Oct 30, 2012

Progressive Healing of Multiple Sclerosis

This man suffered from multiple sclerosis for 20 years and has been losing strength, control and balance in his body. He walked out for prayer with some struggle. After each round of prayer, more strength returned to him. It's obvious in the first few minutes of the video that he has difficulty walking. But after a few more rounds of prayer, he was able to run and he walked back to his seat noticeably different; like a normal, healthy person.

This is a classic example of progressive healing. John Mellor demonstrates the principle of continuing in prayer and allowing adequate time for the power of God to bring the healing to completion.

Oct 27, 2012

I've Received Prayer - Why Am I Still Sick?

I'd like to dedicate this message to the friends who have come to me often for prayer and are still not healed. I want you to know that I haven't given up on seeing you healed. You've received prayer from so many people and you're still not well, but you refuse to quit. Your persistence is remarkable. I've learned some things by talking with all of you and it's my hope that eventually you'll get the breakthrough you're looking for.

Thanks for being patient with God as He teaches us about healing. Thank you for not giving up on us.

I want to recognize a couple of friends who've challenged and enlightened me on my journey. My wife is at the front of the line. She's my best friend and one of the people who awaits her complete healing. She's my inspiration for pressing forward in understanding how healing works.

Jon Sellers has been at my side continually reminding me of the need for a balanced approach in looking at healing. It's easy if you're passionate, to become one-sided. As Emeril Lagasse said after seasoning both sides of a steak, "I hate one sided- tasting food." It's because of Jon's wisdom that I'm even considering these things, which lie outside the box for most of us.

I'd also like to thank Matt Evans, who took an interest in me and got me started in healing. He's been a fountain of information. Lastly, I'd like the thank David McLain for the countless phone calls, text messages, jokes, humorous pictures, words of advice, perplexing questions and hours that he's spent praying for me.

We’re on a journey of discovery. That journey is a progressive revelation of eternal truths that have existed in the mind of God and upon which His kingdom was built long before Adam walked with Him in the cool of the day. On this journey, we’ll find many things that have been hidden, waiting for us to find them. For in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and it is His good pleasure to gives us the kingdom. Yes, God has hidden from us the treasures of wisdom. Why, you ask? So that we might pursue them and in the process find Him. The journey is nothing less than the complete revelation of God and all of His ways through His son, Jesus.

One of the mysteries we hope to uncover has to do with the question of why some people are healed while others are not. Some may be content to shrug their shoulders and say, “We’ll never know.” I am not one of them. I think we may know, but I believe many will reject the truth, finding it distasteful.

So the question is: Why are some people not healed despite having received prayer from faith - filled believers, who know their authority and who otherwise have good results?

I’d like to share a story about a co-worker that I prayed with who wasn’t healed the first time I prayed with her. We worked at our station on the west side of Phoenix, Arizona. On October 17th 2011, early in the morning as she made her way outside to wash an ambulance, I noticed that she was limping and asked what was wrong. She showed me a painful, swollen knee that was wrapped in a support device. I asked if could pray with her to be healed. With some fear about what I planned to do, she agreed. I prayed over her knee three times but she felt nothing.

On the same day I prayed with a different co-worker, who had a partially torn Achilles tendon and pain in his back. He was healed of everything instantly, but she wasn't. That day and for a few days following, I asked God why one person was healed and the other wasn't. Here's what I heard: The man with the Achilles tendon injury was healed because he gladly received his healing without fear or worry. She was afraid I would hurt her and that fear prevented her from being healed. It wasn't that God could not heal her. It wasn't that He didn't want her healed. It was because she could not receive healing in a state of fear.

I was disappointed. I really wanted her to be healed. I saw her a few times afterward, still walking with a limp. On December 2nd  2011, she saw me loading my gear in the ambulance. She came over and asked why she wasn't healed. I told her that I talked to God about it and I believed it was because she was afraid of being hurt. I asked her to explain why she thought I was going to hurt her. It turns out, her father had asked her the same question, "Do you want to be healed?" When she said ‘yes’, he hit her hard on her injured knee. So when I asked her the same question, she was afraid I would do the same thing.

I told her I had no reason to hurt her and I let her know that the offer was still open. If she wanted to be healed God would heal her. She said she did. We sat on the couch in the day room. She showed me her swollen knee, wrapped in a black elastic bandage. I asked God to bring his presence upon her then asked what she felt.

"I feel really relaxed and at peace."

I commanded the swelling, inflammation and pain to leave and commanded the ligaments, tendons, muscles, nerves, cartilage and bones to be healed. She felt heat going through her knee, which increased each of the three times I prayed over her knee. While her knee was being healed I taught her about the battle over healing. I warned her that the symptoms might return, told her to stand in faith and believe she was healed and to command the symptoms to leave if they returned the same way I did to make them leave. She seemed to understand.

I saw her three weeks later and asked how her knee felt. She said it felt great. I asked if she was serious. With a smile, she looked at me and said, "Yeah - it feels great!"

When she wasn’t healed the first time, the easiest explanation would be to assume that God didn’t want her healed. This is what many of us do. The fact that she was healed at a later date demonstrates that it wasn't a problem with God. It was a problem with us. Unfortunately, we often blame God when healing doesn’t happen, but this should be the last explanation we consider.

The most likely explanation for failed healing is a lack of faith in the one praying. The next thing to consider is that some obstacle may be present in the life of the one we’re praying with that needs to be removed. Sometimes it’s a spirit of sickness; sometimes it’s an attitude toward God or us that needs to change. In this case, it was fear. Once the fear was removed she was healed.

I'm a creature of habit. One of my habits is finding patterns in things. I'm not sure that I do it intentionally. It just seems like I notice patterns more than most people. In my time on Facebook, I've noticed many different patterns of behavior and beliefs among the thousands of friends I have. People who have these behaviors fall into groups, at least in my mind, and sometimes they form literal groups. Three groups of people continually interact with me.

Two of the groups operate in divine healing. The first sees people healed by exercising authority over sickness. Authority and faith are the tools they're familiar with. But they have one problem; not everyone they pray for is healed. It's been said, "If your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." I think this group suffers from working with a small toolbox.

