The following testimony is sort of similar to what I went through. It resonates with me and I identify with it so much so I have read it multiple times. Her advice is pretty spot on. I hope it edifies you:
I became a Christian when I was 18. I was born in Southern Russia. I was very passionate about Jesus, active in Church, was baptized by the Holy Spirit and shared the Gospel. God has blessed me a lot.
When God baptized me with the Holy Spirit I had a strong desire to tell people about Jesus. I was sharing the Good news about Christ almost everyday. I felt very close to God. I used to spend hours praying and reading the Bible.
Once I had a nightmare. The devil was chasing me in my dream. He swore to me that he would get me. When I woke up in the middle of the night, the fear did not go away. It just intensified. The fear filled every cell of my brain and was driving me insane. I knew I was in the presence of evil. I was in my room, but everything looked like I was in another dimension. I desperately started praying and praising God. This was the only thing that kept me in a right mind. I prayed almost all night. The evil left only early in the morning.
When I shared my experience with one of the American missionaries in my Church, he told me that the devil is chained and can never harm any Christian. I was never taught anything about spiritual warfare and I did not have any idea that I had to do something to resist the enemy. I have learned the truth the hard way. Only three years later did I learn that the devil is alive and well on planet Earth and he hates and fights against everyone who decides to commit his/her life to Jesus Christ.
Very soon after my baptism by the Holy Spirit, I subconsciously started feeling that I was more special to God than any other Christian and other people. I started feeling that way because of all the material and spiritual blessings that God gave me. My tutoring business was prospering in Russia; I received grants to travel abroad and in addition, I was awarded a full scholarship to attend a graduate school in Columbia University in New York.
During one of my prayers, God told me that I had to repent. God warned me about my pride and told me to repent or I WOULD FALL. He said that I was no more special than anybody else. He also told me not to judge others. Unfortunately, I was more excited about the fact that God was speaking to me than the fact that I had to obey Him and did what He told me.
Living in New York City…
Four years ago, as of this writing date, I moved to New York to study towards a Master’s degree at Columbia University. In New York, things did not go the way I had hoped for. I had a lot of struggles and did not understand why God allowed me to suffer so much. Even though God blessed me a lot with a full scholarship to study at Columbia, I did not trust Him and did not thank Him in my difficult times. Instead, I hated New York and Columbia and I started grumbling and complaining a lot.
This was the beginning of my fall. I became very depressed and was in agonizing pain and fear. I fasted, regularly prayed, read the Bible, and went to Church, but the agony and fear did not go away; it was lacerating my soul so that it was even hard for me to walk and to talk. Every movement required so much strength. It felt like someone was dragging me down and hindering my movements. I was constantly harassed by the devil who was telling me that I was a total loser and a failure.
After a year of my agony, God drew me back to Him for a very short time. He spoke to me and I wrote down His Words in my diary. Only in two years did I understand what He told me. God told me that I would have a very severe trial and I would suffer a lot, but He promised to get me through all my sufferings and produce very fruitful change within me.
While I was hearing God’s voice I was also be able to hear the voice of a demon. I was completely oblivious to the fact that demons can counterfeit God’s voice to deceive Christians. I did not know that I had to test every word against the Bible. That’s why — when I heard that I would get the internship in World Bank and would meet my future husband in D.C. — I believed that it was from God. The demon was speaking to my fleshly desires. I liked it and I believed it. I had some doubts, but I also thought that God could never allow a demon to deceive me.
Shortly after that, my only Christian friend in New York left the City for the summer. I was left alone. Even though I lived in the City for a year, I still did not have Christian friends. I attended the Church, but still did not know anyone there.
I became even more depressed. I was completely alone and did not have anyone to share my struggles with. I thought that God did not care and did not love me anymore since He did not answer my prayers to find a church and have Christian friends. I hit my bottom when I failed my interview in the World Bank and was not given a job offer. I could not understand why God allowed a demon to deceive me. I did not want to live anymore and started thinking of committing suicide. I could not bear my incessant agony.
Then I realized that I could not even die because I would go to hell and be in even more pain for eternity. I felt trapped. I did not want to live and could not die. I felt like I lived in hell. The pain was so bad that I even started cutting myself with a knife because physical pain was much more bearable than spiritual torment. The evil was always around me, penetrating my brain, tormenting my soul, always ready to speak to me and dragging me down. The more I prayed and read the Bible the more I was harassed by the voice, and the more agony I had. I did not know what to do and I was unable to resist.
Then I did something unspeakable. I could not take the pain anymore and I broke. I became so angry with God that I told God to get out of my life. I told Him that I hated Him and I did not want to talk with Him anymore and be with Him. Since I often talked to Him, I needed to literally make myself stop thinking about Him. I stopped praying and reading the Bible. I decided to follow my way. Little did I know the dire aftermath of my decision. I did not realize that I left God and turned to follow the devil. I didn’t realize that you either serve God or Satan — there is no third option.
I now realize that God was always watching over me regardless of all my bad decisions.
In the middle of the summer I found a church and made several friends. I finally had someone to talk to and go out with. New York is a very difficult place for Christians. Now I understand that my friends from church were going through a lot of struggles as well. However, being personal and praying for each other and focusing on Jesus were not the things that we did. Pursuit of successful personal careers held much more importance.
One Sunday I met a guy at church. I instantly became attracted to him. Looking back … I understand that the moment I turned my eyes from Jesus I became completely vulnerable to Satan. It gave him power over me to control my feelings and my thinking. And since I did not have love for God in my heart, I needed a substitute. I became obsessed with that guy.
When I realized that my relationship with the guy would not work out, I started praying to God and reading the Bible. Nevertheless – I never asked God to be the Lord of my life again. I just wanted Him to help me in the mess I made. By not giving all my life to God I was powerless to break the relationship. I did not know back then why I could not stop that guy from using me, and could not say “no” to him. I was trapped in my own feelings and was not able to escape. I knew with all my heart that I was sinning against God.
