© Copyright 2007 by Phil Scovell - All Rights Reserved
56 A New Doctrine Demons Going To Church By Phil Scovell 23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. 26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? For with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him. 28 And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee," (Mark 1:23-28). We generally consider church a place of safety and a place we go to be encouraged. It is a place we pray and worship God. The last thing we would expect is for a demon to be in church. It didn't seem to surprise Jesus. One Sunday, I felt quite discouraged. I didn't feel like teaching that morning but I went over the notes I planned on using and familiarized myself with what I had written and planned on sharing that day. Yet, I didn't feel comfortable about it. As I sat in my office thinking, I felt the Lord directing me to a totally different passage of Scripture with a totally different theme. I dialed up the miracle on the computer, typing in the reference, and began to read the text. I immediately knew that was what I was supposed to teach on that morning. I still didn't feel right emotionally or spiritually but I decided it was simply due to discouragement. I jotted down a handful of notes about what I would say that morning. Before church, everyone sat and visited for awhile as we often do. I said little as I listened. I just wasn't feeling well. In fact, by this time, I felt right down rotten, to tell the truth, but soon it would be over and I could go home and try and relax for the rest of the afternoon. I should have been more spiritually alert. The closer we came to beginning our Sunday service, the worse I felt. As we began to sing, it finally hit me what was wrong. I sensed the demonic presence near. I could also hear his words in my thoughts and felt his unholy feelings. "You don't have to sing. You don't need to worship today. Just stop singing. Don't do it any more. You feel bad enough and aren't well. No one will criticize you for not singing today and worshipping the Lord because you are the pastor. Stop. Stop singing." My chest flushed and tingled as the anxiety of the demonic presence intensified. My stomach felt nauseous. Maybe I really was sick. There had been some virus or colds or something in the family that past week. His words and thoughts mixed with my thoughts, an the feelings of fear and anxiety, mixed with even the physical sensation of illness, gave him away. Trying to pray and sing at the same time is difficult but in this particular living room sitting, we were meeting in a home, and not my home, it was a little different so getting up to go to another room to pray wasn't convenient. I tried to get the Lord to run the demon off for me, or at least to hold him at bay until after church. Jesus wasn't interested in doing my job for me and made that clear. What I should have done was stopped the singing and prayed out loud because later, I learned, I was not the only one feeling the demonic presence in church. Next time, by the way, I will do exactly that. I will stop the service and pray out loud for others to hear in case they are being attacked as well. Silently, I finally prayed the following prayer which is normally what I do when becoming aware of any attempt of demonic infiltration or intrusion. "Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of the True Lord Jesus Christ, your only begotten son. If I have listened to any lies of Satan's or his demons, If I have listened to any of their words and repeated them as though they were true, if I have thought any of their thoughts as if they were my thoughts, if I have felt any of their feelings as though they were my feelings, I confess this to you as sin. I ask you to forgive me. I take back all the ground I have given them and I give it back to you for your honor and glory. I now call this lying spirit to attention and all those under his authority that might be working with him against me. I dismiss them from all of their assignments against me. I bind all of their words and utterances they have spoken against me, or are trying to carry out in my life, and I now bind them all together as one. I command them to leave now and to go to the place the True Lord Jesus Christ wants them to go in the name of the True Lord Jesus Christ I pray. "Did they leave?" someone is asking about this time. No, they didn't leave. "So what did you do?" I started singing. "Why?" Because I know this lying spirit, and any others operating under his authority, would leave because I had told them to do exactly that in the name of Jesus because I was using His authority and not mine. I, therefore, ignored him following my prayer. Yes, it was hard to sing. I could hardly get any sound out of my throat but I forced myself to sing. The louder I got, the easier it became. Within less than a minute or two, the spiritual sensation of malevolence faded, my stomach returned to normal, my chest stopped tingling, and by the time I opened my notebook to begin teaching, I felt perfectly normal. First of all, the prayer is a combination of more than one prayer I use when a demon is trying to gain a foothold in my thinking. My version of the prayer came from a man I know who has been in the Christian counseling ministry for several decades and are a mixture of prayers the Lord gave him. Secondly, demons always begin with your thoughts. Let's look at a passage of Scripture. "3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled," (2 Corinthians 10:3-6). Thirdly, since we do indeed have this authority in Christ, the 6th verse, which says, "And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled," means pushing your authority in Christ to the limit. You see, your authority in Christ is based upon Him and His authority which He has given you. Therefore, we are complete in our Lord's authority over the demonic realm according to Colossians 2:10 which says, "And you are complete in Him who is the head of all principality and power." The people who witnessed what Jesus did thought this was some new doctrine. Do you think the same? As you can see, it is not. Demons go to church just like you do. They come to cause confusion, discouragement, deception, and to do as much spiritual damage as possible. The question is, how much are we going to allow them to do before exercising our authority. You see, it is not a new doctrine.