POWER OVER SERPENTS AND SCORPIONS
The True Story Of A Modern Day Exorcism
by Kenneth M. Hoeck
This is a TRUE recounting of an exorcism by four people who were present. The witnesses are Believers and Disciples of Jesus Christ whom also are members of the Church of God tradition. The multiple perspectives help fill in the blanks as well as add weight to the testimony. Some names and two inconsequential details have been omitted or changed only to protect the privacy and anonymity of the people involved. This is presented as a testimony to the power and faith of Jesus Christ who gives His Followers His power and authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons! May your faith and belief in His promises increase as we grow nearer the end of the age.
Testimony #1- Ken Hoeck
It was a weekday evening in the autumn in the year 2008. My
wife, Jodi and our children, Jessi and Joe, went to a casual dinner gathering that we
were invited to along with others - a mixed lot some Christian, some not. My brother Brian and his wife Samantha and their children also
were in attendance. For the sake of privacy and anonymity of the individuals involved I will
not name anyone else present. We were at the home of a couple whom I will refer
to in this telling as "Mr. & Mrs. X." Dinner had been finished and most
other folks had left for home. I hope to remember
the events of this night for all my days - for my faith was strengthened by its
Actually, "Mrs.X" is a professed baptized Christian believer, observing the Sabbath and holydays in season, and outwardly appeared to be a lover of God (YHWH). She is a petite young lady, mother of two young children, who spoke with a distinct foreign accent.
She did not, by a long shot, have a history of drunkenness but on this night she was drinking wine quite heavily. Mrs. "X" sat across from me with a glass of red wine in her hand. She said to me something to the effect of "I drank almost two bottles of wine so far." She arose and came back with a bottle of white wine and as-a-matter-of-factly plopped it on the coffee table and resumed slurping her glass of red. (I didn't realize it at this point but I later recalled her eyes being like big black saucers.)
She went downstairs to speak to her husband and I heard her mutter "I'm drunk". It seemed just a few minutes later I was informed that Mr. "X" was requesting I join him downstairs. I quickly padded down the steps thinking about what Mr. "X" wanted to show me. He often would have something that he thought of interest to share. I turned the corner to see him standing over his wife who was passed out on the tile floor.
Samantha Hoeck, wife to my brother Brian, was also in the room looking very concerned. "Help me," Mr. X said, "Lets get her up on the bed." The room we were in was a guest bedroom with a cozy little fireplace which at this time was making the room much to the warm side. Mr. X and I placed our arms under Mrs. X and although she probably weighed less than 100 pounds soaking wet - she felt very heavy. Dismissing the heaviness as "dead weight" due to her being unconscious, we repositioned ourselves and, after no little struggle, heaved her to the bed.
Mrs. X tried to get up saying "I want my glass." Samantha and I stopped her and she slunk to the floor in her drunken state. She tried to crawl away again asking for her glass. I brought a wastepaper basket near in case she might need to expel some of the 'spirits' she imbibed. Her eyes were mostly rolled up in her head and seemed dark and distant. At one point she sat up and dry-heaved a couple times. The light seemed to bother her eyes and she rarely, if ever, made direct eye contact. If my recollection serves me, she also tried to leave the room in several bouts while saying "I don't know ... I don't know..." or " I want my glass."
Knowing that Mrs. X was not a drunkard by habit something nagged at my conscience wondering if there was demonic influence. I have found I am sensitive to such a presence in individuals at times. I can discern sometimes when one is present and can say "that person has a demon" but for some reason I never thought to confront one. I reasoned demonic influence away, after all, she was small and had consumed a large quantity of the fruit of the vine. Nearly two bottles by her own reckoning - surely that's all this was. Or was it? Our local church group had been for the last several weeks going through the book of Matthew and we were noting how many times people were freed from demons of torment or illness. We also stressed how our commission was to preach the gospel and heal the sick, cast out demons and raise the dead. Was this a demon? Naw, couldn't be! She just needed to vomit and sleep it off. I figured how ashamed she would feel the next day and also how repentant.
My wife Jodi Hoeck came down to help and began to care for the lady as well. Mrs. X would cycle from her saying "I don't know" and wanting her wine to relapsing to a nearly passed out condition. This little girl should have been "out" by now. She began to claw at items around her. At one point she threw her shoes at the wall. She pushed the pillows away that we placed on the floor for her to hopefully pass out on. She did expel much undigested wine in the waste basket after a few good heaves. Instead of passing out or her activity subsiding - she became more actively trying to get away from us. She clawed at the bedding like an animal, and in so doing, actually bumped both my wife's and my own eyeglasses from our faces. I remember the resurfacing feeling that we were not dealing with Mrs. X but maybe a demon. I tried to tell my wife to "be careful" hoping to alert her but yet not alarm Mr. X who was very sad and scared - not ever seeing his wife like this before. I wasn't sure but, now and then, my 'spirit-sense' was tingling but I suppressed it with logic (doubt?). She was just wasted drunk I reasoned to myself.
