God has granted to churches people who can see spirits. God has also granted to churches pastors as shepherds. Thus, pastors should provide pastoral authority over seers. This means not rejecting the gifts God has granted, but rather pastoring seers effectively.
Some time ago, my wife and some people in our church met with a young demonized couple to go through something called “deliverance,” a process that helps people get free from demonic oppression. (This is something that can only happen with the help of Jesus, who died on the cross to set us free from these entities and from sin. This is not something to be undertaken lightly or without some training).
They met at our church. After a long session with them, the Christians met in the basement to debrief. Most of the people involved in this process did not attend our local campus (we attend a multi-site church… one church with several locations).
Some interesting things happened – and were seen – in the basement.
For context, the building our church meets in is rented from someone else. We’ve met there a little over a year as a church. There are three levels, a basement with the children’s classrooms, the main level with a large space for the main service, a coffee room, a restroom and a couple closets. There’s also an upper level that has been rented out as an apartment in the past, although it’s now vacant.
Here’s what the team – particularly the folks who had not been in our building before- noticed.
- A seer among them saw a dark spirit in the main basement room.
- They discerned something violent had happened to a child in the room that serves as a nursery and something akin to dark energy or a haunting was occurring there.
- The seer saw (and others discerned) little “imps” hiding in a closet beneath the stairway.
- Later, they went upstairs, and determined sexually deviant spirits were in the apartment space.
The entire team began praying through each room, cleaning the space out in Jesus’ name. One engaged in an odd conversation that went something like this (as reported by my wife):
Looking up, “Father, there’s a dark spirit there.” Looking in the corner, “Dark spirit, you must go, in the Name of Jesus, you must go.”
Pause. He looked up, “Father, he said he doesn’t have to go.” Pause. Looking at the corner and he said, “It doesn’t matter what he said. You have no more authority here. Your assignment is done.”
Pause. Looking up. “Father, he says he has permission to be there.” Looking in the corner. “I don’t care what he said. I don’t care that he gave you permission. I’m undoing that permission in the Name of Jesus.”
Pause. Looking up again, “He still won’t leave.” He looked to the Pastor. “He has permission to be here, maybe by a former pastor.”
So the spirit was telling him something, and he was checking with God about the veracity of it. God apparently was speaking back.
The spirit’s argument was it had been given authority by someone, perhaps a former pastor who had used the building, to stay, and the person commanding it to leave did not have the authority to so, even in Jesus’ name.
Well, it turned out, our pastor was right there. He commanded it to leave in Jesus’ name. It turns out, the Pastor’s name was on the lease.
The spirit left.
Pastoral Authority Matters.
With the pastor present, these guys cleaned out the basement, cleaned out the nursery, cleaned out every corner, every closet, and yes, the upstairs apartment.
It’s interesting that, before this cleaning happened, a few spiritually-sensitive people had commented that the nursery didn’t seem “right” and the basement didn’t seem “right”, but they couldn’t put their finger on it, and had more or less dismissed their senses.
The next day was Sunday. A seer who attends our church went to the nursery. He was unaware of what happened the day before. He told somebody, “Something’s different. What is it? A new paint job? It’s brighter in here.” He asked about some decorations, to see if they were new.
No new paint job. No new decorations. Just no dark spirits. No dark spiritual memory of some violent act. Booya!
When my friend the seer heard what happened, someone commented that maybe a former pastor in that building had given the spirit permission to dwell there, even inadvertently. My friend said, “No. It’s the landowner,” from whom we were renting the building. “He did.” Most likely, unwittingly. My friend received that information downloaded into him by the Holy Spirit. We call that a “word of knowledge.”
- Pay attention to your spiritual discernment. Several people had sensed something was odd in the basement, but ignored the sense, for whatever reason.
- Seers don’t see everything all the time. Sometimes it’s a good idea to bring seers in from other churches to see what they see.
- Clean house! In your church or home, take time to go through and clean it out. It’s important that a person with authority over the space does this or grants permission to the people doing it. Even if you don’t pick up on anything spiritually, go ahead and clean house from time to time.
- Pastors (Reverends/Priests, or whatever your faith tradition calls the man in charge of the church) have power and authority. They should exercise it over the spirit realm in their church.
- Words mean things: Life and death are in the power of the tongue, said an ancient Hebrew prophet. We sometimes grant permission to spirits to enter our spaces unwittingly. There is a spiritual hierarchy to spiritual authority. Take care to speak life and not to grant anything to enemy spirits.
- Freedom remains in what Jesus accomplished on the Cross, through faith.
- If you have the power of God living in you, then use it for good. Because the Kingdom of God does not consist of talk but of power.
What take-aways do you get from this experience?