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My deliverance from Satan
Here is my testimony as I shared it with a dear Sister in the Lord!
Dear Sister in Christ, it gives me great pleasure to share with you what Christ hath done for me. I am sharing this first of all to glorify His matchless Name, and secondly to instill hope in great sinners who might think that they are beyond saving and that God surely cannot save them!
If God can save someone like me, then surely there is hope for the vilest sinner on earth!
My name is Mike and I am Forty three years old. I am married, and am blessed with two sons. I had a Roman Catholic upbringing. My father is a devout Roman Catholic and my mother is a Hindu who is into Transcendental Meditation and Yoga. I am their only child. I had a fascination for the Occult right from my eighth grade and used to spend a lot of time reading occult literature, and by the time I entered college I was a practicing Satanist.
Strangely, my neighborhood was surrounded by Graveyards; a Hindu, Muslim and a Christian Graveyard. And I spent much of my time amongst these graves, even spending nights there, just like the Gadarene demoniac who had his dwelling amongst the tombs. [Mark 5:3]
You may not believe this, but I used to go around exhorting people to quit trusting in Jesus and start worshipping the Devil, and as most Satanists are, I was heavily hooked on Heroin, Marijuana and Alcohol. I also played the Rhythm Guitar for Heavy Metal bands on a local level and spent most of my time listening to this kind of trash. My friend Vincent and I were so involved and engrossed in this that we took great pleasure in burning Bibles and blaspheming God at every given opportunity. We made it a point to dress in black and publicly confessed who it was we were worshipping. Sister, I was really BAD! In fact I got so bad that the Devil didn’t want to hang around with me no more! He thought I’d wreck his reputation!
I have had many real encounters with demons. But in 1986, I had a very horrific, bloodcurdling, eerie encounter with a Principality that changed everything. I cannot really go into the details. But you could say that just as David delivered his lamb literally from the very mouth of the lion, I was literally taken out of the Jaws of Satan. It has been twenty four years since I was delivered, but even now at times I have such horrific nightmares and visits by demons who try to scare me. The Devil does not take betrayal by his servants lightly. I praise God for my Godly wife, Anita, who knows the Lord Jesus and stands by me always.
So God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved me, even when I was dead in my trespasses and sins, quickened me together with Christ and gloriously delivered me from the powers of darkness even as a ‘firebrand snatched from the burning.’ I want you to know that every time I sing that song “Amazing Grace” I am singing my testimony. I straightaway entered full-time ministry because I very strongly felt His call in my heart and was convinced that this was the will of God for me. As a result of this there was great contention between me and my parents and I literally saw Matthew 10:34-38 come to pass before my very eyes!
[shortly after this my friend Vincent got completely demon possessed and was kept locked up in chains. He even tried to hang himself and immolate himself by fire a few times. When I last saw him he was still in the same condition. God could have justly let me perish with him, for I was in every way worse than him]
Just two months after I got saved, I got arrested by the local county cops for one of my past crimes. Generally my parents would have bailed me out in a day or two. But here I was locked up with no word from them even after four or five days in the ‘lock up’.
It kinda got me very discouraged. Here I was, having been saved from all that filth and witnessing for the Lord and now I wind up in Jail, without anyone to bail me out! Anyway I made good use of the opportunity and witnessed to my cellmates.
But you know what, Sister, after spending nine agonizing days in that cramped cell, on the tenth day I knew in my heart that I would be out before nightfall. And sure enough, my folks came and bailed me out. My Dad told me that though he had been trying to get me out from the second day I got arrested, it just did not work out.
When I came back home, I went into my bedroom and started questioning the Lord, “ Why, Why did you let me rot in there for Ten days, when you could have pulled me out earlier! Do you still love me”? etc Just as I was murmuring, I picked up my Bible that was beside me and Cut it open to hear a ‘Word from the Lord’. And guess what verse my eyes fell on?
Finish Article HERE
Source : Berean Research“Guard Yourselves in Steadfast Truth!”
“I saw myself as a far superior Christian! I belonged to a church that was restoring prophets and apostles, and was right on the cutting edge of what God was doing on the Earth.”
Jessie was fully steeped in the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) movement without realizing it.
Today she tells her story to expose for what it is: An anti-biblical counterfeit that sounds almost like biblical Christianity.
In this series, I want to take readers beyond the textbook What is the New Apostolic Reformation Movement explanation, into the personal experiences from those who have been there, and what happened when God opened their eyes to the truth.
This is Jessie’s story in her own words:
I had no idea that I was in the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation), or part of the Word of Faith movement. I didn’t even know those terms existed. I simply went to the church that I found most exciting, cutting edge and challenging. I had been saved out of the occult and so I was aware of the spirit world. When the Toronto blessing began I was right in there too.
However, over the past three years (and I have been saved for thirty) my eyes have been opened.
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:11
This is an important testimony especially from those who experience oppression after being involved in false teachings.
by Hope Wingo
My story involves the New Apostolic Reformation and GOD TV.
The following is an excerpt from Man: The Dwelling Place of God by A.W. Tozer:
How to Try the Spirits
THESE ARE THE TIMES that try men’s souls. The Spirit has spoken expressly that in the latter times some should depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. Those days are upon us and we cannot escape them; we must triumph in the midst of them, for such is the will of God concerning us.
Strange as it may seem, the danger today is greater for the fervent Christian than for the lukewarm and the self-satisfied. The seeker after God’s best things is eager to hear anyone who offers a way by which he can obtain them. He longs for some new experience, some elevated view of truth, some operation of the Spirit that will raise him above the dead level of religious mediocrity he sees all around him, and for this reason he is ready to give a sympathetic ear to the new and the wonderful in religion, particularly if it is presented by someone with an attractive personality and a reputation for superior godliness.
Now our Lord Jesus. that great Shepherd of the sheep, has not left His flock to the mercy of the wolves. He has given us the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit and natural powers of observation, and He expects us to avail ourselves of their help constantly. “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good,” said Paul (I Thess. 5:21) . “Beloved, believe not every spirit,” wrote John, “but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I John 4:1) . “Beware of false prophets,” our Lord warned, “which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15). Then He added the word by which they may be tested, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”
I discovered this classic book by A.W. Tozer shortly after my ordeal ended. With the encounter still so fresh in my mind, I comprehended Tozer’s words with full discernment and a new understanding.
In light of my story, you need to know that I did not have a computer until the end of 2011. As far as Christian programming, I was at the mercy of cable TV with TBN, Daystar, and a few other channels. Whenever I discerned a red flag in one of the programs, I’d just switch the channel to another pastor with another sermon. That was all just part of watching Christian TV. I didn’t know the term Word of Faith, much less the New Apostolic Reformation. I only knew that I loved the Lord and craved all of Him that I could get. What I did not realize was that I was the perfect candidate to fall into deception… I matched Tozer’s qualifications perfectly, in that I fervently craved more of God and would not settle for lukewarm Christianity! I wanted everything that I could get!
In 2008 I was introduced to GOD TV (a New Apostolic Reformation channel) and I quickly became addicted to it. The programming, the worship music, and the pastors were completely different from the others that I had become accustomed to. They were fascinating and spiritually enticing! Even the channel’s music leading up to their commercial breaks was intriguing… Quite frankly, I couldn’t get enough of it. Their worship music seduced the viewers into a deep spiritual experience with captivating repetitions. The pastors spoke of deep, prophetic things that they had heard from God. It wasn’t long before I had completely abandoned the other channels for GOD TV. I was totally blind to its influence.
The red flags were there from the start… I noticed that spiritual experiences seemed to dominate most of the sermons while repentance and the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus were not being mentioned at all. There were stories of angelic encounters, oil dripping from the speaker’s feet, feathers and gold dust falling on the worshipers, rain falling inside of the buildings, and supernatural gems being found all over the church. Due to my strong Christian upbringing, I knew that those things were not coming from God, but I was so intrigued with it all that I kept watching it. It was exciting compared to the money-grabbers and fake healers that were on the other Christian channels.
One night on my way home from work, I heard a sermon on the radio that spoke of *****. (I don’t remember what it was about.) However, when I got home and turned on the TV, the first thing out of the pastor’s mouth was, “if you just heard *****, you are a part of us!” Hey, how could I resist a confirmation like that? It made me feel so accepted!
Let me pause here to say that, by allowing this programming to continue, I gave satanic deception an open door. When I initially noticed the red flags, I should have rejected this false doctrine. However, I chose to ignore the warnings, so…
Another night after work, I turned on the TV to find a woman introducing a special training program that was available through her ministry. As she spoke, I watched the television disappear from around her, leaving only her face in the room. She continued to explain how we could order this program. I was not afraid of her. Having surrounded myself with deception for months, I thought, “Surely this must be from God”. I ordered the series. A few days later it arrived in the mail and I began to listen to the CDs. When I got to the middle of the series and realized what it was all about, I was literally shocked. It was demonic. It was angel worship. It was astral projection in the name of praying for others. Yep, we could go to them! We could also hover over other countries as we prayed for them. We could leave our bodies and enter into the “third heaven“. (The link is this actual teaching.) It was purely satanic.
Instead of throwing the garbage away, I decided to listen to the CDs again. Then I listened to them again; then over and over… I had become intrigued by them. A few weeks later, having gone through the lesson several times, I tried to do what they suggested, by inviting an angel to appear in the room, even though I knew that the Bible warned against it. I listened to the music that they had provided as I tried to experience “going to heaven” with them. I also imagined my spirit going into another person’s house to pray for them.
Shortly thereafter, I began to experience many vivid dreams and daytime flash-visions. I saw angels. I heard voices. Even though I knew better, I tried to convince myself that these were Godly manifestations that I had somehow missed in my earlier Christian walk.
On the physical side, flocks of vultures began to hover over my house. If I stood outside, they would circle over me and cast their shadow on me, one by one. One day, when returning from town, while I was still about 1/2 of a mile away from my house, I saw a flock of about 100 of these birds hovering directly over my house. Another time, I heard a crash outside of my back window as an entire flock crashed a tree limb in my back yard. I later learned that birds often represent demonic spirits.
One day, as I was about to enter my front door, I felt a swat on my back side as if a parent had just swatted a child. This frightened me terribly as I realized that I had just entered a realm that I didn’t want to be in. Demonic spirits had actually been allowed to touch me. At that point, I knew that it was only going to get worse, so that very day, I threw away all of the materials that I had received from that ministry. I also cleaned house and threw away most of my contemporary Christian music CDs.
