20. In the Womb of the Church
That was the environment of my seven years at Blueberry, holy and pure church life, filled with the demonstration of the Spirit and power, and spontaneous and new every morning, yet orderly as well and infused with anointed worship and clear word and sharing from the throne of God. Every gift and ministry of the Spirit operated freely at all times. The gifts of the Spirit are not for "show" or "display." They are simply normal and everyday things through which the Spirit of God moves from one to another to build us up in the Lord, as the New Testament so clearly describes.
20. In the Womb of the Church
In this letter I share only my own personal experience with spiritual warfare and the demonstration of the Spirit and power. I do not raise questions of "doctrine," but only testify of what I saw and knew and experienced, and continuing to this day. Also, I continue answering the questions asked of me by a brother, questions I shared in "Deliver the Creation."
I lived at a particular Christian community in northern British Columbia called Blueberry from 1986 to 1993, a period of seven years. We returned to Blueberry in 1995 for a year-and-a-half, but God had an entirely different purpose then in our experience. I want to speak of those first seven years as being "in the womb of the church."
I do not look back to "recreate" some wonderful experience as if that, in itself, was God. Rather, I take the glory of God that we experienced through those years and see through it to the glory of God that will cover the earth, flowing out of our bellies. I want that taste of God to be enlarged until it is the whole experience of man upon the earth - not our particular ways inside that community experience, but the knowledge of the Lord.
Now, God takes us through things in our lives to teach us to separate between what is not of Him and what IS. And so I have shared from time to time things I experienced, doctrines I held, attitudes that were not right. I have shared those things out of my own experience to illustrate the truth God is revealing to me in the present moment. I cannot draw out of anywhere but my own experience. Yet, all through what I share, I speak of my knowledge of the glory of God upon His people - most of that experience of God comes out of these seven years at Blueberry.
Human foibles are universal. I found the exact same false ways of thinking in the public schools and in the Christian schools that I also found in Christian community. The only difference in community is that everything is concentrated. People offend everywhere; in community there is simply more opportunity to offend and be offended in less time. At the same time, the love and communion of the Spirit has far more opportunity to be known by us in that same concentrated environment.
Don't ever make the mistake of imagining that Christian community is a "greenhouse" experience where "things are easier." Christian community is like the Promised Land, full of rich fruit and constant warfare. Those who wished to "escape," went out into the world; Sunday once-a-week churches are the "greenhouse-easy" experience.
God does not attend our fellowship with His presence because we "have it right." He attends our fellowship with the demonstration of the Spirit and power because of the devotion of the heart, covered by the blood of Jesus.
To walk in fellowship together through the demonstration of the Spirit and power in the experience of the church IS to be taken all apart upon the altar of incense before the throne of God.
Certainly, we at Blueberry had our short-sightedness, our foibles, and our misconceptions. Certainly, I know the living God inside of me more clearly than I did then. Certainly, I went though many very difficult things because of our misconceptions and wrong thinking, mine as much as anyone's. None of that matters to me. I would go through the same things over and over if, by them, I would come to know the glory of God as I know it now because of my years at Blueberry, in the womb of the church.
I have been in every possible kind of church (almost), fellow-shipping with brethren in every viewpoint of Christianity. I have read of the experience of God in every possible expression down through the centuries. I know the church of Jesus Christ in its totality reasonably well. You can't find descriptions of God moving upon and through His people that I, also, have not tasted and known.
Yet it is those seven years at Blueberry that I hold as the closest thing in the earth - yet - to the reality of a Spirit Church moving together in God's intention for church life inside this in-part age. I don't doubt, however, that many others have experienced similar levels of God among His people in their own place and experience during the last few decades.
My desire, here, is not to boast of things past, nor to exalt any sectarian experience, but rather to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in His church. I will not, in these pages, attempt to explain "community," but rather to focus on our experience of "church" inside the community.
