Deliver Us From Evil, Part 4
March 22, 2019
All we did last week was to scratch the surface in dealing with the camouflage and concealment that evil spirits use to make us think that what we are dealing with is our own personalities. I never got to describing how in certain photos (which I have shared in our fellowship, but not in these Coffee Breaks), the objective was to demonstrate the fact that evil spirits often hide themselves in objects — just about every object you can think of — and in some cases the most unlikely things. Missionaries often come back from countries where witchcraft and superstition reign supreme.
Unfortunately, they often pick up pictures or “things of artistic value” that in fact are objects of demonic worship. They introduce into their homes the same evil spirits associated with those objects, and then wonder why they are suffering various afflictions. Let me talk about some of those things today.
During my years at Long Beach Christian Center, our ministry staff dealt with many similar scenes. I’ll never forget the day when Josie called me in a panic. She asked if I could come over to her home. I took Dick Parrish with me to see what her issue was. She had taken down a painting from her living room wall that her husband had brought back from Mexico and placed it in a coat closet. It was one of those paintings done on black velvet (there is a lot of Mexican art done this way) and the scene looked like something straight out of Hell.
As soon as we saw the painting, we told Josie to burn it. She got some matches and attempted to light it on fire. There was nothing about this picture that suggested it was fire-proof. It was nothing more than velvet cloth on a wood frame. Yet, it would not light.
She took some twigs and built a small bonfire and set the picture on the fire. Still it would not catch fire. Finally, we commanded that picture to burn in Jesus’ Name. This time she simply took a match to it. It was as strange a scene as you’ve ever seen. The picture burned all right, but it started at the top and burned to the bottom. No attempts to light the picture on fire from the bottom worked, but that single match touched to the top of the painting did it!
Josie subsequently told us that the household had been suffering with every kind of sickness and affliction ever since her husband had brought it back from Mexico. He, too, had been a victim. From the moment that the picture was destroyed, there was a change in the atmosphere in the home. We proclaimed and declared the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God throughout that home. The sicknesses and afflictions were gone in less than 24 hours.
David Dobbs was a member of our ministry staff at Long Beach Christian Center. One Sunday, we didn't see Dave in either the morning worship service, or the evening worship service. I got home that night after the service and my phone rang. It was Dave’s wife, Pam.
“I need you to come over right away! Dave has been really sick, and he seems to be slipping into a coma or something like that.”
I called Dick Parrish again, and he met me at their house. Dave looked terrible. When I saw him, my first instinct was witchcraft. I knew Dave’s mother had been a missionary in South America for a number of years, so I said to him,
“Dave, did your mother bring back any trinkets or gifts when she returned from South America? Did she bring back any masks or totem-like items? How about paintings?”
He nodded and said to Pam, “There’s a whole boxful of that stuff in our closet. Mom just brought it over and left it with me.”
I looked at Pam and said, “Would you get that box, please?”
She did so and brought it out. Indeed, it was full of the items I’d just described. Dick and I prayed and cast out the spirit of witchcraft from the house and any spells it had brought on Dave. We spoke healing and health to him, and he immediately recovered.
I then said to Dave, “After you get dressed and are up and about, you need to destroy those items. Light up your fireplace and burn them.”
He agreed, and Dick and I left for our homes.
It couldn’t have been much more than an hour later when Dave called me. He held up his phone so that I could hear strange and eerie noises.
“That’s coming out of the fireplace,” he said. Some of those artifacts are literally screaming!”
I said to Dave, “OK. Hang on. I’m coming back over.”
When I got there, he was using the poker to push some of the totem-like figures back into the fire. They kept wiggling out of the fire and making all kinds of noises. What was even more strange was that they were made of wood. They should have caught fire and burned immediately without question. Dave had to hold his poker on them in the fire for quite some time before the noises ceased and they actually caught fire.
There was palpable change in the atmosphere in his home when they all burned to ash.
That, however, was not the end of things for Dave. Even though he recovered and was doing so much better, there were more events to follow. In the days that followed, Dave called me one morning to report that a triangular section of carpet had been ripped up out of the floor in their living room, and the floor underneath was charred as though a fire had been burning there.
When I came over to inspect the damage, Pam told me something she had not reported before.
“This house was my mother’s house. She was a practicing witch and held all kinds of ceremonies here with other witches.”
“Brother! Does that ever explain a lot,” I exclaimed.
I called both Dwain and Dick to join me with Dave and Pam as we walked throughout ever room in that house, declaring the rulership of the Kingdom of God, declaring the peace and rest of the Holy Spirit, and commanding every wicked spirit that had taken up residence in the place to depart. We even held the doors open to the house to usher the evil spirits out of the place.
That was the end of those kinds of displays for Dave and Pam, and it certainly was a vivid and visual demonstration of how the Enemy seeks to steal, kill and destroy the people of God. It was also a very clear demonstration of the authority we have in Christ Jesus. The cleansing of that house stuck. It was the end of the attacks — at least of that kind — on Dave and Pam.