The lights in the room very much seemed to bother her and she rarely looked at any of us. Mrs. X then changed gears and ceased asking for her wine glass and she started to say " I'm scared ... I'm scared." I didn't notice it at the time but I realized after all was said and done that although speaking with her own voice - the vocal range and tone of Mrs. X - the accent was missing. She acted very afraid. "I'm scared. I'm dying. ... I'm scared .... I'm scared ... I'm dying." She would sometimes say "I don't know" or "I don't know you." "I'm seeing things," she said. "I'm scared. I'm dying. ... I'm scared .... I want my knife ... I'm scared ... I'm dying." She looked past her husband, and around Jodi, at a vacant corner by the self standing fireplace. What did she see there? [We would later reason maybe it was an angel the demon inside saw? or a demon the person saw?] "I'm scared. I want my knife ... I'm scared ... they are trying to kill me .... I want my knife ... I'm sick ... I'm dying ... I'm dying ..." We tried to assure her she was only drunk and that we would take care of her. Nobody would hurt her and she would be okay. The writhing, clawing and terrified pleadings persisted. Another gear change ... "Who are you? ... I don't know you."
I asked Mr X if maybe she struck her head when she first passed out and was on the floor? Jodi checked but discovered positively no sign of any injury. Mrs. X struggled to get up and bolt away. We guided her forcefully back onto the bed. "Who are you?!! ... I don't know you," she said "I don't know who you are. I don't know who I am. Who are you?!!"
Brian Hoeck came downstairs and joined the bizarre scene that was unfolding over the last hour and a half or so. I sidled up to Brian and asked if he could pray over her as I was having trouble keeping clear thoughts when trying to pray to the Father. Mrs. X's case of amnesia became more obvious. "Who are you?!! ... I don't know you!" "You don't know me?", one of us asked. "No!" This is your husband, don't you know him? "No!" Mr. X was devastated. He went to the wall and grabbed down a portrait of their daughter. "See this little girl? Don't you know her?" No! I don't know who that is!" Mr. X tried the same with the portrait of their son. The same answer was given. At one point Mrs. X tried to bite Mr. X on the head (since her arms were gently subdued). Someone, I think maybe Mr. X, brought up taking Mrs. X to the hospital. Jodi did not want her to leave the room let alone go to a place they might lock up Mrs. X and administer drugs. We all shared that concern. I, myself, had the added silent consternation that a mind vacated by administration of drugs was a safe haven for demons.
The nagging feeling about demonic activity was really bothering me now. I stood and faced Mrs. X who was being held on the bed. I crossed my arms and prayed to the Father. Mrs. X, who had been during the whole event, pushing and clawing things away now had pulled a sheet over her face as we held her on the bed. From beneath the sheet came an evil mocking laugh. It was still Mrs. X's voice but it wasn't Mrs. X! I knew at this point it was a demon blocking my prayer thoughts. I do not think anyone else knew that battle lines were being drawn at this time. With righteous indignation, I stood with arms still crossed as they held her and I prayed in my head to the Father again to help my prayer clarity. Another daunting laugh from the face under the sheet taunted me. I tried again and this time my prayer came back to my mind - "you have the authority in the name of Jesus my Son."
I think at this point Brian had the bottle of olive oil from the kitchen in his
hand waiting to anoint for healing as we had done so many times before. We
positioned Mrs. X for the anointing. Brian lifted the oil to anoint Mrs X on the
forehead and she began to cry out and pull at her own hair. As the oil hit her
head we each, without prompting, laid hands on Mrs. X and prayed out loud
independently. I am not sure of my exact words but it was something to the
effect of: "By the authority of Jesus Christ, Come out of her! By the power
given to us through the Son of David we command you to come out of her. You have
no right to be here! You must come out and not come back. By Yeshua ha Maschiach,
the Son of God's power and authority Come out of her! By the authority of Jesus
Christ, Come out of her! " I heard from the others portions of their prayers.
Some for peace and comfort or healing. Then some switched to back me up saying
"come out of her." Each time I dropped an appellation of the Christ - "it" would
shriek loudly while arching her back and writhing beneath our hands.
