During a prayer meeting in September 1984 a spirit spoke to my wife Patti and told her, “Lay hands on Debbie Edge and tell her to be filled with the Holy Ghost.” When she did that both women broke out into hysterical laughter. I immediately went over to them and when I got within two or three feet there was a noticeable heat that hit me. There can be heat with the power of God and there can be a heat with demonic power, only by the gift of discernment will you know the difference. I questioned what had just happened. My first thought when Patti told me what she believed God had said to her was, "Why did not God tell me?" This was my first consideration, that this may be an act of rebellion and not the Spirit of God. Knowing scripture I had to consider several things:
God had placed me to lead this ministry.
When God wanted to move Mary and the child Jesus He spoke to Joseph, even though Mary was the mother of Jesus.
And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
And again in Matt 2:19, 20:
But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.
I Tim 2:12 states:
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
When Patti yielded to that spirit she usurped my authority.
I also knew we were already filled with the Holy Ghost.
You see, I knew Patti; to explain why she yielded to this is easy for me. For about fourteen years she gave herself little to reading and praying. She liked the world and her heart didn’t want to accept what was necessary to obey God, so it was easy for the devil to speak to her and give her a command because she did not have her faith and love perfected enough to resist this devil.
This spirit broke out all throughout this congregation. People would yield their members to it as it speaks in Romans 6. It took no faith to operate this spirit. Faith is of the heart and this spirit worked through the flesh. It didn’t take believing; a person would just yield to it as one would yield to a feeling or impulse. Some would laugh for long periods of time, even during teaching. There was howling and wailing. People would change seats because they believed God was telling them to do so. Some could step near a person and that person would fall over. I saw some doing somersaults and rolling on the floor. People would walk or run around the perimeter of the sanctuary.
One Sunday Basil and Kay Clark were leading worship and that spirit moved in on the whole congregation. All I could do was walk back and forth across the front of the church just thanking and praising God. I said to the Clarks, “I’ve lost control over this ministry.” I thought to myself, “Maybe that is what God wants.”
I first encountered this spirit in a meeting lead by Kenneth Hagin in the Seventies. He would point his finger at someone and they would fall over. Kenneth Hagin then went on to where he would blow on people and others would swing their coat or say “fill” and people would fall over. I saw the same on television with other ministries demonstrating this same spirit. I’ll always believe that this spirit came to this ministry through a graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Patti came to where she despised what had happened to her and would complain about others and how silly they would act. I would explain to her that she was the one that released that spirit into this ministry and if it was God, she was coming against God, but I would go on to tell her I wasn’t sure if it was God or the devil.
Later John Ferguson and Lisa came to me separately, each saying “You don’t act like the rest of these people and I am not going to either. You are set as our example.” Their problem was they just stopped yielding to it but didn’t believe in their heart to overcome the world. Neither one of them is here today.
This was the most trying time of my faith I have had. I did not want to come against the Holy Spirit and I was not going to move until I knew for sure what spirit it was. I John 4:1 states,
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
It took Patti completely over and she became my enemy. I would have to go pray away from this building and everyone in it to overcome. Ezekiel Guti, on a visit here from Africa said to me directly, “You need to stop this thing.” I replied, “I will when I have the faith.” That same spirit went all over Africa. I fought with my faith against this spirit until 1998—fourteen years. Its intent was to seduce my faith and lead me to follow it.
You see, when that anointing hit this ministry I had already been walking with God for fourteen years. I certainly did not think that I had arrived, but I had a lot of experience living by faith. I have learned that a man walking with God never changes direction except by Word from the Spirit of God and it will produce victory with every change. With that experience behind me, I never wanted to deal with this false anointing in the flesh. I knew if it were the devil I’d have to overcome it before I could see any real results and any directional change.
Just prior to the March 5th and 6th, 1998 crusade in South Bend, my wife Patti had gone to her hairdresser in the morning and wrote a check to her stylist. Patti had good handwriting and the check was filled out well. But that evening she was balancing her checkbook and it looked like a first or second grader trying to write. I am a man with a lot of experience with nervous situations, and in my estimation she lost about 70% of the use of her arms and legs.
I arrived at that estimation from my past experience. I worked on a neurosurgery ward in the U.S. Navy as a hospital Corpsman during the Korean conflict and had to care for twenty-two paraplegics and four quadriplegics, and various other nerve injuries of the limbs. In addition I was a practicing veterinarian for twenty years doing a lot of equine practice, and dealt with various nerve injuries in the horse, so I have some confidence of my estimation of the loss of nerve activity in Patti.
A day or two later I was to fly to South Bend for a meeting. I arranged for Patti to have food and to be cared for while I was gone. On the way to South Bend I determined in my heart to speak on Friday morning at the breakfast and to call this a false anointing of the devil, sorcery, witchcraft. I was sure I was following the Spirit of God and after I spoke I called Patti at our home in Fairview. I said, “How are you doing?” She replied, “About thirty minutes ago I started getting better.”
She continued to improve with my prayers and recovered to a point that she could do her own grocery shopping, drive herself to the hairdresser, drive to the church, or where ever she needed to go. At that time she had a Cadillac and I had a Tahoe. She then asked if I would buy her a new Tahoe. I said, “Most certainly.” I gave the Cadillac to someone at church and Patti drove the Tahoe until 2000.
Her recovery from that spirit was remarkable and God proved to me that it was the devil. I believe God gave me the words “false anointing.”
Servant and apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