Heartbroken mother describes how being exposed to the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) opened doors to demonic forces that destroyed her son mentally, emotionally and physically.
My name is Virginia from the USA and my teenage son, Chaz was recently medically treated for psychosis and exhibited other strange and erratic behaviours ever since he was exposed to the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement.
To begin, I was raised in a legalistic background and left after 34 years, so I’m still healing from that painful and hurting experience. I ask that you the reader be understanding and be patient with what I am going to share even if you may disagree with some parts of it or you may think that what I have said is unbiblical. It’s not intentional as I’m still growing and relearning the Bible as I go along.
It all started last year in 2018 when a friend of mine, Sumi invited us for a bible study at her house along with her husband, Tony. During that time, our family attended a non-denominational church for the last 6 years. We are after all, a large family with 9 children and we foster 4.
Chaz came with me because he loves bible studies. He was saved in church as a young boy by asking Jesus in his heart.
I had spent most of my life just trusting what people told me and wouldn’t read things in context, so I didn’t really test what Sumi and Tony were saying against Scripture.
Sumi and Tony emphasised so much on “hearing from God and what God told them to say”. It was typically long praise and worship songs, short bible study, the majority of the time was spent on prayer afterward and giving everyone a word from God. The personal experience of feeling the “high” that came after was what kept me coming to future meetings. Eventually, I brought the rest of my family under their fold. Chaz even helped with prayer but what Sumi and Tony didn’t know was that Chaz had been giving words of knowledge since his teens. He had a very sensitive heart after Christ. Chaz would always pray for people and was on the prayer team at church. He was a prayer warrior! Unfortunately, Chaz is also a teen with high functioning autism and can be a bit gullible. I told Sumi that I loved how Chaz would be able to pray for others like that and Sumi said, “Yes, because we activated his gift.”
I stopped for a second because I had never heard that phrase before. I didn’t feel like Chaz had anything “activated” because he already had been such an encourager to others.
The following months saw the bible study grew, especially after we invited our friends. Soon, Sumi and Tony prayed and claimed they needed to upscale their bible study into a church. It was all exciting and great at first.
Towards the end of the bible study sessions, Sumi and Tony invited us to a revival meeting by Nathan Morris at Fresh Start Church in Peoria. The worship was like a loud rock concert, which I liked. After the sermon which was more about his experiences than the bible, Nathan Morris did an impartation. Gullibly, I participated with the very long line of people to receive Nathan Morris “impartation” of his spirit or God’s spirit onto us. He laid his hands on the people or blew on them and they all fell down, 95% of them but not me, although I felt a little heart flip. No one in my family fell except for two. As a large family, we were part of the 5% who did not fall. Chaz was prayed upon though, and his tender heart was taken advantage by “prophecies” that he would “travel the world and be used by God”.
After that meeting, Chaz exclaimed that he could form and feel a fireball in his hands and touch anyone with it. My daughter felt it and freaked out excitedly. We were all amazed! Chaz had always been known to speak into people’s lives with words of encouragement. We thought this fireball manifestation was God’s affirmation in him so we attended the revival 3 times during the whole weekend. After such an experience especially with people who could supposedly prophesy and read minds, our family felt our current church was a tad boring and left our church for Tony and Sumi’s start-up church called House Fire Ministries.
Even though our pastor from our previous church was a nice man, I felt guilty about not letting him know of our intention to leave, although I know a pastor should not lord over the flock. For some reason, I felt deep down that we were being very unwise and rushing into decisions without lots of prayer.
The launch of House Fire Ministries was rocky and chaotic.
I was tasked to direct the kids’ ministry and had even spend thousands of dollars of my own money in helping purchase its setup. I was so busy and exhausted during the launch date that I lit up when Sumi texted that she found someone to help me, only to be disappointed when I realised that the lady Sumi recommended was introduced that first day! This was worrying as I do not trust someone whom I barely knew, with kids whose parents had entrusted me in their care.
Since the bible studies turned into a church, my spirit felt greater unrest. I did not feel the same excitement, the same gratefulness, not even God’s presence. In fact, it fell flat every Friday. I would even watch people walk out, shake their heads and say, “I thought I was gonna hear from God.” I don’t know why or what changed once it moved buildings. Sometimes we got so excited to be used by God that we jumped the gun and moved ahead of Him. Just because an offer comes doesn’t mean it’s God’s will. I also began to notice subtle character issues, especially Sumi who became more bossy and disregarding.
