1. JESUS IS NOT “PART” OF MY LIFE!
Jesus IS my life. I will not give Him 10% of my
money, time or obedience. By His grace, I will lay
my life down at His feet and give Him 100%. I am not
2. I WILL WATCH MY WORDS.
Proverbs says that life and death is in the power of
the tongue. More people have been destroyed by
lying, criticism, judgementalism and gossip than by
any war. Before I speak, I will weigh my words, and
the consequences. I will pray, “Set a watch at my
lips, O Lord.”
3. I WILL VALUE SILENCE.
The more a person talks, the more it shows how
empty their heart is and how shallow their
relationship with God. I learn far more from listening
than from talking. I will listen to others – there are far
too few listeners. And with my Father, I will listen as
much as I pray. He wants to talk. I cannot expect
guidance or comfort, challenge or growth if I simply
hand God my wish list and walk away. The world is
too full of noise. I will remember that when God
spoke to Elijah, first there was a whirlwind, then a
fire, then an earthquake, but “The Lord was not in
them.” Then came a still, small voice. I cannot be
greatly used unless I take time to listen.
4. I WILL VALUE ALONENESS.
This is the loneliest generation in history. We are so
afraid of being alone that we will take any
friendship, date any person and go any place just to
make sure we aren’t alone. But I accept that
loneliness is a gift. It is God on the telephone. Even
if I have friends., even if I marry, there is still a
God-shaped loneliness which will never be
completely filled until I am with Him, but which
drives me to His heart while I am in exile here. I will
set apart time without TV, without radio or music,
without people and without hurrying, to just be with
Him, worshipping Him and loving Him. A great
leader once said he would not see the face of man in
the morning until he saw the face of God. By God’s
grace, this will be my goal as well.
5. ALL THAT MATTERS IS THAT WHICH IS ETERNAL.
I will set my affections on things above (the things
Jesus cares about -not success, money, power, etc.)
I am determined not to be counted among those who
have just enough of the world to be miserable with
Jesus, and just enough of Jesus to be miserable with
the world. I will count myself as a pilgrim and a
stranger in this world and strip myself of every
worldly entanglement I can, so I can please Him who
has called me to be a soldier.
I will not sacrifice eternal reward on the altar of
temporary pleasure. Knowing that the great tragedy
of judgment day will be what I could have been if I
had let Jesus really run my life, I will keep a daily
awareness that only those things I do for Jesus will
never be forgotten. Because I am away from my real
Home, wherever I find a true believer and share in
the fellowship of God’s love, they will be my home.
6. I WILL LET LIFE BREAK ME, NOT HARDEN ME.
Jesus said the rain falls on the just and the unjust. I
expect hard times, and I am determined to let no
circumstance make me bitter, or hardened to God, or
unwilling to love. In any trial, I will ask Jesus to let
it make me into a broken servant. Only when I am
broken, am I strong.
7. I WILL HAVE AN HONEST RELATIONSHIP WITH
Jesus said I must worship God in spirit AND in truth.
I will hold nothing back from God. I will yell,
scream, cry, laugh, tell the ugliest sin and the
deepest hurt to God without reservation or fear,
knowing He already knows what is in my heart. I will
eliminate all “thees and thous” and formal nonsense
from my prayers and simply talk to my Father as I
would to my friend. He is not frightened or offended
by my anger or my honesty, nor ashamed of my tears
and my wounds. I will hide NOTHING from Him, and
even when I have sinned, I will take it to Him right
8. I WILL ASK TO SEE AS JESUS SEES, AND HEAR AS
Knowing that “man sees the outward appearance but
God sees the heart”, this will be my goal as well. I
will judge no one by their dress, words or actions,
but will ask Jesus to show me their heart. A prophet
is one who “sees with seeing.” God, help me to see
as You do, hear as, You do and feel as You do, as
well as think as You do.
9. I WILL NEVER DENY IN DARKNESS WHAT I KNOW
TO BE TRUE IN THE LIGHT.
The truth of God’s love, Jesus’ power and my
purpose are easy to stand for when things go well. By
God’s grace, I will never deny these truths no matter
how much my personal fires and trials may seem to
say God does not love me, that Jesus cannot help
me or that I have no purpose. “Let God be true and
every man be a liar. Though my faith in these truths
be tested, I will spit in the devil’s face and tell him,
“Though He slay me, I will still serve Him.”
10. I WILL NEVER ASK WHY – I WILL ONLY ASK
I am not exempt from suffering or problems.
Therefore, when they come, I will not ask God, “Why
me?”, but ask Him what the trial is meant to
produce in me. “Why?” is a pointless question. But
“What for?” allows the Holy Spirit to use the
circumstance for my growth and guidance.
11. I WILL ACCEPT ROMANS 8:28 AND N0T CURSE
If I really believe that “God is at work in all things to
produce good”, then I accept that there are no
exceptions. Therefore my past, no matter how
painful, ugly or sinful, can be transformed into a
tool of compassion and forgiveness that the Father
can use to touch hurting people
12. IN THE HEALING OF MY WOUNDS, I WILL
NEVER GIVE UP.
I accept that hurts that took years to form may not
change overnight. There will be spiritual surgeries
and times of tears. I will not settle for a halfway
deliverance, but seek God’s face until my emotions
are fully healed and in God’s hands. A former
prisoner war once asked how he endured all the
years of imprisonment and still had hope. He
replied, “I never decorated my cell.” I will not
become comfortable with my wounds or the
sympathy my flesh seeks from them, and I will not
decorate my personal cell of pain, I will be free.
13. I WILL PLACE OBEDIENCE ABOVE ALL HUMAN
OPINIONS AND EXPECTATIONS.
Although I will listen to all criticism, receive and
weigh all counsel, I will
not allow anyone’s opinion to deflect me from
following Jesus and His will for me. I will always
play for the Coach and never for the crowds.
Knowing that popularity is not approval from God, I
will not allow man’s praise to feed my ego nor his
blame to defeat my spirit. Only Jesus’ opinion
14. I WOULD RATHER MY NAME BE KNOWN IN THE
CORRIDORS OF HELL – AND FEARED -THAN BE THE
MOST POPULAR, LOVED PERSON ON EARTH.
Knowing that God’s Kingdom and message is
advanced more by prayer and obedience than by
personality and persuasion, I am committed to
making sure demons know I mean business, not to
impressing the crowds.
15, I CHOOSE TO BE ALONE RATHER THAN
PARTICIPATE IN CHEAP, SHALLOW, EMPTY,
FLESH-BASED SOCIAL FELLOWSHIP MANY CALL
Paul said, “From now on we know no one after the
flesh, but after the Spirit.” I will not waste my time
socializing but find and addict myself to Christians
whose life is lived in the love of Jesus and His
16. I WILL SEEK TO BE VULNERABLE AND
TRANSPARENT COST WHAT IT MAY.
If Jesus lives in me, then I do not want people to
have to sort through the trash in my heart to see
Him., I will seek to be cleansed from all secret
sins, so that I am like a clear window through which
my Savior can be seen. I will not be afraid to share
my heart, my healing or my struggles, if that will
gain the trust of the wounded, so that I can take their
hand and place it in the Father’s healing hand.
17. D.L. MOODY SAID, “THE WORLD HAS YET TO
SEE WHAT GOD CAN DO IN AND THROUGH THE
PERSON THAT IS COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY
CONSECRATED TO HIM; AND BY GOD’S GRACE, I
WILL BE THAT MAN.”
By God’s grace, I too will be that man. I want no
other thing than for God to use my life as
completely and thoroughly as He can, and whatever
price I must pay to be that pure vessel, I will pay it
and not shrink back.
18. I WILL BE A “SAFE PLACE” FOR HURTING
The world is full of betrayal of trust and of innocence
destroyed. I realize, in the words of Floyd McClung,
that people don’t care how much I know until they
know how much I care. Therefore, I will seek to be a
trustworthy friend and a person who will not
condemn or turn back from anyone’s sins or
problems, but rather give them a place where they
can know the completeness of God’s acceptance
19. I WILL VALUE THE ONE OVER THE MANY.
Knowing that Jesus left the 99 to seek the one,
knowing that Jesus always took time for the one
person who needed Him, I will not prefer crowds to
the one life Jesus may give me to love and disciple.
20. I WILL NOT KEEP MY DISTANCE FROM PEOPLE
WHO ARE HURTING.
I will be willing to get my hands dirty and get into
the blood and guts of their lives to bring them to
Jesus’ arms, I will not be afraid to cry, for tears are
precious to God, and only an insecure and proud
man cannot and will not cry. Paul commanded that
we weep with those that weep, and I will ask God to
break my heart until my tears become powerful
intercession on behalf of the hurting soul. Knowing
that only a man afraid of himself will not show
gentleness, I seek to know God so deeply that I can
say, like David, “Your gentleness has made me
great.” Knowing that God longs to bring people to
him “with cords of human love” (Hosea) I ask God to
let me be the cords through which His love is
21. I WILL PASS ON THESE TRUTHS.
Jesus said to make disciples – followers of Him.