Let’s change course for a bit in this discussion. Throughout the years, I have on occasion had folks accuse me of casting out evil spirits because I, myself, was under the control of demons. That’s about as ludicrous and illogical a statement as you can get. Listen to what Jesus said when he made the following statement:
Luke 11:17-20: Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.
Jesus makes it abundantly clear that He only needs his little finger to cast out demons. They are nothing compared to His power and authority!
Now He lays out a set of spiritual principles that help us to understand where our strength lies, and how we can mark of evidence of these wicked spirits who invade and torment.
Luke 11:21-26: When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.
He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him 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.
Let’s break this down. He says, “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace.” Jesus is making it clear that we must be on guard at all times. We must be constantly armed with the armament He has provided.
The rest of that statement is about as clear and unmistakable as can be. If the “strong man” isn’t stronger than the wicked spirit that comes his way, then that evil spirit destroys his armor and takes away his goods and his peace.
Remember what Jesus said in John?
John 10:10: The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
The key to understanding Jesus’ statement concerning “when a stronger than he shall come upon him and overcome him,” is that the thief uses his cunning and deception as his strength — a strength which is deceptively powerful and appears unbeatable. Again, He makes it obvious that when we are with Him and in Him and He in us, we become the “gatherers,” the “healers,” the “deliverers.”
Now we come to as basic a piece of evidence that marks the presence of an evil spirit. Jesus now says the following:
“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.”
What is the evil spirit seeking after?
Nothing could be clearer. When you see someone who struggles with restlessness, they cannot seem to be still, they always have to be doing something, they talk incessantly and they are non-stop fidgety, you are seeing the manifestation of one or more unclean spirits in that person.
Restlessness is the hallmark of every evil spirit! Often, it can be the representation of some kind of violence in the person’s past, or spiritual genesis (and that’s a topic I will get into a bit later).
Let me illustrate.
A few years ago, a mother came to me after a meeting with her four-year-old son. He squirmed and squirmed and did his best to get out of her grasp. The mother said to me, “he has always been this way! There’s nothing I can do to keep him quiet. Every so often, he will scream or just make strange noises. After hearing you share tonight, I know that he needs deliverance.”
I asked her if her husband exhibited the same symptoms. She replied that he was in prison for a series of violent crimes. Holy Spirit made it clear to me in that moment that we were dealing with a spirit of murder and violence that had been passed onto the boy.
She handed the young boy over to me and I sat him in my lap. That, in itself, was a interesting display. I had to wrap my arms around him in order to keep him from beating on me or jumping from my lap.
“You spirit of murder and violence, I command you to loose this boy in the name of Jesus! Come out of him, NOW!”
Just like that, everything changed! The non-stop struggle ended. He looked across at his mother and in a quiet voice said, “Mommy!” She wept as she took him into her arms. He was quiet and peaceable and his whole demeanor had undergone change. I later learned that the deliverance held and that he was one very changed four-year-old.
A rather unexpected side effect occurred from that event. This took place in a Charismatic church in Fairbanks. When the pastor saw what happened with the boy, he uninvited me from the church. I was told that I was no longer welcome there. That came as a bit of a surprise, to say the least.
However, what had happened was that an enemy that had taken up residence in him was exposed and it made him restless. Some of the elders witnessed this restlessness and paid attention. It soon became clear that he was — and had been — having an affair with one of the women in the church. The pastor was forced to step down for a time until he received deliverance and underwent a period of repentance and healing with his family. About a year later, he was restored to his pastorate.
Just because a person may be a great leader, a wonderful pastor, or a terrific teacher, does not mean that he or she is impervious to attack. It all comes back to Jesus’ analogy of one who is armed and keeps his palace, but when one who is stronger than he comes upon him, he loses his goods and his peace. In this instance, this particular pastor had an area of his life that was not covered spiritually and protected from an assault by the Enemy.
We’ve seem this happen repeatedly to some very great and very public people in ministry — televangelists whose ministries were — to all intents and purposes — prospering and doing great things for the Kingdom. Unfortunately, their own armor was poorly protected or used, and they became prey to “a stronger than they!” Some of them have been delivered, set free, paid the price for their failures, and restored to their places of ministry.
One of the problems that we run into again and again is the fear that folks have in addressing evil spirits. The whole subject of deliverance is almost taboo in many circles.
People say, “Oh, I can’t do that!”
We’ll talk about that in greater detail next week.
In case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:30AM Pacific. That conference number is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We are now making these gatherings available on video using ZOOM. If you wish to participate by video on ZOOM, our login ID is 835-926-513. If you miss the live voice-only call, you can dial (712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in later. The video call, of course, is not recorded – not yet, anyway.
Blessings on you!
Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504
Email Contact: CapenerMinistries@protonmail.com
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