Christian Counseling and Spiritual Warfare with
Christian spiritual advisors should be well versed in metaphysics. In their dealings of God and angels they must also unfortunately be prepared to deal with dark side metaphysics as well. Like the dark side of human nature, angels also have a dark chapter in their history. This dark side includes the fall of a select few who rejected God and chose to rule in Hell rather than serve in Heaven. This is the study of the fallen angels or demons. Unlike the love angels have for man, demons are driven by hate and jealousy of mankind. They have failed their test to remain faithful to the Lord. Unlike human nature which is fallen and open to numerous mistakes, the angelic nature possesses super intelligence and can foresee consequences more clear than the human intellect. Human nature is far less intelligent and unable to comprehend the magnitude of decisions. Angels, however, understand these decisions with far more clarity. Hence this superior intelligence produced an angelic fall that was once, final and fixed. The single choice to serve God was rewarded with paradise while the single choice to rebel against God was punished via Hell.
As stated in Scripture, Michael and the good angels cast Lucifer and the evil angels into Hell. While Scripture is brief about this battle, one clearly understands that Lucifer or Satan became the arch nemesis of humanity. His sole purpose is to defile God’s creation to spite God. Which brings one to various theological questions? Why did Lucifer rebel? What is Hell?
Lucifer’s Choice to Rule in Hell rather than Serve in Heaven
Lucifer’s choice presents a dilemma for many concerning the fact a good God would allow evil to ever taint his creation. Augustine argued that the allowance of free will permitted the existence of evil. God did not create evil, but evil was an absence of that goodness. God allowed the chance of deviation from good because He valued
the beauty of choice. The choice that makes His creation free, the choice that makes His creation to be made in His own image and likeness. This deficiency that existed in Lucifer was attributed to pride the chief vice and root of all sin. Lucifer chose his own will over the will of God’s and refused to serve. He found more joy in his own inherent beauty that in the awesome nature of God. Some theologians have even speculated that his rebellion was also related to the thought that the Son would take upon human flesh and he would be forced to kneel before human flesh. Of course this speculation refers to a theology that supports the thought that the Son would have become man even if Adam and Eve had never sinned. Regardless, the primary element of the story is Lucifer refused to serve and because of that evil entered into the world. That same evil corrupted his beauty and transformed his inner light into a black energy void of goodness. He and his followers retained their angelic nature that was inherent to them, but their essence was corrupted and disfigured. They were now fallen angels or demons.
Scripture also speaks of them being cast into Hell there to suffer for eternity. Did Hell exist prior to this? Does God send his fallen creation to Hell? It is hard to
theologically define a metaphysical place but what one does know is that Hell is a place void of God. Whether it is an actual place or a state of existence is not known, but its reality is a dogmatic belief of Christianity. I think one can logically conclude that Hell was not created by God originally but was a place “created” by Lucifer and his legions that refused to worship God and refused to repent. The reality that their own choice stripped them of the chance of the Beatific Vision is one of their greatest torments. What is most ironic is the pride that sent them there shall forever keep them there. There persistent pride prevents them from ever begging forgiveness. They realize the justice of their fate but in their spite grow in greater hate even though their sentence is just. In this misery they lash out against God and curse Him and all his creation.
This lashing out against God’s people was seen throughout the Scriptures; The story of the snake in Genesis, Lucifer and his hate of Job, Christ’s battle with Lucifer in the desert, Christ’s numerous exorcisms, and finally the numerous mentions of Satan in the Book of Revelation. The terrifying reality is these creatures exist and they want to harm humanity. As a counselor, it is important to understand their powers and their intents. One cannot deny the devil’s existence but realize he does exist. This is not to support over indulgence in attributing maladies to satanic influence, but it does support a healthy realization that some “mental problems” may not be mental but originate from a spiritual source not from God. I will conclude this section with a few examples of satanic activity in the world and how one as a Christian counselor can identify these presences and rate them in magnitude.
Demonic Activity On Earth
The most common demonic activity on earth is the fundamental temptation. While the flesh is inclined to its passions which we call concupiscence, some temptations do indeed originate from the satanic realm; Those whispers from the little devil with the pitch fork on our left shoulder, compelling us to tell that white lie while “funny”
are not too amusing when we realize the nature of the entity that is urging one to commit certain sins. In fact certain demons are attracted to certain sins and find joy in the committal of those actions. They merely need a human agent. The greatest goal is when the action no longer becomes an isolated sin, but a vice and habitual. In many ways, one’s own fallen human nature partake in vice without the hiss of the devil in one’s ear. I feel “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis is a masterpiece in investigating the whispers of the evil one and how without even an apparition he can control so many souls-souls that may even deny his very existence.
The second level of demonic presence is Infestation. This usually deals with demonic activity or evil spirits of the departed. Obviously, there would be a difference in these haunting if one is simply dealing with a spirit of a person rather a demonic entity, but the fright that accompanies these haunting is definitely intense. One who is in-tune with the evil that is present can sometimes even sense the evil that permeates the air. Infestations usually deal with places or objects. The spiritual decay that surrounds these temporal things is an attachment that can only be severed through exorcism and multiple blessings.
The third level of demonic activity is Obsession. Obsession deals with a demonic entity that has found a close attachment to person. Apparitions may take place, visions, and in some cases torment. Obsession can be a precursor to Possession, but in some cases it can be the rage of the enemy upon a saintly figure. Again, if you are counseling someone who is experiencing these apparitions and science or medicine cannot explain it, prayer, fasting, and if necessary additional help from the Church may be needed.
