“In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled…
deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh,
that his spirit may be saved in the day of our Lord Jesus.”
1 Corinthians 5:4-5
A sad but true story....
"You are dismissed"
The words hung frozen in the air. A chill ran down my spine as I watched a woman of 65 stand, face as cold as stone, and walk silently out of the room. For 33 years she had belonged, been a part of this assembly. For 33 years her face marked every gathering and left an imprint on every meeting. And now, without a word, expressionless and apathetic, she closed the door to that life and drove away
...and for the first time since I had known her, I felt my soul could breathe.
What does it mean to deliver someone over to Satan for the destruction of their flesh? And what if that individual is conflicted and deceived, shattered into a world of dissociated identities through a prolonged history of satanic ritual abuse? What is grace and what is the fear of the Lord?
Friday night the leadership decided to enact 1 Corinthians 5 on a member of our little assembly. A member who knew the words of this chapter very well, no doubt, as this would be the third time in her history that they were pronounced over her. The words were read. The judgement made. And she was gone. Relief and grief flooded the atmosphere. The few shocked faces mingled with tears began to brighten as the silence slowly filled with new words. Words held back for years were finally coming forth to bring definition to what was and hope what could be now.
What did this woman represent? In two words: a witch. A channel and portal to hell itself, but cloaked in the lightest, brightest “Christian” exterior one could don. Her placid smile masked a wounded, broken soul filled with seething bitterness towards a God that would allow such atrocities befall her. …But were we all so different? Are we not all prone to such pride, rebellion, entitlement and self-exaltation when given such opportune circumstances? So why here and why now must this one be cast out? …and handed over to satan? Given her history, should we not extend more GRACE?
Characterological Issues vs. Issues Related to a Dissociative Identity Disorder
It became clear in our encounter with her the night before that the issue at stake was deeper than deception, deeper than DID and the pain of abuse, and deeper than her love or fear of God.
“I don’t want to… (stop being involved in satanic rituals and joining myself to satan), because I don’t want to see.”
After 65 years of service to satan, the reigning will in her life was “I do not want to see what I have done. I do not want to see what I have become.” In essence she was saying, “Satan offers me a freedom from seeing my own wickedness and sin. I will take his righteousness and his deception and the power of dissociation to live in a world of fantasy. I will play god.” When confronted directly that night about her willful involvement in idolatry and her ongoing targeted witchcraft against each member of the assembly all that she chose to present was a victim.
Over the past year the youngest member of the assembly endured 7 hospitalizations and one life-threatening surgery. Another member went through 2 major surgeries in the last 6 months. This woman openly admitted performing proxy rituals and witchcraft before several of these major events, channeling death and sickness towards several members of the body she professed to love. She confessed to breaking into the home of another member to sadistically abuse and program a younger woman living at the house several times a week for three months. This younger woman was just one in a long line of many who had endured such treatment at this woman’s hands. And yet all had been forgiven. She heaved great sobs and cried an ocean of tears and yet the night before she was put out, her choices betrayed her. Her choices exposed not only her will, but her god. After 65 years, this woman was no victim.
Time, forbearance, forgiveness and grace were lavishly poured out throughout the years, but as it says in Job, “though He tarries long, justice will come speedily.” When time and love had sifted out the effects of abuse and brought forth the core will, it became clear that though she espoused love for God, she still ran off into the night, brazen in her harlotry. Divided or whole, we all have deep characterological issues. Pride, entitlement, self-love, jealousy and greed…these can keep one divided, but deeper still, they remain once one is whole again. These are at the heart of fallen man. It is a tight rope to walk knowing when to extend mercy to one making choices based on a belief system rooted in abuse and deception and when that mercy empowers one to remain in that grave.
There is a moment that comes in every truly integrated SRA/DID person’s life. It is the moment that the very core will that aligned with satan in rage against God turns back to their Maker and submits to Him again. It becomes the moment when God becomes the Victorious Warrior in the life of that individual. What He always was and all that Christ Jesus accomplished can now be manifested in his or her life. No longer is there an unwavering dependence on self and dissociation, but the very Heart of God begins to pierce the darkness and domain of satan. The emotions may be in chaos, the sting of bitterness towards God still burning, but there is a breaking in of Truth and an acknowledgement saying “You are God and I am not. Satan is not. No created being is. I bow before You; You are my Lord.” This is the fear of the Lord. This fear is not terror and it causes no shame. It is honor and respect and, in turn, begets honor and respect for the bearer. If only this woman had known the fear of the Lord, this day would not have come.
Delivered over to Satan for the Destruction of the Flesh
This woman did not come to this day by a single choice, but rather a long series of choices. No person is born today without a heart and flesh set against God. These characterological issues are no stranger to humanity. It is Christ alone that was born free of this nature. He alone has overcome and now sits enthroned over sin, self and satan. It is only through discipline and daily submitting to the ways of God as a loving Father that one can appropriate Christ, the Overcomer, and begin to live from a Life stronger than this world and that which is innate. To a person with a history of SRA/DID, this process of submission, discipline and “Fathering” is not only foreign but often felt to be humiliating and repulsive. The occult culture feeds and nurtures the enmity, rebellion and autonomy that sets itself against God. It the very heart of satan’s “I will” that seeps into one’s own soul and seduces the flesh into full manifestation. It is this flesh that God must deal with.
When we say “no” to the Hand of God in our life as expressed through the circumstances around us, whether mundane, extraordinary or soul-wrenching, we begin to experience a hardening. Each little “no” builds a callus and the sensitivity of the heart to His Spirit begins to dull. By faith we must trust that God is in all, through all and will work all for good, even the most grievous of circumstances. We must believe all that comes into our life has passed through His sovereign hands. It is for unbelief that the Israelites forfeited their inheritance and died in the wilderness. It is for unbelief that an entire generation was lost and the will of God was stayed until another generation could be brought forth. It is for unbelief that we doubt His goodness and turn to our own resources, our own flesh. When our needs seem to go unmet, when life’s monotony breeds disillusionment and dreams of grandeur set in, or when tragedy steals the breath out from a loved one, what will be our response? Will the flesh rise up and join in accusation towards God or perhaps in silent pride will we simply choose to put our hope in something else? It is this flesh that hinders us from having all of God and God having all of us. The provision made for this is the cross. Day by day, moment by moment accepting from God’s Hand all that is necessary to bring forth the image of His Son in and through us.
There are no shortcuts, no quick fixes, no easy way out. It is the cross and simple, daily choices to obey God in and through His Word that brings in the Life of Christ which triumphs over the flesh. Once an individual has said enough “no’s”, even after God has spoken loudly through circumstance after circumstance, He has made one last provision - “deliver such a one to satan for the destruction of his flesh.” God’s desire behind all His judgement is repentance, restoration and fullness. “…that his spirit might be saved.” In the case of this man in 1 Corinthians 5 we find his response in the following letter. The report of this man’s repentance and sorrow brought forth an urging from Paul for those around him to “forgive, comfort, and reaffirm their love” for him. This is the heart of God – that we might trust Him and fear (revere and honor) Him and remain in the safety of His loving care, believing that He is good… no matter what.