Inside these seven years were my four years of college. Inside them I walked in a covered relationship with Maureen for two years, and then we married and started our first home together. Inside them my oldest son and daughter were born. Inside them, through my college experience, I ventured out of my autistic shell and no longer needed to hide in endless fantasy from the confusion of a world I could not understand (I was 30 as that began to happen for me). Inside these seven years was my greatest creative triumph, the Graham River tabernacle - leading 65 men over four days to raise and "complete" a community hall of my design. Inside these years were my greatest experiences with the glory of God upon His people; inside them were my times of greatest personal pain.
Let me speak first of my daughter's birth. Maureen had returned to Blueberry for the birthing in January of 1994, but I count it inside the same experience in the womb of the church. She began labor around 6 PM or so. As many of the family as could, maybe 70-80 persons gathered in the large room next to where she labored to bring forth our daughter. They sang praises in the Holy Ghost without stopping until she was born just before midnight. They saw visions; they bathed the birthing of our daughter with heaven. I can to this day picture individuals in that setting that evening, the glory of God upon their faces, people I know and love deeply. That is normal church life.
We had two services a week in the community, Wednesday and Saturday evenings, plus devotions every morning except Sunday. Wednesday evening, anyone was free to share what God had given them. Saturday evening was for the elders to minister the word. It was a normal thing for all to share Christ within the church.
We were led entirely by the Spirit. There was never an order, nor any idea of an order for the service. No one knew who would lead praise, or which songs might be sung, or who would preach. We would gather quietly, sit, and someone might begin a song - or not. Maybe it would be just a low current of prayer. Then someone, anyone with a gift to lead praise, would get up. The flow of songs was entirely out of the belly of the person who felt to lead praise. We would praise and worship God in the Spirit for maybe 45 minutes to an hour. Different ones gave a prophetic utterance as the Lord led. Everyone knew, almost at the same time, when the Lord was finished with the praise. Then we waited, but not ever long, for someone to get up and share. Wednesday night, maybe 8-12 people might share, on Saturday night, usually two or three. The word was anointed, powerful, and filled with life.
God is an orderly God, thus, I would guess, maybe 2/3 to 3/4 of the services through the seven years were like that. But God is a spontaneous God as well, new every morning, always doing the unexpected, always moving in ways we did not know. Thus, all through those years, a service that went in an entirely different direction, always spontaneous and unexpected, was quite normal.
One time, before anyone arose to lead praise, someone gave thanks to the Lord. That giving of thanks was of the Spirit and upon everyone. Then another, then another, then another. We spent maybe 2-3 hours giving thanks individually and corporately. It was a mighty moving of God. Another time, a brother with a mighty anointing to lead, who was often out on community business, got up in a Spirit of rejoicing. Suddenly, all the chairs went to the outskirts of the room and we spent the entire 2-3 hour service dancing before the Lord, often in a great circle, in exuberance and praise and the sweet and joyous Spirit of Christ.
Another time, quite distinct, before anyone got up to lead praise, someone went over to another person and asked their forgiveness. That same anointing came upon all of us. Then another went and asked a specific individual for forgiveness, then another, and another. It was one of the most heart-wrenching, opening-up times I have ever known. It was spontaneous and holy. There were times when the service went in the direction of healing. I have known my physical body healed instantly in the middle of such times.
We never knew what God would do or how He would surprise us with His goodness and power.
Outside of move community, I know of only one time that a pastor followed the Holy Ghost separate from the bulletin. It was in the largest Spirit-filled church in Lubbock, Texas. The Spirit of God began moving in a certain direction and the pastor, a wise leader of God, faced with a choice of following the "normal and acceptable church order," or following the Holy Ghost, chose the latter. It was the last straw; he was fired the next week. We went with the pastor, along with a third of the church; that was not a "divisive" split, but rather a birthing of the next thing the Lord was doing in that city.
