The Ouija Board, the preface

There were fifteen twenty-ish year olds crowded into a small room, and one of them brought a Ouija board along for fun. He said they could find out all about their future by playing it.

One of those present said, “Yeah, that is how the girl in the movie The Exorcist got messed up with Satan.” No one cared.

What fun! After a few minutes of fumbling around, the planchette was moving around the board answering questions. Mesmerized would be not adequate to describe the impact on the young people. As time went on it was revealed to the crowd that they had two demons in the room with them. One identified as a good demon, the other as a bad demon. All this came via the planchette, as it moved from letter-to-letter spelling things out.

At one point the planchette whizzed around when no one was touching it.

The bad demon? Okay, that one leave alone. But the good demon? This one we can trust, was the message.

The way I heard about it the very next day, and it went something like this: “Wow! We are in touch with the supernatural!”

A Startling Event

A STARTLING EVENT––JULY 11, 2024

Katie and I returned home from filming two programs of “The Bible Study” at Marin TV in San Rafael around 4:10pm, Thursday. Part of the first program was the story of Jesus casting a demon out of a young boy, which is in Mark 9:14–29. As I approached the ending of this episode, I talked about the deliverance ministry I had engaged in, going back to 1969. Then, though I hadn’t previously planned to, I talked about how our culture had so embraced the occult/psychic practices like astrology, crystal healing, tarot, channeling and so on, that there is now a great need for a renewed emphasis on Christians doing deliverance ministry, meaning casting out demons. Yes, involvement with these now popularly condoned practices will attract demonic spirits.

Back home then from filming, Katie got busy on the computer in her office, and I decided to see if there were any radishes I could harvest in one of my planter boxes in the back yard. (Nothing like a radish freshly plucked up.) I opened the sliding glass door in the dining room, first unlocking the door and taking up the wooden pole along the lower track, which is my usual way out to the backyard. I found a nice radish and headed back to the house to wash it off. When I got to the sliding glass window, I tried to pull it open, but it would not budge. I looked in and saw the wooden pole was back lying in its track. But I knew I had moved it just prior to my exit into the back yard. Not only that, but the latch that locked the slider was now pushed down into the locked position. Hmmm.

Okay, I thought, maybe I forgot that I came out the door from the garage, so I headed back to it but found that door locked also. That makes it very clear, I did not come outdoors that way.

Now I was confused. I checked the side gates on both sides of the house and found them secure, with the locking devices in place. Going back to the sliding door I tried again, and again I saw the wooden pole in place and the lock on the door pressed down.

Now I rapped on the window hoping to have Katie come and open the slider. It took a couple of sharp series of bangs, but she arrived and opened the heavy glass door. There I stood, dumbfounded, and I told her what had occurred, and we both tried to look at the events and hopefully figure out what had happened.

Exhausting all possibilities, we had to arrive at a conclusion that I am not unfamiliar with. Had this been a demonic event? The story is too long and involved, but I had experienced a weird event the evening prior to the first time I was involved in the casting out of demons. Was what happened with the slider something similar, and perhaps was it linked to what I said about the need for deliverance ministry earlier that afternoon at Marin TV?

When I woke up this morning, I began to think about what had happened the previous afternoon. Could the slider deal have been of a demonic origin? Later on, now just 30 minutes or so ago, Katie and I took another look at it, considered possibilities, but the reality struck home again, the slider door had been locked and its pole in place, and neither of us did it. Was this was an attempt by the forces of evil to dissuade, scare, and maybe prevent us from encouraging, engaging in, and supporting the very biblical ministry of casting out of demons.

To close this short essay, I want to set out the third verse from Martin Luther’s great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is our God.”

And though this world with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us,

We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.

The prince of darkness grim, We tremble not for him,

His rage we can endure, For lo, his doom is sure:

One little word shall fell him.

“We will not fear” I love these words. Indeed, we go forward with a most important aspect of Christian ministry—casting demons out of those who come to us seeking this mighty work.

A Startling Event

JULY 11, 2024

Katie and I returned home from filming two programs of “The Bible Study” at Marin TV in San Rafael around 4:10pm, Thursday. Part of the first program was the story of Jesus casting a demon out of a young boy, which is in Mark 9:14–29. As I approached the ending of this episode, I talked about the deliverance ministry I had engaged in, going back to 1969. Then, though I hadn’t previously planned to, I talked about how our culture had so embraced the occult/psychic practices like astrology, crystal healing, tarot, channeling and so on, that there is now a great need for a renewed emphasis on Christians doing deliverance ministry, meaning casting out demons. Yes, involvement with these now popularly condoned practices will attract demonic spirits.

