By Thomas R. Horn
August 14, 2010
[Authors note: While this series will deal especially and extensively with the connection between emerging technology and evil-supernaturalism, we wish to launch the expose in earnest over the next few entries with the basics of "Spiritual Warfare 101." The reason for this will become clearer as we start to peel back the onion layers into a dystopian nightmare most will find disquieting if not altogether shocking, yet necessary to understand.]
"I will not risk open war."
Aragorn: "Open war is upon you, whether you would risk it or not." - J. R. R. Tolkien's, Lord of the Rings
My wife and I learned in over 25 years inside the largest evangelical institution in the world that there is always subtle danger when writers who attempt to discuss evil supernaturalism focus too much on unnecessary and often wildly exaggerated and biblically unsupported characteristics. We've shuttered more than once at so-called authorities on spiritual warfare using their works to fascinate people with everything from the particular names of demons to their size, shape, skin color, hair color, number of digits and even the thickness of saliva dripping from their lips. While such details may seem innocuous enough or even entertaining in a "Stephen King-ish" sort of way, this practice can become unbalanced and antithetical to New Testament instructions, even opening doors into the imagination for mental and spiritual danger. It is therefore the goal of this work to help with only that material we believe is necessary to recognize the battle that all believers are engaged in, and to comprehend the nature of the tactics employed by our hidden enemy. As Theoden learned in the Lord of the Rings, we are in this war whether we want to be or not, so we need to be equipped and informed.
We shall never forget some years ago when Dr. David Yonggi Cho described for us in vivid detail how he learned the truth about such unseen intelligence, which among other things operates behind the scenes to obstruct the work of the ministry.
As a young preacher, Cho had gone into a small Korean community to pioneer a church. Soon he discovered, as is common throughout much of Korea, a temple dedicated to the city's "guardian god" atop the highest local mountain. When the priests of the shrine learned that he was planning to start a missions outreach, they came to him infuriated, demanding that he leave the village. When he refused, they vowed to return and to put him, and any converts he won in the meantime, to death.
A few days later the priests were back, this time with a mob. The head priest, making sure the crowd was watching, called out, "Cho! Do you really believe that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that he can still work miracles?"
Cho replied, "Yes, I do."
"Then we have a challenge," the priest yelled. "Down in the village is a woman that has been bedridden for seven years. She and her child are dying now of disease. If Jesus can heal this woman in the next thirty days, we will go away and you can have your church. But if she is not healed, you must abandon your work or we will return and kill you and your followers."
Cho explained how in the United States most American's would never respond to such a dare, but that, in those days and in that culture, for him to have failed to do so would have been (in his opinion) to imply that his God was inferior to the temple deity, and would have closed the community's willingness to consider the Gospel message.
As a result, Cho accepted the contest and the following day traveled with his mother-in-law to the village where he found the dying woman. He suggested to the infirmed lady that if she would pray the sinners prayer and accept Jesus as her Savior, the Lord might choose to heal her. Instead, he found the woman to be very angry with any god (including Cho's God) who would have allowed her to suffer in the way that she had. After several unsuccessful visits to convince her otherwise, Cho decided that prayer alone would be his best alternative for her and her child.
Over the next few weeks he prayed earnestly for a miracle. He made regular visits to the village and sent messengers to report back any change. To his disappointment, the woman's condition only seemed to be worsening.
As the weeks passed and the deadline loomed, Cho grew very concerned. Finally, on the evening of the thirtieth day, he entered his prayer room and reminded God that, unless a miracle occurred, people from the temple of the guardian deity would arrive within hours to kill him and his followers. Cho said he prayed throughout that night and into the next morning "with the most passion ever."
Then, at 2:00 A.M., he experienced a powerful vision.
He thought he saw a shadow by the front door, and a strange sound spread along the wall.
Fixing his gaze on the opening, he felt primal fear roll over him, black and mindless.
His intuition screamed. Something dreadful was coming his way.
Another thump, and the front door to his home began slowly opening.
Gooseflesh crawled over his arms as "eerie oriental music" swept in through the entrance, barely discernable at first, then growing in intensity.
Against his better judgment, he turned his body toward the door.
He held his breath, looked harder, squinted.
The shadow slowed, became defined, an enormous silhouette of something alive creeping stealthily toward him.
Remaining very still, a moment past, then it emerged from the darkness, huge, snakelike, an Agathodemon from ancient times bearing the body of a serpent and the head of a man. Swaying to the melodious rhythm, the horrendous archfiend appeared wicked and menacing as it slank along the opening into the room where he was. It made eye contact with him and in heavy modulation that sounded as if each gurgling syllable started somewhere deep underground and passed through boiling magma on its way to his mouth, said, "Cho, if you don't leave this town, you are a dead man. I have been ruling this area all of these years, and who are you to come here and disturb my nest!?"