So, that was the environment of my seven years at Blueberry, holy and pure church life, filled with the demonstration of the Spirit and power, and spontaneous and new every morning, yet orderly as well and infused with anointed worship and clear word and sharing from the throne of God. Every gift and ministry of the Spirit operated freely at all times. The gifts of the Spirit are not for "show" or "display." They are simply normal and everyday things through which the Spirit of God moves from one to another to build us up in the Lord, as the New Testament so clearly describes.
At the same time, even though the college I attended was a fully legitimate college experience, yet the lines between "college" and "community," though kept distinct to maintain the legitimacy of the college, also often merged and overlapped because all our life was life together in the Holy Spirit.
Thus there were many college courses attended by all the members of the community; and there were most definite times when the Holy Ghost came upon us, whether in the service or in the "college course," and everyone knew that we had come to meet with God. All thought of school and farm work vanished (except necessaries) and we stayed before the Lord together for however many days He appointed at that time.
I am describing the normal church life.
Inside that context, in the late fall of 1987, Jane Miller came to Blueberry to teach a college course that I have on my Bachelor of Science transcript titled "Spiritual Warfare."
Let me give the larger context.
Sam Fife was a man mightily anointed by God, carrying a vision of the fulfillment of all that God speaks inside His church in this age and upon this planet. He began to preach that vision across the earth in the second half of the sixties. I first heard him preach in 1977, though my wife first heard him as a little girl in 1966 or 67.
There were only two responses to the word Sam Fife preached. Either it caught you deep in your spirit and you could not rest until, on your knees before God with your Bible open, suddenly you saw what God says, or - it resulted in an immediate and almost violent rejection of the whole thing entirely.
Everywhere Sam Fife ministered, he moved in the demonstration of the Spirit and power. Bodies were healed, demons were cast out, people who had never prophesied began to prophesy, people began to see visions for the first time in his services, and have never stopped seeing them since. Anointings to minister, to seek God together, to follow after to know the Lord came upon people. Whole churches devoted hours and days on their knees together before God after Sam Fife came through. Paul said, "The signs of our apostleship"; this is exactly what he was referring to.
In the early seventies, following, not the man, but the anointing of God upon themselves, thousands of people sold everything, bought property in wilderness places, and moved together into Christian community. I arrived five years later.
I may see a few things differently now, and I may have agonized through much pain and confusion, but I would not trade my twenty-one years in that fellowship for anything in this world. At the same time, so much of what I teach is drawn out of the vision that God birthed in me through Sam Fife's ministry. Much of what I share I heard first through Sam Fife, yet all that I share, I draw from the New Testament, particularly the gospel of Jesus Christ given to us through Paul and John.
In 1966 I believe, an insane woman was brought to Sam Fife and to the church where he ministered in New Orleans. This young wife and mother was a total schizophrenic under the care of Tulane University psychiatrists. She was an excellent "study" case, but the doctors told her husband to forget her, to divorce and remarry, as she would never be anywhere but in a padded cell for the rest of her life.
This young woman's name was Jane Miller. The tapes of her deliverance in that little church have been spread far and wide. Through that deliverance you can hear the distinct voices of a number of very different demons. I knew Sam Fife, I knew Jane Miller and have stayed in her home and she in ours, I knew the man who taped the deliverance sessions, Purcell Coalwell and worked with him a number of times over the years. I knew even others who were there at that time, though many have passed on now. The experience was real and true.
Here is a brief account on the Internet that gives confirmation. I have not looked at anything on this website beyond this page, but what I read on this page, I find to be completely true and spoken out of the kindness of the Lord Jesus. I especially love how this page handles the ministry of the psychiatrist, a perfect balance. http://www.midnightcry.org/pubs/books/dfd/demons_and_insanity.htm
After Sam Fife died in 1979, two streams arose slowly in the move of God. One of those streams flowed through Jane Miller, the most anointed-of-God person I have known besides Sam Fife and one of the best teachers I have known and one of the kindest. I owe her my own sanity, the Lord Jesus through her. The other stream I have spoken of elsewhere. I continue today to follow the same move of God that continued through Jane Miller as do many others who left the move communities around the same time period we did (and some who remain in community).
