Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Holy Ghost Story: The Battle with Voodoo that Launched M16 Ministries
At this point in time, Bob Johnson would always ask me, "so what is your dream? What do you plan to do with everything God was showing you?"
I didn't have an answer. I didn't really know what to do with what God was showing me but I knew Bob was right. There was a destiny and a purpose for what God was revealing to me. I was embarrassed at times that my only response to Bob was a shrug and saying, "I haven't a clue."
When the Holy Spirit opens your eyes and trains you, let me tell you, He has plans for you. Hindsite is always 20/20. Some revelations of the Holy Spirit are becoming clear to me as I look back and type this blog entry.
The Holy Spirit spoon fed me to my destiny in the form of releasing me to assist a person in Switzerland.
Wait a minute, didn't you just say you lived in San Francisco? Yes. I did say that. The time of spoon feeding was over and I was being weaned. Or what I tell the M16 prayer team now, we're praying with live ammo rounds.
The Holy Spirit called me in to assist a woman in Switzerland who was being attacked by a spirit of African witchcraft. She was a young African hairdresser named Edna. The rival beautician in town was also from Africa and decided to level the playing field of competition by using black magic.
The following entry is partially a testimony excerpt from my book, The Field Guide to Spiritual Warfare -the Power to Pull the Impossible from the Heavenly Realm, Destiny Image (coming out in Feb 2010) and part is more info I am going to fill in as the Holy Spirit recalls the events. Not meant as shameless plug for the book, well in a way it is, but my true intent is to blog a good Halloween story, or what my friend Gina Prince calls a Holy Ghost Story.
So how does a California boy get a divine appointment from Switzerland? Well, it went like this: One Friday evening in October <2007>, I was in San Francisco, setting up teams for Night Strike. Bob Johnson, who runs City Ministries and Night Strike, approached me and asked me out of the blue, “How good is your French?”
I gave Bob a puzzled look. I wasn't quite sure, but I thought he just asked me if I spoke French. Bob had now type-casted me as his demon buster. I knew then that speaking French had to do with demon busting. For clarification, I asked him to repeat the question.
Bob asked again, “How good is your French?”
I told him I had four years of French in high school, but that was back before electricity was invented. I didn’t remember my French classes at all except for reading French. Bob said he had some friends in France who needed help fighting demonic activity and witchcraft.
“France, huh?” I didn’t immediately tell Bob, “No!” But I didn’t say, “Yes,” either. I needed time to pray and think about this one. Bob said he would give me the contact information and I could follow up. That is Bob’s way of saying he heard me say 'yes'. Bob is my mentor in the prophetic and my friend. So there was no way of saying 'no' to Bob. And the Holy Spirit knew this. I wasn't given a chance to get out of this.
After wrapping up Night Strike and driving back home, I remember praying to God about this case. “God, if this came to my doorstep because You want me to be part of it, I need to know You are in it with me!” I was clearly thrown off by the fact I was in California and the people I needed to help were in Switzerland, near the border of France.
There's that whole 6000 miles of distance between the person I am supposed to help and my self. I needed plane tickets to manifest if I were to actually help this woman. And it would have to manifest quickly! Well, that was my plan -but it wasn't the Holy Spirit's.
When Sunday night rolled around, Lisa and I went to the Kingdom of Grace Maranatha prayer and healing meeting. We are part of the Kingdom of Grace prayer team and pray for people who come for healing. You will remember that Gary Paltridge is a friend and is the minster at Kingdom of Grace. He asked me to pray for a particular gentleman that night; he said the young man needed to be set free from—you guessed it—African witchcraft.
This was the second time in the same weekend that a spiritual battle with African witchcraft was assigned to me. A coincidence? Not likely. After two hours of praying, this young man was almost completely free of the majority of the witchcraft demons. He required several more prayer sessions after this. But he really got cleaned up on this evening. So why didn't the Holy Spirit remove them all? In deliverance, the person being prayed for needs to be involved and take responsibility for their own lives. Some people take responsibility and some don't. The Holy Spirit wants the person being prayed for to have an active part in their own deliverance. How many times did Jesus tell a person to 'sin no more' after he healed them?
What Gary pointed out to me during this prayer battle was how many nasty demons were removed in two hours. The Holy Spirit was showing me that He was with me during a spiritual battle. I walked away from this battle knowing that distance wasn’t an issue. The battle didn’t require proximity; it required faith and authority!
Sunday night to Monday morning God had literally spoken to me a lot about what I needed to do and I needed to have confidence in myself as well. I knew all about faith and authroity, now I was being schooled on the confidence I needed to move into the calling God had for me.
On Monday, I followed up and called the overseas husband and wife team, Jerry and Barbara, who had requested help with deliverance prayer. They were actually in Switzerland, but very near the French border. Barbara’s hair stylist, Edna, was the young Nigerian woman being attacked by voodoo. Edna’s house had snakes and spirits manifesting in it. She had become ill from the intense demonic attacks that she couldn’t eat and her skin had developed a strange rash. Edna was in stages of severe demonic oppression.
