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When the Force Is Against You

Battling spiritual oppression.

I had no experience with demons or spiritual forces the day my future wife and I went to visit Harry in a small rural hospital near the church I pastored part-time during college. He had suffered a serious heart attack and been in a coma ever since. We arrived near lunchtime and encouraged his wife to take a much-needed break while we stayed with her husband.

Harry was motionless as Julie and I talked to him, assuring him of our love and concern. Then we started to pray. In the middle of our prayer, Harry moved his lips and said, "Jesus Christ did not come in the flesh."

Stunned, Julie and I immediately thought of 1 John 4:1-3: "Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of antichrist."

Julie began to cry. I wanted to.

Perhaps by divine design, we had studied about the Gadarene demoniac in a "Life and Teachings of Christ" course just that morning at Baylor University. ...

May/June
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