When a man comes to the Bible God often gives him a physical picture to teach a spiritual truth. There are 4 steps involved. First, he has to identify the physical picture. Second, he has to see what spiritual truth God is teaching from the picture. Third, he has to see how that truth applied to Israel. Fourth, he has to see how that truth applies to him personally.
This is a key passage of Scripture. Deut ch 7v 1-16 is one of the most difficult passages in the Bible. God had rescued the Children of Israel from the bondage of Pharaoh. He led them across the wilderness. He provided food and water for them. Now they were ready to enter the Promised Land. Grace and judgement meet on this page of Scripture. God is the God of love and mercy. He is a just God, punishing man for sin.
There are three questions, which arise from this passage.
1. Why did God choose the Jewish people? Why did He appear to bless them above other peoples? Why did He give them the land occupied by seven other peoples?
2. Why did God order the slaughter of the seven peoples living in Canaan at the time? It is the same God who declared to the Israelites – ‘you shall not kill and you shall not steal.’ Where is the God of love in Canaan?
3. What relevance is this story for man today in the twenty first century? It happened over three thousand years ago?
QUESTION 1. Why did God choose Israel or the Jewish people? Why did He promise to bless them above the peoples living in the land at the time? In the English language the same word is capable of different meanings. A man may choose to wear an item of clothing because he prefers it to the others in the wardrobe. That is one meaning of the word “choose.” When it is time to lift potatoes a man chooses a fork – not because he prefers the colour of it – but because it will perform the purpose he has in mind. Often it is claimed that God preferred the Jewish people more than other peoples. They were like a teacher’s pet, given favourable treatment. This raises a sense of injustice.
In v 7 the passage makes it clear that the people were chosen not because of their number. Elsewhere it is clear that it was not because they were more moral or intelligent or more likeable than other peoples. There is nothing particularly attractive about the Jewish people. God chose them for a purpose. God had a purpose in mind. He chose the Jewish people to bring that purpose to pass. The condition of the World in those days was little better than in the days of Noah. The sad words of God in the Bible. Gen ch 6 v 5 – 6.
God wanted a people who would walk in obedience to His ways so that the other peoples of the World would see the glory of God. They would do that if He was reflected in the lives of the Jewish people. They would realise that the puny gods, which they worshipped, were false gods. God purposed that people all over the World would abandon their false gods. They would worship Him – as He had always intended. It was part of His great purpose of salvation to redeem a lost mankind. This was no easy task for the Jewish people. Children of Royalty have demanding requirements placed upon them as to their behaviour. Their lives will reflect badly on the Royal Family – if they do not behave to the highest standards. The Jewish people have struggled with their responsibilities. The Bible is a picture of the struggle of the Jewish people to live up to the calling of God on their lives. Twice in history as a punishment they were driven by God from the land promised to them. The very name Israel means “struggle.”
‘Israel is you and me on a national scale.’ If God, through Jesus Christ, calls an individual to serve Him, there are privileges. But there are also important responsibilities. God still wants the World to see His glory reflected through the body of Christ on Earth. Believers know that it is really hard to follow Jesus. God chose believers for the same purpose – to reveal the love of Jesus to the World. God wanted others to see the living God reflected in their lives. He wanted them to repent and turn to Him and worship Him. God did not choose believers because they were morally better than anyone else – or because they were more intelligent or stronger. Grace is God’s unmerited and undeserved favour to sinners who are His enemies.
QUESTION 2. It is easy to accept the goodness of God to a people who were in bondage to a cruel dictator. Many people have a real difficulty of coming to terms with God’s command to the Jewish People – wipe out these seven peoples, who were living in the Land of Canaan. There were two and a half million Hebrew slaves. The passage reveals that each of the peoples was larger in number than the Hebrews. There may have been at least twenty one million people involved. What about the children? How does man reconcile this command with the love of God and compassion shown in Jesus? Was it fair for God to drive out these people for the sake of the Hebrews?
Suppose a man owns a house and he is planning to go abroad for a time. He decides to lease out the house and engage a lawyer to draw up a lease. There will be the usual conditions. The rent will be payable regularly. The house is to be occupied by only one family. The tenant is to look after the house and the garden. The house is not to be used for any business purpose. There is to be no noise to disturb the neighbours. These are all normal terms of a lease. After only a short time, his lawyer sends word that the tenants have not paid the rent. Two other families have moved into the house. The house and garden are being neglected. The garden is being used as a garage repair workshop. The noise from late night parties is driving the neighbours to distraction. He asks for his client’s instructions. How long will the man allow the tenants to stay on in the house? How quickly will he instruct his lawyer to get an eviction order? One week, two weeks? Not very long.
That is exactly the situation in Canaan. God created the whole World. He had arranged that this choice piece of real estate in the Middle East was leased out to these seven peoples. There were conditions. God looks for mankind to worship their Creator. That is obligatory. God as Creator made mankind for His pleasure. He is deeply insulted when men and women worship gods of their imagination, or things, which He has created – like nature, animals, the sun and moon and stars and especially themselves. Historical records and archaeological excavations prove that the people living in Canaan were polytheists – they worshipped many gods but ignored the living God Himself. They prayed to Baal for rain for the crops and thanked Baal when it came. They ignored God who had sent the rain. Worse than that they cheated on each other. They fought each other. They lied to each other and broke every moral commandment of God. They engaged in sexual immorality. Recent excavations reveal that the Canaanites were heavily involved in pornography. There were unspeakable depravities taking place there in that land. Worst of all they sacrificed the children of their own bodies to the god Molech. The children were burned on the altar to Molech. While business and material prosperity flourished, morality declined.
How long would God allow this to go on? God in His infinite grace and mercy allowed these people a period well in excess of 400 years. All the time the Jewish people were in Egypt – some of the time in slavery. During that time He had blessed them and they had enjoyed prosperity. God had poured out His love on them, despite their sins. Then God declared that enough was enough. The full measure of their iniquity had been reached. The time had come to wipe them out. Each sin is a personal affront to a Holy God. The passage is not about justice but about mercy. If it is justice, which man demands of God, then all deserve to die. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But if it is about mercy, then it is up to fallen man to cry out, to repent and to seek mercy. Only then will man ever begin to understand the full measure of the mercy of God. Those who have ignored God and His Son Jesus will have to face the consequences of their actions.
Wrath is the outworking of God’s hostility towards sin. God’s wrath is His total opposition to rebellion against His ordinances and His Word. A pot of milk will simmer for a time until it boils over. God’s anger simmers for a long time but will eventually boil over. It is a dangerous thing for an individual or a nation to test God’s anger. After 400 years of grace a crisis point had been reached. God’s hostility to the sins of the peoples in Canaan was about to be worked out through the Jewish people. No wonder the Jewish people have not been welcomed – either then or now – by the peoples of the World. They remind the World that they cannot get away with sin. The Jews did not and the rest of the World will not fare any better.
The Jewish people did not fully wipe out the peoples living in the land. The remnant of these peoples became a snare to them as God had said. Ezra ch 9 v 1-2.
QUESTION 3. What significance does the reference to these seven peoples have for man today? What does the situation in Canaan have to say today in the sophisticated World in the twenty first century? Today most people worship either material things, which God has created, including their bodies – or false gods of their imagination – or just simply themselves. Children are still sacrificed in the incinerators of state-run Hospitals. Their parents want to continue to worship their sexual encounters. They do not want the responsibilities of looking after the offspring of their sexual activity. The Canaanites worshipped the Baals. Today people worship the modern day Baals – the footbaal and the automobaal. There is a close parallel between the society in Canaan, when the Jewish people entered the land and society today.
The real problem is that many people in the World are materialists. They really only believe in what they can see and touch. That is why it is difficult to believe in God who is a Spirit. It is difficult to believe in Jesus who cannot be seen physically today. In the East people are caught up in a spiritual World. They see physical, material things as evil. Only the Jews, trained by God over centuries, have been able to hold together the physical and spiritual Worlds. Paul says in Ephesians that the battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual powers and forces of darkness.
All these spiritual powers have the same characteristic, attacking the well-being of mankind in various ways. They come with the intention of robbing, stealing and destroying, everything and anything and especially the blessings and gifts, which God has given man by His Holy Spirit. That is the relevance for today. It is truly amazing how up to date the Bible is. People faced the same situation over 3,000 years ago as they do today. The mercy and judgement of God confront man in relation to the World situation today.
Moses sent out 12 spies to look at the land of Canaan before he entered. Ten of the spies came back saying that they felt like grasshoppers beside the people living there. The seven peoples were described as giants. God often gives man a physical picture to teach spiritual truth. Each name has a meaning, representing a spiritual principality or giant. Believers have to overcome these giants in their own life.
1. The GIRGASHITES is the spirit, which encourages a man to go back to the life he came from. Young people find a great pressure from their peer group to turn back to the old ways. It is the turning back spirit behind apostasy.
2. The HITTITES means fear – a giant, which dominates many lives today. It robs them of their enjoyment of life and achieving their full potential in life. The fear of pain, the fear of disease, the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, the fear of unemployment, the fear of what others will think of man, and perhaps the greatest fear – the fear of death. The Hittite spirit robs a man of God has a perfect plan for each life. Fear prevents that plan being fulfilled.
3. The HIVITES encourages the attitude of eat, drink and be merry – lead a life of pleasure while ignoring the spiritual values of truth and integrity. There are so many things to do. It is easy to forget eternal values. The Hivite spirit will take a man’s eyes off serving Jesus.
4. The AMORITES means speech, speaking against God, boasting of self, murmuring against God, slandering others and using negative instead of positive speech. It is the giant behind swearing, blasphemy, criticism, gossip, vulgar speech and the use of four letter words, defamation, rumour and innuendo and lies, of complaining and boasting of self. The Amorite spirit robs a man of the dignity of his speech.
5. The PERIZZITES means the spirit of separation, leaving man unprotected and helpless. If he is too busy in this life, he can become separated from fellowship with God. If a man’s basic human needs are not met as a child, he is unprotected and unable to cope in adult life. The Perizzite spirit will separate a man from fellowship and leave him isolated.
6. The CANAANITES means the spirit of materialism – worshipping the material World. It encourages the love of wealth, greed, covetousness and stealing from others. The Canaanite spirit of materialism – leading to lust and greed – will draw a man into the ways of the World.
7. The JEBUSITES is the spirit behind intimidation, condemnation and discouragement – putting others down and elevating self. It seeks to tread down the holy places of God. The Jebusite spirit will put a man down by intimidation, condemnation and discouragement to prevent his becoming like Jesus.
Overcoming the spiritual giants will determine the roll of man in eternity. When the books are opened and a man’s life is laid bare before Jesus a man’s defeat by the giants will have robbed him of entries in the books.
How did Jesus overcome the giants personally?
The Girgashite Spirit. Jesus set His face to go to Jerusalem to fulfil the purpose of God for His life – to die on a Roman cross. There was no turning back for Jesus.
The Hittite Spirit. Jesus was so full of love for His Father God and for the human beings He had created, including His enemies, that there was simply no room for fear in His heart. ‘Perfect love casts out fear.’
The Hivite Spirit. He who loves His life in this World shall lose it. Jesus did not love His life but sacrificed His life in the service of God. He came to pay the price for the World’s sins.
The Amorite Spirit. The speech of Jesus was always positive and constructive. When He spoke, things happened. He never boasted or complained.
The Perizzite Spirit. Jesus was never unprotected or separated from God. He walked in total obedience to the will of God for His life. He was in constant fellowship with His Father.
The Canaanite Spirit. Jesus worked in the business World but was not conditioned by the thinking of the World. He refused to bow the knee to the Canaanite god of Mammon. He was in the World but not of it.
The Jebusite Spirit. ‘Neither do I condemn you.’ Jesus did not come into this World to judge the World but to save the World.
In Joshua ch 9 v 1-2 it is clear that the seven people came together against Israel. They were united in their opposition to the presence of Israel in the land. The giants often work together.
CHAPTER 2. THE GIRGASHITES.
In Gen ch 10 v 16 and 1 Chron ch 1 v 14 the tribe of Girgashites are listed as part of the mixed population of Canaan described in the original promise to Abraham. The meaning of the word is ‘one who returns from a pilgrimage’ or ‘dwellers in clayey soil or black mud.’ The two meanings point to the same enemy with the same intent of taking people back to where they were before it all happened. The Girgashite Spirit is the ‘turning back spirit’ or the spirit of apostasy. What a contrast between Egypt and Canaan. Egypt was a harsh land where the Israelites were enslaved by Pharaoh. Pharaoh was a type of Devil, holding the people in bondage. The Hebrews knew only slavery and the lash. Their sons had been taken from their mothers and brutally murdered. Canaan was the Promised Land, flowing with milk and honey. It was also the place where the Hebrews would experience freedom. For the believer it is the picture of leaving the World and spiritual death and entering the Kingdom of God and freedom. Astonishingly the Hebrews wanted to turn back into Egypt. This is the physical picture to teach the spiritual truth. In Num ch 14 v 4 the people chose a leader to lead them back to Egypt. Behind this decision lies the sinister hand of the Girgashite spirit. Ex ch 16 v 3. ‘Would that we had died in Egypt where we had plenty to eat.’ Eventually the Israelites crossed over into the promised Land. The unbelieving generation had died off in the wilderness. The Girgashite Spirit was heard of no more.
