Summary of Spiritual Warfare

Righteousness.
Evil Spirits.
Deception.
The Wiles of the Devil.
The occult.
Strongholds.
Europe.
Spiritual Deliverance. (Peter Horrobin)
The Authority of the believer.
Angels.

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Righteousness

RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Paul speaks of the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate worn by the Roman soldier was designed to protect the vital organs of heart and lungs, or else he could receive a fatal wound. What is meant by putting on the breastplate of righteousness?

Righteousness is a big word not used very often. It simply means doing the right thing. Deut ch 6 v 25. Obeying the commands of God is doing the right thing. Psalm 45 v 7. God loves the righteousness and justice. Psalm 89 v 14. This gives us a picture for our minds of God’s throne, which has four legs. They are righteousness, justice, love and faithfulness. God always does the right thing. He never makes a mistake.

Proverbs are wise sayings to encourage people to make the right choices in life, when making a decision. Godly choices. Which one will please God? Prov ch 10 v 4. Laziness causes poverty. Diligence or hard work leads to wealth. Prov ch 14 v 34. Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people.

Isaiah ch 61 v 3 speaks of men being oaks of righteousness – strong men able to stand the storms of life – knowing what is the right thing to do in difficult circumstances. Mat ch 5 v 20. Jesus said that His followers should exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees. Rom ch 6 v 18. Paul speaks of being a slave of righteousness.

2 Tim ch 3 v 16. The Scriptures are for training in righteousness. They inform us as to what is the right thing to do in each decision in life. To do the right thing pleases God. Jesus said in John ch 8 v 29: “I only do what pleases my Father.”
1 Tim ch 3 v 7. Leaders in the Church must be well thought of by those outside the Church. If they do not do the right thing, they will lose respect of the community.
Children must be trained to do the right thing. Children learn by watching what parents do more than by listening to what their parents tell them. Prov ch 22 v 6 tells parents to train their children in the right ways of God.

Noah was declared to be a righteous man. Gen ch 6 v 9. He was the only truly righteous man living on the Earth at that time. He tried always to conduct his affairs according to God’s will. Why? Because he did the right thing and obeyed God by building an ark. It was God’s will to build the ark. It was a lot of hard work and difficult to understand. But Noah did it.

In contrast God could not find even 10 righteous people in Sodom. He would have spared it if He could have found just 10 people who were doing the right thing.

Gen ch 15 v 6. Abraham believed God and God considered him righteous on account of his faith. Abraham left his homeland in obedience to God’s call. He did the right thing and God declared him to be righteous.

Saul recognised that David was more righteous than Saul. Saul said this when David refused to kill Saul. David did the right thing in not raising his hand against the Lord’s appointed king, even though Saul was behaving badly. It was the right thing to do.

1 Cor ch 1 v 30. Jesus was made our righteousness. He alone could say that He always did what pleased His Father. John ch 8 v 29. His was a life of total obedience, even to death. Therefore God made Jesus righteousness for us. Those who put their trust in Him are clothed in righteousness. It is a physical picture to teach us the spiritual truth. We are viewed by God as righteous.

Righteousness affects the nation also. Proverbs ch 14 v 34. Godliness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people. Leaders who pass laws according to God’s laws bring blessings to a nation and lead them in the ways of righteousness.

No man is righteous. Rom ch 3 v 10. This quotes Psalm 14 v 1-3. There is no one in himself good enough to enter God’s Heaven. Sadly those who are blessed with a good nature often fall into the trap of declaring themselves good enough, believing that God must be pleased with them. They are self-righteous by their own standards.

Hab ch 2 v 4. The righteous shall live by faith – by trusting in God. Righteousness is linked to what we do and not what we believe or think. James ch 4 v 17. Be doers of the Word. James is worth listening to since he must have watched his brother Jesus at His work. What is true religion? Ch 1 v 22. Look after the widows and orphans. If we are not doing that, what value does all our knowledge have? James must have heard the words of Jesus on many occasions saying that it is not those who hear my words but those who obey them and do them.

Deut ch 4 v 8. The laws which God gave to Israel were righteous laws – to guide the people to do the right thing towards God.
Romans ch 2 v 6. God will reward us as to what we have done.
Mat ch 16 v 27. Jesus will judge us according to what we have done.
2 Cor ch 5 v 10. Paul, speaking to believers, says that they – like the unbelievers – will stand before Jesus at the judgement seat and will receive their rewards according to what they have done on Earth. Jas ch 2 v 22. Abraham was justified by his works in offering Isaac for sacrifice.

The Hebrew word for work and the Hebrew word for worship is the same word. Mat ch 24 v 40-41. 2 men working in the field. One was working for his own reward. The other was working for the glory of God. Unbelievers do not see the believers at worship. They see them at their place of work. The question, which challenges believers, is this; Are we working for our own rewards or are we working for the glory of God? If you are not paid for what you do will you still do it to the best of your ability or will you leave the job unfinished? Is work something you do just to earn money or is it a service to God? Do you thank God for having work to do. Do you lay down your work before God as an offering, or is it your main resource?

In this World most people want to be happy and are prepared to be holy in the life to come. But God demands that we be holy in this life and He guarantees that we shall be happy in the life to come. To be holy means to be righteous and to do the right thing at all times.

Judges ch 17 v 6. This is one of the saddest verses of the Bible. In those days there was no king in Israel and everyone did what was right in their own eyes. They justified themselves by what they did. God’s word tells us what is right and what pleases Him. We must not rely on our own understanding. The Word of God was scarce and the people did not pay any attention to it but did whatever they thought was right.

God has given us a conscience. We instinctively know what is right and Proverbs ch 10 v 7 tells us that we all have happy memories of a righteous man. We may not feel able to stand with him but know that he has done the right thing.

Proverbs ch 12 v 13. The righteous man escapes from trouble. If we do the right thing, we do not have to fear punishment from anyone. We can look others in the eye with a clear conscience.

Satan will always attack our weak spots. He comes to rob, steal and destroy. What if we do not do the right thing before God?

If we are not honest, we shall lose our reputation. Satan will take it away.
If we are not loyal to our friends, we shall lose them. Satan will steal them.
If we neglect our duties to our family, we shall lose our reputation before men.
If we commit a sexual sin, we shall experience shame.
If we do not look after our bodies we may have disease.

If we do not do the right thing, we become open to criticism, guilt, fear of being found out, embarrassment at having let others down, a sense of failure, shame. Shame is a powerful force to hold us back from growing in the Spirit. When we do not do the right thing, Satan is quick to take advantage and to inflict wounds to us. Even if there is a secret sin, which no other person knows about, such as coveting another person’s possessions, there are three people who know about the sin. God knows. Satan knows and you know. You can be sure that Satan will prod your conscience to remind you of your weakness and guilt. You will feel your authority ebbing away.

Mat ch 28 v 18. Ch 10 v 1. Jesus said that all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to Him and He gave that authority to His disciples. Authority is a right but it is dependent on obedience. Authority is delegated power. The policeman has authority to stop the lorry – he stops it not by power but by raising his hand in authority. That authority is given to him by the Police chief. It is delegated to him. But the authority will be taken from him, if he does not do his job properly. If he is late for work or unfair to some drivers or if he acts in an incompetent manner. In the same way, the believer is given delegated authority over evil spirits to act in the name of Jesus. That authority is given only on condition that he does the right thing at all times. If we do not do the right thing in life, we shall not be fit to fight. We shall lose our confidence and authority.

So we must put on the breastplate of righteousness and make sure that in everything we do, we do the right thing according to the Word of God.

1. God is a righteous God.
2. God requires His people to be righteous.
3. God will judge the unrighteous and punish them. He will judge by works – what we have done in our life.

There is a difference in degree and kind amongst the tree monotheistic religions.
A. Degree. The standard or measurement of righteous. How good do we have to be to pass as righteous people? Most people think a Christian is someone who keeps the 10 commandments. How many do you have to keep to be Christian? Many think that 6 out of 10. Islam operates on the basis of balance of good deeds against bad deeds. Muslims hope that Allah will be compassionate and merciful on that day. Many Church people think that 50 % is a pass rate.
God ‘s standard is 100 %. He will judge us on our words and thoughts and feelings. There would not be 2 friends left in the World if all the thoughts and words were exposed and known. Jesus was looking for righteousness, which exceeds the Pharisees. No on sets a higher standard than Jesus. Religious men talk about Jesus setting ideals. An ideal is a target, which we aim at but do not expect to reach. Jesus was not talking about ideals but was setting a standard. It does not matter how hard we try. In our own efforts we all fall short of God’s standard.

God looks for 100%. We need to be as good as God. Be perfect. If we compare ourselves with other people, we seem to be doing quite well. This is true if we choose to compare ourselves with certain other people. People complain that God has allowed them to suffer. All who die deserve to die. The Tower of Siloam. The people were no worse than others. No one deserves to live.

B. The kind of righteousness. How does a man gain the righteousness, which God expects? All religions say that the individual has to do it. The more self-righteousness we achieve, the more proud we are. Self-righteousness is flawed. There is irony there. Pride and arrogance go hand in hand. Self- righteousness defeats its own objective. It is easier to show outward righteousness, but inwards we are not righteous. It is hypocrisy. That is why Jesus could not get on with the Pharisees.

How do we receive the righteousness of God. To do it ourselves we get further away from God and not nearer to Him. God’s anger is shown towards the unrighteous. Milk simmers before it boils over. Rom ch 1 lists what happens to a society when there is unrighteous. When God’s anger boils over it is called the day of His wrath. God is willing to share His righteousness with us. He knows that we cannot do it. “Try my way.” Whoever hungers and thirsts after righteousness. It depends on how hungry they are and how badly they want to be a better person that they are now. There is an appetite for righteousness – something better. God wants to give us His righteousness. Put your sins on God so that He can put His righteousness on you. This means repenting of my good deeds as well as my bad deeds. Self-righteousness will not let go. Paul had to do it. He was a good person and was self- righteous. When he considered all his good deeds, they were as dung. Isaiah uses the phrase filthy rags. This is the condition for repenting of our good deeds. This is why good respectable people find such difficulty in becoming a Christian. Criminals have no righteousness to repent of. Jesus found it with prostitutes and tax collectors, who were more open to repent. By keeping the law, the Jews thought that they were doing good and were pleasing God. Repenting of good deeds is necessary but hard to do.

Is the righteousness of God imputed to us or imparted to us? It is both imputed and imparted to us. Clothed in righteousness means that God’s righteousness is imputed to us and placed to our account. God wants also to impart His righteousness to us. We need righteousness and holiness. We need to be justified and then sanctified. We need to work out our holiness. The Trinity is the key. It is the work of the Holy Spirit within us. God is intent in re-creating the Universe. A new Heaven and a new Earth in which righteousness dwell. God plans to have righteous people living in that Universe. God always does right. The law punishes people for breaking the law, but it cannot make a bad person good. What the moral law could not do, God did.

Unless Christians are sure of the truth, have a strong relationship with God and with one another and have righteousness, which exceeds the Pharisees, they will not survive. The Babylonians destroyed everything in their path. The just shall live by faith. The righteous shall live – i. e. survive the coming of the Babylonians – by faithfulness – i.e. by going on trusting God when everything looks bleak and hopeless. The New Testament quotes faith 3 times – each time meaning living trusting in God. Judgement begins with the household of God. Jesus will be the judge at the end of time. This is offensive to all religions. One of the basis will be in the way Christians treat their brothers – not the Jews nor neighbours. The attitude to Christians – why do you persecute me? Whatever people do to Christians, they are doing it to Jesus. Jesus will deal with believers first and then all others who have been hostile to Christians – the brothers of Jesus. God may be bringing Islam to Britain in order to sort out His people here in Britain.

RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Psalm 11 v 7.
Psalm 45 v 7.
Proverbs 11 v 18.
Proverbs 12 v 28.
2 Pet ch3 v 13.
Rom ch 8 v 10.
Isaiah ch 45 v 24.
Eph ch 6 v 14.

Evil Spirits

EVIL SPIRITS. Mat ch 10 v 1 and 8. Mat ch 9 v 32-34. 1 Pet ch 5 v 8.
Luke ch 10 v 17-20. Luke ch 9 v 37-43. Rev ch 12 v 7-12.

What does God have to say on the subject? Luke ch 10 v 18. Jesus said that He saw Satan fall like lightning out of Heaven. Satan was fed up praising God and wanted someone to praise him for a change. Out! There was no debate or trial. He was out – like lightning. It was as fast as that. Satan had been created by God in the same was as every other creature but he rebelled against the authority of God. He sinned in the full knowledge as to what he was doing. There are all kinds of spiritual beings: angels, cherubim, seraphim and human beings. These are the ones God in His Word has explained. There may be others. There is one thing which is very clear and that is that Jesus believed in evil spirits. Yet today very few people will admit to believing that such beings exist. Why?

God wants man to be like Him. He wants him to be holy and to enjoy living in the World, which He has created for that purpose and to have a relationship with Him forever. Satan wants exactly the opposite. He wants man to ignore God and he comes to steal and destroy. He will tell man a lie, because in that way man will lose sight of the truth and he will tempt man to sin. Jesus said of Satan, that when he tells a lie he is only doing what is natural to him, since he is the father of lies. So there is a battle between the truth and lies. God reveals something of His character in the Ten Commandments. It is contrary to the nature of God to tell a lie. If God told a lie the whole of Creation would explode, since it is founded upon truth. Jesus claimed to be the embodiment of truth. If man accepts the idea that death is the end of life, he has swallowed a lie. If he has accepted the idea that there is no judgement at the end of his life, he has swallowed a lie. If he comes to think that there is no Hell, he has swallowed another lie. Satan wants a man to believe these ideas to deceive him and lead him to Hell.

The name Satan means the adversary. He is opposed to God and to man. It should be remembered that evil spirits do not cause sin. God does not cause sin. It is man who chooses to sin. Evil spirits only encourage him. Satan even tempted Jesus in the desert and on the Cross. Therefore he will tempt any man. God advises us to resist the devil and he will flee from us. James ch 4 v 7. Sometimes he appears as an angel of light. 2 Cor ch 11 v 14. 2 Thes ch 2 v 1-12. Man ignores God’s advice at his peril.

How does Satan and his demons work? God calls man to trust Him. Satan suggests that man should doubt God or mistrust Him. Satan suggested to Eve that God had not told her the truth. First he called on her to mistrust God and then he told an outright lie that what God had said was untrue. Then he appealed to her intellect by suggesting that she would be wise like God. Then he appealed to her feelings – it will taste good. He operates in the same way today. He sows seeds of doubt. Intellectual doubt such as: The Bible cannot be true – it is so old. It is not relevant for modern man. He appeals to feelings – if it feels good, do it. Horoscopes seem harmless but are a small bait to lead to a trap. Cigarettes lead to drugs. Drink leads to alcoholism. Yoga hides the occult. Satan even accuses a believer of sins, which God has forgiven, in order to steal his peace. Satan is concerned to steal a man’s joy and his relationship not only with God but with his fellow man. God forbids all demonic activity. If Jesus had listened to Satan and come down from the cross, the sins of man could not have been forgiven. Forgiveness and freedom would not be available to man.

Luke ch 10 v 18. Satan fell like lightning from Heaven.
Mat ch 9 v 32. Before God made man there were other spiritual beings.
Jude v 5-7. Angels who did not stay within their proper authority.
2 Pet ch 2 v 4. God did not spare them but threw them into Hell.
Luke ch 11 v 24. Unclean spirits.
1 Pet ch 5 v 8. The Devil is a roaring lion.
Rev ch 12 v 9. Satan deceives the whole World.
Deut ch 18 v 10-12. Do not practise divination or consult the spirits of the dead.
John ch 8 v 44. Satan was a murderer from the beginning.
2 Cor ch 11 v 14. Sometimes Satan appears as an angel of light.
Jas ch 4 v 7. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you.
Luke ch 8 v 27-29. Spirits entered the pigs to prove that they were real.

Evil spirits are part of Satan’s forces. They are fallen angels. A possessed person speaks in a way, which is not normal and shows power of telepathy. Jesus recognised demon possession and commanded the spirits to depart. This often produced violent results. Not to believe in Hell is to have swallowed a lie from Satan. Horoscopes are a bait to lead people into deeper ways of evil. Yoga leads people to the occult. Satan used to be the choirmaster in Heaven. He desired to be as God. This desire broke into revolt against God. Satan, when evicted from Heaven, took up a position of authority in the Universe. God saw that He could use this situation to advance His own purposes. The demons make it difficult for Christians to serve God and in so doing challenge their seriousness to serve God. Buddha and others taught that man could be saved by his own efforts. The closer a Christian comes to the throne of God, the fiercer is the attack of Satan. Satan is an evil intelligence. The very fear of the Devil comes from the Devil himself. Satan used to be the choirmaster in Heaven. He desired to be as God. This desire broke into revolt against God. Satan, when evicted from Heaven, took up a position of authority in the Universe. God saw that He could use this situation to advance His own purposes. Prison is a taste of Hell, yet Hell is much worse. Man has to know the bad news before he appreciates the good news of salvation. God does not want anyone to go to Hell. Man gets there all by himself by ignoring the warnings God puts across his path.

No one wants to be unhappy. Why does it happen if there is no power against mankind? Prison is a taste of Hell, yet Hell is much worse. A man has to know the bad news before he appreciates the good news of salvation. God does not want anyone to go to Hell. A man gets there all by himself by ignoring the warnings God puts across his path.

SATAN. I saw Satan fall like lightning from Heaven. Luke ch 10 v 18.
The situation is that Jesus had sent out 70 of His followers. They came back excited that the demons are subject to the name of Jesus. If the demons are subject to them, what can hold them back now? Jesus replies that Satan fell like lightning from Heaven. The past tense is used. The question is this: was it the immediate past or a long time ago? Jude verse 6 tells us that the angels rebelled and were cast out of Heaven. That must have been before Adam and Eve were tempted to rebel.

If it was while the 70 were on their mission, where was Satan in the time of Adam and Eve? If there is no time in Heaven, then it does not matter at which time it took place.

John ch 12 v 31. The ruler of the World was to see his power curtailed. From now on Disciples were to have authority over demonic powers. The last enemy of mankind was to be defeated. Until then it had not been. That is a different situation from the fact that Satan had been cast out of Heaven. The Kingdom of God spoken of in Daniel’s vision had been established.

Gen ch 3 v 15. The seed of woman will crush the serpent’s head. This was now happening, but the serpent was still the serpent from the days of Adam until the days of Jesus. None of the prophets had power over demonic beings. Could Jesus have been speaking symbolically or was it a literal event. He came from Heaven. He was explaining that He was from Heaven. Satan had been thrown out for rebellion. Therefore He had authority over Satan. His followers had that authority also. Satan and his kingdom falls before the gospel as it is preached. When God is enthroned on the hearts of men, Satan’s rule in their hearts is torn down. The real confidence should not be power over demons but the fact that their names are written in Heaven. That is more important than being able to work miracles.

Satan – the powder puff lion.
The primary work of the powers of darkness is deception. As soon as fear enters a man’s mind, it gives Satan a chance to gain power over him. The only power the Devil has is deceptive images. Mankind gives Satan that power by disobedience to the Word of God. A man’s strength over Satan rests in the Word of God. Jesus answered Satan’s temptations by the Word of God and at that Satan left – defeated. When a man gives something attention, it gives him strength. A naughty child demands attention. It is a power struggle. Jesus says that a man should forget about himself. That is the key to success. When a man focuses on himself, he limits his capacity. Go in the name of Jesus – there is the source of the power. Every self-centred person is an unhappy person. Too much attention to food and drink gives it power. Over concern for self can lead to depression. Idol worship gives the idol power over a man.

It is wrong to claim “the Devil made me do it.” He has no power to force a man to do anything. He can only tempt and suggest. A man does it. It is yielding to temptation, which is sin. Satan will say that you cannot do this or that. He is lying. “In Christ I can do all things.”