Because they believe that only faith and authority are involved in the equation, every failure is attributed either to a lack of faith or a lack of exercising their authority. They rarely consider other possibilities. And although they see impressive results in the area of physical healing, they don't do as well with deliverance or emotional healing, though they agree that 100% healing is the goal.

The second group also has the focus of healing, but their approach is different. This group focuses on other things besides faith and authority. Although they recognize them to some degree, it isn't to the degree of the first group. They're more likely to approach healing from a revelatory standpoint. They desire to have God reveal the issues involved in a person's life that contribute to their condition and through a process of dealing with each issue, healing takes place. This group probably doesn't have the success in physical healing that the first group has, but they seem to have better results in the areas of inner healing and deliverance.

Both groups have a measure of success and a measure of failure, but neither sees everyone healed. I think both groups could learn a great deal from the other, but this never seems to happen. Both groups are highly suspicious of the other and frankly - there's a lot of hostility between them. Sadly, the hostility is instigated and encouraged by many of the leaders.

The third group is small; just a handful of people who receive healing prayer often from many of us but their illness remains. Most of these illnesses manifest as physical symptoms. Often their symptoms confound medical experts and defy conventional diagnostic tests. They’re often told “We don’t know what the problem is”, “We can’t find anything in our tests” or they simply receive a generic diagnosis like fibromyalgia, which is really a confession of ignorance. While other people with serious illness gradually get better or experience a sudden miracle, they suffer continual disappointment, never getting better and some actually become worse. They always ask, “Why?”

I've begun to see patterns in this group as well. It seems like many of these people have gone through times of emotional trauma without being completely healed of the painful memories from their past. In addition to the memories, there are a host of feelings they struggle with like helplessness, worthlessness, rejection, fear, bitterness, mistrust and loneliness. Some of them clearly appear to be suffering from demonic oppression. I believe at least one contributing factor to the failure of their physical healing is their failed emotional and spiritual healing.

What they desire most is physical healing from the symptoms of disease. What they seem to want least is to re-live the events of their past and go through the emotions again or to be involved in the circus that inner healing and deliverance can become. Most have found a way to survive the emotional trauma and keep going in spite of their physical afflictions. I believe it's God's ultimate desire for all of us to be healed, set free and walking in the truth. God is interested in our complete healing; body spirit and soul; in a word; Sozo.

When we use the term sozo, we're talking about something that's more than just physical healing. In fact, sozo contains the idea of physical healing but it’s much broader in scope. It means to:

1.       Save
2.       Keep safe and sound
3.       Rescue from danger or destruction
4.       Rescue from injury or peril
5.       Save from suffering or disease
6.       Make well
7.       Heal
8.       Restore to health.

If someone is healed of an illness affecting the physical body, we refer to it as physical healing. If they receive deliverance from an evil spirit, it's a spiritual healing. If they're healed of post-traumatic stress disorder, it's an emotional healing. If they were to be healed of all three, we're describing something referred to as being made 'whole', which is the idea behind the word 'sozo'.

Jon Sellers and other friends have taught me the importance of wholeness, and the fact that God is just as concerned about our spiritual and mental health as our physical health, even if we are not. Let me rephrase that; God may care more about our emotional healing than we do. The same is true for spiritual healing. The problem is that some of us care too much about the physical healing we want and not enough about the spiritual and emotional we need. The fact is that our physical condition may require emotional and spiritual healing to be completed first. Why?

There are two reasons. The first is that some physical diseases have demonic origins. As we’ve seen with the woman who was bent over for 18 years and the boy with seizures who was deaf and mute. Both had physical symptoms that required deliverance from a spirit before they could be healed. Many who so badly desire to be physically healed, are actually in need of deliverance (spiritual healing) first. And because that hasn’t occurred, they remain unhealed and tormented by the enemy.

The other reason is just a hunch. God wants us to be healed in every way. Strange as it may sound, some of us only want to be healed of a disease or condition that causes physical pain. We have no great desire to be healed of painful emotions or memories. We’re willing to put up with feelings of fear, rejection and other wounds because to us, they’re just a part of life. But God wants us to be free of those as well.

Perhaps God knows that if we were to be healed of our physical sickness, we might never seek healing for the unforgiveness that poisons our soul or the spirit of fear that attacks us at night. The wisdom of God may allow our physical healing to manifest only after the spiritual and emotional problems are dealt with as a way to assure that in the end, we are completely healed. What good is a healed body connected to a bitter, unforgiving heart? What benefit is a sound tummy to someone plagued by a spirit of fear that dominates their every thought?

I think what these friends need most is not more prayer over their physical symptoms, but the completion of their emotional and spiritual healing which, if it were to happen, would result in their physical healing being completed. Many of us need some degree of deliverance and others need inner healing to take place before any long-term physical healing will happen.

The pain involved in dealing with the past may prevent us from pursuing those problems and resolving them through inner healing. The healing that God desires for us may require us to do things we'd rather not, like facing bitterness, unforgiveness, rejection, fear, lust, abandonment, shame, etc. Submitting ourselves to God and surrendering our right to allow these things to remain as a part of us is a process but as long as we allow them to remain, they hold us captive and the spirits of infirmity will have a hold on us that can't be broken, no matter how many people pray for us to be physically healed.

One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. I'm all for persistence in prayer. I'm convinced that some things just take time. But those cases are the ones where gradual progress is being made. If we pray and pray and pray and absolutely no progress is made or the person seems to be getting worse, and there are obvious signs of emotional healing and deliverance needed, it's foolish to continue on the same course. In such cases we must consider using other tools. That might require us to discover tools we haven’t heard of or perhaps use tools that others use which we don’t like.

If we are to walk as Jesus walked and do the things He did, we might consider the novel, peculiar and sometimes bizarre methods he used. I don’t think Jesus avoided predictable formulas just to confound us. I believe He continually asked His Father for the best solution to the problem he faced; not assuming it would be the same as the previous one. His openness to the leading of the Father was what gave Him such a consistent and power-filled life of victory.

Oct 21, 2012

The Finished Works - Steve Peace Harmon

I hijacked this gem from a Facebook friend named Steve Peace Harmon.

