Evangelist and author John Ramirez was once entrenched in the occult and satanism. He's now warning Christians not to get entangled in practices that might seem innocent or alluring, especially during Halloween, but only serve to open the door to dark forces.
From the time he was 8 years old, Ramirez, who's of Puerto Rican descent, was caught up in a satanic cult (Santeria and Espiritismo/spiritualist). Introduced to the occult by his father's family, he delved deeper into these practices. Eventually, he became a high-ranking priest in New York City, specializing in witchcraft, spells, curses and astral projection.
Ramirez, who says he was demon-possessed for 20 years, takes the work of exposing the darkness seriously. Consumed by this dark underworld, Ramirez said he specifically targeted Jesus Christ and Christianity, not other religions. No one targets Buddha or Muhammad, he said, because those religions — Islam and Buddhism — are not seen as a threat to the occult or New Age practices.
"The devil is not chasing those things because they're in his backyard anyway," Ramirez said in a video interview with The Christian Post.
"There's a quote by Anton Lavey, founder of the Church of Satan, where he says in his own words, 'I want to thank every Christian parent,' not Buddha, not Muhammad, none of that. ... 'Every Christian parent, I want to thank them that [they] allow [their] children to celebrate the devil one night out of the year,' which is Halloween," Ramirez said warningly, "He's intentionally thanking Christian parents. Thank you for dressing up your kids, changing their identity, sacrificing spiritually."
For the past 20 years, this born-again Christian has been persistently working to expose the enemy's schemes. The devil is at work and lurking in the shadows targeting Christians, he adds. "There's spiritual warfare ... and spiritual atmosphere and opportunity that the devil gives you. ... We need to be precise, we need to be persistent, and we need to know how to conquer those opportunities."
Christians must practice discernment and equip themselves with biblical knowledge to understand that the devil is real, he said.
Many people who follow Christ don't seem to take spiritual warfare seriously, which Ramirez finds concerning. "Jesus never took the devil lightly in the Scriptures. Jesus confronted the devil. He didn't talk about him, He confronted him."
"Jesus, every time He confronted the devil, whether in the wilderness, through Peter when He told Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan,' or through Judas. So why can't we follow in the footsteps of Jesus? Who cast out more devils than Jesus?" he said.
When Ramirez was active in the witchcraft world years ago, he said he "knew Christians were spiritually anemic."
"I knew Christians had the anointing, the authority, and the power to destroy the kingdom of darkness, but they didn't know how to use it," he said. "They didn't know how to execute, ... They can win a fight but not conquer anything.
"That's the sad thing about Christians at large. There's nothing wrong with Jesus because Jesus is all powerful, don't mistake that. We're talking about the vessels in the church, the people in the church. People love God, and they want to be free, but all we are doing is teaching a Jesus that the devil has separated from the cross. In the church today, there is a New Age Jesus. You ain't gonna win no battle with a New Age Jesus."
The Bronx native told CP that he works hard to share his insights and strategies, and this includes writing books about spiritual warfare. Ramirez also created an eight-week course titled "Unmaking the Devil," which goes along with his book of the same name.
"We need to put the devil in his place. We need to expose the devil. We need to take care of generational curses. We need to take care of infirmity devils. We need to take care of stronghold bondages of every kind in our house, in our home, in our family," he continued, lamenting the statistics that show the high divorce rate among Christian couples.
Ramirez also admonished Christians for celebrating Halloween, likening it to cheating on Jesus by having a one-night stand.
"Then we have one-night stands with the devil. We go celebrate Halloween; we in bed with the devil for one night. To me, it's like, why would you want to cheat on Jesus? Jesus don't cheat on you. I don't see the satanists coming to do church. No way!"
For 25 years, Ramirez served in the occult, appointed to be the gatekeeper of darkness by other high-ranking satanists. However, in 1999, he had a brush with death, and while he was in a "deep sleep" Ramirez says he went to Hell. He described the fear he felt but said God met him there and when he came back to life, he committed to give his life to Jesus.
When he began the transition to leave the occult, Ramirez said the experience was horrific. He threw away $100,000 worth of idols in his home, all things from the occult, but he was still being tormented.
"I had all these things in my house; these things are despicable, demonic and an abomination in the eyes of God. But they had that fear of the devil on you that if you leave [the occult], something's going to happen to you. They engraft that in you. If you step out of line, punishment is coming," Ramirez recalled of what occultists tell people to keep them in bondage.
"When I left and I came to Jesus, I was tormented for 30 days nonstop, 30 days of torment. I would sleep during the day and the demons would come at night. Espiritistas would do witchcraft to me from New York City, Miami, Haiti and Cuba and back to New York, he recalled.
"They would do witchcraft to try to destroy me, to try to rip my soul out of my body. The demons would choke me at night. I couldn't scream Jesus out. I felt like I was paralyzed. They would pull my legs. Jezebel would come into my bedroom, would lay next to my bed. You could feel my bed sink down but no one was there, and you could feel the room turn ice cold."
Ramirez went through 30 days of torment and the Lord allowed it as a test of Ramirez's new faith after years of serving the enemy.
"After 30 days, it was gone. I was asking Jesus Christ, 'What happened? Why did this happen to me?' In the end, the Lord responded, 'I wanted to see how much you trust me and how much you love me. They will never touch you ever again,'" he recalled Jesus saying.
"Sure enough, them devils never showed up and those devils never put their hand on me ever again because Jesus is Lord over my life. He's my Lordship; He's my Savior over my life," Ramirez testified.
His eight-week course teaches Christians how to use the power they have through Christ to defeat these demonic forces. "I teach believers because from October 1 through October 31, that's witchcraft month; it's the high season of witchcraft."
Ramirez revealed that when he was a satanist, the month of October was when he'd perform ceremonies, rituals, and receive recipes from demons in spiritualism. He even described demons and mediums coming down to Earth.
"They are on it, they are consistent. They're not playing, they conquer spiritual territories in your life. How do you stop the devil in his tracks and take back what he's stolen from you?" he asked.
Ramirez said that despite the torment, he followed Joseph's example of forgiveness, and bestowed that same heart toward those who wronged him. It's an example of how Christians can defeat the enemy, he declared.
"The devil is trying to steal your purpose, trying to steal your identity, because when you get to Heaven, you go crippled without a testimony to bring to the Lord," Ramirez said. "We need to fight the good fight because between your purpose to get your destiny (your Promised Land), there's always a battlefield. How do you cross the battlefield to get to victory?"
In his course and book, Ramirez teaches believers how to fight that fight, and how to be more than a conqueror and live the life that God called Christians to live.
"Be an overcomer and make Jesus Christ proud that He picked you for the battle," he added.
For more information about Ramirez and his books and eight-week course, click here.