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Dr. Ed Smith
01.01.2011 00:0000    Comments: 7    Categories: news      Tags: spiritual warfare  

Dr. Ed is working hard on finishing up his latest book for dealing with the devil from a non-warfare model based upon the post-resurrection Scriptures...

[This is an excerpt from the new book Dr. Ed is writing.  Please know that you are only provided a small sampling of the text here and are missing much information to come to any conclusions at this time.  Dr. Ed knows that this book has the potential to create some heated controversy.  Pray that as he writes it he will be able to word what he is saying so that the message can be understood and not misconstrued.  Watch for more to come later.]

"Over the last 50 plus years the Church has become increasingly occupied with fighting the devil in what is usually called doing "spiritual warfare." This has resulted in an untold number of books being written giving guidance in how to battle the devil. You might be thinking that this is just another book with a new twist on how to fight "the good fight." During the past three decades I have been on a journey that began as a completely "hands off" approach to dealing with demons but then moving into and through an aggressive face-to-face-deliverance approach to finally landing where I am today. Today I fully acknowledge the presence and activity of demons in the world yet I operate in the reality of the finished work of Christ. I will expound on this reality in the chapters to come.

For most of my Christian life I have held what I would call a Pre-Calvary or Gospel Model when dealing with the devil. I used the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) as the model for how to deal with Satan. However, here is a problem with holding this position. How Jesus and the disciples dealt with demonization in the Gospels all occurred before the Cross and Resurrection. Satan had not yet been dealt the blow of defeat that would come with Calvary. Everything changed after the Cross. Therefore, an accurate and valid approach for dealing with the devil should not be based upon the Gospel Model, but rather must be rooted in the Post-Resurrection Scriptures. To do otherwise is to falsely reinstate Satan to a position he no longer holds.


I came from a mindset that believed that fighting the devil was 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 absolute authority of Christ and in His finished work (Eph. 6:13). I still work with many people in ministry sessions that are reporting varying levels of demonic difficulty; however, I am watching these people truly find freedom without the need for me to battle the demonic as I did before.

No Need to Overcome Again

What I will share in this book is based on literally thousands of hours of ministry over the past 20 plus years with people who have reported varying degrees of demonic experiences. After many years of "hit and miss" approaches, I have come to what I believe is a more biblically consistent model. Today this model is producing what I believe to be very reliable outcomes and what appears to be lasting results. My ministry in the area of the demonic is based upon the belief that Satan was defeated as a predetermined divine outcome of the Lord's death. 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.) Did you notice that this passage did not say we are "overcoming him" but that we have overcome him. Did you also notice that it was because of the blood and testimony and not with the blood or testimony. Since Scripture reveals that we have already overcome the devil, 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. 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 is defeated because of Christ's complete victory and, therefore, I can stand with Christ as opposed to continually battling.

I have not come to the conclusions expressed in this book quickly or apart from much experience. It has been a progressive journey for me over many years. I have diligently studied the Scriptures, have objectively read many different viewpoints of other authors, and have tried not to be overly influenced by the thousands of ministry sessions hours I have logged in personal ministry. Thousands of hours of experience in a specific area can teach a person much, but one's experience should never be the bases for one's theology. However, there is too much written today that lacks good biblical support and is heavily dependent on antidotal reports and personal experience. Some ideas and techniques seemed to have been drawn from out of the air.


I do believe that personal experience can be an important aspect in unlocking and understanding more fully the messages of God's Word. God often operates within the experiences of His people and can clarify the intention of His written Word through human experience. It is often during times of crisis or difficulty that God's word can be understood the most clearly. How many times have you been in the midst of a crisis and gone to the Word and had a familiar passage speak in a way that it had not before. I must confess that much of my "theology" concerning demons and devils prior to about ten years ago was to a great extent, defined by the experiences that I had. Today, I try very hard to let the Scriptures interpret my experience and not the other way around.


