Close Encounters of the Demonic Kind

A silly little experiment in chance or providence: Determined to blog about the result — whatever it may be ((If it was a series of “begats,” then that’s just what this post would have been about.)) — I closed my eyes, opened my Bible, and pointed at a passage.

Judging by the thickness of the pages, I would have expected to open my eyes to one of the Minor Prophets, but instead a passage from Luke sat there on the page before me:

Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, 2and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means. Luke 8:1–3

These three little verses provide a springboard to go any number of different ways here, but what first caught my attention was the phrase “who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities.” That, as you can see, refers to Mary of Magdala, from whom seven demons had been cast out.

It’s interesting my eyes should fall upon this passage first for I have been thinking a lot lately about my own “close encounters” with the spirit world.

It all began in middle school.

For whatever reason, I, along with a couple of friends, became quite interested in ancient mythologies, particularly that of Egypt. ((Eventually, Greek mythology would become my favorite, with Norse following closely behind.)) The interest grew and, in addition to being shared by several more friends, began to include subjects like aliens & UFOs, vampirism, lycanthropy, ((For all you laymen, lycanthropy is the technical term for being, or believing oneself to be, a werewolf.)) ghosts, Wicca (ever so briefly), parapsychology, dreams, and so much more.

Yeah, that probably made us dorks, and I was probably the most “into” all of this than anyone. I filled notebooks with mythology information and even determined that a map of my neighborhood which included friends’ houses as well as our hang-out spots resembled the constellation Orion.

To this day, I can spot Orion in the sky within seconds.

And I even organized a mostly unorganized little group called the Paranormal Investigators. We had a Web page before having a Web page was cool. Oh, yeah!

All of this was fairly “innocent”; we tried to determine whether any of us possessed any psychic abilities and on more than one occasion we attempted to “share” dreams by focusing on predetermined locations and events prior to sleeping.

During that time, I had a very vivid dream about the rapture of the Church — myself getting left behind — before I ever knew a thing about the rapture. I never did share a dream with any of my compatriots, however.

Then there was the dream about the 200-foot tall Jesus sword-fighting with a 200-foot tall Devil. I think I watched too much Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers back then… Did I mention I was a dork?

Things began to get a bit freaky when Michael — one of the aforementioned best friends — attacked Amanda — another friend on the “Orion map” — during a game of backyard football. For no reason.

Sometime during that time (probably the night before or after, if I remember correctly), Michael found inexplicable scratches on his back as though he had been attacked by something in his sleep.

And for a few weeks after that, he seemed changed. Disconnected.

Disturbed.

Walking to school one morning with Michael and Jason, Jason & I turned around to find that Michael was frozen in his tracks about a block back.

Strange behavior like that persisted until Michael finally opened up to us about what was going on. By his account — which he continually swore as true even as we grew up — he was seeing some sort of spirit(s).

What he described (and later drew) was a black, ethereal being that roughly took humanoid form, beings which demanded threateningly that he do things. There was the explanation for the inexplicable attack on Amanda during the football game and all of the odd behavior since.

I think it was Chris — who is today an assistant pastor — who first brought the Bible into this whole ordeal involving Michael. His solution?

Cast the demons out.

A good ol’ fashioned exorcism.

Yeah, I know. I can see you rolling your eyes (if you haven’t been this whole time). You have your experiences; I have mine… I’m just relating what happened.

Chris’ idea was the best one we had, so we ran with it. I think there were five of us that day — Michael, Chris, Jason, Randy, and myself — who, Bibles in hand, went to Michael’s house.

We were all given very specific jobs. I don’t remember what we all did; some of us prayed, Chris communicated our intentions to the demons and demanded they leave, and I read from the Scriptures, a passage about Jesus casting out demons, showing forth His authority over evil.

Whatever took place that day, it seems to have worked. Michael was normal after that — as normal as a young, teenage guy can be, I suppose.

Flash forward half a decade or so.

I had lost contact with most of the guys — an unfortunate side effect of growing up along divergent paths — and had fallen in with a new crowd, specifically an independent Baptist church.

Given my past interests, I took to learning theology very eagerly and once I learned certain areas of doctrine existed, I rejoiced and avidly studied them: angelology, demonology, satanology, and eschatology.

Surprisingly, at least to me, what I learned reinforced the experiences of years gone by.

I also learned that we were perhaps risking our lives during that exorcism. Evidently, demons don’t like to be cast out, and sometimes they may just turn on the one doing the casting:

Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus, whom Paul proclaims.” 14Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. Acts 19:13–16

The five of us running from Michael’s house beaten & naked… What a sight that would’ve been.

