Feelings Of Evil
By Phil Scovell
I carefully watched the reports on television and listened to the
news broadcasts on the radio concerning the Virginia Tech school
shootings. I was no stranger to the emotions I new would be generated
since I experienced, as did everyone else in Denver, the shootings at
the Columbine High School. I also knew what this would mean to those
with whom I pray. They soon began to call. The murders scared them
and even made some feel like they wanted to murder as well. That
caused them to fear even more. Was this due to mental illness that
they suddenly wanted to kill? No, is the simple answer. Trying to
explain it in detail to most is impossible because they only can see
it from one viewpoint and that is generally the secular explanation.
So allow me to use myself as an example of how such feelings sometimes
occur even in the life of a Christian.
A couple of days after the school shootings, my youngest son, 24
years of age, was in my office. We began talking about the shootings.
My son is a registered gun owner and is getting his permit to carry a
concealed weapon as well. My son was just commenting on how senseless
and heartless the whole situation was and, as do we all, he was trying
to figure out how such a thing could even happen.
As we talked for a few minutes, from in front of me and to my
right, so at about the 2 o'clock position, I felt a malevolence
suddenly appear. No, I didn't see it because I am totally blind but
my emotions, and my spirit, felt his presence. The second the evil
spirit appeared, he crashed into me with his feelings of fear and
murder and destruction. Words came. "I would have used a silencer."
Then something felt as if it physically slammed into my body. The
anxiety of his presence shot off the scale. My chest flushed and my
stomach flip flopped. Raw fear gripped me and I felt it physically.
I want you to note several things. I am a Born Again Christian.
I am not living in sin of any kind. I am not mentally ill either.
Yet, I was demonically attacked. Was it real? Of course. No, I
wasn't having an anxiety attack or a panic attack but that's exactly
what it felt like when it occurred, not to mention, the thoughts, or
voice, that accompanied the attack. It lasted about three seconds.
Years ago, it would have lasted hours, if not days, and perhaps even
weeks, as the memory refreshed in my thoughts repetitively. Why?
Because back then, I believed the lie that I was flawed and something
was wrong with me. If people knew my thoughts, I believed, they would
think I was mentally ill. For that matter, when I was about thirteen
years old, I thought I was going to grow up and be the antichrist. No
fooling. Of course, I didn't tell anybody. You know why, too.
People already thought I was crazy and needed to see a psychiatrist,
at least this is what our Christian friends at church told my mom,
just because I was blind. Imagine what they would think if they heard
I was afraid I would grow up to be than antichrist.
I often tell the story of going to a psychologist at a mental
health facility many years ago. I went because I was having anxiety
and panic attacks, hearing voices, having nightmares, and was scared
out of my mind, as they say, from just the fear alone. The
psychologist said she was going to ask me some questions as she filled
out my forms. She let me know there were some questions that, based
upon how I answered, she would have to report to the authorities. For
example, "Do you have thoughts of suicide or doing bodily harm to
yourself or others? Do you want to kill anyone? Do you hear voices
telling you to do things of violence?" I quickly said no to all three
things. Why? Because to have tried explaining the psychodynamics of
demonics to this psychologist would have been, not only impossible,
but detrimental. She would, of course, due to her training,
immediately assumed I was crazy, mentally ill, and I likely would have
been placed in the hospital for observation, medication, and direct
psychological evaluation, and last, but not least, put on a suicide
watch. Let me return to the demonic attack to explain further.
I mentioned it lasted about three seconds. The reason? I almost
instantly became aware, by the Holy Spirit, that this was a demonic
attack. How did I know this? First, I knew I didn't want to kill
anyone. So when I heard the words in my thoughts, "I would have used
a silencer," was beyond the ridiculous. Since I knew I would not say,
or even think, such a thing, I knew I was hearing a lie in my
Secondly, it was spoken in the first person. This was
perpetrated to deceive me into thinking that they were really my own
thoughts. Only crazy people would think such a thing.
Thirdly, fear flooded my emotions to almost the point of
overload. Since God does not work in the area of maniacal fear and
evil intimidation, there was only one choice left. These were demonic
feelings designed to mask, or cover, the actual demonic presence. Few
Christians even remotely believe demons can do this, that is, put
their feelings upon you and especially if you are a Christian. Such
things don't happen to Christian, do they? Then why does James 4:7
warn of to "Resist the devil?" Why did the Apostle Paul instruct us
to put on the whole armor of God, in Ephesians 6, and to stand against
the wiles, or deceitfulness, of the Enemy? "Oh, I forgot. You don't
believe demons can even put their thoughts into our thoughts so how
could they possibly use their feelings against our feelings? Good
question. Let me quote then, from Ephesians 6:16 and see what the
"Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to
quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."
