Hi my name is Dean Smith and in this episode I am interviewing Wayne Johnston and asking the question:
“Can Christians have an unhealthy fear of the demonic?”
Wayne serves as an elder at Rock of the Valley church and also functions of the prophetic ministry and I’ve been wanting to interview him about an interesting experience that he had with both a demon and an angel of the Lord.
Dean Smith: Welcome Wayne.
Wayne Johnston: Thank you
Dean: So how would you describe your prophetic ministry?
Wayne: So I function in the area of the prophetic. God clearly gave me a gift of prophecy. It wasn’t my choice, but it came down to God wanting to encourage others through the gift just like any other spiritual gifts in the New Testament.
Dean: I’ve seen people who have referred to you as a prophet. Do you consider yourself a prophet?
Wayne: No. I just don’t think it’s my job to put a title on the gift. So it’s in the area of the prophetic and as far as titles go that’s not up to me to worry about really. So I try to function within the gift the best I can.
Dean: The reason I wanted to interview you is I remember a story you told about your I guess one and only encounter with an angel.
Dean: Could you elaborate on that just tell me exactly what happened there.
Wayne: A few weeks ago I was doing my fun job of cleaning at the church and when I go to do my cleaning and maintenance job, there’s a woman’s group that meets just before I do my cleaning and when I was there I was talking to the lady who runs the group and she was a little frustrated cause she was trying to get some of the gals to start opening up about some of their experiences with God
So I kind of jokingly said to her why don’t you get me to share and she thought about it and she said “Wayne that’s a great idea.”
Then I sat back and I thought, what will I say to this group and it’s a woman’s group and I’m a guy. And then I started thinking, OK, Lord the dates coming, I should come up with something.
So then I start thinking about some things that God has done in my life and I started going through the list, maybe I should share this story, maybe I should share that story and God kept bringing me back to one of the strangest things that’s happened in my life.
And up until the day that I had to share this, I kept arm wrestling with God saying, “how but if I share this God” and God said:
“No, it’s too normal. I want you to share the bizarre story.”
And I was really hesitant. It’s a group of women that the some of them have University Degrees some of them are in business and I kind of thought how is this bizarre story going to go over with this group of women.
I went in there and they said go ahead start sharing Wayne, and I said OK here it goes.
I grew up in an environment where there some family history of involvement with the dark side, the demonic, and I grew up as a child with an unhealthy fear of the dark side. And even as a Christian I had a lot of fear, even as a Spirit-filled Christian, of the big bad devil.
It wasn’t until God had an encounter, two encounters for me, one with a vision of a demon in a person’s life and one with an angel that kind of set me straight.
First my wife and I were ministering to a gal who had a lot of emotional needs. We were praying for her and I saw a picture of this stupid looking, impish demon who was sitting on a well.
God showed me this woman had a godly heritage. Even though she had a lot of emotional and spiritual needs, she had a godly heritage, but she was unable to access it because there was a demonic force stopping her from accessing that well in her life.
And I looked at this demon and all I wanted to do was kick it off this well and so we prayed to that.
And I started thinking, OK that’s the first time I’ve seen anything like that in a person’s life and I thought that wasn’t too scary. If that was a demonic force in somebody’s life and all I wanted to do was swat it, that doesn’t sound so bad.
Then during the renewal in the nineties, I had a — call it a vision of an angel. And to put it bluntly it scared the hell out of me. That may sound kind of strange being that, OK, this was an angel of God and how much it frightened me. But when you look through scripture of patriarchs and others who had had angelic encounters, often it was with much fear that even godly men and women fell to their knees when they encountered an angel.
It was sort of a knee jerk reaction to encountering a heavenly being and it was like that for me.
It was during a renewal service and I was a drummer, so I was playing the drums, and I was watching people getting prayed for, falling over and having a great time.
Now normally with the prophetic, I’ll get a little vision or a picture of somebody’s life and I get it while I’m completely awake conscious of what’s going on in the world around me. But what happened that night was different. It was on a higher level, a completely different level, because I was playing the drums on the worship team and all of a sudden I was no longer conscious of being in the room.
And I was in a large dark area, like a warehouse, with one large light hanging from the ceiling about 40′ up, casting a round glow on to the floor. And there was nothing else in this void except me on one side of the edge of the light and this large being on the other side of the light. And we stood there staring at one another.
Judging the size of this individual, this individual had to be 11′ or 12′ high. He was dressed in kind of grayish, silver armor. He had some dents and some scrapes and some dirt on his armor and he stood there just staring at me, not angrily, but just almost emotionless, staring at me as if he was standing at attention.