With that, the being lunged across the room lightning fast, landing on top of Cho, wrapping its body around him like prey, contracting its muscles to quickly constrict the air from his lungs. A baleful laughter, malignant and terrible, tittered from the monster's lips as from pebbled sockets its zenithal eyes glared mockingly down at him.
Grotesque and enraged, the thing opened its mouth wider, exposing a hideously forked tongue inside a nightmarish cavity lined with jagged molars and angled razor fangs. A phlegmy gurgle more dragon-like than reptilian disgorged a sulfurous stench that distilled through the room filling the air all around them.
A chill radiated through Cho as seconds passed and the undulating fiend's hide, crusty and wart covered, tightened around him like a garrote. He could feel his ribs bending toward the breaking point as the sheer force of the brutal creature's strength sent his own tongue curling to the roof of his mouth in pain. His body began reacting to the lack of blood flow, his hands and his feet started going numb, and his thoughts raced, Jesus! I'm dying.
But at that, something caught his attention. The creatures eyes had seemed to dart wildly about the very moment the name of Jesus passed through his mind. He thought it again, Jesus, and this time he was sure. The serpent had cringed and its grip had weakened at the very moment he had imagined that name!
With all the strength he could muster, Cho gasped for a breath of air and opened his mouth in a whisper, "Jesus."
The effect was immediate and dramatic. The sound of the name of Jesus discharged from his lips as tangibly as if a two-edged sword had been thrown into the heart of the being.
He spoke the name again, louder this time, and the demon jerked back, it's expression filling with terror, its grip unwinding from his waist.
Slipping from the coil, Cho quickly jumped to his feet and shouted, "JESUS... JESUS... JESUS!"
Now the creature reeled, first one way then the other, flailing about as if punch-drunk, wailing an otherworldly moan, then abruptly it fell to the floor. Before it could gather its strength and raise up to attack him again, Cho lifted his leg and crushed the human-like head beneath his foot. Studying it to make sure it wasn't moving, he picked the front part of the carcass up and dragged it toward the entry to toss it outside. As he moved toward the opening and pushed the seasoned door fully out of the way, he noticed what appeared to be a large crowd of villagers gathering in front of his home. Cautiously, he surveyed his surroundings, then lifted the Agathodemon's face above him and exclaimed, "This is the god that you have been serving all of these years, but now you must turn and serve the true and living God!"
Thereupon, Cho awoke to find the serpent-man visitation had been a compelling vision or dream. It was 4:00 A.M., time for early morning prayer at his tent church. With the memory of the threats made against him 30 days earlier still fresh in his mind, he rushed out the door and up the path to meet his tiny congregation. He knew the priests from the guardian temple would not be long in coming, and no sooner had he arrived when a Korean layman started shouting, "Pastor! Come quickly!" Glancing out the tent door, he saw over the hill in the rising dawn what appeared to be the entire city marching up the valley walls.
Cho's palms were sweating and his heart was racing as he stepped outside and watched the throng approach. Jesus, he thought, what should we do? Run? Hide? Then he noticed something curious. The people looked happy, as if they were rejoicing about something. A moment of silence past as he considered them, and he thought, It couldn't be! But, it was. Leading the crowd, with her baby in her arms, was the dying woman from the village. She ran up to him and said, "Oh Brother Cho, thank you so much for coming and praying for me last night. The Lord heard your prayer and I am healed!" Cho stared at her in amazement. "I did not come to your house and pray for you last night," he answered. "Oh yes," the woman insisted, "You came at two o'clock this morning and stood outside my window. You said loudly, 'Woman! Be healed in the name of Jesus Christ!' And I arose and found that I was healed, and my baby is healed!"
With that, Cho remembered that it had been at 2:00 A.M. when he had seen the vision and the Agathodemon had been destroyed.
With very few exceptions, the entire community converted to Christianity within 48 hours. Now matter what one thinks of Cho, today he pastors the largest evangelical church in the world with nearly a million members. It all started in a city delivered from demonic siege.
