I was still half asleep, holding a cup of coffee in my hands, when I saw a person wearing an ordinary shirt in my mind’s eye. Attached to the shirt were lots of clothespins. I queried, “Lord, what are you trying to show me?” And He replied, “Peter, the clothespins represent familiar spirits that have attached themselves to the individual wearing the shirt. They are pulling life, strength, hope, peace, joy, courage, health, virtue, even finances out of the person wearing that shirt. They are leaches, no different than tics or mosquitoes that feed on the life of their host. They rob their host of life and exchange life for death and disease. Although they are small and often inconspicuous, they may still be deadly or cripple their victim. They are parasites like mistletoe that draws life from its host tree. Some trees eventually die or become crippled, others continue to live but forfeit their beauty, health and longevity.”
What are familiar spirits? Familiar spirits are demonic entities that are familiar with our past. Most of us cannot see them although many can sense their presence because they play with our thoughts and emotions in a negative and harassing way. They are “familiar” with our past and aware of our strength and weaknesses. They often know us better than we know ourselves. They remember when we violated both God’s and man’s laws and traded health and wealth for carnal pleasures. They remember when we cheated on our spouse, raped a child, were raped by a relative or viewed pornography. They remember when we battled cancer or cheated on a test. They remember when we were betrayed by a friend or betrayed a friend. They remember when we failed to do something that we know we should have done. And they use that knowledge to blackmail us and thereby make us as their prisoners and an object of their entertainment. And generally we have left a door open for them to come in if we have never confessed and repented of our sins – regardless of type or size or when we sinned.
These spirits accuse us, confuse us and torment us. They rob us of sleep. They know how to push those buttons that cause us to panic, fly into a rage or reach for a cigarette. They are opportunistic and wait for just the right moment to play with our thoughts, our emotions, our bodies and our pocket book. For example, the moment we may drive by a bank that exploited us, anger can rise up even though the matter happened many years ago. Even thinking of a deceased father or mother who treated us shamefully when we were children can cause excruciating emotional pain over and over again. And for reasons we may not understand, these familiar spirits can leapfrog from generation to generation and will unless they are dealt with – exposed and cut off. Even after we have confessed, repented and forgiven all parties involved, including ourselves, these familiar spirits seem to be able to continue to torment us if we let them.
Is there anything else besides confessing and repenting of our sins that we can do to strip these familiar spirits of their power to harass us? Yes, there is, but it’s not easy or automatic. The advice of the apostle Paul must be taken seriously. Paul writes in his letter to the Philippians, chapter 4:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
That’s good counsel and I recommend it to all who have been allowing their thoughts and emotions to roam around unbridled. But how many of us can honestly say, “I am doing what Paul said and am doing it consistently and continuously. Am I policing my thoughts and emotions all the time?”
I wished I could tell you that I have bridled every thought and emotion. Believe me, it takes a lot more than “wishing” or wishful thinking. It takes continuous resolve, vigilance and discipline. These are qualities in short supply in most of us but available to all who ask Jesus for help. The victorious and resurrected Christ, also known as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, is more than eager to help us confront these familiar spirits in our life if we ask Him. Yes, He definitely wants us to ask!
Here is the key to subduing our unbridled nature. Anyone who wants to be free and stay free from harassing familiar spirits must be violent. Jesus showed us how by cleansing the temple. We are that temple. Jesus said, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). I personally know very few people who have demonstrated such violence or even believe it is a godly quality. If you are welcoming these words with all of your heart, let me explain how we can legitimately display such violence and give familiar spirits the left foot of fellowship. And this is where the picture of the shirt and clothespins come in.
If you have a bunch of clothespins handy, try to find them. If you don’t have any or can’t find them, you can buy them in quantities of 48 or 96 for just a few pennies. Then look for a shirt you are ready to demolish and put it on. For every familiar spirit you are able to identify, clip a clothespin on the shirt. Try to identify every unsanctified memory that “pushes your buttons.” The name of some of those may be fear, rage, lust, jealousy, distrust, and so on. Then take a look in the mirror and command, “Take a hike, you are no longer welcome or tolerated in my life.” After doing that, take the shirt off, slap it vigorously and violently on the ground until every clothespin (familiar spirit) is scattered on the floor. Then stomp on the clothespins. Try to crush them. After that, don’t touch the clothespins any more because they represent something unclean. Get a pair of pliers or something similar, pick up the clothespins and throw them into the fire if possible. If a fire is not readily available, throw the clothespins into the trash. As you do this, ask Jesus to help you put these familiar spirits under your feet and His feet permanently. We all need His violence and authority to get the job done right. Be fiercely determined not to allow the familiar spirits access to your thought-life again. If they buzz around you like hungry mosquitoes or wasps, swat them before they can land on you.
Jesus never sleeps and neither does the devil. Be on guard and stay on guard. Eventually those “mosquitoes” will lose interest in you because they learn that all their cousins are lying dead at your feet or under your feet.
can see her standing in front of our Earth Stove. It happened to have a blazing fire in it. You can also see some of the clothespins scattered on the rug. She vigorously stepped on each one before she burnt them. And by the way, we have quite a few extra clothespins for anyone who might like to drop by.
Make a note somewhere of the day you did this and then begin telling others what you did. If possible, take pictures or have someone take pictures of the transaction and include them with your written account. Challenge your friends do what you have done. Keep extra clothespins on hand and offer them to anyone who is ready to “violently” deal with their own familiar spirits.
February 16 was my 78th birthday. It was the first day I demonstrated how to identify and crush those familiar spirits that “bug” us. I am penning these words on March 1, 2011. During these last 13 days seven people accepted the challenge of crushing their familiar spirits that have been “bugging” them. Last night a lady crushed an army of unclean spirits right in our living room. She gave us the permission to include the picture without revealing her identity, of course. I assisted by applying “The Sword of the Spirit” to the transaction. You
We need lovers and fighters in God’s army. We need soldiers who are vigilant and violent and have learned to keep those familiar spirits at bay. We have other strategic weapons of warfare available. If you want to learn about them, peruse our web site, or even better, come on by.