Back home then from filming, Katie got busy on the computer in her office, and I decided to see if there were any radishes I could harvest in one of my planter boxes in the back yard. (Nothing like a radish freshly plucked up.) I opened the sliding glass door in the dining room, unlocking the door and taking up the wooden pole along the lower track, which is my usual way out to the backyard. I found a nice radish and headed back to the house to wash it off. When I got to the sliding glass window, I tried to pull it open, but it would not budge. I looked in and saw the wooden pole was back lying in its track. But I know I had moved it just prior to my exit into the back yard. Not only that, but the latch that locked the slider was now pushed down into the locked position. Hmmm.

Okay, I thought, maybe I forgot that I came out the door from the garage, so I headed back to it but found that door locked also. That makes it very clear, I did not come outdoors that way.

Now I was confused. I checked the side gates on both sides of the house and found them secure, with the locking devices in place. Going back to the sliding door I tried again, and I again saw the wooden pole in place and the lock on the door pressed down.

Now I rapped on the window hoping to have Katie come and open the slider. It took a couple of sharp series of bangs, but she arrived and opened the heavy glass door. There I stood, dumbfounded, and I told her what had occurred, and we both tried to look at the events and hopefully figure out what happened.

Exhausting all possibilities, we had to arrive at a conclusion that I am not unfamiliar with. Had this been a demonic event? The story is too long and involved, but I had experienced a weird event the evening prior to the first time I was involved in the casting out of demons. Was what happened with the slider something similar, and perhaps was it linked to what I said about the need for deliverance ministry earlier that afternoon at Marin TV?

When I woke up this morning, I began to think about what had happened the previous afternoon. Could the slider deal have been of a demonic origin? Later on, now just 30 minutes or so ago, Katie and I took another look at it, considering possibilities, but the reality struck home again, that the slider door had been locked and its pole in place, and neither of us did it. This was an attempt by the forces of evil to dissuade, scare, and maybe prevent us from encouraging, engaging in, and supporting the very biblical ministry of casting out of demons.

To close this short essay, I want to set out the third verse from Martin Luther’s great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is our God.”

And though this world with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us,

We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.

The prince of darkness grim, We tremble not for him,

His rage we can endure, For lo, his doom is sure:

One little word shall fell him.

“We will not fear” I love these words. Indeed, we go forward with a most important aspect of Christian ministry—casting demons out of those who come to us seeking this mighty work.

One Last Word

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” Matthew 16:26a (The Greek word psychen is translated “soul” here, and the word means life, human life.) 

Those engaged in direct satanic groups like Wicca, Santería, and many other occult-oriented practices often engage in them because of the promise of obtaining power and knowledge. Much of this has to do with sex, sex, and more sex, and great amounts of money, and positions of power. And for a while, the devil delivers what it promised, but the whole of it will turn wormy and horrid down the line. 

Worse than that, however, is the fact that this person will spend an eternity in hell, that place to where Satan and his followers are sentenced and will be placed at the very moment Jesus Christ ushers in the Day of Judgment. 

So then, for a short period a person has his or her heart’s desire but then absolute hell for all eternity. 

How do we know this? One reason is that during the process of doing the ministry of deliverance, that is casting out demons, the demons will often beg and plead not to be sent into hell. 

Here is an account in the Bible that speaks to this. It is Luke 8:26–33: 

Jesus Heals a Man with a Demon 

[26] Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. [27] When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. [28] When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” [29] For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.) [30] Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. [31] And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. [32] Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. [33] Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned. (ESV) 

The last word in verse 31 is abyss, and it is a synonym for hell. 

We are pleading with those who are caught up in demonic practices to withdraw and seek God for forgiveness. 

And for those of you who know you have various spirits living in you, they can be cast out. 

If you would like to contact us about this, do so by using this internet address: 

earthenvesselmedia.com/contact 

Please be patient, but in time we will do this ministry over the internet, and we counsel that you go to wherever you purchase books and find the three we have published on this subject: 

A Manual of Demonology and the Occult 

Deliver Us From Evil: How Jesus Casts Out Demons Today 

Deliverance Handbook: A Guide to Casting Out Demons for Today’s Christian. 