At that point, I knew that the games I had been playing with God were over and that I was being forced to make a decision as to whom I was going to follow. In doing so, I desperately called on the Jesus that I had known as a child. Even so, it took months… and I mean months… to get back into a right relationship with the Lord. It still frightens me when I think about how I allowed this deception into my life. After all, I had been grounded in biblical truth since childhood.
Let me backtrack a little to add that when I threw the CD lessons in the trash, it sparked an attack of satanic rage that lasted for the next several months. I started seeing demonic faces in clouds, in trees, in bushes, in reflections, and in almost everything else…. all day long, day after day. These were harassing spirits. They were relentless and tormenting, and they robbed my mind of all peace. I learned to keep music on all the time to block out the mental noise, especially when I attempted to fall asleep. I was worn down to my wit’s end, both mentally and physically.
The torment eventually began to subside through the process of fully submitting myself to Jesus again. I could do nothing else but to throw myself into the verse, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) In my efforts to make that happen, I made a conscious decision to resist the devil by literally ignoring the harassment. During that time, I stopped looking up at the sky and simply would not acknowledge the images. I turned away whenever I noticed one of them. At the same time, I acknowledged that I had brought this upon myself by allowing the witchcraft to remain in my house. I read the Bible and filled my mind with the Word every chance I got. I prayed constantly. Then, finally… one day it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen them for a while. It had taken months, but they were gone… Completely gone!
Today, I’m aware of many forms of deception that I knew nothing about a few years ago. I recognize the Emergent, the NAR, the Seeker-Friendly, the Word of Faith, the Purpose Driven, and on and on. Jesus wasn’t kidding… We must “test the spirits”. Deception is everywhere these days! …and what did He tell us in Matthew 24 concerning our day? BE NOT DECEIVED!!!
I will also say that I cannot prove that all of the NAR teachers allow training to this extent in their churches. Even so, it speaks volumes that GOD TV airs both NAR and witchcraft, and I have yet to hear the pastors on that channel argue against it. Obviously, when signs, wonders, and experienced-based doctrines are preached in place of biblical doctrine, other forms of deception are tolerated as well.
I realize that I’ve opened myself to ridicule by telling my story, but I also know that we are living in the end-times, and that many other Christians have been tempted to fall for this same deception. Hopefully, my story will spare someone else from having to go through this same thing. You need to know that God WILL let you be intrigued to death… even to eternal death. It’s up to you to keep yourself from being deceived.
You’ll find the Truth in His Word… just where it has always been.
To repeat Tozer’s words, “…He expects us to avail ourselves”. (See 1 John 5:18 below.)
Matthew 7:15 – Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Matthew 24:24 – For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
1 John 4:1 – Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Timothy 3:13 – But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
1 John 5:18 – .We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.
Escaping the Fire
I’m Kati and I have a LONG story, but I will try to shorten it as best as I can. About 10 years ago my husband and I started attending church when we were stationed in WA state. Shortly after we got orders to San Diego, CA. Through a VBS program we started attending a local AG church. It was here where we were first exposed to Bethel Redding and the teachings of Bill Johnson. Our oldest daughter was 12 years old at the time and went with the youth group to a Jesus Culture conference in Redding. The church had MANY guest speakers and even established their own school of supernatural ministry. One guest in particular named Rob Deluca really sticks out to me because my husband pointed out that he almost NEVER quoted scripture….all he spoke of was his prophetic dreams and visions, and of course THE FIRE.
When we were able to get into military housing we started attending another AG church that was closer to us. Looking back on the surface they seemed to fall into the “emergent” category, but many of the same types of teaching were at the core. They would host special Holy Spirit seminars for people to seek the second baptism, etc. In addition there were a few small groups where the main focus was learning to tune to just the right frequency to hear from God.
From San Diego we went to Virginia. In the beginning we chose to attend the mega Baptist church that everyone recommended. Definitely a little on the emergent side now that I look back, but the teaching was solid and sound. Of course after experiencing all that I had before I thought something was wrong because to my polluted mind it appeared as if the Holy Spirit wasn’t moving. From there we left to attend a Church of God. The people at this church became like our family, but definitely a little suspect now that I look back. Lots of emotional music sang from the Brownsville Revival, some twisting of scripture and prayer meetings where the “gifts” would be used, etc. I decided to do a Daniel Fast one January and basically focused ALL of my attention when my kids were in school on “hearing” from God. I would watch nothing except for Sid Roth and then would look up information about his guests and then start to follow their teachings. I created playlists on my Spotify account with musical guests that he had on his show and would listen exclusively to that music as well.
We moved back to WA state last summer and made it a priority to find a church where they “operated in the gifts”. We started attending a small church because our daughter who by this time was 18 really connected with some of the youth. It was here that we were given a copy of The Holy Ghost movie. I had seen Father of Lights before but was especially intrigued by this movie. Even more so when I heard a testimony of a lady speaking of the weekly trips that she and another church member would make to a local nursing home to basically practice many of the same types of practices that Todd White demonstrates in the film. I was thinking that all of this was SO wonderful and I couldn’t wait to sign up and volunteer also. Thankfully it never worked out!
In January I did another Daniel Fast and saw on FB that a House of Prayer group similar to IHOP was forming locally. I was SO excited and committed to attend the launch which spanned over three days. The guest speakers were the ones who formed the Salem House of Prayer in Oregon and there was also a man affiliated with Latter Glory in Moses Lake. They made a big show of having each one of us come up front to receive a special “anointing” where they would lay hands on us and loudly pray and prophesy over us.
It was here that I met a lady who invited me to attend a special women’s gathering that was in a secluded Christian retreat center deep in the Olympic Forrest. I told my best friend about it and she agreed to fly out to attend with me. There was a woman leading who I’m sure now that they believe has “apostolic” authority. We all ate dinner together and then gathered together in a dark room with emotional workshop music being played before the leader started praying and prophesying over each woman in the room. There was lots of falling down, crying, laughing, flagging, and shofar blowing. The next day was the same only with an emphasis on the praying for our country. The leader had us stand all together holding the American flag signing, shouting, and shaking it declaring and decreeing all sorts of things. On the last day that we were there we were gathered together once more to say a quick prayer that turned into three hours of more pandemonium, of course I didn’t think this at the time! Many of these ladies I have learned take trips to remote areas in our state to blow shofars in order to cast out territorial demons. They clearly subscribe to Dominion Theology.
I started watching the FALSE Fire and Glory Outpouring that is currently happening in San Diego and watched a pastor get prayed over who is a leader at the Seattle Revival Center…..so then I felt God was telling me to go there. I loaded my daughter up in the car and booked a hotel so that I didn’t have to drive home. Crazy, emotional music with eerie shouts and laughter followed by Charlie Shamp bringing everyone up to the front to pray and prophesy. There was one point where he told us that God was giving out gold teeth and asked us all to take out our cell phones and check 7 mouths. There was one lady who supposedly got a gold tooth. She was ushered to the front and fawned over, but I remember thinking that is seemed funny that she just casually sat back down in her seat to check Facebook. Wouldn’t you have been on your face if that was the case? Those were the questions that started to rattle around in my head….but nevertheless, I believed that I was more “anointed” because I had been in the “glory.” Joshua Mill’s grandmother was also there that night and they did a reverse fire tunnel which allowed her to lay hands on everyone. I felt a magnetic force when she came by me and laid hands on me and fell down and was unable to move. The same thing happened to my daughter who then thought it was funny to start following her around in hopes of getting “touched” again.
My husband had to work in San Diego so we traveled together with him and were excited to go to the Fire and Glory Outpouring and experience the source of this “#westcoastrumble”. MORE of the same craziness that when I look back was simply demonic. One night while attending I had a headache and pulled out a roller with some essential oil to roll on my head. Within a minute the speaker, who was Miranda Nelson stopped and asked us if we smelled that “heavenly fragrance.” The whole crowd of course then got whipped up into a frenzy. My daughter wanted to raise her hand and say something, but I smacked her in the leg to get her to stop. I look back and know that between that and the lady with the gold tooth, God was trying to give me some clues, but I wasn’t ready to listen.
After returning home, I wasn’t able to attend church one Sunday and our daughter came home three hours past when she was supposed to arrive with mascara running down her face from her tears. She was telling me how “wonderful” church was because there was preaching all about stepping into the river…and of course, they did an alter call and craziness broke out. There was one lady close to my mom’s age who would always laugh hysterically. One day during church she simply placed her hand on my daughter’s leg causing my daughter to loose complete control of herself laughing in a way we had never heard before. It was then that she began to fail her college classes and and backslid majorly.
I used to sit for hours in my room practicing “automatic writing” and would beat myself up if I didn’t receive a “word” from the Lord. All the time I realize now that he was saying, “READ YOUR BIBLE.” I started praying that God would show me if I was on the wrong path. To expose anything that was not of him….and one night while watching the Jeff Jansen ranting and raving in a lifestream broadcast of the Fire and Glory Outpouring, I started to see things differently. I actually found myself wondering if these people were on drugs! I went to bed and woke up the next morning ashamed of myself for being a “doubting Thomas” but the same thing happened again, and again. I started digging and researching and my eyes began to open wide as the truth became revealed to me. I think I now am up to 356 videos saved to a playlist on my youtube account and have grown a desire to understand scripture in it’s proper context.
Our daughter is doing much better and recently moved out. We are really struggling to find a solid church home here. I was helping recently with a VBS at a local church and sat down with one of their pastors. He asked me what I was looking for in a church and I told him that God has really been doing a work in me and that I have grown to really love expository preaching of the word, how I am no longer interested in what people “think” it means or seeking out allegorical meanings. I told him at this time my husband and I desire line by line, verse by verse teaching. This pastor then reached over, grabbed his bible and flopped it around told me, “If THIS is all you have, then you only have the tip of the iceberg. THIS is ONLY what is written down.” How scary is that? God loved us enough to give us an objective source and it’s our responsibility to be good Bereans and check EVERYTHING out for ourselves. I believe that people, although desperate for the Lord, have become lazy and as a result fall victim to these heretical teachings.
