(Part 5 of 5)
“Exorcism” is second on the list of “Comebacks of 2008” according to prognosticators who analyze future trends. The casting out of demons appears before streetcars, beagles, men’s hats, wooden stoves, cuff links, the Jackson Five, and 14 other hopefuls. The silicone implant tops the list of 20. Given the rise of demonic activity occurring throughout the earth, the largest professed Christian religion in the world, the Catholic Church, has decided to wrestle the Devil for his pitchfork.
“For the first time in almost 400 years,” an article discussing the subject reports, “the Vatican has formally revised and upheld the rite of exorcism.” It continues, “‘To fight the devil head on,’ Pope Benedict XVI has sanctioned the first ever formal exorcism training, a ten-week course at Rome’s Regina Apostolorum.” And just what does the training involve?
“There are sessions on rites,” the author retorts, “how to talk to the Devil and recognize his tricks.” But what if they have a certifiable mental illness and are not in fact possessed? “No need to be concerned that people who are mentally ill might be misdiagnosed,” says the article. “The course includes psychology classes where practitioners learn to distinguish between mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, and genuine cases of possession.” Hum. Sounds intriguing. But, before you book a flight to Rome and spend two and a half months warding off cans of pea soup, hold on to your holy water and read on. I might be able to save you some time and expense.
Any military strategist will tell you that in order to effectively fight your enemy you have to know your enemy and his weakness. The demons have made themselves your enemy. They hate you. “Our fight is not with people,” says the Good Book, “it is against the leaders and the powers and the spirits of darkness in this world. It is against the demon world.” (Eph. 6:12; New Life Version) Here’s the 411 on the bad guys:
RESTRICTED: God ‘punished the angels that sinned by throwing them into Tartarus,’ also known as ‘pits of dense darkness, to be reserved for judgment.’ (2 Pet 2:4) In short, “the angels that sinned” by having sex with earth women were able to dematerialize and sidestep the Flood. Not so with their offspring. Being half human, they drowned. So the demon fathers experienced what was for them the horror of seeing their progeny, generations of them, die in the Flood. Being in Tartarus or ‘dense restrictive darkness’ they no longer have the power to materialize except ethereally for a few brief moments at best. That’s why whenever someone has a brief encounter with a so-called “ghost” of a relative, the “departed soul” NEVER engages in long conversation.
Concerning the ancient Greek view of Tartarus, one reference work states: “In the Iliad, by the ancient poet Homer, the word tar´ta·ros denotes an underground prison as far below Hades as the earth is below heaven. Those confined in it were not human souls, but the lesser gods, spirits, namely, Cronus and the other Titans who had rebelled against Zeus (Jupiter). It was the prison established by the mythical gods for the spirits whom they had driven from the celestial regions.” This is effectively a summation of what happened long before to these “angels that sinned” in the Bible. (2 Pet 2:4; Rev 12:7-12)
DECEPTIVE: The Devil is devious. He “pretends to be an angel of light,” ‘masquerading,’ or ‘disguising himself.’ (2 Cor. 11:14; NIV; NASB; New International Reader’s Version) The article quoted above identifies some things he and the demons use to entrap humans: “Ouija boards, Séances, Magic 8 balls, Palm reading, Tea Leaf reading, Fortune telling, potions, Incantations, Yoga (even as exercise), Martial Arts, Dungeons and Dragons, Harry Potter Books, Eastern Mysticism, Tarot cards,” and Pookie’s grandmother from Mississippi. (Okay, she may not have been mentioned in the article. But, when I was a child, she scared the bejesus out of me just the same!)
You should also be aware that things not mentioned here, and that may be sentimental (like that precious bracelet or necklace you got from your own demonized relative) may also attract the demons. One publication includes “books, magazines, movies, posters, and music recordings that encourage the practice of spiritism and make it seem appealing and exciting…amulets or other items worn for protection against evil.” (See 1 Cor 10:21) In all likelihood you’ll be disinclined to part with the item(s). Still, it’s the best move you can make.
Granted, it could be an expensive move, as it was for the early Christians in Ephesus. Here’s what they did: “And many of those who had practiced curious, magical arts collected their books and throwing them, book after book, on the pile burned them in the sight of everybody. When they counted the value of them, they found it amounted to 50,000 pieces of silver.” (Acts 19:19; Amplified Bible)
VULNERABLE: The demons do have an Achilles’ heel. They’re terrified of God’s name and all that it represents. “GOD’S name [JEHOVAH] is a place of protection-good people can run there and be safe.” (Prov. 18:10; BCL; ASV; Young’s) “You believe that God is one,” writes the disciple James, “you do well. So do the demons believe and shudder in terror and horror!” (Jas 2:19; Amplified Bible) This brings us to…
DEMON DOOMSDAY: “‘What do you want with us, Son of God?’ they shouted. ‘Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?’” (Matt 8:29; NIV) A man possessed of demons expressed these words to Jesus. As stated above, the Devil and his demons know they are in the “pits of dense darkness…reserved for judgment,” and ultimately, they have an appointment with eternal death. (2 Pet 2:4) Another translation has them complaining, “What business do you have giving us a hard time? You’re the Son of God! You weren’t supposed to show up here yet!” (BCL) See also Matt 25:41.
WHAT TO DO: “Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper,” says James. “Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time.” (Jas 4:7, 8; BCL) That’s what Jesus did. “Get away from me, Satan!” he ordered. And after quoting a Scripture, sure enough, “Then the Devil left Jesus.” (Matt 4:10, 11; NIRV) Along with following the instructions above, pray aloud using God’s name Jehovah and the demons will “scamper.” It’s that’s simple. A word of caution, though, to the hotshots:
Don’t go challenging the demons! Some “exorcists” tried that on a demonized man in the Bible and almost got themselves raped! The account says that “the possessed man went berserk-jumped the exorcists, beat them up, and tore off their clothes. Naked and bloody, they got away as best they could.” (Acts 19:13-20, BCL; compare Matt 7:21-23; Acts 16:16, 17)
So remember, knowledge is power, and self-imposed ignorance is a tragedy. Besides, “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe.” (2 Co 4:4; NLT) Don’t be blinded brothers, sisters, and others. And ‘just say no’ to supernatural sex! Stay up. Stay strong. God bless. Amen.
[Note: For any who missed one of the five parts of this series please email Dr. Firpo Carr can be reached at 800.501.2713 or email@example.com.