John A. MacMillan

B. Childress
Feb 04 2012

Some months ago the writer was asked by an Alliance pastor to come to his help.  At once, accompanied by his wife, he
set out for the home in question.  On arrival, he found a small gathering of Christian friends who had been called for a
like purpose.  The cause of the meeting was the condition of a woman who had appealed for deliverance.  Though not
fully recognized at first, it was soon realized that she was under the power of demons.

The story of her possession was simple.  A few years previously, following the death of her mother, she had sought the
services of a spiritist medium, believing that she could thus come into touch with the departed loved one.  The person in
question was a sincere Christian but very poorly instructed in the Word of God.  She had no conception that in thus
tampering with necromancy she was breaking God's direct commands and also opening herself to the danger of spirit
attack in some form.

The medium quickly recognized that her visitor was especially open to psychic impressions.  Before long she asked her
to unite with her in certain trance experiences and later sought her cooperation in her spiritistic seances, inducing her to
surrender herself to the will of the spirits.  Some time afterward, the woman found herself in serious trouble through the
control exercised over her.  But her efforts to obtain relief were thwarted both by the opposition of the medium and the
active working of the demon powers to which she had yielded.  In this condition several years passed before she sought
the aid of the pastor above mentioned and made a full confession of her actions.  There was still no realization of the
sin, merely the desire to be free from the control exercised over her life.

Though the individual was in a coma, the scriptural test was at once put to the indwelling demon, "Thou evil spirit, has
Jesus Christ come in the flesh?" (I John 4:3).  Instantly there came a response in the form of a bitter "no."  The spirit
being thus identified, another question was presented, "Spirit, what is your name?"  Refusal to tell followed, but under
the power of continued prayer, the name was eventually given.

However, there quickly came the consciousness that the demon was not alone but one of a company.  All that night,
from about 8 o'clock until 7 the following morning, the battle continued.  In that time eighteen separate demons left the
body of their victim, each one identifying himself before he left by uttering his name.  Most of the names given were
those of spiritual states, such as ""Fear," "Death," etc.  But these were varied by others, as "Chief," "Mug," "Legion,"
one calling himself "Chief Servant of Lucifer."

When morning came the patient seemed revived and normal, and it was thought by some that the work was done.  Four
days later, however, a hurried call came again, and a visit revealed the woman in the same condition.  That night four
more spirits revealed themselves and departed.  For perhaps three weeks a measure of relief continued, and then the
trouble recurred.  The question arose as to whether other spirits had gained entrance, but this did not seem to be the
case; rather there were those which had not revealed themselves.  At intervals covering a period of two months fresh
manifestations occurred, and these were dealt with as they appeared.  In all, seven entire nights were thus spent.

The sufferer was throughout this time unable to take hold of the Lord for herself.  Intense fear possessed her mind.  At
times, during the seasons when definite effort was being exerted by prayer and authority for the casting out of the evil
spirits, she would come briefly out of the coma in which her senses were bound.  In reply to exhortations to utter the
name of Jesus or to give praise to God, she would attempt to do so, but immediately the spirits would seize her and use
her hands in a fierce endeavor to strangle herself.  Two brethren were constantly on the alert to hold her hands.  At
other times she would try to bite those about her, as a dog might do.

The trouble was seen toward the end of the long struggle to be attended by a sexual mania.  One demon calling himself
by the name of "internal Masculinity Cacoethes" seemed to be the source of this uncleanness.  He remained alone after
perhaps thirty other demons had been expelled.  Having gained a hold in the sensual part of the being, it seemed
almost impossible to dislodge him.  But God's Word gives unquestionable authority to His faithful people.  "Ye are of
God, little children," says the beloved disciple after his instructions regarding the presence and deceitfulness of the
agents of the evil one, "and you have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world"
(I John 4:4).

The end came at last.  One demon, as we mentioned above, had held the fort defiantly, giving, whenever asked, the
name mentioned above.  On the last night the powers of evil seemed to fill the room.  The patient, awakening from her
coma, cried out in fear that spirits were coming at her first from one side and then from the other.  These unseen beings
were rebuked in the name of Jesus and seemed to withdraw.  The quoting of passages from the Bible were resented by
the indwelling demon with cries of "No! No!"

Finally a pastor said to the demon, "You are beaten," which he acknowledged, but refused to go.  The spirit then said, "I
will go out tomorrow."  The reply was, "No, you will go out now.”  He spoke again, "I'm going out," and then, through the
lips of the patient, "I'm outside now."  At once the question was asked, "Why do you lie to us?" bringing the reply,
"Because I am going to kill her before I go."  Shortly after, in a sad voice the spirit said, "I must find a new home," and
suddenly came out through the mouth, the woman nearly strangling.  But immediately she began to praise God with
complete freedom and has so continued.  Attempts were made by the spirits to regain possession, but steadfast
resistance has given full relief.

The terms "demon" and "spirit" are used interchangeably in the Gospels.  Demons are a class of beings which are
distinct from angels, a fact recognized by the Jews (see Acts 23:8-9).  Their origin is not given in the Bible, and various
theories are held regarding it.  One certainty is that they are disembodied spirits and seek to embody themselves in
human beings or even in the bodies of animals (Luke 8:32).  They thereby are enabled to gratify sensual instincts - the
grosser forms of which are intemperance and impurity - through the organs of their victims.  Often a possessed person,
though normally self-controlled, manifests strange appetites utterly unknown previously.


THE AUTHORITY OF THE BELIEVER, by John A. MacMillan, Copyright 2007, WingSpread Publishers.