When a man stops smoking and continues to stop, he reaches the stage when he cannot bear to be in the presence of someone smoking. Practice makes perfect. Just as someone who resists the Gospel hardens their heart against it, someone who resists sin hardens their heart against it and could not even contemplate sinning. When a man habitually lives by faith it becomes second nature to him. A man must learn to live by faith. It is his responsibility to do so. Discipline is the word for it. Satan’s strength is darkness. A man’s strength is light. His strength is deception. A man’s strength is truth. The battle is in a man’s mind. This is his sphere of operation. That is why a man needs the mind of Christ.

In a court of law a restraining order is put on someone to prevent his acting against the interests of another. A man needs to stand before the Heavenly court and place a restraining order on Satan. “You are forbidden to..” Believers have authority to do this. Mat ch 18 v 18-20. Whatever a believer binds on Earth shall be bound in Heaven. Believers have power to bind and loose. Films have accredited more power to Satan than he possesses. He cannot foretell the future. He can deceive by coming as an angel of light.

God’s personal theft protection policy. Put on the whole armour of God.
1.Truth. To tell a lie is like setting fire to a man’s lounge and expecting his insurance policy to protect him. A lie lets Satan in the door.
2. Righteousness. There must be no sin. Confess it right away. If not, Satan will accuse a man of it.
3. Peace. Always ready to tell others. Not to do so is to deny the others what they need to hear. God is relying on believers to tell others.
4. Faith as a shield against the doubts fired by the enemy.
5. Salvation. Pressing on to the goal of holiness. The spiritual battlefield is in the mind.
6. Use the Word of God against the enemy.

Demons are spirits without bodies – more like germs. Eph ch 6 v 12.
Demons were originally in fellowship with God. Jude v 6.
Demons are numerous. Mark ch 5 v 8-9.
Demons are organised. Mat ch 12 v 24.
Demons have supernatural powers. Rev ch 16 v 14.
Demons are knowledgeable about God. Mat ch 8 v 29.
Demons are allowed to roam the Earth and torment unbelievers. Mat ch 12 v 43-45.
Demons can sometimes inflict sickness. Mat ch 9 v 32-33.
Demons can possess or control animals. Mark ch 5 v 13.
Demons can possess or control human beings. Luke ch 8 v 2.
Demons can sometimes cause mental disorders. Mark ch 5 v 2-5.
Demons know that Jesus Christ is God. Mark ch 1 v 23-24.
Demons tremble before God. James ch 2 v 19.
Demons teach false doctrine. 1 Tim ch 4 v 1.
Demons oppose God’s people. Eph ch 6 v 12.
Demons attempt to destroy Christ’s Kingdom. 1 Peter ch 5 v 8.
God takes advantage of the actions of demons to accomplish His divine purposes. Judges ch 9 v 23.
God is going to judge demons at the last judgement. 2 Peter ch 2 v 4.

Deception

SELF-DECEPTION.

God is truth. The Holy Spirit will lead a man into all truth. Therefore God will never deceive a man. When it says that God sends a delusion, it is the same use of grammar when it speaks of God hardening Pharaoh’s heart. He allowed it to happen but did not specifically bring it to pass. Satan is very active in the area of deception but the following Scriptures make it clear that in certain areas a man deceives himself.

(a) When a man hears the Word of God and does not do it, he deceives himself. Jas ch 1 v 22. 1 Pet ch 1v 13. Man tends to condemn in others what he has in himself. Many preachers preach against the very sins, which are in their heart. Believers are called to be doers of the Word and not just hearers of the Word. Man can marvel at a truth in the Bible and tell others about it without taking it into his own heart and putting it into practice in his own life. A man deceives himself, if he thinks that he does not have to obey the truth.

(b) If a man says that he has no sin, he deceives himself. 1 John ch 1 v 8. When a man fails to repent of sins he is preparing for a big fall due to pride. Paul was addressing the situation where some mature Christians felt that they had achieved perfection and that they had arrived. Phil ch 3. Paul made it clear that he was still pressing on to the goal of being like Jesus. Man will not reach perfection in this life.
(c) When a man thinks that he is better than he is, he deceives himself. Rom ch 12 v 3. Gal ch 6 v 3. There is a danger of a man taking credit for his achievements and attributing them to himself. Believers are special to God but are only what they are by the grace of God. They can take pleasure in accomplishing certain worthwhile deeds for God. However, they must realise who they are in the same way as John the Baptist did. Jesus must increase while the believer decreases.

(d) When a man thinks that he is wise, he deceives himself. 1 Cor ch 3 v 18-19. Rom ch 1 v 22. New Age. If a believer thinks that he can outsmart Satan on his own without help he is foolish. When a man parades his knowledge before others, he is denying that all he knows is by the grace of God. A man cannot take credit for studying God’s Word. He is obliged to do that.

(e) When a man thinks that he is a believer but does not control his tongue, he deceives himself. Jas ch 1 v 26. The Amorite Spirit leads to gossip, criticism and defamation. Out of the heart the mouth speaks. A man has to watch what he says and has to give account to Jesus for every careless word spoken in his lifetime. Mat ch 12 v 36-37. Too many people talk too much.

(f) When a man thinks that he will not reap what he has sown, he deceives himself. Gal ch 6 v 7. This is the message of Obadiah. “As you do to others, so it will be done to you.” 2 Cor ch 5 v 10. This principle of God applies to believers as well as unbelievers.

(g) When a man thinks that the unrighteous will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, he deceives himself. The righteous man does the right thing. 1 Cor ch 6 v 9-10. Universalism. The unsaved members of the family of a believer will not get to Heaven. They are good people but then they are meant to be good people. A man’s life style must match what he believes. An ungodly person may be morally good but does not have God at the centre of his life.

(h) When a man thinks that he can keep bad company and not be affected, he deceives himself. 1 Cor ch 15 v 33. Believers are in the World but must not be part of it. One bad apple will spoil the whole barrel of apples. What a man watches and reads and hears all has an effect on him. Phil ch 4 v 8. Whatever is pure etc look on that thing. David tarried in Jerusalem and found himself in trouble with Bathsheba.

Wiles

THE WILES OF THE DEVIL. Eph ch 6 v 11. 1 Pet ch 5 v 18.

There are a number of aspects to be accepted at the outset.
1. Satan can only be in one place at a time. He is a created being and not like God who is omnipresent. Reference to Satan usually means demons.
2. In warfare there are offensive strokes as well as defensive strokes. There are times to be defensive and to be protective. There are other times to go on the offensive against Satan.
3. When there is a sporting challenge each opposing team will “spy” on the other team to find out its tactics and tricks in order to assess the strength of the opposition and to devise a plan to defeat them. The same principles apply in physical warfare and in economic warfare. They should apply in spiritual warfare. Believers should be prepared for the battle. They are certainly in one, whether they like it or not.
4. 1 John ch 3 v 8 informs man that one of the reasons Jesus came to live on Earth was to destroy the works of the Devil. His Disciples should also be engaged in this task.
5. Believers make one of two mistakes concerning their enemy. Some ignore Satan as if he does not exist. They never talk about him or pay any attention to him. They really have no idea what he is doing. Others give him too much respect and live in fear of him. They attribute everything, which goes wrong to the Devil, including every emotional, mental, spiritual and physical problem. The Bible is a book of truth. John ch 1 v 14. The truth is seeing things as they really are.
6. Jesus said that He had come to bring life in all its fullness, while the Devil comes only to rob, kill and destroy. Peter explains that Satan is like a roaring lion. His power is limited. John records seven “I am” statements concerning Jesus explaining that He is everything a man needs to protect and deliver him from the enemy. Jesus gives, while Satan takes.
7. The dictionary defines a wile as a trick and a person who is wily as one who is sly and crafty – cunning and deceitful. Sometimes the Devil comes as a shining light. But there are other times he comes to man with wiles or tricks. His whole purpose is to deceive a believer one way or another. His ultimate purpose is to delude a believer and to divert worship and service away from God toward himself. He will resort to every conceivable device to cripple the effective witness of a believer and his service to God. Believers ought to know that and to be ever aware of it when things begin to go wrong in their personal life and in the life of the Church.
8. The mind is the reception centre of the thoughts, which come to man. It is man’s responsibility to allow into his heart only those thoughts, which are good and to reject those, which are from Satan. Satan is an expert in half-truths, doubts and lies.
9. Pastors must watch over their flock as a shepherd looks after his sheep.
10. 1 Pet ch 1 v 6. Peter says to welcome trials and difficulties. He knew from experience that overcoming trials and difficulties are used by God to forge the character and to make the believer more like Jesus.
11. Ephesians ch 6 v 11. At the end of his treatise on the Church – its origin – its creation – its function – its unity – its nature – its submissiveness – Paul concludes that one of its main purposes is to engage the enemy – its warfare. “Put on the whole armour of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil.”

There are many different wiles or tricks of the enemy. The following are some of them.

1. Words slipped into conversation. Mat ch 16 v 21 – 23. Peter could reflect on the occasion when Jesus turned to him and said: “Get behind me, Satan.” Peter was not aware of saying anything wrong. Satan slipped the words into his mouth and he genuinely did not know that he had said them. Jesus discerned that it was Satan who had slipped the words into Peter’s mouth. Peter’s love for Jesus was strong enough to take the rebuke. Another person may have been devastated, if Jesus had said that to him. Satan’s barbed attack against man often comes through another person who is close to him. There is nothing Satan would like better than for a man to snap back and cause a dispute. A man must recognise when it is Satan on the attack and remain silent.

Many actions of defamation have come about by Satan slipping a phrase into the mouth or words of a person who is ill disposed towards another. He may never have said the actual words himself but had them slipped into the conversation. The words did not pass through the consciousness of the speaker. But they were said in the hearing of another and with devastating effect. An evil spirit can speak through a medium. Often a female medium will speak with a male voice. The enemy can use the voice box in the person to utter sounds. In this way Satan steals a man’s reputation and destroys his character. Careless gossip can be used by the enemy to destroy relationships.

2. Accident spots. Satan can blind people preventing them seeing what in the natural they should have seen – an oncoming car – a mistake in a deed – like a red light on a signal. Satan has certain powers. Some sections of road are known as danger spots or black spots. They are not any more difficult to negotiate than others, but there is an accident record there. Outside a cemetery is one place often known as a danger spot. Perhaps that is a place where demons are active in using a bend in the road to blind drivers and cause them to make an error of judgement. If angels are watching over a man as he drives to warn of dangers, demons are active to distract attention.

3. Delaying tactics. “Leave it just now.” But the Word of God says constantly that “today is the day of salvation.” There is throughout Scripture a note of real urgency in making decisions affecting man’s moral and spiritual life. Satan suggests to a man that he leaves off the decisions, which God is calling him to make until another day – in the hope that he will forget the importance of the matter and delay the decisions.

4. A person being bullied is generally safe when with a companion, especially a large one. Those bullying him will hold back, until the person is alone, perhaps on the way home or when the others are out of the room in the office. Satan will bide his time until the time is right and then come, when a person is alone. There are things man would not watch on television or in a film, if he were in company, especially with his mother in law. That is why there is no such thing as a single believer. Believers need the protection of a fellowship as well as the encouragement of a fellowship.

5. Satan will attempt to persuade the believer to worship any other god. In particular he will offer something, which in itself is good and certainly not evil – allegiance to the Church, or an organisation, even a Christian organisation. Anything or anyone, which fills the mind and consumes the energy of a believer more than that of God Himself, is an idol. It may even be an essential service to meet the needs of others or may even be the family. 1 John ch 5 v 21. “Guard yourself from idols.”

6. Loneliness. One of his tricks is to wait until a man is alone. A man is always more vulnerable when he is alone. But when a man is alone, his imagination is able to run unfettered by the comforting and wise words of a friend. If there is a hurtful situation, Satan is there to make sure that it goes round and round in the mind, gathering momentum all the time. One of the reasons why God created woman was that it was not good for a man to be alone. If a man has a difficult decision to make, it is good to consult with a parent, friend or professional adviser. The prostitute works on her own looking for a lonely man, who is feeling the pain of loneliness and perhaps the lack of ability to make a relationship. There is the fertile ground. Satan always needs fertile ground in which to work – tiredness, loneliness, pride, resentment etc. Here Satan offers a solution. He pops the idea into the mind and then works on it. “Go on. Where is the harm? It is fun.” Sometimes he will suggest that everyone is doing it, so it cannot be wrong. On another occasion he will come in the contrary way and suggest that it cannot be right to go to Church. No one else is doing that. He cunningly twists the arguments round to suit himself. A believer must be in fellowship or he will be under attack from the enemy. There is a need for openness in a fellowship where burdens can be shared.

Elijah was a powerful man of God in front of the crowd as he challenged the false prophets of Baal. After the confrontation Elijah was tired both spiritually and physically. He was at a low point. Along came Satan working through Jezebel, who was involved in Satan worship. She put a curse on Elijah and he felt fear. On his own, confronted by Jezebel, Elijah cowered in isolation and cried out to die.

7. One of the reasons why so many believers are drawn into the New Age ideas is a dissatisfaction with the lack of power in their Christian experience. Satan has certain power and he offers to share that power with those who will worship him. Jesus often warned that people generally do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. God offers to share His power with man, if he will use it for the benefit of others. John ch 14 v 12. Satan appeals to man’s selfish fallen nature and offers him power, which will satisfy that fallen nature. If Satan tempted Jesus as he did in Luke ch 4 v 7, he will tempt believers in this way. Secret societies and cults offer power to a man.

8. Religion is the glue, which holds society together. It does nothing to save the soul but it prevents people from falling away into immorality. Satan may draw a person into the bondage of religion, where it appeals to a man’s nature to work his way to Heaven. It is easier to obey rules than to develop a personal relationship with the Lord.

9. Pride. A servant is one who does what the master requests. A fool is one who does what anyone else requests. Believers are servants of God and are not at the beck and call of everyone else. Satan will try to encourage believers to take on more than they can cope with. He may appeal to pride. “You can do a better job than so and so.” This may be true. The task may well be a worthy one, like assisting in a Church activity. The graveyard is full of indispensable people. A believer has to learn to say “No” on occasions, unless he is absolutely sure that it is God who is doing the asking. Satan was expelled from Heaven because of pride. It was the humility of Jesus, which defeated Satan on the cross.

10. False doctrines. Satan will lead believers into false doctrines. Paul warned Timothy about doctrines of demons. 1 Tim ch 4 v 1. Peter and John spoke against various sects. The denominations became denominations when they overemphasised one teaching. This leads to enslavement. Many believers are taught that Satan can never possess a believer. The basis for the teaching is sound in one sense. If a person abides in Jesus and walks with the Spirit, there should be no room for a demon to control the life of that believer. However, Jesus makes it clear that, if a believer does not abide in Jesus, his final state is worse than before. What could be more dangerous than a soldier going out into enemy territory with a firm conviction that he is immune from attack. If the Christian denominations spent half of the energy they direct towards criticising each other in attacking the enemy, the enemy might be on the run. The enemy knows that and this is one of his strategies.

11. Alluring advertising is a carefully planned appeal to human weakness, which is designed to make a man discontent with what he has so that he can rationalise buying things, which he knows he does not need and should not have. A man must be resistant to Satanic advertising.

12. Satan will tempt believers into thinking that God does not love them. That was his deception of Eve. God allows difficulties to come into the life of His children. His overall purpose to mould His children into people like Jesus and He will use any situation to bring that about. So Peter advises believers to welcome trials and difficulties. 1 Pet ch 1 v 6. Satan is not slow to use the situation to trick the believer. Self-pity is never far away during times of trial. “Nothing seems to go right for me. I am a born loser.” These words can be whispered into the mind of a believer. Unless believers really grasp the advice from Peter, they can easily fall to the wile of the enemy in that kind of situation. If a believer persists in serious sin, he is very open to the savage work of the enemy, without the presence of the ministering angelic spirits. God also reproves and disciplines believers.

13. Women are more emotional and sensitive beings than men. So Satan appealed Eve’s feelings. Often a man is impressed by outward appearances. It looks good. Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart. How many lonely women afraid of being left alone offer themselves to a man just because they are feeling lonely. Satan whispers in the mind: ”He is a good looking man. He will be a good companion.” She wants a man. There is no thought of whether they are compatible or whether they share the same vision for their lives. It is just a physical attraction and relief from the pain of loneliness. It seems good but there is the trick. It is not a decision made with the approval of God. Usually the pain of loneliness is overtaken by the pain of separation, rejection and failure. When a man is feeling low Satan may suggest: “Go and buy something and you will feel better.” In this way he steals a man’s money. Nike means; “Just do it.” Jesus did not come to make a man happy but holy.

14. Another wile of Satan is to appeal to a Scripture on its own without the overall thrust of Scripture. All Scripture has to be interpreted in light of the rest of Scripture. Where there is one believer in a family, Satan might well come to the mind of the believer with the Scripture – “Honour your father and mother.” There is a family outing on a Sunday and the word suggests that the right thing to do is to obey the Word of God and go with the family, thereby honouring his father and mother. But there is a greater command. The primary duty of man is to worship the Lord. Other commands must be obeyed in subjection to that command. Jesus explains that a man’s loyalty must be to God first. Mat ch 6 v 33. Other loyalties are in subjection to that overall loyalty. Satan will try to trick a man with Scriptures out of context. This is especially so for young believers, who may not know the Scriptures so well. Always test the word against the Scriptures. This is a favourite trick, which works with sects. They latch onto one particular verse, like the snake people in America, who keep snakes and pick them up in their worship to prove the verse – Mark ch 18 v16. Some of the congregation die of bites by the snake. Satan has tricked them with one of his wiles. Jesus knew all about the wiles of the enemy – like quoting half of a sentence from Scripture. So many people say: “money is the root of all evil.” The Scripture says that it is the love of money, which is the root of all evil.” There is nothing wrong with money, as long as it has been gained legally and honestly and is used in accordance with Scripture.

15. Spiritual illness. Satan will attack physically. The Bible speaks of a spirit of sickness or infirmity. Luke ch 13 v 10. M.E. is exactly that – a spirit of infirmity. The person feels infirm and lacking in strength to cope. Often this is after a period of flu or stress. There is the fertile ground on which Satan can go to work. That is when the demon moves in to take control. There is a good trick. First he persuades mankind that he does not exist, through advances in science, the development in technology, religious men who discredit the Bible and explain away the supernatural, silly adverts showing the Devil as a comic character and fictitious plays and films and then he strikes with a spirit of infirmity. By that time the patient, utterly convinced that there is no such thing as demonic illness, believes that it is an infectious disease. Even when the doctors cannot come up with any explanation or cure, the patient refuses to believe that this could be a spiritual attack. He has been tricked. It is one of the wiles of the Devil. Because it is a demonic sickness, there is no physical cure devised by man and so the patient is at the mercy of the enemy. Dyslexia, some kinds of spiritual depression and so on may well be in this category. The spirit of alcoholism will not hit a man who does not consume alcohol but a heavy drinker is the fertile ground he needs. Do not be deceived into thinking that this is a matter for the super keen believers. This is basic. Believers are called to work with Jesus in destroying the works of the Devil. Demons all have names. Those involved in casting them out are directed to tell the demons to name themselves. One believer was delivered of 65 demons over a period of time. They named themselves amongst others as depression, amnesia, fatigue, filthy fantasies, fragmented thought, asthma, illusion, psychic disturbance, nervous disorder, sorrow, false happiness, fear, impatience, hate, anger, insecurity, loneliness, sexual perversion, sodomy, homosexuality and pornography. This is the reality as revealed by the Word of God. When Satan made his first onslaught on mankind, he waited until Eve was alone. Where Adam was that day, is not known but he was far enough away for Eve to be unable to call to him. Perhaps if Eve had had a mobile phone on that day Eve could have given Adam a call to discuss this strange talking snake and the World might have been spared a lot of trouble.

The occult

THE OCCULT.

Interest in the occult generates business, which can be measured in millions of pounds. It is gaining respectability. Interest in the occult is sweeping the World. The real danger with the occult involvement does not necessarily lie in the activity itself. It lies in the fact that by getting involved a man opens himself up to that spirit of evil who masterminds spiritual deception at every level. The god of the age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ. 2 Cor ch 4 v 4. Disobedience to God can ruin the life of a believer and unless believers respond with a truly repentant heart, they are heading for spiritual bondage. Lev ch 19 v 31. If a person disobeys God and becomes involved in the occult, he is rebelling against God and is turning to spiritual forces, which God has forbidden. By giving himself to the sin of occultism, a man is liable to become its slave and this will damage his spiritual well-being. He opens a door, which may allow a spiritual enemy to gain access to his life, finding it hard to pray – spiritual bondage.

