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Dr. Ed Smith
01.01.1970 01:0000    Comments: 3    Categories: news      Tags:
This is the latest "You Asked" question posted. The MP3 version of this question can be downloaded as an MP3 file in the CONT EDUC section. Dear Dr. Ed, During one of my ministry sessions, the picture of a strange face appeared in my mind after we asked the Lord for His truth. This face stirred up awful feelings in me, and it did not feel right! Afterwards my facilitator explained to me that it was probably a demon that was attached to the memory. Is encountering this kind of weird thing normal in a session?”

I am not completely sure of what normal is in a ministry session other than the Lord’s faithfulness to provide His truth when we are at the place where we can receive it. Being in the right position is crucial before the Holy Spirit will reveal His truth. For example, if I am harboring a lie and am unwilling to expose it and even if I should ask for His truth, I will not likely receive anything. When I am in this conflicted state, I experience a form of double-mindedness. Double-mindedness occurs when I hold two opposing beliefs at the same time. For example, if I say that I believe God loves me, and yet hold a lie-based belief such as, “I am worthless and unlovable,” then I am double-minded. James the Apostle says that when a person is double-minded, this “man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:7-8).

The questions about the “face,” and the possibility of it being demonic, are not Theophostic questions. Theophostic Prayer Ministry (TPM) does not deal with demons as is often done in a deliverance ministry context. TPM teaches that Jesus ended the devil’s limited reign 2000 years ago on the Cross. Therefore, since Jesus dealt with him when He died on the Cross, engaging the devil in battle is redundant. It is true that there was confrontation with demons recorded in the Gospel stories prior to the Cross and Resurrection, but after post-Calvary much changed. Satan simply no longer holds the place and position he held prior to the Cross. There is no doubt that Satan is still the master of deception and wields much influence in what happens in the word. However, all of this is accomplished through deception and the willful cooperation of man’s participation in evil.

Every act of evil in the world today has human finger prints on it. Everything the devil does today is rooted in and accomplished by deception and not by power or might and always with a cooperative effort from willing humans. A divine and decisive outcome occurred at the Cross of Christ that changed what he can and cannot do today. Hebrews 2:14 declares “through death he might render powerless him who HAD (emphasis mine) the power of death, that it, the devil…” I am not saying that the devil and his demons are not an opposing force in the world today; for they are. However, the manner in which we deal with them, in the post-Resurrection time frame, is different than he was dealt with before the Cross. To go to battle with a pre-Calvary perspective is to deceptively and artificially reinstate him to a position to which he no longer holds. This raises the question of whether the work of Christ was comprehensive and complete, or lacking and thus requires that we “mop up” what the Lord did not finish.

Deception is empowered by the person who believes it. Deception can only accomplish its purpose to the degree that it is embraced and believed by the one who is being led astray by its influence. Deception has no power over the one who knows the truth. The “face” you saw in your mind may have been created by an evil source such as a demon; however, it does not really matter because if was demonically produced, then it was rooted in lies and deception. The presence of the “face” is not the crucial element in this scenario, but rather answering the question as to why it was there to begin with? Some people are quick to suggest that such “demonic” experiences occur because we are under attack or we are being oppressed. This is almost a noble position we take as though we are “suffering” for the Lord. I do not see demonic attack as suffering for Jesus, but rather God using the devil to expose our lie-based beliefs. Demons are attracted to our falsehood and their “oppression” occurs because of what is already in us; lies. These lies are a part of our belief system. Demons operate within the parameters of this belief system and trigger the lie-based thinking. This results in bad feelings which are sometimes identified as oppression. Our problem is not with that which lies outside of us but rather that which we own that is harbored within. James the Apostle alludes to this when he says, “each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust” (James 1:14.)

If I had been facilitating your session, I would have given little attention to the “face,” but would have asked you to identify and choose to feel the emotion that was present because of the face. The emotion that we feel is our own and is never created by any outside force (such as the face). Demons, nor people, can make us feel anything. Our emotions are connected to our beliefs. As we often say in TPM, “we feel whatever we believe.” One of the primary schemes of the devil is to touch our lie-based thought which then stirs the belief’s corresponding emotion. Once our emotional state becomes stirred, we become a prime target for the “roaring lion” who seeks to devour us with his short-sided solutions (1 Peter 5:8). He devours us by providing us with destructive ways to either suppress the emotion or act it out. Think about the times when you are most tempted to sin, act out in a hurtful way, or self medicate. Is it not when your emotions are heightened with anxiety, frustration, depression, worry or fear, etc.? In a sense, a demon acts as a “lie detector” in these places. He simply touches (points out) our lie-based thinking which is made evident by the negative emotion that stirs up.

