Can Christians need Deliverance? (I)

The field of deliverance ministration is one in which many saints have laboured for ages. Today, there are many helpful materials on the subject and it’s not my intention to add to them.

In fact, I wasn’t particularly interested in wading into such an extensive area until a dear friend of mine recently brought up a question on the subject and I couldn’t provide an answer without delving into it. His question was: Can a Christian be infested with demons?

Now, before I give my answer, I need to emphasize that I have read from both sides of the fence – those who argue that a Christian cannot be inhabited by a demon and those who argue otherwise. 

So, my answer to the question is not based on denominational indoctrination, but from personal study, experience, interactions with other believers and logical deduction.

I was raised in a church which maintained that once you are born again, you have been automatically delivered from every demonic connection from your past. We believed deliverance ministration was only for witches, satanists, weirdos and tormented sex fiends.

But as the years went by as I began to critically examine my own life as well as those of others in that church, I didn’t see the “peace and joy” that we often talked about.

The people assured us that they were walking in victory on every side; that they were blessed above measure; that the devil was a babbling fool writhing underneath their feet, but right before my very eyes, I could see that these ecclesiastical idioms were just words they rehashed; their lives belied their gnomic claims.

I also observed strange things (which I later discovered to be demonic activities) operating in our lives. We were not really enjoying the things we claimed to have. But I didn’t want that. I wanted a realistic Christianity; one in which my life spoke louder than my words, and it was while searching for this better way that I realized that I was myself under demonic oppression!

Since my church had failed to enlighten us about demonic oppression or how to deal with it, I had unknowingly allowed demonic bondage persist in my life for several years through denial and loose living.

I was blinded to my own true spiritual state because the extent of the light entering our eyes determines how and what we will see. The extent of the spiritual truth you know will determine how far you will discern. We all see within the limits of our horizons.

Today, this church in question, now accepts the reality that even spirit-filled Christians can also need deliverance. But they were too late in admitting it.

Many sincere folks had left the church in frustration when they couldn’t find solutions to their problems. Many fervent pastors who knew about deliverance also left when they realized their ministry found no acceptance within the church.

Most of those in the “a-Christian-cannot-have-demon” camp are sadly casualties of an all-too-academic war; a war that is usually waged by ivory tower theologians who would not know a demon from a hole in the ground.

Whenever I come across preachers or authors who argue that a Christian cannot need deliverance ministration, I always want to assess their backgrounds, their level of experience in ministry, their knowledge of cultural nuances, their denominational positions and of course, their degree of dogmatism.

These are key factors that often shape most people’s acceptance and/or interpretations of spiritual realities.

I have observed that many missionaries who have worked with people from diverse cultures usually have a good understanding of spiritual warfare, deliverance and the operation of the Holy Spirit than many “sit-tight-in-church” clergymen with theological degrees under their belts, daily ensconced in one cool room, in a high brow part of the city.

Besides, you can’t have a vibrant ministry that leads people out of the cults, occult, drugs and sexual perversion and tenaciously argue against the reality of deliverance for believers. Unless, you are wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Granted, as Africans, sometimes when you read books written by some American or European Christian authors, you feel a sense of disconnect because of the differences in our cultural backgrounds.

The depth and scope of prayer ministration that a believer from a multi-generational pagan/occult background would need will not be the same as one from a multi-generational Christian family.

So, when an African or Asian Christian parrots the “anti-deliverance” arguments gleaned from a preacher who thinks the whole world revolves around America or Europe, it amounts to self-harming disservice. I would take the words of a man with experience above the one with an opinion any day.

First, let’s examine some basic facts about this issue:

(1) The Bible shows that deliverance is God’s provision for His people:

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles” (Psa. 34:17)

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1).

And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:18).

It’s instructive to note that the Greek word for salvation, soteria, or sozo which is translated “to save” is used in a variety of ways in the New Testament that go beyond the forgiveness of sins.

It is used in many cases of people being physically healed (Matt. 9:21-22; 14:36; Mk. 5:23, 28). It is also used of a person being delivered from demons (Luke 8:36) and of a dead person being brought back to life (Luke 8:50). The same Greek verb is also used to describe God’s ongoing preservation and protection from evil (2 Timothy 4:18).

