The Need for Spiritual Warfare in the 21st Century
Are demons just a myth or “old time” legend? How real are evil spirits and is demonic possession happening in our lifetime? Ask any exorcist and they will tell you that the power of the demonic is on the rise around the world. Exorcists are being called upon by people from all backgrounds to expel demons from a family member or loved one.
The 1973 movie, The Exorcist caused people from around the world to experience true terror for the first time in history. The Exorcist movie was more than a horror film. This was a film about demonic possession. It was a film to let the world know that something like this could happen to you. The movie was based on a true story. This movie is so terrifying that many people today refuse to see the film because they see it as something that can happen to them or someone that they know.
In the 21st century, the Christian church is seeing more demonic possessions than in previous generations. Today, it is becoming common for Christians and non-Christians alike to call upon exorcists for help. In the Roman Catholic church, at least one exorcist is available for every diocese. Most of the time, the exorcist is hidden and not exposed. However, they are used when a priest believes that someone may be demonically possessed. An exorcism is usually performed on someone after all other medical attempts have been performed such as: psychological and psychiatric methods, medications and other modern-day medical interventions.
There are some ways in which a demon possessed person will show that they are in fact possessed over other cases that may be just physical ailments. Here are a few examples:
- Chairs, furniture and other artifacts move by themselves without anyone or anything touching the object. Demons have been known to move chairs or tables to show that they are present in a room.
- The room will get extremely cold, while other rooms in the home are warm. Usually, people will enter the room and feel like they are freezing.
- The demon possessed person will be able to speak in languages that they were never trained in.
- Supernatural occurrences happen in the home such as lights flickering on and off or the sounds of people knocking on the door.
- Hearing voices screaming at all hours of the day and night and yet no person is screaming in the home.
- Apparitions appearing.
- The person that is demon possessed often shows extreme signs of anger when the name Jesus is mentioned or anything having to do with God.
Let’s Talk About Spiritual Warfare….
Spiritual warfare is talking about any type of spiritual or physical tool that is used when battling demons. Some physical tools of battling demons are: The Holy Bible, Holy Water, incense, Sage, crosses and Holy Communion. Some nonphysical spiritual warfare tools are prayer, singing praises to God, talking to the demonic possessed person and casting out the demon using words.
When someone suspects themselves or someone else to be demonically possessed, they often feel completely different than they normally would feel. They often experience stages of growling or acting like something is completely wrong. The demon possessed person or people that know them will often seek out help from their medical doctors, counselors and every modern day means for help. When the medical community fails them, they often turn to priests and exorcists for answers. Once the demon possessed person begins the exorcism, they often feel like they are undergoing a major battle in their life.
Exorcists often feel a calling in their life to help someone that has a demon inside of them. Two exorcists in the 20th century were Ed and Lorraine Warren. Their work was mainly to exorcise demons from people and cursed objects from homes.
When someone starts to perform and exorcism, they must never give up on the person that is demonically possessed. The demonically possessed person will often fight the exorcist with cursing at them, vomiting, spitting at them and supernaturally throwing objects at the exorcist in order to get them to leave the room.
The exorcist will find that they are under spiritual warfare and must use all means possible to get rid of the demon. The exorcist will often place a crucifix near or on top of the demon possessed person. He/she will often sprinkle holy water on the person that is demonically possessed and even put religious artifacts of saints in the room.
Exorcisms can take days, weeks and even years. Usually, the demon possessed person will try to rebel against the exorcist. It is important that the exorcist is well trained before taking on a demon. In many cases, an exorcist will leave the exorcism in fear because they will soon realize that the demonic forces are a lot harder to expel than what they may have though. Often, an exorcist will take with them someone that is not as experienced in doing spiritual warfare along with them for help. This is good for a person that is not experienced in giving an exorcism but feels a calling to become an exorcist.
During the exorcism, the demon possessed person may say something to you that you only know about. Demons are powerful and often know our deepest secrets. The demon possessed person may look at you in the eye and say, “I know that you are a drug addict”. Perhaps nobody else knows that you are, and you have never told anyone else that. The demon will often tell you something that only you would know. They will try to attack you as a person to expose your sins. They often want you to feel like you are not worthy to cast out the demon.
The exorcist must remember that they are only a vessel that God uses. You are not worthy to cast out the demon, but Jesus Christ is. Jesus Christ is the only person that can cast out demonic spirits.
In the New Testament, Jesus Christ gave his apostles the authority to cast out devils in his name. Therefore, the name of Jesus is traditionally used to cast out demons. Exorcists often cast out the demon by saying, “In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to get out of _____ (the persons name) right now and go back to the abyss in which you came from.”
Highlights of The Exorcist Movie
- The movie came out in 1973.
- William Peter Blatty is the writer of the Novel The Exorcist. He was also a film creator.
- The novel was inspired by a real demonic possession case that Blatty learned about while attending Georgetown University.
- The actual person that had the exorcism performed on them in 1949 was a 14-year-old boy named Roland Doe (Robbie Mannheim). In the Exorcist movie however, it was casted as a young 14-year-old girl named Regan.
- The exorcist movie has grossed more than $401,400,000 worldwide at the box office.
- The exorcist movie costed $12,000,000 to make.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
This movie was made in 2005. This is also a true to life story about a woman that was demon possessed and the medical industry tried to do everything in their power to save her life. When the medical industry and science failed the family, they turned to priests that later prove to not be able to save her life either. This movie was directed by Scott Derrickson.
