Paul could see that like parts of the body affected by gangrene, these men needed to be cut off from the local church, so that others would not be affected by the spread of their evil doctrine. These men had obviously found the teachings of demons attractive and as a result were taken over by deceiving spirits 1 Timothy , One cannot but wonder what Paul and John would say if they were to visit the presentday church, and see the profusion of religions, sects, cults, religious ideologies and demonic delusions which press in on the people of God from every side.
Every cult is an irrefutable witness to the proliferation of demonic delusion. We were praying for two born-again sisters whose father had been deeply involved in Christian Science. They were bound by stubborn spirits of scepticism, doubt, and unbelief, which kept them from believing the word of God. Although strong Christians filled with the Holy Spirit, they had to be delivered from hereditary spirits of untruth which strongly resisted faith and revelational truth.
We have had the same experience with people whose backgrounds have included strong doctrinal emphases, legalism in biblical interpretation, Freemasonry, or occultic involvement. Whenever Satan is followed, he will begin to afflict. Unless leaders have the spiritual discernment and authority to release people dominated by deceiving spirits, Satan can draw them away from Christian influence. Anyone who has dealt with cases of doctrinal error will know how difficult it is to break through religious self-confidence which often borders on aggressiveness.
Satan keeps them from grasping even the most obvious and simple truths. After an open air Gospel programme, I once spoke with a man who claimed to be one of the seven spirits of God. My amusement turned to disgust, and I bound the spirits of deception in the name of Jesus Christ. He just shook hands, turned on his heel, and walked away. They were preaching a different Jesus, another Gospel, and representing a different Spirit 2 Corinthians ,13, Actually, by 51 AD Paul was teaching that the end-time antiChrist spirit of lawlessness was already hard at work.
He also said there would be a spate of delusive miraculous signs and miracles before the end of the church age 2 Thessalonians Newspapers, magazines, and television bring such signs into our living rooms, but it is so easy to feel secure in our church fellowships, believing we are beyond evil reach.
Brethren and sisters, we have been warned! By the end of the first century, seven local churches in Asia Minor were experiencing some internal or external influence, pressures, or opposition of a Satanic or demonic nature. In Ephesus, Sardis, and Laodicea, it was covert. While Satan is not named personally, his handiwork is evident Revelation ; , 3; Demons just carry out his will.
God established an endless state of hostility between Satan, his demons and the seed of the woman in the Garden of Eden Genesis Because every born-again child of God is also a child of Abraham Galatians , we too can expect the same Satanic hatred and opposition. And because of what Jesus Christ did, we can also figuratively crush the head of the serpent by using our delegated authority and power.
The Scriptures warn us of some of the wellworn stratagems he uses to attack believers: a He tries to bait us through perverting the truth 2 Timothy ; Demonic idolatry is another feature of the end times. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality, or their thefts. Academics often use the halls of learning to spread this anti-God New Age Movement. Surely our own personal experiences with those fiery darts, and the casualties we see around us are warnings that the battle is still raging.
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How much greater is that reality in the days in which we live! He makes it clear that the only way to tell the difference between demonic and Holy Spirit wisdom is the Christlikeness of the speaker James Illustrations of these demonic activities in believers will be given in later chapters. We need to do ours. Believers are taught to engage aggressively in spiritual warfare Ephesians We have been raised with Christ Ephesians , seated with Christ Ephesians , and empowered to reign for Christ on earth Romans Because of the victory Jesus gained, our victory is also assured The authority Adam and Eve forfeited in Eden, was regained at Calvary when Jesus Christ became our ransom Ephesians ; 1 Timothy Satan has no legal claim over the believer living in discipleship.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Once again the key to preservation is obedience. Sin is rebellion, and makes a believer vulnerable Ephesians , They included anthropologists, historians, theologians, missiologists and pastors, all committed to the historical, biblical, evangelical faith. Those invited held prominent positions in universities, seminaries and well-known mission societies. Dr John Warwick Montgomery, holder of earned doctorates from the universities of Chicago and Strasbourg, author of more than thirty books and a founding member of the World Association of Law Professors, edited a book entitled Demon Possession from the papers and responses given.
I must respectfully disagree with those giants. Moreover the pattern and direction of their lives is set in Christ, so that nothing occurs which is not for the universal best Matthew ; 1 Corinthians But apart from these magnificent ultimate assurances, Christians are as subject to the evil consequences of a fallen world as any non-Christian. Their physical lives can be snuffed out in a moment by a satanic automobile accident caused by a drunken driver; they can be born blind as a result of satanic venereal disease in a parent; the demonic wars of history can min them as readily as unbelievers.
The rain of sin, as well as the rain from the clouds, falls on the just and the unjust. As The Exorcist illustrates, on the basis of classical literature on the subject, Satan can even bring about the physical death of the believer in these ways. Christians are no more exempted from such calamities than they are from infections, epidemics, or from the wider evils that are part and parcel of a sin-sick society.
Does the hesitancy perhaps tie with evangelical reticence to admit to the demon-possession of Christians - based I suggest on the erroneous notion that a personal commitment to Christ ought to clear the inner life completely of satanic influence and create a fortress area of holiness whose ramparts evil cannot scale? Here we witness the great evangelical dualism in action; Satan is given total control of everything external to the Christian heart politics, society, entertainment, literature, art, etc. As the Reformers properly maintained on the basis of clear scriptural teaching: Totus homo est caro the whole man is flesh i.
