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"...for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."
--1 Corinthians 2:10b Mo Letters from David Berg and the Children of God / The Family

Spritual Pests and Problems!

Taking Authority Over Evil Spirits

By David Brandt Berg, April 1985
Jesus casting out Legion
Jesus casting out Legion

I was so surprised that time when Mother and I went to pray for that girl in Pittsburgh, Helen Jones. Mother always did all the praying and took charge of the whole thing, whereas I just sort of stood by and helped lay on hands etc. But all of a sudden the Spirit just hit me and I practically began to prophesy when I laid my hands on her head and I got the Scripture about the spirit of fear, "who through fear of death were all their lives subject to bondage." (Heb.2:15) So I knew then right away, the Lord revealed it to me that it was a spirit of fear and I rebuked it.

I DON'T HAVE THOSE EXPERIENCES TOO OFTEN, BUT EVERY NOW and THEN I RECOGNISE SOMEBODY HAS GOT SOMETHING, ONE OF THOSE LITTLE PESTS! It's not like being demon-possessed and a demon's in full control and where people have fits and go absolutely berserk, but it's sort of like having fleas or lice or ticks or something that are just pests. What do they call that kind of pest that lives on you?--A parasite that just lives on you and with you and is a constant pest and annoyance. Although it can't actually completely possess you or control you, it constantly annoys and pesters. Of course, I suppose if some people would yield to it completely they would get possessed. But it's just sort of like harboring a parasite that is living off of you, like a blood sucker.

MY MOTHER USED TO MAKE THAT DISTINCTION BETWEEN SOME PEOPLE ACTUALLY BEING POSSESSED BY DEVILS, WHEREAS OTHERS ARE JUST OPPRESSED BY SOME DEVIL OR DEMONS THAT CONSTANTLY PESTER and BOTHER THEM and ANNOY THEM. Like Mr. Machowski, he wasn't demon-possessed by Tom, at first he just worked with him, then after he was saved and found out that Tom was bad, he tried to get rid of him. Tom never really possessed him, he just pestered and annoyed him, he was a pest.

(MARIA: WELL, THAT'S THE SAME THING WITH LEAH. SHE HAS BEEN FEARFUL and HAS HAD CHOKING SPELLS, FEELING SHE WAS BEING STRANGLED, and she's had weird experiences where she was sort of out of her body and she didn't know which voice said, "This isn't you and this isn't you," neither of her bodies was hers. She felt like it was trying to get her, trying to annoy her. She knew it was wrong and she always rebuked it.) Because she belonged to the Lord he couldn't possess her, (Maria: I guess people don't realise that. I don't think she realised it was an attack any more than other people who've had attacks. She's had it all her life so she didn't know it was something she could get rid of completely and permanently. I think her idea was that she sort of had to live with it and just rebuke it. She'd get temporary victories, but it kept staying around and pestering her.)

I THINK THIS IS WHAT THE LORD WAS TALKING ABOUT WHEN HE SAID, "GIVE NO PLACE TO THE EVIL ONE!" (Eph.4:27) Some people just sort of harbour them and allow them to hang around without really rebuking them and getting rid of them. See, it wasn't until Mr. Machowski was standing on the street corner preaching in Chicago that he finally really rebuked Tom and Tom left him and entered into that drunk, and the drunk had a fit and fell down on the sidewalk slobbering just like an epileptic. Apparently he could totally possess the drunk, because the drunk wasn't saved.

(MARIA: IT'S SO SAD THAT CHRISTIANS GO SO LONG WITHOUT GETTING COMPLETE DELIVERANCE. Like Leah, she has been really sold out to the Lord and really wanted to do His Will and really trying, but it's such a handicap and a hindrance to her.) You see, they have to recognise those devils and sometimes even call them by name and command them in the Name of the Lord to depart, then they have to obey. But if they don't discern them and don't recognise them and don't take authority over them, then they don't really use their authority and their power in the Lord to rebuke them and get rid of them. It's just like a human host harbouring some kind of parasite and not really doing anything about it. Sometimes the parasite kind of annoys them and they swat them or scratch them or just sort of try to hinder the parasite, but they don't really take authority over it and command it to depart in the Name of Jesus!

THE ONLY WAY PEOPLE LIKE THAT CAN GET RID OF THEM, THAT HAVE HARBOURED DEVILS SOMETIMES FOR YEARS, IS TO GO ON A DIRECT ATTACK and BE SPECIFIC, EVEN NAME THE DEMON, IF POSSIBLE, and COMMAND IT TO DEPART IN JESUS' NAME! It's just like having lice or fleas or crabs or worms or something like that, you've got to go on the attack and do something about it to cleanse yourself and get rid of it. You can't just scratch them and swat them and sort of chase them a little bit, you've got to get rid of them completely. You've got to recognise the spirit, the devil, the demon or call it by name of necessary.

