© Copyright 2007 by Phil Scovell - All Rights Reserved
55 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 thoughts. 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 Bible says. "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." QUENCH 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 endangered. 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 special effects. FIERY 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. DARTS 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. ALL 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." CONCLUSION 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).