Freedom from Satanic wiles must be sought eschatologically - in the new heaven and new earth - not in our present existence under the cross. Theologically it deflects him from the one proper recourse: constant return in penitence to the cross of Christ. Printed by permission of Bethany House Publishers. Dr Merrill F. He held pastorates in New York, Texas, and Maryland. But what believers can and ought to enjoy are two different things. Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Used by permission.
Pisces August 12222
Dr Kurt E. Koch ThD Dr Koch is probably one of the best known authors on Christian counselling in demonic realms. In both Between Christ and Satan, and Christian Counselling and Occultism, there are prolific examples of Christians under demonic oppression. Corrie Ten Boom This well known saintly woman was not stopped by either Nazi guards or demonic spirits.
She moved in the realm of freeing people from demonic clutches with thrilling results. Ahead of its time, and shunned by many, probably mainly because it was written by a woman, the very name of her book confirms the thesis of the writings that Satan constantly wars against believers. Many pastors and counsellors would be shocked if they were to know the extent of that war amongst the people to whom they minister. The witness of personal experience Christians who have sought and received deliverance from the writers include pastors, missionaries, full-time workers, university professors, academics, intellectuals, doctors, nurses, scientists, lawyers, accountants, social workers, psychologists, a psychiatrist, partners in broken marriages, homosexuals, lesbians, drug users, alcoholics, people bound by lust, bestiality, pornography, incest; people with backgrounds of Freemasonry, the black and martial arts, and all forms of witchcraft and occult.
Concerning personal problems such as rejection and low selfimage, they are countless. What is also very thrilling is the way the Lord releases children. This is due to prejudice, disinterest, lack of spiritual discernment, deception of the evil one, and humanistic rationalism. Satan has been given authority and power to afflict sinning believers. No believer is exempt from the hostility and oppression of Satan and demonic powers, but protection and victory is assured through Jesus Christ.
Well known and respected church leaders warn us of the reality of demonic activity amongst Christians today. The practical need for deliverance in people of all walks of life within the Body of Christ confirms the timeless instructions of Jesus Christ to his disciples of every generation. Satan is the head jailor, and demons are his prison guards.
They serve their master well, and delight in afflicting those under their charge. All of us lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature or flesh , and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. My mother once delighted in telling me that on day two of my life, I showed my temper in no uncertain manner. Having received all the comforts of life, I was put down to sleep, but apparently strenuously objected to the darkness and silence. When the light was turned on I was alleged to have stopped crying, and when it was switched off, I yelled.
I think my mother switched the light on and off several times to gather evidence! I cannot recall anyone whispering advice as to how a baby can get its own way. Somehow, I also instinctively had quite some grasp of the ways to manipulate the opposite sex! When I was a child, there was never a swear word uttered in my home.
But on that same good authority, it appears that well before I went to school, my mother was horrified to hear a stream of rather lurid words coming from my mouth. I believe the offending organ was either scrubbed out with soap and water, or some hot English mustard was spread around.
It appears I also became quite an expert at looking my mother in the eye and denying the obvious. My parents were truthful; I was an expert liar. Very obviously, I had inherited a sinful nature which embarrassed my parents. They had loved me and given me a first-class example, but the inherited nature just took over so often. Jesus Christ accurately pinpointed the cause of human sinfulness.
He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Satan knows full well that finally he and his demons will be cast into the lake of fire, designed especially for them Matthew He also knows that the ungodly will be sent there with him Revelation So it is obvious that he aims to do all in his power to cause sin and sickness from the youngest age, and to keep his prisoners from understanding the truth and the liberating power of the Gospel.
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. Making sin attractive, satisfying, and addictive Sin is pleasurable Hebrews Pleasure is an offering made by sin at the shrine of self-idolatry to a god who demands continuous sacrifices. Satan supplies not only the desire but the demons to keep the addict wanting more. He also convinces the sinner that to become a Christian will mean the loss of all pleasures in life, and even worse, the loss of friends and social prestige.
That is enough to frighten many people, so they regard the Gospel as a plague to be avoided at all costs. Preventing people from being able to understand, or believe the truth The Old Testament contains many clear statements about the coming of the Messiah, and Jesus Christ obviously fulfilled them all. If anyone should have understood this, it should have been the High Priest, the scribes, elders, and religious leaders. Not only were they blind to the obvious, but they were filled with jealousy, hatred, malice, and murder.
Even the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ did nothing to lessen the bitterness and antagonism showed to the apostles and early church Acts ,18; ,18, The same intransigence is often shown today both amongst people in authority and in those who hear the Gospel. Some years ago when assisting other evangelists with an open air Gospel programme in the hippy area of Toronto, Canada, a particularly belligerent young man opposed us. He walked around restlessly, mocking the Gospel, with loud, offensive, obscene, and blasphemous interruptions.