I know that I could have added much more to this and given many more details. Maybe someday I will! Even just sitting here and writing this all out is very helpful to me. The people caught up in the movement are delusional, and I was right there among them. What this has taught me is that God IS a good father and shepherd and he WILL come after and rescue his sheep that have strayed from the path of righteousness….but we have to allow him to by turning from these wicked ways and turning back to the truth that is found in his written word. I’m not sure why God allowed me to experience the things that I did, but I know that what the enemy intended to harm me has certainly been turned around for good! My heart grieves for not only those who are lost, but those who attend church week after week and sit under these false teachings. I question whether many of them have even heard the true gospel or whether many of them are even saved. I’ve been praying about what I am supposed to do with all of this, but I am trusting God in the process. Thank you for reading, and God bless!!!
Thanks to Kati for permission to share her story. It also can be found on another great blog that I recommend.
My Journey From Darkness Into Light:
“Revival” Memories Of A River And Deliverance Survivor
by an anonymous Christian and Alan Morrison
Originally posted on the Diakrisis.org website by Alan Morrison
Written in 2002, the story goes on today.
I want to share with you a most harrowing but true story of one woman’s experience in a well-known church in the U.K. (when she was a worship leader there) which was hit by the “Toronto Blessing” in 1994 and also her treatment by a high-profile so-called “deliverance ministry”. In case you think that this is all ‘old hat’ and rather out-of-date, I hasten to add that what commenced at that time is still going on unabated to this day and is still deluding and damaging a great many people. It is by no means an isolated set of circumstances that we will read about in this story but is all too common in my ten years of experience of counselling a multitude of folks who have escaped — or are in the process of escaping — from the most appalling church situations imaginable.
The dark spiritual activity which began at that time — and which hugely accelerated the degradation of churches and of the witness of the true gospel — has not in the least abated but instead has consolidated itself into a position of respectability and strength in the wider evangelical scene.
However, I don’t just want this to be yet another “horror witness” concerning the madness which takes place today in the name of Christ. I also want it to be an opportunity for us to grapple with the issues so that we are clear where we stand and can stand on that solid ground when confronted with those who would oppose. Therefore, at the conclusion of the lady’s story below, I shall return to expand some teaching and encourage further thoughts on the issues involved. It has been a long hard road for this lady to extract herself from the clutches of these fiendish deceptions. In fact, she has paid a high price with her health and is now permanently disabled. She has given her permission and encouragement for me to send this out, and to make some apposite comments. So read on, and I shall return at the conclusion of her story…
Descent Into Darkness
Originally, I was in the New Age but it was mixed up with the church we were in, my family and inherited “gifts”. No one told me they were wrong. My Dad was brought up in a spiritualist church and was introduced to many dark things by his mother, who was a spiritualist medium. He got “saved” just before I was born at a Billy Graham crusade in London. However, he still continued with his spiritualist activities, like being on the prayer list of a famous Medium, whose name was Harry Edwards, if I remember correctly.
My Father loved dark scary stories and was always getting the vibes from buildings. I learnt how to seek out cold buildings and try to find out the history of the place by laying my hands on them. My sister and I followed in our Dad’s footsteps. When we got into ESP (extra-sensory perception), I was able to make things happen like getting people to trip over. I could even predict events — always bad ones! My sister and I perfected it. We practiced for hours. We would send messages to each other from the other side of the world and write them down and compare them when we got back. I could astrally project. I could practise levitation. My sister and I practised these to a fine art. I became a very frightened person, always looking over my shoulder feeling I was being watched. As I closed my eyes at night, I always saw death, rotting corpses and other horrible things.
I gave my life to the Lord in our local Baptist church but still continued with all that. It was the time period of Uri Geller, when many things like this were popular on the TV. At the Youth Club after church we would talk about these things and do the Ouija Board in church. At school we would do levitation and put the desks together. We used to lay someone down on the desks. We all fought for this position. Then we would chant sickness over them. Each one more horrific than the last until we pronounced they were dead. Then we would levitate. One day it was my turn as usual and as they said I was dead, I had the most horrible experience. I was suddenly at the gates of hell and fire was all around. It was the most terrible thing I had ever experienced. I jumped off the table and vowed never to do it again.
A few years later, I was working at a Christian publishers in ******* . In the lunch hour I would go to the packing room and look through the discarded books which had their covers on upside down or pages missing. Many were from America. They were all about the Baptism in the Holy spirit, healing and deliverance. I read them avidly. I loved to read. Also there were tapes on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. One night I was in my bedroom and was desperate to have what these books said I could have. I wanted to know how to pray better because I found it so hard and my Christian life was dead. Suddenly, I was taken over. I was scared as I couldn’t remember my name or even speak English. I felt my mouth bubbly and my tongue tingly. I was in another world. This went on for hours.
The next day I went to work and went to see the Director of the firm who was a Pentecostal. He called me in and I told him what had happened the night before. He was so thrilled and said I’d been Baptized in the Holy Ghost. This “language” wouldn’t go away. It just kept on bubbling out. I had to keep going into the ladies toilets and put my hand in front of my mouth. This went on for months. I tried to use this conjunction with the other gifts in the Holy Spirit but when I tried to pray my head spun round fast inside and I felt like I was on a merry go round. I was confused. Meanwhile, my sister had started at University and the same thing happened to her too. Later, it happened to my Mother and Father. I repented of my Occult past and did not do any of these things again. I eventually realized that these things were Evil and not natural gifts which man had forgotten how to use.
“Power” became very important in our Christian churches — a must-have for charismatics. Everyone was reading John Wimber’s book on “Power Evangelism”. We then heard about the church starting in ******* and were amazed to see these things start happening there.
One strange thing happened to me on a leaders training day in ******* . We were all on the floor getting out our fishing rods to haul in the lost. The music was getting louder and people were exhibiting bizarre manifestations. Suddenly I was pinned to the floor. I couldn’t get up and I was being transported through the clouds at breakneck speed. I knew this was astral projection, as I used to do in my occult days. So I cried out to the Lord to save me and I came back from the astral projection and I could get off the floor. I told some others about this and they said it was great that the Lord was taking me through the Universe and I should just go with it.
As the years went on we were told from the front of the church that these things were normal. People were thrown off chairs. We were told to take our heads off and not think any longer but to “drink in the Spirit” and to “jump into the river”. So we did. Chaos had come into our church. Our real introduction to “it” came when we got drunk — not on alcohol but on the manifestations which we experienced.
Because we had small children we took turns to go to the leaders’ training meetings. That night it was very hot and all the windows were open in this ground floor room. I walked in and wondered what on earth had happened. I had not experienced it until this evening.
I saw the guest speaker sitting on a metal stool, blind drunk — a “drunkenness in the spirit”. His face was puffed out, really large. He was waving his arms at a man outside on the street shouting at him with unintelligible words. When he pointed his hand at people in the room, they did somersaults backwards and ended up on the floor unable to move, drunk with this “spirit”. Others slithered across the floor. I thought to myself “The answer is to not look at this man”, because as soon as his eyes met yours you were gone. It wasn’t just pointing – it was eye contact. So I decided not to look at him.
Others were convulsing all around me. Some were shooting each other with bows and arrows. There were no chairs so I had to sit on the floor. People were rolling fast across the floor. I ended on my back when our future Pastor rolled over my neck with his body. I cried out to the Lord as I thought I was going to break my neck. I didn’t, but it hurt. One lady was beating her chest like King Kong. At the time I thought, “what is she doing?”. She was beautifully dressed and behaving like an animal. I could see some women were very shy of all of this because they had dresses on and ended up indecent.
It was then that I made a mistake. I accidentally looked at him and he looked at me. He then said “Let her have it Lord!”. Within seconds, I was a gibbering wreck, unable to walk or talk. My body felt like it was swelling up. I started to laugh uncontrollably and everyone was rolling over me — arms, faces, legs. I knew enough to be cross inside that it had happened to me, but I could do nothing about it. Eventually, I crawled to the door to try to get out. Outside it was dark and I saw the headlights of a car coming towards me. I thought “I’m going to be killed and there is nothing I can do”. I was rescued by my future pastors, who took me home. They were thrilled that I could get under the “anointing” so quickly. It lasted for days.
Then, on Sunday my husband got ‘zapped’ by this man. At this stage, it was popular for them to zap the soles of your feet with the microphone. People went under quicker through the feet. That night, my husband drove us home with his head on his steering wheel totally drunk. From now on, it was easy to get into this experience. If anyone pointed their finger or laid hands on us, we were gone.
It was at this time that we installed the Christian Channel Europe in our home. There was programme after programme where you could get zapped if you were already under this power. From then on we were completely initiated into the “Toronto blessing”. It was August 1994.
In May 1995, we lost our drummer in the church band. He was killed by a bridge when he stuck his head out of a window of the train. He was 16. The week before this, we had experienced a visitation of angels, which of course then took us up to another spiritual notch.
Week after week we would have hands laid on us for power. The more noise you made, the more the speakers were pleased and the more they gave you. If you sat in the corner and did not get “blessed” you were thought of as awful. Often you would get chased and oil would be thrown over you.
At one leaders’ conference we attended they kept on throwing oil at us. I remember going to the ladies with others and washing our hair in the sink to get it off, plus our clothes were stained with oil. At this conference one lad was singled out as being very anointed because he made lots of noises and jerked and was thrown off his chair a lot. We were told to collect round him and get it off him. So many ended up in a heap on him. Most ladies didn’t.
Every Sunday we were told to obey our Pastors and not question them. Also we were not allowed to go home and ask the Lord if it was okay for us to do a particular task which our Pastors might have asked us to do. Several times during the services we had altar calls to come out and come under their “anointing” and for other things too.
My husband had been very unhappy for a long time and felt it was wrong so he left, which caused me much unhappiness. He joined an Anglican church with our son. So my daughter and I were left going there. I was finding the hours tiring with my daughter and with the constant pressure from my husband at this time against it. I thought as he led me into it in 1994, it has to be right. He had got it wrong, I thought. But there were many nagging doubts in me.
One Sunday we had Benny Hinn’s brother, Henry, come to speak, so everyone was very excited. He told us off because our pastor was away and someone had dared to park his car in his place. He was furious and told us so. It got late. It was about 11.00pm Sunday night. I was exhausted and so was my 5 year old daughter. He said that no one must leave or it would “break the anointing”. He was watching everyone. So I crept to the back with my daughter on my back. It took awhile and was hard work with my 5 year old on my back with me. We got to the back of the warehouse and managed to phone my husband to say we were on our way because of the lateness. I was very scared that Henry Hinn would stop me from leaving but I think he missed seeing me.