A few months passed, months filled with learning the Christian doctrine and (most importantly) my conversion when the Lord saved me in August of ’01.

Shortly thereafter, I’d have my closest encounter with the spirit world yet — barring, of course, the newfound intimate relation with God.

In my room alone late one night, I was in bed with the lights off, not really tired, but needing to go to sleep regardless. I point out here that my room had white-painted walls and doors and that the room, even though the lights were off, was lit fairly well by the nearby streetlight.

Waiting for the sandman, so to speak, I turned to get more comfortable and my eyes fell upon… well… fell upon what I can only assume was the same thing that accosted Michael all those years before.

There in front of my door was a black figure, ghostlike in appearance, and clearly facing in my direction.

I froze. Absolute terror seized my body, terror that I had never known before or since. I could neither move my body nor avert my eyes, and in my panic, I did the only thing that I knew to do.

I prayed.

The paralyzing terror lifted just enough to let me leap to my feet and flea my room; everything happened so quickly after that prayer that I can only assume I ran through the intruding spirit.

A little while later I returned to my room, and within a week I prayed all throughout my room, anointing the walls with oil.

I still don’t remember how I came up with that idea, but I do know that the oil symbolized the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Never again was I bothered by the spirit.

Even though the experience introduced me to a level of fear that I didn’t even know was possible, I’m thankful for it. Not only did it confirm that whatever happened to Michael really could have been happening just as he said, but it also confirmed once and for all time that this world is not all there is.

For whatever reason, God granted this bit of external, visual confirmation of the spirit world in my life. I’ll never forget the experience or how it changed how I viewed certain passages of Scripture…

…like the one about a woman named Mary, a woman rescued from seven demons.

And to think, I was terrified when confronted with just one.

43 thoughts on “Close Encounters of the Demonic Kind”

  1. Interestingly enough, I talked with a guy on hpana (Harry Potter Automatic News Aggregator, pronounced aytch-pee-anna, FYI) who claimed he could see demons and has ever since he was a little kid. He said he saw them on almost a daily basis, and not just one, but multitudes of them. Some of them have even physically abused him (like Michael, he had scratch marks). He was a very intriguing guy to talk too, especially considering he was a preschool teacher.

  2. Walt Dickinson: I have a feeling we’d hear a lot more accounts such as these if the threat of being deemed “crazy” wasn’t there. Humanists are all cool with living by observable phenomena… so long as those phenomena fit into their narrow worldview. Any aberrations to that “norm” are nothing more than the result of psychological problems, apparently.

    (Psychological problems which I suffered from for like five minutes in my room… and then healed just as quickly. Uh-huh, yep…)

  3. Hello there Rick

    I just found your site after researching a commenter who we have in common.
    I have seen that dark something. We ran it out of our house a few years ago.

    It was before my son was saved and I beleive that they came to try to get our minds focused on other things. My wife has had that sort of thing in her family for years. It, they tried to influence my daughter through a dream and actually pinched her one night. We also saw what at the time we thought was a young girl but it was a demon (which was what my daughter saw in her dream – it was weird with crystal balls and a name now keep on mind she was 7) So we had our kids pray it out of their rooms in the name of Jesus and we annointed all doors, rooms, and windows with oil.

    After we were done, I walked thorough the house to get a flashlight in the living room for something and I walked through the coldest thing I had ever felt. I saw it in the coorner of our living room ( It was at that time that I realized just what I stuck my hand through) and I realized that I had to pray it out of the house so I did.

    I really didn’t believed in all that demonic stuff before – but I do now.
    I had a dream or vision once of something that had a hold of me a long time ago (lustful spirit) don’t laugh – he looked like Sonny Crockett from Miami Vice, well he had the same suit on, and he was snearing at me like he meant trouble and he was going to brak down our back door with a chair but I stood in the door or in the gap like I was supposed to. He got mad and went away. The other weird thing was that I saw people in twos walking everywhere back and forth to other places,
    My wife has had one of those good ones where she saw the spirital battle that is going on at all times around us. It scared her a little but she said that she was allowed to see Michael
    She also had a vision once about a young man who was in a plane crash and the Lord blessed her with that one because we received confirmation after it.

    I will tell you that one if you would like but it is a long one

    Now people (even other Christians) might think that we are crazy but I believe it with all my heart.

  4. Clint, please, by no means take this as an insult, but…

    “Now people (even other Christians) might think that we are crazy but I believe it with all my heart.”

    All crazy people believe what they believe with all their heart. That’s essentially the key ingrediant of being crazy–to sincerely believe something illogical.

