These past few weeks I have learned some of the most amazing truths. I hope what I share with you will light you on fire too.
Let’s turn to Moroni 7: 15-17:
15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.
16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him. (Moroni 7: 15-17, emphasis added)
I think I’ve read these verses so many times that I’ve taken them for granted. But just a few weeks ago the words “perfect knowledge” struck me like a refrigerator had fallen on my head. “What? You mean I can know with a perfect knowledge if every single feeling, emotion, thought, idea, attitude, inkling, nudge, twitch, wish, whisper, whim, wisp, and itch, is from God or from the devil?”
The very thought blew my mind. How many times had I been under the influence of the devil and didn’t even acknowledge it? Too many times to count.
I mean, when we are in church and feel the Spirit we don’t hesitate to acknowledge how great it feels. We say things like, “Oh, the Spirit was so strong in her lesson.” Or, “I could feel the Spirit as he bore his testimony.” You’ve heard things like that a thousand times. But tell me fine friend, how many times have you heard anyone say something like this, “Oh, the devil is present, can’t you feel it?” Or, “Do you feel the darkness in that TV show, or website, or…etc.?”
Nope, we’ve not been taught how to spot the darkness with as much accuracy as we have been taught to recognize the Spirit.
The other day I was in a horrible funk and I couldn’t shake it.
The funk I was in was this bland, blank, empty, and almost void of spirit space. It was like I was a zombie just going through the motions of living, but with no real spark. Blah. Blah. Blah.
I’d pray – nothing. “So why pray?” the thought would come (which was a huge lie from the devil). I’d go to websites that have given me great spiritual insights and uplift – nothing. “So why go there?” the thought would come (which was a huge lie from the devil). I’d go on walks and try to touch the spirt – nothing. “So why go on walks?” the thought would come (which was a huge lie from the devil).
The ONLY thing that brought even a little bit of spirit was the lesson I was preparing for (I had been asked to substitute for Gospel Doctrine class on Sunday), the reason I went all out on the handout was because I was in such a funk. I figured that if I didn’t feel the spirit when I taught, at least I’d have this handout to fall back on and the lesson wouldn’t be a complete fail.
Besides, the handout kept me doing something righteous and kept my mind busy so that the evil couldn’t drag me down. But they were trying, I tell you, they were trying hard!!
But here’s the stupid thing on my part. The lies – the lies they were telling me, “Why try?” spilled over into, “Why try to chase us away, it won’t work anyway.” So I didn’t even try to chase them away. I didn’t do what the spirit had taught me. It works when I do it. It works great. When we chase the darkness away – it goes away!! But when we don’t make the conscious effort to do so? It’s like Oliver Cowdrey, “You don’t understand, you took no thought to ask.” In other words, “You didn’t make the effort. You just thought it would happen just because.”
It doesn’t work that way, and they know it. They were lying to me and telling me it wouldn’t work, so why try. They didn’t want me to try. They knew they would have to depart and go away if I tried.
In light of that knowledge I have now taken this mantra, if I am tempted, even a tiny bit, I say to myself (and sometimes out loud so they can hear it), “They are either in me, on me, or around me, and I’m NOT OK with that!!!”
You have got to chase them away – period!!!
In an extremely descriptive chapter of a vision one man had, he teaches the following in regards to evil and unclean spirits:
“My guide said to me, “He is here to view pornography.”
I saw eight spirits enter the room. Four of these were evil spirits who had once been mortal, the other four were unborn evil spirits—Satan’s minions. The disembodied looked human and wore clothing typical of the period in which they had died. The evil spirits were less substantial, generally smaller, with misshapen features, making them look slightly inhuman. They were agitated, active, jumping around in a frenzy, shouting their commands to the young man in excited voices.
The disembodied spirits said little at first. They had little ability to be heard by the young man. They were there trying to satisfy the sexual passion they had developed during their own lives. There were both male and female spirits. Their sexual addiction had followed them into the spirit world. Their addiction was unending, painful, and impossible to satisfy. It haunted them. They were desperate to try to satisfy it endlessly. They were pleased that they were going to shortly experience it through this young man. They were intent, watching him, urging him on though he could not hear them. They were not looking at the porn on the computer screen; they were watching him closely, putting their faces in his face and screaming at him, mocking and taunting him. They didn’t care about the images; they cared about sharing the body sensation of sexual gratification.
The unborn evil spirits were there to trap him, to entice him on, to remind him of the upcoming thrill. They cared nothing for experiencing his passion. They had never had a body and were not capable of understanding the thrill—they were there to control him, to make him obey their words, to keep him involved and under their “spell” as long as possible.