Meantime, as the keyboard player in the church band, I had a microphone to sing into. One song we were singing was composed by one of our people. It was entitled “Put the Roar Back”. “Put the roar back, roar back, put the Lion of Judah in your hearts, then we’ll take back, take back”… basically taking everything back which we were supposed to be entitled to. Money, prosperity, gold of the nations, health and wealth.
So we roared like lions with open mouths, screaming and shouting. It was then after a morning service that I had severe pain in my jaw and it wouldn’t close. I went to accident and emergency at hospital and they diagnosed it as dislocated . So the doctor, in front of students, showed how to dislocate and undislocate a jaw. I was screaming. He said it was fear and that I should stop worrying.
Over the next week I had a dental appointment which I went to. My dentist said she could not treat me because I couldn’t open my jaw. She rang the hospital and I saw a specialist that day and had an MRI. It showed it was severely degenerated. I slept for 9 months with a band round my jaw and head because of the terrible pain. Meanwhile I started getting excruciating pain in my right hip. I had X-rays and they said it was osteoarthritis.
Because of the pain I decided to step down from being music leader and sat in the congregation instead. It was there that the Lord opened my eyes. One day a lady came and prayed for my hip and jaw and really went at it. I lay on the floor and she shouted at it for ages. She made a man with cerebral palsy get up and push his own wheelchair. He was in agony. I was very upset by this.
I saw the pastor’s anger get worse. We had many famous speakers come from America who you can see on the Christian Channel. One Sunday we were told we had a man coming who was special. The man told our pastor that we weren’t to come in the evening unless we were prepared to do what he said. We were scared but still went. He was the man that prophesied over the leaders of the Christian Channel to put it into being. Jonathan David – a Malaysian who had changed his name. The evening came and all the chairs had gone. The music was deafening. We were put through a series of movements to the music. “Move to the left and then to the right. Call on the Spirit to give us more.” This was a process lasting an hour. Then we were ready. He was going to take us into the “throne room”.
My mother was with us and she started to cry. Her dead mother and father appeared to her to take her in. They were both Christians and had died a while ago. I was not happy with this because we were not allowed to see our dead relatives and I always thought that demons could do this. Eventually, this stopped and people were in a state of great delusion. I was in the middle of these people. About 500 of us. I decided to push my way to the front of the crowd to get a better look at this man. I was about 10 feet away from him and I wanted to see what his eyes were like. I looked at him and he was very scary – very evil looking. I thought how come there is nothing in him that looks like Jesus. Jesus wouldn’t look like this. He then got all the leaders of the church and prophesied over them.
By now I was a nothing in the church, having my husband step down I was ignored and I was no longer in the music. Some of the words for the people were quite bizarre, like “you’ll be known for your healing ministry and you will dress in long velvet flowing robes”. My sister and I were there and that evening we reflected over the past week’s events. We said that if he had asked people to jump from the balcony they would have. Our eyes were even more opened.
People may think “Just get out of there, what’s wrong with you?” But we had been under this “anointing” for so long that we were trapped in it. It wasn’t that simple. My use of the word “anointing” is not flippant. For it was definitely an “anointing” of something. But what?
Finding The Light
I’m not quite sure of the year. It was Easter Sunday morning, 1997 or 1998. I had come to the realization that it was all truly wrong and that I had to leave. I had come to realize how manipulative the sermons were. The Lady Pastor shouted at the start of the service. “There is a bad atmosphere in here and someone is causing it. Someone is stopping the anointing”. Gulp! I knew it was me because I had known for a long time and had stopped going forward to catch the “anointing”. She ran towards me and screamed “IT’S YOU!” She pushed me and I fell back on a lady who jumped forward to catch me. We were thrown several feet and I landed on this lady. I got up dazed not remembering what had happened but feeling upset. I sat down and the music was deafening. I saw this lady sprawled out on the floor crying in agony, who at the time I did not know had tried to catch me. I was told this later by other witnesses. Many were furious and left over this thing.
I went over to this lady, who was now lying on the floor. She was crying in agony. She explained to me what had happened. I couldn’t believe it. I prayed for her but her pain was great. She said she needed an ambulance. So I went up to the Pastor and told him. He said “never! No one goes out of here in an ambulance!” so he carried on. Meanwhile I went around asking for help and found someone and we got together with others and decided to go against the Pastor and ordered and Ambulance. When it came the men were Christians which helped a lot. She was X-rayed and found to have broken her back and was in a hairs breadth of being paralysed. It had gone into her spine and just missed the spinal chord by as much as a hair.
I visited her in hospital and felt devastated. I was told that I’d done it but had no memory of it which was worse. I felt very responsible for her agony. Of course the Pastor blamed me because I was blocking the “anointing”. In fact, I now saw the truth and realised the deception. However, I still carried on in the church as an observer. But the Lord had started to show me bit-by-bit how dangerous it all was.
One Sunday I decided to see if they’d let me back in the music group. I thought perhaps I can change things for the better! I was allowed back, but as second fiddle. It was during a music practice when I realized that I had to escape. I was the main keyboard player that evening. We had a famous guest who was joining our church. A musician who now is in a famous church in London and has appeared on the Christian Channel. Drums played an important part in worship. We were practicing songs and each time we had to get to the stage where we had “arrived”. We were either screaming, barking, groaning like giving birth or laughing hysterically. The ultimate quest was to be stoned, blind drunk in “the spirit”. This day it was the Lady Pastor. We had two. It was a husband and wife team – both Pastors.
She said that we were getting nowhere, so she started to bash the drums to a beat. This went on for ages while I had to jam in the back ground with guitars while the others roared in tongues. As the beat got more furious she started to sound like an American Indian going round a totem pole. Woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo... She was making the sounds with her hands on her mouth. By now I was feeling horrible in my spirit and I asked the Lord to forgive me. She said we can take any sound and sanctify it.
I knew now that we were summoning up spirits. I decided to make an excuse and leave. I went home and told my husband who had left nine months before that I must soon leave that church altogether. But the pull was enormous. While chatting to others I realized many felt the same way but were far too scared to leave because we were cursed with death if we left the anointing. The pastor said that he would bury us within three years. So you can imagine how scared everyone was. This statement was not a one-off – it was week after week after week of indoctrination about leaving the anointing.
The next Sunday morning I was not playing the keyboard and sat in the service when the drums were thumped to a beat for ages. It was horrible – like someone was being prepared for sacrifice. I got up with my daughter and walked out shaking all over. We went to a shop and bought some chocolate to calm my nerves and caught a taxi to my husband’s church. He was so surprised to see us. However, they would not leave us alone. There were phone calls and visits. It was horrible. I walked the streets with my daughter in fear – scared to answer the phone or door.
Every Sunday at the Anglican church I found it so different. It was like a culture shock. I couldn’t trust anyone or anything. They sang modern songs and as soon as they sang anything like the other church’s songs I felt myself go under the “anointing”. So did my husband. We had to try very hard to stop it. It took about a year. We were prayed for in the Anglican church and this helped. They never got into the “Toronto ” thing.
About six months later, a friend from the old church said that we had been publicly cursed for leaving the church and that no one was allowed to speak to us. They said that we were evil and very dangerous. I just burst into tears. We had contacted an organization that supposedly helped people who had come out of these churches. So we sent a letter telling her how scared we were. She then put our story on the internet but she didn’t change the name of the town or our own names. A member of the church saw it and told the Pastors and that was why we were publicly cursed. I was so scared. Within months, my husband was in hospital with an embolism but by the grace of God he survived. One other man died in the church and others had mental breakdowns plus brain illness. I later went down with Meningitis and still greatly suffer now as a result of it.
Spiritually we did not know what to do. We didn’t even know if we were praying to the real Jesus anymore, or if it was a false Jesus. We had forgotten how to be a normal Christians. We had learnt to roar in tongues every morning for years and rely on this anointing, hardly ever reading our Bibles. So we went back to the AV and little by little came back going up and down on the way and almost giving up. But my grandma’s Baptist hymn book saved me really. The old tunes and word were in my memory deeply. This is how I came to know the real Jesus – this is how I will get back to being normal again. Now I was very ill, unable to care for myself at all. Meningitis had hit me badly. I started to read Joni Erickson’s books. Only a bit at a time because I couldn’t read properly at first. I realised the real Jesus wasn’t far away. I asked for forgiveness and to be washed clean.
It’s been a great trial to come back. In our town is a Bible book shop which only opens if you press the button because it’s more a place to store stuff and a place where they teach. They are old Reformer types and they had some video tapes on the Toronto Blessing by a man called Alan Morrison! I hired them and watched. I was amazed and he helped open my eyes. He also mentioned Ellel Ministries with which we had been involved (about which more is below), but had also eventually left. I chatted to the people in the shop who were very helpful.
When I found Alan Morrison’s Diakrisis website, it dawned on me slowly that he was the same man as the one in the videos. I am so grateful for that site! However, the truth is that I will never be the same again. My husband has never got over it and can’t even talk about it. He is not the same man. It had damaged us in so many ways and our son too, but my daughter was too young to be really affected by it. Life is hard now being so ill and not being able to care for my family. The Lord is merciful and is showing me the truth. The 1990s were a nightmare for us and the year 2000 started with meningitis, leaving me with permanent brain damage.
I would hate others to suffer like us. Alas, many do and are still suffering. Others are now being hooked on the Christian Channel. It is so easy for people to be manipulated en masse through that medium.
My Ellel Grange Experience
Because it was also one of the major influences in that dark period of my life, I want to share with you my nightmare experience with the “deliverance” ministry called Ellel Grange. I am telling you this because I think it is important that others realise the truth about this place. In 1991, I was pregnant with my daughter. My husband and I had heard that an organization that had a healing and deliverance ministry was setting up a branch in the South of England in a huge manor house. We were very excited as both of us had bad backs.
There was a meeting about it, which we attended. I went forward to be prayed for and they said I had a Kundalini spirit on my spine (Kundalini is a kind of snake of coiled energy in Hindu spirituality). They said it was not right to pray much now but they “bound” it and told me to see them when I had had my baby when they were properly installed at Glyndley Manor.