Thus, upon entering the move of God in 1977 and Christian community, I entered a fellowship where deliverance and casting out demons, as just one of many gifts and operations of the Holy Spirit, was simply normal, just like in the New Testament church and in Jesus' ministry.
However, for the first 10 years of my time in that fellowship, deliverance was not something I was actually a part of. I spent several years at a community in Georgia that was set up as a deliverance community. There, we were taught to win victory over demons by "walking in the Spirit." If there was a need for an actual deliverance session, that happened with elders only present.
There was a huge problem with that approach, however. My "knowledge" of "demons" was theoretical only. As far as I was concerned, I was me and that was it. The idea that a "demon" could be somehow involved with what I knew as "me" was personally offensive. Thus I continued in unending torment, my insides torn to pieces most every day, in spite of continual wondrous times in the Spirit of God and an utter trust in God and in the grace of Jesus my Savior.
It never entered my mind once that all this stuff inside of me was NOT part of me at all. The very thought that my "stuff" was not me I found offensive and not to be considered.
Good Christian people live in torment every day. Preachers of Christ and jeopardy come sweeping through and tell them how their sin and rebellion against God is the cause of their problem. The preachers go, the torment stays. Only now, the darkness is worse. My God, if my strenuous trying to please God does not break the torment, there must be something horribly WRONG with me.
Good Christian people live in torment every day. Preachers of Christ and grace come sweeping through and tell them how they have no problem at all. The preachers go, the torment stays. Only now, the darkness is worse. My God, if grace and Christ-as-me does not break the torment, there must be something horribly WRONG with me.
Jane Miller came to Blueberry to teach her course on Spiritual Warfare. If ever there was a time in all the history of the world when "the students are ready the teacher will come," it was there at that moment. As a people we wanted the living God. We wanted to know Him, to see Him, to walk with Him. We wanted everything God has for His people. We were ready to pay any price to know our God. We were of one heart and one mind.
The class was held in the dining room because the whole family showed up for it. All farm work ceased; the 1st-12th grade school did not meet. For several days, Jane Miller taught us, the power of God resting upon her and upon us. We thirsted for God.
She began with her testimony, an account of her childhood and how, bit by bit, her mind was taken by spirits of schizophrenia. She shared how she snapped as a young mother, unable to cope. She shared how, there, committed to a padded cell for the rest of her life, deep inside her spirit, she lifted her heart up to God and asked Him for help. She shared her side of the deliverance times with Sam Fife in the New Orleans fellowship. We had heard the overall story many times before. She taught about demons, she taught about deliverance, she taught about Christ revealed in His people, setting the captives free.
We were ready for God. Let me now include here an account I have shared elsewhere.
I am a man of habit. I love my easy chair and my cup of coffee in the morning. Yet there whispers inside me the unsettling thought that God is doing something radical on this planet and I am not a part of it. But I have learned that God knows what He is about with me and that when it is His time to set me once again into the glory of His church, He will do it well.
I have seen His glory. Sister Jane Miller came to the community where I lived for several years in northern British Columbia. Jane Miller was delivered from incurable schizophrenia when she was a young mother, delivered by the power of God and by the faithfulness of other believers. God gave her a ministry of tender but passionate deliverance. It became her vision to bring the whole congregation into the ministry of deliverance.
Jane Miller shared her testimony, teaching us the meaning of spiritual warfare. We could feel the anticipation rising. Many gathered in the school building to pray. Jane began to pray for the wife of a close friend of mine. We all gathered around and sang songs of deliverance. We sang and she prayed for an hour, two hours. The crescendo was rising. The next day, all thought of farm work and duties was set aside. I went to Sister Jane and said, "You are going to pray for me, or I will climb in your pocket and go with you until you do."
