A Supernatural Weekend of Healing and Deliverance
The song "Our God is Faithful" had been churning in my head all week long. It seemed to be stuck there like a broken record, and it got me wondering if God was trying to tell me something. So often we sing lyrics without truly appreciating the meaning, or even not believing that they are true.
The week had come to an end; it had been a tough week for both my husband Rob and I. So we were looking forward to a peaceful and restful weekend, when out of the blue, we got invited to a Life Group gathering. It's a Life Group that we have been to before and have enjoyed, so we gladly accepted.
I was asked to share some of my stories about God in the meeting, so I shared my experiences of healings on the street that happened back in 2014 - part of The Great Commission to go out to preach the gospel and heal the sick (Mark 16:15,18). I also shared a couple of short video clips: a film trailer, and street healing of a crushed back.
As I shared, I felt the Holy Spirit come into our midst, just like He did when I went to this Life Group's meeting previously. I had only planned to share my testimonies of healing, but the Holy Spirit had a different agenda! Not only did He want the group to put it into practice, but He was also orchestrating something far greater, something that would go beyond the meeting itself!
An Unexpected Agenda
After I had finished sharing, the gathering suddenly urged one of the young women to come forward to me. She has had some upper back problems which apparently the doctor had not been able to fix. In seeing this, I urged the group to pray for her to practice what I had shared. So, everyone gathered around her, and the prayers began. I started first, and then a few others followed. After a few prayers, we asked how she was feeling. She said that her back had improved from 3/10 to 7/10. I then urged the group to pray again a second time. When we finished, she said that her back was now 10/10 - it was totally healed! She twisted her upper torso from side to side, moving her arms all the while, testing to see if the pain had indeed gone. And it had - she was completely healed! (Later after the meeting, the Lord showed me why He had healed her - and it blew me away! (See Out of the Darkness into the Light story for more details)
In seeing the healing of this young woman, one of the men came forward as he had ear and sinuses problems. Again, I urged the group to pray for him. His hearing slightly improved, but not completely restored.
We prayed some more, and again the hearing improved, but not yet restored. We prayed a third time, just thanking Jesus that He will finish what He had started as healing had evidently begun. We prayed that healing would continue for the man in the days to come.
Just as we were going to settle for some coffee and cake, another woman was brought forward with problems to her throat. She said how she had suddenly felt weak as we were praying for the previous two people. She has had problems with her throat for over a year, feeling like something was blocking it, giving her eating and even drinking problems. She had visited the doctor many times, only to be given medicines which did not work. She had also had X-rays taken, which had showed nothing physically wrong with her throat.
The woman wanted to be prayed for, there and then, like we had done for the previous two people. However, after hearing her diagnosis, I felt in my spirit that her case was likely to be demonic. So, I declined praying for her at that moment, but offered to come around the next day to conduct a proper healing and deliverance session, which she accepted.
God's Amazing Healing
And so, Rob and I went the next day to the woman's house, as we had promised. She and her fiancé welcomed us in. We started the session with a prayer, and with putting on the full armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). Then we proceeded with hearing the woman's life story from early teenage years to the present time. I made notes as she spoke; and there was much to write. With tears rolling down her cheeks, she told the story of her life struggles to make ends meet for herself and her daughter, describing the people that have hurt her along the way, and the people she had also hurt. My heart broke for her as I, too, shed a few tears of my own. Her life story was just incredible: no one should ever have to go through what she went through. It was so sad, and I was angry at how the devil had gone full on to create havoc in this woman's life.
By the time she finished her life story, two hours passed. She was emotionally spent; she had unloaded everything. Her heart was full of hurt, anger, resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness. She was understandably angry with those who had hurt her, but she had also been angry with God. It was clear to me that she needed her heart to be healed as well as deliverance (I had identified around a dozen different demons that were operating in her life).
I pointed out to the woman that despite her troubled and traumatic life, God had never abandoned her. There were critical times in her life where God had showed up to rescue her from danger and from losing her life. As Rob and I pointed out these critical times to her, she seemed to pause for thought as if enlightened by this fact. Then I continued and showed how things would then go bad again whenever she proceeded to live life her own way. God was never at fault, He had always loved her and had always been there for her, but had also always respected her freewill.
