I have couched my epistle in anonymity because it is not my purpose to destroy anyone or make myself a target or a hero. My purpose is to expose the works of darkness, not only in your sister’s life but also in my own, and wherever the Lord chooses to deposit these words. I believe this is the time and the manner in which the events of the past 25 years are to be made public. I have submitted this epistle to Jesus, my “Upstairs Editor.” He has okayed it for publication. The time has come to open Pandora’s box and expose the subtle ways our lives are controlled or influenced by Lucifer, that fallen angel and most formidable foe. He trembles and falls to his knees only when he hears the name of Jesus, no one else’s. (Philippians 2:10)
For many years, we reached out to your sister as if she were an angel of light sent from heaven. For many years, we affectionately called her “The Angel of the Sidewalks and Parks.” We applauded her, encouraged her, served her to the very best of our ability and invited her to come and stay with us numerous times. At one point, we invited both local and out-of-town friends to come and celebrate her deliverance from the powers of darkness. We had many guests on that occasion, but the “honored guest” did not show up. It was a very disappointing and humiliating experience. You might remember that your mother bought the plane ticket for her. We had made arrangements to have someone pick her up at the airport. We had arranged for a time of great fellowship and good food. I was poised to write her victory story. Instead, I am compelled to write this letter.
For many years, I pampered your sister and told her that I would serve as her personal secretary. Many times I rushed to the post office with cards, letters, books, music and teaching tapes, gifts, and surprises. We paid part of a judgment against her for disappearing from an apartment without paying the rent that she owed. One time I allowed her to charge a portion of her motel expenses to our Visa card to keep her off the streets. For a number of years, we maintained an 800 telephone number so that she could call us anytime at our expense when she was in distress. We reached out to her with unconditional love and acceptance; but unwittingly, we spared the rod and spoiled the child.
We know that you and your sister’s daughter, who has her own family now, have also reached out to her. I thank you for being so very caring. God will reward you. You have done everything possible to help this very lost and confused soul find her place in the world and in the family of God. But as we have all learned the hard way, she allowed herself to be pampered, but never corrected. She attracted all the wrong people, including the father of her child, who is serving a life sentence. You did all you could so that she would become a responsible individual and a blessing instead of a burden to her family and to society. The very fabric of our society is tattered and torn because more and more fallen angels like your sister are calling streets, parks, mental institutions, and prisons their home. All of us in some way have contributed to this tragedy.
As I review all that has happened during the past 25 years, I now even see myself as having contributed to her delinquent behavior. I see no fruit, healing, victory, or deliverance. I see only rebellion, anger, and pride. Instead of faith, I see wishful thinking and unhealthy fantasy. Yes, your sister got rid of some debilitating and expensive habits, but the intrinsic problems remained and have thus far not budged as far as I can see. Maybe our reward is that we are learning how the invisible and tyrannical powers of Satan control lives and, in turn, exhaust the lives of others who try to help them. I am glad that you and I agree that her problems cannot be remedied by an arsenal of medication, but only by the hand of almighty God. Two of your siblings are now “living proof” that medication and shock treatment have hurt a lot more than they have helped.
I was deceived by your sister’s pathetic street life. I was deceived and seduced by her many flattering words and prayers. I was seduced by flattery that attempted to elevate her and me to a place of spiritual prominence. I was manipulated by repeated threats of suicide. She would say, “Peter, you are my only hope, my only rope.” She would hang on to me instead of Jesus for dear life. Shame on me, for I allowed it. My wife saw through this charade immediately but could not gain my attention without arousing unholy anger that was lurking in my own heart. I had to find out the hard way that I was being seduced by flattery and an unhealthy need to be needed. My wife is to be commended for not interfering, even though she knew my efforts would be fruitless. She stepped aside, knowing that I would have to learn some important lessons the hard way.
Here are the intrinsic problems as I see them today. I first searched for clues in my own backyard. Your sister would never have been able to become a part of our lives if I had been a healthier, a wiser, a more courageous, and a more secure individual. For many years, I was unable to confront anyone; and whenever I did try, my techniques were ineffective and wimpy. To tell you the truth, I was actually afraid of confronting your sister. It seemed that Satan, or one of his high-ranking cohorts, was either blocking or twisting my words and efforts to set her free. My being kind, gentle, and accommodating placated the savage, hidden beast in her, but did not help her one iota. For years I confronted Satan without the authority of Christ being in me. I confronted him in my own strength and wisdom. Only after I realized that only the Lord and the Lord in me could defeat Satan did I see the light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. I had such a desperate need to be the hero in the story! That posture made me vulnerable to the deceptions and fury of Satan. There is only one Lord, one Hero, and one Savior. His name is Jesus, and Satan knows that. (Jude 9, II Chronicles 2:15)
To be able to understand how Satan has manipulated your sister and me, I have turned to the Word of God. There are a number of verses that now help me to understand the problem. Romans 12:3 warns, “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to.” As long as I have known your sister, she has seen herself as a mover and shaker with great spiritual significance, yet refused to accept the role of a servant. As you know, she is always waiting for some big TV evangelist to discover her virtues. She believes that every jet in the sky is bringing her prince. She manipulates others and begs for favors, even though she is quite capable of working. She rails against those who don’t “Amen” her lifestyle or spirituality, including the churches in her area. Anyone who disagrees with her becomes her immediate enemy. She controls and intimidates others with her anger and seduces the unwary with her “street-wise” behavior. The welfare system and a variety of helps organizations have helped her to survive, but never to succeed.