We knew demons were leaving by the authority of Jesus Christ! After the
fourth or fifth very shrill scream Mrs. X's body went entirely limp and
her skin very pale. She looked
drained, motionless and lifeless. I reached my hand towards her neck to take her
pulse and as I touched her neck I saw her throat move and her chest begin to
rise again from breathing.
We all were quite shocked from what had just occurred. Nobody expected to be doing an exorcism and the spirit of God came upon us mightily. We were in awe of what we witnessed - what we were part of. We moved Mrs. X to the center of the bed again. I thought she would maybe sleep it off now the rest of the night. I stepped away to praise God and Mrs. X sprang up in the bed! She was herself again and as she saw us all staring at her said "Why are you all staring at me?" I said, "Do you know who this is?" while pointing to Brian. "Yes, its Brian," she said, incredulous to the intent of my question. Everyone rejoiced over her full and complete recovery. She had no effects at all from wine even though the entire ordeal lasted less than two hours. She didn't even smell like wine. She was fully and entirely sober. The effects of alcohol completely absent. She said she felt completely rested because she slept for so many hours. We informed her she was only out three-four minutes! She felt so good she stayed up that night and went to work the next morning.
The sad epilogue was, immediately after the event, this person's
employer called to check on her. Mrs X falsely told her employer that she was still
"sick" and would not be in. This was right after telling us how great she felt
and how rested. I am not sure she realized that 'little white lie' was an issue.
She did however end up staying awake all night and going to work anyway. She
always seemed to work with a Christian ethic.
We have gone over what happened in our heads again and again. We have discussed it amongst ourselves again and again. We count it a blessing to have been part of this mighty work of God. The casting out of this demon or demons (maybe up to five?) was definitely a faith-builder for us all.
We were at dinner with some number of other people. I was realizing that Mrs. X, a Christian, was drinking way too much. She appeared to be sober in speech and functioning well. However, she was getting flushed at times. I overheard her telling my children that she was drunk. Instead of confronting her then, I was going to wait until the next day to tell her about her unchristian like behavior the night before. Little did I know things were about to get very interesting with events that would change my night and views forever.
I was upstairs with family playing karaoke. I had overheard my husband being called to go downstairs. I noticed Sam getting pillows, so I went over to her. She quietly had said that Mrs. X had passed out downstairs. I then realized that was why Ken had to go down there. I stayed upstairs for a few moments. I found Mrs. X's glass and dumped it out immediately. I then proceeded to go down and see if I could help with anything.
When I came in the doorway, I saw Mrs. X lying on the floor. At first I thought she was passed out, but then she was about to vomit. I went up behind her to hold her, while Sam was in front holding the garbage can. Ken was down helping her too. We were trying to hold her hair back so it wouldn't get dirty with vomit. I remember Sam went upstairs to get a hair band. While she went up I took control of Mrs. X to aid her in throwing up again. In between her throwing up, she was asking for her glass and saying she needed her drink. I kept saying that the party was over and everyone went home. I was trying to comfort her by letting her know that her house was clean as well. I know that Sam and my daughter were upstairs cleaning her kitchen.
Meanwhile, there was a constant struggle with Mrs. X because she kept insisting that she needed her glass still. I had to get physical with her. I had to restrain her from the back and hold her arms to keep her on the floor. Ken and I kept trying to put a pillow under her so she wouldn't bump her head. I really thought I was just dealing with a drunk at this point. I prayed for peace and comfort for her out loud as she once again started to heave. I figured she just needed to sleep and she would wake up the next morning with a headache or something. Just as she was done this time, she looked at me and actually appeared to be a little coherent. I told her where she was and that she threw up because she drank too much. She went to lie down and I covered her up. She started to mumble quietly that she was 'sorry' and 'please forgive me'. Then she was saying 'help me.' At this point I told Ken that I thought she was seeking repentance. I thought it was over.
I was so very wrong. Her eyes never looked directly at me again, until later. She still wanted to leave the room and I still very forcefully kept her down. I knew that she couldn't leave the room for any reason. Now she started to get more vicious with her hands. She started to pull at the bedding and throw the pillows and blankets. She even whipped her shoes across the room. Her hands seemed almost claw like. She started to say “I`m dying” or “I`m dead”. Mrs. X seemed as though to look just past Ken and myself- a little up above our heads. She would say that she saw things and now insisted that she go and get her knife. My first thought was not to let her get away because this was turning dangerous. There were struggles in between short bouts of her lying limp. My husband's and my glasses even flew off during one the struggles. The light seemed to bother her. I knew she suffered from migraines and thought perhaps she might be getting a headache. I remember Ken telling me to be careful, but I was apparently thinking 'drunken woman.' He was thinking demon, although, that would be said to me later. Anyway, Mrs. X had started to not know who any of us were. Her husband was there, although she made no connection with him. I would tell her who she was, and who I was.
