Individuality and Personality
Disorder & Demons
Sabbath Day Sermon: Saturday 9 November 2002
Click here to read Part 2
I ended last week with the words of wise King Solomon who summed up what he had discovered throughout his life as being the only things that matter. He was a man who experienced all that there was to experience in life - opulent wealth, an extensive love-life, fame, power, and wisdom. He concluded finally that all of this was vanity. His final judgement and counsel to the world, which he gave in Scripture, is that we should fear Yahweh and keep His commandments. And that is all. He then added that everything that is connected with our personality will be judged, both the visible and the hidden (Eccl.12:13-14).
Last week I reminded you of the analogy of the island with its huge invisible part under the sea that respectively represent our consciousness and unconsciousness. You were told that experience isn't everything but only a tiny part of who we are. Faith in Yahweh through Yah'shua (Jesus), obedience to Torah, a prayer life that extends invisibly into that part of ourselves we can never fully understand, and a gradual indwelling by the Ruach (Spirit) is what matters most. I told you about the invisible demonic powers that are constantly waging war against us not only in our conscious state but for the most part in our unconscious where only Yahweh can operate with any sure knowledge for our salvation.
I want to continue my account of spiritual delusions by talking about insanity. What is insanity? One of the greatest mistakes being made today by both the secular establishment and Christians is that the cases of demon possession in the Bible were cases of insanity. The distinction between the two is made perfectly clear: the symptoms are not even the same. Insanity simply means that a man is differently related to affairs from the majority of other people and is sometimes dangerous. Paul, you will remember, was charged with madness because of his theology (Ac.26:24-25), and the same charge was brought against Yah'shua (Jesus) when they said: "He's out of His mind" (Mk.3:21, NIV).
Now notice this carefully: both Yah'shua (Jesus) and Paul were unquestionably mad according to the standard of the wisdom of this world because they were related to affairs differently from the majority of other men. And consequently, for the sake of self-preservation, they must be got rid of. Yah'shua (Jesus) was crucified. Paul was beheaded. When we are filled with the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) and are related to life as He was and not the pseudo-life that was the world, we shall find that we are considered just as mad according to the standard of this world in the 21st century.
Another thing said about insane people is that they have lost their reason. This is technically untrue. An insane person is one who has lost everything but his reason. According to the universal standard, an insane person has lost his relation to the outside world to his reason, yet he can find a reason for everything. Anyone who knows anything about the diagnosis of insanity knows that this is true.
Read the exposition of the Sermon on the Mount and you will find some of the cleverest dialectics that have ever been written. The Gospel writers, they say, try to prove that Yah'shua (Jesus) is not mad according to the standards of this world; but He is mad, absolutely mad, and there is no apology needed for saying it. Either the modern attitude to things must alter, or it must pronounce Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) mad.
"Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt.6:33, KJV).
Volumes have been written to 'prove' that Yah'shua (Jesus) did not mean that. But He did. Common sense says, "That is nonsense, I must seek my living first, then I will devote myself to the Kingdom of God" In 1 Corinthians 1 Paul reasons that in the view of Yahweh it is the world that is mad, and that man only becomes sane in God's sight when he is readjusted to God through the Atonement.
Let us be quite clear, then, that a truly 'mad' person is one who is not adjusted to the reality of a godly life in Christ, whether that person is in a lunatic asylum believing he is Napoleon, or whether it is the world at large walking in the blindness of its own counsel.
B. Alternating Personalities
The first 15 verses of Mark 5 tell the story of a man possessed by hoards of demons which went under the name 'Legion'. In my ministry I have met this connection of demons several times. You will all remember that Yah'shua (Jesus) cast them out into a herd of pigs which then leaped off a cliff into the lake and were drowned. When possessed, this man was so strong that he was able to break strong chains with his bare hands. After the deliverance the man was completely calm and well - in his "right mind". This was not a case of insanity. He has multiple personalities. When you first read this account you wonder at first who is speaking. The man with the unclean spirit bows down before Yah'shua (Jesus) and worships Him, for he knows perfectly well that Yah'shua (Jesus) can deliver him. But as soon as he gets there, another personality cries out against Yah'shua (Jesus), and pleads with Him to deal mercifully with him. Though the voice is the man's, but the spirit animating it is a demon.
