In this five session seminar, Dr. Paul L. Cox along with his wife Donna and son Brian teach about spiritual warfare and what the Bible has to say about it.
Paul brings a unique perspective to this topic. Having come from a Baptist background, he uses extensive scriptural reference along with sound theological backing to lay out a solid foundation for the Christian as a warrior.
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Session 1 of 5
Good morning! Lord Jesus, we thank You for our time together. We welcome You Holy Spirit, Heavenly Father. We enthrone You in this place. We declare Lord that this is all about You and not about us. We want to be seeking Your will and Your purposes and Your Kingdom for our time together. We invite You to be present and to lead. We submit to Your authority and to Your will. We say Jesus, we love You and we are so grateful for Your death on the cross for our sins, the shedding of Your blood and for Your resurrection power. We know that without that we would be in trouble. We welcome You. May You guide us through Your Word we ask. Amen.
What I am going to talk about today I was not taught for most of my Christian life having now been in church for over six decades. Wow! I think I was born in the church nursery. At the age of 6 at the First Baptist Church of Honolulu, Hawaii I received Christ as my Savior. I was in Sunday School, Training Union, Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night. I was trained in the Word of God. I love the Word of God.
In our current ministry as we have been doing schools, it seems that the Lord keeps on moving us out into more and more areas that are unusual so that even our basic schools now we have very little of what we are going to do right now. I was thinking about it last night that there might be those that would assume that there is really no biblical basis for what we do. When the reality is, my whole life has been built on the Word of God and on the Bible. The Word of God was so important to us that it affected me personally, in my marriage, in my family, our children, and now our grandchildren. We believe the Word of God. I believe it is the inherent Word of God. I believe every word. If there is any problem in the Word of God, it is our problem and not a problem with the Word of God.
People have assumed that perhaps it is not important to me. It is always interesting to me that people make assumptions like that when they really don’t even know who you are. I have a good friend and his parents have difficulty with Aslan’s Place ministry. They contacted his brother to investigate Aslan’s Place. He went on the website and he did the investigation and he came back with this comment. He said, “If Aslan’s Place has any problem, it is that they take the Word of God too literally.” I think that was one of the nicest compliments I could have possibly received.
I was trying to think what happened to us. We believed the Word of God. I can remember when I went to the First Baptist Church of Downey, California with our pastor, Harold Adams. For the first time in my life I heard expositional preaching where you preach through books of the Bible. I can remember as a college student almost graduating how excited I was to be exposed to the Word of God at that level. I became like a sponge. I loved hearing him preach and I couldn’t wait to get through the singing period with the hymns and all that so that I could hear him preach. I just devoured the Word of God. We got into home groups and it was just very, very exciting.
The Word was alive and I just loved learning the information. I loved learning new things. I loved applying it. But, in many ways it was still like I was in a sports stadium. I was in the audience not understanding that the Word meant that one day we were supposed to get onto the field into the conflict and that we actually could take the Word and not only apply it to our own personal lives, but we actually could enter into conflict so that we could take back ground from the enemy so that our lives could be different. That was a transition that I did not understand. I was not raised with that worldview.
I remember that we moved to Bethany Baptist Church in Montclair, California. That was our second pastorate. I had been in full time ministry since 1971, first as youth pastor. I became a pastor in 1977 when Donna and I and the kids moved to Buhl, Idaho. In 1980 we moved back to Southern California to a church of 450 members. I started preaching through books of the Bible. Every initiation of my ministry I would preach through the book of Joshua. It is interesting to me because the book of Joshua is a book about conflict and about taking down strongholds and about taking back territory from the enemy. It was my favorite book. I love the book of Joshua. I moved to Southern California as a Baptist pastor and strange things started happening to Donna and I. Somewhere in the early years between 1980 and 1989 everything changed for us.
I was at a pharmacy picking up some medication. Donna was waiting at home with some missionary friends to go out to eat. Someone stepped up behind me and put a gun into my back. Then they told me to go and kneel down in the back. I remember the guy said, “You are probably very nervous. This is probably the first time you have been held up.” I said, “Yes, it is.” He was very considerate. He was holding a gun that was about this big … in my back. He tied me up with some tape from the pharmacy. It was Christmastime and I can remember thinking, “I’m going to heaven.” It was that calm. “It will be alright, but it’s really going to ruin Donna’s Christmas.” They robbed the pharmacy and left and then we were untied. So that happened.