By this time Sam and Brian, who were finished cleaning upstairs, were about to take Mrs. X's children to their home. We figured that Mrs. X's husband would have his hands full without worrying about the kids. I was able to get a short break, as Mrs. X was out again. I told Brian that she wanted a knife and didn't know who we were. As I was there, Mrs. X had gotten up and Sam and I got her to the bed. Now there was intense amnesia going on to the point of being very scared. She was terrified to see Brian, Ken or her husband. Sam started to help me restrain her, as I was almost sitting her to keep her down. I could hear talk of taking her to the hospital, and I very sternly said no. I was praying and knew that God was in control and His power would prevail. I knew that if she went to the hospital, they would drug her and we wouldn't see her for a long time, if at all.
Now Mrs. X had started to yank at her hair to pull it out. Her husband showed pictures of her children and she didn't recognize anyone. I called her by her name several times. I noticed Ken standing to the left of the bed, as I noticed a sheet from the bed somewhat covering her face. All of a sudden she started laughing, which was very odd, so I asked what she was laughing for. It was kind of eerie sounding. At that moment, I was afraid for the first time. I resisted the impulse to move the sheet and look at her face.
The next steps happened without any discussion. Mrs. X's husband had gotten the olive oil. We were going to lay hands and pray over her. Ken, Brian, Sam, her husband and I all seemed to cover her. At this point we all had to physically hold part of her body down. She once more grabbed her hair with great force. Sam and I pried her hands free. Ken started to pray out loud and was commanding in the name of Jesus Christ that the demons leave her. He used several names: Son of David, Yeshua, over and over. I was praying for comfort and peace of the Lord to come over her. I was also backing Ken up and telling the demons to leave as well. I remember hearing Sam doing the same. Every time a name was said, Mrs. X would shriek and arch her body as if she were in pain. This happened several times. Then all of a sudden, she went limp. We all looked at her to see if she was alive. We moved her limp body over onto the bed so she wouldn't fall off. Only a few minutes had passed, and 'BAM', she sat straight up and smiled. She was wondering what we were doing in her bedroom staring at her. She was asked who Brian was, and she answered, almost like we were nuts for asking such a silly question.
We all were leaping and praising God, we knew exactly what had just happened. By the power of Jesus Christ given to His saints, demons were told to leave and never come back.
Now just so you know, my daughter (Jessi), who stayed upstairs the whole time, heard a lot of things going on. She heard the shrieking and immediately started to pray. Then she heard the rejoicing and we were more than happy to tell her about the miracle of God that took place. I know that this has changed all of our lives forever. How could it not?
Then I went up stairs for a minute and when I came back down you [Ken] said she was seeing things and asked if the ladies would clean up the kitchen. So, up stairs Jessi, Brian and I cleaned up the kitchen. And still at that time I didn't think she had a demon. All the signs were there, but since I thought, well she is a Christian that wouldn't happen, and she had just fallen into sin with drinking too much. I went down to check on Mrs. X and she was being more aggressive (throwing pillows around, hitting and kicking) She was saying she needed her knife, and she was telling me that she didn't know me. Any time I would look at her she would hide her face. I thought that she was just embarrassed, but I didn't understand why she wasn't just passing out.
...By the time we were done in the kitchen an hour and a half went by, and Mrs. X still was not herself. Brian and I came down stairs, and Mrs. X kept saying "Who are you, I don't know you" She looked terrified and kept hiding her face. Other times then she kept saying "I'm dead, I'm dying , and again then where's the knife." I remember one of us (I think it was you) asking her who she was...and her saying "I don't know." Mrs. X would say, who am I", and Jodi told her you're "Mrs. X" , and she said "no", and then you asked her then who are you? At that time I was wondering if something else had her. But her answer to you was, I don't know who I am. In my mind I thought about Jesus and the legions and thought that she would say a different name and that would of course make it clear...but since she didn't I still just didn't know for sure.