Therefore, salvation should not be limited to the experience of having one’s sins forgiven and being born again – and many Christians have sadly done this. Salvation is the key to abundance, healing, success, blessing and deliverance, which some have dubiously omitted from the package.

2. Deliverance is an arm of the ministry of Jesus Christ which the church must pay attention to.

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18).

As Jesus and the disciples preached the gospel and the people believed, they were healed of their sicknesses and freed from demonic oppression (Matt. 10:1, 8; 12:24, 43; Mark 1:26; 3:15; Luke 4:36; 8:29; 9:49, 11:18 etc.). These signs go hand-in-hand with the Gospel and no preacher or theologian has any right whatsoever to set any of them aside.

It must also be noted that Jesus called deliverance from demonic bondage “the children’s bread” (Mark 7:27). The Greek woman had to put her faith in Christ to receive this privilege on her daughter’s behalf; it was (and is) a benefit for only God’s people. If you have accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour, deliverance from all forms of captivity is your “bread”; your spiritual right.

Furthermore, the people from whom Jesus expelled demons in the Gospels were all Jews, under the Covenant of Moses. They could be viewed analogously to Christians in the New Testament under the New Covenant.

The apostles might have been an exception to this because Jesus directly cleansed them: “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you” (John 15:3).

3. A common objection frequently raised is, “Jesus didn’t ask the disciples to cast out demons from one another.”

If we apply this argument to the signs Jesus listed in Mark 16:17, then we should also say that Jesus never asked the disciples to minister the baptism of the Holy Spirit to other believers, neither did He say we should lay our hands on other believers to be healed.

Besides, the term ‘disciple’ has to be properly defined. It means a follower of Christ. And there were many disciples – before and after Pentecost – who were set free from the influence of demonic powers by the power of Christ (Luke 8:2; Acts 8:7; 19:12).

The premise behind the “Jesus-didn’t-expel-demons-from-the-disciples” argument is that once you are born again, you will never be physically sick again; you will never sin again, and of course, you wouldn’t need to be prayed for to be freed from spiritual bondage!

That’s more of Word-Faith mental cotton candy which flies in the face of reality and sound Bible exegesis.

4. Some Christians object to deliverance ministration by citing Colossians 1:14 and Ephesians 2:6 which say Christians have been delivered from the kingdom of darkness and are now seated with Christ in heavenly places. “This is what became our possession when we became born again! We were absolutely delivered!” they argue. The answer to this is yes – and no.

There are two sides to this issue: the legal and the experiential. The answer will differ according to which side we view it from. Let me explain.

Legally, we were delivered from the kingdom of darkness and became heirs of God when we were born again. But experientially, we must appropriate in faith, step by step, all the benefits of redemption that are already ours by legal right through our faith in Christ. This is not automatic.

In John 1:12-13, the apostle says concerning those who have been born again through receiving Jesus, that God has given them “the right to become children of God.” The Greek word translated “right” is exousia, usually translated “authority.”

That’s what a person actually receives at the new birth: authority to become a child of God.

Now, the believer must exercise that God-given authority to experience the actual results of the new birth. This is what deliverance entails: using your God-given authority to completely sever all the links you had with the kingdom of darkness.

Since the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan are in total opposition to one another, you cannot enjoy the full rights and benefits of a citizen in God’s kingdom until you have finally and forever severed all connections with Satan and totally cancelled any claim he may have against you.

Take a look at the example of the children of Israel. God spoke to Joshua on how they were to take possession of their inheritance: “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses” (Joshua 1:3).

Note the perfect tense: “I have given [the land].” Legally, the land of Canaan had become the inheritance of the children of Israel, but experientially, nothing had changed. The Canaanite nations and all their giants were still living there.

So the task before Joshua and his people was to move from the legal to the experiential. That’s also the task before us today. The children of Israel were to go to battle – one step at a time – and destroy the illegal occupants until they recovered their inheritance.

Actually, they fought a long series of battles against the various inhabitants of the promised land before they could posses it. Even after much warfare, God still says to Joshua: “There remains very much land yet to be possessed” (Josh. 13:1).

If Joshua had been like some Christians today, he would have led the Israelites to stand before the Canaanite nations, thumb down their noses and fold their hands saying, “Well, God has given your lands over to us. Now it’s our possession! It has been settled and we don’t need to lift a finger to take them.” And the people of Canaan would have laughed at their grandiose claims.