The victims of Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) and other forms of abuse sometimes experience such trauma that their personalities literally split in order to survive and cope with the horror of the torture being inflicted on them. In almost every case this artificial splitting of the personality into different character types is accompanied by demonic infestation and activity. Sometimes people can split a hundred ways or more. But sometimes people's personalities split for other reasons. Someone who has had their heart broken so often and can no longer cope will sometimes divide into two people within the same body. There are lots of stories of people suddenly disappearing from one part of the country and living a totally different life in another part of the country. People who suffer from Multiple Personality Syndrome (MPD), or Dissociated Identity Disorder (DID) as it is sometimes called, cannot usually be helped by psychologists, especially if demons are involved. But Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) can. The kind of ministry required is very specialised and cannot be done without assistance from a deliverance minister. Done properly, deliverance and healing is possible through Christ. This is something we do a lot in NCCG.
C. Mediums and Possessions
We read in the Book of Acts:
"Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling" (Acts 16:16, NKJV).
Paul was grieved because this girl was a medium. A spiritualistic medium commits the greatest psychical crime in the world, that is, the greatest crime against the soul or personality. Drunkenness and debauchery are child's play compared with spiritualism. According to the Bible, it is possible for a man or woman to make him- or herself a medium through which unseen spirits can talk to seen men and women. This is such a serious problem today that it merits some careful attention.
The key concept in mediumship is "yielding up your will". Every living soul must be very careful to whom or what he is yielding his will. No one has any right to yield himself to just any impression or to any influence or impulse. The moment you yield, you are susceptible to all kinds of supernatural powers and influences. There is only one Being to whom you must yield, and that is to Yahweh, our Heavenly Father, through His Son Yah'shua (Jesus). But be sure it is to Yah'shua (Jesus) that you are yielding. In religious meetings it is the impressionable people who are the dangerous people. When you get that type of nature to deal with, pray as you never prayed, watch as you never watched, and travail in communion as you never travailed in communion, because the soul that is inclined to be a medium between any supernatural forces and himself will nearly always be caught up in the supernatural forces belonging to Satan instead of Yahweh. Insanity is a fact, demon possession is a fact, and mediumship is a fact. Indeed, mediumship is just another form of demon possession. And it is very dangerous. So is hypnosis or any kind of mesmerisation. Under no circumstances yield yourself to any power other than the Lord Yah'shua (Jesus).
Today's world is saturated with Satanists, pagans, New Agers ... and demons. Not since the days of Noah has there been so much dark supernatural activity. And the sensitive and impressionable are vulnerable. Such souls need soaking in prayer ... all the time. Indeed, one of the most important activities of the local assembly or church is intercessory prayer that is 100% rooted in Torah. As the Word of God is essential for deliverance, so the Word of God is essential for spiritual protection and warfare too.
We are warned that the end-time delusion is going to be so great that even the elect - the spiritual giants - will come close to being deceived (Mt.24:24). So beware to whom you yield. When once a good nature is laid hold of by the sovereign power of Yahweh and recognises to Whom he is yielding, then that nature is safeguarded for ever if they remain in Him. Beware ... beware of impressions and impulses unless they wed themselves to the standards given by Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Beware ... beware of impression and impulses if they in any way contradict Torah. And beware ... beware of impressions and impulses if they lead you to break down and abandon sacred relationships whether in your marriages, families or the local assembly (church). Satan is out to destroy, and he has thousands of years' experience in perfecting his tools. Don't give him a single change. Stay alert and vigilant. Stay close to Yahweh and His Torah.
D. The Stockholm Syndrome
Today people don't give a second thought to such things as divination because it has become so commonplace. Opening yourself up to a demonic spirit it not at all unlike a tank crashing through the wall of a fine antique china shop and remaining there. It takes years to make and paint a fine piece of porcelain, let alone a whole collection, but only a matter of seconds to smash it all up. Our personalities are so fine and rare, so complex and beautiful, that to admit an invader like a demon spells ruin. And of ourselves we are incapable to expelling the demon, let alone tidying up the mess afterwards and rebuilding what was lost. Only Yah'shua (Jesus) can do that. But first there must be a desire to be quit of the demonic squatter. Why, though, do people come to actually like their demonic hosts?
A few days ago a Pastor acquaintance of mine showed me a fascinating article called the 'Stockholm Syndrome' 1. Most of you have probably never heard of it. In 1973 three women and one man were held hostage for six days by two armed robbers in a Stockholm bank. During this period a bizarre relationship took place between the hostages and their captors. They formed a perverse relationship which psychologists call 'bi-directional bonding'. During this period the hostages came to view their captors as protecting them from the police! After the bank siege was over and the hostages were released, one of the hostages engaged to marry one of the robbers and another of the hostages started a 'defence fund' for the captors! Now what you have got to remember as you try to make sense of all of this is that all of this was done in the face of the fact that the hostages were bound with dynamite and were generally mistreated during the whole siege.
