How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. Isaiah 14:12-15
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 1 Timothy 4:1-2
For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Matt 24:28
The Scripture does not argue the existence of God, nor does it argue the existence of satan. In both cases the existence of each is assumed, and it is the make-up of the person that is revealed. We know that our Father was from the beginning; we know satan showed up in the Garden and that satan was a liar from the beginning. It is up to us to abide on that higher rock called faith, for if we reason, we shall surely be deceived. Many of God’s children have already been deceived, believing that the child of God is immune from the enemy and his wiles. Scripture says otherwise, but again, many drop from faith down to reason, and attempt to reason satan away. There are none more open to deception than these—those who believe they cannot be deceived.
To deny the gospel accounts of satan and his schemes toward the human race, is to make one’s walk a walk of half truth. For if we conveniently deny the witness of Scripture in one area, we are open to water it down in other areas. The fruit of such a walk will have a worm in it at best.
*THE NAME OF JESUS—POWER OVER THE ENEMY
1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength.
8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and
Vs 4-And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
The fastening of the eyes let Peter see spiritually—he saw the spirit that was causing the lameness. How do we get this kind of power over the enemy?
16 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
To pray in the name of Jesus, is to ask anything according to His will, in His name, according to His word; “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do” ((Jn 14:13); compare (14:14; 15:16; 16:23)); “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask …. that your joy may be made full” (Jn 16:24), is not merely to add to our prayers (as is so often unthinkingly done): “we ask all in the name of Jesus,” or “through Jesus Christ our Lord,” etc., but to pray or ask as His representatives on earth, in His mission and stead, in His spirit and with His aim, according to what He is revealing; it implies union with Jesus and abiding in Him, and he in us. His name is used for everything which His name covers, everything the thought or feeling of which is aroused in the mind by mentioning, hearing, remembering, the name, that is, for His authority, interests, His will, His commands, His name is synonymous with His Person—it is He doing the asking through us, that the will of God be done on earth as it is in heaven; To see what His name is, we must examine His Person.
His meat is to do the will of Him that sent Him—not use His Father’s name to secure His own will. We must abide in Him and His word must abide in us—His word—His spoken word regarding the situation to which He has sent us. Same thing with the prayer of faith that saves the sick—we are not trying to muster enough faith to manipulate God and get Him to do what we want Him to; if Jesus gives the faith, then the healing takes place. Faith comes by hearing (Rhema—the spoken word of God); We all know those who have been healed, and many who have not in spite of the fact that multitudes are praying for the healing. So what is it to pray and ask in the name of Jesus?
Again, it is being crucified with Him—obedience—and letting Him transform us; it is being buried with Him in baptism—it is His literal resurrection in our mortal flesh, that He might minister through us the will of our Father.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matt 6:33
15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
We talked last week about the end of the wicked and how absolutely tragic and painful it would be; one fact of bringing the kingdom of God to people, will be the evidence of them rejecting it, mainly by believing that there is no way anyone can go to Hell (VS 15)
We discern the deception they are in, we discern their hearts, we tell them, and yet, they reject it, loving more the things of the flesh and this present life. But as we talk about discernment, understand that first and foremost, spiritual discernment is the knowledge of yourself; do your eyes really see? Do your ears really hear? Does your heart really understand?
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Jesus, he is none of his.
10 And if Jesus be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Jesus from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
These fleshy areas are where we need discernment and the fact that they abound in us, shows us that we are not spending enough time with Jesus and are not yielding to Him. I can make a resolution to let my yea be yea and my nay be nay, and before I know it, I will be speaking all sorts of evil; But if I am consistently communicating with Jesus, I can confess to Him the problem with my tongue and ask Him to grace me to yield to Him in controlling it. This leads to true discernment, which is nothing more that spiritual knowledge resulting from Jesus’ revelation to me in any given matter—the light that is discernment, lights up what is evil in others and in me—it is a solid understanding of the will of God at all times, in all places, in all things; it is an uncorrupted conscience—a heart that is so consumed by Jesus that its silent but prevalent knowledge is of its sinfulness, but its knowledge relating to the ministry is of the overpowering beauty of the Blood of Jesus to conquer and to cleanse; True discernment is found where Jesus has conquered heart, body, and speech. True Spiritual discernment will first tell me of myself and the sins that are trying to rule and reign—gluttony, greed, the honor of men, lust, pride, dejection and anger—all of these things pertain to self, and if my walk is about me and not about Jesus, then discernment will be null and void– These areas that remain outside the care of Jesus, will hinder and halt discernment.
Every demonic upheaval within us arises from three causes: carelessness, pride, or envy/covetousness; These things blow against the wind of the Spirit and will of God. We are the victims of demonic enticement when we let them praise us in our souls, deceiving us into believing that every aspect of our lives is under the control of Jesus. God’s formula is to grace us to discern the evil in ourselves and then take it to Jesus, continually. When this becomes our lifestyle, the Blood of Jesus paves the way for His Blood to cleanse our conscience and remove the corruption. Having identified the corruption within ourselves, and letting Jesus deal with it every day—this is part of picking up your cross daily–we then are more easily able to discern the enemy activity in the lives of others and lead them to Jesus to deal with it—if they are willing.
The enticement is overcome by our zeal for Jesus and the fear of what these sins do to us temporally and eternally; enticement is also overcome by our consistent obedience to Jesus, our self-examination and self abasement—-in short, we must never lose sight of from where we were before Jesus rescued us, and what it takes to complete the lifetime of rescue.
*ASK WHAT YE WILL-THE SECRET OF ABIDING IN JESUS
Romans 8: 13: for if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the flesh, ye shall live. Again something only Jesus can do.
So as we move, live and have our being in the Kingdom, the commands of Jesus should become our fruit, as He is the kingdom to us, and it is Jesus who is living and ministering through us. We have touched much on many of the aspects of the Kingdom—obedience, holiness, self-sacrifice, worship and more, and today we will talk about the foundation of the Kingdom, which is Jesus to be sure, but what we need to explore is the faithfulness of God who established the Kingdom in us by sacrificing His Son. With such a sacrifice, how could our Father not be faithful to those who are faithful to His Son—He who honors me, my Father will honor.
So, what is our first problem when we think of the faithfulness of God—what is the chief obstacle to the faithfulness of God in our lives.
Self—the first line enemy against obedience.
John 5: 41, 43-44
41 I receive not honor from men.
43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
44 How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?
I am come in my Father’s name, and you receive me not. If another shall come in his own name, him you will receive (VS 43). The would-be
disciple becomes false when he comes to himself in his own name, seeking to gratify his flesh by bearing witness of himself—publicizing his attributes in the name of Jesus, being deceived into thinking that those attributes will draw men to Jesus; such a man has fallen victim to the very hypocrisy Jesus warns about for while he claims with his talents to be attempting to draw men to Jesus, his heart is really looking for the honor of men, instead of the honor that comes from God (VS 44). Jesus says here that such men cannot believe for they seek the face and approval of men—they are men pleasers, not God pleasers, giving testimony of themselves while proclaiming Jesus, and Jesus Himself says they have been deceived and their witness is not true: If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true (Jn 5: 31); they have shunned He who is the Truth, and have bought into themselves. Jesus charges such men with pride and vain-glory, and unbelief (VS 44): This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. Matt 15:8. Hypocrisy. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (Gal 5:7-9)–pride. Men will be enticed to inject themselves into their ministry effort, and as the apostle explains here, a little, will go a long way—all the way; the whole lump will be full of pride and hypocrisy, if a little leaven is let in through compromise—-i.e. any hint of honoring self, will negate continual abiding, and thus negate the prayer that sees its fruit. Two things that hinder a man’s continual abiding in Jesus and seeing fruit in his ministry: pride, and hypocrisy.
The worship of self involves a heart of ambition that seeks the honor of men; Jesus despises such honor: I receive not honor from men (VS 41); It is the proud man’s heart to throw honor upon others only that it may rebound upon himself. Idolizing men
and their self-published talents and desiring to be idolized by them and their praises, are pieces of idolatry that are absolutely contrary to Jesus, who He is, and what He stands for. Men who harbor such desires are clothed in the garments the Pharisees left behind: If I honor myself, my honor is nothing (Jn 8: 54)
Obedience to Jesus, sacrifice of self
John 5: 44
How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?
The difficulty of truly believing, thus truly obeying, thus truly abiding, arises from ourselves and our own corruption; The seeking of the approval and honor of men is an absolute stumbling block to saving, believing, faith in Jesus, for such seeking is the meat that pride thrives on, and God opposes such; How can they believe who make the praise and applause of men their aim and their idol? When true persecution comes that shatters their image of their talents, most will flee Jesus to save man’s applause and perception of those talents.
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (Rom 6: 16). If we yield ourselves to ourselves, we have yielded to unrighteousness and have slipped into bondage to ourselves; if we lose ourselves in our total pursuit and obedience to Jesus, we have moved into the obedience that proves our righteousness is Jesus Himself for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage (2 Pet 2:19). Many proclaim and preach Jesus, while being in bondage to themselves.
All that lies at the door of your conscience must be taken captive by the Master. If I do not love Him, I am but a banging gong and a tinkling cymbal–and it is obedience that proves my love for Him—“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me……..” John 14:23;
What is abiding in Jesus; what is His word abiding in you?
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Abide– not to depart; a) to continue to be present; b) to be held, kept, continually c) in reference to a state or a condition: to remain as one, not to become another or different; 2) to wait for, to await one
Abide in Me, and I in You–John 15:4
When a new graft is placed in a vine and it abides there, there is a twofold process that takes place. The first is in the wood. The graft shoots its little roots and fibers down into the stem, and the stem grows up into the graft, and what has been called the structural union is effected. The graft abides and becomes one with the vine, and even though the vine were to die, would still be one wood with it. Then there is the second process, in which the sap of the vine enters the new structure, and uses it as a passage through which sap can flow up to show itself in young shoots and leaves and fruit. Here is the vital union. Into the graft which abides in the stock, the stock enters with sap to abide in it.
When Jesus says: “Abide in me, and I in you,” He points to something analogous to this. “Abide in me”: that refers more to that which we have to do. We have to trust and obey, to detach ourselves from all else, to reach out after Him and cling to Him, to sink ourselves into Him. As we do this, through the grace He gives, a character is formed, and a heart prepared for the fuller experience: “I in you,” God strengthens us with might by His Spirit in the inner man, and Jesus dwells in the heart by faith.
Many believers pray and long very earnestly for the filling of the Spirit and the indwelling of Jesus, and wonder that they do not make more progress. The reason is often this, the “I in you” cannot come because the “abide in me” is not maintained. “There is one body and one spirit”; before the Spirit can fill, there must be a body prepared. The graft must have grown into the stem, and be abiding in it before the sap can flow through to bring forth fruit. It is as in lowly obedience we follow Jesus, even in external things, denying ourselves, forsaking the world, and even in the body, seeking to be conformable to Him, as we thus seek to abide in Him, that we shall be able to receive the “I in you.” The work enjoined on us: “Abide in me,” will prepare us for the work undertaken by Him:
“I in you.” In--The two parts of the injunction have their unity in that central deep-meaning word “in.” There is no deeper word in Scripture. God is in all. God dwells in Jesus. Jesus lives in God. We are in Jesus. Jesus is in us: our life taken up into His; His life received into ours; in a divine reality that words cannot express, we are in Him and He in us. And the words, “Abide in me and I in you,” just tell us to believe it, this divine mystery, and to count upon our God the Husbandman, and Jesus the Vine, to make it divinely true. No thinking or teaching or praying can grasp it; it is a divine mystery of love. As little as we can effect the union can we understand it. Let us just look upon this infinite, divine, omnipotent Vine loving us, holding us, working in us. Let us in the faith of His working abide and rest in Him, ever turning heart and hope to Him alone. And let us count upon Him to fulfill in us the mystery: “Ye in me, and I in you.”
EXCEPT YE ABIDE
As the Branch Cannot Bear Fruit of Itself, Except It Abide In the Vine; No More Can Ye, Except Ye Abide in Me–John 15:4
We know the meaning of the word except. It expresses some indispensable condition, some inevitable law. “The branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine. No more can ye, except ye abide in me.” There is but one way for the branch to bear fruit, there is no other possibility, it must abide in unbroken communion with the vine. Not of itself, but only of the vine, does the fruit come. Jesus had already said: “Abide in me”; Jesus knows so well what a renunciation of self is implied in this: “Abide in me”; how strong and universal the tendency would be to seek to bear fruit by our own efforts; how difficult it would be to get us to believe that actual, continuous abiding in Him is an absolute necessity! He insists upon the truth: Not of itself can the branch bear fruit; except it abide, it cannot bear fruit. “No more can ye, except ye abide in me.”
If I am to be a true branch, if I am to bear fruit, if I am to be what Jesus as Vine wants me to be, my whole existence must be as exclusively devoted to abiding in Him, as that of the natural branch is to abiding in its vine. Abiding is to be an act of the will and the whole heart. Just as there are degrees in seeking and serving God, “not with a perfect heart,” or “with the whole heart,” so there may be degrees in abiding. In regeneration the divine life enters us, but does not all at once master and fill our whole being. This comes as matter of command and obedience. There is unspeakable danger of our not giving ourselves with our whole heart to abide. There is unspeakable danger of our giving ourselves to work for God, and to bear fruit, with but little of the true abiding, the wholehearted losing of ourselves in Jesus and His life. There is unspeakable danger of much work with but little fruit, for lack of this one thing needful. We must allow the words, “not of itself,” “except it abide,” to do their work of searching and exposing, of pruning and cleansing, all that there is of self-will and self-confidence in our life; this will deliver us from this great evil, and so prepare us for His teaching, giving the full meaning of the word in us: “Abide in me, and I in you.”
Jesus desires to call us away from ourselves and our own strength, to Himself and His strength. Let us accept the warning, and turn with great fear and self-distrust to Him to do His work. “Our life is hid with Jesus in God!” That life is a heavenly mystery, hid from the wise even among disciples, and revealed unto babes. The childlike spirit learns that life is given from Heaven every day and every moment to the soul that accepts the teaching: “not of itself,” “except it abide,” and seeks its all in the Vine. Abiding in the Vine then comes to be nothing more nor less than the restful surrender of the soul to let Jesus have all and work all, as completely as in nature the branch knows and seeks nothing but the vine.
IF YE ABIDE
If Ye Abide in Me, and My Words, Abide in You, Ask Whatsoever Ye Will, and it Shall be Done Unto You–John 15:7
If ye abide—Here is the difference between the branch of the natural and the branch of the spiritual Vine. The former abides by force of nature: the latter abides, not by force of will, but by Jesus’ power given to the consent of the will. Such is the wonderful provision God has made that, what the power of nature does in the one case, the power of grace will do in the other. The branch can abide in the Vine.
If ye abide in me…ask whatsoever ye will—If we are to live a true prayer life, with the love and the power and the experience of Jesus marking it, there must be no question about the abiding. And if we abide, there need be no question about the liberty of asking what we will, and the certainty of its being done. There is the one condition: “If ye abide in me.” There must be no hesitation about the possibility or the certainty of it. We must gaze on the Vine and the Husbandman until we have been graced to see only them—this is the secret of continual abiding.
Be wholly occupied with Jesus. Sink the roots of your being in faith and love and obedience deep down into Him. Come away out of every other place to abide at His feet in worship, getting filled by Him, going out and ministering Him at His direction.. Give up everything for the inconceivable privilege of being a branch on earth of the glorified Son of God in Heaven. Let Jesus be first. Let Jesus be all. Do not be occupied with the abiding–be occupied with Jesus. He will hold you, He will keep you abiding in Him. He will abide in you.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you–This He gives as the equivalent of the other expression: “I in you. If my word abides in you”–that is, not only in meditation, in memory, in love, in faith–all these words enter into your will, your being, and constitute your life–if they transform you into His likeness, and you become filled with Him, then ye shall ask what ye will; it shall be done unto you. Your words to God in prayer will be the fruit of your intimacy with Jesus and His words living in you.
Ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you-. Set yourself to be an intercessor for men; a fruit-bearing intercessor, ever calling down more blessing in the way of saving lost souls, and healing and delivering them. The power to do it is found in the abiding at the feet of Jesus in worship, filling, and ministry. It is this process that keeps the abiding in Jesus and His words in us, continual.