The spirit of apostasy seeks to turn a man back from following Jesus, and causes him to be Earthly and sensual again. It seeks to turn a man from his inheritance in Christ to the blackness and filth of Egypt (or the World) from which he fled. When a believer experiences difficulties in his Christian walk, he can be sure that it is the Girgashite spirit. This spirit is at work against him, seeking to trip him up, put him down and divert his goal of serving God. For the new believer temptation comes and it seems too hard. The Spirit suggests that God is asking too much of him.
The spiritual truth is that the Girgashite Spirit is the instrument of Satan to kill off new believers at birth, before they become established. The Bible gives 4 physical pictures to teach this truth.
First. The occasion when Pharaoh ordered the death of all the boy babies. Exodus ch 1 v 16. Moses escaped by the grace of God.
Second. Herod did the same at the time of Jesus. He killed all the boy children aged two or under in Bethlehem in his attempt to kill the baby Jesus. Mat ch 2 v 16.
Third. Gen ch 13 v 10-11. Abraham had given Lot the choice of the land when they decided to part company. Lot looked down into the fertile Jordan Valley and realised that he could make more profit there than on the hills of Judea. There was city life for his wife and daughters rather than the rural life of the hill country. When God decided to destroy Sodom, He sent angels to make sure that Lot and his family fled from Sodom before the act of destruction. Why did God destroy Sodom? Ezekiel ch 16 v 49 explains God’s reasons. As the family fled Lot’s wife looked back with a desire for the life she was leaving and it led to her death. In Luke ch 17 v 32 Jesus warns: ‘Remember Lot’s wife.’
Fourth. The book of Malachi. He was the last prophet 400 years before Jesus came to Earth. Malachi looked at the situation in the land and saw that the people, were sniffing at God. The people were in the process of turning back from obedience to God.
1. The priests were offering damaged animals in sacrifice. No longer was only the best good enough for God.
2. Men were being unfaithful to their wives and were committing adultery. If a man cannot be faithful to his wife – the one who bore his children – how can he be trusted in other areas of his life? God hates divorce.
3. The people were not tithing. Mal ch 3 v 10. They wanted the blessings but were not committed to contributing to the work of the Kingdom of God.
4. The Church leaders were not preaching the whole counsel of God. They were telling the people that God loved them but there was little about the wrath of God. It was the prophets who spoke out about the wrath of God.
5. The leaders were questioning the Word of God. ‘Did God really say?’ It is the responsibility of each believer to feed himself on the Word of God. He dare not rely entirely on the feeding by another.
After the Hebrews entered the land the Girgashite spirit flickered and died. Similarly in the Christian life there comes a time when the appeal to backslide and go back into the World fades away and a believer enters into his position in God. Then the power of apostasy is broken. There will be areas where that believer is less secure. These are the areas where the enemy will come with a new attack. It is a giant, which particularly hovers over infant believers. Stronger believers must recognise this danger and stand guard on their behalf in order that a young believer can be established in his position in God. It is essential to get the babies well fed and protected at the same time. There is a real sense of urgency. Many mothers in nature have to ensure that their offspring grow quickly, if they are to survive the harsh climate and be safe from predators. The Girgashite Spirit is a predator seeking to devour young believers.
Many who set out to follow Jesus turned back when they realised how difficult it was going to be. Jesus was addressing this spirit when He said in Luke ch 9 v 62: ‘When you put your hand to the plough, you are no use if you look back.’ The lines will not be straight. In Mat ch 18 v 6 Jesus makes it clear that it is very serious, if any person by his conduct is used by this spirit to entice another person to sin. Paul was also speaking against the spirit in Phil ch 3 v 13 – 14. ‘Forgetting the past, I press on to the goal of being like Jesus.’ Peter also spoke against it in 1 Pet ch 1 v 6. A believer should welcome trials and difficulties and allow them to forge his character. Jesus promises a believer a special prize when he overcomes sin, the Devil, the flesh and the World. ‘Be an overcomer.’ Rev chs 2 and 3. Without a vision the people perish. Paul held onto his vision of becoming like Jesus, no matter what trials, difficulties and temptations came his way.
When a man decides to follow Jesus he becomes personally responsible to God for what he does with his life. He will do what God says and go where God sends him. He is accountable to God alone. The Girgashite Spirit seeks to deflect the believer from God’s plan for his life.
Apostasy was evident in the early Church. 2 Tim ch 4 v 10. Demas was deluded and deceived by the Girgashite Spirit and turned back from following the Lord. Paul and Peter often use such words as ‘hold fast’ – ‘stand firm.’ Rom ch 12 v 9. 1 Pet ch 5 v 12. 1 Thes ch 3 v 8. Phil ch 4 v 1. 1 Cor ch 16 v 13.
Today the spirit is hard at work. The Scriptures make it clear that in the last days the love of many will grow cold. Mat ch 24 v 12. Even nations are turning back into atheism and heathenism. Some Churches are falling into apostasy. There is great interest in the occult, astrology, New Age matters and alternative medicines. This is drawing even strong believers away. Heb ch 6 v 4-6 and Heb ch 10 v 29 contain a severe warning to all believers of the danger of back-sliding. Paul adds his own warning of the danger of back-sliding. 1 Tim ch 4 v 1. ‘In later times some will give up and be led astray by doctrines of demons.’
1 Tim ch 6 v 10. Through the love of money many have wandered from the faith.
What are the tactics of the Girgashite spirit? When a believer is young in the faith the Girgashite Spirit lures the believer with the ways of the World. It has to be remembered that the spirits often work together in teams or groups. The Hivite spirit and the Canaanite spirit work with the Girgashite spirit to pull a young believer back into the World. They promote the lusts of the flesh and the pleasures of the World. Many want one last experience before they give it up, genuinely intending to return after their last venture into the World. They are blinded to the danger. It could be the last opportunity they have. If it is appropriate soul ties ought to be broken by young believers on a biblical basis with genuine repentance. As a believer matures the ways of the World grow strangely dim. Then the Girgashite Spirit attacks from another angle. It is the over-confident person, who ceases to rely upon the power of Christ, who falls into the snare of the Devil. The very things the believer once said would never tempt him again, suddenly arise like sleeping giants in his life, causing him to fall back again into sin. King David did not fail in his life when he was young. Later in life he played with temptation that led to adultery and murder. 2 Sam ch 11 v 1-5. Solomon wrote many of the Proverbs. Years later he allowed the luxuries of his life and his marriages to many wives to lead him away from God.
When a believer finds himself thinking: “It is too hard to be a Christian,” it is the Girgashite Spirit at work. One of the favourite tactics of the Girgashite spirit is a real or imaginary wrong done to a believer by a fellow believer. There will be times when a believer is hurt or let down by a brother in Christ. When he dwells too long on a grievance, the enemy will plant in him a seed of bitterness. Heb ch 12 v 15. When he allows bitterness to fester within him, he becomes sour and his external witness is ruined. If a believer walks out of a Church under these circumstances, it is difficult to be established in another Church. It is important to remember the advice of Paul in Ephesians ch 6 that the battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual powers. Some in the Church to which they go will regard them as unreliable and will be suspicious of the person, because of his reputation. It may be that the hurt has been allowed by the Lord to bring forth growth in the life of the believer when he learns to overcome the hurt. However, it may be used by the enemy to lead the believer to give up altogether. The believer may actually speak the words: ‘I shall never do that again.’ Satan can slip into the mouth of another believer words, which that believer may have no recollection of having said. Mat ch 16 v 23. Peter may genuinely have believed that he was not attempting to divert Jesus from going to the cross.
Jer ch 15 v 7. ‘They did not turn from their ways.’ The believer must go on repenting in life.
Prov ch 12 v 26. ‘A righteous man turns away from evil.’
Isaiah ch 53 v 6. ‘We like sheep have gone astray and turned every one to his own way.’
Jer ch 8 v 5. ‘The people had turned away in perpetual backsliding.’
Zeph ch 1 v 6. ‘Those who have turned back from following God and no longer inquire of the Lord.’
Mat ch 24 v 10. ‘In time of tribulation many will fall away and betray one another.’
John ch 10 v 27. ‘My sheep hear my voice and follow me.’
How do believers defeat this Girgashite Spirit?
1. Recognise the purpose and tactics of the enemy and take a stand against him.
2. Compare the time to be spent in eternity with Jesus by comparison with that spent on Earth and weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of the two. Count the cost and consider the alternatives. Lot’s wife looked back at the old life and wished that she could return to Sodom. Consider the lives of those who once knew Jesus and loved Him and are no more.
3. Grasp the truth that there will come a day when each believer will stand before Jesus along with every other person who has ever lived. He will have to give an account for what he has done in his life.
4. Develop a loving relationship with Jesus the man. A sincere loving relationship between two people will sustain a marriage where neither is perfect. In the relationship with Jesus at least one of the parties is perfect. Jesus tested Peter three times, asking if he loved Jesus. Assured of Peter’s love for Him, Jesus was certain that Peter could stand the trials, which lay ahead of him. ‘Do you love me?’ There is a difference between backsliding and failure. Peter failed the Lord but he repented and continued. God is not finished with any man yet. Jesus saw the potential in Peter. God initiates a transforming process whereby every believer can attain his full potential. People may have deep problems within their life, which others know nothing about. Be careful not to judge others too harshly. However, if backsliding persists, the person might reach the situation in Hebrews ch 6 v 4 where it is impossible to restore him again to repentance.
5. A person cannot love someone he does not know well. To know Jesus means regular study of His words and actions. A man needs a revelation from God of His holiness. For that reason Revelation was given to John on the Island of Patmos. It was a blessing for the early Church as it is meant to be for every believer. The book of Revelation has changed so many people down through the course of history. The Feast of Tabernacles was devised by God with this in mind – to spend time alone with God, away from the distraction of home and work. Rev ch 12 v 6. Man learns more about God in the wilderness than on the mountaintop.
CHAPTER 3. THE HIVITES.
Noah had three sons – Ham, Shem and Japheth. One of the sons of Ham was Canaan. Canaan was the father of several sons, one of whom was the father of the Hivites. Noah had put a curse on Canaan. Deut ch 7 v 1 describes the Hivites as greater than the Hebrews. The Hivites are known to have dwelt in the area now known as Lebanon. The Hivites were conscripted in the building of the temple by Solomon. 1 Kings ch 9 v 20-21. Biblical historians are generally agreed that all of the early Hamitic people were given over to the most debased and degraded systems of thought and worship. It appears that there was a systematic and deliberate departure from the true knowledge of God. Their cups were soon full of iniquity.
The word Hivite means life-giving. The spirit behind the Hivites portrays this World with its illusions, delusions and dubious delights as a life-giving, soul-satisfying environment. The Hivite spirit lures people into pleasure and prosperity at the price of their souls. They do not seek pursuits, which are of eternal value and worth. Mat ch 16 v 26. Jesus warned against the spirit of the Hivites when He said: “What profits a man to gain the whole World and lose his soul.” Esau was a man of pleasure. He loved hunting and shooting. 2 Tim ch 3 v 4. ‘In the last days people will be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.’ Many are turning to all kinds of activities to give them a buzz or thrill. The idea of holiness or integrity is seen as boring. Happiness and fun are the goals of many people. They want a good laugh, bright lights and something different – an experience. Parties and music festivals attract them. In Acts ch 17 v 18 Paul was addressing the Epicureans. Their philosophy of life was: ‘Eat, drink and be merry – for tomorrow you may die.’ This is the philosophy of many today. They live for pleasure today but give no thought about life after death. Luke ch 17 v 26-30.
What is life? From a medical point of view it is the ability to breathe. But there is more to life than the absence of death. The Bible makes it clear that, before a man meets with Christ, he is dead in his sins. Eph ch 2 v 1. An unbeliever is physically alive but spiritually dead. Rom ch 6 v 23. ‘The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ Jesus is the source of life. Luke ch 9 v 60. When Jesus said: “Let the dead bury the dead,” He meant that those who were spiritually dead might as well bury their own kind. When Jesus said: “I am the life.” He meant that He is the source of spiritual life. He wanted men to experience true spiritual life. He also gives believers life in abundance. John ch 10 v 10. It is satisfying to know that what a man is doing is of eternal value. In Eccles ch 3 v 11 life without God is shown to be worth less than life with God at the centre. ‘Why amass wealth for a son who will squander it?’ Why should a man create a garden, which will revert to weeds after his death? Solomon tried all kinds of activities to bring him pleasure but nothing really satisfied his soul.
