It seems there are many who are curious and interested in the supernatural and seeking to experience ghostly encounters or spirits. I am in an “Old House” group and weekly, there are those who ask if anyone in the group sees apparitions or lives in a “haunted” house. I am not into any of it and want nothing to do with it. Mainly because I don’t believe people are seeing “ghosts” or their dead loved ones but rather deceiving spirits who love to toy with them.
In 1981, I experienced something that could not be explained as a natural occurrence but would be something that would fall under the category of “supernatural”. I hesitate to share it very often because I don’t like to spotlight the devil. However, I share it as a warning that these forces are real and nothing about them is good.
I worked on a street ministry/coffee house team and some of us had gone to Century 2 Concert Hall in Wichita,KS, to hear “The Imperials” perform. The Imperials were a popular gospel group and had a huge following. My boyfriend and I were sitting higher than the floor area and there were many seated on chairs at the ground level.
At one point in the concert, the group sang the song “Praise the Lord” which is a powerful praise song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8q-IQ3DEVSI. When they got to the verse,”Now Satan is a liar and he wants to make you think that you are paupers, when he knows himself we’re children of the king”, we heard a lion roar.
Looking down at floor level, five or six men were restraining a teenage boy who was roaring like a lion. This was not a sound that our human vocal chords can even mimic. Taking him out of the auditorium, my boyfriend and I followed them to see if we could help. What we encountered was something I don’t ever want to experience again. This young man was being physically held down on a chair as he was raging and cursing. Looking straight at me he screamed out a string of curse words that made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. We began to seriously pray for him.
After praying for several minutes,the young man went limp. Coming to, he looked at us and asked what had happened. After questioning his youth pastor who had brought him with their group, we discovered that this teen was heavily involved in the occult. He had been playing with Ouija boards, seances, etc. and had gotten pulled into powers greater than he could handle. We knew a man in the area that had spoken at our coffee house and was known for his ministry in setting people free from demonic harassment. We got them connected and learned later that he had gone and received help.
Fast forward to sometime 25 to 30 years later as I was at a women’s conference in Lincoln, Nebraska. I went to supper with several women and one of them began talking about a crazy experience she had encountered years ago in Wichita, KS. at Century 2 Concert Hall. She told us that she saw a teenage boy act insane and begin roaring like a lion.
I was speechless. Sometimes you need to know that you really haven’t lost your mind and hearing another eye witness who saw the same thing confirmed that I hadn’t.
Several years ago, my husband and I were at a bed and breakfast house for a few days and were told that it was haunted. The friend who told us, said that construction workers coming to town there would leave before their stay was up because they were so spooked. We were not thrilled to learn this and went up to our bedroom armed with prayer for the Lord to fill the room with his presence.
Sometime in the middle of the night, I woke up out of a dead sleep and for no reason looked over to the side of the bed and saw a florescent, glowing half scorpion, half snake coiled up on the floor. I blinked several times before falling back onto the bed and all of the sudden, the bathroom light turned on all by itself. I woke my husband up and said, “we have to pray now!” We prayed for a long time and all fear left and we finally fell back asleep. The rest of the nights there, nothing else happened. However, when we went to leave, my black t-shirt was missing and after searching in every possible place, we knew it was gone.
My husband is a pastor and we have had several conversations with missionaries and others who have experienced walking into certain houses where in one spot, there was a feeling of ice cold temperatures and a presence of fear. We counseled a couple who thought going to seances was fun until a red light began appearing in their bedroom at night and moved around.
In 2014, I read this story in the “Indy Star” https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2014/01/25/the-disposession-of-latoya-ammons/4892553/. I leave it here for you to read and decide for yourself whether demonic spirits exist.
So, these are all pretty sensational and of course there will always be skeptics. However, we are told in scripture that we do not battle against flesh and blood but powers and principalities:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” Ephesians 6:10-18.
While these stories show the obvious powers of the supernatural, Satan most often works in the lives of people in very discreet and deceptive ways. Bizarre manifestations often lead people running to God for help, but the crafty, subtle snare of the enemy is what traps us unaware and most often leads us away from Him. “Did God really say?” whispered the snake in the garden.
The apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 11:13-14 that Satan appears as an angel of light: “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”
We are told that Satan is looking to devour us: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
Obviously, Satan doesn’t try to physically eat us, but he is always looking for our weakness. He is everything that God is not. He hates God and the ones created in God’s image. He wants to take as many with him to hell as possible because the God he hates wants them with him in heaven. Satan lives to make a mockery of God and all that is good. God established marriage, Satan wants to destroy it. God gives man dignity, Satan victimizes and objectifies them. God gave His son as a sacrifice for our sins to lead us to repentance and eternal life, Satan accuses us of our sin to lead us to eternal condemnation and destruction.
I heard Johanna Michaelson speak on a talk show years ago with Anton Levey who founded the church of Satan. Johanna had been heavily involved in the occult and came out of it to fully follow Jesus Christ. You can find her story in “The Beautiful Side of Evil”. Levey was trying to convince her that the church of Satan was about basic human goodness and not evil. Johanna pointed out to him that because Satan is the opposite of God, when Levey calls his church “good” that means that it is evil.
So what do we do with these powers and principalities that are at war against us? These deceptive spirits.
We put on God’s armor:
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” Ephesians 6:13-18
We submit to God:
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you” James 4:7-10
Test the spirits and make sure you follow only the Spirit of God:
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” 1 John 4:1-6
We don’t have to be an outright Satanist in order to fall as a victim to his powers. We just have to leave a vacuum in our relationship with God and Satan will move right in tempting us and whispering us away from the God who loves us. We must always remember that outside of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we are no match for the powers and principalities that are at work in this world.
Praise God though, that as 1 John 4:4 tells Christ followers: “Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.”
I close with a favorite passage that fully conveys this supernatural power that surpasses all others.
“ and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:19-23