WHATSOEVER YE WILL
If Ye Abide in Me, and My Words Abide in You, Ask Whatsoever Ye Will, and it Shall be Done Unto You—John 15:7
The Whole place of the branch in the vine is one of unceasing prayer.
it is ever calling: “O my vine, send the sap I need to bear Thy fruit.” And its prayers are never unanswered: it asks what it needs, what it will, and it is done. The healthy life of the believer in Jesus is equally one of unceasing prayer. Consciously or unconsciously, he lives in continual dependence. The Word of his Lord, “You can do nothing,” has taught him that not more unbroken than the continuance of the branch in the vine, must be his asking and receiving. The promise of our text gives us infinite boldness: “Ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
The promise is given in direct connection with fruit-bearing. Limit it to yourself and your own needs, and you rob it of its power; you rob yourself of the power of appropriating it. Jesus was sending these disciples out, and they were ready to give their lives for the world; to them He gave the disposal of the treasures of Heaven. Their prayers would bring the Spirit and the power they needed for their work.
The promise is given in direct connection with the coming of the Spirit. The Spirit is not mentioned in the parable, just as little as the sap of the vine is mentioned. But both are meant all through. In the chapter preceding the parable, our Lord had spoken of the Holy Spirit, in connection with their inner life, being in them, and revealing Himself within them (14:15-23). In the next chapter He speaks of the Holy Spirit in connection with their work, coming to them, convincing the world, and glorifying Him (16:7-14). To avail ourselves of the unlimited prayer commands, we must be men who are filled with the Spirit, and wholly given up to the work and glory of Jesus. The Spirit will lead us into the truth of its meaning and the certainty of its fulfillment.
Let us realize that we can only fulfill our calling to bear much fruit, by giving ourselves to prayer and ministry of the word. In Jesus are hid all the treasures men around us need; But it needs prayer, much prayer, strong believing prayer, to bring these blessings down. And let us equally remember that we cannot appropriate Jesus to men, without a life given up for men. Many try to take the promise, and then look around for what they can ask. This is not the way; but the very opposite. Get the heart burdened with the needs of souls, and the command to save them, and the power will come to carry out the command.
Jesus tells us that if we ask in His name, in virtue of our union with Him, whatsoever it be, it will be done to us. Souls are perishing because there are too many ready to claim Jesus, but not ready to count the cost of apprehending Him. God’s children are feeble because there is too little heart and too much lip, for Jesus. We bear so little fruit because there is so little in the way of relationship with Him. The faith His commands would make us strong to seek Him with our whole hearts; let us not rest till it has entered into our very heart, and drawn us in the power of Jesus to continue and labor and be persistently at His feet, until He carries out His commands through us, in His power. To be a branch means not only bearing fruit on earth, but power in prayer to bring free the captives and bring them to He who is our Liberty. Abiding fully means a life that never leaves the feet of Jesus—in its going out and its coming in.
When we truthfully abide in Him and He in us, what we ask will be according to His will. We know that above everything, Jesus came to die that men might be saved. If we abide and He abides, our intercession will be His intercession, and men will be saved—whether they’re on a deathbed, or a crack house bed—He will save if we are abiding when we ask.
*THE SECRET OF THE LORD ABIDING IN US
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. John 14:21.—make our abode with him—we will come into him and abide in him and with him, and he in us; as a result our word will abide in him and he shall ask what he will and it shall be done for him. Why? Because the grace to keep the commandments of Jesus comes from our intimacy with Him—again, it is a heart of absolute surrender to Him, willing to obey Him at any turn; in this union the intercession of the heavenly sanctuary—namely the intercession of Jesus, becomes the intercession of the disciple, and the prayers are straight from the throne room and they are answered according to what is sought. All that is sought is the salvation of men, and to this end, the Blood of Jesus which sits at the right hand of our Father, becomes the intercessing Agent of the disciple. Notice here that Jesus did not say whoever believes on Him and His name shall have what they ask. This is where the church has been sold a bill of goods. People give a luke warm reception to Jesus and expect anything they want in return. We find here that the secret of He abiding—taking up residence in us and through us continually, is a heart of obedience—obedience is the link between believing and salvation and the link between salvation and abiding.
Again, obedience is not perfection, it is consistent trying out of love for Him. It is in our trying, succeeding, and failing that grace abounds and aids; The purest desires to do good are not with fruit but by obedience. Any desire not surrendered to Jesus detracts from the peace, presence and Person of Jesus in our lives, and gives the enemy an opening to harass; It is not faith in His work, but faith in Him and His Blood that saves, delivers, heals, and sustains peace and obedience. The salvation of the creature is the Creator Himself, working and flowing through the creature; If we choose discipleship, Jesus will open everything to us that we need to believe –we shall know the Truth of everything we need to understand, and the Truth will then set us free, and we shall be free indeed—free to obey Him.
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
Now that we have established the abiding, we must identify the calling of the abiding, which is bearing fruit, in short, intercession. If the word of Jesus abides in us and we abide in Him, our lives will become lives of sacrifice and intercession:
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. Jn 15: 8
The meaning of the word is determined by its use in (1 Tim 2:1), “I exhort, therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made for all and men”; where the different kinds of prayers appear to be distinguished.
Whom we are to intercede for, and how this duty is to be performed, comes next to be considered.
1. And first, our intercession must be Universal. “I will, (says the apostle) that prayers, supplications and intercessions be made for all men.” For as God’s mercy is over all his works, as Jesus died to redeem a people out of all nations and languages; so we should pray, that “all men may come to the knowledge of the truth, and be saved.” Pray that all those nations and individuals, who now sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, may have the glorious gospel shine out upon them, as well as upon us. But you need not that any man should teach you this, since ye yourselves are taught of God, and of Jesus Himself, to pray, that His kingdom may come; part of the meaning of which petition is, that “God’s ways may be known upon earth as they are in heaven, and his saving health among all nations.”
2. Next to the praying for all men, we should, according to Paul, pray for Kings—those in authority over government;
3. Thirdly, we ought, in a more special manner, to pray for those, whom “the Holy Ghost hath made Overseers over you.” This is what Paul begs, again and again, of the churches to whom he writes: “Brethren, pray for us;” and again, in Ephesians, “praying always, with all manner of supplication; and for me also, that I may open my mouth boldly, to declare the mystery of the gospel.” And to express his earnestness in this request, and the great importance of their prayers for him, he bids the church “strive, (or, as the original word signifies, be in a agony) together with him in their prayers.” And surely, Paul, a chosen vessel, needed the most importunate prayers of his Christian converts; much more do all ministers of the gospel stand in need of the intercession of their respective flocks.
There is no doubt, much good is frequently withheld from many, by reason of their neglecting to pray for their ministers, and which they would have received, had they prayed for them as they ought. Not to mention, that people often complain of the want of diligent and faithful pastors. But how do they deserve good pastors, who will not earnestly pray to God for such? If we will not pray to the Lord of the harvest, can it be expected he will send forth uncompromising laborers into His harvest?
4. Next to our ministers, Our Friends claim a place in our intercessions; but then we should not content ourselves with praying in general terms for them, but suit our prayers to their particular circumstances, relating to Jesus; When Miriam was afflicted with a leprosy from God, Moses cried and said, “Lord, heal her.” And when the nobleman came to apply to Jesus on behalf of his child, he said, “Lord, my little daughter lieth at the point of death, I pray thee to come and heal her.” In like manner, when our friends are under any afflicting circumstances, we should endeavor to pray for them, with a particular regard to those circumstances, particularly salvation. We should lay his case before God, as Moses did that of the daughters of Zelophehad, and pray, that God, by His Spirit through His Son, may lead him into all truth, and give all seasonable direction. Is he in want? We should pray, that his faith may never fail, and that in God’s due time he may be relieved. And in all other cases, we should not pray for our friends only in generals, but suit our petitions to their particular sufferings and afflictions;
5. As we ought thus to intercede for our friends, so in like manner must we also pray for Our Enemies. “Bless them that curse you, (says Jesus) and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Which commands He enforced in the strongest manner by his own example: in the very agonies and pangs of death, he prayed even for his murderers, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” This, it must needs be confessed, is a difficult duty, yet not impracticable, to those who have renounced the things of this present life, (from an inordinate love of which all enmities arise) and who knowing the terrible woes denounced against those who refuse Jesus, can, out of real pity, and a sense of their danger, pray for those by whom such offenses come.
6. Lastly, we should intercede for all that are any ways afflicted in mind, body, or estate; for all who desire, and stand in need of our prayers, and for all who do not pray for themselves.
Intercessions of Moses: Moses spent much of his life asking God to exercise mercy instead of judgment over his constantly sinning people; For instance, after the Israelites rebelled against the Lord and refused to go into Canaan, God told Moses that He would destroy them and make a greater nation of Moses: Numbers 14: 1-2;Moses then took the matter to the Lord in prayer and pleaded for them—Numbers 14: 13-19—After Moses had interceded for the people, God said “I have pardoned according to thy word”—vs 20;
Intercession in the Gospels: In the New Testament, all prayer necessarily takes a new form from its relation to Our Lord, and in this intercessory prayer He authors and shares. At the outset, Jesus teaches prayer on behalf of those “which despitefully use you” ((Mt 5:44). We breathe a new atmosphere of the higher revelation of love—Jesus requires us to intercede for our enemies; “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” and the fact that the word says He ever lives to make intercession, tells us that He wants His servants to move into a lifestyle of standing in the gap. We talked earlier about us abiding in Jesus and His word abiding in us, and thus having what we ask. As we intercede for dying and living souls, we must understand that we are joining Jesus in His intercession for them, for that is what He does now in the heavenly sanctuary. We know it is the will of God that none should perish, and when we ask Him for a man’s salvation, we know we ask according to His will, and thus we, abiding in Jesus and His word abiding in us, know we have that man’s salvation. Our Father knows what the man needs before we ask, so we avoid vain repetition, and we ask, and we know our request for salvation has been granted; and it is the Blood of Jesus, the Blood that came to save not condemn, that sits at the right hand of the majesty on high; our Father is ever aware of that Blood and the power it is toward His children; it is through the Blood of Jesus that effective intercession is undertaken and made for the salvation of men.
We have said the Holy Spirit never works apart from the Blood of Jesus—He is ever working through it and in it in the hearts of disciples to bring Jesus to them that need Him as their Spiritual Physician; Jesus lives to continually make intercession. Do you think He made intercession for you? Yes he did, and you are saved; Do you think He is making intercession for other lost souls as He did for yours? Yes He is. Will our Father save them? Yes He will—He saved you didn’t He? We, like Moses, ask God to remove judgment from a soul, and that He grant that soul the gift of repentance; He will—we may not live to see it, but it will happen. Pray for 20 years if you want, but unless that prayer’s fervency is birthed in the heavenly sanctuary, it will not avail much; People pray and beat the throneroom floor for much, including the salvation of loved ones; Can we possibly believe that it is this vain repetition that moves the hand of God to save? He knows what we, and those whom we pray for, need, before we ask Him; the fervent prayer of a righteous man avails not because of its frequency, but because the Lord our Righteousness is authoring the prayer—there is no fervency apart from holy fervency—birthed by Jesus, carried out by His Spirit. Sometimes with groanings and utterings that cannot be understood—the scripture says much about travail, but again, if the travail is not authored by Jesus and carried out by His Spirit, it is not biblical travail and it is travail to no avail.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
This is a walking in travail, becoming so focused on Jesus, that the heart lives in sorrow and intense longing for the return of Jesus, and the justification of His Blood by the saving of souls:
21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
It is the resurrection of Jesus in us that keeps us in a Spirit of travail, as it were; The fact that He says that nothing in His name shall be refused us, is evidence of us entering into union with Him, and the prayer of the heavenly sanctuary coming from Him, comes, by His Spirit into us and through us, and is answered by our Father; for this to happen, all the teachings of Jesus regarding discipleship have to be heart-accepted and moved into heart ministry—-the fruit of the intercession will be equal to the price paid for it; History’s Heaviest Price was paid to pave the way for it, and to birth it, and author it in the children of God. It is the all forsaking disciple that comes to the revelation that all Jesus teaches, is held together in the Spirit of self sacrifice which animated Him to Calvary, and in turn, animates us to be crucified with Him.
The most selfless intercession of all; He petitioned God on behalf of those who crucified Him (Luke 23:34).—is He still doing it?
But Jesus’ intercessory work did not cease when He returned to heaven. In heaven He intercedes for His church (Heb. 7:25). His Holy Spirit pleads on behalf of the individual disciple (Rom. 8:26-27). Finally, because of their unique relationship to God through Jesus, disciples are urged to intercede for all people (1 Tim. 2:1).
Principles of Intercession
Jesus, through the Holy Spirit must be the Author of intercession: Rms 8: 28-29–we don’t know what to pray for–we must be led by the Spirit, who will lead us to pray the will of the Lord.
The intercession is a battle between the Lord and the enemy, and the battle is the Lord’s; we are merely vessels in the battle, but are instructed to be prepared at all times for the battle–intercession is war: Eph. 6: 10-18; 2 Tim. 2: 1-5, 1 Tim. 6: 12.
This is not a “name it and claim it” game; witness Daniel as he prayed through for fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning the release of the Jews from Babylon; even though his prayer was heard immediately, the angel had to fight the enemy for three weeks to get to him; Daniel had to set himself with sackcloth, ashes, and fasting. Daniel identified himself with the sins of the people–an intercessor will, many times, be put in the place of the people or person he is praying for; (See also Ezra 9 and Nehemiah 1).
The Holy Spirit alone knows the route to take to apply the cross and oust the enemy from the situation; At the direction of Jesus, He guides and performs the entire operation through the servant of the Lord.
We see in the prophets such as Ezekiel, that once the Lord has called one into intercession, it must be carried out to the end, no matter what the cost. Again, the impact of the intercession will be equal to the price paid for it. The Holy Spirit may lead the intercessor into the agony of the person being interceded for. The will of God must be ascertained in each individual case–Jn. 5: 30. The Lord will bear witness when the victory has been achieved; it is then time to step up the praise and worship, which should have been an integral part of the ongoing intercession. Any work of God will be assaulted from inside and out, and perseverance and faith must be sought of the Lord to continue until His will is achieved. Remember, there will be times when the victory has been obtained, but the world and the church will not know it. In fact, in their temporal eyes, it may even appear that all was lost. The intercessor, knowing the truth, submits it all to God in the face of unbelief and doubt that surrounds him. Once the victory is obtained, it must be surrendered to God–no flesh shall glory–victories go immediately to the altar, as does the intercessor.
The path of intercession runs through the cross–true intercession is laying down one’s life–becoming essentially, a living martyr. Intimacy with the Lord is essential, as it is He who will keep the intercessor going, and unite the intercessor with the prayer going on in the heavenly sanctuary. Death works in the intercessor (2 Cor. 1: 9, 4: 12), that “Life” might be found for the situation or person being interceded for. All this is done by the Holy Spirit. If we are not willing, we must be open to being made willing. If not, we are not intercessors. Total commitment to the will of God is essential, as is separation from all that is contrary. Union with the Lord must be wholly entered into. True intercessors are called by God, and many are called, but few are chosen for obvious reasons.
Jesus is the ultimate example. He was numbered with the transgressors, bare the sins of many, interceded for the transgressors, poured out His soul unto death, and tasted death for every man. The pray of the intercessor is effective when he gives his life for the situation or person.
To move into the role of intercession when called, the principles of discipleship apply: one’s life must be laid down completely, and all must be counted as dung that Jesus be won. Unless a corn of wheat dies it shall produce no fruit. Jesus was a victim–so us. The power of intercession is equal to the power that works crucifixion in the intercessor–Gal. 2:20. God will have at least a two-fold purpose in the call of the intercessor–to bless the needy, and to transform the intercessor. We must remember that the Holy Spirit will not bind the strong man on a higher level than He has first had victory in us. An intercessor is bound to obtain the objective, and once he has been commissioned by God, he must persevere until the objective is obtained. He must be willing to have the answer to his intercession come through himself.
29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.
30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.
There was no one to plead “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” In order to be a fruitful intercessor, we must get a revelation of the faithfulness of our Father and what the Blood of Jesus means to Him in reference to the souls of men.