Now, just as Joshua led Israel into the land of promise, Jesus is leading Christians into the land of promises. The legal to experiential appropriation of redemption applies to every area of our Christian life.

Being born again legally delivers you from Satan’s kingdom, but in terms of experience, that’s just the beginning of a long process that requires your actions. You need to still evacuate the strangers nesting in your life and fight to be free. Christianity is not theoretical; it’s very practical.

5. An objection that is often put forth is an appeal to 2 Cor. 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

It is asserted that automatic deliverance from all spiritual captivity takes place the moment we are born again based on this verse.

While I admit that God can sovereignly intervene and completely set a new believer free, those who use this argument either lack a full understanding of the complex, tripartite nature of the human person or do not know what regeneration entails.

Before regeneration, we were dead in our sins and trespasses and separated from the life (Greek: zoe) of God. At salvation, our spirits are “made alive” by indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:5). But our bodies and souls are not born again; they are susceptible to the old ways we lived and the evil spirits we had hosted.

Though our life of sin is legally passed away and we have been made a new being, the responsibility lies on us to use our spiritual authority to bring other areas of our lives completely under the direction of the Spirit of God. This is why self-crucifixion and deliverance are important.

The story of Lazarus in John 11 illustrates this. He had been dead, but Jesus raised Him from the dead and new life entered him. But he still had his grave clothes on. Jesus said: “Loose him and let him go”. He needed others to help him remove those grave clothes so he would be free.

There are many Christians like this; they have been saved for years, they attend church fervently, witness for Christ, know the Bible and even teach it, yet there are spiritual grave clothes wrapped around them, holding them back from complete freedom and enjoying their spiritual birthright.

Though they talk about liberty, they experience spiritual slavery. Though they testify of victories, their personal lives evince defeat. They have the potential to soar high, but their wings have been clipped down. They need to be liberated.

 

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Can Christians need Deliverance? (II)

Having explained the relationship between salvation and the ministry of liberation, let’s now take it up a notch by examining the issues surrounding demonization:

(1) The term “demonization” is an Anglicization of the Greek word frequently used in the New Testament: daimonizomai. The word may be translated “under demonic influence” or “to be demonized.” Some folks interpret demonization as being demon possessed, but this is incorrect and misplaced.

The term demon possession is an unfortunate term that found its way into some English translations of the Bible but is not really reflected in the Greek text. The Greek NT speaks of people who “have a demon” (e.g Matt. 11:18) or people who are suffering from demonic influence (Wayne Grudem, Bible Doctrine, Inter-Varsity Press: England, 1999, p. 179).

Demonization can range from demonic oppression to severe demonic control. Though there are degrees of demonic attack or influence in the lives of believers, the term “demon possession” should not be conflated with demonization and shouldn’t be applied to Christians.

The problem with the term “demon possession” is that it indicates that the person is completely under the domination of the evil spirit. This, of course, possibly occurs in the case of unbelievers deeply involved in the occult, but it’s impossible for Christians. So the bottom line is: a demon cannot have a Christian, but a Christian can have a demon.

(2) A major objection raised against deliverance is, since the Holy Spirit lives within the believer, it would be impossible for a demon to live in the same place as the Holy Spirit. This brings us back to the question: can a Christian who has the Holy Spirit also have a demon?

While the Bible does not definitively answer that question, there are some things we need to reflect on. For instance, the Holy Spirit is everywhere in the universe; would this mean that there are no demons anywhere in the universe? Obviously not.

The Scriptures teach that the true believer is no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit (Rom. 8:1-9), yet the flesh continues to operate in the believer’s life alongside the Spirit. So let’s rephrase the initial question with a twist: How can the Holy Spirit cohabit the same body with the unholy flesh?

Our flesh/carnal nature is not any less evil or unclean than is a demon. Both the flesh and demons are in sinful rebellion against a holy God.

Therefore, if the Holy Spirit can indwell a saved sinner who still has the flesh, then He can also live in a believer who has a demon. The demon wouldn’t “hurt” the Holy Spirit. That idea is even absurd. And the demon wouldn’t automatically flee because of the Holy Spirit (William Schnoebelen, Blood on the Doorposts, Chick Pub., 1994, p. 47).

