Evil Spirits
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Is There More Demonic Activity in the Non-Western World?

Is There More Demonic Activity in the Non-Western World?

I have never encountered a demon (that I know of), but from people who have, I have heard that there are ways to distinguish demonic activity from other things, such as epilepsy, bi-polar disorder, etc... although sometimes it is not easy .  People whom I consider reliable have told me stories that sound legitimate.  However, many stories that I have heard or read about second-hand sound like the product of an overactive imagination.   In the life of Jesus, there are numerous accounts of demonic possession.  But there are extremely few reports of demon possession in the United States (or other Western countries).  Why is that? Some more charismatically-minded Christians might suggest that demonic activity in the West is just as prevalent as it is in other places around the world, but many Western Christians are blind to that because they are influenced by secularism and are not open to that possibility.  There is probably some validity to that perspective, but I wonder if there are less reports of demonic activity in the West because the Devil knows that that attack strategy doesn’t work very well in the Western context, given the fact that the scientific-rational culture dismisses such manifestations as having other natural causes.  Therefore the Devil uses other tactics to decieve and destroy (secular humanism, atheism, religious pluralism, etc).   But in Thailand (and many other non-Western nations), I think we probably hear about demonic and/or supernatual activity more because   Many people have a supernatural / animistic worldview already, therefore they over-report spiritual activity, and There is actually more genuine overt demonic activity in those places because it is a working strategy for Satan to keep people away from the true God.    The Devil is a pragmatist, and since fear of spirits and supernatural power work in many contexts, that’s one of the winning strategies that he often employs.   
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How the Devil Counterfeits the Creative Power of God’s Word

How the Devil Counterfeits the Creative Power of God’s Word

The Devil has never had an original idea in his life.  Ever since before the creation of man, the Devil has been imitating God in a bid to be God himself.  Even when it comes to the creative, life-giving power of God’s Word, the Devil tries to copy it.But what is that creative Word that the Devil imitates?The Word of God is creative in that it creates out of nothing.  God’s Word is not merely powerful.  It is power.  When God says something, it just happens.  If you or I say, “Let there be light”, nothing happens.  But when God says it, light is created.  When Jesus wanted to calm the storm (Mark 4:35-41), all he did was say a word, “Peace, be still!” and it was calm.  In a certain sense, we might say that when God speaks a word, it is magic.  The word itself has power to bring into being that which it signifies.  But my words and your words are just signs that point to some other reality.  They don’t create anything.  The word of the Devil is the same.

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The Trivialization of Halloween

The Trivialization of Halloween

Many American evangelical Christians are opposed to Halloween because of its pagan origins, and demonic tie-ins. And I can’t disagree with their historical data.  But telling the culture in general that Halloween is Satanic comes off sounding ridiculous.  It sounds ridiculous because the vast majority of Americans, both kids and adults, are not trying to worship Satan or conjure up the dead during Halloween, but just have some fun.  After all, what’s wrong with dressing up in a costume and eating some candy?

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Thai Belief in Guardian Spirits for Babies

The other day our house helper was holding our baby Caitlin while I (Sun) grabbed a bite of lunch. She suddenly realized that Caitlin had a double cowlick on her head and, after confirming that the baby was born on a Monday, foretold that Caitlin would be feisty and strong-willed just like one of her sons who had similar traits. The week before she had told me that as an infant her son was so strong-willed and hard to please that she went through a Thai ceremony in hopes of making her son more manageable. With a group of elderly people around, the ceremony required her to ask aloud, “Who’s baby is this? Whatever spirit or ghost or demon out there that owns this baby, come and claim him.” At this point, the group of elders assuming the role of a “Mae Seu” (แม่ซื้อ) would respond by saying, “He’s ours and we will take him.” This ceremony is supposed to make the baby be less difficult to raise. However, it didn’t work for her, she confessed. He was still keeping her up all night from 7 pm to 7 am and sleeping during the day for a long, long time.

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Demonic Happenings at the New Airport

Demonic Happenings at the New Airport

This Monday, Dec 4th, we'll be flying to Thailand and arriving at the newly constructed Bangkok airport, which opened in September 2006. The construction of it was plagued by a series of accidents and the Thai authorities decided to bring in a bunch of Buddhist monks to chant over it for good luck. The following excerpt from the Bangkok Post (Sept 24, 2006) tells of the bizarre event that happened during the chanting ceremony and gives some insight into the spiritual realities that shape the lives of Thai people.

 

“Last Saturday there was a large ceremony held at the new BangkokInternationalAirport which is due to open this week. Ninety-nine Buddhist Monks chanted on masse to improve the luck ofthe new airport. Half way through the rite, a man appeared quivering and began to speak in a commanding voice claiming to be the guardian spirit of the airport land. He ordered that a proper spirit house be built at the airport to allow for its smooth operation. The man, who was unidentified, later passed out and woke up to find the spirit had left him” (Bangkok Post article, 24th September, 2006)

 

The spirit world is very real to Thai people. Please pray that they would understand the true nature of the principalities and powers of this dark world and would come to saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

 

 

Bothered by Evil Spirits

A fellow missionary friend here in Thailand recently shared the following story about the influence of evil spirits on Thai people and I think that those of you who pray for us and for the Thai people will find his story insightful. He writes:"In the west, we often don't think much of what it would be like to be under the domination of spirits. Fear and manipulation of spirits is a constant theme for many Thai.Late yesterday afternoon, I got a phone call from one of the church members. He was at the church with a high ranking military officer and his wife, who were asking for prayer [although neither of them are Christians]. She claimed that someone had hired various spirit doctors to possess and attack her. She reported having various visions that I'd rather not go into, and that the spirits were taunting her and telling her she was going to die. There was a look in her eye of emptiness and fear, and her husband had a deep look of concern in his face. As we prepared to pray for her, he asked if he should take off his amulets, and we said yes. He proceeded to take off 4 or 5 necklaces filled with amulets and talismans - one necklace with about 15 small amulets, another with 3 or 4 large amulets, and so on. Some of these amulets are

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