I was trapped in this relationship for a year. Since this guy did not read the Bible and did not like talking about God, I decided to stop doing it as well. So I turned more away from God and I finally withdrew into myself.
After my graduation, I worked in New York for a summer. I had a job with a prestigious investment bank and I was very good at what I was doing. My boss told me how much he liked my work and how smart and talented I was. I became even more proud and conceited. After my relationship with that guy ended, I felt I needed to turn to something else to fill the void. I still thought that I did not need God. I still was angry with Him for not giving me what I asked Him for. My career became my idol. I worshiped my idol fervently.
Living in Moscow…
When I went to Moscow, I arranged ten interviews with the top foreign banks. Surprisingly to me, things did not work out. I was not able to find a job I wanted. I know now that a part of each interview ending in “defeat” was my arrogant and proud attitude that seemed to help me so much in New York, but no one needed this arrogant attitude in Moscow.
I ended up with a job that I hated. I had to leave it in three months. I was able to find another job in Moscow. When I was told to leave my second job, because I was not a perfect fit for the position, and when I was turned down in all my interviews in London, I realized that God had been trying very hard to get my attention.
I lost my second job in April (2004). I had a number of interviews, but no job offers. Nothing was working out for me. And God finally got my attention. I started praying to Him. However, I felt it would be impossible for me to repent. I downloaded the Bible from the internet because I had thrown away all my Bibles when I left New York. I started reading the New Testament again.
One day, when I learned that none of my interviews were successful, I cried out to God for help. I felt desperate. Then I started hearing the voice of the devil again telling me that God does not love me and He will not forgive me and I have to throw myself out of the window. The voice was very convincing and powerful that I thought that I would go insane. Weeping, I opened the Bible and started reading out loud even though I could not understand a single word … but the voice was gone.
I realized that I had sinned greatly against God and needed to know whether He could forgive me. I remembered the stories in the Old Testament of Israel — kings who sinned against God, but then repented. I started reading those stories. I realized that my pride and my disobedience were two of my greatest sins … not all of them of course.
During the time of my turning to God I found the website of Precious Testimonies. (http://www.precious-testimonies.com) I read almost all the testimonies on their website. I was so moved by the love of God in the lives of people. I was also touched by suffering and pain everyone went through to find Jesus Christ. I needed so much to know that God could forgive my sins.
Through the Bible, and the testimonies, I realized that I did not give Jesus ALL my life and that I was holding onto what I wanted and was afraid to let it go and give it to Jesus. I also realized what great power my sins gave to Satan to ruin my life. I learned what is like to go the devil’s way. I do not want selfishness anymore. I wanted to serve Jesus even though it would not be easy and sometimes very hard. But Jesus gives true life and He knows what is best for me.
God was very merciful and gracious to me and His Holy Spirit led me to repentance. He condemned my pride and my disobedience and my sexual impurity. On June 12, 2004, I accepted Jesus as my Savior and Lord and asked Him to forgive all my sins and to be the Lord of ALL my life — not only part of it. I told Him to take all my selfish dreams and desires and put in me His dreams and desires. I gave Him all my fears. I told Him that I did not want to serve Satan anymore and that I wanted to serve Him – Jesus. All my past decisions led me to a complete collapse. I wanted Jesus to take charge of my life and change it the way He wants it changed, and not the way I want things to go.
I felt such a relief. For the first time in three years I was walking on the streets smiling and breathing freely again. I felt so light and so free.
I was living in Moscow for almost a year, but I still did not make a single Christian friend. Before my repentance I attended another Christian Church but I still did not know anyone. Because of my New York habit of being impersonal I found it very hard to open up and share with people. This was the reason that no one knew what I was going through and this was the reason why I did not have anyone to tell about my struggles.
After my conversion I thought that I would be able to come to God on my own by praying, repenting and reading the Bible. But in a few days after my repentance I felt like all hell broke loose against me. I started seeing a hairy creature. This image was always before my eyes for several weeks. I was praying and praying and reading the bible. I fasted. I claimed the blood of Jesus on me. This awful image did not go way. I felt like I was going insane. At night I barely could fall asleep; the voice started telling me again that God could not forgive me because I had sinned against the Holy Spirit and committed the sin that Jesus could not forgive.
The next day I woke up bitter and angry. I felt the burden and heaviness again. I started praying to God, asking Him to forgive me and thanked Jesus for dying for me. But my struggles were getting harder and harder. That day I realized that I could not fight the devil on my own. I needed help. I desperately needed someone to pray for me.
The Truth has been revealed…
When I realized that I desperately needed someone to pray for me, I decided to forward my prayer request to ministers of the Precious Testimonies website. The ministers not only prayed for me, but also gave me an important guidance via e-mail. It was they who opened my eyes to the truth – that the devil is alive and well on earth and he wages a war against Christians. I understood that it was the demons that inflicted me with so much pain and sufferings. And it was NOT God to blame for my sufferings. I have also learned that the devil sifts all Christians like wheat. The enemy attacked — persecuted Peter and Paul and the rest of the disciples and he does it today with no less intensity and fierceness.
When I was being oppressed by the enemy just after my repentance, God opened my eyes to see some of the spirit world. As I have mentioned, I instinctively thought that I was going insane when I saw a hairy creature. After sending my prayer request, I felt a great peace. I knew that somebody started praying for me.
However, I continued seeing the demons around me. When I woke up the next day, I not only saw the evil spirits around me, but also I was able to see my angel. The images were transparent. I was not scared at all. I was able to see into the spirit realm for a couple of weeks. God taught me invaluable lessons during that time.
Lesson 1: Demons cannot stand hearing the Word of God.
