Summary of Giants.

Deuteronomy chapter 7.
The Girgashites.
The Perizzites.
The Canaanites.
The Jebusites.
The seven Spiritual Giants.
The Hivites.
The Hittites.
The Amorites.
Giants.

Advertisements

Deuteronomy chapter 7

DEUTERONOMY CHAPTER 7 v 1- 16.

It is one of the characteristics of the Bible that it is full of questions. Sometimes God asks man a question. The Lord God came to Adam in the Garden of Eden and asked: “Adam, where are you?” On another occasion a lawyer asked Jesus: “Who is my neighbour?” But even in this passage, although there are no question marks, the Word itself places before the reader questions, which cry out for an answer. This is a key passage of Scripture. There are three major problems for most people. To unlock it or open the door to the understanding needs three keys. Three questions, which arise, are these.
1. Why did God choose the Jewish people and appear to bless them above other peoples? God gave 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, when it happened over three thousand years ago?

Each question merits a serious study to understand the purpose of God from the passage. The situation is that God had rescued the Children of Israel from the bondage of Pharaoh, led them across the wilderness, provided food and water for them and now they stood ready to enter the land promised to them.

QUESTION 1. Why did God choose Israel or the Jewish people and promise to bless them above the peoples living in the land at the time? The real problem lies in the English language, because 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.” But, when it comes to lifting potatoes, a man does not choose a hoe because he prefers the colour of it but he will choose a fork because it will perform the purpose he has in mind. Often it is stated that God preferred the Jewish people over other peoples. They were like a teacher’s pet, given favourable treatment. No one likes the teacher’s pet. There is a feeling of great injustice when someone receives favourable treatment while others suffer neglect.

The passage itself in v 7 makes it clear that the people were chosen not because of their number. In other passages it is clear that it was not because they were more moral or more intelligent or more likeable than other peoples. There is nothing particularly attractive about the Jewish people. Rather God chose them for a purpose. God had a task, which He wanted to accomplish, and He chose the Jewish people to bring that purpose to pass. The condition of the World in those days was little better than it was in the days of Noah, when God stated: 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 reflected in the lives of the Jewish people and realise that the puny gods, which they worshipped, were false gods. In that way God purposed that people all over the World would abandon their false gods and worship Him – as He had always intended. This was no easy task for the Jewish people. There is the same picture today in that children of Royalty have particularly 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. There are privileges, but there are also responsibilities. So it has been for the Jewish people down through the centuries. They struggled with their responsibilities. The whole Bible is a picture of the struggle of the Jewish people to live up to the calling of God on their lives. Sometimes they did well but on many occasions they failed and suffered the consequences of their failure. Twice history reveals that they were driven by God from the land promised to them as a punishment. The very name Israel means: “struggle.”

There is a telling phrase. “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 at times it is really hard to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. God chose believers for the same purpose – to reveal the love of Jesus to the World so that others might see the living God reflected in their lives. Then they may repent and turn to God and worship Him. God did not choose believers because they were morally better than anyone else or because they were more intelligent or stronger. Indeed it is a mystery why God chose anyone to receive the gift of eternal life.

Why did God choose the Jewish people? Because it was part of His great purpose of salvation to redeem a lost mankind. The passage is all about God’s grace to the Children of Israel. Grace is God’s unmerited and undeserved favour to sinners who are His enemies. God has a plan to bring a lost World back to Himself. He chose the Jewish people as part of that plan.

QUESTION 2. It is easy to accept the goodness of God to a people who were in bondage to a cruel dictator. However a lot of people have a real difficulty of coming to terms with this command of God to 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. Therefore there may have been at least twenty one million people involved. What about the children? How does a 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?

Consider this question. Suppose a man owns a house and he is planning to go abroad for a time. He decides to lease out the house and engages 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 and not to use it for any business purpose or to create any disturbance, which would upset the neighbours. These are all normal terms of a lease.

After only a short time, his lawyer sends word to him that the tenants have not only paid no rent but two other families have moved into the house. The house and garden are being neglected, and 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 before he instructs 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 and He had arranged that this choice piece of real estate in the Middle East had been 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 and 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, ignoring God who had sent the rain. Worse than that they cheated on each other, fought each other, lied to each other and broke every moral commandment of God. They engaged in sexual immorality. Recent excavations reveal that some of the things the Canaanites did would shock those dealing in pornography today. 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 by burning them on the altar. 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 of approximately 1,000 years – 400 of which were while the Jewish people were in Egypt – some of that time in slavery. During that time God 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 and the time had come to wipe them out. It is important to get a hold of this fact. 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, because 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. Time is running out. Jesus is coming back. Those who have ignored God and His Son Jesus will have to face the consequences of their actions.

What sort of father would a man be, if he loves his child and is not stirred to anger when that child is abused? It is natural and right for any parent to be angry when an injustice is done to his child. If God did not react adversely to evil in the World, He would not be morally perfect. He would be nothing more than a sloppy sentimental Santa Claus. Wrath is the outworking of God’s hostility towards sin. After 400 years of grace a crisis point had been reached and 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.

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, where most people worship either material things, which God has created, including their bodies, or false gods of their imagination or just simply themselves and where children are still sacrificed in the incinerators of state-run hospitals, so that their parents can continue to worship their sexual encounters without 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. The parallel between the society in Canaan, when the Jewish people entered the land and society today, is uncomfortably close.

The real problem is that many people in the World are materialists and really only believe in what they can see and touch. That is why it is difficult to believe in God who is a Spirit and in Jesus who cannot be seen physically today. In the East people are caught up in a spiritual Word but 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. The Apostle Paul says in Ephesians that the battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual powers and forces of darkness.

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 has used them as a physical manifestation of a spiritual truth. God always gives man a physical picture to teach spiritual truth. The name of each of the seven peoples living in the land of Canaan has a meaning, which represents a spiritual principality or giant, which humans have to overcome in their own life. These are the meanings of the seven names and the powers, which lie behind them.

1. The HITTITES means fear – a giant, which dominates many lives today and robs them of their enjoyment of 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 a man, and perhaps the greatest fear – the fear of death.

2. 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, and behind complaining and boasting of self.

3. The CANAANITES means the spirit of materialism – worshipping the material World. It encourages the love of wealth, greed, covetousness and stealing from others. It encourages people to spend more than they earn and to end up in debt.

4. The PERIZZITES means the spirit of separation, leaving a man unprotected and helpless. When a man loses self-control he is vulnerable to pressures to go with the crowd. 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.

5. The GIRGASHITES means the spirit, which encourages a man to go back to the life he came from. Young people in particular who want to serve the Lord find a great pressure from their peer group to turn back to the old ways.

6. The HIVITES encourages the attitude of “eat, drink and be merry” – leading a life of pleasure and ignoring the spiritual values of truth and integrity. There are so many things to do in this life, that it is easy to forget to make time for God.

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.

All these spiritual powers have the same characteristic, attacking the wellbeing 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 problems and powers 3,000 years ago as they do today. They also faced the same powers in the day of Jesus and much of His teaching is directed against these powers.

These questions are deep and penetrating ones, which demand further thought and action. That is always the way with the Lord – He challenges a man and invites him to think long and hard about what He has to say.

Girgashites

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 children had been taken from their mothers and brutally murdered. Canaan was the Promised Land, flowing with milk and honey, meaning that there was grass for the cattle and flowers for the bees. 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, receiving eternal life and experiencing being free. Astonishingly the Hebrews wanted to turn back into Egypt. This is the physical picture to teach the spiritual truth. Behind this decision recorded in Num ch 14 v 4 when the people chose a leader to lead them back to Egypt 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.” Once the Israelites crossed over into the land, after the unbelieving generation had died off in the wilderness, the Girgashite Spirit is 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 again 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, which 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 the spiritual truth that the Girgashite Spirit attacks new believers.
First. The occasion when Pharaoh ordered the death of all the boy babies. Exodus ch 1 v 15. Moses escaped by the grace of God.
Second. Herod did the same at the time of Jesus when 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 before Jesus – 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. Today some people attend worship in old clothes and some men are even unshaven. They would not dress in this way going to meet the Queen.
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? Adultery is on an enormous scale in the World and even in the Church. 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 left to the prophets to speak out about the wrath of God.
5. The leaders were questioning the Word of God. “Did God really say?” The people were being spoon-fed. It is the responsibility of each believer to feed himself on the Word of God and 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. The idea of dropping litter or getting drunk should have absolutely no place in the life of a believer. But there will be other areas where that believer is less secure. These are the areas where the enemy will come with a new attack. When the believer has reached his spiritual point of no return the Girgashite spirit will leave him. 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 the plan of God. It is essential to get the babies well fed and protected at the same time. There is a real sense of urgency, as there is for many mothers in nature, who have to ensure that, if their offspring are to survive the harsh climate, their babies must grow quickly and be able to go out into the World on their own – safe from predators. The Girgashite Spirit is a predator seeking to devour 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 regularly use such words as “hold fast” or “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. Many Churches are falling into apostasy. Massive interest in the occult, astrology and New Age matters – such as alternative medicines – 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 – the lusts of the flesh and the pleasures of the World. Many want one last go before they give it up, genuinely intending to return after their last fling. They are blinded to the danger. It could be the last opportunity they have. If 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 marriage to many wives to lead him away from the Lord.

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 his brothers in Christ. 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. 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. Many fine believers have given up following Jesus, because they have been let down by fellow believers and they have let it get hold of them. If they walk 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 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.”

Jer ch 15 v 7. “They did not turn from their ways.” The believer has to go on repenting – all of his 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 seek or 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 that one day each believer shall stand before Jesus along with every other human being who has ever lived and 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. That is one reason why 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. A man learns more about God in the wilderness than on the mountain top.

