I first started ministering healing (at least with any success) at a Global Awakening conference. Sometime later (2006?), I went on a mission trip to Brazil with Global Awakening. Little did I know that in 2012 I’d end up moving to the same area of Brazil I was visiting.
Some of the things Global Awakening taught us were getting words of knowledge and casting out afflicting spirits when ministering healing. I’d already been seeing people healed regularly, but casting out afflicting spirits was new to me. I’d also tried to get words of knowledge with little success, and it would be a while longer until I started seeing much happen through words of knowledge.
Global Awakening’s team taught us when we minister to a person and then interview them, the pain may sometimes move in their body. If this happens, it is probably an evil spirit attacking their body and we should cast it out.
Can Evil Spirits Cause Sickness Or Pain?
This sometimes seems like a novel idea for people who are used to modern medicine and scientific explanations for disease. However, some people have conditions that modern medicine can’t explain. These are often afflicting spirits. It’s also true that we may see a physical problem and there is also an evil spirit causing or exacerbating that problem.
A quick read through the gospels shows that Jesus often cast out an afflicting spirit when he healed someone. The woman with the spirit of infirmity is just one example of many:
Luke 13:10-13 (NIV) On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
Modern medicine acknowledges the relationship between mental affliction and many physical diseases. In some cases, the mental affliction may be related to an evil spirit tormenting a person in their thoughts. Those thoughts then directly affect the body through the endocrine and nervous systems, causing disease or making a person vulnerable to it. In other cases, and I think more often then we realize, an afflicting spirit causes pain in a more direct way.
My Experience With Expelling Afflicting Spirits
I may not have had great success with words of knowledge on that mission trip, but I quickly began to experience what Global Awakening’s team had taught us about afflicting spirits. Many people, when receiving prayer, felt the pain get worse or move to a different part of their body. When that happened, the evil thing lost its cover and was easy to cast out.
Was this only happening in Brazil? No! After I came back to the US, I experienced a whole month where everybody except for one person I prayed for that month was healed, to the best of my knowledge. That means they reported after prayer that any symptoms they were having before prayer were now gone. Some people have issues like diabetes which may not be causing symptoms at the moment, and I don’t always get to follow up with everybody.
Believe it or not, in that whole month, every single one of those people who was healed manifested an afflicting spirit. They were healed when I cast it out. The pain moved or increased in their body. For example, one person had pain and restricted mobility in the shoulder. When I prayed it moved from their shoulder down their arm. When they told me that, I realized it was an afflicting spirit. I commanded it “In Jesus’ name, get out now!” The pain went to the elbow. I commanded it to go about five times, and each time it moved further down, from the elbow to the wrist, into the hand, and out the person’s fingertips. The pain was gone. (See Zeal And Striking Your Enemy )
Some of those people had problems that I would have thought had a purely natural cause. One man had pain ever since a car accident. I would not have imagined it was an afflicting spirit. However, when I laid my hand on this man’s shoulder and commanded his body to be healed, the pain intensified and moved. I then commanded it to leave until it moved down each time and finally went out his toes.
I then realized that this pain had a natural cause, but an afflicting spirit found a vulnerability and latched on to the physical trauma of the accident. This thing had kept the pain from going away for two years. Otherwise, the man would have totally recovered and the injury healed.
It really was remarkable that I had that experience so consistently for a whole month, as if God was teaching me something. I don’t always experience that with such frequency as I did during that month. John G. Lake and Smith Wigglesworth regularly treated disease as a demon, especially cancer. I doubt that an afflicting spirit is involved in every problem, and we do not deny the role of natural causes in disease. However, this experience taught me that the view of John Lake and Smith Wigglesworth was closer to reality than I had imagined.
At that time, I was still mostly ministering healing to Christians. I realized that some Christians would feel confusion or condemnation, as if they had done something terrible, when they found out they had an afflicting spirit. So some explanation was needed. Some believe that a Christian can’t have an evil spirit. When one is uncovered, they imagine that person must not have really been saved. Next week I’ll share my view on this issue as well as how I explained what was going on when an afflicting spirit manifested in a Christian’s body.
Meanwhile, I just came across a great testimony of a man who struggled with severe central apnea. The pain left and he slept soundly after he cast an afflicting spirit out of himself. If you’re in the mood for some more encouragement, check out his story Pain From Treatment Banished.
If you liked this post, you may want to check out the Heaven Now book trilogy. It contains many insights into understanding simple gospel truths and exercising heaven’s dominion on earth. It’s also filled with testimonies of what happened when I put these truths into practice. I’m sure these books will encourage you and help you learn to walk as a heavenly person. Not only that, but your purchase supports our missionary work in Brazil and in every other place we go!