"When Jesus was on the cross and He said, "It is finished", what it meant was that His ministry is over and that He got everything for us so we can do what He did to bring the Kingdom to earth. That’s why His Works are finished, and ours begins.

The Finished Work of the

 Cross simply means this. Jesus made available the authority, the Fullness, every spiritual blessing and eternal life. ‘Available’ is the key word because it provides you with the understanding that it is a ‘give and take.’ Salvation was made available to the world, but the world has to take it. The Fullness, every Spiritual blessing, and the authority were made available to the believer, but the believer has to take it if they want to see it manifested. 'Taking' just simply means 'to activate.' For instance, with authority, if the believer wants to see it manifested they actually have to Pray for sick people and cast out demons. They have to “DO Something” in order to see something manifest. It doesn’t manifest while doing nothing.

Here is a good example. I saw nobody get healed when I didn’t pray for people to get healed. I saw healing when I began to pray for healing. Sound simple to understand? If you want to see the stuff you have to “DO”. Don’t do = No results, DO = Results… I remember being prophesied over that I would see miracles happen. I believed that it was going to happen and I would wait around until it would happen. I waited 8 years without seeing a thing and I figured out that I had to actually go and pray for it. What a concept!! It’s funny. The churches who pray for healings, sees healings. The churches, who don’t pray for healings, don’t see healings. Isn’t that ironic?

Jesus Finished His work, which means your work begins. He provided everything for you at your disposal to destroy the works of the devil and to bring the Kingdom. Before the cross, you didn’t have authority over demons, and the ability to heal the sick from the fullness. Now it's available to you. You carry on the work that He was doing. What was that work? It was found in Luke 4:18-19.. "To proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” The Apostles carried on that work through the book of Acts and Paul was the most zealous of all to carry on that work. Understand that this has nothing to do with attaining your salvation, righteousness and God's love. This is about the heart of God for a hurt and dying world.."

~ Steve Peace Harmon

Steve Peace Harmon

Oct 17, 2012

Not Your Ordinary Miracle

This is a story about a man who had prostate cancer and his doctor. The man no longer has cancer, but the road to healing took a few unexpected twists along the away.

Oct 15, 2012

Quotes II

"The greatest criticism of healing during the first century came from religious leaders. They had loyal followers who admired their shallow, powerless spirituality. The healing miracles of Jesus drew people away from them and turned their hearts back to God. The kingdoms these men had built crumbled. Their response was to criticize the new thing God was doing. The greatest opposition to the present work of God often comes from those used in the previous work of God. Little has changed today. Most of the criticism of healing today comes from religious leaders building their own kingdoms." ~ From my soon to be published book

"One day it will be part of a normal Christian life to be at least as spiritual as a New-Ager and not need to apologize for it. - Matt Evans

"Renewing our mind is a greater task than we know. It doesn't just mean agreeing with God in areas we intend to operate in, but agreeing with God at every point, regardless of what we believe to be true. Some of God's truths when revealed, are terribly inconvenient."

"Whether or not a Christian group is a personality cult has little to do with doctrine. It's a matter of how the leader is perceived by the group. If the leader's teaching is accepted by all and questioned by none, the possibility of a cult exists. Such accusations deserve thoughtful consideration, not quick denial."

"Why should we raise the dead?
Ask yourself why Jesus raised the dead and why the Father raised him. "If Christ was not raised, you are dead in your sins." The gospel hinges on the resurrection. The resurrection as a sign, is unique to our faith. The rest of Christianity can be argued and explained away, but when the dead are raised, the unbeliever if he is honest, must admit there is a God in heaven who does such things. There is no other explanation." ~ From my soon to be published book

"Jesus didn't come in the manner we expected. He surprised, offended and challenged our ideas about a messiah and God. In my encounters with him, I find him still challenging my notions, ideas and religious beliefs. Never changing, yet never exactly the same. The subjects - foreign. His thoughts - perplexing. His objective - puzzling. His ways - a mystery wrapped in an enigma surrounded by a riddle. Oh, Son of man, how I love the way you wreck my religion."

"Even as a boy, his apostolic mind was evident; "I must be about my Father's business." The young apostle knew who sent him and why he was sent. It was for him as it is for us, to see the kingdom of heaven and bring it's eternal realities to earth."

"Barbecuing sacred cows can be fun. But if in the process of destroying the traditions of men, we establish a different set of traditions - we have accomplished nothing. Sacred cows come from rigid minds controlled by a spirit of pride that prevents us from considering the ideas of others and weighing them by the spirit. Sacred cows involve subjects about which scripture may support multiple views. But pride blinds us and prevents us from considering other interpretations."

"Faith that heals the sick consistently and predictably is the belief that when you are presented with an opportunity to heal someone who is willing to be healed, that God will in fact heal that person of the condition they desire to be healed of through you. Faith that heals is not general. It is specific to the individual in need, the problem at hand and the one praying." ~ From my soon to be published book 

"There is only one thing that can turn the world upside down; a handful of surrendered people operating in the power of God through transformed lives."

"Theology is elitist if it exists for its own sake, or for the sake of a very few. If all theology does is attempt to prevent God from speaking into the lives of people today, then it has set itself up in place of God. If understanding God doesn’t transform our lives, bringing the hope of God to earth as it is in heaven, then theology is just an artifact or a clanging gong, useless for the communion of the church." ~ Julie Clawson

"Skepticism is not bad in itself. It is only when faced with one miracle after another and one hardens their heart against the evidence that skepticism is bad, for then it destroys one’s ability to reason." ~ From my soon to be published  book

"Choose your teachers carefully, we tend to become like them. However funny, brilliant or bold they are, if they carry a chip on their shoulder, so will we. Their bitter, disillusioned heart sows seeds of bitterness and disillusionment in ours. When those seeds bear fruit, they bring forth death."