Ouija boards now outsell Monopoly in the U.S.A. A fantasy game like Dungeons and Dragons can often open the door to the occult and glorify evil. Many a psychiatrist will testify to having worked with disturbed children, whose trouble began with a fascination aroused by fantasy games.

The word ‘occult’ comes from the Latin – occultus, which means hidden, secret, sinister, dark or mysterious. The believer is to walk in the light of what has been shown to man.
What are the reasons for an increase in interest in the occult?
1. The barrenness of materialism.
2. The incurably religious instinct of mankind.
3. The deadness of the Christian Church in the west.
4. A hunger for thrills and kicks.
5. Power over others. It enhances the ego.
6. The thrill of belonging to a group.
7. Rev ch 9 v 18ff. Satan will be loosed and will come to deceive the nations as never before.

Satan is answerable to God for his actions. Job ch 1 v 7 – ch 2 v 2. God allows Satan to go so far and can stop him at any moment. God is sovereign. Job ch 1 v 12 – ch 2 v 6. It is not a question of two equal forces – good and evil, with good eventually succeeding. The Devil is a defeated foe. Luke ch 10 v 17-18. “I have given you authority to overcome all the power of the enemy.”

Tactics. Satan delights to rupture Christian relationships. He likes to foster the belief that he and his demonic forces do not exist. The Devil does not work overtime. He works all the time. However, he can only be in one place at a time. Some suggest that the early Disciples were limited in their knowledge of disease – that they attributed demon possession to cases of epilepsy – that they did not have the benefit of modern science. Mat ch 4 v 24. Jesus distinguished between physical illness and those sicknesses, which were the result of demonic activity. Mark ch 9 v 18 & 22.

Faith is the only door through which a believer may safely enter the realm of the supernatural. Satan opens other doors.
1. Superstition. This is one of man’s oldest religious preoccupations. It is basically a lack of trust in God. Touching wood is a pagan action associated with the oak tree. The origins of many superstitions are lost to man but they still have power over many people. Breaking a bottle over a ship’s bows was originally to placate the gods. The practice is continued to give security. Millions of people would not dare go out without their charm of some description. Isaiah ch 19 v 3. The charmer is condemned by God. These things are the thin end of the occultic wedge.

Hallowe’en. At the heart of this night is a desire to placate the forces of evil. It is a Christianised version of the Celtic ritual of Samhain, which was held on 31st October to mark the end of the summer. Hallowe’en practices may open the door to the occult. They can introduce the forces of evil into the life of a person. Much damage is done to believers who mix up Christianity with the occult by encouraging this practice, which is pagan at heart. Paganism is hardly a cultural mainstay of all that is best in society. If Nazi figures were given to children, there would be an outcry. Hallowe’en encourages an interest and fascination in the occult and this often leads to more serious involvement and damage to individuals. At the heart of superstitious practice is an admission that the individual feels vulnerable to the forces, which exist in the World. For the believer, superstition verges on the blasphemous. Superstition is an act of defiance against the clear command of God. It is symptomatic of people who know they are insecure but who will not put their trust in a Saviour.

2. Fortune-telling. It underlines the basic need of all mankind for purpose and a path in life. The quest for knowledge of what is to come is really an attempt to take control of man’s own future without trusting in God to take care of him.
Horoscopes. It may seem like fun but those who prepare the horoscopes for the papers are usually committed astrologists, who take their craft very seriously. Russell Grant is a committed occultist. Occult practises open doors to spiritual forces, which can wreck lives. The Tower of Babel was probably a ziggurat – an astrological observatory with a temple at the top for the worship of the stars. Gen ch 11 v 1-4. Astrology was probably the first religion to offer itself as an alternative to the one true God. Other forms of fortune telling like palmistry, crystal-gazing, card-laying etc all involve a deliberate surrendering to outside forces. It is concerned with power through knowledge.

3. Spiritism. For the spiritists the life of Jesus is only an example to follow. There is no saving quality in his death. Deut ch 18 v 10-12. The essence of spiritism is the attempt to communicate with the spirits of the dead.

4. Magic. Black magic seeks to control enemies, while white magic seeks to control events for the benefit of friends. Both seek power to control, which contradicts the Gospel in that power was given to serve others. Mat ch 2-0 v 25-28. Satanism is one development of black magic. Satan seeks to destroy anyone he can. 1 Pet ch 5 v 8. He hates human beings and cannot abide God’s presence in them. Magic is the attempt to bring the spirit World under one’s own knowledge and control. It is the precise opposite of religion, which seeks to surrender to the divine and operates by faith and not knowledge.

Deut ch 18 v 9ff explicitly forbids all three main divisions of occultism. Spiritism became a capital offence. Ex ch 22 v 18. “You shall not allow a sorceress to live.” 1 Chron ch 10 v 13f shows how serious it is. It is impossible to exaggerate the insistence of the Old Testament against idolatry in every form. In the New Testament it is just the same. Why ban it?
1. It is a man putting himself under the control of a power, which is not from God and is rebellious towards God. By worshipping idols in any form a man comes under the control of demons. 1 Cor ch 10 v 19f.
2. The lust for knowledge not normally available to a man is an attempt to bypass the boundaries set by God.
3. The longing for power to dominate and control the supernatural is the very antithesis of the proper attitude of creature to the Creator. Micah ch 6 v 8. “Walk humbly before your God.”
4. The demonic is dangerous and ultimately destructive to man. That is why God forbids it – for his good. Power over women is one of the aims of magic. Idolatry is the pursuit of the counterfeit.
Addictions. Sometimes there is a spiritual presence bound up in addictions to tobacco, alcohol, drugs and over-eating.

Physical infirmities. Some physical conditions can be demonically based. Luke ch 11 v 14-15. A demon, which was mute. Mark ch 9 v 25. Mat ch 12 v 22. A spirit of infirmity. Luke ch 13 v 11. Jesus healed those who were oppressed by evil spirits. Mat ch 4 v 24. If life style is the problem, it is necessary for man to take steps to deal with it himself by a change in life style.

Why are people interested in the occult? Many are apprehensive about the future, especially at a time of uncertainty and anxiety in the nations. Some feel insecure and need to know what lies ahead for them. Most occult predictions offer reassurance. The need for security is often met in the occult. The holder of occult power serves no one but himself and his own desires for domination. This is good for a selfish ego. Others are attracted by the unusual as a release from boredom. People with material wealth and security have become starved of spiritual reality.

Sometimes things just happen for no reason. Behind the occult phenomenon is the activity of the demonic World. In Acts ch 19 Paul met a woman with a spirit of divination. Eph ch 2 v 2. “We are children of disobedience ruled by the demonic spirit of the air.” 1 John ch 5 v 19. Demons are fallen angels. Rev ch 12 v 7. Jude v 6. 2 Pet ch 2 v 4. Satan and his evil spirits are real personalities and not just impersonal influences. They can speak. Luke ch 11 v 24. They recognised Jesus and Paul. Luke ch 8 v 28. Occult activity counterfeits the spiritual gifts and powers, which God has offered to his Church through the Holy Spirit. 1 Tim ch 4 v 1. There are doctrines of demons. Occult power is evil and forms part of the strategy of man’s adversary the Devil to keep men and women in spiritual bondage and under spiritual domination.

Signs of demonic activity. Too many people have been hurt by ministry, which has been too hastily or wrongly applied. In mental problems it is difficult to distinguish between demonic symptoms and mental illness. If there is evidence of occult involvement there is a strong indication of the need for deliverance. The Demons seek to spoil lives and to gain a foothold in the area of un-confessed sin. When man’s feelings are damaged or hurt, he is tempted to brood over them and become bitter. Uncontrolled outbursts of abuse, lying, cursing, and blasphemy are a pointer to demonic activity. Certain situations have Satan’s sticky fingers all over them. Detectives look for clues to find out what happened. Satan may leave his sticky fingers and give a clue as to where the root of the problem lies. When Jesus was confronted by people bothered by spirits, there was always an outburst. Bad habits may allow in an evil spirit.

Some physical conditions can be demonically based. Mark ch 9 v 25. In Luke ch 13 v 11 there is mention of a spirit of infirmity. However, many physical ailments result from man’s life style and if he wants to be healed, we may have to change our life style. Most people suffering spiritual bondage find it difficult to grow as believers.

Evil spirits can gain access to a man’s life through the emotional hurts received in childhood. It is possible to store up feelings of hatred or bitterness towards a parent or family member, which man represses within him. The enemy can get a hold on him as a result of fear, rejection and incest. Mark ch 9 v 14- 29. A hurt during childhood may have been responsible for his condition. Man’s spiritual enemy has no love for mankind and will attack a vulnerable child. There are particular problems for those who have been sexually abused during childhood. It may be that an unclean spirit has come upon them as a result. There is evidence that those who are abused tend to be abusers themselves in their adult lives.

Persistent sin. When man persists in sinful habits, sexual or otherwise, he invites his spiritual enemy to exercise an ever- increasing grip upon him. Mat ch 5 v 28-29. It is so serious that Jesus recommended serious remedies. Heb ch 3 v 13. This can lead to a slide into spiritual death. 1 John ch 5 v 18. If a man becomes careless and continually yields to the power of sin, he gives his enemy freedom to fasten on to him. Man needs to be careful about what he chooses to watch.

Shock. Sometimes a man is overtaken and overwhelmed by traumatic events. Such an event can trigger off a fear or stammer. It is possible for a spirit to use the event to gain access to the life affected.
Repressed grief. Failure to permit proper grieving after bereavement can allow a spirit to get a hold on the life of that person. Mourning is a necessary process, which a man needs to go through.
People who feel crushed and rejected by the family sometimes look to occultic experiences to meet their need for power, importance and a sense of belonging – unmet within them.

Deliverance. Jesus was an exorcist. He was not preoccupied with evil spirits but dealt with them when He was confronted by them. He did not go out of His way to confront them. The real struggle is against sin. The repeal of the Witchcraft Act in 1951 opened the door in Britain for forms of occultism. The authority of Jesus is the first weapon to use. Jesus sent out His Disciples with His authority to cast out demons. Luke ch 9 v 1-6. The demons were subject to His name. There is power in the name of Jesus. The enemy lying hidden within a person recognises it. Demons feared that they would be judged. The Word of God properly used also has power. After deliverance people need nurturing and the Scriptures are the prime source for this. The gifts of the Spirit are not an optional extra for the really keen believer. 1 Cor ch 12. One of the gifts is discernment of spirits. Ask God to show the area of demonic activity. Eph ch 6 v 19. Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. The work is to be done quietly and not in a sensational manner. The purpose is to bring healing and wholeness. Spiritual bondage is simply one category of disease. There are certain symptoms indicating the need for exorcism.
(a) Changes in appearance, intelligence, moral character and demeanour.
(b) Unusual strength. Epileptic convulsions. Foaming.
(c) Falling down.
(d) Insensitivity to pain.
(e) Unconsciousness.
(f) Changed voice.
(g) Understanding unknown languages.
(h) Preternatural knowledge.
(i) Psychic and occult powers.
(j) Reaction to the name of Jesus, the cross or to prayer.
(k) Any involvement in the occult – present or past.
(l) Unnatural bondage to sexual perversion or mockery.
(m) Strange behaviour e.g. bursts of temper, palpitations of the heart.
(n) Change of voice in speech or laughter.
(o) The grip of a nameless fear.
(p) Something strange about the eyes. The eyes are the window to the inner man. The eyes of the possessed are often unnaturally bright, glazed or full of maniac hatred.

Do not engage in conversation with the spirits. Command them to depart. Animals are often very quick to spot the occult.
Praying for deliverance. There are four steps:
1. Recognition. After investigation take the matter to God in prayer. Involve the person in the act of deliverance.
2. Repentance. Forgiveness of others who have caused the damaged emotional and spiritual problems is an essential element.
3. Renunciation. Man needs to speak out against the bondage, which he experienced. It may involve the burning of books or tapes or charms or confession to another or in public.
4. Release. This is the time to take up the offensive. The word of command to depart and rebuke. Name the evil spirits if known. Expose them and their activity. It is not a question of bargaining but of eviction. Also forbid it to return.

The prayer should:
1. Bind the spirit. Mat ch 12 v 29. Limit the sphere of operations of the evil spirits. Heb ch 2 v 14-15.
2. Command the Spirit to go. Man is to be militant against the spirit or spirits.
3. Forbid the spirit to return. Mark ch 9 v 25. Mat ch 12 v 43.
4. Renewal. The person who has been delivered needs care and follow up. The newly won space needs to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Once set free the person must make sure that he does not fall back into the habits, which brought him into bondage. Do not dice with danger. There may well be a need for counselling to deal with the emotional hurts and wounds, which allowed the enemy an initial foothold.

Signs of actual deliverance.
Falling down, shaking and crying out. Mark ch 1 v 23-24. Mat ch 8 v 28-29. Shouting may precede expulsion. Other signs are shivering, yawning and vomiting. If nothing happens it may be necessary to repeat the work. A particularly strong spirit may need fasting and prayer – extra preparation. There may be more than one spirit in a person and that one may lie in hiding – a second or third session may be needed.

Principalities and powers.
In any polytheistic culture such as the Greek and Roman Empires, spirit forces figure largely. Astrology, fate and chance were to the fore. The spirit World is a major factor in the New Testament. It recognises principalities, powers, thrones, names, princes, lords, gods, angels, spirits, unclean spirits, wicked spirits and elemental spirits. In Mat ch 25 v 41 Jesus speaks of the Devil and all his angels. They have widespread influence:
(a) in the realm of illness. Luke ch 13 v 16.
(b) historical situations. Rev ch 2 v 10-13.
(c) in nature. Jesus muzzled the storm.
(d) the enemy of man had gripped the law and the covenant. The Beast from the land.
(e) in false apostles.
(f) in human sin. “I cannot think what made me do it.”
(g) in the State, which is susceptible to the powers and principalities. The Beast from the sea.
(h) in death. The last great enemy of man. Some people die in mysterious circumstances.

Behind the cross lay:
First – the design of man. The religious and political leaders wanted rid of Jesus. They were shown to be the puppets of powers far mightier than themselves and utterly malign.
Second – the will of Jesus. He chose to do it and arranged it.
Third – the predestination of God.
The power of Satan was shattered by love’s invincible power.

The present industrial system turns man into a small cog in a vast machine, robbing him of pride in his work and job satisfaction. The consumer mentality conditions men to work so as to make money in order to buy things.
Today is an age of warped priorities. In an age when man went to the moon, 65 % of the population is underfed.
Today is an age of horrendous cruelty and war. Torture is practised by almost every country in the World.
Today is an age when greed has both fouled the nest and grabbed non-renewable resources to a point unequalled in history. The air, the land and the sea are polluted and poisoned. Isaiah in ch 24 foresaw such a day.
Today is an age of the revival of superstition.
Today there is a Church dominated by officialdom.
Today there is a Church, which has lost its vision.

Man has swallowed the great lie that the good life lies in independence of the God who gave man life. This is the path trodden by principalities and powers. One of the remarkable things, which meets man in the Gospels is the flurry of demonic activity. It is more evident here than anywhere else in the Bible. This is hardly surprising. If Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil, it is hardly surprising that Satan should be stirred to wrath. Jesus won the battle against Satan on several grounds:
1. His continuing obedience. It broke the spell of constant failure.
2. He took the sin of the World on Himself.
3. Jesus took on Himself the death of man, snapping its power.
4. Jesus inflicted a mortal wound on Satan.
The Devil has to be resisted and the flesh has to be crucified. There is no cheap victory in this war. Man is invited to remain watchful against heresy in the Church.

WITCHES. Where once witches were burned, now they are presented on television as jolly and harmless, the kind of person you would welcome as a next door neighbour. It is in character for the Devil to deceive. They come with robes and ritualistic worship, similar to that of “Christian” worship. The suggestion is that the witches do good. “He will come as an angel of light.” In an Act of Parliament of 1951 in Britain Paganism was allowed. Pagans talk of god in nature and in the power of the elements. It is said that the Moon affects us because man is 95% water. The witches on television speak of reincarnation. They claimed to be, and probably were, quite happy. They were portrayed as credible and harmless, as well as being useful to their friends.

MAGIC AND SORCERY. Magic and sorcery attempt to influence people and events by supernatural or occultic means. Magic may be black or white. White magic tries to undo curses and spells and to use occultic forces for the good of oneself and others. Black magic attempts to produce evil results through such methods as curses, spells destruction of models of one’s enemies and alliance with evil spirits. It often takes the form of witchcraft. Both must be overcome in the power and name of Jesus.

1. Sorcery. It means charms and spells and also potions, drugs and poisons. Ex ch 22 v 18. Deut ch 18 v 10. The Egyptian magicians Jambes and Jannes copied Moses in some of his miracles. Jezebel practised witchcraft. Manasseh encouraged it among other evils. Ez ch 13 v 17-23. Witchcraft – black and white.

2. Magic deals with lower supernatural beings or attempts to force issues by using psychic forces, irrespective of whether the issues are for the glory of God.

3. Charms. Isaiah ch 3 v 18-23. The word used means whispering and snake charming. The charm was often a serpent figure. Gen ch 35 v 2-4 speaks of charms. It looks harmless.

4. Mandrakes. Gen ch 30 v 18. Primitive medicines often contained some effective element to bring about conception. They should not be dismissed as magic.

5. Prognostic magic. This is divination based on the conviction that any event good or ill may be announced or accompanied by some portent observable by man, e.g. eclipses of the sun or moon, the position of the planets, the flight of birds, the birth of humans, dream interpretation and water divination.

Aspects of the occult.
1. Acupuncture. Satan likes to counterfeit God’s healing purposes.
2. Spiritual healing.
3. Palmistry.
4. Tarot Cards.
5. Ouija boards. The demon asks questions in the game. It is like a talking snake – how interesting!
6. Pendulum swinging.
7. Horror stories.
8. Video nasties.
9. Reading tea cups.
10. Hypnosis.
11. Freemasonry.
12. Chain letters.
13. Dungeons and dragons and other games. These are based on witchcraft.
14. Crystal ball gazing.
17. Astrology.
18. Seances.
19. Fate and fortune magazines.
20. Uri Geller magic shows.
21. Cults and sects. 5,000 in U. S. A.
22. Transcendental meditation.
23. Satanism.
24. Jehovah’s Witnesses.
25. Organised religion – the Beast from the Earth.
26. Alcohol.
27. Pornography.

In Acts 13 Saul and Barnabas travelled across Cyprus to Paphos, where they are invited into the governor’s palace, and Sergius Paulus, a wise man, desired to hear The Word of God.
What a door of opportunity – but they also ran straight into trouble. The two often go together.
A sorcerer – a spiritualist – a false prophet – a renegade Jew – called Elymas – had the opportunity of obeying God. He knew something of the Word of God, but he opposed the men of God, and tried to obstruct Barnabas and Saul.
He wanted to keep the preachers away from the governor. He did not want Sergius Paulus to hear about Jesus – the Saviour and Messiah and Lord. He did not want his master to come to faith in Jesus Christ. Elymas had dabbled in the occult and that is why he was against The Word of God. Man is warned to have nothing to do with such things. Do not dabble in the occult. These are dangerous activities and man is not to touch them. They keep believers away from Jesus. If believers have become involved at any time, the only way to freedom and liberty is to repent and confess it as sin, and be washed in the blood of Jesus from the contamination and pollution. This is highly serious.
Elymas opposes Barnabas and Saul. It is so important to be with a colleague in Christ and to be part of a team? Paul was not the kind of man to give up at the first hurdle. He knew how the enemy had tried to sidetrack Jesus, and divert Jesus Christ from His main ministry. So, Paul confronted Elymas. There are times and occasion in ministry when believers have to face conflict and confront sin in whatever form sin may appear. Be prepared, ready and spiritually equipped.

Strongholds

STRONGHOLDS. 2 Cor ch 10 v 3-5. 1 Sam ch 23 v 14 and 19. Psalm 94.