Contrary to what some folks teach, the Holy Spirit will not come into you and cast out the demons that you’ve invited in, and which Christ has already given you the authority to expel.

(3) The Bible says we are the temples of the Holy Spirit (1Cor. 3:16). Just like the ancient temple of the Lord in the OT, we have three basic constituents – body, soul and spirit. The temple had the outer court, the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place.

In Ezekiel 8, we see that the temple of God was defiled. The people brought an idol of jealously into it; they practised abominable acts; drew images of demon gods and unclean animals on its walls; burned incense to idols; they worshipped the rising sun and their women wept for Tammuz – occult rites that invited evil spirits into the temple.

Yet, all the while, the presence of God was still in the Holy of Holies. This can be a reflection of a Christian today; the Holy Spirit can dwell in His spirit while sinful practices – before or after salvation – have led to demonic infestation in his body and soul.

It doesn’t mean he’s unsaved or evil, he only needs to purge his temple and evacuate the evil strangers from their hiding places.

(4) An objection raised to the above is to appeal to 2 Cor. 6:14-16 that since there can be no agreement between darkness and light, or Christ and Belial, a Christian who has the Holy Spirit in him/her cannot also have a demon in him/her.

This argument is based on the fallacious notion that for the Spirit of God and an evil spirit to reside simultaneously in the same person, mutual cooperation is required between both of them. This is a fatally flawed thinking.

The passage was actually directed to the Christians in Corinth who were in unequal partnership with pagans and their norms. Apostle Paul was warning them against entanglement with unbelievers (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Eerdmans, 1979, Vol. 1, p. 780).

(5) In several places, Scripture tells us that sin opens the door to captivity, affliction, bondage and attack from the devil e.g. Eccl. 10:8; Isa. 5:12-13; Matt. 23:37; John 5:14; Eph. 4:26-27.

If a Christian for instance, dabbles in divination (consulting palm readers, Tarot cards, psychics etc.), that sin can open the door to demonic bondage/invasion. This may not always be the case every time, because demonization is not a cut and dry phenomenon as some of us think.

The demons’ degree of influence in Christians varies from person to person – depending on the magnitude of sin and the class of demons involved – yet, the spiritual doorways provided by sin are no less real.

(6) Scripture shows us that our lives can be defiled, and we are to cleanse ourselves from spiritual filthiness and have our bodies, souls and spirits preserved blameless (1Cor. 3:16-17; 1Cor.7:1; 1 Thess. 5:23). If it wasn’t possible for Christians to be defiled (whether by sin or demons), these verses wouldn’t be in the Bible.

Interestingly, the same Greek word for “defile”, phtherei, is also used for “destroy.” It means to spoil, corrupt, bring to a worse state and to deprave. This is what sowing to the flesh does to the believer (A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament, Ethelbert Bullinger, Zondervan MI, 1975, p. 213).

(7) To neglect, deny or ignore the ministry of deliverance has more serious consequences than the other way round. If a Christian who needs to be liberated is being taught that he doesn’t need deliverance, two major things can happen:

One, the Christian fruitlessly struggles against besetting sins until he/she is exhausted or completely demoralized. It becomes a vicious cycle of falling into the sinful habit, praying for forgiveness, promising to apply spiritual discipline and falling after a few hours and praying for mercy again. It soon gets to a point where he begins to embrace it as normal.

Two, the Christian is overwhelmed with demonic oppression and begins to doubt if he was ever saved at all. The demons will then bombard his mind with thoughts like: “I can never be a good Christian!”; “This is my destiny”; “God has rejected me because I was too evil”; “God doesn’t answer prayers” etc. 

(8) What I find striking about the “demons-in-Christians” debate is how people on both sides of the divide, usually reduce deliverance to casting out of demons from a person or place. That’s reductionist and distracting, and it should be pointed out.

Any Christian who has studied the Bible and has a keen understanding of spiritual things will agree that deliverance is more than expulsion of evil spirits. There are many people who are not infested from within but bound from without. Therefore, deliverance in its full scope involves:

(a) Releasing people from destructive pacts/covenants and seals (Isa. 28:18). These things remain in place even after salvation unless they are specifically addressed in prayer.

(b) Releasing people from generational/family and personal curses (Gal. 3:13). These are also categorized as “vertical and horizontal curses.”

