And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same (Abraham, vs 2)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Deception: Possesion: Casting Out

There are plenty of good sources already written on these subjects. I don't wish to go much into this but can direct anyone that would like more info to some good sources. I will just bring up a few quotes and concepts here.

1) One deception
2) Possession
3) Casting out

You will also find that before the Lord healed others he often would "cast out" an evil spirits beforehand. There is an important principle there I won't go into.

Here are some quotes on Deception.
“… A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God.”15 (History of the Church, 4:588)
[No wonder why] Joseph Smith taught the following in April 1843, later recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 130:18–19: “Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.”16
It was necessary to educate the Saints that they not be deceived by counterfeit revelations or by the devil appearing as an angel of light (D&C 128:20).
As part of the instructions, the Prophet told of a man who came to him “in Kirtland,” saying he had seen an angel and described his dress. “I told him,” the Prophet said, “he had not seen an angel, and that there was not such dress in heaven. He grew mad, and went into the street and commanded fire to come down out of heaven to consume me. I laughed at him, and said, you are one of Baal’s prophets; your God does not hear you; jump up and cut yourself: and he commanded fire from heaven to consume my house” (Smith, HC, 5:267-68).
“There have also been ministering angels in the Church which were of Satan appearing as an angel of light. A sister in the state of New York had a vision, who said it was told her that if she would go to a certain place in the woods, an angel would appear to her. She went at the appointed time, and saw a glorious personage descending, arrayed in white, with sandy colored hair; he commenced and told her to fear God, and said that her husband was called to do great things, but that he must not go more than one hundred miles from home, or he would not return; where as God had called him to go to the ends of the earth, and he has since been more than one thousand miles from home, and is yet alive. Many true things were spoken by this personage, and many things that were false. How, it may be asked, was this known to be a bad angel? By the color of his hair; that is one of the signs that he can be known by, and by his contradicting a former revelation” (Teachings, 214).
Perhaps it is of more than passing interest that we have ancient stories that have been preserved for us in what is known as the Book of Adam and Eve, or The Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan, in which Satan constantly tries to deceive our first parents in order to obtain the garments they had received from the Lord in Eden. In one of those episodes, Satan “took the form of an angel, and with him two others” in order to imitate a threesome who had come to them from the presence of the Lord. In this story Adam and Eve were initially deceived by them “because, when they came to Adam the first time, there came upon him from them, peace and joy, through their bringing him good tokens; so Adam thought that they were come a second time to give him other tokens for him to rejoice withal. For he did not know it was Satan; therefore, did he receive them with joy and companied with them” (Lost Books of the Bible, 49).
Speaking to the newly formed Relief Society on 28 April 1842, the Prophet said that the Church would not be fully organized until the temple was complete. He further spoke of the sisters receiving the “keys,” or knowledge through the priesthood, by which they could “detect everything false” ... The Prophet further promised the sisters that in the temple they would learn how to ask of God and how to receive answers. “If you live up to your privileges,” the Prophet promised them, “the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates.” Women, he added, “if they are pure and innocent, can come in the presence of God” (Smith, HC, 4:603-7).
Elder Orson F. Whitney commented on this concept as follows:
There are bad spirits as well as good, and the vital question is: How can we know the difference between them? Let us at this state consult an expert – for there are such – one who came in contact with spiritual forces to a marvelous extent, not only receiving messages from other worlds, but also interviewing the messengers. Joseph Smith knew the difference between good and evil communicants, and here is his testimony concerning them (129:4-8). 
However the Lord told Joseph Smith the following.
“Behold, I do not say that you shall not show it unto the righteous; But as you cannot always judge the righteous, or as you cannot always tell the wicked from the righteous, therefore I say unto you, hold your peace until I shall see fit to make all things known unto the world concerning the matter.” (D&C 10: 36-37.)
Joseph Smith couldn't even tell the difference always between good and evil. No wonder why the Lord tells us to trust no man, the arm of flesh, and trust in God alone. We are here to learn how to avoid deception. Others put their trust in the president because they think his spirit is better than theirs or because of some keys they hold, or they are so worried about deception they put their trust in a man who has seen God or is their leader who could be deceived themselves.