As I have logged untold hours doing ministry with people who have reported some measure of demonic difficulty, my perceptions and thinking have gone through many revisions. Along the way, I have passed through numerous stages of understanding. I believe that where I am theologically in this area today is more consistent with what I believe the early church experienced and practiced than what I practiced before. As was evident in the early post-resurrection church, in similar fashion there is no longer any demonic struggle in the ministry that I do. Though the number of people I see exhibiting demon problems has not changed much over the years, I no longer minister with the assumption that there is a need for battle. What has changed in my ministry is the increased level of success and genuine lasting victory that I am seeing in the people with whom I minister. I now approach each new demonic encounter with the question "Why is this demon here?" instead of, "How do I drive this demon out?" I have come to realize that the reasons for a demon to be present are because of the lies (deceptions) that a person believes and also because of the consequential choices a person makes. I have found that, rather that battling an already defeated foe, focusing on the two areas of belief and choice has been most effective when dealing with the demonic.


Should I suspect any possibility of demons being involved I will provide biblical instruction for the person before beginning the session. I will instruct him in what the bible says concerning his identity in Christ, the finished work of the Cross, the devil's limited abilities, the power of free will and choice, etc. I will then ask the person what he wants to see happen. I might ask him, "Do you want a demon to manifest in this session today?" If he says "No", then I agree with him that it will not happen. The amazing thing is that manifestations have stopped. Sometimes there may be times when the person reports hearing inner verbal messages or may report seeing demonic visuals, black walls standing in the way, scary pictures, etc. However, all these sort of things have some emotional link related to them that can be focused on and used to move toward the lie on which it all rests. Any message, visual or inner experience that a demon might produce will be rooted in the person's belief.

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 follow the clear instructions of the Apostle Paul 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).


When Fighting the Devil Seems the Logical Thing to Do

The reason I used to practice spiritual warfare was because my experiential reality reinforced it-I was in a fight. And, to a degree, it was my identity-it is what I did in ministry. My thinking went, "Because I am encountering demons and because they are fighting back means I am in a battle and so therefore this is what I need to do." The problem with this logic was that not everything I experienced was necessarily congruent with God's perspective and truth. My experience developed my belief and my belief greatly influenced my reality. I thought that because I was fighting the devil then I needed to fight the devil. It took me a long time to realize that if you want to fight the devil, or if you think you must fight him, he will gladly fight back. He loves it when Christians act outside of their authority by engaging him in battle.



Characteristics of Junkyard Dogs and Devils

When I first started driving in the mid-sixties I did all of my own mechanical work on my car when it broke down. Unlike the cars today that contain all manner of computers and high tech wizardry, the cars I owned as a young man were basically simple in construction and easy to repair. Today the only thing that I can identify under the hood is the battery (if I can find it) and maybe the oil dipstick. Today if I have a car problem I simply call the local dealership, make an appointment, drop off my car and then take out a second mortgage to pay the bill.


However, back in the old days my cash flow was nominal and repairing my own car meant finding a shade tree to work under, jacking my car up on some blocks of wood, taking off the defective part and then going to the auto salvage junk yard to harvest the part that I needed from another disabled vehicle.


Back then there were two basic kinds of auto salvage yards. One was a full service operation where you would place your order for the part you needed and the salvage yard operator would himself find the model car that matched yours and pulled the part off for you. This full service operation was clearly the most desirable, but also came with an upscale price. The other was a self-service yard. The self service yard was the "poor man's" auto part store. You had to bring your own tools and go out into the lot yourself and find a car that matched your make and model and take the part off yourself. Some yards were more organized than others with the cars carefully placed in rows according to year, make and model. However, others were totally random and piled four or five cars high, one on top of the other with Chevrolets, Fords and Plymouths all piled in the same heap together. Needless to say, the random yards were also the bargain lots. With my budget being what it was, the random self-service lot is where I did my shopping.


Today allowing a person to scavenge around in a precarious place such as this, would be a lawsuit waiting to happen. However, back in the old days you could not sue someone because you did something stupid like climbing up on top of a pile of haphazardly stacked cars and unbolting and pulling off a transmission.


Being crushed by a pile of falling cars was not the only danger one might face in the junk yard, there was also a real threat of snakes and spiders and other creatures that live in and around piles of old cars. I can remember vividly seeing black widow spiders hanging up under the wheel wells and poisonous reptiles slithering in and among the jungle of mangled wrecks. I remember one time lifting up an old door and being surprised by the presence of a coiled rattle snake.