    Again, not meant as an insult, even though I’m sure it will come out as an insult. I’m just pointing out the obvious, I guess.

  5. Well then I take that back

    I guess I am crazy

    Thanks for pointing that out but I hope that wasn’t the only thing that you focused on. I was just sharing with the rest of the class. I meant that others may think that I am crazy (which evidently I am) but I know that they are true (Even though at one point I did not believe it)

  6. Walt Dickinson: Wow, really? Just after I say, “I have a feeling we’d hear a lot more accounts such as these if the threat of being deemed ‘crazy’ wasn’t there,” you imply that someone may be crazy or is no different from people who think they’re Elvis?

    Maybe that isn’t what you were trying to do, and if not, excellent. Frankly, the very fact I claim to have been ripped out of the world of unbelievers, converted, and given a new nature by a benevolent, all-powerful, redeeming God… well, given that alone I expect to be considered crazy by the majority of the world’s population — those that the same benevolent, all-powerful, redeeming God has deemed “foolish.”

    Clint: Craziness ain’t exactly a bad thing, brother, so don’t let that bother you.

    Your story is awesome and is a testament to how great and powerful the one true God Jesus Christ is.

    I’d love to hear your other account also. You don’t necessarily have to post it here. You’re welcome to join & share it at my message board. You know, if you really want to. :)

    If it’s crazy to stand up for your beliefs — and even crazier to stand up for biblical beliefs — then Clint, I’ll be seeing you in that padded room, and I’ll gladly bounce off the walls with ya!

  7. Clint:

    “I guess I am crazy”

    At least you’re sane enough to know and admit it. :)

    “Thanks for pointing that out but I hope that wasn’t the only thing that you focused on.”

    No, of course not. I just thought it was rather humerous.

    And don’t worry. Everyone is crazy, to one degree or another. If you’re not crazy in love, you’re crazy because you’re not in love.

    Rick:

    “Wow, really? Just after I say, ‘I have a feeling we’d hear a lot more accounts such as these if the threat of being deemed ‘crazy’ wasn’t there,’ you imply that someone may be crazy or is no different from people who think they’re Elvis?”

    When did Elvis enter the picture? :)

    Either way, I think what you’re implying is that I was being insensitive to Clint here’s testimony, and if that’s the case, I think my words were, “Please, by no means take this as an insult…,” etc., etc..

    I neither believe nor disbelieve Clint’s testimony, or yours, for that matter. I simply unbelieve. If I believed, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, and if I disbelived, I would feel I have grounds to call Clint crazy because I would feel I knew that what he claims is false. Since I did not experience what Clint claims to have experienced, I cannot make a judgment one way or the other.

    Is it possible Clint had a close encounter of the demonic kind? Yes, nearly anything is possible. Is it probable? Based on my experiences, because they are the surest thing I know, I am more inclined to think not.

    Now, what exactly did I mean in the post that started this entire controversy? Nothing more than to provide a definition for the concept of “crazy,” which was nothing more than: “A person who sincerely believes something illogical.” Because, if a person did not sincerely believe something which was illogical, this person would be merely a deceiver, and not crazy. Now, granted, under this definition I could easily be labeled crazy, or a fool, as you put it, since most people, including yourself, argue that to be a nonChristian is to believe something illogical. But I suppose that is simply a matter of personal opinion, or point of view, which does not and, indeed, cannot, amount to an empirical fact.

    You know what would be even crazier? To sincerely believe something that is illogical, and agree that what one believes is illogical, yet cannot help but sincerely believe it. This concept, sadly, is not new. It’s called doublethink. I only know of it through Orwell’s “1984,” and whether or not the concept originated in Orwell, or before him and his time, this I do not know. But it is defined, at least by the novel, as “the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” For example, to honestly maintain that God both exists and does not exist would be doublethink. That, my friends, would be crazy.

    But, as Rick so kindly pointed out, craziness isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Conformity is.

  8. Walt Dickinson: As R.C. Sproul concluded in Defending Your Faith (and as apologetics ministries defend daily), logic points to Christianity. (I know I’ll be challenged on that, which is why I linked to the book so others can take a peak for themselves.)

    And, following logic, “If Christianity, then demons,” is a valid conclusion, when Christianity’s source of truth — the Bible — so often portrays demons as real entities which are active in our world. If that’s the case, then to deny the existence of demons is the crazier option, for that would be a denial of something which is real or factual.

    But then, those who are disposed to deny the existence of demons likely deny the greater realities of Jesus Christ and His Word.