So you may well be asking yourselves: how on earth could something so perverse happen? How could the victims of violence come to not only like their captors but defend them against the police, marry one of them, and support them in court afterwards? How could anyone be so stupid? The reason that people do such things is no different from those who get to like and actually defend the demons within themselves.
The reason this Stockholm phenomenon occurred is really quite simple and is actually very common. You will find instances of it amongst the following groups of people: hostages, concentration camp prisoners, cult members, prisoners of war, civilians in Chinese Communist prisons, procured prostitutes, incest victims, physically and emotionally abused children, and battered women. What happens is a kind of reflexive survival strategy. In all these cases there are four situational factors that serve as precursors to the Stockholm Syndrome. They are:
1. A perceived threat to one's physical or psychological survival and the belief that the captor would carry out the threat;
2. A perceived small kindness from the captor to the captive (usually letting the captive live is enough);
3. Isolation from perspectives other than those of the captor; and
4. A perceived inability to escape.
What happens is that the abuser traumatises (who does not believe he can escape or truly cannot) with a threat to the victim's survival. The traumatised victim, who perceives isolation from outsiders - who could provide nurture and protection, must (if they do not turn to God) look to the abuser to meet those needs. If the abuser shows the victim some small kindness, the victim then must bond to the perceived positive side of the abuser, denying (or dissociating) the side of the abuser that produced the terror. The victim begins to work to see the world from the abuser's perspective so that they may know what keeps the abuser happy, thus helping to insure the victim's survival. As a result the victim becomes hypervigilant to the abuser's needs and unaware of their own. The victim comes to see the world from the perspective of the abuser, losing touch with their own perspective, which is unimportant or even counterproductive to their survival. With the denial of the violent side of the abuser, comes denial of the danger. It becomes progressively harder to separate from the abuser due to the fear of losing the only positive relationship identity that remains -- her/himself as seen through the abuser's eyes (which in the case of the adult victim has replaced any previous sense of self, for a child this may be, and often is, the only sense of self knowledge).
Now this weakness in mankind is known very well by both Satan and demons who have mastered the art of exploitation. This is precisely what happens in Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) only it is hundreds of orders of magnitude greater than the actual Stockholm incident I have described. We become vulnerable to psychological and spiritual abuse when we lose our perspective. Someone who does not have a relationship with Christ is more easily liable to lose that perspective than someone who doesn't. Which is why Satan, demons, and Satanists pick on small children who are not developed enough to know either how to see to react. And so this spontaneous reflexive survival mechanism clicks into place. It may help the victim survive but in the process he loses all sense of reality. I remember when I first started out as a deliverance minister being surprised why demon-possessed people defended their demons! And this is the reason: they bonded with the demon to such an extent that small acts of apparent kindness assumed proportions far in excess of their actuality. A perverse loyalty sets in and the victim doesn't know how to break free because he may never have known anything else. And the only way to help him is by showing him the alternative reality, allowing him to taste love, human warmth and affection.
Many unusual things happen on the subconscious level which is why we so desperately need the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) to take residence there. Only Yahweh's Presence can alert us to possible abuse, but even then the abuse can be so subtle and the demonic powers so persuasive that we can yet be fooled even as believers, if only for a while. Thus a life of prayer, meditation on the Word of God, and service become so important not just for our own protection but also so that we can help and bless those victims who fall into the kind of delusion that is the 'Stockholm Syndrome'. Demons have been around a long time. They know how to appeal to our weaknesses and, whilst giving us minuscule gifts, abuse us, and convince us that they mean us only well, before taking over completely. They have a thousand-and-one tricks up their sleeves, perfected over thousands of years of practice. Our only hope is in the power of Yahweh resident within us through faith on His Name and obedience to His Torah. Then we can both discern as well as exercise the atoning power of Yah'shua (Jesus) to expel the invaders and anoint our souls with His healing balm.
May Yahweh bless you all until next week as we learn more of the personality that is God's precious gift to us. Amen.
Click here to read Part 4
Graham, D. Ph.D & Rawlings, E. Ph.D. "Bonding with Abusive Dating Partners: Dynamics of Stockholm Syndrome." Dating Violence, Women in Danger ed. Barrie Levy. Seal Press. Seattle, Wa. 1991 & "Stockholm Syndrome and PTSD" Address, Western Clinical Conference MP&D April 12, 1992. Costa Masa, CA.
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Last updated on 29 October 2002
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