1992 came and I gave birth to my daughter. I decided to go for an interview with them. There were two ladies who asked much about my childhood. They arranged an appointment with a couple. This was to be one of many lasting about six months, going to all the conferences they had there and experiencing the ministry. Most of the sessions I attended with this couple lasted from 10 o’clock in the morning till 9 at night. I was exhausted by the end of each session. Basically they were taking me back on one side to the Valkuries in the Northern hemisphere. They had apparently thrown their babies over a cliff and aborted many and their souls were trapped in my body. They got me to visualise these things and I started to see them. It got very scary.
On another side there were flying carpets! Yes! Going back to the Far East. Before long, I had hundreds of demons which they were expelling every time. It got to the stage that if they’d have said “Marks and Spencer” I would have had it. By now they said there were covens in the spirit world around me and power points through which they were getting into me. They had talks with people above them and it was decided that I was in such a bad state that I needed to go to their other healing centre at Ellel Grange in the North of England. So a time was set for me to go: July 1993. That was about three weeks away. So when the time came, I said good bye to my 10 year old son, toddler daughter and husband, and off I went.
When I got there, I was told that I was the second person to have this type of ministry. The Director had done this to one lady and she had then done it to another woman. Then there was another, who couldn’t cope, but they thought I could. I arrived in this wing off the stables. It was built for this purpose. It had a kitchen, lounge and one bedroom and bathroom. I was to have one lady sleep in the same bedroom as me. The man who had been counselling me at the South of England branch had also come to stay in the Grange and came to all the meals and sessions with me.
It was like a mental hospital. I was locked in and only allowed out with two people with me. All meals were served on my lap from the Grange kitchen. Most ministry did not get going till 10 p.m. at night because the main counsellor who had had this done to her by the Director was a night person, so I was told. I was not. They said I had many children trapped in me from various stages in my childhood. Each night they bound them down until they were ready to come out. I soon realized that If I didn’t co-operate I would never get free of these people and this “mental hospital”. The main thrust was I had to get in touch with my anger. Large pillows were provided. I had to get into a mode where I was thumping them and then my anger would be released.
At about 10 p.m., under the personal instruction of the Director, a pork chop arrived on its own on a plate which I had to eat in front of everyone. By now there were three women and two men “ministering” to me. All accept one of these people collapsed themselves and exhibited strange manifestations and it was mayhem. It was just like a really crazy mental hospital. The only relief was the beautiful walks in the grounds and by the river — but of course there were always three of us. One of them even had to stand outside the toilet waiting for me.
It came to a climax in the third week. I had bruised and bleeding elbows, hands and knees. I had not reached where they wanted me to go. This night the lady in charge started to bully me intensely to make me react and fight back. I just kept on collapsing in hysterics on the floor. Hour after hour this went on, bullying, name calling, pushing and shoving. Still I kept on crying and ended up in a heap. Then the worst thing happened. She climbed on top of me pretending she was going to abuse me (I had been abused in my past by a woman and she knew this). I simply couldn’t take anymore. I was confused and very scared. So, at about 3 a.m. in the early hours I snapped and went for her. She was thrilled. I’d finally made it. They took a photo. I was sweaty and horrible.
The next day they finished it off.
They said they would hold a children’s tea party for the children in me. They did so, and invited another man who was to be a little boy at my party who had also exhibited manifestations and had the little children in him too. I had to regress and have fun like a child. I actually felt like one. It was weird. Then they called them all out, starting at age three. They then asked each child who was behind until I’d grown up.
The next day they said I’d finished and the doors were unlocked. Meanwhile it seemed that there were problems with my counsellors. Some were in tears when I saw them. There were words. Three days passed and I was ignored and left to myself. I then asked the man who had brought me up there, who had counselled me with his wife, what was going on. Apparently, they had all been in trouble with the Director because of the way the ministry had gone on and that even the counsellors were exhibiting manifestations.
I drove home the next day feeling vulnerable, and that was that. A few weeks later, I went to an open day at Glyndley Manor and was told that heads were rolling over the way my ministry was carried out. The Director then apologised to me via someone else. They stopped this ministry and carried on with it in a less intense way. Meanwhile my husband had ministry with them and was very unhappy with the way he was taken back several generations. We came straight out of all this into the large Toronto Blessing church which I wrote about in the previous section. Out of the frying pan into the fire. In 1998, we left that church and tried to get help. It was suggested that we try Ellel Grange again, because they said that had improved! So I did and then received similar ministry. Soon after this I contracted Meningitis, resulting in brain damage, and my husband was also rushed into hospital with an Embolism.
We are now in a Baptist church and three months ago I went up for prayer. The same man who took me up to Ellel Grange was there in our church in a ministry position. He talked with me and said that he still ministers and teaches at Ellel. He then told me that my meningitis is caused by part of someone’s spirit entering me who I had contact with in the past who had meningitis. Of course this was the Lady Pastor in the previous church. She recovered quickly though. Here we are now, confused and vulnerable but determined to be free.
I am continually reminded of the past and don’t seem to be able to escape from it. Here is an example, which happened yesterday while I was out with my daughter in my wheelchair. I had to get her some new school clothes for the start of the Autumn term. At the shop, I met a lady who was in the large charismatic Toronto-type church we used to belong to. She looked at me in horror and said “You’re not still in that wheelchair are you?” She then grabbed my shoulder hard and said loudly “It’s not Gods will for you to be in there. You shouldn’t be in there”. She then very harshly told me that it is never God’s will for anyone to be sick, that I must be healed and then started to tell me about “another” man coming to their church who had a healing gift. Her spirit was so harsh and uncaring. So I grabbed her arm which took hers off mine and said that at the moment it is God’s will for me to be in the wheelchair. To which she shouted “Never!” with such disdain.
The shop we were in was very crowded and I was getting very hot. I was aware of people listening. I then tried to explain that the Lord loves people and cares for the hurting and disabled people and that I am now reaching them. I told her that the Lord has softened my heart towards sick people. Now that I’m one myself, I have an opportunity to show the love of Jesus to them. I said I may never be healed. She then just hissed with mockery. I wanted to move away because I was very upset but I was determined not to. The abuse was terrible.
I said that at one time I used to find wheelchairs annoying if they were in my way, but not anymore, and that the Lord had allowed me to be sick to show me things. She was furious and laughed mockingly. I said He loves sick people and that there are so many hurting Christians who have been to so many meetings and are still sick. They are really hurt and need grace to get through each day. I said that I need the Lord’s help to get through each hour and that I have a lot of pain in my body. She was amazed and said “Have you?!” I said that the sick need love more than anything, and peace and quiet. She then turned her back on me and walked off angrily. Last night I could not sleep and had terrible palpitations on top of everything else. My husband prayed for me though.
As I reflected on this unpleasant meeting, I wondered if she and I are talking about the same Jesus!
I’m praying that some of my conversation may help her to understand those who are ill in church and not mock them when they are not healed. Maybe it was meant to help her. I don’t know if it will, but it did hurt me.
Commentary By Alan Morrison
I’d like to make a few comments after that awful tale, which almost beggars belief, if one isn’t already aware of the real extent of these activities. You may think that the events described above are extreme and not very widespread. But that would be a mistake. I have counselled many hundreds of people with a similar experience during the last 10 years. There are so many who come to churches for help and succour only to find themselves subjected to such an onslaught, which often lasts for years. Why should this be?
Before I attempt to answer that question, let me first say that the churches and people and institutions mentioned above are widely regarded as respectable in the evangelical scene in the U.K. today. (And even where they are not, no one dares to speak out against them for fear of being branded as “divisive to the Body”). That they should be regarded as respectable is an insult of the highest order to Christ and a sure sign of the decadent state of the church in the world today. It is taken for granted that such “deliverance ministry” is on a par with the casting out of demons practised by the Lord Jesus Christ. But they are as far apart from each other as one could imagine.
What possible biblical basis could there be for people calling themselves Christians to put curses on others calling themselves Christians simply because they disagree with them or because they leave their church? The whole idea is not only bizarre in the extreme but it is utterly pagan. One only finds such terrible activities in the worst kind of black magic. How anyone could do such a thing and imagine that they are a Christian is quite extraordinary.
And a further question is begged here: Could such curses uttered in these churches be effective from an objective point of view? Only insofar as the people being cursed believe it to be so. I do not believe that these perverted people uttering the curses have any objective power whatsoever over genuine Christians. Believers have the assurance that “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:13). They have the assurance that “He who has been born of God keeps himself [i.e. guards himself against sinful behaviour], and the wicked one does not touch him” (1 John 5:18). Believers have the assurance that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Why did the lady who wrote the above story fall victim to Meningitis? Was it the result of a curse (which is no doubt what some people and the pastor involved in her former church will believe)? Was it the result of “part of someone’s spirit” entering her who she had contact with in the past who had Meningitis, as the Ellel Grange counsellor told her recently? Not at all. We must not believe any of that hocus-pocus for a moment! I can’t think of any more irresponsible explanations than those that this lady has been given by these so-called counsellors, which are more suited to pagan superstition and the Grimm Brothers than biblical exposition and godly counsel.
The most plausible explanation for her contraction of meningitis is that the horrendous stress and abuse inflicted on her by her spiritual guides over the span of a decade — much of it spent imagining that she had hundreds of demons, spirits of the dead and phantom children inside her — made her body weak and vulnerable to infection. I think the same is true also for her husband’s embolism. I would agree with her own courageous analysis that it is God’s will for her to be in that wheelchair at this time. However, the future may hold all sorts of wonderful surprises in store for her, and we must still pray for her healing.
On that note, I want to present four definitive statements here about illness, disability and the Christian — and may they ricochet around the cosmos and deafen the ears of those who teach otherwise! Those statements are:
Definitive Statement No.1: Every single one of us is permanently disabled in many different ways in this life”.
Definitive Statement No.2: Every single one of us is going to die from illness or degenerated body tissue”.
Definitive Statement No.3: God does not want or expect everyone to be continually healthy, wealthy and happy”.
Definitive Statement No.4: God may actually arrange for someone He loves to suffer (including suffering illness) in order to fulfil his own inscrutable purposes, but always with the proviso that He is working “good” for the believer and making us more like His Son
It is necessary to stress these statements today, because there are very many professing Christians who foolishly think that illness or disablement or hard times or suffering or distress are all signs of a lousy relationship with the Lord or disobedience to Him or quenching the Spirit in some way in our lives. But here I want to make an impassioned personal response to the events mentioned in the lady’s story above.