Knowing that Jesus has given me, through spiritual
parents, a great legacy, I will seek to instill that
legacy into all those He gives me to raise up. Then,
I will teach them how to pass it on to those they are
called to. I will never forget that God’s Kingdom is a
family and only grows as I am willing to lay down my
life to raise those He has given me to love for His
22. THE GREATEST THING IS LOVE.
Knowing that 1 Corinthians 13 is true, I will ask God
that love be the starting and ending of all I do, and
everything in between. God is love; may my life be
a vessel of that Love until He takes me Home.
Removing the Linchpin
Satan fears the Word of God. I’ve lived enough to see the power of the Word of God change lives, heal the sick, deliver from demons, mend broken hearts, and set people on fire with purpose and power.
I was recently “set” up in a phone interview I did innocently believing I was going to be asked about my law enforcement work. Instead, I was viciously attacked. At one point, they said, “You’re not law enforcement. You have no formal training. What right do you have to post what you do on the internet?” “Because it’s the truth”, I replied. “That’s YOUR truth!” they replied. I nearly laughed. I’d hit the crux of the matter. “Listen bubba”, I replied, “There’s no `my truth’ and `your truth’. A thing is either true or it’s not.”
If I said I was a poached egg, you would call a therapist. “But that’s MY truth!” No, that’s my DELUSION. Clearly I am not a poached egg (though I sometimes resemble one.)
Somehow, absolute truth has been completely lost in the modern lie of “relativism” – you know – that truth is subject to circumstances, social settings and personal feelings. One professor told a student, “There are no absolutes”, to which the wise student replied, “Are you absolutely sure?”
The degree in which relativism has infested the educational system and filled young minds full of junk is deeply disturbing. I can’t even have a rational conversation with most “educated” people. They get emotional and angry when presented with reason and facts that contradict their oft-repeated and little reasoned ten second sound bite opinions, finally ending the conversation with, “Well, that’s YOUR truth!” Which is the liberal version of “Nanny, nanny boo boo!”
Can you imagine, if, for example, driving laws were based on relativism?
– The lights are red, yellow, and green. If your truth says red means go, then go.
– The speed limit is only a suggested one. If it “feels right” to go 90 MPH in a school zone, follow your heart.
In other words, lawlessness and anarchy would rule the road, and it would be a slaughter, when “your truth” opposed “mine” and we met in a fatal crash of relativistic speed limit interpretations.
Can you imagine if scientists worked by that standard? We’d never have gotten to the moon. “it’s about a million miles…we think…but we only use the rule as a `general guideline’. The moon looks closer by eye, so we trust that more than some `absolute ruler.’”
Obviously we don’t conduct science OR road laws by relativism.
But we ARE told by the world to conduct our lives that way. Paul calls it “the Spirit of lawlessness.” It is the ageless satanic lie that says that you can become your own god.
Now that most of the world is under the influence of this lie, satan has now set his sites on the church. The church has always been most powerful when it has proclaimed the pure Word of God. Satan knows it is his biggest threat.
For hundreds of years, he’s been successful at weakening the church through petty doctrinal differences: methods of baptism, tongues, end-time disputes.
Now, he’s about to go for the jugular. He is seeking to completely destroy the standard of truth – the Word of God – in the house of God.
The Bible is the standard – the linchpin, so to speak – the foundation of truth by which we live. All else – relationships, righteousness, directions and destiny – hinge on it, our ability to stay true to it. God Himself set that linchpin – “Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in heaven.” (Ps. 119:89) “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” (Mt.24:35) And woe be to those who tamper with it!
But tampering they are, to their own destruction.
Two young people I love dearly attended the same Christian Bible school, where they were subjected to a book that contained a chapter that convincingly argued that the Bible really did NOT condemn homosexuality. Talk about confusing! You go to a Bible School to learn about the Bible, and they undermine the very thing they claim to stand for!
We used to joke about seminaries, calling them “cemeteries” and now I don’t think we were too far off the mark. I will be accused of being anti-intellectual, which is fine. I’ve got to tell you, I’ve rarely seen someone argued into the Kingdom of God. Even the great CS Lewis came to Jesus by a burst of spontaneous revelation riding his bike, not by argument. People come into the Kingdom, not by good ideas, but because God opens their hearts to truth. And yes, there is a place for reasoned argument, as Paul speaks to persuading people. But it always strikes me that although Festus said, “Paul, you almost persuade me to become a Christian”, we don’t know that he ever did.
But my concern isn’t just that we’re too intellectual. In fact, there are too many believers that “only believe” but haven’t a CLUE as to why! I always encourage kids to learn all they can, get all the facts and think sharp so they can “be ready to give an answer to every man for the hope that is within you.” (1 Pet. 3:15) Nevertheless, the rise of Christian intellectual elitism that is pervading many seminaries, Christian media and churches is a concern. I realize I am not a scholar. I can’t argue didactic points (or even tell you what didactic means) or give grand outlines. I’m just a truth-teller. And I expect the world to react negatively to what I say and write. But 90% of the assault I get comes from Christians who think I’m too subjective, too “experiential.” Or, too fundamental”. I get it from both ends. I stand in the middle and believe that experiencing God is totally compatible with 100% faith in the Scriptures. In fact it is only when these things become one dynamic that the Kingdom is truly manifest in power.
But given the option of being too “fundamental” or too “experiential,” based on the dangerous place I see a lot of Christians, I’ll take “fundamental.”
For many, that reads as “Pharisee.” But the Pharisee’s problem wasn’t that they believed the Scriptures; it’s that (a) they added a thousand laws and inferences not there, and (b) They did not grasp the TRUTH of the scriptures; “You search the scriptures, thinking you will find eternal life; but these are they that speak of Me.” (John 5:39)
In other words, they took the Word and tried to make it say what they WANTED it to say. You can’t do that.
I recently had a conversation concerning “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.” (2 Cor. 6:14) Someone had told a young person I know that it was referring to business deals, not marriage. (The logic of that, of course, is absurd – implying that God cares more about keeping our business dealings separate from unbelievers, but in the most spiritual human relationship of all – marriage – it doesn’t matter!) I sat in shock, as this young person said this man had been living with an unbeliever, and she later got saved. (Maybe she did. I pray so and rejoice if so.) The young man I spoke to asked if this guy was in trouble; after all, he was doing well, and was financially blessed, his wife got saved – didn’t that indicate God’s blessing?
First, I explained, his finances were irrelevant. Second, I said, he’s in more trouble than he knows. HE BELIEVES A LIE. Rather than take God’s Word at face value concerning not being unequally yoked, he said, “It doesn’t fit how I’m living. I’ve got to see it in a way so I can make it fit my lifestyle.” Peter spoke of those who “twist the scriptures, to their own destruction.” (2 Pet.3:16)
Worse – he was teaching kids the same thing! I would rather be living in abject sinful failure and proclaim, “I may be in sin, but the Word of God is still true”, than to gloss over the scriptures to cover up my violation of it. It’s about integrity to TRUTH.
Anytime we run into scriptures that speak in opposition to cultural sins or our personal ones – we choose to either receive the truth regardless, or we end up twisting what is there to make it support sin.
Never – NEVER – bend the Word of God to fit around your sins or lifestyle. Bend – and break – your own hardened sinful heart and conform to its truth. Fall on the rock and be broken, Jesus said, or it will fall on you and crush you to powder. (Mt. 21:44) “Is not my Word like a rock…like a hammer?” (Jer. 23:29)
If my EXPERIENCE contradicts the scriptures – my experience is wrong. Period. If my way of life contradicts it – my way of life must change. It’s that simple.
I recently read an article by a mother about keeping kids away from the occult. She agreed with all the scriptures against it. Then she explained how they read Harry Potter with their kids, explaining the GOOD, pointing out the bad. (Either make the tree good and its fruit goodf, Jesus said, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad – Matthew 12:33) She did the usual delusional justification of the difference between “real” magic and “fantasy magic.”
Then, in a stunning piece of advice, she tells parents to steer children away from things that were about talking to the dead, divination or spell-casting! She apparently was completely blind to the fact that Potter was FILLED with spell-casting, teachers who were divinators and the DEAD speaking through the living!
This is a perfect example of moving the linchpin even a little. She moved it just a hair – “Well, the scriptures are probably only condemning REAL magic, not fantasy magic…” The next thing you know, she’s so deceived, in one breath she can tell you to avoid occult practices, and in the next, promotes a story FULL of them – without a CLUE to the contradiction! Once you move the linchpin just a little, it’s just the beginning.
Someone told me, “I don’t accept a certain part of the Bible.” I said, “Well, then throw the whole thing in the trash and get it over with. Because if you can’t trust THAT part, why trust ANY of it? How do you know ANY of it is trustworthy if you just throw out what you don’t like?”
NO. Accept it ALL or accept NONE.
That doesn’t mean it’s all easy to understand. Far from it. Many times I feel like I did when I was a child, crying, yelling, staring at math problems and saying, “I DON’T GET IT!!!” How foolish to abandon math, because it does not always make sense to ME, therefore it must not be true. It’s my understanding that is lacking, not the material.
