Battle with the “Dark One”or the “Evil One” is intrinsic to Christianity. He is the NUMBER ONE enemy of our souls. We battle (spreading kingdom of God by preaching Gospel) not against flesh and blood but with the spiritual wickedness of high places (Eph 6:12). There is no denial to it. However, there are many superstitious beliefs about the Evil One. For example, if I ask TPM believers to draw me a picture of the devil, most of them will draw devil having horns, with long canine teeth and tails. We all know that there is no such thing as devil having horn or tail. It is purely the imagination of a cartoonist portrayed in the media.
Another superstitious idea spread about the devil is that he is afraid of holy water and the crucifix. We have seen many Hollywood movies which portray the Catholic father performing an exorcism with a cross in his hands. As a child, I was told to keep my Bible close to me to keep the demons away. We are surrounded by many such superstitions about the Evil Dark one. We must, therefore, stay rational, real and scriptural. Facts must be separated from fictions. Sadly this is not the case with TPM. Devil hysteria is rampant in TPM. Many TPM workers are schizophrenic neurotic. These buffoons manage to see the devil in everything. They make him appear where he is not. If they look left they see the devil, and if they look right they see the devil.
In one of our earlier articles, we told you that Shyam Sunder is one such clown. Every time he sees a lizard, he thinks it is probably the devil, who has morphed himself in form of a lizard and is monitoring what he is doing in his room. Shyam Sunder, therefore, will not rest until he has finished off the poor little lizard. Having killed the little lizard, Shyam Sunder thinks he has killed the big devil. But Shyam Sundar is not an exception. I have heard of pastors when called over the phone to pray for the school exam or other problems, start with “Po Pishashe” meaning “Get out Devil”. It is therefore not at all surprising that many Pastors and Believers are associating us as Devil’s agents.
I heard that a worker sister once saw a vision of a devil hiding under the cot of Shyam Sunder. Cronies of Shyam Sunder carried this message to him. Hearing this he ordered his assistants to lift the cot from his room and dump it into the well. Then he made the well to be closed and covered with mud. He thought he had dumped devil in the well. Another act of his buffoonery is that he is often seen asking believers to praise God to burn devil in hellfire. Brain dead believers will repeat the chant of “praise the lord” to get devil burned in hell. After a few minutes of praising, Shyam sunder will declare “Let us thank God for having burned the devil in the fire.”. The Church will erupt with the joy of Hallelujah. Then next week we see Shyam Sunder again asking believers to praise God to burn the devil! A sensible person will but naturally think – “Oops we burned him last week no? How did he come back alive?” Shyam Sunder thinks he can keep God occupied in circles. God keeps burning devil and devil keeps getting resurrected.
It has been observed that people are in their sane minds before Shyam Sunder is transferred and reaches the new location; but before he gets transferred to another location from there, he will have made half of his believers, insane like him. They also get blessed with the paranormal gift to see the devil in every nerve and fibre of their universe. He is like a contagious virus possessed with devil hysteria. People who come into his contact get affected by devil paranoia. They start seeing visions and dreams of devil hanging around them.
Barbarism in the name of demon hunting
Catholic barbarism of burning women alive is engraved in annals of history. Women accused of being witches were tortured to death on a grand scale in medieval ages. A super spiritual zeal against devil made them burn humans alive, while devil kept watching the show. TPM’s demon hunting is no less barbaric. I will narrate one nightmarish tragedy I witnessed personally. It happened in our local. A super spiritualist father had his daughter ill. He thought this as devil’s work. So he started performing the exorcism at his home, by pulling hairs of his daughter and asking her what is your name? Civilized believers told him that child needs medical treatment. However, when all you have is cow dung in your head, you will hardly listen to what people say. The story goes on that the super spiritual father took his daughter to TPM minister. The exorcists’ team of TPM worker and believer started pulling hairs of the poor kid and began beating her, asking her “Tell me what is your name.” The girl began shouting “Papa, it is paining! Please leave my hairs.” But those words were falling on deaf ears. A Christian nurse who was passing by saw these doctors of devil performing their operation. She interrupted them and by doing her analysis informed that girl is suffering from illness and not from demon possession. Since this nurse was Christian, she refrained from making á police complaint and warned the team of exorcists and left the place. Later the poor daughter died of illness because the super spiritualist father wanted the girl to stand for divine healing. I know many such stories keep occurring in TPM. They assume illness to be a demon. Not all illness is devil’s work (Check I Tim 5:23). Having a hammer in your hand does not mean you start seeing everything as a nail. I wonder when these witch doctors are going to learn to differentiate between demonic illness and medical abnormality. If the nurse wouldn’t have interrupted, this super spiritual father and TPM worker would have tortured the little child to painful death earlier.
