What if you are trapped in a terrorist attack?

Click to join the conversation with over 500,000 Pentecostal believers and scholars

Click to get our FREE MOBILE APP and stay connected

William DeArteaga | PentecostalTheology.com


What if you are trapped in a terrorist attack? Today “good Morning America” had a segment on the Paris atrocities in which a terrorist expert gave advise on what to do if you are caught in a terrorist situation where gunmen are shooting away. His advice was to: 1 – flee, 2 – hide, 3 – attack (as the Americans in the Paris train). This is sound secular advice. BUT, there may be something more practical and effective one can do: take authority and paralyze the demonic entities motivating and animating the terrorist. The model for this is Paul in Acts 13: 8-12 as he blinded the sorcerer who was opposing the Gospel. I am quoting from a blog originally written in response to the Sandy Hook elementary School massacre, but it is applicable in any terroristic setting: But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.” Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord. Note that this is not an exorcism, but the immobilization of a person through blindness. The Church is just awakening from its cessationist period and into its Holy Spirit powers. As of yet, no Spirit-filled Christians I have met has ever discussed doing any such thing on any demonized person. I am a Charismatic from way back in the 1970s, and I have never seen a teaching on this, Pentecostal or charismatic. Neither have I found it in the literature of classic Christian spirituality. (If I am wrong on this please let me know in a blog comment.) Cessationist commentators easily write this off as history, and a special grace of Apostolic times without present day relevance.

With this scripture in mind, let me turn again to the issue of mass shooters with a final speculative word, but one that may be life-saving.

First, a sensible word from the US government. FEMA recently put out a brochure advising churches on how to react to mass shooters. It suggests that ministry staff talk about the possibility of a mass shooter incident and develop a quick response plan. It gives very sensible, secular advise. Basically: run, hid, and fight (i.e. “take aggressive action” as in throwing chairs, fire-extinguishers, etc.). The brochure is in PDF format for dowwloading and available HERE.

Not hint of a spiritual remedy – naturally. Now let me add that there may be an effective spiritual weapon in these incidents. IF, and only IF, one finds oneself trapped in a group with a demonized person shooting at people, and IF there is no way to run, hide or fight, try this: Speak towards the shooter but to the demons and command: “In the name of Jesus, be bound and paralyzed!” Now, I cannot guarantee this will work, and if all you get is a quick trip to heaven I will see you there some time later and personally apologize. But if you are about to be shot anyway, what is there to lose?

Rightly, there are many difficulties in using this scripture from Acts as model. I frankly do not know if a spirit of sorcery is more easily bound than a spirit of murder. But the scripture is there, and it is not difficult to understand – but all too easy to dismiss. I repeat this is speculative. I have no stories to tell of having done such a thing. But with so many armed, demonized persons out there it is good to keep this in the back of your mind, just in case.

Steve Webb [11/16/2015 11:32 AM]
This is a topic I struggle with mightily. My response is probably skewed, but I’ll put this out for discussion.
I feel different people are wired differently (fight or flight), Peter exhibited both at times. Jesus run the money changers from the temple with a whip, yet told us to pray for our enemy. Then there are examples of Paul such as the one listed.

Modern day Bonhoeffer worked as a spy to remove Jews from harms way in Germany during WW II. So where do I see an appropriate response?

First, prayer and fasting. Not at the time of, but now. We must proactively pray and seek the Lord for direction and protection.

Second, when or if the threat materializes, have a team assembled (in even the smallest churches) that will respond with quick, aggressive, physically neutralizing force.

As a concealed carry person, one trained in hand to hand combat, and a hard wired “fight” response I have at times served as security. I’ve had to forcibly remove persons from the church for the bodies good. I hated doing that as much as anything. The sanctuary is to be a safe place, but unfortunately it is not in this time. We must meet the threat when it comes.