Then we continued to tackle the hurt that was in her heart. She had told me how her Life Group friends had told her to forgive those who had hurt her. She already knew that this was the Christian thing to do, but as much as she wanted to, she just didn't know how to. Further to this, she had carried so much guilt and shame that she couldn't bring herself to forgive herself. So, forgiveness was a problem in all aspects. With the knowledge I already had, I know that prolonged and continued unforgiveness can be a huge stronghold for demonic presence.
And so, I asked her to pray a prayer of repentance from all the things that she had done wrong, asking God to forgive her sins, and naming those sins specifically for what they were. I asked that her prayer be sincere, one that comes right from the very bottom of her heart, because healing and deliverance come much easier through genuine repentance. And so, that's what she proceeded to do. With tears and pleas, she gave her contrite heart to the Lord. After this, I asked her to pray to forgive the people who had hurt her and to bless them by name - and she obediently did this too.
When she finished her prayers, she immediately said that she felt light. I knew then that the Lord had forgiven all her sins, and taken away the burden of those sins from her. Feeling light can also be an indicator of demonic strongholds being broken, and demons leaving. When I asked her how she felt about the people that have hurt her, she smiled a teary smile and said, "I have forgiven them!" - and when I asked whether or not she had forgiven herself, she also said, "Yes, I have and I feel free!". She then continued to say that she had often prayed to God in the past to forgive her sins, but felt that they were still there, and that He had not heard her or forgiven her. But this time it was different: she had never felt so light and happy. This time she knew God had heard her prayer, and had forgiven her. Rob then suggested that perhaps she may want to make contact with the main people that have hurt her to tell them that she has forgiven them. She smiled and said she was just thinking of doing that! She looked excited, and spoke of ways she may make contact with them and what she would say or write.
It was incredible for me to hear and witness this - as I know full well, she would have had to be healed to even entertain the idea of making contact with those who have hurt her, never mind send them a lovely message of forgiveness! All I could do was praise God, and rejoice with her! She looked so peaceful and happy, unlike how she was at the start of the session.
Logos turned into Rhema
Then it struck me! The song that I had been singing in my head all week - "Our God is faithful" - has taken on its real meaning:
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
God's faithfulness is not just Him being nice or graceful to us, it is much more than that.
Suddenly, I saw the chain of events that's written in the above scripture:
In confessing her sins with a contrite heart, the woman had evoked God's faithfulness;
God's faithfulness, in turn, evoked His willingness to forgive;
Forgiveness then evoked the power for purification;
Purification (from all unrighteousness) then occurred;
And it is this purification that enabled her to let go of her unforgiveness towards herself and others...
...thereby healing her!
Wow, I had never realised the power that lies behind this one sentence of scripture! Now this scripture has truly come alive for me! Glory be to God!
God's Amazing Deliverance
After her heart was healed, we were then ready to perform deliverance prayers to cast out any remaining demons associated with sin, covenants, generational curses, and soul ties. Her fiancé quietly (and very wisely, as it turned out) left the room and returned with a bunch of towels.
We sat the woman on a chair with Rob and me standing on either side of her. After cutting soul ties, and breaking curses, I bound the powers of the strongmen and then began to cast out the spirit of Witchcraft which had been operating through her father. I also called out the spirit of Death (for some reason, I felt that they were working together and were going to go out together). As soon as I commanded them to leave in the Name of Jesus, she started to scream. Her screams sounded tormented, and as she fell forward to the floor, her fiancé quickly placed a towel in front of her on the carpeted floor. She laid on her stomach, coughing and spluttering, her cheeks rapidly twitching, muttering that something big and black was trying to come out of her. Rob and I took turns speaking in tongues and repeatedly commanding, in English, that the spirits leave. And every time the Name Jesus was mentioned, the screams would start again - it was as if the Name of Jesus was torturing them. In the midst of her screams, she let out a mocking smile - which made me indignant with righteous anger, and caused me to battle even more rigorously! We repeated the Name Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, and saw that the screams became increasingly louder as if the demons were in more pain. Then after a few minutes and one final blood-curdling scream, she turned calm; the spirits had given up their hold, and left her.
