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   Charles H. Kraft¹ recommends that serious Christians start off each day by saying a simple prayer like this one:

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   “In the name of Jesus, I claim protection from any enemy spirits that seek to harm or harass me or my family today. I forbid them to affect me or my family spiritually, emotionally, physically, or in any other way.”

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For more use the DOOR.  

 

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[MORE]

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   Let me begin with a biographical comment:  Dr. Charles H. Kraft has been a missionary in Nigeria, a professor of anthropology on graduate and undergraduate levels at Michigan State and the University of California where he was a specialist in African languages, in particular “Hausa” (the trade language of northern Africa, similar in function to Swahili in eastern and southern Africa). Also, for three decades he was a professor at Fuller Seminary. In A Dozen Seconds tradition, here are 12 more general facts about Dr. Kraft, Kraft’s book, demon possession, and the Bible.

   (1)  Dr. Kraft identifies himself as an Evangelical Christian.

   (2)  Kraft declares he’s delivered about 2000 persons from demonic power, mostly Christians. (A typical, planned one-on-one confrontation with a demon-controled person requires 2 hours, the first hour largely dealing with emotional problem identification and healing.)

   (3)  As to whether Christians can be “demon possessed (commonly denied by evangelicals) he says this (and I’m paraphrasing):  The term demon possession actually is nowhere used in the Bible. The question may be semantic. Perhaps, as in some translations, “possessed” might better be expressed as having a “controlling influence.” In particular, a Christian who has the Holy Spirit living in him need not worry about the devil or a demon forcing its way “inside” and forcing the Holy Spirit out. This, of course, is hard to express. Nevertheless, it’s been shown that demons can torment and affect a Christian’s behavior. (If this sounds confusing, consider the following numbered points.)

   (4)  Many persons with demonic issues believed in Jesus, or had family and friends who trusted in Jesus.

   (5)  Christians who harbor and wallow in sin have “garbage” (Kraft’s term) inside them that attract demons or “rats” (again, Kraft’s term) that can enter the person and feed on the garbage.

   (6)  Sometimes what attracts demons is not apparent and may come from family, ancestral curses, regional, or cosmic sources. The main focus, says Kraft, should be upon “ground-level demons” (his term) which were those that Jesus usually–but not always–confronted.

   (7)  Consider the middle road. Confronting demons and confronting “ordinary” psychological illnesses are often related. Helping a person deal with basically a psychological problem (for example, ferreting out, understanding, and dealing with abuse, insecurity, and deeply felt fears and anxieties, etc.) gets rid of damaging behavior or “garbage” which weakens a demon’s power. Less garbage, less power of the demon. Psychological knowledge is not viewed as an enemy of Christian healing. In Kraft’s experience, the practice of good psychology can relieve a person’s problem or problems. Casting out a demon that might be at work in a “natural” illness can often remove the problem forever.

   (8)  These demons, which are actual evil spirits, sent directly or indirectly by Satan, can be cast out by ordinary Christians, who automatically have such power and authority from Jesus.

    (9)  Most exorcisms now, according to Kraft, as in the New Testament, are/were quiet nonspectacular events. When psychological (connected with spiritual) problems are ignored, demonic resistance is much stronger.

   (10)  Often more than one or many demons may be at work in a troubled person’s life.

   (11)  Not every problem involves demonic activity, but more problems do than most people realize.

   (12)  Demonic power is not to be trifled with or taken lightly, but it can’t “take over” or “get” you without your permission.

                    ["12" is enough for us here…]

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   If you’ve read this far, you should have many questions we haven’t addressed. Christians, of course, believe some pretty amazing things: Jesus rising from the dead is at the head of the list. What the Bible says about demons is not something to be swept under the Western rug, which often denies spiritual reality of any kind. Or, if it exists at all, its’s “over there” in third world countries. Much has been recently written about this. Be careful of what you read and who’s doing the writing.

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   ¹ Charles H. Kraft, The Evangelical’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare (Chosen, Baker Pub., 2015). This is the best, up-to-date discussion of demonic activity that I’ve seen. This 286-page paperback with four pages of sources I recommend. Kraft has also written other similar books that traces his personal history of this in the United States as well as Africa. I also recommend his low-key (slow-starting) 5-part Australian You-tube lectures (maybe 2 hours altogether) and information on Wiki-pedia. I also recommend John Nevius’s classic Demon Possession written in 1894 and republished by Kregel (Grand Rapids) in 1982. According to Nevius, at first a liberal Presbyterian missionary who started his 40-year ministry in China in 1854, “I brought with me to China a strong conviction that a belief in demons, and communications with spiritual beings, belongs to a barbarous and superstitious age, and at present can consist only with mental weakness and want of culture.” That was soon to change, and it eventually led to an exhaustive collection and analysis of stories from around the world involving, according to the Bible, what was clearly demonic. If you read either, or both, books you’ll never look at the New Testament quite the same way again.