I play a frustrating computer game where you have to combine similar objects to get points. As the clock runs down, I can rarely find the combinations to keep the game running. But it’s THERE. On occasion, I just take a deep breath, relax, and tell myself, “You can find it. It’s right there somewhere.” And there it is. The game didn’t lie; I just couldn’t see what was there.
I’ve always approached the Word of God that way. If I’m confused or don’t get something, I say, “The answer is here. Show me, Father.” And He does. Sometimes the answer was right in front of me, not able to see it without the Holy Spirit’s help.
Math does not lie. It’s fundamental truth. The Word of God does not lie; it is fundamental truth. Change one math fundamental, you produce chaos. Change one little iota of scripture, then spiritual chaos will follow.
In a time when churches and even denominations are trying to remove the linchpin of the Scriptures to justify adultery, homosexuality, occultism, you name it, in a time when “new translations” are hip and seeker-friendly and the “Old” are being buried by them, it is imperative that men and women of God who guard that linchpin nail it in solid, guard it and TEACH it to this generation, who will be the guardians of the Word of God for the generation to come.
As an old preacher once said, “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” It’s just like that. Anything less is tampering with the Word of God, to our own destruction.
The subject of “deliverance” is a hot button topic for believers. What I will write will no doubt fly in the face of the conventional thoughts regarding demons and deliverance. I do not have all the answers, but I want to pass on what I do know, to those who may have ears to hear.
First, I want to make something very clear: I am NOT a “deliverance minister.” Youthfire is NOT a “deliverance ministry” at least not in the way most people have come to think of that term. I have and do deal with occult matters. I have been involved in casting out demons and praying over the demon oppressed. But I’ve also traveled to Indonesia, written books, painted a youth center, done evangelism, and even played Larry the Cucumber. (Do NOT call me for that job again!) I babysit a lot. But that doesn’t mean I am a babysitter by calling. Sometimes I wonder if there is a connection there. You know how it is: Babysit a few times, you get on a list and people assume you are available to do this all the time. And if you do a few deliverances…..
The reason I won’t be tagged as a deliverance ministry is the reason I am WARY of deliverance ministries by and large. Praying for demonized people is surely but only ONE PART of a much bigger calling all of us as believers should have. And once you are known for this, people will be sent to you or come to you in droves, and sometimes keep you from the full measure of ministry God wants you to do.
From that scenario, I have seen two things emerge: One, ministers get overwhelmed, caught up in the deliverance work and completely burn out. As one minister told me, “I never want to see another demonized person as long as I live.” Two, many (though not all) of those who hang out a shingle of “deliverance ministry” have been some of the scariest people I’ve ever seen. If you mean by deliverance the overall healing and setting free of a person, I believe in that. If it is strictly a “demon business”, I see no scripture for that. I have seen the fruit of many of such ministries, and it is chaos, convoluted scripture and messed up lives. I think you understand why I don’t want to be associated with that kind of ministry.
Is there a place for demonized people to get free? Absolutely, yes. It is in the church. Unfortunately, 99% of believers are too terrified of the demonic to do their job, and thus, God has raised up those who are willing. It becomes specialized when it is something we should all be willing to handle if the need arises. “In My Name you shall cast out devils.” (Mark 16:17).
There are two situations in which I will engage the demonic: One, when a demon manifests. Two, when I have been made aware of a situation, and have carefully prayed and gotten God’s go-ahead to become involved.
I believe the first situation is the most frequent and the most Biblical. Wherever Jesus went, demons manifested. They could not stand His presence. I truly believe if we are walking in the Power of God as a church and individuals, this will happen, and we must deal with it when it does.
The second situation is crucial for me. I must know in advance, if someone is brought to my attention, if and when I should engage. I need to be prayed up; I need to be prepared and be sure. Many have been trapped because of getting a reputation for doing deliverance, and before long they are completely overwhelmed. You need to understand that not all demonized people want to be free. And if they do not, they will make the rounds of pastors and ministries and their demons cause havoc.
Let me share, from my own experience over the years, a few essentials concerning deliverance.
We must set the rules and terms of engagement. Sometimes people manifest in church. (expect this to happen more as we approach a time of greater occult involvement in our culture.) We must determine by the Spirit whether to confront, deflect, or move the person into another part of the church to deal with it. A few years ago I was confronted with this situation. It was a large youth outreach at a church. I had just finished giving my testimony and was in the process of leading kids to know Jesus and dedicate their lives to His service, when an ungodly scream came from the congregation and someone fell out of the pew in a demonic fit. Conventional wisdom – as well as “instinct” – would say to deal with it right there – but instead the Spirit urged me to have the elders take the person out and into the prayer room to pray for her. It was crucial, because a moment of eternal consequences was attempted to be sabotaged and we could not allow it.
Sometimes demons are sent to be manifest to create fear, chaos and confusion. Do not let them set the battle. Each situation is different and requires a well-discerned action.
Choose your team carefully.
Deliverance prayer is not a free-for-all. It’s not a time for everyone to “give it a try.” It is a time for order, discipline and unity. Everyone on the team must come CLEANSED. Believe me, you don’t want to carry any sin uncleansed into a deliverance. I have seen and heard too many deliverances where uncleansed private sins get very publicly detailed and exposed by demons who use it to fail the deliverance. But what is CLEANSED is untouchable. Make sure every team member is spiritually strong, humble and ready for anything.
One person alone should be the “point man.” Everyone else should pray, support and follow that person’s lead. The worst situations I’ve seen are where there is no order at all and the person being prayed for is put through a round-robin of people all wanting to cast the demon out, or worse, everyone yelling at one. (Demons are not deaf. But they do love that kind of attention.) I don’t care who leads, but if I am called to lead, everyone else MUST follow that lead and back me up. If someone else leads, it is my responsibility to pray, back them up and only engage if called on to do so.
It is not for us to dialogue with demons. Part of their strategy, because they are desperate to maintain their dwelling in the person, is to engage you in conversation. Do not fall for it. If you begin to speak to them, they will twist you, intrigue you, lie to you and wear you out. Your ONLY communication should be the steady and unbending demand for their expulsion. NOTHING ELSE.
Whatever you think you’ve learned from the last deliverance, put it on the back burner. This is a whole new situation. You are dealing with demons that are older than you can fathom. God has NOT required you to match wits with them. You are only to expel them, not with methods or what you learned before or from some book, but with the pure power of God alone. Make sure your team is not made up of people who have their own ideas based on books or “deliverance manuals.” They will only cause division and chaos.
Recently, a well-meaning person who brought a woman with epilepsy cornered me to engage my help in casting demons out of her. I declined. He had already decided that epilepsy = possession. Such assumptions are dangerous and can result in terrible harm, and on rare occasions, even death. I cannot bide that. All epilepsy and sickness is not the result of possession. Multiple personality disorder is not the result of demons. (Though sometimes they may be demonized.) Schizophrenia (healable by God) is not demons but a quantifiable medical brain condition. I have even met occultists who were saved and were not possessed! (They did, however, need deliverance from oppression and occult ties of the past.) I have also witnessed, for example, a good church going lady who came to an outdoor rally I was speaking at and she began to
”preach” from Revelations right in the middle of my message – loudly, crazily, disrupting the whole evening – as demonized as anyone I’ve ever seen. We simply cannot afford to “assume” what we are dealing with. Assume NOTHING but that it is God’s intention to deliver the demon bound, and that we have been given the authority to do so. Perhaps terminology hangs us up too much. The Bible does not use the term possessed, but “demonized.” And demonization can be anything from oppressive headaches to full-blown takeover. Let’s not get too hung up over words here.
Having read numerous “deliverance manuals” I can pretty confidently recommend that you don’t bother with them. There IS no “formula” deliverance.
Know your authority.
“You” do not cast out the demons. It is JESUS IN YOU. They fear you not one whit. In fact they could crush you without God’s protection. Do not allow ONE OUNCE of arrogance, either in you or in your team, when you walk into that room. Let it be only, “It is JESUS who commands you to leave. It is HIS Name, HIS Blood and HIS Power that demands that you leave.” The minute you forget that it is only HIS authority they fear, you become like a uniformless, badge-less police officer in the middle of a gunfight trying to convince them to stop.
A few additional points:
– Do not fear either the devil or the demonic. Fear cuts those in need off from those who could set them free. It is the devil and demons who truly fear Jesus in US. Even a child who speaks the Name of Jesus cam make all hell tremble and every demon flee.
Do not become “interested” in knowing about the demonic realm. Except for Neil Anderson’s books, everything else I have read is either useless, wrong or dangerous – or all three. All you need in order to be able to accomplish the job is an intimate relationship with Jesus, a solid knowledge of the Word of God, humility and availability.
DO NOT tackle a situation alone. Always work with a team, and have plenty of prayer covering besides.
Treat deliverance as just one aspect of all Jesus has called us to do and to be.
There is little doubt that we are living in an age of unprecedented demon influence, which is resulting in vast numbers of demonized people. Be ready for anything. And do not be afraid. This is part of the church’s job, and we need to stop relegating it to a few because the majority are afraid and unprepared. Obeying Mark is for us all.