    I’m still uncertain where you stand in all of this, Justin, and I’d love for you to explain (even in private on the Fellowship Hall, if you’d prefer) just what it is you believe nowadays. Not that it is any of my business, but I fear you may be squandering what could have been a (spiritually) profitable lifetime of apologetics and, depending on just what it is you nowadays believe, an eternity of glory.

  9. Walt Dickinson: Awesome that you’re able to admit that, and I’m certainly willing to help out in any way I can — by praying for you, answering questions, or whatever else. Just don’t feel like you need to jump into the thick of things here if you’re uncertain about various things. Who knows what off-base things may be said by others here! :)

  10. “Is it possible Clint had a close encounter of the demonic kind? Yes, nearly anything is possible. Is it probable? Based on my experiences, because they are the surest thing I know, I am more inclined to think not.”

    OK I understand where you are coming from now. I was not sure and I will admit that I was a little insulted but I’ll get my whiny pants changed. I appreciate your stance on the whole subject. You are looking at it through your eyes and your experiance and they are totally different from mine and I am glad for one that we may not agree but we can still talk about it. I won’t presume to try to convince you but in my eyes throught what myself and my family went through it was real – and we filtered it through what we believe and based on that we concluded with that outcome. Was it real? Maybe, maybe not but to my senses it felt, seemed, and looked real at the time. Like I said I didn’t beleive it before either but I also didn’t beleive in a personal relationship with Jesus either and He changed my mind on that one and if that makes me crazy to some folks well then so be it.
    What really drives me crazy is that I just can’t spell anymore

    Rick I have alredy tried to register on the message board and I am not sure if I was able too or not. I will try to sign in tommorrow and see. i would love to tell you more and share in some Bible study outlines and fellowship so thanks for the invite and the warm reception. I was raised in the Church of Christ and I am now attending a fundamental Baptist church right now so I understand where you are coming from after reading some of your other articles

    Well I’m off for now. My jumpsuit is greased with Banana and peanut butter sandwiches and my fans are a-waitin

    cue Elvis music

  11. Walt: What is illogical about it though? 2+2 =5 is illogical but believing you see demons is not. It’s simply a belief that is less main stream.

    But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
    George Orwell

  12. Quote: And, following logic, “If Christianity, then demons,” is a valid conclusion, when Christianity’s source of truth — the Bible — so often portrays demons as real entities which are active in our world. If that’s the case, then to deny the existence of demons is the crazier option, for that would be a denial of something which is real or factual.

    As a Bible believing christian, I believe that everything, including our subjective experiences, must be weighed against the Scriptures. Can anyone give me an example of a demon being visible to anyone in the Bible? I am not speaking of seeing a person, or a herd of pigs, that is possessed by a demon, but an actual demon itself.

    If not, I am inclined to believe that most all of such experiences probably have a more ‘natural’ answer.

    michael

  13. michael: Given the visibility of angels, seraphim, cherubim, Satan, the chariots of fire, and all sorts of other spiritual activity in the Bible, I’m inclined to believe that demons would be no different, particularly since they are not described as “invisible” anywhere that I am aware of. Remaining hidden from the naked eye seems an honor the Lord reserves most notably for Himself.

    As for a natural explanation, I’d be quite interested in knowing what can make a man-sized, three-dimensional silhouette with features clear enough to discern that it was facing and/or looking in my direction that appeared 1.5-2 feet away from the wall in my room that, to my knowledge, never occurred again.

    And welcome to Kingdom Geek, Michael. :)

  14. I am not implying that I know of any one natural reason that may explain these experiences but it seems that it is quite a leap to infer that because angelic beings occasionally took visible form during special events and communications from God that demons somehow appear visibly to men today for no other reason than to ‘spook’ them.
    This certainly does not fit within biblical demonology because it is simply experiential and not the result of exegesis at all. And exegesis must be the foundation of all our theology.

    michael

  15. And please do not think that I am putting down, or shrugging off, anybody’s experiences. Obviously something did happen. I just think that we need to be clear on what constitutes biblical theology and what does not.

    michael

  16. michael: I’m not claiming this to be biblical theology; it is my experience, and in order to figure out what happened I did as I should, I went to the Scriptures which testify of a host of spiritual beings, of which what I saw may have been one. I don’t know why it was there, I only know how I reacted.

    I also know that if the church ever wants a clear biblical theology of demonology and the spirit world, we need to ditch eisegetical nonsense such as Satan once being a “good angel” or “the anointed cherub that covereth” and other such things. I wont’ accuse you of believing these things, but it occurs to me that the church grossly misunderstands he who walks about seeking to devour it; how are we, then, to understand his minions?

