Sunday, October 28, 2018

THE PARALLELS BETWEEN THE SPIRITUAL & PHYSICAL REALMS: PART 5 - DELIVERANCE IS THE CHILDREN'S BREAD



A stronghold is a spiritual fortress that has been set up in your life by the enemy, who is Satan, to undermine God’s purpose for you. These strongholds result in destructive habits and wrong thought patterns that are very difficult for one to break free from on their own.

Every day, people succumb to strongholds and become victims to fear, sexual immorality, addictions, suicidal thoughts, depression, feelings of insecurity, etc. Other strongholds can include infirmities, chronic diseases, mental illness and various other afflictions. The end result is people who are in bondage – this also includes born again, Spirit-filled Believers of Jesus Christ. "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds," 2 Corinthians 10:4

There are many in the Church body who do not believe Christians need deliverance from demons. However, the Bible tells us otherwise: “Now He (Jesus) was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.” Luke 13:10-13

When the Pharisees objected to Jesus healing this woman on the Sabbath, He responded by saying: “Ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” Luke 13:16

Satan wants to suppress the message that addresses deliverance from demons in the Church because when people are delivered, it is a distinctive sign that Jesus' Kingdom is at hand. The act of deliverance from demonic influence also demonstrates Satan's defeat. The enemy not only works hard to keep people from coming to know Jesus, he works even harder to prevent Christians from being effective in their call.

When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior more than thirty years ago, I walked with the Lord and yet continued to struggle for years with sins of control, manipulation, being judgmental, seduction, haughtiness and pride. It took years for me to recognize these actions as sin and even more years for me to admit that I needed deliverance from these sins. Why did it take me so long to come into this knowledge? Every sin is attached to a demon and demons will do whatever they can to deceive you.

Contrary to what many believe, Christians are not always instantly delivered from every stronghold immediately upon confessing Christ and becoming baptized - although this can happen. It took me years to understand that deliverance from demons is another aspect of spiritual warfare. And only after confessing these sins for what they were (strongholds controlled by evil spirits) and renouncing them, did the Lord deliver me. Deliverance is not a one-time fix. Demons never stop trying to take over. Deliverance is a way of life for every Believer.

For those who have a hard time understanding how demons can afflict Christians who have Holy Spirit dwelling inside of them, allow me to give you a scenario that has helped me. Think of yourself as a house with many rooms. When you accept Christ, Holy Spirit moves in, but He only moves into rooms in your house that are not already occupied by sin. For example, if you notice that you just can't stop cursing, more than likely you need deliverance to cast out the demon that is attached to that sin. For it is occupying a room in your spiritual house. The only way to rid yourself of a demon is to confess the sin they are attached to, renounce it and demand they leave, in Jesus' name. The Holy Spirit can then dwell in that space for it has been cleansed.

It may take longer for some than for others to thoroughly clean their spiritual house. However, don’t give up. You have been given the authority and power over the enemy through Jesus Christ so you have the victory, in Jesus' name! “And when He (Jesus) had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.” Matthew 10:1

Finally, before Jesus ascended to Heaven, He told His disciples that all authority had been given to Him in Heaven and on Earth. Then He commanded them to "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 18:18-20

We should follow Jesus’ example in concerning all things, including deliverance from demons.

May God open the ears, eyes and hearts of those who read this word. May He bless you with a supernatural understanding and insight to His Word concerning this supernatural message, in Jesus' name.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

THE PARALLELS BETWEEN THE SPIRITUAL & PHYSICAL REALMS: PART 4 - THE DEMONIC


We are not fighting with flesh and blood people in this world, but instead we are engaging in intense conflict with evil spiritual rulers who dominate the world in this present age of darkness, with high ranking spiritual principalities who have been placed in descending orders of authority, and with spiritual armies of wickedness who dwell in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

Satan is not a silly little red man with a pitchfork. Although he may be foolish, he is a very astute, powerful and evil being.

Satan is a spiritual being who was created by God and placed in a high ranking angelic role in Heaven to serve the Lord. Satan is also a liar, a thief, a master of deception and a counterfeiter. After plotting a rebellion against God, he was kicked out of Heaven along with the angels who followed him. Satan then established a highly organized spiritual kingdom that was modeled after the Kingdom of God and strategically placed his evil followers in various locations all over the world. God rules His Kingdom with goodness through a dominion of Light. However, Satan dominates his kingdom with evil through a system of darkness.

The expulsion of Satan eventually resulted in the fall of man. This yielded two opposing kingdoms who are continuously at war with each other for possession of our souls. All Believers should understand this from the moment they except Christ as their Lord and Savior. Upon entering the Kingdom of God they also enter into spiritual warfare with their arch enemy. And this battle will continue every day for the rest of their life while they are on this Earth. Knowing how to defeat the enemy is crucial as Satan has only one goal concerning you. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” John 10:10

As hard is it may be to believe in this twenty-first century Western world that we live in, there are still those out there who consider demons and evil spirits superstition. There are those who think supernatural, malevolent beings only exist in legends, ancient religions, mythology, horror movies and fictional paranormal stories. As one who has had first hand experiences with the supernatural - including demons and evil spirits - I am here to tell you that the demonic side of the spiritual realm is real. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

God gave mankind many gifts including that of free will. Demons also understand this for they willfully chose to rebel against God. Demons study you from the moment you are born to determine your strengths and your weaknesses. They will do whatever it takes to influence you to also willfully rebel against God.