Dr. Gregory R Reid
Thank you for all of you who watched my interview with Frances and Friends on the 30th of August. Thank you to all of you who have been patient with being contacted, as well as negotiating this website, which is still in progress! If you missed the program, you can find it archived here:
Please note that we have several books available to purchase through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online outlets. They are:
Trojan Church – The New Age Infiltration of the Evangelical Church
A prophetic and systematic look at the dangers of occult infiltration in the modern church. A must in this day of deception and delusion before Jesus’ return.
A Cry in the Wilderness
A compilation of clear and direct prophetic and biblical articles
A True story of occult bondage and redemption
The Color of Pain
Sexual Abuse of Boys and how to prevent it
Treasure from the Master’s Heart
A Simple Devotional book
Nehemiah: Rebuilding the ruins
A Biblical look at the rebuilding of the temple, and the rebuilding of the church and lives by the power and love of God
Again, thank you for stopping by!
There are two kinds of time according to the Scriptures. One is Chronos, which is the linear, point-A-to-point-B time we experience as humans, and mark with clocks, calendars and dates.
The other is Kairos – God’s time. In very oversimplified terms, it’s God’s eternal invading and intersecting of our human Chronos time.
As believers, the measure of our brief lives will be the obedience we gave to God, and our responses to the Kairos moments, when His eternal plans and purposes and Voice intersected and interrupted our Chronos lives. What we do in those moments determines the value of the lives we’ve led, and the eternal reward and destiny we will have.
Jesus, in His 3 ½ years of ministry (and really, His whole life) walked in Kairos. People were constantly trying to pull him into Chronos living and Chronos activities. “Your time is always,” Jesus said. You want what you want, when you want it, how you want it. “Be our king! Show us a miracle! Prove you are the Messiah!”
When they saw a king to free them from Rome’s tyranny, Jesus saw the cross that was going to free us from the tyranny of sin. When they sought a miracle to prove he was the Messiah, He said the only miracle he was going to give them was three days dead and then Resurrection life.
He only did what He saw the Father doing. And while people paved a road for Him to be king, He followed a blood-soaked trail to be crucified. Man’s Chronos demanded of Jesus that their ideas of freedom from slavery under Rome be addressed. But Jesus walked ONLY in the Father’s Kairos, and from the beginning, He knew it would not be the road to success, but to DEATH.
You know, it’s only recently that it occurred to me that Satan was NOT pro-crucifixion. In fact, it was the devil who attempted to get Jesus to AVOID the cross by offering him kingship if he would only bow down to him…just once…come on, just a little Jesus, take the shortcut to Glory…take the easy way…
But Jesus knew that His PURPOSE was the cross. He came to DIE. And then to rise again.
That’s why when Jesus was rebuked by Peter (can you imagine the audacity?) saying, “You can’t go to Jerusalem to die! God forbid!” that Jesus didn’t say, “You’re right, of course. Thanks, Peter” but rather said, “GET BEHIND ME, SATAN!” Why? Because Satan didn’t WANT Jesus to be crucified! He KNEW something bad was coming for him, because Jesus was DELIBERATELY walking toward death on the cross!
I’m not saying Satan didn’t revel in Jesus’ torture and suffering and death, because he IS a sadistic monster that cannot HELP but feed on pain and bloodshed – but he did so likely in spite of his dread in knowing that Jesus CHOSE the cross – and that couldn’t be good news for Satan’s kingdom!
“Put away the sword,” Jesus said to Peter. “Don’t you know I could call down 12 legions of angels, if I wanted to be rescued? But this is how the scriptures will be fulfilled!”
“Now my soul is troubled,” Jesus said. “And what shall I say? `Father, save me from this hour’? BUT FOR THIS PURPOSE I CAME TO THIS HOUR. Father, glorify Your Name.” (John 12:26-28.
He came to die. That was God’s plan – and nothing could deter Him. Nothing did.
My spiritual mother once gave me a beautiful picture of God’s dealings. “Look at the back of a tapestry,” she said. “It’s all threads and knots and is not pretty and makes no sense. But turn it over. Look how beautiful it is on the other side! We’re living underneath God’s tapestry for our lives. Sometimes all we see is the ugly side and the things that make no sense. But HE is weaving a masterpiece of beauty in our lives, and one day, we will see it.”
God’s ways are higher than ours, His thoughts are higher. He sees the END. That is why trust and faith in His timing and His ways are so important to Him. We only see our needs, the things and people around us, the things of Chronos time. He sees it ALL. Faith asks that we trust Him, for all that we do not see – in all that we do not understand. And, faith asks that we give up the need to know. We always say, “Well, it will make sense later.” Sometimes, yes – sometimes, never. Not in this life, anyway. Amy Carmichael said, “The end will explain all things.” In this life, we may never understand the painful weavings, the sharp needle of a suffering, the snapping of a thread of relationship through circumstance or death. But we can know that though we may NOT know in this life the “purpose” of a thing, God has promised – Romans 8:28 – that He is at work in ALL things to produce good – if we trust Him.
When difficult things come, we are taught to fight, rebuke, bind, etc. And sometimes we should. But often difficulties are God’s tools to produce a greater thing. And it is HOW WE RESPOND in the difficult things that determine the value of that work of God in us.
Joshua was a young man who grew up under Moses and became one of his most valued right hand men. He served under him for many years. There may have been moments when he thought, “Moses is old. I’m watching my best years go by. I can probably lead the people as well as he does…” But rather than allow the discontent of human understanding and Chronos to motivate or even embitter him, he trusted God’s Kairos, and when the time came, he was ready, and prepared, and able to do all God asked of him. Had he let discontent and lack of trust move him, he may have tried a coup and ended up in the pit with the others who tried to rebel against Moses – and God’s ways and timing. He waited on God’s time. He was rewarded.
Elisha must have chafed under servanthood to Elijah. He left all he had – career, family and friends, to….wash Elijah’s hands. A woman’s job, by the way. You KNOW he was losing man- points for that when his old friends found out! But he stayed faithful, even though this was NOT what he expected. He trusted God – and His Kairos time. And when the time came – Elisha was given a DOUBLE PORTION of Elijah’s spirit, because he was faithful in the little things, even in the things that he didn’t understand.
Many of us sign on with God thinking, “I’ll get this, and that, and do this, and go there” and end up disappointed and hurt and even embittered because we didn’t get what we wanted or expected. We should have read the fine print of discipleship. It’s not an employment opportunity that we sign on for to get great benefits. It’s a draft notice where we sign our lives away to His service.
Yes, there are extraordinary benefits! But it’s not a negotiated contract. It’s a death warrant to our flesh, our old lives.
But oh, the glory of the surrendered life of trust! HIS choices, not mine. HIS will, HIS leading, HIS plan. The blessings of that road surpass anything we could have designed for ourselves.
I was going to be a politician. God said, “You’re going into MY service.” I was going to enroll in a local college. God said, “You’re going to Christ for the Nations in Dallas.”
I was going to be world-famous evangelist.
God said, “You will serve me in dark corners, forgotten places, bloody battlefields, and will live largely in obscurity.”
I was going to change the world for Jesus.
God said, “You will be used to change the hearts of lost and forgotten ones no one knows even exist.”
Has my life turned out like I wanted? Not even close. Would I have it different? Not for all the treasures, fame and acclaim the world could ever give.
Sometime after one of my big dreams was shattered – I had been set up to be exposed to the largest Christian radio audience in the world, then, without explanation, dropped …
…I found myself at a middle school church camp, signed up because a tiny church in New Mexico didn’t have a youth pastor and they needed someone to go with their kids…
Our cabin was the worst on the campground. Broken curfews, fights, kicked out of worship…making me wonder at first if God was punishing me for some unrepented-of sin or misdeed.
That is, until God interjected several other kids from other churches that had no room for them in their cabins, and they ended up in our cabin. And I fell in love. One had extreme asthma and I had to watch him to make sure he was ok and got his medication. One was a big kid, who, I was told, had something wrong with him – no one knew what – but if he was cornered or made fun of, he’d go violent…
…and one autistic boy of about 11 who connected with NOBODY.
One day, two kids brought Jimmy to me. “He had an `accident’, they told me, and left him with me. This poor boy had completely lost control of his bodily functions and was standing there covered and soaked in humiliation. He looked like he just had gone into another world to avoid the humiliation he was feeling – and who could blame him? I loved the kids who brought him to me and who did not shame him. I took him back to the cabin, got him to the shower, had him hand me his soiled clothes, helped him into clean clothes and sent him back to the others. I wept as I washed his dirty clothes. I felt a love and compassion for Jimmy so deep it broke my heart.
That night at worship, Jimmy came over, sat next to me, put his head in my lap and slept.
And I understood. “Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto Me.” I didn’t have to be Mega Christian. And, I no longer wanted to be. I wanted THIS. To be with the least, whom to God are the princes and princesses that are to be at the head of His banqueting table.
If I had said, “I don’t want to go, it’s beneath my ministry gifting,” think of what I would have lost. Notice I said what I would have lost, not Jimmy. Because the reality was, instead of leaving thinking, “God must love this boy a lot to send me to him from my busy anointed life,” I left broken, thinking, “God must really love me and trust me to ask me to serve one of His most loved children like this.”
Sometimes I think of Stephen, cut down in his adolescence by the murdering consent of Saul of Tarsus. He would not know the joys of a full life: a wife, children, career, dreams.