A major problem with TPM exorcism is their barbaric treatment of women. I don’t know from where did they learn this art of pulling ladies by their hair? Did Jesus or his apostles pull anyone’s hair mercilessly, in order to cast the demon out? Did not he by mere word of his mouth command demons out, without ever touching ladies or beating them or pulling them by their hairs? Pulling women by her hairs can be seen in temple or Dargah (check snaps from this page). But it isn’t found in scriptures. David also expelled demons out of Saul, but not by touching Saul or pulling him by his hairs. He used to play music (without touching)!
I decided to interview one pastor from another denomination. He holds a reputation in handling many demon cases. I asked him “Pastor, what is your opinion on casting demon by pulling hairs of ladies.” The pastor replied “I am strictly against it. Hairs are not to be pulled. Some people pull hairs with so much strength that hairs come out. If there is a family member then we need not touch ladies. Let them be handled by their family members, as we pray. We catch ladies by upper parts of their hairs lightly, only to keep her in place. If you hold her hairs lightly she will keep rotating in the same place. If the demon is excessively restless, we postpone the case for next day. Care must be taken to avoid painful behaviour with those possessed because once the demon is out, it will pain a lot.” I found his opinion much sensible. Insensitivity to the pain of others is a sign of wickedness. No wonder Christ looked with fury in his eyes when Pharisees tried to stop him from healing a man on Sabbath Day (Mark 3:5). They were insensitive to the pain of afflicted (hardness of their heart). They cared only for their rule of Sabbath day.
I saw a lot of hair pulling in Pastor Satyaneshan’s demon deliverance shows. He was the famous demon hunter of TPM. He used to rise from his grave at midnight hours. Then the demon hunter would begin his spellbinding show. The audience used to await his coming at late nights. Sisters used to pull hairs of demon-possessed women and the torture would go on for few hours. I wish someone pull TPM workers by their hairs and we can see how much it pains when you pull someone by their hairs. These people care less about human misery and more about their traditions.
There is this weird breed of Pentecostals, who always keep saying “the devil has put hindrance in my path. He doesn’t want me to succeed. He doesn’t want me to go there. I can feel a lot of dark power working against me.” Shyam Sunder had many such experiences in his Punjab ministry days. He had the gift of remote-seeing a tantric casting spells to kill Shyam Sunder. Shyam Sunder would then sit in prayer and make sure tantric gets burned in hellfire. There would be an intense battle. From one end would be tantric casting his spells and on the other end would be Shyam Sunder praying to burn magician in hellfire. Finally, it was always that Shyam Sunder had won the battle, burning tantric in hellfire. Shyam Sunder would then declare this as “from victory to victory.”
Devil sensitivity is too high in almost all Pentecostals – much high than the actual level. Almost every alternate TPM ministers will have one “devil encountering” story in his toolkit. One ex-minister, while he was in TPM, asked God to show him the devil. He later got his wish fulfilled. Moses asked to see the face of God, Solomon asked for wisdom, but super religious people of TPM, desire to look at the devil! I have no words for this super desire of super saints of TPM.
Who is more Dangerous. False Teachers or Satanists
One devil created sensationalism about him is cult of Satanists. We all have probably heard of satanic temples and satanic bibles. I was watching a web series last week about Satanists, and it was more comedy to me than horror. They appeared to be nothing but comedians who came into existence by reversing Christianity. For example, if we pray “our father in heaven…” then they will say “our father in hell…” If we say there is “book of lamb” in which names of all saved people are written, then they will say that there is a book called “book of the beast” in which Satanists must get their names signed in.
One myth they create is called “deal with the devil.” They market the idea that they get some power by selling their souls into devil’s hands. While it might be true, what horrific blood games and orgies these Satanists do, yet there is no denying that they spread myths and deceptions too! “Devils chord” or “deal with the devil” suggests that popular musicians like Michael Jackson and others, sell their souls to the devil. In return, they get the gift of music. The truth however is that even if they do not sell their souls (whatever drama they do, God knows), they already are sold under sin and Satan’s bondage (by their natural birth). Unless Jesus redeems someone, he stays sold under hands of the devil, by virtue of being children of fallen Adam. Scriptures inform us that the Apostles were appointed to preach the gospel, and thus rescue people from the power of Satan (Acts 26:18). This means people are already under the power of Satan unless they hear the gospel and believe it.
If that be so, then what is the point about selling soul in hands of the devil, when devil already has these unconverted musicians in his hands (2 Corinthians 4:4)? In my opinion deal with the devil is subtle deception. It spreads the myth that unless any human being explicitly makes a deal with Satan, he remains free. This is a cardinal error in Christianity. Jesus said to Pharisees, Ye are of your father devil…ye shall know the truth and truth shall make you free (John 8:44,32). This implied that they were already in the bondage of the devil. They needed to be made free.
