John Wesley and Spiritual Warfare – 3


It is clear from several cases of Wesley’s writings that he believed that Christians were subject to the attacks of the enemy and that they could even have unclean spirits within them. Here is one. “A ten year old Christian girl, named Elizabeth Booth, experienced pain in the chest for three days. Every successive day thereafter she experienced some kind of fit or spell, such as a fit of rage, or a fit of violent laughter, or a spell of being ‘stretched out and stiff as a carcass.’ These spells usually lasted about an hour, and then ended as abruptly as they began. In the intervals she would be ‘in great heaviness of soul,’ and would pray and plead for God’s mercy. If her faith increased, so did her fits. Often she would go into one of these fits right in the middle of her ‘rejoicing and praising [of] God.’ A couple of months later she grew worse, often trying to throw herself out a window or into a fire. She was especially enraged against both the Bible and Wesley, and often told of his whereabouts, even though he was not present. But still in the intervals, she would break out into ‘vehement prayer.’ Then the spirit began to speak through her. She also started having visions, as of heaven, of hell, or of the future. But three months later all the symptoms disappeared spontaneously and did not return.”

How could something like this happen?  Often the door demons use to attack a person is ancestral sin.  When one person opens themselves up to demonic influence, that person’s descendants are also at risk of demonizing.  When a demon has access to a person, he also claims right to all that person has, including their children.  The Bible says God “punishes the children  for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation” (Exodus 20:4-5; Deuteronomy 5:8-9; Exodus 34:6-7).  The Bible says that children are affected by their parents sins (Ezekiel 18;2) and this is one of the ways.  In fact, this is one of the most common reasons people are demonized.  This is especially true of first born males, for Satan seeks to claim them just as God does (Exodus 34:20).

Generational bondage is often discerned by the sin patterns that repeat from generation to generation. It is not uncommon to observe generations of abuse, addiction, hatred, superstition and fear, pride, control and manipulation, rejection, sexual sins and perversions, aberrant religious beliefs, witchcraft, and rebellion etc.  Generational bondage can be broken by personally repenting of and confessing the sins of past generations. Claim the blood of Christ as stronger than your blood line and put that access under the blood of Jesus (Romans 5:15).  Claim that you are a “new creation, old things have passed away, all things have become new” (II Corinthians 5:17).  Ask God to turn curses into blessing (Deut. 23:5).

In the case of the woman John Wesley talked about it could be that the demon(s) lost their access through the person’s prayer and commitment to God.  God honored her prayers and heart’s desire and close that door to them.  Praise God for His power over Satan’s forces!

(For more information on the subject of spiritual warfare go to  or email me at and I’ll send you a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook).


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