The movie was based on the life of Anneliese Michel. She was a woman that doctors said suffered from Epileptic seizures. However, a priest saw that she was exhibiting demonic like symptoms. The 19-year-old ends up dying of self-inflicted wounds and malnutrition. Of course, the Priest is blamed for the death of Emily Rose and the family decides to take him to court. The priest, Father Richard Moore is asked by his diocese to please guilty so that this case could go away. However, he decides to fight the case in court and the case becomes public.
The priest tells that he experienced supernatural forces trying to attack him at night while he was preparing to perform the exorcism. Even the priest’s attorney Erin Bruner feels that they are being bothered by a demonic force. The priest did record every encounter that he had with Emily Rose.
He recorded a time when he was performing the exorcism and the demon inside of the girl got so agitated that it caused the cat in the home to attack the priest. Even though Emily Rose was tied to the bed, she was able to untie herself and jump out of the window into the barn that was outside. The priest kept on demanding for the demon to tell him their name. The demon responded by giving the priest six names. These names of the demons were: Lucifer, Cain, Judas Iscariot, Nero, Legion and Belial.
During the trial, a doctor by the name of Graham Cartwright is called to testify because he was at the exorcism of Emily Rose. He did witness demonic forces attacking her. Before he was to take stand at the trial, he was hit and killed by a car.
The priest shows a letter to the court that was written by Emily Rose the day before she died. In the note, she writes that she was visited by the Blessed Mother Mary. Emily Rose said that the Blessed Mother gave her a choice to either come with her now to heaven or go through another day of exorcism and become a martyr for the church to prove that demons and God do exist. Emily chose to be a martyr.
When the Jury hands down the verdict, they give a guilty verdict. However, they ask the judge to not sentence him. Instead, they ask for the judge to give a sentence of time already served.
Interesting Facts About the Movie:
- It grossed $144,216,468 worldwide.
- Considered to be one of the best movies ever made on exorcism.
- It was written by Scott Derrickson and Paul Harris Boardman.
Movies like The Exorcist and The Exorcism of Emily Rose teach us that the supernatural is still in existence. In most cases, people call upon priests and exorcists to perform the task of exorcising demons. If you suspect that you are demonically possessed, you should consult with a priest.
Most faiths have priests that are used to do this kind of exorcism. You may find that its hard to have a spiritual ritual. However, exorcism rituals are often used to help people to determine who they are and where they are headed later down the road. It is safe to say that a ritual is not always 100%.
Sometimes, the exorcism doesn’t turn out the way that you would have hoped. In many cases, priests try to expel the demon and it doesn’t want to leave. This often happens in haunted houses. There are many famous cases of haunted houses remaining haunted even after the house was cleansed from the evil. The demons tend to come back or never leave the presence. It is often recommended that a person moves themselves and their family out of the home when something like this occurs.
You should never try to do the exorcism on your own. The reason is because many inexperienced exorcists find that the demon goes after them if they feel that there is an entry. It is also recommended that the exorcist takes someone along with them in order to perform the exorcism. An experienced exorcist is always recommended.
You may not always get the results that you are looking for at first. It often takes several tries to exorcise a demon. This often takes time and energy to make this happen. It’s best to just keep on doing what you feel that is going to happen for you. It’s important to look at yourself and feel like you can do something that makes more sense.
What Are the Most Famous Reported Cases of Exorcism?
- Anneliese Michel
- Carolyn Perron
- Richard Gallagher and “Julia”
- Clara Germana Cele
- Michael Taylor
- David Berkowitz
- Roland Doe
- The Smurls
- Anna Ecklund
I find that the Smurls family poltergeist case was the scariest for me. This case involved a family that claimed that their home had been taken over by demonic spirits. Nobody in the house was possessed. However, the family wanted to have an exorcism performed over their home because it was said that the family kept on hearing: banging on the walls, strange smells, shaking beds and mattresses, sexual assaults on family members, family members being pushed down the stairs by a ghost. The family even said that on one instance, the dog was thrown against the wall. Prayer was conducted on the home and it did seem to help. However, in 1987, it was reported that strange noises were heard coming from the home.
In many cases of haunted houses, the homes often don’t get rid of the demonic activity in the home forever. Sometimes the demonic activity goes away for awhile and then returns later. Often, demons will try to hide themselves so that they can go undetected for years and then start up again.
Many exorcists claim that haunted homes often have a history of seances and the use of Ouija boards or other occult tools that were once used in the home. Haunted homes often have a history of demonic spiritual tools being used in the home before actual poltergeist symptoms occur. Often, the tools are used for playing games or just for seeing if they can arouse a demonic force to come through.
When a game is played, this often opens portals for the demons to enter the earths atmosphere. Once they enter earth, its often impossible to get them to leave entirely. In some cases, the demons do leave permanently. In other cases, the demons tend to linger and not want to stay away. It becomes hard for the exorcist to do things right because the demons often fight them and sometimes kill them.
In many cases, the exorcist was killed or became possessed themselves by the demon. This often happens when the demon sees an opening in someone. They tend to latch on to people that they feel could be taken over. If you have ever dealt with a demon, you might see that they are powerful and real. They tend to make us feel uncomfortable and often bring out a side to us that is more in tune with what may be really going on in the spiritual world.
Demonic possession is rare but does happen. It should be noted that because we live in a world that is increasing in sin and lack of self-control, demons are entering earth a lot more frequently. Millions of people worldwide are beginning to feel that they may be demon possessed.