(c) Breaking occult spells, triggers and cues that have been placed on/in people (Micah 5:12). These are tools used by the enemy to enslave individuals or groups of people.

(d) Destroying evil linkages, soul ties and spiritual yokes (Isa. 10:27). These are used to impede a person’s progress in a divine direction.

(e) Removing demonic implants and demonic luggage from people (Matt. 15:13).

(f) Breaking spiritual chains placed on people by the powers of darkness and setting them free from spiritual prisons and cages (Isa. 61:1).

(g) Revoking evil dedications, renouncing false worship/communal bondages (Acts 19:19).

(h) Recovery of what the enemy stole (Obadiah 1:17). It could be a person’s virtues, joy, finances, vision, body parts or spouse.

Conclusively, from the highlighted points, it’s important that believers understand what this aspect of spiritual warfare entails. We have been commissioned to keep enforcing the defeat of Satan and his imps in our lives and those of others.

While the ministry of deliverance is not to be touted as the silver bullet to every problem, it should not also be ignored, disparaged nor reserved only for extreme cases in our churches.

 

God’s Angels at Work

In several places in Scripture, we are shown how the angels of God work on behalf of God’s people and against their adversaries: both physical and spiritual.

We see angelic intervention in the lives of Christians – even after Pentecost – for the communication of God’s plans and purposes, deliverance from danger and judgement on the enemies of God (Acts 8:26; 12:5-7, 23 etc.).

In this article, I will share some true life experiences; some from mine and others from the testimonies of other Christians.

This is the first time I’m publicly sharing some of the personal stuff you will read in this piece, so I might not go into details. I just want to use them to gear up your faith in the power of God.

  1. Protection from a messenger of Satan

This happened a year after I began to walk closely with God, in 2004, to be precise.

I had formed a habit of praying every night before going to sleep. That night in April, I remember praying fervently against the operations of the powers of darkness.

That wasn’t my first time of praying these. Those days, I wasn’t even sure of what was fighting me, but the dream I had afterwards gave me a clue.

I don’t think I had slept up to 30 minutes, when I had this revelation. In it, I walked through our house and into the sitting room to see a lady there. This girl had the physical identity of a close family member, but I somehow knew in my spirit that she was diabolical.

She had a big earphone (similar to the one I used in listening to my favourite Christian music) plugged to her ears and it was connected to our stereo. She was listening to something.

I looked at my mum, but she was fast asleep on the couch (now I know what that means). I walked up to this girl and unplugged that earphone from the stereo. I then turned to go into my room which was close by.

Suddenly, I heard footsteps from behind me. As I turned to see who it was, I saw this girl about to pounce on me. This time, her form had changed; she now had fangs protuding from both sides of her mouth like the popular Dracula imagery.

In a flash, a tall man dressed in a white linen appeared between us and held her up like a tractor holding a car off the ground.

I stood back in amazement. Though this strong angel held her with just a hand, she was completely incapacitated as she struggled fruitlessly to be freed from his strong grip. Then I woke up, appreciating the Lord for His love for me.

Was that lady a demon associated with my family? Was she a human agent of Satan in my family? I will never know for sure (though I suspect the latter). But what I do know is that God protected me from her savage bloody rage.

2. “Beware of these things…”

I had this revelation mid 2006, in my late teens. I was on my Pre-Degree Science programme in the University at the time. I was much in prayer and intense study of the Word that year.

One night, in a dream, I saw myself back at home and I heard a knock on the door. When I opened it, I saw a young man standing there. He was dressed neatly and carrying a bag. His mien was like that of a preacher.

At first, I thought to myself, “Is he one of those fake ones, a Jehovah’s witness?” But without uttering a word, it suddenly flashed into my spirit that he was genuine. I quickly apologized for my mistake and he sweetly smiled and nodded in agreement.

He brought what looked like white slides or plaques. On the first one was written a word in capital letters, then he showed me the second one, on it was also written another word in capital letters. These words were sins/vices common to humanity.

On the third one, however, there was no word written on it, but a drawing, illustrating another sin. But it seems to have a double application. Then the dream cleared off.

Later as I prayed and asked the Lord for its meaning, it dawned on me that those things the angel showed me were things I must avoid in my life, particularly in years to come.