Perizzites

THE PERRIZITES.

The Perrizite Spirit is one of the giants, which comes to attack a Christian and rob him of his true inheritance. What is his strategy and how does he carry out his task effectively? How is a man able to defeat this particular giant? 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 the days of the Bible 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 both negative walls of hostility which need to come down and positive walls for protection. Eph ch 2 v 14 says that Jesus has broken down the walls of contempt separating Jews and Gentiles. In Rev ch 21 v 12 it says that the New Jerusalem has broad and high walls. There will be no enemies then but the verse is symbolic of the believer’s security in God.

Man’s desire to dwell in safety is the same throughout the World. Why does a man have walls in his house? He has walls for privacy and protection. He needs protection – from the elements in cold countries and from intruders. Surrounded by rampant crime, gross immorality and natural disasters, man in his vulnerability lives as a fugitive in a hostile World. In many parts of the World the rich people are surrounded by walls and have guard dogs and burglar alarms. But man’s need to defend himself is not limited to his physical wellbeing. It applies just as much to his emotional wellbeing and his spiritual wellbeing. The emotions are sensitive areas, which are easily damaged and 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. Self-control is essential or else a man is vulnerable to every pressure to conform to the World.

Peer pressure is a really powerful force against young people. Without self-control, how are they to handle the pressure to drink, smoke and take drugs and to take part in sexual immorality? Indeed 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 man, provided he is filled with the Holy Spirit. 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. They become unfruitful. The fruit of the Holy Spirit does not grow in their lives. The walls of Jericho fell and left the inhabitants defenceless against the Hebrews. When the Perizzite spirit separates a believer from teaching of the Word of God, it chokes the spiritual life out of him. The spirit casts doubt in the mind of the believer concerning the inspiration of the Word of God. If the doubts take root, faith is stifled at birth and the believer is unprotected by the Word of God.

The principle line of attack by Satan on believers is in teaching. Paul warned Timothy about doctrines of demons. 1 Tim ch 4 v 1. Satan has done a great work. He has brought about denominations, division, sects, quarrels and ridicule on the part of the World at the behaviour of the Church.

The Perizzite spirit will attempt to keep a man from reading the Word of God. There are always other things to do which are important in themselves. Then he suggests that the man is too tired, too busy or that it is too hard. These are cunning manoeuvres. Alternatively he will use sickness, disappointment, financial difficulties to try to separate a man from God. This spiritual power of darkness is sent forth by the Devil for the express purpose of breaking down man’s defences, in order to leave him naked and helpless to attack physically in health, emotionally in his mind and spiritually in his lack of spiritual weapons to deal with the onslaught of the enemy. If Satan cannot rob a believer of his salvation, then 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 and in particular his place in God – that place where he inherits his true position as a child of God – having a personal relationship with God and 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. God is the epitome of safety. 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. God’s love for His children is so wide and so all embracing that Satan cannot stop God from loving His children and caring for them. God the Father will let Satan go only so far as it serves His purposes.

In His Word the Lord gives two pictures of physical protection in order to teach this the spiritual truth. That is why the story is there in the Old Testament, in order to teach man the truth and to equip man for life as a follower of Jesus.

The first picture is in Nehemiah chapter 4. Jerusalem was chosen by God as a symbol of an eternal truth. David had captured it from the Jebusites but later, when the Israelites were taken into captivity in Babylon, the city had fallen into enemy hands. The walls had been broken down and the city of Jerusalem was trodden down and 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 heard about the walls being broken down and he sat down and wept, and mourned for days. He was the cup-bearer to the king and he asked the King for permission to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls of the city. His request was granted and he set about his task. But the Jebusite spirit was at work seeking to keep Jerusalem down trodden. Sanballat and Tobiah went to great lengths to frustrate the plans of Nehemiah to rebuild the walls and have Jerusalem occupied and useful to God’s purposes again. Ch 4 v 15. Half of the workers worked on the walls and the other half held spears and shields and bows and coats of mail. v 18. Each builder had a sword girded at his side. The man who sounded the trumpet was at Nehemiah’s side while the building went on. 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. There was certain physical work to do but each person involved in the building had to be prepared for spiritual warfare. 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. People are concerned that the spiritual walls are not built up, because it shows them up. They feel threatened by exposure. Perhaps they had an abortion and do not want the abortion issue raised in public. Perhaps their children are living together and they do not want a strong Church proclaiming the truth. There are often hidden reasons, why people are opposed to the things of God.

There is a second picture provided by Ephesians ch 6 v 10 – 18. Paul in his treatise about the Church concludes in chapter 6 that it is the purpose of the Church to engage in spiritual warfare. Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil and said: “Follow me.” The Gospels reveal that Jesus spent one third of His time in opposition to the demonic powers of His day. 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.” Before the new spiritual birth, the person was dead spiritually and therefore there was no warfare to fight. At conversion the battle begins as Satan seeks to recover lost territory.

Paul was under house arrest and as he looked for an illustration to explain spiritual warfare, he needed to look no further than the Roman soldier standing outside his house. For all believers at that time and for as far ahead as could be imagined, a Roman soldier was a well-known sight. Paul looked at the armour of the Roman soldier standing guard over him and the Holy Spirit showed him how the spiritual armour was very similar to the physical armour of the Roman soldier. What are the pieces of armour and how do they operate?

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. Bible study is essential to keep the mind stayed on Jesus. The helmet is put it on to give protection.

2. The breastplate of righteousness. This is like a bullet proof vest. If a man is not living a holy life, he loses his standing before God and his reputation amongst men. He becomes vulnerable to attack by exposure to hypocrisy. It is essential for the believer to know and understand that he has been declared righteous by the blood of Jesus. However he may feel, his position is secure. As soon as he dwells on the negative, destructive thoughts of Satan, he will lose his spiritual power and strength. Absolute assurance is essential if he is to achieve anything for the Lord. Doubt destroys assurance.

3. The feet are shod with the gospel of peace. The feet were important to a Roman soldier in order to move quickly to where he was required. If the believer is prepared to witness to Jesus as Saviour and Lord, then he must be available to go where the Lord asks him to go, without complaint. There is a battle and the Lord is in charge of the strategy. He may want a believer to move swiftly to witness to someone just when that person needs to hear the Gospel. If the believer is not prepared to go quickly in obedience, the advantage may be lost. The Perizzite 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. If the believer tells a lie, even though no one else knows it, there are 3 people who do know – the believer, God and Satan. His conscience is under attack. So is his confidence, because he knows that he has sinned. If others know about the lie, he is restricted from speaking about truth, knowing that he may be accused of telling a lie. 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. It was at the end of His teaching that Jesus told the parable of the wise man, who built his house on the rock. A life built on the teaching of Jesus will stand against the popular opinions of men and the changing moral ideas of the modern World. The belt holds the other parts of the armour together. In the same way the teaching of Jesus holds the rest of the believer’s life 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 one 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 man does not quench these darts by faith – by the Word of God – they will light a fire within him, causing him to disobey God. He never knows when the fiery darts will come at him and so must walk by faith in God at all times. He needs the shield of faith at all times. He also needs the encouragement of his fellow believers – locked together – at times of doubt or difficulty.

The first five pieces of armour are for protection. Number six is for defence and attack.

6. The sword of the spirit. The Word of God can accomplish everything God wants is to accomplish. By His words, everything, which is in existence, was created. A material sword pierces the body. 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. The Word of God pierces the heart of man. When man believes the Word of God and confesses Jesus as Lord, he is saved. Three times Jesus was tempted by Satan and each time He defeated Satan by using the Word of God. “It is written.” Salvation is described as the believer’s strength and protection. Isaiah ch 26 v 1. David recognised that fact. 2 Sam ch 22 v 1 – 4. God is in control of the affairs of this World. If a man commits his ways to God He will be personally responsible for that man. It is in man’s relationship with the Lord that he has real security and not in walls built by his fellow men. The picture of the importance of the walls of the city is there to teach this 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.

What walls should a believer be building for his protection? Walls of prayer. Walls of meditation. Walls of Bible study. Walls of faith. Walls of fellowship. All these are essential for the believer to go on walking with God. The Perizzite spirit will do all he can to disrupt these activities and pull down these walls. Personally God also promises to protect the individual believer who is kind to the poor. Psalm 41 v 2. God builds walls to protect believers – walls of prayer, when He puts a burden on others to pray for the believer – walls of meditation on God’s Word, when the Holy Spirit gives a love for the Scriptures – walls of faith, which God gives man by grace – and walls of fellowship, when He provides others to support a believer’s work. God gave Aaron to Moses and Jonathan to David.

In practical terms how is a man attacked, if he is unprotected?
Physical. The unborn child is unprotected, if the mother of the child does not eat a good diet or smokes during pregnancy or works until the very end and does not relax. Or if she is on drugs or drink during pregnancy. 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. Children of single parent families feel vulnerable and unprotected.

An adult is unprotected, if it ignores the dangers and drives too fast or while unfit through drink or drugs. All people are unprotected, if they open their minds to every false teaching, which is being presented. There is a danger that, if a man keeps his mind open long enough, his brains will fall out. Parents who tell their children nothing in the moral and spiritual realm, leaving them to make their own mind up when they are of age, are leaving their children unprotected. Prov ch 22 v 6. Some children do not make it into adulthood.

Emotionally. A child is unprotected emotionally, if he does not receive love and encouragement. He may develop a complex in one area or another of his personality. If a person has no real fellowship and does not have his basic needs met – to be loved – to achieve – to belong to some group or another, then he will 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 and that they are protected physically and emotionally as well as spiritually. One who relies on human wisdom and not on God’s wisdom is unprotected.

