Wednesday, October 31th 2013
If you haven’t yet heard about this, you will. Things really are getting a lot like the days of Noah. (Gen 6:5 –The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. NIV) From the “what will they think of next?” category comes a new form of “relaxation” therapy – snakes crawling all over your flesh. Right now it’s only available in the Far East, but unscrupulous entrepreneurs are undoubtedly looking for a way to bring it to America. The idea is that the movement of the snakes triggers adrenalin from the fear and that positively affects the customer’s metabolism. In reality, the one animal God cursed to crawl on the ground some now want slithering over their bodies. (Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. Gen. 3:14) Spare me the exegesis, I take this literally.
Today, Halloween, people are looking for imaginative ways to stoke the fear factor. TV networks are featuring non-stop fright flicks. Theatrical haunted houses are trying to scare the living daylights out of paying customers with ever more gruesome and realistic horror. But trying to up the hormone rush of fear for any reason isn’t smart. God gave us our fright-and-flight response for self-preservation, not manipulation. Demons do that, and one of the most powerful evil spirits is that of Fear. I’ve often said, “If you have the spirit of fear [exposed in 2 Timothy 1:7] you don’t need any other demons.” Fear is a gatekeeper letting other demons in. this Halloween, focus on “power, love, and a sound mind,” not terror. And stay away from haunted houses, real or fake, and snake therapy. You don’t need a dose of fear to feel good. You need faith in Christ to be free from slithering spirits.
An encouraging word: WELCOME CHRISTMAS
Today climaxes the season of all things scary. Tomorrow the skeletons come down and the tinsel goes up. Hooray. Good riddance to Halloween and welcome the Christmas season. Not everything about Christmas is good, the commercialism etc., but it’s a great change from the darkness of October 31. The way the two seasons contrast says a lot about what they represent – horror v. hallelujahs. So get in the spirit of Christmas and tell those trick-or-treaters that the babe in the manger is born and He came to destroy the works of the devil’s day (1 John 3:8).
Bob Larson has trained healing and deliverance teams all over the world to set the captives free and Do What Jesus DidÂ® (Luke 4:18). You can partner with Bob and support this vision to demonstrate God’s power in action by calling 303-980-1511 or clicking here to donate online.
Luke 10:19 “I have given you authority to . . . overcome
all theÂ power of the enemy . . .” NIV
I don’t play cards. Never have. Apologies to those of you who do. It’s just too boring. But I do understand the word “trump.” It means that any card you are holding of a particular suit, at that moment, outranks the other suits, and the card you hold is able to excel any card of another suit. At that time, it’s superior, it outdoes all the rest. (The Donald must love this definition if he happens to be reading!)
By biblical definition, according to Luke chapter 10, the authority given to us by Christ, trumps, excels the power of Satan. As I’ve pointed out before, authority is the right to declare an edict, or in this case to enforce a spiritual principle. As I said in my blog Authority over Demons (11/27/12), “The cop on the beat cannot arrest or detain without proper authority, the right to adjudicate justice on behalf of the state.”
Luke 10:19 tells us that we have authority over power. At the Cross, Satan was stripped of all his legal authority and now has only power. The power to tempt, suggest, and cajole. The only power he claims is the territory of our soul that we cede to him by sin and rebellion. The devil has no power except that which we give him through the actions of our will. All authority has been stripped from Satan by Christ, but he can claim certain rights (power) if we are vulnerable because of our conduct.
Through Christ, our spiritual authority trumps ALL Satan’s power, if we recognize and exercise such authority. In my book DEMON PROOFING PRAYERS (CLICK HERE TO ORDER), I put it this way in the Introduction:
Each of us needs to take hold of our whole calling as sons and daughters of God. Jesus calls us His own and He has given us His authority, commanding us to do the works that He Himself did and still does (see John 14:10-12 and Luke 4:18). What does that mean for us? Well, what did Jesus do? Jesus came to earth as a man in order to defeat the devil (who was holding the world in captivity) and to obliterate his works. The apostle John wrote: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8, nkjv). With His Spirit dwelling in our spirits, we carry on His devil-defeating work today. The same devil who was known as Lucifer when he asserted himself against God and was thrown down from heaven (see Revelation 12:7-12) is the evil one we are fighting today. Although he was defeated definitively by Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection, he still “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8, nasb). In other words, the battle has been won already, but it has not yet been entirely enforced. Who are the enforcers? You and I are called to impose the victory of Christ on the devil and his demons.