That afternoon, it was my turn. I was a little disappointed that she was allowing some of the elders to lead the deliverance instead of herself. But as I sat waiting for my turn, I heard the voice of God speak to me, "Son, when you were a teenager, pursuing iniquity and darkness, you were still My son." I had never before considered that.
They prayed for me. I felt worse. The next day, I drove to town for some building supplies, struggling with God. I knew, then, that deliverance was not some panacea, some answer to all my problems. I still had to face God and say, "Yes," to Him. I struggled and sweated, but before I got home, I said, "Yes, God."
That evening, the prayers for deliverance started high. Around seven o'clock a young woman whom we had never before seen came into the tabernacle, escorted by her father. We knew she was coming. They had flown all the way from Philadelphia that day for this moment. Her name was DeLynn. She was skin and bones and under the power of a hideous enemy. As she walked into that room, every heart there knew that we wanted to see her free. Jane had her sit on the side in a chair and we continued praying for others for a few more hours.
At ten o'clock, Jane brought her to a chair in the center of the room. One hundred and fifty people gathered around, young and old, elder and child. Teenagers who hadn't seemed "spiritual." Yet we all gathered with one purpose, one heart and one mind. We were determined to see DeLynn set free, and to share in the cost. There was nothing, of course, that we could give save our voices and we gave them with all our might. We sang at the top of our lungs for two more hours, some had been singing all day. I watched teenage boys commanding demons to come out, little old ladies with their hands raised to heaven. No one sat down, no one drew back, and in the end, she came completely free. As she stood from the chair with the radiance of God upon her face we all shouted, though that was the end of our voices. Sister Jane looked around the room and as she did, we and she witnessed the Shekinah glory of God on the face of each of us.
It was an event that came, left its glory lingering for a season, and gradually lifted. Yet it was a taste of the glory of God, not in heaven, but right here, in the hard places of this planet. I will not be satisfied until I see it again to stay, right here in fullness on this earth, never to be lifted again.
DeLynn's mighty deliverance came the evening of the second full day of deliverance, a season that went on day after day for at least two weeks. Other communities came to join us. God moved in people's lives beyond anything we had known before - or since.
Let me describe the setting. We were in our large carpeted dining room. Chairs and tables were all pushed to the back of the room. People could sit as they needed for short breaks. A few would go into the kitchen, fully open to the dining room, to prepare light meals which we would pause briefly to share. In the front of the dining room Sister Jane placed a chair for the one for whom we were praying. It was sort of "first come first serve" yet in the graciousness of the Lord and in wisdom.
Sister Jane and those anointed in prayer would gather close, often laying their hands on the shoulders or head of the person being prayed for. Nearby, those who saw visions would stay before the Lord in prayer and then come in and share those visions with those praying. The rest of the family were all around close. One or another led us in praises. We sang songs of deliverance in the church of God. We sang for 10, for 12 hours a day. The longest day was 16 hours of singing the praises of God focused on seeing our brother or sister set free and filled with the goodness and joy of the Lord. We did not tire of singing deliverance; we were carried in an anointing of strength.
The average prayer time for an individual person was 2-3 hours.
Some people argue that deliverance "ought to be" just "speaking the word" and that's it.
I utterly disagree. Deliverance is a deeply personal time between you and Jesus carried in the praises of the church. It is an opening up, of being cut wide open before God, of passing between the bloody pieces of all the difficult places of one's life. Forgiveness must come, repentance must come, healing must come.
But deliverance is certainly not a time of "flailing about" or of doing things not clearly laid out for us in Scripture. Everything I have shared is found in the Bible.
Including the demons talking back.
Now, I have no theories in this letter; I share only my own personal experience, what I saw, what I participated in, and what happened to me.