Trust God, not man. And for yourself, keep yourself aligned to heaven, so when presented with the opportunity to make a mistake, heaven can help you in your hour of need. Weakness is part of every man’s life. (Ether 12: 27.) To trade weakness for strength we must all “humble themselves before [God], and have faith in [God].” (Id.) Or you can avoid making mistakes all together and continue to put your trust in another mans revelations and never learn the lessons we are meant to learn. Never learn to become "independent above all other creatures" (D&C 78:11, 14–15). When the Lord tells us that, he means it, ALL CREATURES. No president, no leader, no man with keys that are required for you to be saved, because you will have gained the keys for yourself and will not depend upon another for your salvation or another with their priesthood to save you. If Zion is your goal than you must need to ascend to the level where no man will need to teach you of the Lord for they will all know Him.

In another place, the Prophet said:
“Wicked spirits have their bounds, limits and laws, by which they are governed; and it is very evident that they possess a power that none but those who have the Priesthood can control” (HC, vol. 4, 576).
D&C 130:14 William Miller a Baptist preacher had prophesied that the 2nd Coming would be on April 3rd, 1843 and many of the Saints believed. Joseph inquired about it and the Lord told Joseph not to worry about it. I find his reaction the most telling, he didn't say he couldn't reveal such doctrine or that since it didn't come from one with "keys" don't believe it but rather he inquired of the Lord. Which is what we should do when someone claims to be teaching something that could affect us. We inquire of the Lord. the Lord told Joseph to not worry about it.
A man must have the discerning of spirits… for nothing is a greater injury to the children of men than to be under the influence of a false spirit when they think they have the Spirit of God. As we have noticed before, the great difficulty lies in the ignorance of the nature of spirits, of the laws by which they are governed, and the signs by which they may be known; (TPJS, pg. 386)
Those who are deceived as they struggle to find Christ can repent as soon as they realize they have listened to a false spirit. Joseph was overcome by "thick darkness" before he called upon God and was delivered. Lehi walked behind a man dressed in white for the space of many hours in a "dark and dreary waste" before he called upon God and was delivered. When Adam built an altar and called upon God, it was Lucifer who replied, "I hear you, what is it you want?" Adam had to refuse the offer and await true messengers sent from the Father.

You will encounter false spirits, as well as true ones if you will persist in seeking God. You need to be familiar with both in order to choose. These opposing forces are part of the process of becoming competent and adept. No one lacking knowledge of these things can be saved. "A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power." (TPJS, p. 217.)