God often gives a physical picture to teach a spiritual truth. In Gen ch 34. Dinah, daughter of Jacob was searching for life amongst the Hivite ladies. Her seemingly harmless trip into the World controlled by enemy territory turned into a disaster. She played with fire and was duly burned. Many today say: “What is wrong with a bit of fun? It does not hurt anyone.” If Satan is the ruler of this World, it should not be a surprise when people are harmed. Dinah went to judge for herself what the Hivites were like. God had already judged them and told Jacob about the consequences of their disgusting practices. Dinah was not prepared to accept God’s advice and judgement. She went to see for herself and paid the price for disobedience. The rape of Dinah was by Shechem, the son of Hamor the Hivite. Jacob’s sons took their revenge on the Hivites. They killed all the men of the city of Shechem. How many people try drugs to find out what they are like? They become addicts. God seeks to protect a man from harm. Believers do not need to visit a brothel to know that it is wrong.
Lot’s wife found it difficult to flee from the life she had known and enjoyed. She disobeyed the angels and looked back longing for the old life. She was reluctant to leave the familiar for the unknown. She was showered with sulphur and died. Gen ch 39 v 12. Joseph said “No” to the temptation of Potiphar’s wife. Dan ch 1 v 8. Daniel said “No” to Nebuchadnezzar’s food offered to him. By saying “No” to the ways of the World, a man is saying “Yes” to God. Jesus set the alternatives before the people of His day. John ch 10 v 10. ‘The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. I have come that they might have life in abundance.’ It is the choice of each man.
One of the lies of the Hivite spirit is to encourage people to believe that the Christian life is excessively restrictive. True life with Jesus shows up all other life as a cheap imitation. The purpose of Jesus was to meet a man’s basic needs – to be loved, to belong and to achieve. Many believers do not find their needs met. They join the non-believers in a search for happiness and satisfaction. They want to do something worthwhile in life. The real success in life is for a man is doing the will of God for his life. Jesus did not come to make a man happy – but holy. His command is ‘be holy.’ Most want to be happy in this life and perhaps be holy in the World to come. Jesus guarantees happiness in the World to come, if holiness is pursued in this life. Joy is not happiness. Happiness depends on outward circumstances. A man cannot be happy in prison when falsely accused but he can have joy.
The World and its ways are clearly presented in Scripture as in competition to the ways of God. Many love the ways of the World, thinking that they will find fulfilment. They are looking for success, status, the praise of man or reputation. They pursue the ways of the World. In the cold light of day, they see the World for what it really is, an animated corpse. It moves only when the Devil gives it the pretence of life. How many young people have been deceived by this spirit? The permissive society surrendered to lust – lust for material possessions, lust for fun and for sexual experiences.
Many young people are so attracted by the bright lights, dancing, drink and the sociable life where they can please themselves. It appeals to them that they are well thought of by others. They find it difficult to face the mocking of their friends, if they are different. Many young people have been taunted that they have not lived, unless they have had a cigarette, been drunk, tried drugs or become sexually experienced. Many a young person has sold his soul to the lies of the World. Sadly, having fallen into the snare of iniquity, they find it is difficult to be released. The Hivite spirit is a seducing spirit. It drags people down to the ways of the World. The ways are presented as harmless, popular and for mature people. Ruination and damnation are the ultimate goals. The demon drink is well named. The ways of the World are not just for the young. The slogan ‘Buy now, pay later’ leads many into debt. ‘You can afford it.’ For them material possessions are their security and material gain is their goal. Even music can seduce a person. Music has a profound effect upon the mind of a man for good or evil. It has an important part in quietening the mind and preparing the heart for the reception of God’s Word. God is enthroned on the praises of His people. God devised music as a medium to lift the human spirit to praise Him. Satan has an agenda to use it for the presentation of his messages in songs of rebellion. It is now the norm to have background music. If played quietly, it soothes the mind. However, the danger is that it can also fill the mind and rob the mind of silence and peace. The constant beat of rock music may well have serious consequences on hearing and the ability to concentrate. It prevents the Holy Spirit speaking quietly into the heart and mind. Having a television on in a home constantly kills conversation. Constant music prevents the mind from meditating on God.
Jesus was addressing this spirit on various occasions in His teaching. The Word of God has a lot to say about this beguiling spirit. Jesus watched the people for thirty years before His public ministry began. He knew what they were involved in and what were the longings of their hearts. John ch 12 v 25. ‘He that loves his life shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this World shall keep it unto eternal life.’ Jesus is warning against the Hivite spirit. Jesus considers it to be a matter of life and death. 1 John ch 2 v 15 – 17. There is something in this World, which fallen man finds attractive. It is not life. It is lust and selfish pride. It appeals to both aspects of a man’s fallen nature. God says that a man cannot have these in his heart and love Him at the same time. A man will never enjoy the best in life as long as he is satisfied with the second best. This is true of music, food, clothes, etc. John ch 12 v 25. Mat ch 10 v 39. Mark ch 8 v 35. Luke ch 9 v 24-5. Jesus offers the best quality of life.
God says: ‘Keep away, trust me and obey me.’ Those who are strong as believers have a responsibility to be an example to a weaker brother. They should not be a stumbling block to them. Rom ch 14 v 21. Some films should not be seen. Those advertised as for 18 and over are wisely labelled. How many younger than 18 want to see and decide for themselves whether or not they should see them? Those at the box office want income and are not too concerned about the age of the young people in the queue. The prodigal son wanted his share of the family fortune to enjoy loose living. He was persuaded that, if he really wanted to live, he should leave home. What he thought was life was actually death. Eventually he came to his senses and returned to his home. Many people live a good life physically, content with their own self-righteousness and success. They never give God a second thought. Many parents think it is a good idea for their children to taste and see. Let them make up their own minds when they are older. For some it is too late. There is real pressure on parents to allow their children to join with others and not to be seen as restrictive or narrow-minded. How many parents allow their teenage daughters to go out for the night scantily dressed only to find that – like Dinah – they have been raped?
What are the ways of the World, which are not the ways of God?
1. The World says: ‘Enjoy yourself.’ In the last days people will be lovers of pleasure. 2 Tim ch 3 v 4.
2. The World says: ‘Spend now, pay later. Borrow and pay it back later.’ Feeling miserable? ‘Go on a spending spree. Enjoy some retail therapy.’
3. The World encourages men to seek the praise of men. Mat ch 6 v 3. God says: “When you give, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”
4. The World offers something for nothing – the lottery, a free hand out, a bonus for good performance and discounts. God’s way is seen in salvation. It was a costly business for Jesus.
5. The World says: ‘Give money and receive an honour.’ Fallen man loves to be praised. Satan became Satan, because he was tired of praising God and wanted to be praised himself.
6. The World says: ‘Come to the sale.’ Mostly it is not a sale at all. The shop-keeper has reduced the prices to encourage people to spend and buy his goods. He hopes that they will like them and become regular customers at the proper price. Some goods of poorer quality are brought in to be sold off. They are not equivalent to goods of normal quality. Sometimes the price is reduced to put a competitor out of business. Reduced admission prices to a football match are designed to attract people who would otherwise not attend. The idea of a sale appeals to a man’s desire to get something for less than it would normally cost. Religion appeals to a man on the same basis. He can get reward in Heaven for personal endeavour without any self-sacrifice.
How is the believer to slay this giant, which seduces him to seek the ways of the World?
1. The believer’s victory depends on how much of the grace of God abides in him. When the believer allows the grace of God to grip his mind – when he knows that God is concerned day by day for his total welfare and well-being – then he understands that the ways of the World are not good for him. ‘For by grace you are saved through faith.’ Eph ch 2 v 8. The understanding of grace depends on the study of the Word.
2. How is the believer able to live in the World but not be of it? It depends on how much of the Word of God lives in him. Mat ch 4 v 1-4. Jesus was tempted by the Hivite spirit to turn stones into bread to satisfy His bodily needs. He rejected it by quoting the Word of God. “You shall worship the Lord your God and only Him shall you serve.” ‘Get out of here, Satan! It is written…’ The more the believer reads the Word of God, the more the Word of God will influence his life and shape his character. The Word of God becomes part of his being. He begins to have the mind of Christ. Daniel was so full of the Word of God that he wrote part of it himself. Identify false teaching in the World and focus on the teaching of Jesus.
3. A believer catches the glory of the Lord. Then he sees the alternatives for what they are – a cheap imitation. In Isaiah chapters 1-6 Isaiah was busy criticising everyone else.
“Woe to you!” When he saw the Lord, he cried out: ‘Woe is me.’ The revelation of the holiness of God transformed Isaiah. As the believer becomes more like Jesus, he will be attracted less by the ways of the World. Gradually the ways of the World lose their attraction and grow strangely dim. Things a man once watched he now finds distasteful.
4. The believer should be laying up treasures in Heaven. He knows that he will have to give an account for every word he speaks and every thing he does. Moses chose to suffer with his people rather than enjoy the temporary pleasures of sin in Egypt. He saw greater wealth in the unseen, invisible things of God than in all the treasures of Egypt. Moses took the people out of Egypt but God never got Egypt out of the people. When a man loses sight of the Second Coming of Jesus he slides downhill morally.
5. The believer’s capacity to overcome the Hivite spirit depends on his relationship of love with Jesus. When a man falls in love those precious things of Jesus become his. Jesus put it simply: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John ch 14 v 15.
CHAPTER 4. THE AMORITE SPIRIT.
The Amorite spirit affects all people. It has the same purpose as all evil spirits – it comes to rob, steal and kill. It robs a man of his inheritance. It steals a man’s purity before God. The word “Amorite” means to speak, to speak against and to boast of self. Every person has at some time in his life been bothered by the speech of another. Passing on gossip, saying the wrong thing or just a careless and thoughtless word can cause hurt. The Amorite spirit encourages a man to talk others down. In Gen ch 15 v 16 God told Abraham that: ‘the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.’ The Amorites were an iniquitous people. Their sin was not yet at a level when God would sanction their destruction. There comes a time when His wrath boils over. Nahum ch 3 v 19. The wound is too deep to heal.
Speech is a precious gift from God. Animals have a means of communication through action and sound. Only man has the gift of speech. The third verse of the Bible confirms that God speaks. God spoke and said: “Let there be light.” It was by God’s spoken word that all things were created – including man himself. The words of God are a positive and forceful expression of His divine nature. With God words and things are the same. There is no distinction between them. The Hebrew word and the Greek word for ‘word’ or ‘thing’ is the same. Nothing – no thing – is impossible for God. No word will return to Him void. God said: “Let there be light – and there was light.” When God spoke the word “light” the thing “light” came into existence. God speaks and things come to pass or come into being. The speech of God is a powerful, faith-filled faculty. Doubt is one of Satan’s lines of attack: “Did God really say?” This sows seeds of doubts in the mind. It can cause a believer to turn back from obeying the Word of God.
God gives man the capacity to bring things to pass by use of words. A man may say: ‘Let us build a house.’ The words are the catalyst for the action, which follows. Created in God’s image – or likeness – man is endowed with many faculties of God. Creative speech is one of the most powerful faculties. Man was to rule over the Earth in the same way that God rules over it – by the spoken word. Adam named the animals. Gen ch 2 v 19. Adam named his wife. Gen ch 2 v 23. ‘She shall be called woman.’ It was in the power of speech that man ruled. Satan immediately set about undermining that authority vested in man to use speech creatively. He sought to overthrow man’s privileged position. The serpent spoke to Eve – through a medium. How interesting – a talking snake! Satan used a trick to catch Eve’s attention and distract her focus on God. God condemned Adam: “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, the ground shall be cursed.” Gen ch 3 v 17.Today speech can be used for good or evil.
Men rebelled when they built the Tower of Babel. God confused the speech of men and scattered them across the face of the Earth. Today man has a universal language, computers and instant communication. What has been impossible since the days of the Tower of Babel is now possible.
So powerful is the faculty of speech that Solomon declared: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Prov ch 18 v 21. In Daniel the angel Gabriel came to visit Daniel after his prayer. Dan ch 10 v 12. Gabriel said to Daniel: “I have come in response to your words.” A few words can move an angel to action.
Jesus was addressing the Amorite spirit, which was attacking the people of His day. Jesus also emphasised the importance of speech and words when He said: “For by your words, you shall be justified and by your words, you shall be condemned.” Mat ch 12 v 36 – 37. Paul in his treatise to the Church says in Eph ch 4 v 29 “Let no evil talk come out of your mouth – but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion – that it may impart grace to those who hear.” God’s speech is always positive and not negative. Satan’s words are always the opposite – negative, discouraging, accusing, intimidating and condemning.
Jesus used creative speech. Jesus spoke and things happened. Miracles followed the words of Jesus. A fig tree withered. A blind man received his sight. A dead man came back to life. He spoke a few words and there was enough food to feed 5,000. Speech and the words, which are used, are of the utmost importance in the outworking of faith. When a man believes in his heart that Jesus is Lord and speaks it out in public, he is saved. A man actually speaks salvation to himself. Each believer needs to keep on speaking the words of salvation in order to keep the process going. For this reason testimony is vital. A man overcomes the Devil by the blood of the Lamb and the words of his testimony. Rev ch 12 v 11. When a person reads the Bible in public, he is speaking the Words of God.
