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01.01.1970 01:0000    Comments: 0    Categories: You Asked (Text Files)      Tags:

You asked...

 

Dear Dr. Smith,

 I have followed the changes in your teachings concerning dealing with demons over the past two and half years and use them regularly in real sessions with real people and am having good results. However, I sometimes find that, in the days/weeks following the session where we dealt with demons, the person concerned experiences additional problems in his or her life that could be viewed by some as additional spiritual attacks. In Matt 12:43-45 Jesus describes what happens when a demon departs and the "house"a is left empty. In the future, I intend to follow-up every demon departure with a specific request (prayer) for the Holy Spirit to fill the vacuum left by the demon. What do you think about this idea. What is your opinion of these events (following after ministry sessions) being spiritual attacks? Do think this kind of follow-up prayer is necessary and, in your experience, is it likely to lessen the kind of events mentioned above?

 

Ed Smith's response:

 

There are several elements in your questions above.

1) People receiving ministry sometimes report additional emotional duress following a ministry session.

2) The belief that when a demon leaves that it leaves a void.

3) The possibility of this additional duress following a ministry session being more demonic attack.

4) The need for praying that the Holy Spirit will fill the "empty house" following ministry sessions where a demon might have been present.

 

FIRST, I cover these very issues in the new revised seminar manual (2005) but will summarize what I say. It is important that we not lose sight of the fact that when a person is oppressed or attacked by a demon it is directly related and dependent upon what the person believes. Satan "attacks that which is lie-based in a person's thinking. I am impacted by what the devil does or says to me because I believe something that he is exposing in me. If I did not believe what it was suggesting, then I would not be effected by it. Demons operate within the parameters of our belief system.

 

For example, a woman to whom I once ministered said that she was being tormented by demonic messages about her lack of worth, her being unlovable, shameful etc. This was occurring even though she had confessed and repented of every sin that she knew to confess, was living as obediently as she was able, and seeking the Lord daily, yet she still lived in continual torment. The reason that the devil had any influence on her was that she believed what it was saying. Demons are "lie detectors" exposing the falsehood we harbor. Sometimes we want to make the person a helpless victim of the devil's grasp and believe that the person's freedom is dependent upon me (the more spiritual) rescuing her from its grip.

 

Satan was rendered powerless 2000 years ago but remains a master of deception and thus wields great deceptive power over those who hold to such lies and deception. The truth is, people are not held captive by the devil himself but rather by his "snare." We are warned in Scripture to be aware of this but we are not told that we have to fight off the snare himself. A wonderful picture of "deliverance" ministry is found in 2 Tim. 2:25-26. I paraphrase this with, "pray that God might grant the one held in the devils snare "repentance" (word actually means "new thinking" ) so that he might come into the knowledge of the truth and come to his senses and thereby escape the snare of the devil." Notice no battle is mentioned here but rather truth setting the person free.

 

When I encounter a person who manifests some demonic influence, I do not assume that he or she needs exorcism. I assume that this demonic presence is pointing out and exposing some element of this person's belief system. I target the lie-based thinking not the demon. If what I do here is based upon a valid principle then when the truth is known by the person the snare has to leave since his snare (deception/lie) has been displaced with truth.

 

This leads us to the SECOND ELEMENT of your question. Do we need to ask the Lord to fill the "house" with truth so that the demon cannot re-infest the place? If it is God's truth that has displaced the lie-based thought and caused the snare to be broken then there is already truth where there was darkness. The house is therefore not empty but filled with the "knowledge of His truth." It is because of truth that freedom has come.

 

This then leads us to the THIRD ELEMENT of your question, "why do people sometimes feel oppressed/attacked after the time of ministry? This is actually very common. There is a misnomer that "one session cures all" that is simply not so. One session deals with whatever memories that surfaced. People find freedom memory-by-memory and lie-by-lie. Mind renewal is a life long process. Therefore, I can find deep and lasting release in a particular place in my thinking and then be "triggered" in another place the next day and feel the pain coming from this other lie-based infested part of my thinking. I have discovered that this new pain is not demons returning to an empty house, but rather just another issue that needs to be addressed. I do not believe that the "oppression" that "returns" is demons coming back to a clean house, but rather just another place that the Lord desires to bring truth. If someone came to me sometime after a ministry session complaining of additional emotional pain, then I would just do more ministry. I would assume that some other place where falsehood was harbored had been exposed. I would not make the demon the problem or the focus but pray that the Lord would grant him new thinking (by doing more TPM).

 

However, praying that God would fill the person with His truth following a ministry session would not hurt anything and would be a biblical thing to do as well. The Apostle Paul prayed that we be filled with the knowledge of the Lord and the knowledge of His will more than a few times. On the other hand, making the devil the person's problem assumes that the person is a victim of sorts rather than just a person in need of mind renewal and truth. Pray that God will grant them change of thought that will lead them into the knowledge of the truth and release them from the lie-based snares of the devil.

 

I hope that this helps

 

Ed Smith

 
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