Mark 16:15-18 MSG Then he said, “Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all…17 “These are some of the signs that will accompany believers: They will throw out demons in my name…
As the church seeks to extend God’s Kingdom as we proclaim the Gospel, Scriptures assure us that we will encounter the demonic. We can mistakenly think that because we live in America the demonic we encounter will be different than the experience of the Bible. You know, “our demons are more dignified here because we aren’t in a third world country.”
We must be careful with such attitudes. We are having an Evangelistic Summit in May with an emphasis on the supernatural and dealing with the demonic in evangelism. Here is a recent account of a demonic encounter from Don Millican who is part of the church in Mankato. They have been praying for outreach and taking steps with it in their new location. Then they encountered Nick, a man who lives in their neighborhood.
One Sunday in mid-November I remember coming to church just like I have so many times and seeing people I know and love. This particular day there was a young man about thirty with a Pittsburg Steelers hat, dark stringy hair, looking really nervous. Apparently he had been encouraged by his girlfriend to get back to attending church after being away for 6 or 7 years. This Sunday morning he put music on his mp3 and headed out for a walk not intending to end up at our fellowship. I believe that the Lord in His sovereign purposes directed Nick to the church so he could get healing and find his destiny as a child of God. Josh Hartman was at the church early and greeted Nick and had a 30 min conversation which ended with Nick crying and a prayer.
When I met Nick my first thought was maybe this guy was either on drugs or coming off something because he was shaking and sweaty. I talked with him a few minutes, introducing myself and thought this guy is very friendly and seems to be wide open to things. Just before church started I connected with him again in the fellowship area and this time he began sharing with me all the really bad things that had been happening to him recently. I offered to pray with him and he agreed. As we prayed he began to weep profusely and I realized the Lord was doing something special in this man’s life.
During the service someone came up to me saying that there was a guy in the kitchen crying. I went into the kitchen only to find Nick with tissues being undone by the Spirit of God. As I began to talk to him David Smith walked by and the Lord spoke to him to join the conversation. For the next 30-45 min we read scripture and talked about the Prodigal Son, discussing salvation and the fact that God was drawing Nick to be saved. Nick entered into prayer with us, giving his heart to Jesus and asking for forgiveness.
David and I began to feel like Nick was in need of some deliverance and personal healing from some past broken relationships. In the course of our conversation Nick opened up about not feeling God near him and as a result he had probed deeply into the occult, drugs, promiscuity and had even been reading the satanic bible. We led him into prayer to cut off these lies and renounce their practices. Nick did everything we asked him to do without any resistance whatever. It seemed like the hand of God was on this whole thing and I felt like it was so easy that anyone could have led this guy into deliverance.
As we laid our hands on him and began to pray supernatural things began to occur. His body began to twist and writhe. His voice changed to a deep guttural sound and he began to speak in what I would say were counterfeit tongues. The demons were obviously speaking through him. I could make out the words “priest”, “kill you, kill you”, beyond that I couldn’t understand the gibberish. His eyes rolled back in his head as his upper torso was moving up and down and sideways as the rest of his body sat in a chair. We began to cast out the demons and speak in tongues.
Just then Josh Hartman came through the door and I motioned for him to come over and help us. Josh instantly began to speak in militant tongues and began to take authority over the evil forces. One last writhing of the torso up and then his head and chest slammed against the table and then he immediately went limp for about ten seconds. As Nick came back into consciousness he said, “Where am I and who are you”. We explained what had just happened and Nick couldn’t remember anything about the deliverance.
We prayed for Nick to be filled with the Holy Spirit and that the Lord would protect him and keep him cleansed from all these demons. After this we counseled Nick about forgiving those who had wounded him and led him into prayer to forgive his father who abandoned him at a young age.
It is now the end of January and Nick has come to church every Sunday since that day. He is currently signed up for the ‘Foundations Class’ set to begin next month. Nick has a long way to go just like all of us but we know for sure that his experience is real and God’s love and mercy for him are never ending. Please pray for him as you read this wonderful testimony.