Paul is speaking about destroying the Devil’s strongholds. What does he mean? What is a stronghold? What does the Bible have to say? It raises several questions.

1. What is a stronghold?
2. How does it affect a man?
3. How does it come about?
4. Is a stronghold the same as possession?
5. What kinds of strongholds are there?
6. How does a believer defeat a stronghold and break free from it?

Believers speak a lot about Satan. But where does Satan operate? We know that he exists but where is he working? God usually gives a physical picture to teach truth or to help man understand the truth.

Jude v 6. The Devil was cast out of Heaven into prisons of darkness. Satan operates in the realm of darkness. Light is a symbol of what is good and pure. White is always a colour, which symbolises good. Nurses wear white uniforms, signifying cleanliness. Darkness is a symbol of evil. It is difficult to see in the darkness. A light turned on in a dark room dispels the darkness totally. It is a physical picture of the spiritual reality. 1 Pet ch 2 v 9. God called believers out of darkness into His marvellous light. Col ch 1 v 13. Jesus has delivered believers in Him from the domain of darkness. If believers tolerate darkness within their life they allow the enemy to move in. Jesus warned His followers in Luke ch 11 v 35. “Be careful lest the light in you be darkness.” Mat ch 6 v 23. “If the light in you is darkness, how great the darkness.” When a believer harbours sin in his life, the light in him is in darkness. 2 Cor ch 6 v 14. “What fellowship has light with darkness?” They are opposites. There is no middle ground.

Acts ch 26 v 18 speaks of people moving from darkness into light. By way of contrast God is light and therefore the absence of God means the absence of light. God is light in whom there is no darkness. 1 John ch 1 v 5. Jesus said: ” I am the light of the World.” John ch 8 v 12. ” He came to His own but men preferred darkness to light. John ch 1 v 11. John ch 12 v 35-36. John urges believers to walk in the light while they have the light. He who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. Luke ch 1 v 79. Jesus will be a light to those who sit in darkness.

So there is a physical picture to teach the spiritual truth. LIGHT and DARKNESS. LOVE and HATE. TRUTH and LIES. This is the WARFARE spoken about in Rev ch 12 v 7. The domain of light, love and truth and the domain of darkness, hate and lies. Adam disobeyed God when he ate of the tree of knowledge – a physical picture of a spiritual reality – and Adam stepped into darkness. Fear entered his personality for the first time.

Where there is an area of darkness the enemy will have access to a believer even the darkness left in a believer’s heart. James ch 4 v 7 says that the believer must submit the areas of darkness to God. Jesus told Peter in Luke ch 22 v 31-32 that Satan had been allowed by God to sift Peter like wheat. Peter had pride in his heart. After supper Peter had talked about being the greatest. Peter was lifted up by pride and pride comes before a fall. When Satan sifts a believer Satan always gets the chaff and God gets the wheat but it can be a painful experience.

How does the Bible describe a stronghold?
A stronghold is a place, which is easy to defend. 1 Sam ch 23 v 14 and 19. A cave in the mountains is easy to defend. On many occasions in Scripture God is referred to as man’s stronghold. Psalm 18 v 2. Psalm 27 v 1. Psalm 94 v 22. God is a strong tower. This is the physical picture of the spiritual reality. The other picture is a strong tower or city walls. When the enemy attacked the people moved from the outlying area within the city walls and they were safe. Joel ch 3 v 16. In the last days, God will be a stronghold to Israel. There are good strongholds and bad strongholds.

The Kingdom of God is the rule of God in the heart of man. God wants to be first in man’s life and consulted in relation to every decision to be made. Satan seeks to dethrone God from the heart of man and will use any means at his disposal to persuade man to place Satan or anyone or anything first in the life of that person.

The real battle is in the mind. Mark ch 12 v 30. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart and soul and mind. Thoughts come to the mind seeking entrance all the time. Are they from God? Are they from Satan? Are they just harmless thoughts? The mind is like the reception desk of a hotel. If you go to reception and have not booked and if the hotel is full you will not get in. The receptionist filters the guests and allows in only those who have the right to enter. So it is with the mind. J. I. Packer says in Knowing God: “Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing so magnify the whole soul of man as a devout, earnest, continued investigation of the great subject of the Deity.”

In Eph ch 6 v 11 Paul speaks about putting on the helmet of salvation. The helmet of a Roman soldier was to protect the mind. That is the nerve center of operation. In the head are located the eyes, ears and mouth.
Satan seeks to have strongholds in man. The strongholds of Satan are the thought processes and ideas in minds of the individual or nation. 2 Cor ch 4 v 4 confirms that Satan is the god of this World and keeps people blinded from the light of the Gospel. It is not Satan who defeats man but man’s openness to him. The mind of a man is like a bank vault. If he deposits positive, encouraging and uplifting thoughts, he can draw on them. The Biblical command is to have the mind of Christ. Isaiah ch 26 v 3 says that God will keep a man in perfect peace when his mind is focused on God. The devil is a liar. The Devil sows lies into man’s thought pattern. As a man thinks so he will behave. This is the basis of brainwashing. Men feel comfortable in their opinions. It is easy to defend their opinions when others agree with them, whether these are political or medical opinions. The theory of evolution is a thought, which has entered the minds of the nation and is a stronghold of Satan and taught as fact. Politicians seek to engage the mind of the electorate with their policies. Advertisers seek to engage the mind of the people with the idea of a bargain – something for nothing.
A man needs to be renewed in his mind. 2 Cor ch 10 v 5. The believer must take every thought captive to Christ so that he has the mind of Christ. That is one reason why we are here today. Believers need to have their brains and minds washed regularly to cleanse them from the contamination of the thinking process of the World. When the Church is passive, indifferent and carnal, the powers of Hell increase their rule over the affairs of men. Marriages break up, crime increases and ignorance takes control. That is happening today in many countries of the World.

Three major sources of strongholds for Satan.
1. The World. The thought patterns of the World surround each person as he grows up and brainwashes him. Television, magazines, peer pressure, parents, newspapers. All of these shape man’s thinking. Many of man’s opinions in life are simply because he knows of no other way to think. Rev ch 12 v 15. Water is a symbol for words. In the World there is a flood of words through the media and literature. These are used to build strongholds in the mind. The number of demons is the same as it was in the first century but the population of the World has increased dramatically. Television and films give the same number of demons greater access to a far larger number of human beings. A film director and a producer can affect the lives of millions of people. The devil is the prince of the power of the air and of the airwaves. Whatever a society agrees on and establishes through consent, compromise and constant use will in the end become reality to them. It is their culture or tradition. A house made of thoughts is a dwelling place for Satan. When man’s thought life is in harmony with the ways of the World, there is a stronghold for the enemy. The challenge for the believer is to be living in the World but not to be conform to the thinking patterns of the World.

2. Man’s experiences. A man can only speak from his own experiences. They arise from life as he knows it. But if they are based on a life without a knowledge of God they will colour his thinking. Circumstances can lead man to be bitter or cynical, especially if he is disappointed or let down by family. These will form his opinions. What is man? He is the sum of all that has happened to him in life taken together with his responses to the events. The essence of a man is determined in his thought life. For the unbeliever life comprises his thoughts, experience and knowledge. His thoughts are conditioned by the thoughts and opinions of those of the world around him. His knowledge is based on the facts of the World and those who have taught him. Proverbs ch 22 v 6 encourages parents to train up their children and they will go in that way. This principle also works in the negative. A child living with parents who are negative, critical and abusive will be trained to grow up to live with the same attitudes. Like father – like son. A man’s experiences may have been hurtful or painful or pleasurable and self-satisfying. Abuses and afflictions hammer man one way. Encouragement and praise lead him another way. This is why there is a command to encourage one another. 1 Thes ch 5 v 11. Satan seeks to discourage man. “ Man’s reaction to each event, whether positive or negative is poured into the creative marrow of his individuality, where it is blended into the nature of his character.” That habitation becomes a stronghold. Wrong thoughts and attitudes to protect the old self-life or flesh become strongholds for the Devil. John stated that Satan had nothing on Jesus. John ch 14 v 30.

3. False teaching. This is Satan’s principal line of attack on believers. Believers must know their Bible for themselves and not rely entirely on any teacher. Test the spirits. 1 John ch 4 v 1. Paul and Peter both warn their readers that this is the danger. Paul calls them doctrines of demons. 1 Tim ch 4 v 1. Infant baptism gives the enemy a stronghold. The fact of having been christened deceives a person into thinking that he is a believer and does not have to do anything else. False doctrine leads denominations to defend their doctrine. A man appointed to be an elder though not a believer has been deceived into thinking that he is a Christian. If a man is told that he is a Christian because he attends a communion service twice a year he has been deceived. There is a stronghold built into his mind.

When children are taught Religious Instruction at school they understand from the ten Commandments respect for God and respect for the possessions and reputation of others. Bible stories inform the minds of children. When in a country God is excluded from the schools children are taught that they are descended from monkeys and that they are at the center of their World. Strongholds of self-centredness are built up.

Are strongholds the same as possession? Jesus cast out evil spirits. He never cast out strongholds. It was by His teaching that Jesus broke down strongholds in the mind. He taught the Kingdom of God.

What kinds or types of strongholds are there? How does the teaching of Jesus knock down the Devil’s strongholds? Paul says;” We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”

When the Children of Israel went into the Promised Land they were told to utterly destroy the seven peoples living there. Each of the peoples had a name, which represented a spiritual giant. The Israelites never fully destroyed the peoples and as a result they never lived as the Children of God or brought salvation to the World. Jesus taught the people of His day to finally destroy the strongholds of the enemy. A brief introduction to Deut ch 7.

The stronghold of looking back and hankering for the old life. This is the Gigashite spirit. Memory is man’s spirit gazing at the substance of his soul. The memories become part of his nature. Man is what the past has made him. He is not responsible for the circumstances of his life but he is responsible for how he responds to them. This is the danger of always looking back and not forgetting the past and pressing on to the goal. God has to redeem man from the negative reactions of the past. Some people never get over what has happened to them. Lot’s wife looked back at her former life and became a pillar of salt. Jesus said: “Remember Lot’s wife.” Jesus teaches that if any man puts his hand to the plough and looks back he is no use in the Kingdom. Luke ch 9 v 62.

The stronghold of fear. This is the Hittite spirit. Fear is a really powerful stronghold – a giant. Many people live their lives overshadowed by fears and phobias. Jesus teaches that perfect love casts out fear. Jesus proved this by His life. Although living through what for any man would have been a most frightening experiences, Jesus never experienced fear. He was so full of love for His Father and the people He had created that there was no room for fear in His life. 124 times Jesus taught the people: “Fear not.”

The stronghold of speech. This is the Amorite spirit behind the language we use. Complaining, Negative speech. Criticism. Boasting. Putting people down with gossip. Gossip slips of the tongue. Foul language. Cursing. The use of slang. Every word Jesus spoke was positive and constructive. Mat ch 12 v 36. The words we speak reveal our character. As Jesus teaches: “ Out of the heart the mouth speaks.” Jesus taught people to use only positive words and not negative words.

The stronghold of pleasure. This is the Hivite spirit. The desire for pleasure and popularity is a real stronghold. Paul in 2 Tim ch 3 v 4 says that in the last days people will prefer pleasure to worshipping God. Most people in the World want to be happy. There is a craving for pleasure. Holiness is something they might consider in the life to come. Jesus did not come to Earth to make man happy. He said: “Be holy.” He guarantees that if we seek holiness in this life we shall be happy in the life to come. Jesus teaches in John ch 12 v 25. “He who loves his life on this Earth will lose it. But if you if you hate your life on this Earth you will keep it for eternal life.” Most people if asked will say that they are satisfied with the quality of their life. They are not dissatisfied and seeking a better quality of life. Jesus came that we might have the best quality of life. If a man just wants to be happy then he will miss the best in life. It shows that he is not serious about eternal life.

The stronghold of lust. 2 Sam ch 13 v 2. This is the Canaanite spirit. The permissive society of the 1960s simply surrendered to lust – lust for material possessions, lust for sexual experiences, lust for fame and reputation, lust for success and power. Many children want to be famous like the celebrities they worship. Jesus tears down this stronghold when He teaches a man to be content with what he has and not to put his trust in possessions. “Don’t be consumed about your appearance and what you will eat. The heathen take pride in these things. God will gladly meet your needs if you give Him first place in your life.” Mat ch 6 v 31. “You cannot serve God and Mammon the Canaanite god of prosperity. Choose whom you will serve.” Mat ch 6 v 24.

The stronghold of condemnation and failure. This is the Jebusite spirit. Some people are so negative in their thinking that they expect to fail. Failure breeds failure and success breeds success. Many go through life feeling condemned and intimidated with an inferiority complex, trapped by their circumstances and sins. Jesus said to the woman caught in the act of adultery. “Neither do I condemn you. Go free but do not sin again.” John explains that God did not send His Son into the World to condemn the World but to save it. Defeat of the stronghold of failure allows the stronghold of faith to take over.

The stronghold of loneliness and isolation. This is the Perizzite spirit. Some people go through life being lonely and find it hard to make lasting relationships. Inferiority and a lack of confidence are real barriers to making relationships. This happens when a child is bullied, when a child is left an orphan or when a father walks out on the life of a child. Jesus taught people not to rely on themselves but to rely on God and to belong to the Church He was building. There people should find friendship and fellowship, healing and have their basic needs met. Mat ch 11 v 28. Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.

The stronghold of cold love. Mat ch 24 v 12. The love of most people will grow cold. Cold love is a demonic stronghold. It shuts down the power of prayer. To retain a hurt or bitterness increases coldness in the heart. To forgive is to go in the opposite spirit and to break down the stronghold. Love involves commitment. When a man stops caring he is finished. The greatest commandment is to love. Antichrist opposes Jesus. The antichrist spirit hardens the heart and keeps it from love. Antichrist sits over a people exuding an aura of coldness. Perfect love casts out fear. Joy banishes depression. Faith cancels doubt. It is essential to go in the opposite spirit from the enemy.

The stronghold of anger. Eph ch 4 v 27. Some people hold onto an angry spirit and flare up very easily. It is acceptable for a man to be angry on behalf of another person – as when a child is abused or neglected. It is not acceptable if the anger is on behalf of the individual.

The stronghold of unforgiveness. 2 Cor ch 2 v 10. Unforgiveness is a real barrier to healing. It is easy to tell someone that they must forgive. It is not so easy if a loved one has been mercilessly gunned down or if there has been rape. But if there is no forgiveness a stronghold will develop.

The stronghold of pride must be the first to go. God distances Himself from the proud. Ps 18 v 27.

The stronghold of unbelief. Some believers do not believe what God has said in His Word about His intentions concerning the Jewish people and as a result forfeit the blessing, which the Lord has promised to those who bless Israel. People can be full of doubt and very sceptical. Tolerance is the catch-word of modern society. This stifles new revelation.

The stronghold of culture and tradition. The last 7 words of a dying Church – “We have always done it this way.” Tradition is the faith of the dead. It leaves no room for the Holy Spirit to operate.

The Jezebel spirit. This spirit is the source of obsessive sensuality, unbridled witchcraft and hatred for male authority. It is fiercely independent and ambitious for pre-eminence and control. It will not dwell with another unless it can control that person. It targets women who are embittered against men, either through neglect or misuse of authority – women who because of insecurity, jealousy or vanity, desire to control and dominate others. It is behind a woman who humiliates her husband and controls him by fear of public embarrassment. While she uses sexual perversity, immorality is not her purpose but control is. A seductive glance is enough. But this spirit is not confined to women although it was a woman who gave her name to it.

How are believers to bring down strongholds? God never brings a problem to light but He provides a solution. Believers must knock down the strongholds 2 Cor ch 10 v 4.
A. Identifying the problem. If a man finds it difficult to be free in an area of his life perhaps there is a stronghold, which has gained a foothold in his life. Peter warns about letting the Devil get a foothold in a man’s life.
B. Confess it to the Lord. God knows but He wants to bring the area of darkness out into the light.
C. Exposure to the Word of God. What does God have to say about this area of his life? As each area of sin is exposed by preaching, repentance will deal a death blow to the stronghold in that person’s life. It may not be the fault of the believer that he believes certain facts, but it is his fault, if having had the truth declared to him, he holds onto the untruth in his life. Repentance is simply agreeing that God is right and man is wrong. When Satan sees the possibility that strongholds will be cast down through repentance, he is quick to cast doubt on the word of the preacher or to distract the believer who loses the opportunity to repent and bring down the stronghold. Demons like their position of control.
D. When a believer confesses a sin to a brother he is no longer in darkness and the enemy has lost his power over him. The darkness has been rooted out. Faith in God is believing the truth of what God says against the lies of the Devil. There is of course an element of risk. What if the brother to whom the confession is made talks to others.
E. Worship is at the centre of life. God made man to worship Him. In the midst of the battle, before whom shall man bow as Lord? God taught the Israelites in the desert to worship Him. Without true worship of God there can be no victory in the battle. Satan hates real worship of Jesus.

2 Cor ch 10 v 4. The weapons of warfare are not Worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds. If there are strongholds in a man’s life, which need to be pulled down the sooner it is done the better.

Jude v 6. The Devil was cast out of Heaven into prisons of darkness.

Lev ch 24 v 2. A light must be kept burning continually.

Psalm 27 v 1. The Lord is my light – my salvation.

Psalm 43 v 3. Send out your light – our truth.

Psalm 97 v 11. Light dawns for the righteous.

Rev ch 21 v 23. In Heaven there is no need for lights – sun and moon – the glory of the Lord is the light.

John ch 1 v 5. God is light and in Him is no darkness.

1 John ch 1 v 7. If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship.

1 John ch 1 v 6. If we are walking in darkness and claim fellowship, we are lying.

Ps 119 v 130. Your Word is like a light to my path.

Isaiah ch 5 v 20. It is perverseness to call light dark and dark light.

Micah ch 4 v 16. The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light.

2 Cor ch 4 v 6. We are to follow God’s example and let our light shine out of the darkness.

Acts ch 26 v 18. Turn from Satanic darkness to God and light.

Mark ch 6 v 45-56. Jesus watched the Disciples struggle in the darkness.

Luke ch 11 v 35. Be careful lest the light in you be darkness.

Gen ch 15 v 12. Dread and darkness go together.

Joel ch 2 v 2. The day of the Lord descended as a day of darkness and gloom.

Mat ch 8 v 12. The rebellious are thrown into outer darkness.

The stronghold of anger.
The stronghold of unforgiveness.
The stronghold of lust.
The stronghold of cold love.
The stronghold of pride.
The stronghold of unbelief.
The stronghold of looking back.
The stronghold of fear.
The stronghold of loneliness.
The stronghold of pleasure.
The stronghold of culture and tradition.
The stronghold of the ways of the World.
The stronghold of condemnation.
The stronghold of Jezebel.

Europe

EUROPE.

In May 1997 just before the General Election in Britain the I.M.F. announced that there could be, and implied that there would be, serious financial instability in the money markets of the World, if the single European currency was not in being by 1999. It began on 1st January 1999.

In the vision of Daniel, the fourth empire to rise in the World would be the Roman Empire, which followed the Greek Empire. The Greek Empire was an empire built on thought. Hellenism, or as it is now known, humanism, was what the Greek Empire brought to the World. The Roman Empire did not reject Hellenism but built itself on the basis of economic power, establishing itself on the basis of military domination, as the Greeks had done before them.