Then, sometime later I was in a deacon’s meeting and I got this phone call (not on a cell phone, that was before cell phones) and my good friend said, “Now, I don’t want you to worry, but Donna, Brian, Christy, and Corrie are in the hallway and there is a murderer loose in your house.” I don’t know which part of that I was not supposed to worry about. What had happened is that we were constructing a two-story addition for Donna’s mother to move in and it was opened up. There was a man who had committed a murder in Pomona, had escaped and got into our addition and there were policeman with shotguns guarding my family. I drove up and all the police cars in Montclair were there. I had to sit out there until it was all taken care of. Eventually the guy actually went down the side of our house, tried to break into the house where my family was, and then he got into the street and was actually treed by a dog and they captured him.
Then I had another time when I had done a funeral and it was a divorce situation. The ex-wife was there and she was upset that I did not mention her name. You know this gets very complicated when you are dealing with divorce situations on who you mention and who you do not mention. She got very angry at me. She called and I recognized what she was talking about and she wanted to know what time the service was. I had a suspicion that something was going to happen. I look back and realize that it was probably a word of knowledge. The sanctuary held about 500 people.
At the end of the service I saw her come in. Some of you know our friend, Tim Price. He was there and he is this huge man. I started calling out the huge men I could find to come down to the front. I had them surround me and I walked back and said, “Okay, now I will talk to you.” She got very angry about that and went into the narthex. Do you remember narthexes? She started throwing things around, got into her car and was driving up and down the parking lot cursing me. The police were called and the deacons sped Donna and I and the kids away and hid us in a friend’s house while this was being done. At the same time, this lady had injured a little girl. The father found out about this and he came running into the church ready to cause all sorts of trouble.
Then there was another time. I got a phone call and someone said, “I have been listening to the police frequency and there is a man who is angry at you and he is coming after you with a gun.” I’m thinking, “I’m just this Baptist pastor guy. What is all this about? Inquiring minds want to know.”
Then our daughter, Corrie, I think around fifth or sixth grade, started getting very sick. She was sick through fifth grade, sixth grade, seventh grade, eighth grade with Mono, Epstein Barr, chronic fatigue, you name it. We finally had to take her out of school at the beginning of high school and homeschool her she was so sick.
Just after we had left the church our house was bombed. Some of the youth, because of what had happened at the church, were angry at us. It wasn’t them of course, it was the enemy. They actually made a bomb and put a bomb in our driveway. It ruined Christy’s car. They called the bomb squad.
Oh yeah, there was one more. This is the funniest one. We have Santa Ana Winds in Southern California and so the wind was blowing. There was a lady who lived across the street and the wind blew really strong and blew the lights out in the neighborhood. She came to the church door into the office and said, “Behold, if you are the man of God, why did the lights go out?” …. “The wind blew which caused the lights to go out.”
She started harassing our secretary. We had a preschool there with a hundred some kids. We finally had to lock down the preschool. She started phoning, we are talking about 60 times an hour. Then she started phoning the police department complaining about me not being a man of God. Eventually I had enough and went home. Then she started calling the house.
And then, we got a call from a neighbor who said that there was a lady at their house trying to find me. She was walking up our street without any shoes knocking on the doors trying to find the man of God. Finally she got to our house and started pounding on our door. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. Will anybody listen?” We had to call the police. So again, we are in the hallway and she is pounding on the door and we had to do a 5150 and a 72-hour hold. Well that only lasted 72 hours incidentally which is why they call it a 72-hour hold. Then she started calling again. I was like, “What is this? I don’t understand, I have friends who are pastors and they are living these normal lives.”
Then I was at camp and Donna had an experience that was the freakiest experience of all. I am going to have her come and share her experience.
(Donna) First I want to tell you, I married a schoolteacher, so this was all a surprise to me. He had his tenure and everything and we were going to have a nice quiet life. I would rather be in the back row than up here, but this is the way it turned out for us.