John Kissinger [11/16/2015 12:49 PM]
well, assimilation would not work – that’s for sure Alan N Carla Smith http://cupandcross.com/toward-a-pentecostal-solution-to-the-refugee-crises-in-the-european-union/

John Kissinger [11/16/2015 1:00 PM]
William DeArteaga Spencer Stone, one of three Americans who helped foil an attack on a French train this summer, is in a serious condition after being stabbed outside a bar in Sacramento in what authorities have described as a “nightlife-related incident” that is not being investigated as a terrorist act. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/08/spencer-stone-stabbed-france-train-attack

John Conger [11/16/2015 1:42 PM]
If we could all do that there would be no martyrs

Alan N Carla Smith [11/16/2015 3:02 PM]
If you haven’t already started praying; what are you waiting for??
Defend yourself and your family

John Kissinger [11/17/2015 5:31 AM]
Is Islam a religion of peace? http://www.revelationtv.com/programmes/episode/the-late-show496398

Alan N Carla Smith [11/17/2015 9:39 AM]
John Kissinger NOPE!

John Kissinger [11/17/2015 10:41 AM]
the UN just voted on Article 42(7) http://cupandcross.com/henry-kissinger-and-russias-prophetic-destiny-in-syria/


  • Louise Cummings
    Reply September 19, 2016

    Louise Cummings

    I would pray for sure. And I would bind Satan in Jesus name even if I was praying where they couldn’t hear what I was saying. I would be binding Satan In Jesus Name. Then I guess you would never know what you would do until we were faced with that situation. I pray none of us are. I pray for protection over my family anyway. I pray God will honor that prayer. He has so far. He is a Great God and All Powerful.

  • Stacy-Jeff Justice
    Reply September 19, 2016

    Stacy-Jeff Justice

    Ask the Lord to forgive me of any sins not covered then pray to confuse the enemy in the Name of JESUS

  • Street Preacherz
    Reply July 16, 2017

    Street Preacherz

    Mr. Steve Webb you reminded me of a teaching years ago on ushering. I forget the man’s name. I think the title of his book was “ushering in His excellence.” Maybe he will forgive me if I don’t get it exactly right. But he taught with intense worship and good anointing it is easy to get caught up in spiritual things. The role of the usher however is to stay “grounded” so to speak. And tend to the natural realm. And that this is as much of a gift as say prophecy in that good order and the adminstration of duty is none the less spiritual. We need these men and women active and on watch. My own pastors son is very stable and respected. I often tease one of our young men. Watch so and so as he’s angry with the pastor.
    Having said that let me suggest for the sake of conversation and safety this…
    Yes, when supernatural faith comes, Stand and Rebuke and declare thus sayeth the Lord. I mean specifically the “gift of faith.”
    Yes, also regular praying faith if there is time. In Jesus name.
    Yes, if strengthened with manly courage attack. If there’s children get them out, first. Unless obviously their only safety is your harm.
    I’ve already told the people I love what I’m going to do.”
    in earnest bro joe

  • Street Preacherz
    Reply July 16, 2017

    Street Preacherz

    “A word of wisdom” a word of God’s foreknowledge is to be coveted and many a tragedy can be avoided by the ministry of the Holy Spirit…
    The ministry of the Holy Spirit is ours in intimacy and communion by the blood of Christ. Jesus Christ.

  • Benjamin C Bratvogel
    Reply July 16, 2017

    Benjamin C Bratvogel

    Im reminded of a elderly woman who was upstairs one night at home alone..she heard a noise like a window break…she became concerned and called the police…”they are on there way mam please stay on th….( the phone went dead). Being an elderly woman she didnt have much for defense.. So the woman begain screaming…Acts 2:38…Acts 2:38….over and over…not the verse mind you ( 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.) …soon the police arrived and they caught them man running away….the officers asked him why jhe never went up stairs…the man replied” I wasnt gonna mess around woth that lady…she had 2 axe and a .38….Let us be reminded that Gods word keeps us.
    John 14:12-13

  • Varnel Watson
    Reply July 18, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    Ricky Grimsley Most Texans wount know what to do cause they take your gun @ the metal detector our days 🙂

  • Street Preacherz
    Reply July 18, 2017

    Street Preacherz

    Texans will be fine…

  • Varnel Watson
    Reply July 18, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    Texans be like hiding in the bushes Ricky Grimsley

  • Ricky Grimsley
    Reply July 18, 2017

    Ricky Grimsley

    Ill be fine.

  • Varnel Watson
    Reply July 18, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    famous last words 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.