Nothing would deter him, not even binding his controlling demons. He gave every indication that he had been totally taken over by Satan who well knows that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven Matthew Preventing people from trusting Jesus Christ as Saviour The writer once shared the Gospel in a home with a family, and challenged any who were not trusting Christ as Saviour to do so. He agreed to let me pray for him. During the prayer, I bound, broke, and loosed the grip of the spirit of unbelief over him.
The effect was electric. Then falling on his knees, he prayed a sincere and spontaneous prayer of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. The family told me afterwards that they had seen a change come over him. An intelligent young man was so bound by intellectualism and rationalism that he was unable to trust Jesus Christ to save him, although he desperately wanted to do so.
After being freed from the spirits which controlled his thinking, he received Christ as his saviour by an act of will without any emotion. Later that week he returned for counselling and prayer, and was further freed from deep rejection and demonic problems coming from other sources. He immediately flourished spiritually, and within twelve months was in full-time Christian service.
A deeply rejected and ill-treated teenager used to run away from home, often having to be traced by the police. In foster homes she had been threatened sexually, and was finally raped. She was rebellious, aggressive, and gripped by anorexia nervosa. The court offered her the choice of being cared for by a Christian mission or becoming a ward of the state. She chose the mission, but determined she would not become a Christian. She did, however, agree to come for prayer. God totally freed her from a dominating spirit of anorexia nervosa and other spirits, and without hesitation she received Jesus Christ to be her personal saviour.
She received excellent follow up care and plenty of love, and grew spiritually. Had the demonic powers not been broken she could have become a derelict, or taken her life, but certainly would not have become a Christian. Deluding people into thinking that they are saved without a genuine new birth experience The parable of the wise and foolish virgins of Matthew chapter twenty-five is the greatest warning against presuming one has eternal security. The five virgins who had brought reserves of oil in case the bridegroom was delayed were the only ones admitted when the bridegroom arrived well into the night.
The two groups of virgins illustrate two phases of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in salvation. First, he enlightens the understanding about personal sinfulness, and to the provision of forgiveness, cleansing, and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. But awareness of the need and the knowledge of who is willing to fulfil that need is not salvation.
This comes with repentance, faith, and discipleship. Many people will be in hell who received knowledge but took no action. The virgins who went searching for oil were shut out and denied entrance v. The five virgins who had sufficient oil symbolise those who, by repentance, faith, and discipleship, have Jesus Christ, the source of divine light, in their lives, and the resources of the Holy Spirit to maintain that light John ; Ephesians , 9; 2 Corinthians ; Colossians ; 1 Thessalonians ; 1 Peter The parable focuses on the return of Jesus Christ to receive the Church, his bride.
A literal interpretation of the parable would mean that of all who claim to wait for his second coming, only fifty per cent of them will enter in, the rest will be rejected. The truth of this awesome prospect has become increasingly evident by teaching and counselling professing Christians. She believed she was a Christian, and so did her friends. But after speaking with her it became evident that she was not saved, but was deluded by a deceiving spirit of error which was really only the tip of her demonic iceberg.
She was bound by rejection, lust, the occult, violence through practising Karate, sexual perversion, and manifested a demonic tongue. After deliverance, she was born again, cleansed, physically healed, and filled with the Holy Spirit. Calvary was meaningless to him, and God was too far away to be real. The writer was invited to share in a counselling session but realized the man needed deliverance first of all. The Lord freed him from spirits of religious legalism, idolatry, death, unbelief, rejection, and fears. He then knew that he was saved, and joyfully trusted Jesus Christ as his saviour.
With his marriage broken and ministry ruined, he was trying to rebuild his spiritual life. But it was all a selfcentred effort, and God featured little. There was much pride, and little real conviction of sin. Believing the Lord had shown me that the man had never really been born again despite his professing to be an evangelical, I ministered deliverance and sent him away to seek God. Within two days he asked to see me again. He repented, made genuine confession of his sin and hypocrisy, and placed his trust in Jesus Christ on the basis of his substitution at Calvary.
He had all but wrecked his marriage by constantly, and without justification, questioning his wife about her moral behaviour with other men. He was also close to a mental breakdown. During counsel he seemed totally confused, and the reason soon surfaced.
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He had been deeply involved in Theosophy, and during deliverance even had a psychic vision of Jesus Christ with a gold cross in his hand. When the last deceptive spirit had been cast out, the man was convinced he had been deceived by false religious spirits, but never saved. Repentance with many tears followed, then genuine faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. He apologised to his wife for his suspicions and accusations, received her forgiveness, and was renewed in love and tenderness towards her. His deliverance and rebirth saved both his marriage and his sanity.
On her knees and in tears after she had been freed from false religious spirits, she spoke out her pride, reliance upon her own good works, and her criticism of others for self-justification. The Lord saved and released her in joyfulness and praise. She went back to tell her fellow mission workers the good news, literally dancing for joy. Space alone restricts the recounting of many other case histories which highlight the extent to which spirits of delusion have given false assurance about salvation. This calls for a threefold preventative action in evangelism.
Firstly, the Gospel must be preached with greater clarity, and challenges to respond made without ambiguity. Secondly, counsellors must be particularly careful to make sure that counsellees clearly understand what faith in Jesus Christ involves. Thirdly, demonic bondages must be broken and dominating spirits cast out at the time of being born again. Finally, each one of us is responsible to make sure that Jesus Christ is living in us, reproducing his life through us, and that we have the witness of the Holy Spirit within us that this is so Romans The ones shown have all been found to be manifestations of evil spirits.
