By Charles Carrin
“For unclean spirits crying with a loud voice came out of many who were possessed and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city. But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished (bewitched) the people of Samaria…” (Acts 8:7-9).
Years ago, I received an urgent call from a young Church of Christ pastor in Tennessee who wanted time with me. He was in great distress. We met at the Nashville airport and went to his home where he shared his crisis: “The only power in my ministry was argument and debate,” he explained, “There was no manifestation of God’s presence like the early church experienced. I became so despaired with my spiritual deadness that I turned to other sources. And I made wrong choices — I went into Eastern Mysticism.” I listened as he continued. “I found real power — but power that soon became dark and frightening. The problem was that having invited it into my life, I could not make it leave. It began to dominate, control, and in a merciless way, forced its will upon me.” His story was familiar. The “spirit-guide” that had invaded his life, harassed his sleep, affected his family relationships, and succeeded in separating him from those he loved. In time, it destroyed his ministry. As we talked, depression clung to him in a merciless way.
When he finished, I explained that he had “touched the unclean thing” (Isaiah 52:11), which God forbad. The good news was that his repentance and the power of Christ could free him. I reminded him that there is no power of darkness that can successfully stand against the authority of Jesus (Philippians 2:9).
He sat on the end of a sofa, I stood beside him, and as I laid-hands on him in the Name of Jesus, he began growling, curled into a tight ball, and rolled head-first onto the floor. I knelt beside him, kept my hands on him, and commanded the spirits of witchcraft and Eastern Mysticism to go. As I did, he started wrenching, gasping for air, and experiencing tremendous pain in his spine. A few minutes later, he was free. The darkness, pain, and oppression, that had hovered over him were gone. I then prayed for him to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
As he sprawled on the floor beside me, I thought of a Sunday School teacher who had studied parapsychology, palmistry, automatic handwriting, and other occult teachings. At the time of her deliverance, she had such severe back pain that she was several days recovering. There were others who came to mind. Looking back over years of this kind of ministry, I realized that many had undergone painful spasms in their vertebrae during deliverance from psychic-spirits. When I shared that with the young pastor on the floor, he answered, “Oh, I can explain that!” What he told was shocking. “I was instructed to invite a serpent-like spirit to enter my body and coil at the base of my spine. As I progressed in psychic-power, it rose up, wrapping itself around my back-bone.” We sat silently for a moment. He then explained, “When you cast it out, it wrenched my back.”
I had no difficulty believing his explanation. When Paul cast out the “spirit of divination” in the young woman at Phillippi (Acts 16:16-18), the Greek text says she had a “python.” This serpent kills by strangulation, wrapping around the victim. It is not coincidental that Jesus used serpents as symbols of demonic power. He said, “I give you power to tread on serpents” (Luke 10:19; Mark 16:18).
Not long after that a young Assemblies of God pastor came to me at a Conference in Florida and asked if I would minister deliverance to him. I agreed, and we went to a private room. This gentleman was a well-groomed college graduate with a successful ministry and family life. “My ancestors have practiced Druid worship and psychic-powers for generations,” he explained, “And I experience torment from its presence. I am not participating in any way with witchcraft but I feel that darkness constantly hovering over me. It torments me.” He paused. “I explained the problem to my Presbyters and asked them to minister deliverance to me but they refused. Our doctrine denies that Christians can have demons in their bodies or minds.” I reminded him that none of us have yet been through the Resurrection, our mortal has not yet “put on immortality,” nor our corruptible “put on incorruption” (1 Corinthians 15:53-54). Demons can go anywhere sin and disease can go. If Christians are immune to demons, they are also immune to sin and sickness (but we know they are not [ed.]). Like it or not, we (Christians, believers [ed.]) are still vulnerable to powers of darkness and must fight as Jesus taught.1 Spiritual warfare is a constant, on-going battle (for believers [ed.]) (Ephesians 6:10-18).