All four empires were to last throughout the history of the World, but in their midst God would establish His Kingdom – the rule of God in the hearts of men and women – and all five kingdoms would co-exist until the end of World history. The Holy Roman Empire was a religious and economic power in Europe for centuries. There have been numerous grand designs to unify the European continent throughout history from Charlemagne to Hitler. The agenda is as religious as it is political. The Vatican has a desire to have a unified federal Europe. Europe was fragmented because of wars and the difficulties of distance and communication. At various times the German people have sought to dominate the empire. Helmut Kohl openly avowed that it was his intention to gain by diplomatic intrigue an integrated Europe where Germany was dominant. Chancellor Khol said in 1997: “The future will belong to the Germans – when we build a house for Europe. In the next two years we will make the process of European integration irreversible.” Germany has a clear drive to dominate the new single European State and achieve her destiny of superpower status. Successive German chancellors have stated this. Controlling the European money supply will be the principal means of gaining supreme power. The United States of Europe has been the aim of the Social Democratic Party in Germany all the time. It has held power since the Second World War. It stated that no country should be allowed to block by veto the efforts of the other countries to deepen integration. Any attempt by a member country to secede would be resisted with force. It is the proposal of Germany that there be a European super-state with one parliament, one government, one judiciary and a single financial structure and currency. As the biggest and most powerful economic member state Germany will be the leader, whether the others like it or not. Most countries in Europe like the idea of a big family of nations but Germany and France are forging ahead with economic and monetary union, with or without Britain. They want a super-state in which individual national identities are submerged for the common good. Full integration will lead to a loss of sovereignty as a nation. In 2012 the Greeks were experiencing this very situation. Germany has a mission to control Europe.

The principalities and powers of Europe have warred against Britain many times in order to effect a subjugation and a return to the Roman Catholic fold from the days of the Spanish Armada through to World War II. Diplomatic intrigue and political scheming are achieving what centuries of bloodshed have failed to win – Britain conquered by a continental oppressor. Constantine began a process of syncretism. The Saturday Jewish Sabbath was replaced by Constantine’s edict forbidding work on the day of the sun (Sunday) and the celebration of Passover was declared illegal- on pain of death. It was replaced by Easter celebrated on a Sunday and inherited from a Babylonian cult to the goddess Ishtar. This Roman pseudo-Christianity caused many faithful believers to flee to the mountains of Europe to escape persecution.

Money and power go hand in hand. Jesus observed that when He insisted that the currency belonged to Caesar. Gladstone wrote in 1891: “The finance of the country is ultimately associated with the liberties of the country. If the House of Commons by any possibility loses the power of the control of grants of public money, depend on it, your very liberty will be worth very little in comparison.” The financier Rothschild said: “Give me control of the finances of a country and I care not who makes its laws.” Once there is a single European currency, the process will be irreversible. Britain’s gold and dollar reserves would be handed over to the European Central Bank in Germany as a common resource. The precedent exists in the original Roman Empire, built around a common currency throughout the Empire.

A state, which cannot print money, loses the power to borrow freely, since the creation of money is the ultimate guarantee by a government that it can always repay its debts, albeit in a debased currency, if necessary. Curtailing the power of a state to borrow also limits its ability to spend, to tax and ultimately to carry out such other basic functions as to arm itself in time of war. As long as a state has the power to control its own currency, it retains a sense of nationhood. It is the very foundation of what it means to be a nation. If Great Britain joins a single currency, its complete sovereignty could be at risk. The E.U. policies will become more dominant as time goes by. The E.U. lacks accountability, responsiveness to issues, is highly complex, distant and cumbersome. Power and authority are centralised rather than being devolved, thus facilitating their misuse. The judges are politically appointed and see their function as supporting the politicians and helping to achieve the goal of ever-closer union, rather than as being independent of them. The policies of the E.U. will become more dominant at time goes by.

A super-state, which places economic considerations above liberty and justice, is guilty of worshipping mammon. Many, including Napoleon, Mussolini and Hitler (all Catholics by birth) over the centuries have envisaged a Europe stretching from the Atlantic to the Urals. Napoleon wanted to have one people throughout Europe. Religion is the glue, which holds society together. The Common Market itself started under the inspiration of Catholic politicians. Throughout the Middle Ages it was the kings of the Germans who were crowned by the Pope and named the Holy Roman Emperor. By a calculated policy of dynastic marriages the leaders enlarged their borders. Many leading Europeans see a crucial role for the Roman Catholic Church providing a powerful cohesive common religion to hold Europe together politically. The papacy is gaining increasing political influence in the World. The Vatican is in a strong position to influence global affairs of state through its embassies, emissaries, institutions and networks around the World. Europe was consecrated to Mary by the Vatican in 1309 and placed under her patronage. If Britain becomes part of the unified Europe, an inevitable result would be the subjugation of Britain’s protestant ethos to Catholic social, political and religious teachings.

God has something to say about this. Acts ch 17 v 26. God set the boundaries of the nations so that they could respond to Him individually. There are 40 chapters in the Bible concerning God’s dealings with the nations as nations. God loves and requires diversity in nations as in individuals.

Who is behind the European dream for a united Europe? This is a spiritual battle. The principality behind Europe has warred against liberty, justice and truth for centuries. Now it has a different strategy for domination. The assertion of neutrality and tolerance over what have previously been considered fundamental truths has become a dominating spirit of the age. All creeds, cultures and moral codes are perceived as being equal and should be treated as such – none should be regarded as being superior to the others – and the law should not discriminate between them. Moral absolutes and sound Biblical doctrine are consequently perceived by many as being bigoted or overly authoritarian and are therefore a threat to tolerance, peace and unity.

The Act of Settlement of 1701 forbidding Roman Catholic accession to the throne would be ruled as bigoted and sectarian. The inequality between heterosexual and homosexual ages of consent would be ruled as discriminatory and an infringement of civil liberties. The blasphemy laws could well be extended to cover all religions, making it effectively illegal to proclaim the supremacy of Jesus over any other god. Within Europe Evangelical Christians are perceived as a sect. There are accusations of disturbing the peace and inciting sectarianism.

The Illuminati, a secret society of Freemasons, whose agenda was – and still is – to bring about a New World Order, with that body wielding authority. This agenda is being pursued through certain bodies such as the Council for Foreign Relations and the Bilderbergers, an organisation of important politicians, senior businessmen, some civil servants, financiers and some media people. Many prominent politicians and financiers are members, e.g. Edward Heath, Mrs Thatcher, Kenneth Clark, Tony Blair and Paddy Ashdown have been present. They want to bring about a European integration with a high degree of centralisation, to permit control of decisions, people and events. Their preferred society is against the principles of Christianity. Ever since Britain rebelled against the Roman Catholic Church, attempts have been made to bring Britain back under the control of the Catholic Church. The principalities and powers of Europe have warred against Britain many times, in order to effect subjugation and a return to the Roman Catholic fold. The Ecumenical Movement has as its design to bring all denominations under a unifying control, headed by the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the prime mover in the programme towards the Ecumenical Movement. All of the founding fathers of Europe were committed Roman Catholics – e.g. Schuman. The leading men are all Jesuit trained – Rudd Lubbers, Jacques Delors, Helmut Khol. There is greater numerical strength in Catholic Europe than in Protestant Britain. The Anglican Church is in favour of reuniting with Rome. They see this as one way of improving the standing of Britain in Europe. Britain is in danger of being drawn into the abyss of a thoroughly secularised Europe, which has abandoned all notion of the God of the Bible.

Should Britain embrace a federal Europe increasingly based on anti-Christian secular humanism with a thin veneer of Catholicism, which may be indifferent or antagonistic to the proclamation of the Gospel, Biblical values, and their application to wholesale legislation and policy? British law is based on Biblical principles, whereby justice must be done case by case. The threat is based on the sea of legislation, which seeks not only to regulate but to harmonise the countries within the Union and form the decisions of the European courts, which decide areas of dispute arising, when these edicts conflict with national laws. The spirit behind Rome is growing in both strength and areas of influence. It is based on a framework of an ungodly and humanistic empire, which is developing in Europe. The spiritual powers behind Europe will attack every aspect of Britain’s Christian heritage and the monarchy in Britain on a broad front to bring it down, so that the Coronation Oath will fall with it. It will do this by using many people in high places in the media and political institutions. When Israel obeyed God and behaved righteously and justly, she enjoyed a sovereign and independent existence. When she was disobedient, there came invasion, captivity and bondage, until she came to repentance.

The Bill of Rights in 1689 ensured that no future monarch of Britain could be Roman Catholic and ensured that the monarch would not have unconditional powers. The Coronation Oath was in the form of a vow to God to govern Britain according to the laws of God and in accord with the true profession of the Gospel. The Coronation Oath belongs to the fabric of British Society and national life. Britain is in covenant relationship with one another and with God because of the Oath. Every Member of Parliament makes an oath or affirmation of allegiance to the monarch. “I swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to her majesty Queen Elizabeth according to the Law. So help me God.” The Law of the land once reflected God’s laws as they are understood from the Bible. On the other hand the European law system is based on a humanistic, economic and political system, which is opposed to Christian beliefs. The law of God will be sacrificed to the interests of European unity as Britain joins a humanistic and ungodly empire. The spiritual powers, which lie behind Europe, will attack every aspect of Britain’s godly heritage and they will attack the monarchy of Britain on a broad front to bring it down, so that the Coronation Oath will fall with it.

The spiritual adversary already has many in high places, who will use the powers of finance, the media and political institutions to drive us into Europe in betrayal of our promises to God. The sea of legislation, which seeks not only to regulate but to harmonise the countries of Europe, is flowing into British law. Britain will be forced to obey laws devised by secular humanists, who are haters of the Word of God. The European Parliament has passed a resolution requesting the framing of legislation abolishing all forms of discrimination against homosexuals, including religious discrimination. Any minister who refused to marry two men in a Church could be prosecuted for discrimination in breach of the legislation.

The Anti-Christ will be the alternative saviour of the World – perhaps in a time of economic crisis. The Roman Empire is built on a love of money. When the anti-Christ offers to save the finances of the people – their standard of living and their pensions – they will run to him as their saviour. The words of the founding fathers of Europe said: “We do not want another committee. What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all people and to lift us out of the economic morass in which we are sinking. Send us such a man and, be he god or devil, we will receive him.” Who are the people behind the move to unify Europe? Those mentioned above want to bring about European integration, with a high degree of centralisation, to permit control of decisions, people and events. Whether their preferred society will be sympathetic to Christianity is an open question. The European Parliament is an oligarchal system of government, which hides behind a cloak of democracy. Democracy is the form of government in which supreme power is vested in the people collectively and is administered by them or by officers appointed by them. Totalitarianism, where everything is brought under the control of one authority and no opposition is allowed, is at the core of Roman Catholicism. In a false democracy it is the leaders who decide which freedoms to lend to the people. In the E. E. C. power is in the hands of a small body of individuals – the Commission. They are neither democratically elected nor under the direct control of elected politicians. The E. E. C. machine is nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with power. British politicians will soon be no longer representatives of the British people, but mere delegates of Brussels. The forces driving the European collective simply amend rules to suit their purposes and are quite prepared to act illegally if necessary.

The European debate has been at its fiercest where the heritage is Protestant. The Catholic countries cannot understand what all the fuss is about. Maastricht, where the Treaty was signed which undermined the British throne, is the home of a shrine to Mary and it is the town where the Gunpowder Plot was hatched by a group of Roman Catholics. The message of Maastricht is that economic forces are more powerful than Church or State – Mammon rules.

Common grace has been administered by God through the family, the Church and the State. It is the Church, which should be the most effective instrument to restrain evil. Britain has been a nation blessed by God. Britain has probably done more than any other Gentile nation to live in a covenant relationship with God. God has helped and blessed Britain despite her sins in many ways over the centuries. The Coronation Oath is the central issue. Alliance with the powers of Europe on financial and political grounds represents a betrayal of the Coronation Oath and a betrayal of God Himself. A nation is independent when it is self-governing. Britain is no longer an independent sovereign state, since much of its law is determined by Europe. Sovereignty belongs to the people and the government does not have the right to trade it away, but has a duty to protect it. A referendum is essential.

The drive to political union in Europe is relentless and has already gone beyond what most people regard as acceptable. The forces driving the E. E. C. simply amend rules to suit their purposes and are quite prepared to act illegally if necessary. Citizenship is linked to the nation state. British citizenship has been superseded by European citizenship. Laws of the British Parliament will be overruled if laid before the European Court of Justice e.g. the Act of Settlement of 1701 forbidding a Roman Catholic to accede to the throne. Evangelical Christians are viewed in the E U as a sect. It is likely that they will be discriminated against in the future.

There are good reasons why mankind will be anxious to accept a New World Order. Many are coming to the conclusion that the problems of mankind are now so complex and inter-related that national governments can no longer solve them alone. Problems of the environment, pollution, over-population, drugs, international crime and terrorism, aids, international debt and the like are so great as to require a governing body to tackle them on a World scale. A single currency is about the politics of Europe by the back door. There is no example in history of a lasting monetary union, which was not linked to one state.

In the Middle Ages the feudal system of lords and barons gave way to national governments as the problems of commerce and politics became too big for the feudal structure. Nations are prepared to surrender sovereignty to growing power blocs in order to derive the benefits of control over the international issues. This is preparing the way for a global government. From the news there are snippets about meetings of influential bankers, politicians and media people meeting to consider the global issues. The Pax Romana was accepted by the peoples of the Mediterranean despite the great cruelty and immorality, partly because they were tired of wars and partly because it brought stability for their commercial ventures. Economic prosperity was more highly valued than moral integrity. So it is happening again.

The global body will begin with the United States of Europe. A trilateral economic linking of Japan, Europe and U.S.A will be the ultimate objective. The stated goals of the Trilateral Commission are generally acceptable to the nations of the World. These are – close trilateral co-operation in keeping the peace, managing the World economy, fostering economic redevelopment and alleviating World poverty. This will improve the possibility of a smooth and peaceful evolution of the global system. It will be stated to be in the national interests of Britain to join the single currency.

State governments are increasingly at the mercy of international bankers and financial traders, who control capital and its investment. In the last 25 years there has been a shift from labour to capital. No longer can labour dictate to employers what they must do by withdrawing their labour. Strikes are dying away. Those who control the capital can simply move their investment to another country. Capital is not just able to outsmart labour. It can outsmart governments as well. By speculating in the finances of a country, those in control of the money supply can dictate to governments. If Britain signs up to the single currency the entire economic and fiscal policy of the United Kingdom would be put into the hands of a group of un-elected and unaccountable European bankers. The handing over of control of finance to the Bank of England paved the way for this to come to pass. The control of money is at the core of politics, self-government and sovereignty itself. Compulsory taxation at a European level leans towards communism, as it asserts common ownership. A single currency is about the politics of Europe and is about a federal Europe by the back door. There is no example in history of a lasting monetary union, which was not linked to one state.

Ultimately some form of control over countries, who act to the detriment of others, e.g. pollution, wars, etc will be necessary. This can only come about by some form of global government, managed most probably by the very people who are creating the problem in the first place. This is probably their way of orchestrating their objectives. The real problem is that once a nation has joined up to the single currency, there is no way to secede. A federal government is envisaged, with an army under its command. As leader Germany would be raised to superpower status, as the head of a united Europe. Controlling the European money supply will be the principal means of gaining supreme power.

It is difficult to understand the past existence of three German Reichs and a concerted drive for a fourth, without entertaining the notion of territorial principalities and power in the Heavenly realm. Will Germany conquer Britain economically and politically?

Consider the actions of a conqueror.
1. The nation’s flag is lowered and the conqueror’s flag is raised. A flag affirms nationhood. The EU flag adorns many buildings of national importance.
2. The national anthem is replaced by another anthem, whose music and lyrics reflect the heritage and aspirations of the conqueror. The EU anthem – Ode to Joy – is German.
3. The passport affirms citizenship. The British passport has been replaced with a European passport.
4. The head of state is removed. The head of state of the E.E.C. is likely to be the Pope.
5. The media is controlled. Reporting of facts is manipulated.
6. The constitution and culture are set aside.
7. The education system is controlled.
8. The national religion is changed.
9. Ownership rights are diminished. All the nations reserves can be claimed by the conqueror without compensation. Britain’s reserves would be handed over to the European Bank.
10. A form of slavery may be imposed. These may be financial controls or restrictions of freedoms – religious.
11. The nation is disarmed. Armed resistance is rendered impossible. A European defence force would place the British army under control of the conqueror and control the nuclear capability.

The Euro-propaganda budget is vast and dwarfs any amount raised by the anti-federalists. There is a love the Euro campaign. The propaganda war is being fought on many fronts. A system of government based on a throne, which is Protestant by law seems to invite charges of bigotry, out-datedness and political incorrectness. Protestantism is being marginalised and dismissed. The ecumenical movement is well advanced, with the Catholic Church the main instigator. The New Age Movement asserts that mankind had outlived the Judeo-Christian age of Pisces and moved into the New Age of Aquarius in the new Millenium. Britain has been preserved from every Roman Catholic onslaught since the Spanish Armada and her biblical foundations run deep. The present onslaught from Europe is the latest attempt by the powers of darkness to bring Britain back under the control of the Beast from the land in Revelation. Britain stands at the cross-roads.

The whole move to unite humanity in a new World Order through the abolition of nation states is mired in lies and confusion. Roman Catholic-dominated media and press are waging a relentless propaganda war.

A Spanish journalist Sebastian Villar Rodriguez wrote recently: “I have discovered a terrible truth. Europe died at Auschwitz. We assassinated six million Jews and replaced them with twenty million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned culture, thought, creativity and talent. Under the guise of tolerance and because we wanted to prove that we had recovered from the racist scourge, we flung the open our gates to twenty million Muslims, who brought us ignorance, religious extremism, intolerance and crime. They turned our beautiful cities into the Third World, wallowing in filth and lawlessness. Closeted in free public housing, provided by our tax-payers, they plot the death and destruction of their native hosts. We have exchanged Jewish sanctification of life for a fanatic obsession with death – our death and that of our children. What a dreadful mistake we have made.”

Biblical pointers and principles.
The gulf between rich and poor. James ch 5 v 1 – 8.
Rev ch 18. A ruthless and immoral international commercial system.
Power in the hands of one man – the anti-Christ. Rev ch 13 and 17 v 12-13.
A new economic system to control population. Rev ch 13 v 16 – 18.
The outpouring of God’s wrath on the new system to bring judgement. Rev ch 16 and ch 18.

Deliverance

HEALING and DELIVERANCE. Peter Horrobin.
The following is a summary of teaching by Ellel Ministries, Ellel, Lancaster, England. http://www.ellel.org in two books entitled “Healing through Deliverance” by Peter Horrobin
What is healing and why do I need it?
Jesus came to save and to heal and to set the captives free. Mat ch 28. The great commission was to make disciples of all nations. It was reduced to 3 things – preach, heal and deliver – welcome, teach and heal. In order to do deliverance it is necessary to be able to discern the presence of evil spirits. The commission was not to make believers. Spiritual birth is the work of the Holy Spirit. Making Disciples is the work of Disciples. They are to teach people to obey the commands of Jesus. Jesus taught the Disciples to do what He had done. “Proclaim the Kingdom of God, teach them about the Kingdom, heal the sick and cast out demons.” Discipline means to bring order and discipline into the lives of believers. The Holy Spirit is a spirit of order. A disciple is one who is under authority. Each person has a personal destiny to be fulfilled. Discipleship frees a person to be the man or woman God wanted him or her to be. There is a spiritual law: “You reap what you sow.” Believers have free will to disobey the commands of God but will reap what they sow. God does not alter gravity. The tiniest change would make life on the planet impossible. Planes could not fly as they do. If a man ignores God’s moral law he eventually discovers the hard way that life is unbearable. Many end up in prison or on drugs. Outside of the 10 commandments it is like a minefield. If a man worships another god than God, the spirit behind the false god will exercise authority over him. Many within the Church suffer the consequences of breaking the spiritual laws. When a man and woman have sexual union God regards them as one flesh or unit. Man is at the interface of the spiritual and the physical. God’s spiritual laws are built into the Universe. The New Covenant. When God introduced it, God did not change. Man did not change. The consequences of sin did not change. The principle of sowing and reaping did not change. The only change was that Jesus became the remedy for sin.
Jesus exercised His authority over Satan and the Kingdom of darkness. Because Jesus had never sinned He had authority over Satan. All men were under the authority of Satan because of the sin of Adam. Jesus commanded the demons to depart. He told the Disciples to proclaim the Kingdom of God and gave them authority to do so in His name. The Kingdom exercises the authority of the King. A young policeman has delegated authority over a much older person, because authority is delegated to him by the chief of police. He receives his authority from Parliament. Those under authority can exercise the authority of the one under whose authority they are. Jesus sent out the 12 and then 72 with His authority. He told them to rejoice that their names were written in Heaven. That was the basis of their authority. “You are seated with Christ in the Heavenly places” and therefore have authority. Not to minister deliverance can mean depriving some believers of God’s best for them. The Disciples were to run the race and get rid of everything, which was in the way. Paul both healed and delivered people as an integral part of his work. Jesus taught the disciples that they might become clean.
The body reflects the presence or absence of joy in the life of a believer. Isaiah ch 53. Isaiah saw sin and sickness being dealt with on the Cross. Both came through the Fall. In Malachi there is the promise of the Son of righteousness coming with healing on His wings. For those who choose to do the right thing in life there is a promise of healing by Jesus. A Kingdom means people. There cannot be a Kingdom without people. When a person resists temptation by the Devil he feels stronger. The waters of death could not hold Jesus any more than a cork can be kept under the water – unless it is held down. For the believer who is “in Christ” it means that he has died with Christ and is raised with Christ to eternal life. The Spirit of God flows into the human spirit and then there is a battle between the spirit and the flesh.