In each example of those who were deluded about their salvation, traditional counselling had been ineffectual, and deliverance was needed before they were able to have a genuine experience of salvation. The second diagram illustrates what salvation should mean to the believer. Because Satan and demonic powers are invisible, people do not understand the extent of their deceptive influence to prevent the new birth experience. Demons gain entry to a life through deliberate sin, and block responses to Christ. Some of their favourite tactics, are scepticism, doubt, and unbelief.
Deceiving spirits may cause people to rely on an intellectual understanding, an emotional experience, a deceptive religious philosophy, or some sacrimental experience as false assurance of salvation. The return of Jesus Christ for his Church will reveal the tragic rejection of those who are unknowingly in delusion. Evangelists, pastors who preach the Gospel, and all counsellors have a responsibility to make sure that when they lead people to life in Jesus Christ, that they also make sure that they are freed from the power of the evil one.
God wants all of his children free. Those who were thus afflicted, expressed the mind and consciousness of the demon or demons indwelling them. Modem translators have maintained this principle. James the apostle is the only other writer to use this word, and he does so very effectively. What conclusions may reasonably be drawn from the basic meanings of these three words used to describe demonic activities with people? He lives in their spirits just as the Holy Spirit lives in and controls believers who make Jesus Lord. The maniac at Gadara Luke , and the boy whom the disciples were unable to set free Luke , are certainly examples.
Deliverance releases people from their problem self-image. Dr Luke makes this abundantly clear in listing some of the people who followed Jesus and ministered to him. These women were helping to support them out of their own means. As a teenager she was drawn into the use of ouija boards, then drugs and the hippy counter-culture. In her travels she went into Eastern religions and Theosophy. Sex became a problem in womanhood, and before she was born again at the age of 34, she had had sexual relationships with hundreds of men, and three abortions.
Her rebellion, rejection, and hardness were extreme until the Spirit of God enabled her to repent, with tears. When the Lord freed, cleansed, healed her and gave her self-respect, her joy and gratitude to him knew no bounds. So evil lurks around you watching for some fear. The fear may have been but a small one, but it affords evil a weak spot to attack and enter, and then in come rushing despondency, doubt of Me, and so many other sins.
Based upon the ancient system of warfare, Satan and demonic powers use four main strategies to oppress believers: FIRST - The propaganda machine. He tempts eyes, ears, and other senses to enjoy past, or new sinful desires. Christians are constantly being tempted by both subtle and brazen attractions to give way to the desires of the old nature. Spiritually weak Christians who take the demonic bait will fall. Believers need to keep themselves spiritually clean, wear the armour of God, and resist all influences.
Demonic afflictions may be mental, emotional, physical, or harassing circumstances. The fiery darts of Ephesians , are afflictions. If the demonic cause is not recognized and dealt with, Satan will have established his coveted power base and can be expected to press on for greater advantages. The pastor was inexperienced in deliverance, and lacked spiritual authority.
As a result, the nurse was attacked and overcome by the spirits of lust and lesbianism. She heard the writer speak about freedom in Christ at a missionary conference and asked for help. She shared the problem and the Lord released her. With a small group of friends, he laid hands on the visitors, and prayed for them. He tried mind dynamics to obtain relief, and this led him to attend a spiritistic church for a period. When he realized that the church was in deception, he declared his faith in Christ at an evening service, and left. As he walked home in the dark, what looked like golf balls of white light began to rain down out of the night sky on his head.
He was so terrified he had to close his eyes and grope along the fence line to avoid seeing them. After he had been released from the afflicting spirits, the assurance of his salvation and his spiritual joy returned. The devil has certainly taken full advantage of his evil authority over the whole human race by afflicting it with death and all manner of sickness, disease, and afflictions; he well knows the effect these have on the spiritual vitality of Christians. The baffling emergence of new diseases which become resistant to traditional remedies, can quite conceivably be traced to the evil master mind whom Jesus said is a murderer, thief, and destroyer John ; In addition to God-given natural, medical, and scientific means of healing, the believer has the authority and power of the name of Jesus to bring release from demonic problems.
The condition became greatly intensified by the unwise over-use of nasal decongestive sprays to the point where I could only sleep upright. A visiting doctor friend saw the problem. He placed his fingers lightly on my forehead and rebuked the spirit of infirmity causing the oedema. The blocked nasal breathing eased very slightly and within a week, the healing was complete. That was five years ago, and I am still rejoicing in a clear nose.
Because her gall bladder had been removed many years before, she had difficulty in digesting food, and suffered considerable pain. One night, during a time of family prayer, we were led to take specific authority over the spirit causing her condition. It was bound, broken and released, and she was anointed with oil for healing. After a deep refreshing sleep, she wakened next morning with a deep conviction that her healing had been established. Within a few days, all pain and jaundice had gone, and full digestion returned without any medical aid.
Telephones, radio and TV stations, food supplies, road, rail, and airport facilities are always prime targets. Satan has the same plan with Christians. Given a chance, Satan will put a bondage on the mind by restricting its ability to think clearly or understand the word of God. He likes to tie up the emotions also, so that a believer will be unable to forgive, or show love which he or she knows ought to be shown.
