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gilded sword

Son, this is for you.

 
 
I am the eldest son and I suppose that is why, when I was eight years old, my mother gave me this family heirloom. It was a sword like the one pictured above.  My mother said the sword was from my deceased grandfather, who received it from his father. Handing me the gilded sword, my mother said that because she was her fathers only child, it had come to her. Now, because I was the eldest male, she was giving it to me.

I looked at the sword in my hand and I thought to myself, “this is the coolest thing ever!”  I felt very special as I took the blade out of its sheath, barely hearing my mother recounting how my great-grandfather was a 33rd-degree Mason of the Scottish Rite.

Catholic Mass

My family was not religious.  I went to Catholic Mass once or twice but found church services boring.  I couldn’t understand a single thing the priest said and hated kneeling down for such a long time.  My mother said “Hail Mary’s” with me before bed, but stopped when I was about 8 years old; roughly the time she gave me the sword.

In my teens, I read at a voracious pace.  Science fiction was my favorite genre, but the paranormal also keenly interested me.  I learned about ESP and other types of psychic experiences.  One time my friends and I tried some sort of spell or enchantment, but when my face changed appearance they freaked out.

Magic

Magic always seemed to make sense to me. One day a substitute teacher, who was into eastern mysticism, taught our physics class.  She handed me an amulet, saying that it would become hot in my hand if I were in tune with “the spirit world.”  As I held it, I felt it become hot.

Something very strange happened to me about the time I received the sword. Whereas I had been a happy child, I began to feel isolation and rage. I was a tormented soul. In grade school, even though I was very large, packs of kids bullied me during recess.  I began thinking there must be something wrong with me to attract such abuse.

Come to Bible Camp with me

One of my only two friends invited me to a Baptist Bible Camp.  Jack knew Jesus and probably hoped I would come to know Him also. I thought religion was all a bunch of malarkey, but I went anyway because I enjoyed paling around with my buddy.  Hearing “stories” about doing “pranks” at camp, I set about figuring out what mischief I could cause.  I hit upon a brilliant, although disgusting idea of removing all the floats on the boy’s toilets.  Unfortunately, my plan succeeded beyond expectations.

Yup, I’m dead

Stern man

As I sat on the camp minibus, waiting to go on a field trip, I found out how well my “prank” succeeded.  A very upset man boarded the vehicle with daggers in his eyes.  A former Marine Corps Drill Sargeant, the way he announced that someone sabotaged the boy’s restrooms sent a chill down my spine.  Apparently, no one bothered to alert the staff that the toilets would not flush and they were full to overflowing.  Slowly, seat by seat, person by petrified person, the former Drill Sargeant looked each one of us directly in the eyes. I knew my only hope was to resist flinching when he came to me or I was doomed.  Finally, my turn came and our eyes met.  After a couple of seconds (which seemed like an hour) he moved on to the next cringing suspect.

On the last day of the camp, during the altar call, that same Drill Sargeant/Preacher kept calling, saying “is there anyone else that would like to give their heart to the Lord tonight”.  Though extremely convicted, the steely determination that saved me on the bus wouldn’t allow me to answer Christ’s invitation.

Jesus, please forgive me and come into my heart

Later on that night, under extreme conviction, I asked Jesus to come into my heart.  Laying in my bunk bed, I felt the weight of sin literally lift and the love of God fill my heart and soul!

From that point on, my life began to change.  Eventually, I decided to go to Bible College and learn about the word of God.  Though still tormented, at least I had a clear direction and purpose; I wanted to be a minister!

A hunger for God’s word

Like a starving man, I devoured the word of God.  Not only did I take more than a full load of classes, but I also worked my way through an extensive tape library of past sermons. Every day, as I  delivered newspapers, I played cassette after cassette.  When that was not enough, I even obtained permission to access the “restricted” section.  That is when I found out about demonic deliverance.

Can Christians have demons?

Bible

I could not believe what I heard; could a Christian really have a demon? As the tape described how demons worked and what they caused people to do, I knew they were talking about me!  Could it be that the bullying in school was demons tormenting me through other children?  Was this the answer as to why I suffered so much in my youth? Was all the anger I felt rooted in demons?

I went to a counselor at the college and told him point-blank, “I think I am demon-possessed.”  The counselor replied, “no, you can’t be possessed by an evil spirit, because you are saved and filled with God’s Spirit.”  “No,” I said, “I really think I am demon-possessed.”  After a long talk, the counselor satisfied himself that I was not possessed and sent me on my way. I went back to my studies and tried my best to “be happy”, but try as I might, I still felt miserable. I still felt that somehow demons were oppressing me, at the very least.