"And where the slain are, there it is” reminds me that a prophetic life is one of spiritual warfare. Prophets are sent to speak life where death holds sway, to be vessels of water in the desert, to build amidst the ruins, to bringing blessing to widows and orphans, to encourage the weak and defeated, to warn the proud and indifferent. ~ Michael Sawh

"There is coming a day, which in my opinion has already arrived for some, when the truth will be stated plainly without the need to disguise it just enough for only the hungry to discover it, and will be received widely, despite theological predisposition, denomination, or experience. The hearts of men are tired of hearing what He is not, ready to see God as He is, even if that contradicts what we have been taught for thousands of years. THIS is the reformation at hand, working even at this present moment, and this reformation will revolve around one key issue: The True Knowledge Of God." ~ Tyler Johnson

"You know the kingdom of God is flowing from you, when others expect the impossible from you."

"Fear is always a choice. For every situation we face, there is a standing, eternal promise from God that addresses it. Faith believes the promise and agrees with it. Fear is our decision not to believe the promise."

"It frustrates me when people reduce healing the sick to a theological argument. Think about this. It’s not even supposed to be a “stance” of scripture. Jesus didn't try to prove that healing was for His day. He didn't try to validate it through Scripture. He just did it. It wasn't an argument. It wasn't a formula. It was just a byproduct of who He was with His Father." ~ Brandon Lee

Theology speaks to that hope of God, a hope that is not limited to this world or confined to divine realms. For theology to convey that hope, it  has to be deeply reflective and properly intelligent while at the same time have feet so to speak. Theology cannot be dismissed or exist in a vacuum apart from the very embodied body of Christ it exists to guide. So when I hear preaching against the need for theology or hear embodied theologies dismissed as profane, I can’t help but cringe. God has blessed us with the gift of coming to know Godself, why would we either throw away that opportunity or alternately claim that the gift is meaningless for human existence? ~ Julie Clawson

"I'm not seeing a different Jesus. We're seeing the same Jesus differently."

"The Bible is the written word of God, and because it is written, it is confined and limited by the necessities of ink, paper and leather. The Voice of God, however, is alive and free as the sovereign God is free. 'The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.' The life is in the speaking words. God's word in the Bible can have power only because it corresponds to God's Word in the universe. It is the present Voice which makes the written word powerful. Otherwise it would lie locked in slumber within the covers of a book." ~A. W. Tozer - The Pursuit of God

"Living outside the box has no virtue in itself. A corn flake on the table is no better off than those in the box. Its just another flake. Living and thinking outside the box is a deliberate decision to investigate possibilities few have considered and entertain discussions on unconventional views. It's not just being another flake."

Oct 13, 2012

Breast Cancer Healed Over Skype

Diane shares her testimony with Chris Gore about being healed of metastatic stage 4 breast cancer over Skype.

Oct 10, 2012


This is an excerpt from my soon to be released book on healing and deliverance. 
This article was originally published as a Facebook note. The comments on it have been very insightful. If you'd like to read them and leave your own comment, you can find the note here.


I'd like to thank my friends Tony Cossey, Tom Fischer, Cheryl Johnson-Fritz, Sherry Evans, Michael King, David McLain, Craig Adams, Matt Evans, Sue Wilke and everyone else who has taught, inspired and encouraged me to pursue a better understanding of this important subject.

In 2011, I asked God to teach me more about deliverance. I was in the midst of writing this book and I felt I didn't have much experience in deliverance to write from. I wanted to understand it better, so I would have some useful information to share. 

Be careful what you ask God for. He likes to give us things, and they seldom come wrapped in nice, neat packages. 

I'd like to take you back (briefly) to the beginning of my Christian life and show you the path I've taken to get to my present understanding of demons and deliverance.

After being saved, I lived a pretty ordinary life as an evangelical Christian. I was content to study my Bible, sit in my church pew on Sunday and occasionally witness to strangers about Jesus. To my knowledge, I’d never met anyone who was demon-possessed. I’m certain I’d never met a demon face to face. I couldn’t understand the preoccupation some people had with them.

Were these people deceived by an over-active imagination, or were demons really all around us?

And if they were, why couldn’t everyone see them?

If there was one thing I sincerely hoped had ceased with the passing of the early church, it was all this messy business about casting out demons. As with everything supernatural, at that point in my life, I was skeptical about the need for studying the behavior of demons, much less casting them out of people.

Most of the experiences we recognize as 'real' involve things that happen in the natural world. For those who confine their lives to the natural realm - angels and demons and their strange activities are seldom thought of. The happenings of that otherworldly place are mostly ignored.

The problem with demons is that most of us can’t see them and for most of us, seeing is believing. Our society has conditioned us to label anyone claiming to see things we don’t as suffering from hallucinations. And yet, isn't it interesting how often Jesus dealt with demons and those who were harassed by them?

Demons are disembodied spirits. They don't possess a physical body, as we do, but a spiritual one. They interact both in the spirit world and in the natural. But because they have no physical body, their ability to interact in the natural world is limited. Their movements are a bit like the wind. Just as you can see the wind’s effect, but not the wind itself, demons have an effect that can be seen and heard, but demons themselves, are invisible to the natural eye. The fact that a demon has no physical body compels them to attach to a physical body that is available for use in the physical world.

In 2009, I had a dream that revealed something about demons I didn't know. As I walked the hallways of a hospital, I looked into one patient room after another and saw a black presence in each room. I knew the presence was a demon of sickness. Although I don’t see demons like this while I’m awake, God revealed an important truth to me; sickness is perpetrated by demons and demons are more prevalent than I suspected.

The ability to sense the presence of demons is not available to most of us for a reason. That reason is illustrated in the following story, told by a friend who is a seer. A seer is someone who receives revelation from God in the form of visions and dreams. (See 1 Sam. 9:9)

My friend and his six year old granddaughter, who is also a seer, were riding in the car, when the girl saw an elderly woman hunched over, pushing a shopping cart. The girl noticed that the woman had many demons clinging to her, making it appear as if her hunched over condition was due to the weight of the demons. She asked if they could turn the car around and help the poor woman.

If we were able to see demons clinging to people everywhere we went, but had no power to do anything about them, it might drive us to the brink of insanity. This might surprise you, but if you could see into the spirit world, you would see spirit beings (both good and evil) literally everywhere you looked. But because God is merciful, He hides demonic activity from those who don’t need to see it. The ability to discern the presence of spirits is a gift from God given on a need to know basis. (1 Cor. 12:10) Most of us don’t need to know about demonic activity because we aren't engaged in warfare against them.