Faith is located in the heart and in the mouth. Nobody can tell what is inside of a man – what is in his heart and in his spirit. However there is a way that will quickly reveal what is in his heart. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Mat ch 12 v 34. Jesus ‘ positive speech is seen when He renamed Simon – meaning, ‘swaying like a reed’ – to Peter – meaning, ‘a rock.’ Abram had his name changed to Abraham – meaning father of many nations. Jesus told His Disciples to speak to the mountain. Not to pray about it or discuss it but simply to speak to it. Mark ch 11 v 23. When tempted by the Devil, Jesus spoke the Words of God to Satan and Satan withdrew. When a man speaks against Satan he can take the name of Jesus as his authority. Man is forbidden to take the Lord’s name in vain. But he can do so in praise, in worship and in proclamation against the enemy.
Where do curses, slanderous words and destructive comments come from? There is a spirit of evil speech. There is an evil defiling spirit, whose purpose is to inflame the tongue of a man and to destroy the creative power of speech. Behind all the jesting, insinuation, lying and double-talking, lies a power of darkness. Its purpose is to render language meaningless – to break down wholesome speech and to substitute the language of Hell. Most bad language degrades the Creator and the human body – created by God – In particular the bodily functions created by God in His infinite wisdom. 1 Cor ch 12 v 23. There is increasing vulgarity in speech. Many freely mention the unmentionable parts of the body and expose the parts of the body, which should be covered. This is the Amorite spirit.
The Amorite spirit is behind the swearing, which is so prevalent in the World. Swearing is hatred of God. Mat ch 12 v 22 – 32. The Pharisees attributed the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan. That was unforgivable. It is an unintentional, or in some cases intentional, worship of Satan. It is wrong to take the name of the Lord in vain. But what about taking the Word of God in vain? By using the Word of God to make a joke or to bring a person down, a man is taking the Word of God in vain. Man shall be held to account for that also. By using negative words a man brings about a negative situation. If a man says: “I cannot” it means that he will not. The positive word to be used is: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Blood is the life of a person. The blood of Jesus purchased man’s salvation. Through the blood of Jesus the powers of darkness were cast down. The Devil does his utmost to belittle, blaspheme and discredit the blood. For many ‘bloody’ is the standard adjective.
Believers are blessed – not ‘lucky.’ To confess good or bad fortune is to deny the providence of God. Isaiah ch 65 v 11. Gad is the false god of fortune or luck. Meni is the false god of fate. When a man takes the word “damn” upon his lips, he takes upon himself the divine prerogative of eternal judgement. This belongs only to Jesus. Mat ch 5 v 22. ‘You are in danger of Hell fire, if you call your brother a fool.’ Moses did the same thing in Num ch 20 v 10. He took the place of God and shut himself out of Canaan.
If a man calls another a fool, he assumes that, because his patience is exhausted, God’s patience must be also. He makes his thoughts and ways the limit of God’s thoughts and ways. ‘In the same manner as you judge, so shall you be judged.’ Mat ch 7 v 1 -2. When a man damns a person, he judges that person as a rebel, fit only for nothing but the fires of damnation – Hell. The words a man speaks have serious consequences. A man can choose to speak God-inspired words and use this wonderful faculty of speech to glorify God. Gal ch 6 v 10. ‘Be an instrument of blessing to all you meet, especially your brothers in Christ.’
Criticism and gossip are all influenced by the Amorite spirit. The spirit takes advantage of the envy and jealousy in the heart of a man to run another person down. Often it is designed to defend the fragile character of the speaker. If a man can run another person down, then he feels superior to that person. One of the seven things the Lord hates is a person who stirs up trouble. Proverbs ch 6 v 16-19. Doeg the Edomite is such a person. 1 Sam ch 21 v 7.
MURMURING. One meaning of the word Amorite is to speak against or murmur and grumble. The book of Numbers is all about the grumbling of the people in the wilderness for 38 years. Believers often murmur against the leadership of the Church. Num ch 12 v 1 – 2. God punished Miriam for murmuring against the leadership of Moses. Behind the murmur is an attitude of envy and jealousy. They may have spoken the truth concerning Moses. He should not have married an unbeliever. But their motive for speaking it was wrong. Num ch 12 v 2. The Lord heard it. The Lord hears every word a man says against his brothers. He will judge his speech. A man must be careful to guard his lips. He should make sure that he is never used to be an instrument of the Devil. The intention of a man’s words should be to build up and encourage others in their relationship with the Lord. There is a command to encourage one another. 1 Thes ch 5 v 11. The Amorite spirit is seen right at the start of the Church in Acts ch 6 v 1. There was murmuring against the Apostles. The Apostles accepted that there was a problem and did not ignore it. They dealt with the matter quickly and they were decisive. In John ch 6 v 41 the people murmured against Jesus. In reply Jesus said to them: ‘Stop grumbling amongst yourselves.’ Then He delivered one of the ‘I am’ statements. Jesus recognised the Amorite spirit was at work and addressed it.
In Joshua ch 9 v 18 there was murmuring against Joshua’s leadership. By way of contrast David did not murmur against Saul’s position as king. He refused to raise his hand or his voice against God’s anointed. In that way he was a man after God’s heart. Today there is murmuring against God’s order – age discrimination – sex discrimination – race discrimination. Different sections of society are complaining that they are not receiving a fair deal. Many claim their rights but ignore their responsibilities.
Believers have no right to complain. Servants cannot complain about what the master provides. The master knows best. Some children criticise their parents before their peers. They are in effect stating to God: ‘You should have given me better parents.’
BOASTING. The word Amorite also means to “boast of self.” When a man boasts of himself he is succumbing to the Amorite spirit. Boasting is self-glorification. Jer ch 9 v 23. It is the very opposite of humility. Jesus invites His followers to take His yoke and be like Him – humble. This is the very opposite message to those of the World: “You are it.” “Go for it.” “Be confident.” “Show them.” “Claim your rights.” Jesus set the pattern in Phil ch 2 v 3 – 9. Satan is filled with pride. He hates humility. He wants all men to be proud and independent of God.
Believers should clean up their vocabulary of any doubtful speech or expressions. They should use only creative speech to encourage and build up. Believers should put away idle and unsanctified speech, gossip, foolish talk, back-biting, tale-bearing and exaggeration. Then their words would have real power. In this way believers will overcome the Amorite spirit. If a man does not change his words, he cannot change himself. The words, which a man uses, determine the person he is. They reveal his character. Does a believer want his character is to be like Jesus? Then the words, which he speaks and his whole manner of speech, must be like the Lord’s. Wrong speech robs not only the speaker but those who are criticised. The Amorite spirit is at work. Jesus calls His followers to be overcomers – to overcome sin, the flesh, the World and the Devil, including the Amorite Spirit.
CHAPTER 5. THE HITTITES.
The name Hittite means fear or dread. The Hittites were a people, who instilled physical fear in the Israelites. The Hittites had a military tradition and were a great power in the area. Their empire lasted from 1750 B. C. until it 1200 B. C. It collapsed due to internal troubles just as Moses led the Children of Israel towards the Promised Land. They were descended from Heth, a son of Canaan, who was a son of Ham, one of Noah’s three sons. Esau grieved his parents by marrying two girls from outside the family – daughters of Heth – or Hittites.
The Hittites, with their physical threat to Israel, reveal the spirit behind them – the spirit of fear. Where did this spirit come from? Jesus tells of the occasion when Satan was thrown out of Heaven. Satan was tired of worshipping God. God had created him. Satan rebelled and invited others to worship him. OUT! ‘I saw Satan cast out of Heaven.’ At that point a large number – about one third of the angels – followed Satan and left too. The first demonic prince to manifest himself was the Hittite spirit.
The dictionary defines fear as “dread, alarm, an unpleasant emotion caused by coming evil or danger.” To have that feeling is being afraid – being full of fear. There is a difference between fear and anxiety. Fear is a specific threat to a man’s well-being. Anxiety is a general feeling of danger to his well-being. Those who are anxious cannot quite put their finger on exactly what is wrong. They feel troubled. Fear is specific. If someone broke into a bank and pulled out a gun, a bank teller there would experience fear of being shot. His well-being would be under threat.
The command used most often by Jesus – 124 times – is: ‘Fear not. Do not be anxious.’ Every word spoken by God is truth and is important. If God says something twice, it is very important. If He says it 124 times, man ought to pay attention. Jesus was speaking against the Hittite spirit, when He said on so many occasions: “Fear not.” Jesus is the designer of the human psyche. He knew how it operates and what damage fear does to the human emotions.
Jesus knew all about the fears, which dominated the lives of the people in His day. They lived under the rule of the Roman Empire. If Roman soldiers needed spear practice, they would grab some Jewish boys, tie them to a pole and have their practice. If a boy was killed – it was only a Jewish boy. Like soldiers the World over some want to gratify their sexual desires. It was routine for soldiers to take Jewish girls at random for this purpose. People were crucified outside the city walls. Men going into a city would see the bodies of people hanging on crosses. Fear would grip them. They dare not criticise the Roman authorities or they might end up in the same place. No wonder the Jewish people lived in fear of the Romans.
There are four steps, which a man needs to take when interpreting what the Scriptures are saying. Firstly, God often gives a physical picture to teach a spiritual truth. When Moses sent out spies to see what lay ahead in the Promised Land the spies reported that there were giants in the land. There were 7 peoples living in the land of Canaan, who seemed like giants to the Israelites. Secondly the spiritual truth is that there are spiritual giants. A man knows them as principalities and powers. Each name of the seven peoples living in the land of Canaan represents a spiritual giant opposed to human beings. Thirdly, how does this relate to the Israelites? The Hittites were the military power in the region. When David took Bathsheba her husband was Uriah the Hittite. He was a great soldier from a military tradition amongst the Hittites. The Hittites had a powerful army. The Israelis were a poorly trained army. Therefore they were afraid of the Hittites. Fourthly, how does the spirit of fear affect the life of the individual believer? Fear is a powerful force towering over the life of a believer.
Where did fear come from? Was it within the purposes of God? Genesis chapter 3 tells of an incident at the dawn of time. Adam and Eve lived in Eden. God designed the human personality to be fuelled by love – love for God, love for one another and love for the created World. As soon as Adam rebelled, the fallen nature was unable to love God or his fellow man and fear flowed in to the human personality. Adam was disconnected from God and lost the source of his power. Gen ch 3 v 10. God came to speak to Adam and Adam said to God: ‘I heard your voice and I was afraid.” The Hittite spirit was at work. Ever since mankind has been ruled by fear. ‘It could be you next.’ ‘What will people think?’ ‘You will fail.’ Fear has dominated the lives of millions of people throughout the centuries by robbing, killing and destroying. Many men are so fickle and ignorant that it is so easy for Fear to do his devilish work.
Many people experience fear, including believers. Some have already. Some will in the future. Jesus speaks about men fainting with fear at the time of His Second Coming. Luke ch 21 v 26. Amazingly believers, who have less to fear than others, are often the most afraid.
This is not reverence. The Scripture says that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Proverbs ch 1 v 7. Reverence for the Lord is a healthy respect and awe of the Lord and not being afraid of Him.
There are healthy fears. The fear of being burned prevents a child from putting his finger into the fire. Fear of an accident makes a man drive more carefully. God has built into human beings all sorts of things, which are for their good. Healthy fears are like an instinctive alarm system to protect a man from harm. What happens if the alarm system breaks down? It is seen when a drunk man walks down the middle of a road and when young people take drugs.
Fear has been called man’s deadliest enemy. Fears – unfounded and unreasonable, tormenting and persistent – can destroy a man’s peace and happiness. It can destroy a man in body, soul and spirit. Fear undermines trust in God. God is in total control of the affairs of the World. Fear casts doubt on that fact. A wall has to be built up to counter fear. Study of the Word of God confirms that nothing happens in this World but it must first pass God’s desk for approval. Therefore fear not. ‘You believe in God. Believe also in Jesus.’ When death comes, how will a man get to Heaven? ‘Trust me.’
A computer expert has concluded that 85 % of fears are in the imagination and not based on facts. Many people are afraid of things, which will never happen. They are only in their imagination. Thoughts not based on facts are dangerous. If a man does not conquer the fears of the imagination, he will experience what Job experienced. Job ch 3 v 25. ‘That which I have feared has come upon me.’ There is a very real power in fear. Isaiah says in ch 26 v 3. ‘The Lord keeps him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.’ These fears of the imagination are entirely a man’s own fault. If the enemy whispers into the mind; “Perhaps he has had an accident.” reject the thought. It is not based on truth. God operates on truth. The enemy operates on deception. Nothing can happen to a believer without God being aware of it. God is in control of the nerve centre of operations in Heaven and knows everything, which happens. God will never allow anything to happen to a believer but that it is for his good. There is no need to fear.
