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Discussion Forum : General Topics : question about a book i just bought, unsure about it?

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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776



Her reference to demons is controversial. The abridged version was an attempt by certain Baptists (if I heard correctly) to sanitize some of that out. I regret that she is accused of glorifying demons! That comment reflects more about the people saying it.

Many Christians want to avoid any reference to demons. Darrel Champlain, a missionary (whom you can find here on SI) faced that prohibition whenever he came home to the US on furlough. Church authorities would forbid him from mentioning anything about demons. Yet most of his work among the jungle people involved deliverance from demons. (I was there many years ago visiting him and his family on the field, and that's how I became aware of all that)

Penn-Lewis is not addressing spiritism in the jungles tribes. She is addressing a tragedy in revival. It's the same tragedy that could happen again on a massive scale - and has been happening, and is happening! I think other Christian writers touch on her concerns in other ways, but more needs to be said. Certainly there is no shortage of Biblical references to the theme of the Dulling of the Mind. Christendom would do well to remember Jessie Penn-Lewis! Besides she could add depth to the popular spiritual warfare writers - like Neil Anderson. (I think)

Jeshuaboy, you might find the following Wikipedia excerpt helpful:

She was involved in the 1904-1905 Welsh Revival, one of the largest Christian revivals ever to break out, although the revival was abruptly shortened with the mental and physical collapse of one of the leaders, Evan Roberts. Penn-Lewis traveled internationally to take her message to audiences in Russia, Scandinavia, Canada, the U.S., and India.

Penn-Lewis was close to Evan Roberts and there is some controversy associated with her influence over him. After the breakdown by Roberts cut the revival short, he stayed with the Penn-Lewis's for a couple of years, but never fully recovered. Ultimately, Penn-Lewis declared some of phenomena of the Welsh Revival to be the work of Satan, declaring her still controversial position in her book on spiritual warfare called War on the Saints, which describes the work of demons on Christians, the theme for which Penn-Lewis is most known.

Penn-Lewis was influenced by the reformed South African writer Andrew Murray among others, and her books contain quotes from him and references to his works. Frank Buchman, the founder of the Oxford Group, credits Penn-Lewis with helping him to turn his life around from depression when he heard her speak at a Keswick Convention.[3] She also influenced Johan Oscar Smith, the founder of Brunstad Christian Church[4] and the missionary statesman Norman Grubb [5]


 2012/1/1 8:15Profile


If you want to believe that born again spirit filled Christians can be "demon possessed" this book is for you.

Try making it through persecution or the last days believing That.

I believe we've seen the 'fruit' of believing demons can "enter" a Christian, recently, by that other thread that was locked last week or so.

{eta} which also is the fruit of 'going beyond what is written' and believing just the words of man.

 2012/1/1 14:50

Joined: 2004/11/21
Posts: 362
Tulsa OK


I don't know Penn-Lewis, meaning I haven't fully read her material, nor researched her biograhies in any way; and, I haven't heard neither Mr Daniel, Washer, Akanni, Poonen, and some other men of God in our generation quote her material either...

Poonen in his autobiography said that, "men and women whose lives and writings have influenced me the most, have also been those who never went to a Bible-school themselves - Madam Guyon, Charles Finney, D.L.Moody, Jessie Penn-Lewis, Watchman Nee, A.W.Tozer, Sadhu Sundar Singh, Bakht Singh etc."

Watchman Nee a deeper life spiritual leader was influenced too by her teachings.

Jessie Penn-Lewis was first hand witness to the welsh revival and she was close to Evan Roberts, the instrument of God used in the welsh revival. Roberts stayed for years at the Penn-Lewis home to recover from his exhaustion and depression. Unfortunatly he was not completly revovered from his breakdown.

She was orthodox in the fundamentals of christian faith and she contributed with one article to the Fundamentals of orthodox chrisitan beliefs.(fundamentals were a set of 12 volumes written by well-known evangelical christians to counteract, lideralism, moderism and other isms)

She was a speaker at the Keswick conventions, which was a holiness movement with emphasis on higher christian life.