Edna learned from one of her friends that a competitor in town had sought the aid of voodoo priest in Nigeria to drive Edna out of business. The situation became so dire that Edna sent her son to live with relatives in France to get him out of the spiritual war zone.
Lisa and I spoke with Jerry and Barbara and immediately mobilized to equip them with spiritual warfare information. These people knew their authority in Jesus Christ; this made them the perfect people for the job. Lisa worked with Barbara on how to bless homes. We wanted to immediately stabilize Edna’s home environment. We found out that, because the spiritual activity at her home had gotten so bad, she had moved out and was living in an apartment with her friend.
The plan was to spiritually bless wherever Edna was currently living and prepare for a deliverance session over the phone on the upcoming Saturday. I immediately began fasting and going into intercession with Jesus.
Through the week, we worked with Jim and Barbara. We gave them material on breaking generational curses, including witchcraft curses. We knew we needed a translator. Edna spoke some English and I spoke some French. We needed someone who spoke both French and English fluently.
An interesting side note is that, during my times of intercession, I get some cool “download dreams.” In one dream I was given a leather-bound book on Edna’s life. I flipped through it and looked at the pictures. It looked like a personal photo scrapbook of Edna’s with her own comments handwritten in French. In the dream, one photo caught my attention; it was the photo of a woman with blonde hair. Keep this side note in mind; it comes into play later.
Throughout the week, Jerry and I exchanged e-mails of the material I sent him that was being translated into French. We also found an interpreter; it turned out to be the woman who was letting Edna stay at her place.
By Thursday, I believe, Jerry and Barbara had completed the spiritual house blessing and had blessed the apartment where Edna was currently residing. We found out later that the apartment building was very old and the residents saw shadows and apparitions there all the time, especially at night. However, the spiritual activity was suddenly shut down once the house had been blessed!
On Saturday, a small audience gathered in Edna’s apartment in Switzerland to witness the deliverance session. They came because they had witnessed firsthand the cessation of all spiritual activity in their building. Meanwhile, I had invited my good friend, Jimi Merrell, of DreamFusion ministries, to be part of the West Coast posse gathered in California.
When it was time, I dialed Switzerland. Based on my experiences with demons hanging up the phone on me, I had already taken authority in the spirit realm and bound demonic access to the phone lines.
Jerry and Barbara orchestrated the deliverance from Switzerland as Jimi and I listened in on the speakerphone. We interjected where we felt the Holy Spirit needed us to break something off Edna, such as soul ties or anything witchcraft-related that was bringing her harm.
Edna’s roommate read the deliverance prayer to her. If Edna didn’t understand the sentence in English, her roommate repeated it in French. About half an hour into the prayer and deliverance, I heard a woman weeping. I quietly asked Barbara if Edna was crying. Barbara whispered back that it wasn’t Edna. I asked her who was crying. She said it was the interpreter. Edna’s roommate was getting delivered too!
Then I asked Barbara if Edna had blonde hair, because I had seen a blonde woman in my spiritual warfare dream. Barbara said Edna’s hair wasn’t blonde, but her roommate’s hair was!
After the deliverance session Edna was able to eat again. Her rash disappeared in a matter of days. Barbara assisted Edna that week in unpacking her hair shop, which Edna had closed and had now re-opened for business. The woman who placed the curse on Edna was so freaked out that she went back to Nigeria to look for a more powerful witch doctor. Good luck with that! No witch doctor can compete with the Most High God.
I do feel that the woman who placed the curse on Edna is one day going to get down to her knees and call Jesus her personal Lord and savior -if she hasn't already. The entire village witnessed this intense battle against the forces of darkness and Jesus won. He won at the cross! Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. She has seen the fire power of God. With her own eyes this path that started in darkness can only end up in redemption. I know one day I will be sitting and listening to this testimony somewhere from her own words.
M16 was forged on this day. With Jimi, and my wife Lisa, working with me I realized a team was being put together and I didn't know what it would look like. Bob Johnson's question about, "what is my dream", resonated in my mind. I was starting to dream and I had the confidence the Holy Spirit was going to put this team together. M16 is now a team of about 12 people who know their authority and make the impossible bow to the name of Jesus. We have fought battles so demonic and crushed the powers of darkness. And the only reason we're all still breathing is because we stand firm in the supreme authority of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have had several nasty spiritural warfare campaigns against witchcraft in different areas of the world. Our minsitry has also expanded to include ministers in other countries.
I still receive e-mails now and again from Africa and Nigeria requesting help with voodoo. The people seeking my help are usually Christians. I tell them they have authority to cancel any assignments being sent against them by voodoo practitioners. If they don’t realize the authority in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross—they will never be set free.
Now when M16 receives a request for help I immediately check to see if they know Jesus. If not, we share the Gospel and invite Christ into their deepest, darkest problems. If they know Jesus, then they must stand on His work and their faith. Otherwise, they will live in fear, which means handing their authority over to satan.