Once I came home from Church and was reading the Scripture. I looked up and I saw a couple of evil sprits. I started praying to God for help. I was not scared but was simply uncomfortable to be able to see the evil spirits. While I was asking God to help me, I heard the voice in my spirit saying “Read the Scriptures.”
I asked: “What?” The voice repeated: “Read the Scriptures.” I obeyed and started reading the Scriptures. But in a little while God said to me: “Read it out loud.” I got a bit confused, but God repeated: “Read the Scriptures out loud.” When I started reading the Scriptures out loud I noticed the evil sprit covered its ears with its paws and started moving its body like in a great torment. This is how I learned that the demons cannot stand hearing the Word of God. The Word of God applied in faith and truth is a great weapon against the powers of darkness.
Since then, I have developed a habit to read the Word of God out loud. I have also downloaded the New Testament in MP3 format. When I am at home I almost always keep my audio Bible on. I listen to my audio Bible while I eat, while I cook, while I do my make up, etc. A number of times God brought to my attention very important verses and explained their meaning during the time when I was eating or getting ready for work. My roommate asked me once what kind of recording has won my full attention that I have been listening to it 24/7. I shared with her my reason for doing so, though I know she didn’t fully understand.
I also downloaded an audio New Testament on my Pocket PC. When an opportunity arises I try to listen to the Scriptures at work. Many times during the attacks of the enemy at work, I resort to listening to the Bible as one of my methods that assists me in winning my battles.
I also learned that demons are especially tormented by the Book of Revelation, in particularly chapters 17, 18, 19 where the Scriptures talk about their final destiny. They absolutely can’t stand hearing the verses about the fallen Babylon and the verse about the devil and his false prophets thrown into the lake of fire.
There were several times when I have threatened demons to read the Book of Revelation if they did not stop their harassment and did not recede. Of course, I always kept my word and read parts of the Book of Revelation to them anyway. This particular technique is not a panacea. It does not guarantee a victory in all attacks, but it is a good complementary weapon on our side. God always helps me to come up with a particular verse that is able to silence the voice of the enemy. I have learned that not all the verses can silence the harassment of the enemy, but only those verses that apply to a particular situation. For example, waiving the sword in the air and hitting to the left when the enemy is to the right does not help to overcome the enemy. It is only when launching the blow to the target can one win the battle. The same is true with the verses in the Bible and the enemy’s lie and harassments. Only specific verses can silence the harassment of the enemy; that’s why it is ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE to study the Scriptures diligently and to memorize the verses.
Jesus’ 40-day trial in the wilderness – when Satan tempted Him – what did Jesus do? He replied to Satan with only the appropriately applied written Word of God. He dueled in out with Satan with the Sword of God, the Sword of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God. Notice … Satan quoted Jesus the Word, but only in half-truths. Half-truths are always lies designed to bring deception to mankind and to thwart God’s will for the human race. Jesus quoted 100% Truth back to Satan, and notice … Satan had nothing to combat Jesus’ strategy. Satan suffered 100% defeat in the battle. God didn’t just “haphazardly” or “thoughtlessly” have this encounter recorded in Scripture for us to fill up a few blank spaces. He couldn’t make it any more clear to you and I: Fight demonic attacks with the accurately applied Word of God.
Know the Word … Believe the Word … Know when to accurately apply the Word (don’t be quoting the Word out of context in your situation or the demons will laugh at you!) … and speak the Word of God out loud, sing scripture songs, pray the Word in prayer, at the demons around you, (though you may not ever be able to see them) — listen to the Word of God spoken … every creative way you can think of, use the Word of God against the problems you face, of course, by the leading of the Holy Spirit.
All else can fail, but it is impossible for the Word of God to fail because God’s Spirit simply happens to be the supreme enforcer of God’s Word. God cannot lie; therefore God’s Word cannot lie. God’s Word can be misunderstood by mankind and erroneously applied to situations here on earth, but that never happens by the assistance of the Holy Spirit. That always happens by demonic powers and the fleshly thinking of mankind who simply doesn’t have full illumination — full revelation of God’s Word, or they have twisted scripture without most-likely knowing, to make it say something that God has not clearly indicated it was meant to communicate to us. As God has written: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (See: Matt. 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33). When one receives the full illumination that Jesus Christ is The Word, it should surprise no one that His “words” will never pass away.
Lesson 2:Demons constantly try to inject evil/deceptive thoughts into your mind.
Very often they disguise their deceit so subtly that it is very hard to distinguish between their voice and your and my thoughts. Therefore, constant feeding your brain with the Word of God, praying and standing alert and vigilant are crucial to be able to distinguish your thoughts from the lie of the enemy.
When I learned the truth about the furiousness of Satan and his demons, I started recognizing a lot of their subtle attacks, mainly attacks to convince me in their lie. I have realized that a lot of things that come to my brain do not come from me nor of the Holy Spirit all the time, but come from the demons frequently.
The fact that I was able to see how demons operate around me has helped me immensely to recognize their attacks and fight against them. It is absolutely crucial to recognize their attack in its inception and not allow them to take any hold in your mind. The first thing that they do is to inject the lie in our mind. If any lie is accepted by our mind, it is extremely difficult to recognize the lie later on and fight against the demons. No wonder the Scriptures give us so many warnings, calling us to be sober at all times, girding up our mind, be alert, watch, be not conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind (renewed by the Word of God).
I have learned that controlling my mind is a must thing. For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, pulling down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ [His Word;The Word, emphasis mine] (See: 2 Cor. 10:4-5). It is an unceasing battle for me to bring my every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ and to destroy every high thing that demons try to exalt in my mind against the knowledge of Christ.
I recall one particular attack when my mind was so strongly attacked by the enemy that I had to read the Scriptures out loud without ceasing for several hours.
When the demons attack my mind, I also found it very effective to let them know that I know that they are attacking. Since they like to work in disguise and do not like to be exposed, letting them know that they are exposed is one of the effective ways to fight against them.