In the next few minutes, astonishing things happened. Demons began speaking out of him in guttural, dog-like growls, contorting his body, changing his appearance into something ugly and grotesque (cf., Mark 1:26; 9:26). Four major spirits were identified. One of those was the spirit of “idiocy.” When we challenged it in the Name of Jesus, the man’s eyes suddenly crossed, his hands became spastic, his tongue thickened, turned sideways in his mouth, and be began slobbering with senseless jabberings. In a split-second, he became a full-blown idiot2.
The good news is that he was totally delivered; the mental pain was gone forever. But please be aware of this frightening truth: Had this young pastor not received deliverance, the spirits hiding in him would ultimately have destroyed his sanity, ruined his family and ministry, and had him locked away in an asylum. Could that happen to a born-again pastor? Yes. Absolutely.
Soon after my return to Florida in 1978 I received a frantic call late one night from an Episcopal priest. A teenage boy in his congregation was undergoing a horrific demonic attack. The youth was out of his mind and having to be forcibly restrained by three men. Unknown to his parents their son had been reading sorcery books and participating in witchcraft rituals. When I arrived, the yard was filled with police cars and fire trucks. Paramedics wanted to straight-jacket the boy, sedate him with drugs and take him to the hospital. The mother refused and was guarding the door to the boy’s room. Hear this: After ministering to him in the power of the Holy Spirit the youth walked out of the room completely normal and free. The Boynton Beach police officers who were present returned to their station and in a written report told that they had witnessed a “successful exorcism.”
The National Enquirer and other tabloids discovered the story and published it nationwide. Christian publications kept a deathly silence. Why the difference? Most of the current church does not want to acknowledge that Jesus’ power to cast out demons is still here. As a consequence, many Christians have been wrongly locked away in psychiatric wards because their pastors failed to exercise the power Jesus gave them. Oddly, many Christians believe that God removed the power of the Holy Spirit from the church but let the devil and demons remain here in full possession of theirs.
I have a reason for quoting the specific Scripture at the introduction of this article. It mentions Simon the Sorcerer, demons, and victims in Samaria who were lame and paralyzed. Hear this carefully: Though the townspeople held Simon in high regard, he was actually the source of much of their ills. Without realizing it, those who sought his sorcery received far more than psychic-predictions. They became infected with crippling spirits that brought muscular deadness and twisted limbs. Simon’s presence acted like a magnet that attracted these spirits to himself and then projected them upon the people. Jesus had earlier identified this same “spirit of infirmity” in the woman with the crooked spine (Luke 13:11). While spirits of infirmity cause a variety of ailments, it is significant that leprosy, blindness, deafness, and other diseases common to the day, were not mentioned in regard to Samaria. Hear me carefully on this point: Simon’s variety of witchcraft was uniquely accompanied by demonic-problems related to the muscular and skeleton system. Why is that so? The young Church of Christ pastor gave the explanation. Read it again.
In 1933, my family moved into a two-story house in Miami, Florida, and a neighbor came immediately to warn my mother. “You will always regret having lived in this house,” she said. When mother asked why, the woman explained, “Everyone who has lived here has had horrible tragedies. I know you want to stay, but I warn you to leave before disaster strikes.” At the time, I was three years old, my brother Van was five, and our oldest brother, Jimmy, was temporarily with our grandmother. Unfortunately, we stayed.
In a short time, strange noises were heard, a phantom-like image appeared in the house, and then tragedy hit. My father was stricken with total paralysis. Soon after his illness, I fell head-first from the second floor and was completely paralyzed on the left side of my body. My brother Van escaped for a few years but then suffered a leg injury that has harassed him all his life. Daddy partially recovered but lived the rest of his life as a cripple. Though I finally regained use of my arm and leg, I have been handicapped by a paralyzed eye-lid more than sixty years. Today, I am convinced that our house had been used as a site of witchcraft, and, like Samaria, was under a curse that brought lameness and paralysis. We had moved onto demonic territory and did nothing to protect ourselves. My parents were committed Christians but their church taught them absolutely nothing about spiritual warfare.
That day with the young pastor on the floor beside me, I suddenly could see the parallel of demonic work in Samaria, my own family history of paralysis, and spinal problems in others. I also realized the reality of “territorial” curses and demons who work through them.
