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

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I am ministering to a person who reported hearing voices and also manifested what appeared to be demons before I even started.  I had to set quick parameters before I could finish the opening prayer because she felt like she was being choked to death. How can you tell what this might be?  Could this be schizophrenia? And if it is, will TPM work with this disorder?  The session worked out okay for a first, but I wasn't sure what I was getting into.
Ed Smith's response:

Here is a place where many people get into trouble.  When we are faced with a situation in which we lack experience, knowledge and/or training we sometimes lack the wisdom to acknowledge our need to refer to others more qualified. If you are not a licensed and qualified mental health professional credentialed to make such diagnosis then you must avoid doing so.  This does not mean that you cannot offer ministry and pray with any person, but making a diagnosis is reserved for those who are trained to do so. Refer persons such as you have described to professionals to do all diagnosis and assessments.  Once there is a qualified diagnosis then you could work within this framework to the degree that you have knowledge.   Never hold yourself out professionally, technically or with ability beyond what you actually are qualified.  Avoid making any suggestions as to what you think may or may not be going on in a person's situation.  The primary thing is to work within the area of your true understanding and knowledge.  Do ministry by the book and by the guidelines and if you do not know what to do then simply admit it and refer as needed.
You do not need to know what a person's particular disorder may be in order to pray for them.  When things occur (as you mentioned above) we must slow down and act cautiously so that we do not make premature assumptions. Not that what you encountered was not demonic (for it may have been), but herein many misdiagnosis are made. We must be careful not to assume that something is demonic simply because it looks like such.  Many people have been misdiagnosed with being demonized when in fact they are not.  If the person is hearing voices (which can have many explanations other than demonic), praying against the devil may not be the first thing we need to do.  It might be better to seek to understand what the person is hearing and how this message makes them feel.  Inner messages only impact people to the degree that the message is believed.  If the person is believing the message then he or she will have an emotional response.  Have them focus on the feeling and see where it takes you.  The fact that the person has believed the message and is experiencing emotional duress tells you volumes about his or her lie-based thinking.   If she was manifesting that she was being choked and she believed that she was going to die, this was a deception and not the truth.  Demons cannot kill us.  The only reason that she felt that she was being choked and going to die was because she was believing this.  More important than driving off a possible demon is in discerning the belief of the person.  Herein is the bondage; her belief, not the demon.  
At the same time I have witnessed many manifestations such as choking, not being able to breath, nausea and vomiting, trembling and shaking that many might conclude was demonic.  The truth is, not much of it was.  And that which had a demonic element connected  to it was only possible due to the belief and choice of the person. It was all memory related and thus a needed part of the person processing and finding truth.  Do not worry about diagnosing the situation but rather focus on the emotional duress and encourage the person to identify what they are believing.   The new revised Basic Seminar Manual is now available  which can shed much light on this issue as well.  I talk about all these issue and more in the new edition.
Hope that this helps.
Ed Smith

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