For a moment, it seemed to be all over, but then the Holy Spirit urged me on, and gave me the next pair of spirit names to cast out - and I found myself commanding the spirits of Anger and Hatred to leave in the Name of Jesus. Her screams started again. This time her right hand (near to Rob) began to ball into a fist. Rob pointed this out to me, after which I saw her left hand (near to me) began ball into a fist as well. She moved her fists backwards as if searching for us. Both Rob and I moved back to avoid them, knowing full well the spirit of Anger was wanting to punch us in utter hatred (we have seen this behaviour before with another case, so we were fully aware, and took the necessary precautions). After a few minutes of angry screams and retching out a foamy substance, she turned calm again, her fists opened up and her hands relaxed as the spirits left her, again with one final scream.
She sat up on the floor, looking exhausted, and then asked her fiancé to help her up. She then sat next to me, describing the best she could what happened to her and what she was feeling (so far). It was fascinating to hear her story, which I shall describe in further detail in one of the sections below.
Checking the List
Her fiancé left the room as someone had come to the door. It was his brother. We were interrupted for a few minutes, but it also allowed us to take a break and rest a while. At this point, I was thinking that the session was coming to an end, but Rob decided that we should make a list of the demonic spirits she may have had - and go through that list to check that they were not still in her anymore. I did as Rob asked, and then proceeded to call out the spirits by name, watching her reaction.
As I got to about three-quarters through the list, the woman let out another mocking smile. Rob jumped on this and said she still has something - a mocking spirit! Just then, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and gave me the name of another spirit not on the list - the spirit of Depression. So, I began to call out the spirit of Depression and the screams started again. Again, she fell to the floor, retching even more of that foamy substance than before. Then after a few minutes, she turned calm again as that spirit left her.
We talked again for a few minutes to get our breath back. Rob was adamant that he wanted to go through the list again to make sure there were no manifestations. When he said this, the woman reacted and said "No, no, I'm scared!". I found this very strange and so I asked, "Why are you scared?", to which she replied, "I don't know", followed hesitantly by "I'm tired". Her fiancé then suggested that we continue at another time, as he could see that she had already been through a lot and was probably tired, just as she said. However, both Rob's spirit and mine felt uneasy. In past cases, demons had tried to persuade us to do something opposite to what we should do. This would be a strong indication that they were trying to avoid being cast out. The answers the woman gave made us feel uneasy and suspicious that it could be the demon inside her that was afraid (rather than her), and that it was trying to get the favour and support of the fiancé to stop the session earlier than necessary. So, I replied to the fiancé, "But we are in full flow... we are not far from the end". He didn't look too happy, but he kindly allowed us to continue on.
And so, I called out the names of the spirits on the list, all the while watching the woman's reaction. She remained normal throughout, but then just as I was reading the last name on the list, the Holy Spirit spoke to me again with another spirit name - the spirit of Jezebel! This was a big one: Jezebel was one of the strong men - a chief evil spirit. We had dealt with her before on another case, and she was one tough demon to cast out!
As I called out the name Jezebel several times, the woman's face changed from being happy and peaceful to looking very angry and hateful. Jezebel was not happy that she had been found out! So, we started to command Jezebel to leave in the Name of Jesus. The screams started again, along with the coughs and retching on the towel on the floor. After a few minutes, the woman sat back on the sofa, calm again. Seemingly, it was over: Jezebel had left. But then we saw the woman still holding her stomach, saying her stomach didn't feel too good, I knew something was still in there. From my knowledge and experience, demonic manifestations in the stomach could be one of three things - but we had already dealt with all three things, so I was rather stumped.
So, I began to ask the Holy Spirit - what could it be? I listened and listened and listened, but the Holy Spirit gave me no new names. It was not like the Holy Spirit not to give me a name when He had been giving me names all session long! But then He spoke and said, "If I haven't given you a new name, it means the last name I gave you is still the one to be dealt with". With this information, I realised that Jezebel had not left, but that she was just trying to fool us into thinking that she had. She was one cunning demon, I tell you! So, we continued to call out Jezebel.