I remember one particular battle when I seemed to be unable to stop the enemy’s harassments. The demons continued bringing to my mind the situation at work where I was despitefully used and humiliated. Then they were injecting in my mind all possible lies inciting me to hate my coworkers and rebel against God. I tried everything that once was effective against them in previous attacks, but this time it did not work. It was an ongoing battle that I could not find a way to win. And then one morning, when the demons launched their usual harassments, God taught me an effective method. I told the demons that every time they would bring in my brain a particular situation where my coworkers had humiliated me, I would pray for my coworkers, would bind the demons that control them and would ask God to strengthen His warrior angels that were fighting against the demons. Sure enough after proving that I was not kidding about praying for my coworkers, the demons soon receded and the battle was won. Of course, I continue praying for my coworkers, but during my prayer time.
Lesson 3: Demons affect your feelings to deceive you.
(Important note: Before proceeding with Lesson 3, I would like to forewarn you that the lesson that God has taught me on feelings is very hard to grasp in theory without personally experiencing what I describe. I would like to emphasize that I do not claim that all negative feelings come from demons. I also do not claim that we must always feel great and uplifted. We humans are very emotional creatures and are very much affected by adverse circumstances and experience all variety of feelings and emotions.
Yet, there are times when our negative feelings come directly from demons. We must always seek God’s guidance and ask God to teach us to discern when our feelings come as a result of demonic attacks and ask God to teach us to fight against demons afflicting us with negative feelings.)
I have learned that the demons are capable of affecting our feelings with sadness, discouragement, hopelessness,feeling like God has lied to us or forsaken us (and in my case, actually felt betrayed by God), feeling like God really can’t be trusted or His Word trusted, feeling like God is not hearing our prays, let alone answering them, feelinglike God doesn’t love us, feeling like we’ve lost our salvation, or if we’ve gotten extremely angry at God, feeling like God would never forgive us, etc., in order to rob you and I of the joy of our salvation which is in our spirit. I’ll say that again so you don’t miss that … it is in our spirit. I have both learned to fight against the lie and stand on the truth of the gospel (joy and peace given to me by Jesus in my spirit) and not to yield to the deceptive power of the demons to deceive me to believe my feelings, rather than to believe the Truth of God’s Word … and let the Word of God be the final authority on the matter.
I remember once last summer I came home from work very discouraged and I saw the demons cheerfully jumping around me because I was discouraged. That scene made me very furious. The last thing I wanted was to give the demons’ a chance to triumph and rejoice in my life. So I simply looked at them, took a deep breath, had my dinner, summoned all the strength that I had left and said out loud: “God – thank you for my job and thank youfor the joy and peace I have in my spirit.” I went to my room and started reading the Scriptures out loud. I did not see demons cheerfully jumping around me after that.
During last summer the demons often were attacking me with the feelings of discouragement and depression. I vehemently fought against them. They do not apply that particular tactic to me very often. It is not very effective because I strive NEVER to follow my feelings. I NEVER read the Bible because I feel like it and I NEVER pray because I feel like it. I read the Word and pray because I am commanded to do it and because I want to show my allegiance to God. If I recognize that the demons attack me with negative feelings, I immediately thank God for the joy and peace that I have in my spirit, rebuke the demons and continue with my business as I have planned.
The demons’ sole purpose in attacking my feelings is to control me via myfeelings. If I do not follow my feelings, but follow the Word of God, their attacks are in vain.
I know that demons affect not only our feelings with negative emotions, but also with positive counterfeit emotions that can be easily interpreted as the presence of God. I have learned that God never operates via our emotions and feelings. God operates only via His Word and our faith. Demons ALWAYS operate via emotions and feelings of their victims so that victims would pray and read the Bible when they feel like it and not because God commands them to do it. It is too bad that so many Christians do not realize that just because they feel good during their prayer or worship, it does not mean that the feelings come from God. God seldom does anything to us just to make us feel good in the emotional realm. He has a completely different purpose for us. He wants to train us to feed our spirit with Truth (God’s Word). Truth always agrees with our spirit who is seeking to please the Holy Spirit. With our spirit and the Holy Spirit working in unity and in total agreement with each other … our emotions will begin to line up, and who is manipulating our feelings will then become a lot easier to discern.
Once I attended worship at a certain church. I felt something that I used to call “the presence of the Holy Spirit.” After the worship I came up to one young lady. The young lady told me that she enjoyed “the presence of the Lord” so much that she did not want to do anything else, but only enjoy “the presence of the Lord.” I immediately asked myself a question, “Is it really the presence of God? Does my God that I serve call His children to passivity? Or does my God command that His children be on constant alert and prayer?”
Lately God has taught me never to accept the feelings of a “counterfeit presence of the Lord” coming from demons. In a public setting where people are seeking to be in the presence of God, loud music and lots of yelling from the people and from the speaker/s can easily be nothing more than working our feelings up to such a heightened state of excitement that it can be assumed to be the “presence of God” when it’s nothing more than the “heightened stimulation of emotional feelings,” and when that happens, Satan can pull off all kinds of deception that might easily appear to be the work of the Holy Spirit when in fact the Holy Spirit might be in the toilet vomiting, graphically speaking. The true presence of God is usually experienced in solitude – in quietness – in intimate communion with God. Jesus never had to get all worked up emotionally in a public setting to hear what His Father wanted Him to do. It was always in a quiet, non-distracting setting that he experienced “the presence of God.”