Even after my own deliverance on the first full day of prayer. Even after DeLynn's glorious experience, during which Sister Jane paused the singing and commanded the demons to speak, which they did, primarily so that DeLynn could see that those things WERE NOT HER, but also so that we could see that those things were not her. Even after 2-3 days of such mighty deliverances experienced by people whom I know so very well and love deeply. Still, I doubted. Demons? Fallen angels. I mean, come on, really?
I always require evidence, as in CSI, forensic, courtroom evidence, whether in the Bible or in the Spirit or in nature or in the world.
God gave me the only evidence I would accept.
I had gone out to use the restroom, gone only briefly. That day, because others from other communities had joined us, having heard that God had visited His people, Sister Jane had set up two or three groups of praying so that more people had a chance to be prayed for. When I returned the whole family had gathered back around only one person. I could not see who they were praying for.
Now, in the home where I lived, a younger girl also stayed. She was one of my students in the high school, in ninth grade. She was one of the dearest and sweetest persons I have ever known. She was my little sister to me. She was always so kind and bubbly, overflowing with joy and cheerfulness. She loved Jesus with all her heart. Part of her background was native American. She reads my letters and I don't think she would mind my sharing these things.
When the people parted just enough for me to see for whom they were praying, there was my sweet little sister.
ONLY it was NOT her. I tell you what. That was not her. My God, that was not her.
I will say nothing further, except that she returned to us after a few hours of earnest prayer and warfare in the heavens, sweeter and bubblier than before, just as much in love with Jesus as she is to this day.
Because I love Jesus, I will not offer to fight with someone who comes along claiming that "Oh, it was just a state of her mind." No. But I will feel like duking it out right there, and I will walk away from that person. Yes, I will love them, but I will debate nothing with them.
You see, they would leave my dear sister in torment without giving one flat damn, all the while crying, love, love, and grace, grace.
As I have shared, Christ is personal, so I do not apologize for getting personal, here.
Now, I want to bring in another portion I wrote elsewhere.
I want to tell a story - my version of a parable of Jesus.
I took a walk one day out from Jerusalem down the long, steep slope to the town of Jericho at the north end of the Dead Sea. On the way down, I was attacked by robbers. They stole my innocence, they stole my light, they beat me and left me wounded and helpless, lying there in the ditch by the side of the road.
I was 9 years old.
I lay in that ditch for 36 years, with unhealed, open, and bleeding wounds. I could not get up; I could not heal myself.
During those 36 long years, I watched an endless parade of Christians walk by me down the road. Some hurried by on the far side; I have no quarrel with them. But many came over to look upon me and my pain and confusion, my unhealed, bleeding sores. Not one of them knew how to bring healing to me. Not one.
Among that endless parade of faces were those who were kind and tender, who offered me a cup of cold water, a smile of encouragement. I remember every one of those. But these who stepped into the ditch with me, who offered me kindness in the small ways they could give, who poured a little soothing oil on the hurt, these were a decided minority.
Most of the faces that came to look at me came with the intent to fix my problem. They came with their own ridiculous-looking Band-Aids, their "thus saith the Lord's." And they would apply those Band-Aids in all the wrong places, claiming discernment. The Band-Aids never ever fit the wounds; they were just stuck onto me here and there. Then, the face would stand back and watch. More often than not, when they saw that I was not healed, they would kick me sharply, wounding me yet again, adding even more to my confusion because I thought they represented "God," and go their way down the road.
Meanwhile, the original cutthroats continued to come out of the rocks when no one was around and cut and slash at me again, many times over the years.
I asked Jesus into my heart when I was 7. I was filled with the Holy Spirit when I was 15. At age 16, I overdosed on LSD. As the horror hit me, I saw a vision of the Holy City of God. The gates were closed and barred against me and I was on the outside without hope. I spent the next 8 hours lying on my bed in stark terror, believing that I was forever damned.
For the next 15 years of my life, pain and fear gripped me all through my innards every single day.
I walked with God; He spoke to me. I sat under awesome anointed word; I worshiped God together with others in tremendous rivers of praise. God taught me from His word mighty and glorious things.
