the mercies of God are new every morning. So he came to my office.
His story was very sordid but a warning to us all. After his spectacular deliverance, he had moved out of the area and into the suburbs. The new church he attended did not believe the full gospel and did not teach or practice healing or deliverance.
One rainy day, as he drove downtown to his business in Toronto, he noticed a man at a bus stop. With compassion, he invited the man to get into his car. This worldly man offered our friend a cigarette. His offer opened a wonderful opportunity for our friend to witness about the salvation and deliverance available in Christ. But no. Instead, he took the cigarette, which proved to be his first step to hell on earth.
Each day he picked up this man, and each day they smoked. Soon they talked about drinking together. Their sin escalated from the tavern to the racetrack where they bet on the horses. Finally, the newfound friend said to our brother, "I love you."
As I listened to this man's story, I could hardly believe it. He had a beautiful wife, four wonderful children, and a good home. I had often visited them. What power drove a good Christian man to become a homosexual, leave his wife and family, and live in one room with another man? Psychology cannot explain this. It was the devil working through indwelling demons.
WORSE OFF THAN BEFORE. Theology explains that no Christian can have a demon. But I remembered how God had delivered this dear brother from a demon of suicide
seven years before. How could this Spirit-filled man have gotten a suicide demon in the first place? And what about the demons that were in him now?
I knew there was only one answer. He had arrived at this miserable state by disobeying
the words of Scripture: "Neither give place to the devil" (Ephesians 4:27). He had allowed the devil to occupy territory that had previously been occupied by the Holy Spirit.
The broken man slumped into a chair after his agonizing confession. He had scraped the
bottom of the barrel of sin but was ready to be rescued again.
Without further delay, we gave the command. "Come out, in the name of Jesus!" The man was ready. The filthy demons began to pour out of him with almost continual coughing and choking. Without any asking on my part, they willingly named themselves as they came out. Lust, filth, uncleanness, perversion, cursing, etc. In twenty minutes he was completely free again.
When it was all over, I realized that I had seen a fulfillment of Jesus' words:
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. (Matthew 12:43-45)
This explained what had happened to the man. After his first deliverance, his "house" had been cleansed, swept, and put in order, but he had not kept it filled with the new Visitor, the Holy Spirit. His house had been left empty, so the suicide spirit came back. However, that spirit also beckoned to seven of his filthy friends, and they came in also. What a mess a Christian can get himself into by backsliding! But thank God, deliverance is available to all who will bend the knee to Jesus and ask Him to forgive their sins and enter into their lives.
FULLY RESTORED. Seven years later, I met this same brother again in a certain church. Immediately I asked how he was doing. He joyfully told me that after his second deliverance, he returned home and made a full confession to his wife and family. They forgave him and took him back. God then began to prosper his business, and he bought a better home. He was keeping his house clean with the blood of Jesus, and the demons had permanently left.
Sunday, 8 May 2016
Are you battling a strong urge to commit suicide? If so, perhaps you could be tormented by demons of suicide, and the good news is that you can be set free by the Blood of Jesus! In his book “Power of the Blood”, the late deliverance minister H.A. Maxwell Whyte shares his experience of helping a church deacon to be set free from suicide demons.
Around that time, a Christian brother, who had been a deacon in a full gospel church, was battling a strong urge to commit suicide. Could it be that a Holy Spirit-baptized man – a deacon in a full gospel assembly – could be demon possessed?
What would our Bible schools say? What would the pastor of his church say? What would anyone say? Who cares what they say! I quickly told the afflicted man that demons were probably the source of his torment. Being desperate, he asked what he could do. Remembering a recent deliverance session where an asthmatic was gloriously set free, I felt I was ready for anything.
“There is one thing we can do,” I said. “We can cast out these suicide demons.”
“When?” he asked.
“Tonight,” I replied, full of faith and the joy of the Lord! I was learning that I was seated in heavenly places in Christ and had been given authority over demonic forces.
My wife came down into the basement kitchen with us. We sat on one side of the room, and this despondent man sat on the other side with his wife. The kitchen became an arena of spiritual battle.
We began by singing choruses about the blood of Jesus because we didn't want these
demons to attack us. There is nothing like a fresh reminder of the power of Jesus' blood.
The demons knew they had no power over us. Then we gave the command.
To my astonishment, this man shot into the air about one foot off his chair. He landed with a thud, and his head shook to and fro like a toy in a dog's mouth.
We doubled our forceful commands in the name of Jesus and ordered every foul suicide demon to come out. After one hour, many unclean spirits had come out moaning, coughing, vomiting, and writhing. Then they started to speak. We had read about demons who spoke to Jesus, but we didn't know anyone who heard demons speak today. We know differently now.
We asked the spirits how many more remained in our brother, and they replied, “Twenty.” We counted them as they came out, paused at each fifth one, and asked again. Amazingly, they told the truth, although they argued and sometimes refused to answer. But our pressing commands in Jesus' name caused them to tell the truth.
“Fifteen.” “Ten.” “Five.” The last demon put up a twenty-minute fight, but the name of Jesus, His precious blood, and an authoritative command expelled him. Finally set free from demonic bondage, this brother threw his head back and spoke in tongues, magnifying God.
He then made a pact with God; he said that if he was truly delivered, he would like God to give him the gift of prophecy. The next Sunday around the communion table, this cleansed vessel brought forth a beautiful prophetic word that edified the entire church.