Satan has been “trumped” by the Lord, and our authority through Christ trumps anything the devil’s power tries to do to us. Determine today to take this positional truth and make it a conditional reality in your life.
It seems just like yesterday that I was writing a blog about the Aurora, Colorado shooting incident (“The Dark Knight Rises” 07/21/12).Â Now, I find myself searching for words that put this latest tragedy into perspective. Â Much has already been eloquently said and written about the horror, bravery, and grief surrounding the killing of 20 innocent children in the Sandy Hook School, in Newtown Connecticut. I’ve grown weary of Christian leaders who talk about the good that can come out of this. That certainly is possible, and I pray it will happen. But it never should have happened. It didn’t have to happen. Â I want to say what no one has said, and define what puzzles the pundits. I can tell you what compelled Adam Lanza to commit this crime, and why no locks on school doors, no anti-gun legislation, no amountÂ of preparation could have stopped it.
I know nothing more of Lanza than what I discover in the press, same as you. But in my many years of ministry to those who sought me out thinking they had demons, I have confronted what goes on in the hearts of those like Lanza. I have looked into the eyes of such individuals and seen the cold, disconnected gaze of an evil entity capable of what happened at Sandy Hook. I’ve heard the people I pray with confess their violent thoughts, even specific plans of murder and mayhem. Most of all, I’ve seen the Holy Spirit heal their hurt so they can forgive. I’ve cast out the demons that were attached to the internal misery, so that a potential tragedy could be averted.
I may not know all the specifics of Adam Lanza’s mind, but I’ve seen the pattern hundreds of times. It looks like this. It happens this way. Start with a childhood of rejection from one or both biological parents, or the complette absence of one or both. Make sure the family breaks up so there is no safety zone of two-parent nurturing. Toss in emotional, physical or sexual abuse; add dissociated rage that is internalized because no one knows or no one listens; mix with elements of mental illness or PTSD from the accumulation of slights and insults; avoid any therapeutic intervention; make sure there is an absence of connections to fervent faith and spiritual nourishment; put in a pinch of occult fascination; include an interest in violent video games (especially first-person shooter games); isolate with Internet obsession to create a private, internal, unaccountable world; and finally, do nothing about understanding or breaking the generational curses that set up such a shooter.
You don’t need all of these elements to create an Adam Lanza, just enough to tip someone like him over the edge. Â Individuals like this aren’t “natural born killers.” They learn to hate, disconnect and enter a world of illusion and psychosis as an escape. Finally, the demons that exploit the embedded dysfunction make their evil thoughts one and the same with the person they possess. I’ve heard many excellent ideas the past few days on how to avoid another Newtown, or at least mitigate its carnage. But I’ve yet to hear anyone say, “The devil did this. Adam Lanza was an actor on a stage set by evil entities.Â Someone acquainted with spiritual warfare could have prevented it. And the evil spirits that drove Lanza could have been exorcised.”
Until today most of us had never heard of Newton, Connecticut. Now, it will forever be etched in our memory along with locations like Aurora and Columbine. At latest count, 26 people, 20 of them elementary school children, are dead. They were gunned down by a lone, cowardly killer who fired more than 100 rounds of ammunition in the Sandy Hook Elementary school. President Obama was moved to tears as he said, â€œWe have been through this too many times recently . . . These are our children and we will come together and take meaningful action.â€ Iâ€™m sure the words were sincere, but what is meaningful action? And who really needs to take it?
I first heard of the shooting today as I was on my way to my office, listening to the radio when a report broke in. Like anyone hearing this, I was shocked, but I was also immediately angry. When will we have enough of this to really do something about it? President Obama said of the families who lost loved ones, â€œWe are praying for them.â€ That sounds good, but what does it really mean? How can we as a nation sell billions of dollarsâ€™ worth of first-person shooter games and still be shocked by what we saw today? How can we declare a womanâ€™s right to take the innocent life of the baby in utero and still be horrified when a madman kills a child ex utero?