Intellectually, man faces an onslaught from the evolutionists against the Word of God, followed by 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. There are no answers for the prisoners and the handicapped. All that the World can do is to throw money at the problems. 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 Perrizite spirit seeks to prevent man from spending time with God through His word. How easy it is to find other things to do instead of reading the Bible. How many visitors arrive on Bible study night? How many excuses there are, which prevent people getting to spend time studying the Bible. The spirit encourages compromise with the World to hinder growth in God. By implanting doubt in the mind of the believer, the faith of the believer is destroyed and he is left un-walled or unprotected. Satan also uses sickness, personal tragedies and financial difficulties to try to tear a man from God. The Perrizite spirit is at work.

Spiritually, to neglect the thrust of Scripture that believers are engaged in spiritual warfare and to go out of the camp with no armour on, leaves the believer vulnerable. Sooner or later every believer discovers that the Christian life is not a playground but a battleground. If he goes into the World without spiritual armour on, he is just as vulnerable and likely to be robbed and even killed spiritually, if not physically by the enemy, who hates him. The Perrizite spirit comes to encourage the believer to remain unprotected and unable to take part in spiritual warfare. Many believers keep away when there is teaching about spiritual warfare. The Perrizite spirit is at work speaking excuses into the minds of many believers with words like: “This is too much. Just stay as you are. You are fine. There is no need for this teaching.” Most people in the West do not accept that there are evil spirits. Satan has done a great work of deception. The people are unprotected. The doors to their lives are unlocked and evil spirits are flooding into the countries of Western Europe. There is less excuse today with so many excellent books available at reasonable cost. The principle line of attack by Satan on believers is in teaching.

Curses. How does a man protect himself from curses, whether from God, or other men or the Devil. In Deut ch 28 God lists the curses for disobedience to His Word. The answer lies in keeping the Word of God. Believers need wisdom to avoid being involved in anything of the realm of darkness, which opens them up to curses from the enemy. It is also important to avoid contact with any objects, which carry a curse. Deut ch 7 v 26. Things of the Canaanites would carry a curse with them.

Generational sins. Exodus ch 20 speaks of visiting the iniquity of the father upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate God. How does a man know what his forefathers did? Prov ch 22 v 6 works in a negative way as well as a positive way. 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 and leave 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 and they become one flesh. That is why a father gives away his daughter. Many mother-in-law problems might be avoided of the mother joined her husband in giving her daughter away and letting go of her. 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 and part of the soul of the wife is in her husband. All forms of sexual relations not within the secure bounds of a marriage will always introduce ungodly soul ties into a person’s life and make that person vulnerable to the demonic. This includes a couple, who have sexual relations before marriage even though they fully intend to be married and are indeed married but start before the actual marriage ceremony. This is particularly so where there is sexual abuse. An ungodly soul tie
is always established between an abuser and the abused creating 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 be the reason why a person does not receive healing. The enemy always seeks to pervert God’s plans for the good of man. Acts ch 13 v 10. 1 Cor ch 6 v 15-17.

What if a person has been deceived by this giant and has been robbed? Or through no fault of his own he has been unprotected and has suffered as a result? The Word of the Lord says that the Lord will make up for the years the locust have eaten. Joel ch 1. As Jesus healed blind and dumb people, crippled and possessed people, so God is able to do 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. Maybe he has never been taught the Scriptures. God can take a clean sheet and teach the man from scratch. It is easier for the Lord to teach someone who knows nothing. He has less to unlearn. He does not have opinions of his own to change. 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 when they live in un-walled villages. Cities are not built today with walls but the picture given to Ezekiel was to convey a truth that Israel would be attacked, when she is not protected by other nations – like the U. S. A. The support of America for Israel is on the wane, because of the influence of the Arabs and their control of the oil reserves in the World. 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. Angels are marshalled by God to fight for Israel. Israel has survived 6 wars during her 50 years of existence since 1948 against overwhelming physical forces. God promised to protect Jerusalem. Isaiah ch 31 v 5.

Jesus stated seven times “I am.” He was making it clear that He was everything the child of God needs to face the enemy. Paul explains that 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. God could do it all by Himself and sometimes He does just that. 1 John ch 3 v 8. Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil. It is the task of believers to carry on that work.
When the enemy attacks by means of the Perrizite spirit, security and protection is found in God. The believer must build up his own walls of protection by faith in the Word of God.
This is as deadly a spiritual giant as all the others.

Canaanites

THE CANAANITES. Deut ch 7 v 1-16. Numbers ch 33 v 55. Gen ch 13 v 1-18.
Mat ch 6 v 19 – 24.

Who were the Canaanites and why was it that they were so hostile to the arrival of the Israelites in the land of Canaan? There was plenty of land for all the peoples – just as there was after World War II, when the Jewish people made their way to Palestine as it was called then. The Canaanites seemed to get along quite well with the other six peoples in Canaan. What was so different about the Israelites that the Canaanites invited the other peoples to gang up on 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, because of the actions of Ham, when he looked on his father’s nakedness and told his brothers. He showed a distinct lack of honour towards his father Noah and this led to the curse. Gen ch 9 v 22- 27. Noah had been Ham’s saviour because of his obedience to the Word of God and ham was mocking his father for his sin. The word Canaanite means “trafficker” or “trader.” The Canaanites were well established in the land for a long time as a trading people. They had been there since 2,000 B. C., before the days of Abraham. Indeed Abraham came to live amongst them, when God called him out of Ur of the Chaldeas to travel to the west. Abraham’s life style was far from primitive. There were libraries and books on maths and a sophisticated social order. By this time the Canaanites were trading far and wide in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Minoan civilisation in Crete was at its height around 2,000 B. C. Records indicate that Egypt had a tradition of strong centralised government going back as far as 3,000 B. C. In that situation the Canaanites were the merchants and business people of the region. They occupied the sea-coast known as Phonecia and had as their centres 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 there were guilds in relation to food distribution, pottery, chariot building, boat building, copper smiths and so on. Indeed Hiram of Tyre supplied Solomon with Lebanese timber for the Temple in Jerusalem and Phoenician craftsmen received grain and oil in exchange for their services in building the Temple. 1 Kings ch 5 v 1 – 10. Most of the Canaanite city states were monarchies, where the local king had extensive power.

The same records reveal that the religion of the Canaanites was pantheistic – many gods, of whom Baal, Dagon, El and Astarte were the best known. Over 30 gods were identified. Everything was allowed in business, as long as the business was done and everyone prospered. These false gods were made in the image of man, exhibiting 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. The sophisticated crudities of the Canaanite culture and the emergent Israel, with its unique vision of a holy God, 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 and 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 and 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, a giant who seeks to ensnare man and keep him from receiving his true inheritance. In that sense he comes to rob, steal and kill. The Canaanite spirit is the trafficking spirit, the spirit of greed and lust for material goods, encouraging man to love mammon. Mammon was a Canaanite god of prosperity and wealth. The Canaanites worshipped Mammon and 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. Although it brings the promise of fulfilment and happiness, 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, luring 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 12 – 14. 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 and in the end he lost everything. Initially he was taken captive in a local war and Abraham risked his life to rescue him. The Canaanite spirit attacked Abraham and offered him a share of the spoils of war. Bera offered Abraham material gain. But before Bera reached Abraham, Melchizedek, King of Salem arrived on the scene and offered Abraham bread and wine – a blessing. Believers also need the strength of the Lord to resist the temptations of spending money they do not have. The magazines invite man to spend, spend and spend. Most of the things are useful but not necessary. The whole banking system is based on people borrowing in advance of their ability to pay. So they end up in debt and in power to the creditor. Psalm 37 v 21. It has always been this way. Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe of the booty. He recognised the Biblical principle – seek first the Kingdom of God and all the other things will fall into place – as they are needed. Mat ch 6 v 33. God promises to meet man’s needs but not his desires or wants. Abraham had been strengthened by the bread and wine and was able to face the temptation, when Bera came to him. God prepared Abraham to face the difficulty. 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, all because they had a love of material things. This spirit wedges itself between man and God. Jesus speaks a great deal about 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 man is. Jesus was speaking against the Canaanite spirit.

The rich young ruler went away sad, because he could not bear to be parted from his money. The lust for more controls a person. It would be reasonable to think that, when a person became a millionaire, he would be satisfied and start pursuing spiritual values. It does not work that way, for the desire for wealth is addictive. For a man with a lot of money there is always someone with more than he has and he desires to be first. Also the materialist justifies his worth on the basis of how many things he has in relation to another person. The rich man feels more important than the poor man. He counts his possessions and weighs them against those of others in order to determine his worth in society. 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. The whole spirit of competition and personal status is one of the ways of the World, which 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. The E. U. is the rebirth of the Roman Empire, which is an economic empire. A nation is now ranked by its economic performance. There is a league of nations, based on 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 said: “Give me the control of the money supply and I care not what policies are passed by the Government of the land.” In many countries of the World policies have been determined on an economic basis rather than on a moral basis for many years. 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, how easy it is in times of prosperity to forget God and get caught up with looking after the material possessions to the neglect of God. In times of plenty man must not forget that the source of his prosperity is Jehovah – Jireh – the Provider – hence the name Providence. When God blesses man, man tends to forget God and take it for granted. 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 reminds man that the real problem in Sodom was pride and material prosperity. It made the people of Sodom lazy in relation to the poor.