The most important of these is the last one, Deliverance Handbook. We will use this book in the process of the deliverance work, which usually takes at least three Zoom meetings. The first one is for preparation, then the actual work, and the last is what we call “after care.”

Those Precious Days,

 Chapter 50

Sometimes looking back on those precious times brings tears to my eyes. Now is one of those moments.

It did not occur to me how wonderful those days were. I was just too young and stupid. “Stupid” may be the wrong choice of words, but right now it seems to fit. “Short-sighted” certainly describes the mindset. Yes, I wrote in my journal but not nearly enough. Photos were taken, but few and far between. Over time I lost track of many of my companions and friends from that era; I did not understand that those days would never come again. I didn’t have the long view.

It didn’t all go unrecorded, however. At least I had the sense to collect and save what materials I could, but it was not until Larry Eskridge was engaged in preparing God’s Forever Family and asked me to let him borrow them for a time that it dawned on me how significant those documents were.

One document, the manuscript for the Two Brothers in Haight, was nowhere to be found. It was my first book, a collaboration between David Hoyt and myself covering the early years, 1967 to 1969, and was based largely on my hand-written journal. When Brian Ivie, my now dear friend who wanted to capture the Jesus People Movement on film, pressed me, I finally made a complete search of my materials and found it. What I found was in fact the first original typed copy of those early days, and you guessed it, tears filled my eyes.

Now at age seventy-four the images are fuzzy. This memoirs book forces me to recall people, places, and event details, and when that thought process fails me I am forced to seek other means to find out what really happened during that period. Many of the folks from whom I sought help are gone, some have disappeared, and some do not want to talk to me at all. Yet there are many who graciously came alongside and helped put this little book together. Frankly, I was shocked at the enthusiasm generated by so many at the effort, and it turned out to be great fun to look back and relive those precious days. 

As I prepared this chapter, one verse kept coming to mind, Philippians 1:6, and it seems like a proper ending for this memoir: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” 

How to Recognize that You Have a Demon

 Chapter 30 of Pathways to Darkness

This chapter is based upon our experience of casting demons out of those who came to us for help. Over 99% of these were Christians, persons previously engaging in dangerous spiritual practices, but having come to Jesus as Lord and Savior, who recognized their need and looked for help. 

There were a few instances when non-Christians came for deliverance after they had been tormented by evil spirits living in them or around them. None of them, however, went through with it, because the indwelling demons warned them that the goodies they were providing would disappear. Following is one example. 

Some years back, maybe fifteen years ago, Kent received a phone call from a young man, about thirty years of age, who lived on Bridgeway Avenue in an apartment complex in Sausalito, right across the street from Mollie Stones, a large grocery store. He would be told, not out loud, but in his head somehow, that he was to cross the street, enter the store, go to a particular aisle where a woman could be found, and who would then come with him and spend the night with him. Sex, of course, was the main attraction. 

As usual, Kent began to command any demonic spirit(s) in the man to come out. He sat there quietly for ten or more minutes, when all of a sudden he opened his eyes and said, “I am told that if the spirit comes out there will be no more women.” With that he stood up, walked out of the office, down the aisle of the church building, and out the front door. Kent never heard from him again. 

This fellow knew he had an evil spirit in him, because in addition to finding sex for him, the demon bothered him to a serious degree, both emotionally and mentally. Based on many years of doing this work, we present some of the ways an indwelling demon will interact with someone they possess. 

An evil spirit will actually speak to a person they indwell, not that anyone nearby could hear, it will be inside the head. 

A cloud might appear, or even a ball of fire—appear then disappear. 

Things in one’s house may be moved around. Back in the 1970’s, Kent worked with the exorcist of the San Francisco Archdiocese, an elderly priest who had read Kent’s book, A Manual of Demonology and the Occult. During this work he saw some incredible things. At one home of a couple who were seeking help, shoes would come flying out of closed closets, knives flew out of drawers in the kitchen and stick into a wall—and this dozens of times. He recalls running his hand over the dozens upon dozens of places where knives had been stuck. 

One woman Kent ministered to almost forty years ago would wake up to find a spirit having sex with her, actually penetrating her, and her husband would be right next to her, frozen with fear. The spirit looked like a lizard and would slither away and evaporate into the darkness. 

Some demonized people would physically attack, with an intent to injure or even kill someone they knew or a stranger. 

