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The title “The Devil Within” seems blasphemous. 

Well, in fact it is.  To have the Enemy of our Creator in and around you is a slap in God’s face.  If you mess with the occult in any degree or form, you have violated God’s commands (Old Testament- Deuteronomy 18:10; Galatians 5:20) and are in danger of being off of the narrow path (Matt. 7).  Now contrary to popular thought occultists and Satanists DO attend church and can be very religious.  Bill Schnoebelin, who studied just about every occult discipline, attended church (Catholic). Sometimes occultists try to infiltrate churches.   I know of two pastors who stumbled onto people teaching their children witchcraft in Sunday School or Children’s Church and quickly remedied the problem.  In the New Testament, (Mark 1:23) we also see demon possessed people in church (synagogue), not that Satan isn’t afraid of God, but he works as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14) and can gain access to church via people who have a door open to him, or whom he has violated.  So again, being a hypocrite is having the devil within and is sacrilegious whether you were like me or just harbored ill will, pride, lustful thoughts, little white lies, or whatever (The principle found in- Matthew 5:28).  The point is anything short of wholehearted devotion to God is hypocrisy and sacrilegious, because it is taking Christ’s message lightly.  I know this is possible.  I did it, and wasted years on secondary sinful living chasing a lie.  What lie?  The Devil’s oldest lie.  In Genesis 3:1-5, the Devil in the form of a snake lied to Eve, the mother of humanity.  He got Eve to doubt God and question His motives, and he still uses this tactic today.  He got me to doubt God was enough and the most powerful, and he will come after you as well.

  As I was driving on my school bus route (Larimore, North Dakota 2015) this idea came to me to write a short pamphlet about how I got messed up into the occult and rescued.  Now many people who knew me back in the day (South Texas), including family members, are surprised that I have said that in High School I was a Satanist.  To them Satanists wear black robes, steal bodies from graveyards at midnight, wear only black, etc., but that does not apply to all.  To them I was a quiet kid who went to church, drew a lot and played the drums.    All of that is true, but there was so much more.

  As I look back I believe that the Devil was trolling for me at a very young age.  Three reasons lead me to believe this:

  1. Ominous feeling of someone standing near me, but no one there.

  2. Extreme sadness different times at bedtime.  Feelings of hopelessness for the future- only at night.

  3. Sexual thoughts/ feelings at a very young age.

Does this mean I was forced into the occult?  No. But Satan was trying hard to counter the godly upbringing of my missionary/ pastor parents.

  In 3rd grade I had some friends that liked the rock band KISS and when I saw Gene Simmons “bat” kabuki make-up, it did something to me inside.  Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a writing against rock music, I am a musician and like rock.  It’s just that there are elements that are not always good.  To me Gene’s imagery was evil and it spoke to me (In the occult a bat symbolizes darkness).  I have friends that like KISS and to them it is all theatrical.  So I started to get into album cover artwork.  I am an artist.  I have drawn since I could hold a crayon, and over the years helped teach people to draw, won a purple ribbon for Adult Professional category at the Woodbury County Fair in Iowa, and have done artwork for the Publishing Company I am a partner in, P246.  So I’ve always been a visual person.  I remember when I was a little kid watching the show That’s Incredible and they would have stories about haunted houses and when that segment would come on I would run to my room and hide under a pillow, because if I watched I would be so afraid I would not be able to go to sleep.  The same was true of scary stories people would tell me.  One neighbor girl told me a scary story of child abductors in Germany, where she was born, and I was paralyzed with fear for about a week.  As I started to listen to hard rock and heavy metal music with occultic covers, I began to be desensitized to dark images.  When I looked at Iron Maiden’s album “Number of the Beast,” I knew the concept was referring to the number of the Beast in Revelation, 666.  Something I had read in the Bible growing up.  Yes, I read the Bible and prayed to God, but I also had become awakened to the magnetism of the dark side. Black Sabbath’s album “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,” that had half naked women and a skeletal bed with 666 above it also reached out to me.  I have read (Black Sabbath’s guitarist) Tony Iommi’s book, Iron Man, and believe what some of their Satanic imagery was from the record company.  He said the upside down cross was put on the inside of their first album by the record company, not them.  They were leery of it, but took no steps to get it removed.  They appear to want to have the best of both world’s- claim religion and God in general, but also mingle with the occult.  Kind of like I was.

   I don’t know if I ever LOVED God before 1990 when I sold out to Him.  I liked God, was God-friendly, wanted to go to Heaven, felt the warm fuzzies, feared Hell, etc.  I remember watching the Thief in the Night type movies growing up, and would get scared.  One time I thought the rapture, when Jesus takes away His Church in the blink of an eye, had happened as I couldn’t find my family as I walked into our house!  I freaked!  Checked every room and walked around the house.  I was asking God to forgive me, again not out of love, but fear.  I found them and WHEW I was safe again for now.  I would go up to the altar at summer camp each year and pray to change, but always wandered back.

