THE BATTLE CRY has sounded! Today as never before, christians are under attack. They have bad habits and addictions they cannot seem to overcome. They suffer from disease and sickness. They are troubled mentally and emotionally. They suffer from attacks of depression, oppression and obsession. Feelings of guilt, shame and condemnation flood their minds. Harassed, frustrated, fearful and vexed in their souls, many just hang on from day to day hoping for an answer from somewhere.
All the above symptoms do not come from God but from Satan and are some of his favorite weapons against God's people. Friend, it is high time that we learn what the weapons of our warfare are and how to use them! It's time to pull the mask off our enemy that we might see him for what he is and thus begin to destroy his works in our lives.
In order to do this we must learn the ways of war. We must learn to fight against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in heavenly places. (Eph. 6:12) We must learn what it means to put on the whole armour of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Eph. 6:11) Far too many christians are religious streakers, they have the helmet of salvation on, but the rest of them is naked, exposed to every attack of the wicked one. If we are not prepared we will never stand. Likewise, if we do not recognize our enemies as spiritual beings at work in the spiritual realm we may, like too many modern christians, turn to the world for relief. A visit to our local psychiatrist or doctor, a few pills here, a few tranquilizers there, all of which does little or nothing for our spiritual condition. God's remedy for relief is victory over demonic pressures through the practice of spiritual warfare!
Our opponent, Satan, is the prince of the power of the air, (Eph. 2:2) the god of this world, who is ever trying to keep Christians from progressing into the deeper things of God. He not only is the father of all that is false (John 8:44) and the deceiver of the whole world, (Rev. 12:9) he is also a thief whose intent is only to steal, kill and destroy! (John. 10:10) Before we were born again we were children of Satan. We were under his control, living by the "passions of the flesh", our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature, obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of our mind, the wicked cravings dictated by our senses and dark imaginings. (Eph. 2:3) But even though we were Satan's children, many of us were ignorant of the structure and order of his kingdom. The truth is Satan's armies are powerful and highly organized. Demon spirits are extremely treacherous and take great joy in destroying those who are ignorant of their existence. Ephesians chapter six, verse twelve points out the formation of his kingdom. Let us examine for a moment some of these areas that Paul reveals to us by the Holy Spirit.
PRINCIPALITIES --This Greek word is used to describe things in a series: magistrates, rulers and leaders. A series of rulers or leaders describes their rank and organization. The English word principality is defined as, "the territory of jurisdiction" or, "the prince of the country that gives title to a prince". Powerful ruler demons are assigned over various nations, states and cities.
POWERS --The Greek word for powers is translated as "authorities". This word refers to demons who are set over territories and are given authority to carry out orders given by Satan.
RULERS OF THE DARKNESS OF THIS WORLD --The word in Greek for world rulers is translated "lords of the world" or "princes of the ages". This emphasizes the enemies intention to control.
SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS IN HIGH PLACES --The key word is wickedness, which suggests that which is destructive and injurious in character.
There are many ways that Satan wars against us, but his primary tactic is to begin where he struck Adam and Eve, in the mind. The mind is where Satan strikes us the hardest using "...imaginations, arguments, theories, reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself against the true knowledge of God". (II Cor. 10:5) The true knowledge of God is the knowledge that he is God and that his Word is true.
If Satan can get the Christian to look at people, situations and self instead of God and his Word, they will then be more receptive to his thoughts of fear, worry, self-pity, doubt, anger etc. until we all lose out with God. Through this subtle attack on our thought life we become more vulnerable to sin, sickness, defeat, unhappiness, and many other unpleasant things. Satan's prime objective is to bring us into a place of compromise with the world, the flesh or himself so that we might become weak and ineffectual in our battle against his kingdom.
Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians, "I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received; or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him." (II Cor. 11:3,4) Paul feared that we would receive another spirit into our lives other than the Holy Spirit! This receiving of other spirits can contaminate our whole life. Many times spirits can gain such a stronghold in peoples lives that they become totally ineffectual in their walk, being driven by forces completely out of their control. This is what the Bible refers to as being demonized.
There has been much controversy over the issue as to whether or not a Christian can be possessed by the devil. This controversy is little more than a misunderstanding of terms and of what the scriptures state plainly on this issue. Unfortunately our English Bibles have translated the Greek word daimonizomai as possessed. The word possessed or possession in English means: "to own in the ordinary sense, like property, possessions, goods, etc." however, in the Greek this word means literally: "to be exercised by a demon, to have a, or be vexed by a devil or devils." (see Strongs Concordance #1142)
The word for possessed in the Greek is the word huparchonta or, huparcho, which is identical to the English word, to possess. We see plainly that a Christian can possess a demon on the inside and not be possessed by the devil. Eleven out of thirteen times that the word possessed appears in the new testament it refers to demons, and it is used with the word with and not of. This shows us a very important principle that we would do well to look at closely, as it sheds much light on the issue.