Most often, however, the evil spirits engaged in talking, shouting, and/ or whispering to the person demonized, to the point of driving that person crazy, to the point they would do anything, take anything, drink anything to make the voices go away. There were incidents when a psychologist would be consulted and medicines prescribed, but the voices remained. Very sad indeed. And we are not saying that mental illness is demonic in origin, but the symptoms of demonization can look like some forms of mental illness. 

Sometimes evil spirits will present as an animal spirit, a guide spirit, a dead ancestor, an angel, a deity, a channelor, a medium, and much more, and there will be communication. At first it will seem fairly benign, even helpful, even exciting, but this changes over time and whatever the entity and experience is, it becomes tormenting. 

We wish all this were not so, but we must be aware of how the demonic kingdom reigns over its subjects.

Radicalized Youth Gone Wild?

 Chapter 49

Youth are more easily radicalized than mature adults; that is, if adults do, in fact, mature. 

It is largely, but not totally, accurate, that the JPM was youth-oriented. The hippies on the streets and the kids in high schools and colleges were most often under age thirty, and the slogan was not to trust anyone over that age. In the Bay Area, the rebellious baby boomers, those born around the ending of WWII and further, broke loose and followed their hearts, or another organ, and did everything their parents warned them against. Does this also explain the Jesus People Movement?

In the Bay Area it didn’t take a sociologist or demographer to see that large numbers of young people were out on the streets agitating for and against one thing or another. It was in the midst of all this that the JPM began. A detractor might easily conclude that there was no real spiritual component to the JPM, that is was merely the drugs, sex, and rock ’n roll culture gone wild in a different direction. And I will concede that the JPM was likewise tarnished, which should not be unexpected.

The first three national American awakenings, according to my reading of them, cut across the board age-wise. Whole families were impacted in these revival events, not merely the young. In the third awakening of 1857 to 1859, the main venue was the businessmen’s noon prayer meeting, so there were probably not many disaffected youth in the bunch. Young people were obviously involved in the first three awakenings, but they were not the primary participants.

My experience in the San Francisco Bay Area was that adults, parents mostly, including many mature adults, were also involved in the JPM. During the early days when the Bible studies in the schools were going on, I also conducted studies in the homes of actual church going folks of all ages. It did not take long before a variety of people, even some grey-headed types like I am now, were a big part of the awakening. And I can say from what I saw across the country in the late 1960s, that the same thing was occurring elsewhere. It may be that the young made more headlines than others or were more visible, but my observation and experience is that the JPM was not strictly for the young. 

Because the JPM was a “movement” and received a growing amount of media coverage, there were some involved who were not genuinely born again of the Spirit of God; after all, anyone can walk through the front door. False conversion was and always is a big issue; as my ministerial work has evolved, I have become more and more aware of this phenomenon. This interest led to the writing of my first book in the second stage of my “literary career” titled, Are You Really Born Again? published by Evangelical Press in 1995. My working title had been, The Mystery of Conversion, and it was a discussion of the nature of both true and false conversion.1 

1 Earthen Vessel Publishing published a third edition of the book under the title, A Matter of Life and Death: Understanding True and False Conversion. As in any awakening, the Holy Spirit works powerfully to save, but the enemy of God is active as well. 

Hearing Now from other JPMers 

Fast forward now to the present day. There are starting to be conferences and gatherings of Jesus freaks converted during the JPM. Locally, Scott McCarrel has taken the lead to organize such gatherings. Scott organized one small event already and others are planned.2 

2 Scott’s email address is: Scott McCarrel (MCCARRELS6@aol.com)

Let me summarize what I have been seeing and hearing from grey-headed ex-JPMers: Some of the Jesus freaks held on faithfully over the long haul; some made “ship wreck” of their faith for a period of time and have come back strong; others went their way and, in my view, gave evidence to the fact that their “conversion” was not genuine. I would like to be more generous than this, but those are my observations. 

The Best Sex

Troublesome Times: Newspaper headlines:

Same-sex marriage winning approval and acceptance

Homosexuality now on a par with heterosexuality

These are troubling times. How then are we, as Bible based followers of Jesus, to respond? Here is one Christian’s point of view.

Sex has long been a center fold of confusion and disagreement. There are so many ways in which we human beings have mis-used sex; the list goes on and on. Sex outside of marriage is wrong according to both the Old and New Testaments, and which has also been upheld by a number of the world’s religions. And this is so because sinful behavior effectively damages human enjoyment of sex and heavily impacts family relationships. Those who most enjoy sex are those who have miraculously followed the Scriptural sexual mandates such as no pre-marital sex, no post marital adultery, no homosexuality, no sex with animals, and so on. Then consider the fantastic draw of pornography; more males are into it than are not, and the result is these folks’ sex lives are often significantly damaged. I think of the phrase, “I can’t get no satisfaction.”