Television is a major factor in feeding thoughts into a man’s imagination. Gen ch 6 v 5. The thoughts and imaginations were only evil continuously. There were no worthwhile thoughts. Generally television presents a picture of life, which is not in touch with reality. It suggests that what is being seen is reality. Then man feels disappointed that life is not as exciting as it appears to be for others – only it is not. It never was.
What kinds of fears affect mankind? Fear of dying, especially the uncertainty of it. Fear of failure. Fear of being exposed as worthless. Fear of pain. Fear of embarrassment. What others will think of a man. Fear of insecurity. Fears of unemployment. Fear of sickness. Fear of rejection by others. Political fears – what will voters say? Fear of men. Will they leave the Church, if they disagree? Fear of what to eat. Who has never experienced fear?
The dictionary describes phobias as abnormal fears – fear of flying, fear of heights, fear of insects. Phobias are the focal points of fears within the human personality. A phobia is like a boil, which is the point where the poison in the body tries to get out. Fears, which are rattling around in the personality, find a focus. Phobias can have a powerful, negative influence on a person. Vertigo is a fear of height. Zenophobia is a fear of strangers.
Fear is a sin. When a man says that his situation is too urgent or too complicated for God to help, he is really saying that God cannot do anything about his situation. That is sin. It denies the concern of God and the power of God.
What causes fear? Many fears stem from inadequate and unhealthy family relationships in early life. A child deprived of love, affection, warmth and acceptance in the formative years has a void in his personality. Fears can flow in. The personality deprived of love fails to function effectively. A dominating, critical attitude by parents can cause their child to be afraid and to develop phobias of all kinds. Equally an over-protective mother can induce in her child a multitude of fears. By over-pampering a child, a parent can hinder the development of the child’s personality. A mummy’s boy may be unable to develop a relationship with a girl through fear. He may then look to a boy who shows him affection. He may sell his soul as a result.
A mother who was once so fresh and alive, without a care in the World can, 10 years later, be bound by fear. Sometimes it is a direct Satanic spirit. Other times it can stem from an unhealthy family relationship. Many people are afraid to reveal their true personality. They were so badly hurt in the past. Other causes of fear include accidents, sickness, business losses, grief, burglary, flood, fire and serious traumatic experiences. These are the fertile grounds for the fear to develop. “It may happen again.” This is whispered into the mind. Fears hold a man back from spiritual growth?
The Scriptures are filled with instances of people living in fear of another person or persons. Judges ch 6 v 27. Gideon was afraid of his family. Jacob was afraid of Laban. Gen ch 31 v 31. Herod feared John. Mark ch 6 v 20. Fear attacked Abraham when he lied about Sarah. Gen ch 12 v 10-20. He was afraid that if the Egyptians knew that Sarah was his wife, they would kill him. Fear put his wife’s life at risk.
Jonah knew what it was like to be afraid of the Assyrians. The Assyrians were brutal in their dealings with their enemies and killed many. Fear led Jonah to disobey the Word of God.
Luke ch 2 v 8-9. The shepherds saw a huge spiritual being before them. They were surrounded by the glory of the Lord. They were filled with fear. The angel said; “Fear not.” The angel was followed by a multitude of the Heavenly host. The shepherds experienced fear.
Matthew ch 1 v 18-25. Joseph was just a young man. His girl friend was pregnant and he was not the father of the child. People would be talking. They were not married. He was afraid of what people would think of him. God intervened and sent an angel. v 20. “Fear not. Take Mary as your wife.” When a man experiences fear, he should let God speak into the situation. He knows the source of the fear and the harm it can do, if the man allows it to grip him.
1 Samuel ch 15 v 24. Saul feared the people rather than God and did not kill Agag the King of the Amalekites. He had been commanded by God to do that. Many Church leaders are more afraid of men than they are of God. Many Church leaders bury a person hinting or indicating that they have gone to be with God. They have no evidence that the person was ever a believer? They fear men rather than God.
Job was afraid of losing his wealth. When it happened to him, his words showed his true feelings. Job ch 3 v 25. He said: ‘That which I feared has come upon me.’
Did Paul ever experience fear? 2 Cor ch 7 v 5. Paul is truly human. He experienced the whole range of human emotions and experiences.
Saul was afraid of Goliath and hid in his tent. Fear gripped him.
Peter was afraid of what others would say and he denied the Lord.
This spirit is used to encourage believers to deny the Lord. There must always be fertile ground in which Satan can operate. If there is a person deprived of love in his early years, there is fertile ground for Satan to get in with a real fear of failure. Then the Hittite spirit can overshadow that life and prevent the person from achieving his full potential. In that way the spirit robs, destroys and kills. To the new believer Satan whispers: “What will your friends and family say? Think how they will laugh and ridicule. What a fool you will look.” Many believers say nothing, struck down through fear. Fear often rules the life of a new believer, holding him back from witnessing, from baptism and from praying in public. It was the spirit of fear, which caused the Hebrews from entering the land for 38 years. There were giants in the land and they did not go on to receive their inheritance.
Fear has an inhibiting effect on every area of a man’s life. It limits his actions, his thought processes and his relationships with others. It can limit his spiritual growth. He can end up being ruled by fear. If he fails to deal with it, it will destroy him. Fear brings on a man the subject of his fear. Fear of failing will bring failure to pass. Lack of confidence is a real deterrent to success. “I knew that I would fail.” Fear of man is a particularly insidious form of attack, especially for a Church leader. Luke ch 12 v 4. The spirit of fear may well work in hand with the Amorite spirit. It speaks fear to the mind and then the person speaks it out.
How does fear operate upon a man? Fear operates on the human mind. It is the human mind, which distinguishes man from the animals. The mind is a man’s greatest resource and it is here that the Hittite spirit attacks. It was through the mind that Satan attacked Eve and tempted her to sin. When he sinned, Adam sold his mind to Satan. Paul says to Timothy in 2 Tim ch 1 v 7. ‘God has not given man a spirit of fear – but of power and of love and of a sound mind.’ A sound mind is a mind not filled with confusion and fear. It is faith, which conquers fear, in the battleground of the mind. The mind is like a reception desk in a hotel. Not everyone who comes to the desk gets in to the hotel. A person has to have a booking. Not every thought, which comes into the human mind is worthy of entering into the mind. A man has to train his mind to receive thoughts from God and to reject thoughts from the enemy.
Those who are concerned for God are referred to as spiritually minded. 1 Cor ch 2 v 16. The believer has the mind of Christ. At conversion the believer receives a new spirit. It enables him to know God and understand the things of God, including the Word of God. Then he should be transformed by the renewing of his mind. Before a man became a believer his life and actions were determined by his senses. He acted on the information he received without any reference to God. The Bible calls this being carnally minded. The carnal mind is the natural mind without any spiritual perception. The carnal mind is open to fear and anxiety. It thinks that there is no one in control. With no knowledge that God is in control of his life, a man has no assurance that things are under control. Eph ch 4 v 17. The emptiness of the mind. Unbelievers have shut their minds and cannot understand the things of God. They are driven by their evil or fallen minds. But believers know that Jesus ever intercedes for them and is in control of every aspect of their life. When believers allow their carnal mind to take over and not the new spiritual mind, they too become fearful. That is why Paul says in Romans ch 12 v 2.’Be not conform to this World but be transformed by the renewing of the mind.’ The mind of the believer is not perfect. It must be transformed and changed to be brought under the Lordship of Jesus. This is the responsibility of every believer – as he works out his salvation. The mind needs to be washed by the Word of God.
Sometimes Satan actually speaks a thought into a man’s mind. It is an idea, which is not of God. Prov ch 3 v 25. ‘Be not afraid when sudden fear comes.’ Conformity to the World is allowing the mind to be influenced by various things – the floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, speculations, theories, hopes, impulses, aims and aspirations at any time current in the World. It is difficult to define these ideas, but they constitute a real power.
Jesus was tempted by thoughts from Satan. He had to first think about the Devil’s proposals. Jesus identified each thought and then exposed each thought to the Word of God. A man either accepts fearful thoughts or takes them captive and utterly destroys them. A man does not need to entertain every thought, which comes knocking at the door of his mind. In the same way as a man protects his home and family, he has to protect his mind against the intrusion of Satan. Beware the media and its influence on the mind. Be careful what is fed into the mind. Mat ch 12 v 34. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. A man may begin to talk about his fear of sickness, his unworthiness or any other fear. It eventually becomes part of his personality. When he thinks and talks about sickness, that is what he will get. There is a battle of the mind.
When Adam sinned he became disconnected form God spiritually. The root cause of unhealthy fear is isolation from God. Conversion is not a cure for everything. Fear still surrounds believers. Many of the fears mentioned have developed in their earlier life. Many fears may still bristle in the personality despite conversion.
Consider the consequences of fear.
Firstly, fear has physical consequences. A man can feel fear coursing through his body. A person may be going blind because he was being bullied at school. The muscles of the eye tighten up and can cause blindness. Fear of going into court can make man physically sick. Fear can trigger off all kinds of physical diseases. It may well be the cause of cancer in those who fear getting cancer. The very fear of it brings it about. Dan ch 5 v 5-6. Belshazzar saw the writing on the wall and fear gripped him. His face went white, his knees knocked and his legs gave way. A leading psychologist states that the emotions are very often the root cause of physical illness. It is well known that a large proportion of illnesses, perhaps as high as 80% are psychosomatic. They are fostered and activated by the mind. Fear heads the list of mind-originating sicknesses. Fear can produce up to 51 diseases in the body. Headaches, asthma, high blood pressure and arthritis can all be caused by fear. A hypochondriac talks about being ill – and ends up being ill. Fear can even kill. It can cause a heart attack. Old people have been known to die from fear when they knew that there was a burglar in the house. The fear in their mind releases toxins into their body, which can stop the heart and bring death. Did Ananias and Sapphira die because of fear when their heart stopped? Acts ch 5 v 1-11.
Secondly, fear has emotional consequences. Fear of failure can paralyse a person from achieving his full potential. No one is at his best unless he is free from unhealthy fear. Fear puts a man behind closed doors. It can lead to an introvert and ingrown person. What caused the woman with the flow of blood to be sick for many years? Was it tension due to fear? God does not mind if a man tries his best and fails. That is how children learn to walk. It is a man’s attitude that the Lord is watching, rather than what is achieved. Fear is real and can have a crippling effect on the human personality. It can limit a man’s actions, his thought processes and his relationships with others.
Thirdly, it has a spiritual side as well. While fear affects the emotions, there are instances of demonic activity. Demons have names. One of the demons is called fear. Demons need fertile soil in which to operate. If there is a person with a personality deprived of love in an earlier life, there is the fertile soil in which to operate. That is why, if there are fears in the life of a man, they ought to be dealt with. Do not to give the enemy a foothold. A demonic spirit called fear may invade a man and control his life. When a man has an accident or illness often the spirit of fear hovers over that person whispering: “It could happen again” and so the evil spirit accomplishes its work by robbing and destroying a life.
Mark ch 5 v 36. Jairus had just learned of the death of his daughter. Jesus told him: “Do not be afraid, only believe.” Faith is the antidote to fear. They cannot live together. There may be shaking going on in the World. It is the Lord who is doing the shaking. He is in total control of the affairs of the World. A belief is something, which a man holds. A conviction is something, which holds a man. God is in control. That ought to be the conviction of each believer, delivering him from fear.
Even in the midst of the most frightening circumstances, Jesus was never afraid. He was the Lord of every situation He faced. Jesus said: ‘My peace I leave with you.’ The spiritual mind is full of peace and life – the very opposite of fear. Fear is also dispelled by joy. Grief cannot dwell where joy is present. Jesus had peace in the face of horrific events. He knew from an early age that His life would end in crucifixion. He set His mind to go to Jerusalem and arrange His own death. Jesus was full of love for God His Father. He wanted to do His will. Jesus was also full of love for the people He had created – including His enemies. There was no room in His heart for fear. Jesus proved that He lived what He taught that – ‘Perfect love casts out fear.’
What advice does Scripture give to deal with fears?
1. Identify the fear. What is it a man is afraid of? If it is unknown, he is entitled to ask his Father who knows everything, if there is a fear locked in his sub – conscious. Perhaps there was an event in childhood, which he does not remember – an experience at a fair ground – bullying at school – a horror movie. It may have a grip on his emotions. Insecurity in life leads to a fear of being unable to cope. If a man has fear, he owes it to himself to deal with it.
2. Face it squarely. So often a man puts it off and hopes it will go away. Many put off going to the doctor only to find out that there was nothing to worry about. Fear had gripped them and had convinced them that they had a serious illness. It was not the case. Until the problem is identified, it cannot be dealt with by God or anyone else on His behalf.
3. Separate the imaginary fears from the real fears. Reject the imaginary fears not based on facts as from the enemy and deal with them in the name of Jesus.