And every single day, pain ripped through my guts like a knife. The only way I could survive was to cling to Him with all my heart on the one hand and to hide in my own imaginative fantasy worlds on the other. I was a walking skeleton.
Many, many people, passing by me, told me what I needed to do to be free. They waved their Bibles, talked about Christ in me, about "pushing out the devil by walking in the Spirit," and passed on by.
Until one day, one day, a woman named Jane Miller passed by down the Jericho road, a woman who had known torment and who knew the power of God setting her free. She saw me, lying there wounded and hurting, unhealed, full of pain. She came to my side of the road, got down in the ditch with me, and went to war. She taught me about demons, that they were NOT me, she showed me in full reality the gospel of Jesus Christ - the DEMONSTRATION of the Spirit and POWER. She turned the lights on.
I was 31 years old.
Christ is come into this world as us. He has not come into this world as the demons that still project themselves onto our emotions and into our minds pretending to be us.
God took me through an exercise between Him and me of my surrender to Him over the next few months. Then, one evening, I stood in one of the most anointed services we had among so many in the community where I lived. There was a Presence and Spirit of deliverance and power upon the congregation. My heart was lifted up in praise and in the anointing. In that moment, God took my mind right back to that night 15 years previous when I lay on my bed in stark, raving fear. I saw, as clearly as I had felt it then, that fear and terror. As I saw it, something wrenched loose inside of me like a great hornet's nest, buzzing around and around. I could almost feel it physically in my chest as it rose up like a whirlwind. I raised my hands toward heaven and cast myself utterly upon my Savior. Pow! The thing shot out of the top of my head and was gone.
From that day to this, I have not known that particular pain, pain that was as familiar to me as my own breath every day for fifteen years; I have not known it once since. I cannot remember it.
You see, Jim, this is no theory we are addressing, but people's lives, people we love, people for whom Christ died. It was not long after this last experience of deliverance that I could talk to the dear girl who became my wife, years after God had spoken to me concerning her. You see, Jim, I was unable to talk to her, though I saw her every day for years.
All the wondrous revelation of my utter union with the Lord Jesus Christ, all the precious knowing of my Father - God inside of me, has not changed my Spirit-understanding of deliverance and spiritual warfare. My perspective has changed, my weapons have changed, becoming mightier than ever before, my confidence in God in me, in Christ my life, my only life, continues at the highest peak. And every day, I walk in spiritual warfare; it is as normal to me as breathing.
When I first learned spiritual warfare, I hated fighting. I did not like to fight, but I hated the projection of demons into my person, casting their shadow on my relationship with God, trying to make me think that their feelings and thoughts are just "me" - even more.
Today, God has taught my fingers to fight and my hands to make war. I never see myself as anything other than He in me and I in Him. Yet I recognize the difference instantly between my own ups and downs, my own silly humanity, and another spirit. And I wield the mightiest weapon in my arsenal all the time. They never stand a chance. I put them into Jesus into the light, without the slightest hint of self-condemnation. They hate that; they never stick around.
To finish the history I have recounted, we had so many more deliverance times at Blueberry after that. God did so many wondrous things in our lives, setting people free. Sister Jane - and others with a similar ministry - traveled through the communities, carrying the same wonderful experience of the church moving together in the Spirit of Christ setting the captives free that had begun at Blueberry. Sister Jane has since passed on and that particular season may be over at that level, but the work God did in our lives is forever.
Now, before closing out this letter, I want to address one of the questions you raised. Let me quote it again here.
"On the other hand some say that it is impossible for God and the devil to co-habitate in a believer." And - "I have seen during the course of 'ministry' a person who I considered to be a believer speak in a strange way as if it was another person."
Let's address this question head on, even though those who do not walk in the heavenlies in the power of God will not and cannot understand the answer I will give.