No, Stephen was picked to be a waiter. (Acts 6:8) But he didn’t need a big ministry or a public platform; God did wonders and signs through him in his common job – one we’re not trained to aspire to in modern Christian ministry. Notice how most prophecies are, “You’re going to be great! You’ll stand before kings! You’re going to be influential and wealthy!” Not, “God called you to be a waiter, and He’s going to do mighty things through your obedience in your daily job!”
Stephen trusted God’s Kairos time, and His career choice! And he obeyed. And when the moment came, he gave an epic sermon – an entire 53 verse chapter – and then was killed. But friends, even Jesus stood up to see this and welcome him Home! “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” Stephen proclaimed before he was stoned. Jesus – who SITS at the right hand of God – STOOD to receive this young hero as he gave up his life.
I promise you, he did not regret his choices. What to us might seem a human tragedy, was woven into heaven’s tapestry and was a glorious and eternal TRIUMPH!
I would rather labor and walk under circumstances that humanly make no sense, if I could have a STEPHEN MOMENT that would define all God has made me for – one brilliant comet streaking through the darkness of this sinful world, then gone – than to have all the earthly success in the world with no eternal definition of my life at the end.
Trust God’s eternal timing. Trust His ways. Never ask, “Why?” Always ask, “What for?” Not ONE THREAD of His dealings or our circumstance will be lost or useless – every one of them is going to make a beautiful tapestry of glory that will last for eternity.
My life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors,
He worketh steadily.
Oft times He weaveth sorrow,
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.
Not ’til the loom is silent
and the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
and explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
in the Weaver’s skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
in the pattern He has planned.
He knows, He loves, He cares,
nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
who leave the choice with Him.
Welcome to 2013! Obviously the Mayan calendar was much ado about nothing, and as usual, the media wags its tail and we blindly follow.
These times are some of the most treacherous I have witnessed for believers. The astonishing thing is, the closer we get to the fulfillment of all the biblical prophecies concerning the last days and the return of Jesus, the more “believers” in the evangelical Western church are abandoning the truth concerning eschatology and replacing it with a Brian McLaren-style “high hopes” theology that sees things getting BETTER and those that believe we are headed toward crisis of epic proportions as an obstacle to world peace. (The latest entry being Jonathan Welton and “Raptureless.”) Hard to swallow in light of the scriptures’ clear proclamations, but then, it’s also a fulfillment of the Word: ” knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:2-4)
We are experiencing an unprecedented time in which violence is once again filling the earth as in the days of Noah. We are experiencing a worldwide revival of Islam and all its attendant conflicts, wars and domination.
We are experiencing a complete shattering of biblical values and walls. From gay marriage to the acceptance of Mormonism as just another Christian denomination, we have come to a place where we are willing to bend to culture in order to “reach” culture, producing a church culture than has neither power nor message to change lives through the resurrection power of Jesus Christ by His Spirit.
I understand that the church in China is thriving, though. The Son rises on the east…even as it appears the sun is setting for the Western church.
So how then shall we live? In the light of the recent horrible calamities, mass murders of children and meltdown of all social boundaries, what should believers do? What believers have always done in crisis: focus on what matters, proclaiming the real Gospel of Jesus Christ, cost what it may. We have drifted for far too long, watching the deterioration of the spiritual fabric of the Western evangelical church, waiting to see what will happen. I know what will happen: In the last days there will be a falling away, and a deception so strong that if possible, even the elect will be deceived. Anyone who doubts we are there is clearly not paying any attention. The enemy of our souls has been downplayed and dismissed as mere folklore, and he is stronger now than he ever has been, because we are suffering from an absence of spiritual warriors who know what is at stake and know what to do.
This year will be a year for preparation both spiritually and physically. I urge everyone to do everything they can to get free of debt. And it wouldn’t hurt to have a few week’s supply of food and necessities. It’s not survivalist – it’s common sense, especially in the light of recent disasters our country has faced.
Spiritually, dig in. Make solid your commitment to the Word of God as God’s trustworthy and perfect word. Do not be deceived by the many unbiblical books and new “Bibles” that bear little resemblance to the original Word of God. Stand fast; be watchmen. Put your feet on solid ground, and do not be moved, neither by man nor circumstance.
I am neither a pessimist nor an optimist. I am merely doing what I have been called to do from the beginning – being a watchman and reporting what I see and hear.
He who has ears, let him hear.
In His Grace,
January 3, 2013
There are some Christians who are obsessed with the devil. Their lives are wrapped up in what he’s doing – not in what Jesus did. But frankly, they are in the minority. Most Christians I know don’t give satan a second thought. In fact, according to a Barna poll, the majority of people in the US who call themselves Christians do not believe in the devil or the Holy Spirit. It is to that I must speak.
I came to know Jesus by direct revelation. I was delivered from the world of the occult and demons because Jesus Himself appeared to me – or rather, He took me to Himself in heaven. I do not say that lightly – it is the absolute truth before God.
My battle to be free of demons was real. The confrontation to demand my full release was not a fantasy. And since that time nearly 32 years ago, that battle has continued in the lives God has brought to me to help deliver from their evil grip. They have made it clear, both in invisible action and visible confrontation, that if they could destroy me utterly, they would. They have tried, and only by God’s mercy, they have failed. But the battle has never ceased.
The Holy Spirit is a real Person. He has comforted and instructed me from the beginning. I dare not engage satanic forces without Jesus’ authority or the power of the Holy Spirit. After all, Jesus cast out demons – and commanded us to do the same.
We stand on the cusp of one of the greatest outpourings of demonic forces in history. And where does the church stand in this country? If the statistics are our indicator, then it appears we are powerless, denying that demons and the devil are even real – or if they are, so what? Just accentuate the positive.
Why should we be concerned? Because the occult is permeating everything around us: TV, movies, music, games, and education. Now, if you don’t believe in the Bible, or just the portions you like, you can stop reading now. But if you do believe in the whole Bible as God’s Word, then you understand that not only is all occult practice (little or big) forbidden, but also that the occult world is owned by demonic spirits, and that practicing the occult results in oppression and often demonization. That means that an increasing number of kids and adults who come to church have this influence. And we aren’t prepared to deal with it. Frankly, we don’t know how.
I have been fishing around the Internet lately in Christian “apologetic” groups. They seem to be made up of the same “like-minded” people who deny ritual abuse and the dangers of the occult, the same ones who have labored so diligently to silence the voices of those who sound the warning cry. Many of these people are the same ones who have, in effect, wiped out the playing field. With the exception of perhaps Neil Anderson, author of the Bondage Breakers, and a handful of tiny ministries, the standard that opposed occultism and its influence has been taken down and shredded. Call it a preemptive strike to ensure the church is powerless and helpless against what is coming.
I am not suggesting we should obsess over the devil. I certainly don’t. But ignore his plan at your own peril. (1 Peter 5:8)
It was common for the New Testament church and leaders to be confronted with demons and the occult. (Acts 8:18-24, Acts 14; 11-14, acts 16:16-18, etc.) Jesus said this would be part of our work. (Mark 16:17-18). If you truly live a Spirit-filled life, you will confront this. And if you minister to broken, addicted people, this may also be part of it.
Instead of equipping and preparing believers to do so, the new wave of Christian intellectuals and apologetic elitists are not only downplaying – sometimes even denying – the existence of the demonic kingdom, they are determined to minimize, criticize and dismiss anyone or anything that promotes the need for “spiritual warfare.”
If our battle, as Paul said, is not against flesh and blood, but against powers, principalities and spiritual wickedness in high places, (Eph. 6:12) then the war is not against philosophies, principles, and secular worldviews in high places. We are fighting an intelligent, invisible army. Even the Archangel Michael contended with their warlords. (Daniel 10:13) These real demons and princes of hell did not go away in the New Testament. They are firmly entrenched against us NOW.
And the tragedy is, their strategy has been to get believers to ignore them, deny their existence, dismiss their weapons and compromise our congregations with occultic cancers. And they have succeeded with barely a protest from the Christian world at large. Once the doors of compromise were opened through the media, music and literature and Christians stopped being concerned about Harry Potter, Halloween, Buffy, psychic hotlines and a host of other occult influences, we surrendered more territory than you can imagine. That’s why Wicca is the fastest growing religion among youth: We denied the seriousness of both occult powers and the need for God’s power in our lives, and the inherent recognition of the supernatural as real and needed by youth and in youth was dismissed – and a whole generation of kids began following the only options left to them – the occult, witchcraft and satanic practices.
In denying the reality of the devil and ignoring him, we’ve played into his hands perfectly. Because the devil, if you ignore him, will be as quiet as a church mouse. He won’t disturb your peace as long as you don’t disturb him. But if you once shine the light of truth on our compromises, you will see him as plain as day – and you will have his full attention. And you had better be armored to fight when you do.
Demonic armies are like spiritual “sleeper cells”- they are among us – hidden in our compromises, our false security and our powerless Christian walks. They avoid obvious “September 11” type strikes. All their poison is coated in honey. And they ridicule, along with those Christian intellectual elitists, anyone who says they are real, or try to expose them. We’re our own Tokyo Rose.