4. Put the fears into proper Biblical perspective. Isaiah ch 41 v 1-14. Exodus ch 14 v 10-13. Fears are reduced in size when a man realises the vastness of God’s love for him individually. There is no time when God does not care for him. God does not let anything happen unless it is for a man’s good. The antidote for fear is love. Perfect love casts out fear. When a man recovers his love for God he casts out fear. 1 John ch 4 v 18. Circumstances are those nasty things, which hedge a man in, unless he focuses on God. A child of God has no right to be living under the circumstances. Neh ch 6 v 13. Tobiah tried to frighten Nehemiah with threats. Nehemiah recognised that this was not of God but of the enemy. A believer has God as a Heavenly Father and Jesus as a brother. It is not enough to hear the Word of God in the mind but to let it sink into the heart.
5. Speak to the fear. Do not pray about it. Speak to it. Mark ch 11 v 23. Say to the mountain of fear – depart. Command it to go in the name of Jesus. There is power in the name of Jesus.
Jesus came to set man free, including free from fears. Fear is a giant, which will rob a man, destroy a man and even kill a man – if he lets it. Fear is one of man’s deadliest enemies. ‘If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.’ As the World lurches from crisis to crisis it is essential to grasp the fact that God is in total control – of the weather – fire – storms – flooding – drought – and financial crisis. The bowls of wrath may be being poured out but God is still in control of the pouring. It is God who is shaking the nations. God the saviour shakes the nations for a purpose – to call men to repent. When there are wars etc Jesus warns in Mat ch 24 that these are but the birth pangs of the tribulation. God has assured man that it will only last for three and a half years. Fear not.
CHAPTER 6. THE PERRIZITES.
The Perrizite Spirit comes to attack a believer and rob him of his true inheritance. The name “Perrizite” has two meanings. Firstly it means an un-walled town or village. The Perrizites were hill dwellers, implying that they were unprotected by walls. All the towns in the Middle East in Bible days were surrounded by walls for protection except the Perrizites towns. A city without walls was a city that an enemy could enter at will. It is a vivid picture of a spiritual reality. The concept of walls is important in the Bible. There are negative walls of hostility. They need to come down. Eph ch 2 v 14 says that Jesus has broken down the walls of contempt separating Jews and Gentiles. There are positive walls for protection, which need to be built up. In Rev ch 21 v 12 it says that the New Jerusalem has broad and high walls. There will be no enemies then. The verse is symbolic of the believer’s security in God.
Man’s desire to dwell in safety is the same throughout the World. A man has walls in his house for privacy and protection. He needs protection – from the elements in cold countries and from intruders. Today man is surrounded by rampant crime, gross immorality and natural disasters. In many parts of the World the rich people are surrounded by walls topped with broke glass. They have guard dogs and burglar alarms. But a man’s need to defend himself is not limited to his physical well-being. It applies just as much to his emotional well-being and his spiritual well-being. The emotions are easily damaged. The spiritual life is in danger of attack from Satan. Proverbs ch 25 v 28. ‘A man without self-control is as defenceless as a city with broken down walls.’ Without self-control a man is vulnerable to every pressure to conform to the World.
Without self-control, how are young people to handle the pressure to drink, smoke and take drugs. How do they handle the pressure to take part in sexual immorality? Self-control is a part of the fruit of the Spirit. Gal ch 5 v 23. It is the ability to say “No” to the lusts of the flesh. God supplies the power of the Holy Spirit to protect a man. Jesus said that if a man abides in Him, then he shall bear fruit. John ch 15 v 5. This giant attacks on many fronts. A Church where there is poor teaching leaves the believer defenceless to the wiles of the Devil. Mat ch 13. The parable of the seeds. Some seeds fell on ground where there was not much depth of soil. They could not stand the heat of the sun and faded away. Some believers in Churches, where the teaching is shallow, fade away when the pressures of the World come on them. In this way they are unprotected. v 22. The fruit of the Holy Spirit does not grow in their lives. When the Perizzite spirit separates a believer from teaching of the Word of God, it chokes the spiritual life out of him. If the doubts cast by the Perzzite spirit take root, faith is stifled at birth. The believer is then unprotected by the Word of God. The principle line of attack by Satan on believers is in false teaching. 1 Tim ch 4 v 1. Paul warned Timothy about doctrines of demons. Satan has brought about denominations, divisions, sects and disputes.
The Perizzite spirit will attempt to keep a man from reading the Word of God. There are always other things to do. Then the spirit suggests that the man is too tired, too busy or that it is too hard. It will use sickness, disappointment or financial difficulties to try to isolate a man from God. The express purpose is to break down a man’s defences. In that way he leaves the man naked and helpless to attack. This applies physically in health, emotionally in his mind and spiritually in his lack of spiritual weapons to deal with the onslaught of the enemy. Satan may not be able to rob a believer of his salvation. But he can rob him of his role in eternity – his inheritance.
A second meaning of the name “Perrizite” is to separate. It seeks to separate a man from God. In particular his place in God – that place where he inherits his true position as a child of God. It seeks to prevent him from being accepted within the family of God. God is the rock, the strong fortress, the shield and the hiding place of each believer. 2 Sam ch 22 v 2 and Psalm 18 and Psalm 144 v 2. No power of darkness can wrench a believer from the security of his Father’s loving care. Who can separate believers from the love of God? Paul in Romans ch 8 v 35 confirms that no one and no thing can separate believers from the love of God. Satan cannot stop God from loving His children and caring for them.
God gives two pictures in the Bible of physical protection to teach this the spiritual truth.
The first picture is in Neh ch 4. Jerusalem was chosen by God as a symbol of an eternal truth. David had captured it from the Jebusites. Later the Israelites were taken into captivity in Babylon. The city had fallen into enemy hands. The walls had been broken down. The city of Jerusalem was trodden down. It was not able to be defended without walls. Here is a picture of a spiritual truth. The walls were essential to the usefulness of the city. Nehemiah sat down and wept and mourned for days. His request to the King for permission to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls of the city was granted. He set about his task. But the Jebusite spirit was at work seeking to keep Jerusalem downtrodden. Sanballat and Tobiah went to great lengths to frustrate the plans of Nehemiah to rebuild the walls. They did not want to have Jerusalem occupied. Ch 4 v 15. Half of the workers worked on the walls. The other half held spears and shields and bows and coats of mail. v 18. Each builder had a sword girded at his side. v 23. ‘None of us took our clothes off. Each kept his weapon in his hand.’ God gives a very clear picture of the spiritual battle going on while the physical work is carried out. Why were Sanballot and Tobiah so opposed to the work going ahead? Jesus says that a man is either for Him or against Him. These men were not for God. They were not indifferent. They were hostile to the things of God. Some people do not want a strong Church stating the truth. The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous man runs into it and he is saved. Gen ch 4 v 26. People began to call on the name of the Lord. It is a mark of the believer that he can ask the Lord for help. God is the epitome of safety. In Him a man is completely protected.
There is a second picture provided by Ephesians ch 6 v 10 – 18. Paul explains that it is the purpose of the Church to engage in spiritual warfare. Paul knew from Scriptures like Exodus ch 14 v 14 “The Lord will fight for you” – and Joshua ch 23 v 10 “One man of you puts to flight 1,000, because it is the Lord who is fighting for you, as He promised.” Under house arrest Paul looked for an illustration to explain spiritual warfare. He saw the Roman soldier standing outside. He looked at the armour of the Roman soldier. The spiritual armour was similar to the physical armour of the Roman soldier.
1. The helmet of salvation. God wants to control the mind of the believer. The command is to be renewed in the mind. ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind.’ Deut ch 6 v 5 and Mat ch 22 v 37. The helmet is put it on to give protection to the mind.
2. The breastplate of righteousness. This is like a bullet-proof vest. A believer needs to live a holy life before God and amongst men. It is essential for the believer to know that he has been declared righteous by the blood of Jesus. Doubt destroys assurance.
3. The feet are shod with the gospel of peace. The feet were important to a Roman soldier. He needed to move quickly to where he was required. The believer must be available to go where the Lord asks him to go, without complaint. The Perizzite spirit will attempt to prevent a believer going in obedience to the command of the Lord. “Later!” But the Word of the Lord is “Today is the day of salvation.” There is always a note or urgency in the Gospels.
4. The belt of truth. Satan is a liar. A believer whose life is controlled by truth will defeat him. The real strength of the body is in the loins. The loins must not be covered by such flimsy supports as feelings and experience. They must be based on the solid Word of God. A life built on the teaching of Jesus will stand against the popular opinions of men. It will stand against the changing moral ideas of the modern World. The belt holds the other parts of the armour together. A man of integrity, with a clear conscience, can face Satan without fear.
5. The shield of faith. The Roman shield was large – 4 feet by 2 feet. It locked into the next shield to present a wall as the soldiers advanced. Satan shoots fiery darts at the heart and mind of a believer – lies, blasphemous thoughts, hateful thoughts about others, doubts, unclean thoughts and burning desires for sin. If a man does not quench these darts by faith – by the Word of God – they will light a fire within him. He never knows when the fiery darts will come at him. He must walk by faith in God at all times. He needs the shield of faith at all times.
6. The sword of the spirit. The Word of God can accomplish everything God wants is to accomplish. The Roman soldier had 2 swords. One was for hand to hand fighting. The other was like a spade with two edges and a handle. When the soldier advanced he swung it from side to side and scythed down the opposing soldiers. Rev ch 1 v 6. The Word of God pierces the heart of man. Each time Jesus was tempted by Satan He defeated Satan by using the Word of God. “It is written.”
What walls should a believer be building for his protection? Psalm 41 v 2. God builds walls to protect believers. God may put a burden on others to pray for a particular believer. Walls of meditation on God’s Word. The Holy Spirit gives a love for the Scriptures. Walls of faith. By grace God gives man faith. Walls of fellowship. God provides others to support a believer. God gave Aaron to Moses and Jonathan to David. Walls of prayer. Walls of Bible study. These are all essential. The Perizzite spirit will do all he can to disrupt these activities and pull down these walls.
In practical terms how is a man attacked, if he is unprotected?
Physically. The unborn child is unprotected in certain ways. If the mother of the child does not eat a good diet or smokes during pregnancy, the child is unprotected. If the mother is on drugs or drink during pregnancy, the child is unprotected. The medical evidence is that a stressful mother brings forth a stressful child. A young child is unprotected – if it is neglected by its parents – or has only one parent – or is abused by its parents. An adult is unprotected, if he ignores the dangers and drives too fast – or if he is unfit through drink or drugs. All people are unprotected, if they open their minds to every false teaching. Some parents tell their children nothing in the moral and spiritual realm. They leave them to make their own mind up when they are of age. They leave them unprotected. Sometimes children die.
Emotionally. A child is unprotected emotionally, if he does not receive encouragement and love. He may develop a complex in one area or another of his personality. If a man does not have his basic needs met – to be loved – to achieve – to belong to some group or another, then he may end up with a damaged personality. The Church is described as a family of God. It is the duty of leaders to ensure that the needs of the members are met. The leaders must ensure that the members are protected physically and emotionally as well as spiritually.
Intellectually, man faces an onslaught from the evolutionists against the Word of God. Then come the humanists, who promise man the ability to manage without any help from God. Those who do not manage are left on the scrap heap of humanity. Doubts are hurled at the mind of the believer, to undermine his faith in God. Faith in God comes by hearing the Word of God. The spirit encourages compromise with the World to hinder growth in God. The believer is left un-walled or unprotected. The Perrizite spirit is at work.
Spiritually, to neglect the thrust of Scripture concerning spiritual warfare leaves the believer vulnerable. If a believer goes into the World without spiritual armour on he is likely to be robbed and even killed spiritually. The Perrizite spirit comes to encourage the believer to remain unprotected and unable to take part in spiritual warfare. Satan has done a great work of deception. The people are unprotected.
Generational sins. Exodus ch 20 v 5 speaks of visiting the iniquity of the father upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate God. Prov ch 22 v 6. Children are created by God to learn about Him from their parents. They should experience love and be able to trust their father. When a father hates God or walks out on his child that child is unprotected. There are occasions when things are done in a family, which bring shame on other members of the family. It leaves them unprotected.
Ungodly soul ties. So many believers are unaware of being unprotected because of ungodly soul ties in their past life. Gen ch 2 v 24. A man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife. They become one flesh. Jesus endorsed this truth in Mat ch 19 v 5 adding: ‘They are no longer two but one flesh or unit. No man may put asunder what God has joined together.’ Sexual relations seal a marriage and bring about a soul tie between husband and wife. There is something of the soul of the husband in his wife. Part of the soul of the wife is in her husband. Other forms of sexual relations not within the secure bounds of a marriage
will always introduce ungodly soul ties into a person’s life. This is particularly so where there is sexual abuse. An ungodly soul tie is always established between an abuser and the abused. It creates a spiritual channel through which demonic transference can easily take place. This explains why so many who are abused end up abusing others. The demon transferred into the abused from the abuser. Ungodly soul ties need to be severed, along with repentance and forgiveness. The existence of an ungodly soul tie may explain why there are so many divorces. The enemy always seeks to pervert God’s plans for the good of man. 1 Cor ch 6 v 15-17.