    Also, I disagree that angels appeared visibly at certain times; from what I’ve read, angels are always visible and appear as men. The texts never say they appear that way for our benefit or to blend in, just that that is how they are.

    Anywho, I need to go round me up something to eat. Thanks again for visiting/commenting. :D

  17. I would be interested in knowing the hermeneutic that you used when searching the Scriptures that allowed you to come to the conclusion that these experiences may fit within the realm of biblical demonology.
    It very well may be true that angels are always visible…but not to us. Their being visible to men is always purposeful in the Scriptures. As for demons, I cannot think of a biblical example when one was truly visible to men at all.
    Even though you may not feel that you are trying to provide exegesis, the moment you stated that the Bible supported the possibility of of your experience, you now, in my mind at least, must back up that claim.

    michael

  18. michael: It supports it by not rendering it an impossibility or contradictory. And you’re right, maybe I didn’t see a demon; maybe I saw any of a number of things that may or may not be described in the Scriptures — the Bible, after all, isn’t meant to be a handbook to the supernatural world. What I am certain of is that whatever I saw was not of God for it instilled in me a sense of terror and dread that is not compatible with the Spirit of love which casts out fear which God has given to me.

    There are plenty of disciples out there who believe and teach that Satan has something to do with anointed cherubim or the name Lucifer when the Scriptures teach no such thing. It’s their hermeneutic and exegesis that I’m worried about. My seeing a demon or not is fairly inconsequential to how I approach the Scriptures; misunderstanding our adversary will affect everything from our understanding of angels to our understanding of spiritual warfare and withstanding the wicked one’s attacks, I think.

  19. “It’s their hermeneutic and exegesis that I’m worried about. ”

    I understand what you are saying.

    “My seeing a demon or not is fairly inconsequential to how I approach the Scriptures”

    I’m not sure if I agree with this statement. Especially in light of,

    “It supports it by not rendering it an impossibility or contradictory. ”

    We cannot argue support from the Scriptures simply because it is silent on a subject. And it is this that has concerned me throughout this discussion. To argue from the silence of the Scriptures is a dangerous thing but an easy thing to do if one approaches the Bible without a previously well thought out hermeneutic.

    “the Bible, after all, isn’t meant to be a handbook to the supernatural world. ”

    Maybe not. But it does give us all we need to know on the subject.

    michael

  20. I don’t know what to think about angels and demons, but I have thought a lot about angels and such. I have had two family members who are not inclined to make up or exaggerate events, who have seen dead family members as if in human form again. Once was when our dead father appeared to my brother who was in a time of great worry. Our father spoke to him as he would have in life, offering advice and reassurance. The other time was when my mother saw my dead brother standing in a doorway. He didn’t speak, just appeared for a moment as if “checking in.”

    Now, both of these incidents were calming to my family members. They were not afraid at the time, and when reporting on the visits later they took pains to try to explain what either one would have thought of as bizarre behavior to anyone, including themselves, had it not happened to them.

    So where my mind goes is, were these appearances “angels” and if so, what kind of angel? Did our dead family members become angels and appear? Did angels take the form of our dead family members in order to offer comfort? Did something (God?) take control of the brain of my mother and brother and cause them to imagine seeing and hearing the “angels”?

    I don’t know. I go in circles wondering. In my own life, there have been times when I feel that I might have been used as an “angel,” when it seemed that a person in need happened to be right in my path at a time when I could help in an immediate way, and when it was unusual that I should be present at that particular place and time. Like, “I had no reason to be here just now, I was passing by on my way somewhere else and for some reason decided to stop here first.”

    Also, I feel that there have been times when someone was right where I needed him or her to be at a time of deep need for me. Was it coincidence? Or a person being “used” as an angel?

    These are the things that keep me awake at night sometimes.

  21. Kathi D: Biblically, you wouldn’t know an angel to see one. Hebrews says that we should be kind to everyone because in doing so, we’ll likely be being kind to angels without ever knowing it. Angels look like men and nothing else. A lot of people think angels are invisible spirits that can appear as men, but that doesn’t make any sense to me as the Bible never describes them in that way — they’re just men.