To teach that Christians should not get sick and that they have a right to permanent healing in this life is to teach a kind of perfectionism, and represents a serious misunderstanding of biblical anthropology (human nature in the wake of the Fall) and soteriology (the process of redemption). The Bible clearly shows that “the whole creation groans” (Rom.8:22), and that even we “who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves”, and have to wait for “the redemption of our body” (Rom.8:23) until the time that “the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom.8:21). This is very basic Bible teaching about the process of redemption in the cosmos.
Sickness exists because we live in a fallen world, and the Christian — even though he or she is a part of the perfect world to come, i.e. is now in the kingdom of God — still exists in this fallen world, with all its problems and obstacles, and still has to decay and die in the physical realm. Because of that, it is true to say that we are ALL disabled in this life, to a greater or lesser degree. Some people can’t use their legs, some can’t use their brains, some can’t write properly, some can’t make head or tail of a problem staring them in the face, some can’t exist without a cigarette (a real disablement!), some can’t bring up their children properly, some can’t read or write, some can’t understand William Shakespeare, some can’t fly a kite, some can’t tell the difference between good and evil, some can’t see with their eyes, some can’t see with their hearts.
We – even we Christians – are ALL disabled to a greater or lesser degree and yet, in spite of that, we complement each other and must help one another. Understanding this truth would save a lot of heartache in the churches today. If it was true that God doesn’t want us ever to be ill and that we have a perfect right to full health, then that proves too much because then it must surely follow that He doesn’t want us to die and that we should just have eternal life right now. But even the Christian must die, and most will die of sickness, and many will suffer a painful lingering death, no matter how faithful or weak they have been. Fallen body tissue degenerates. That is the fallen nature of humanity and the world in which we live. The difference is – as the expositor Matthew Henry so ably put it – that “for the unbeliever, death is the end of all joys, and for the believer death is the end of all griefs”.
The truth which these people just will not accept is that believers have to wait for the after-life in order to experience full health and prosperity (Rev.21:7). As Augustine of Hippo put it in his heading to Chapter 19 of Book XXII of his book “The City of God”:
All bodily blemishes which mar human beauty in this life shall be removed in the resurrection, the natural substance of the body remaining, but the quality and quantity of it being altered so as to produce beauty
Until then, we will have to endure wheelchairs and crutches, fillings and screws, appendectomies and medicinal brews. So far, we have only experienced the Kingdom in its grace, but not yet in the fullness of its glory. That awaits us beyond this life.
Certainly the Lord wants us to be happy (in the highest sense of “blessedness”, as the Greek word makarios imports, Matt.5:3-11 & Rev.1:3, etc.); but His idea of our happiness may be (and almost always is) vastly different to our own. So often, we see our happiness from an ‘instant gratification’ standpoint, whereas the Lord views our happiness from a long-term perspective. He knows (whereas we don’t) that our ultimate happiness (blessedness) may involve sitting in a wheelchair or getting knocked down by a car or being imprisoned, ostracised, tortured or even being killed. Oh how little we understand! Oh how much we want to superimpose our petty minds on the vast plan of God! All those spiritual pigmies with their “healing” and “deliverance” ministries are actually working against the Lord’s will rather than carrying it out, and are (from a human standpoint) undermining His true labour.
This is why I can confidently state that “God may actually arrange for someone He loves to suffer (including suffering illness) in order to fulfil his own inscrutable purposes”. For this is how He moulds us into being more like Christ. If you deny that, then read Heb.12:3-11 and Rom.8:28-29. If you deny that, then read about the experience of so many saints in history who have suffered persecution, extended torture and finally martyrdom (cf. Heb.11:32-40). Was their experience a sign of their lack of faith? To imagine that the Lord wants everyone to be healthy, wealthy and happy always in this life is to miss entirely the deep things of God. The froth of charismania and Toronto-style experience goes hand-in-hand with the superficial teachings of the Word of Faith movement.
How is it that these churches — or cults, as they should properly be called — and these so-called “healing centres” are allowed to remain in existence? If they were running a hospital, a therapy institute, an elderly person’s home, a day-care centre for the handicapped, a children’s home or some other social agency, and carried on these practices, they would soon be held up on disciplinary proceedings and removed from their office in disgrace. Some of them may even find themselves to be the subject of criminal charges.
As for Ellel Grange — or “Hellhole Grange”, as it is properly called by those who understand its true origins — it should have been razed to the ground years ago and its workers arrested on criminal charges or made the subject of numerous civil lawsuits claiming damages for harassment and emotional distress. In the U.K. newspaper, The Mail on Sunday, March 8th 1992, even the wife of the Director of Ellel Grange said that it is “a dangerous place”, claiming that “what he [her husband] is doing is as dangerous as the occult practices he preaches against”. In a BBC documentary which I have in my possession on video (Everyman, 1995), Steven Pockson, a former trainee counsellor at Ellel Grange, spoke of how he came to be accused of having a “demon of lust” and was subsequently assaulted by the staff there in a bizarre “deliverance” ritual. He spoke of the way that the Director (who is also the co-compiler of a leading modern hymnbook used in most of the churches in the U.K.) is obsessed with demons and sees them in everyone. Most telling of all, this former counsellor at Ellel Grange said:
“I have nothing but disgust for these methods. I certainly wouldn’t recommend them or condone them as Christian practice in any way. They’re intrusive; they’re violent; they’re impolite at the very least. And I don’t think they are helpful. I’m aware of a number of people who are still suffering the psychological effects of this type of counselling.”
Some years ago, I received a letter asking me to withdraw some derogatory comments I had made publicly about Ellel Grange. It contained more than a hint about possible legal action. I refused to withdraw those comments, and I still do so today. Actually I challenge them to sue me right now! It would be a great work for Truth to go eyeball to eyeball in a court of law with these charlatans. I welcome the opportunity. I would come to court armed with reams of documented evidence from all the abused people I’ve counselled over the years proving that Ellel Grange and similar outfits are a blot on the face of the earth and have harmed far more people than they may claim to have helped with their phoney and entirely transparent catharsis therapy, not to mention their fanciful (and harmful) theories about demon-possession coming down the generations as a result of some sin or occult activity in the lives of one’s ancestors.
A number of years ago a conservative politician in the UK spoke of what he called “the unacceptable face of capitalism” – a reference to the corruption and chicanery which goes on at the heart of many financial institutions. Surely we also need to speak out publicly about “the unacceptable face of evangelicalism”, as so many people calling themselves “evangelical” support, condone, endorse and even attend the cultish churches and healing centres which have become such a widespread feature of modern-day church life.
Why is it that these religious perversions are allowed to continue? They are not only an affront to the name of Christ – whom they claim to represent – but they are also incompatible with a civilised society. What they have done to this lady, and others like her, is nothing short of criminal. How come the perpetrators of this malevolence have not been locked up in prison or put in a mental hospital, where they can no longer harm people and abuse them spiritually and emotionally? Why, years later, are they still in practice and raking in money for the purchase and upkeep of huge mansions and estates?
Two answers come immediately to mind:
1) The victims are so exhausted and intimidated by real or implied threats of being cursed that they feel unable to approach the police or lawyers to file complaints;
2) Many rich and influential people are involved in this mayhem (even Anglican Bishops have been on the board of Ellel Grange), which thus affords it a measure of protection and brings in the cash.
However, while those two answers may explain, from an earthly standpoint, why they have been able to proliferate so successfully, there is, I believe, another, deeper aspect to the presence of these cultish churches and movements, and it is this: The whole thing is a sinister shadow of wickedness instigated by dark powers in the heavenlies and their emissaries on earth intent on destroying the credible witness of the church. Surely, as the power of darkness comes into the ascendancy at this extraordinary point in history, we will see the unfettered growth of these chaotic “churches” and destructive “healing centres”.
Our job, therefore — yours and mine — is to expose them for what they are, both journalistically and theologically, and to offer a hand of rescue to those caught in their miserable grip. There are many suffering at the hands of these “ministries” who have serious doubts about them, but they are too fearful to voice those doubts openly. If we publicly provide a gentle path for them to make their exit, their courage will be supported and their journey made easier. May the Lord help us to do so…
Yours, in the cause of God and truth,
ALAN MORRISON Diakrisis International
© Alan Morrison, Diakrisis International, 2002
ALAN MORRISON is a Baptist minister who established Diakrisis International originally in 1990 to acquaint believers with the importance of Christian apologetics, to provide written commentary and public speaking on a wide range of topical, doctrinal and pastoral issues, and to hold out a hand of rescue to those who suffer psychological and spiritual manipulation in the religious scene. Rev. Morrison has, since the publication of this on his website in 2002, shut the web site down to engage in a church planting project in France. We have adapted an email containing this Christian woman’s testimony for usage in this article and did not omit nor insert a single word into this truly terrifying and yet avowedly true story.
While Spiritwatch Ministries does not endorse his views on an end time conspiracy theory that links a shadowy network of occult organizations promoting a globalist New World Order, Rev. Morrison’s work in discerning this strange fire burning in the Pentecostal and Charismatic world is highly recommended. RM
Pope Francis Tells Priests and Nuns: If They Do Not Love the Mother (Mary), and Pray the Rosary, Then Mother (Mary) Will Not Give Them The Son!
Source HERE from Soul Refuge
I came across an article written by the Catholic News Service on the Cruxnow website, that truly reveals the gross deception and falsity of the Roman Catholic gospel. Here are some excerpts from the article entitled: “Mother and son: Pope Francis has a personal, intimate devotion to Mary.”
VATICAN CITY — From Easter to Pentecost — and especially during the Marian month of May — Catholics recite the “Regina Coeli” prayer “with the emotion of children who are happy because their mother is happy” that Jesus has risen from the dead, Pope Francis said.
Although his devotion to the Mother of God is profound, it is simple in many ways: Mary is a mother to every believer; Jesus would not leave his followers orphans.
While his connection to Mary clearly is a matter of heart and mind, it is also physical. Whenever Pope Francis passes a statue or icon of Mary, he kisses it or allows his hand to rest tenderly upon it.