The screams started again, and again the woman fell to the floor coughing and retching this foamy substance. Knowing Jezebel's stubbornness, Rob and I increased our attacks on Jezebel. There was no way we were going to let up until she was successfully driven out! Rob knew that evil spirits do not want to praise God or Jesus, so one way to drive them out of a body is to command them to do so. So, Rob commanded the woman to say "Jesus is Lord". After some resistance, the woman said, "Jesus is Lord", but using an angry tone of voice. Rob commanded her to repeat again and again, "Jesus is Lord", and then finally a voice (much a like a man's voice) said "Jesus is Lord", again in an angry tone, followed then by a very loud scream, the most blood-curdling yet, and then the woman retched out a huge froth out of her mouth. It was not mere frothy substance like all the other times before, it was full-on froth with something that looked like phlegm with it. It was as if the amount and size of the froth was consistent with its demonic rank and status. I knew then Jezebel was out. The woman sat back up, her stomach now back to normal, she was calm once again, confirming that it had left her.
We went through the list again - this time there were no manifestations, all normal and calm. So, we decided to end the session.
Phew - what a session it was! We were all tired, but relieved, and happy she was delivered. We ended the session by anointing the woman with oil and praying for a baptism of the Holy Spirit. She cried as we did this, and started to raise her hands praising God. She also muttered a few syllables that we believe were tongues. Afterwards, I gave her the biggest hug and told her how much I love her. I cried happy tears for her. Her freedom brought so much joy to me; it was hard to describe. It was just such a privilege for us to be part of her deliverance!
Before we left, we anointed the house with oil on every internal and external door frame, blessing it, commanding evil spirits to leave, asking the Holy Spirit to dwell there and for God's holy angels to encamp around the house to protect it.
Total visit time: over 5 hours.
The Woman's Experiences
After a brief time of rest before we left for the evening, the woman told us what she was seeing, feeling, and experiencing throughout the deliverance session. This proved to be very valuable for Rob and myself, as we have never had such feedback from the other cases we had done before. These were the things that she shared (and I will also comment whenever I can in italics):
When we first started praying for deliverance, the woman said she prayed to God (in her heart) to help her, and to show Himself to her. Then she saw the sky turning paper white and covering the whole room, even the window panes and frames seemed to disappear. She wanted to open her eyes, but couldn't. (In my opinion, the white sky engulfing the room was the presence of God. He is holy and pure, so white represents that, and He answered her prayer by showing Himself to her in such a manner. She couldn't open her eyes because she was looking into the spirit realm.)
When she was screaming, she was initially worried about the neighbours hearing her (the windows were open as it was a hot day). But then she said something took that thought away in an instant, reassuring her that all will be OK. (I believe this was the work of the Holy Spirit. In a previous case where we had a girl screaming during her deliverance, the neighbour was working in the garden just a few metres outside the window where we were, but God had not allowed the sound to travel, so nobody came to the door to complain.)
When we were casting out the spirit of Witchcraft and Death, the woman felt something big and black trying to come out of her. It was so much bigger than her own body that she wondered how on earth it was supposed to get out of her, but it did manage to come out.
When we were casting out the spirit of Anger and Hatred and she balled up her fists, she felt she wanted to punch Rob and me. She felt very powerful and strong. She was searching for us as she moved her fists backwards, but she could only hear our voices. (We were already aware of this, hence why we moved to avoid her fists, but more than this, we knew God was protecting us - which was why she could only hear our voices, and not see us. Casting out demons can be dangerous, so it has to be done with wisdom and with God present. Past experiences are also very valuable.)
Whenever she heard Rob and I praying, she felt the evil spirits inside her wanting to fight us. They hated hearing our prayers, and just wanted it all to stop.
Whenever we mentioned the Name of Jesus, it was like stabbing on the evil spirits, hence why they screamed, and cried out loud.
When Rob asked for us to go through the list of evil spirits again and she responded that she was scared and tired, she said that it was not her that said that, nor that she felt at all tired. (This confirmed to me that our suspicion was correct - it was the spirit of Jezebel trying to fool us. I am so glad that we didn't fall for it! Again, we made the right decision because of a past experience.)