Intercession for enemies.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Be ye perfect—-be ye of the disposition of Jesus—the disposition of “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”—was that prayer answered, of did God ignore the plea of His dying Son? How glorious is the plea of Stephen for his murderers (Acts 7:60)?As they were stoning him to death, Stephen pleaded with God to “not lay this sin to their charge”—was it answered? Acts 6: 8 tells us Stephen was full of faith and power and did great wonders and miracles among the people—we read that and think it is evidence that Stephen abode in Jesus and the word of Jesus abided in him, which it did; the real evidence of his abiding was not the miracles, but the “lay not this sin to their charge”—there is where the wonder and gift of faith kicked in and there was the evidence of his abiding in Jesus and the word of Jesus coming forth from him—to ask for the salvation of the enemies of God, particularly when they are persecuting you or stoning you, is the highest order of evidence that Jesus is in you as is His word. Paul tells us in first timothy two that intercession is to be made for all men;
Jesus’ intercessory prayer is the highest example and pattern of this form of prayer. His intercessions for His disciples, for His crucifiers, are recorded, and the sacred record rises to the supreme height in the prayer of (Jn 17). In this prayer the following characteristics are to be found:
(1) It is based upon the intimate relation of Jesus to the Father. This gives to such prayer its justification; may it be said, its right. (it is our relationship to Jesus that gives birth to such prayer) (2) It follows the complete fulfillment of His duty. It is not the mere expression of desire, even for others. It is the crown of effort on their behalf. He has revealed God to His disciples—we reveal Jesus and He reveals our Father, to ours; He has given to them God’s word—we give them the words of God; therefore He prays for them (Jn 17:6-7-9), through His servants.
John 17:2 Jesus says He has been given power over all flesh—that includes flesh that is in a coma and dying; and when He sends His servants to the deathbed, He is sending them to save.
‘An holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.’—I Peter 2: 5.
A priest is thus a man who does not at all live for himself—Peter tells us the church is a kingdom of priests. His or her work is as God’s servant to care for His house, His honor, and His worship, to make known to men His salvation through Jesus Christ. He lives with men and for men (Heb. 5: 2). The disciple’s work is to find out their sin and need, and to bring it before God, to offer sacrifice and incense in their name, to obtain forgiveness for them by bringing them into intimacy with Jesus. This is the high calling of every disciple.
We have been redeemed to be in the midst of the perishing millions around us, God’s priests, who in conformity to Jesus, the Great High Priest, are to be the ministers and stewards of the grace of God by ministering Jesus, to all around us, bringing Him to them, and them to Him..
And then there is the walk of the priesthood, in harmony with its work. As God is holy, so the priest was to be especially holy. This means not only separated from everything unclean, but holy unto God, being set apart and given up to God for His disposal.
All this is the emblem of what the character of the New Testament priest is to be. Our priestly power with God depends on our personal life and walk with Jesus. We must be of them of whose walk on earth Jesus says, ‘They have not defiled their garments.’
In the surrender of what may appear lawful to others in our separation from the world, we must prove that our consecration to be holy to the Lord is whole-hearted and entire. The bodily perfection of the priest must have its counterpart in our being ‘without spot or blemish;’ ‘the man of God perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works,’ ‘perfect and entire, wanting nothing’ (Lev. 21: 17-21; Eph. 5: 27; James 1: 4). And above all, we consent to give up all inheritance on earth; to forsake all, and like Jesus, to have only God as our portion: to possess as not possessing, and hold all for God alone: it is this that marks the true priest, the man who only lives unto Jesus and the will of God.
And now the way to the priesthood. In Aaron God had chosen all his sons to be priests: each of them was a priest by birth. And yet he could not enter upon his work without a special act of ordinance—his consecration. Every child of God is priest in light of his birth, his blood relationship to the Great High Priest; but this is not enough: he will exercise the power of God, only as he accepts and realizes his consecration.
And so, when the disciple, who had been content to think chiefly of the Blood sprinkled on the mercy-seat as what he needs for pardon, is led to seek full priestly access to God, he feels the need of a fuller and more abiding experience of the power of Jesus’ Blood, as really sprinkling and cleansing the heart from an evil conscience, so that he has ‘no more conscience of sin’ (Heb. x. 2) as cleansing from all sin. And it is as he gets to experience this, that the consciousness is awakened of his wonderful right of most intimate access to God, and of the full assurance that his intercessions for the souls of men are acceptable, birthed by Jesus according to the will of God, through the Blood of Jesus, and are thus answered.
And as the Blood of Jesus gives the right, the Spirit of Jesus gives the power, and fits for believing intercession. He breathes into us the priestly Spirit—burning love for God’s honor and the saving of souls. He makes us so one with Jesus that prayer in His Name is a reality. He strengthens us to believing, importunate prayer. The more the disciple is truly filled with Jesus, the more spontaneous will be his giving himself up to the life of priestly intercession by the Spirit of Jesus. Our Father is seeking priests who can draw near to Him in Spirit and in Truth, who live in obedience and Lordship to Jesus, and by their intercession draw down His grace and mercy on others. And the world needs, greatly needs, priests who will bear the burden of the perishing ones, and intercede on their behalf.
Are you willing to offer yourself for this holy work? You know the surrender it demands—nothing less than the forsaking of all, complete and absolute dedication and obedience to Jesus, that the saving purposes of God’s love may be accomplished among men. Be no longer of those who are content if they have salvation, and just do work enough to keep themselves alive in the body. Let nothing keep you back from giving yourself to be wholly and only priests—nothing else, nothing less than the priests of the Most High God. The thought of unworthiness, of unfitness, need not keep you back. In the Blood of Jesus, the objective power of the perfect redemption works in you: in the Spirit of Jesus its full subjective personal experience for men to whom you are called, is worked through you, their salvation secured. The Blood of Jesus and your intimacy with it and abiding in it, provides an infinite worthiness to make His prayer avail in you– heard, and honored, and answered favorably for the souls of men—and in this ye will bear much fruit and our Lord will receive much glory: His Spirit provides a Jesus-centered, Jesus-focused fitness, teaching you to pray just according to the will of God. Every priest knew that when he presented a sacrifice according to the law of the sanctuary, it was accepted: under the covering of Jesus’ Blood and His Spirit you have the assurance that all the wonderful commands of prayer in the Name of Jesus will be fulfilled in you.
Abiding in union with the Great High Priest, ‘you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.’ Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. 1Thes 5:24
1 Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and pourtray upon it the city, even Jerusalem:
2 And lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mount against it; set the camp also against it, and set battering rams against it round about.
3 Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city: and set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel.
4 Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity.
5 For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.
6 And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.
7 Therefore thou shalt set thy face toward the siege of Jerusalem, and thine arm shall be uncovered, and thou shalt prophesy against it.
8 And, behold, I will lay bands upon thee, and thou shalt not turn thee from one side to another, till thou hast ended the days of thy siege.
2 At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.
3 And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;
4 So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.
5 And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
This scripture literally means they were aware that the Jesus they had killed was still with Peter and John. They had been with Jesus and He was still with them, because they were still with Him—we shall give ourselves to prayer and ministry of the word. This prayer is a coming apart with Jesus, regularly, getting intimate enough with Him, that He becomes your All in All. These men were called to separate themselves from all duty but duty to Jesus—the faith is given for them to make for themselves freer hands and more ample time for being alone with Jesus and then ministering what He gives them. This is the apostolic calling. This is their chief business– “the ministry of reconciliation.” The apostolic Church approves itself. The apostles firmly resisted the temptation to lose themselves in a Martha-service– “caring about many things,” and to become engrossed in it—these men did it for nothing—there were no wages—Jesus was counted on to provide everything they needed to live and carry out their duty. Many want to do it, but cannot if they are not called.
Why does His name lack His power with so many Christians?
23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
Again it is His Person through us that heals, casts out demons, and saves. And there is a price to be paid for this power—and that price is everything, including your religion and your theology
*POWER OVER THE ENEMY
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name—eternal life is to know Him—John 17:3—which means to experience Him, to be intimate with Him—this is the meaning of His name in the life of a believer. My sheep hear my voice—remember, sheep in scripture, are sacrificial animals—it is the life of sacrifice to Jesus unto the will of God, that allows his voice to be heard and thus gives His name its power in that life of sacrifice—that I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; Phil 3:10—His resurrection in our mortal flesh will be proportionate to the power of His name in our ministry.
19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. Jesus here then is speaking to disciples—-forsaking all, picking up your cross daily, loving none more than you love Him, spending your life at His feet; power to tread on serpents and scorpions, devils and malignant spirits, the old serpent: “You shall bruise their heads in my name,” according to the first promise, (Gen. 3:15). You shall tread upon all the power of the enemy, and the kingdom of the Messiah shall be every where set up upon the ruins of the devil’s kingdom. “Nothing shall by any means hurt you—this promise is given in the sense of the eternal, for we know that at least ten of the original twelve, and Paul, were martyred. No power is given to anything or anyone, including scorpions and serpents—demons–except is come from Jesus– And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Matt 28:18
” You may play upon the hole of the asp, for death itself shall not hurt nor destroy,” (Isa. 11:8,19; 25:8). Interesting that most of the disciples Jesus addresses here ended up with their heads cut off or hanging from crosses—nothing shall by any means harm you—that is, eternally.
Vs 20–“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you. that they have been so, and shall be still so. Do not rejoice in this merely as it is the confirmation of your mission. Do not rejoice in this only, or in this chiefly, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven, because you are chosen of God to eternal life, and are the children of God through faith. Jesus, who knows the counsels of God, could tell them that their names were written in heaven, for it is the Lamb’s book of life that they are written in. All disciples of Jesus are through grace, entitled to the inheritance of sons, and have received the adoption of sons, and the Spirit of adoption, which is the earnest of that inheritance and so are enrolled among his family; now this is matter of joy, greater joy than casting out devils. Power to become the children of God is to be valued more than a power to work miracles; for we read of those who did in Jesus’ name cast out devils, as Judas did, and yet will be disowned by Jesus on the great day. But they whose names are written in heaven shall never perish; they are Jesus’ sheep, to whom He will give eternal life. Saving graces are more to be rejoiced in than spiritual gifts; holy love is a more excellent way than speaking with tongues. In this deep, legitimate, joy, men and women of all callings, who in heart-obedience follow the Master, in every age, may share.
*SATAN AT WORK IN THE LIVES OF BELIEVERS
The Scriptures offer abundant evidence of satan at work in the lives of believers. Peter, after making his God-given confession that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the Living God (Mt. 16.13-20), was given the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven by the Lord. It was but a short time later that Jesus used the same words with Peter that He had used with the devil himself (Lk. 4: 8)-”Get thee behind me Satan”–This after Peter rebuked the Lord and tried to divert Him from His appointed mission. The disciples often upset the Lord, yet this was the most stern rebuke any of them received at any time. There was no build-up, no compromising by Jesus-He spared not Peter’s feelings nor did He take the time to patiently correct Him. His answer was sudden and swift–”thou art an offense to me.” This reprimand coming not long after the “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona.” Right after Peter had received direct revelation from God as to who Jesus is, he fell victim to satan. That pattern is rampant among God’s people today. After great blessing, comes great temptation, and we need to see it coming.
We see here Peter, the staunchest of believers, unaware of the wiles of the devil, ignorant of the enemy’s devices, giving in to temptation. This episode teaches volumes, but it would tell us that we must discern the voice and urgings of the enemy, even in times when we are close to the Lord and His presence and power are most evident–we must not only give heed to who is speaking, but also, what is being spoken. The episode shows us the voice of the enemy can come from those who are closest to us, and, most times it is what is being spoken that will tell us who is speaking. For God speaks once, yea twice, yet man does not perceive it; In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then God opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction, that he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.
Peter, in his pride and presumption, is rebuked here by Jesus, seemingly, far more severely than he was for denying Him (yet another time when we see evil spirits at work). The Lord here is not calling Peter satan, but is addressing the spirit that is on him and moving him to speak. This spirit would have deterred the Master from the Cross, plunging all of mankind into the depths of eternal damnation. Mark 8: 33 tells us that Jesus turned and looked on the other disciples after Peter had muttered his mistake. This would appear to be evidence that He may have perceived the same or a similar spirit on them all. This may be the same spirit that prompted Peter to cut off the ear of the soldier taking the Lord (Jn. 18: 10)–again, trying to divert the Lord from His appointed round with the Cross.
In rebuking James and John when they wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume the Samaritans, Jesus told them–”ye know not what spirit ye are of”–Lk. 9: 5-56. Obviously, spirits of violence and revenge, and others, were at work here, and again, the Lord addresses the spirit on the disciples. In John 6: 48-66, many disciples of Jesus went back and walked no more with Him, the Lord telling them–”some of you believe not”–who is it that blinds man to belief? more spirits at work here…….
The spirit of pride is seen on the disciples just before the great Supper, as they argue who among them is the greatest. (Lk. 22: 24)
We see the spirits of pride and ambition on James and John as they seek to sit at the right and left hand of Jesus in glory. (Mk. 10: 35-40) Judas was picked by Jesus; he healed the sick and cast out devils in Jesus’ name, but yet satan entered him when he gave way to the enticement of greed.
”And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” Luke 13:16–this woman was a daughter of Abraham–a believer–under covenant with God, yet satan had bound her 18 years.
Satan hinders Paul–1 Thes. 2: 18— when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came also, and stirred up the people. And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still–all this happened during an earlier trip–satan again working through men hindered Paul–we see Paul’s gift of discernment in operation here for it was earlier the Holy Ghost (Acts 14: 6-7) that hindered his missionary agenda; this time, God allows satan to hinder it.
Paul’s thorn was from an angel of satan, but permission was given through the hand of God–2 Cor. 12; Here God again uses satan as the agent in dealing with one of his children; it is in Paul’s infirmity that he finds the glory of Jesus—-he seeks God for healing, but there is no healing; instead, we have some of the most uplifting words from the Lord Jesus in all of Scripture– ”My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” —how many times do we reach for the phone and the prayer chain when infirmity strikes? and if God doesn’t heal, the poor victim is taken through the whole of his corruption to find the “open door,” because as the health and wealth seducers preach–there is no reason for any disciple to be infirm or sick. Again, many want to move in God’s power, but are deceived in not wanting to pay the price: Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Jesus may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Cor. 12: 9 ). I am not saying we shouldn’t seek God for healing—I am saying it is our inheritance by the Blood of Jesus to freely seek our Father and His will and have that glorious will be done in our lives, whether it be to heal or to pass one from this life to the next. The Blood of Jesus gives us access to the throne and feet of our Father. It does not automatically inject anything into our lives, including healing. What it did do, was allow us to seek the Kingdom of God and His will and His righteousness, and to let Him do of His will and good pleasure from there—we don’t seek healing first, we seek the Healer and His will, and then, by grace, healing may be added unto us……it may not. Again, faith is not mustering enough belief to get God to carry out our will. God’s word says many different things, and I can pluck a verse out of the air and apply it to my situation, but unless God applies it to my situation, my situation will not change–Faith comes by hearing God speak; Jesus authors the faith, and God’s will is then done. All this does not keep me from asking, and this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us: And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1 Jn. 5: 14-15).
Many have fallen victim to the doctrine of devils contrived to “show us what we’ve won” as a result of the Master’s sacrifice. Such an attitude is an offense to the cross and to He who hung on it.
Other examples of satan slipping in on New Testament believers include: Satan getting to the heart of Ananias: But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Acts 5:3.
Hymenaeus and Alexander delivered unto satan because of their blasphemy–1 Tim 1: 19-20; Some Disciples taken captive by satan at his will–2 Tim. 2: 23-26— Pride lifts into the snare of the devil: 2 Tim. 3: 1-7. Demas, a right hand worker of Paul, left him, loving the things of the world more–2 Tim. 4:10. He was enticed by the enemy and drawn away of his own lust. Some Disciples will leave the faith giving way to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils: 1 Tim. 4: 1-2–more on this specific problem later. Some are already turned aside after Satan: 1 Tim. 5: 15; An incestuous Disciple has his flesh delivered unto satan that his spirit might be saved –1 Cor. 5: 1-5; note: – demons have access to a disciple’s flesh, but not his spirit; they get in when we give way to temptation- every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. When lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death–this death is satan personified. The biggest deception here is that all that has to be violated is the intent of doing the sin, not the actual commission of the sin; for example, Jesus says that when a man looks on a woman to lust after her he has committed adultery with her–notice he does not have to physically commit the act to be guilty of the commission of it. Satan continually gets Disciples to believe that “if they haven’t done it, they are not guilty of it’–Jesus says otherwise, and when intent of the heart becomes impure by fantasy and imagination, whether it be pride, sex, covetousness or anything else contrary to God, and remains unconfessed without penitence, the enemy (death–metaphorically, the invasion of darkness) gets in. Look around you and you will see that many among us have stumbled and have fallen, and are broken, and have been snared, and have been taken. The word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken, sifted as wheat………..and now must, to the glory of God, be set free; their eyes opened, turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in us.