But whatever psychology may accomplish by changing attitudes and explaining basic causes, it just does not have the power to release those invading spirit-personalities. He felt Jesus take him by the hand, and lead him outside. He heard the door slam behind them, saw the Lord throw the door keys over his shoulder through the cell grating and heard them drop with a metallic thud on the cell floor.
He knew from that moment, he was permanently free. He saw the Lord Jesus come to him and cut away the bandages which fell to the ground around his feet. He knew his fears would never again trouble him. The writer of Hebrews also uses the word to express the grip that the fear of death had over the people prior to Calvary. Because of the triumph of the resurrection and ascension, every aspect of demonic oppression in a child of God is an act of trespass.
They gratify their own evil natures, such as hatred, anger, violence, fears, lust, addictions, mental problems or a host of other uncontrollable desires or habits. There may be one, two, or even a host of demons of diverse nature dominating an individual at one time. Whatever their names and natures may be, we do know that: 1. As a result, we now have delegated power over these John , When we minister deliverance to believers, demonic powers may verbally refuse to go, or even cause the victim to resist by a show of physical strength.
That resistance will cease, and victory will come through standing in the authority of Jesus Christ, and the power of his name. Believers are expected to walk constantly in the freedom Christ has purchased for them. Satan, that old taskmaster, is always on the lookout to recapture any who may return to enjoy the past lusts of the flesh.
He is certainly eager to re-impose old bondages and dominations. When a person is born again, the Spirit of God brings divine life to the human spirit, and the believer then becomes the temple of God John ; Romans ; 1 Corinthians ; ; It functions closely with the spirit, and after death, spirit and soul appear to be in unity Luke — The soul appears to have the following inter-related functions: i The mind or intellect, controlling all thought life. It has the capacity to receive wisdom, knowledge, and understanding from the Holy Spirit through the human spirit 1 Corinthians Believers need to have their consciences programmed with the moral and ethical standards of the Word of God.
Consciences may lose their sensitivity, or even be hardened and lose their function Acts ; John ; 1 Timothy The following diagram illustrates the human personality: Explanatory Notes: 1. The broken lines indicate the inter-related functions of soul and spirit. All our actions involve the spirit, mind, emotions, will and conscience in varying degrees. The Spirit-filled and controlled believer will be subject to the direction of the Holy Spirit.
Satan may bring bondages and dominations to the body and soul, but notmto the spirit, as he could never overcome the Holy Spirit who lives in the believer, particularly the spirit 1 Corinthians ; Romans Before concluding this chapter, one further vital subject needs consideration. Paul makes it clear that from the moment of new birth we must daily affirm identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ Romans , 12; 1 Corinthians In this way the whole personality of the believer is reprogrammed by new and righteous attitudes, actions and habits 1 Peter Unless the changeover is decisive, and followed by a continuous process of spiritual renewal, the old thought patterns and sensual desires resist the new nature, and may even fight for survival.
A simple illustration may help. Most residential areas have a problem with stray animals, particularly dogs. Normally they are impounded or taken to a society dedicated to animal care. Unless claimed, dogs may be given away, sold, or put down. Imagine that you would like to own a dog. So you go to the pound or RSPCA, and you find one which suits your purposes well, so you pay the appropriate fees and take the pet of your choice home for some tender loving care.
The next morning there are ten newspapers belonging to your neighbours at your front door. When you arrive home that night, a hole has been almost scratched through your highly polished front door, and the front path is covered with your new plants and dirt. You obviously have three choices ahead of you.
You can have a breakdown; take the dog back; or break those bad habits by discipline and encouragement, teaching him to obey you. In other words, make the dog understand he has to do your will. As your legal property he no longer has any right to do his own thing. His old nature with its bad habits must be broken and replaced with new responses. So it is with our flesh life. We have been bought by the blood of Jesus, and no longer have personal rights. From personal experience we would all agree that the lusts and desires of our old nature are even more stubborn than the dog.
They never give up. The flesh life neither dies, nor can be cast out through deliverance. Although it certainly can be mastered through Godly living, the flesh is always rebellious. At the slightest encouragement, fleshly or sensuous desires will seek to overthrow the life in Christ. Spiritual awareness and warfare is as needful for spiritual survival as breathing is for living. Paul outlines the blessings of victories by being filled and controlled by the Spirit Romans 8.
Spiritual victory is not automatic. They are: 1. But nothing that man can do to convince himself he is not accountable to God can erase guilt which is the spiritual shadow sin casts over the conscience. Believers live in a sin-cursed world constantly bombarded by temptation. The more they read the Word of God, the more sensitive they become to sin around them and in them.
New birth does not return us to pre-fall Eden innocence, but gives us enlightenment, protection, and overcoming victory. Knowing that temptation and lust are a lethal combination, we ought to yield each sin-responsive part of our personality to God so that we can receive his grace to meet each practical need 2 Corinthians Should we then be confronted by temptation and desire, our first responsibility is to resist the first cause, the devil James ; 1 Peter Our second responsibility is to call upon the Lord for help 1 Corinthians ; Hebrews , In this way his righteousness is our protection and safeguard.
