I had been hearing the buzz around the supposed "horror/thriller" movie called Nefarious for quite awhile, before my husband, Mark, and I decided to find out what the fuss was all about. What no one who had seen it had adequately explained was that it was a very accurate account of how Satan uses demons to both oppress and possess people, whether they are Believers or not. And here's where I'm probably going to catch a lot of criticism... but it is necessary to clarify that last statement, before moving on with this discussion, and I can do it from experience.
Having been called to an Inner Healing/Deliverance Ministry ten years ago, Mark and I have dealt with many Christians who have been tormented by demons. Most of the spiritual battles have involved low level struggles with spirits of anger, self-hate, rejection, abandonment or guilt and shame. Working with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we can show the Beloved how to counter the lies and deception from the Enemy and walk in their God-given identity. But there have also been times when we have had to deal with what I will call "parts" of a Believer, who are fractured identities of the person before they were Saved, and that part of them may be in a real battle with a demon who has taken up habitation within them. The core person, who is Saved, has been sanctified and sealed by the Holy Spirit and the demon cannot occupy or possess them. But when trying to get the injured part free, we have often encountered demons [like in the movie] and they love to spar with us, trying to convince us we don't know what we're doing; or trying to scare us into submitting to their power over the Beloved. But we know who we are, our power and authority, and who we serve, so their antics are unconvincing. But you can imagine the oppression the Believer still feels while the battle rages on inside them between their "parts"; illness, addictions, wrong thoughts, or becoming accident-prone are just some of the ways the devil can persecute them.
But what I really want to talk about today is the remarkable way that the movie Nefarious was able to present the truth of the demonic in our world today. In a very simple way, the writers of the film created a character who, as a convicted serial murderer on death row [possessed by a demon], espoused the battle between good and evil; the war between who he called "my Master" and "the carpenter". It was nothing less than brilliant how the demon spoke through the criminal to show just how Satan is able to use demons to do his will through us. And an equally captivating idea was that the writers used an atheist psychiatrist to be the protagonist to counter the demon's arguments for why he inhabited the criminal's body.
Right from the start, the demon controls the criminal's body [whose name is Edward] and announces "I am a demon" and introduces himself as Nefarious. And from that moment on in the movie, is some of the most precise and accurate verbal judo I've ever seen written to explain the truth of how demons operate within our society today. The atheist psychiatrist, James, suggests that perhaps Edward is just being delusional, and his claim is both illogical and irrational [which by the way, is often what the church will argue when someone presents themselves as afflicted by a demon[. Nefarious responds to that charge with, "I am the most rational being you will ever meet". Then Nefarious proceeds to present the most explicit [and Biblical!] argument for the reality of demons among us today. NOTE: When, during discussions with my fellow Christians who say they don't believe in demons -- that they don't exist anymore -- my response is always to ask them three questions ... Do you believe the Bible when it says demons existed in the Bible and that Jesus cast them out? Do you think that when Jesus was resurrected and went to Heaven, all the demons said, "Well, He's left, so I guess we'll go ahead and leave, too"? And finally, Do you think that Jesus would leave us here on earth for 2000 years with no way to protect ourselves or no strategies against them?
And that's why the character of the demon is so good in this movie! He presents a logical and true perspective of demonology, and how this belief system is as present today as it was in the Old Testament. He very effectively compares today's belief in abortion with ancient Israel's participation with the false god, Molech. He tells, James, the psychiatrist, "The Creator creates, and we destroy. And we do it all through you. We always have. Did you forget your history, Jimmy? Even in ancient times, the arch-demon Molech was celebrated by tossing infants into flaming bonfires", referencing the use of crematoriums to destroy the remains of aborted babies today.
And here was a particularly damning exchange of dialogue: "Now, there's evil everywhere ... and no one even cares. We achieved our goal. Slowly. With your movies, your TV, and your media. We desensitized you. Redirected your worldview. To the point that you can't recognize evil when it's right in front of your face. More to the point, James, you can't even feel it when you're doing it. As for winners and losers, whoa, whoa, whoa! That gets decided at the time of death. The exact numbers are a closely guarded secret, but there are more of you ending up in my master's house than with the Enemy [with Jesus in Heaven]... a lot more, Jimmy"!
But the importance of the movie for me is in the indictment of our mainstream culture. Hopefully, it will be a wake-up call! This is a movie that takes God seriously, without all the Hollywood soft-sell of His authority and power. Even Nefarious is unable to speak the powerful name of Jesus, instead preferring to call Him, "the carpenter". He knows and admits that Jesus's power is greater than his master, but Satan has been able to find a workaround, and it is through "the permissions" we give him through our daily lives. In fact, Nefarious says Satan's goal is to get us to harm ourselves, something we are only too willing to do, by being disobedient to God's commands, or doubting the reality and power of God.
Nefarious tells the naive atheist psychiatrist, "[It's] the entire fallen race. All of us against all of you". James responds: "Well, if that's the case, your side's not doing so well ... we've never been freer. Illiteracy is at an all-time high. We're working to eliminate racism, intolerance, gender inequality. People can love who they want. Be who they want, do want they want. Diversity is no longer a dream. Hate speech is no longer tolerated. And politically, we're reclaiming the moral high ground". With a smirk and whispering with the utmost cynicism, Nefarious answers, "James, I think I love you. Literacy, James? The average high schooler graduates at the sixth grade level. Your basketball players make $30 million a year, and are decrying racism. All the while wearing sneakers made from slave labor. Now, here's something for you. Right now, your world currently has 40 million slaves. More than the Romans had at the height of their empire. And you want to know the best part? Half of those are sex slaves, James. As for hate speech, well, you want to hear some irony? We didn't even come up with that one. You did it all by yourself. [CHUCKLING] Sometimes you amaze even us. Bottom line is, you're done. It's over. That's it. And we did it all right to your face. And now there's evil everywhere. And no one even cares. More to the point ... you can't even feel it when you're doing it".
The beauty of this movie [even within its disturbing and accusatory truth of our culture] is that it lays out very simply and astutely what the Lord has shown Mark and I in the lives of those we minister to. Each and every soul that has crossed our threshold to sit at the table that Jesus has prepared for them, is precious in our sight as a Beloved child of God. And we have seen how Satan and his demons have taken advantage of sins, known and unknown; sins that have been self-inflicted and/or caused by others to do exactly what Nefarious boasts about ... falling prey to the cunning strategies of the master of evil. And it is a privilege of the highest honor to work with Jesus to set these broken-hearted captives free!
This is a movie that, in my opinion, cannot fail to make us enter into self-reflection, throwing off the spirit of contentedness and yes, participation, in the modern-day culture of delusion. It is time -- no, beyond time! -- that we Christians face reality. Demons do exist, and they are celebrating our ignorance as to how they are working to entrap us into disobedience against the Most High God ... just as their master did in the Garden of Eden. And if you need further proof, the spiritual battle that occurred during the making of this movie leaves no doubt that Nefarious was the perfect name for this demon. It defines the activity of the dark side in our world amidst all its activities: wickedness, evil, sin, iniquity, rebellion, depravity, perversion, diabolicalness, lawlessness, and all the illegalities against "the carpenter"... Yeshua HaMashiach, our Redeemer and the Savior of the World. Don't wait! Rent this movie and share it with other Believers who need to come to the truth of the spiritual battle we are in! It's not over! We win! But there are lots of lost souls we need to rescue from the clutches of demons like this.
1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,