One Friday in April 2019, I felt something was off in the building and walked outside to the parking lot. To my surprise, Chaz was there and he shared the same feelings. He had a strange look on his face, and told me that he asked God to open his eyes to see. To his horror, he saw a huge demon hovering over the building! I will never forget the look of fear on my son’s face. A friend who also attended (and still does) House Fire Ministries said she felt some things off too in the service that night.
Once Chaz came back home, he saw demons in his room and could describe them in detail. Not only that, he began to hear voices. Instead of only hearing from God like he used to, he was now hearing other stuff that was completely off and he got very confused. He would get embarrassed because he would say inaccurate stuff to people. We shrugged it off at first because Tony told him that God was just “fine tuning” his gift.
Nevertheless, I asked God to show me what we opened ourselves up to and HE DID. I realised that a lot of the guest preachers who were invited to House Fire were a part of the NAR movement, which was new to me. I discovered that Sumi was once part of a church that offered prophecy schools that cranked out prophets. Anyone could be a prophet and at the end of their training, and they would receive impartations done from their leaders.
People were saying strange things like how they saw angels in the church. Sumi even boasted that someone prophesied to her that God was going to use House Fire to “usher in the bride of Christ”. That did not make any sense since all Christians are the bride of Christ! There was so much emphasis on signs and wonders, self-promotion, and so little on Jesus.
I was hurt and confused. Why was our family really starting to struggle mentally, physically and spiritually? I was told it was because we were up against a big enemy. Or were we? I informed Tony and Sumi that I needed a short break to clear my head. I did not care that I was walking away from the children’s ministry because my family came first, but my other son, Ryan continued to attend House Fire as he felt awful to leave them like I did. Because of this, I decided I needed to address to Tony and Sumi about what I have discovered after days of study and research on the NAR. Instead, they were instantly fired up and very defensive.
Sumi considered herself a pastor (which isn’t biblical) and accused me of talking trash. When I asked her to back up with scripture, she would reply, “Don’t put God in a box!”. Tony’s answers would circumnavigate my questions, leaving me confused. They did not like being questioned and warned me to “touch not God’s anointed”, neither could they back up their defense with scripture. I could no longer trust my family in the care of a man or woman who refused to keep scriptures in context, especially if they misquoted the bible for personal gain.
Ryan finally left House Fire when he turned 18 and he realised that Tony and Sumi were no longer interested in his welfare. They were rude and disrespectful in their text messages to me because I was no longer considered a friend.
I looked through my emails and Facebook messages of “prophecies” from people whom I didn’t even know. Each so-called prophecy was focused on me, me, ME and how God was going to use me – that I was going to be famous, newspaper material, etc. – all pertaining to fleshly pride and to my ego. Who is the king of pride and lies? Satan. I realised I had accepted those prophecies back then and unexpectedly opened myself up to demonic forces.
This explained why me and Chaz felt that strange, uncomfortable and evil feeling at House Fire Ministries since the day Sumi accepted the false prophecy about God using House Fire to “usher in the bride of Christ”.
Once we moved back to our previous church, it felt CLEAN. I noticed how many scriptures my pastor put in his messages and the worship songs felt clean with order. I felt SAFE. I knew I was right back to where God wanted us, which House Fire claimed accused “isn’t on fire for God”.
Friendships forged at House Fire were lost and I unfollowed some people due to their constant unbiblical prophecies. Their boasting of their getting out of their trials due to their “special relationship with God” often made others doubt why God won’t do the same for them. I know because prior to leaving, I constantly felt inadequate like the odd one out, without “having words dropped in my spirit” several times a day despite praying, reading my bible and writing journals to Jesus. So many of the prophecies I realised now were inaccurate or did not come true.
Even after we left House Fire, Chaz’s condition kept declining. He could not eat nor sleep, and he suffered horrendous panic attacks. He described terrifying demons talking to him and tormenting him physically, mentally, and emotionally, to the point of a breakdown. My sweet, kind Chaz was deteriorating before my eyes!
One night, I saw Chaz’s face gaunt and in constant shallow breathing, as if frozen. His face was so white like I’ve ever seen before. Even though we had repented and renounced our involvement with the NAR, the demons refused to leave my poor boy alone. The torments had turned Chaz’s body immovable like a paraplegic, making him incapable to care for himself that he needed to be spoon-fed. My husband, Charles took him to the Arizona Deliverance Center*, where they prayed for him. Chaz did well for a few days and was able to walk and feed himself again before sliding back into bedriddenness.