The death process of repentance The foundation of salvation is repentance from past sin, and from the desire to sin Acts ; Acts The foundation of successful living is repenting immediately temptation becomes attractive, and before lust responds and sin is conceived. John the Baptist expected this Luke , and the apostle Paul preached it Acts The daily recognition of the death of our old nature is as essential as being filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit.
A command to obedience Obedience is that personal commitment to discipleship which shows our love to Jesus Christ, and glorifies God John In Rotorua, New Zealand, there is a rainbow trout fish hatchery which is a popular tourist attraction. When food is thrown to the fish at feeding time, the water appears to boil with leaping fish. But when the fish are spawning, nothing will stir their appetite.
Apart from the occasional flick of a fin, they just seem to be spaced out, suspended in the water. Believers whose spiritual appetites are fully satisfied in Jesus Christ, are simply unresponsive to the lures of Satan. As darkness cannot displace light, so temptation finds no response in the Spirit filled nature. The victory of spiritual warfare Saul, renamed Paul, was probably more experienced in spiritual warfare than any other apostle.
He shared the principles which had ensured his own victory in Ephesians chapter six. By wearing and using items of spiritual armour, believers are promised a threefold victory when the day of temptation to evil comes. Firstly they will be able to stand against Satan v. The most important aspect of spiritual warfare is that Jesus Christ has ransomed the believer from the curse and penalty of sin Matthew ; 1 Timothy Although the power of sin has been broken, we still need to claim each victory by faith. In the conquest of Caanan it was God who went before his people and destroyed the nations.
All the Israelites did was enter into the victories God had provided Deuteronomy Likewise, we members of the Body of Christ have only to believe for, and take by faith the victories Jesus won for us at Calvary Colossians This is how we work out our salvation alt. Unless believers actively implement this fourfold plan of activity, they expose themselves to the following activities of the evil one: a Demonic bondages and dominations of the unregenerate life may re-appear if freedom was not specifically ministered at the time of new birth Acts These will of course greatly hinder spiritual growth and productivity.
Most of the Christian counsellees who request our ministry are in this category. Despite much present day theological relativism, the Bible defines only two classes of sin - unintentional and intentional. Under the covenant of grace, forgiveness and cleansing are available to the believer through the blood of Jesus Christ 1 John Under Law, deliberate sin was punished by death Leviticus Under grace, deliberate sin carries the sternest warning which should alert each of us to the fact that God regards no sin as trivial Hebrews The writer has personally received tremendous freedom from bondages and hereditary dominations just through the power of the Word of God.
The only exemption was the hereditary curse of Freemasonry, which will be explained in a later chapter. Demon-possession may indeed be an accurate description for some non-believers. Satan may enter and control faculties of the soul, and the body. Jesus Christ has removed from every believer, the rights that Satan and evil spirits had over them because of sin. To maintain the victory which Calvary purchased for them, each believer needs to bring each faculty of the soul, and the body under the constant control of the Holy Spirit.
If this is not done, fleshly lust will revive, and the believer can again become subject to demonic bondages and dominations. After all, the Christian life is the original and only valid lifestyle in a demon-afflicted world. When believers are not released from demonic oppression at the time of new birth, existing demonic problems are simply transferred into the new environment.
The use of traditional counselling methods against them is as effective as cutting lawns with a pair of scissors. As long as roots remain, growth will continue. Demons will not go away because they have been renounced. They have to be literally thrown out. I am sure that readers who are pastors, counsellors, or spiritual leaders, will have experienced the frustration of exhausting all resources without really helping a needy person.
One of three options is usually taken. The first is to refer the counsellee to a Christian psychologist or psychiatrist in the hope that more specialized expertise will solve the problem. Another is to take refuge behind verses of Scripture and shift the blame for absence of freedom to either sin or lack of faith in the counsellee. When there is no improvement, and the counsellee is thrown into unbelief, confusion, and despair, a final desperate third step may be taken.
The counsellee is either told that he or she is beyond help, or contact is avoided. Secretaries may even be asked to make excuses in order to prevent further counselling appointments. As a result, Satan gets mileage out of both parties. Of course there are occasions when a change of circumstances will resolve the difficulty. Unless basic intolerances, inadequacies, fears and wrong attitudes are dealt with by removing their root causes, they will readily re-assert themselves, given the right circumstances.
They can always be unpacked in first class condition! The difference that deliverance makes is that when bondages are broken, and dominant spirits cast out, the Holy Spirit can bring victory through his filling and control. Few Christians who come for prayer have any idea of the extent to which they need freedom. Any other form of counsel will only be of a palliative nature, and will not bring lasting results.
Out of desire to honour her marriage vows, she came for counsel. People who spend their lives serving the needs of others sometimes become overwhelmed by the pressures, and feel unable to cope with the constant emotional and physical demands made on them. It has been found that when demonic bondages are broken, they have adequate spiritual resources to meet each challenge. When a person does not receive release from guilt and shame after there has been genuine repentance and confession, unbelief from a demonic source is usually the cause. When the grip of Satan is broken, people who have been deeply involved in the most defiling sins have received totally renewed self-images.
The crippling effect of guilt is very real indeed.