President Obama went on to say, â€œIn the words of Scripture, â€˜Heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.â€™â€ I give him credit for quoting the Bible, but the parents of those children arenâ€™t the only ones with a broken heart. That murdererâ€™s heart was broken. Why else would he shoot his own mother and brother and 20 innocent children? Iâ€™m not excusing his actions, but explaining why his demons were able to drive him to the point of such psychopathic behavior. The killer was certainly mentally deranged, but even mentally ill people donâ€™t deliberately commit mass murder. Demonized people do that. If whoever knew this man had reached out to heal his broken heart, and cast out his demons, 20 children would still be alive. Mr. President, we do need to take â€œmeaningful actionâ€ and find out what priest, what pastor, what friend, what Christian acquaintance of the killer should have seen this coming and done something to heal his broken heart, before he broke the hearts of so many others.
We had barely caught our breath over the Portland, Oregon mall shooting tragedy, when we awoke yesterday to even more bizarre news. A father in Ft. Worth, Texas had carved a satanic pentagram on the bloody back of his six-year-old son! Then, the demented dad calmly called 911 to say, “I shed some innocent blood.” In clarification Brent Troy Bartel told the dispatcher, “I inscribed a pentagram on my son.” Why? “It’s a holy day,” Bartel explained.
When officers arrived at the scene of the crime, the abused child was shirtless with blood everywhere. Why the father thought that 12/12/12, the last sequential day of the century, was auspicious timing we don’t yet know. It’s not a declared time of devotion for any overt satanic cults. It all my years of research I’ve never encountered this on any published occult calendar. Numerologists and astrologers considered the day fortuitous, but certainly not worthy of a bloody sacrifice to Satan. So what’s going on?
Bartel probably didn’t belong to any kind of official satanic cult, but may have been influenced by the ideas of some strange fringe group. The fact he was so calm and emotionally flat about the horror of his actions indicates either dissociative, demonic, or psychotic behavior, or perhaps some combination of these three. When the 911 dispatcher asked why he’d done it, he referred to the woman by saying, “Yes Mam,” an odd sense of politeness for such a criminal mind. Perhaps that alone telegraphs sufficient detachment to suggest he couldn’t have possibly understood the moral conundrum of his actions.
This much is certain. Portland and Ft. Worth are yet another wake up call to the reality of present-day demonic activity. Jacob Tyler Roberts was described by those who knew him as a really nice guy, not the sort of fellow who would indiscriminately murder in the Clackamas mall. Likewise, Brent Troy Bartel wasn’t thought to be a servant of Satan capable of torturing his own offspring. Such inconsistencies between perception and reality can only be explained by admitting that the devil is actively at work in our world. Such tragedies won’t stop until Christians admit that demons are real and demonic-possession is on the rise.
They’ve taken nativities from the public square.You can’t sing “Come All Ye Faithfull” in school.Â The governor of Rhode Island won’t put up a Christmas tree, and insists it’s a “holiday tree.” What’s next? I couldn’t have imagined, but I found out last week in New York City. I was there for a week of personal spiritual Encounter sessions with people needing inner healing and deliverance.Â Â One day, I went for something to eat at Grand Central Terminal, not far from my hotel. As I walked by a series of kiosks selling various wares, my eye caught a small Christmas tree with ornaments. Not just any ornaments: delicately glass-blown, highly artistic, witches riding broomsticks. In shock I looked closer and next to the tree was a plaque explaining a legend that even I hadn’t heard about.
In the words describing this Italian legend (How many Italians knew this?), each Christmas a witch, descended from the Roman goddess Strina, flies through the night on a broomstick with a bag full of toys. (Move over, Santa.) She cooks a holiday meal and sweeps the floor with her broom before flying away. It’s all done in the name of bringing Christmas gifts and good housekeeping, hence theÂ Befana’s nickname, “The Kitchen Witch.” The nice get good gifts from the witch, the naughty get a lump of coal.
According to Wikipedia, “Another Christian legend takes a slightly darker tone as La Befana was an ordinary woman with a child whom she greatly loved. However, her child died, and her resulting grief maddened her. Upon hearing news of Jesus being born, she set out to see him, delusional that he was her son. She eventually met Jesus and presented him with gifts to make him happy. The infant Jesus was delighted, and he gave La Befana a gift in return; she would be the mother of every child in Italy.”