At first, I was terrified. I thought this had to be a bad guy and I thought I’m done. There’s nothing I can do. All of a sudden without communicating words, he looked at me and I realized he was communicating that he was an angel of God.
Then, my response was, I looked at some of the dents and some of the scrapes and his armor and I kind of felt sorry for him.
Then again, he understood this without me saying a word. The best way I can describe it, there were such a radiant power, love and light coming out of his face, shining like a light from inside, basically expressing the point of my concern of “Oh, I’ve got lots of power. I’ve got lots of the juice. Don’t worry about my condition.”
I was awestruck by this.
Then he continued to stare at me, as if at attention. Then basically, he communicated that he was waiting for me, which blew my mind, to send him back out into battle.
And then I understood the concept that you know, the angels of the Lord encamp around those who fear Him and he was waiting for me to pray, to intercede, so he could go back out into battle.
And when I got that message, he just turned and slowly disappeared into the darkness, until I couldn’t see him anymore.
The next thing I know, I was back in the room with everybody else and the sweat was pouring off me. I was panting like I had just run up the side of Mount Everest. I was terrified and I was looking around very conscious that I must of made a fool of myself, but nobody was looking at me.
It seemed like it lasted 10 to 15 minutes and yet by the lack of everybody’s reaction around me, it could have been half a second or a quarter of a second. I have no concept of how much time went by and I was still on beat and any drummer knows that when you get distracted, it’s hard to stay on the beat.
And it took me a bit to kind of calm down and gather myself, but what an experience.
At the end of this whole adventure, when I think back of seeing that demon and then encountering an angel, I kind of sit back and said, I think greater is He that is with us than he that is within the world.
And it kind of balanced me out and took my fear away, that I had growing up with for so many years, that you gotta be careful cause of the big bad, omnipotent devil.
Which he isn’t. He is the loser and we are on the winning side.
For me, one of the things that ties it to a biblical basis, for example, is in 2 Kings chapter six. Elisha is with his servant Gehazi. And the servant gets up in the morning, looks outside the window, sees the city is surrounded by the Syrians coming for Elisha.
Elisha doesn’t seem concerned at all. Basically, he said, “Lord open the eyes of my servant” and when God did, the servant looked out again and saw that behind the army of the bad guys was a huge army of warriors, chariots, horses with flames of fire, basically representing the army of God. And Elisha wasn’t concerned because it brings things into balance that we are on the winning side and we don’t have to fear what the enemy can do, because he’s got to get past our heavenly Father and His armies first.
Dean: So when you shared this with the women’s group what happened there? What kind of impact did it have
Wayne: I thought some of these women were going to look at me like I was from another planet. But the response I got from a number of these women really surprised me, because all of a sudden some of these women started opening up about encounters they had when they were kids, hearing things in their homes that were demonic.
A number of them shared how they sensed a demonic presence at their door.
One of the women, a business woman, shared how that she grew up with a lot of fear of the darkness of the enemy and God had been really dealing with her and she talked to me after the meeting.
She kept sharing how much she needed to hear that story, to bring balance in her own life, and to allay those fears and realize that if God is for us who can stand against us.
A couple of weeks later in church, I asked her how she was doing and she had a big smile on her face and she looked at me and she said:
“Wayne, I’m so thankful that you shared that because ever since then it’s just been like I’ve been moving forward spiritually. I’ve been pushing back against the enemy in my life and I’ve just been seeing God say to me, ‘take chances, go for God’ and not to live in fear of what the big bad an enemy may or may not do.”
Dean: So Wayne, what would you really like to leave with us in closing, like what really struck you about this encounter with a Godly angel.
Wayne: One of the things that really stands out is that how powerful fear can be. I don’t mean in a positive sense of the “fear of God,” that’s a healthy thing, but fear can freeze people from their potential in God.
Fear can can stop somebody so quick in their tracks from seeing their potential in God to do good for the Kingdom.
When I shared that word with those ladies it was so encouraging to see a number of them almost shake off their past and go:
“Yeah, yeah, I don’t have to live in fear. I can move on. I can overcome this. I don’t have to live under this fear.”
I think that’s the biggest thing is that God needs to bring balance in our lives, set us free from our fear. And when God says Hey come step out in the ocean and walk on the water with me, that we can do it because greater is He that is within us that he that is within the world.
- Top image — Credit: Adriana Lukas/Flickr/Creative Commons