Honoring the Mother of God, of course, is a solid part of Catholic tradition and a mainstay in the devotion and teaching of the popes. St. John Paul II’s motto, “Totus Tuus” (“All yours”), and the large M on his coat of arms were just the most graphic elements of a devotion that led to a whole body of teaching about Mary, her role in Catholics’ faith life and the importance of praying the rosary.
The following statement by Pope Francis is nothing less than amazing to me:
Visiting Naples in March, Pope Francis told priests, nuns, and seminarians that one way to make sure Jesus is the center of their lives is to ask “his mother to take you to him. A priest, a brother, a nun who does not love Mary, who does not pray to her — I would even say one who does not recite the rosary — well, if you don’t love the mother, the mother will not give you the Son.”
The Pope told the leaders in his very own Roman Catholic church that Mother Mary would take them to Jesus, and that was the sure way of their making Jesus the center of their lives. Then Pope Francis went on to say that if they did not love Mary, and pray to her (including the Rosary) then the Mother would NOT give them the Son! Folks listen to me here. Pope Francis is NOT speaking under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, but he is being led by a demon spirit, and that same spirit caused him to talk that way!
Take a good look at the “coat of arms” and notice the large “M” at the bottom right. That large “M” represents “Mother Mary” and that was the coat of arms for the late Pope John Paul II. Pope John Paul II had the saying “Totus Tuus Sum Maria” sewed on the inside of his garments also. Do you want to know what that saying means in English? It means “Mary, I am totally yours.” Do you think that the late Pope John Paul II was being led by the Spirit of the living God? The late Pope John Paul II is now a Catholic “Saint” and Catholics are already praying to him! Folks it is time to study the scriptures for yourselves, and to come out of the modern day political churches for the sake of your own soul. Much of the modern day television ministries are nothing more than “Christian clownery” and they are encouraging people to join in unity with Rome. Do not fall for that lie, because they have already been seduced.
Many ministers will point their people to the “Apostles Creed” in their attempt to convince Christians (and to avoid persecution and controversy), that the Roman Catholic people hold to the same core teachings, and are believers just like them. That is a very BIG deception though, because I recited the “Apostles Creed” for years but I was sitting in a church that preached a soul damning gospel. The “Apostles Creed” did not tell me that I could be justified by the blood of Jesus Christ. The “Apostles Creed” did not tell me that the Roman Catholic priesthood was a bogus priesthood! The “Apostles Creed” did not tell me that I did not need the Catholic Mass to satisfy the justice of God for my sins! The “Apostles Creed” did not tell me about the necessity of being born again the BIBLICAL way. I needed to be REGENERATED by the Holy Spirit but the “Apostles Creed” could not help me. The “Apostles Creed” did not tell me that I was deceived into believing that I was “born again” when I had my infant head sprinkled with water by a Roman Catholic priest!
I would not be surprised if you could teach a parrot to recite the “Apostles Creed” if you wanted to. (well maybe one line anyway).
I am a former Roman Catholic, and it was the Spirit of God who opened up my spiritual eyes to see the gross deception that I was in. In fact I did the exact opposite of what Pope Francis encouraged his own Priests and Nuns to do. I stopped praying to Mary, I stopped praying my rosary and I turned to the Lord Jesus Christ the Saviour of my soul. Mary is NOT my mother! I have been saved since 1989 and I did not need “Mother Mary” for anything, because the Holy Spirit was the one who brought comfort to my heart!
That article went on to say that Jesus would not leave his followers orphans, but that is NOT the job of “Mother Mary” but it is clearly the job of the Holy Spirit to COMFORT the hearts of the Lord’s followers!
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” John 14:16-18
The word “comfortless” that is used in this passage is the Greek word orphanos (or-fan-os) and it is defined as follows: bereaved (“orphan”), that is, parentless: – comfortless, fatherless.
So when the Lord Jesus Christ told his followers that he would not leave them “comfortless” he was telling them that he would not leave them orphans! It is the Holy Spirit and NOT Mary who helps the followers. The Holy Spirit is called the COMFORTER by the Lord Jesus Christ in the scriptures.
Pope Francis is certainly NOT led by the Spirit of the LIVING GOD, but he is being led by a DEMON spirit for sure. The Jewish apostle Paul warned us about such things, but few seem to take heed to the warnings anymore. We are living in a day of incredible APOSTASY, and the modern day professional ministers, are simply going along with the flow.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” 1 Timothy 4:1
The Roman Catholic church is chock full of the doctrines of devils (demons) which Paul warned us about, and many sincere Christians have been deluded by their compromising pastors who are nothing more than sleeping watchmen.
“His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.” Isaiah 56:10-11
James Robison used to speak out against the church of Rome, and he once addressed the issue with Billy Graham. After conversing with Billy Graham James Robison changed his views on the church of Rome. That is so sad, because Billy Graham has been faithful in his compromise with Rome for 65 years now, but the Word of God (Scriptures) will NEVER change! James Robison emotionally declared that he was witnessing the UNITY that Jesus prayed for, happening right before his eyes! Sorry Mr Robison, but this is NOT the UNITY that Jesus prayed for at all. THAT UNITY is speaking about TRUE believers who have been born again of the Spirit, through FAITH in Jesus Christ. The New Birth does NOT come through INFANT baptism as the church of Rome teaches! THAT UNITY is talking about TRUE Christians who BELIEVE that Jesus Christ, and HIM ALONE, is the REDEEMER for their souls, minus a co-redeemer, and co-mediator, named Mary! The Lord Jesus Christ would NEVER encourage his followers to join hands with those who preach a FALSE gospel as the church of Rome most certainly does. The TRUE Spirit of God delivered my soul out from the church of Rome in 1989 and I will not be returning anytime soon.
I am also happy to inform you, that I am probably under, all of the hundred or so anathemas (curses) that Rome placed upon those who disagree with her false teachings. Those curses were instituted at the Council of Trent basically in response to the reformers who stood against Rome. The reformers OPPOSED the church of Rome, and stood against her false teachings, and many were tortured and slain for that stand! Rome took Protestant-bashing to the ultimate extreme with those killings! Rome’s anathemas (curses) were UPHELD by the Council at Vatican II (1964-65), but very FEW are aware of that fact. Vatican II made nothing more than SURFACE changes, but Rome’s false teachings remain the same. You cannot teach an old WOLF new tricks.
Mr Robison, UNITY with Rome is not the UNITY which Christ prayed for at all, BUT IT IS the DECEPTION and APOSTASY which Jesus Christ WARNED his disciples about all those years ago:
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, TAKE HEED that NO MAN DECEIVE YOU. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Matthew 24:4-5
Here is an image of James Robison slapping a high-five with the Roman Catholic Pope Francis. Kenneth Copeland is also seen with the Pope.
The late Leonard Ravenhill hit the nail on the head with his assessment of the Roman Catholic Church in his book “Why Revival Tarries” and that assessment is still a perfect description of the cult of Rome today!
“Evangelists today are wide-eyed to the might of Communism, but tight lipped at the menace of Romanism. America would shake from coast to coast in twenty-four hours if some preacher, anointed with the Holy Ghost, gave the Roman Catholic Church a broadside! We stir national interest against the cruel, half-civilized Mau Mau (wicked enough), but powwow with, and pander to, the Roman Catholic Church! These priests who dope mens souls, these idolatrous “masses,” these Calvary eclipsing prayers to Mary, these miserable millions cheated in life and in death by the greatest forgery Lucifer ever made.” (Why Revival Tarries by Leonard Ravenhill, Bethany House Publishers, 1988, Copyright 1959)
Do not forget the words of the late Keith Green, and then compare his words with what you are hearing from people such as James Robison, Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, Luis Palau, Kenneth Copeland and tons of others.
To merely call such a system “a cult”, would be to throw it into the vast category of religions and quasi-religions that are currently making the rounds of our college campuses and city streets, snatching up many an unsuspecting youth. No, the Roman Church is not a cult. It’s an empire!
With its own ruler, its own laws, and its own subjects! The empire has no borders, it encompasses the globe with its eye on every person who does not vow allegiance. It calls the members of other faiths “separated brethren” (The term used by Vatican II to describe the members of Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Protestant churches.) and has as its goal the eventual bringing together of everyone under its flag.
I know that many will not be convinced or moved by this article (or any of the others) to make such a conclusion. They are impressed by what they’ve heard about recent stirrings among the Catholics in the “charismatic renewal”. Many evangelicals (especially Charismatics) have been thrilled by the reports of Catholics speaking in tongues, dancing in the Spirit, having nights of joy and praise, even attending “charismatic masses”.
Mouths that used to speak out boldly against the Church of Rome have been quieted by the times. It no longer is in vogue to speak of the pope as “the antichrist” (Although the following people unhesitatingly did: Martin Luther, John Bunyan, John Huss, John Wycliffe, John Calvin, William Tyndale, John Knox, Thomas Bacon, John Wesley, Samuel Cooper, John Cotton, and Jonathan Edwards.) or the Catholic Church as the “whore of Babylon”. Now Protestants unwittingly believe that “our differences are not so great”. Ah, that is just what She needs us to think!
I’ve never completely understood why God led me to write these articles. But it becomes more clear with each day of study, and each page of research. Never has something so black and wicked, gotten away with appearing so holy and mysteriously beautiful . . . for so long! (Keith Green-The Catholic Chronicles)
Were the TRUE Christian reformers wrong in their stand against the Roman Catholic church? Did you know that the teachings of Rome have not changed since that time? Do you care?
The Dead End of Sexual Sin
Unbelievers don’t “struggle” with same-sex attraction. I didn’t. My love for women came with nary a struggle at all.
I had not always been a lesbian, but in my late twenties, I met my first lesbian-lover. I was hooked and believed that I had found my real self. Sex with women was part of my life and identity, but it was not the only part — and not always the biggest part.
I simply preferred everything about women: their company, their conversation, their companionship, and the contours of their/our body. I favored the nesting, the setting up of house and home, and the building of lesbian community.
As an unbelieving professor of English, an advocate of postmodernism and poststructuralism, and an opponent of all totalizing meta-narratives (like Christianity, I would have added back in the day), I found peace and purpose in my life as a lesbian and the queer community I helped to create.
Conversion and Confusion
It was only after I met my risen Lord that I ever felt shame in my sin, with my sexual attractions, and with my sexual history.
