It’s happened before. The people of Wedgewood Baptist Church of Ft. Worth, Texas understand what the members of Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina are going through. While the nation mourns the nine souls who were massacred in cold blood by Dylan Storm Roof on Wednesday June, 17, I can’t help but think about September 15, 1999 when Larry Gene Ashbrook walked into a youth rally at Wedgewood carrying 200 rounds of ammunition and a pipe bomb. Ashbrook killed seven before finally killing himself. From calls for gun control to pleas for a return to old-time-religion, most are missing the point.
This tragedy is not just about bigotry and violence. The methodical coolness of the killings speaks to a mindset that Roof had which can only be described as demonized. This incident was satanic. Demons obviously tormented the mind of this young killer, aided by the fog of illicit drugs. But before preachers jump on the bandwagon to blame the devil and demons, I have to ask: Why lay the fault at hell’s gates unless you are willing to go to war against these kinds of demons in your own backyard? Don’t say it’s satanic unless you are declaring war on demons and the devil in a practical way by equipping the saints to cast out demons.
A little known fact of the Wedgewood shooting is that Larry Gene Ashbrook was reported to have walked into that church some days earlier and approached a female staff member with the question, “Is there anyone here who can do an exorcism?” The woman was so disturbed by the question (How I wish the answer would have been an immediate YES!) she left, and when she came back he was gone. But Ashbook, who somehow must have sensed his inner demons, returned to murder seven innocent souls.
And what of Dylan Storm Roof? Did a Christian cross his life in some way, and could they have prevented this tragedy if they had confronted directly his diabolically inspired racism? We’ll probably never know. But others like Ashbrook and and Roof still walk our streets. They are armed, demon possessed, and dangerous. Only those who know spiritual warfare will be able to stop them. That’s why we’ve launched our International School of Exorcism?, to raise up an army, trained in hardcore combat with the forces of evil. Please, pray for and support this effort. And if you haven’t yet enrolled, do so now. Properly trained in spiritual warfare, you may be the one who stops the next massacre before it happens.
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An encouraging word: ARISE O LORD
“Arise, O Lord,” the psalmist David cried in Psalm 11:12. I admit that brings a smile to my face. What was David thinking? Did he need to awaken God to his situation? Did the Lord need reminded that David was in dire circumstance and wanted deliverance? Of course not. God is all-knowing of every moment of every challenge we face in life. Perhaps David was just being rhetorical. Or maybe David was so consumed by the struggles he faced that he’d forgotten the Lord never slumbers or sleeps and is never caught off-guard by our circumstances. I think this was David’s poetic way of reminding himself of God’s power and desire to intervene on his behalf. Perhaps today is one of those days that you need to cry out as David did, “Arise, O Lord.”
Bob Larson has trained healing and deliverance teams all over the world to set the captives free and Do What Jesus Did? (Luke 4:18). You can partner with Bob and support this vision to demonstrate God’s power in action by calling 303-980-1511 or clicking here to donate online.