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Tag Archives: casting out demons

Living and Moving in the Ways of the Spirit

Every year or so I come in contact with an individual who possesses a dynamic personality. On the surface, these people seem perfect, blessed with keen social skills and filled with a joy for life. Curious and eager to know what makes them tick, I often ask a few probing questions. After a couple of minutes interacting, many of these individuals are at a higher spiritual level, living and moving in the ways of the Spirit daily.

So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit], Romans 8:4.

My Catholic upbringing limited my knowledge of the Holy Spirit throughout my teenage years. However, college was a different story, encountering several uncomfortable scenarios. I witnessed people slain in the spirit, speaking in tongues, holy laughter, a pastor who prayed in rhymes and one church that practiced casting out demons. Unfortunately, none of these churches ever explained how I could life and move in the ways of the Spirit.

For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit, Romans 8:5.

All I have is the teaching of the apostle Paul to help me comprehend this concept. First, Paul stresses the importance of your mind, focusing on eternal treasures; not temporary pleasures. Second, once you develop the proper mindset, Paul uses the expression “governed by the Spirit.” Just as Joshua urged Israel to meditate on God’s Word day and night, a biblical mindset is crucial to keeping in step with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25. However, until you crucify your own sinful passions, you won’t be able to live and more like Jesus during his 3 year ministry on earth.

by Jay Mankus

A Thought That Moved Jesus

The gospel according Luke was written by a first century doctor.  In the book of Acts, also penned by Luke, he becomes a close friend to the apostle Paul.  This relationship gives Luke more credibility as if a physician really needed anymore.  Nonetheless, Luke is the only author who refers to an unnamed group of 72 disciples.  Either Luke was one of these selected servants or he observed their ministry, feeling compelled to detail the role these men played in relation to Jesus’ earthly ministry.  Like the 12 disciples, Jesus divided each into teams of two, preparing cities, towns and villages for future visits by him.  This strategy was adopted by Billy Graham, working with local churches nearby upcoming crusades so that new converts would have a place to develop, grow and mature as Christians.

Nevertheless do not rejoice at this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven,” Luke 10:20.

After delegating special authority to these 72 disciples, Jesus shares one final thought in the passage above.  To a certain extent, Jesus was concerned that some of these men might begin to think quietly, “look what I did.”  This reminder is spoken to help these individuals see the big picture in life.  It’s not about casting out demons or healing the sick.  The most important thing is whether your names are written in the book of life.  As Jesus verbalizes this message, this thought moved him as the words below suggest that Jesus becomes emotional and exuberant.  Perhaps, Jesus  is reminded that one of this own disciples, Judas Iscariot, is not a member of this book.  When something like this hits home, souls discard the meaningless aspects in life and develop a spiritual hunger to wins souls for eternity.

In that very hour He was overjoyed and rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and He said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things [relating to salvation] from the wise and intelligent, and have revealed them to infants [the childlike and untaught]. Yes, Father, for this way was [Your gracious will and choice, and was] well-pleasing in Your sight, Luke 10:21.

According to Luke’s words, the Holy Spirit spoke through Jesus.  In the passage above, Jesus eludes to a child like faith, the importance of maintaining your innocence.  Young children rely on their parents for their basic needs in life.  However, when kids grow up, some pursue education and wisdom rather than God.  Just as liberal college professors can challenge and overturn the values you were raised with, the Holy Spirit is the only source you need to alter your course.  This invisible counselor enables faith driven souls to understand the real meaning and purpose for being born.  During this interaction with 72 disciples, the thought of eternity moved Jesus to open up about this spiritual matter.

by Jay Mankus

Consequences of Unbelief

In my days as a coach and teacher, unbelief is like an invisible cloud that stalls out and begins to affect and influence minds.  This negative vibe spreads through doubt, fear and a lack of confidence.  After the main contributor is eliminated or removed, those remaining have a hard time of being convinced that success and victory is attainable.

So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief, Hebrews 3:19.

According to the author of Hebrews, this is what Moses faced as a growing number of Israelites took their eyes off of God on the way to receive the Promised Land.  Thus, one of the consequences of unbelief is rebellion.  Apparently, several individuals wanted to return to Egypt, afraid they would die in the wilderness.  This wave of emotions prevented an older generation from being able to enter and experience God’s promised land.

“ ’If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes,” Mark 9:23.

Today, one of the greatest consequences of unbelief is unanswered prayers and health conditions that do not improve.  Even trained disciples succumb to the power of unbelief after an unsuccessful attempt of casting out an evil spirit.  For most people, each day is like a test, waiting to see if God improves their situation.  The longer one goes without any tangible signs of improvement, the greater unbelief becomes.  When you reach this point, hold on to the promise of Mark 9:23, so that belief will make that which was once impossible possible.

by Jay Mankus

Paranormal Survivors

Paranormal Survivor is now in its second season on Destination America.  This show interviews eyewitnesses to strange encounters, often bringing in experts in the field to explain supernatural events.  In recent years, reality television has shined light on topics that in previous years was considered taboo or too bizarre to consider.  However, one of the first documented cases of paranormal survivors comes right out of the Bible.

One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?”- Acts 19:15

Casting out demons in the middle of the first century became a common experience for apostles and disciples of Jesus.  This fascination led some outside the faith to begin to emulate the apostle Paul.  According to Luke, seven sons and a Jewish chief priest were in the middle of an exorcism when a demon manifested itself.  The individual who was possessed was filled with multiple spirits.  Since the sons of Sceva were powerless without a personal relationship with God or access to the Holy Spirit, they were attacked and fled.

Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding, Acts 19:16.

A generation ago, churches were afraid to bring up the topic of demons, dismissing it as an exaggeration or waste of time.  However, in this age of spirituality, people are opening doors for the Devil and demons to come into their lives.  Subsequently, manifestations of ghosts and spirits as detailed on the show Paranormal Survivor are not as uncommon as it use to be.  Therefore, depending upon where you move to, work or visit, don’t be surprised if you encounter the paranormal.  Until then, fast, pray and draw near to God.

by Jay Mankus

Challenging Demons

While channel surfing last weekend, I stumbled upon Destination America’s new show called the Demon Files.   This reality series features Ralph Sarchie, a former NYPD sergeant who has become a renown demonologist with his team who visit people experiencing paranormal activity.  In the episode I saw, Ralph was challenging the demon or spirit inside a haunted house.  Although I don’t know much about this realm, I do know you should be careful who or what you challenge.

And he said to them, “This kind of spirit cannot be driven out by anything but prayer,” Mark 9:29.

Several years ago I attended a Bible Study when a guest pastor visited for a couple of weeks.  Fascinated by his testimony, I began to ask this man questions about the spiritual realm, trying to collect insight into this arena.  To my surprise, he shared about an elder who attempted to challenge a demonic presence in New England.  Without enough prayer support or others to intervene, this man ended up in an insane asylum.  Following his release from the hospital, this elder left the church, struggling to grasp what happened to him.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour, 1 Peter 5:8.

Perhaps this may explain why most seminaries avoid spiritual warfare, focusing mainly on theology.  Beside demons confronted and cast out by Jesus, there isn’t much information in the Bible about challenging demons.  The apostle Paul emphasizes the armor of God, fighting evil with spiritual weapons as well as making sure you don’t give the devil a foothold.  Nonetheless, Paul’s best advice is to test everything, avoid evil and cling to the truth.  When you encounter powers of darkness in the future, make sure you surround yourself with prayer and others believers before you confront or challenge demons.

by Jay Mankus

 

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