It was a verse from the book of Hebrews that woke me up. It is written, “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” (Hebrews 12:7–8). Yes, without correction we are bastards and bitches!
I have never in my life heard such blasphemous words and railing accusations as when I tried to correct your sister. Even the gentlest suggestions caused her to explode into a tirade of ugly words. And I am old enough to be her father. The accusations she brought against others who contradicted her in any way were equally vehement. She saw demons in everyone who opposed her, including her own daughter and son-in-law. She conversed with demons only she could see or hear. I cannot tell you how often she accused God, although she seemed to have no problem speaking and using the name of Jesus and praying for people to be saved. That’s what I would call an oxymoron. I am reminded of words from the book of Revelation, chapter 12, verses 9 and 10: “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world. He was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ, for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.’” Yes, Satan and his fallen angels no longer have God’s ear. They have been cast out of heaven. I suddenly realized that I had been pleading with God for 25 years to allow one of those fallen angels to have a place in heaven. I must remind myself and the Church of Jesus’ words:
“Beware of false teachers who come disguised as harmless sheep, but are wolves and will tear you apart. You can detect them by the way they act, just as you can detect a tree by its fruit. You need never confuse grapevines with thorn bushes or figs with thistles.
“Different kinds of fruit trees can quickly be identified by examining their fruit. A variety that produces delicious fruit never produces an inedible kind. And a tree producing an inedible kind can’t produce what is good. So the trees having inedible fruit are chopped down and thrown on the fire. Yes, the way to identify a tree or person is by the kind of fruit produced.
“Not all who sound religious are godly people. They may refer to me as ‘Lord, Lord, we told others about You and used your name to cast out demons and to do many other great miracles.’ But I will reply, ‘You have never been mine. Go away, for your deeds are evil.’” (Matthew 7:21–23)
Your sister is no longer welcome in our home. My wife and I refuse to be manipulated, bashed, or exploited by anyone who wears a backpack filled with unclean and hidden hitchhikers. Flatteries, guilt routines, intimidation – none of these approaches will open the gate to our hearts any longer. Yes, your sister is still “The Angel of the Sidewalks and Parks,” but she is no longer the kind of angel we care to have around or recommend to others. Is there any hope for your sister or others like her? Yes, there is! The psalmist says, “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
The only way some of us learn is the hard way. I have learned the hard way. I may be a slow learner, but I am a thorough learner. It is my calling and duty now to trumpet what I have learned into as many lives as I have strength and breath to do so. I do not believe it will take another 25 years before I recognize whether an angel is trying to help me or seduce me. Thirty minutes should be ample. By the way, another name for Satan is “that great deceiver.” If there ever was a con artist, it is he. Many have enrolled in his school. Many have graduated from his school. Many have been recruited by him and don’t even realize it. He was cast out of heaven, but he is surely having a heyday on earth. I believe his days are numbered, and he knows it. There is not enough Prozac and not enough alcohol in the world to calm the fears of impending doom for those who are not right with God. I am so glad we agree on that point.
Here is a brief example of how that great deceiver works amongst us today.
Is Satan real? You bet he is. He always operates under a cloak of anonymity and in sanctimonious ways. Appearing as an angel of light is one of his favorite tricks. Deception and flattery are his stock in trade. Is God real? You bet He is. God can and will protect us if we call upon the name of Jesus; but we must also learn to protect ourselves and always remain on guard. Satan’s bag of tricks is filled with flattery, fear, vanity, peer pressure, depression, suicide, rage, deception, and rebellion against authority. Deception, flattery, and rebellion against authority are his trump cards. Don’t play poker with Satan. If you believe in heaven and would like to camp there forever, don’t invite such unclean, evil spirits to hitchhike in your backpack. If you have already invited them, trash those imposters, freeloaders, and thieves. Do it now! Tomorrow it will be much harder!
|| Satan sows fear, anxiety, and panic into our hearts—many unsuspecting hearts.
The medical profession determines that fear, anxiety, frenzy, depression, rage, etc. are the result of a chemical imbalance in our bodies and can be successfully treated with medication. This may be true, but often does not identify the real culprit, the root cause.
||A drug company develops Prozac or some other drug to calm our nerves or “stabilize” our thoughts and emotions.