Yet there have been the reverse of the above where groups of Christians will “wait quietly upon the Spirit” to visit them. The “shakers” and the “quakers” and the “tremblers” and the “laughers” and the “sobbers” have come and gone, will come and go … and if the manifestations, whatever they are at the time, do not bear visible fruit where sin is getting exposed and repented of — where souls are not getting saved — where no refreshing ministry of God’s Word is coming forth — where no substantial healings can be documented by professional medical personnel — where people are falling down supposedly under the power of God and it does nothing more than “look good” to an audience of on-lookers … where demons are given an atmosphere to manifest in “christians” in mass without adequate oversight by skilled overseers and wise follow-up in individual cases … Christians must be very careful to endorse such supposed “manifestations as being from God.” Though God has done and will do all of what I have just mentioned, Satan can, has, and will continue to counterfeit these same experiences. God allows him to, unfortunately for sincere believers.
I have noticed that once the enemy’s attacks are recognized and vehemently fought against with the Sword (the Word) and Faith (Shield) the enemy recedes soon. Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:57) and who always causes us to triumph (2 Cor. 2:14).
Introduction to Rebecca Brown’s books
After realizing how strong and vicious my enemy is, I decided to learn more about spiritual warfare from Christian literature in addition to learning about it in the Bible and from my personal experience. I was introduced to Rebecca Brown’s books by one Christian at church that I started attending soon after my conversion. I was greatly encouraged to see that many things I have learned in my spiritual warfare have been confirmed by Rebecca in her books. Receiving a confirmation of my experience has been very important to me since I have not had anyone whom I could confide in.
In addition, it was equally important to me to realize that I was not the only one who has been attacked by the enemy. There are a lot of God’s children that are going through many similar, intense battles. Understanding this has helped me to silence the voice of the enemy who was harassing me with the fact “that I am lonely and alone and do not have friends.” By the grace of God, He does not dare to do this anymore, because I know that I am neither lonely (Jesus is always with me) nor am I alone (a lot of God’s children are fighting against the enemy). Even though I do not have mature Christian friends in Moscow at this writing, I know this has been arranged by God as a part of my training to learn to trust Him and rely on Him to teach me how to wage effective spiritual warfare against demonic powers. I don’t want people to get the impression that it’s just “me and Jesus” and I don’t need other Christians giving input into my life, and praying for me and God’s call upon my life … it’s just that I’m in a season right now where God is teaching me a lot of things directly from His Spirit. Only God knows what will happen in my future.
Satan’s deceptive work at churches
After reading Rebecca’s books I did a Google search and found her website. At the website I came across two prophesies/visions about the US elections written by Rebecca’s husband, Daniel. I was shocked to learn about the enemy’s plans.
I have witnessed many confirmations both in the world news and at church that Daniel’s prophesy were 100% true and from God. My eyes have opened to see the enemy’s very subtle work at church including:
– – Selfish, self-centered prayers.
– – Sermons focusing on God’s love as a means of gain and focusing exclusively on what God can do for us and not what we can do to serve God and walk in obedience to Him.
– – Prophesies about God’s continual love and never about the need to turn away from our sins and care for the lost.
– – Seldom if ever did I hear in the churches I attended that Christians are going to suffer for Jesus (and in fact, the more serious they are for God the more they actually probably will suffer unjustly); that they need to recognize and learn how to deny their selfishness; that suffering is usually a daily occurrence in one form or fashion and that they need to take up their daily cross of unjust suffering and follow after Christ no matter what the pain – no matter what the cost.
– What I did seem to be hearing mostly was a subtle message of what God will do for me if I adhere to the correct “formulas” and not what I’m supposed to do for Him to walk in holiness and lay my selfishness and greed down to help others come to God and grow in God.
Cost of Jesus’ Discipleship
Last September, I volunteered to give a Bible lesson to shed some light on the cost of Jesus’ discipleship and Satan’s war against Christians. I made a selection of verses answering the following questions:
- Does Jesus promise wealth to His disciples?
- Does Jesus promise complete physical health to His disciples?
- What does Jesus promise to His disciples?
- Did the promises of prosecutions and sufferings come true in the life of Christians in the New Testament?
- Does God tolerate sin in the life of Christians? Why were Christians persecuted?
- Why does the Word of God say that everyone who wants to live a godly life will be persecuted?
- Does God allow the devil to directly attack Christians?
I noticed that while I was reading the Scriptures some people became restless. When I got down to reading the verse about the devil sifting Peter like wheat, one young man burst out with anger. He so vehemently objected to my reading the verse. He claimed that the verse had nothing to do whatsoever with Peter’s denial, and he did not even allow me to further read the Scripture to explain the verse. I had never encountered such strong opposition to God’s Word from a group of believers, and I did not even mention anything personally about myself. I was simply reading from the Word of God!
When I asked the young man to let me at least continue reading the Scriptures, he said that he would not permit any false teaching at our small group. Other group members also confronted me and asked me to tell them my underlying message of reading all those verses. They did not let me finish reading the verses. They almost fled from my apartment like I was a witch. I was very hurt and cried.
In a few days God spoke to me. God told me: “They will reject your name as evil. Great is your reward in heaven. You will get hurt. I will help you. Trust in Me only, My Word only. I will come and recompense every one for his work. Pray for them. The strongholds have to be destroyed first. The strongholds are:
- Love of material possession
- Love of self
You will suffer, do not love yourself, deny yourself. Learn to deny yourself in everything that comes against Me. Read my Word and pray always. I will glorify Myself through you. This will come through pain and sufferings that you will have. Learn to be content with what you have. I want to be the only source of your pleasure and containment. Nobody else. Pray for the spreading of My word and destruction of the work of the enemy. Learn to trust Me. Learn to rejoice in your sufferings. Pray for destruction of lies and deceit that corrupts the minds of My children. I love them all equally. Submit to My will. Glory belongs only to Me. Pray, always pray. Destruction is coming on this world. Those who serve Me will survive; those who do not serve Me will be destroyed. Pray.”
Later I found the following confirmation in the Word of God.
2 Timothy 3:1-5: But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.
For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy.
Heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,
Treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
Having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.