God has a calling for everyone. Each calling has different assignments. Some of those assignments may require us to battle demons. You are free to accept or reject the call of God on your life. That decision requires you to make a choice about whether you want to engage in this type of warfare or not. If the call involves battling demons, you’ll be given the ability to recognize their presence.

My introduction to the world of the demonic actually began many years ago, when out of curiosity, I started interviewing patients who reported hearing voices. For years, whenever I transported a patient with a mental health problem, particularly if they were diagnosed with schizophrenia or psychosis, I asked if they heard voices and what the voices told them. I would then ask if they knew who the voices were.

The answers surprised me at first, but about 80% said the voices belonged to demons. Many said that at some point the voice had revealed its identity. These people had no reason to lie about their experiences. The likelihood that all of them were wrong seemed unlikely. I had to consider the possibility that maybe I was wrong. After interviewing hundreds of patients, I began to understand that demons were more active than I realized.

My Experiences
I’d like to share a few personal stories about my interactions with demons.

One day on my drive home from work, I had an open eyed vision. Most of the visions I have are with my eyes closed, but this vision was different. I saw into the spirit with my eyes wide open, while I was driving my car. In the vision, I saw myself responding to a call at Tacoma General Hospital to transport a young woman who was demon - possessed. She was in the emergency department in room number 4. I transported her to St. Joseph’s mental health unit.

The next day at work, I responded to a call to Tacoma General Hospital to transport a young woman to St Joseph’s mental health unit. She was in room 4 in the emergency department. She had no history of mental illness and was being treated for what the doctor called “acute psychosis’. According to her mother, she experienced a sudden change in behavior. For some reason she became obsessed with telling everyone about God, angels, demons, Satan, the approaching judgment, and the torment of hell. Her ‘witnessing’ about these things was random and had no continuity of thought. The only recent change that might have contributed to her behavior was that she admitted that her boyfriend had convinced her to smoke marijuana for the first time.

This poor woman had come under the control of a spirit of religion. Evil spirits have specialties, which we’ll discuss shortly. I have to assume that her experimentation with marijuana was the thing that opened the door for the evil spirit to come into her life, since no other explanation was available and the timing of the two events seemed too precise to be a coincidence.

I transported another woman who suffered the same symptoms. This woman was a middle aged Christian. We were called to her church to transport her for a mental health evaluation after she suddenly began ranting about God, Satan, angels, demons, the coming judgment and the torment of hell. Once again, her statements were completely random and without continuity of thought. This time I recognized that she was under the influence of a religious spirit, so I attempted to cast it out of her. The more I commanded the spirit to leave, the louder her witnessing became. The yelling became so loud that it concerned my EMT partner and since I was making no progress I gave up.

I've prayed with my son frequently for healing of aches and pains, particularly during the swimming season. One day he came home with a partial separation of the AC joint in his shoulder, which caused a lot of pain. We prayed and it was healed. Weeks later he told me about a pain he had in the middle of his back. I commanded it to leave and he immediately felt better. But the following day it returned. I was curious, so before commanding it to leave, I closed my eyes to see if God would reveal anything and sure enough, I saw my son standing before me with a black creature about 12 inches in diameter attached to the middle of his back. The pain was caused by a demon. I commanded the demon to leave and after it did, I commanded the pain to leave. It left and didn't return.

While working in Tacoma, my EMT partner was healed at least a dozen times in the two years we worked together. He has size 14 shoes and loves to run. I guess that’s not a great combination, unless you’re a newbie to healing who needs practice. In the two years we worked together, he was healed of headaches, neck pain, back pain, knee pain, a nasty injury to his hand and numerous other injuries. One day he was complaining of knee pain that was bad enough to make him walk with a limp. I began to command the knee to be healed as usual, but nothing happened. After 4 or 5 tries, it wouldn't budge. That surprised me, since knee pain usually responds quickly to this approach. Then it dawned on me…I didn't command the spirit of pain to leave.

When I take the time to ask God to show me what we're up against, He frequently shows me some kind of demon. Because I saw demons so often, I developed a routine of commanding a spirit of pain or sickness to leave. But this time, I didn't. So I commanded the spirit of pain to leave. Next I commanded his knee to be healed. He felt heat all around his knee and in a few minutes it was healed.

One day I transported a young woman from a fitness club who was hysterical. It took a lot of reassuring to get her calm enough to tell us what her problem was. My partner and I put her in the ambulance and did an extensive interview.

We learned that for the past year, she'd been hearing voices in her head. There were at least two different voices, possibly more. The voice that she heard most often was a male voice that continually threatened her. The threats involved killing her sister.  The second voice sounded exactly like her sister. Often while the male voice was threatening to kill her sister, she heard the second voice screaming in terror as if her sister was being killed. The main voice that she heard also performed sex acts on her. I referred her to a friend who had a deliverance ministry, since I knew virtually nothing about deliverance at the time.

On a recent trip to Australia, a group of us were praying with people for various conditions. I was praying with a woman who wanted to be healed of diabetes. Shortly after I began praying, she reported pain that she didn't have before. I've learned that when pain manifests suddenly, it's a good indication that there is a spirit that needs to be removed. The pain was in her back, near her left shoulder blade. I commanded the spirit to leave and the pain moved higher in her back, near the top of her shoulder. I explained to the group what was happening and a few of them joined us in prayer. We commanded the spirit to leave. It moved to her other shoulder and the pain became worse. We continued commanding the spirit to leave and eventually, it departed. This same woman had just prayed for someone else who had received a remarkable healing of back pain and muscle damage to her leg. And all the while, she had a demon herself and didn't know it.

When praying with someone, if they suddenly experience pain they didn't have before, or if a present sensation of pain moves to another part of the body or becomes worse, it's a sure sign that an evil spirit is at work.

Why does this happen?

Because the spirit is attempting to frighten its host. The spirit wants to create enough fear in the mind of its host that they will ask us to stop praying with them, thinking we're only making things worse. My advice in these cases is to tell them there is a spirit present and the increased pain is a tactic it's using to frighten them. Ask if you may continue and reassure them the pain will eventually leave.