They gathered around him, waiting for him to become fully involved in the sexual ecstasy he hoped for by viewing these images. The evil ones were reminding him of certain websites, urging him to go on, whispering to him how thrilling it was going to be. They told him which images to view and how he should feel about them. They argued against his conscience, giving him many reasons to ignore the voice of his conscience and carry on. They placed their hands on him time after time, causing him to feel thrill after thrill. They urged him as he clicked at his computer to seek after the thrill, to remember it, to need it more than anything else. They were most interested in keeping him focused upon his own body, and his own thrills so effectively that he could not feel his relationship to Christ, the Holy Spirit, or remember his family. All he could think of was himself and the guaranteed gratification that was just a click away.” (Visions of Glory, Chapter Six, John Pontius)
So with that description of slightly misshapen inhuman creatures you can see why I’m not OK with them being in me, on me, or even around me. The very thought disgusts me.
I told the Lord a couple weeks ago that I am going to assume that every single temptation, or ill feeling, or depressing feeling, or even a blah empty feeling is a sign that I am either possessed by, or accompanied by, or next to at least one unclean or evil spirit, and that I will, from now on, chase that spirit away. Because they are either in me, on me, or around me, and I’m not OK with that! Are you?
Sweep Them Away!
I had a memory of Willis Jackson. When I was a little boy Willis was the father of one of my friends (Dennis Jackson) and they lived across the street from us. From time to time we’d all (the neighborhood gang) be playing over at the Jackson house. Many a time when it was dinner time, or whatever, Willis would chase us out of his house, or out of his back yard with a broom. He’d give us gentle taps with it on our bums and basically sweep us out and send us to our own homes. As we got older we’d see him coming with the broom and know we were going to be swept out. It was never mean spirited, it was just his way of chasing us out to go home so he could have peace in his own home.
So, this memory came to me, and it made me think of this scripture:
25 And again, verily I say unto you, and I say it that you may know the truth, that you may chase darkness from among you; (D&C 50:25, emphasis added)
That’s it! That’s what we are supposed to do. We are to pick up our spiritual brooms and chase away the unclean spirits – sweep them out of our lives.
So with that metaphor in my mind, that’s what I’ve been doing, and with great success. Every single time I get even a tingle or a tinge of a temptation, or I’m anxious, or sad, or feeling down I immediately assume (with perfect knowledge) that unclean or evil spirits are in me, on me, or around me, and I chase them away. I pick up my broom and sweep them away. And it works!
I say, “Ok, you are not welcome here, take you and your friends and leave. Go to the light. Repent, and go to the light. Read some scriptures, sing a hymn, say a prayer – anything, but leave me alone. Leave my house, leave my life – now!” And sometimes they slink off right away, but sometimes they aren’t so obedient and I need to call in the big guns. I invoke the name of the Lord and say, “In the name of Jesus Christ I rebuke you! I forgive you. But go away. Now!” And then I wait a few seconds to feel if they are still there, or if the temptation is still there. If it is, I then say, “I told you to leave. I mean it. In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to go to the light. Leave me alone. Completely. Go on, leave!”
There was even a day that I walked a spirit out to the front door and opened the front door and literally booted him out of my house. The entire time I was talking to him, firm but kind. And I used the name of the Lord. He left – he wasn’t happy, but he left.
The amazing thing is, it works. And the temptations go away too. I no longer feel down, or tempted, or anxious. It’s amazing.
I got to tell you this little story that happened a couple of weeks ago. I was on the computer working on a website (I build websites). I was looking for a picture of a “Satisfaction Guarantee” label and came across a scantily clad woman. It was right there in front of my face. I scrolled on by, but a tinge or a tingle of a temptation wisped past my mind (hey, I’m not perfect. I’m human). It was a split second. I didn’t pay attention to it (so I thought), but as I past that picture again (I was on google pictures), the wisp was now a blast of tempting air. I clicked on the picture (gave into the temptation). It took me to a site that had a whole bunch of scantily clad women, not naked (thank goodness), but not modest. I scrolled down a few and then a wisp from the spirit said to me, “You didn’t chase them away.” I then thought to myself, “Wait a minute, I’m being carefully dragged to sin.”
I stopped right there, X’ed out of that page, turned my chair away from the computer, so I was no longer looking at the computer, and said in a forceful voice, “You almost got me. Shame on you! Repent! Repent now! Get out of my mind! Get out of this room! Get out of my house! In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to depart! Now – Go! Now!” and I pointed to the door.
There was a silence. There was a slurking away. It felt like they were dragging their heads in defeat as the spirit of the room changed to peace. I got up and went into the kitchen for a drink and when I got back there was peace in the room. It was the coolest experience. What could have been something I regretted turned out to be a story I can tell to inspire and give hope to others.
