KEYWORDS: lord, but, spirit, maria

Pity the Weak

David Berg

—By Father DavidJune 9, 1978MO—DFO 720

© July 1978, by the Family of Love‚ CP 748, 00100 Roma, Italia.

1. (MARIA: SOME PEOPLE IN THE FAMILY ARE REALLY CONDEMNED AND FEEL LIKE OUTCASTS and that the Lord can't do anything for them and that they must be demon-possessed because they have certain problems. For example, epilepsy. I know you've said it's a spiritual thing, but do you think it's classed in the category of demon possession?

2. (WE HAVE A STRONG BROTHER IN THE FAMILY SIX YEARS, who has done beautifully, has wonderful fruits and responsible leadership position, but he's never been able to get complete deliverance from recurring epileptic attacks which have plagued him for years even before joining the Family.

3. (IT ALMOST SEEMS LIKE, "BUT IF NOT." Everybody has spiritual weaknesses, and evidently that's one of his I'm sure he's tried to get the victory‚ I'm sure he's really cried out desperately to the Lord for deliverance and been prayed for by others.

4. (BUT HE'S STAYED FAITHFUL IN SPITE OF NOT BEING DELIVERED and in spite of having to endure the accompanying shame and embarrassment and in spite of condemnation and a holier-than-thou attitude on the part of others who act like it's some huge, terrible thing, when jealousy or pride or self-righteousness is worse than that because it hurts so many others. It must have really discouraged him. HE was doing this big job under so much pressure.)

5. THE SWEETEST LITTLE GIRL USED TO BE OUR PIANIST at the Church of the Open Door in downtown Miami. She was in her late twenties, not very pretty, but very, very sweet and played the piano beautifully. Her name was Katherine Mulkins.

6. BUT EVERY NOW AND THEN SHE WOULD HAVE AN EPILEPTIC ATTACK. I can remember once even right while she was sitting on the piano stool playing she had an attack and fell to the floor foaming at the mouth, grimacing and writing in spasms and convulsions!

7. WE GATHERED AROUND AND PRAYED FOR HER AND SHE WAS DELIVERED RIGHT AWAY. But I don't know that she ever got complete deliverance that I can remember. She was a charming little girl with a sweet, sweet spirit‚ played beautifully, always faithful coming to church.

8. SHE HAD A YOUNGER SISTER WHO WAS PERFECTLY NORMAL and was really concerned about her and was always there to take care of her. Now, I have always sort of taken it for granted that this was one form of demon-possession, according to similar things in the Bible.

9. BUT HOW COULD YOU CALL IT DEMON-POSSESSION WHEN SHE WAS SAVED AND BORN AGAIN? I don't know that she was filled with the Spirit. But I don't see how the Devil could find any room for a complete possession if someone is filled with the Spirit of God.

10. BUT IS WAS CERTAINLY AN ATTACK OF THE ENEMY. It was a temporary, harsh, cruel attack of the Enemy, perhaps even from the outside, a sudden severe attack that caused her to go into convulsions and cast her on the ground forming at the mouth and writhing and groaning.

11. IT WAS REALLY PITIFUL, enough to make you weep, because she was such a genuinely sweet young woman. So I'm not even going to say anymore that epilepsy is necessarily always demon-possession. It may be a temporary obsession or oppression or a temporary attack of the Enemy.

12. IT SEEMS TO COME WHEN THEY GET UNDER QUITE A BIT OF PRESSURE AND NERVOUS STRAIN. They can't quite seems to take it or handle stress, and so the Devil takes advantage of it and they go into these fits and spasms.

13. I REMEMBER THERE WAS A MAN DRIVING his coupe along in front of us across the Miami causeway to Miami Beach—that highway built up out of the water. And all of a sudden his car began to slow down and we could tell something had gone wrong with him, we thought he had had a heart attack or something.

14. HIS CAR SLOWLY CURVED over to the right-hand side of the road and started down toward the water. My Dad speeded up his car real fast and drove off the road and jumped out and grabbed the wheel of the other car just in time to keep it from going down into the water. The guy would have drowned, as he was having an epileptic fit!