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. In most European countries the average person spends more on alcoholic drink than on food. Aspects of the entertainment industry with the video and pornography industry. Not to mention the tradesmen, who are members of secret associations, like the Masons. Then there are the cash industries, like bed and breakfast and 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 dues. There are many businesses, which thrive because of the use of cheap child labour in the sweatshops of developing countries. The drugs industry, if it can be truly called an industry, is now the biggest in the World, even exceeding the armaments industry. Governments rely on tax on the income from selling arms to dictatorships, ignoring the deprivation of the populations of these countries. These dictators spend more on armaments than on food and health care for their people. Land mines blow off the legs of children only because certain governments encourage the sale of land mines for business interests. 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, so important to commerce, is filled with deceptions, lies and exaggerations 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 anything. The adverts constantly lower moral standards. The cigarette trade entices the politicians to ignore the health warnings in view of taxation, which it brings in, and the power that it gives to the politicians. A government with moral integrity would abolish the sale of a commodity like cigarettes and alcohol, which leads to such disease. Sadly 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 washing powder 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 prompts an insult to 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.” Overcharging is not uncommon. 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 of these days. The economic turmoil of 2008 disclosed the greed of bankers, some of whom committed suicide. Wealthy men go to great lengths to avoid inheritance tax. However, it is difficult for man to give away after a lifetime of accumulation of wealth.

Jesus provides man’s spiritual food, which is of far greater value than the cheap happiness of material possessions. The ways of the World grow strangely dim. Their deceptive glitter soon fades. Man’s spiritual inheritance is of far more value than all the material wealth. “What profits a man to gain the whole World and lose his soul?” Mat ch 16 v 26. These are powerful and timeless words. Man is to be a steward of the Earth. 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. Man simply administers it for Him. Abraham had the same choice, which all men face – either to yield to the demands of the Lord or to succumb to the demands of the World, enticed by the Canaanite spirit. He walked with the 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. Tithing is a fundamental unalterable principle of God. What a man does with his finances speaks loudly about his attitude towards God. It reflects an attitude of love towards God, recognising that He is the source of all man’s provision, or it shows a lack of love for God. Tithing or giving overcomes the power of the Canaanite spirit. 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 15. There is no glory in being poor. Some people are very spiritual about their poverty and sickness. God does not want man to be poor any more than He wants him to be sick. Believers are of little use to God, if they are sick or poor. 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. Money is the only thing man has created out of nothing. If there was no sin, this World would be incredibly rich. Some women, by going out to work when the children are young, are now sacrificing the love they owe to their children for the love of money and the material possessions, which the income brings from going out to work. They justify the work on the basis that they can provide more material possessions for their child. But in doing so they are denying the most important thing the child needs – their love and security. Jesus had a treasurer to look after the needs of the Disciples. He entrusted the money to Judas. It demonstrates His priorities. Credit entices people to overspend and end up in debt. That leaves them under the control of financiers. Prov ch 22 v 7. The borrower is the slave of the lender. Those who are in debt cannot afford to tithe. When interest rates rise they are at risk. 100% loans often lead to repossession of houses and people losing their homes.

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. Man has to overcome 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, self-dependence, rather than dependence on the Lord and its possession fills the mind and the time with its advantages. Like all Satanic spirits it has as its objective to rob and steal and kill. It robs 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 – house – garden – boats – golf clubs – cars – insuring them and protecting them. There is less time left to worship God and pray. It kills his desire for personal integrity. This is all man can take with him into eternity integrity. It encourages idolatry. People talk about those things, which are in the centre of their thoughts. This draws a man away from God.

Jesus said that in the last analysis you must choose between Mammon and God. This is truly a giant, which anyone serious about serving the Lord, has to strike down in order to live the life of following Jesus. Mat ch 15 v 21 – 28. A man of the World can be released, if he recognises Jesus as Lord.

Jebusites

THE JEBUSITE SPIRIT. Ezekiel ch 8. 2 Sam ch 24 v 18 – 25.
Mat ch 26 v 69 – 75. 2 Sam ch 5 v 6-12. Luke ch 21 v 20-24.

When man comes to the Scriptures God always 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.

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. The Jewish people grew grapes and when they were harvested they were trodden down by feet in a vat and crushed to release the juice. It is a clear picture of the work of this spirit. The giant can be 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. On a personal level, it is the Jebusite spirit, which brings the believer to a point of condemnation, accusation and intimidation – leading to his feeling defeated and down trodden.

The physical manifestation of the spirit is revealed in its physical dealings with Israel. Jerusalem was chosen by God as His city as a symbol of eternity. It is 5,000 years old. In Gen ch 14 v 17 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 several hundred years later when the city is ruled by the Jebusites. It is called Jebusi. Josh ch 18 v 28. Adoni-Zedek had set himself up as lord of righteousness, treading down and polluting the holy place, which 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. It was God’s address on Earth. It was chosen as a symbol of eternal reality. It 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. In human wisdom Jerusalem would never be chosen. 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, just the Gihon Spring. Jebusi was one of the cities, which the Israelites had the greatest difficulty in conquering when they entered the Promised Land.

It was King David who 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 chose that incident to teach the World that one day He would not withhold His only begotten Son, who would die on that very place to pay the price for the sins of the World. It was a holy place. In David’s time it was being used as a threshing floor to thresh wheat. 2 Sam ch 24 v 15 – 25. 1 Chron ch 21 v 14 – 30. David eventually purchased the threshing floor. The holy place was again restored to its former glory. God can turn around any situation. He will use anyone who has a heart for His purposes. But it cost David to purchase the site of Mount Moriah. Later Solomon built the temple on Mount Moriah. Every tourist knows the place today, topped as it is by the Dome of the Rock, with its golden dome, in which 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 later when God took Ezekiel by the spirit from Babylon to Jerusalem to show Ezekiel what idolatry was going on in the temple of the Lord on Mount Moriah. Ezekiel ch 8 tells of the 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 before 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. Jesus spoke of another incident to take place in Jerusalem at the end of time. Mat ch 24 v 15. If it takes place at the end of time, millions may well see the event on World-wide television.

The battle for control of Jerusalem has gone on down 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 and the whole of the city of Jerusalem came under Jewish rule. Right up to the present date the enemies of Israel in the form of the P. L. O. are determined to capture Jerusalem as their capital city of a Palestinian state. The Israeli parliament has declared that Jerusalem is the eternal and indivisible capital of Israel. Today the highest position is dominated by the Mosque with the golden dome. Jerusalem is the battle-ground between the forces of good and evil. 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 shall be trodden down for 42 months, right up to the return of Jesus. Rev ch 11 v 2. The number 42 in Scripture is the number for the Devil. It is a combination of 6 and 7. Six is the number for man and 7 is the number for perfection. Man is mixed up with the things of God. Hence the phrase speaking of a person being at sixes and sevens.

That is the physical picture, which God gives to teach the spiritual truth that there is an enemy whose purpose is to tread down the holy place of God. How does it apply to Israel? Zechariah 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 shall come against it. This could easily happen in the form of a United Nations resolution. So many U. N. resolutions condemn Israel and her capital city. Rome has its eye on Jerusalem wanting to make it an international city. 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? In the Christian life the counterpart of Jerusalem is that place of sanctification and completion in the Lord, for which believers strive through the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. The Kingdom of God is the rule of God in the heart of man. So God wants to be in control of the life of each of His children. The Jebusite spirit wants to dethrone God from their life. When the believer is fully possessed by the Spirit of God, he enters into his true inheritance. 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, when 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 to be the rock of faith on which the Church would be built. It was therefore to be expected that Peter would be the target of Satan’s attack. Leaders are the most likely to be attacked. Defeat the leader or disgrace him and the flock will all suffer. The spirit of Fear was also working against Peter. The spirits often work together.

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 smart 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 my choosing or to my liking. How often does a believer find himself in this situation? The danger is of following Saul’s example and hiding in his tent. It is easy to bury a difficult letter or decision at the bottom of the pending tray. The thought of the problem can easily tower over that person, robbing him of peace of mind. It has a habit of coming to back to mind. David came on the scene and sized up the situation. David went against the enemy in the opposite spirit. Zeal for God drove him to win the day. Intimidation has no place in the life of a believer. God commands His children to encourage one another. 1 Thes ch 5 v 11. The contrary spirit is one of encouragement. Go in the opposite spirit. God knows how important this is for His children. Joseph was such an encourager that he was renamed Barnabas – son of encouragement. Acts ch 4 v 36. If a believer feels intimidated by religious people, who seem better able to speak and more knowledgeable, he should recognise the spirit at work and go against them in the opposite spirit – zeal for Jesus. That will defeat their clever talking.

The call from the Jebusites to David was: “The blind and the lame can keep you out.” That was a real put 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. Football fans shouting cheerio to fans of a defeated team is a similar put down. The Jebusite spirit is at work. Next week it may be their turn to face defeat and the taunts of the opposition support.

Isaiah ch 42 v 4. “Jesus will not fail or be discouraged.” Jesus was so discouraged with the response of the Jewish people if His day that He wept over Jerusalem. Mat ch 23 v 37. He could have walked away and decided that it was not worthwhile dying for these people. It is easy to be so discouraged by disappointment and lack of support that believers say: “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. Sometimes believers may not want to go on with other believers, preferring the riches of the World and the others feel discouraged. “If only there were more of us to serve the Lord.”
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 was the very opposite – love.
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.
Ezra ch 4 v 4. The people in the land discouraged the Israelites and made them afraid to go on building.
Neh ch 6 v 19. “Tobiah sent letters to frighten me.” That was a real discouragement to go on with the work.
John ch 7 v 3. No one spoke openly for fear of the Jews.
John ch 19 v 38. Joseph of Arimathea was a secret disciple for fear of the Jews.
What will other people think?