First, this question, "can God and the devil 'co-habitate' in a believer," is one of a category of questions, but not the best one of those questions. Let's look at the best question out of that entire category of questions.
"How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"
Now, this question is much better for two reasons. The first reason is actually serious, believe it or not. The angel question pre-supposes an obvious difference between the physical realms and the spiritual realms. We cannot force the concepts of physical dimension and location upon the realms of spirit.
Let me explain. You are filled with ALL of God - according to Paul. So, are you bigger than God? How can a mortal finite man, or even a large group of humans, be filled with ALL of God?
Or this. We have been immersed into the Holy Spirit. That means that our own human spirit, which is the largest part of our makeup, has been released out into the Holy Spirit. When Paul said, "I am with you in my spirit," he was not speaking figuratively, but literally. Wherever the Holy Spirit extends (to infinity and beyond), there, also, are the "particles" of our spirits.
Then the biggest. Everything is inside of God. Nothing exists outside of the Holy Spirit because there ain't nothing outside of the Holy Spirit. Paul told unregenerate pagans who rejected the gospel utterly, "In Him you live and move and have your being." All demons exist only in God; their life and form and energy comes only from God. Their moral actions are their own, but everything else that is them comes only by the continual sustenance and vibrancy of the Holy Spirit.
The best advantage of the "angels on a pin question," however, is that it is to us clearly ridiculous and absurd. No serious-minded person will debate with you if you suggest that the angel question is ridiculous and absurd.
"Can God and the devil 'co-habitate' in a believer" is equally ridiculous and absurd. The realms of spirit just do not work inside those geographical and physical lines. It is an entirely different realm.
So, quite plainly, I can say, "Christ is my life; I have no other life." I can shout and rejoice and believe with all fullness that Christ is ALL there is in ME." And then I can feel a demon burning his way out of me at the back of my throat moments after he tried to enter. I experience and walk in both, fully, without contradiction.
No demon is in ME. Yet they operate in my "space" if I allow them to, projecting their thoughts and feelings into my mind and emotions, trying so hard to get me to imagine it's just "me." They are never me.
Here's the thing people just don't understand. Demons are 100% normal and utterly familiar to every single person on this planet. Most people imagine that the demon is "themselves," including many who shout "Christ as me." They take things inside themselves that are demonic (and utterly, humanly, normal), and say, "Hey that's me, so it's Christ as me."
No! It is not me. However, I show no mercy. I take all the pretending of demons and I place it right inside of Christ. The thing is, Jim, the more I speak "Christ is all there is in me," and the more I know God, my life, filling me all the time, the less they hang around. They are losing ground - we can expect to see them pushed out of the heavens into the earth any day now.
But, while I was still convincing myself that Christ is my life, I awoke in the night to another spirit sitting heavily upon me. I know well the difference between the surface emotions of Asperger's and another spirit. This other spirit was heavy. It was hard to tell myself that Christ is my life, I have no other life. But I went at it strongly. Then, in a flash, I saw it. I saw the filthy spirit inside the light inside of Jesus inside of me. I thought, wow, even the intention of this spirit to do evil is holy inside of God!
He never stuck around. The thing was gone in that moment.
The mightiest weapon of our warfare is dancing with joy in the celebration of our full and final victory - NOW, before we see any such thing with our eyes. God always leads us in triumph.
The mightiest weapon of our warfare is Jesus' words upon the cross, just after He said, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me," as revealed by the writer of Hebrews, the loudest shouted words in all the universe.
Here am I, I and the children whom You have given Me.
We dance inside these words.
There are many problems inside the arenas of "spiritual warfare" and deliverance in Christian circles, as many problems as attend the entire foolishness of believers inside the church of Jesus Christ. I would walk carefully if I entered into any deliverance taking place outside the realms I have known, judging carefully by the Spirit.
But we don't really need to explore or teach on all that. As we share what is real and true, those who know the Lord will see it and be strengthened in their own victory in the Lord Jesus Christ.