Spiritual Direction and Exorcism
The final level of demonic activity is Possession. Possession can be imperfect and perfect. Perfect possession is the possession one rarely hears about or sees because the host is perfectly content with his demonic counterpart. There is no struggle but open acceptance. This possession can be sensed by Christians with “spiritual vision”. These possessions are usually found in the occult, Wicca, the Church of Satan and its subdivision, the Temple of Set. It is very important to understand these black religions. While many disavow the belief in Satan, except the Temple of Set, they are all satanic in origin. The Church of Satan worships self, and extols the angel of light, Lucifer, supposedly in figurative terms. I do not personally believe they merely worship self but also Satan. Wicca and many occult religions also would deny the belief in the devil but would contend they worship the earth, a neo-pantheism. Yet as Christians, we all realize that the pagan gods of old were merely demons masquerading as gods. The Temple of Set actually proclaimed worship of the angel Lucifer when they subdivided from the Church of Satan. They felt the need to openly admit their worship of the devil instead of pretending to be a secular humanistic club for narcissistic self love. In the end, their practices reveal what they are. Their black magic, their invocations, their witchcraft, their spells, and their curses all point to a master who is not Christ, but the great deceiver, Lucifer.
Imperfect possession is the next type of possession. This possession is not wanted. It presents a battle between the soul and demon possessing the body. Christ, himself, cast out many demons throughout Scripture and laid the groundwork for His Church to continue in this warfare against Satan. Christ emphasized two things. First, it must be done in His name and second, it must accompany fasting and spiritual cleansing. While Hollywood has turned exorcism and possession into a horror production with extreme visual effects and outrageous story plots, one need to only experience the most simple of possessions to find enough terror to the last them a life time. In Malachi Martin’s book, “Hostage to the Devil”, five true cases of exorcism are relayed. Transcripts and audio from them are replicated in the pages. Naturally this creates a more than “R” rated script but it presents the foul nature of the demonic and the seriousness of spiritual cleanliness. The book also presents in-depth analysis on demonic activity and covers the Roman Catholic ritual of Exorcism. Many of the souls in this book are victim of Satan via Ouija Boards, occult meditation, new age meditation, or divining with mediums. Yet unlike perfect possession, the souls cry out for help. In these cries, one can experience, the speaking of tongues, superior strength of the person, unexplained wounds and markings, bleeding of the walls and cold change of temperature.
While any Christian can perform an exorcism by following the formula, it sometimes takes many hours for the demon to finally reveal himself and leave the body. This is why it is not recommended that one attempt this alone or without a praying Christian community. Roman Catholics have used the ancient ritual of Exorcism which has a very high success rate but even the Catholic priest does not come alone but is accompanied by friends and members of the community to pray and try to subdue the demonic entity. As a counselor it is extremely important if you encounter someone who claims to be possessed that you follow the proper channels and guidelines. The Rite of Exorcism should be performed by professionals with experience and should not be attempted until all scientific and medical explanations have been exhausted. This is not to say the simple Christian with faith and Christ cannot cast out such demons, but it can still pose a spiritual and physical threat to oneself. Realize, these entities are extremely powerful and if you arouse their anger, in their free will, they will come after you as anyone else. Great faith and sanctity are a pre-requisite.
I believe sincerely that spiritual warfare with the demonic entities is a daily occurrence. This war, however, is not only limited to the fallen angels, but their disciples on earth as well. While one prays for these deceived individuals one cannot lower their defenses because they can present a very dangerous risk to other people. Obviously there is a physical risk with such dangerous individuals, but I would rather speak of the spiritual risks. Some people can fall under great demonic oppression merely by curses and focusing. If you ever have a client and he or she speaks of his or her past involving Wicca, witchcraft or the Church of Satan, their escape from the cult may have come with a price. The occult numerously casts
curses upon people that result in increased demonic activity in the life of the cursed individual. This leads to “bad luck”. It is not magic, but merely incantations of evil upon another individual. The believer is fortified with God, his angel, and grace, however, those with less spiritual strength can become prey to these predators.
Tools of a Christian Spiritual Advisor
As a counselor, you must be their strength and via faith in Christ, prayer and fasting, cast the curse back to its origination. The power of Christ is amazing in these instances. A pray, a laying of hands, a call to St. Michael, or a blessing of the home or person can be amazing in its power over these “magicians”. Within Roman Catholic circles, the brown scapular, the St. Benedict medal, and other prayers are also useful tools against such evil doers. Realize, even the least powerful angel is more powerful than Lucifer. If armed with the angelic hosts, the power of the Holy Spirit, and Christ’s name one can help the tortured soul who has become preyed upon. Still, in some cases, the Lord permits certain evils. Why? It is beyond our
comprehension. We can speculate for his greater glory? Or is it a confrontation that must be dealt with to strengthen the soul in faith and hope in Christ’s power? Certainly, if one is victim to these occurrences, while frightened, how could they then doubt God’s existence? If the devil exists, certainly does God and that should give one great joy.
In conclusion, as a Christian counselor, one should take great honor in this spiritual combat. However, one should also be a wise soldier and not fall victim to pride in his battle with the dark one. Our power over demons is not inherent to our own attributes but only via the Blood of Christ. Without Christ, they would certainly devour us.
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By Mark Moran, MA