I just give you all the info as a short background of the author of "War on the Saints". I have not read all of her book myself, but I have read good portions from it. She was gifted with spiritual discernment of spirits, this is unquestionable in my mind. Evan Roberts contributed also in writing of the book.

On her book she talkes about the deception of evil spirits toward christians, who through passivity and sin have gievn ground to the enemy. I confess this book its strong meat and offers not just milk for the believers.

Christ victory at Calvary,is her spiritual basis of deliverance. To quote from her book, " The Scriptural ground for obtaining deliverance is the truth concerning Christ's full victory at calvary, through which every believer can be delivered from both the power of sin and Satan..."


 2012/1/1 15:55Profile


It would help if one did a Search from the Homepage... but here's two for more views.

The Abridged versions [there were a few] take out the "possession" part - and there are good things in that book - such as talks against allowing the mind to go "passive" and such - but the possession part is that 2% poison in a gallon of good water.

If we KNOW the New Testament and I mean truly know it - and walk 'in' it - we needn't fear demons, as there are no, none, nothing about Christians needing demons "cast out" of them.

I've seen far too many excesses with faulty demonology, to not speak out against that belief.
People rendered useless in the Kingdom and worse - being institutionalized because of non-Biblical teachings on demons.

Oppress, play with people's imaginations, speak lies into the mind, influence, tempt - Yes - But if a person is truly saved, they cannot 'enter' the Temple of The Holy Spirit, which The Word of GOD says is "the body" of a Saint.

It only takes a drop of poison in some good food to kill.

 2012/1/1 16:30


"If you want to believe that born again spirit filled Christians can be "demon possessed" this book is for you."

Many have this idea that when your born again, everything about you drops off instantly. Yes, old things are passed away and behold all things have become new, if that is so, why bother with sanctification?

Why bother with the whole armour of God if in fact some of these darts can slip through?

Why bother warning Christians of the dangers of sin if in fact we are free and clear of demon activity?

The daughter of Abraham whom Satan had bound with a spirit of infirmity, she was of God, yet she had a spirit of infirmity.

We are a triune being, Body Soul and Spirit. The Holy Spirit has regenerated our spirit and there He dwells in our innermost being, the soul or our mind is being renewed. The body is dead to sin and alive unto God.

To be demon possessed means that the demon is in full control of the persons being. A demon influence is a person who is influenced by whatever that demon specializes in. There are demonic strongholds in religion as well. People that are stubborn on doctrinal issues and won't budge even though they are wrong are being influenced by devils.

Paul West wrote in another thread saying that the Christian is like a castle with an impregnable wall round about. The forces of hell are constantly looking for a weak spot.

Now, if that wall is incapable of weakness the enemy would stop at once seeing that it's impossible to cross. That is true because the same was spoken about Job. Satan said no wonder he is doing well because You have a hedge about him.

Well, we know the story. God allowed that hedge to drop somewhat and Satan came in and wreaked havoc on his life. If it's impossible for spirits to enter the Christian, why is Satan trying to seek an entrance?

There is no sense in trying if he knows that it's not possible.

I have even heard people say that those who were struggling with spirits and now they've been set free, I have heard them say that they were never Christians because they had spirits.

Oh please be careful with your words. It would be better if a millstone were around their necks and be thrown into the sea than to offend one of these little ones.

I know Christians, born again Christians true blue people that struggle with homosexuality that they had before they came to know Christ. I also know true blue Christians who are so down on themselves that they find themselves drinking because they can't stand themselves because they sinned and they feel that they let God down. It's no excuse to sin, but Christ is the sin bearer of not only sinners but we who are saved.

I read in the Old Testament where the Lord told Israel that He wouldn't deliver Israel from all their enemies but He would do it little by little. David said before I was afflicted I went astray. Yes, old things are passed away. Even when Israel crossed Jordan as a type for us who cross from death into life. But in that kingdom of Canaan that they entered was the real battle. It's like what Paul said, "reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin". The process of reckoning can be a long process, Satan dwells in ignorance. Once light comes on the scene all darkness is expelled and our eyes are opened.