Soon enough, my education about demons would become personal. One evening I was praying for my wife to be healed of neck pain, which was so severe it left her in tears at bedtime. I’d been praying over her for months, to no avail. That night I did something foolish, which you should never do. In desperation, I asked God to put her afflictions on me, if it would take away her pain. I went to sleep and had a dream. In the dream I was looking for something I couldn't find. This is a classic dream that God gives to people who are searching for answers.

I awoke from the dream and a few seconds later I felt something like a net being spread over me. Seconds later, I realized that I couldn’t move my arms or legs. All I could do was roll a bit from side to side. As this was happening, I also became aware that my voice was being taken away from me. I tried to speak but no words came out. All I could do was mumble incomprehensibly. I was aware that what had gripped me in this paralysis was a demon. As my voice left, I tried to say, “Get out, in the name of Jesus”, but I could only mumble. My rolling back and forth woke up my wife, who heard me mumbling. She immediately knew it was a demon that had overpowered me and began praying in tongues. She then commanded the demon to leave. A few seconds later my voice returned and the paralysis left. We later learned that this particular demon is called the 'shrike' demon. The big mistake I made was in asking God to put my wife's afflictions on me. In doing so, I gave the enemy permission to attack me and the shrike spirit was happy to pay me a visit, since I had opened a door. Never ask God to give you the afflictions of someone else. Never make deals with the enemy and never under any circumstances invite sickness or affliction into your life.

All of these stories are merely to illustrate one thing; demons are real and the more you become involved with them, the more they become involved with you. I never suspected how often or how savagely they can attack us. They can and do attack Christians. They come in many different varieties and they can do different things. Many of us have been taught that the only way a demon can interact with a human is for it to “possess” our body and assume control over us. Demonic possession has been popularized in movies and books, but the truth about demons and how they interact is far subtler.

Demonic "Possession"
Contrary to popular belief, demons rarely take complete control of an individual. The English Bible descriptions of people being "demon-possessed" are a mistranslation. The term “demon-possessed” isn't found in the Greek text of the New Testament. Instead, three other terms are used. Some passages say ‘to have a demon’. Others say, ‘to be in a demon’. The most common term is ‘demonized.’ These terms mean essentially the same thing and are used interchangeably in the account of the man with the demon named ‘Legion’ (see Matthew 8:28-34; Mk. 5:1-20; Lk. 8:26-39). None of these terms indicates total ownership or control of an individual. They simply mean the person is in some way affected by a demon.

All of the examples from the Bible involving demonic attack describe people harassed in some way but not completely overpowered or controlled. The single exception is the case of ‘Legion’. This is because it takes many demons to completely possess a human. Demons have limited abilities and one demon alone can only attack its host in a particular area. A single demon, acting alone cannot take complete control of a human.

In the account of the boy with seizures that the disciples couldn't cure, Jesus made an interesting comment about the nature of demons. When the disciples were not able to heal the boy they asked why:
Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.  However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” (Mt. 17:19-21)

Jesus said the kind of demon they encountered did not come out except by prayer and fasting, implying that there are different types of demons. Some teachers dispute this, saying that when Jesus said 'this kind' He wasn't referring to 'kinds' of demons, but rather the 'kind' of unbelief the disciples had.

The word that is translated kind in this verse is the Greek word γένος (genos) from which we get the English word ‘genealogy’. This word describes differentiation between related varieties of living beings – specifically between families, races, tribes or nations. It is unreasonable to think He was describing different families or races of unbelief. He must have meant that there are different families or races of demons and the one they encountered was somehow different.

If you’re curious to know how this demon was different from others, consider this: Mark’s account mentions that the demon caused the boy to be deaf and mute. Matthew notes that it caused him to have seizures. Both accounts mention only one spirit. This is the only spirit mentioned in the Bible that caused more than one type of physical affliction. It was indeed a different type of spirit. (Compare Mt. 17:15 and Mk. 9:25) 

Demons Specialize
God’s creativity is seen in all of nature. No two snowflakes are identical, and no two people are exactly alike. The same is true for demons. They are unique and they all have certain weaknesses, strengths and abilities. Each demon is a specialist in one or more areas, bringing its own brand of affliction to man. This differentiation or specialization is what Jesus was referring to. Some demons specialize in physical affliction, as with the woman who had been crippled by a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years (Lk. 13:11), or the deaf and dumb spirit that also caused seizures, which we just mentioned.

Some demons specialize in emotional trauma, like the spirit that terrorized King Saul with what might be diagnosed today as anxiety attacks. (1Sam. 18:10)

Some specialize in divination, as was the case with the spirit Paul cast from the woman who followed him for many days. (Acts 16:17-18)

James and John became influenced by a spirit of murder, when they suggested they should call down fire from heaven to destroy the Samaritan city that did not receive Jesus. Hearing their idea, Jesus rebuked them, saying, “You do not know what spirit you are of.” (See Lk. 9:54-55) The Lord told them they had become influenced by an evil spirit, which planted this foolish idea in the minds.

When we look at the words Jesus used when referring to the way the spirit influenced them, the phrase that is translated 'are of' is the Greek word ἐστέ, (este) which could better be translated ‘belong to’. The phrase ‘belong to’ carries the connotation that one thing has taken possession of another. Jesus said His disciples ‘belonged to’ (or were possessed by) this demon, even if it was only momentarily.

Another example of demonic influence of a disciple of Jesus is found in the sixteenth chapter of Matthew. Jesus asked the disciples, “Whom do men say that I am?” Peter confessed that He was the Messiah – the Son of God. Jesus commended him saying that His Father had revealed this truth to him. (Mt. 16:16) Later, Jesus began to teach that He would be handed over to the Jews, killed and raised on the third day. Peter rebuked Him, saying these things could never happen. Jesus said: “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” (Mt. 16:22-23)

Why did Jesus refer to Peter as Satan? Because Peter, like James and John had briefly come under the influence of an evil spirit, allowing the enemy to plant thoughts in his mind. Jesus was speaking to the evil spirit behind Peter’s words. If you don’t believe that disciples of Jesus can have demons, here are examples of three disciples who did and they were the three that Jesus trusted most.