In retrospect, there are two interesting things here. One, some years later when I left the ways of the Lord, I now see that one of the things what led me astray was based on the first vice I was shown.

Two, in this present age of the social media, I now see how easy it is for me to be sucked into the second and third vices, but those warnings have helped me to be cautious in those areas.

3. The spirit of death vanquished

I had this experience in 2016. I saw myself in our family sitting room, relaxing on the first chair while my younger brother sat on the second chair. Then a tall, handsome man dressed smartly like a Navy officer walked in and moved close to where we were.

In that dream, I seem to know him from somewhere, because I had no inkling that he was a stranger. He was tall, so he easily reached his hands into the ceiling and brought out two owls nesting there – one from above my head and the other from above my brother’s.

The owls were flapping their wings and struggling, trying to escape from his grip, but he squashed them on the wall. I was shocked.

As he turned to leave, I got up from the chair and went after him. I asked, “Sir, how were you able to do that so effortlessly? But I was told that those who killed these animal familiars usually get killed?”

He looked at me with such love and understanding of my naivete and smiled without saying a word. Then he kept moving. And the dream cleared off.

There’s more to this story. Those owls represented the spirit of death. In any case, my naive question in that dream is a reflection of how our little human reasoning makes us want to figure out the supernatural or succumb to fear rather than faith.

About a year after this revelation, my brother and I were delivered from two separate happenstance that would have taken our lives. Glory to be to God.

4. Deliverance from spiritual assassins

This happened to a close family member who is an ordained minister. Let’s call her Funke. I narrate it here as she told it to me.

In 2006, Funke was ordained as a pastor and posted to a church branch. This church had been a troubled one almost from the time it was started in 1999 or so.

The church was not growing; its members were lukewarm and indifferent towards Christian living, and the last pastor had tendered his resignation after his wife died of cancer. He abruptly left the church in despair and was not heard from again.

Few months after Funke was posted there, she started to lead the church to pray aggressively and the powers of darkness fought in return. She began to experience demonic attacks – about four people (whose physical identity she knew) would pursue her in the dream with guns and shoot her.

Soon, she began to observe physical lumps growing on her breasts. She went for a scan which revealed them to be cysts and consulted a doctor. Though she knew this was a result of spiritual arrows, she also sought medical therapy.

After some sessions of spiritual warfare, the lumps disappeared. Then she had that dream again. As these people were pursuing her this time around, a man appeared and stood between her and these spiritual assassins. He also had a gun with which he shot each one of them in the head and the dream cleared away.

Since then, that nightmare never repeated itself, and soon, two of these agents of darkness, (long standing church members) physically stopped coming to the church. Funke was also transferred to another branch.

5. Rescued from kidnappers

This was a testimony relayed by a lady (I’ll call her Gloria) during a programme held in my family church in 2007.

Gloria was kidnapped by ritual murderers at a bank near Iwo Road, Ibadan. She vaguely remembered that a man walked up to her as she was leaving the bank premises, and asked her what time it was by her wrist watch. Then she took a look at her watch; that was all she could recall.

Gloria regained consciousness as she was being roughly dragged from a vehicle and forced into a room. She lost count of days.

Others victims were in the room too, incapacitated by hypnotism. These murderers would come into the room, select any of them and take them away. She never saw them again.

At a point, she was the only one left. After the last victim was taken out, the door to the room was left unlocked. It seemed far-fetched, because she didn’t hear the “click” sound the door always made each time it was closed.

Then she mustered some bravery and escaped that evening. It was dark, and after running for a while in the forest, she fell down in exhaustion and slept off. She woke up the next day and continued to try to find her way out of the forest.

Gloria finally saw a man who inquired of her and informed her that she was far from Ibadan (where she was kidnapped). He took her through a path to the main road, helped her flag down a vehicle and talked with the driver (she didn’t hear the content of their discussion) who conveyed her right back to Ibadan.

I have no doubts that the man Gloria met in that forest was an angel of God.

6. The invisible helpers in spiritual warfare

The next three stories are taken from Paul Ivbarue’s book, Deliverance: The Children’s Bread (House of Grace Publications, 2000, pp. 38-40).

I have known Pastor Paul since 2001 and I have been under his ministration. He has been (and is being) used by God in the ministry of healing and deliverance.