I KNOW I WAS SUDDENLY INSPIRED THAT DAY PRAYING FOR THAT GIRL! I rebuked the spirit of fear and commanded it to depart in Jesus' Name and she was instantly completely delivered, and therefore at the same time she was healed! She had gotten so fearful she stayed in bed all the time and couldn't even eat, and finally got to where she could hardly drink water. She was just frightened and afraid of everything! But the minute we got rid of that fearful spirit, we commanded her in the Name of the Lord to get up and walk and get out of bed, and she got right out of bed and started walking around the room and was completely and totally delivered and never had any problem with it again!

SO YOU'VE GOT TO BE DEFINITE and SPECIFIC ABOUT THESE THINGS and EVEN CALL THEM BY NAME and REBUKE THEM BY THEIR KIND OR WHATEVER and WITH REAL SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY IN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT See, I was just suddenly anointed by the Holy Spirit to recognise that spirit and rebuke it in Jesus' Name. It was just like sudden tongues or a sudden prophecy or something, it was just as supernatural and miraculous! It was a sudden outburst inspired by the Spirit! I wasn't expecting it, I really had no experience along that line at all. I didn't even know I had any gifts at that time. I'd never spoken in tongues or prophesied or anything.

THERE ARE LYING SPIRITS THAT DECEIVE PEOPLE and USUALLY THEY'RE VERY DECEITFUL. They don't want to wake the people up to the fact that they've got problems with the Devil. They even pretend to be good, like Tom, Mr. Machowski thought Tom was good because he was helping him win bets and races and make a lot of money. So he finally decided to bet everything he had on that horse and make a real killing and Tom told him the wrong horse and he lost everything! Tom just cackled and laughed about it like it was a big joke! I think that was just before Mr. Machowski was saved, and his getting saved was a result of that, when he realised that Tom was bad and something evil.

SEE, THE DEVIL IS A DESTROYER! HE JUST TRIED TO STRIP MR. MACHOWSKI! He maybe even sensed or knew he was going to get saved and was trying to destroy him, because it was then that he heard that Gospel program on the air and got saved. He heard this preacher preach on spirits and rebuking spirits, etc., and discerning spirits and he got that special verse about "every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ came in the flesh is not of God." (1Jn.4:2) He took that home with him and went into his usual seance with Tom and confronted Tom with that verse. He said, "All right, Tom, you claim you're good, now confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh!" Tom hemmed and hawed and beat around the bush and finally ranted and raged furiously because he was caught and exposed!

SO MR. MACHOWSKI SLAMMED HIS BIBLE SHUT and SAID, "OK, IF YOU WON'T CONFESS JESUS CHRIST, THEN YOU'RE NOT OF GOD! IT MEANS YOU'RE EVIL and OF THE DEVIL! GO AWAY! LEAVE ME ALONE!" But he didn't know specifically then how to really take authority over the evil spirit and command it in the Name of Jesus to leave with the authority of the Lord. He just sort of told him to get away, he didn't want him around.

IT'S LIKE HAVING AN EVIL BOARDER IN YOUR HOUSE! He's not in control of the house, but he causes you trouble and annoyance and you don't like him. You tell him to leave several times but he won't leave, so finally by the authority and the law--in this case of the Word and the Name of Jesus--you literally throw him out! Otherwise he just won't leave!

SO ALL THESE YEARS I KNEW THAT CHRISTIANS WHO ARE THE PROPERTY OF THE LORD COULDN'T BE LITERALLY POSSESSED OF THE DEVIL. My Mother recognised that, She'd say "Well, they're not possessed, they're just oppressed and being annoyed by an evil spirit." Because she didn't see how the property of the Lord could be in possession of the Devil. But some Christians certainly were pestered and annoyed and caused a lot of other people to be annoyed as a result by having those oppressive spirits.

YOU NEED TO TAKE ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY! First of all, you need discernment to recognise the spirit, what kind of spirit it is and what it's the spirit of, whether it's a spirit of fear or whatever it is, then you need to take charge and recognise that you have the authority of the Lord and the Spirit of the Lord to rebuke it in Jesus' Name and command it to go!

THIS IS WHAT THE DISCIPLES WERE SO EXCITED ABOUT WHEN THEY CAME BACK TO JESUS and SAID, "EVEN THE EVIL SPIRITS ARE SUBJECT INTO US!" (Luk.10:17) In other words, they had to go when the disciples told them to depart in Jesus' name! But there were some stubborn ones, Remember, Jesus said of one, "This kind goeth not out but by fasting and prayer." (Mt.17:21) In other words, they had to really get down to business with God and fast and really pray together to have a real anointing and real power to rebuke a powerful devil.