What if a man has been deceived by this giant and has been robbed? The Word of the Lord says that the Lord will make up for the years the locust have eaten. Joel ch 2 v 25. Jesus healed people who were blind and dumb, crippled and possessed. God does the same today. A man may have been deprived of love and a good start in life. God can give him a new spiritual family to build him up in confidence and love. It is easier for the Lord to teach someone who knows nothing. He has less to unlearn. Once a man recognises the work of this giant and asks God for help, He will take charge of his life and make up for lost time.
Ezekiel ch 38 v 10 – 11 tells of the time when the hoards of Gog and Magog will attack the Jewish people. At that time they will live in un-walled villages. Cities are not built today with walls. Israel will be attacked, when she is not protected by other nations – like the U. S. The influence of the Arabs and their control of the oil reserves in the World entices the U. S. to abandon support for Israel. Zech ch 2 v 4-5. Even though no other nation will support Israel, God Himself will surround Israel with a wall of fire. The battle against Israel is a spiritual one. God has promised to protect Jerusalem. Isaiah ch 31 v 5.
Jesus stated seven times ‘I am.’ Jesus is everything the child of God needs to face the enemy. It is necessary to put on the whole armour of God in order to stand. So many believers fall down when under pressure from Satanic power. Before being born of the Spirit of God there was no spiritual battle to fight – the individual was spiritually dead. The spiritual battle has to be fought with spiritual weapons – the Word of God is the chief weapon. When God promises something – whether it be health, victory, prosperity or protection – the fulfilment of promise does not come automatically. It is fulfilled only when the believer joins with God in spiritual warfare to claim that area from the enemy. God involves His children in the spiritual battle to encourage them to grow spiritually. 1 John ch 3 v 8. Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil. Believers need to carry on that work.
CHAPTER 7. THE CANAANITES.
Who were the Canaanites? Why were so hostile to the arrival of the Israelites in the land of Canaan? The Canaanites seemed to get along quite well with the other six peoples in Canaan. What was so different about the Israelites? The Canaanites invited the other peoples to join them against the Israelites to drive them out? The Canaanites are the physical picture of a giant facing believers today. Canaan was a descendent of Noah. He was the son of Ham. There was a curse imposed by Noah on Canaan. This was because Ham looked on his father’s nakedness and told his brothers. He dishonoured his father, who had been his saviour in building the ark. Gen ch 9 v 22- 27.
The word Canaanite means “trafficker” or “trader.” The Canaanites were well established in the land for a long time as a trading people. They traded far and wide in the Eastern Mediterranean. They had been there since 2,000 B. C., before God called Abraham out of Ur to travel to the west. Abraham came to live amongst the Canaanites. Records indicate that Egypt had a tradition of strong centralised government from as far as 3,000 B. C. The Canaanites were the merchants and business people of the region. They occupied the sea-coast known as Phonecia. Their centres were at Tyre and Sidon situated today in South Lebanon. Sidon was the name of one of the sons of Canaan. Gen ch 10 v 15. One of the great trade routes called the Way of the Sea stretched from Egypt through Canaan to the north. Historical records reveal that men were formed into guilds. These related to food distribution, pottery, chariot building, boat building, copper smiths and so on. Hiram of Tyre supplied Solomon with Lebanese timber for the Temple. 1 Kings ch 5 v 1 – 10.
The records reveal that the religion of the Canaanites was pantheistic. There were many gods. Baal, Dagon, El and Astarte were the best known. Over 30 gods were identified. Everything was accepted in business – as long as the business was done and everyone prospered. These false gods were made in the image of man. They exhibited all of the human passions and frailties. They posed no threat to the moral and social conditions of the day. A picture is built up. On the one hand is the sophisticated crudities of the Canaanite culture. On the other hand is the emergent Israel, with its unique vision of a holy God. The two simply could not co-exist. That was the main reason God told the Israelites to wipe out these people. God knew that, if they did not wipe them out, the false gods of the Canaanites would be a snare to the Israelites. They would lead them to worship these false gods. So it proved to be. Numbers ch 33 v 55. The descendants of the Canaanites live in Israel to this day. The Syrophoenician woman in Mark ch 7 v 26 was a Canaanite. Jesus had gone to the land near to Tyre and Sidon. There He met her in her need, graciously healing her daughter.
Lust for material gain and worshipping the created thing rather than the Creator has always been one of man’s main motivators. Behind the greed of this World is the Canaanite spirit. It is a giant who seeks to ensnare man. It keeps him from receiving his true inheritance. In that sense he comes to rob, destroy and kill. The Canaanite spirit is the trafficking spirit, the spirit of greed and lust for material goods. It encourages a man to love mammon. The Canaanites worshipped Mammon. Mammon their god of prosperity and wealth. They thanked him for their prosperity instead of giving thanks to the true and living God. The love of money is a root of all evil. There are other roots of evil. Material gain is the bait, which Satan uses, to bring people low. It brings the promise of fulfilment and happiness. But very often it causes chaos and destruction. This desire for money motives people to take part in the lottery, hoping for wealth. The Canaanite spirit is at work today. It lures people to put their loyalty to money and power before their loyalty to God. Millions are in debt today.
God gives man a physical picture to teach the spiritual truth. Abraham and Lot give the first illustration of the power of this spirit. Gen ch 13 v 10-11. Lot chose the more fertile land. He was seduced by the selfish desire for material gain and chose to live next to Sodom. Deluded by the spirit for gain and prosperity, he placed himself and his family in danger. He lost everything. The Canaanite spirit attacked Abraham and offered him a share of the spoils of war. Gen ch 14 v 21. Bera offered Abraham material gain. But before Bera reached Abraham, Melchizedek, King of Salem arrived on the scene. He offered Abraham bread and wine – a blessing. Abraham had been strengthened by the bread and wine. He was able to face the temptation, when Bera came to him. God prepared Abraham to face the difficulty. Believers need the strength of the Lord to resist the temptations of spending money they do not have. The magazines invite a man to spend and spend. Many things are useful but not necessary. The whole banking system is based on people borrowing in advance of their ability to pay. They end up in debt and in power to the creditor. Psalm 37 v 21. Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe of the booty. He recognised the Biblical principle – seek first the Kingdom of God and all the needs will be met. Mat ch 6 v 33. God promises to meet a man’s needs but not his desires or wants. When a man gets into the Bible God gives him the strength to face the temptations of the World and its material prosperity.
Judas sought to betray his Master for thirty pieces of silver. Later he went out and hung himself. Ananias and Sapphira chose to lie to the Holy Spirit and died as a result of fear of God. This was because they had a love of material things. This spirit wedges itself between a man and God. Jesus speaks a great deal against this spirit. Mat ch 6 v 24. Jesus made this very clear when He said: “You cannot love Mammon and God. You will choose one and hate the other.” Jesus was talking to people who were materialists. In v 32 He said that the heathen take pride in all their possessions and are deeply concerned about them. Luke ch 12 v 15. Real life and real living are not related to how rich a man is.
The rich young ruler went away sad. He could not bear to be parted from his money. The lust for more controls a person. The desire for wealth is addictive. The materialist justifies his worth in society on the basis of how many things he has in relation to another person. The rich man feels more important than the poor man. But it is a false set of values. Without a true set of values, it is the best he has. Even the Disciples were guilty of arguing about who was the more important to Jesus. Luke ch 22 v 24-27. The whole spirit of competition and personal status is one of the ways of the World. It enslaves a person. Man was designed by God to complete one another and not to compete with one another.
The whole of modern civilisation revolves around trade and industry. Nations are now ranked by their economic performance. The Canaanite spirit is the power behind World trade and the supply of money. The New World Order is founded on the control of the supply of money based on trade. The financier Rothschild once said: “Give me the control of the money supply and I care not what policies are passed by the Government of the land.” Moral and spiritual bankruptcy is the ultimate consequence, when the leaders of a nation do not build their policies on righteousness. Prov ch 14 v 34.
Personally in times of prosperity it is easy to forget God. The man with possessions is caught up with looking after the material possessions to the neglect of God. In times of plenty a man must not forget that the source of his prosperity is Jehovah Jireh – the Provider. This gives rise to the word ‘Providence.’ Rev ch 3 v 17. Deut ch 8 v 11-20 warn man of the dangers of prosperity and how it kills spiritual life. Ezekiel ch 16 v 49 teaches that the real problem in Sodom was pride and material prosperity. It made the people of Sodom lazy in relation to the poor. Immorality simply rose to the surface of society.
The presence of the Israelites and their holy God presented a challenge to the Canaanites and their many false gods. Consider the businesses, which cannot stand the presence of a Christian witness. The abortion business. There is a lot of money to be made. The prostitution business. The Tobacco industry and its sponsorship. The alcohol industry with its associated clubs and bars offering loose moral entertainment. The Gambling industry with its associated horse racing element. The liquor industry, with widespread involvement in the food and drinks industry. Supermarkets rely on this business. Aspects of the entertainment industry with the video and pornography industry. There are tradesmen, who are members of secret associations, like the Masons. There are shopkeepers, whose business accounts bear no resemblance to their style of living. For people in these industries income tax is a small voluntary contribution while those in employment pay their full taxes. The drugs industry is now the biggest in the World. It even exceeds the armaments industry. Governments rely on tax on the income from selling arms to dictatorships. They ignore the deprivation of the populations of these countries. These dictators spend more on armaments than on food and health care for their people. Jobs are at risk when the Gospel threatens to expose immoral activity. The Canaanite spirit binds people up like a spider does its prey – to be consumed at a later date.
Modern advertising is so important to commerce. It is filled with deceptions, lies and exaggerations. These are designed to encourage people to want the goods, which are for sale. Lies, trickery and ruthlessness are all recognised practices in business. They make for smart business. Morality is sacrificed to the god of business. Sexual immorality is used to sell many things. The adverts constantly lower moral standards. A government with moral integrity would abolish the sale of cigarettes and alcohol. They lead to much disease. Most governments lack such moral integrity. Business is worshipped. All kinds of deceptions are tolerated in order to increase profits. Lying about the competitors – that one product washes whiter than others. There is a balance between information and luring their customers with false information.
The Canaanite spirit promotes a lack of contentment and insults God. John preaching to the soldiers in Luke ch 3 v 7-17 called on them to repent and to share their possessions. It was radical teaching when the tendency is to hoard possessions. John said; “Do not collect more than is due.” When Zacchaeus met with Jesus he decided to give back what he had ‘stolen’ from the Jewish people as a tax collector. Greed had a hold on the people. It is difficult for a man to give money away after a lifetime of accumulating wealth.
Jesus provides a man’s spiritual food. It is of far greater value than the cheap happiness of material possessions. The ways of the World grow strangely dim. ‘What profits a man to gain the whole World and lose his soul?’ Mat ch 16 v 26. These are powerful and timeless words. Gen ch 14 v 22 is the basis for stewardship – the recognition of God’s sovereignty over all things. Psalm 50 v 10 – 12. Haggai ch 2 v 8. A steward is one who manages the property of another. The property is the Lord’s. Would Abraham allow himself to be enticed by the Canaanite spirit? He walked with the Holy Spirit and not with his fallen nature. Therein lies the battle with this particular giant.
Tithing or giving is a battle-ground between resisting the Canaanite spirit or yielding to it.
Tithing was instituted before the moral law was given to man. What a man does with his finances speaks loudly about his attitude towards God. It reflects an attitude of love towards God. The believer recognises that God is the source of all a man’s provision. It is just as difficult to tithe from a small income as it is to tithe from a large one. There is nothing inherently good about poverty. In fact it is a curse. Deut ch 28 v 15ff. There is no glory in being poor. Some people are very spiritual about their poverty and sickness. Much poverty is based on laziness and neglect to work as a child. The spirit of greed manifests itself as much among the poor as among the rich. The poor gamble as much as the rich in real terms in relation to their capital and income. 1 Tim ch 6 v 10. The love of money is the root of all evil. Some women are going out to work when the children are young. The work brings income but it cannot be a substitute for love. The woman justifies the work on the basis that she can provide more material possessions for the child. But in doing so she is denying the most important thing the child needs – her love and security. Jesus entrusted the money to Judas. Credit entices people to overspend and end up in debt under the control of financiers. Prov ch 22 v 7. The borrower is the slave of the lender.
Why do believers have to fight? Why does God not make it easier? Gen ch 15 v 1. ‘I am your shield and your reward is great.’ It is the desire of God that believers join with Jesus in the battle against the enemy to overcome him. Then God will restore the rewards granted to overcomers. The rewards are reserved for overcomers. A man has to overcome sin, the flesh, the World and the Devil. Tithing is one way believers learn to overcome the lure of the Canaanite spirit. It shows that their loyalty is first and foremost to God. Money means power over others and self-dependence, rather than dependence on the Lord. Like all Satanic spirits it has as its objective to rob, destroy and kill. It robs a man of his love for God. Man cannot love God and Mammon. It steals his time for God. The more possessions a man has the more time is spent looking after them. There is less time left to worship God and to pray. It kills his desire for personal integrity. The only thing a man can take with him into eternity is his integrity. The spirit encourages idolatry. People talk about those things, which are in the centre of their thoughts. This draws a man away from God.