Wait a minute here, doesn’t this sound like hate speech? Some in our culture now would say, “Yes, it is.”

Indeed, some will hear it as such, but others will say just the opposite. And why so? Because of what is presented in the Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, that “sin, when it is finished, brings forth death” and sex outside of marriage, whether homosexual or heterosexual in orientation, is wrong in the eyes of the Creator God. And the consequences thereof are experienced both now and into eternity. Actually, it is loving speech that points out the dangers and consequences of non-biblical sexuality.

So then human sexuality is under attack, perhaps as never before. Historians, however, have shown that pre-Christian era sexuality was simply just as awful as it is now, and in some cultures, even worse. Indeed, as the Gospel spread and human sexuality became more biblically oriented, the human sexual experience radically improved for those who turned from sexual sin.

Sex can be wonderful, something that can keep us going and desiring to live another day. Mary and Joseph likely had the best sex ever. Once sinful behavior enters the picture however, over a course of time, sex becomes less satisfying and so harmful expressions of sex are engaged in thereby hoping to revive the thrill of sexual activity.

Christ-centered married folks may have great sex, something that strengthens the love bond. But this is not true for those engaged in homosexuality, for example. And just how do I know?

In 1971 three homosexual men, they are all dead now, made appointments with me as I was operating the Marin Christian Counselling Center in San Rafael at our Christian General Store on the Miracle Mile. Each man told me he was homosexual and was also a Christian, and all three wanted help in turning from their gay life. Also, they did not know each other. We began what came to be known as Love in Action, and I oversaw this ministry for ten years. Over those years, many hundreds of gay people were part of this ministry, and I learned how their homosexuality led them to riskier and riskier sexual behavior. (We did lose some to AIDS.)

Most all of my work with Love in Action focused on counseling those who said, at least at first, that they were born gay. As time went on, and my counselling process is what has been called “non-directive,” both men and women would speak of their coming to terms with their sexuality, confess their inner grief, or guilty conscience, and seek forgiveness and wholeness. I would say that the majority of these precious people, who came to this understanding of and by themselves, however slowly, were greatly relieved. It took lengthy periods of time before these people could even describe or relate their sexual experiences. Indeed, self-forgiveness, which is a huge and healthy step, often took many years, and sometimes some could not reach this place of peace. But when peace came it would be directly linking to the reality that all their sinful ways had been laid upon Jesus when He died upon that cross. Their sinful ways they remembered, but the pain of guilt began to lessen.

The long and short of it is they wanted out of the gay life. During that time, I wrote two books on the issue, one The Third Sex? and the other, The Gay Theology, in which there are testimonies of ten people, five men and five women, all of whom had turned away from homosexuality. These two books were published by Logos International in the mid-1970s, which brought a flood of gay people, men and women, to San Rafael to be part of Love in Action. As time went on, I performed many a marriage for these people and saw first-hand the growth of a healthy and biblical oriented sexuality.

Now in this present period of history, with homosexuality becoming normalized and accepted, and in addition, the sexual confusion known as transgenderism winning approval, sexuality for these will not be what it could be or should be. Sinful behavior, sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman, damages human sexuality; this sex does not deliver sexual satisfaction. Of course, those who so engage will bristle with anger at my words, but down deep, at some point, they may recognize and admit the truth of the reality they are living.

Let me be clear, I have no interest in politicizing my stance. We do not live in a world dominated by Christian principles. Statistics are showing now in the beginning of 2023, that the percentage of Christians in America, for example, is radically declining. And of these who yet identify with Christianity, not all of these hold to the time-honored biblical position on sexuality. In fact, there is a growing number of those who count themselves as Christians today who embrace homosexuality as acceptable. And the reasons for this are complex, yet I see some of it coming out of a desire to be accepted and not being dismissed as hopeless fundamentalists.

We are at a point now where we see some who identify as biblically oriented Christians going political on sexual issues, especially homosexuality. This, if successful politically, would result in law enforced morality. And the push back, which I see in the media already, is a rejection of those who are biblically based in regard to homosexuality and a dismissing of Christianity as a thing of the past that needs now to be ignored.

