This article is from our friend, Michael Brown. We highly recommend his website, www.spiritdaily.com
As author Paul Thigpen says in a new manual on spiritual warfare, just released, "No matter who you are -- whether or not you know it -- you have a mortal enemy who wants to destroy you, not just in this life, but in the next. It's a spiritual war with crucial consequences in your everyday life. And the outcome of that war will determine your eternal destiny."
Heavy words, but true ones.
The first rule of such warfare, he emphasizes to us, is knowing your enemy. You can't fight something or someone you can't identify! Worse yet, you can easily become a casualty in this "war" without even knowing why, without knowing something caused the issue (the misfortune, the accident, the illness) -- if you don't recognize forces of darkness operating in your life.
Thus this book!
How do we know there are demons?
How do we know -- asks Dr. Thigpen -- that an entity called Satan really is out there, leading a charge against us -- against Christ, against God, against Heaven?
Through easy logic.
"Consider first the accumulated evidence of confirming testimony," this astute author points out.
"Throughout all history, peoples of vastly different cultures around the globe have affirmed the reality of evil spirits -- even when they have disagreed about most other spiritual realities. Many of our contemporaries as well, who by any reasonable standard are intelligent and in their right mind, have testified to having encounters with demonic powers."
Christians. Jews. Muslims. Hindus. Buddhists. Native Americans. Ancient pagans. All have been witness to a force that, as Pope Paul VI said, is both "disturbed and disturbing."
All our Supreme Pontiffs have acknowledged operations of the "evil one" -- who is vastly more clever than the greatest human "intellects." How often we forget that Jesus said He came into the world expressly to break -- to destroy -- the works of the devil!
Yes, Dr. Thigpen points out, in Manual for Spiritual Warfare, there is mental illness. Yes, there is also superstition. Many ascribe claims of the demonic to such.
"But these misguided ideas about the devil don't in themselves prove he doesn't exist, just as age-old beliefs about a flat earth don't prove that our planet doesn't exist," says Thigpen.
"Skeptics may demand 'scientific' evidence. But what kind of relevant evidence would scientists be capable of measuring? The natural sciences measure time, matter, energy, and motion; the social sciences analyze human behavior. Demons have no physical bodies, and they aren't human. We can't put them in test tubes or subject them to psychoanalysis."
No doubt, some mental illnesses have been attributed to demons instead of a psychiatric disorder, when such a disorder is the explanation. But also there is no doubt that many cases of demonic infestation, oppression, or possession (see: "multiple personality disorder") have been inaccurately labeled as mental illness -- and thus the person continues to suffer, often in an asylum, or is driven to suicide.
Jesus Himself referred to demons any number of times, and while skeptics try to explain (even in our seminaries) that He was simply working within the "superstitious" belief system of olden times (before we were "smart" enough to invent psychology), one can ask the skeptic: what psychiatric illness or physical disorder (for demons also cause sickness) can leave a human and take possession of animals instead?
"You can't cast a medical disorder out of a man into a pig," says the author, in this nicely appointed manual, complete with cloth ribbon, before going on into more in-depth discussion covering how the early Church spoke of evil spirits, papal documents to do with the devil, what saints have said, how demons affect us, what names they have had, what weapons and armor we have, how saints help us in the combat, along with many prayers, devotions, and hymns for that battle: litanies, deliverance recitations, meditations.
Something to keep at bedside -- as a reference and tool, a piece of armor, and an affirmation that in believing -- in knowing -- that demons exist, you're not alone.
There's a whole army -- armed by Christ -- out there with and for you.
Love and Blessings, Wendy C.
"Healing Mind, Body & Soul"
[Footnote example of part of a prayer: "I bind to myself today the virtue of the love of the seraphim, in the obedience of angels, in the hope of resurrection unto reward, in prayers of patriarchs, in predictions of prophets, in preaching of apostles, in faith of confessors, in purity of holy virgins, in deeds of righteous men.
"I bind myself today to the power of Heaven, to God's Power to guide me, God's Might to uphold me, God's Wisdom to teach me, God's Eye to watch over me, God's Ear to hear me, God's Word to give me speech, God's Hand to guide me, God's Way to lie before me, God's Host to secure me, against the snares of demons, against the seduction of vices, against the lusts of nature, against everyone who intends injury to me, whether far or near, whether many or few."]
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