However, there was a far worse potential hazard that superseded snakes, spiders or the possibility of being crushed by a pile of falling cars. My greatest fear was a potential encounter with an evil dreaded beast that sometimes roamed loose in and among the rusting remains found in the junkyard catacombs; the ominous and menacing (and probably demonized) junk yard dog.


Junk yard dogs are a strange breed. They are usually a mix between a Rottweiler, German Shepherd and grizzly bear. They are deliberately mistreated by their handlers so that they become mean and nasty, they are taught to hate everyone and eat old car tires for doggy treats. Now in theory, the junkyard man kept these monsters pinned up during the day and only let them loose to roam as protectors of the yard during the night. However, I have had more than one experience where the handler somehow forgot to pin the dog up and I have found myself "treed" and terrified on top of a pile of cars needing to be rescued. It only takes one close call such as this to make a visit to the junkyard a dreaded experience thereafter. Thank goodness I have never actually been attacked by one of these beasts, but I have had a few encounters that were way too close for comfort. Several times I have been caught off guard by a lunging attack from a dog that I thought was free roaming, but in fact was tied to a chain. Even though in each of these cases the dog reached the end of his chain before consuming me, the fear factor was beyond description.


By now you are wondering what this has to do with anything you are about to read. Actually, most of what I just shared was probably irrelevant except for the imagery of the junkyard dog. Satan has many of the characteristics that one might find with the junkyard dog. Just like the junkyard dog, Satan too has an owner that has predetermined the parameters within which he can do what he does. Even though he would like to roam freely and cause pain and havoc everywhere; he cannot. Though he has one intention and that is to kill and destroy, he is limited in his destruction. Though he hates everyone, has no regard for life, has a nature bent toward evil, he is still only allowed to roam within the fenced in yard and only as far as his chain will permit.


The junkyard dog acts on instinct and does exactly what his nature dictates; mangle, kill, and destroy. Nevertheless, this makes him all the more predictable and manageable and thus benefits his owner. His handler knows what he will predictably do when released in a confined and define arena. Since the dog operates on a predictable bend following his nature and animal instincts, he can be utilized to fulfill a prescribed purpose. In like fashion, Satan has a nature that is bent toward evil and instincts that are almost animalistic in kind and thus he too is predictable. With this being the case, God has and will continue to use the predictable nature of Satan to accomplish a divine purpose. We see this revealed in the story of Job when God asks Satan "have you considered my servant Job?" (Job 1:8). God knew exactly what Satan was going to do when God deliberately chose to lengthened the "dog's chain." God had a divine purpose for Job that was to be accomplished through the suffering inflicted by Satan. The Cross of Jesus reveals this same divine process. The heavenly Father's divine purpose for the redemption of mankind was accomplished because Satan was predictable and evil men acted in accordance with his bidding.


Some might conclude that if God uses evil to accomplish a righteous and holy outcome, His doing so taints Him and even makes Him evil. However, just the opposite is true. His ability to orchestrate and bring about a plan in the context of evil does not make Him evil, but rather reveals His sovereignty. Only a sovereign God can carry out a holy and perfect plan in the context where the devil and evil men are allowed to freely choose, develop and orchestrate their own evil plans that are designed to hinder and thwart what God is doing. In this context of wickedness where the devil and evil men's every effort, attack, and malevolence strategy is designed to knock God's plan off course, instead their evil activities land God in the exact spot He had predestined and intended. God is sovereign and the junkyard dog is predictable and thus manageable.

The junkyard dog only knows violence whereas Satan is the Master of Deceit.

Satan has a quality that the dog does not possess. The junkyard dog is pretty much single focused with a myopic mentality to search and destroy. The junkyard dog always looks and behaves the same; mean and nasty. Whereas, the devil has the astute capability to present himself in an opposite fashion and is endowed with the great ability to entice and deceive. He has the ability to create an illusion of grandeur, power and strength, when in fact he is the "Wizard of Oz" behind the curtain. His power is "smoke and mirrors" that is totally dependent upon the degree that the person deceived buys into his deception. The belief of the person is the arena and the boundary of the devil being able to carry out his intentions.

Deception is limited to the degree it is believed.