“Before I was afflicted, I went astray”–Psalm 119: 67.
satan has brought great deception on the church today, and we will not argue here, nor will we strive to debate various sensitive issues about his existence or impact. We are not here to give glory to evil, but to recognize it for what it is. We work as we always work—according to the word and will of God and how God’s word has shaped our experience in dealing with multitudes bound by the enemy. Jesus said He chose twelve and one was a devil.
We must first believe the Scriptures for what they say on all the issues, not just those of convenience and presumed safety. Our worst problem with satan is not his power, but our own ignorance–he has truly transformed himself into an angel of light—-most don’t believe he still exists let alone has any power; This is the greatest deception he has mustered today; Many refuse to believe that he no longer walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour. Many churches and their members have been sifted as wheat because of their unbelief in the existence and work of the adversary, denying that the enemy even has access to the child of God. Church schisms and splits are at an all time high. Was there a reason Jesus told us to pray to our Father to keep us safe from the evil one?
The attitude is that satan was allowed to tempt Jesus but not the disciple; that satan has repented and is no longer a seed snatcher, but has fulfilled his place in history and is just biding his time till his trip to the lake; everlasting fire is prepared only for the wicked–the devil and his angels already live there; Disciples are not susceptible to fulfill the agenda of the devil; Despite what the word of God says, there is really no devil to give place to; the whole armor of God works great against muggers and mad dogs, but is really needed for no other purpose; The early church wrestled not against flesh and blood but that was then and this is the automatically-protected now; some even preach there is a place of total immunity from the enemy’s attacks—Jesus and the early church were not immune, but we are, for in all things we are disciples above their Master—it all falls somewhere under the Atonement; there is no devil to resist–he fled two thousand years ago; Jesus was manifested to save us from our sin; He died for us, and that is the extent to which He destroyed the works of the devil; Paul was just guilty of misplanning when he said satan hindered him; his thorn in the flesh, the messenger from satan, was just him working too hard and not seeing his doctor regularly; satan lied to God when he told Him he had been going to and fro in the earth, and came from walking up and down in it; many have in fact departed from the faith, but we don’t know why–certainly couldn’t have been seducing spirits because they don’t have access to disciples. Grace overcomes our inconsistency so we are not tempted. satan cannot get an advantage of us, for we know his devices have been obliterated; Jesus knows where the synagogue of satan is so we’re safe. All of the aforementioned is not stated tongue in cheek–the sadness of it all is that most of it is believed by multitudes in the church.
satan has deceived many into thinking that anything that moves supernaturally, is God; There is no testing of the spirits, but rather waiting on them to see what they can amaze with next. Most believe we don’t enter into direct conflict with the enemy in spite of the abundant evidence of Scripture— that we as God’s children do not wrestle against flesh and blood. In years of work in the deliverance ministry, dealing solely with the enemy in the lives of believers, grace has given us experience of the inspiration and meaning of much Scripture relating to the enemy. satan is alive and well in the lives of a large percentage of God’s children, largely through their presumption, ignorance, lust, coveting, and disobedience.
Think for a minute of Eden–no other people had yet been born; Adam and Eve were in paradise and yet whom did they fall to? Same story today. Jesus has sacrificed His life that we may not perish, and that sin shall no longer have dominion over us—and yet who comes tempting, and to whom do many brothers and sisters fall? Without Eden there is no Matthew through Revelation; without Eden, there is no new Jerusalem. satan has his part in our Lord’s glorious Passion.
satan’s deception with Eve was his appealing to her Godly disposition; He does the same through many in the church, making false apostles and deceitful workers, who transform themselves into the apostles of Jesus, though they be messengers of darkness.
This is not to surprise us for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light and his ministers are also transformed as the ministers of righteousness whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Cor. 11: 14-15); The whole world lies in wickedness– the god of this world blinding the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. The point is, we are warned in many places about such men and women who creep in unawares and yet we slumber and sleep in the sin that so easily besets us all. A look at the Master’s addresses to the seven churches in Revelation, finds satan active nearly everywhere; power has been given him to make war on the disciples and the unsaved; disciples who are not wholly committed to Jesus and the will of God, will find satan’s power against them to be equal to their lack of commitment to God. satan loses his grip, but increases his intensity and shrewdness, as we grow in grace and become doers of the word of the Lord at His direction; We start to understand that the wisdom of the world bids us nothing wise at all, knowing now that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. We come to experience the yoke of Jesus and understand that it comes with a bridle for the tongue; in short, these things confirm to us that we are, by grace, moving from deception to truth, from death to Life. But we must always beware of the roaring lion, for he will come at us with the same strategy he came at Eve–he will try to get us to error concerning the things of the Lord; he will appeal to our carnality, by pumping up our spirituality, promising health and wealth if we fulfill certain religious conditions.
The area where the enemy concentrates most of his power is the things of God–the church; Regarding those who refuse salvation, he keeps the blinders on. The carnality of much of the church holds the seat of satan; men and women who are moving in and with Jesus, will see much more clever deception and that deception will become much harder to discern; many false prophets come in the name of Jesus and possessed by spirits of darkness, deceive many; through covetousness they, with feigned words, make merchandise of many disciples. Many are they who come after the working of satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved–the carnal and the unregenerate are easy pickings for the devil;
We must strengthen our weak hands, and confirm our feeble knees in this fight that is growing much more vicious as the Day draws near. We must watch, stand fast in the faith, acquitting ourselves as men, not in the strength of the flesh, but in the weakness of the flesh and the strength of the Spirit of Jesus. Those walking in the Spirit are doing these things, but the carnal are not, and when the trumph sounds, one shall be taken, the other left.
*HOW SATAN WORKS
In the gospels there are 29 references to Satan, in 25 of these, it is Jesus who speaks of satan actually existing as a person. The essence of the Lord’s temptation and details of the conversation in it, seems to have been related directly by Jesus to the disciples for their information and later writings.
He has intellect. It is obvious in his scheming to deceive (2 Corinthians 11:3), and in his communication to other persons (Luke 4:1-12). His emotions are clearly involved in the rebellious desire to oppose God (Isaiah 14:12-17), and conquer Jesus (Luke 4:1-12). We see his will in operation in his determined rebellion against God (Revelation 20:7-9). Satan’s fall may have been caused by his desire to take the place of Jesus at God’s right hand. He knew he could not replace God, but thought the job of Jesus was one he could handle. Pride was the original sin and it was committed by satan.
He was created by God and is included as one created by Jesus, since he is one of the invisible powers that owe their existence to Jesus (Colossians 1:16). He is finite and limited, as are other angels. He is in the cherubim class, which seems to be the
highest classification of angelic beings. Cherubim speak of God’s presence, glory, holiness and sovereignty. They were created for this specific ministry. He was called the anointed cherub, which indicated he had a high station in God’s kingdom. He is described as having had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty, covered by every precious stone (Ezekiel 28:12,13). Michael the archangel respected satan’s authority and dignity when disputing with him over the body of Moses (Jude 8, 9). He is no longer beautiful since he lost his holiness in his fall.
The prince of this world (John 12:31). He rules over all those who are in rebellion to God.
The prince of the power in the air (Ephesians 2:2), operating in a kingdom that centers in the atmosphere of the earth. It includes fallen men and angels.
The god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4), the emphasis is on a system of philosophy or a spirit of the age that expresses a creature-centered manner of life and religion that rejects the true God and sets up a counterfeit life and substitute religion.
The prince of demons-beelzebub–Hebrew~~baa1zebu1~~”“lord of the flies”, or lord of the dwelling. It was the title given to one of the gods of the Philistines, and had been brought over into Judaism as a title of satan. The name Ball-zebub comes from the god of Ekron, a northern city of Ehilistia (2 Kings 1 & 16).
names reflecting character
Lucifer, Isaiah 14:12—‘helel’—Hebrew-his original state as a shining one before he fell.
Satan, Zechariah 3:1; Revelation 12:9, is used 52 times in the Bible. Taken from the Hebrew, it means adversary or opposer, designating this being as a self-proposed rival to God.
Devil, Luke 4:2,13; Revelation 12:9 is used 35 times in Scripture. The Greek diablos, means slanderer, or one who trips up.
Old serpent, Revelation 12:9, old indicates he has been around a long time, all indicates crafty deception.
Great dragon, Revelation 12:3,7,9, is also known as the great red dragon or dragon.
The evil one, John 17:15. Greek ho poneros–refers to one who is intrinsically wicked. The article ho limits the name to a specific person who is well known.
The destroyer, Revelation 9:11. The text tells of grotesque locust-like demons who have as king over them, the angel of the abyss. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek it is Apollyon.
The tempter, Matthew 4:3, I Thessalonians 3:5 enticing men to do evil.
The accuser, Revelation 12:10, of the brethren day and night.
The deceiver, Revelation 12:9; 20:3, author of the deception of the whole world.
Original state and fall of satan
he incurred his own condemnation when he fell (I Timothy 3:6), and enticed perhaps a third of the angels to defect with him (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:4).
In its context, Ezekiel’s prophecy against the ruler of Tyre contains a veiled description of satan as the true ruler of Tyre and as the god of this world. The king is described as having been a visitor to the garden of Eden, an anointed cherub, and a perfect creature in all his ways until unrighteousness was found in him. Because of his sinful pride, he was cast down from the mountain of God. (See Isaiah 14:13-15.) His wisdom was corrupted by reason of his splendor, contemplating his beauty; “I will be like the most high”-Isaiah 14:14.
The Fall of Angels with him
The angels that fell with satan follow his orders and fight for his cause (Matthew 12:24-26; 25:41; 2 Peter 2:4; Revelation 12:7). As many as one third of the angelic creation may have been seduced into falling with him (Revelation 12:4).
satan’s Present Character and Position
who he is:
He was a murderer from the beginning–John 6:44
He is the father of all lies–John 3:44
He is the accuser of the brethren–Revelation 12:10
He rules a vast army that battles believers–Eph. 6: 10-13 rules a vast army that battles against believers-Ephesians 6:10-13
He is the god of this world–2 Corinthians 4:4
He abides in the heavenlies–Ephesians 6:11-12
He is active on earth–l Peter 5:8
He is limited in activity by God–Job 1: 12; 2:6; John 17: 15;1 John5: 18; is limited in activity by God–Job 1:12; 2:6; John 17:15; 1 John 5:18.
He counterfeits God’s system of truth–Eph. 2: 2; 2 Thes. 2:8-11 counterfeits God’s system of truth–Ephesians 2:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-11.
He and his angels transform themselves into angels of light, promoting false prophecy, false leaders, and false doctrine–2 Cor. 11: 13-15 and his angels transform themselves into angels of light, promoting false prophecy, false leaders and false doctrine–2 Corinthians 11:13-
In relation to the unsaved, Satan is the snatcher of the gospel (Luke 8:12), blinding the mind (2 Corinthians 4:2-4).
In Relation to Believers: Ephesians 6:10-16
We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against his powers and principalities. He stands as our accuser, but Jesus stands as our defender before God. He leads us to doubt God’s glorious attributes (Genesis 3:1-5). He is the author of sexual sin (1 Corinthians 7:5). He also leads us to occupation with this world (1 John 2:15-17; 5:19) He leads us to rely on human strength and wisdom (2 Chronicles 21:1-S; Matthew 16:21-23); to pride in spiritual matters (1 Timothy 3:6); and to discouragement (1 Peter 5:6-10). He incites persecution (Revelation 2:10). He can prevent our service (1 Thessalonians 2:18).
Infiltrating the Church
Satan infiltrates the church:
Through false teachers–2 Cor.ll:13-i5; 2 Pet.2:1-19
Through false disciples–Matthew 13:38-39
Through unforgiveness–2 Corinthians 2:1-11.
The shedhim (Deuteronomy 32:17; Psalm 106:36-37) were real demons, not mere idols according to the Septuagint translation of the term dairnonia. Somewhere around one third of the angelic realm fell with Satan (Ezekiel 28:18; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:4). Jesus commented on Satan leading his host of demons (Matthew 12-22-28). A large part of Jesus’ ministry was, and still is, spent casting them out (Matthew 12:22-29; 15:22-28; Mark 5:1-6) . Jesus gave his disciples power to cast out demons (Matthew 10:1), and viewed His victory over them as over Satan (Luke 10:17-18). He spoke of their reality and power to His disciples in private (Matthew 17:14-20). There area over 100 references to demons in the Bible, most of them in the New Testament.
*SERVING SIN=SERVING SATAN
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
35 And the servant abideth not in the house forever: but the Son abideth ever.
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Many Disciples serve sin while professing Jesus; they wallow in hatred, bitterness, and unforgiveness, covetousness and lust, all the while feeling they are forgiven and saved—but Jesus says otherwise:
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
If the enemy can get you to walk in unforgiveness, he can successfully open your salvation to question. For if God doesn’t forgive you in this life, you pass into the next, unforgiven, which is sure evidence you do not have the Son of God. Forgiveness, like everything else the Lord commands of us, is given to us by Him; if we try to work forgiveness without Him, we will never be free indeed. Intercession from the heart for the offenders and transgressors, is the sure manifestation of Jesus in us; unforgiveness, most times, is harder to free someone from, than drug or alcohol addictions; if someone truly wants to be free of drugs and alcohol, Jesus will break that thing relatively quickly; but bitterness and unforgiveness, always puts us on the same level as the offender—we must come to realize that we are no better or worse than those who have transgressed against us; we are, as they are; we have offended and transgressed, just as they have. And until we seek Jesus for his gift of forgiveness, we, like Simon the magician, have no part in the matters pertaining to God’s Spirit:
18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.
The gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity—bitterness and unforgiveness are sin—they are iniquity; and many who abide now in the house of God, are refusing to deal with these things in their lives, and as Jesus says in our opening Scripture—“the servant abides in the house of God now, but it is the son or daughter of God that shall abide in His house forever;” Many who serve sin and are under its dominion abide in God’s house now, but it is the true son or daughter—those who have turned to Jesus and been freed from sin’s dominion, that will abide in God’s house forever. We cannot serve God and bitterness and unforgiveness—it divides our hearts and divides our persons as the house or temple of God, and the house that is divided shall not stand; it is double mindedness in its most blatant state, and the man or woman who refuses to go to Jesus and deal with it, shall not receive anything of God, including eternal life. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25
So here is where Satan is the most deceptive—he convinces us that we can exist in Jesus, while in the bond of iniquity, but the scripture says otherwise. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth on that day, as many cry Lord, Lord, but are turned away because—though they served in God’s house, they were the servants of iniquity; it is simply amazing how people clutch hatred, anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness; they are first enticed to it when injured; they then give way to it because of their lust for revenge; that lust then conceives all that is contrary to God, and brings forth the sin of unforgiveness and bitterness, and as Jesus says, when sin is the finished product in the life of anyone, including disciples, it brings forth death; it is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, for it rejects the message of the Spirit of God from the heart of God, pertaining to Jesus—it yields to he who was a murderer from the beginning;
Power = Heart for Jesus
To have power over the enemy is more than just believing—as we learned, many believed but Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew what was in their hearts (Jn. 2: 23-25). His name is His Person—to pray in His name is to pray His will and His desire, which will execute the will of God. His name will mean nothing to you or your ministry without His Person; We are sheep among wolves—again, sheep being sacrificial animals—our lives are totally given up to Jesus—we die daily that He might resurrect more and more day by day in us; it is then that His name, His Person, and, our Father, come to make Their abode with us by the Holy Ghost. It is then that He becomes our All in All, and His prayer becomes our prayer, and we thus have what we ask; and it shall be the resurrection of His Person in us that will determine the power we have over the enemy; the promise of power over the enemy is given to disciples—men and women who have forsaken all they have, including all the heresies of what is gained in flesh-satisfying so-called blessings—Jesus is dead lets see what we’ve won. He or she who does not pick up their cross daily, is not worthy of me—hear His words and let Him grace you with ears to hear and eyes to see, and a heart to understand; if we pick not up our cross daily and are not worthy of Him, how do we expect His name to have power in our lives? How do we expect to have power over the enemy? Open your heart and listen now to the Blood of Jesus, for It is ever speaking to us:
*THROWING OUT THE STRONGMAN
27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.
