Until recently I was a non-believer when it came to Satan as I have never experienced or observed anything to confirm that existence. After reading Wounds That Heal by Stephen Seamands the needle on the meter has moved toward devil-agnostic based on his spiritual explanation of why my experience conflicts with what the Bible says about the devil and his demons.
I have posted Seamands’ key points and if you are a devil-unbeliever or a devil-agnostic like me, I would encourage you read them before you continue with this post. It can be found at:
The following excerpt is from Rev. Dr. Timothy W. Ehrlich’s book entitled The Long Road to Eternity now available on Amazon. It describes his personal encounter with evil spirits.
A few years ago a Christian friend of mine pointed out a destructive pattern that was going on in my life. Every time I was planning a vacation, or a major trip, or had a major life event about to happen in my life, my son Timmy would get sick and be admitted to the hospital. She said, “I think Satan is using Timmy to get to you.” I thought about it and realized she could be right.
I thought that the coinciding of Timmy’s illnesses with my special events to be his subconscious reaction to our increased tension related to these events, but I decided to keep an open mind regarding evil spirits. Over the years I have experienced a few minor brushes with what might have been Satan and was relative certain that there is an unholy spirit which would explain a lot of the evil in the world, but at this point I had never experienced demons or demonic possession. I have been with several Christian friends as they “bound Satan” in Jesus’ name, so I decided next time Timmy got sick I would try it. It wasn’t too many months before I got my chance.
I came home early from church because Timmy was sick – throwing up again with cyclic vomiting. He was lying on the couch in our Florida room when I came home. He was in some pain and moaning a bit. I kneeled beside him, bowed my head and began to pray silently without Timmy realizing, “Father be with me now as I bind Satan with your power and in your name.” Then, silently in prayer I repeated the formula I had often heard: “Satan I bind you in Jesus’ name.” As soon as I said, “Jesus’ name” Timmy’s whole body jolted one time like a convulsion.
It startled me so badly that I rocked back on my knees away from him. I moved back towards him and held one hand over his head and one over his body. Silently again, in prayer I said: “Satan I bind you in Jesus’ name.” Again, as soon as I said, “Jesus’ name” Timmy’s whole body jolted again like a convulsion. It shocked me and again I rocked back away from Timmy. I said to myself, “It must be working, so this time no matter what I am not going to recoil from Timmy.”
I moved back towards him and held one hand over his head and one over his body. I started again, “Father be with me now as I bind Satan with your power and in your name.” Then, silently in prayer I said: “Satan I bind you in Jesus’ name.” As soon as I said, “Jesus’ name” Timmy’s whole body jolted again but this time I kept praying, binding him with bands of the Holy Spirit and them casting him out. As soon as I finished praying and casting out Satan, I felt something had happened. Timmy jumped to his feet and ran to the bathroom to throw up. I have read that sometimes when someone has a demon exorcised it exits by the person vomiting. Timmy vomited one or two more times after that but then that was it. This was the first time his cyclic vomiting stopped by itself.
In 2019 my wife Anna, Timmy and I took a family trip to South Dakota to visit my daughter. Sure enough Timmy got another bout of cyclic vomiting. He was angry with God at that time and when I asked if I could pray for him, he said no. He threw up for two whole days; none of usual medicines worked. In the morning of the second day I asked again if I could pray for him? This time he said yes.
When I pray for someone who is sick that I am going to lay hands on them for healing, I start by preparing my heart and spirit by doing an ACTS prayer (Adoration, Confession, Thanks, and Supplication). So, I did the ACT part of the prayer and then I prayed, “Father, let me be an instrument of your healing, let your Holy Spirit fill me and flow through me into Timmy?”
I then concentrated on being filled with the Holy Spirit and letting it flow through me into Timmy, but he was still ill. So, I again prayed (always silently) to bind and cast out Satan. This time I actually saw a charcoal grey vapor like smoke go up from his head. Timmy stopped throwing up from that moment and he was released from the hospital in the early afternoon and was fine for the rest of our trip.
Recently Timmy was having nightmares, horrible nightmares with graphic images of violence. His psychiatrist gave him a prescription for a special medicine that was supposed to help, but it didn’t help. Timmy surprised me by telling me, “I feel like there is an evil presence in my room that is causing me to have nightmares. Would you pray in my room and get rid of it for me?” I said I would be happy to.
That evening when he went into bed, I came into his room and prayed aloud. “In Jesus name I anoint this room in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Making the sign of the cross over the room, I said, “In Jesus’ name I bind you Satan or demon present. In Jesus’ name I bind you Satan or demon present and I cast you out of this place in Jesus’ name. Leave this place and do not return; in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” I made the sign of the cross again with my hand as I said the words ‘in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’ Timmy said, “When you made the cross with your hand, I saw a dark thing that looked like smoke go up from your hand and leave the room.” Coincidently (?) his nightmares ended and he was able to stop taking the special medicine for nightmares.
These experiences and several others have convinced me beyond a reasonable doubt that the scriptural stories are not just (for example) a misunderstanding of epilepsy and mistaking it for demonic possession, or some other primitive or simplistic first century A.D. understanding of natural phenomenon. I have experienced that there actually is an opposite to the Holy Spirit – an unholy and evil spirit; just as there are angels there are demons.
The good news I have discovered is that the name of Christ is powerful and can defeat and cast out this evil when it presents itself. Also, more good news, because of these experiences, Timmy has resolved his anger with God, whom he blamed for afflicting him with mental illness, and has begun to pray and to return to God.
Timmy turned to God for the first time in his life because of experiencing for himself the power of prayer and the reality of evil. The experience has also given me a new perspective on why a loving God would allow an evil spirit. The evil spirit is destructive, cruel and inflicts pain and these negatives help people understand the alternative goodness that God is, and that God provides.
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Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. (Matt 10:8)
They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. (Mark 6:13)
At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. (Luke 7:21)
so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them. (Acts 19:12)