    Regarding past relatives appearing as spirits or ghosts… I don’t think that happens. We know from the account of Lazarus and the rich man that those who are in Hell cannot escape. Likewise, we know that for believers, if they are absent from the body, they are present with the Lord — the Lord who is at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. And in all honesty, I couldn’t imagine Heaven being any less than 100% absorbing — when we get there, it’ll be like a blink of an eye to us before the world ends, yet it will also be an eternity in the presence of Christ. (I love paradoxes. :)

  22. Rick,

    You asked where I stood in matters of faith, what I believe. At first, I didn’t have much of an answer for you, but now I think I do. Of course, it is not a position you are going to agree with or like, and that’s fine with me.

    I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and earth.
    And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and buried. He descended into Hades. On the third day, He rose again from the dead. He ascended into Heaven, where He sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there He will judge the living and the dead.
    I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection, and the life everlasting. Amen.

    Sounds pretty orthodox, right? What exactly do I believe which you will disagree with?

    Well, I’m a Christian. That means I follow Christ. That also means that I do not follow Paul of Tarsus.

    I believe Paul was a great, indeed, a phenomonal Christian. But I must admit that he was only a man. A blessed man, but a man nonetheless. I believe he greatly helped the body of Christ, and his teachings are great footnotes and add-ons to the teachings of Christ, but they are always second to Christ’s teachings.

    I cannot deny God exists. I cannot deny Jesus lived, or did the things He did.

    But I cannot believe God hates a committed, loving, homosexual couple.

    Believing this does not contradict the teachings of Jesus, but Paul.

    And that is where I stand, as of now.

  23. Walt Dickinson: Believing that does however contradict Jesus’ teachings in the Old Testament, unless you deny that Jesus Christ is Lawgiver & Judge over mankind.

    If Jesus came to fulfill the Law, rest assured He would have remained adamantly opposed to homosexuality, just as the Law requires. If you want to follow Christ, love the Law that He loved.

    Otherwise, stop playing games with the Scriptures because the moment you set yourself up as wiser than the Lawgiver (not Moses; I’m talking about who even he received the Law from), you are showing your pride and hardness of heart against Yahweh.

    Homosexual acts are an abomination in the eyes of Yahweh (and by logical extension, Jesus Christ). Repentance is demanded.

    And the Gospels leave you no room to wrest what you want from the Law while rejecting what you don’t. (Actually, Paul’s epistles are more easily twisted to reject the Law, as Dispensationalists often do, but since you reject Paul…)

    Both Jude & Peter affirm the destruction and condemnation of the acts of Sodom & Gomorrah, and Jude goes so far as to label their affections unnatural, deserving of destruction.

    You profess a lot in affirming the Apostle’s Creed, and I’m left wondering what it is that prevents you from actually hearing the Word of God rather than whatever it is — your own thoughts or the teachings of others — which you’re setting up as a higher authority.

  24. Rick,

    Not too long ago, I would have cared what you said right there. But, like Robert, I have a faith that runs deeper than that.

    God bless you for your sincerity, and may He always open His children’s eyes to the truth.

  25. Walt Dickinson: If you believe Jesus, believe His Scriptures: The heart is deceitful above all else, and to believe anything which runs contrary with God’s Word is damning.

    You can talk about emotion or faith or experience or whatever else you want to, but you are admitting that the foundation of your faith is flimsy and is no more worthwhile than the foundation of an atheist or Muslim’s beliefs.

    We as disciples of Christ ought to be devote students of the Word — not hears only, but doers of the Word of God. Once we choose to reject a portion of it (as you have done with the Epistles and seemingly the teachings regarding homosexuality in the Old Testament and consequentially Jesus’ demand for repentance based on the Law), we separate ourselves further from Jesus Christ who in every way was devoted to the Word of God, for He was the Word incarnate.

    At one point, you affirmed all of this. Who has bewitched you? How can you come to the conclusions you have and think that you actually have any solid ground upon which to base your faith?

  26. You are getting too fixed up in the Law, Rick. You are forgetting the grace and freedom in Jesus Christ. He summed it up: Love God, and love your neighbor. Homosexuality does not interefere with either of these, the two Greatest Commandments.

    What did Jesus say the day of Judgment would be like?

    “The Son of Man will come in all His glory, seperate the sheep from the goats, placing the sheep at His right hand and the goats at His left. To the sheep, He will say, ‘Because you were all straight, you may go to Heaven. Come! Inherit the Kingdom of God!’ And to the goats, He will say, ‘Woe to you, homosexuals! Be gone!'”?

    No, I recall Jesus saying that those who obediently served Him by serving others would inherit the Kingdom of God.

    Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Not, “Blessed are the straight.”

    If I eat meat, I eat it for the Lord. And if I don’t eat meat, I don’t eat it for the Lord. If I set aside one day for worship, I do it for God. If I make every day a day of worship, I do it for God. If I have a committed, homosexual relationship, I do it for God. To his own master each servant will stand or fall.