15. I'VE KNOWN QUITE A FEW EPILEPTICS AND MOST OF THEM SEEMED TO BE FAIRLY NICE NORMAL PEOPLE under normal conditions. But it seemed like always, if they ever got under any pressure or strain, particularly nervous strain, that the Enemy took advantage of it and attacked and they would go into a fit.

16. (MARIA: YOU MEAN YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT CHRISTIANS THAT YOU KNOW?) Even Christians, yes, people that I really thought were real Christians who loved the Lord. (Maria: Even filled with the Spirit?)

17. I DON'T KNOW IF THEY WERE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT. I can't remember that much about them, if they were really filled with the spirit. (Maria: Well, I know some people who have been filled with the Spirit that have insane attacks of jealousy, which I would say is even worse! Anyway‚ they'd almost temporarily go stark raving mad!)

18. WELL, OF COURSE, IF YOU LET THE ENEMY IN, IF YOU YIELD TO HIS ATTACKS, if you surrender to his assaults, almost anything can happen except for the mercy and the protection of the Lord.

19. OF COURSE, SCIENCE AND THE MEDICAL PROFESSION REFUSE TO CONFESS THAT THERE'S ANYTHING SPIRITUAL ABOUT EPILEPSY, much less that there is a Devil or demons or anything. But since they have not been able to find actually anything physiological or even psychological that causes it, they still don't understand it.

20. OF COURSE I'VE KNOWN OF OTHER EPILEPTICS WHO WERE NOT CHRISTIANS and who didn't know the Lord who become extremely violent, like the girl in that film, "The Exorcist", and would attack people and know things‚ really get possessed‚ demonically possessed!

21. BUT THEN, TOO, I'VE KNOWN OF SOME OF THESE PEOPLE BEING GLORIOUSLY SAVED AND WONDERFULLY AND COMPLETELY DELIVERED THROUGH PRAYER AND FAITH IN THE LORD! The most outstanding case I'm thinking of was a girl in her early twenties who had gotten to where she was having so many fits every day that she was down to almost skin and bones, wasn't eating enough and sometimes it took two or three men to hold her down.

22. SHE WAS GETTING SO VIOLENT THAT SHE'D WANT TO THROW THINGS OR KILL SOMEBODY OR JUMP OUT THE WINDOW, all kinds of horrible things! And they'd taken her to doctor after doctor and nobody could do anything for her. Finally the family was completely desperate.

23. HER GRANDMOTHER, BY THE WAY, WAS INTO SPIRITISM, BLACK MAGIC AND WITCHCRAFT and confessed it, and even asked for prayer. She was the one I told you about who was having sexual intercourse with demons! And apparently the girl had gotten something through her grandmother's evil channel.

24. WE WHERE IN THEIR TOWN HOLDING A MEETING and they heard about my mother and healing and her prayer for the sick‚ so they sent for us. The poor girl was really pitiful, lying there in the bed exhausted, thin and weak from all this.

25. MY MOTHER JUST TALKED TO HER VERY SWEETLY AND LED HER TO ACCEPT THE LORD and she received Jesus into her heart. "Now", my Mother said, "you must say this little prayer: Now that I have Jesus in my heart I don't want anything that's not of Jesus". She just kept repeating that phrase.

26. "I DON'T WANT ANYTHING THAT'S NOT OF JESUS. I JUST WANT JESUS IN MY HEART."—And she never had another fit!—Not another attack! I saw her a few weeks later and they were already allowing her to go around town by herself! She'd gone back to the doctor for a check-up and the doctor marvelled that she was perfectly normal, just completely and totally delivered!

27. WHEN I SAW HER A FEW WEEKS LATER, I COULD HARDLY RECOGNISE HER—She had gained about 30 or 40 pounds and was now a robust‚ beautiful young woman! She was perfectly normal, smiling, happy, sitting there on the bench of the church during one of our services, completely and totally delivered, with never another fit!