At a recent group-ministry in Atlanta more than a dozen people were healed of spinal injury and pain. While I am aware that much illness is not spirit-related, I have no doubt that some of these people had a “Simon the Sorcerer” standing in the shadows of their past.
A final observation: Though Simon believed the gospel and was baptized, he was still not delivered from all the witchcraft-influences of his former life (Acts 8:13-24). That fact was not immediately apparent; even the Apostles did not recognize it. In some cases, that failure is true of people today. Demons never leave voluntarily; they must be cast out.
Many believers assume that because they have been born-again3, their minds and bodies are also clean. That is not necessarily so. Christians who battle addiction, depression, compulsive anger, religious pride, etc., are proof of what I say. If these people “backslide” we criticize them for their failure; frequently, it is the church that failed to provide them with the full benefits of the Cross. Jesus never suggested that the church cast out demons; He commanded it.
My recommendation for everyone who has had the slightest contact with ouija boards, palmistry, psychics, or occult family-ancestry, is to receive deliverance ministry. If you have medical or emotional problems that cannot be diagnosed, be aware, you could be dealing with a demon (often, a spirit of infirmity [ed.]).
Where do you go for help? Go to your pastor! If he refuses, show him the Scripture’s teaching on the subject (Mark 16:17; et al.). Insist, that as a believing servant of God, he is obligated to minister deliverance to you. You need cleansing and he needs learning. Do it. If he resists, find someone who will. Don’t repeat Simon’s failure. Your life depends on it!
Here are some testimonies from people who benefited from deliverance ministry:
“Dear Pastor Carrin, The first time I came to your meeting in the Spring of ’96 I weighed 86 pounds, suffered from bulimia and anorexia, and vomited as much as 30 times a day. I want to tell you what happened to me the three nights I came. The first night I shook so violently as you preached that I could hardly sit there. The next night I left early and went home with fierce thoughts of suicide. Thank God, I returned to the service again. The third night when I met you at the door I tried to speak but my body froze like a pretzel. I could not talk. You took me to a private room with several other women, put your arms around my head and prayed. When you did that, I felt something like hot oil pour down my head and body. One of the women gave me a ‘word of knowledge’ about my suicidal anger the night before. That final, wonderful night I was delivered. After you left I went to the rest room and looked at myself in the mirror. For the first time I did not see myself as big and ugly. I not only looked normal — I was normal. I want you to know that I have been free ever since!”
“Dear Brother Charles, I grew up in a home filled with alcohol, hatred and abuse. I cannot remember ever feeling loved or wanted. I attempted suicide twice as a teenager. I have had two failed marriages and have lived forty-three years without one ounce of self-confidence or self-respect. My mother told me God didn’t want someone like me…. The night you said for those wanting deliverance to line up at the front, my feet got up and took me…. As I stood there, while you spoke, my insides began to tremble. But it was a very strange and different feeling. It was like it wasn’t my insides that were trembling but something inside my insides that was trembling. The more you talked the worse the thing in me shook…it felt like a tornado…very, very angry. I could barely hear you say, “In the Name of Jesus I command you to go!” That tornado lifted up out of the middle of myself and ripped out of my body with hatred, anger, and despite beyond belief. As it left, I passed out. Brother Charles, let me tell you, by the grace of God, I woke up as God’s little girl who is loved! This thing is so overwhelming to me. Each day I love Jesus more than the day before….”
“Dear Charles, I’m free, I’m free, I’m free! Thank you for being my ‘Ananias.’ I have received my miracle! For 34 years I have been in bondage to a curse of homosexuality and rejection placed on me by my Dad. I had begun to contemplate suicide because I could not handle it any longer. I prayed one last time for God to send me the person that could help me get a ‘break through,’ and the rest is history. No one could imagine the pain and suffering I’ve endured in my life but thank God it has been ‘Swallowed up in Victory.’ Charles, the church is so ignorant in this area. The homosexual behavior may be a choice but not the curse. I was five years old when my Dad threatened to castrate me and make me into a girl. I endured this abuse all during my childhood. I had forgiven my Dad years ago, but I never could break the curse until now. I not only experienced deliverance but also an inner healing. I now can begin the ministry God has intended for me. I could go on for days! To me, my miracle is as great as the lame man walking or the blind seeing…. You are free to use my experience to help others….”