God’s power is given to not only save, but to heal and deliver and to put to death our selfish, fallen sinful and disobedient nature … not a license of constant forgiveness to keep doing the same sinful acts over and over and dismiss them as though a token confession is supposed to make everything right between us and God, then go right back to engaging in the same ungodly acts of disobedience until the next confession — repeating the cycle time and time again as though Christianity is nothing more than: “Hey – guess what. I can sin and as long as I ask forgiveness, I can keep sinning the same sin over and over and everything is cool between me and God! I love this kind of Christianity!”
Since my conversion, I have experienced a number of attacks from the enemy coming from a roommate, my coworkers, and even the members of my small Bible fellowship and, of course, coming from my fleshly desires. The enemy is using everything and everyone to tempt me and try to destroy me. I have learned that Jesus really meant it, when He said “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). During the intensity of my battles, sometimes I feel that my cross is too heavy. It is overly hard to overcome frequent fierce attacks of the enemy, but God has always been faithful and provided me with the right verses to silence the enemy’s harassments and has given His wisdom to humble myself before Him and not open my mouth before those who falsely accuse me.
I have recently discovered that even in the heat of the battle when everything/everyone is turning against me IT IS POSSIBLE to retain the joy and peace that Jesus promises us in our spirit, even though I am not feeling joy and peace in the emotion realm. The demons can only hurt me physically (my body) and emotionally (pain and hurt), yet if I stand on the Word of God, they cannot hurt my spirit where God dwells. The Word of God, prayer and faith ARE THE MIGHTY WEAPONS against the enemy.
Breaching the enemy’s ground
In November 2004, I had an incident that spurred me to learn even more about the devil and the occult as possible. I read an article in the newspaper about a particular Russian website that was encouraging suicide. The article was about young depressed/suicidal people who committed suicide as a direct influence of the website. The article said that the website contained a lot of information on how a person can successfully kill himself/herself. A couple of young people who helped to set up the website were later found dead. The parents of the deceased children filed a lawsuit against the website administrator/initiator.
After reading the article I decided to check out the website. I was absolutely oblivious to the fact that the website was inspired by Satan and run by Satanists. The website is purely evil with images of diseased and dark background that can make a non-depressed person depressed. Besides the outward sinister appearance, the website emits spiritual darkness directly affecting the person who visits the website.
I read several profiles of the people on the website. They all had similar stories — severely abused and molested as children; came from broken homes; were rejected at a very young age by their parents; never had parents’ love or care. I decided to go to the website forum to somehow share with those people that there is Someone who can heal their pain and hurt and set them free from depression. I naively thought that I could reach out to those people.
One person got interested in what I had to say and wanted to know more about being set free. However, as I began to share Biblical truth, every time I wrote the name of Jesus Christ it got omitted. In a day I was completely blocked to make any posts at the forum.
The first night after participating in the forum, I had an awful nightmare. God woke me up in the middle of the night and told me to pray. I was filled with a terrifying fear because of the presence of evil in my room.
The next day I felt nauseous. I went on the website in the morning. One girl posed a question, asking which drug and the amount of dosage she could take to kill herself. I attempted to post a note to tell her to call upon Jesus. My post did not go through. That girl got a reply from someone else advising her to visit a section in the website which gives a detailed overview of different methods to commit suicide. I realized that I was completely blocked to post any comments at the forum.
I decided to ask the small Bible group I was a part of to pray against the website and for the people and for me (because I started having nightmares). However, my story stirred up much resentment and anger. The group members sternly forbade me to speak further about the website and then started inquiring as to whether I was suicidal myself, and whether I was truly delivered from depression. I could not believe what I was hearing.
Then they sternly told me to leave the Bible group if I did not like that they prayed a lot for themselves and for few of their friends. I had never been told before to leave the Bible group. Of course, I was very hurt, cried and tempted to get up and leave. However, God impressed me to stay, so I stayed.
I was glad that I stayed because one elderly lady prayed for me. She told me that I entered Satan’s territory without God’s order. She advised me that I only pray for those people at the website, but strongly suggested that I stop visiting the website. I understood that she was right. I knew that I could not deal with the evil that I have encountered. It was not just some attacks. No. It was something more — much more evil that was not going to overlook the fact that I had breached its territory.
I took heed of her piece of advice. However, my nightmares, terrifying fear and evil presence at night lingered for awhile.
Two months later I learned that some people who administered the website forum were Satanists. Had I known that fact before, I would have never gone to the website in the first place. Thanks be to God for keeping me safe during my reckless behavior. God did tell me to continue praying for those depressed people and for distraction of the website.
After that incident I decided to learn as much as possible about spiritual warfare and the enemy and those involved in occults. I know that breaching the enemy’s territory without God’s direct leading can be a very dangerous thing. In my search to understand more about the demonic realm, I purchased material written by Howard Pittman, Jessie-Penny Lewis and Rebecca Brown. I would recommend every Christian read the book written by Jessie-Penn Lewis. It is one of the best-balanced, in-depth books I have ever read about matters of the spirit realm, as many others agree. I think all Christians can receive a great deal of insight from God through this book, and it can be accessed by clicking: Here
Summary of lessons I learned from God
- God taught me that every Christian has demons assigned to him/her from Satan to destroy him/her. Nobody is an exception. God assigns to us an angel or angels to assist us. If we are allowed to see the spirit world around us we would see the demons and the angel/s around us.
- Demons always follow us around; they know our weakness/s so they are planning to attack us when we are the most vulnerable. It is crucial for me to know my weakness/s and ask the Lord to turn my weakness/s into strength/s. Denying myself and forsaking everything that I hold dear and has no God-glorifying eternal value or significance is imperative. It is the only way of becoming less vulnerable to the enemy.
- Demons’ goal is to make me rebel against God, to make me complain, grumble and be angry at my Master Jesus, and discredit God’s people without merit. When I found out that my sufferings and problems come from the enemy and not from God I learned to redirect all my anger and fury at demons.