“Some 8 years ago at Oyo town, we were ministering deliverance to a sister. We were four, plus the sister, making five altogether. The demons in her spoke through her mouth, inviting other demons to come and attack us as the fire of prayers was too much for them to bear. The next words we heard from the sister’s mouth was: “You mean you cannot attack them because they are too many? No! They are only four, attack them and help us!”

“Immediately, it dawned on us that truly there were many heavenly angels around us to protect us during the ministration.

“A woman came for our Wednesday deliverance clinic, and the power of God touched her. She was on the floor for about 30 minutes.

“Later she testified that while on the floor, two men in white overall like doctors (angels) took her on a stretcher and wheeled her to a beautiful theatre where there were other doctors (as she called them) who began to operate her womb.

“She said when the operation was completed, the two men wheeled her back and placed her on the floor. It was then she opened her eyes.”

“We were in a meeting in Lagos, and our Father in the Lord, Rev. Kayode Kolawole was ministering. The power of God touched a sister among others. She started shouting “Give me my brain! Give me my brain!!” I moved to where the sister was and laid hands on her commanding her brain where it is hidden to be returned to her.

“Later, this sister came to me to say that when the command was being given, she saw an angel with a flaming sword cut down a big tree and there she saw her brain being held by a man under the tree. The angel ordered the man to return her brain to her and he did and fled.

“She said she was preparing to [write] her School Certificate (W.A.S.C) the third time. The ones she did were not successful despite her preparation. I then prayed with her and assured her that God has delivered her and this time around, she will succeed in her exams.”

7. A satanist arrested by angels

The following account is taken from Evangelist Kalu Abosi’s book, Born Twice: From Demonism to Christianity. In this book, he narrated his past sojourn in the kingdom of darkness and how he was caught in the net of the Lord Jesus to witness for Him.

This is the most informative book authored by an ex-satanist (published in the early 1990s) I’ve read so far exposing the infrastructure of Satanism in Africa. Unfortunately, it’s now out of print.

The part I am relaying is his encounter with the angels of God during an occult assignment in Abiriba, Abia State.

One day, at about 4:30am, while he was having sex with his “spiritual mother”, the Queen of the Coast (she would transform into a girl of about his age whenever they had intercourse), the entire palace began to shake.

They had to disengage and she changed back into her real form. At her command, their screen showed where the quake was coming from: a Christian man was preaching the gospel (“morning cry”) around Ameke Square.

Whenever the gospel of Jesus Christ is being proclaimed in the physical world, it causes ripples in the realm of darkness.

The queen began to chant an incantation and a bottle appeared in her hand. She rubbed its gummy/sticky contents on Kalu’s face and commanded him to go after that preacher and stare at him face-face with that concoction and the demons would melt that preacher into natural water. It was a deadly occult weapon.

Kalu woke up physically, and left the house immediately. His family knew he had a habit of visiting the restroom every morning so they didn’t think it was unusual for him to go out at that time.

After walking hurriedly, he located the preacher from a distance, as he was about catching up with him, suddenly, two angels appeared and we’re walking towards him.

It soon got to a point that the angels were close to him and wouldn’t allow him go any further. He chanted an incantation against them, it didn’t work. He had been given a “special” ring when he visited Satan’s kingdom; the ring is called “the good, the bad, the destroyer.”

Satan told him that the demons attached to the ring would make a bad situation become “good”; turn a good thing into bad and would also destroy a bad thing/person. He used this ring against the angels as he had been instructed, but it didn’t faze them.

He couldn’t even stand in their presence as their countenance was like the sun in its zenith, so he began to stagger like one who is drunk. The two angels captured him and took him to a place in the woods where they had him tied down to a tree by bright white cords they produced from their bodies.

They then left their two swords by each of his ear and left the place. The sword began to sing in a most melodious voice he had ever heard and later began to preach the gospel to him.

Though he found the message tormenting (each time the name of Jesus was mentioned, he would feel burns on his body) one line from the messages stuck with him: “I will make you fishers of men if you will follow Me.”

Later, the angels returned, picked up their swords and untied him. By then, the day had dawned, and after an initial frustrated attempt, he chanted an incantation that took him back home.

We Christians simply have no idea of the invisible battles that take place in the spirit realm with each step we take for Christ. But let me assure you, if you are with Christ, God’s angels will protect you. But if you are not in Christ, you will not be protected.