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: You are only a small group. 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. He accused Job of worshipping God only because God had blessed him. 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 and 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, laughing at him and putting him down. Gossiping about him – telling tales about him to his friends. It is wise to remember the motto: “We never have failures – only learning experiences.” 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. The damage is done. Most will take the position that there is no smoke without fire. It is very difficult to prove a negative. Eccles ch 7 v 1. Says that a good reputation is more valuable than the most expensive perfume. The Church is the only army, which shoots its own people.

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.” That is the word to speak, if accused by Satan.
Mat ch 12 v 10. The religious leaders sought to accuse Jesus.
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 against another person.
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 by helping David.
The purpose of all such accusations is to belittle the individual before men and to make his 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.” Romans was written to believers. Those who are saved have passed from condemnation. John ch 8 v 3 – 11. The woman taken in adultery shows that Jesus did not condemn the woman. What did Jesus write in the sand? 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. Jesus does not condemn believers. On the other hand Satan does condemn believers. He tries to lay guilt on them. He brings to mind sins, which have been forgiven, and causes them to doubt their salvation. That is why 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. Some believers are so down trodden that they genuinely doubt their salvation. God invites man to be convicted of sin and to repent and confess his sins. Conviction on the other hand makes 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. If they persecuted me they will persecute you.” Here Jesus was speaking about the Jebusite spirit. The letter to the Romans was written to believers.

How do believers tackle the attack by the Jebusite spirit? It is vital to be practical.

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 rest in his blessing. He must know it and believe it and 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. Expect the attack and reject it with the Word of God. The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. When a man recognises an attack, he should speak against it in the power of the Spirit and with the Word of God. He should not lie down to Satan.
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 and not the size of the faith of the person in the house. 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. Witnessing is an essential part of the life of the believer. Jesus calls him to make a public confession. He is called to nail his colours to the mast. When the flag is showing the enemy knows which side he is on. An English sailing ship hoisted the flag of England to the top of the mast and other ships knew which side the ship was on. If a believer keeps his flag down it indicates uncertainty. 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.
5. Jesus was intimidated by Satan in the wilderness. He retorted with the Word of God. The believer needs to know the Word of God and speak it back at the attacking spirit. Romans ch 8 v 1. Romans ch 8 v 31. James ch 4 v 7. 1 John ch 4 v 4. 2 Tim ch 1 v 7. 1 John ch 3 v 1.

The seven spiritual giants

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.

 

David Masson

The Hivite spirit

THE HIVITES. Gen ch 34.

Noah had three sons – Ham, Seth 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 as the son of Ham when Ham mocked his father as he lay naked and drunk in his tent. Noah had been Ham’s saviour by building the ark. Gen ch 9 v 24. Deut ch 7 v 1 describes the Hivites as greater than the Hebrews, who numbered about two and a half million when they left Egypt. They are known to have dwelt in the area now known as Lebanon, just north of Israel in the hills of Mount Hermon. King David mentions them as being still there in 2 Sam ch 24 v 7. Judges ch 3 v 3. The tribe of Asher settled in that region. Hivites were conscripted as labourers in the building of the temple by Solomon. 1 Kings ch 9 v 20. Solomon made slaves of them and so they are to this day – living in the security zone of South Lebanon. Gen ch 34 v 2. The rape of Dinah, daughter of Jacob was by Shechem, the son of Hamor the Hivite. Jacob’s sons took their revenge on the Hivites, killing all the men of the city of Shechem. This brought enmity between the Israelites and the Hivites, which increased over time.

The deception by the Gibeonites on Israel in Joshua ch 9 makes reference to the Gibeonites as Hivites. Ch 9 v 7. Israel was guilty of not seeking the Lord’s advice when making the treaty instead of relying on their own judgement and common sense. When the Gibeonites deceived the Israelites and made a covenant with them, the Israelites were trapped and had to stand by their word to them. As a result they could not fulfil the command of God to drive them out. Believers live dangerously when they trust to their own judgement. Some think that they can be happily married to a non-believer. They disobey the Word of God and trust their own judgement. Prov ch 14 v 12. “There is a way, which seems right to man but the end is the way of death.” There are times when believers want to judge for themselves what God has already forbidden. If they watch a programme about the occult, so that they can comment on it to others, they are in danger of being influenced by it.

Biblical historians are generally agreed that all of the early Hamitic people – the descendants of Ham – 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.

Was it fair for God to drive out these people for the sake of the Hebrews? If a man had a house and let it out to people, who paid no rent to him, did not look after the house but let it go into ruin, who disobeyed all the conditions of the tenancy, who took all the benefits for granted and who ignored the landlord, how long would the landlord allow them to continue in the house? God had blessed these people for 400 years while the Hebrews were in Egypt, some of that time in slavery. There comes a time when God says: “Enough is enough.” Time is running out. Jesus is coming back. Those who have ignored God and His Son Jesus will have to face the consequences of their actions.

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 has the objective of luring people into the snares of his cunning claims of providing pleasure and prosperity at the price of their souls, rather than seeking 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 dull and boring, especially in television programmes. Happiness and fun are the goals of many people. They want a good laugh, bright lights and something different – something out of the ordinary – an experience. Party time and music festivals attract them.

What is life? From a medical point of view it is the ability to breathe. Surely 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, because of the sin of Adam. Eph ch 2 v 1. So a man is physically alive but spiritually dead. Those who will not acknowledge Jesus as their Saviour and Lord continue in a state of spiritual death, although they are physically alive. Romans 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 – that is the spiritually dead. When Jesus said: “I am the life.” He meant that He is the source of spiritual life. It was one of the purposes of His coming to Earth to restore fellowship with God, so that man might experience true spiritual life. He also gives believers enjoyment of life – life in abundance. John ch 10 v 10. It is satisfying to know that what they are doing is of eternal value. In the book of Ecclesiastes life without God is shown to be worth less than life with God at the centre. Eccles ch 3 v 11. “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 said that he had tried all kinds of activities to bring him pleasure but nothing really satisfied his soul. Today people will study everything and anything but God. Some people collect Open University degrees. Others turn to long-haul holidays to bring meaning to their lives. Others immerse themselves in their work or hobbies. “The Lord is my shepherd. Who is yours?”

God always gives man a physical picture to teach a spiritual truth. The physical picture is found in Gen ch 34. Dinah, daughter of Jacob was searching for life amongst the ladies of the land. Her seemingly harmless jaunt into the World controlled by the enemy territory turned into a terrible nightmare. She played with fire and was duly burned. So many people 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. If it were not for the grace of God, everyone would be burned. Dinah went to judge for herself what the other people 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. Sometimes a man just wants to find out for himself, ignoring the advice of parents, friends and the Word of God. How many people try drugs to find out what they are like? Then they become addicted to drugs. God seeks to protect man from harm and gives lots of advice as to what to stay away from. Poison is still poison, whatever it says on the outside of the bottle. Believers do not need to visit a brothel to know that it is wrong. A man does not need to dabble in the New Age to know of its dangers.

Joseph said “No” to the temptation of Potiphar’s wife. 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, preventing people from enjoying life to the full. Sadly this illusion is not helped when believers, many of whom have been set free from the bondage of sin, have allowed themselves to become ensnared by a new set of laws and regulations. Often these have no scriptural basis and are merely traditional trappings. True life in relationship 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, even within the Churches, do not find their needs met and they join the non-believers in a search for happiness and satisfaction. They want to do something worthwhile in life. The real success in this life for man is doing the will of God for his life, aiming to reach that moment when he hears the Son of God saying to him: “Well done good and faithful servant.”

Many will say that they are looking for a bit of enjoyment in life. As long as they are happy. Happiness is not the criterion for life without God. But Jesus did not come to make a man happy – but holy. His command – and it is a command – is “be holy.” Most say they want to be happy in this life and perhaps be holy in the World to come. Jesus promises that if a man is holy in this life he is guaranteed to be happy in the World to come. 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 Hivite spirit seeks to deceive mankind that the World is the fountain of life. The World is mankind organised in community without reference to God. 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 in the World today. They live for pleasure in this life only and give no thought about life after death. Luke ch 17 v 26-30.

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, which moves only when the Devil gives it the pretence of life. How many young people have been deceived by this spirit? The permissive society of the Sixties simply 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 and have street credit. They find it difficult to face the mocking of their friends and acquaintances, if they are different. Many young people have been taunted that unless they have a cigarette, been drunk, tried drugs or become sexually experienced, they have not lived. Many a young person has sold his soul to the lies of the World. Sadly, having fallen into the snare of iniquity, they find how difficult it is to be released. The Hivite spirit is a seducing spirit, dragging people down to the ways of the World. The ways are presented as harmless, popular and for mature people but ruination and damnation are the ultimate goals. The demon drink is well named. If a person seeks fulfilment in the ways of the World, he will be swindled. 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. You deserve a better house. You need a holiday. Buy now with an interest free loan.” As long as material possessions are the security of people and material gain is their goal, they are in danger of being seduced by the Hivite spirit. Some believers have such a big loan on their house, they cannot afford to give generously to God out of their income and so are robbed of their blessings from God. 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. Spiritual music prepares the heart to hear in the spirit. Medical evidence has established that there are physical effects on the body from the playing of music. 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, even using back masking. It is now the norm for there to be 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 of a man. In the same way that having a television on in a home constantly kills conversation, so constant music destroys the ability of the mind to meditate 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, but 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. 1 John ch 2 v 14-17.