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It is wonderful to watch the Lord spiritually renew those who have been involved in adultery, prostitution, homosexuality, and deviant sexual experiences. It was not a large problem, but she felt constantly beaten by it, despite many tears and much prayer and fasting. When troublesome hereditary spirits were cast out, a sweet change took place in her, bringing her to a new security in which her contribution to the marriage was greatly enhanced. One of the hindrances to releasing people from demon oppression is that counsellees often have no understanding about the number of problems the evil one is capable of producing in Christians.
As unpopular as this may be in some circles, there is no shame in upholding the truth. A precarious balance may also be obtained by placing one foot behind the other, and using the arms as counterweights. Both methods illustrate how people handle divergent teachings on deliverance. Some try a balancing act between one view or another not declaring an opinion which may offend. On the other hand, by being liberal or conservative, using the particular emphasis the Holy Spirit may dictate in each situation, greater understanding and effectiveness is possible.
Godly counselling therefore should not be from one rigid viewpoint, but in sensitivity to the direction of the Spirit of Truth. A low key ministry may be effective Some demonic influences and bondages may be broken and cleansing ministered without doing what most people associate with deliverance. Intensive prayer does not need to be noisy. God honours his word and his name, and is not limited to any particular method of release. She was a fearful person, had never lived alone before, and her house was a little isolated in a small country town.
One day while they were sitting opposite one another at the kitchen table, Phyl prayed for her mother. From that moment, every fear disappeared, and until her death some thirteen years later at the age of eighty-four, she lived alone joyously, never showing one sign of nervousness. She had a problem which was weighing heavily on her. A neighbour had built a large concrete block wall outside her kitchen window.
She had become so paranoid about it that she was pressing her husband to sell the house and move. After the meal while still sitting at the table, we laid the problem before the Lord, and resisted that afflicting spirit of fear. Several weeks later we happened to meet the lady again, and casually asked how she felt about the wall. During conversation, it became obvious that there were a number of demonic causes. I was informed that he had already consulted ten pastors or preachers whom he respected. One of them had had experience in deliverance, and had assured him he had no demonic problems.
The young man made it very clear that he had lost all confidence in counselling. Two weeks later, he phoned. God began a great work in him which took some time. Had a bolder approach been taken, he would not have responded. Usually they have read, heard, or felt something which has caused the self-diagnosis. A few key questions will soon show that their fears are groundless. Unwise emphasis on demons in preaching, teaching, or counselling sessions may induce fears and false symptoms. The special dangers of those in leadership positions The evil one knows that if he can gain an advantage over a shepherd of the flock, he will effectively block his personal ministry, and, even worse, possibly bring dishonour to the name of Jesus Christ, and the testimony of the local church.
A missionary and his wife planted churches and pioneered a deliverance ministry in a country where animism and witchcraft still flourished. Her energy and vitality dropped so alarmingly that her husband felt very discouraged, and was even tempted to give up missionary service. When the demonic bondages and dominions from the first field of service were dealt with, the process of healing and recovery commenced immediately. One of the most distressing features of a deliverance counselling ministry is to see what devastation Satan is bringing to pastors, spiritual leaders, full-time Christian workers and churches through sexual lust and immoral behaviour.
A charismatic song leader used to make excuses for going into the city where he could see blue movies. Pastors have gratified their lustful fantasy in massage parlours. A charismatic leader asked us to minister deliverance to a woman whom he said was enticing him, when in fact it turned out he was subjecting her to his sexual fantasies.
A pastor justified having sexual intercourse with a counsellee. A missionary doctor turned a vaginal examination of a fellow missionary into a sexual assault, then pleaded with her not to say anything which would ruin his reputation. Ministries have been ruined, marriages broken, families scattered, churches divided, and much dishonour brought to the name of the Lord Jesus. Together with the problems of professionalism, pride, and financial greed, there seems to be increasing examples of the type of reprehensible behaviour by self-indulgent shepherds which caused God to give Ezekiel the direst warning Ezekiel Chapter Demonic power can only be countered by divine power.
The best counselling in the world will no more bring a demon under control than a bucket of water will douse a forest fire. Pride, greed, and lust are just a few of the powerful demonic personalities who buffet the people of God today. The thrill of the deliverance ministry is not just that people are set free from driving passion which is the nature of demons, but that they are fully cleansed from guilt and the fear of repeating the sinful behaviour.
The mercy of God in restoring marriages, families, and ministries after setting the involved parties free, is to his eternal honour and glory. Truly, after freedom comes fulfilment and fruitfulness. The danger of deception Another danger for those in spiritual leadership is that undetected psychic spirits may masquerade as gifts of the Spirit. Unless people with hereditary or personal involvement in witchcraft have been released from these spirits, they will not only cause havoc in guidance, but will pass these pseudo-gifts to others through the laying on of hands.
In severe cases, however, they will often have unusual fears, visions, or other problems which are foreign to the Spirit-filled believer. Not only do those who exercise bogus gifts need release, but also those to whom they have ministered, particularly if hands have been laid upon them. To be forewarned is to be forearmed A short list of demonic spirits taken from the Resources Section, Appendix B should remove any lingering doubts about the demonic nature of some major fleshly problems manifesting themselves within church members or adherents.