Paul and the older kids were at camp. I was settling our youngest daughter into bed and checking the doors, turning out the lights, and that kind of stuff. I went into our bedroom and there was an animal on my bed. I thought, “What is the German Shepherd doing on the bed? She’s not supposed to be up there.” Then I looked more closely and it was not our German Shepherd, it was a being. As Paul will remind you over and over again, we are American Baptists so we didn’t know about demons at that point. I thought, “What am I seeing?” I did have the knowledge to know to just make it leave in the Name of Jesus. It did. It kind of looked over its shoulder, but it did leave.
Then I started wondering if I was losing my mind. I had never heard of this kind of stuff today. My girlfriend and I went up to the camp because I needed to talk to Paul to see if I needed to go to a hospital or something. I told him about it and he believed me. He said that we probably should not talk to anybody about it. That should have given me a clue, him not wanting to talk about it. With the fact that we could not talk about it, it was a miracle that I even was sane then after that. So, we didn’t talk about it for the longest time. It was when we were introduced to the things of the spiritual realm that I remembered that. It gave some authenticity that I wouldn’t have had before if I had never seen this.
(Paul) All this happened in the 1980s. Looking back we understand that what was happening was that the Lord was preparing us to understand spiritual conflict and spiritual warfare. We also started to understand that maybe the enemy anticipated what was going to happen to us and was literally trying to take us out before this all happened.
Doing this seminar in some ways is very difficult for me now. I am more of a person who wants to get down and practice it. It is important for us I believe again to establish some scriptural foundations for what we do. You see, everything that I do, and Donna does, and Brian does, and our team does flows out of the Word of God. You will hear people flippantly say that it is not biblical. Then they will start like a tape repeating what they have heard someone else say. The truth is that they do not know the Word of God. They know about the Word of God and they have some opinions about the Word of God.
The more closely that you look at the Word of God, the more clearly you see that we are in a battle. We have not just simply moved over the Jordan into our campers and are waiting for the Second Coming to happen, and then we’re going to be evacuated from this place and until then life is just hard and there is nothing we can do about it. I did not realize that I could do something about the situations in my life other than just pray, that there could be specific kinds of praying that I could do that would actually affect my life and change it, that I did not need to be a victim anymore.
I want to encourage you as we go through today that there is going to be a lot of scripture and a lot of talking and a lot of teaching, but it will be pointless unless it encourages you to say, “You know what, I can now enter the battle knowing that through the Blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection power I can be more victorious than I have been in the past”. Otherwise, this is useless.
We actually had a pastor come to a school. He wasn’t there for two hours and he left. This was his parting comment, “I thought we were just going to learn things and we weren’t going to have to do anything.” I thought, “What is the point of that?” Is there any point of just learning? If our learning does not change us and propel us into action, then what is the point?
I want to tell you up front, I do not like this. The battle is fatiguing, it is annoying, it is exhausting. I would not vote for it. I guess we have no choice because that is the nature of the Christian life. When you became a follower of Jesus Christ, you immediately became a soldier. This is not a school, this is a boot camp. This is a boot camp and this is not a boot camp in a war-free world. This is a boot camp where we understand that the war right now is going on and we are soon going to be asked to be participants in it. You might say that you don’t like it, well I don’t like it either. I actually had a man say to me, “I don’t want to know about any of this, because if I don’t know about it, then it won’t bother me.” That is like saying, “I’m not going to go to the doctor. I suspect I might have cancer, but if I don’t go to the doctor, then I will not have cancer.” That is foolish thinking. The reality of the warfare is true.
I would like for you to open your notes and your Bibles. This is an astounding verse.
1 John 3:8. “He who sins is of the devil for the devil has sinned from the beginning for this purpose; the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil.”
That is why Jesus came. That is the intentional reason why Jesus came, to destroy the works of the devil.
Isaiah 61 is a passage that was used when Jesus began His ministry. There have been some interesting studies. The Jews would follow a script and every week certain passages would be read. Jesus was invited to stand up and speak in the synagogue and the script had already been laid out. Of course, they do not know what He knows, which is that He is going to stand up on the very day that Isaiah 61 is to be read. Then He is going to tell them, “I am the guy.”
Isaiah 61:1. “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn.”
2 Corinthians 10:4. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”
Psalm 108:12-13. “Oh, give us help against the adversary, for deliverance by man is in vain. Through God we shall do valiantly; and it is He who will tread down our adversaries.”