- The way I vent my fury and anger at demons when they attack me is by striving to do everything that God commands me to do and never yielding any ground to the enemy. I know what the enemy wants from me and I am determined not to give it to him willfully. Of course, this is a fierce and difficult fight. I know whom I am facing, the most powerful being after God. The most vicious enemy that a human can have on this earth. I do not expect any fair treatment from my enemy. I do not expect that he will simply allow me to cause a damage to his kingdom and live happily ever after in his kingdom here on earth. I have counted my cost. Everything in my life is at stake. I know that the enemy continually demands, either directly or indirectly, from my Father to allow him, the devil, to try me. And when such permission is granted, I know that the devil will stretch me beyond my limits. But I also know that God has promised that He will help me to overcome and endure. Jesus has never promised that He will exempt me from sufferings, but He promised that He will teach me to overcome and endure. I am determined to carry my cross daily to the end, overcome and endure. I am also determined to get a good reward in God’s kingdom. In my battles I cannot afford to step back — I do not have anywhere to step back — there is only moving forward.
- There is nothing more that can send shivers to the kingdom of Satan and to his army of demons than if the children of God continue pledging their allegiance to Master Jesus through constant thanksgiving for their every affliction, torment, humiliation and persecution from the enemy. God has given his disciples ample scripture to “count it all joy” when we suffer unjustly by Satan’s relentless attacks and bear up under it, because great will be our reward in heaven. (The devil constantly wants us to feel like God is cruel by not letting us have those rewards in this life and we must be careful to not get feeling too sorry for ourselves if everything seems to be going against us, otherwise it is something the devil can use to cause our zeal to be pleasing to God to diminish).
- Remember … this life is very short in light of eternity. Whatever suffering God allows during our few years on this earth, no matter how painful it is, it cannot be compared to the eternal weight of glory it is going to bring us. That is God’s Word! (See: 2 Cor. 4:17-18).
To those who feel betrayed by God
If you once were on fire for God, fervent in prayer and in Bible reading, but gradually have become bitter at God because of your problems and/or sufferings, the following writing is for you personally.
Since I have been where you are right now and I understand the emotional pain and depression which you are afflicted by, I would like to present to you a couple of steps that helped me to obtain freedom from the power of Satan.
My way to deliverance:
- God helped me to see that Jesus does not hate me and does not curse me.
I went to see the “Passion of the Christ”. By watching the sufferings of Christ I have realized that Christ did not hate me. Demons had convinced me that God hated me and cursed me and that Christ did not suffer a lot of physical and emotional pain. Their lie became firmly entrenched in my mind. I was tormented by this lie for two years. God through the movie broke the power of darkness in my mind; I saw that Jesus not only did not hate me, but also suffered greatly for me. This was my first and the most important step to my freedom.
- By reading born again testimonies I understood that I am not alone in my torments and sufferings. Before coming to Christ, many people underwent much more pain and sufferings than I have ever experienced.
In the beginning of my deliverance process, the demons so firmly controlled my mind that I could not understand the Bible and I could not stand hearing or reading the Word of God. Yet, I was interested in finding out whether there were Christians who encountered similar struggles to mine. While doing a Google search, God led me to the Precious Testimonies website (www.precious-testimonies.com) . When reading the testimonies, God broke another lie of the enemy that was also firmly entrenched in my mind: I realized that I was NOT alone in my troubles, as I used to believe; many suffered far more greatly from Satan. In the testimonies I also was able to see how Satan destroyed the lives of others and how Jesus Christ set free ransacked lives and gave people freedom and new life.
Truly “they (Christians) OVERCAME him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and BY THE WORD OF THEIR TESTIMONY; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Rev 12:11)
After my repentance I decided to commit my entire life to Christ. I signed my first covenant with God in which I gave up to God all my earthly dreams, my desires and hopes. I gave up to God all my rights to decide whether I would have a career or not and whether I would be married or not. In my covenant I committed to serve God regardless of whether I am single or married or whether I have my career or not.
While studying the Scriptures after my conversion, I have realized that the main reason I shipwrecked my faith was that I was never taught the sound doctrine of Jesus Christ. In the first century, Christians were tortured and died for Christ and DID NOT deny Christ. I simply did not get my selfish desires fulfilled and I rejected Christ!!! Do you think that made Satan and his demons happy?
In the first century, Christians were taught the doctrine of Jesus about enduring suffering and persecutions for Christ. I was never taught or ever heard about counting my cost of following Christ. I have never heard that I had to endure sufferings for Jesus or that I had to deny myself, take up my cross and follow Christ. I had never heard or been taught that I had to give up my selfishness in order to follow Jesus (let alone learn how to discern what selfishness really is!)
Instead, in Christian books I learned the teachings of demons about God wanting to fulfill all desires of my heart. Somehow I must have missed the Chapter in those books that warned me that God most likely will not grant me the desires of my heart if they are selfish desires and not a part of God’s will for my life. It was only my fault that I believed the teachings of demons. I did not do what God commanded me in His Word. I did not test every spirit against the Word of God and I did not watch out for false prophets and false teachers; as a result, I believed many doctrines of demons.
It was my own fault that I believed everything I read in the Christian books I read. And when Jesus did not fulfill the earthly desires of my heart and when the troubles came in my life as Jesus promised in John 16:13, I did not know how to endure and I finally collapsed.
The ultimate purpose of teachings of demons is to deceive the elect and to cause shipwreck of their faith.
Here are teachings of demons I believed. These doctrines of Satan are prevalent in many churches, books, tapes and CD’s and the Internet:
1) “That God wants to prosper you materialistically and that ‘being content with what you have’ (See: 1 Tim 6:8 & Heb. 13:5) means never settling for less than million-dollar contentment.”
