Michael Pearl: All right, Jared, I'm about ready to start spreading some political manure here. What do you got some more questions for us to answer today?
Jared: Do all believers have the authority to rebuke evil spirits? How can we tell if someone is possessed or influenced by devils?
Michael: All right, those are some pretty good questions and the Bible's pretty clear on that. Jesus told the disciples that he gave them power to tread on scorpions and serpents and nothing, by any means, hurt them. And then we have the example of the disciples casting out devils and rebuking them and freeing people from demonic possession, devil possession.
And then, in the New Testament Church, we find, like in the Book of Ephesians, he said, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against spiritual wickedness in high places." And so, our battle is against the forces of darkness, not just against man. It's a spiritual battle.
Now, we need to keep a balance, in other words, God gave us as human beings, members of his body, authority over the devil. But that doesn't mean that we can just go around indiscriminately commanding him. If we could, then I would say, "Satan, I command you to not harm any more children, anywhere in the world forever." And it'd be done, right? But, obviously, I don't have that kind of power.
Daniel prayed for 21 days for an answer. And God sent angels to give Daniel his answer. And, after 21 days, the angel came and appeared before Daniel and Daniel was kind of surprised it took 21 days. I would be too. And the angel said, "Look, God dispatched me with the answer the day you started praying, but the Prince of Persia hindered me." That was ‑ Daniel was in Persia, he was a captive in Persia.
And so, the spiritual power that was over the district of Persia obviously had resisted the righteous angel coming into his atmosphere and bringing an answer. And so he resisted that righteous spirit. And so the righteous spirit said that Michael and his angels came and fought and overcame the Prince of Persia and his devils and I got through and here's the answer. But then, the angel, as if he was in a hurry, he said, "I got to go. I got to go. I got to get back to the battle, they need me." And so he left and went back to continue fighting a battle that was ongoing.
That means that the angels of God couldn't just walk in and use some kind of foo‑foo dust or wave some kind of divine wand and say, "OK, devils be gone." They had to battle on some realm, some plane, some dimension that we may not know exists even. But they had to battle with ‑ somehow they had physical structure that could be hindered from coming through that atmosphere to answer the prayer. They could be resisted, some force shield or something. I have no idea.
So, when we pray and rebuke devils, it's not automatic. You can't just pray any time; anybody pray any way and give an absolute, instant answer any more than you can get healed. It takes, you said ‑ you receive not because you ask not. When you ask, you ask amiss that you may consume it upon your lust.
So, I've been in churches where people seek entertainment through rebuking devils and casting out devils. Now, I've cast out devils. What I'm talking about, I know something about. I've had people wallowing around on the floor, acting like cats. I've had them cutting their blood ‑ drinking their own blood. They're writing ‑ before I got in the room ‑ writing on the walls in foreign languages; dictating satanic formulas to people. A girl speaking in man's voices; people fighting violently; voices coming out of their gut without their mouths moving. Speaking to us in foreign languages; giving us their names; speaking to the Christians and rebuking them, "I know you. I don't know you. I can't hurt you, you're a man of God."
I mean we're talking about just exactly what you see in the New Testament. I've seen, I don't know, 20, 30, 40 cases like that where we've cast out devils; sometimes we couldn't cast them out. We prayed, we prayed, we prayed for a long time and we couldn't cast them out.
Jesus said, "This kind cometh out but not but by much prayer and fasting." Do we have power? Yes, God gave us power but that power is based on the "effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." It's based on righteousness on our part. It's based on faith. It's based on endurance, like Daniel, in prayer. It's something provided by grace, but it's not provided easy. It's part of an ongoing life's battle that we need to fight, but we can overcome. And we do, we do overcome. But it's one battle at a time; we can't just go out and drop a nuke, a spiritual nuke, and say, "OK, the devil's finished; by faith, he's finished." It's a skirmish every day against the forces of darkness.
God intended it that way; that's the field on which character is created in every one of us. We can't have character unless we overcome. There can't be glory unless we win and we can't win unless there's a battle. And there can't be a battle unless there's two sides and that other side is the side of evil and darkness and Satan heads it up, he runs that side.
So, yes, God gave us power in the scriptures and it's ours today in the New Testament. But, it's a battle and one we welcomingly fight.
Now, we pray for our children, we pray, "Lord save them from the forces of darkness." We pray, "Satan, get out of the room." My wife woke me up one night and said, "The death angel's in the room. Pray." I was sleepy, I didn't want to pray. I thought maybe she ‑ a woman on her cycle or something. She wouldn't let me sleep. She said, "Wake up the death angel's in the room." So I had to wake up. If I was going to go back to sleep, I had to wake up and pray.
And so, I woke up and I prayed and, as I got awake good and started praying, I had the sense of what she was feeling. So, I prayed and rebuked the death angel. We had one child ‑ two child ‑ two children at the time and she said, "OK, it's OK. The death angel's gone." About three hours later, I saw some flashing lights, the child next door died that night and the ambulance was there.
Gabriel was sick that night; he had high fever, woke up, he was high‑fevered. The two of them, the two mothers, had gone to Health and Human Services to get the shots for the children. We didn't know about such things then. The government said, "Do it, " and we did it. And so, went to get the shots and there were a couple of children that died in the city that night and they said it was that sudden death syndrome. For a one‑and‑a‑half year old, I don't think so.
So, the forces of darkness were abated in our life that night, but not in our neighbor's life. Why? I think because we prayed; because God spoke to my wife. She sensed the forces of darkness. That's called discernment of spirits; she discerned the spirits that were in the room that were there and we rebuked them and overcame.
So, it's a good battle and one we're winning in but you've got to fight the battle. Yup.
All right, let's spread this manure.
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