In the American Heritage dictionary of the American language it says that when the word possessed is used with the word with that the phrase indicates obsession, or lack of self-control. The dictionary defines obsession as, "A compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or unwanted feeling or emotion, often with anxiety." Only when the word possessed is used with the word of (possessed of devils, a phrase which only occurs twice in the entire N.T.) does it mean "that which is owned or possessed". Through this we can clearly see that the Greek word translated as possessed literally means, "to be vexed with devils, demonized or demoned", which in essence means to be exercised by a demon. I trust that this will shed some light on this controversial subject.
Since a Christian can possess a demon on the inside (that is, within the realm of his soul, which is his mind, will and emotions) it is very important that we learn to bind them and to cast them out. (Read Matt. 18:18 and 16:19) When we find a demon we can forbid him to operate within us in a particular situation. Since Jesus, our captain, has already bound Satan, this gives us the authority to bind his demons and cast them out; we need not fear them.
Jesus gave us a command in Mark 16:17 to cast out demons. It is one of the signs that follow the believer. Deliverance, the ministry of casting out demons, was called the childrens' bread by Jesus himself. (Mark 7:26) It was for the Jews, not for the pagans. As spiritual Jews it is for us today. It is part of working out our salvation. Deliverance is not for the unsaved. It is imperative that they first get saved, filling the house (their body) With the Holy Spirit of God, then deliverance will follow.
There is sometimes a need for preparation before a person can receive some good deliverances. Confession of hidden sins; unforgiveness, bitterness, etc. is necessary. Breaking all hexes, vexes, curses and evil soul ties in the name of Jesus will also do much to weaken the enemy. We've also found that many deliverances take longer than others. One must not faint, for some demonic strongholds take a while to destroy. We must be good soldiers of Jesus Christ, enduring hardness, willing to persevere at any cost. Jesus has opened up a realm in the spirit that makes us more than conquerors!!!
But how can we guard against Satan's ploys and wiles as he attempts to lure us away from our faith in Christ and our obedience to the will of God? First of all we must be alert, ready to fight, for Satan roams about like a lion seeking whom he may devour. (I peter 5:8) We have been blessed with a will to choose, it is therefore up to us which master we will yield ourselves to, God or Satan. There is no third choice, for if we claim to be serving ourselves we are in reality serving Satan just the same. (Mt. 6:24)
The main ground that demons work on in our lives is our fallen carnal nature, that is the nature we inherited from Adam: greed, lust, covetousness, selfishness, pride etc. these are the avenues Satan uses to entice us into sin. "Every person is tempted when he is drawn away, inticed and baited by his own evil desire. Then the evil desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully matured brings forth death." (James 1:14,15) Where does lust come from? From the world which is Satan's. (I Jn. 2:16) When we invite the world into our lives we will always have a struggle and war going on inside. (James 4:4) "...know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?" Sin is submitting to Satan to do his will, and his will is any thought, word, or deed that does not conform to God's perfect will. (I Jn. 3:4) Sin is not only doing wrong, but also failing to do right! (James 4:17) Adam's sin contaminated the whole human race. (Rom. 5:12) Yet there is some good news in all this!!! the Bible says, "If any man be in Christ (not just Christ being in us), he is a new creature." (II Cor. 5:17) We should keep in mind that our past life was ruled by Satan, but as Christians we must now let Christ rule in every aspect of our life, particularly in the area of our flesh, where Satan and his demons desire to bring us into bondage and captivity.
The aggressive way to fight against Satan's activities is to take authority over them in Jesus's name. But we must be submitted to God and living righteously if we expect to have any real authority and power. (James 4:7) As believers in Christ, Jesus has given us authority over all powers of Satan. (Matt. 10:1 and Luke 10:19) By using the mighty name of Jesus Christ and his redemptive blood we can completely overcome him and his strongholds in our lives. We can testify through Christ Jesus that Satan is a loser and a defeated foe in our lives!
Jesus came into this world to destroy the works of the devil. (I john 3:8) If we are truly born again and have put our faith in Jesus's blood, resurrection and completed work, then we are fully equipped by right of inheritance to exercise full dominion over every demon and even Satan himself. Jesus has taken the keys of death, Hell and the grave away from Satan and unlocked a realm of dominion for those who lay down their lives and follow him. Through this power alone are we able to overcome Satan and his destructive forces that he sends against us. The power of the blood of Jesus is far greater than anything the enemy sends against us. (I john 5:4,5) We are made more than conquerors through him that loved us and washed us in his own blood. (Rom. 8:37, rev. 1:5) Though spiritual warfare and complete deliverance take time, we must be patient and enduring, for in the end, JESUS CHRIST IS KING!!!!
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