God says: “Keep away, trust me and obey me.” Gen ch 33 v 18. Jacob should have known better than to pitch his tent beside these people, the Hivites, giving his daughter the opportunity to see for herself. Those who are strong as believers have a responsibility to be an example to a weaker brother and not to 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 for themselves 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. The prodigal son was seen as a human tragedy. But at least he came to his senses and returned to his home. An even greater tragedy is seen in people, who live a good life physically, content with their own self-righteousness and success, but who never find a place for repentance or even give God a second thought. Many parents think it is a good idea for their children to taste and see and then make up their own minds when they are older but some find that 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. The latest pressure comes in the sleep-over. Young children are open to sitting up late watching late-night television or the videos of their big brother or sister. 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 Kingdom of God? God will teach the ways that are right and best to those who humbly turn to Him. Psalm 25 v 9. “My ways are those of justice and right.” Prov ch 8 v 20. “Destroy all idols.” Isaiah ch 30 v 22. The way of peace. Isaiah ch 59 v 8. “Try to live at peace with everyone. Truth and mercy are ways in which God delights.”

What are the ways of the World, which are not the ways of God?
1. The World. “As you have done to me, so shall I do to you. I’ll get my own back. You wait and see.” God’s way is for man to do good to his enemies. That is not the way of the World without God.
2. The World. “Take early retirement. Take the money and enjoy yourself.” In the last days people will be lovers of pleasure. 2 Tim ch 3 v 4. There is no word of retirement in the Bible.
3. The World. “Be careful not to lose face.” Strength is worshipped by Islam. The Iraqis thought well of Saddam Hussein for standing up to the Western World, though he brought the country near to ruin. Humility is God’s way. It is not popular in the World.
4. The World. “Spend now, pay later. Borrow and pay it back later.” Feeling miserable? “Go on a spending spree. Enjoy some retail therapy.” Prov ch 22 v 7. “The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is the slave of the lender.”
5. The World. Seeking the praise of men. “What a good boy am I. What’s in it for me? Blowing your own trumpet or boasting.” These are all maxims promoted in the World. God says: “When you give, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” Mat ch 6 v 3.
6. The World. Something for nothing – the lottery, a free hand out, a bonus for good performance, shares for voting for what is right, cash back, if a loan is taken out, discounts, etc. God’s way is seen in salvation. Salvation is a costly business. It cost Jesus His life. Following Jesus involves personal sacrifice.
7. The World. It brainwashes a man to think its way. God’s Word would brainwash a man back into thinking His thoughts. His ways are not man’s ways. His thoughts are not man’s thoughts. Isaiah ch 55 v 8. Jesus said: “I am the way. This is the way to live. Follow me.” When a man turns away from Jesus and does it another way, he follows the World’s ways.
8. 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.
9. Mostly a sale is not a sale at all. It is because the shopkeeper has reduced the prices to encourage people to spend and buy his goods. Sometimes there are special goods of poorer quality brought in to be sold off as if they are equivalent to goods of normal quality. Sometimes the price is reduced to encourage people to purchase the goods in the hope that they will like them and become regular customers at the proper price. 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 and who may then be encouraged to attend regularly at the normal prices. 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 and drive out this giant, which seduces him to seek the ways of the World? The Word of God must be put into practice to be effective.

1. The believer’s victory depends on how much of the grace of God abides in him. When the believer really knows that the grace of God – the unmerited love and favour of God towards sinful man – grips his mind and he knows that God is a loving God, concerned day by day for his total welfare and well-being, 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 of God. There is no shortcut to understanding the seriousness of sin and the wiles of Satan. A good God seeks the best for a man. God is personally responsible for the well-being of His children.

2. The ability of the believer to live in the World but not to be of it depends on how much of the Word of God lives in him. Mat ch 4 v 1-4. When 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. He is speaking the Words of God over his life as he speaks them. 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 finished up by writing part of it himself.

3. When the believer catches the glory of the Lord, 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. It is a step-by-step and day-by-day experience. Gradually the ways of the World lose their attraction and grow strangely dim. Things a man once watched he now finds distasteful. Jokes, which once made him laugh, are no longer funny. When he falls at the feet of Jesus, he will never be the same again.

4. When the believer is laying up treasures in Heaven, knowing that he will have to give an account for every word he speaks and every thing he does, it puts his priorities into perspective. Lot’s wife found it difficult to flee from the life she had known and enjoyed. She disobeyed the angels when they told her to flee for her life and, looking back, hankering for the old life, she was reluctant to leave – leaving the familiar for the unknown – she was showered with sulphur and died. There is a vivid picture painted by God to warn man to flee from the ways of the World. 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. If the believer loses sight of Heaven, he will be limited to his activities here on Earth. 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 person falls in love those precious things, which were His, become his. Love becomes the overriding factor in life – determining every decision in life. Jesus put it quite simply: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John ch 14 v 15.

6. Identify the false teaching in the World and focus on the teaching of Jesus. Here are the choices.

a. Know yourself. Socrates. Study the science of the body and mind.

b. Control yourself. The Stoics. Self-control. Do good deeds and stop doing bad ones. This will make you better off and good behaviour will save your soul. Obey your conscience and lead a good disciplined life.

c. Adjust yourself. Confucius. Adapt to the surroundings and follow the trends of society to fit in to society.

d. Assert yourself. Nietyche. Be positive and aggressive. “Drive your own life like a car. You are the centre of your universe. Do not let anyone force you into a mould but break free. Be an individual. It is your life and you should do with it what you like. Why should you conform?”

e. Express yourself. Psychologists and Rousseau. “You are free to do as you like. Cast off traditions and be a unique person in your own right. There are too many “Don’ts.” Do your own thing.”

f. Enjoy yourself. Epicureans. Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow you may die. Happiness is the most important thing in life. Have no concern beyond the grave. J.S. Mill the greatest happiness for the greatest number.

g. Suppress yourself. Buddha. “By suppressing desire you may end suffering. Follow an eight-fold path to purity. Obey your conscience in right thoughts, right speech, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.”

h. Forget about yourself. Jesus. That sounds hard to do. “I am myself. What Jesus meant was forget about your own interests and seek God’s interests.”

If this is one of the giants, which overshadows the life of the believer, then the sooner he tackles the giant the better it will be for him.

The Hittite spirit

THE HITTITES.

The name Hittite means fear or dread. The Hittites were a people, who instilled physical fear in the Israelites. While the Canaanites were the traders and merchants, the Hittites had a military inclination and were a great power in the area before the Israelites entered the land of Canaan. Their empire lasted from 1750 B. C. until 1200 B. C. – when Moses led the Children of Israel towards the Promised Land. Their empire collapsed due to internal troubles just at the time when Moses led the Israelites towards Canaan. 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. They were daughters of Heth – or Hittites.

Down through the centuries men have been afraid of invading armies. Distance has been a barrier in times past but now missiles extend the range of their threat. All nations have a duty to defend their citizens. Sometimes nations make plans with other nations to defend themselves. Now there is a war on terrorism.

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. He was tired of worshipping God, who had created him and rebelled, inviting 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. It is good to consider that there are twice as many angels as demons. The Bible does not tell man everything or else it would be a very large book. It tells man all he needs to know about salvation and holiness. Other matters it leaves man to work out for himself or simply to accept the mystery and leave it at that. Man can easily picture the situation when Satan was ejected from Heaven. He would have called together the angels – now demons – and stated his objective. This objective is to kill and rob and steal and to destroy God’s plan of salvation. The chief demons were all given departments or ministries. They were put in charge of specific activities against the interests of God. The first one to manifest himself was the Hittite spirit.

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. So, if God says something twice, it is very important. If He says it 124 times, man ought to pay attention. It must be vitally important. The Collins dictionary defines fear as “dread, alarm, anxiety, 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 man’s wellbeing, while 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 but they feel troubled. However, fear is specific. If someone broke into the bank and pulled out a gun, a man there would experience fear. He would fear being shot. His wellbeing would be under threat.

Jesus knew all about the fears, which dominated the lives of the people in His day living 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 one soldier had been drinking the night before and was not too accurate and a boy was killed, well – it was only a Jewish boy. Like soldiers the World over some want to gratify their sexual desires while, they are away from home. It was routine for soldiers to take Jewish girls at random for this purpose. People were crucified outside the city walls. When businessmen came to do business in a city they would see the bodies of people hanging on the crosses close to the city walls and a spirit of fear would grip them. They dare not criticise the Roman authorities or they might end up in the same place. When the Jewish people took a stand against the Roman Empire in A. D. 70 the Jewish historian Josephus estimated that over one million Jewish men, women and children were killed – many in horrific circumstances. There were so many crucifixions that the land was bare of trees for miles around. Is it any wonder that the Jewish people lived in fear of the Romans?

There are four steps, which man needs to take when interpreting what the Scriptures are saying. Firstly, God always gives a physical picture to teach a spiritual truth. So man looks for a physical picture. 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. That is the physical picture to teach man the spiritual truth. Secondly the spiritual truth is that there are spiritual giants. 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 he arranged for the death of her husband – 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 and can tower over the life of an individual like a giant – with serious consequences.

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. Man himself would be drenched in the love of God, which is called grace. To a large extent all mankind is drenched in love from God. However as soon as Adam rebelled, the fallen nature was unable to love God and as a result his love for his fellow man grew cold also. Now the opposite of love is fear. Man was never meant to experience fear. When Adam and Eve were enticed by Satan to rebel against God’s rule, fear flowed in to the human personality. Love for God left Adam and fear flowed in to replace it. At that moment Adam was disconnected from God. When a plug is pulled out from the socket it loses touch with the source of power. God came to speak to Adam and Adam said to God: “I heard your voice and I was afraid.” What a tragic statement. The Hittite spirit was at work.