  So, what was I?  I was not a Satanist in a coven group (though I knew people who were).  I was not a candle burning, spell/ hex casting, grimoire[1]/ book of shadows[2] writing Satanist (though I did write satanic songs and draw skulls, occult symbols, and demonic images). 

  I did not read in the Satanic Bible until after I became a Believer, and read it in secondary Christian sources, with the purpose of defending the Christian faith (apologetics).  But I loved the devil and the things that were forbidden by God.  I often thought about Satan and demons all day long, and was haunted with thoughts of selling my soul to the devil. 

  I grew up in a pastor’s home in Brownsville, Texas, and learned memory verses, and the books of the Bible.  But rebellion and a lust for evil crept in.  Now some of my rebellion was visible, but much of it was hidden.  Only known to me, and a few others.  I have two high school era pics that the evil streamed out of my eyes (Note: I did not always look like this).



​I was drawn to Satanic metal bands and their imagery.  I used to have a red Velcro wallet with a Slayer (band) inverted pentagram.  I would voraciously read metal magazines at the grocery store when mom would go shopping and make lists of drummers, what groups they played in, drums and cymbal brands.  So I guess I was an idolater (one who worships ANYTHING above God), worshipping drums and cymbals, and drummers.  I remember when I finally had assembled a 9-pc double bass drum-set and sat on the drum throne and felt…empty.  I had my god and it didn’t fill the void.  [On a humorous note: the next door neighbor called once when I had the mega kit in my room, upset that he couldn’t hear his TV!  Another time when I was playing with a garage band that I messed around with, we were too loud for the bass player’s parent’s two car garage (sorry Jim!), and his sister kept coming out complaining, as we played “Self-Destruction” by Bloodgood.]

  On several occasions I made contact with the dark realm.  Once when I was typing a list of drummers and equipment and the typewriter (yes, this was before computers were really affordable), and the typewriter began to type the opposite of the letters I typed.  I thought the machine was messed up, so I shut it off, walked into the kitchen to get a drink saw the shadow of my arm and then saw a shadow of another arm.  I thought it was my sister.  I turned around.  No one.  Another time I was walking down the driveway at home and heard a voice call me from the garage.  It called my name and seemed like it was at a distance.  Again no one.  A couple of times I had hateful thoughts become reality.  Once when I was working at Chick-Fil-A at Amigoland Mall in Brownsville, a clerk from the shoe store across the hall was heading towards our store.  She had a whiny voice that sounded to me like Mickey Mouse.  I hated to deal with her.  In my head I said “I hate you and hope you fall!”  Where did that come from I don’t know, it just popped into my mind.  Well, I do know where it came from— not from God.  Anyhow, IMMEDIATELY, I kid you not, she wiped out and fell hard.  I think I was just standing there with my mouth open.  Freaked out.  I think I went around the counter and tried to help her, knowing somehow I was responsible .  Another time when a teacher made fun of me when I got facts backwards on a test.  I intensely hated her within.  Shortly she had a bizarre eye issue that pitted her eyes like golf balls.  Coincidence...maybe, but it sure is interesting timing.

  When I sold out 110% to Jesus literally “all Hell broke loose.”  I began to be oppressed, spiritually fought against, by the Devil.  Everything from feeling an evil presence when praying for others and seeing dark figures in my mind, to an apartment faucet creaking on 2x by itself, and thumpy footsteps walking in house along with evil presence.  In Iowa when I was in Bible College (1990-94) I would be woke up at around 3AM and fight an evil presence with Scripture and Jesus’ Name.  That time is supposedly when group Satanists are finishing up their ceremonies and demons leave to do their bidding/ cursing.[3]  Several times when spiritual warfare was taking place on campus it came my way.  One Halloween my car windows were covered with occult symbols and hex/ curse signs.  I’m not telling you this to boast, but give you a glimpse into where dealing with the Devil lands you even once you are out of that life, but also the majestic power to repel any and every attack.

  My brother Will, who during High School, took and sold drugs, went to WILD parties, ran with our neighborhood street gang, and messed around with Ouija boards and the occult.  He asked me a few years ago why I seemed to have all kinds of spiritual warfare after I quit playing games with God and sold out, and he did not while he did so much more visible things.  I told him…the difference was that I gave myself wholeheartedly to the things I messed with.  At a heart level, I was a Satanist.  I was like a satanic evangelist in High School pointing out satanic facts and albums and books to others.  As I am now always trying to talk to people about Jesus; then I was a seller of Satan.  I think it wasn’t until about my Junior year in Bible college that I began to know more about God than Satan- the liar.  Jesus spoke of the danger of having an inner life that we want to keep secret.  Matthew 5:28, says that even looking at a woman lustfully is the same as actual adultery.  Because at a heart level it’s the same.  That heart level thing will get you every time.

What’s in your heart?

Sinner’s Prayer…

God, please forgive my sins, even the secret ones that you already know about.  Come into my heart and life. Have it it’s all yours.  Help me to change from who I am to who you want me to become. Thank you for doing all this. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


[1] A book of magic spells/ incantations.

[2] Occult journal

[3] (*The late Bill Reisman- Christian occult expert)

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