28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
In Luke 11: 20, it is ‘the finger of God,’ This latter expression is a figurative way of representing the power of God, while the former tells us the living Personal Agent (Holy Spirit), made use of by the Lord Jesus in every exercise of that power; ”your children” in one way refers to the disciples, who were casting out demons all over the area (Jesus told the twelve in Luke 22:30 that they shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel)–the disciples were Jews, therefore Jesus could speak of them as “your children”–i.e. people of your nation–He is saying “by what means do you think my disciples are casting them out?”; People pretty much accepted their doing it, but accused the Master of being in league with satan; reference could also be made here to the “pupils of the Pharisees” who were so termed after the familiar language of the Old Testament in speaking of the sons of the prophets (1 Ki.20: 35; 2 Ki. 2: 3 etc.); Jesus seems to admit that such works were wrought by them, but I believe His insinuation was that nothing was really cast out–they were not doing exorcisms, they were deluding the people into thinking they were; and if they really were casting them out they must be accused as He was–of being in league with satan– in which case the Pharisees stood self-condemned as He expressed in Lk. 11: 19 and here–”Therefore, they shall be your judges” (their deceit will prove yours). We also read of Jewish exorcists in Acts 19: 13; in Mark 9: 38 we read of a man casting out devils in Jesus’ name and he was not traveling with the disciples. See how the Master takes their argument apart: He first reveals their folly and inconsistency; He then bares the willful rebellion that brought their accusation and the blindness which caused it; He commenced by proving he had no complicity with satan, and ended by inferentially showing that they did. The casting out of devils was an indication of the approach and appearance of the kingdom of God (v. 28); ‘If this expulsion of satan is, and can be, by no other than the Spirit of God, then is his Destroyer already in the midst of you, and that kingdom which is destined to supplant his, is already rising on its ruins.’ Other miracles that Jesus wrought proved him sent of God, but this proved him sent of God to destroy the devil’s kingdom and his works. Now that great promise was evidently fulfilled, that the seed of the woman should break the serpent’s head, (Gen. 3:15). The design of Jesus’ gospel is to spoil the devil’s house, which, as a strong man, he kept in the world; to turn the people from darkness to light, from sin to holiness, from this world to a better, from the power of Satan unto God (Acts 26:18);
Note: The focal point of this exchange is verse 28–”Spirit of God” versus satan, Jesus versus Pharisees, kingdom of God versus kingdom of evil. That a miracle had been performed the Pharisees could not deny. Before their very eyes a blind and dumb man was made to see and speak. Others saw it and glorified God. The Pharisees saw it and blasphemed God. The charge of the Pharisees that Jesus was in league with satan was utterly unreasonable (Mt. 12: 25) –how could Jesus cast out satan if he worked by satan’s power?, and inconsistent with their own premises (vs. 27-30); showing that their ascription of satanic agency to what Jesus did was really only prompted by hostility to His Person. This mode of turning the argument against the arguer was peculiarly Hebraic; introduce the ideas of moral evil, of the concentration of its power in a kingdom of which satan is the representative and ruler, and, of our own inherent sinfulness which heretofore had us as his subjects, and things become much clearer–truly satan cannot cast out satan–rather, satan will not cast out satan; did not Jesus come to engage in mortal conflict with moral evil? Much is made about the meaning of the armor of satan in Luke 11: 22–suffice it to say that satan’s armor was the power of sin and its dominion over us. Much can be gleaned from all this, but it does follow that the work of Jesus is a moral contest waged through the Spirit of God; and it is conceivable that a man may not only try to be passively, but even be actively on the enemy’s side, and this not by merely speaking against Jesus, which might be the outcome of ignorance or unbelief, but by representing as satanic that which was the object of His coming; its essence is this: it prohibits repentance unto salvation– it calls that satanic which is the very Object of repentance. The enemy has perpetrated no greater, nor more grave a deception, for “whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”
29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
Satan has always been bound by the providence and omnipotence of God; the Incarnation would provide a way to put him under the foot of man–at least men willing to sacrifice what it takes to get him there. House here refers to an individual person, or even a nation; spoiling his goods refers to a violent taking as it most always does in Scripture; Bind–1210 deo–deo–(deh’-o); 1) to bind, tie, to fasten
a) to bind, to fasten with chains, to throw into chains
b) metaphorically: 1) Satan is said to bind a woman bent together by means of a demon, as his messenger, taking possession of the woman and preventing her from standing upright
2) to bind, to put under obligation, used of the law, duty etc.
3) to forbid, to prohibit, to declare to be illicit
satan put chains on himself when he decided to tempt Jesus in the wilderness; It was here that the pure humanity of Jesus triumphed, thus binding the enemy that his house would be spoiled; It was the temptation victory that enabled Eternal Justice to send forth His disciples to “cast out demons” (Mk. 3: 14-15; Lk. 9: 1); satan is bound by the finger of God–as Jesus says, He casts out devils by the Finger (Spirit) of God; with the influx of the Kingdom of God on earth, the strongman is bound and overcome by One stronger than he…..there is no reference here or anywhere else to binding a spirit or spirits or satan for that matter–he is already bound for The Perfection of the Incarnation, from the Temptation through the Ascension is what bound satan. — ” Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” John 12:31—cast out–1544 ekballo- used of the world, that is, to be deprived of the power and
influence he exercises in the world; to draw out with force, to tear out; with implication of force overcoming opposite force with notion of violence;
Jesus says here the prince of this world shall be cast out–looking ahead to His coming crucifixion, resurrection and ascension– subsequently, Calvary bound satan fully because Jesus had now paid the price fully of man’s sin, and had destroyed its dominion over him–this dominion had been satan’s armor; and by the Power of God through the direction of the Lord Jesus, satan is now at the mercy of the true disciple:
19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
Jesus here is speaking to disciples—those who have forsaken all they have and have lost their lives for His sake; mere believers will find their power over satan wanting.
Jesus (the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world) spoils the goods of satan by removing sin’s dominion over his house (a person’s life)–the spoils are thus divided and a house that had been kept intact by sin cannot stand when the sin is spoiled and no longer controls the house. The doctrine of Jesus teaches us how to construe His miracles, and when He showed how easily and effectually he can cast the devil out of people’s lives and bodies, he encourages all disciples to hope that, whatever power Satan might usurp and exercise in the souls of men, Jesus by his grace can break it: When we truly are born again, and accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, we have been washed from the dominion of sin that satan uses to control our lives–our houses. Jesus will spoil him, for it is He who bound him, 2000 years ago.
30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. Matt 12:27-30
Some take this verse concerning the devil; others concerning luke-warm disciples–it could apply to either; at any rate, there obviously is no gray area here as far as Jesus is concerned. Jesus’ errand into the world was to gather, to gather in his harvest, to gather in those whom the Father had given him, (Jn. 11:52; Eph. 1:10). He expects and requires from those who are with Him, that they gather with Him; Hear Him today–”I am gathering…….what are you doing?” One cannot be neutral where Jesus is concerned–either he works by the Spirit of God or the spirit of satan–to ignore Jesus is to reject Him……it is, to scatter at the bidding of the scatterer.
WHEN DEMONS LEAVE
Luke 11: 21-26
21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:
22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.
23 He that is not with me is against me:
Strong man armed–satan’s armor is man’s sin and its dominion over him; It is this sin and man’s subjection to it that allows the strong man to keep his house in peace; Stronger than he’–1 Jn. 3: 8–greater is He who is in you; Jesus overcame satan in the temptation and finished the overcoming with His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, thereby taking satan’s armor from him–the power of sin and its dominion over us.
24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.
25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.
26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.
Dry places–literally, unwatered, desert, uninhabited places; Rest–
372 anapausis (an-ap’-ow-sis); from 373; intermission; by implication, recreation–the recreation being the destroying of men’s lives. He returns to the house–the heart–to see if it is as he left it-and upon his return he finds no Rival. He finds the house swept and garnished–notice here, sweeping removes visible dirt–scrubbing and washing remove invisible dirt and stains that sweeping won’t get–Jesus said, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me”; the house must be washed–cleansed, or it is none of his. Sweeping takes off only the loose dirt, while the sin that is dear to a man–that which is not seen though it be in his heart– is untouched–and in perfect condition to receive the spirit and seven more: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess”–Matt 23:25. seven is the number of completeness, a seven-fold diabolic force, the wickedness of each one exceeding the previous–the consummate apostate has been described–they enter in–without resistance–and dwell there–permanently; Matthew’s version(12: 43-45) adds–” so shall it be also unto this wicked generation”–implying that the illustration of this parable which that wicked generation was to furnish was but one example of the working of a great general principle–by the ministry of the Baptist, that generation’s heart was turned to the Lord to a large extent; then was their opportunity to receive Jesus and live; but they did not; so they became worse than at the first and soon put their very Deliverer to death; These two parables bear a strong resemblance to each other, but they differ far more widely than they agree. The subject of both is the same–the soul of man changing from the worse to the better. In both the soul is pictured to us as the residence of the devil; in the one parable as his palace, and in the other as his house. In the one parable the strength of the enemy is the prominent idea; in the other his uncleanness. in both parables the soul is delivered from the enemy; it is here the resemblance terminates, and the difference between the two parables comes out. the unclean spirit goes out only to come in again; but the strong man is grappled with and Mastered, and the palace is permanently occupied by the Victor; The one is a temporary, if not a voluntary departure; the other is a total defeat and an absolute resistless expulsion. In the one case the last state of the soul is worse than the first; in the other the last is its best and noblest state. Both are cases of conversion and deliverance; in the one case the conversion is partial and the deliverance aborted–the spirit had left but returned to find no rival–the devil was out, but Jesus was not in; in the other both are thorough and enduring–In this instance, it was the Stronger that put the spirit out, and it was the Stronger who then occupied the palace–this is a lifestyle, where Jesus truly becomes all in all. thus the palace is secured by the Stronger against any threat of future invasion; Where secret sin is allowed to thrive under the guise of a visible profession, conscience is corrupt and the hypocrite many times proves an open apostate–there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, and that man’s last state will most certainly be worse than his first.
*BINDING AND LOOSING
18 ”And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
The words concerning the rock upon which the church was to be built are evidently taken out of Isaiah 28: 16, which the New Testament, being the interpreter, in very many places does most plainly speak of Jesus–He is the Rock. Thus when Peter, the first of all the disciples to pronounce most clearly the Person of Jesus, and declare the mystery of His incarnation, and confess the deity of Jesus, you would think the minds of the disciples are, with good reason, called back to the words of Isaiah, that they would learn to acknowledge who that Stone was that was set in Sion for a foundation never to be shaken, for He is God. It is in this Spirit that Peter took this surname–not that he should be argued to be that rock, but that he along with many others, would be much employed in the building of the church on that Rock.
on Vs 19: the gates of hell had some prevalence against the Jewish church, but Peter had the key for opening the church to the Gentiles, which he did in the house of Cornelius (Acts 10); Some believe that the keys spoken of by Jesus here were committed to Peter alone, to which we cannot find any basis anywhere in the New Testament; but we rather believe that the power of binding and loosing was given to the other apostles also (Mt. 18: 18)–a power to abolish or confirm what they thought was according to the law of Christ (what Jesus teaches), being led by the Holy Spirit; Hence, they forbade (bound) circumcision to the believers; eating of things offered to idols, of things strangled, and of blood for a time to the Gentiles; and that which they bound on earth was confirmed in heaven. They loosed, that is, allowed purification to Paul and to four other brethren, for the shunning of scandal, Acts 21: 24. Peter was the first to open the faith to the Gentiles and the consorting of Jew and Gentile which heretofore had been prohibited (Bound) was now permitted (loosed); Binding and loosing is a very usual phrase in Jewish schools, spoken of things–not persons or spirits; and in the Jewish writings, these two terms are encountered thousands of times.
Research reveals first that the terms are used in doctrine and in judgments concerning things allowed or not allowed in the Law; Jesus is saying here basically–”whatsoever ye shall bind in the law, that is, forbid, it shall be forbidden, the Divine authority confirming it; and whatsoever ye shall loose, that is, permit, or shall teach, that it is permitted and lawful, shall be lawful and permitted.”
Many wonder about John 20: 23 where Jesus says–”whose sins ye remit, they are remitted to them”–does this fall under binding and loosing? In a logistical sense it does, but it does carry with it a much different order: Here (Mt. 16: 19), as we said earlier, the issue is doctrine; there, the issue is persons; here, lawful or unlawful in the exercise of the law of Christ and the church; there, of persons obstinate or not obstinate–for instance, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, if they would retain and punish the sins of any, a power was delivered unto them of delivering to satan, of punishing with disease or even death itself–Peter to Ananias and Saphira; Paul to Elymas, etc.
Again, these terms, in the common speech of the Jews, at that time, signified to prohibit and permit; to teach or declare a thing to be unlawful was to bind; to be lawful, was to loose.
The apostles had an extraordinary power of this kind; as we said earlier, some things forbidden by the law of Moses were now to be allowed, as the eating of such and such meats; some things allowed there were now to be forbidden, as divorce; and the apostles were empowered to declare this to the world, and men might take it upon their words. When Peter was first taught himself, and then taught others, to call nothing common or unclean, this power was exercised. There is also an ordinary power hereby conveyed to all ministers, to preach the gospel as appointed officers; to tell people, in God’s name, and according to the scriptures, what the Lord requires of them: and they who declare the whole counsel of God, use these keys well, (Acts 20:27). The Jewish New Testament contains a short definition on binding and loosing in its introduction. It says that Jewish leaders had God’s authority to decide what practices should be followed by the Jewish community–Jesus transferred this authority from the Rabbis to His disciples.
The Lord has graciously given abundant warning to us, and we know the times, and that now it is high time to awake out of our slumber: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. And let us put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. Rom 13:11-14……. that our “Lord, Lord” on that day, might not be turned back on us because of our iniquity and our refusal to repent from our sin. For we know the weapons of our warfare are not carnal–it is time for us to pull down strongholds, cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Jesus Christ–and each must start with himself; having a readiness to avenge all disobedience, by fulfilling our obedience; for false Christs and false prophets have risen, and are showing signs and wonders, seducing many from the simplicity of Jesus into the corruption that is in the world through covetousness and lust. We have not taken heed—thus many men have deceived many in the house of God.
There are many supernatural moves going on in the world today; God is sending much renewal and in some cases revival, and many continue to think that any supernatural happening is from God and need not be tested. This of course, is contrary to the word of God, which requires us to believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby we know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God–that is “Jesus Christ is come in our flesh–not ‘ come in the flesh’, but literally “in your flesh.” During the movement of God on the east coast of the U.S. as well as the Midwest, we have been to many meetings in many churches–not once have we seen anyone test the spirits as power was moving. It is assumed all is of God, which is one of the greatest deceptions satan has put on the church. Its not only in the moves of power, but deception is rampant in teaching in many churches, so much so that if it were possible the very elect would be deceived.
Only the Lord knows how long the apostasy predicted by Paul in 1 Timothy, the fourth chapter, has been going on, and how long it will last–Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. (Vs1,2).
Notice the strength of the language–the Spirit speaks expressly–He’s not mincing words. The unbelieving Jews were the first to give way to the seductive spirits working in the scribes, Pharisees and other sects, to spread various doctrines inspired by devils–namely that Jesus was not the Messiah; Notice here that the apostasy is caused by men of the faith giving heed to seducing spirits–a very interesting situation in that much of the church today (the very time Paul is speaking of here), doesn’t believe that demons have access to the people of the church; again, the greatest deception satan has been allowed to put on the church is the belief that he and his demons don’t exist have no access to the child of God, and even if they did, how could they gain access to the child of God who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit; for we all know “greater is he who is in you, than he who is in the world.” But right here in these two verses in 1 Timothy, we see that the Holy Spirit expressly states that there will be disciples who fall victim to various seductions of demons and their doctrines–despite what many disciples have wrongly divided to the contrary. We have ministered to many in the church who have fallen victim to such seduction.
Let the church examine the whole word of God and not just the parts that cater to her presumed temporal safety, and her delusion of immunity from the evil one. On this side of the grave we are all open to his wiles whether pope or pauper. And every time satan is overcome, Jesus is again once more glorified.
What we can see that is evil is obvious; its what we can’t see that we must scrutinize. Deception is the ultimate irony, for evil is mistaken for good and good for evil; And Paul says this deception will come in the form of doctrine. From whence come most schisms in the church? Are they not a matter of doctrinal difference? Who is ultimately behind them, and who has given heed? Who is the father of denominations and cults? We wrestle not against flesh and blood– who is it that we strive against to enter in at the strait gate? And as we strive for the mastery who robs us of our temperance? Who tempts our lawfulness as we strive for the incorruptible crown?