Picture the scene. As soon as Eve succumbed to the temptation by Satan who was disguised as a talking snake – how interesting – a talking snake. Children are intrigued by a moving glass on a ouija board. How interesting. Satan, still slithering around in his snake body, looked towards the darkness of the vegetation close by and there half submerged in the darkness stood one of Satan’s princes of darkness. He is known as Fear. Satan gave the nod to Fear. Satan’s body language said; “Go get them.” Like a fly caught in a spider’s web Adam and Eve were trapped in bondage. God came to speak to Adam and Adam lowered his eyes and said: “I was afraid.” Ever since that moment mankind has been ruled by fear. The little demons called “fearlettes” have been at work sowing fearful thoughts into the minds of human beings. “It could be you next.” “What will people think?” “You will fail.” Man has to appreciate the sheer professionalism of this Prince of Darkness and his minions. They have dominated the lives of millions of people throughout the centuries carrying out the task of the master by robbing, stealing and destroying. Sadly the human beings even those born of God’s Spirit are so fickle and so ignorant that it is so easy for Fear to do his devilish work.

It has been said that the human race is a fraternity of fear. There is no doubt that there are many people who 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. Some may be right now. Amazingly believers, who have less to fear than others, are often the most afraid.

The trouble is that in the English language the same word is used for different meanings. So it is with fear. This is not the situation when people say: “I’m afraid that it is going to rain tomorrow.” There is no question of fear. They are only expressing disappointment, concern or frustration and are actually using the word out of context.

It 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.

Not all fears are unhealthy. There are healthy fears – the fear of being burned prevents a child from putting his finger into the fire. The fear of falling makes man careful on a mountain precipice. Fear of an accident makes man drive more carefully. The fear of being knocked down on the road makes man take care. Man trains his children to do this for their safety. 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 man from harm. It is like preventative medicine. What would happen if the alarm system broke down? It is seen when a drunk man walks down the middle of the road and when young people take drugs and lose the fear of death.

Fear has been called man’s deadliest enemy. Fears – unfounded and unreasonable, tormenting and persistent – can destroy man’s peace and happiness. Fear can destroy the total person – body, soul and spirit. Man needs to destroy this giant before it destroys him. The purpose of this spirit is to destroy human lives and undermine faith through the bondage of fear. 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 His desk for approval. Therefore fear not. “You believe in God. Believe also in Jesus.” When death comes, how will man get to Heaven? “Trust me.” Did Peter ask Jesus and He told Peter to trust God?

Jesus was speaking against the Hittite spirit, when He said on so many occasions: “Fear not.” As the designer of the human psyche, Jesus knew how it operates and what damage there is to the human emotions when fear comes in.

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. The classic situation is when a husband is late home. As the time passes a fiery arrow is fired by Satan into the mind of the wife. ”He has been involved in an accident.” By the time he arrives home 30 minutes later than normal – because of road works and a traffic jam – she is crying hysterically and shaking with fear, having listened to the thought in the imagination and persuaded herself that some harm has befallen her husband. She has already phoned the police and the hospital. The enemy has done his work again of robbing her of peace of mind. Thoughts not based on facts are dangerous. God is in control of the tiniest matter. However, if 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 man’s own fault. These are quite unnecessary. 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. Know this – 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 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 and 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 isn’t. 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. Man keeps his mask on outside the home. Fear of pain. Fear of embarrassment. What others will think of 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, if they disagree? Fear of what to eat. Will it be safe? Who has never experienced fear?

Phobias. The dictionary describes them as abnormal fears. Fear of flying, heights, being outside, being clean etc. 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. Claustrophobia is a fear of being inside. Zenophobia is a fear of strangers. Some are afraid of open spaces, of being dirty, of spiders, of flying etc.

It needs to be said that fear and anxiety is a sin. People say that their situation is too urgent or too complicated for God to help. Really? What a person is really saying is that God, who created the whole World out of nothing and devised and created the human body with three trillion cells cannot do anything about his situation. That is sin. It denies the concern of God and the power of God. When sin came in, fear followed. God never exposes a problem without providing a solution. God exposes sin as the source of the problems in the World and sent Jesus as the solution for the problem.

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 where fears can flow in. The personality deprived of love fails to function effectively. A dominating, critical attitude by parents can cause their children to be afraid and to develop phobias of all kinds. Equally an over-protective mother can induce in her children 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, because 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. What fears hold a man back from spiritual growth?

Here is the good news. When a believer comes to terms with the fact that he or she has God as a Heavenly Father and Jesus as a brother, the spiritual fear can be removed and the way is open for the permanent removal of unhealthy fear. It is necessary to walk in the Word of God. It is not enough to hear the Word in the mind but to let it sink into the heart.

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. Saul was afraid of the people. 1 Sam ch 15 v 24. 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. He put his wife’s life at risk through fear.

Jonah knew what it was like to be afraid of the Assyrians. He feared for his very life. The Assyrians were brutal in their dealings with their enemies. Fear led Jonah to disobey the Word of God.

Luke ch 2 v 8. The shepherds were busy discussing the weather or the latest match or whatever, when a huge spiritual being appeared before them and they were surrounded by the glory of the Lord. No wonder they were filled with fear. They were very frightened. The angel said; “Fear not.” It is not clear if that would be enough to deal with the fear, if the same thing happened today. If that was not bad enough for the shepherds, the angel was followed by a multitude of the Heavenly host. What does that looks like? It is as well that the one angel came first. If they had all appeared at once, it might have been too much for the shepherds. Here was a supernatural event. They 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. This is hardly surprising. What was he to think of her? God intervened and sent an angel. v 20. “Fear not. Take Mary as your wife.” When 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 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 as he had been commanded to do by God. That disobedience resulted in God tearing the Kingdom from Saul. Many Church leaders are more afraid of men than they are of God. It is better to refuse to sanction something in the name of God, than to offend the Lord by bringing His name into the situation. How many Church leaders bury a person hinting or indicating that they have gone to be with the Lord, when they have no evidence that the person was ever a believer? Is it because they are afraid of the consequences of refusing to take part in the burial? They fear men rather than God.

Job was afraid of losing his wealth. When it happened to him, his words showed his true feelings. He said: That which I feared has come upon me.

Did Paul ever experience fear? Surely not! 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 and kills and steals. 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, from praying in public. There is so much to inherit from God the Father, it is tragic that many never possess their true inheritance. 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 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. How many people in a mental home are afraid to come out? Job ch 3 v 25. That which I feared has come upon me. Fear brings on 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, speaking fear to the mind and then speaking it out.

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 cause blindness, when the muscles around the eye tense up. Headaches, asthma, high blood pressure and arthritis can all be caused by fear. This is a big giant. It is a dangerous enemy.

Fear and worry are the interest man pays on trouble before it is due. Man’s anxious troubles usually never come to reality. A computer has worked out that 92% of all things man worries about never happen. A hypochondriac is always talking about being ill – and ends up being ill. God helps man to deal with this enemy.

How does Fear operate upon man? Fear operates on the human mind. It is the human mind, which distinguishes man from the animals. The mind is a truly complex and powerful faculty. The mind is man’s greatest resource and it is here that the Hittite spirit attacks. There are giants in the land. 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 and lodging in the mind. 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 he receives a new spirit, which 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 and he acted on the information he received without any reference to God. This what the Bible calls being carnally minded. The carnal mind is the natural mind without any spiritual perception. The carnal mind is open to fear and anxiety, because it thinks that there is no one in control. With no knowledge that God is in control of his life, man has no assurance that things are under control. 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. It is allowing their mind to be brainwashed by the mind and Word of God.

Sometimes Satan actually speaks a thought into 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 the floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, speculations, theories, hopes, impulses, aims and aspirations at any time current in the World. It may not be possible to accurately define these ideas, but they constitute a real power.

When 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. Man either accepts fearful thoughts or takes them captive and utterly destroys them. Just because certain thoughts come knocking at the door of the mind, does not mean that man has to entertain them. In the same way as man protects his home and family, he has to protect his mind against the intrusion of Satan. Does he let the thoughts in or shut them out as dangerous. 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. When man begins 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. Often parents feed fear into children by talking about a monster or letting them see horror films. Maybe they took them to the fair ground and put them on a big dipper and it frightened the life out of them – literally. Many fears may still bristle in the personality despite conversion.

So many hospital beds are occupied by people with problems of the mind. Guilt operates on the mind. Eph ch 2 v 3. 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. Man is called to worship God in body, soul and mind.

Consider the consequences of fear.
Firstly, fear has physical consequences. Goose pimples appear on the body. Man can feel fear coursing through his body. Hair stands on end. A person may be going blind because he was being bullied at school. The muscles of the eye tighten up to 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. 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. The book “None of these diseases” suggests that fear can produce up to 51 diseases in the body. 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 releases toxins into their body, which can stop the heart and bring death. Did Ananias and Sapphira die because of fear? Acts ch 5 v 1- 11. Ananias and his wife had done what Adam and Eve had done. They had disobeyed God. They had no need to give their money to the Lord. He would not press them to do so. They had said to the Holy Spirit that they would give their money and had lied to the Holy Spirit. The thought of the consequences paralysed them with fear and their heart stopped.

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 – headaches, asthma, ulcers, high blood pressure and arthritis can all be caused by fear. Jesus speaks about men fainting with fear at the time of His Second Coming. Luke ch 21 v 26.

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 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? Man never has any failures – only learning experiences. God does not mind if man tries his best and fails. That is how children learn to walk. It is man’s attitude that the Lord is watching, rather than what is achieved. It can lead to an introvert and ingrown person. Fear is real and can have a crippling effect on the human personality, restricting spiritual growth. It can limit 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, so as not to give the enemy a foothold. A demonic spirit called fear may invade a person and control their life. When a person 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, stealing and destroying a life.