28. BUT IT WAS A STRANGE THING ABOUT THE OTHER GIRL, OUR LITTLE GIRL PIANIST: As many times as we prayed for her, she just couldn't seems to get complete and final, lasting deliverance. She didn't have attacks very often, once a month or something like that, and when we prayed she'd get almost immediate deliverance, but it didn't last.

29. I REMEMBER THAT PARTICULAR TIME WHEN SHE WAS PLAYING FOR THE CONGREGATION AND SHE FELL OFF THE STOOL, perhaps it was because she was under too much nervous and mental strain, the responsibility of playing the piano for a congregation. I don't know, but she had a fit right there.

30. WE ALL RUSHED UP TO PRAY FOR HER AND SHE WAS INSTANTLY DELIVERED, but it seemed to come back again, these attacks. I don't recall the end of the story‚ whether she ever had a complete delivery or not, as we moved away into evangelistic work. Otherwise, she was perfectly normal‚ very sweet and meek and very precious and humble and Christlike.

31. (MARIA: WELL, DON'T YOU THINK IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN ANOTHER THING LIKE "BUT IF NOT", that it was one of those things that the Lord used to keep her humble‚ a weakness?) Maybe so. (Maria: All of us have weaknesses that are our thorn in the flesh—the Apostle Paul was nearly blind!

32.(PERHAPS WE SHOULD BE STRONGER, but if we were all so righteous and we didn't have any of these weaknesses, we couldn't help others much, we couldn't sympathetic or compassionate if we were so self–righteous and perfect. We couldn't even understand them.)

33. I REMEMBER THERE WAS ONE VERY PRECIOUS GIRL, just as sweet as could be, wonderful Christian, loved the Lord, always smiling, always cheerful, but her sister always pushed her to church in a wheelchair because she was a spastic and had little control over her contorted limbs or her writhing head or even her grotesque facial expressions!

34. BUT SHE COULD SMILE! Her face would just light up with joy and smile talking about the Lord and talking to her friends! Everybody loved her and she loved everybody and she seemed to be very happy.

35. BUT FOR SOME REASON OR OTHER, THE LORD NEVER DELIVERED HER, at least not as long as I can remember‚ as long as I was a child in that church. And I just looked at her and wondered, and yet, I thought‚ she's so happy in spite of that affliction. She'd never known anything else! But she seemed to be happy and enjoyed life.

36. BUT HERE WAS A CHURCH THAT BELIEVED IN HEALING, SO IT WAS PRETTY HUMBLING for us to have this girl coming to every service in a wheelchair!—And it was pretty humbling for us to have this other girl falling off the piano stool in epileptic fits! I mean it was pretty humbling, really embarrassing to say the least.

37. SO I WONDER IF THE LORD DIDN'T USE IT FOR THAT REASON, TO KEEP US HUMBLE? (Maria: This same sweet faithful boy in the Family whom we mentioned earlier had some epileptic attacks during a MO Letter and prayer, and the next thing that happened was that the KQS got a letter from a member of the local Home concerned about it and quoting from "Exorcism".

38. (MAYBE WHAT THE LORD WAS TRYING TO TEACH THEM ABOVE ALL WAS MORE LOVE by bringing this problem out in the open while they were all in prayer and in the Spirit, or they should have been.

39. (MAYBE THE LORD WAS TRYING TO BURDEN THE WHOLE BODY FOR HIM and teach them to bear each others' burdens and to get as desperate about his problems as if it had been their own problem and feel his need and suffering like he feels it and get desperate for him just like he is desperate.

40. (I'M SURE HE'S BEEN DESPERATE, WONDERING WHY THE LORD HASN'T HEALED HIM, but was probably claiming "But If Not" and just figuring‚ "Well, if and whenever the Lord's ready." But then these people were so critical and complained about him.

41. (MONTHS AGO WHEN DAVIDITO WAS BADLY AFFLICTED WITH STAMMERING for awhile, you said, "Why don't you said, "Why don't you cry out to the Lord, why don't you pray? Why don't you act like his problem is your own?") Well, finally when we all really got desperate about it and wept and prayed and cried out to the Lord in real desperation, the Lord delivered him!