A proud spirit can manifest itself as impatience - self-centredness, rebellion, stubbornness, idolatry 1 Samuel ; ; Pride was the primary sin of Lucifer Ezekiel Revelation Critical and judgmental attitudes which resist all counselling and prayer. Habits which will not respond to counselling therapy. These include all forms of sexual promiscuity and deviation, frigidity, fantasy-lust and masturbation. Constant worry, anxiety, and depression.
Fears of all kinds, particularly the stronger ones generally known as phobias. According to surveys, one in every nine persons is troubled with phobias. Mental problems, schizophrenia, head voices. Problems arising from hereditary, or personal occultic involvement. These include opposition to spiritual conversation, mockery, having psychic phenomena, terrifying dreams, apparitions. Addictions to drugs, alcohol, nicotine, gambling, food, excessive physical exercise, and rock music.
Empty religious talk without deep reality. Continuous non-pathogenic sicknesses which lack diagnostic confirmation. A run of accidents, or accident proneness. Emotional instability with euphoric highs and depressive lows. Legalism, harshness, and authoritarian attitudes. Rebellion, anger, stubbornness, temper and violence. A relentless unforgiving attitude. Excessive pride, self-esteem and superiority. Lack of submission, particularly to authority within the church.
The deliverance ministry may be misunderstood, misjudged, and misused, but it has been found effective when other methods have failed. God has always honoured the name of Jesus and the principles of his word. Spiritual leaders are prime targets for the evil one and his forces. Evidence of demonic activity amongst Christians abounds although it is mostly unrecognized as such.
Spiritual explanations for problems generally regarded as having genetic, pathogenic, or psychological causes tend to be rejected, or at least treated with scepticism if they challenge accepted beliefs. Taurus April May 20 Image: "At a country wedding, a groom dancing with his mother" Message: Beginnings and endings.
Creativity and social enjoyment are on the rise early this week. After a fairly lengthy period of romantic or family pressure, social and emotional energy begins to clear. Late Tuesday morning expect quick introductions, new friendships or unexpected invitations from co-workers. Join in and enjoy your relationships with others: for the time being, you will gain much insight and emotional strength from sharing common ground with loved ones. Wednesday through Friday also accent a battle of wills on the workscene: expect long-silent colleagues to now publicly voice their opinions, disappointments or criticisms.
Defend your own ideas but refuse to discuss personality dynamics in public: no workable solutions will arrive before the end of next week. Family and home decisions may soon require extra attention.
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Over the next few days watch for relatives and loved ones to expect added dedication, emotional involvement or financial support. For many Geminis this will be short-lived: expect relationships to return to normal by early next week. Some Geminis, however, may be presented with new rules, ultimatums or home routines. React quickly and avoid conflict, if at all possible.
Over the next few weeks a strong display of confidence and self-awareness will be required to establish firm boundaries in difficult relationships. Don't give up: loved ones will soon understand your point of view. After Thursday make quick financial changes: home and family routines will soon become costly and demanding.
Business messages and new financial information may be quite distracting this week. Over the next few days many Cancerians will find new income sources, receive positive responses from authority figures or begin promising career ventures. A three to four week period of work strain and personal conflict in the workplace is now ending: before next week expect a long-standing power struggle in the workplace to be resolved.
Don't look back: it's time for progress.
After Wednesday watch also for a subtle proposal from loved ones or romantic partners. Someone close may need to expand their home options, relocate or gently move a key relationship forward. Remain sensitive: your actions and reactions are now highly important to the self-esteem of others. Friends, close relatives and romantic partners may this week be highly focused on public reputation or group opinion.
Watch for a steady increase in gossip or romantic speculation over the next few days. Some Leos may also experience a sudden expansion of information or communications projects. For the next few weeks expect business and social demands to be fast, serious and rewarding. After Tuesday pay close attention to the minor comments or subtle gestures of a friend. Planetary alignments now suggest that someone close may now be planning a significant change to their home or business life.
Relocation or new career options may be at issue: offer enthusiasm and heartfelt advice. Business relationships will be surprisingly candid this week. Over the next few days expect both authority figures and business partners to reveal unusual ideas, opinions or information. Long-term plans and financial goals may be a strong theme: stay alert to new possibilities. Late Monday afternoon watch also for a powerful romantic exchange: a new attraction or rekindled passion may be quite compelling. Physical awareness and sensuality will soon captivate much of your time and energy: expect a newly arriving appreciation of fitness, vitality and sensual appeal.
After Thursday plan new home strategies and financial budgets: loved ones may now be expecting you to take control of strain family relations or complicated home paperwork. Libra September October 23 Image: "A sudden wind on the ocean, a boat's sail snapping full" Message: Quick advances. Past restrictions in business relationships will now fade. Late Monday watch for work officials and colleagues to significantly change their approach to team goals, group projects or long-term priorities. Key issues may involve changing roles in the workplace or new employees: watch for fast changes. After Tuesday romantic flirtation may also be quite unexpected: previously shy friends may now reveal deeper feelings.
Remain alert to compelling changes in long-term friendships. Wednesday through Friday also accents minor emotional strain in romantic and family relationships: key issues are financial obligations, short-term payments and deep feelings of insecurity. Create an atmosphere to trust and healing and all will go as planned.