Friday, February 3, 2017

A Little Background Before We Dive In

Back in 2007, when God started my spiritual warfare ministry (notice how I phrased that), I had no idea what deliverance ministry was. Long story short (covered in A Field Guide to Spiritual Warfare - the Power to PULL the IMPOSSIBLE from the HEAVENLY REALMS), I found myself several months later on the streets of San Francisco, doing homeless ministry, through Bob Johnson's City Ministries, Night Strike on Friday nights. My very first night on a Night Strike, I was in the Tenderloin with my team, led by husband and wife, Wayne and Diane. Also on our small team were, Matthew (aka Hollywood) whom would stay on with me later as a key Night Strike member, and Mark, who was the youth pastor, from Harvest Christian Church (but has since moved on).

On the streets, we encountered a homeless woman, I handed her some warm soup and started talking with her. I asked her if she would like for me to pray with her. She took a sip of her soup and replied, "Oh, sure. That would be nice."

As I started praying with her, the woman's body started to tremble and shake violently. Her eyes rolled into the back of her head, and she fell to the ground in an unconscious state. Diane, Mark, and I kneeled down next to the woman as she continued to shake on the filthy sidewalk. Diane prayed over her to bind the demonic presence, and the spirit hissed at her. I reached down and touched her ankle to pray with Diane. The spirit growled at me, "You're F-ing burning me! Don't touch me." Diane prayed some more. This was my first night in spiritual warfare training, and I was now knee deep in what the Christians call a deliverance prayer battle. It wasn't taking place on Holy grounds, like in the movies, it was taking place on a dirty, stinking side-walk. I could tell by the look on Mark's face - that this was a FIRST for him as well.

I moved my hand from the woman's ankle and touched her shoulder to pray. The spirit hissed at me again as I touched her, "You're burning me." Diane continued in prayer and tried to reach the tormented soul, but it wouldn't come up. The soul was rejecting the help of the Holy Spirit so stopped praying over the woman and moved on. We saw her an hour later, walking down the street like the event never occurred.

I just wanted to share that testimony, because my baptism into spiritual warfare, was anything but ordinary. Anything I have from my first year on Night Strike was always over the top. People in the church body would always tell me I was heading into deliverance ministry. But most of my experiences were anything but what was written about in popular deliverance books of the time. I never felt I was meant for deliverance ministry, but for something much darker, whatever that ministry was to be. I believe the book, A Field Guide to Spiritual Warfare covered everything I needed to know about deliverance and I moved on to deeper and darker waters not long after I published that book.

Night Strike was a huge training ground for me as well as a great ministry for equipping others. The team members that comprised the Night Strike ministry teams got training that no school of supernatural ministry could ever provide. We dealt with everything from addiction and illnesses, broken bones healed, I think there was even a case of miraculous healing with HIV through prayer. We dealt with our share of demons and satanic angels. It was all over the map.   It was a time and moment, where the Holy Spirit just showed his students everything.  It was an incredible time in my life, that door has opened and long since closed. The Holy Spirit directed me to new areas of ministry during some incredible equipping seasons. In some of these training seasons, I was shown the occult in different parts of the world, and how the local pastors dealt with that in their region. These parts of the world include the countries, of Ethiopia, Guyanna South America, Haiti, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

What I didn't know is that my journey would take me into the controversial areas of Christianity, exorcism. This ministry wasn't an elected choice for me -rather, I ended up here. God places you where he wants you. The Holy Spirit took me to this point in my spiritual life in baby steps. Even though I was protected through His covering and training, I was still exposed to the powers of darkness and what they are capable of doing in sifting a man. I have seen my finances wiped out, my marriage violently shaken to the core, and too many other things to describe. The levels of oppression during attacks are off the chart. Furthermore, during these attacks, God puts a supernatural burden on you to pray for those he assigns to you for help. This is why only those who are delegated by the Holy Spirit should go into this ministry. God assigns it to you. You don't request it. Nor would you want to request it if you knew what was involved. I know there are a few of my Catholic friends have a hard time gripping the notion there are Protestant exorcists. Not all the Catholics, but there are a few. For me, it is difficult as well, explaining, a Pentecostal exorcism, which is not low-level deliverance prayer, is different, from the Roman Catholic Rite of Exorcism. Both deal with higher level demons and satanic angels.

What has significantly changed in my life through these trials has been the ever growing deeper connections with Jesus Christ. Many people ask me about the occult and what I know. It doesn't matter about what you know, it's about WHO YOU KNOW! During the deepest, most horrible sifting and tribulations, can you still connect with Jesus Christ? These battles, no matter how dark, are all about faith and the promises of the one who will deliver you from evil. What is a Pentecostal Exorcist? Someone that connect with God during deep heavy warfare and no matter how bad the attacks (and they're really nasty!), have the faith that there will be victory. When I work with people under attack, the first thing I do is work with them on their interior life and connecting with Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior. A lot of my roots of where I am at now came from the lessons in human compassion I learned on the streets as Night Strike member and then it's leader. Bob Johnson and Mark Neitz sowed a lot into me (prophetic and healing ministry). This was an education I couldn't get from anywhere else. Don't even think I would have gotten a better one if I were sent off to the Vatican for this ministry.

At times I feel like I am a lone sheep dog guarding the flock. This isn't a ministry for those seeking recognition. In the Protestant side of the church, this ministry is ridiculed, partly because there is a huge lacking in practical application warfare in seminary training. This is not part of the piece of paper Ph.D. receives when they graduate Bible college. Exorcism has been severely stigmatized for numerous reasons.,

1. The Western church doesn't believe in the existence of the Biblical angel titled Satan. They believe in the watered down -devil.
2. Satan has infiltrated the consumer market in deliverance material and deceived the church into believing they can battle him with spiritual authority. We are lesser than angels.
3. Exorcism has been stigmatized by the media by insane people grossly hurting or killing those in an exorcism.
4. The Protestant church tends to ridicule exorcism and believes that low-level deliverance is all that is necessary for all spiritual battles.
5. The Western church believes that exorcism solely is a ministry of the Catholic Church (which it pretty much is at this point).
6. Non-Catholic exorcists are entering the ministry who don't belong in it. A certificate on the Internet doesn't hold up against the forces of darkness. Beware of the charlatans!

When is exorcism necessary? Usually when you're dealing with the occult. Usually.  People and children can also be possessed as a chastizement for their generations of lack of respect to God (generational iniquity and occult practices). The focus of this ministry is to bring inner healing to severely demonically afflicted souls. Being oppressed, or having bad luck in finances, or having a dysfunctional family, are NOT the reasons to seek out the ministry of exorcism.

Ok. I meant to focus on talking about Deliverance and D.I.D., but for some reason, in the spirit, it was necessary to give some background of why I say things and where I am coming from. I have seen warfare from different aspects and different levels. I have seen the true evil the enemy is capable of doing to people. Perhaps, the true purpose of this is to give you a feel of when I make comments here, the theology, and practical applications come from the trenches. I also need to mention through the years and seasons, GOD sent me some incredible mentors. I didn't seek them out. The Holy Spirit provided them and placed them into my life.

So next blog entry, I promise, we'll discuss Deliverance and D.I.D. For some reason, I needed to clear the air on where I have been and how I got here.

Well, that's enough for now. Hope this was beneficial.

Rev. Mike

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A Field Guide to Spiritual Warfare - the Power to PULL the IMPOSSIBLE from the HEAVENLY REALMS