If a person believes what the devil is telling him, he will be controlled to some degree by this belief. The lie-based core belief that a person embraces becomes the primary grid through which he will interpret life as it happens. It is also from these lie-based core beliefs that negative toxic emotions flow. Feelings of fear, worry, anxiety, despair, worthlessness, etc. are primarily rooted in these destructive core self beliefs. These same feelings are highly motivational in how we interpret present situations and thus behave. It does not matter that the junkyard dog is on a chain and cannot harm us, if we believe we are about to be eaten we will experience the same emotional response as though the chain was not present. However, the real trouble is not the emotional state we find ourselves, but rather is revealed through what we choose to do in this emotionally charged state. We will soon discover that much of our sinful choices, self-medicating of emotional pain, and other dysfunctional behavior, often have their roots in lie-based thinking that is fueled by the painful corresponding emotion.


When I was almost attacked by the dog on the chain I experienced the same level of fear as I would have had if the chain had not been there. My belief was the same, chain or no chain, "I am going to die!" My belief determined my emotional status and thus dictated what I did next.


Never forget that though his bark is ferocious and his muscles bulge from the surge of his raging adrenalin and his slobbering froth drips from his mouth as he bears his teeth, the chain remains. So no matter how terrible the animal may be, if the chain holds, then the beast delivers no more real threat than the family pet even though our emotions and present experience say otherwise. However, it is another story if we choose to wander within the parameter of the length of the dog's chain or venture out into the salvage yard after closing hours where we have no business to be.


Demons Operate within the Belief System of the Person

When it comes to dealing with a demon in a ministry session 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.").


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 may render service by providing a "wall" to keep the person out of the memory. The truth is, the wall is not a "barrier" hindering the person from moving forward, but rather the demon's suggested 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 have the demon to speak as mentioned above. Rather, the facilitator can ask the question of the person, "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. The principle to remember here is, 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." "This prayer ministry 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 such things as this, etc., know that these messages are only as powerful as what the person already believes. A demonic thought will always contain some element of the person's own core belief system. The demon may take the core belief and restate it or create a visual around it, but nonetheless the message will express the core belief. This is why the message has power. Also keep in mind that "voices" and inner messages are not necessarily demonic. People hear their own thoughts and messages as well.


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. But if the demon's behavior is limited to the lie-based thinking of the person then in this sense what the demon is doing could be very revealing. Nevertheless, the facilitator does not need to initiate the demons participation by asking questions, requesting information or entering into dialogue with a demon. However, a demon's manifestation is also no threat to the process and can be revealing of the person's belief. As I have stated there is no reason to allow any manifestations that the person does not want occurring. Demons will not violate the will of the person.


I know that whatever is happening in a session 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 believes it. If a demon were to speak through a person in a session today I would ask the person what he wanted to see happen? I would ask him if this behavior was according to his will. In doing so I am making it the person's responsibility to make it stop. I have not had a demon manifest in a session in many years. The reason that I saw so much in earlier years was due to my own lack of understanding about what I have just shared....

More to come later!

 
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  •  Idalie wrote 1591 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I am so blessed and so thankful to God for this ministry. I recently finished the Basic Training Seminar. It was at the beginning of the class when Dr. Smith was talking about this subject that I was set free of many, many years of demonic torments. I have known the Lord for over 40 years, I was born in Costa Rica, the oldest of 10 brothers and sisters. My parents used fear to get my attention. My dad was involved in the ocult, fear was my companion day in and day out. Yes, the Lord found me and saved me, but I could not understand why the devil will not  stop harrassing me even when I believed Jesus had defeated him. I was ashamed to admit my struggles and continue to live in fear, horrible, tormenting night terrors! At times, I fear for my life. But then, there was that beautiful night, I was still learning about how Satan can only use the lies we have believe to torment us. Then Dr. Smith explained what exactly happend on Calvary (which I have heard so many other times and cognitively believed it), while he was talking, all of the sudden, I went to memories of when I was  a little girl and started hearing my parents voices telling me if I did not do what they say satan himself will appear to me (and believe me, he did appear to me many times, or at least I believed it), or they will tell me I was going straight to hell if I did not obey them so I spent nights awake imagining all the horrors of hell and that there was no hope for me. On that night, when Dr Smith said "why do we conitinue to battle a defeated enemy", all of the sudden, like in one of those magic trick shows (I don't know how else to explaine it) the fear that had been my companion all these years, dissapear, I felt I had been tricked by the  lies that I had believed and all of the sudden, I WAS FREE!!! It has been almost a year since this happend and  what a wonderful freedom, I am fearless, no more night terrors or nightmares.  What happend on Calvary it's  so real to me and I want so many people I now that live in fear to know that "IT IS FINISHED", Jesus won the victory once and for all!!. I can't wait to get your book Dr. Smith!  Bless you.

