NEW YORK — In the book Street God, Dimas Salaberrios shares his harrowing journey from striving to be a drug kingpin to eventually becoming a servant of God. The experience that proved pivotal to his transition came, he says, when he fell under the power of an evil force that seemed determined to destroy him.
In Street God, Salaberrious, co-pastor of Infinity Bible Church in NYC's Bronx borough and president of Concerts of Prayer Greater New York, recounts how his girlfriend at the time, Renee, took him to her mother's home so that the older woman and her friends could pray for him.
"When I walked in, those three ladies called on Jesus, then came toward me. I think they recognized that, while demon possession is not regularly acknowledged in our country, as it is in other parts of the world, I had made myself a prime candidate for it because of my lifestyle," Salaberrios writes in the book. "The three women saw that and went right to work. 'I bind this demon up in the name of Jesus,' Renee's mother said. 'Loose him, Satan! Come out!'"
Watch the video below (or read the transcript) to learn what happened when those three women interceded for Salaberrios with prayer.
"You know, what was really wild was there was a well-known witch in the community in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, that was dating my competition in the drug world. Every time she'd pull up you would just feel this heavy presence of darkness that would just come on the scene.
I mean, I could have my back to her and I could feel when she would pull up or come out of a house or be in a car. Several girls ignored it and didn't believe she was a witch. It was well-known all throughout the area. And when those girls would go and be with her, several of them lost their mind or would have nervous breakdowns."
"So one day I was going to pick up some drugs in New York City from Winston-Salem and while I was driving, we just started to hear this horn ... and this horn just kept going off and going off. And I was sleeping in the back of the car and I when I turned to look, she was there driving in the car just staring at me. … And I remember I saw her and fear just came all over me. Eventually she pulled off. We were talking about [it] in the car the entire ride, like, 'How did she find us?' It wasn't a car that we normally use."
"Then when I got to NYC, I was in Harlem, you know, walking down the street. She popped out and grabbed my arm and did some type of twist to my arm, and I yanked my arm away from her. And when I got in the car to drive back to New York, I started to completely enter into a state of full demonic possession. When I got to Winston-Salem, I saw things in shades of red. I went over to the kitchen sink, I smashed dishes with my fists and got scars all over my hands from it."
"I tried to medicate myself, like most Americans. I went to a club and tried to get alcohol and drinks and smoke and do those kinds of things. And this gentleman stepped in and got in the way between me and this girl, he took her seat. When I asked him to get up, he didn't get up. I leaped on him and started to physically fight him with huge aggression, smashing his head on the floor. And then I went down — and this is nothing that I would do on my own. But I went down, bit a chunk of his skin — had blood pouring down my cheeks — and spit [the] meat out. The whole club kinda froze. And, believe it or not, I had a Jesus T-shirt on during the time that had blood poured all over it.
"I went out of there. My girlfriend was disgusted, the community was disgusted. Three women, just like the movie 'War Room,' stepped out and said, 'Could we pray for you?' And I said, 'Absolutely. You can pray for me.' I didn't know what they were doing. They said, 'Well come inside.'
"And when they prayed for me, it was like the power of God came totally all over my life. I felt the presence of God, I committed my heart to Jesus. It was full-on deliverance. That evil spirit, that presence, it took about an hour, they were praying. They understood what was going on with me. Over that hour they were praying, and when I got up that big desire to be a street god was gone and my desire was to serve Christ.
"And at that moment, I took all the crack out of my pocket, I threw it in the garbage. I said, 'I'll never deal crack again. I'll only sell marijuana because it's natural.' That was my thinking. I needed to be discipled, and I didn't understand the difference. I was like, 'Oh it grows, it's natural. Cocaine is processed, heroine is processed ... all these other drugs are processed, but marijuana grows natural and you can use it.'
"Until, thank God, an incredible youth pastor pulled me to the side after I bought this BMW, and he started to break down in Galatians chapter five. There's a word there for 'sorcery,' which is 'pharmakeia' which is the Greek word where we get pharmaceuticals. And he pointed out that anything that stimulates the mind, can open you. You can become a great candidate for demon possession.
"Then they discipled me, motivated me, taught me the Word and I just started to surrender all to Jesus. Left my girlfriend's house to live somewhere that wasn't comfortable so I could live a holy life, went to church almost everyday. I would look for services, outside of just the Sunday and Wednesday Bible study that we had, so I could grow. I had a hunger to grow. I went instantly into fasting and prayer without even being educated on it. I wanted Jesus so bad, and I'm glad he saved my life."