After that, I came and sat on the bed with Mrs. X and Jodi. Jodi all this time was comforting Mrs. X the best she knew how and constraining her so she would not leave the bed (and so she wouldn't hurt herself or someone else.) Mr. X decided to let me to take his kids back to my house for the night because we didn't know how long this was going to go on. So, I went back up stairs to pack up the kids. I told them to go in the car and wait for Brian and I. So, Brian and I went back into the room to say good bye. I noticed at that time again that Mrs. X was really freaked out when you [Ken] and Brian went by her. That should have made me realize ... I think if I would have stopped to think a bit I would have, but my brain felt kind of numb. I knew God could heal Mrs. X but I felt like I didn't fully know what to pray for.
Well, I went back on the bed again and was trying to make eye contact with her, because she just seemed different. Her face was flushed and her eyes were big and black. At that time, Mr. X was devastated that she didn't know who he was, who the kids were or even where she was at. Mr. X was asking if maybe he should take her to the hospital, and Jodi was saying 'no way'. I prayed again that God would heal Mrs. X , but I didn't feel like I was fully connected with my prayer.
At that time Mrs. X was laying on the bed with her face covered with the blanket and she started to giggle for no reason. I remember Jodi asking her what was so funny, but she just let out another laugh. I heard Ken say something to Brian about praying over her and anointing her. So I went closer to her and was helping Jodi keep her on the bed. When Ken and Brian came closer to her, she started pulling on her hair and we had to pry her hands off her hair. Then she started to choke herself and Jodi and I grabbed onto her arms to hold her down. She was in a laying position and when Mr. X came back Ken started to pray, and right away I felt connected again. As Brian poured the oil on her head and Ken was praying she started screeching and I started to pray out loud, thank you Lord, cast this out of her, you get out, be gone, thank you...things like that.
And then she was still.....I didn't know what to think
right away, and did look at her to see if she was breathing. Mrs. X was
placed on the bed and you guys moved back. Jodi and I still sat on the bed. I
was praying and thanking God for the peace that she had, and that He restored Mrs.
X . Then, she sat up and looked at me and said hi with a smile. As soon as
she sat up and looked into my eyes, I knew she was back. I hugged her so tightly
and was so thankful to God. At that time with tears of joy, I fully understood
what all happened. Everyone was so happy, praising God, and we were so filled
with the spirit our cup over flowed. Mrs. X had no memory at all about
what happened. By having the faith of a mustard seed He allowed a miracle
happened through us that night. It was truly ... something that I will never forget.
"We are not to wait for some stupendous manifestation before we venture to use the power of God, but in blind obedience we must go forth and expect the waters to divide, the mountains to dissolve, the hearts of men to melt and break and the power of God to follow our words and acts." -- A. B. Simpson
To God be the glory. We know we did not do anything of our own power. We are not fooled into believing WE have some great power of our own. It was fully Christ's authority which He give ALL who believe that did the works. One or all of us, did indeed, cast out demons that night by His power. After the rejoicing subsided, we were left with some questions (as I am sure Mr. and Mrs. X also were).
1.) Do demons exist? Yes, The bible says so!
2.) Can demons influence and possess people? Yes, the bible says so.
3.) What are the signs of demon influence or possession? See THE TRUTH ON DEMONS: Where have all the demons gone?
4.) How should a Christian react when in demonic presence? With love and the power & authority of Jesus Christ in faith. See THE TRUTH ON DEMONS: Where have all the demons gone?
5.) Can a demon really possess the body of a Christian Believer? No, there are no examples of such in the scriptures. For such to occur, the spirit of God have had to, either a). never have been present or b.) have left the individual for some reason (ala King Saul)
6.) What would be the reasons the holy spirit would depart a Believer? (grieving or quenching the Spirit)
7.) Would the person out of whom a demon was cast need to a.) repent? b.) repent and be re-baptized with laying on of hands to impart God's spirit? c.) repent and just have laying on of hands to impart God's spirit? B or C would be the more scripturally sound with my personal opinion being "C" or whichever choice the person had more faith in as long as it included the sealing with the Holy Spirit.
The "Mrs. X" in this true story later became (re)possessed again due to her unrepentant sin, lack of faith and failure to receive the holy spirit. Due to her fornicating behavior and refusal to repent she was dis-fellowshipped ( the act of the church authenticating what the person did to themselves. The end goal is for repentance and reconciliation to occur.) It is the hope of the church that she one day humble herself before God to be able to be forgiven and reconciled to the Body. -- In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
THE TRUTH ON DEMONS: Where have all the demons gone? - Explores the biblical truth and human suppositions of the existence and workings of demons in modern times.
Love to You Saints in Christ Jesus, Kenneth M. Hoeck for Truth On the Web Ministries
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