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

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My question pertains to a demon talking through a person in a ministry session.  Several of my friends have been told or asked by facilitators to "lay back and let the demons speak through you". They are asked to allow a demon that is suppressing or oppressing them to speak through or to them so the facilitator can find the root or source of the demon and the relating issues in the person's life.  I have read your materials here on the website and many other materials on the Internet about your ministry. My question (and I wanted to come right to the source - you) is concerning the demon speaking through people - Is that part of your ministry or are these people in our area abusing your ministry? I look forward to hearing from you.


Ed Smith's response:


 (Some of what is written here is excerpt from the new revised 2005 edition of the Basic Seminar Manual.  I have already answered this question in detail in the new manual.  It will be assumed that you have read the new revised manual and are already familiar with what has been taught concerning this issue.  Therefore what I write here is merely a summarization of what is already in print.)



It has been a long road to where I am today.

I have come a long way in my journey of understanding demons, Satan, spiritual warfare, etc. over the last ten years.  If you had been acquainted with TPM 10 years ago you would have found me fighting with and "slaying" demons left and right.  Though I look back and cringe at some of what I did and taught in years gone by, I also realize that I was not afraid to move into the unknown and push the envelope a bit (sometimes allot).  Because of this willingness to explore and ask questions, I learned much and have since challenged many of the traditional beliefs concerning spiritual warfare (for which I have had to pay a price).  Nevertheless, I believe that the place I am today is one of the more balanced positions being taught currently..  Today, I do not talk with demons, ask the people to allow demons to talk or do anything like this.  In fact, I do not find any need to converse with the demonic world at all.  Today, I would never encourage a person to let a demon speak through them as you have described in your letter, though I have done so in years past.  

However, I do  allow what ever happens in a ministry session to occur.  If a person reports sensing a demon, hearing a demonic message, feeling oppressed or even physically acts out with a demonic manifestation, I am not alarmed, overly concerned nor do I go into a "spiritual warfare" mode.  I am very confident that anything that is occurring in the ministry session is directly linked and dependent upon the person's own belief and choice.  I do not believe I need to rescue any person from the devil.  I have discovered that people find freedom when they come in to the knowledge of the truth.  Rather than being "helpless victims of the devil," people who report being demonized should be seen as people void of some element of the truth. In this unfortunate state, they are thus deceived and held captive by the "snare of the devil" as opposed to being held captive by the "snarer" himself (2 Tim. 2:26). I do not need to beat the devil off of someone, but rather to pray that God might "grant change of thinking/repentance, leading to the knowledge of the truth so that they might come to their senses, having escaped the snare of the devil, having been held captive to do his will" (2 Tim. 2:25-26, paraphrased).


So needless to say, I am at a very different place today than I was a few years ago concerning how to deal with demonic involvement in a ministry session. I came from a mindset that viewed fighting the devil as normal and to be expected. However, I have moved from being an aggressive "spiritual warrior" to simply standing in Christ as "more than a conqueror" (Rom. 8:37). I see my position in Christ as one that I do not have to personally defend or maintain. I am learning to trust in the authority of Christ and in His finished work (Eph. 6:13).  It is certain that Jesus did not merely start something at the cross; He finished it.  (If you have not read the article in the winter 2005 edition of the Theophostic Journal entitled "A redemption Worth Dying For" I would encourage you to do so.)  I still work with many people in ministry sessions that are reporting varying levels of demonic difficulty; however, I am watching these same people truly find freedom without the need for me to battle the demon or relate to the demon itself directly as I did before.


The cross of Jesus Christ changed everything. 