Both adults and children can suffer from these things.
Satan’s punishment and the punishment of his followers for their rebellion in heaven, Joseph Smith the Prophet said, is that they are denied mortal bodies. The said punishment is terrible and will make those who receive it most unhappy for the reason that they arc halted, they cannot progress, they cannot go forward, cannot attain a full measure of happiness. 
Their eagerness to secure bodies is so great that in many cases they endeavor to steal the bodies of the more favored spirits, and when these evil spirits enter into and take possession of the bodies of others we say of those afflicted that they are possessed by evil spirits. They can only be subdued and cast out of stolen bodies by those members of Christ's Church who are under divine authority.
(President Rudger Clawson, Conference Report, Apr 1939, Pg. 118)
"On the day following I parted with Elders Taylor and Fielding, who went to Liverpool, and with Elder Richards, who tarried in Preston. Elder Turley and I went to Manchester; it was the first time I had visited that city. There I met for the first time Elder William Clayton. As soon as I was introduced to him, he informed me that one of the sisters in that place was possessed of a devil. He asked me if I would not go and cast it out of her. He thought one of the Twelve Apostles could do most anything in such a case. I went with him to the house where the woman lay, in the hands of three men, in a terrible rage. She was trying to tear her clothing from her. I also found quite a number of Saints present, and some unbelievers, who had come to see the devil cast out and a miracle wrought. 
"Had I acted upon my own judgment I should have refrained from administering to her in the company of those present; but as I was a stranger there, and Brother Clayton presided over the branch, I joined with him in administering to the woman. The unbelief of the wicked who were present was so great that we could not cast the devil out of her, and she raged worse than ever; I then ordered the room to be cleared, and when the company, except the few attending her, had left the house, we laid hands upon her head, and in the name of Jesus Christ I commanded the devil to come out of her. The devil left, and she was entirely healed and fell asleep."The next day being the Sabbath, the woman came before a large congregation of people, and bore testimony to what the Lord had done for her. We had a large assembly through the day and evening, to whom I preached the gospel. On Monday morning, the devil, not being satisfied with being cast out of the woman, entered into her little child, which was but a few months old. I was called upon to visit the child, and found it in great distress, writhing in its mother's arms. We laid hands upon it and cast the devil out; the evil spirits thereafter had no power over that household. This was done by the power of God, and not of man. We laid hands upon twenty in Manchester who were sick, and most of them were healed. (Wilford Woodruff: History of His Life and Labors, Pgs. 114-11)
More on Children.
However, the fact that they can neither be tempted nor sin does not, on its own, uphold the conclusion that children, under the age of accountability, are never afflicted by unclean spirits. Consider the following incident that occurred shortly after the transfiguration when the Lord rejoined his disciples: And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. . . . And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. . . When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. . . . And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting (Mark 9:17-29).

It was before this incident, earlier in the ministry of the Lord, that he had given power to his apostles to heal the sick and to cast out devils. As noted above, they had experienced much success and had returned from their early missions firm in their testimony of the power conferred upon them. This was the first instance of their failure to command an unclean spirit. This incident has been cited by Dummelow (1936) as one in which the child, being described as a “lunatic” in another gospel, was actually suffering from a form of epilepsy, a physical ailment, of which he was healed by the Lord, and not a case of demonic possession. However, such explanation ignores the plain text of the scripture and thereby dismisses from consideration several profound questions. First, the Lord asked the father: “How long is it ago since this came unto him?” What was the point of this question? Would it really have made a difference whether it had been a month or a year? It is the father’s answer that may hold the key; his answer to the Lord was: “of a child.” The Gospel of Mark does not tell us the age of the boy when presented to the Lord or the age of the boy when the affliction first began. However, the Greek adverb, “paidiothen ” here translated as “of a child” is related to the noun “paidion ” which is a child, one as young as a new born infant. (Understanding Spiritual Evil in the Context of Psychotherapy)
Casting Out 
One story of casting out. This is found in Duane Crowthers book, Gifts of the Spirit. Page 126. The original source is cited there.
After joining the Church Elder (John) Parry was often troubled in his sleep by evil spirits. Upon one occasion he enquired of the President of the Liverpool branch why it was that he was thus annoyed. The (President) replied that some persons were troubled more than others, and told him to use the following words in his prayers before retiring to rest: ''O God, the Eternal Father, I ask Thee in the name of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, to give Thine angels charge concerning me this night, and allow not the powers of darkness to molest my spirit nor body.
 He did this, and was troubled with the evil spirits no more, until one night, feeling very sleepy, he uttered a hasty, formal prayer and went to bed. During the night he was almost overcome by the power of evil spirits, which were visible. Unable to utter a word, he prayed fervently in his mind to the Lord to release him. In an instant the heavens appeared to him to open, and he saw an angel descend towards him. The personage took hold of him and raised him up a little and immediately the powers of darkness disappeared. (emphasis added)
Moses said.
15 Blessed be the name of my God, for his Spirit hath not altogether withdrawn from me, or else where is thy glory, for it is darkness unto me? And I can judge between thee and God; for God said unto me: Worship God, for him only shalt thou serve. 
16 Get thee hence, Satan; deceive me not; for God said unto me: Thou art after the similitude of mine Only Begotten. (Moses 1:16)

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