The word for saved and healed is the same word in Greek. Each person should find out what is the destiny for his life. People come for healing when there is something wrong in their life, which is out of order and which they cannot control.

God’s best plan was that each child should be conceived and born to a couple who are married and who know God. The parents will then bring the child up in the knowledge of God and ensure that the child is valued and nurtured into adulthood. Then the child will be yoked with another believer and the process continues. The reality is that this is not the normal. For most children their education begins in front of a television. By the time a child is ten years old he will have seen 100,000 killings on television. The spirit takes in what is ungodly. This is their diet for living. Children are encouraged to take part in fornication. As a result most people come to God in a mess with ungodly things, which have become part of their life. Those who are richly blessed tend to be self-righteous and tend not to come to God at all. Many children are physically and sexually abused.

There is joy when a man is released from prison. A man may be sick in his spirit, in his will, in his mind, in his emotions, in his body or may have a spirit of sickness (infirmity). Man is spirit and flesh, which comprises the soul – will, mind and emotions – and body.

The whole of life is worship. What a man does is an expression of who he is. Everything a man does is an expression of worship. When a man worships God, God indwells him by His Spirit. God’s Holy Spirit comes into the man – hence the command to be filled with the Holy Spirit – everything should be done to please God. When a man does things, which do not please God he is worshipping the Devil and Satan offers his evil spirit to inhabit man. Ungodly behaviour does not please God. The Proverbs are given to help a man make Godly choices. When a man sins he gives rights to Satan to enter his body. When a man is born again there is a need for cleansing.

The healing and deliverance ministry of Jesus. The Church is full of hurting people who say: “I am fine.” This statement hides hurts and deep needs. Jesus had perfect discernment of the lives of the people He met. Truth without compromise can seem to be confrontation. Neh ch 8 v 8. The people need to understand what the Word means. The purpose of the Word is to bring wholeness into the life of the people. “Deliver us from evil.” Some believers need deliverance from demonic control. Inner healing is a key part of Jesus’ teaching. There is a connection between the physical condition and the sinfulness of the man. “Confess your sins to one another.” Pride is a major barrier to the need to confess sins. There is a process of healing when this is done. When the real issues are dealt with the power of God can flow into the body. Un-confessed sin brings guilt and shame into the life of a man and this affects the physical body.

The woman at the well. Jesus asked her to bring her husband, because Jesus should not have talked to her without her husband being present. He was her spiritual covering. Her marriages had broken down and now she was not even living with a husband.
The woman caught in act of adultery. Jesus was a rabbi. The woman may have been abused as a child by men. A word of wisdom from Jesus. The one to cast the first stone would have been guilty of blasphemy as stating that he was without sin. The punishment for blasphemy was also to be stoned to death.
Peter was in need of inner healing for his denial of Jesus. Fear made Peter tell a lie. A lie is a defence against the consequences of being found out.

Can a believer be possessed by a demon? The words “having a demon” are translated in many Bibles as possessed by a demon. Possession means ownership. When a man is born again, he is owned by God.

When a man buys a book, he pays the price and receives the book. He owns it. The believer is bought by a price – the blood of Jesus. Jesus redeems a man from the pawnbroker (called Satan). It costs more to redeem than was received originally from the pawnbroker. The pawnbroker takes his interest on top of the price.

When a man buys a house he pays the price and receives a title to the house. He possesses it. However, the house might be affected by woodworm. If the woodworm is left alone the house will eventually collapse. It needs to be cleaned out. A person born again receives a new spirit but has the same soul – will, mind, emotions and body. They need to be cleaned up after conversion. Deliverance is cleaning out for believers. After conversion a house is under new ownership but still needs to be refurbished. 70% of people who respond to evangelists fall away in time, because they have never been cleaned up and made disciples. Jesus invites man to receive His Holy Spirit and get the whole mess cleaned up. It is false theology to believe that when a person becomes a believer he will have no problems. There may be an initial boost but then the hard work begins. “Jesus, take me as I am. I can come no other way.” Jesus does take people just as they are. When Jesus came to Earth Satan was still in residence. Jesus came into the mess. When the Israelites moved into Canaan the people of Canaan were still living there and God told them to wipe the out the people. The Israelites moved into the mess. So when a person becomes under God’s ownership he cannot be possessed in the sense of being owned but there may still be demonic activity in his life and this needs to be cleaned out by deliverance. Jesus comes into a man’s personal mess. He expects the Disciples to clean up the mess and to bring healing, restoration and deliverance where necessary into the life of the new believer to restore God’s hurting people. Disciples are to plunder the Kingdom of the enemy. Any demons present before conversion do not necessarily leave at conversion but they do not possess (own) the believer. They will continue to operate in the life of that person until cast out. They will limit the effectiveness of his Christian life and cause the maximum hassle and sickness to the new believer. Paul obviously had no problems with believers becoming demonised and as a result abandoning their faith.
1 Tim ch 4 v 1-5. He warned about doctrines of demons. Once demonic power has been given rights over a Church through the deceptive teachings of the leadership, that demonic power will remain long after the original leadership, which gave it access to the Church, has moved on. Believers can receive further demons through the practice of sin and other possible entry points.

A believer can receive further demons or new demons after conversion through the practise of sin and other possible entry points. The longer the period after conversion before deliverance takes place the harder it is to dislodge the demons. Sanctification is a life-long process. Some Christian leaders struggle with sexual sin because Jesus is Lord of part of their life but not Lord of their sexuality. The danger is that the person so enjoys the sin that he does not want to be set free. There is no verse, which states clearly that a new believer can have a demon but there are many verses, which assume that they can. Deliverance ministry is primarily for believers as part of the healing process. For a non-believer the demon will return with 7 other demons and his condition will be worse than before. Mat ch 12 v 43-45.

For effective healing there is a need for faith plus understanding. Jesus not only had faith but He understood matters. Without knowledge or understanding the people perish. Authority is the permission to use power. God gave Lucifer power and authority. When he was removed from Heaven he lost his authority. He retained his power. God created man with a soul and a body and a spirit – to know Him. The body is a wonderful machine but it needs a driver. The soul is the driver of the body. Part of the fruit of the spirit is the ability to say “No” to the soul. God gave man authority to rule over the World as a gift. When man rebelled against God and joined with Satan, the authority was taken by Satan from man. Mankind then came under Satan’s authority. Satan became the ruler of this World. Death of the spirit affected the soul and then the body experienced disease.

The first word of prophecy in Gen ch 3 v 15 was to Satan. One born of woman would come to crush Satan’s head and remove his authority. That means that He would destroy his authority. A person without a head has no authority. One day in the future Satan’s authority would be crushed by Jesus. In the meantime Satan would bruise the heel of man and cause a lot of damage to mankind but ultimately Jesus would take authority from Satan. God had an answer to the problem of the human race. The written Word was to give man understanding of the things of God despite man’s sin. If man walks within the Word of God he will find that God is his healer. Exodus ch 15 v 26 says that God is man’s healer but the promise is conditional on keeping the commands of God in their entirety. A man can live in safety within the Ten Commandments. They are liberating limits. The Commandments show a man his sin and the need for a saviour.

There is no casting out of demons in the Old Testament. Jesus alone had authority to set the captives free. The people were amazed at the way Jesus spoke with authority. The demons acknowledged that authority. “I know who you are.” The word used for ”salvation” is also used for “healing” and also for “deliverance.” Many who came to Jesus were in need of both deliverance and healing. Normally casting out a demon does not involve prayer but sometimes it needs prayer first – to ask God, if He would heal the person. It may be necessary to pray that the person would forgive the sin of the ancestors from whom the generational problem came. The spirit never goes unconscious. It is possible to speak to a person’s sprit, even if he is unconscious. The woman bound for 18 years. Something happened 19 years before. Jesus delivered her first and then He healed her. A person may be cursed as a result of sexual sin by his parents. There may be deliverance first and then healing afterwards. There may be an underlying issue, which is holding a person in physical pain. A person in captivity is captive to some person or power.

The Flesh comprises the soul and body. The soul is part of a man’s flesh life. The spirit and the soul are not the same thing. God has put together hundreds of mutually dependent and perfectly balanced organs to create the human body. The body has its own built-in defence system, which fights invading organisms. Cuts and bruises heal by themselves.

The soul. God has given each person a living soul. It is the dimension of the flesh life, which is eternal. The soul is not restricted to time. The spirit and soul reside within the body and make a person who he is. There are 3 parts to the soul – the mind, the emotions and the will. A dead spirit needs to be born again.

The mind is that part of the soul, which processes all incoming information through the physical senses. The mind thinks and provides a rational basis on which to make day-to-day decisions of life. The mind is not the brain. The brain is simply a large physical organ, which acts very much like a computer, storing much information and carrying out many routine functions, which control the body without the mind having to think about what needs to be done next. Most of the brain’s functional control of the body is involuntary – like the heart beating. God did not programme voluntary control of the beating of the heart into the computer. The mind can decide to store information in the brain for recall when it is needed. The ability to be creative is evidence that man is made in the image of God. Mental illness is when the mind and brain are dislocated so that there are no longer rational thought processes or sane behaviour. As the body can be sick, so can the mind. When a man calls for prayer it is man’s agenda rather than God’s agenda for that person. What does God have in mind for the person?

The emotions. These are the feelings, which a man experiences inside himself as a response to events, which are going on around him. These events may affect the body – like a noise or may affect the mind – a creative thought or may affect the will – a bad decision can lead to anguish and distress – or may affect the spirit. God created each man with emotions. Emotions may need to be healed just as much as the physical body. Being born again is an emotional experience. An inferiority complex is an emotional push from the past. Sources of emotional pain include abuse, memories, inferiority and the lack of relationship.

The will. This is the part with which a man makes decisions. If the flesh has not been crucified the will gets out of control. Control of the will is the key to controlling the flesh life. A weak will allows temptation to master a man. Healing for a sick will is possible but needs determination and obedience. If a man is sick in one area he will likely be affected in the other areas. A person who is physically sick in body may be emotionally sick as a result. One who is sick in spirit due to bitterness may become physically sick in body. A man can be sick in any one area due to the presence of an evil spirit.

Many sick people have lost hope. They have tried everything but without results. Healing is the restoration of God’s order to the spirit, soul and body. A man can be sick in various ways:
1. In the body.
2. In the mind. The mind is part of the soul. When the functioning of the mind is no longer under the ordered control of the person he is said to be mentally ill.
3. In the emotions. When a man is hurt in his emotions he can either express his hurt or repress it causing long-term damage to the emotions such as an inferiority complex.
4. In the will. This occurs if a person is too weak to resist the pressure people put on him or to overcome temptations. A weak-willed person lacks the ability and strength of character to make important decisions.
5. In the spirit. The spirit needs to be born again.
6. Through the presence of a demon or demons.
These 6 ways are not mutually exclusive. A person may be sick in more than one area.
After un-forgiveness of others, hidden and un-confessed sin is probably the greatest guardian of demonic power and sickness. One of the best deterrents against sin is the fact that someone already knows about a man’s weakness and it is no longer hidden in darkness.

ANGELS. When God created the Heavens He filled it with angelic beings. There are 4 kinds of angels.
1. Messenger angels. Gabriel is the chief. Gen ch 18 v 2. Angels warned Abraham about the destruction of Sodom.
2. Warrior angels. Michael is the chief angel.
3. Ministering angels. Heb ch 1 v 4.
4. Praise angels. Lucifer was the chief angel. He rebelled and wanted praise to be directed towards him. Lucifer had power and authority. When God ejected him from Heaven Michael removed from Lucifer his authority but Lucifer retained his power. Lucifer became known as Satan because he was an opponent of God. Angels fulfil various roles.
1. They always worship God. Mat ch 18 v 10. Rev ch 5 v 11-14.
2. They rejoice in the works of God. Job ch 38 v 7.
3. They have influence over the affairs of nations. Dan ch 10. ch 11 v 1 and ch 12 v 1.
4. They always execute God’s will. Psalm 103.20.
5. They watch over the interests of Churches. Rev chs 2 and 3.
6. They assist and protect believers. Heb ch 1 v 14 and 1 Kings ch 19 v 5.
7. They are used to punish God’s enemies. Acts ch 12 v 23. 2 Sam ch 24 v 16 and Isaiah ch 27 v 36.
8. They perform extraordinary acts on behalf of God’s people. Acts ch 12 v 6-10. Ex ch 23 v 20-23.
9. They minister personally to each one of God’s children. Mat ch 18 v 10.

DEMONS act to oppose what God is doing.
1. They always serve Satan. Their worship is not in adoration but out of fear. Punishment and retribution are the hallmarks of Satan’s Kingdom.
2. They rejoice in the works of Satan. They gain more power as a result.
3. They always execute Satan’s will and wishes. In this way they are committed to (a) attacking God’s special creation – human beings, (b) keeping them out of God’s Kingdom, and (c) opposing believers, especially those with a heart to do God’s will.
4. They are involved in the affairs of nations. Satan has placed his ruling princes in specific territories throughout the World. Sinful men give them the right to be there.
5. They oppose the interests of the Churches undermining the work of the Holy Spirit through division and criticism.
6. They oppose and attack believers, especially those who are seeking to do the will of God.
7. They do all they can to attack God’s children. This may include sickness, accidents, financial problems and relationship breakdowns. “Do not let the Devil get a foothold in your life.”
8. They perform extraordinary acts on behalf of Satan and his kingdom. (The Egyptian magicians.) They operate in deception. Even the elect will be deceived in the last days. Mark ch 13 v 22.
9. They would seek to give each child of God an evil spirit with a view to leading him into actions, which are outside of God’s will and purpose.
Demons are alive and active. They are disembodied. They are able to speak. They have job functions.
They know their end. They can have supernatural strength. They are legalistic. When the traditions of men become more important than sensitivity to the Spirit of God, the Church is in a bad way.
They are well organised and are under a higher authority.
Some demons have animal characteristics. Demons work together in families.
They will attempt to remain hidden. They have to bow to the name of Jesus.

Jesus told the Disciples to heal the sick and cast out demons. Jesus meant what He said. His ministry was very balanced, dealing with the physical, emotional and spiritual sickness of His day. The medical
profession does not generally recognise spiritual sickness.

Satan’s objectives. Power, sex, wealth and false religion are at the heart of most of his tactics. Deception is his stock in trade. Depression, despair and suicide are close companions. Jesus died to set people free from Satan’s power. As ruler of the World Satan controls some nations and regions of nations, so that the “atmosphere“ changes from place to place. He also rules at a local level by placing ruling spirits over Churches, schools, companies and organisations. Satan will always seek to oppress, afflict and if possible occupy human beings with evil spirits who work to fulfil his objectives. Gen ch 4 v 7. Sin is crouching at the door. A demon is waiting to get in to a man’s life. Demons are given rights by man through sin. They are then legally entitled to remain.

Demons do not have bodies of their own. They exist as ruling territorial spirits but can express themselves most effectively by occupying a body of a human being. They are able to speak through a human body. They have job functions. Some spirits come down the family line, causing the same symptoms in generation after generation. Other spirits have a specific affect on the minds of people controlling the thought process of individuals – strongholds of the mind. Freemasonry. Demons can rule over emotions, especially those who have been abused. Demons can have supernatural strength. They are well organised and are under higher authority. Satan’s kingdom is organised in a hierarchy of demonic power. Few demons operate on their own but are under orders from a higher authority. Satan’s kingdom is built on fear. Fear was the first demonic principality to manifest himself in the Garden of Eden. When God approached Adam said: ”I was afraid.” Some demons have animalistic behaviour. Demons are legalistic.
Legalistic spirits can hold a Church from moving on. Many men are on fire for the Lord but end up as
Ministers of religion – “everything by the book and the Constitution.” The main battle Jesus had was with religious spirits in the Pharisees. Demons are given rights by man through sin. Unless the sin is repented of the demons will legally hang on to the ground they have been given, e.g. a demon of lust will have a legal right to stay, if the person is continuing in an adulterous association. Demons often work together in families e.g. rejection is accompanied by fear of rejection and self-rejection. A spirit of lust may invite in a spirit of fornication. Demons try to remain hidden.

The temptations of Jesus. Mat ch 4 v 1-11. Mark ch 1 v 12-13. Luke ch 4 v 1-13.
The first temptation. “If you are God’s Son.” It was the same doubt as Satan used against Eve. “Did God really say?” Could Jesus be mistaken in His role? Were the Scriptures, which spoke of Him really true? Was what Mary had told Him true? Jesus recognised the deception. Jesus would not doubt the Word of God. A believer should never doubt the call of God on his life.
The Second Temptation. Satan quoted Scripture to Jesus. Psalm 91 v 11. It was one, which was capable of different interpretation. Jesus was encouraged to put on a show for the people. If the people were won over it would avoid the cross. The Pharisees came seeking a sign. The only one Jesus offered them was His death and resurrection.
The Third Temptation. Satan offered Jesus the Kingdoms of the World without having to go through the pain of the crucifixion. This was what Jesus had come for – to win the World back for God. Satan offered them to Jesus without having to go to the cross. Satan offers believers the prospect of achieving God’s purpose for their life without suffering and obedience to God. There was no discussion between Jesus and Satan. Discussion leads to compromise and that leads to sin.

Unless a person is under the Lordship of Jesus so that after deliverance the person is filled with the Holy Spirit, the deliverance will open that person up to being filled with 7 more spirits. Jesus healed all who came to Him and in doing so they were accepting Jesus as Lord. 2 Peter ch 2 v 20-22. A believer is always likely to be vulnerable in the area of his life where there had been a weakness. Satan will accept the welcome mat and return and bring back stronger demonic powers.

The World, the flesh and the Devil.
The World is that source of general influence under Satan’s control that offers temptations, which are
contrary to God’s perfect will. The temptations offered by the World are attractive to the flesh for they
seem to fulfil base desires of man’s fallen nature, such as greed, lust and selfishness.

The flesh life can also be consecrated wholly in the Lord’s service. When with his will a man chooses to allow the desires of the flesh to be fulfilled in ways, which are contrary to the leading of the Holy Spirit, that man opens himself up to demonic activity.

Satan and Peter.
God and Satan can both speak through the same mouth on different occasions. Mat ch 16 v 22. Jesus
recognised that this was Satan speaking as He did in the wilderness attempting to dissuade Jesus from
going to the cross in Jerusalem. There could be no compromise with Satan. 1 Cor ch 10 v 12. “Whoever thinks that he is standing firm had better be careful that he does not fall.” Paul was speaking from personal experience. Was he thinking also about Peter? After Jericho came Ai. Leaders can be used to put down others. Test the spirits. Is what the speaker is saying from the Lord? In his denial of Jesus Peter was overcome by fear. Man is always likely to be vulnerable in areas of his life where there have been weaknesses. Satan will attack the Achiles heel. A besetting sin is a sin, which is being encouraged by the demonic from within as well as temptation from without.

Satan and Judas. Would Judas and the other Disciples face the same death as Jesus? Was that in the
mind of Judas? Jer ch 17 v 9. The heart is deceitful. The Judas spirit is the spirit of betrayal. Betrayal
amounts to sin. Judas was easy game for Satan. Judas was greedy and jealous. Jealousy gives rise to hatred and murder. One of Satan’s tricks is to persuade a man that to live is worse than to die.

