(Every year I spend 3 to 5 weeks in India leading pastors’ conferences and ministering to people and churches. I teach about spiritual warfare, which is very real in India, as this blog shows. Prayers for my ministry there would be greatly appreciated. For more information see India.ChristianTrainingOnline.org) Spiritual Warfare in India 8
Tuesday, January 25, started like all the other days in India, with an early rise and a long drive to another village for a pastors’ conference in a local church. My voice was still very weak and my stomach still sore but getting better. Finally I was getting over a bad case of food poisoning (I guess there is no such thing as a good case, is there?). Then it happened.
While I was talking about Jesus power over demons a young lady on the woman’s side started pointing at me, screaming and pushing towards me while I was talking about Jesus commanding the demons out in Mark 5. I later found out she was screaming “Don’t tell them that! That can’t know that! Stop talking! Don’t be letting them know these things!” She really went wild!
The women tried to hold her and stop her, people started praying against what was happening. One of the larger men pushed through the woman, grabbed her by a large handful of hair on the top of her head and physically dragged her to the center isle and then down to the front where I was standing. He dropped her and she hit her head on the concrete pretty hard but never seemed to notice. Everyone was gathering around crying out to Jesus. I knelt by her and put my left hand on the top of her head and my right on the side of her head for she was jerking and shaking and I didn’t want her to hit her head again. She stopped screaming and was moaning and jerking. I tried to open her eyes to look at her and better command the demons but she kept closing them. Others were touching her and everyone praying out loud. They call on Jesus for help and mercy and are just learning the authority then have to command the demons to be gone. I held her and kept praying for a while. Finally she calmed down and lay still.
This was the second experience in 2 days of a believer in a church service being demonized. When Jesus spoke in Capernaum (Luke 4:31-37; Mark 1:26) a regular attendee started shaking and screaming. Some think believers can be demonized but that is not true. When we become a believer we receive a new nature, where God’s Holy Spirit lives. However we still have our old sin nature, it doesn’t diminish or leave. We can still sin as much after salvation as we did before. We don’t have to sin for now we have a greater power in us, but we still can sin if we choose. It is in the area of our old sin nature that demons can have and keep control of believers as well as unbelievers. That is what happened with the pastor on the previous day and the young woman on this day.
The woman eventually went back to her seat, obviously drained and dazed. She barely seemed to be with it at all. I combined the last 2 sessions so we could get to the prayer for everyone and that went well. Afterwards I sought her out, layed hands on her head and prayed for her again.
I was surprised to see her stay afterwards. She was one of the 7 from the church who I was to baptize that afternoon. They were all Dahlits, the untouchables who are so low in Indian society they are below the caste system. Moses talked to them; I said a bit but couldn’t talk much. She clearly was a new believer who wanted to follow Jesus in baptism. We drove to the river, chased some water buffalo out of the way, and went in to baptize. She was the 6th one baptized. It felt very right having her take that step of faith and public commitment. I really believe God did a great work in her that day.
The woman I baptized after her, the last one, put her hands over her face when she came up out of the water. She started shaking and screaming as well. Falling down in deep very rocky water is not good so we prayed and got her to the shore. She came out of it quickly then.
Back at the church we talked, took pictures, a special meal was served to those baptized and we had more group and individual prayers. Pray for these young women. Ramulamma is the name of the first and Mangamma the second. I am not able to know what really happened afterwards, if the demons were totally gone or tried to attack them again, but God knows and will take care of them.
These women came from Hinduism with its millions of gods, many supestitutions, pagan sacrifices and strange traditions and rituals. Any of these can open a person up to demonic possession. Once a demon has access to a person he clams the whole family and their children. When those children have children he claims them and moves from generation to generation. It’s easy to see how Satan has so much control over so many people in a place like India. Without Jesus no one is free!
As I thought more about Jesus’ experience in the synagogue (Luke 4:31-37; Mark 1:26) the many parallels came clear. Believers can be demonized, and often not know it. It didn’t seem like the man in the synagogue knew he was demonized, nor did his friends and family. When exposed to the power and truth of Jesus, though, demons must bow and yield. This demon reacted to Jesus’ presence, but had to leave when commanded by Jesus. The demon spoke through the man and then threw the man down, shook him violently, and screamed. All this happened in these 2 instances.
I also had an experience of a woman rushing into a church while I was speaking. She was screaming for help while holding a young baby boy that was convulsing and crying. She was a new believer and knew it was a demon for it had attacked her baby before. I thought of when a man brought his young son to Jesus and said he had seizures and often fell into the fire or water. Jesus rebuked the demon and the boy was healed (Matthew 17:14-18).
It was very strange to be living out Bible events, especially ones about demonizing. Knowing the end of the story, who wins the battle, certainly helps! When those kinds of things happen God’s power and presence is so overwhelming and awesome that the whole event becomes a worship experience! It is physically, spiritually and emotionally draining, but there is a tremendous spiritual ‘high’ that comes from witnessing God’s power displayed so clearly and convincingly. What a marvelous God we serve! (Wednesday, March 9, 2011)
Luke 10:18-20 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions (i.e. Satan and demons) and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Thank God for the authority and power Jesus has given you over spiritual forces that would work against you. Use it for the furtherance of His kingdom. But don’t become proud or careless because of it. Focus instead on the fact that you are a child of His with your name written in heaven and your eternal destiny being assured.
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available for free.)