“Dear Pastor, I first came across you in 1992 when I was living in Nashville, Tennessee. A friend of mine recorded one of your sermons entitled ‘An Eleven Day’s Journey That Took 40 Years’ (Deuteronomy 1:2). That was probably one of the best sermons I ever heard. Later, you laid hands on me and my 20 years of substance abuse came to a close. In truth, it was the power of the Holy Spirit that did the healing. You were the instrument of His work. I thank God, and I thank you.”
“Dear Pastor Carrin, My children and I visited my mom during the holidays three years ago, and one Sunday while attending Grace Fellowship you had an altar call for healing. At that time, my son Matthew, who was nine years old, was having terrible migraine headaches. They were so severe he would have to go to bed. Matt went forward that day, you anointed him with oil and prayed over him. Pastor Carrin, the other day it dawned on me, he has not had a headache for three years! The Lord used you that day and I wanted to bless you and let you know! I thank you again for being such a willing vessel. The Lord bless you….”
‘Dear Charles, I am a medical doctor and was healed of pain and weakness in both hands that has bothered me for seven to eight years, sometimes hurting all day and night. During your group deliverance, I felt tremendous pressure rise up through my chest that just disappeared with a big sigh….”
“Dear Brother Carrin, I want to thank you for what you have meant to my life. I brought my daughter to you (she was 17 at the time) and you prayed for her. It was the beginning of a restored life for her. As a child, she was labeled as ‘learning disabled,’ and was afflicted with epilepsy, migraines, and numerous other things. She has not had one seizure, nor one migraine, since you prayed for her. It is truly a miracle! I believe we are close to complete restoration! The Lord is good…I love you. The day you prayed for her I saw Jesus with His arms around my daughter. I will never ever forget. Thank you!”###
1 Proof texts of Christians’ vulnerability to demons: Luke 9:55; 2 Cor. 11:4; Mat. 16:23; Gal. 3:1.
2 Psychology. (no longer in technical use; considered offensive) a person of the lowest order in a former and discarded classification of mental retardation, having a mental age of less than three years old and an intelligence quotient under 25. (Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/idiot)
3 It is only the human spirit of a person that is instantaneously regenerated, or born again, at the rebirth that transpires at the moment of salvation; the soul and body are not saved or regenerated (John 3:6; et al.) [ed.].
CHARLES CARRIN’S ministry spans the final half of the twentieth century. He was ordained in 1949 and in his youth traveled with men who preached in the 1800′s. For the first twenty-seven years of his ministry, Charles was a hyper-Calvinist Baptist pastor and Presbyterian seminarian who denied the miraculous works of the Holy Spirit. Mid-way in his ministry that abruptly changed. Personal crisis forced him to acknowledge Scriptures he had previously ignored. It was a time of intense pain and testing. The truths he saw were frightening; they had power to destroy his denominational ministry and at that point he had no hope that another, more wonderful ministry awaited him. As a result of his submitting to God in that crisis, Charles emerged with an amazing anointing of the Holy Spirit. Today, his ministry centers upon the visible demonstration of the Spirit and imparting of His gifts. This new ministry has taken him to London’s Westminster Chapel, the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, and other significant places. He, R.T. Kendall, the former, 25-year pastor at Westminster Chapel, and Jack Taylor, former Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention, travel together holding “Word, Spirit, Power, Conferences.” As an evangelist/writer, Charles’ articles have appeared in major Christian magazines in the United States and abroad. He travels extensively, teaching believers how to operate in the power of the Holy Spirit. Visit Charles’ website: Charles Carrin Ministries
If you think you or a loved one might need deliverance from demonic powers, visit DeliveranceNow.Com.
Many of the issues discussed in this article are addressed in Dr. Lambert’s book, Deliverance From Demonic Powers, which is available in e-book form for immediate download at: http://deliverancenow.com/publications.htm.