Let me come to the point: it must not be a Christian mission to force others to adopt what we consider to be a biblically based view of human sexuality, which of course is improbable anyway. Instead, we must present the Scriptural view of human sexuality, but not seek to enforce it politically.

Everyone has a right to their own opinion and position, but not all respect the rights of others. It troubles me when those who are of a different frame of mind, who are for homosexual marriage, blame Christians for having another view, and the reverse is also true for me. And yes, some who identify as Christians often act less than Christian to those who hold other views. We do, however, as Christians, need to hold up the truth of Scripture in regard to sexuality and do it in a way that does not demonize or criminalize those who hold opposing views.

People who are part of our Miller Avenue Baptist Church do not know who I vote for. Politics is essentially boring for me, besides being horribly divisive. Oh, I read the newspapers and watch the news programs on television, to keep aware, but this input does not excite me one way or the other. My concern is that others come to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and begin to turn away from sinful behavior. Being a rep, a dem, an indie, or whatever – my sense of it is that God is not paying much attention. And know for certain, that in an unknown period of time, there will be a judgment and the penalty for unforgiven sin is unimaginably horrid.

Here now is what might be called “the bottom line.” There is an accounting to come at the end of human history and the rap up of the entire universe.

1 Corinthians 6:9–11

[9] Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, [10] nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. [11] And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (ESV)

Paul is writing to a culture, Corinth, a major city in Greece, that embraced all forms of sexuality, and as we read in the passage, homosexuality is included. And the main thing is that those who embrace these forms of wrongdoing will not inherit the kingdom of God. Of course, it is easy to dismiss these words of the Apostle Paul, but they are backed up by words of Jesus.

Matthew 15:17–20

[17] Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? [18] But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. [19] For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. [20] These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” (ESV)

Mark 7:14–23      What Defiles a Person

[14] And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: [15] There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” [17] And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. [18] And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, [19] since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) [20] And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. [21] For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, [22] coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. [23] All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (ESV)

Looking back now to Genesis we find the Creator’s original intent.

Genesis 1:27–28

[27] So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. [28] And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.” (ESV)

Then, in the very next chapter, Genesis 2:24–25 we find the following:

Genesis 2:24–25

[24] Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. [25] And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (ESV)

Clearly, we see what the Creator God’s intention is, a man and a woman He created, and even though naked, there was no shame at all. Human sexuality was a grand gift of love. As one reads on in Genesis it is found that this radically changed once Satan, in the guise of a serpent, tricked Eve and Adam and the result is what we refer to as “The Fall.” Human sexuality would never be the same again.

Now looking ahead through Genesis, we come to the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20. And the seventh of these commands is: “You shall not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14) The term “adultery” means any sexual activity other than between a man and a woman having sex together, and being married is of course implied.

These are troubling days for those of us who hold to the time-honored biblical view of human sexuality, and these of all manner of political persuasion. We believers in Jesus are in a minority, and likely will continue to be unless there is another great awakening of the Holy Spirit. Our work now is not political, rather our work is to hold up our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through whom we have the forgiveness of every kind of sin.

How Demonization Occurs

from Kent’s book, Pathways to Darkness

In speaking of pathways to darkness, otherwise called avenues to demonization in this book, we are describing ways in which a person becomes vulnerable to invasion by demons. The material for this chapter has come primarily from basic biblical principles but has also grown out of research and personal experiences in deliverance, which may mean that there are gaps in our knowledge. This is also a chapter in The Deliverance Handbook. There is some overlapping of these four avenues, but these basic categories do provide useful tools in determining whether deliverance is needed in an individual’s life.

The Occult

The occult is unquestionably the main avenue through which people become demonized. The following passages from the Bible clearly reveal that the occult is an abomination to God, a stench in his nostrils: Deuteronomy 18:10–12; 4:19; Leviticus 19:26, 31; 20:6, 27, 2 Kings 23:5; Galatians 5:20, and Revelation 21:8.

It is important to again repeat one of the most important passages showing that God hates the occult. It is Deuteronomy 18:9–12:

[9] “When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. [10] There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer [11] or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, [12] for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you. [13] You shall be blameless before the LORD your God, [14] for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do this.

Witchcraft, fortune telling (divination), spiritism (calling back the dead), and all omens and occult practices are detestable to God. That is a very strong word: detestable. God detests, despises, and hates such practices according to His Word in the Hebrew Bible, also called the Old Testament. Galatians 5:20 and Revelation 21:8 communicate the same under the New Covenant. The passage in Revelation is particularly graphic: 

[8] But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. 