So what do we do? We must wake up adults and equip our youth and children. The greatest preparation we can give our kids is the Power of God and His Anointing to storm hell’s gates. We must teach them “not to be ignorant of satan’s devices”; we must give them basic bootcamp on the enemy’s ways. Then we must make them recognize the war for the lost and bound – that we are not called to be comfortable and happy, but each is called to the fight to redeem the lost.
We must make them know their purpose, and the Power of God to fulfill it. We must make them proactive, reactive, and scrappy little soldiers ready and willing to take the world on for Jesus and to defeat the “sleeper cells” of spiritual compromise in our midst and in the world.
We have a long way to go. To fail to try is to insure our defeat by default, and we will remain an emasculated and irrelevant social club rather than the mighty army God has called us to be.
Dr. Gregory Reid
Conspiracy: A combination of men for an evil purpose; an agreement, between two or more persons, to commit a crime in concert, as treason; a plot.
It has been a long and slippery road since my first involvement in investigating and researching occult crimes in 1987. Everything seemed very simplistic then, and we had no want of information, crimes or cases to work on.
I have learned some difficult lessons since then, lessons that are vital for anyone seeking to do this work in the new Millennium.
No one in this field expected the massive backlash that began in 1989. Certainly, there were nay sayers and critics of our work; but the work spoke for itself. Det. Larry Jones of Boise ID PD released several years of monthly newsletters documenting – carefully, I must add – real satanic crime and activities. This unique law enforcement & professional publication was unprecedented in its subject matter and unchallenged in its information – fair, constitutionally protective of religious rights, and objective – its only challenge came from those who felt ANY investigative work in this field was bigotry and hate mongering. After the FIle 18 Newsletter mailing list was accessed, and addressees were sent letters threatening lawsuits, monitoring, hexes, curses, etc. if we didn’t watch our step and get all our facts straight, it was apparent that this was a taste of things to come.
But we were not really prepared for it when it did come. Most of us, by 1990, were already overloaded and nearing burnout. When it did come, it came in a Tsunami of criticism, ridicule, threatened lawsuits, and a massive media blitz designed to convince John Q. Public that all the “hoopla” about satanic crime was simply hype, false memories, “satanic panic” and “village folklore.” Before it was over, few of us would survive with our mission intact.
Those of us who remain – as well as those who had to leave the fight – know that what we were facing was a real and serious crime subculture. Except for the one or two who later came to believe it was “much ado about nothing”, my recent conversations with many of the “old guard” indicate that there has been no change in the core belief that we were engaging a stealth, and deadly, cancer that in the end, simply evaded and outwitted us. And still does. But what hasn’t changed is the belief that the need for ongoing training, intelligence and investigation into dangerous occult-related groups and individuals is still crucial.
Because satanic crime has left the media spotlight doesn’t mean it has gone away. Rather, it has simply gone unreported – sometimes unrecognized – and unfortunately, when it IS recognized and reported, the skeptics are scrambled into position to say it’s not satanic before you can say “pentagram.”
I don’t presume to know the motive of those who are so quick to jump on these events to “prove” it has nothing to do with satanism. What I do know is that it has made our job increasingly difficult. Because I truly believe we have merely seen a public lull in these events (it seems to be cyclical in the way it surfaces in the public eye) I believe it is imperative that we learn from the last fifteen years, see where we misstepped, see the bigger picture, and regroup in order to be ready when the next wave comes. I would like to see – both for the “old guard” and the “new kids on the block” – our efforts become bulletproof – or, at least, harder to penetrate.
Where We Went Wrong
1. Lack of unified information and networking.
One of the huge snags in our work was lack of coordinated effort. Information is everything – and far too often, we found that we simply lacked the unified network to relay information in a timely and uniform manner. Unfortunately, part of this was due to the provincialism and protectionism of some departments that simply did not want to share their intel with other departments outside their jurisdiction. And when information got the attention of the FBI, generally it went right into the “informational black hole” of that department, where information is known for going in, and never being seen again. And this leads to a second semi-related problem we faced:
2. One man shows and one-upmanship.
Occult crime was a “hot topic” at one time. Unfortunately, a number of people in law enforcement, professional groups and religious settings grabbed up some general information, added their own spin and took their show on the road as “occult experts.” ( We should always be extremely cautious of ANYONE who calls themselves an “expert” in this field. Experts don’t bill themselves that way if they are credible, in my opinion.) Then, these same “experts” began to bad-mouth other investigators and researchers – mainly, anyone who wasn’t them. Over and over, good cases went sour because one of these “experts” decided to hogtie the case themselves, excluding good and valuable individuals that could have been of immeasurable help. In these kinds of crimes, cooperation with others with expertise and coordinated effort is critical. More than a few times, we failed to make that happen. Whether people did this because they were looking for a “career-making case” or simply because of raw ego, I don’t know. But there is no room in this work for those who have to be the “star of the show”.
Along that line, I became aware in the mid 1990’s that we were starting to engage in a weird kind of occult “show and tell” in after-conference hours. I personally was subtly disinvited to one such meeting, where several officers and experts spent the evening bartering for the best occult crime slides and paraphernalia. I realized we had begun to lose the thread. A friend of mine said, “There is no limit to what a man can achieve as long as he doesn’t care who gets the credit.” If we don’t go in with that attitude, we’ve lost before we’ve begun. It is, after all, “not about us” – but about innocent lives being destroyed. There’s no room for grandstanding in this work.
3. One-course experts.
Admittedly, many of us came into this work naive and learning. And we had to learn fast how wide and vast the field was, and be willing to adjust, change and clarify as we went along. However, a number of people attended one or two cult crime classes and took off like a bat out of purgatory, billing themselves as experts and ruining a lot of good opportunities in the process. An associate of mine and I joked recently that one of the earmarks of a one-course experts is if they speak about “SA-TONIC” crime. Or if they still refer to Metallica as a devil-worshiping rock group. I’m trying to make light of a very serious problem, and that problem is that skeptics and “the other side” are watching every word we say and every step we publicly make, and we cannot give them any room for discounting us because our information is flaky, half-researched or borrowed from others. I am constantly researching, deleting some outdated elements of my training, asking questions, and updating my information. This is crucial to being relevant, factual and helpful in an already difficult area of work. We owe it to our audiences and classes to be as close to the mark as we can on what we present.
Which leads me to one of the most common criticisms of what we do: As one writer said, “These ‘experts’ are using the same old ‘signs and symbols of the occult’ that were presented as ‘danger signs of satanic crime’ a decade ago.”
I admit to being one of these people. While I have updated a lot of the signs and symbols I present, most of them remain the same for the simple reason that classic occultism rarely changes its symbology. Some of the symbols we use date back for centuries, some several centuries. Their meaning does not change, and when they continue to be found on crime scenes, the symbols remain relevant and pertinent.
3. Rumors, incorrect information and bad intel.
We probably shot ourselves in the foot more in this area than in any other. I understood from the get-go that having verifiable information was absolutely crucial. And I cringed as I attended workshops where the most outlandish stories were being put forth as truth, and no one challenged them. There were rumors of Halloween blond-hair, blue eyed 13 year old virgin girls that were going to be sacrificed. There were rumors of the president of Procter & Gamble being a satanist and saying so on Geraldo or Oprah. And those were the less absurd rumors. But they caught like wildfire and wasted a lot of valuable time in debunking them with the facts.
In addition, it took us some time to get up to speed on all the facts concerning satanism, wicca, and occult crime. Some were, in the beginning, equating Wicca and satanism as one and the same. They are not. Satanism involves worshiping satan (unless you are a wannabe LaVey styler who claims to only worship themselves). Wiccans worship a pantheon of pagan gods and goddesses. True satan worshipers believe in, and practice, blood sacrifice of animals and humans. Most Wiccans, whose creed is “harm none” do not believe in nor support such activities. Regardless of what you think about the spiritual dimensions and harmfulness of either practice, the fact is, the differences between satanism and Wicca are vast, and it was a huge mistake for some not to recognize and define those differences, throwing them both into the same “criminal mix”. Live and learn -the hard way.
4. The Conspiracy and Paranoia trap.
Perhaps one of the most destructive elements that crept into our ranks in the early 1990’s was the “conspiracy network.” Simply defined, it was a network of people who claimed there was a vast, international conspiracy or powerful and organized satanists bent on world domination. From these ranks grew a frightening paranoia, which resulted in their own “black list” – people who claimed to be on “our side” but were really infiltrators, satanists in disguise, illuminati members.
I looked at each claim as it came up. (I don’t discard any information up front, no matter how outlandish, until I’ve thoroughly checked it out.) What I found was disturbing and unsettling. At a time when credibility was an absolute necessity, people and groups were traversing the country accusing good people I knew were trustworthy of being “one of them”, making claims that were patently false, and making us all look like alien-abductee wackos. The damage this has done is still being measured and felt.
Having said that, I want to allude back to the original definition of “Conspiracy” at the top of this article:
A combination of men for an evil purpose; an
agreement, between two or more persons, to commit a crime in concert, as treason; a plot.