The dumb spirit. Mat ch 9 v 32. The senses are vulnerable to demonic attack. Demons on the way
out of a person can have a restricting effect on the throat, the voice box, the tongue, the lips or even the
muscles of the jaw making not only speech but also the opening of the mouth impossible. There are exit defence tactics whereby the demons attempt to hold on to their place in the body.

The blind and dumb demoniac. Mat ch 12 v 22-32. Not all cases of blindness have the same root
cause. Jesus varied His ministry according to the root cause of the blindness.

The epileptic boy. Mat ch 17 v 14-21. It was the Disciples who lacked faith to heal the boy. Jesus
asked how long the boy had been like this. This was an important part of the pre-ministry. It was a
deaf and dumb spirit, which had brought the epilepsy. The deliverance was messy and noisy
Sexual sin always affects the spirit and opens up a potential gateway for demonisation. Sexual abuse brings with it a whole chain of problems. For those who minister to women there is a need for sexual purity.

The Gadarene demoniac. Many with a background of witchcraft have a strong compulsion to visit graveyards, lie on the tombs at night or lie on the grave of a freshly buried corpse. He had supernatural strength. Martial arts are a possible demonic entry point. Cutting of the body is a part of the enemy’s strategy of creating pain and drawing blood.

Nakedness is part of witchcraft. Nudity is part of the Worldwide explosion of pornography. Today is a time of unprecedented nakedness in the World, especially through television and computers into the
home. Lust is the opposite of love. Mat ch 5 v 28. Pornography encourages lust, which is a form of rebellion against God. A legion consists of 6,000. It is helpful to see demons not in spatial terms but as germs the size of which is infinitesimal. Just as there can be countless germs in a festering wound, so
there can be countless demons through a festering spiritual wound.

As a general rule demons hate each other and are afraid of their master. They will fight one another for self-gain and elevation to a higher position. Demons may be answerable to a ruling spirit in the area. The only reason for Jesus talking to the demons was to establish His authority over them. To know a person’s name gives a degree of authority. Jesus went out of His way to save one lost man and was in this way teaching the Disciples of the need and the cost of such ministry.

The woman with the spirit of infirmity. Luke ch 13 v 10-17. It is relevant that the sickness had been there for 18 years. There was a definite event 18 years previously when the demon entered the woman. Perhaps a relative died at that time and the demon transferred to the individual. Usually this is between people who have a soul tie. There is procedure in Numbers ch 19 for cleansing for those who are in contact with the dead.

Obedience does not always lead to times of great blessing. Moses spent 40 years in charge of a rebellious people. Paul lists some of the hardships, which he endured. Acts ch 16 v 18. Paul waited for the girl to give up her opposition to him. When she refused Paul could not let it go on as it was disturbing the ministry.

Satan can and sometimes does cast out demons through a medium. It may be to encourage the person to give up going to Church and worshipping the Lord. The greater evil is used to totally destroy the person, whereas the sickness was only robbing the person of life in all its fullness. The latter situation is worse than the former.

“If you want to break into a strong man’s house you must first bind the strong man.” There are strong demons, which control lesser demons. Sometimes it is necessary to defeat the strong demon before tackling the lesser demons. The air cover needs to be defeated before the ground troops can go into battle. The strong man may not be inside the person but controlling the airwaves. Alternatively the strongman may be inside another person – through a soul tie. A person needs not only to receive salvation but also to be delivered from matters, which have controlled his life in the emotional and spiritual dimensions. Many believers nurse their hurts and pains. They have emotional needs, which remain unmet. In this way the flock is scattered and not gathered. Jesus warns about people being further demonised following deliverance, if they are not filled with the Holy Spirit and come under His Lordship.

The flesh is the soul and the physical body. These with the spirit of man comprise a human being. The spirit links man to God. Whomever man obeys brings him under authority. The Kingdom of God is the rule of God in the heart of man. When man rebels against God’s rule he places himself under the authority of Satan. There is ample evidence in each news bulletin that the World is not as it should be. Satan is described as the ruler of the World.
Jesus keeps bringing people back to the question of forgiveness the demons will go to great lengths to prevent a person uttering words of forgiveness. 1 John ch 1 v 9 is so important. To confess sins to one another and receive forgiveness releases a great surge of power of sin and its consequences. Man has to learn to forgive himself and to accept that natural disasters are ultimately under the control of God. So there are times when man needs to “forgive” God for allowing a disaster to overcome him e.g. a flood or storm. Man has to accept himself as he is and not take part in self-rejection. This is the outworking of rejection from others. Unwarranted critical attitudes are a subtle form of manipulation and control. Such control is witchcraft. Failure to accept others as they are has far-reaching consequences in relation to healing.

Observable symptoms of possible demonisation.
1. Addictions. Behaviour, which is out of control. Some are a cry for help from circumstances and a lack of love.
2. Appetites out of balance. Anorexia and bulimia. These are both a form of rebellion often against parents in an attempt to punish the parents for real or perceived ill-treatment. Gluttony may be over-eating for comfort. Sexual abuse may lead to an attempt to make the body unattractive. Allergic conditions may have been inherited. Witchcraft in the generational line may be the cause.
3. Behaviour extremes. These are used to isolate people from the group.
4. Bitterness and un-forgiveness. Working through the pain of feelings, which have been damaged by the hurts and abuse of others is not easy.
5. Compulsive behaviour patterns. These may be phobias like hand washing. Compulsion is a hallmark of the demonic, which may have come in at a time of fear and trauma.
6. Deceitful personality and behaviour. Deception is a trademark of Satan.
7. Depression. Depressed people find it hard to make relationships with people and with God. Medication makes it harder to minister to a depressed person.
8. Emotional disturbance. Demonic control may enter at a time of emotional distress.
9. Escapism. Running out of a meeting is a sign of demonic control. Escapism into hobbies, etc can take people out of fellowship with others. It may be an excuse for a breakdown in relationship. Satan is interested in division at any level.
10. Fears and phobias.
11. Guilt and self-condemnation. The Jebusite spirit.
12. Hearing voices. This may originate through a strong soul tie. Another person impresses their thoughts and words on the person who hears voices.
13. Hereditary illnesses. Exodus ch 20 v 5. The sins of the father are visited to the children. Some sickness comes down the generational line. When people die, demons do not. A demon may jump down the generational line to the next generation.
14. Heretical beliefs. Satan works through denominations spreading false teaching. Lev ch 26 v 16.
15. Involvement in false religions. Man is incurably religious. Satan seeks to draw man into any false religion. Behind every false religion there is a demonic power, seeking to enmesh the worshippers in its hold.
16. Irrational behaviour. Outbursts of irrational behaviour are usually powered by the demonic.
17. Lack of mature relationships. When people behave in childish ways it may stem from the trauma of abusive childhood experiences.
18. Legalism and spiritual bondage. When loyalty to the denomination exceeds that of loyalty to Jesus then there are signs of the demonic. There are times when Satan comes as an angel of light.
19. Nightmares.
20. Occultic involvement.
21. A tongue, which is out of control. Swearing, blasphemy and gossip are the consequences of a tongue out of control. “Out of the heart the mouth speaks.”
22. Recurring or long-term sickness. There may be a spirit within a person, which invites one spirit of infirmity after another into the person. People who use sickness to gain attention have given the demon the right to be there.
23. Self-centredness. There are some people who are only capable of sustaining a conversation if they are talking about themselves. Self-idolatry and self-elevation reign supreme. A powerful demonic stronghold is operating on his personality. The arrogance and self-importance of the person prevents them seeing or understanding anything, which they have not first thought of themselves. A familiar spirit may have ruled in the family for generations.
24. Sexual aberrations. Wherever ungodly sex is taking place, Satan will be present. There is much sexual activity in the rituals of Satanism and witchcraft.
25. Suicidal tendencies. There is always a demonic dimension to suicide attempts or desires. When there is no hope for the future the demons whispers: “I might as well die today.” An attempted abortion leaves the child who survived with a sense that he was not wanted and should not be there.
26. Un-diagnosable symptoms. When the medical profession cannot find a reason for the illness there is a possibility that the source is demonic. Where there is pain in the emotions the physical pain may refuse to heal. There can be demonic curses, which cause apparent physical symptoms even when there is nothing medically diagnosable.
27. Violent tendencies. The person who perpetuates violence opens himself up to being used by the demonic and the trauma associated with being a recipient of violence leaves the victim vulnerable to the demonic at the time of the attack. A soul tie can be used to transfer the demon from the perpetrator to the victim. There may be buried anger from earlier years. Martial arts introduce the right to the demon to be present.
28. Withdrawn anti-social behaviour. Rejection may be at the root of the problem.

Knowing how demons enter is a major key to their eviction. A demon can only enter if it has a right to do so. How do demons enter the life of an individual? There are a number of entry points.
1. The generation line. It is much harder for people to be obedient to God when they have been damaged through the sins of their parents. Sin always has a consequence. Transference of demons can also take place as a result of soul ties. God always intended children to be covered by their parents. Like father like son. Prov ch 22 v 6 works in the negative as well as the positive. Train a child to choose the right path and when he is older he will remain on it. Children are created by God to learn about God from their parents and to be blessed by their parents. Satan can use the process to bring problems to children. It is when a person becomes a new creation in Christ that it is possible for the work or restoration to begin. Idolatry gives the demonic a right of entry. Conception and death appear to be the most commonly encountered moments of transference.
2. Personal sin. The ongoing practice of sin, which remains un-confessed and un-forgiven will inevitably give rights to the demonic to enter and control a person in specific areas of his life. Satan is no respecter of a person and hates the followers of Jesus. A particular sin may open the door for entrance. When a demon enters the temptation from without is strengthened by power from within to control the behaviour of the person. Demons have access to the thoughts of a man and seek to deceive him into thinking that their thoughts are the man’s personal thoughts, making him think that he wants to do what they want him to do. The more entrenched the thought pattern the harder it is to get the demons out. Confession and repentance are essential. Do not give the enemy a foothold. A door-to-door salesman puts his foot in the door and had a foothold. These are the personal responsibility of the individual and he cannot blame another – lies, gossip, anger, bitterness, jealousy, impurity, ungodly talk, immorality and heavy metal music.
3. Occult sin. Many are demonised through just one encounter with a fortune-teller, a ouija board etc. Treatment of deliverance has to be radical and determined.
4. There are dangers in some of the alternative medicines and the alternative spiritualities lying behind them. Some healing may take place but it opens the way for the enemy to take a greater control of the life of the patient. It opens the door to superstition.
5. Religious sin. Paul warned Timothy about doctrines of demons – false teaching. Satan is a religious being. He sought for himself the worship that was due to God alone. This involves (a) religious practices (b) denominationalism (c) heretical beliefs (d) wrong attitudes to the Scriptures – disbelief in the truth and authorship of the Scriptures is a demonic entry point of major proportions (e) abuse of the gifts of the Spirit (f) universalism (g) false religions. These are very hard demons to evict.
6. Ungodly soul ties. Godly soul ties are God’s provision for healthy nurturing and for relationships throughout life. When a man and woman have sexual relations it is a spiritual union. There is something of the spirit of each within the other as God places His Holy Spirit within a man. Sexual relationships, which are outside God’s plan will always introduce ungodly soul ties into a person’s life and make that person vulnerable to the demonic. Ungodly soul ties may lead to sickness and the danger of letting in demons. All abusive relationships result in the formation of ungodly soul ties. Man is made in the image of God and has free will. God respects the free will of a man and each man must respect the free will of other human beings. To force sexual relationship on another breaks that image. 1 Sam ch 15 v 23. Domination and control are like witchcraft. When a soul tie is broken there needs to be deliverance and emotional healing hand in hand. Where there are sexual partners in an adulterous relationship the soul tie is likely to give rise to demonic entry. Sex before marriage even though the parties subsequently marry and have had no other partner can allow entry to a demon. Manipulation and domination within marriage is nothing but sin. Anything other than natural sexual relations is a possible entry point within a marriage.
7. Sexual sin. Sex was designed by God as His way of allowing mankind to express His creativity. Human beings have the ability to know each other in the spirit as well as experience each other with the emotions and be connected via the sexual organs in the flesh. Intercourse, which does not reflect this divine and spiritual knowing is less than God intended for mankind. Sex is primarily spiritual and when people enter into sexual relationships, which are sinful, they should not be surprised that the demonic will take advantage of the channel, which has been opened through sin. When a person has had sexual union with many partners it is as if his spirit and soul is spread out all over the place. One partner may have been involved in witchcraft and the other party may have picked up powerful witchcraft controls. Perverted sex inside marriage is also a direct entry point. The moment a person loses his virginity is a spiritually traumatic occasion. Adultery brings about a spiritual act of divorce. Divorce and remarriage have taken place simultaneously. The husband or wife who denies his or her partner regular and willing sexual relations is abusing the other partner. (a) Generational sexual sin. A spirit of adultery may affect subsequent generations. (b) sexual abuse. A demon in a girl who was abused in childhood may interfere with her married relationship through fear or shame. (c) dominating soul ties. A dominating maternal spirit will always oppose attempts at liberty. (d) pre-marital intercourse and trial marriages. This is sin even if the parties intend to marry and do marry soon thereafter. The soul tie is ungodly. (e) Oral and anal sex. There are no grounds for encouraging this, even if there are problems in engaging in intercourse in the normal way. These are major demonic entry points. (f) Fantasy and pornography. Spirits of lust, which entered through the eyes, induce the desire and to complete the victim’s misery of having fallen into temptation, leave the person with a burden of guilt. (g) Bestiality. Lev ch 20 v 15-16. It always results in demonic entry. Death was the normal remedy for perverted sexual behaviour to prevent it passing down the generational line. (h) Transvestism. Deut ch 22 v 5. (i) Sexual abuse. (j) Homosexuality and lesbianism. Lev ch 18 v 22 and Rom ch 26 v 32. There are 6 basic causes of homosexuality.
1. Generational. Deut ch 23 v 2 speaks of 10 generations. It could arise from anal sex between the married parents.
2. Rejection of sexuality. Parents wanting a child of the opposite sex. It is fertile ground for a demon to enter.
3. Rebellion against parents.
4. Homosexual sexual abuse. The spirit jumps from the abuser to the abused.
5. Maternal or paternal domination.
6. Willing homosexual relationships. The demons suggest that this is one of the possibilities in life. This is being taught in schools.

8. Rejection. A loved and accepted child grows up in the security of relationships, which are non-abusive and safe. A child who is the victim of rejection is vulnerable to being accepted and owned by the demonic, causing much pain and anguish throughout his life. When a child is abused an ungodly soul tie is established between the abuser and the abused. This acts like a demonic tube along which the demonic can transfer from one person to the other. A demonic fantasy friendly demon may take up residence to take the place of true acceptance and love. Rejection may take place (a) at conception, if the child is unwanted (b) in single parent families and unwanted pregnancies (c) where the parents want a child of the opposite sex and (d) where there is sexual abuse. An ungodly soul tie is formed between the abuser and the abused. The sexual abuser is almost always someone who has been abused himself as a child. (e) physical abuse. The emotional hurt may be more damaging than the actual physical pain. Violence against the body of a person is an offence against the person in the body. (f) emotional and psychological abuse. Any behaviour, which seeks to take away the godly free will of another is abusive behaviour. Manipulation, dominations and control are the tools of witchcraft. (g) separation and divorce. Ministry to the divorced must include, at an appropriate moment, the cutting of the soul ties to the previous partner. (h) death. A dead body is generally useless to demons. Ritual uncleanness is always associated in the Scriptures as being associated with something spiritual that is making the person, place or object unclean. Sometimes after death demons induce exactly the same symptoms in the new person as were prevalent in the person who died. (i) trauma or accident. These include (a) major illness (b) accidents (c) unemployment and (d) fear. People who have suffered accidents are often broken on the inside through the trauma and this can result in their failing to be fully healed. People are spiritually vulnerable during moments of great trauma. Unemployment can open the gateway to rejection. (j) through ungodly soul ties. Self-rejection is the outworking of initial rejection from others. Rejection of a child will often lead to rebellion of teenage years, manifesting itself in drugs, violence, promiscuity, crime, running away and other rebellious activities. From the moment the sperm meets the egg there is a spiritual person. Arguments about whether life begins at 12 weeks etc are all built on the dictates of secular convenience as opposed to the reality of spiritual truth and understanding. Unless a child receives the discipline he needs and deserves in a measure appropriate to the misdemeanour the spirit of the child will sense that the parent does not really care for him and rejection will take root. Even at conception the spirit of a child will sense what is going on in the mother and may begin to feel rejected, if the child is not wanted. There can be three spirits working together against the child’s welfare – rejection, self-rejection and the fear of rejection. There are many consequences of sexual abuse.
9. Death embraces grief, loneliness shock and rejection. When a child loses a loved one it is sometimes nothing less than being rejected by that loved one. It is almost as if they feel the person had died deliberately and left them behind.
10. Curses.
A. By God. Deut ch 28 v 15-68 lists the curses, which follow disobedience towards God’s Word. This is a curse from God for disobedience and rebellion. God’s curse is brought about through the loss of protection as a result of wilful decisions. Jesus became the curse for fallen man. Gal ch 3 v 13.
B. By Satan. There are evil spirits, which have specific job functions to fulfil the terms of the curses, which are made by men against their fellows. Prov ch 26 v 2. “A curse without cause will not alight.” A man walking in the light cannot be cursed with a curse that will stick. Truth will protect him. Believers should not let their defences slip to give the enemy grounds for curses to be able to land on them.
C. Curses deliberately placed by men. There needs to be something physical to link the one who curses with the victim. Witchcraft, Freemasonry and Satanism have built in curses into all their rituals to try to prevent people from leaving or holding them in bondage. Some are curses of death and of poverty.
D. Non-deliberate curses. Very few understand that when they speak wrongfully against someone, they are creating an opportunity for the enemy to attack and possibly demonise the person they are speaking about. “I will not raise my voice against the Lord’s anointed.” Words spoken against another person, which are contrary to God’s plan and purposes for that person can amount to a curse. Demons can use words spoken carelessly, which hurt the recipient of the comments, when they are accepted and believed. Sometimes things begin to go wrong with relationships or work without any explanation. Children are especially vulnerable to criticisms spoken to them by parents because they think that the parents truly care for them. These may involve words by a husband to his wife or by a wife to her husband or a parent to a child or a teacher to a pupil or an employer to an employee or a minister to a congregation or by a congregation to their minister.
E. Curses spoken by an individual to himself. “I will never do that again.” This may be contrary to God’s purpose for that person. When people are hurt by the cutting remarks of another person and that hurt is not properly dealt with, then unwittingly that person can become the agent of demonic transference and an evil spirit can gain access to the person who was unfairly criticised. Many who are seriously hurt may build defensive walls around their emotions so that they cannot feel anything at all, let alone the Holy Spirit.
11. Cursed objects and buildings. 2 Chron ch 29. Jewellery and family heirlooms may have been cursed in the past. Second hand engagement rings can bring a curse on a marriage. Taking off shoes before entering a temple places a person under the rule of the false deity reigning there. The home of a believer is a temple to God. A demon living in a person who has died at a house may leave the body at death and inhabit the house – a ghost. This can happen if there has been a tragedy in the house such as suicide. Occultists attach great power to objects, which have had a Christian use and are then stolen and given a pagan use. Cursed objects carry with them a hidden potency, releasing demonic power into the home and family. They need to be destroyed. Acts ch 19 v 18-19. Buildings to be used in the worship of God are consecrated. Ex ch 3 v 5. Moses was told to take off his shoes for the ground was holy.
12. Addictions. These may relate to the intake of food or things such as alcohol or drugs, which contain chemically addictive substances. These may arise due to the response of a person to something else going on in the life of that person. Much obsessive addictive behaviour has roots in emotional damage, which is in need of healing – such as rejection, fear, loneliness, relationship break-up, abusive background, control and domination. In helping addicted people it is essential to find out the root and meet the real need. Addictive patterns are almost always a reaction to gaping holes in a person’s life, which are not being filled in a rightful way.
13. Fears and phobias. Rightful fear is a God-given gift, which is designed to protect man from harm. Satan will always take what God has given and distort it for his own purposes.
14. Fatigue and tiredness. Bodies need rest and sleep. When a man is over-tired he is vulnerable to temptation and demonisation. Many are tired because they are doing things, which God has not asked them to do.