There is a reality that we are in a spiritual conflict. There is a wonderful ministry in the world today that has greatly helped our ministry. That ministry contains the word freedom. Years ago as I was contemplating what I would call our notes, it occurred to me that this is not an issue just about freedom. We do not want to come against the enemy just to be free. The ultimate goal is not freedom. The ultimate goal is obedience. I would dare say that the ultimate goal is radical obedience to Jesus Christ.
Some time ago I was praying for a man from an evangelical church, very conservative, who did not really believe in what we were doing except he was so desperate because he could not gain victory over an area of his life. He finally had exhausted all possibilities and he came to us. This is what he said to me, “It is almost as if I cannot stop doing this.” You see, the issue for him was that he could not become obedient to Christ. Jesus says, “If you love Me, you will obey Me.” Right? What about your life, my life? Are there are areas that we find it hard to be radically obedient because there is a resistance going on?
I am very distracted right now because there is an angel here and there is a message. I figured that this was not going to be a typical seminar. We are alright with that, isn’t that right Mimi? I am going to ask Mimi to stand up if she will. Can she have a mike? The Lord wants to say something to us before we continue any further. Mimi you can stand here. What is happening is that there is actually an angel standing right here. The angel has a message. I feel the angel here on my head. I feel pressure on my head.
(Mimi) Come on up everyone, come on up, come on up, come on up to higher realms of glory. Come on, come on, come on, come on. Your natural mind cannot comprehend this. Your natural mind cannot comprehend this. Come and explore, come and explore, come and learn, learn the heart of God, learn the will of God. Come and explore. We want to show you, we want to teach you. It’s all about knowing God, loving God. It’s time, it’s time, it’s time, it’s time for you and for the marketplace, for the world to know the heart of God, to know the heart of God. Come and experience God, experience His heart, experience His will, experience His love. Come on up for the suddenlies, for the suddenlies. Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid. Paul and Donna are safe, they are safe people, they are safe people.
(Paul) Lord, we thank You for Your word and we bless Your name. Lord, we do want to know You, to know Your resurrection power. Amen.
Spiritual Resistance to Us Obeying Christ
Let’s look at the spiritual resistance to us obeying Christ. There are two key passages in the Old Testament.
Isaiah 14:12-15. “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.”
There are five points there that have to do with the pentagram which is the five-point star. Of course, here this is Lucifer who declares that he wants to be God.
Morris has a wonderful book called The Long War Against God. In the back he has an interesting commentary. He says, “Let’s pretend that you are Lucifer and you are taken out of the water, you look around you and you only see water and you are the first created being. The only other one you see are the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. So you start thinking, ‘Perhaps they also evolved out of the water, and perhaps I can continue to evolve until I can take over Their place.’ Thus begins the root of the rebellion.”
People say, and it is great in songs, that Satan has read the end of the book and he knows what is going to happen. I d not think that is true. I truly believe that Lucifer believed from the very beginning that he could win. He is an idiot for thinking that, but I believe that he believes that. If you look at the sheer numbers, he is winning. By sheer numbers, he is winning. He is in war with the Eternal God. He has to see the majesty on high, he has to see the glory, but you see he knows that we do not believe how majestic God is. If he can keep us deceived long enough, then we will ultimately turn the creation over to him which is what we did in the very beginning. There is a resistance.
Ezekiel 28:12-17. “Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, … (we believe that perhaps Lucifer was assigned to be in charge of earth and Eden) … the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. (There is an interesting commentary about this, that the settings and mountings could actually pertain also to musical instruments, and that perhaps Lucifer was in charge of worship and his actual settings and mountings were musical instruments.)
“You were anointed as a guardian cherub… (This is important. Lucifer is not an angel, he is a cherub. A cherub has the four faces, the wings, hooves feet and that is why he has calves feet. Incidentally, righteous cherubim also have calves feet. I received this email after we publicized going to see The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. It was an email from Australia. This person said, “I can’t believe you are going to this movie. There are creatures in there that have calves feet.” I was thinking, “Cherubim have calves feet.” Anyway, we won’t go over there.) … for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.”