As we've seen with other accounts of demonic attack, the evil spirits did not exert complete control over them, but only influenced them in its area of specialty. Each of these people remained in control of their mental faculties, apart from the demon’s area of specialization. Though Saul suffered anxiety, he had no physical ailments. The woman, who was physically crippled by a demon, had no mental or emotional infirmity. Peter, James and John did not manifest demonic activity or physical illness, neither did the woman with the spirit of divination. Each still retained their own identity and did not exhibit signs of complete control by the evil spirit.

The man with ‘Legion’ was a different story. He had lost control of both his mind and body. He was unable to dress himself and couldn't control his own actions, even when put in chains. He could not refrain from self-mutilation (Mk. 5:5). He wandered into isolation, and refused the company of family and friends. When he was asked his name, he couldn't recall it. He took on the identity of the demons that had overpowered him, taking the name ‘Legion’.

As to whether believers can be possessed or harassed by demons, as we've just seen, even Peter, James and John were subject to demonic influence. Jesus himself was attacked and harassed a number of times by Satan. It is unbiblical to believe that anyone is immune from demonic attack. The issue isn't whether a Christian can be influenced or possessed, but rather to what degree can we and how does it happen?

Demonic Access
Paul warned believers in Ephesus not to allow Satan to use their anger against them:
 “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold...” (Eph. 4:26-27 NIV).

In this verse the word for foothold is the Greek word τόπος (topos) from which we derive the word ‘topography’. This word can describe either a place of occupancy or an opportunity to carry out an action. It is a semi-permanent stronghold in a person’s life that serves as a home for evil spirits, which gives them an opportunity to exert influence over us. Interestingly, Paul’s point that anger provides a foothold for the enemy is demonstrated in the case of James and John. The demon that influenced them was able to do so because they became angry at the Samaritans. Their anger was the foothold the enemy needed to gain influence over them.

Demonic Homes
Let’s look at what Jesus taught about how demons operate. In Luke chapter 11, He explained the behavior of demons after casting a mute spirit from a man. Some who witnessed it had accused Him of casting out demons by the power of Satan. He refuted their reasoning and revealed the truth about how He overpowered the evil spirit and cast it out:

When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace.  But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils…When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell.” (Lk. 11:22-23, 24-26)

Jesus likened an evil spirit to a strongman who is armored and keeps his home. (Note that demons see our bodies as their homes.) He went on to say that when one who is stronger comes, he removes the demon’s armor, evicts him from the place that he calls home and divides his goods. The ‘goods’ he spoke of are the areas of the person's life that are held in bondage by the demon’s specialization. This might be a physical illness or emotional affliction. He said that once removed, the demon may return to its home later if it remains intact.

There is a widely taught doctrine concerning this passage that needs to be de-bunked. I was taught that when a person is delivered from a demon, they need to be filled with the Holy Spirit immediately, because if they aren't, the demon will return. This sounds logical, and the idea of demons returning is certainly illustrated in this passage, but if you look closely, there is no suggestion that the presence of the Holy Spirit prevents demons from returning. The Holy Spirit isn't mentioned anywhere in this passage.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit is always our goal. But many Christians who are filled with the Holy Spirit are in need of deliverance and that need often follows them to their grave. In the last year alone, I've prayed with hundreds of Christians for various problems and most of them had an evil spirit of one kind or another had to be removed before their healing could be completed.

In the passage we discussed above, Paul said that anger provided a foothold for the enemy. Anger is a sin that must be dealt with if we are to remain free of demonic influence. But it isn't the only one. Others are rebellion, unforgiveness, bitterness, lust, pride, greed, and the list goes on. Each of these attitudes can allow a place for the enemy to gain a foothold and for a demon to influence us if it specializes in that area.

I had sought healing for chronic neck pain for a long time. I would receive prayer and the pain would leave temporarily, only to return. One day, a woman praying for me asked if I had anger toward anyone. God showed me in a vision, a person I had been angry with for a long time. I knew that I needed to let go of the anger I had toward them. When I released the anger to God, the pain in my neck immediately left and never returned.

The anger I held onto served as a foothold for the enemy. When someone would pray with me for healing, the spirit of pain would leave, only to return because it still had a ‘home’ in my life through anger. The solution came when I realized that even though I didn't value this person very highly, God did. That truth destroyed the foothold of the enemy. I no longer had a right to be angry and I forgave him and repented of the anger. This destroyed the evil spirit’s ‘home’. When the spirit tried to come back it had no place to return to.

Now let’s look at a more in depth problem. Some strongholds are rooted in emotional damage that happens when we are children. Pornography and lust are known to be rooted in a lack of love. If a person grows up feeling unloved, there's a good chance they’ll turn to pornography or lust to fulfill the need that was never met by their parents or family. An unmet need to be loved can create a bondage to pornography, which serves as a demonic home that attracts demons specializing in lust, pornography, and perversion. Knowing they have a home, demons take up residence here. First we must address the root cause, which in this case is a lack of love.

In order to remove the demon’s home, the individual must understand how much they are loved and accepted by their heavenly Father. The awareness of God’s love destroys the unmet need for love and acceptance. This paves the way for them to renounce and repent of their bondage to lust or pornography. Once this is done, the spirit of lust or pornography can be safely removed since its home has been destroyed.

Most root causes can be dealt with in this manner. The process is to identify the root cause, which is often something the person did not receive at a crucial point in their life. Once the deficiency is found, replace what is missing with the truth from God’s heart about that issue. Assist them in embracing God’s truth on the matter, repenting of any attitudes that stemmed from the root cause, then remove any evil spirits that operate in that area of specialty.

Let’s look at one more passage where Jesus dealt with demonic oppression:

Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God." (Lk. 13:10-13)

In this passage there are two things we should note. First, the woman was bound by a spirit of infirmity, which afflicted her physical body, causing her to be bent over. Jesus discerned the spirit’s presence and exercised authority over it. In this case, He didn't confront the demon. He simply said, "You are set free from your infirmity” and the demon left. After the woman was freed from the demon, He laid His hands on her and healed her deformed body. We can see that she still needed physical healing after the spirit left because she was still bent over. We should not assume that healing has occurred because we've cast a spirit out. After the spirit is removed, the person may still require physical healing.