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 or sub – sub – conscious, which is holding him back in his growth as a believer. Perhaps there was an event in childhood, which he does not remember, which has a grip on his emotions. A twin, separated at the time of birth for a short time from his twin can experience a shock. Perhaps this is a little far fetched, but God knows man’s emotional life also. Perhaps an experience at a fair ground as a child has left its mark. Perhaps a horror movie. Bullying at school. Insecurity in life leads to a fear of being able to cope. If man has fear, he owes it to himself to deal with it.

2. Face it squarely. So often man puts it off and hopes it will go away. How many put off going to the doctor only to find out that there was nothing to worry about anyway or that the problem was not as serious as they thought. Fear had gripped them and had convinced them that they had a serious illness, which simply 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 as from the enemy and deal with them in the name of Jesus. Man is entitled to use the name of Jesus for that purpose.

4. Put the fears into proper Biblical perspective. Isaiah ch 41 v 1-14. Scripture always gives a negative command along with a positive command. Don’t do this. Do that instead. Exodus ch 14 v 10-13. Fear not. Negative. Stand firm. Positive. Fears are reduced in size when man realises the vastness of God’s love for him individually. There is no time when God does not care for man. He does not let anything happen unless it is for man’s good. The antidote for fear is love. Perfect love casts out fear. When man recovers his love for God he casts out fear. 1 John ch 4 v 18. Circumstances are those nasty things, which hedge 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.

5. Speak to the fear. Do not pray about it. Speak to it. What is the authority for such a statement? Mark ch 11 v 23. Say to the mountain of fear – depart. Use the authority of the name of Jesus. Man may not take the name of the Lord in vain. But he is permitted to use it in worship, in prayer and in driving out the enemy from his life. Jesus said that His Disciples would do what He had done. So they are entitled to do that. Command it to go in the name of Jesus. There is power in the name of Jesus. God does not want His children to live in a state of fear but in a state of love – love for God and for their fellow human beings. Jesus came to set man free, including free from fears. Fear is a giant, which will rob man, destroy man and even kill man – if he lets it. Fear is one of man’s deadliest enemies. “If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed”

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 man holds. A conviction is something, which holds 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. He had peace in the face of horrific events. He knew from an early age that His life would end in crucifixion but it did not deter him from setting His mind to go to Jerusalem and arranging His own death. The spiritual mind is full of peace and life – the very opposite of fear. Fear is also dispelled by joy. Jesus was so full of love for God His Father and wanted to do His will and the people He had created – including His enemies – that there was simply no room in His heart for fear. Jesus proved that He lived what He taught that – “Perfect love casts out fear.”

In today’s World lurching 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, but He still loves man just as much. 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.

The Amorite spirit

THE AMORITE SPIRIT. Mat ch 12 v 22 – 37. Jer ch 9 v 23 – 24. Numbers ch 12.

The Amorite spirit affects all people. It is a less hostile spirit but subtle and it has the same purpose as all evil spirits – it comes to steal and rob and kill. It steals a man’s purity before God. It robs a man of his inheritance. It kills a man’s relationship with the Lord and with his fellow man. 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. The Amorite spirit seduces believers to sin and encourages others to talk them 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 but their sin was not yet at a level when God would sanction their destruction. 400 years went past. God is long-suffering and patient, waiting for repentance but Nahum ch 3 v 19 confirms that there comes a time when His wrath boils over and the wound is too deep to heal.

Speech is a precious gift from God. Only man – the pinnacle of God’s creation – has the gift of speech. Animals have a means of communication through action and sound but only man can speak. 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 and 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. Every word of God contains in it the power of fulfilment. If God says He will do something in a word of prophecy, it will come into existence. It may take a long time but it will happen. God speaks and things come to pass or come into being. The speech of God is a powerful, faith-filled faculty. Jesus spoke and things happened. A fig tree withered. A blind man received his sight. A dead man came back to life. If a believer speaks in faith, believing that God has spoken to him, then it must come to pass, unless he is double minded and begins to doubt. Doubt is one of Satan’s lines of attack: “Did God really say?” This sows seeds of doubts in the mind and 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. God chose to share this capacity with man alone. Created in God’s image – or likeness – man is endowed with many faculties of God. Speech is one of the most powerful faculties. Man has this in common with God – creative speech. 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. Whatever the man called the animal, that was its name. Adam named his wife. Gen ch 2 v 23. “She shall be called woman.” It was in the power of speech that man ruled. It was the practice in the Scriptures for the people of God to give their children names, which had significance for their life. The names were not chosen on the basis of a cult personality. Satan immediately set about undermining that authority vested in man to use speech creatively and to overthrow man’s privileged position. The serpent spoke to Eve – through a medium. How interesting – a talking snake! How interesting – a moving glass! Satan used a trick or wile 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. Even after the Fall, the speech of man can be used for good or for evil.

As a result of the rebellion of men, when they built the Tower of Babel, God confused the speech of man and scattered them across the face of the Earth. The attempt of men in these days to create a World Order out-with the rule of God was frustrated and has remained so for thousands of years until this present age. Plans are now well in hand for a New World Order when man will rule the World out-with the rule of God. Since God gives man free will, He will allow it to come to pass to a certain extent. Man desires to rule the Earth without the interference of God. With 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. The living Bible puts it this way: “Men have died for saying the wrong thing.” 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.” If you have nothing good to say, say nothing. When Jesus greets His Disciples at the end of their lives he will say: “Well done, good and faithful servants” He is uttering positive constructive words. He could have mentioned all the failures and missed opportunities. That is not God’s way of speaking. His 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 is like His Father. He spoke and things happened. Miracles followed the words of Jesus. 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 and speaks it out, it will happen. 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. It took both the belief in the heart and the words of the lips to bring forth salvation. 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. If there is no sacrifice – there is no salvation. When a person is reading the Bible in public, he is speaking the very Words of God. The Words of God reveal the character 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. Nobody can read his thoughts. However there is a way that will quickly reveal what is in his heart, for 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. If a man does not confess Jesus as Lord, he shall not be saved – or continue to be saved. When He was tempted by the Devil, Jesus spoke the Words of God to Satan and Satan withdrew. When a man speaks against Satan he is allowed to 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.

On average a woman uses 25,000 words each day. On average a man uses 8,000 words each day. The more words used increases the probability of using words carelessly.

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 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 – particularly the bodily functions created by God in His infinite wisdom. 1 Cor ch 12 v 23. There is increasing vulgarity in speech today, freely mentioning the unmentionable parts of the body and exposing the parts of the body, which should be covered. This is the Amorite spirit at work.

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. In the last resort it is an unintentional or in some cases intentional worship of Satan. Every converted person knows that 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 bring a person down, man is taking the Word of God in vain. A man shall be held to account for that also. There is a book called: “What you say is what you get.” 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.”

What about slang? Many slang expressions are simply modified swear words. They are acceptable to those, who would never dream of using the real thing. Slang is not a mild way of letting off steam or a harmless safety valve. The Scriptures teach that speech was created by God for the purpose of glorifying God and speaking creatively. Slang becomes a worthless, non-creative activity. Jesus said: “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.”

Mat ch 5 v 33 – 37. By encouraging slang, Satan gets man, including believers, to take the name of the Lord in vain. A man picks up words from others and so he needs to watch his company.

1. By Jove. A person swears by the eternal Jehovah.
2. Gee whiz. A corruption of Jesus. It implies that Jesus is a wizard and is therefore in the same category as the Pharisees’ claim that Jesus did His work by the prince of devils. Mark ch 3 v 22.
3. Cripes. A corruption of Christ.
4. Blimey. God blind me. People who are saying this are asking God to blind them.
5. Good Lord. It is taking the name of the Lord in vain.
6. Goodness me or good gracious me. Man applies to himself the attributes of goodness and grace, which belong to God alone and sets himself as the standard of goodness. He is really saying – Behold goodness – me! There is none good but God. Luke ch 18 v 19.
7. By Heaven or for Heaven’s sake. Man is swearing by God, who dwells in Heaven. God will not hold a man guiltless, who takes His name in vain. If it is not meant, it should not be said.
8. Bloody. 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, using it as an abusive expression on the lips of those who serve God. For many it is the standard adjective.
9. Lucky. 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. To say: “It is on the cards” denies the providence of God.
10. God’s truth or struth. It is taking the name of God in vain. “Let your yes be yes.”
11. For goodness sake. This is the same as for God’s sake. Mark ch 10 v 18. “Why do you call me good?” God alone is good. Goodness is another name for God.
12. Damn. When a man takes the word “damn” upon his lips, he takes upon himself the divine prerogative of eternal judgement, which belongs only to Jesus Christ. 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.

When 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 need not speak loose words or slang – but 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, when it 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. The whole business is like a spiritual see-saw. Only Jesus is up – all the rest are down. 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 and 9.

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, without knowing or understanding the difficulties, which the leaders face. 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. It is a matter of the grace of God that a man is not already struck down. A man must be careful to guard his lips to 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. A man has to discriminate. No system is perfect. 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.

People in the West have no right to complain. They have so much. Believers have even less right to complain. Servants cannot complain about what the master provides. The master knows best. If children complain about their parents and 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 and blows his own trumpet, 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 hates humility, because he is filled with pride and 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. It is better to say nothing than to say something destructive. If believers put away idle and unsanctified speech, foolish talk, back-biting, tale-bearing and exaggeration, their words would have real power. 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. If 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.

The challenge for the believer is to harness his speech – the valuable gift of God – for good and to avoid using it for evil. It certainly means a total end of all gossip. In this way believers will overcome the Amorite spirit, which seeks to rob them of their true inheritance in Christ. Jesus calls His followers to be overcomers – to overcome sin, the flesh, the World and the Devil. It is essential to overcome the Amorite Spirit.