There is every indication that other beings fell with him. In Revelation we are told that about one-third of the stars fell. We believe that not only did angels fall, but powers fell, rulers fell, cherubim fell, seraphim fell, righteous elders that became unrighteous elders fell, and that there were a large number of spiritual beings that fell or went with Lucifer believing the lie that he would be able to win. So, Lucifer has to be very concerning which, of course, is true because you look at the world today and how convincing he can be.
There is another name for Lucifer and that is Satan. Satan is referred to through scripture as the devil, the god of the world, the evil one, the enemy. He is also called the tempter, the serpent. He is called the angel of light. Now, he masquerades as an angel of light. Notice that it does not say that he is an angel of light, he masquerades, because he is what, a cherub. Incidentally, those that have actually seen cherubim in the spiritual realm say that they are thousands, upon thousands, upon thousands of feet high. The throne of God rides on four cherubim. Above them is a sea of glass which is not a lake or a pond, it is a sea. You cannot see from one end of the sea to the other end. It is big! These cherubim must be big. Lucifer is a cherub and he is big. We have the face of a lion (remember he is a roaring lion), face of a man, face of an eagle, face of an ox.
I wrote down for you here in the Hebrew and the Greek. The Hebrew word for Satan occurs 19 times, is translated as ‘adversary or one who withstands,’ ‘superhuman adversary’. In the Greek, it is also translated as ‘adversary, one who opposes another in purpose or act, prince of evil spirits, the inveterate adversary of God and Christ, he incites apostasy from God and to sin’.
Another name for the head of the enemies against God is Lucifer. Isaiah 14:12. “How have you fallen from heaven O Lucifer?” This is from the Hebrew word meaning ‘shining one or morning star or light bearer’. He probably dwells in light. Remember that the cherub rode in the glory of God, and so there would be some residual glory still there which would be light.
Growing up I was taught out of the traditional evangelical church. We would hear verses like this, “For all things work for good to the glory of God, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” That is in Philippians. Somehow that got translated, “For all things are good,” which is not what it says. There was this concept that life is tough and that there is poverty, problems in marriage, problems in the family, and frankly this is just the way it is and we have to get used to it. There is sickness and there is mental illness and this is just what happens and this is part of our suffering for Christ.
I am very indebted to a book by Gregory Boyd that we are going to quote a lot today. The book is called God at War. He is a Baptist. A very intelligent, articulate Baptist I might add. I have been greatly blessed by his book because in the book I started understanding something I did not understand before. You see, we have been incredibly influenced by the Greek mindset.
The Greek mindset is what leads to humanism. It leads to us believing that everything that happens in our lives needs to be processed up here (the head). It is very influenced by philosophy and thinking. It occurred to me recently that the Greek philosophers were homosexual pedophiles. They believed in sex with boys and this is the kind of morality that the philosophies of the world come out of that have literally spread from Greece and permeated Europe and now the United States. The belief is that God is in control of everything. This is all done philosophically, not biblically. God is in charge of all things; therefore, everything that happens is God’s will. Incidentally, this is the Muslim view, it is called predestination. So, if I kill you, that is God’s will. We operate with that mindset.
I know that is true because when I would do funerals people would say things like, “Why did God kill my child?” or, “Why did God let that happen?” Of course, these are difficult questions. If you listen to any of the biblical commentators on the television, when the tsunami took place, you should have been very offended because this is what they said, “God had His reasons for doing this”. You see, everything goes back to God doing it. This is what we call the sovereign plan of God. The difficulty is that at some point this breaks down.
Our grandson, Cody, who is now 10 was born with cystic hygroma. He was cut from here to here, 2 days, the cyst taken out, in Intensive Care for seven weeks. It was a horrible time in our daughter’s life, son-in-law’s life, and our lives waiting to see how he was going to do. Now his little face is deformed. You are going to come and tell me that was God’s will. You have babies that are born and they scream for three years straight and then die. You are going to tell me that’s God’s will.
I can remember as a Baptist youth pastor one of the most difficult things I had to do ever in my life. I was called by our pastor who said, “You need to come down here. There has been an accident.” A little boy was on his fifth wheel and rode in between some cars, was run over by a Cadillac, and was in very serious condition. I went down to the hospital and by the time I got there he had died. Then my pastor said, “You need to go and tell his brother that his baby brother is dead.” It was extremely difficult. I would go and say, “Well, God has His reasons for taking your brother.” I don’t believe that anymore.