    God bless you, Rick.

  27. Rick,

    Right now, we are in a quote, unquote “battle.” I know I’m right, but I know I’m never going to convince you of that. I can waste hours of my life, and energy that is better spent doing other stuff, trying to get you to see reason.

    But I’m not going to. It takes bravery to pick up a sword, but it takes even more to put down a sword.

  28. Walt Dickinson: Well, there are plenty of others who you can try to convince of what you believe to be the truth. If the church is to be the pillar and ground of the truth, and if you believe to have stumbled upon a truth which the church has lost, it is your responsibility to teach all nations, as Jesus’ taught. You’ve already demonstrated to me that you have no idea how to interpret the Bible — with or without the Pauline Epistles — and your heresies are nothing but vain janglings to my ears.

  29. P.S.

    Rick, “it is your responsibility to teach all nations, as Jesus’ taught.”

    Then I shall teach by example.

  30. Walt Dickinson: Well, if you’re resorting to the silly “teach by example” cop-out rather than going out and actually teaching, at least you’ll have the comfort of knowing you’ll fit in with much of what passes for evangelicalism in America today.

    As for it being “your point exactly” that what you are saying is nothing but nonsense to me, it’s partially because you have refused to make any sort of argument for your beliefs outside of simply stating them. It’s very easy to argue from the Scriptures — Pauline Epistles or not — that homosexuality is a sin. Moses believed it. Jesus affirmed Moses. Paul affirmed Moses. Jude affirmed Moses.

    I guess you don’t have to affirm Moses, but that would seem to put you outside the company of the Christ.

    The Old Testament testified of Christ from Genesis to Malachi; part of that testimony was the patent condemnation of homosexuality as an abomination. If that isn’t consistent with Jesus’ character, then Jesus’ is a deceiver for so overwhelmingly throwing His support and approval on the Law and the Prophets. Think about it.

  31. I said, “I’m never going to convince you.”

    You said, “Your heresies are nothing but vain janglings to my ears.”

    I said, “Exactly my point.”

    You write my beliefs off as heresies before you even listen to me. You have your Bible, and that’s good enough for you. No matter what I say, it can’t possibly be right because the Bible says otherwise, according to you.

    I know I can’t convince you, and that was my point.

    ~~~

    You said, “Teach as Jesus taught.”

    Jesus taught by example. Certainly, He taught in lectures. But everything He taught, He also taught by example. So, unless Jesus was using a silly cop-out, I think I’ll stick with Him.

    ~~~

    “Think about it.”

    I’ve thought about it, long and hard. Just because I haven’t reached the same conclusions as you have, doesn’t mean I enter into this forray light of heart or mind. I know what’s at stake here, Rick.

  32. Walt Dickinson: And you still prefer to choose your heart or mind’s decision over the plain teachings of Scripture — despite the fact you know as well as I do that the heart is deceitful above all else and the Scriptures stand forever.

    Well, that’s at least how Jesus feels based upon His uncompromising affirmations of the Old Testament. I’d hope you’d agree — you wouldn’t just be believing in Jesus when it’s convenient for your homosexuality defense, now would you?

  33. Yes or no, you aren’t going to listen to my “vain janglings.”

    And with that, I’ll let you have the last word.

    Rick, it’s been a pleasure. As always, be blessed.

  34. Walt Dickinson: Actually, I’d be happy to listen to your reasonings for your beliefs, just as I’m willing to listen to the arguments of humanists, evolutionists, and Roman Catholics.

    However, there is a vast difference between listening to the reasons or arguments for a belief and listening to the belief itself. I don’t believe you have presented any arguments for the way you believe other than that you simply choose to believe it.

    When asked why you believe the way you do, you simply restate the belief without providing any arguments therefor, and I’m left with the impression you have no reason to believe what you do other than that you want to, which puts your beliefs on the same flimsy platform of human intuition as the vast majority of beliefs.

    Jesus never hesitated to defend His teachings, which He always did based on the Old Testament. If you want to follow Jesus’ example, defend your beliefs in homosexuality not being a sin from the Old Testament. Based on what you’ve said about what you believe so far, you should be able to do that much for me.

    Take care.

  35. Rick –

    First time visiting your site. Naturally, I was attracted to this post (as I’m sure many are).

    Experiencing a glimpse into the spiritual realm is a real blessing (although it may come as a blessing in disguise at the time) and is not without a purpose – even when that glimpse is initiated by the enemy.