There is no question in my mind that to some degree, according to the above definition, a conspiracy does exist in the satanic underground. Fourteen years of experience have shown over and over, that during some of the most serious investigations into satanic networks, bigger hands have come into play – to close a case – to threaten the investigators – to smear someone’s character – to make evidence disappear. That clearly speaks to a conspiracy at some level, in some places, among some people in places of authority. And why should this surprise us? Drug cartels are a “conspiracy” – buying off people, murdering those who try to get out, greasing the palms of politicians. We can believe that kind of conspiracy reaches into the higher echelons of society where money and power are the only real currency. We can even believe – as is evidenced by the recent Catholic church scandal – that a conspiracy to silence victims, reassign pedophile priests and deny any culpability was clearly in operation at the top ranks of the church. But when you speak of ‘satanic conspiracy”, everyone discounts it as ludicrous. Unfortunately, those of us who are veterans in this field see evidence of it all the time. How far reaching it is – how deep it goes into the court system, political arena and intelligence community – I cannot say. But I would be a fool to say it is not there. But one can’t uncover something of this nature by making outlandish, unproveable claims and calling them truth.
If we are to succeed in our work in the next wave, we must be careful who we align ourselves with. I have seen some good investigators get sidetracked in this muck and ruin the good work they have done – one of them is now pursuing UFO’s at Area 51. They have hurt us. Others have aligned themselves with Militia groups who claim the entire US government is part of the plot and not to be trusted. It is vital to get distance from them as well.
The work we do is so crucial, and so sensitive, that we can ill-afford to misstep, or fail to learn from our mistakes. Because, of this I am certain – organized satanic crime as well as random satanic acts of crime not only will not go away – but they never went away. We have lost ground but we need not lose the war. Live in the past, as the Russian proverb says, lose an eye – forget the past, lose both eyes. It is my hope that in learning from that past that we can be fully equipped to deal with the next wave of satanic crime when it comes. And come it will.
Gregory R Reid, DD
NOTE: This article was written several years ago. But since that time, there have been even more reasons to keep this article posted. Bob and Gretchen Passantino of Answers in Action, the co-architects of the Stratford/Warnke slaughter, continued to attempt to pursue and ruin Lauren Stratford. I had two conversations with them, which
were truly enlightening and in some ways sobering as I realized how completely unable to comprehend the depth of the hurt that they caused – and continue to cause. Most recently, it has come to my attention that these people, who have been absolutely unmerciful in their attempt to “expose the truth”, are now themselves under intense scrutiny, ironically, for misleading people as to their OWN credentials! Which begs the question: If people who claim to be defenders of the truth cannot be truthful themselves, does that not bring into question the truth – and the MOTIVE – behind the Stratford/Warnke articles? If you are interested, go to:
http://www.cultlink.com/ar/passan.htm for the full and ongoing story.
I’ve seen a lot in my 23 years as a Christian. Ministries have come and gone, mighty leaders have fallen.
The church has never been good at getting along. The Catholic church persecuted Luther, Luther persecuted the Swedes. So it has always been, even until recently when the Baptists denounced the Charismatics and the Charismatics attacked back.
In the 80’s, major authors such as Constance Cumbey, Dave Hunt and Texe Marrs went after New Age dangers, even inside the church. The result was one bloody counterattack after another. Was anything accomplished – really?
Now, a new wave of witch hunters is here. Only, they aren’t going after witches. They’re after Christians, but not just any Christians – they’re attacking Christians who have dared to expose the occult. Does that sound peculiar? It should. Their agenda is not to burn heretics at the stake, but to destroy careers, credibility and reputation with the seeming tenacity of a pit bull. Most disturbing, they have thus far gone totally unchallenged.
The Cornerstone Offensive
It began around 1990 with an extensive article written by Bob & Gretchen Passantino and Jon Trott in Cornerstone Magazine, the official publication of Jesus People USA, or JPUSA. It was a full scale, devastating attack on the testimony, character and ministry of Lauren Stratford, author of SATAN’S UNDERGROUND. The book was a detailed and deeply disturbing account of victimization by organized satanists and child abusers. It was followed up by a wonderfully healing book, “I KNOW YOU’RE HURTING”. Then, Cornerstone dropped the bomb with their written attack on Lauren Stratford.
I was in a difficult position. Since 1987, I have been a key figure in the battle against criminal satanic activity as a trainer and consultant for law enforcement agencies, probation departments, rehab hospitals and educators. In 6 years I have spoken to dozens of groups, including law enforcement academies, government agencies, drug agencies, homicide conventions and therapeutic professionals. In addition, I have worked first hand with teen devil worshipers, been to funerals of kids who were
caught up in satanic groups and were “sacrificed”, and most painful, I have worked first hand with the child victims of organized criminal groups operating under the guise of satanism. To me, and my associates, the existence of criminal satanism wasn’t speculation. It was fact. Along the way, I found Lauren Stratford’s book. Every word rang true. We began a correspondence. When I received Cornerstone’s expose, I was sickened. I had an obligation to read it objectively, because the church had been fooled before with false prophets like John Todd. I had to know the truth.
The article raised questions. Still, I knew the media well enough to know how quickly they can find “sources”, quote “insiders” and turn it into “truth” even though it isn’t, or at the least can’t be proven. Could I trust them? After all, Cornerstone was an established magazine that went back to the roots of the Jesus revival of the 70’s. Who hasn’t heard of “JPUSA” or their house band, “REZ”?
I stood back and prayed hard. I decided to talk with Lauren by phone. I did what 1 Corinthians 13 said: “Love believes all things”. In other words, regarding a brother or sister in Jesus, they ARE innocent until proven guilty, and I owed it to the truth to hear her side. I listened, I heard her reaction, her words, her heart.
Then, I reread the article. Many serious questions arose. Why did they pick Lauren? I was disturbed that the tone of the article was neither objective nor fair, but it was in truth degrading in a condescending way, and cruel. The artwork was especially disturbing. It was dark, demonic, little different than the bloody satanic drawings of teen satanists I had met. Why?
I wrote a response. I received no reply.
Time passed. I met Lauren, and she agreed to help my cousin and her kids who, unfortunately, had been touched firsthand by the awful nightmare of ritual abuse Cornerstone said didn’t exist. One thing I concluded: If Lauren was a phony, she was an absolute expert. She gave my family hope and love. She was kind, compassionate, loved Jesus and loved His Word. The Lauren Cornerstone wrote of and the one I knew were worlds apart. Something was very, very wrong.
At the very least, I couldn’t any longer support the idea that God was behind an expose that had in one move could so deeply wound a servant of our Lord Jesus like it had Lauren.
More time passed. My work put me right in the middle of a deluge of crimes committed in the name of satan, everything from murder to child rape to torture and everything in-between. I saw photos of a “sacrifice” of a woman and her 6 month old baby too brutal to describe, not done by a “crazy psycho” but by a well-respected professional deeply enmeshed in organized satanism. I held a 5 year old in my arms who had been brutally abused by adult satanists. I corresponded with an inmate who had murdered for satan at 15, but before that, at age 11, had been raped in an organized ritual conducted by adults, including military men. My file cabinets filled with documents. No one could see what I have seen and ever buy the pathetic lie that it’s all just “satanic panic”.
There They Go Again
Yet, to my shock, shortly after Lauren’s ordeal, Cornerstone was on the offensive again. They began printing articles to disprove the existence of satanic abuse and to write off victims as the product of overactive imaginations and therapists’ overzealousness. Then, the Passantinos began getting plenty of air and print time with groups like Christian Research Institute to continue their campaign of gross disinformation and ridicule of Lauren Stratford.
I was outraged. Knowing what I knew, it was the same to me as White Supremacists saying the Holocaust never took place. Worse, they did it in the name of “defending the faith”.
I wrote to the late Dr. Martin’s CRI director, Hank Hannegraff, with a carbon copy to the Passantinos. No reply came, nor a response to my offer to tell the other side. What was going on here?
Subsequently, Christian publications nationwide began printing similar attacks on the so-called “satanic panic”, all quoting the same “experts” – the Passantinos, Jon Trott, and unfortunately, the most often quoted, Ken Lanning of the FBI. He is the “expert” on satanic crime for the Behavioral Science department at the the FBI. Unfortunately, His mind appears to have been made up before he ever got into the arena that satanic crime was nonexistent. He has publicly stated that far more people have died in
the name of Christianity than satan. His agenda appears to be to disprove the real experts on satanism rather than investigate the possibility of the existence of a satanic criminal network.
I continued to pursue having these publications let our side be heard, without success.
The most disturbing aspect of this for me was that Christian authors and magazines were now parroting the same party line of denial that every occultist, every witchcraft group and every public satanist was proclaiming! They quoted the same experts, used the same weak arguments and blamed the same sources for the “satanic panic”. More, they too were seeking to discredit anyone who claimed satanism was a threat, just as the “other side” did!
The First Attack
Cornerstone had already dropped their bombs on Mike Warnke. I knew about it beforehand. I read it when it came out. I could only weep. It was like reading the National Enquirer. I wept for Mike, for his kids, for the thousands of kids he’d led to Jesus.
I also knew it was time to write this. Time has confirmed that, as I realized not one Christian publication was going to raise a voice to protest this practice of destroying people’s lives and ministries.