Demons have a bit of an advantage over people that we should be mindful of. As people are impulsive and impatient by nature, this is not so with demons. Time is of no concern to them. They are masters of gradualism. Patience is a quality they excel in. And why wouldn't they, demons have nothing else to do but come up with plans to deceive you for the purpose of destroying you. They are in this thing for life - yours that is. For their life is already damned. When Jesus returns, Satan and his demons will be thrown into the lake of fire and they know this. Therefore, they have nothing left to lose. If it is determined it will take them ten years of your life, twenty years of your life or even your lifetime to accomplish this goal, Satan still considers it a job well done. But there is more to this story...

God is the ultimate authority and the head of the chain of command. Every being is subject to His command - this includes the fallen ones. Although it may be difficult for some to understand, God uses demons too. We know Holy Spirit speaks to us, but we should also know that God allows the demons to speak to us as well. The problems arise when we are not able to identify the source of the voices that we hear. Those who are true Believers, led by Holy Spirit, should know the difference. The fruit of the Holy Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) whereas the fruit of the demonic influence is anger, hatred, lust, violence, division, idolatry, jealousy, selfish ambition and destruction. (Galatians 5:19-21)

Nothing in this universe happens without God's approval. Again, this may be difficult for some to understand, but God also uses Satan and his evil demons to bring His good and perfect Will to past. If He deems it necessary, God will allow them to "sift you as wheat" to accomplish His greater purpose. "All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Warning! For those who continue to sin and think it’s alright, you should know that eventually God will completely remove His hand from your life and allow tormenting evil spirits to have their way with you. Do you remember what happened to king Saul? On the other hand, when we submit to God and resist the devil (James 4:7), God gives us the authority and the power to command the demons to leave. Freedom from demonic bondage can be a struggle and it may not happen overnight. “But God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

Demons are evil spirit beings who are always seeking an opportunity to destroy your soul. "Your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." 1 Peter 5:8 As demons are spirit, they need a physical body to inhabit that enables them to play out their dirty deeds. And demon possession is not just limited to one demon per body. Multiple demons can live in one body for a time. Think of a demon as evil who desires to drive you around like a car - because that is exactly what they do. Demons are always ready and willing to take possession of a body who has given them an open door to move in. “When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation.” Matthew 12:4

Also be aware that demons do not just indwell humans, they can indwell animals too. "Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned." Luke 8:33

Demons are emphatically legalistic. When a person sins, a spiritual door opens giving a demon, or multiple demons, the legal right to enter into the body of that sinner and influence certain areas of their life. This explains why it is difficult for some to completely renounce certain sins - even if they are Christians. Yes, contrary to popular belief, Christians can also be demonized. This is called demon oppression. If enough demons have been given the right to occupy the body of a sinner, that person is at risk of being completely taken over. This is called demon possession.

The ability to determine the difference between demon oppression and demon possession requires a gift from God. “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

In the Bible, we read that Jesus cast out demons that caused people to be mute, deaf, blind, to convulse, to have superhuman strength and to display self-destructive behavior. However, Jesus, with His supreme power, cast out demons by speaking His words of authority. Jesus has given His followers the same authority and the power. Jesus said, “I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy.” Luke 10:19

Demons demonize people, and their families, through generational curses, self-inflicted verbal curses, oaths, soul ties, trauma and victimization. Demons have access to those who have willingly given themselves over to Satan to be possessed by demons (yes, there are people who do this), to those who have made a pact with the devil to acquire fame and success, to those who participate in the occult (horoscopes, Ouija boards, seances, witchcraft, fortune telling, etc.), to those who are involved in secret societies, (i.e. the Masons, Illuminati, etc) and other demonic associations.

Demons also have the ability to attach themselves to objects that have been ‘demonically charged' by way of curses and spells. When these items come into your home, demons have access to you and your family. Demonically charged items could include used furniture, books, art, television programs, music, movies and the like. The ways of Satan are many yet deliverance is the children's bread. (Matthew 15:26) We will address deliverance from the demonic in part 5 of this series.

Although the world today is inundated with the demonic, we the Believers of Jesus Christ should be encouraged for the Bible tells us that in the end, we win. For the true Believers in this world will overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb, who is Jesus Christ, and by the word of our testimony for we do not love our lives so much that we are afraid to die for our Lord. (reference Revelation 12:11)

When the Bible says we are to testify, it means we are to share what Jesus has personally done for us. A summary of my testimony is this: Jesus picked me up, cleansed me and made me brand new in every way possible. Through His shed blood, He took my infirmities and He bore my sickness, and by His wounds, I am healed. He established me in His Kingdom forever with the authority and the power to overcome the enemy, in His name. My body is now a temple of the Holy Spirit. I am redeemed by the blood of Jesus and through my obedience and submission to God, no demon has the right to any place in me, in Jesus’ name.

May God open the ears, eyes and hearts of those who read this word. May He bless you with a supernatural understanding and insight to His Word concerning this supernatural message, in Jesus' name.