Remember that the Pharisees worshipped the same God as we Christians worship. They also carried devil deliverances (Luke 11:19). But still, the fact remained, that unless they believed Jesus, they would still be slaves of the devil in the sight of God. Whether they cursed devil or worshipped him (like Satanists do), they would still be souls sold in hands of the devil. Therefore, I believe that whatever drama Satanists do, it is to spread myths and sensationalism. We Christians should not give much hype and attention to what they are trying to project about themselves. They want cheap publicity and TPM believers give them what they want when they start gossiping about them. Hyper neurosis makes TPMites as marketing agents to their agenda. Teju himself has been a victim of this. I have heard him preaching satanic Illuminati through his sermons (check this). I myself was a victim to this in my TPM days. T.U. Thomas also spoke about devils chord in his sermons. You might have probably heard this propagated by TPM minister in your region.
There are few sisters and believers who get much attracted to all such sensational news. They suddenly get super-religious and start praising God, when they hear about the satanic temple. It was rumoured that there was one such satanic worship place established in the vicinity of TPM. Sisters started spreading the rumour that Satanists praise devil to attack and destroy TPM. I did not know where these ladies get the news. This created panic among so-called believers, whom Christ himself has given power above evil on earth (Luke 10:17). People who hear such rumours, utter “praise the Lord” more loudly, as if there is a war between God and devil, and one of them will win; depending on whose people praise whom more. Aren’t scriptures clear “Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel (Num 23:23):” Why not let them do their drama or magic or any enchantments. Why create a fuss about them and be the marketing agent for their cheap product?
Another angle why I see this exaggeration as cunning deception is because it diverts people’s attention from the main culprits. Just like political parties, tries to prove their patriotism by calling others as traitors, so do these super religious false preachers try to prove their allegiance to God, by cursing the devil. An example of this was the sect of Pharisees. They called Jesus as Beelzebub. But they themselves were devil’s soldiers. It is no rocket science that fraudster’s trick to win the trust of people is by calling others as a fraudster. This technique of false teachers, to keep people amused by telling them exciting stories about Satanists while hiding their own true nature is practised by TPM group of ministers also. Therefore, these masked men are more dangerous to us than those Satanists. Who can deny that a terrorist camouflaging as a soldier is more dangerous than the terrorist in his true attire? Bible has more warnings against false teachers, in comparison to witches who openly call themselves as ministers of the devil. Devil himself is wise enough to know that he is more dangerous when he disguises himself as the angel of light as compared to revealing his true identity. Hence we should be more concerned about false teachers who work from within Christendom, rather than getting our attention diverted to devils and Satanists.
A.W.Tozer’s piece of advice for devil conscious people
A.W.Tozer wrote an article on the excessive madness of Pentecostals about the devil. In his book “born after midnight” he writes an article “about what to do of the devil.” He writes that some people are obsessive of evil spirits beyond measure. They begin ordering the devil in a loud voice, but their nervous gestures tell how deeply frightened they are. There is but a hairline of difference between fact and fiction. We must be aware of facts of the enemy, but at the same time, we must discern for every superstitious notion that the devil creates about his own self. Knowing truth will set us free but superstition will enslave us. The scriptural way to see things is to set the Lord always before us. Put Christ in the centre of our vision, and if Satan is lurking around he will appear on the margin only and be seen as but a shadow on the edge of Lord’s brightness. It is always wrong to reverse this – to set Satan in the focus of our vision and push God out to the margin. Nothing but tragedy can come of such inversion.
Remember, we are not saying that the devil does not exist or demon possession is a fairy tale. Jesus himself cast demons on numerous occasions. We believe all these evil (demon possession, Satanism, enchantment, necromancy, witches) exists. But there is a limit to react to everything. There is a hairline difference between fact and fiction. Exaggerated mention of the devil is a sign of neuroticism. To find the devil in every nook and corner is super spiritualism and is dangerous. Preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to liberate people in darkness is one part of the story. The Other part is to stop being the tool of the devil. which unfortunately is the bigger problem for TPM.
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Cor 10:5
Every time they self-exalt themselves using their evil doctrine, they are fighting for Satan against God. Sadly they seem to be in love with the delusion.
They are failing on the warfare with forces of evil working in heavenly places. So I humbly request demon hunters and prayer warriors of TPM to maintain sanity and rationality. Neither freak out yourselves, nor make naïve people hysteric. Teach them the truth, and help them fight superstitions and myths.
Supplementary readings for information and further meditation