Though I used just a portion of what you said Jig, but I wasn't addressing this to you, but to those that are Christians who struggle with a besetting sin in their life that they can't seem to shake.

Happy New Year, ya'll.

 2012/1/1 16:56

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


Jesus-is-God said,

If you want to believe that born again spirit filled Christians can be "demon possessed" this book is for you.

I wonder where you heard this comment. You might want to check your source. Sometimes a critique like this has more to do with a particular bias of the original critic than with the actual author.

I share a testimony – which may help in this dialogue:

Several years ago a lady gave me the little book “The Spiritual Warfare” by Jessie Penn Lewis. I did my usual underling and commenting in the margins. Around that time I was called to pray one Sunday in the church basement during the service. Often my prayer times include note writing. That day I happened to have “The Spiritual Warfare” with me, and found myself writing an extended series of points drawn from the book. Then, filled with an intense burden, I cried out, ‘God, the people need to know this stuff. No one has preached on it here. Someone needs to preach it!” Later that day I heard a recording of the sermon which I missed, and much to my utter amazement, it closely followed my notes – from beginning to end.

The devil would prefer the people to stay asleep, distracted, or misguided. He does NOT want God’s people to wake up and think – lest they disempower him, and lest they repent and turn to the Lord.

I believe that if we carefully read the book itself, and try to see the author's perspective, we would understand the nature of the war the author is addressing. Apart from reading it carefully, we just find ourselves talking over things that don't relate. (I think it would help to read her other material too - not just her one controversial book.)



 2012/1/1 17:00Profile


I'm just not finding "possession" in any "post-resurrection" believers, Brother.

"besetting sins" - find Paul's solutions to sin - Sola Scriptura.

We have watered down the Scriptures with our teachings on sin.

Please stay Sola Scriptura!

In His Love,
Your Sister

 2012/1/1 17:02


Roadsign, I've read WOTS literally several times over the last 35 yrs and "possession" is the word she uses in the original and 'why' it was abridged - to remove that one term .... a term that is not applicable to 'spirit filled' believers.

I've read countless books on demonology - some are great - others give the devil or demons more power than the NEW TESTAMENT does. That my dear Sis is Very very sad and as I've said - I've seen the 'fruit' of faulty Extra-Biblical demonology.

Blaine was right - STICK WITH THE WORD and not the words of men - where it comes to "doctrine(s)".

 2012/1/1 17:10

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


possession" is the word she uses in the original

When you read through her book did you find her using the word with an unbiblical connotation? I say that because words have a tendency to change slants over time – and we need to read through the author's perspective, not ours. Context is king.

I remember a sermon by Paris Reidhead (or someone else here) in which he talks about subtle changes in word usage. The unsuspecting pew-dweller may not catch heresy in a speaker because for him the speaker is using all the right words.

So, before we ditch any writer without a fair "trial" – we do have to take a careful look at context and authorial intent. Or else, we will not only ditch good writers, we will find ourselves accepting heresies – and thinking it is all biblical because they use biblical words. It just doesn’t work to say, “I follow the Bible only”. Don’t all heresies make that claim?

Unfortunately, there is no easy short cut to good thinking.



 2012/1/1 17:29Profile


We could go around and around on this - but that one book being very popular in the circles I've fellowship for these yrs - we know why the book was abridged to take out that one term and find that most Biblical Believers understand how the use of that one word, could cause the Biblically weak to stumble.

New Testament Saints, need only to "study to show themselves approved to rightly divide" the teachings on "demons" and the post-resurrection Saints to get their "thinking" straight on Biblical demonology.
Simple subject with no need for "heresies" if we stay New Testament - post-resurrection teachings about what demons 'can and can't do'.
If it's not written - they can't do it.
That's Good News to those who desire to be the fearless & fruitful Saints that He died for us to be.
His Church - all the fullness of GOD!

Read the book of Acts. The modern day Church is anemic.

Happy New Year

 2012/1/1 17:38

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