I would like to clarify what your facilitator said concerning the reason the demon was there. Yes, he might be operating within the context of the memory, but it is not the memory to which he is connected. He is connected and operating within the parameters of the deception or lie-based thinking that is contained in the memory. Once the lie-based pain is lifted from the memory, the memory will remain however, the demon may never be a part of the memory container again. If there are no lies present in the memory, then there is nothing for the demon to work with. If a demon is present in an area of your thinking, then it is there because of a belief that you hold.

This does NOT mean that you have a demon in you or that you need to have a demon cast out. Demons do most of what they do through mental communication that occurs outside of a person. In the same way a person speaks to you from the outside, demons do the same (just not with sound waves but rather a mental form of communication.) All people are tempted by the deceiver. All people receive demonic communication from time to time but this does not make them demonized. Far too often people assume because a visual (face), inner voice, or other manifestation appears, a demon is present and should be dealt with accordingly. This is simply not so. Casting out the demon is rarely the solution. Rather, identifying the belief on which the demon operates and having the Lord replace all lies with His truth will take care of the demon. In the meantime, you can use what the “demon” is doing to help you identify what you believe. You do not need to address it or talk to it or engage it in battle or make it do anything. Rather, simply refuse to give it the attention that it craves, and instead focus on the emotion that is stirred and seek to identify the belief that is producing the stirred feelings.

It is common in a ministry session for an opposing force (such as the face) to stand in the way of the person moving forward because the person believes something that is contrary to moving forward. For example, if I believe that to move towards the memory will result in my encountering more pain than I can endure, or the belief that I might die if I remember, or I may become stuck in the pain, etc. then I would not likely move forward. When this occurs, a demon may provide the person a way of escape by producing a “face” or a “wall” allowing him or her to be a victim. Now the person can say “I am willing to go to the place of pain but this opposing force is blocking the way.” Now he needs to be “rescued” (delivered) before he can move forward. In Christ we are not victims and we have the free will to choose to move forward if we do so. We will be able to do so when the lies we believe that are contrary to moving forward are replaced with the Lord’s truth. We also have a free will that allows us to “resist” the devil at any juncture.

It is also important that you know that no demon or devil can control you at any time since it cannot violate your will. You have full control at any given moment. The bible is clear that all we have to do to deal with the devil as believers in Christ is to simply resist him and he has no choice but “flee.” (James 4:7, 1 Peter 5:9.) It has been my experience for the last many years that I need not engage or fight the devil. Back a decade ago I was right in the middle of a full blown “spiritual battle” but I now realize I was deceived by doing so. Today I stand in the finished work of Christ and never engage demons at any level. I never experience any outward manifestations or “demon” blockage that is not rooted in the person’s own belief and choice. On a personal level, my greatest enemy is my own free will choices. The daily battle I face is not with a defeated devil but with the fact that I can still make choices that pierce the heart of God. My daily struggle is with my coming to the same place that the Lord knew when he prayed, “not My will but Thine be done.”

I would encourage you and your facilitator to follow this protocol. The next time the “face” shows up choose to allow yourself to feel what has been stirred up and choose to follow this emotion to its lie-based source. Do not give attention to any demonic involvement. Choose to own the fact that the demon is only there because of your own lie-based belief and not for any other reason. This is not to say that the initial infestation may have occurred in the context of the person’s will being violated by another human (such as during childhood sexual abuse). Nevertheless, the demon currently remains and functions due to what the person believes. When the lie-based belief is removed and replaced with truth the demon will have to go. The Lord desires that you know the truth. The enemy wants you to take the short-sided route that keeps you in bondage. Choose truth.

Hope this helps

Ed Smith
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  •  Therese wrote 2335 Days Ago (neutral) 

    As a facilitator, I had a similar experience and implied dr Smith's advice with great success. Thank you!

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  •  IZONPRIZE wrote 2657 Days Ago (neutral) 

    Thank you!

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  •  Janet wrote 2682 Days Ago (neutral) 

    I gained by this too . .thank you.


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