The word "dia" that you are using as a basis of your argument is indeed used quite often as "instrumental" and not necessarily "causative". KJV, NIV and Phillips among others translate the word as "by" or "through"in this passage. I suggest that you save yourself a needless argument here and simply state your case without the semantic comparison between the instrumental and causative uses of this preposition. Your point in the Ephesians passage is stronger. brr

My ministry in the area of the demon is based upon the belief that Satan was rendered powerless as a predetermined divine outcome of the Lord's death, and, therefore, I can stand in the assurance of God's word that we "overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of [our] testimony" (Rev. 12:11, brackets mine). Since Scripture reveals that we have already overcome him, we do not need to overcome him again. In past years, I would confront the devil in unnecessary battle with the blood of Jesus as though the death of Christ and His shed blood were weapons with which to battle the devil as opposed to the reason he was rendered powerless. Now I realize that Satan's defeat is not about me battling him with the blood, with the Bible, or with anything else. Instead, it is about living in the reality that Satan was rendered powerless because of Christ's willful submission and, therefore, I can stand with Christ as opposed to continually battling. It is interesting that the primary passage of Scripture that is often used to justify fighting the devil (Eph. 6:10-17) does not suggest that battle is necessary, but simply gives clear instruction to stand in the finished work of Christ. This passage also emphasizes that we are not to stand in opposition against the devil but, instead, against his schemes or tricks and deceptions. As I look back on my ministry of a few years ago, I realize that Satan knew this all along, but was just enjoying the privileges afforded him through my ignorance. The apostle Paul expressed this need to be wise concerning demons when he explained that the reason Satan could not take advantage of him was because he was not ignorant of Satan's schemes and devices (2 Cor. 2:11).



The probable cause of misunderstanding and thus misapplication of the principles.

Perhaps one reason that  people are misunderstanding what I have taught concerning demons speaking through people has to do with what I teach about the belief and will of man.  It has been my experience that demons are connected to the person's belief and will/choice.  When a person believes something and has made, or is making, choices, this allows a demon the freedom to operate with in the person's life. This principle is proven valid because demons will always depart without a fight when the person is able to embrace truth and let go of the lies on to which he is experientially holding. It is important to distinguish what the person believes logically as opposed to what he is acting on experientially. For example, a person receiving ministry can logically know that he is safe in the ministry setting and that the emotional feelings of terror he has are only memory related and, yet, he may still be unwilling to go to the memories containing his painful emotions. This unwillingness is based on what the person really believes experientially in the memory (e.g., "I am going to die, I will get stuck, I am trapped and cannot get away."). Demons will not be deterred by the logical truth a person may know if the person's behavior is the result of his experiential, fear-based lies. 


Since demons operate within the experiential belief system of a person, demons may create inner distractions, barriers, and walls in a person's mind, but only as far as the person willfully allows. If a person really does not want to look at a memory, demons can provide a "wall" to keep the person out of the memory. The truth is, the wall is not a "barrier" to moving forward but rather the person's solution to having to face the memory based on his or her true will and belief.  Since this is so, demons can be viewed as "lie detectors." Since a demon can only operate in the arena of a person's belief and choosing, you should find out what the demon is exposing by its actions, words, inner messages, and created illusions.  This is NOT the place to ask the demon to speak as mentioned above.  Rather, the facilitator can ask the question, "What is this demon's behavior, words, and antics revealing about what is being believed?  Usually if the person will just slow things down and look and listen inside to his thoughts, visuals, and impressions, he will be able to discern the belief behind what is happening. Whatever a demon is doing is a direct reflection of what the person believes.  If the person's lie-based emotions are fearful, the demon may provide the person with a way of avoiding the fear by creating a barrier wall, causing numbness, or providing a false "Jesus" to appear to "rescue" him or her. If the lie-based emotions are feelings of false guilt and shame, the demon may accentuate this by mocking, taunting, or shaming the person. If the person's lie-based beliefs are producing the emotion of hopelessness, the demon might send thoughts such as, "You will never get through this." "Theophostic will not work for you." "You are wasting this man's time." "Just give up." If the person reports that he hears voices telling him he is dirty, evil, stupid, or unloved, etc., know that these messages are only as powerful as what the person already believes.  Keep in mind that "voices" and inner messages are not necessarily demonic.  People hear their own thoughts and messages as well.  Herein, the person's true belief system has been exposed. You should then have the person feel the emotions that his belief statements stir up and follow these emotions to their memory source. Though the demon would never want to admit it, its presence in a ministry session can have benefit as it exposes the lies the person believes.  Nevertheless, the facilitator does not need to initiate the demons participation by asking questions, requesting information or entering into dialogue.  However, a demon's manifestation is also no threat to the process and can be revealing of the person's belief.