Jesus has blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Then how and why does satan have access to the disciples and children of the Master, seducing them from the Truth? Most don’t know they are departing from the faith until they have departed–i.e., until it’s too late. When demons push their doctrine it deceives many because they have put their faith in their doctrine and their tenet and not in the Person of Jesus. Deception is then mistaken for growth. Instead of growing in Holy Silence, they strive, and debate, seeking to make their point unto the honor of men. Demons very seldom tempt us with the obvious—they tempt in the areas of the faith, counterfeiting the word of God. This is especially prevalent during the current outpouring of God. Many take all spiritual happenings as being from God, as we said before, without testing the sprits as the Scripture commands. But if you give heed to seducing spirits they’ll convince you they don’t have access to the disciples so why test? Seducing spirits prohibit rightly dividing God’s word, and men succumb to the seduction in their pride and quest for honor.
Another way they have deceived and drawn many away is through education. This dispensation has confused the quantity of Christian education as being the measure of godliness. This was precisely the case when Jesus walked the earth—the more versed in the law a man became, the more Godly he was viewed. Seducing spirits were able to carry this one to the nth degree–many so put their faith in the education of the law, that they didn’t recognize God when He walked among them. In short, they made the Scriptures their God, and missed their Messiah, finally executing Him on differences of doctrine and tenet regarding the law. A person’s education was and still is, taken as the measure of his teaching and gifting, which can be a fatal mistake. In many instances, the church refuses to challenge the educated, even though Scripture be contradicted. These are some of the false teachers that Jesus warns us will arise and over the last two thousand years they have come in abundance after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders; And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, but rather believed the lies of seducing spirits and departed from the faith, unable to truly believe becoming possessed with the honor of men.
In many, education draws away the flesh, the enemy enticing, bringing forth the lust for power unto sin and death. Some are so adept at mixing the truth and the lie, that the very elect are challenged to their utmost to separate the two. Don’t get me wrong here. I fully endorse a Jesus centered seminary education, that teaches crucifixion of the flesh and the resurrection of Jesus in us. But the way of many institutions is to teach the thoughts, doctrines, and tenets of men down through the ages. Many faculty members strive to the honor of men in efforts to outdo their colleagues in the book-publishing race. Satan has deceived many into believing that we have learned all we can learn of the yoke of Jesus on this side of the grave. We are taught to storm the hill and take it for the Lord whether the Lord says to storm the hill or not. Our strength is not in quietness and confidence, but in out shouting each other in prayers of the spirit and strivings over the Word. Many are not taught to listen, they are taught to speak. They are pushed into believing they are to submit to men and women leaders who themselves are not submitted to God, and if they don’t adhere, they are labeled as having problems with authority. We must pray that God overcome the lies of satan, and gives intimate relationship with Jesus to those who are preparing the pastors and leaders of today and tomorrow. It is very difficult to teach intimacy with Jesus, if one does not have that relationship himself.
It is always satan’s way to pass off lies as truth. We have never found this more prevalent in the prophetic ministry than now. Many rattle off prayers in what they say is the Spirit, then come across with the interpretation that is the farthest thing from the truth, the demon feeding them, blatantly manifesting himself, secure in his knowledge of the lack of discernment of most. If challenged, these people bristle, complaining that they have been “beaten up and bruised by the church.” Such are crying because they failed to manipulate people by using their alleged prophetic gift. It is the true prophet that is truly abused, not the false. Many speak out of their own spirit—which is expressly forbidden by God; of such bless and walk away, for they cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned; and avoid them, for they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own flesh; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple, their consciences seared with the fires of hell, making them sensitive only to their lust for power and honor, and insensitive to all else. Manipulation through alleged prophecy is one of the most blatant acts of the enemy in the church today. It is outright control, which is outright witchcraft. Prophecy should confirm what God is telling you; it should not manipulate your life and its direction.
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:24
The evidence of false prophecy is unfulfillment, advanced billing and testimony of itself, making its witness untrue; false modesty–hypocrisy– an overfed ego, and a desire for the honor of men—all sure signs of the manifestation of the enemy working to transform himself. Many are aware that the enemy brings down by abuse and beratement; Few remember that he also brings down by backslapping and flattery. God resists such, and leaves them to speak from their own minds, exhaling the lies of seductive spirits and puffed up flesh. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of money and the honor of men. Titus 1: 10-11.
The true prophet will always lift up Jesus and lead you to Him for the Testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10). Our Father will always speak that which will glorify Jesus–not the speaker. Jesus doesn’t say we will know them by their books, but by their fruit. The true prophet will lead you along the straight and narrow way to the beauty of holiness in Jesus–the false will tell you there is more to faith than just Jesus; The pure word of God from the true prophet will remove the spiritual burden, convict, exhort, confirm and cleanse, and will leave the prophet in a humble heap that is sure witness of the resurrection of the Master. We must take the time to test the spirits and see if we are hearing from the God of Truth or the father of all lies. satan has his own bible and it is remarkably similar to our own. We must meditate day and night in this book of the law that God has given, that we may do according to all that is written there-in, then we will prosper and have good success in our recognition and subsequent dealing with satanical seduction in our own lives, and the lives of God’s people. We must study to show ourselves approved unto God, and to prove our election, that we not be deceived— workmen that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth, that we may discern the lie and overcome its father, that we might eat of the tree of life, escape the second death, inherit the white stone, eat of the hidden manna, don the white raiment, and rejoice with joy unspeakable as we hear our Master confess our names before our Father.
Those who fall victim to seducing spirits and depart from the faith, shall not overcome, but shall be overcome; their inheritance be not life, but death. Let us beseech God for discerning the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error.
Let us be not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God let us speak in Jesus. Nor let us handle the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth let us commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
We must gird up the loins of our minds for we know that satan is allowed to come against us, and in many instances, to temporally prevail against us (Dan 7:21). The key word here is temporally, for satan will not eternally prevail over the true children of God. The total victory that Jesus accomplished for us on Calvary is, many times invisible in the apparent temporal defeat of God’s people. The enemy deals in temporal deception, carrying it into eternity–if he can–in the mind of the disciple; Our success or our failure is not ours to gauge–ours is to do the will of God and leave our success and failure to Him, for we seldom know what He is accomplishing in the Spirit realm in our apparent defeat or our apparent victory. After all, the greatest good God accomplished for man was the crucifixion of His Son for the sin of man—-apparent temporal defeat at the time, which sprung forth as the Ultimate Eternal Victory. This is the way our Father works most of the time—-in His will there is much temporal pain which accomplishes much eternal gain. satan is an agent God uses many times to accomplish His will and purpose.
Much of the Christian world today walks in a cockiness towards the devil, not believing that he can do much harm if he even exists anymore at all. Some take just the opposite stand, claiming they are armed and ready to go “demon hunting,” muttering all sorts of derogatory remarks about satan, as if he is nothing to contend with, even Michael the archangel when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. Jude 1:9
Men who move in presumption when dealing with the devil, are men are totally void of knowledge of Scripture and experience of it. They speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
*GRACE FOR THE BATTLE
We thank God that more by grace, are opening their eyes to the Scriptural reality of satan and his army. He has been a major player down through history and becomes a bigger player as history nears its climax.
Jesus has given disciples authority over scorpions and serpents and all the power of the enemy (Lk.10: 19). After working in the deliverance ministry for several years, I can tell you that your power over the enemy will equal your separation from the world and the flesh, and your intimacy with Jesus. Before “greater is he that is in you” becomes your experience and reality, you will undergo many trials, successes, and failures in your fight with the enemy. The bondage that many of God’s children have fallen into is pathetic and most of it has come because they have been deceived into thinking they can sin at will, confess, and be free. Such is not the case, for where repentance is not part of the daily walk, the enemy is gaining ground and deception is gaining foothold in the disciple’s life. As we grow in grace, we need more grace; as our Father nurtures our spiritual growth, he also nurtures testing commensurate with that growth.
When dealing with the enemy we must remember it is not a power issue, for all power on heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus. The war with the enemy is always Truth verses the lie. The deceiver may try to con you into thinking it is a power struggle, but it is written– And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Matt 28:18 God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. Psalm 62: 11; and, it is the Truth that delivers us and sets us free.
Many believe they have full knowledge of the enemy’s workings and agenda. These would be among the most deceived. Many are preaching and teaching lies they believe are truths. We must as the Master says, take heed, that no man deceive us. We must never judge ourselves infallible–we are all open to deception, and he who walks in the spirit is ever aware of this fact. Many of us become so ‘spiritual’ that we obey any spirit we hear, believing we couldn’t possibly hear from anyone but God. The Holy Spirit is the Agent whom Jesus uses to communicate the will of our Father to us. The Holy Spirit has been given to show us Jesus, which is the will of our Father–our transformation into the likeness of Jesus–the resurrection of Jesus in our mortal flesh. Therefore, any spirit giving orders to me must have the glory of Jesus as the motive and end of those orders, and must witness that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. Those orders must glorify God, by leading me to a closer and more intimate relationship with His Son—whether it be through suffering or noT. the Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself, but makes Jesus my life pursuit and instructs me in that pursuit–again it is the Spirit of Truth that shackles me in my chains of Freedom; The spirit of error will make me vainly religious, and may mention Jesus, distorting Scripture and witness about Him, putting me in chains of bondage—when satan preaches Jesus, there is no cost to the hearer. It is the word of God that is the lamp the Holy Spirit uses to guide and enlighten, and to clarify and qualify what I am hearing. satan will work through the word of God, quoting Scripture and other religious duties. We must always be working and moving toward full age, and by reason of constant use, have our senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Heb. 5: 14). And we must understand that there are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them without signification (1 Cor. 14: 10). To discern the voice of the Lord, one must be trained by Him. We must raise our holy nobility and receive the word with all readiness of mind, and search the scriptures daily, to find what is and what is not Truth in the spiritual world. This is especially true when it comes to doctrine, witness the warning in the verse we have built this chapter around. Again, seducing spirits seduce through false teaching and doctrine, and by distorting the word–your doctrine should prove itself in the fruit of your ministry.
When truth moves from mere belief to experience, it will qualify one to teach others; Only God can give this experience unto Truth, that ever moves one closer to full age, who then by reason of use will in fact, have his senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, and to day, and forever. Heb 13:8.
……..God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him……. Acts 10:38.
Nearly eighty percent of the miracles Jesus performed during His earthly ministry had to do with casting out demons. The Master also instructed us to pray for deliverance from the evil one. Some though, still believe that the Son of Man ejected the enemy to clear the way for the church and any harassment by him, and that the enemy is still with no power over the church; Jesus Himself stated that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against the church, which would indicate there is some sort of battle going on between the two. And the same Jesus, testifying to John on Patmos, addressed seven churches and the problems satan was causing in them, and promised great reward to those who would overcome it all. It is a sobering fact that satan used a serpent in the Garden, but was able to use a chosen apostle to set up the crucifixion of Jesus. If we don’t understand Jesus’ ministering to the demonized, how do we understand His mission at all? He is unchangeable, yet there are those in His body who refuse this part of His ministry as applicable today. Many say there has to be a ‘balance’–there was no “balance” in His ministry–most of it was spent dealing with the adversary, and it is still true today: the mission of Jesus Christ through His disciples is still healing and saving those oppressed and blinded by the devil. The Greatest among us is still our Minister, and He is still ministering the way He always has, the Scriptures being our witness.
The New Testament method of evangelism includes the healing of the sick and the casting out of demons, and Jesus really made not much distinction, if any, between the two, ushering in the Kingdom of God by overpowering the kingdom of satan. If in making disciples, we are to teach them all Jesus has commanded us, the casting out of demons must be taught. How many denominations or independents do you know that teach such?
Now the serpent was subtler than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. Genesis 3:1-6.
We see here the persistence of the enemy in suggesting we act contrary to God; he will persist until we either throw him out or give in to him. If he can produce apathy in us, he knows we will ignore our duty; if he can produce doubt in us, he knows he can get us to perform his. What truth we receive and don’t digest, he steals; he pulls the Word out of the heart of man, giving saving faith no foundation; He entices the flesh of the strong and weak alike, getting the former in sinful thought and the latter in sinful deed. He undresses the world before our eyes, bringing its most seductive assets to our weakest points of resistance; He induces bodily illness to make sick the mind; he has the wisdom of the angels, the experience of the centuries, and he entices mercilessly the flesh of all, and pulls many–even apostles– into lust, sin, and death—all this against the children of men within the omnipotence of God.
But our heavenly Father is intent on making good of all this evil; Jesus turns what the devil makes weak, into our strength; what makes us poor, into wealth of His Spirit, and turns our infirmity to our glory—these things are the ways of God. God uses the devil to try and test the children of men. satan is as diverse as those he tempts, moving to the very points of their weakness and fall; he enticed Eve’s flesh—by assaulting the word of God, he tempts her to become more like God; He strips Job naked, kills his children, ravages his possessions and turns evil on his body, leaving this righteous man standing starkly alone for all to observe and conject. satan attacks Job’s consecrated lifestyle, accusing him before God as being a man of impure motives. Knowing that he could not deceive Job, he set to physically destroying him, although God instructed him to spare Job’s life-satan’s schemes are still subject to God’s permission.
Evils inflicted by grace, will prove one’s character and the steadfastness of his faith; satan saved what he thought were his sleekest strokes of deception, for Jesus; His suggestions will always lead away from fact and truth about Jesus. During the temptation of Jesus (Mt. 4: 1-11), we had just heard–”This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; then comes–”If thou be the Son of God”–A well-pleased God would not have you starving–food is what I know you need, so turn these stones into bread and eat; Satan does not deny Jesus’ Sonship but admits its reality by enticing Him to prove it. satan will first use our affliction to try to nullify our standing as children of God; how often are we tempted to secure what we perceive we need, when God is saying something else; we are enticed to believe that all we would have to do is fall to unbelief and rebellion, disobey God, and our need would be met. Apparent poverty brings very real temptation, especially when the seducing enemy is trying to teach us that gain is Godliness. satan urges Jesus to use His power to reduce His hunger–enticement to disobey God in the temptation, and to not trust God as Provision–a temptation common to us all. The Scripture tells us Jesus was an hungered after the forty day fast–He was not hungry during the fast–in this we see Him as the only begotten Son of God; He was hungered after the fast–a fact that allows us to see Him as Son of Man–satan tempts Him as man, and in this Jesus overcomes for all men. “It is written”–we see the Living Word using the Written Word–the double edged sword in combat against the enemy–”Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ”, for He alone is the full Armor of God–when Jesus in me touches the word of God through me, the mouth of hell is no longer enlarged. Notice that satan entices Jesus, he does not command Him–he does the same to us, with a Bible in his hand and Scripture in his mouth, trying to get us to “step out” on a written promise of God, without God’s direction—telling us “it is written so it must happen at your command”; He gets us to do this by appealing to our dark circumstances (as he did Jesus), as evidence that God has abandoned us, so we must prove our faith by picking a promise or two and acting on it without the direction of God, or, the will of God revealed. satan will do his best to get us fixed on the visible that the Invisible become of little consequence; satan will constantly appeal to the flesh to fulfill immediately that which must be done by the Spirit of God in God’s timing. As he did in the Garden with Eve, he does in the wilderness with Jesus–he assaults the word of God—in the garden he succeeded–in the wilderness he is defeated.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your
Many can quote you verse 7—resist the devil and he will flee; but it is our drawing nigh unto Jesus, that brings Jesus to us, and intimacy with Him, and it is there that the power to resist the enemy is found, and given. It is at this point that we can make him flee. We think of how long and arduous our resistance must sometimes be, and when he does flee, how long he is gone. He left Jesus “for a season.” This obviously tells us something. Think of the harassment and temptation of Jesus; if one underwent such a test today, the response of many ministers would be–”there has to be a door open somewhere;” Thus a person is taken through his or her past most intricately and extensively, exploring and exhausting the letter of corruption, only to find that after all is renounced and confessed back to the 50th generation, the harassment remains. We have seen this countless times. The whole episode of our Lord’s temptation should settle the issue once and for all–Jesus is without sin and was tried and tempted of satan not only these forty days, but also His whole life and ministry. How can we as sinners–though saved–put ourselves above our Master and expect anything less? Is it really through much tribulation that we enter the Kingdom of heaven, or is that just a part of Scripture that we sweep under the rug in the health, wealth and no devil gospel many are preaching today?
See the difference between the first Adam and the Second, in the outcome of a confrontation with the evil one, —-Adam was tempted in the Garden where all was calm and the beasts were tame; Jesus was tempted in the wilderness where nothing was calm and the beasts were roaring; Adam was tested in a state of plenty, Jesus in necessity and want; Adam fell without objection, even though he had the spoken word of God (how many today think that if God would just audibly speak to them it would be easier to obey?) Jesus triumphed with the Written Word of God.