We have power over them! We are in control as long as we consciously recognize them, call them out, and deal with them.
Don’t be afraid to talk to them. Not mean. Not forceful or angry. Don’t rail on them. Don’t even fight them or resist them. Just matter of fact, with firmness, like a Dad to a son – chase them out of your presence. Tell them they are not welcome, invoke the name of the Lord if you have to, and don’t let them return without you being aware.
Every single tingle, tinge, wisp, breeze, emotion, feeling, etc. that even resembles a darkness, or an inkling to do something that you KNOW (or even assume) is from the dark side – CHASE THEM AWAY! They are either in you, on you, or around you, and DON’T be OK with that – not even for a second. Get out your spiritual broom and sweep them away! It works.
So from now on, no matter how you feel, no matter how blah, or how bleak, or depressed, or whatever – if you feel them, hear them, have a feeling of even desiring to sin (in any way) assume they are either in you, on you, or around you and take immediate action to address them.
I snap my fingers, or clap my hands, or stand up, or raise my arm to the square – I do something physical to get my physiology changed (it changes the energy going on inside me, and it’s almost immediate). And then I speak out loud to them and tell them they are not welcome, go away, I rebuke them, I chase them away, I sweep them out of my presence. And it works! It works every time I’ve done it. And it works even faster and longer if I invoke the name of the Lord while doing it. I don’t always raise my arm to the square (maybe I should?), but I don’t know if that’s necessary, when I don’t it seems to work just as well.
But the lie they tell me is that, “It won’t work, so why even try?” So I don’t even try. They win, they stick around and keep bringing me down and tempting me.
So no more!!! I won’t have it. I’m NOT OK with them being in me, on me, or around me!! I’m just not OK with that. This is my body. This is my space. This is my private life. This is my life. They are not welcome in me – not at all!! Not in any way shape or form. I am NOT OK with that! And for them to be riding on me – NO WAY!! I hate that too. This is my body! This is my life! They are not welcome to be riding on me. I am NOT OK with that! About the only one that I’m even half-way tolerant of is that they are near me or around me, but even then, I’m really not OK with that either. Especially when the only thing they want from me is to either abuse me, use me, or destroy me.
Am I crazy? To even think that I would ever allow my enemy, the enemy of my eternal soul to ride in me, on me, or around me boggles the mind. I must be insane!! And that very thought makes my skin crawl. I hate it!! I know those are strong words, but they are absolutely true. I hate the thought that my enemy who is only using me, abusing me, or trying to destroy me is either in me, on me, or around me – I detest the thought! It makes me sick to my stomach.
And that’s just it, as long as they are anonymous, and autonomous, and unseen, unfelt, and lurking in the dark then they carry on their destructive abusive crap. NO MORE!! We can’t afford to give them that benefit ever again.
This is war! This is real! You and I know it is real. We have been taught by the Spirit. It’s no longer a theory. It’s is a fact – an absolute truth! They are either in us, on us, or around us – and I’m NOT OK WITH THAT!!!!
Do you understand what I am saying? Do you feel it in your stomach? Do you feel it inside you? An anger swelling up? A righteous indignation boiling inside you? I AM NOT OK WITH THEM BEING IN ME, ON ME, OR AROUND ME! I AM NOT OK WITH THAT!! NEVER, NO NEVER AGAIN!!!
They will try. We will most likely fail a few more times. We will be led blindly by their lies. We will be slothful in chasing them away. They will try to hide their tactics, they will try to strategize in more sneaky ways to get us to fall, get us to be depressed, or get us away from the light. But we’re onto them. They know it. They know they can’t be overt anymore – we’re too smart for that. They know they have to be sneaky, they have to be subtle, they have to lurk, and hide. They know how to trigger us. They know how to be subtle and very covert. They’ve been doing this for a very long time.
But that’s just it, from now on, even the tiniest of negative emotion, or feeling of depression, or feeling of darkness, we are going to chase them away. We are going to assume they are in us, on us, or around us, and we’re not OK with that, so we are going to chase them away.
The Spirit, the Light of Christ, the Holy Ghost will NEVER cause us to feel gloomy, or depressed, or lead us to sin, or give into our appetites or lusts, or selfish desires – NEVER. So I think it’s pretty safe to assume if we feel any of those things then we MUST chase away the darkness – immediately. We cannot afford to give it even a millimeter – they’ll want a mile or ten.
You cannot afford to give them anything!! Wake up! Open the eyes of your spirit and know they are in you, on you, or around you. Don’t be OK with that! Get angry! Get really pissed! Use that to fight the war against them. Use it to be righteously indignant! Never, no never again let them steal your joy! Never, no never let them lead you, drag you, or blind you. Never, no never again!!!
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