Our world is full of gods, powers, and the demonic. Recently I visited an ethnographic museum in Ethiopia and stumbled upon a small section describing the activity of evil spirits in that country. The exhibit explained that even though the 20th century brought skepticism about the reality of such spirits, a significant percentage of Ethiopians still believe themselves to be possessed by one.
That astonishing statistic, recorded with such bald recognition, reveals something about the world we inhabit. But also about our own presuppositions. In our Western culture, perhaps sheltered from overt demonic activity, we rarely see the supernatural at work. But in our post-Enlightenment milieu, it’s also true that we might not see it because we don’t expect to. Continue reading →
In the book The Rite, author Matt Baglio tells the story of one Roman Catholic Priest and his journey to Rome to learn to be an Exorcist. In the book we find that at that time the course was primarily a lecture course and I assume it still is—not being Roman Catholic I have no way of knowing if there have been any changes in the course syllabus—and any practical experience Father Gary Thomas received was through observing practicing exorcists in the greater metropolitan area of Rome. While we in the west have come to believe that all exorcisms resemble the one portrayed in the movie TheExorcist, most real exorcisms take Continue reading →
The most popular post ever published on my blog is 20 Ways Satan May Seek to Destroy You. There we survey the Scriptures and demonstrate the reality of our spiritual enemy and his crafty work. Today, I add a dozen more.
In my continued reading of A Puritan Theology, I found the chapter “The Puritans on Demons” sobering. “The Puritans viewed human history as one continual conflict with evil spiritual powers.” This is one reason I have so long appreciated the writings of the Puritans, men who were not afraid to expose the devices of the evil one. Therefore, we find much help from them for the spiritual warfare that belongs to those who Continue reading →
No heads were spinning 360 degrees, and no one was shrieking or foaming at the mouth Monday night during God’s E.R. ministry sessions, which are held several times a week in Tulsa to cast demons out of people and then to help them stay free.
“We see a variety of (demonic) manifestations, but not for long,” said John Heim, a volunteer minister who is also a Tulsa air traffic controller.
“We don’t allow manifestations. They might raise their heads, but we take Continue reading →
[Editors Note: especially in Charismatic Protestant circles, Spirits or in the case of this article, Religious Spirits, are those entities simply known as demons in other branches of Christianity. For the uninitiated, the title above does not mean to rid oneself of religion and become an atheist but rather to exorcise those demons that prevent you from a full relationship with the Lord and his Holy Church or those demons that work through you to destroy the spirituality of others.]
How to recognize and get rid of religious spirits in your life
A family once brought a woman to our church on Steele Street and Blue Avenue in Jacksonville, Florida, who needed deliverance. We did not have deliverance teams in the church at that time; only my husband, Ardell, and I did the ministry.
This woman had come from a mental hospital in South Florida. As God is my witness, when I pulled up to the church, she was sitting in a car—and it literally was rocking. As she stepped out, the demons spoke through her.
“Kim cannot cast me out!” they shouted. “Benny Hinn cannot even cast me out! You have never met this demon!”
We took her downstairs to the basement of the church, where the woman paced back and forth, speaking in demonic voices and Continue reading →
First an artistic, devil-inspired barista took demonic to a whole new level with one lady’s latte—crafting a satanic symbol in a Catholic woman’s Starbucks drink. Now, a burger chain symbolized by its golden arches is making headlines for something nearly as sinister: a golden swastika depicted in butter on a chicken sandwich bun she bought from a McDonald’s drive-thru in Morehead City, North Carolina. McDonald’s fired the employee involved in the incident, but what does this incident—and the occult symbols in the Starbucks latte some months ago—really say? What’s going on in the spiritual realm? Clearly, it’s one more manifestation of Satan’s subtle—and increasingly not-so-subtle—works in a sinful world. Continue reading →
Pope Francis said Satan exists in our present century and we must learn from the Gospel how to fight against his temptations. This was the core message of his homily at the Mass celebrated on Friday in the Santa Marta residence.
Pope Francis said the life of every Christian is a constant battle against evil just as Jesus during his life had to struggle against the devil and his many temptations. And he warned that whoever wants to follow Jesus must be aware of this reality.
“We too are tempted, we too are the target of attacks by the devil because the spirit of Evil does not want our holiness, he does not want our Christian witness, he does not want us to be disciples of Christ. And what does the Spirit of Evil do, through his temptations, to distance us from the path of Jesus? The temptation of the devil has three characteristics and we need to learn about them in order not to fall into the trap. What does Satan do to distance us from the path of Jesus? Firstly, his temptation begins gradually but grows and is always growing. Secondly, it grows and infects another person, it spreads to another and seeks to be part of the community. And in the end, in order to calm the soul, it justifies itself. It grows, it spreads and it justifies itself.”
Turning to the bible, the Pope recalled how Jesus’s first temptation by Satan was almost ‘like a seduction.’ Satan told Jesus to throw himself down from the Temple so that all the people will see that he is the Messiah! And warned the Pope, when the devil is rejected, he grows and comes back stronger than before. Jesus himself noted this in the gospel when the devil went around looking for companions and with them returned to Jesus. Satan got involved with Jesus’s enemies and what seemed at first like a calm trickle of water turned into a flood of water. In this way, the temptation grows, infects others and justifies itself. As an illustration, the Pope recalled how when Jesus preached in the synagogue, his enemies belittled him by saying “but isn’t this the son of Joseph, the carpenter, the son of Mary. He never studied so with what authority can he speak?
“We have a temptation that grows: it grows and infects others. For example, let’s look at gossip: I’m a bit envious of this or that person and at first I’m just envious inside and I need to share it and go to another person and say: “But have you seen that person?’.. and this gossip tries to grow and infects another and another… This is the way gossip works and all of us have been tempted to gossip! Maybe not one of you, if you’re a saint , but I too have been tempted to gossip! It’s a daily temptation. And it begins in this way, discreetly, like a trickle of water. It grows by infecting others and in the end it justifies itself.”
Pope Francis concluded by urging people to be vigilant and not to give in to that initial temptation and thus allow it to spread to others and justify itself.
“We are all tempted because the law of our spiritual life, our Christian life is a struggle: a struggle. That’s because the Prince of this world, Satan, doesn’t want our holiness, he doesn’t want us to follow Christ. Maybe some of you might say: ‘But Father, how old fashioned you are to speak about the devil in the 21st century!’ But look out because the devil is present! The devil is here… even in the 21st century! And we mustn’t be naïve, right? We must learn from the Gospel how to fight against Satan.”