It is obvious that God detests the occult. One of the main reasons this is true is because God knows that demons can easily take advantage of those who practice such things. That is because those who engage in occult practices have purposely set aside trust, honor, and obedience to the God of Creation. Their allegiance has been placed elsewhere. Practicing or engaging in any form of the occult is without question the main way in which people become demonized. 

A partial listing of occult practices includes three major categories: 

(1) Fortune telling; (2) Magic; (3) Spiritism. 

(1) Fortune telling 

Astrology 

Palm reading 

Tarot 

I Ching 

Ouija board 

Fortune Teller 

Tea Leaf Readings 

(2) Magic 

Witchcraft 

Satan worship 

Curses and spells 

Love magic and hate magic 

Use of crystals for healing and other purposes 

(3) Spiritism 

Seances 

Mediumship269 

Clairvoyance 

Hypnotherapy 

Mental Telepathy 

Clairaudience 

Automatic Writing 

Trance States 

Reiki 

Astral Projection — out of body experiences. 

Shamanistic Practices 

The Soul Journey 

Use of the Enneagram 

The worship in the Native American Churches 

Attempting to channel Jesus as practiced by those who follow Sarah Young and her Jesus Calling books. 

It is important to realize that all of the above fall into the category of the occult according to the Bible. One is just as bad as another. It is every bit as harmful to consult the Ouija board as it is to worship Satan or practice black magic. It is just as demonic to read tea leaves or have one’s palm read as it is to call the ‘souls’ of the dead back in a séance. All are occultic. All pave the way to the one practicing them to become demonized. All are detestable in the sight of Almighty God, and this for our own good. We say that one part of the occult is just as bad as another for a good reason. Many people think that palm reading, I Ching, or a Ouija board are just harmless fun and that reading tea leaves is child’s play. They do not realize that they are playing with fire and that often the fire burns deeply, leaving psychological and spiritual scars that last for years. 

The Passive State of Mind — Altered State of Consciousness, Shamanistic State of Mind, Trance State, Deep Meditation 

The second avenue in which a person may become demonized is through entering into a passive state of mind. There are two main ways that the passive state of mind occurs: (1) through trances when the mind is neutral, open, and vulnerable. (2) through induced states or voluntary letting go, usually through drugs such as magic mushrooms and psilocybin, chanting, drumming, the rattle, ganga, spiritualized forms of yoga, Transcendental Meditation, and much more. 

The mind, as stated before, has a protective wall about it, provided by the will. This is our ability to say “no” to what is wrong and “yes” to what is right. Entering into a passive state of mind opens the door allowing the demonic to invade a person’s psyche; the person may become partially or even completely controlled by the demonic. The passive state of mind that comes through certain types of meditation is very dangerous in this respect, especially now when deep meditative practices are popular. The protective guard of the will comes down and the demonic may enter. 

Deep forms of meditation are probably the most dangerous occult practices in America today, because it appears so harmless. It just seems like the practitioner is relaxing. But the type of relaxation practiced brings the protective barrier down and actually invites the demonic in! Scores of people have become demonized in this manner. 

LSD, psilocybin, and other hallucinogens remove the protective barrier of the will, as do peyote and mescaline. (Peyote is commonly used in the Native American Churches.) There are also questions about the use of marijuana. These drugs remove the wall of the will and allow the demonic to enter. Many who have taken LSD or other mind-expanding substances have been demonized in this way. 

It is appropriate to mention the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, at this point. What goes under the rubric of relaxation and mind expansion is really nothing more than an opening to the spirit world. Very dangerous. 

The passive state of mind can come through trances induced in over-the-top Christian worship as well. Some hyper–Pentecostal groups work their worshippers up to a frenzy foreign to what we find in the New Testament. Those in the services may enter a passive state of mind and become demonized. Some people even think that they have been filled with the Holy Spirit, when it was actually a demon that entered them. Many today ask why some hyper–pentecostal groups react so violently to sound teaching on demonization, especially concerning the fact that church members may become demonized. A passive state of mind is extremely dangerous, whether it be in a church sanctuary, at a drumming group, a cleansing in a sweat lodge, or focusing for an hour on breathing techniques. 

Hypnotism has come into vogue again, too, and here is a direct and willful attempt to move into a passive state of mind. 

Excessive Sin 

Another avenue through which the demonic may enter a person is through excessive sin. The protective wall of the will is removed, and people become vulnerable to Satan when, through rebellion and rejection of God and His Word, they commit themselves to sin or to a sinful lifestyle. 