Conversion brought with it a train wreck of contradictory feelings, ranging from liberty to shame. Conversion also left me confused. While it was clear that God forbade sex outside of biblical marriage, it was not clear to me what I should do with the complex matrix of desires and attractions, sensibilities and senses of self that churned within and still defined me.
What is the sin of sexual transgression? The sex? The identity? How deep was repentance to go?
Meeting John Owen
In these newfound struggles, a friend recommended that I read an old, seventeenth-century theologian named John Owen, in a trio of his books (now brought together under the title Overcoming Sin and Temptation).
At first, I was offended to realize that what I called “who I am,” John Owen called “indwelling sin.” But I hung in there with him. Owen taught me that sin in the life of a believer manifests itself in three ways: distortion by original sin, distraction of actual day-to-day sin, and discouragement by the daily residence of indwelling sin.
Eventually, the concept of indwelling sin provided a window to see how God intended to replace my shame with hope. Indeed, John Owen’s understanding of indwelling sin is the missing link in our current cultural confusion about what sexual sin is — and what to do about it.
As believers, we lament with the apostle Paul, “I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me” (Romans 7:19–20). But after we lament, what should we do? How should we think about sin that has become a daily part of our identity?
Owen explained with four responses.
1. Starve It
Indwelling sin is a parasite, and it eats what you do. God’s word is poison to sin when embraced by a heart made new by the Holy Spirit. You starve indwelling sin by feeding yourself deeply on his word. Sin cannot abide in his word. So, fill your hearts and minds with Scripture.
One way that I do that is singing the Psalms. Psalm-singing, for me, is a powerful devotional practice as it helps me to melt my will into God’s and memorize his word in the process. We starve our indwelling sin by reading Scripture comprehensively, in big chunks, and by whole books at a time. This allows us to see God’s providence at work in big-picture ways.
2. Call Sin What It Is
Now that it is in the house, don’t buy it a collar and a leash and give it a sweet name. Don’t “admit” sin as a harmless (but un-housebroken) pet. Instead, confess it as an evil offense and put it out! Even if you love it! You can’t domesticate sin by welcoming it into your home.
Don’t make a false peace. Don’t make excuses. Don’t get sentimental about sin. Don’t play the victim. Don’t live by excuse-righteousness. If you bring the baby tiger into your house and name it Fluffy, don’t be surprised if you wake up one day and Fluffy is eating you alive. That is how sin works, and Fluffy knows her job. Sometimes sin lurks and festers for decades, deceiving the sinner that he really has it all under control, until it unleashes itself on everything you built, cherished, and loved.
Be wise about your choice sins and don’t coddle them. And remember that sin is not ever “who you are” if you are in Christ. In Christ, you are a son or daughter of the King; you are royalty. You do battle with sin because it distorts your real identity; you do not define yourself by these sins that are original with your consciousness and daily present in your life.
3. Extinguish Indwelling Sin by Killing It
Sin is not only an enemy, says Owen. Sin is at enmity with God. Enemies can be reconciled, but there is no hope for reconciliation for anything at enmity with God. Anything at enmity with God must be put to death. Our battles with sin draw us closer in union with Christ. Repentance is a new doorway into God’s presence and joy.
Indeed, our identity comes from being crucified and resurrected with Christ:
We have been buried with him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of his resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin. (Romans 6:4–6)
Satan will use our indwelling sin as blackmail, declaring that we cannot be in Christ and sin in heart or body like this. In those moments, we remind him that he is right about one thing only: our sin is indeed sin. It is indeed transgression against God and nothing else.
But Satan is dead wrong about the most important matter. In repentance, we stand in the risen Christ. And the sin that we have committed (and will commit) is covered by his righteousness. But fight we must. To leave sin alone, says Owen, is to let sin grow — “not to conquer it is to be conquered by it.”
4. Daily Cultivate Your New Life in Christ
God does not leave us alone to fight the battle in shame and isolation. Instead, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the soul of each believer is “vivified.” “To vivicate” means to animate, or to give life to. Vivification complements mortification (to put to death), and by so doing, it allows us to see the wide angle of sanctification, which includes two aspects:
1) Deliverance from the desire of those choice sins, experienced when the grace of obedience gives us the “expulsive power of a new affection” (to quote Thomas Chalmers).
2) Humility over the fact that we daily need God’s constant flow of grace from heaven, and that no matter how sin tries to delude us, hiding our sin is never the answer. Indeed, the desire to be strong enough in ourselves, so that we can live independently of God, is the first sin, the essence of sin, and the mother of all sin.
Owen’s missing link is for believers only. He says, “Unless a man be regenerate (born again), unless he be a believer, all attempts that he can make for mortification [of sin] . . . are to no purpose. In vain he shall use many remedies, [but] he shall not be healed.”
What then should an unbeliever do? Cry out to God for the Holy Spirit to give him a new heart and convert his soul: “mortification [of sin] is not the present business of unregenerate men. God calls them not to it as yet; conversion is their work — the conversion of the whole soul — not the mortification of this or that particular lust.”
Freed for Joy
In the writings of John Owen, I was shown how and why the promises of sexual fulfillment on my own terms were the antithesis of what I had once fervently believed. Instead of liberty, my sexual sin was enslavement. This seventeenth-century Puritan revealed to me how my lesbian desires and sensibilities were dead-end joy-killers.
Today, I now stand in a long line of godly women — the Mary Magdalene line. The gospel came with grace, but demanded irreconcilable war. Somewhere on this bloody battlefield, God gave me an uncanny desire to become a godly woman, covered by God, hedged in by his word and his will. This desire bled into another one: to become, if the Lord willed, the godly wife of a godly husband.
And then I noticed it.
Union with the risen Christ meant that everything else was nailed to the cross. I couldn’t get my former life back if I wanted it. At first, this was terrifying, but when I peered deep into the abyss of my terror, I found peace.
With peace, I found that the gospel is always ahead of you. Home is forward. Today, by God’s amazing grace alone, I am a chosen part of God’s family, where God cares about the details of my day, the math lessons and the spilled macaroni and cheese, and most of all, for the people, the image-bearers of his precious grace, the man who calls me beloved, and the children who call me mother.
Rosaria is currently writing a book on this theme, titled Openness, Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ (Crown and Covenant), due out this summer.
Have you ever gone to church leadership because of some alarming things being taught in your church?
As the Great Falling Away continues in our beloved church communities, it seems that even those who once were thought “solid” are not immune to the yeast of false teachings and rogue leadership bent on silencing concerns. It may have happened to you.
A friend of mine allowed me to re-publish her testimony on our site, and it’s one that might stir a lot of emotions for many of you. What happened to her and her family is very sad, but what her family is doing now serves as a tale and a trend you are going to be hearing a lot more about in the year ahead.
Suffering for the Truth By Jenna Guerette (Originally published at Truth or Trend)
This ministry received a cult-like following at my church.
The next Sunday, a congregational meeting was held. They stated that my family hadn’t been kicked out. Bits of my letter were read out of context. A man who had eaten numerous dinners in our home, slandered my Mom and myself in front of the church. A trusted friend told me what happened at this meeting. All in all, the meeting was a complete snow job. It was my family’s word against the elders. The elders were anointed by God. How could they be wrong?
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER CHARISMATIC PASTOR ABOUT PROPHECY
by Neil Babcox
What did I feel as I heard the prophecies during these conferences? My own feelings are described by a man named Neil Babcox, a man who served as pastor of a Pentecostal church until leaving the movement. Consider the testimony of this man who once gave prophecies himself and who believed in these things:
Prophetic messages were quite common at our church. In fact, whenever we assembled to worship, spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy, were foremost in our minds. Even though we followed no prescribed liturgy, there was an unwritten order of worship that always included the opportunity for one to prophesy according to the proportion of his faith.
Our prophecies seldom if ever predicted the future. Instead they took the form of fervent exhortations or simple words of comfort. Generally they consisted of various biblical phrases and fragments pieced together like a patchwork quilt. Often they focused upon such themes as the imminent return of Christ or God’s forgiving love. Most of the time the prophecies were spoken in the first person as if God Himself were addressing us, but occasionally the phrase “thus saith the Lord” was used even as it was by the prophets of the Bible.
There was something distinctly romantic about the notion of prophesying. There you are standing in succession to the prophets of the Bible. Samuel and Elijah saw your day coming and were glad. True, your lips are unclean, but they have been touched by a live coal from off the altar. Like Isaiah, you have heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And you responded, “Here am I. Send me!”
Yes, it was all very romantic. But gradually, what had started as a romantic venture, an idealistic quest for spiritual gifts, was slowly, imperceptibly changing. Into what, I wasn’t sure. All I knew was that the excitement and romance of prophesying was turning into an uneasy sense that the prophecies I heard, including my own, were hardly worthy of the name. The idea that they were the words of the Living God was beginning to seem painfully ludicrous. Would the romance now become a comedy of errors, or a tragedy, perhaps? At any rate, one thing was certain: this burden of the prophets was becoming a crushing, onerous weight. And I couldn’t help wondering if the weight which I was carrying was not the burden of the Lord at all, but some foreign yoke of bondage.
In my case there were four simple words that played a decisive role in changing my heart: Thus saith the Lord. To me, these were most unsettling words. And the more I comprehended their meaning, the more I understood what the prophets meant when they spoke them and what the Holy Spirit meant when He inspired them, the more unsettling they became.
“Thus saith the Lord.” What abuses I had seen of those words! what bitter fruit I had seen born by men and women speaking these words! I have seen people married on the basis of guidance received from personal prophecies only to be divorced a week later because of a terrible scandal. Many lives have been harmed by such prophetic guidance. What actions, what conduct, have been countenanced by a “thus saith the Lord.”
The moment of truth came when I heard a prophecy spoken at a charismatic church I was visiting. I was sitting in the church trying to worship God while dreading the approach of that obligatory moment of silence which signaled that a prophecy was about to be spoken. The silence came, and soon it was broken by a bold and commanding “Thus saith the Lord!”
Those words triggered an immediate reaction. Conviction, like water rising against a dam, began to fill my soul. “Listen my people.” …[the prophesy commenced] Until finally, the dam burst: “This is not my God,” I cried within my heart. “this is not my Lord!” (Neil Babcox, A Search for Charismatic Reality – One Man’s Pilgrimage, pp. 46-59)