Weapons of Righteousness
by Phil, OMF Philippines
It was late afternoon and tropical rain clouds were gathering for their usual daily downpour. Moloy and I were finishing the last Bible study in preparation for the long-awaited baptism of the first Umayamnon spirit priest.
The day before, I had again challenged him about any paraphernalia that he hadn’t yet surrendered. After the Bible study he cautiously pulled out two small rectangular bottles containing powerful concoctions that the spirits had given him many years earlier – they had enabled him to heal people and gave him protection.
With a trembling hand he clutched these two remaining links to his life on the dark side and asked for help to destroy them so he could be free once and for all.
Moloy’s journey into the kingdom began over a year ago. At the time he was deeply involved in animistic practices, including animal sacrifices and the drinking of blood. He was an angry opponent of the outreach activities going on in his village and had more than once planned to make malicious use of his gun to silence the singing of believers.
Then the Lord spoke to him in a graphic vision, giving us the opportunity to explain the word of God and set him free from powerful demons. We had two more opportunities in the year. Both were dramatic occasions; the second was when Moloy, in a possessed state, had tried to kill one of the church leaders.
On that particular day, as we began the evening routine of bathing kids, preparing meals and shutting up house, we heard shouting and screaming nearby. The old lady I questioned was so hysterical I couldn’t understand a word she said – we thought a terrible accident had occurred. I grabbed a torch and ran down the hill towards the commotion.
But what I saw wasn’t what I expected.
Outside the house of one of the church leaders were two of his sisters. They were attempting to protect their brother, shouting and commanding all sorts of things at a demon-possessed man wielding a large bush knife. Others had armed themselves with whatever they could grab. The man, Moloy, was unfazed and continued brandishing his knife and making violent threats.
What disturbed me most was that the believers were trying to fight fire with fire. Angry shouts of “In Jesus’ name!” had no effect on the fury being displayed by this man. It was a dismal situation where the believers were not applying the truths they had come to know.
When I could stand it no more, I forced the two women to stop shouting and retreat. I reminded myself that “Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world.” I felt no anger or hatred, only love for Moloy. The spirit controlling him recognized this too, causing Moloy to back away and flee to a safe distance among the trees.
Now you’re probably thinking that only a fool would chase a demon-possessed, machete-wielding man through the woods in the dark armed only with a torch. But after preaching to these believers for so long about the love and power of God, I felt it needed to be demonstrated. Just as fire is extinguished with water, hate and fear are diffused by love – this is what I wanted them to grasp.
I caught up with Moloy in an open, grassy area – just him and me in a stand off. The crowd stood at some distance, watching and wondering what this crazy missionary was up to. God’s love for the world included Moloy and I believed he wanted him to know that.
As I drew closer with nothing but love burning in my heart for him, Moloy suddenly dropped to his knees, held up his hands in surrender and begged me not to come closer. I could see that his trembling body was bathed in sweat and his eyes were like saucers.
As I spoke gently to Moloy he began to vent his anger and frustrations in a flood of colourful speech. I proceeded to tell him of God’s love and the plan God had for him that was burning in my heart.
The anger and fear ruling him was subsiding – God’s love was melting the demonic grip. A sense of calm settled around us and I asked if I could pray for him. In one last attempt, the spirit caused him to spring to his feet, shouting his refusal. Edging forward I spoke again of God’s love. In my heart I knew that the gates of hell couldn’t stand up against God’s Church. I got close enough to embrace Moloy’s sweaty, trembling body.
With the machete lying in the grass, the crowd watching in silence and the moon reflecting on Moloy’s face, we prayed. His body trembled as the messenger of Satan left and peace entered his heart.
Several months later and in very different circumstances, we were meeting not as enemies but as brothers in Christ; instead of a machete, a Bible. Moloy was asking for help to be set free from the final clutches of Satan on his life.
As the raindrops began to fall, we lit a small bonfire in the backyard. I called Crispen down from the roof where he was working, Munding who was just going by after tying up his buffalo, and some other believers nearby to come and stand with Moloy, and we lifted our voices in hearty, united prayer.
Moloy’s whole body trembled as he stood clutching his last demonic possessions, but like the rain, victory was coming fast. With great courage and force he hurled the charms into the inferno and instantly experienced the joyous victory and freedom that only Christ can give. As the heavens opened, soaking us all, we rejoiced in the victory gained that day.
Christ has promised to build his church and the gates of hell will not be able to stand up against the advance of his kingdom. Pray for people trapped in Satan’s snare, as Moloy once was – that God’s light would shine into their hearts.