We have been deceived into believing that there are parts of our corruption that God’s mercy and grace cannot penetrate, without us going through rituals of the law; such conduct is the latter day doctrine of seducing spirits and commandments of men; they teach that though there is grace in Golgatha, there are times when there is not enough, and there then must spring doctrines of man and demon to add to the Blood of Grace and Mercy there-by making it sufficient. What an offense to the Cross of Jesus—-all of our additions and subtractions to “Christ crucified.” The Temptation of Jesus shows us that our lives will have manifold temptations and consolations, and that we will not be tempted above that which we are able to bear; Adam ignored the spoken word of God and failed; Jesus as man, used the written word of God and triumphed. Jesus was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness; Adam found himself flourishing in the beautiful, peaceful Garden. God’s grace proves sufficient in Jesus’ weakness as Man–Jesus conquers in sinless perfection, not by might, not by power, but by the Spirit of God, not giving way to presumption nor despair. The will of God was His only priority. God’s grace proves sufficient in Adam’s failure, by bringing forth the Lord of Glory to bruise the heel of the evil one. Satan leaves Jesus for a season then returns to harass all the way to Calvary. Care to ask the Master which doors were open in His life?
identifying the adversary
satan and his demons battle believers–Eph. 6: 10-13; He was a murderer from the beginning–John 6:44; He is the god of this world–2 Corinthians 4:4; He is limited in activity by God–Job 1: 12; 2:6; John 17: 15;1 John5: 18; He and his angels transform themselves into angels of light, promoting the false and counterfeit–2 Cor. 11: 13-15; He is the father of all lies–John 3:44; He is the accuser of the brethren–Revelation 12:10; He resides in the heavenlies–Ephesians 6:11-12; He is alive and well on earth–l Peter 5:8; He counterfeits God’s the word of God —Eph. 2: 2; 2 Thes. 2:8-11; Satan counterfeits the Truth of God–Ephesians 2:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-11. He blinds the eyes of the unsaved (Luke 8:12), (2 Corinthians 4:2-4). He entices unto sexual sin (1 Corinthians 7:5). He inspires false teachers–2 Cor.11:13-15;
*THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all disciples;
We struggle with the opposition of the powers of darkness, and with many enemies who would keep us from Jesus, our Father, and ultimately, heaven. We have enemies to fight against, a captain to fight for, a banner to fight under, and certain rules of war by which we are to govern ourselves. “Finally, my brethren” (v. 10), it yet remains that you apply yourselves to your work and duty as girded soldiers.” We must gird up our Spiritual loins as men and women of God; Though the battle be the Lord’s, it most surely takes its toll on us; Be strong therefore, strong for service, strong for sacrifice, strong for suffering, strong for fighting—it is the faith and courage of Jesus that must manifest in us; The battlefield, whether it be in another’s life or our own, is the heart, and a divided heart will lose not only the battle, but the war as well. Spiritual strength and courage are vital for our spiritual warfare, and this courage and strength are received in our daily worship of Jesus. Be strong in the Lord strong in His strength—again, the impartation of His strength comes commensurate to the time we spend in prayer and worship at His feet; We have no sufficient strength of our own. Our natural courage is as perfect cowardice, and our natural strength as perfect weakness; but all our sufficiency is of God. In his strength we must go forth and go on.
We must be well armed: “Put on the whole armor of God (v. 11), make use of all the weapons of grace for dealing with the temptations and strategies of satan– get and exercise all the discipleship graces, the whole armor, that no part be naked and exposed to the enemy.” Those who would resign to have true grace must aim at all grace, the whole armor. It is called the armor of God, because he both prepares and bestows it. We have no armor of our own that will be armor of proof in a trying time. Nothing will stand us in stead but the armor of God. This armor is prepared for us, but we must put it on; that is, we must develop a lifestyle of time at the feet of Jesus, in worship, and in getting filled—this is where we will grow into the whole Armor of God, for the whole Armor of God is Jesus Christ Himself– put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. Rom 13:14. We must use the grace given us, and draw it out into act and exercise as Jesus directs. We must be completely armed with Jesus-inwardly and outwardly, that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil– that we may be able to overcome, all the devil’s assaults—in our own lives and in the lives of those to whom we minister.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 12. The combat for which we are to be prepared is not against ordinary human enemies, not barely against men compounded of flesh and blood, nor against our own corrupt natures singly considered, but against the several ranks of devils, who have a government which they exercise in this world. We battle the most subtle and deceptive enemy there is, who uses wiles and strategies that he has perfected over thousands of years, as v. 11. He has a thousand ways of deceiving divided and unstable souls: he is called a serpent for his subtlety and his ability to camouflage himself in the fabric of life; he is an ancient serpent, experienced in enticing and tempting men and women into the depths of Hell. satan is a powerful enemy, commanding principalities, powers, and rulers. They are numerous, they are vigorous and the most vicious enemy known to man; and he rules in those heathen nations which are yet in darkness. He keeps believers and non-believers alike, in a state of sin and ignorance, deceiving them into believing that all is well.
Satan and his army are the ultimate spiritual wickedness in all places, save heaven. The devil is the most wicked of spirits; and our danger is the greater from he and his demons, because they are unseen, and assault us at all times, especially where we are the least able to discern their activity. Demons blind the unbeliever and provoke the believer to spiritual wickednesses, pride, envy, malice, and more. These enemies are said to be in high places, or in heavenly places, meaning heaven as the air between the earth and the stars, the air being the place from which the devils assault us, being under the direction of the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience– Eph 2:2. Satan strives to prevent our ascent to Jesus, and to obstruct our communion with Jesus by tempting us to sin and then keeping us in it. He assaults us in the things of grace that belong to our souls, and labors to deface the blessed image of Jesus in our hearts.
We must take and put on the whole armor of God, and then stand our ground, and withstand our enemies. Satan is said to stand up against us, (1 Chr. 21:1). When he stands against us, we must stand against him—his kingdom is the kingdom of sin: to stand against Satan is to strive against sin.
Jesus is the Armor we stand in—He is the Armor of God, Armor of light, (Rom. 13:12). Armor of righteousness, (2 Cor. 6:7). The apostle specifies the particulars of this armor, both offensive and defensive. Jesus is the Truth so is our girdle, v. 14. It was prophesied of Him (Isa. 11:5) that righteousness should be the girdle of his loins and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. God desires Truth, that is, Jesus, in the inward parts and He thus makes Jesus His Wisdom to us. This is the strength of our loins; and it girds on and holds in place all other pieces of our armor, and therefore is first mentioned. This is the disciple’s belt—it is Jesus Himself and if we be ungirded with Him, we shall fail in our warfare.
The righteousness of Jesus and our growth in that Righteousness, must be our breastplate. The breastplate secures the vital organs and shelters the heart. It is our Righteousness, and growth in that righteousness (sanctification), that protects the heart.
And our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, v. 15. Shoes, of brass, or the like, were formerly part of the military armor (1 Sam. 17:6): the use of them was to defend the feet against the gall-traps, and sharp sticks, which were laid in the way, to obstruct the marching of the enemy, those who fell upon them being unfit to march. The preparation of the gospel of peace signifies a prepared and resolved frame of heart, to adhere to the gospel and abide by it, and to preach and minister Jesus as the Centerpiece of it, which will enable us to walk with a steady pace in the way of Jesus as he works it through us, notwithstanding the difficulties and dangers that may be in it. It is styled the gospel of peace because it brings all sorts of peace, peace with God, with ourselves, and with one another. It may also be meant of that which prepares for the acceptance of the gospel, namely, repentance. With this our feet must be shod: for by living a life of repentance we are armed against temptations to sin, and the designs of our great enemy.
The faith given by Jesus must be our shield: Above all, or chiefly, taking the shield of faith, v. 16. This is more necessary than any of them. Faith is all in all to us in an hour of temptation, for without faith, it is impossible to please our Father (Heb. 11: 6); The breast-plate secures the heart; but with the shield we are able to turn every way from which the darts of the enemy are coming. This is the victory over the world, even our faith. We are to be fully persuaded of the truth of all God’s promises and threatenings, such a faith being of great use against temptations. Faith, as receiving Jesus and the benefits of redemption, so deriving grace from Him, is like a shield, a sort of universal defense. Picking up our cross daily, knowing that it is Jesus who wills in our lives and ministries, is paramount—for it is our daily cross that is our faith, and we exercise that faith when we pick it up daily.
Our enemy the devil is here called the wicked one. He is wicked himself, and he endeavors to make us wicked. His temptations are called darts, because of their swift and undiscerned flight, and the deep wounds that they give to the soul; fiery darts, by way of allusion to the poisonous darts which inflame the parts which are wounded with them, and are so called, as the serpents with poisonous stings are called fiery serpents. Violent temptations, by which the soul is set on fire of hell, are the darts which satan shoots at us. Faith is the shield with which we must quench these fiery darts, and though his darts hit us, they must be spiritually ineffectual when they do—again, he who has forsaken all he is and has, he who has lost his life for the sake of Jesus—he it is who has thus been graced with the shield of faith.
Salvation must be our helmet (v. 17); that is, hope, which has salvation for its object (1 Thes. 5:8). The helmet secures the head, as does growing in holiness and sanctification, both of which are evidence of salvation; Salvation is the culmination of obedience to Jesus…..without obedience, our heads—i.e. our minds, are left unprotected; and if our minds are unprotected, our hearts are sure to follow.
The word of God is the sword of the Spirit. The sword is a very necessary and useful part of a soldier’s weapons. The word of God is very necessary—both the spoken word and the written word, in order to maintain spiritual warfare and succeed in it. It is called the sword of the Spirit, because it is the Spirit of God who renders it powerful at the command of Jesus; “it is written” is the ideal weapon to repel temptation. Jesus Himself resisted Satan’s temptations with it, (Mt. 4:4,6-7,10). This, being hid in the heart, will preserve from sin (Ps. 119:11), and will mortify and kill those lusts and corruptions that are there.
Prayer must buckle on all the other parts of the disciple’s armor, v. 18. We must join prayer with all these graces, for our defense against these spiritual enemies, imploring help and assistance of God, as the case requires: and we must pray always, and always be in a state of listening for Jesus, and supplicating to Him—“Men must always pray and faint not.” (Lk. 18: 1); our hearts and minds must be in a perpetual state of worship; We must develop a lifestyle of worshipping and listening at the feet of Jesus, that He might continually fill us with Himself—He is the Buckle who holds all together. When God says, “Seek my face”, our hearts must comply, (Ps. 27:8). This we must do with all perseverance. We must abide by prayer, whatever change there may be in our outward circumstances; and we must continue in it as long as we live in the world. We must persevere in our listening to Jesus at His feet; “Here is what I see Jesus, what should I do?”—this must be our life. And we must intercede with supplication, not for ourselves only, but for all disciples, and especially those to whom we minister; for we are members one of another.
…..and they came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the man who had had the legion of demons…….Mark 5: 15
When a person is abused in any of these areas, evil spirits get in and get involved. Their top priority is to comfort the victim (falsely), and when they do this, anger and unforgiveness is what they inject. While Jesus will remove the spirits that got in as a result of the abuse, He will grace the person with the gift of forgiveness, and then require the person to forgive the abuser. This is a vital area, because as Jesus says, if we do not forgive, we will not be forgiven by our Father (Mt. 6: 14-15); The absolute stubbornness to forgive, may be a work of the flesh, but rest assured, satan is involved, and is making the unforgiveness a compulsion that in some instances cannot be overcome; if he can immerse and keep the person in unforgiveness and anger (the two go hand in hand), he has achieved his goal of stealing the seed of salvation.
Abuse always produces anger, and we have found that sexual abuse can produce rage of enormous proportions. Again, unforgiveness will be a major issue, as will pain and grief. Jesus will bring to light the things that have hurt a person, so that those things can be dealt with—it is Jesus Himself who graces us to bear the evil that has been done to us; the pain is tempered when He graces one to forgive the offender, and graces us to see the offender as He sees him—a sinner, just as the victim is. It is here that we ask Jesus to speak into the spirit of the person, expressing His love for him—we wait until Jesus has done so. This area is critical, for it is here that Jesus will reveal Himself in such a way as to move the person’s attention solely to Him; once this is done, we must build Jesus on it, so that the person is on the road to make Jesus his All in All. When Jesus graces us to love Him with heart, mind, body, and soul, anger and unforgiveness can be effectively dealt with; spirits pushing the anger and unforgiveness can be thrown out, as they lose their grip because Jesus has graced the person to forgive, and to see the abuser in the light of being abused himself. The abused find then they have become part of a chain of abusers.
The main issues are dealing with pain, grief, anger, and unforgiveness, for which Jesus Himself is the Remedy for all. As we speak with the person and deal with these issues, we will see spirits manifest that have gained a foothold because of the sin. Ministering the Person of Jesus into each of these areas, will loosen the grip of the enemy, thus enabling us to throw the spirits out.
We sit quietly, asking the person to close their eyes, and keep their head up; we focus on the closed eyes, until Jesus moves into the room. As we continue to focus on the eyes, the glory of the Lord will become apparent, and as it does, the face of the person will start distorting; you may see all kinds of things—skulls, horrifying faces and the like; you will be able to distinguish in some instances, what sin the spirit is pushing or, what sin brought him in; sexual abuse always produces a spirit with a very seductive face and sometimes will be accompanied by arousal hitting the minister; anger and rage are always black and dark, and in some cases the spirit will have snarling face; spirits pushing grief or pain, will have tears in their eyes—make no mistake about any of this—these spirits are there to kill eternally; many of them will appear as beautiful angels of light, many of them will appear as the blackness that they are. As you are ministering and they manifest, look them in the eye and tell them to go in Jesus’ name; some will argue, telling you they have a right to be there and you don’t have the power to throw them out; others will go immediately; if you run into one who simply refuses to go, study his face and ask the person about what you see; many times bitterness and unforgiveness need confessed and repentance needs to be undertaken, before you can be graced to throw the spirit out.
Again, I reiterate here—if you don’t spend every day at the feet of Jesus to where He becomes your Life, you will not be able to carry out this ministry; that fact, coupled with a comprehensive study of His word—particularly Matthew through Acts, are absolutely necessary to do this ministry.
Never ask information from the demons as many say you must do—they are the servants of the father of all lies, and they will take you into such confusion, that you will not be able to do the ministry because they have taken it over; many times they will do so through the person you are ministering to; the person will come in, tell you what God told them they must do, then they will ask you to pray for them so they can do it. Never, ever tolerate this approach and never let someone take over the ministry session. If they get in the mode of taking it over and refuse to submit—let them go. Period. They have come for ministry because they are in deception and illusion, as well as many other things; You are the minister, you set the parameters, you call the shots. Period.
Ask the person to close his or her eyes, and tell them you will now wait together for Jesus to come. As the glory of the Lord enters the room, spirits will start manifesting on the person. Remain quiet about what you see, unless as before stated, you get into an area where a spirit absolutely refuses to go. When this happens, take a good look at his face—most times you will be able to tell what he is pushing; for instance, if you see the snarl on his face, you know bitterness and anger are being harbored by the person you are ministering to; don’t tell them you see a spirit of anger or bitterness or unforgiveness on them—simply ask them if they are struggling in any of these areas; if they lie and say they are not, tell them that the Lord is revealing that they are, in fact, struggling in one or more of these areas, and they need to let Jesus deal with them. You don’t have to rebuke the spirits out loud—you can do it quietly, and if confession and repentance have been undertaken, spirits may give you a hard time, but they will go. Prayer of this type can last as short as half an hour, or, can take as long as several hours, depending on the level of evil the person has been involved with. Always remember, we are no match for satan, and the ministry leads us into his arena, where only Jesus can minister successfully.
We have mentioned forgiveness as a stronghold of the enemy; in addition to forgiving offenders, many people must be lead in a prayer to forgive God; many times people blame God for what has happened to them; this area needs confession and repentance, as well as thanksgiving, and a statement of submission and surrender to Jesus, no matter what might happen—“though He slay me yet will I trust in Him”—Job 13: 15. A person may have to be lead in a prayer of forgiveness for themselves—self condemnation and all that goes with it must be confessed and repented of if necessary; Jesus died for us, and in order for us to die for Him, we must see self as it truly is—not condemned, but forgiven, if it be found in Him.
Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.
Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Ps 107:17-20.