Undoubtedly when reading the story above, some people will feel hard pressed to interpret the narrative in any way other than as somebody's overactive imagination. Nevertheless, as Carol Anne so ominously expressed in the 1982 film, Poltergeist, "They're here." Demons and their militaristic interest in people and geography is an ontological fact according to the Bible. In the Old Testament, demons are seen as the living dynamic behind idolatry (i.e. Deut. 32:17), and in the New Testament every writer refers to their influence. Extra-biblical texts agree with this concern, including ancient pseudepigraphical works like the first Book of Enoch and post-New Testament writings such as The Didache, Ignatius's Epistle to the Ephesians, and The Shepherd of Hermas. Early Church Fathers also reinforced the belief that evil spirits seek to thwart the will of God on earth through attacks on the Body of Christ in particular and against society in general. Spiritual Warfare 101 begins by taking these facts into account; that not only do visible agents exist everywhere around us, but unseen intermediaries—both good and evil—interlope between spiritual and human personalities at home, in church, in government, and in society. On rare occasion, the general public may catch a glimpse of this ethereal existence. For instance, on April 5, 1991, ABC's "20/20" broadcast the first televised Catholic exorcism. We watched this historic event twenty years ago and thought, regardless of ones denominational affiliation, it illustrated contemporary demonism.
While deliverance ministry such as exorcism should be carefully administered within the Church, demons play an even wider role in society that includes not only controlling or influencing individuals and small groups, but institutions and governments. Understanding how and why this is true is defined in demonological studies such as The Divine Council (a term used by Hebrew and Semitic scholars to describe the pantheon of divine beings or angels who administer the affairs of heaven and earth) where experts typically agree that, beginning at the Tower of Babel, the world and its inhabitants were disinherited by the sovereign God of Israel and placed under the authority of lesser divine beings that became corrupt and disloyal to God in their administration of those nations (Psalm 82). These beings quickly became idolized on earth as gods following Babel, giving birth to the worship of "demons" (see Acts 7:41–42, Psalms 96:5, 1 Corinthians 10:20) and the quest by fallen angels to draw mankind away from God. While the dominion of these entities and their goals are frequently overlooked, close collaboration between evil ones and unregenerate social architects operates on a regular basis outside the purview of the countless multitudes who are blinded to their reality. Behind governors, legislators, presidents, dictators, and even religious leaders, these wicked spiritual powers move about unrestricted, controlling the machine of ecclesiastical and civil governments as freely as they are allowed. Whenever such principalities recognize a religious or political body that has become a force for moral good, they set about through a sophisticated labyrinth of visible and invisible representatives to bring that organization down one righteous soul at a time.
It is within this concealed arena of evil supernaturalism that unregenerate men are organized. Under demonic influence, they are orchestrated within a great evil system (or empire) described in various scriptural passages as a satanic order. In more than thirty important biblical texts, the Greek New Testament employs the term kosmos, describing this "government behind government." It is here that human ego, separated from God, becomes hostile to the service of mankind while viewing people as commodities to be manipulated in the ministration of fiendish ambition. Some expositors believe the origins of this phenomenon began in the distant past, when a fire in the minds of angels caused Lucifer to exalt himself above the good of God’s creation. The once-glorified spirit, driven mad by an unequivocal thirst to rule, conquer, and dominate, spawned similar lust between his followers, which continues today among agents of dark power who guard a privileged "cause-and-effect" symmetry between visible and invisible personalities.
At Satan's desire, archons command this supernatural, geopolitical sphere, dominating kosmokrators (rulers of darkness who work in and through human counterparts), who in turn command spirits of lesser rank until every level of earthly government, secular and religious, can be touched by this influence. If we could see through the veil into this domain, we would find a world alive with good against evil, a place where the ultimate prize is the souls of men and where legions war for control of its cities and people. With vivid testimony to this, Satan offered to Jesus all the power and the glory of the governments of this world.
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Satan said, "All this power [control] will I give thee, and the glory of them [earthly cities]: for that is delivered unto me: and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine" (Luke 4:6-7).
According to the Epistle of the Ephesians, it is this dominion, not flesh and blood, where opposition to God's will on earth is initiated. Whereas people and institutions often provide the "face" on our problems, the conflict originates beyond them, in this place where unseen forces scheme. For part two click below.
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Over the last decade, he has authored three books, wrote dozens of published editorials, and had several feature magazine articles. In addition to past articles at NewsWithViews.com , his works have been referred to by writers of the LA Times Syndicate, MSNBC, Christianity Today, Coast to Coast, World Net Daily, White House Correspondents and dozens of newsmagazines and press agencies around the globe. Tom's latest book is "The Ahriman Gate," which fictionalizes the use of biotechnology to resurrect Biblical Nephilim.
Thomas is also a well known radio personality who has guest-hosted and appeared on dozens of radio and television shows over the last 30 years, including "The 700 Club" and "Coast to Coast AM." When looking for a spokesperson to promote their film "Deceived" staring Louis Gossett Jr. and Judd Nelson, "Cloud 10 Pictures" selected Thomas as their spokesperson to explain the Christian viewpoint on UFO-related demonology.