Assignments From Satan
Does the Devil come to church?
At least not in most churches across North America who are meeting behind stained glass windows and are not having much effect in tearing down the kingdom of darkness within their communities.
He is more than content to leave them be in their ineffectiveness.
Now before you assume that when this happens it is always a negative thing, let me give you two examples of demoniacs manifesting while the gospel is being proclaimed.
The first one is right after Jesus taught His first sermon and proclaimed that the oppressed will go free.
Luke 4:31 – 35
31 Then Jesus went to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught there in the synagogue every Sabbath day. 32 There, too, the people were amazed at his teaching, for he spoke with authority. 33 Once when he was in the synagogue, a man possessed by a demon – an evil spirit – began shouting at Jesus, 34 “Go away! Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!” 35 Jesus cut him short. “Be quiet! Come out of the man,” he ordered. At that, the demon threw the man to the floor as the crowd watched; then it came out of him without hurting him further.
In this situation, the demoniac was there so that the man who was under the Devil’s control could be set free. This person was there so that the kingdom of God would be demonstrated in power and so that people would believe. It was orchestrated by God. Notice in the following verses.
36 Amazed, the people exclaimed, “What authority and power this man’s words possess! Even evil spirits obey him, and they flee at his command!” 37 The news about Jesus spread through every village in the entire region.
So in this case, the demoniac showed up so that they could be delivered and so people would see the power of God in action.
We need to remember that people who are being influenced, oppressed, or who are possessed by the Devil are people who need to be set free. They are not to be feared.
The second example is found in the book of Acts.
16 One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit that enabled her to tell the future. She earned a lot of money for her masters by telling fortunes. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.”
18 This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her.
Notice that they were headed to the place of prayer when they met this girl. She seemed to be proclaiming the truth.
However it took the focus off of spending time with God and put it upon her.
In this instance it was something that the Devil was trying to do to distract people and get their attention off of God.
The Devil wants all the attention he can get.
So in this instance, what was happening was not for the purposes of God but the purposes of Satan. However in both cases the demoniac was set free and the enemy of our souls was defeated.
Regardless if the person was sent there by God to be set free or they were sent there by the Devil to disrupt, the end result is that the kingdom of God is advanced and people who are in spiritual bondage are set free.
It is not a negative thing, it is a positive thing.
How To Deal With Demoniacs In Church
Recently we had a demoniac come to church.
In all honesty, we were caught off guard.
It is not that we do not know how to deal with those that are manifesting demonic influence. It was that we had not had this happen for a very long time and I was new to the church and so we had never discussed what to do.
People did not know their roles or what was the procedure I wanted followed.
So at least in part, the reason I am writing this is to give us a guideline for dealing with demoniacs in my church and hopefully some of you will use it for your own churches as well.
#1 LOOK FOR THE RELEASE OF THE GIFT OF DISCERNMENT.
When you are dealing with a demonically influenced person in your church you can expect that this gift will be given out.
In our case, as I walked into the sanctuary during worship service almost immediately I knew we were dealing with a demoniac in our midst.
People were worshiping and all of a sudden I heard someone belt out over the rest of the people and above the sound system words that were the same as the song, but out of step. They were louder than all the rest of us combined.
Now this could have been just an enthusiastic worshiper, but in my spirit it was discordant. It was not flowing, it was not following, it was not part of the group focus on Jesus, it was attempting to take control of the worship.
I leaned over to my wife and told her to start praying because we had a “religious spirit” in our midst.
Now I am not one to name demons. In fact, I see very little evidence in the scriptures that demons have names.
However, there are some ways that demons operate that make them easy to label. This is one of them. It is the example I shared earlier with you of the girl who was saying the right religious things but was operating from a demonic source.
I was not the only one to pick up on this right away. The Spirit of God fanned the gift of discernment out all across the body and within a short time, many people knew we had a demoniac in our midst.
So you can expect that if you truly have a devil that has shown up to church, the gift of discernment will be graciously spread out among the people.
#2 START THE PROCESS OF DEALING WITH THE DEMONIAC WITH INTERCESSION.
The first thing I did after realizing we were dealing with a demoniac was to get key leaders to start praying.
Usually you can take authority and control over a demoniac without ever needing to take it to a higher level by just praying and taking authority over the demonic spirit.
I have seen many people set free without ever needing to go to the next step. Prayer is effective and those who know how to pray in intercession and spiritual warfare can usually if not cast it out without a confrontation, can at least get it to quit manifesting and deal with setting the person free in a more private situation.
Remember that although you are dealing with a spiritual force of the enemy, you are also dealing with an individual. You never want to embarrass or humiliate a person if it is not absolutely necessary.
#3 IF NECESSARY HAVE SPIRITUALLY COMPETENT LEADERS QUIETLY CONFRONT THE SITUATION
If the situation is not quieting down and is in fact escalating and causing a disruption in the church service, then have key leaders who are spiritually competent and confident in their authority in Christ to quietly confront the situation.
You may be headed for a full blown deliverance situation and as such, you want to deal with it as gently and judiciously as possible.
You have to balance the needs of the general congregation vs. the needs of the individual. This may mean that they need to take the individual out of the sanctuary to personally deal with the situation.
Whatever you do, try to do it as quietly and peaceably as possible. Contain the situation before you try to set the person free. Make sure that prayer is always going on as this is happening.
#4 IF NECESSARY CONFRONT IT PUBLICLY
If things get out of hand and it gets to the point that there is fear or disruption of the congregation happening, then it is time to just confront it publicly.
The people in the church needs to know that the leadership is handling the problem. It will give them great peace and confidence to see that the leadership is not worried or uptight about dealing with a devil.
In our case, since we were caught off guard, and we did not have the people in place to deal with it quietly, it fell upon the worship leader to stop and deal with the situation. He did so with grace and authority.
The situation was dealt with and although the person did not get set free at that time, the demonic influence stopped manifesting.
You need to be prepared.
As the culture and spiritual climate of North America continues to decline and become more antagonistic to Christianity, there will be more demoniacs around. It is just the way things work.
So if your church is seeking a move of God. If your church is boldly moving forward in the proclamation of the Gospel. If your church is taking your community by the power of the Holy Spirit, then you will see more demoniacs in your church as well.
Be prepared and know what to do when the Devil shows up at church.