When we are not Christians and are wallowing in our sin, satan may keep an eye on us, but will extend very little effort toward us other than consistent temptation to keep us in our sin. But when we become born again, satan will turn up the heat and God will let him. Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ–that warning is from Peter, and who better to warn Christians about the enemy than a man who had fallen victim to him in the very presence of Jesus several times? Many Christians have no fear and become disobedient in their presumption, fashioning themselves according to their former lusts in their ignorance, passing their time of sojourning here in presumption and deception instead of Godly fear.
“….I will, be thou clean…….
The 27 year old woman sat across from me, literally petrified. She had been in the homosexual lifestyle for about four years and had got out, but the driving compulsion was still there. She had heard about our ministry and like many, felt the Lord wanted her to come, but was very scared in doing so. I had dealt with homosexuals, and Jesus had moved wonderfully and freed many. I will never forget seeing the spirit involved in the gay lifestyle the first time. I looked into a gay man’s eyes, and this huge, black, horrible looking face manifested. In this ministry, there will be many times when you will think you have seen everything, but you will continue to be surprised and amazed at what Jesus will do and what He will allow. I saw the same spirit on virtually every homosexual I ministered to, and the young woman I am talking about now, was no exception. As I looked into her frightened face, I saw the spirit; I felt the Lord direct me to get up and go behind the woman and lay my hands upon her head. I did, which was a great relief for her, getting me out of her face; It took about thirty seconds and Jesus cast out the spirit. I returned to my chair in front of her and there were big tears in her eyes. She had felt the huge, ugly, homosexual spirit slip out of her. My heart instantly broke at the power in tenderness of the Master. I weep every time I think of what Jesus did that afternoon, and how quickly and quietly He did it. Break me a thousand times O Lord of Glory………….
Jesus overcame every enemy, including sin, satan, and death; and it is our abiding in Him that graces us to overcome as He overcomes, for it is of His faith that we overcome the world and everything in it, For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world, and must be overcome; The picture of our Lord hanging on the Cross, is the picture of history’s Greatest Conquering Hero; “It is finished” is the Consummate Exclamation of Victory; Its utterance brought the glorious face of our God and our Redeemer into our lives as Father and Friend.
“….go and make disciples of all nations. teaching them all I have commanded you…”
Deliverance without discipleship is not biblical. Many get freed by Jesus and don’t know what to do with their new found freedom. Most of them hunger and thirst after righteousness, but the kind of teaching it takes to satisfy such hunger and thirst is not readily available in most churches. Most churches in America don’t require discipleship of their members. Their attendees and members may be believers, but when it comes to the rigors of Jesus centered, Biblical discipleship, it is not found in very many places. Church leaders fear the offense of such strict teaching, failing to realize it is the very thing that most people desire. God commands discipleship and puts the desire for it in our hearts. When we water it down, all we get are watered-down believers. Its time for church leadership across the board to get their churches in the New Testament mode of discipleship, teaching it as the Master does–Make disciples of all people, and we must not forget, He who cannot forsake all he has, cannot be a disciple of the Master. Many church leaders shudder at such words, fearing numerical, financial and building goals will not be met, if we take this discipleship thing too seriously. There are however, many other leaders who are seizing grace and discipling all who come to them, but this number is relatively small compared to the whole of the church. It is those who are watering it down that need worry, because of the times; God is starting to replace the men and women who don’t want to use Biblical principles to manage their flocks. When Jesus’ principles of discipleship are ingrained into His people, the deliverance ministry among them will see a sharp decline. Many must consider their calling and get back to it. We forget that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, nor not many noble are called; yet many spend much time and effort trying to become mighty and noble intellectually. As a result, God is choosing the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, God is choosing, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are, all because there is too much flesh trying to glory in His presence (1 Cor. 1: 26-29), and, not enough Jesus centered ministry being done. It is a grave offense and affront to the cross of Jesus to see so many in His body in the shape they are in.
We know that those delivered, must be discipled, and it must be a lifetime undertaking, which is the commandment of Jesus. We know that demons will continue to entice the flesh into lustful and destructive behavior; they assault the thought life unmercifully; they can control the mind and tongue of many; And as our Scriptural examples show, Christians are not immune from their assaults; We don’t assume any ministry or take the honor of ministry upon ourselves, for it is God who chooses and appoints. For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no man takes this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. (Heb. 5: 1-4)
Demons can cause sickness, and when cast out, healing many times takes place. The deliverance session is a matter of the Truth overcoming the lie, it is never a question of power for the power issue has been decided. Demons can depress the mind, and bring on compulsive, addictive behaviors in all areas of fleshy satisfaction, especially sex and food.
Never minister alone, especially to the opposite sex. And remember, “it is written” is the bottom line against the enemy, but the Person of Jesus is to be our only pursuit outside His word; we don’t chase demons, God will direct us to the people who need the Master to set them free. The top priority of our lives is ministry to the Lord, and out of our ministry to Him, prayer and ministry of the word at His direction. Be leery of the source when faith is asked to serve the flesh; The enemy is very adept at showing good as evil and evil as good; he will try to get your faith to serve anything temporal, there-by minimizing the eternal. When time becomes more important than the eternal, the enemy has gotten in. Discerning evil is not the hardest thing you’ll do–discerning evil’s specific agenda in a life is something only Jesus can do. satan is so constantly changing deceptions, it is hard to get a true picture of him in any given ministry situation. Again, as He is to everything else, the Master is the Answer here.
We as Christians, are warned against deceptions that pervert and subvert the revealed will of God; One of the main ways the enemy accomplishes this is to get us to accumulate and thus rely, on possessions. The strength of the individual lies in his submission to God, not in his social standing or his wealth, two items satan will use to his advantage in your ministry situation. Our business as ministers is to throw the enemy out of the lives of God’s children, and get those children into discipleship, walking on the highway of holiness, the way of which is extremely tight, and very seldom if ever, includes social standing and wealth. Our gospel is unpopular and offensive to the flesh and the world; satan’s gospel caters to the flesh, raises up backslappers, and brings the world as the central focus of the church and the individual. People who have been demonized need the strong, hard truths of the gospel for it is these truths that prove it to be God’s message. We are to make Jesus Savior and Lord, forsake everything, and deny ourselves by picking up our cross–such an insinuation of death is offensive to most, but it is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it must be preached and taught in love–love being the firm seeking and the uncompromising doing of the will of God in any life,
Satan has always been bound by the providence of God; the Incarnation would provide a way to put him under the foot of man–at least men willing to sacrifice what it takes to get him there. satan put chains on himself when he decided to tempt Jesus in the wilderness; It was here that the pure humanity of Jesus triumphed, thus binding the enemy that his house would be spoiled; It was the temptation victory that enabled Eternal Justice to send forth His disciples to “cast out demons” (Mk. 3: 14-15; Lk. 9: 1); the strongman is bound and overcome by One stronger than he….. The Perfection of the Incarnation, from the temptation through the Ascension is what bound satan.
Jesus says that the prince of this world is now cast out–looking ahead to His coming crucifixion; subsequently, Calvary bound satan fully because Jesus had now paid the price fully for man’s sin, and had destroyed its dominion over him–this dominion had been satan’s armor; it was our Lord’s victory as man in the wilderness temptation that paved the way for His disciple’s power over scorpions and serpents, and all the power of the enemy, before His death. Satan is now bound by the Blood of Jesus which rests at the right hand of our Father, in the heavenly sanctuary; therefore we don’t bind him again–we throw him out.
*SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DEMONIC ACTIVITY
Speaking in an unknown language; aversion to Jesus and the things of God;
knowledge of remote things; unnatural strength;
open challenge of authority; withdrawn, anti-social behavior; violence, rage; suicidal tendencies; splits in personality;
variation or alteration of voice; panic or compulsive fear;
unusual set or distorted face; twitching, shaking;
unusual smells, especially urine or feces
Compulsive behavior of any kind, is usually a sign that a demon or demons are working; Also, extreme rage, or anger, a desire to kill—oneself or others—perverse, abusive or excessive sexual or physical activities, are all signs that spirits are at work.
People who have been involved in the occult seem to be the most difficult to deliver; the involvement must be confessed, and a profession of repentance from it made, in order to get at the spirits involved; many who have been in the occult have asked satan to come into their bodies; when this has happened, a greater battle will be involved to get him out. Remember that such deception is involved, that demons will do anything to deceive you into thinking that Jesus cannot help. Some of the manifestations of the occult such as those experienced by former psychics, are very real to them—former satantists and others who have committed spiritual idolatry, will find the going very tough in getting their freedom.
The voice may dramatically change, showing a surfacing of the demon—he may try to talk to you, telling you don’t have enough power to throw him out; don’t converse at the table of the enemy—many ministries endorse getting information from demons, an area we try to stay away from, because all they do is lie; their appearance usually gives them away as to what their stronghold is; many teach that generational sin must be confessed, curses be broken and the like. Always remember, the first step in total deliverance is bringing the person into a relationship with Jesus; when confession of sin is made—confession by the person that he is a sinner and needs a Savior from that sin—and Jesus is asked to come in and abide, and be Lord of the life, that person is then forgiven and totally cleansed. Man has contrived much that has sold many books in regards to all the steps that must be taken in order to be free, but most of it is commandments of men and devils and is completely and totally confusing and will keep you chasing the devil’s tail. When Jesus ministered in the gospels, it was His contact, His word, His power, that freed. There are no long deliverance sessions, no number of steps, no formulas—there is only coming face to face with Jesus Christ, confessing sin and the need for Him and who He is and what He has done, and then letting Him come in and be Lord:
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Don’t get wrapped up in generational sins and curses, soul ties and the like. The Blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness—including curses, generational sin, soul ties and the like; either the Blood of Jesus is sufficient in our confessing and repenting, or it is not; we must ask our Father to show us and give us His heart regarding the Blood of His Son. God tells us that each man will be responsible for his own sin, and to not bring up the generational sin issue as the Israelites did: See Ezekiel 18: 1-4; Jeremiah 31: 29-31; While God may get us to confess specific sins, He is more interested in us confessing that we are sinners and we need Jesus as Savior and Lord because of our total corruption. The cleansing of the Blood of Jesus comes, when we confess with our heart our sins and corruption, and move into intimacy with Jesus, that we might seize the gift of repentance, and that our daily cross may work that repentance in us, daily.
Most involved in the deliverance ministry will tell you that those who have given their lives to the occult seem to be the hardest to free, exacting a real toll on the minister and the person receiving the ministry. This whole area is very confusing for us all due to the presence of the enemy and his millennia of experience in it. It impacts Christians and non-Christians alike. Many bring its garbage with them into their walk with God, and the garbage must be gotten out. It is not an area of simplicity, and is further witness to our need for the very simplicity that is our gospel–If Jesus shows up, people are healed and delivered and God’s will is done, no matter the strength of the enemy in the life of the victim. If He doesn’t, we’ve got a real problem.
For us, former psychics have been the hardest, for their former partners are relentless in their harassment and pursuit of those who turn from this popular form of divination. It is satan who provides readings for psychics, and the information given is often accurate, but we must never lose sight of the fact that the motive for giving such foresight is so that killing, stealing and destroying can be accomplished in the life of the receiver. Many who go to psychics believe that they get their knowledge from God. But God will always lead us to faith in Jesus as our future; satan will encourage us to walk by sight, and many Christians open the door for him by seeking a word for every circumstance in their lives. If that word is not to be found, they will turn to things such as the daily horoscope, one of satan’s daily columns in the local newspaper. In doing so they open themselves to an invasion of spirits that will prove to be a problem–again, satan is the author of all psychic phenomena. I once ministered to a military man who was prolific in the marital arts. It was one of the more scary deliverances I have seen. When Jesus would get the session moving, demons on the man would manifest and send him into many marshal arts movements. He came at me several times, but the Lord would drop him each time he would get too close. The man would growl like a lion every time he looked at me. The sessions were pretty scary, but again Jesus proved faithful. The mysteries that encompass and surround martial arts are the trappings of satan..
We are in the final days and evil men and seducers are waxing worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. We must continue in the things which we have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom we have learned them; We know the holy scriptures, which are able to make us wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus, and wise as to the wiles of the evil one. The scripture is given by inspiration of God, and we must use it to make ourselves profitable in doctrine, in reproof, in correction, and for instruction in righteousness, as well as discerning the agenda of the enemy with the help of Jesus; that we may be men and women of God, perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works; we must give all diligence to make our calling and election sure. In dealing with the occult and psychic phenomena, only God can instruct you. You should become thoroughly acquainted with what His word has to say on the subjects, and let Jesus guide you through it all. And when searching Christian bookshelves on this topic or any other, let us be admonished—of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh; and let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is our whole duty; and let us never forget, that when people saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus (Acts 4: 13); and beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. The life of God’s power is begun at the feet of the Master, and is nurtured and sustained there.
In the last chapter (7), we discussed the various examples in Scripture, of spirits impacting the lives of Christians. In spite of an abundance of Scriptural evidence, many still believe that born-again Christians cannot have demons. Again, I am not here to debate or argue. I know what the Scripture says and I know what I have seen, and both agree. If I were satan, the first bit of deception I would try to pull on the church is to get them to believe that I can’t touch it. If I could get Christians to believe that, imagine what havoc I could wreck, and I would never be blamed for it, so I would never be dealt with.
When there is obsessive compulsive behavior in a person, it may have started as being enticed and drawn away by lust in temptation; but rest assured, that if the behavior contrary to God continues, lust will conceive and sin will come forth; and when that sin persists without repentance and confession, it will bring forth death–demons; Do not err, my beloved brethren and let no man deceive you.
37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Again, we do not look around every corner and under every rock for demons. Our one and only pursuit is Jesus, who has not changed since He walked the earth. As we stated earlier, about 80 percent of Jesus’ ministry was spent casting out demons. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13: 8) still made manifest to destroy the works of the enemy in the lives of His children. That is why we seek Him–only He can do it, we can, of our selves, do nothing. So we never go demon hunting as some profess to do. Those who make such prideful and haughty proclamations are due for a fall into the hands of the enemy, for there is nothing that will bring the presence of the enemy quicker that haughty and prideful flesh. Many false Christs continue to rise up among us, and many continue to fall into their deception, and when they do, evil sprits are there to enter. We must cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, and we will be able to resist the wiles of the devil.
Again, we do not look around every corner and under every rock for demons. Our one and only pursuit is Jesus, who has not changed since He walked the earth. As we stated earlier, about 80 percent of Jesus’ ministry was spent casting out demons. He is still made manifest to destroy the works of the enemy in the lives of His children. That is why we seek Him–only He can do it, we can, of our selves, do nothing. So we never go demon hunting as some profess to do. Those who make such prideful and haughty proclamations are due for a fall into the hands of the enemy, for there is nothing that will bring the presence of the enemy quicker that haughty and prideful flesh. Many false Christs continue to rise up among us, and many continue to fall into their deception, And when they do, evil sprits are there to enter. We must cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, and we will be able to resist the wiles of the devil.
Signs of demons coming out of a person:
Sighing, coughing, belching, shaking, screaming, passing gas, fainting, throwing up, loss of breath, eyes crossing;
Demons inhabit the flesh and there are various pressure points in the flesh where they lay; The area on the very back of the neck is a good place to start—there, and the rest of the back; The back and the belly, along with the throat area, are the places they seem to inhabit most.
Jesus must be thanked and praised for what He has done; Jesus must be completely and totally lifted to the person; The relationship theme must be given to its fullest extent; The house must be filled (Mt. 12: 44)—hands must be laid on the person receiving ministry, and the filling of the Holy Spirit given, that Jesus Himself may now reside in the person who has been swept clean; The spirits cast out will definitely come back to check out the person; once Jesus has swept and garnished the person, we must lay hands and pray that Jesus fill the person with Himself. This is absolutely essential. The person must be counseled about this and told that from this day forward, Jesus must be called on continually—Jesus must become the lifestyle, biblical discipleship must be entered into for the rest of one’s life. Immersion in the word and time at Jesus’ feet in worship and for filling, must be undertaken everyday, and you the minister, must be available 24-7 to serve the person, and walk them into Jesus.
The person must be instructed to put on the whole armor of God, to fellowship with like minds, and to pray—listening to and worshipping Jesus; The person must also be advised that Jesus wants to use their knowledge and experiences to help others—they must be told that the will of God for them is to minister what they have received, and to minister out of His word which will validate their experience; The life must be totally surrendered and laid down for Jesus, for one thing is needful and we must all choose Him, for He will not be taken from us, nor we plucked from Him, when we absolutely surrender to Him with a heart of absolute obedience..