Whenever we prayed in tongues, she felt someone touching her all over, touches of comfort and reassurance that she will be OK. (Wow! This was a new insight for us, and gave us more confidence and desire to speak in tongues, especially in a deliverance session.)
When we prayed for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and her hands started to rise up. She said that this was not her doing. She does not normally like to lift up her hands, not in worship or prayer or anything. (Wow, to me, this was evidence that the Holy Spirit really filled her - because I have read similar things happening to other people during a baptism of the Holy Spirit.)
Some Powerful Observations and Lessons
As Rob and I pondered on the whole event, we learnt a few things that have helped us grow in this ministry. It was evident that the Holy Spirit had used each one of us in a unique way, as follows:
Rob: The Holy Spirit used his logical approach to go through the list of demonic spirits systematically. He also used Rob's persistence in going through that list until there were no more manifestations. Without such dedication and persistence, we would surely have missed out quite a few evil spirits, so the woman's deliverance would not have been as complete or thorough.
Myself: The Holy Spirit used my sensitive emotional nature to communicate the names of the evil spirits that were still present. This was critical, especially with regards to Jezebel. She was most cunning, trying to trick us into ending the session prematurely.
The woman's fiancé: The Holy Spirit used him for practical matters. The towels (and tissues) that he brought in were much needed. Had the towels and tissues not been available, this would have served as a distraction to the flow of the deliverance, which would have made it less effective.
The Holy Spirit also used Rob's and my past experiences of deliverance as follows:
Using the method of "Praising God" to drive out stubborn demons.
To identify a demon's request (they will always try it on!) and not to give in to what it wants (such as ending the session early due to tiredness).
Our speaking in tongues matters and is effective in spiritual combat with demons.
A New Life
For the woman: She said that session had totally changed her, as well as her life. She is no longer easily angered. She actually said that she doesn't want to get angry at all and feel she has control over it, unlike before. She is very happy, and is telling her testimony to all her friends in her Life Group. She is a great witness of the power, mercy, love, and compassion of God. With regards to her throat, it is much better, she is now able to eat and drink without any problems. The woman now also has a hunger for God's Word. This is yet another evidence, not just of her freedom, but of her baptism of the Holy Spirit - as "hunger for God's Word' is one of the known manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
For the fiancé: This was a new experience for him. He said he has a lot to digest. Despite being a Christian and knowing that these kinds of things have happened in the Bible, he still didn't expect it to happen in our midst. He had always thought that most types of danger would likely come from human beings, he had never thought that they could come from demons. No doubt, the deliverance of his fiancée will set him on a new course of discovery - to discover who the real enemy is, and how to be able to fight it effectively.
For my husband, Rob: This deliverance has increased Rob's confidence in the Name of Jesus to a whole new level, much higher than ever before. He has also now seen the powerful effects of genuine repentance, forgiveness, and baptism of the Holy Spirit. Rob has also gained boldness in operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, particularly in speaking in tongues. Two or three years ago, Rob would have complained being taken out of his comfort zone, but now, he is on fire for more challenges such as this. After seeing how God had worked through him for the woman's deliverance, especially in exercising the authority that he has received from Christ, Rob aches to help others in the same way.
For me: Similar to Rob, Jesus' name has become more meaningful to me more than ever. After having done 10 deliverance cases already, I knew the Name of Jesus carries power, but not in the way I have experienced it for this deliverance. This time it was different, in ways I cannot explain. In addition to this, the lyrics of worship songs and God's Word (the Bible) have never come more alive to me than now (aha! that's why that song was stuck in my head all week). I can now actually relate to many things that are sung and that are in the Bible, and declare that they are true! I would say that my worship has now also gone to another new level. I feel that all that has happened has got me so much closer to God, the Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit - and I am forever ready to team up with them - to help anyone in need and to advance the Kingdom of God.
ALL THE GLORY TO OUR TRIUNE GOD!
HE IS A FAITHFUL GOD!
For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.
© Elma Larsen. All rights reserved.