Anyone serious about serving the Lord has to strike down this giant. Mat ch 15 v 21-28.
CHAPTER 8. THE JEBUSITE SPIRIT.
Each time the Scriptures list the people opposed to the Hebrews, the Jebusites are mentioned last. This enemy was Israel’s last foe. The name “Jebusite” means treading or trodden down. It comes from the root word to tread down with the feet, to pollute or to defile. This giant is seen as a vile, malevolent spirit sent to tread down, pollute and defile the holy things of God. In Psalm 110 v 1. The process will be reversed. Jesus will put everything under His feet at the end of time. Personally it is the Jebusite spirit, which brings the believer to a point of condemnation, accusation and intimidation, leaving him feeling defeated and down trodden.
Jerusalem was chosen by God as His city as a symbol of eternity. It is 5,000 years old. In Gen ch 14 v 18 Melchizadek, the King of Salem appeared to Abraham 3,800 years ago. He brought bread and wine to bless Abraham, for Melchizadek was the priest of the Most High God. The next time Jerusalem is mentioned is when the city is ruled by the Jebusites. It is called Jebusi. Josh ch 18 v 27. Adoni-Zedek had set himself up as lord of righteousness, treading down and polluting the holy place God had chosen as His holy city. 1 Kings ch 14 v 21. The Lord chose Jerusalem from all the cities of Israel to put His name there. Jerusalem is pictured as a foreshadow of the Heavenly city, where man will dwell in eternity with God. All the great cities of antiquity have come and gone, but Jerusalem remains. God chose it as a symbol of weakness to confound the wise. It has no great attributes. There is no great river or minerals. It is not on a sea front or on a trade route. It barely had a water supply.
King David captured the city from the Jebusites 3,000 years ago. 2 Sam ch 5 v 6-10. The highest point of the city was Mount Moriah, where Abraham offered Isaac in sacrifice. God showed that one day He would not withhold His only begotten Son. He would die on same place to pay the price for the sins of the World. In David’s day it was used as a threshing floor to thresh wheat. 2 Sam ch 24 v 15-25. 1 Chron ch 21 v 14-30. David purchased the ground. The holy place was again restored to its former glory. God can turn around any situation. Later Solomon built the temple on Mount Moriah. Every tourist knows the place today, topped by the Dome of the Rock. Inside its golden dome it states several times: ‘God has no Son.’ Jerusalem is the city of the great King and the capital city of the State of Israel.
The Jebusite spirit is seen in Ezekiel ch 8. God wanted to show Ezekiel what idolatry was going on in His temple on Mount Moriah. There were various degrees of idolatry, which eventually drove God from His temple. In ch 10 Ezekiel described something like a space ship with God leaving the temple and boarding His ship. Then it moved off, leaving Jerusalem deprived of the presence of God. It is a very graphic picture of a godless place.
Daniel spoke of the abomination of desolation in Jerusalem. Ch 9 v 27. Antiochus Epiphanes IV stopped the temple worship and offered blood of pigs upon the great altar in the temple. In Mat ch 24 v 15 Jesus spoke of another incident in Jerusalem at the end of time.
The battle for control of Jerusalem has gone on through the centuries. 20 times the city has been conquered. 14 times it has been sacked and later rebuilt. From B. C. 586 when the city fell to Babylonian forces, it was not under Jewish rule. This changed in 1967 when Israel captured the whole of the city of Jerusalem from the Jordanians. Today the enemies of Israel are determined to capture Jerusalem as the capital city of a Palestinian state. The Israeli parliament has declared Jerusalem to be the eternal and indivisible capital of Israel. Satan is determined to tread down the holy city. Jesus said that Jerusalem would be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the days of the Gentiles were fulfilled. Luke ch 21 v 24. The holy city will be trodden down for 42 months up to the return of Jesus. Rev ch 11 v 2. The number 42 in Scripture is the number for the Devil.
Zech ch 12 pictures the battle for Jerusalem with the warning that God will deal harshly with those who seek to tread down His chosen city. It is seen daily on news bulletins. Suicide bombs. Children taught to hate the Jewish people. Walls and fences to protect the people from enemies utterly opposed to the very existence of a Jewish state. Islam plans a modern day holocaust – to finish off the unfinished work of Hitler. All the nations of the Earth will come against it. This could happen in the form of a United Nations resolution. The battle for Jerusalem is the physical manifestation of the spiritual battle-ground in the unseen World. Jerusalem is the epi-centre of the spiritual battle between God and the forces of darkness.
How does the Jebusite spirit tower over believers? For a believer the counterpart of Jerusalem is the heart. The Kingdom of God is the rule of God in the heart of man. God wants to be in control of the life of each of His children. The Jebusite spirit wants to dethrone God from their life. It is only when he is able to dislodge this Jebusite spirit that the believer enters into the fullness of Christ. The Jebusite spirit’s main thrust is to bring the believer to the point of despair and defeat. He is tempted to give up and deny Christ. In that way he defiles the holy place of God. Peter was attacked by the Jebusite spirit and tempted to deny Jesus. It left Peter in a miserable state. Peter wept bitterly. Mat ch 26 v 69-75. It looked like Satan had won the day. Jesus had chosen Peter’s faith to be the rock on which He would build His Church. Leaders are the most likely to be attacked. Defeat the leader or disgrace him and the flock will all suffer. Jesus said: ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came to bring life in all its abundance.’ How does this demonic Spirit work to accomplish his master’s purposes? The Jebusite attacks believers on three fronts.
The first line of attack. To discourage and intimidate.
The tactics are to discourage and intimidate the believer and to bring the believer to the point of saying: “I cannot.” Goliath intimidated Saul to the point that Saul could not face Goliath. The giant outsmarted Saul by suggesting that the battle be decided on the outcome of a fight between the biggest men on each side. This was a clever move, since the Philistines had a man bigger than anyone on the other side. But why did Saul agree to the terms put forward by Goliath? The enemy grasped the initiative and intimidated the people of God. Islam adopts the same tactic of intimidation. In effect Saul said this is not a situation of his choosing or to his liking. How often does a believer find himself in this situation? The danger is of following Saul’s example and hiding in his tent. David came on the scene and went against the enemy in the opposite spirit. Zeal for God won the day. Intimidation has no place in the life of a believer. 1 Thes ch 5 v 11. God commands His children to encourage one another. Acts ch 4 v 36. Joseph was such an encourager that he was renamed Barnabas – son of encouragement. A believer may feel intimidated by religious people. They seem better able to speak and more knowledgeable. The believer should recognise the spirit at work and go against it in the opposite spirit – zeal for Jesus. The Jebusites called to David: ‘The blind and the lame can keep you out.’ That put David down. There is a saying that ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.’ That is a lie. Discouraging remarks and insults can really sting far longer than physical wounds. A man may remember a hurtful remark from years ago even when he has forgotten a painful injury.
Isaiah ch 42 v 4. ‘Jesus will not fail or be discouraged.’ Jesus was so discouraged with the response of the Jewish people in His day that He wept over Jerusalem. Mat ch 23 v 37. A believer can be so discouraged by disappointment that he says: “I shall never do that again.”
Num ch 32 v 1-15. Two of the tribes wanted to stay out of the Promised Land, because the grass was better for their crops. This was a discouragement to the other ten tribes.
Deut ch 1 v 38. Joshua was to be the leader of the people to enter the land. God charged the people to encourage him. The leader is always liable to be discouraged.
1 Pet ch 2 v 23. Jesus did not threaten those who oppressed Him. He loved them.
1 Sam ch 7 v 7. The Israelites were afraid of the Philistines.
Judges ch 7 v 3. Gideon said that anyone who felt afraid should go home. They were no use.
Neh ch 6 v 19. ‘Tobiah sent letters to frighten me.’ That was a real discouragement to go on.
John ch 19 v 38. Joseph of Arimathea was a secret disciple for fear of the Jews.
The second line of attack is accusation. Although the believer is declared by God to be justified by the blood of Jesus, the enemy attacks the feelings. A believer may not feel saved or victorious but he is. Satan suggests to the believer: “You are no good. What right do you have to call yourself a believer after what you have just done? Who do you claim to be? What right do you have to claim to be serving the Lord? What have you ever achieved?” Here he is accusing, intimidating and condemning the believer. Some are even led to believe that they have committed the unforgivable sin. Satan is the accuser of the brethern. Rev ch 12 v 9-10. The Book of Job shows how Satan appears before God to accuse God’s own children. Job ch 1 v 9. Satan found fault in Job and accused him. He reports every weakness to God. Whereas Satan accuses believers, Jesus ever intercedes for them. John says that Jesus is described as an advocate standing alongside them in court answering the accusations. A believer should analyse the thoughts, which cloud his mind. He may find that it is Satan, who is levelling accusations against him. He will emphasise every mistake in detail and make the believer feel a failure. He will use people close to him to criticise him and bring out any mistakes he makes to put him down gossiping about him – telling tales about him to his friends. Being called a sect is a putting down of a fellowship of believers in the Lord Jesus. There is little as damaging as a false accusation unsupported by evidence. Eccles ch 7 v 1 says that a good reputation is more valuable than the most expensive perfume.
This spirit is probably behind satire and ridicule of people in positions of authority. The purpose is to cause society not to trust anyone in a position of authority. God is the ultimate one in authority. There are insinuations that things are not above board.
Zech ch 3 v 1 – 5. ‘The Lord rebuke you, Satan.’ Speak that word if accused by Satan.
Mat ch 27 v 12. The chief priest and elders accused Jesus of being King of the Jews.
Deut ch 19 v 15 – 21. It is a very serious thing to make a false accusation.
Dan ch 3 v 8 – 12. The Babylonians accused the three friends of Daniel of paying no heed of Nebuchadnezzar. They ended up in the fiery furnace.
Acts ch 23 v 28. Paul was falsely accused to the Romans.
1 Sam ch 22 v 9. Doeg the Edomite accused Ahimelech of conspiring against Saul.
The purpose of such accusations is to belittle the person before men and make life difficult.
The third line of attack is condemnation. This is not God’s purpose or attitude toward His children. Romans ch 5 v 18. ‘One man’s trespass brought condemnation for all men.’ John ch 3 v 17. ‘God has not sent His Son into the World to condemn the World but to save the World.’ Paul concluded in Romans ch 8 v 1. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.’ The Greek word for condemnation is judgement. Romans ch 5 v 18. Those who refuse to believe in Jesus as the Son of God are in a state of condemnation. Romans ch 8 v 34. ‘Who is to condemn us? Not Jesus.’ Those who are saved have passed from condemnation. John ch 8 v 3 – 11. Jesus did not condemn the woman taken in adultery. The religious people condemned her. ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go but sin no more.” Rom ch 8 v 1. God does not condemn believers. But Satan does condemn believers. He tries to lay guilt on them. He brings to mind sins, which have been forgiven. He causes them to doubt their salvation. It is unwise to tell others, even in a testimony, of the dreadful things done before conversion. God has forgiven these things. But if Satan can get a hold of them through the ears of some person, he will use them to discredit the believer in the eyes of others. Condemnation destroys the peace of the believer and makes him ineffective. It leaves him with a feeling of worthlessness and being down trodden. God invites a man to be convicted of sin and to repent and confess his sins. Conviction of sin makes a man feel closer to God. Mat ch 20 v 17 – 19. Jesus was condemned to death. During His public ministry Jesus was condemned, discouraged and falsely accused. When He said: ‘If they hated me, they will hate you.’ Jesus was speaking about the Jebusite spirit.
How do believers tackle the attack by the Jebusite spirit?
1. Be covered with the blood of Jesus. Satan cannot condemn what God has declared righteous. He cannot curse what God has blessed. The believer must know his blessing. He must be well taught in Biblical doctrine. Bible study is essential to know the Word of God.
2. He must be alert to the wiles of the Devil. Jesus was intimidated by Satan in the wilderness. Expect the attack and reject it with the Word of God. The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. Recognising an attack, a believer should not lie down to Satan but speak against it in the power of the Spirit with the Word of God.
3. Affirm the facts of the Gospel and the so great salvation. The angel of death passed over the house in Egypt when he saw the blood of the lamb on the door-post. The believer should count his blessings daily and give thanks for them.
4. The ability of the believer to overcome is dependent not only on the blood of Jesus but on the word of his testimony. Rev ch 12 v 11. A response from him is required before full victory is his. Jesus calls him to make a public confession. The enemy will attack the weaker one first. If he does not speak out his faith in Jesus, he feels intimidated. ‘You are useless. You do not really believe it.” If the Devil can seal his lips and have him dwell on his defeats and deficiencies, he will have won a major victory. It is important to keep witnessing.