Deliverance comes to our church

Then one day, a spiritual move of Demonic Deliverance hit our church.  Keith Gun, one of our church pastors from another state, testified about deliverance from demons.  Many in our congregation sat horrified as demons literally started to scream out from “saved” people. I went to my counselor after this and as he looked into my eyes he noticed my pupils constricting every time He mentioned Jesus. He no longer argued his theological points from our past conversations, but promptly took me to a prayer team.

Laying on the floor, as the team began to pray, something inside of me uncoiled and uttered an unearthly scream. A demon sprang from deep inside my body into and through my mouth cursing and yelling.  It was horrific and men rushed from all around the sanctuary to hold me down.  I don’t even want to describe it, other than to say I experienced some of the worst parts of the hit movie, “The Exorcist.”

Delivered and set free

Deliverance profoundly changed me.  The torment left and I could think straight for the first time. People couldn’t get over how different I was. I felt peace inside. About that time, I remembered the gilded sword.  I don’t know why, but I brought it to Bible College and stashed in my dorm room.  After being delivered, I felt this overwhelming urge to get rid of it.

Taking a sledge-hammer to evil

Yielding to what must have been the Holy Spirit, I carried the family heirloom outside. Laying it on a large wooden block, I picked up an 8-pound sledgehammer and swang it down upon the gilded sword. As I did, I heard someone screaming.  I swung the sledgehammer down upon it a second time, shattering the ivory handle. Over and over I swung the hammer until it fell off the block, each time putting it back and hitting it some more. When I finished, my great grandfather’s sword lay mangled, shattered in pieces

As I looked at the bits and parts, I saw a very brief vision of a man walking away from me in a black cloak.  In doing research for this essay, I came across a book about initiation rituals of 33rd Degree Masons.

Jim Shaw writes about the Scottish Rite,

“One of the Conductors then handed the “candidate” a human skull, upside down, with wine in it. “May this wine I now drink become a deadly poison to me, as the Hemlock juice drunk by Socrates, should I ever knowingly or willfully violate the same” (the oath).

He then drank the wine. A skeleton (one of the brothers dressed like one – he looked very convincing) then stepped out of the shadows and threw his arms around the “candidate.” Then he (and we) continued the sealing of the obligation by saying, “And may these cold arms forever encircle me should I ever knowingly or willfully violate the same.”

The Sovereign Grand Commander closed the meeting of the Supreme Council “with the Mystic Number,” striking with his sword five, three, one and then two times. After the closing prayer, we all said “amen, amen, amen,” and it was over.”

And, ‘

On Thursday evening we gathered at our home Temple and dressed for the ceremony. It was always a most solemn occasion and seemed a little awesome, even to those of us who had done it many times.

Dressed in long, black, hooded robes, we marched in, single file, with only our faces partly showing, and took our seats.”

The end of the matter

I don’t normally give such testimonies, because I do not like to dwell upon evil.  I’ve been delivered and set free from such things by the power of God in the name of Jesus Christ.  I share this testimony with you for two reasons.

1.  Demons are real and are at the “root” of many problems in our lives.

2. Certain artifacts are demonic talismans.  These demonic emblems bind and torment those who possess them. This is why you should never buy an African mask that looks evil, collect Masonic memorabilia, etc. Usually, if you feel an affinity for a certain piece, it is demonic; don’t buy it. You must destroy and renounce such things in order to be truly free of them.  I know this all sounds like something from the X-files, but it’s true.  I had to destroy my great grandfather’s gilded sword for those Masonic curses to be broken in my life.

Only God can cast out demons

God casts demons out with His finger.  With God on our side, we do not have to fear evil. Though the Devil and his hordes are a defeated foe, they can still work their evil if we are not aware of them.  Many people, like I did, struggle in life not understanding why they are having so many difficulties.  It is written,

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Ephesians 6:12

If you feel discouraged because you just can’t seem to catch a break, maybe there is more going on than meets the eye.  Perhaps this story will help you realize there may be other forces at work in your life.  Sometimes, as was my case, demonic curses must be broken and demons cast out in Jesus name. With demons, only the power of God can set you free. Amen

Derek Prince On Demons: Questions and Answers

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