2) “That God wants to grant you every desire of your heart, and His perfect will is to answer every prayer you pray – answering it just the way you expect Him to.” (In other words, selfishness need not be taken into account).
3) “That Satan was totally destroyed at the Cross, and that the devil is powerless over the lives of Christians, so don’t even waste one minute of your time thinking about the devil anymore. Otherwise, you just give him glory that is due Jesus.”
4) Satan is chained and cannot touch and harm Christians — Satan can only bluff. The time of Job has passed, because Jesus defeated Satan on the cross, hence Satan cannot accuse Christians before God. Satan also cannot take anything away from Christians.
5) You do not need to suffer for Christ. Persecutions are not valid for Christians anymore.
6) God always wants you to be physically healed without any other issues taken into consideration. What if God wants to take that sick person home to heaven? What if God wants to teach that sick person something they would not learn any other way, such as learning to glorify God in their infirmity? What about people who take communion without properly judging themselves? Scripture says that people can get sick and die young for not properly judging themselves. (See: 1 Corinthians 11:29-31). In seems to me that wisdom would have us view physical healing much like the issue of sin. We know God wants all sin to be removed from planet earth, but that is not going to happen until sometime in the future. Though we’re on safe ground to believe that healing of all kind/s certainly is in the atonement for God’s people, we must be very wise to not let the devil shipwreck our faith as we seek God for healing … especially if the healing doesn’t come this side of heaven.
7) Never say, “Nevertheless, not my will but God’s will be done in my life,” if you did not get something you desired from God. “You do not know God’s will for your life, hence, you simply need to ask more persistently for God to do for you what you want.”
There are many more — much more subtle doctrines of demons being taught. You MUST NEVER believe everything you hear at church or read in Christian books before testing whether the teaching is consistent with the whole New Testament counsel of the Word of God (as well as Old Testament principles, precepts and commandments that does not contradict New Covenant revelation of truth, but only supports it). How do you do that? The devil delights in taking one or two words in scripture that is questionable in it’s application and making it say something that God may never intended for it to say or communicate. Let scripture interpret scripture whenever possible. Let duplication of scriptural thought confirm itself to form solid beliefs. Solitary phraseology of a word or two (or maybe three or four) in our modern-day translations of the Bible are not to be assumed to necessarily adequately capture the intended meaning documented in the original Hebrew or Greek. Words, and how those words are communicated, can change from culture to culture over time. The Holy Spirit will make certain what is important to believe and what isn’t from Scripture to be pleasing to God the Father if we’ll be humble enough to admit we might be wrong about what we believe about certain “grey areas” in the Bible.
Yet in our endeavors to understand and properly apply God’s Word, we must never lose sight of the fact that it is the only trusted source God has given humanity to know God’s will. God’s Word is God’s will. God’s will is clearly made known in His Word. We are without excuse in saying we can not know God’s clearly revealed will to us, (or guidelines for seeking God’s will for our lives on a personal level), if we are ignorant of God’s Word.
Probably the best document one can benefit greatly from in learning how to safely and wisely learn what to believe about God’s Word can be found by clicking: Here
Remember – in affluent societies, doctrines of demons seldom teach you that you MUST SUFFER FOR CHRIST, MUST RESIST SATAN and MUST DENY YOURSELF, TAKE UP YOUR CROSS and FOLLOW CHRIST. Where material wealth is reasonably abundant, most all doctrines of demons are very comfortable to our flesh – they are almost always about what God can do for us and never what we are to do to PLEASE God.
Satan’s doctrines almost always feed our fleshly, selfish desires; seeks to pervert the accurate meaning and application of the Word of God; seeks to discredit the accuracy and authenticity of God’s Word; seeks to strip God of the glory He is due; seeks to deceive and tempt people to hate God when it should be the devil they should be hating.
Satan wants people to believe hell is not real so there will never be any Godly fear to turn from their wicked, sinful ways — demons do not exist or at least have any power over truly born again believers anyway, because that way Christians won’t seek God for what part they should be playing in helping combat demonic involvement on this planet and in the lives of loved ones. The list of Satan’s deception keeps going and going …
Satan has tried, and will stop at nothing to keep trying, to keep people from realizing that God’s Word is the only absolute moral authority in written form that God endorses and empowers.
This is God’s commandment: That you test all the teachings you hear at church or read in books or on the Internet and watch out for false prophets and false teachers. If you aren’t well read in the New Testament Bible yet, go to several different trusted Protestant Bible scholars before forming any solid belief/s. Any reputable Christian bookstore can recommend some. If you don’t have access to a bookstore, click onto this website and inquire of them. They are a trusted source to point you in the right direction: http://www.gospelcom.net
1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Philippians 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation!
Remember – the doctrines of demons are very effective in destroying Christians should you believe them and practice them. The doctrines of demons will make you either ineffective for Jesus’ kingdom and send you in pursuit of your selfishness or they will lead you to collapse of your faith.
Satan is dead serious about waging the war against followers of Christ. ONLY those who abide in the sound doctrine of Christ will be able to survive the fierce attacks of the enemy and receive the “crown of life” from God.
You must ask God to teach you how to discern between the lie and the truth. Remember you can NEVER outwit Satan’s lie by your own power, ONLY in the power of Jesus will you be able to detect the lie of the enemy.
I encourage you to study the Scriptures diligently, every day. God is the BEST teacher. Not a single book or sermon can substitute God’s direct guidance and teachings. God desires for His children to know the truth and exercises their senses to discern between good and evil as it is said in Hebrews 5:14.
I am not the only victim of Satan’s lie; there are many that are going through similar troubles I went through. It is only because of God’s great mercy and grace that He drew me back to Him and delivered me from the power of Satan.
May God use my testimony for spreading the Kingdom of Jesus and for destruction of the kingdom of Satan.
If you are going through such torment from demonic forces please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I am available to pray and fast for you.