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Tag Archives: demonic oppression

A Reason to Reconsider

Imitation is a response by an observer or observers who replicate another’s behavior. This can be viewed as a form a flattery when the originator sees others coping a dance move, expression or unique style. One of the nicknames Jesus received during the first century was the Great Magician. Jealous of Jesus’ great healing powers, religious leaders began to refer to Jesus as an illusionist, performing miracles in the name of Satan, Matthew 12:24. Despite these claims, Jesus’ ministry inspired others to become faith healers without having a personal relationship with God.

Then some of the traveling Jewish exorcists also attempted to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I implore you and solemnly command you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches!” – Acts 19:13

During a trip to Ephesus, Luke details a family of brothers who became Jewish exorcists. This isn’t a scene out of the Exorcism of Emily Rose, a 2005 film. Rather, the sons of Sceva traveled to homes filled with desperate individuals hoping to be set free from demonic oppression and possession. Apparently, this was a viable occupation, making enough money and successful enough to rid souls from imps. Yet, when this crew confronted a legion of demons, all 7 got their butts kicked, barely escaping, fleeing in fear.

This became known to all who lived in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified and exalted. 18 Many of those who had become believers were coming, confessing and disclosing their [former sinful] practices. 19 And many of those who had practiced magical arts collected their books and [throwing book after book on the pile] began burning them in front of everyone. They calculated their value and found it to be 50,000 pieces of silver, Acts 19:17-19.

Like the top grossing horror films of all time, fear gripped everyone who interviewed these brothers or witnessed this assault. According to Luke, the thought of imitating the Christian faith stopped, resulting in a spiritual awakening that spread to practicing witches. Contrite hearts began to purge their lives from anything that attempted to imitate God’s power. Subsequently, magical books worth 50,000 pieces of silver were burned. The fear of God from what happened to the 7 sons of Sceva served as a reason to reconsider previous practices by embracing Jesus as Lord and Savior.

by Jay Mankus

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Recognizing Distractions Early Before It’s Too Late

There is a strange phenomena that occurs when individuals are about to draw close to God.  The apostle Paul points to the spiritual realm to explain distractions, interruptions and unexplained events, Ephesians 6:12.  According to Paul, the devil’s strategy includes three waves.  The first enables certain rulers to rise to power such as judges, kings and political leaders.  This wave is reinforced by worldly forces, areas, regions and territories under demonic oppression where evil is allowed to reign.  Finally, there are spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly realm fueled by demons, minions and strongmen to execute Satan’s schemes on earth.

It happened that as we were on our way to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination [that is, a demonic spirit claiming to foretell the future and discover hidden knowledge], and she brought her owners a good profit by fortune-telling. 17 She followed after Paul and us and kept screaming and shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God! They are proclaiming to you the way of salvation!” – Acts 16:16-17

Using this criteria, Luke details an example from Paul’s ministry while visiting Philippi.  While on his way to participate in a prayer and worship service, a slave girl was sent to distract Paul.  Apparently, a demonic spirit recognized that Paul’s missionary team were servants of the most high God.  Just as spirits hounded Jesus, this revealed truth caused a slave girl to interrupt Paul’s message of salvation to Europe for several days, regularly screaming and shouting as Paul tried to preach.  According to Luke, this gradually wore Paul down, annoyed by this constant distraction.  When Paul rebuked this spirit, the owners of this slave girl complained to the chief magistrates, convincing law enforcement to imprison Paul and Silas.

She continued doing this for several days. Then Paul, being greatly annoyed and worn out, turned and said to the spirit [inside her], “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ [as His representative] to come out of her!” And it came out at that very moment, Acts 16:18.

While in prison, Paul and Silas could have been distracted by anger, bitterness and injustice.  Yet, prayers of the saints strengthened these men, turning this setback into a golden opportunity.  How you may ask?  Well, Paul and Silas transformed their prison cell into a worship service.  As Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns, a great earthquake rocked Philippi.  When this quake opened the doors to each cell, some would have taken this as a sign from God to escape.  However, Paul demonstrated amazing leadership, convincing all the prisoners to stay put; saving the life of the jailor who was about to kill himself, the fate he would have faced if any prisoner escaped.  These are the blessings that await those who recognize spiritual distractions early before it’s too late..

by Jay Mankus

Silenced by Satan

As someone born with a severe speech impediment, I often wonder why God allows suffering on earth.  From a logical perspective, I understand that enduring trials makes individuals stronger over time.  Yet, I feel as if I spent the first portion of my life silenced by Satan.

Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw, Matthew 12:22.

Based upon the verse above, I wasn’t alone as demons and evil spirits have the power to cause someone to be mute.  Although I am not a doctor, I’ve heard plenty tell me “we really don’t know what’s causing this or that.”  Thus, there are medical conditions that can only be cured through spiritual activity.

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

While Hollywood films usually portrays demons that take the form within demonic possession, this isn’t the whole story.  Demonic oppression is the most common form, likely occurring within the lives of countless individuals daily.  Without a hedge of protection from prayer, anyone is vulnerable to this attack.  Whether it’s the inability to say what’s on your heart or distracted by powers of darkness, this threat is real.  Therefore, if you want to be set free from Satan’s clutches, seek out prayers warriors in your church so that the good news about Jesus Christ will be professed.

by Jay Mankus

Escaping the Demons of Your Past

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

Have you ever asked someone a question who in their response tried to answer like they were an expert but in the back of your mind you realized this individual doesn’t have a clue?  Well, Jesus’ disciples, particularly Simon Peter gave off this vibe.  However, one day during an unusual encounter, Peter met his match, unable to help a desperate soul escape the demons of his past.

“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”- Matthew 12:43-45

In the passage above, its hard to distinguish if Jesus is referring to an actual event or merely using a parable to prove a point.  Nonetheless, this image does apply to anyone who has ever battled some sort of addiction.  Numerous times people say they want to stop their bad habit, yet a mysterious force places each on the verge of temptation day after day.  Thus, whenever you break free of these grips and began to clean up your temple, the human body, demons won’t give up without a fight.  Therefore, its essential to have a game plan to counter demonic oppression.

Answer me quickly, LORD; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. – Psalm 143:7-8

While King David faced his own demons, three answers were revealed after the prayer above.  First, David realized the more time he spent reading the Bible, God’s unfailing love would replace the guilt down deep in his heart.  Second, David recognized he couldn’t achieve victory over the demons of his past without initially trusting in the Lord’s power.  Finally, listening to the Holy Spirit for direction and guidance could begin to turn his life around.  If this blog finds you losing to your past, may the words of the Bible lift you up, give you hope and help you escape the demons of your past.

by Jay Mankus

 

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