All Christians sin. That much is quite clear in the Bible. We are told, in the first chapter of 1 John, that if we say we have not sinned we make Him a liar and the truth is not in us. Clearly, Christians sin. First John, chapter 2, tells us that we have an advocate, Jesus Christ. We are told to confess our sins as they come into our lives, in order to remain in good fellowship with the Father. 

However, when someone, Christian or not, deliberately rejects the prompting of the Holy Spirit and deliberately rebels against the Word of God, the Ten Commandments, and the Sermon on the Mount, that person opens himself or herself to the possibility of becoming demonized, particularly when the sin is excessive, as when the people “give themselves up” to the sin. Sadly, some commit themselves to sexual sins, to alcohol, to drugs, to the occult, and to many other areas of sin. They literally give over the center of their lives to wrongful and dangerous behavior. Such persons will certainly open themselves up to invasion by the demonic, because Satan loves when people reject God’s will, thus making them susceptible to his. The following verse describes what has been called the opening of oneself to a reprobate mind. 

Romans 1:21–28 

[21] For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. [22] Claiming to be wise, they became fools, [23] and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. [24] Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, [25] because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. [26] For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; [27] and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. [28] And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 

Whatever else this dreadful passage may mean, this much is certain: giving oneself up to sin paves the way for the demonic to enter in. 

Haven’t you known people who ruined their minds to such an extent that they just could not make a real commitment to Christ? They have literally ruined their minds through sin. Despite all this, they may be freed from sin and experience deliverance. We do not give up on those caught in extreme rebellion. These people may be pleasantly surprised. Sometimes, the very worst of people come around and become excellent Christians.

Traumatic Experiences 

Traumatic experiences may also pave the way for the demonic to come into a person’s life. By “traumatic” is meant a potent emotional experience that so changes a person’s psyche that the mental barrier comes down and the demonic comes in. 

Fear is very often the emotion that produces this removal of the mental protective barrier. An extremely traumatic fear experience, particularly in childhood, can produce not only neurotic or psychotic experiences, but even demonic susceptibility in later years. 

This type of demonization is rarer than the first three. But it is common enough that we felt it should be listed. 

A famous example of the demonic entering through trauma is in the motion picture, Three Faces of Eve. This movie is based on the true story of a woman who became demonized as a child when her mother held her over a coffin and forced her to kiss the face of her dead grandmother. The child became demonized through the trauma of that moment, which caused the barriers of her mind to come down and the demonic to come in. 

The sudden death of a loved one may produce so much hatred toward God on the part of a child that the child is vulnerable to the demonic. A child abandoned by his parents may become so thoroughly traumatized that the demonic comes in. Strong hatred of parents can produce demonization. A sexually abused child may be so scarred that it triggers a demonic event. 

Now someone may feel that “this is not fair.” Point taken; indeed, it does not seem fair that a child should suffer for the sins of parents or other adults. But we cannot blame God either. The Creator God allows humans to have free will and to do as they please. When dramatic, tragic events happen wherein children are heavily emotionally impacted, it may well produce long term emotional and spiritual disturbances. 

Summing Up 

In counseling with someone who may be demonized, which is part of the work necessary prior to actual sessions of casting demons out, it is essential to engage in discussions regarding past history. That is why it is necessary to have at least one preliminary session in which you can learn something of a person’s background. It is vital to discover if the person has opened any of the aforementioned doors through which demonization can enter. Check whether they have engaged in any occult practices; whether they have ever entered a passive state of mind or have been involved in excessive sin. If none of these are in the background, yet you suspect that the person may be demonized, probe back into his or her past to see if there has been a heavily traumatic experience that could have opened the way for demonization. 

Dr. Billy Graham best summed up the way people become demonized through Transcendental Meditation when he said: “People practicing TM wipe the slates of their minds clean, in effect, in an effort to establish a state of serenity and well–being. But in doing so, many are liable to create a vacuum in their minds. What goes into that empty space is the hidden danger of TM. It can be an invasion of satanic influences [demons] which will have an adverse effect on their lives.” 

(Note here: TM is no longer widely practiced and has virtually fallen out of public view. However, Dr. Graham’s council or warning is yet relevant, due to the common practices that bring people into passive states of mind.) Anything that “wipes the slate of the mind clean” and “creates a vacuum” in the mind by pulling down the barriers of the will can open a person to demonization.