I took Chaz to the doctor and she diagnosed him with anxiety and prescribed him Zoloft, which had a 5% chance of having psychosis as a side effect. It helped for a while but his condition soon took a U-turn. Chaz was once again spoon-fed and this time, he choked on his food. He turned skinny and he was crying and grabbing at his throat, his immobile body trapped to a wheelchair. He was hallucinating and could feel things touching him and wrapping around his body, things which a naked eye cannot see. Those things even squeezed his body tightly everytime Chaz mentioned scripture. The deterioration got so bad that I thought my son was going to die, and not a single day passed by without me grieving in tears.
I was adamant to the medical staff that Zoloft was making his condition a thousand times worse, but my demands went unheeded. Eventually, Chaz was transferred from the hospital to an urgent psychiatric ward by police escorts because he was considered a danger even though he never laid a finger on anyone before. I desperately wanted him out of there but by this time, he was so tormented and out of control.
The next morning, I was relieved and thankful that a compassionate man in the ward took Chaz out of Zoloft immediately, knowing full well he showed every side effect possible. I was relieved that he could be stabilized at last, but my relief did not last.
2 days later, the ward called to tell me that they were transferring Chaz to another facility, a place that was one of the worst in my state and that was not safe. Chaz’s crime? He was offering to pray for people and share scripture with them. It was seen as “too invasive”. Thankfully, there were 2 kind nurses who promised not to send him there. Chaz was placed in a much better facility for a month-long care.
Since he was taken off of Zoloft, Chaz’s condition got better. However, he still saw those demonic beings so we knew the fault cannot lie totally in the Zoloft-triggered psychosis. Once, Chaz told me he saw a woman named Elizabeth following him and claiming to be his spirit wife. I knew that this was demon disguised as an angel of light! I even got a call from the nurse who said that Chaz claimed that someone touched and “violated” him. Chaz was very angry and was pounding the walls. He knew for a FACT he was violated. The video evidence showed no one in his room however, so I knew this was spiritual and demonic. He later told me it’s happened several times since but he now realized what it was. We couldn’t wait to get Chaz out so we could take him back to the Arizona Deliverance Center*. Once he was delivered, he has not seen “Elizabeth” since.
Several weeks later, Chaz was released into our care. We were VERY worried he would not be able to handle the stress in our home. Chaz is still healing and my parents offered their quiet home as a temporary place for him, which we are eternally grateful for. He is also on several different types of meds to treat his mental issues.
Since getting out of the NAR movement this year, it has been a roller coaster struggle. Many times, I have sobbed in secret and screamed into my blanket so that no one could hear. I don’t want my kids to see me this depressed and emotional. I’ve never wanted to lose friends, but leaving House Fire Ministries meant I was an outcast to be disassociated with. None of them reached out to ask if I was okay or to pray for me. Not a single phone call, text message or invite. It didn’t matter that I contributed tons of money and hours into helping build their church from the ground up. The second I questioned things, I was their “enemy”. As a result, I have been subjected (and still continue) to mockery, untrue rumours and vicious gossip among them. It hurts very, very much.
Had I known what I know now, I would NEVER have exposed Chaz to the NAR in the first place, seeing how it has wrecked him totally and affected my family. Please pray for my boy for his complete deliverance and healing, thank you.
Virginia Griffin Revoir
This testimony is a summarized version from Virginia’s blog, The More, The Messier
*Disclaimer: Arizona Deliverance Center is a non-WOF, non-NAR center that specialises in delivering people from demonic influences. Upon a closer look on their website, it is worrying that many of the statements they have made regarding the Bible is way off the mark and taken out of context, the most alarming is their ecumenical stance with the Catholics. While efforts have been made to warn Virginia of this center, we ask the readers to be understanding with regards to her journey as she has just gotten out of the NAR and be in her own shoes, what would you have done when in desperation to seek help for your child. Virginia is still taking baby steps in relearning the Bible and we kindly ask readers to be wise in your responses to her testimony.
In regards to deliverance, it is important to note that no born-again Christian in the Bible was ever demon-possessed since we have the Holy Spirit indwelling in us permanently (1 Corinthians 3:16, ). However, we can still be oppressed by demonic influences without being possessed.
In the matters of demonic possession, Jesus shows us that the way to deal with this is through prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21), the latter being omitted in many modern bible versions today. Secondly, we have to ensure that the person in question get saved the biblical way in order to have the Holy Spirit permanently indwelled in him/her. 1 Peter 1:5 shows us that when Christ reigns in the person’s life, he or she is kept by the power of God. 1 John 4:4 tells us, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
We thank Virginia for her testimony and we ask the community to continue praying for her, for her son Chaz and for her family.