This is an odd word to use but perhaps the whole thing is a
metaphor and has no definite meaning at all. Of course he is speaking
metaphorically, or figuratively, or symbolically. You don't think
Paul was really suggesting that we all walk around with a bulky
warriors suit of armor, do you? In today's way of speaking, we might
call it body armor. No, Paul is just telling us to be prepared. For
what? For the fiery darts that will come from the Enemy. They aren't
real, you say? I'm tempted to suggest you haven't even read the New
Testament once, if that's what you believe, but I understand how much
of the New Testament teaching has been explained away and rendered
unapplicable; leaving today's Christian exposed and spiritually
The word used for "quench" in this verse means (to extinguish,
quench, of fire or things on fire, to be quenched, to go out, to
quench, to suppress, stifle). Paul used the word, I might remind
you, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. So the word was not used
accidentally or by mistake. Nor did Paul throw it in their for
The Greek word used for "fiery" in this passage means (to burn
with fire, to set on fire, kindle, to be on fire, to burn, to be
incensed, indignant, make to glow, full of fire, fiery, ignited, of
darts filled with inflammable substances and set on fire). The
question is, however, was Paul speaking literally or was he just
working on his poetic side of life that day.
The word for "darts" is (a missile, dart, javelin, or arrow). I
trust you will find as interesting as I do, that this word "darts" is
used this single time in all of the New Testament. Just once; making
it unique. So with these three words, quench, fiery, and darts in
mind, let me make some theological and spiritual observations.
Often we get the idea that the angels of God are feelingless. I
don't know where we get this idea, perhaps because Jesus said they
didn't marry. A little tongue in cheek there but valid,
theologically, regardless. So, knowing that fallen angels, or what
the Bible calls unclean spirits, devils, foul spirits, and the like,
perhaps we just assume that demons don't have feelings, that is,
emotions as well. By the way, if God's angelic host don't have
emotions or feelings, why do they rejoice when someone comes to know
Christ? (See Luke 15:10). Why did a whole bunch of angels come to
announce our Lord's birth and praised God to a bunch of shepherds or
later hurried into town to see if the Messiah truly had come? (See
Luke 2:8-20). I guess my point is, if you are going to use the word
"quench" to describe the effect of flaming darts, or arrows, targeted
at Christians, it might just be possible there is a little bit of pain
involved? No, it doesn't say physical or mental or emotional pain.
Maybe it is all three? Maybe Paul was just speaking poetically
because he didn't have anything else to do. I wonder why he didn't
make it rhyme in that case.
"Fiery" is a pretty definite word. I mean, when you start a
fire, you plan on burning something. Did you notice that part of the
definition of "fiery" was to glow? Glow from what I wonder? The
fiery darts, if they find their mark, will burn and perhaps even cause
you to glow. You? How about your emotions maybe?
The word for "darts," as previously mentioned, is unique because
of its single usage in all of the New Testament. Why would not a
similar word be used when referring to God? It is because God doesn't
deal with us in the same way Satan does. He, Satan, walks around as a
roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (See 1 Peter 5:8). Why
does he make so much noise? I thought he was an emotionless being.
Well, a roaring lion uses his noise to scare and frighten his prey.
Do you think there might be a spiritual application there? Do you
think it is even remotely possible the Enemy attempts to attack our
emotions, since they are not born anew yet, and thus to create an
atmosphere of fear? I hope you are agreeing with me by this point.
Fortunately, for us as Christian, we can "quench all the fiery
darts of the wicked." Guess what the Greek word is for the word
"all?" It means, (individually, each, every, any, all, the whole,
everyone, all things, everything, collectively, some of all types).
Does that sound like Jesus leaves anything, or anyone, out?
"Well, I just don't believe all that?"
Fine. Nobody is twisting your arm. With that in mind, let me
ask you one question. How do you defend yourself from direct demonic
attack? You don't experience such a thing? How about fear. Have you
ever been afraid, as an adult, in a room by yourself? Why? As an
adult, do you still have trouble sleeping in the dark? How about
awaking from a nightmare and being scared half out of your mind, with
your heart beating so fast, it feels like it will explode, your pulse
racing, and breathing heavily? Oh, well, that's just a nightmare, I
guess, so the aftermath of fear and anxiety isn't really demonic. Is
it? What about the sin you committed, maybe more than once, that
still haunts you until this day? You've confessed it and confessed it
and confessed it so many times, you've lost count. Sure, you believe
the Bible and you know God has heard you and forgiven you. So why
does the guilt hang around? That surely isn't demonic, is it? What
about the emotional pain you experience when a particular and specific
memory comes to mind. Why won't that pain go away. Surely it isn't
God's will for you to carry that burden? He said His burden were
light. (See Matthew 11:30). So, if the pain is getting heavier and
heavier, and keep coming back and coming back, what causes that? Do
you know? Is it remotely possible that these are the fiery darts of
the Enemy you are feeling? Oh, that's right. Christians cannot be
attacked demonically and they most certainly cannot put their feelings
on our feelings. Let me give you a little advice. If you are trying
to live with these fiery darts just described, you are going to get
burn and burned badly. Paul said we could quench all the fiery darts
of the wicked. I wonder if Paul got confused when he said "all."
The real life example I used at the beginning of this testimony
did happen just as I described it. It isn't a joke and I didn't make
it up. Demons do exist today. They torment, confuse, and deceive.
We are told in Scripture to resist them, not give place to them, be
alert and keenly aware of their presence, and not to allow them to
take advantage of us. All the passages of Scripture related to these
concepts are clearly trying to tell us to be on guard. Are we?
Finally, if God can commune with us using His thoughts in our
minds, and if we can be moved in our emotions spiritually by the
moving and convicting power of the Holy Spirit, what makes you think
demons don't have the same access to our minds and emotions which are
not yet saved?
"Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness,
and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save
your souls," (James 1:21).
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