We ignore the “gift of desperation” and allow ourselves to be medicated. We see our distress as a sickness rather than an intruder and enemy. We start taking some drug and thereby disable the internal “fire alarm” instead of addressing the real problem. We feel better and stop looking for the underlying causes of our fears, anxiety, depression, anger, rage, lust, or whatever.
||Now we are trapped and remain trapped in a vicious cycle of dependency on stimulants or depressants with a variety of names, but all very expensive and some with debilitating and permanent side effects. The spider has caught another fly and sucks the very life out of the paralyzed fly. Let’s not blame the drug companies. It’s Satan who must be exposed. When treatment with Prozac and similar substances becomes the legitimate and socially acceptable form of treatment, Satan has found another “cash cow.” He never kills it; he milks it to death. A “cash cow” may be as innocent looking as a little white pill, a coke, a bottle of beer, a cigarette, TV, or it may be as vile as pornography. Whose “cash cow” might you be?
||We are once more serving those “Egyptian taskmasters.” Their whips are fueled by an unquenchable thirst for power and profits. The scenery is different; but the scenario is the same. We have become slaves and don’t even realize it.
Don’t squander God’s life, joy, peace, and love within you. And don’t let Satan steal them from you. We must all wear ALL the armor of God (Ephesians 6:11–18) and exchange our wimpy, self-seeking, and self-gratifying old nature for that of a fearless warrior and crusader. I am writing these words for your protection and as a warning to those who may eventually read them. I have asked Jesus to help me identify all doors in my own life that need to be shut, and which I cannot shut by myself. My relationship with your sister was one of those doors.
I also see your sister today as one of those foolish, irresponsible virgins, who will not keep her lamp full of oil and will not keep her wick trimmed. She continues to beg, borrow, and steal oil from others. Many adults continue to drink from the breasts of others, even when they are grown. We must neither initiate nor allow these sick dependencies to continue. If we do, it is our own fault. I see these people as spiritual, emotional, and financial parasites. Like leaches or ticks, they attach themselves to another living organism and suck the lifeblood out of them. Are we the spider, the fly, both, or neither in the poem that follows? The Lord and no one else must be our shepherd, provider, and source. Both His rod and His staff are to comfort us. (Psalm 23)
God’s instructions are, “Don’t get ready; stay ready.” Jesus will appear when we least expect Him, just as He promised. The foolish virgins will be left in the dark. The parable in the book of Matthew, chapter 25, verses 1 through 13, tells the story in Jesus’ own words.
Once more, I would like to acknowledge the role of a good woman in a man’s life. She does not have a need to shine. Her only need is to serve her God and be loved, appreciated, and respected by her husband. I want to acknowledge those unsung heroes who stand by the side of their husbands through thick and thin, like my wife, Rebekah. Thank you, Lord, for giving some of us stubborn men such steadfast, loving, and forgiving wives. We really don’t deserve them. Your heart speaks profusely through their love and steadfast commitment to You and to us.
Jesus, the Lamb of God, was betrayed and crucified. Should we expect any less? (Galatians 2:20) Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah has prevailed (Revelation 5:5). Should we expect any less? Jesus came to exchange our cruel and stony hearts for His merciful and bold heart. WOW! Have you apprehended this wonderful gift—the Lion and the Lamb, the full stature of the Son of God? (Ephesians 4:13). Please consider these words and this gift for yourself.
In the name of His Majesty, my “Upstairs Editor,” Peter
PS. For those who wish to enlarge their spiritual library and arsenal, I recommend the writings of Mary Garrison. At this time there are four books available that can be obtained by writing to Christ Camp Ministries, P.O. Box 158, Chelsea, AL 35043. For individual books a donation of $6.95 is requested plus $2.50 for shipping and handling. All four books may be obtained for a donation of $25.00 plus $3.50 for shipping and handling. Available books are entitled: “How To Try A Spirit”, “How To Conduct Spiritual Warfare”, “The Holy Ghost and Mrs. Garrison”, and “Keys to the Kingdom are Binding, Loosing, and Knowledge”.
The Spider and the Fly
By Mary Howitt 1799 – 1888
“Will you walk into my parlor?” said the spider to the fly;
“’This the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy.
The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many pretty things to show when you are there.”
“O no, no, said the little fly, “to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”
“I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?” said the spider to the fly.
“There are pretty curtains drawn around, the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I’ll snugly tuck you in.”
“O no, no,” said the little fly, “for I’ve often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed.”
Said the cunning spider to the fly, “Dear friend, what shall I do,
To prove the warm affection I’ve always felt for you?
I have within my pantry good store of all that’s nice;
I’m sure you’re very welcome; will you please to take a slice?”
“O no, no,” said the little fly, “kind sir, that cannot be;
I’ve heard what’s in your pantry, and I do not wish to see.”
“Sweet creature!” said the spider, “you’re witty and you’re wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes.”
I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf.
If you’ll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.”
“I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, “for what you’re pleased to say,
And bidding you good-morning now, I’ll call another day.”
The spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly fly would soon be back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready to dine upon the fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
“Come hither, hither, pretty fly, with the pearl and silver wing:
Your robes are green and purple; there’s a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead.”
Alas, alas: how very soon this silly little fly,
Hearing his wily flattering words, came slowly flitting by.
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue;
Thinking only of her crested head – poor foolish thing!
Up jumped the cunning spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlor; but she ne’er came out again!
And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne’er give heed;
Unto an evil counselor close heart, and ear, and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.