Demonic Manifestation
I don't have much experience with demons manifesting in bizarre ways. But I tend to keep things low - key when I deal with them and maybe that's why they don't put on a show. Evil spirits seem to come into our lives secretly and without a lot of fanfare, but sometimes when leaving, they try to go out with a bang. I think it's wise to give them as little opportunity as possible to draw attention to themselves when being removed.

When I'm praying with people, even when removing demons, I speak in a very quiet tone of voice. This may be due to the fact that instead of churches, I do most of my ministry in hospitals and nursing homes. In these settings, I can't very well go around yelling at the top of my lungs, commanding demons to leave. I don't think it's necessary to yell and scream at them. If the demons try to rant and rave, tell them to be quiet.

I've heard people teach that you need to know a demon's name before you can make it leave. That hasn't been my experience and I haven't found this taught anywhere in the Bible. I do try to discern their area of specialty (pain, sickness, fear, lust, ect.) but I'm not certain you even need this information to make them go away. When you discern their presence command them to leave. It may not be a bad idea to assume a demon is present and tell it to leave, even if you don't discern one is present. For me, commanding demons to leave has almost become a kind of protocol.

Dealing with demons was just another task that Jesus gave the disciples. Along with healing the sick, raising the dead and proclaiming the kingdom of God, they frequently cast out demons. In most of the passages we've studied so far, deliverance was as commonly mentioned as healing the sick. In several places, healing did not take place until a demon was first evicted. It's no different today. Many people cannot be healed without deliverance. In order to walk in the fullness of God’s commission we must become competent in delivering people from demonic oppression.

Oct 8, 2012

Pete Cabrera's Testimony About Healing

Pete Cabrera shares on how he came to walk in God's power to heal.

Oct 6, 2012

Outbreak Youth at Southbank in Brisbane

During our trip to Australia, we met some young people from the local church, who go into the community and sing songs of praise, release healing and generally love on the people they meet. They're love is so inspiring, as you can tell by the reactions from the people they met.

Oct 4, 2012

10 Minutes

As we pushed the gurney to our next patient's room, I noticed an employee limping down the hall with an immobilizer on her foot. My partner went in the patient's room. I went on my mission.

I approached and introduced myself then asked the usual question.

"What happened to your foot?"

"Oh...I broke it".

"Have you had surgery yet?"

“I was hoping I wouldn't need surgery. The plan was for it to heal on its own. But it's been a slow process."

"Would you like to be healed right now?"

"I'd LOVE to be healed. What do you have in mind?"

“I’d like to pray with you.”

She lit up like a Christmas tree.

"Well, of course you can pray with me. I never say no to prayer!"

I bent down and laid my hand on the black plastic immobilizer and commanded spirit of pain to leave, for the Holy Spirit to bring His presence to touch her and for the ligaments, nerves, bones, tendons and muscles to be healed.

"Do you feel anything going on in your foot?"

"No...not really."

I would normally pray a second and third time if nothing happened the first time, but I was short on time. I had to get to my patient. I suggested that she might notice her healing in a little while. She thanked me and I went to get my patient.

Our patient was a quadriplegic with a tracheostomy. He had a lot of things going along that had to be bagged so getting him ready took about 10 minutes. Once everything was on the gurney, we headed for the elevator.

On the way to the elevator, I saw the woman with the immobilizer again. She looked at me as I passed by and said, "What did you do to me? My foot feels great!"

I asked her to test it out and see if there was any pain at all. There wasn't. She was completely healed. And utterly stunned.

I gave her some basic instruction on how to keep her healing. She asked for my name. She was going to call my supervisor and tell him how nice it is that we allow our employees to pray with people.

That's right. While this kind of activity might get you sacked in the UK, we Yanks are blessed to have the freedom to pray on the job and at times even be commended for it.

I'd like to leave you with a word of encouragement and a challenge.

I could have assumed that this woman was not going to be healed, because nothing happened after I prayed with her. But 10 minutes later, she was completely healed. Don't develop the habit of thinking that people aren't healed, just because you don’t see an immediate change. This kind of thing happens quite often. Often enough that I sometimes tell people, "You may not feel anything now, but you will later."

I'd like to put out a challenge to you. The next time you see someone at work hobbling along with some type of injury - offer to pray with them and let me know what happens.

-till then.

God Is Good

During our trip to Australia, we spoke on the goodness of God. He confirmed our message by healing many and setting them free of demonic oppression.

God is good.

Oct 2, 2012

The Banker’s Mum

This story is part of a series written in September of 2012 during our trip to Australia to teach on healing.

When traveling for pleasure, we generally eat whatever pleases us. One of the perils of traveling for ministry is found in the command of Jesus to remain in the home where you find a person of peace and eat what they put before you. (See Luke 10:6-7)

This command wouldn't bother me so much were in not found smack in the middle of the rest of his instructions to the disciples, where he told them to heal the sick that were there.

I’m not a big fan of religious legalism. But I think God honors our obedience, when we obey from a heart of love. I really wanted to obey the command to eat what was put before me. I’ve been a picky eater my entire life and one thing I’m trying to do is to be more open to different types of food.

Earlier in the week, my host introduced me to vegemite. He was gracious and allowed me to smear it lightly on a piece of toast instead of putting on a thick layer. It wasn’t all that bad. I ate the entire piece of toast, which impressed him.

Knowing this was our first trip to Australia, he wanted to expose us to the richness of an authentic Aussie dinner. So he bought a kangaroo roast, some herbs and vegetables and asked his mum to make dinner for us.

His mum is an excellent cook. The veggies were delightful. She did a decent job with the kangaroo roast, though I prefer meat with a little more fat and kangaroo is extremely lean. The flavor was a bit wild, as you might expect. I noticed that my host didn’t eat more than a few pieces. I followed suit and threw in the towel after I my third piece.

After dinner, his mum told us that she has degenerative joint disease in her spine, which causes her vertebrae to click and pop when she moves. I prayed over her back for a few minutes until it got nice and warm and told her, “You’re healed, now stop being a sissy.”

On the follow-up visit, a week later, she reported that the popping and clicking was gone. To thank us, she cooked a slow- roasted lamb.

It was delicious.

Sometimes obedience can be a blessing.