In deliverance it is important to deal with the entry point and remove the rights on which the demon is depending for its security.

Qualities of a Christian counsellor. The counsellor should be a person who is
1. Born again. John ch 3 v 3 and Rom ch 6 v 23.
2. Spirit filled. Eph ch 5 v 18.
3. Prepared to exercise the gifts of the Spirit. Rom ch 12 v 6 and 1 Cor ch 12.
4. Manifesting the fruit of the Spirit. Gal ch 5 v 22-25.
5. Walking in the model of Jesus by listening to the Father with a deep compassion. John ch 2 v 25.
6. Willing to receive ministry as well as giving it. Prov ch 3 v 11, ch 12 v 1, ch 15 v 32. John ch 21 v 15-19.
7. With a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 1 Tim ch 4 v 6-7. 2 Tim ch 3 v 16.
8. An active member of a local Church under a secure covering of good leadership. Heb ch 10 v 25. Rom ch 12 v 4.
9. Denominationally neutral in ministry. Rom ch 12 v 1.
10. Wholly available to the Lord. Heb ch 12 v 1-2.
11. Obedient to the Holy Spirit. Rom ch 12 v 2. Gal ch 5 v 25.
12. Prepared to accept that forgiveness is a way of life. Mat ch 6 v 14-15.
13. A person of prayer. 1 Thes ch 5 v 17.
14. One with an awareness of his position in Christ. Rom ch 8 v 1. 1 John ch 4 v 4. Eph ch 1 v 19-20.
15. Sacramentally sensitive. James ch 5 v 14-16. 1 Cor ch 11 v 26-32.
16. Anointed for the task. 2 Tim ch 1 v 6-7.
17. Able to lead a person to Jesus. Phil ch 4 v 9. 1 Cor ch 2 v 1-5.
18. Looking after his own body and being fit. 1 Cor ch 3 v 16.
19. Clean and well-presented. 1 Cor ch 14 v 40.
20. Willing to eat anything and sleep anywhere. Rom ch 14 and ch 15. Mat ch 18 v 18-32.
21. Willing to fast. Mat ch 5 v 16-18. Acts ch 13 v 2-3.
22. Willing to prefer others to self. Rom ch 12 v 10.
23. Sexually well-informed.
24. Well-informed in relation to the occult. 2 Cor ch 2 v 11.
25. Well-read on the healing ministry. Prov ch 8 v 1-10.
26. Unshockable. John ch 4 v 17-18. ch 8 v 1-11.
27. Morally above reproach. 1 Tim ch 3 v 1-7.
28. Willing to speak the truth in love. Eph ch 4 v 15.
29. Not afraid of physical affirmation by touching. Rom ch 16 v 16.
30. Prepared not to project his own opinions. Prov ch 3 v 5-7.
31. Prepared not to let his own problems interfere in the ministry. 2 Cor ch 12 v 9-10.
32. Willing to love and even hug the unlovable. Luke ch 5 v 13.
33. Flexible and available when it does not really suit him.
34. Willing to be a servant of others. Isaiah ch 52 v 13-53. Phil ch 2 v 7.
35. Willing to accept attacks without bitterness or resentment. 1 Peter ch 3 v 8-9.
36. Totally confidential.
37. Non-judgemental. Mat ch 7 v 1-6. Totally confidential with details of the counselee.
38. Patient and a good listener.
39. Polite and courteous at all times.
40. Willing to give all the glory to God for what He chooses to do through him. Psalm 96 v 1-8.

Possible demonic manifestation.
1. Coldness.
2. Trembling.
3. Shaking.
4. Falling to the ground.
5. Palpitations.
6. Pressure.
7. Physical pain.
8. Lumps in the throat.
9. Deep breathing.
10. Stirring in the stomach.
11. Feeling ill or faint.
12. Sudden headache.
13. Unnatural body movements.
14. Contortions of the body.
15. Screaming.
16. Pupils dilating.
17. Convergence of the eyeballs.
18. Pupils disappearing upwards.
19. Sexual feelings.
20. Demonic tongues.
21. Sudden violent actions.
22. Running away.
23. Hissing.
24. Burping.
25. Swearing.
26. Snarling or barking.
27. Roaring.
28. Bellowing.
29. Pungent smells.
30. Claw-like actions.
31. Slithering across the floor.

The practice of ministry.
1. The ministry team.
2. Making a start.
3. God’s agenda.
4. Note any symptoms of demonisation.
5. Investigate false beliefs and occult involvement.
6. Check out generational lines.
7. Explore sexual history.
8. Look for signs of rejection.
9. Investigate other ungodly soul ties.
10. Find out about traumas and accidents.

Why some people are not delivered.
1. The counselee does not really know Jesus.
2. There is no faith that God is able or willing to heal and deliver.
3. Bitterness and/or un-forgiveness.
4. Unresolved pain or guilt.
5. Praying for the wrong thing.
6. Life is out of balance – in disorder or spiritual chaos.
7. A belief that believers cannot have demons or in a Church which holds this belief.
8. There is un-confessed sin.
9. There are ungodly soul ties still in place.
10. The person is suffering from a sickness unto death and needs to be prepared to meet the Lord.
11. Passivity.
12. Legalism.
13. Blocked memories, which need to be released.
14. Lack of togetherness in the ministry team.
15. The counselee does not really want to be healed but is seeking attention.
16. There are occult powers in place, which have still to be broken – a strong man.
17. No anointing due to un-cleansed building or organisation.
18. There is hidden abuse or emotional damage, which needs healing.
19. Curses of sickness or death are still in place.
20. Generational sin has not been dealt with.
21. There is an inner broken-ness through trauma and deeper healing is required.
22. The counselee has made inner vows, which need to be renounced.
23. The counselee is in disobedience to something God has already told him about.
24. The ministry team need to seek the Lord for specific revelation about hidden demonic controls affecting the individual concerned.

The spoken word is an expression of the mind, heart and will of an individual. It carries the force of the person’s spirit and also the authority and power of the person. Gen ch 41 v 44. Eccles ch 8 v 4.
Words have power. Peace is not the same as passivity. Phil ch 4 v 11-13.

Authority

THE AUTHORITY OF THE BELIEVER.

What authority does a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ have? Many Christians have no idea how to answer that question. How should it be answered? What is meant by authority? The dictionary defines the word “authority” as follows: “Legal power or right. Delegated power. Influence. Permission. A body in control.” The word stems from the word “author”, which is defined as an originator. Authority is the right or power to require obedience.

Romans ch 13 v 1 says that there is no authority except from God and those that exist have been instituted by God. God originated everything and every human institution, which is in control of the affairs of men. In Acts ch 1 v 7 Jesus answered the Disciples: “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by His own authority. “If God chooses to tell man something, that is His decision. He is not obliged to any human being, unless He has specifically promised to do something. At His trial Pilate said to Jesus: “Do you not know that I have power to release you and power to crucify you?” Jesus replied to Pilate: “You would have no power over me, unless it had been given to you from above.” Jesus knew that all civil authorities owed their position and authority from God the Father. That is one reason why believers ought to obey the Government of the land, because they are exercising the law of God by His authority and with His permission for their good. The only exception to that requirement is where the law passed by the Government conflicts with the moral law of God. Then they must obey the moral law of God and not the law of the land.

One of the most telling aspects of the life of Jesus was the authority with which He spoke and acted. It was more than confidence in His own ability. He had a power, which led Him to make such statements as this: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but through me.” “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets. I have come to fulfil them.” The Scriptures are full of such authoritative statements by Jesus.

It was a constant cry from those who witnessed the miracles of Jesus – “By what authority do you do these things?” Mat ch 23 v 23. When He entered the Temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to Jesus as He was teaching and said: “By what authority are you doing these things and who gave you this authority?” In Mat ch 7 v 29 it says: “When Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at His teachings, for He taught them as one who had authority and not as the scribes.” It was the response of Jesus to say that He had come to do the will of His Father. “I only do what I see my Father doing.” It is interesting that those who witnessed the miracles never doubted what they had seen. They asked Jesus to say by what authority He had done it. It is people 2,000 years later and thousands of miles from the event, who question the facts of the miracles. Those who were present had no doubts. Clearly Jesus was in touch with a higher authority. When He taught, Jesus taught as one who had authority. The normal method of teaching by Rabbis was to quote other Rabbis. Jesus did not say: “Rabbi so and so says this, but I say unto you.” Jesus said that all authority in Heaven and Earth was given to Him. Mat ch 28 v 18.

From the Scriptures Jesus knew that Eliakim mentioned in Isaiah ch 22 v 15-25 was a type of Christ. He would be given the key of the House of David. He shall open and none shall shut. He shall shut and none shall open. The keys of the kingdom of God shall belong to Jesus and He shall give them to whom He will. Mat ch 16 v 19. Peter answered on behalf of all the Disciples. Jesus built His Church on the rock of faith by the Disciples in Jesus. The keys of the Kingdom were not given to Peter alone. They were given to all the Disciples and to all disciples thereafter. The key is a symbol of the position of authority. It was the badge of office of Eliakim. It was placed on his shoulder.

What was so astonishing about Jesus creating a few sandwiches out of a loaf of bread? The same Jesus was involved with His Father in creating the whole Universe out of nothing. Heb ch 1 v 2. Speaking of Jesus, the passage says that it was through Jesus that God created the World. A few sandwiches were of no great concern by comparison. God created woman out of the rib of a man. It was the first case of genetic engineering. Healing a cripple is routine after that. Jesus could do anything His Father wanted Him to do, because all authority was vested in Him. John ch 13 v 3. “Jesus knew that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was returning to God.” No wonder Jesus spoke with such authority. It was not just that He spoke with authority, Jesus also acted with authority. Mark ch 1 v 27. When Jesus cast out a demon, the people said: “With authority He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey Him.”

If someone comes to the door, it is prudent to ask on what authority he is calling. He may show a document, which gives him authority to read the meter or, if it is a policeman, he may have a warrant from the court to enter the house and search it for something. Jesus believed in the Word of God as authoritative and entirely reliable. Jesus said in John ch 5 v 27: “The Father has given the Son authority to execute judgement, because He is the Son of Man.” Jesus only did what He saw His Father doing. If the Father said: “Do it” then Jesus knew that He had all the authority He needed to act and speak. Jesus had learned from the Scriptures. Moses went to Pharaoh on the authority of the Word of God – by faith in the Word of God. Exodus ch 3 v 10. David was king because he was appointed by the Word of God. 1 Kings ch 12 v 12. Elisha was passed the mantle by Elijah as a sign of his authority. 2 Kings ch 2 v 13-14.

A study of the life of the characters in the Scriptures reveals that they were constantly in a state of spiritual battle or conflict. In the Garden of Eden, God declared enmity between the serpent’s seed and the seed of woman. The law of strife became the law of life from that day onwards. Where did they get their authority from? It came from the Word of God. What authority do believers have and where does it stem from? It stems from the Word of God.

A. There are certain misconceptions. What authority is not.
1. Some say that it is the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Now God desires every Christian to be filled with the Holy Spirit every day. Acts ch 4 v 8. Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit. But the authority of the believer is more than just being filled with the Holy Spirit. Many Christians are truly filled with the Holy Spirit but never exercise any authority over spiritual powers.

2. Some say that the authority of the believer is a spiritual gift. “I have the gift of teaching. You have the gift of authority.” There is no reference to the gift of authority in the list of gifts in the Bible. God does give spiritual gifts but the authority of the believer is not a special gift given to some believers and not to all believers. Every believer is entitled to exercise authority over the enemy.

3. Some say that it is as a result of prevailing prayer. If a believer really prays hard, that will give him authority. There is a place for prevailing prayer, but that was not where the authority of Jesus came from. When Jesus cast out a demon, He did not pray a long time over the matter. Indeed sometimes He did not pray at all. Jesus taught His Disciples to speak to the mountain. There was no question of praying to it. The believer has to speak and thereby exercise his authority.

B. Authority is delegated power. There are two words in Greek for power. Luke ch 10 v 19. “I have given you authority over the enemy and power to tread on scorpions.” Just one word is used in English. A believer has authority over Satan but does not have power over Satan. A traffic policeman can stop a huge lorry by raising his hand. It is not by physical force or power that he stops the lorry, but by his authority. He is authorised by the police department to control the traffic. He only has to raise his hand and the traffic stops. The drivers recognise that he has the authority of the police department to control the traffic. A dictator rules by force or power but in a democracy the Government rules by the authority of the people who form the electorate. Authority is delegated power. Its power depends on the power behind the user. Jesus realised that all authority had been given to Him over the enemy of mankind and he used His authority. The authority of a believer is backed up by a greater power or authority. “If you go in my name, I shall be with you.” There is authority behind his words, because he speaks them on behalf of the Lord.

C. What is the source of authority? Eph ch 1 v 19-23. What is the surpassing power of Jesus? He is seated far above every name, which is named. When Jesus was raised from the dead, He was empowered by God the Father. Satan was defeated – not when Jesus was raised from the dead – but when He ascended to the Father and sat down at the right hand of the Father. Sitting down is symbolic of the work having been accomplished. Jesus had finished the work He came to do on Earth. 1 John ch 3 v 8. Jesus came to destroy the work of the Devil. That is just what He did. Then He sat down and then He received all the power and authority from God. Col ch 2 v 12-15. Jesus disarmed the rulers and authorities before He sat down. 1 Peter ch 3 v 22. It is the finished work of Christ. All the powers of Heaven bow before Jesus.

D. How does this power and authority operate in a believer? Eph ch 1 v 19. Those who believe. That means all who believe – not a select few. Right now all believers have authority over the powers of darkness. The Prince of the power of the air used to control their lives before they were born of the Holy Spirit. At salvation a believer becomes part of the body of Christ. He is raised to new life in Christ. Jesus is the head of the body. Believers are part of the body. Now they are seated with Christ in the Heavenly places. The word baptised means identified with Christ. That is the positional fact. It may not be the experience of a believer because of lack of faith, false teaching or disobedience. God knows the facts. Satan knows the facts. Often the believer is the only one who does not know the facts, because no one has taught him the facts. At the moment of justification a newborn believer is co-resurrected, co-raised and co-seated with Christ in the Heavenly places. This is why Jesus taught His Disciples that what they bound on Earth was bound in Heaven. But the believer has to operate in the realm of Heaven before he can work on Earth. The difference between what he is and what he experiences is very important. A person may be saved but not behave as if he is saved. This is particularly so in the case of the elderly, when their mental faculties break down. It often causes distress to family members, who begin to wonder about the salvation of a member of the family, when they behave as if they were not saved. A backslidden believer may not be living out the Christian life and may not feel that he is saved, but his position is secured in Christ – as long as he is not wilfully rejecting his salvation and his Lord.

E. The place of authority. Seated with Christ. Eph ch 2 v 4-6. It is like a factory worker getting a place on the board of directors. He is now a party to making decisions, which affect other people. He is given authority as a director. In this way the believer is given authority as a child of God – a brother of Jesus.
“Without me you can do nothing. Abide in me.” Jesus only did what the Father was doing. The believer can only do what He is led by the Spirit to do. That is the birthright of every believer. Believers may exercise the authority of the believer over the prince of the power of the air but only to the extent of their spiritual apprehension. The more they apprehend and understand the authority they have, the more they may be able to exercise it. “You will do what I have done.” John ch 12 v 14. As Jesus cast out demons, so shall a believer cast out demons – if he believes – if he exercises faith. A believer can order an angel to minister, if he believes in angels and believes that he has authority over them.

There are certain qualifications for exercising the authority of the believer. Heb ch 12 v 2. Col ch 3 v 1.The words “If then” is a conditional clause in Greek. There are 3 such clauses. If, and it might be true. If, and it is not true. And if, and it is true. It is used for emphasis. If then – and it is a fact that a believer has been raised up with Christ – he should keep seeking the things of God and fix his eyes on Jesus. Where is Jesus? Seated at the right hand of God. Seated is also in the present tense continuing. It is not that Jesus once sat down. He is continuing there seated beside the Father. Jesus is constantly active.

What are the qualifications for exercising the authority of the believer?
1. One thing is certain. Before a believer is going to be any Earthly use, he must be Heavenly minded. He must know and understand his position in Christ. Knowledge of the Scriptures is essential.

2. Humility. Only by humility will he make sure that he retains his position in Christ. Although by declaring Himself as God, Jesus made Himself equal with God, Jesus did not snatch at equality with God. Phil ch 2 v 6. He emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant. For a believer humility is not belittling himself saying: “I am nothing.” Humility is knowing who he is, who made him, what he is doing and giving God the glory for it. He is a child of God. That is a someone – not a no one. He may not be all he should be, but he is more than he used to be and, by the grace of God, he will be perfect one day. John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness, wearing a garment of camel’s hair and leather girdle. When people came and asked him who he was – was he Elijah – was he the prophet – he didn’t say; “I am no one really.” He said: “I am the one spoken of by the prophet Isaiah. I am a voice crying in the wilderness, making straight the path for the Lord.” John knew who he was and who had made him and who had called him to preach that the Messiah was coming. He knew his position. “He who is coming after me is mightier than I am. I am not worthy to carry His sandals.” John knew his position but he also knew the authority he had from the Scriptures to preach the Word of God. Know your position as a servant of the Lord, confidant in the calling of God to serve Him.

3. Boldness. Boldness involves faith. Faith involves knowledge. When God has spoken, to hold back is sin and not faith. Believers are told to approach the throne of grace as a child of God. Children are confident when they approach their father for help.

4. Awareness. As soon as a believer realises what he is called to do, Satan will be upset. He will be a marked man. Satan doesn’t really mind a spirit-filled believer. But a spirit-filled believer, who knows his position in Christ, who knows what he is entitled to do, who knows that he can do what Jesus did, and who starts exercising authority over his demons, that is bad news for the Kingdom of darkness. That one must be stopped at all costs. Every wile and deception will be brought into play to put an end to that one.

5. The right to exercise authority is conditional on using it in a proper fashion. The traffic policeman will have his authority withdrawn, if he is late for work, if he favours one stream of traffic against another one, or if he generally acts in an incompetent manner and causes a traffic jam. A Church will lose its authority to speak due to compromise or sheer disobedience.

Authority is delegated power. One who has authority delegates it to another. All authority in Heaven and Earth was given to Jesus. Before He ascended to Heaven Jesus delegated His authority to His disciples. Mat ch 10 v 1. Jesus called to Him His 12 Disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, to heal every disease (EVERY disease – no exception) and EVERY infirmity. The final commission from Jesus in Mat ch 28 v 18 is: “All authority in Heaven and Earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make Disciples of all nations.” John ch 14 v 12. “He who believes in me will also do the works that I do.”

How should believers exercise the authority? They should speak in the name of Jesus. There is power in the name of Jesus. Mention the shed blood on the cross. There is power in the cross. By the cross, Jesus defeated the last enemy of mankind – death. Satan, You are commanded to stop your activity. Remember, believers have no power over Satan, but they have authority over him and his demons. When are believers going to be serious about exercising the authority, which is given to them? Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil. The greatest enemy of mankind was death. Jesus destroyed the power of death. Yet millions of people are still afraid of death. The enemy still exercises power over mankind.

Authority is the right or power to require obedience. God has that supreme right. He has revealed Himself through the Bible. Revelation simply means revealing something, which was hidden, so that it may be seen for what it is. Would a wise Creator leave man in the dark with no clue as to His existence? No loving parent would deliberately keep out of a child’s sight and range. Man sees the existence of God through creation. Man has a built in sense of right and wrong. He was made in Heaven and stamped with the attributes of God to know right and wrong. Jesus is the heart and summit of all divine revelation – God Himself in the person of Jesus. The written word cannot be separated from the incarnate Word. Much more is revealed about God in Jesus than by a starlit sky.
If the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt. The evidence for the New Testament writings is so much greater than the evidence for many writings of classical authors, the authenticity of which no one dreams of questioning. There are in existence 5,500 Greek manuscripts and 18,000 copies of the versions. The authority of the believer is in the Word of God.