IT TAKES AN ANOINTING, THE RECOGNITION and DISCERNMENT OF SOMEONE WHO IS REALLY ANNOINTED and I BELIEVE THAT SOME PEOPLE HAVE THAT GIFT--Not only of the discerning of spirits, but of the casting out of devils. They've got a real anointing for it, a real discernment for it, and whoever has it needs to help that person and help them along with united prayer and even fasting, if necessary, to rebuke the devil and recognise the demon, what kind of demon it is.

I'VE HEARD OF PEOPLE PRAYING FOR PEOPLE and COMMANDING THE SPIRIT, WHATEVER KIND OF SPIRIT IT WAS, SAYING, "GIVE ME YOUR NAME! WHAT'S YOUR NAME?"--And they have to obey, and the mouth of the victim files open and tells the name of the spirit, what kind of spirit it is. So it's good to really nail it down and identify it and make it confess its name!--Or have someone with discernment there that recognises the spirit and its name, and then rebuke it specifically by name in the Name of the Lord and command it to depart, because we have authority over those devils!

I THINK IT IS REALLY QUITE A MINISTRY FOR SOME WHO HAVE THOSE GIFTS and THAT ANOINTING, WHO HAVE DISCERNMENT and WHO HAVE POWER OVER EVIL SPIRITS. We all have power over evil spirits, all of us who have the Lord, but we need to learn how to exercise it and how to be specific about it and how to discern what demon or devil it is and what kind or what name, and then command it by name in the Name of the Lord to depart, with real anointing take charge of the situation and command it to depart! But if the victim doesn't want to be delivered, and their own will refuses to be delivered, then the Devil has got a real hold on them.

I GUESS YOU'D CALL IT TAKING AUTHORITY OVER EVIL SPIRITS, being specific and actually commanding the evil spirit to leave in the Name of the Lord and by the authority of the Power of the Spirit with real anointing and spiritual power, and it will depart! It's just pitiful that these Christians who have hosted these pests for years and been annoyed by them and pestered by them, oppressed by them, handicapped by them, haven't recognised it and really rebuked it by name! I think sometimes they don't want to recognise it, they don't want to admit it and confess it. We've had several cases like that. Until we virtually exposed them, they weren't even willing to confess it or admit it, Some of them hadn't even realised it until someone came along with real discernment and rebuked the demon in Jesus' name.

BUT ANYHOW, WITH THESE SERIOUS CASES OF DEMON OPPRESSION and PESTERING, THEY NEED TO REALLY GET FOLKS TOGETHER WITH REAL FAITH and POWER OF THE LORD and really fast and pray to get rid of them and recognise them and discern them and face them down specifically by name or by type or whatever, and just rebuke them in the authority and anointing of the Lord and in the Name of the Lord and command them to depart! As the disciples said, "Even the devils are subject unto us!" They have to obey when you are specific and call them by name and command them in the depart, even tell them where to go like Jesus did.

THEY ASKED IF THEY COULD GO INTO THE SWINE, SO HE LET THEM and THEY POSSESSED ABOUT 2,000 HEAD OF SWINE! That was quite a herd!--And they all ran down and fell over the precipice into the sea and were apparently killed. (Mat.8:28-34; Mark 5:1-17) So no wonder their owner their owner got mad at Jesus! To get rid of that many devils all at once and destroy his whole heard of swine was quite a scene!

JESUS WAS VERY SPECIFIC! HE WOULD TALK TO THE DEVILS and EVEN CALL THEM BY NAME! In that one case He demanded the devil's name. He said, "What is thy name?" And the man said, "Our name is Legion for we are many!" The poor demoniac was possessed by a whole legion of devils! Then as soon as they were all gone the man sat there at Jesus' feet, clothed, in his right mind and peaceful. Up till that time he had broken chains and was a wild man, violent! He was totally, instantly delivered apparently from 2,000 devils!

SOMETIMES PEOPLE CAN HAVE EVEN A SPIRIT OF WORRY OR NERVOUSNESS THAT SEEMS TO PESTER THEM, and THAT'S ALSO A FORM OF FEAR. They're oppressive spirits! They can't actually get in, but they attack from the outside. They put thoughts in people's heads and inspire them to do certain things which they shouldn't do. They're not in full possession, but people, often not realising it's the Devil, obey them and do things that they're told to do, and if that habit keeps up it can wind up in total defeat to where they're obeying the Devil and listening to the Devil instead of to the Lord. Thank God we can't get demon-possessed, because the Lord possesses us, amen? We are a possession of His Holy Spirit and the Devil couldn't possibly possess us.