And some of us were worried that Santa and the elves were taking Christ out of Christmas? Leave it to a Big Apple entrepreneur to not let a sleeping legend die and further besmirch our remembrance of the Babe in the manger. I pray this enterprising businessman with the Christmas Witch sales booth fails miserably and few New Yorkers can find his wares. We have enough problem keeping alive the biblical traditions alive this time of year without having to contend with witches at Christmas.
At the onset let’s be clear. I am not a clinician trained in treating children with bipolar disorder, but I am a keen observer of human behavior. More important, I have a substantial number of children brought to me by concerned parents who think that their child’s condition might be demonic. Often it isn’t. Sometimes it is. More often it is both clinical and demonic.
First let’s understand the seriousness of children with mental disorders in general. The National Alliance on Mental Illness says that 10% of children have some mental or emotional disorder, and I believe the number is much higher. By the age of 24, 75% of lifetime cases of mental illness will be present. I think that number is also under-reported. In the case of bipolar disorder, one of five children will commit suicide. The mental health community is concerned about how to control and fix the problem, and that’s admirable. What I find in my interaction with such affected individuals is the appalling lack of therapeutic intervention by clinicians. I commonly encounter mentally disturbed people, including minors, whose mental problems are clearly the result of childhood trauma. Most of them say that the psychiatrist who treats them has never probed their past to understand what has affected them. The physicians only dispense drugs on a regular basis without any attempt to resolve what caused the mental strain.
My conclusion, based on hundreds of cases involving inner healing and exorcism, is that the majority of mentally challenged children, especially those suffering from bipolar disorder, have suffered emotional, physical, and sexual abuse — especially the latter. They have been so tormented and traumatized that their minds have literally broken. The result is some form of delusion or psychosis, as well as erratic and violent behavior, because the “point of the pain” has never been healed. I am not saying that inner healing and exorcism is the final and only answer. But spiritual intervention is crucial, even when medication and psychiatric monitoring is necessary.
If you have a child troubled by racing thoughts, abrupt mood changes, severe sleep disturbances, episodes of explosive aggression, gory delusions, or precocious sexual conduct, a mental disorder such a bipolar condition may be present. See a doctor immediately, and also consider scheduling time with me or one of our DWJDÂ® team members for a family spiritual evaluation. On the road to your child’s recovery, don’t discount what the devil may have done.
I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Luke 10:18
This simple statement of Christ speaks volumes about the victory over Satan that is possible every day. The disciples of Jesus had just returned from a demon-casting mission. Several times Christ had sent out his followers with the specific command to perform exorcism. Just earlier in Luke 9:1, we read “He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons.” They did what the Lord told them to do, and in this chapter they return rejoicing, telling their Master that “even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” Think of what these mere men are saying. As human creatures they had invoked the name of Jesus and evil, supernatural beings obeyed them. Such a thing had never been known.
Instead of immediately congratulating them, Christ responded with an historical account of the devil’s defeat in eternity past: “I saw Satan.” Christ was there when this cosmic event, described in Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14, took place. When Lucifer was cast from heaven, Christ was present. In fact, we may conclude that it was the Lord himself who executed the judgment, something only the Godhead could have done. In another sense, it may also mean that when the disciples were on their mission, Jesus saw in the Spirit what was happening. Though incarnated, and thus restricted in the flesh by time and space, He spiritually saw their exorcisms and witnessed how the Father used them to set free those who were demon possessed.
Jesus goes on to say that the devil’s ejection from heaven was “like lightening.” We’ve all seen lightning bolts pierce the sky during a thunderstorm. They are glaringly bright, unexpected, startling, and sudden. We see the light and hear the thunder, but the bolt itself lasts a mere microsecond. It is instant, so fast that we can’t comprehend its suddenness; we can only contemplate the aftershock. That is how fast Satan was cast from heaven. There was no deliberation, no contemplation. The moment Satan said, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God” (Isaiah 14:13), like a lightning flash he was judged, defeated, and removed from the presence of God. Perhaps Christ was also saying to his disciples that when they cast out demons, the exorcisms achieved freedom for the oppressed “like lightning.” That’s how quickly evil is evicted when those who are bound reach out to Jesus by faith. Every time I perform an exorcism I rejoice that “like lightning” a soul is set free. There is no reason for anyone to remain tormented by an evil spirit when Christ has given us power and authority to execute His judgment on the powers of darkness, effectively, forcefully, and quickly, “like lightning.”