     
       
     
     
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  •  DebSchoe wrote 1772 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    My life moto has been, "what Satan wants to use for his victory, God can use for His glory".  I am in agreement with you that Jesus won the battle by dying on the cross for us.  I tell my 13 year old daughter that she does not need to fear Satan, but that she does need to be wise and depend on God for her strength.  God gave us the power to step on Satan's head.  What is there to fear?

     
       
     
     
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  •  DebSchoe wrote 1772 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    My life moto has been, "what Satan wants to use for his victory, God can use for His glory".  I am in agreement with you that Jesus won the battle by dying on the cross for us.  I tell my 13 year old daughter that she does not need to fear Satan, but that she does need to be wise and depend on God for her strength.  God gave us the power to step on Satan's head.  What is there to fear?

     
       
     
     
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  •  kayosika wrote 2234 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I have been in agreement with your post-resurrection view of the demonic even prior to your teaching on it.  In the beginning of my experience with TPM I tried to confront demons as you were doing in those early years.  However, I found that I could not agree with that method and so continued to study and to develop a different way of handling the demonic, mainly sending them to the feet of Jesus whenever they showed up.  The 2007 Basic Seminar Manual gave your very clear focus on the recipient's belief and choice and certainly changed the way I dealt with any demonic manifestation.  As you have said, I do not see or have not had demonic interference because I have focused on the person's beliefs and choices. Thank you for presenting this biblical view in such a clear way with your new book.  I am looking forward to having a copy as soon as it is available.

     
       
     
     
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  •  kayosika wrote 2234 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I have been in agreement with your post-resurrection view of the demonic even prior to your teaching on it.  In the beginning of my experience with TPM I tried to confront demons as you were doing in those early years.  However, I found that I could not agree with that method and so continued to study and to develop a different way of handling the demonic, mainly sending them to the feet of Jesus whenever they showed up.  The 2007 Basic Seminar Manual gave your very clear focus on the recipient's belief and choice and certainly changed the way I dealt with any demonic manifestation.  As you have said, I do not see or have not had demonic interference because I have focused on the person's beliefs and choices. Thank you for presenting this biblical view in such a clear way with your new book.  I am looking forward to having a copy as soon as it is available.

     
       
     
     
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  •  kayosika wrote 2234 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I have been in agreement with your post-resurrection view of the demonic even prior to your teaching on it.  In the beginning of my experience with TPM I tried to confront demons as you were doing in those early years.  However, I found that I could not agree with that method and so continued to study and to develop a different way of handling the demonic, mainly sending them to the feet of Jesus whenever they showed up.  The 2007 Basic Seminar Manual gave your very clear focus on the recipient's belief and choice and certainly changed the way I dealt with any demonic manifestation.  As you have said, I do not see or have not had demonic interference because I have focused on the person's beliefs and choices. Thank you for presenting this biblical view in such a clear way with your new book.  I am looking forward to having a copy as soon as it is available.

     
       
     
     
    0 points
     
  •  kayosika wrote 2234 Days Ago (neutral) 
     
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    I have been in agreement with your post-resurrection view of the demonic even prior to your teaching on it.  In the beginning of my experience with TPM I tried to confront demons as you were doing in those early years.  However, I found that I could not agree with that method and so continued to study and to develop a different way of handling the demonic, mainly sending them to the feet of Jesus whenever they showed up.  The 2007 Basic Seminar Manual gave your very clear focus on the recipient's belief and choice and certainly changed the way I dealt with any demonic manifestation.  As you have said, I do not see or have not had demonic interference because I have focused on the person's beliefs and choices. Thank you for presenting this biblical view in such a clear way with your new book.  I am looking forward to having a copy as soon as it is available.

     
       
     
     
    0 points
     
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