WE'RE NOT POSSESSED, BUT SOMETIMES WE'RE OBSESSED! Just like the Devil's pests, mosquitoes and files and bugs etc., they can't take us over, can they?--But they sure annoy us! So some people have annoying spirits, Even Christians who love the Lord and are born-again are sometimes subject to evil spirits who are annoying them, pestering them, bothering them or lying to them. We've all had that experience at some time or other. Doesn't the Devil ever talk to you?--Of course he does! He lies to you, tries to get you discouraged, tries to get you down, tries to deceive you.--Right? I mean, we've all had it! Even Jesus had it! Have you forgotten? The Devil took Him out into the desert and tempted Him with three great temptations!

SO DON'T FEEL BAD IF THE DEVIL ATTACKS YOU and BOTHERS YOU and ANNOYS YOU and PESTERS YOU and HINDERS YOU, THAT'S HIS JOB, and THE LORD ALLOWS IT AS YOUR TEST. What was Jesus' temptation for? It was the final test before He began His public ministry! The Devil was testing Him to see it he could make Him fall and gave Him three different types of temptations. Jesus had been 40 days and 40 nights out in the wilderness. The Devil even quoted Scripture! But the Lord answered him with Scripture each time, remember? (Mt.4:1-11)

REMEMBER, JESUS WAS IN A HUMAN BODY THEN and HE HAD ALL THE WEAKNESSES and FRAILTIES and TEMPTATIONS OF THE HUMAN FLESH, and here the Devil offers Him the whole world! He could have said, "Well, it's My World anyhow and I'm going to take it over one of these days soon, so nuts to you!" But He didn't. He just quoted Scripture, What did He say? (Fam: "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve!") (Mat.4:10) And in another place He said, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." (Mat.4:7) And what was the answer to the other temptation? (Fam: "Man shall not live by bread alone.") (Mat. 4:4) The first temptation was food, and Jesus answered, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeded out of the mouth of God."

SO IF THE DEVIL CAN EVEN PESTER JESUS, CERTAINLY HE OR SOME OF HIS LITTLE DEMONS MUST WORK HARD ON YOU TO PESTER YOU! So what is the best way to resist the Devil when he comes along with his lies and temptations and deceits and all kinds of things that he's petering you with? Pick up the Sword of the Spirit and whack away! He'll run every time if you'll really use the Word!

FILL YOUR MIND WITH THE WORD OF GOD and YOU WON'T HAVE ROOM FOR THAT DARKNESS! FILL YOUR MIND WITH THE LIGHT OF GOD'S WORD and THE DARKNESS WILL FLEE! Quote Scripture! Don't listen to the Devil's lies! Fill your mind with the Light, and the darkness will flee! "Give no place to the Evil One," God's Word says. (Eph.4:27) Don't give him any room to get in, don't give him any room to talk to you! With some people, the Devil comes knocking at their heart's door and they open the door and they're very hospitable! They say, "Come right on in, Mr. Devil and Mrs. Devil and all your little devilets! Come on in, pull up a chair! Here, sit down and let's talk things over!" Is that what you do? (Fam: No!) You'd better not, because if you listen to him, the same thing that happened to Eve, will happen to you! Don't even listen to him! Don't listen to his doubts and his fears and his discouragement and his temptations and all the rest, sock him with the Word of God! Praise God?--Amen! God bless and keep you and make you a blessing!-- In Jesus' name, amen!-

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family International

Tess and James Arendt
James & Tess Arendt

My name is James Arendt. I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom. My full bio.

If you like this website, you can show your appreciation by sending me a gift toward my support. My wife Tess and I moved from the island of Guam USA in June 2023 to the city of Allen in the province of Northern Samar, one of the poorer provinces in the Philippines. My only work is maintaining my websites, Deep Truths, and James Japan which costs me $300 per year now. And Tess is ministering to the local people giving them regular Bible Studies in three groups, children, teenagers and adults.

Photos of Tess's Bible study.

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Comments (3)

Topic: spiritual-pests.html
5/5 (2)
Delia rodriguez (Rive, US) says...
Please to leave fleas off my body
14th April 2018 2:14am
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Delia (Rive, US) says...
I need you to rebuke the evil spirit of fleas on me
14th April 2018 2:11am
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Ruth (Fort Lauderdale, US) says...
This writing is amazing! This is so helpful for me right now; please continue doing the work and will of God in full obedience or love. In Jesus name, amen!! Well done!
7th December 2017 1:46am
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