42. BUT HE WAS REALLY, REALLY IN BAD SHAPE. He really had a bad stammer so that sometimes he could hardly talk. Sometimes he would get so frustrated trying to say something, he'd actually break down in tears and just quit trying.

43. IT WAS PITIFUL, SO PITIFUL, IT NEARLY BROKE MY HEART! I thought, "My God! How could You let this little child suffer like this!" I also realised it was a spiritual attack of the Enemy‚ so we rebuked the Enemy and we laid hands on him and prayed for him desperately.

44. WE HAD TO GET REALLY DESPERATE with strong crying and tears and prayer before the Lord finally delivered him. Thank God! He's never had any problem with it ever since. He talks and talks now.

45. DID THEY LAY HANDS ON THIS BOY AND PRAY FOR HIM RIGHT THEN, REBUKING THE ENEMY? (Maria: I don't know. But I wonder if whatever they did was done in a loving spirit, like, "Your problem is our problem," or how much of it was done in a condemnatory critical self-righteous spirit?)

46. I'M CONVINCED THOSE ATTACKS, LIKE EPILEPSY, ARE CERTAINLY OF THE ENEMY, whether outside, inside or whatever‚ because they are so ugly and grotesque and the people go into such horrible contortions and convulsions and their face leers in horrible expressions.

47. IT'S AWFUL TO WATCH, but every time we would lay hands on this young woman and pray, she would be delivered. But it seemed to recur every now and then. (Maria: This member of our Family is in a very responsible position and under considerable stress and strain.)

48. AN EPILEPTIC SHOULDN'T BE UNDER MUCH PRESSURE AND STRAIN. But still they need to get prayed for and ask the Lord for deliverance. (Maria: Some of the Family have had such a critical condescending attitude towards homosexuals and epileptics and other handicapped people, when they themselves may be guilty of things much worse, like jealousy and the sins of the spirit.

49. (I COULDN'T UNDERSTAND WHY THE LORD DIDN'T DELIVER ME FROM MY TERRIBLE JEALOUSLY FOR SO MANY YEARS.—And I was saved and filled with the Spirit! It was a terrible bondage that I couldn't seem to get deliverance from. But it kept me humble and understanding of others.

50. (BUT THANK GOD‚ FINALLY HE DELIVERED ME FROM THE IRON GRIP OF THAT THING! That's not to say I don't have occasional battles with it even now, but I know I don't have to yield to it and let it control me.)

51. WELL, IF THE HEALTHY HAVE SELF-RIGHTEOUS FEELINGS of being better than he is and look down upon him like the Pharisee who said‚ "I thank Thee, O God, that I am not as this man,"

52. THEN THAT HOLIER-THAN-THOU SELF-RIGHTEOUS ATTITUDE IN ITSELF IS A WORSE SIN than the pitifully human afflictions of the flesh and the physically afflicted and tormented! (Maria: Yes, "He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone!"—John 8:7.) Amen! "Be ye kind one toward another." (Eph.4:32.) "Comfort the feeble minded, support the weak." (2Thes.5:14.)

53. "TO HIM THAT IS AFFLICTED PITY SHOULD BE SHOWED." (Job 6:14.) Job said in his afflictions, "Have pity on me, O ye my friends, for the hand of God hath touched me." (Job 19:21.)—And it was certainly to humble him and test his faith‚ for before that he thought he was pretty righteous!

54. "JESUS WAS MOVED WITH COMPASSION for the multitudes" (Mt.9:36 & 14:14).—And Peter says we should, "Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren and be pitiful!" (1Pet.3:8.)

55. —AND PAUL SAYS, "HIM THAT IS WEAK IN FAITH RECEIVE YE" (Rom.14:1), and "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak" (Rom.15:1), and "To the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak" (1Cor.9:22). Finally He comforts us with: "My grace is sufficient for thee: For My strength is made perfect in (your) weakness ... for when I am weak, then I am strong"—in Him (2Cor.12:9-10.)