This is probably where the people you described above have gone too far.  Instead of just working with what has surfaced on its own (within the person's will and belief) these people seem to be directing the process and actually stirring up the demonic situation.  THIS IS NOT NECESSARY OR WHAT I TEACH OR PRACTICE TODAY.  If a demon speaks a message into the person's mind apart from my instigating it, I have no problem with asking the person to feel what the message makes them feel, asking what the message causes them to believe etc.  However, I DO NOT encourage demons to speak through the person or to do anything else today.  But if a demon does so on its own (of course this is limited to the person's belief and choice) I do not try to stop it nor am I concerned about it.  I know that what is happening is directly related to the person and not because some demon is controlling the situation.  I no longer make the demon the focus or the issue but rather the person's belief and choice.  As I have already stated, the demon is only doing what it is doing because of the person's belief and choice and the demon's message is only as powerful as the person's believing it.


Aggressive exorcism is not part of the deliverance in the TPM process.

There are five basic elements listed in the 2 Timothy 2:24-26 passage that is advocated in TPM: (1) Gentle encouragement by the ministering person, (2) prayer asking God to grant repentance or change of thinking, (3) the person coming into the knowledge of the truth, (4) the person coming to his senses, (5) and then, as a result, the person escaping from the devil's snare. People do need other members of the body of Christ to come alongside them and bring gentle encouragement, prayer, and support. They often need ministry from others to help them make the choices necessary in order to expose their lie-based pain. But they do not need anyone to fight off a defeated devil that is merely operating within the lie-based areas of their thinking. People need truth, not warfare. When there is abiding truth present, there is no need to fight.


For example, if a person reports hearing a message that says he is stupid, worthless, unloved, etc., I ask him to notice how those words make him feel (as opposed to going after the demon). The degree of impact that the words can have on him is related to the degree that he believes them. In this sense, the demon is helping to expose the person's lie-based thinking.  In this same context I would not ask the person to let the demon speak or anything else.  However, if the person reports that this is going on I do not try to stop it.  I rather focus on what the person is feeling and thus believing. 


Always know that the demon's actions and words are based on what the person believes. The person will usually have some emotional response to what the demon is doing. This emotion will be rooted in the lie-based thinking on which the demon is operating. Finding the lie source of this emotion is where you need to focus.  The demon's message only carries power over the person because the person believes what the demon is saying. If the person reports that the demon is telling her something like, "She will never be free, she belongs to me!" or "If you go to the memory you will die!" know that this message is a strong indication of what the person believes. Have the person identify what this message feels like and then continue to do the Theophostic Prayer Ministry process.  The emotion it stirs up is a clue as to where you may need to go and what you need to deal with.


In conclusion, read the 2005 edition of the Basic Seminar Manual.

 Much of what I just wrote is directly taken from the 2005 Basic Seminar Manual.  I encourage you to read the chapter on dealing with demons carefully.  I hope to rewrite all of this material at some point and put it in a concise single work.  In summary, take your focus off of the demon and tune in to the belief of the person.  This belief will be accompanied by emotion.  A demon can operate within this lie-based context but it is powerless to do anything apart from the person's choosing.  2000 years ago a willful choice of a Son obeying His Father rendered a devil powerless and positioned the redeemed in a place of eternal victory.  We are called to stand in this place of grace (Rom. 5:1) with confidence and seek to have our minds renewed with truth (Rom. 12:2).  The demons are still out there and would love to entice you into a fight.  Just don't take the bait and do not think that you need to enter into dialogue with them any more.  I have already "been there and done that."  Make Christ the center of all you do and the ministry recipient's belief and choice the focus of the ministry session.   


I hope that this helps


Ed Smith


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