I’m not going to defend Mike. He’s in God’s hands now. I pray for him, and I love him. I know that “but for the grace of God, go I”. I thank God for him and for the lives he’s touched. But at issue here is not whether Mike sinned or lied or to what degree. The issue is why the attack came on him and Stratford and anyone who attempts to help victims of satanic abuse, and why no one was asking why.
Before I set out to ask those crucial questions, I need to bring into question the spiritual and scriptural qualifications of at least two of the players in this horrible conflagration, Bob and Gretchen Passantino, the architects of the Stratford attack and helping hand in many of the written and media denials of “satanic conspiracy”. Shortly after the Cornerstone article, the Passantinos released WHEN THE DEVIL DARES YOUR KIDS, a poorly researched attempt to downplay satanism written as a “help”
for parents and teens. It contains the following quote which to those of us who understand the true demonic nature of all occult practices can only be seen as an apologetic defense for the occult:
“…Most contemporary witches do not practice all of the occult arts denounced in the Bible and are understandably offended when well-meaning but misinformed Christians dismiss their beliefs with a few trite references to inapplicable scriptures….Contemporary witches are generally positive, gentle,
creative, and respectful of others and of nature. The contemporary witchcraft system…doesn’t encourage violence, destruction, criminal behavior, or divisiveness within families. Many witches are positive assets to their communities, responsible citizens, good employees, and devoted family members. The average teenager who dabbles with the goddess religion is at little risk for destructive occultism.” (Page 58) (Emphasis mine)
Now, you may think that’s misinformed, but relatively harmless. Not when you understand that it is the “white light” of occultism, crystals, Ouija boards, Tarot, etc. that is in fact more spiritually destructive to curious, vulnerable kids who can easily use this quote to justify their participation in “good, earth-centered magic”.
But, that’s not the worst of it. Imagine my shock when I received a pro-witchcraft publication with the following from a review of the Passantino’s book: “At last a Christian book on the occult I can recommend! The Passantinos have continued their fine work they showed when they researched the claims of Lauren Stratford…with this excellent work on young people and the occult…THANK YOU,
PASSANTINOS!”(From Cult Watch Response, Vol. 4 #1)
I have since received other pro-occult publications with similar endorsements for Cornerstone, the Passantinos and other Christian “cult apologists”. If this doesn’t disturb you, if it doesn’t make you question the validity of the expertise of the ones we have accepted as experts, then you simply don’t understand. To me, it is as disturbing as the pro-abortion lobby thanking Christians for not opposing abortion. Yet, these are the ones many consider the Christian source for the truth regarding satanism! If this doesn’t bother you, it really should.
Is it a coincidence that at the same time Cornerstone et.al. were printing their devastating articles here, a massive secular backlash was taking place far overseas in Great Britain in the wake of horrible ritual abuse cases which were almost identical to ones here? Says writer Rosie Waterhouse: “…there has never been a proven case of ritual abuse…the phenomenon was entirely the work of fundamentalist Christians who had imported bad research from the United States…” (The Making of Satanic Myth, published in Independent Sunday.) Like the Passantinos, Waterhouse was grossly misinformed. She continued, “There have been police investigations across the United States, in Canada, the Netherlands, and now in Britain. They have produced no evidence. No bodies, no covens, no underground tunnels, no animal carcasses, no bloodstains. Nothing.” Like the Passantinos, Waterhouse refused to speak to anyone whose views opposed her own. For the record, tunnels with pentagrams etched on the walls were indeed found beneath Nottingham, just as the children said, just as the Mc Martin children claimed and were later verified by former FBI expert Ted Gunderson. We must ask ourselves: Who stands to benefit most by the patent denial of the existence of criminal satanists? Certainly not the children whose future may depend on us being willing to act to investigate their claims.
1. Are these written attacks on Christian ministers and ministries right? Are they scriptural?
2. Why do the writers only go after former occult practitioners and victims?
3. Should we support those who are praised and supported by the occult world?
4. To whom are JPUSA, Cornerstone, the Passantinos, etc. accountable for such a monumental responsibility as taking down and publicly disgracing those they do?
5. How much money is being spent on such enormous investigative ventures?
6. Why are they totally unwilling to tell the other side?
I offer the following observations:
1. The Bible says, “Love covers a multitude of sins.” Cornerstone, et.al. have instead exposed people’s sins, not scripturally, but in the presence of the secular press hungry to find dirt on evangelicals. The only difference between what Cornerstone did and what the secular press did, is that Cornerstone paid for and did all the work for the secular press. That’s why Paul said not to go to court against a brother in a worldly court. It gives the world a reason to mock, and to reject our message.
2. Although they justify their attacks as “defending the truth”, it bears no resemblance to Biblical defense. Paul did not hire investigators to harass family members of heretics for an interview. He did not assassinate people’s character. And he did not go to the Jerusalem Post to air his allegations.
But, they may say, if their testimony is invalid, they need to be exposed! Not says Paul: “What, then? Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; in that I rejoice, and will rejoice.” (Philippians 1:18) Yes, Paul did name people – false prophets. There’s a time for that.
However, being false prophets is something not even Cornerstone dared accuse Stratford and Warnke of, because they are not. And, if a “false testimony” gains ground in the church, it merely shows our gross lack of discernment, and we shouldn’t need an expert to find out the truth. We need discernment, not tabloid exposes in the name of Jesus, and certainly not for public display.
3. The overwhelming support the occultists have offered Cornerstone and associates should in itself cause us to withdraw our endorsement. The scriptures are very clear about occult practices. Paul angered occult merchants because he exposed the demonic forces behind their practices. “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:11) Isn’t there something really wrong, when those attempting to expose occult lies are being destroyed by people
whom the occult community praises? The Passantinos uplift witches as “positive”, never confronting the demonic power behind witchcraft. Can you imagine the occultists actually thanking Paul? I don’t think so!!
4. Cornerstone and friends are welcome to attack anyone they wish. Unfortunately, if they claim to be defenders of the truth within the church, they should be willing to allow equal access to them, to be held to that same standard of truth they claim to uphold. However, they are inaccessible. JPUSA is a highly insulated, family run business and virtually immune from inquiry. Perhaps before anyone prints anything further of theirs, we should require an accounting of these matters.
5. If anyone takes even a cursory glance at the extensive interviewing done for the Stratford/Warnke articles, you can surmise that the cost for such ventures had to be enormous. We should ask (a) Out of which ministry account did these funds, used to dig up so much dirt, come from? After all, they went to incredible lengths to track down ex-wives, friends, family, court records, background searches and exact accounts of ministry incomes and divorce settlements. That kind of dirt is expensive. And (b), No
matter where the money came from, should we ever support anyone whose sole purpose seems to be publishing every bit of scandalous news they can find on a brother or sister in Christ, especially with the secular press watching?
(6) Regarding such a serious issue as satanism, and with so many credible law enforcement, probation, therapeutic, medical and educational professionals willing and equipped to tell the other side, why is the Christian media not giving them a fair hearing? Why?
A few closing thoughts. First, I’m not ready to believe Cornerstone and friends are closet satanists or witches. I grudgingly grant them sincere motives, however twisted, dangerous and misinformed their point of view. They are beyond question not experts on satanic crime. However, I will say that at the least they are unwitting pawns and spokesmen for occultists, and a great asset to those who worship satan and practice occult arts. It is too similar to the widespread support much of the German church
offered to Adolph Hitler before they knew the truth.
Secondly, we can never forget satan’s #1 job according to Revelation 12:10 is to accuse Christians. The expose of Warnke and the attempt to discredit Stratford, true or false smacks of the same smug pride and callous accusation that is so like satan, so unlike our Lord. Are these accusers willing to undergo the same humiliating public exposure of the intimate details of their lives, sins, weaknesses? Are any of us? God forgive them: To the words of our Lord, “Let he who is without sin cast the first
stone” came the whistle of a rock in the air with the names of Cornerstone and friends, landing with a sickening thud into the hearts of two of our own. Does that sound like Jesus to you?
Finally, we should not be afraid of the truth. Neither should we use it to terrorize others. We need to turn from the personality war to the facts. Is satanic crime real? If so, to what extent is it affecting our land? Some of the facts, as I’ve learned firsthand, are very real and very unpleasant. But we cannot fight a spiritual war without the facts. “My people perish for lack of knowledge”. (Hosea 4:6) The entire campaign against those seeking to expose the occult for what it is, seems nothing more than satan’s
attempt to focus on people rather than an issue demanding a serious Christian response.
God grant us the boldness to seek out the facts without fear. “…the honor of kings is to search out a matter”. (Proverbs 25:2a) If it proves no satanic criminal network exists, well, then at least we’ve thoroughly sought the truth. But if it indeed exists, if children are being tortured, raped and abused in the name of satan, if there truly is a threat and we choose to live in denial and only listen to unproven one course experts, then we stand guilty before God for refusing to hear the cries of the innocent.
For the record, Lauren is doing well. She remains a true – and trusted – friend. For the record, we should deal with these issues soon. Cornerstone has just released its latest attack on yet another servant of God.
Dr. Gregory R Reid