    IMHO the real key is in how we respond – what we do about it.

    We can choose to dismiss it (for whatever reason) or we can use it as an incentive to seek out the truth. Now, when I refer to truth, I refer only to the one truth – the truth of God’s word and our using these experiences to draw closer to Him.

    And that, my friend, is a truly incredible adventure.

  36. Hi gentleman and fellow christians,

    I could not hold back a story that I feel reflects the events mentioned above.
    I remember in a small town just north of where I live, 2 brothers were inspecting a trailer or mobile home for Gospel meetings. Christians of a local assembly were planning on having meetings there on a nightly basis for a couple of weeks. So these 2 brothers were going in to see the dimensions for chairs, seating, cleaning and so on.

    Then, as soon as they got in, they didn’t see a figure, but one of them told me they had a very, very distinct feeling they were not alone, and for some reason, it was really, really cold in there, and they felt a presence come toward them. Keep in mind, it was in the middle of summer, and we hid nearly 30 degrees. Not cold by any means.

    Needless to say, they ran out faster than they ever remember running even in high school. To this day (this was about 10 – 15 yrs ago) they still don’t know what it was, but they are sure it wasn’t from the Lord.

    Later, they did pray for guidance and help, went back to the trailer and the presence was gone, and never returned again.

    I pray personally that this never happens to me. I am not the bravest soul to begin with. And without the Lord, I really don’t know how I would react.

    I am simply very, very thank full to be one of His own being saved since June 13 / 2000.

    Ray

  37. Very interesting post Rick. Though I wouldn’t write a book about it I could add a great deal to this conversation. Of course, as you said there is nothing illogical about these events (Of course I agree that they are experiences, but noways that has undertones of ‘probably not real’ so the word events describes them better) when one begins to understand the world Jesus Christ, The Logos, made. Anyway, this kind of thing has been something of an irregular norm of my life, it is not at all day to day, but perhaps a few times a year I’m dragged into some demonic activity event. There are times when horses where slashed up by the shadowdemon’s described above in front of a good half dozen people, times when there where many outbursts by many such things (slightly less corporeal, but still visible) over an area holding a couple hundredish people, injuring some, driving others crazy, seen by a good two thirds of the people there. There is much more nasty and dangerous stuff than causing bodily harm and breaking peoples minds too, but it’s not really appropriate to go into.

    Some of my observations that may be useful to this conversation is that it seems that they usually only appear openly before many people (or openly manifest like they did with you’re freind) when they are either confidant in their control or in a desperate situation where their plans are failing. Their preferred mode of operation is something like a termites, if they are not totally destroying something and you don’t know the signs of their presence and go looking it is very unlikely you would ever see them in you’re lifetime. You went looking, I saw them destroying something, hence our initial personal experiences.

    Its worth noting that while the bad guys can be scary, the good guys can be terrifying. Of course they can look like men, it has been recorded often as such and of course they would have to to help them when we where unaware. But other have described forms such as in Rev 10 that go well beyond that, and Judges 13:6 shows that an angel of the Lord is expected to be scary and impressive.

    As a side note, Hello fellow independent Baptist, though I am a Pentecostal-Baptist rather than a Presbyterian-Baptist. My home church is Independent Baptist though I am still involved in Pentecostal outreaches.

    God bless you and you’re ministries, I’ve posted too much on you’re blog lately, its probably wearying to read Ecc 12:12 right? Sorry,

    Jair

  38. Rick and/or Clint,
    I did not read all the posts, as I’ve been reading on this subject for the last hour or so already on the web. I just wanted to say that a little over four years ago I was baptized; I am 32 today. I have never in my life ‘heard’ anything that wasn’t ‘real’ and with the following exception haven’t since. Three weeks before I was baptized, spending the night at my mother’s, I woke to a voice saying to ‘stab myself in the stomach’. I jumped out of bed and ran into the living room where I got down on my knees and prayed very hard for God to save me in Jesus’ name. I prayed over & over for a long time, maybe thirty minutes but what seemed like forever & then all of a sudden it just went away. It had only said it once, but the presence I felt until literally just all of a sudden ‘it’ went away. I spoke to my pastor of this occurance & elders in the church. They felt it was the Devil’s way of trying to stop me from being baptized; that day I also stood in front of my church at three different services to give my testimony. It is strange, I have to fight for my faith sometimes because life has a way of making you forget, but I know what happened that night & I know it was very real and the simple fact that after having experienced something like that myself, knowing my own sanity, to still sometimes be lost or distant from the Lord – just reinforces to me how much of a deceiver-liar-Satan can be.

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