There is a worldview, a biblical view that is different to that. It is a view that gives us an answer to what is going on. I think that we need to start getting the message out. I like Greg Boyd’s other book. It is called, Is God to Blame? You need to get that book. There is another book called The Shack which is the fictional version of the nonfiction Is God to Blame? The Shack is here. I don’t know if you have Is God to Blame? in the bookstore. God at War I think you have.
Here is the worldview that is different. God is a sovereign God, but He has created autonomous human and spiritual beings that have free will and can make choices. We are not a bunch of robots that have been preprogrammed to go around doing whatever God wants. This makes logical sense because how can we love our God unless we have a choice to do it? What would it be like if you were told by your parents that you will love that man? I can tell you what would happen. It ain’t gonna happen because that old free will is going to rise right up because love is a choice. For us to love God, we have to have free will and free will is dangerous. It is very, very dangerous. We are going to talk about that after our break.
Session 2 of 2
Very often when we do seminars at Aslan’s Place and around the world angels show up. The same thing is happening. The Lord just likes to participate with us. Another angel is here, another message. The angel is right here. We are going to pick on Jana this time if she can get up. I’m going to sit down I think. Jana, feel free to walk right over there.
(Jana) Come and see. The battle belongs to the Lord. Fight the good fight. The more you fight, the more you see. Come and see. The victory is in you, the victory is in Me. Learn to trust your senses. I’m putting the enemy at your feet. My Kingdom come. It’s about the Kingdom. Learn to trust your discernment, you will be trusting Me. It’s a good fight. Without the battle there is no victory. Get understanding, get wisdom. These are the tools of your defense, but greater still is the offense. For through you I will bring justice. My design is in you. I trust you, trust Me. Come and see. Come and see.
(Paul) Thank you Jana.
We Are at War
As we were sharing before, there is a worldview that is different than the one that we grew up with. This worldview says that God is not the author of every evil thing that takes place. This worldview says that we are at war. I would like to quote to you from God at War by Gregory Boyd several places.
“The Bible as well as the early post-apostolic Church assumes that the creation is caught up in the crossfire of an age-old cosmic battle between good and evil. As in other warfare worldviews, the Bible assumes that the course of this warfare greatly affects life on earth.” (Boyd, p. 18)
“Hostile, evil, cosmic forces that are seeking to destroy God’s beneficent plan for the cosmos have, in fact, seized God’s good creation. God wages war against these forces, however, and through the person of Jesus Christ has now secured the overthrow of this evil cosmic army. The Church as the Body of Christ has been called to be a decisive means by which this final overthrow is to be carried out.” (Boyd, p. 19)
“As in Jesus’ ministry, this warfare can sometimes involve actual exorcisms, (we use the word ‘deliverance’ or ‘prayer ministry’) according to Book of Acts. While there are only four references in Acts to exorcisms, the way they are recorded, combined with the numerous references to exorcism in the post-apostolic church, indicates that exorcism was a standard part of early Christian life.”
Indeed we know from history that before around 300 A.D. every single person who became a Christian went through deliverance. That was normal Christian life. Eventually it was isolated to only certain people to do deliverance and then only the Pope could do it. This is the way that things transpired. Moving down …
“Thus, the Christian life is for Paul a life of spiritual military service. It is about being a good soldier (2 Tim 2:4), about “fighting the good fight” (1 Tim 1:18; 6:12), about “waging war” (2 Cor 10:3), and about “struggling” with a cosmic enemy (Eph. 6:12). Given his view of the ever-present reality of Satan and his kingdom, and given his understanding of what Christ was about and what the Church is supposed to be about, it is hard to see how [Paul] could have viewed the Christian life differently.” (Boyd, p. 282)
“These authors never pondered “why bad things happen to good people,” for they lived with a warfare worldview that expected bad things to happen to good people. If the world is as thoroughly saturated with evil forces as they envisioned, then nightmarish suffering would not come as a great surprise. They understood (because Jesus taught) that, if the Lord of all creation suffered at the hands of these evil forces, they could hardly expect to fare better (Jn 15:20-21; cf. 1 Cor 2:8). The New Testament tells “good people” to expect bad things!” (Boyd, p. 283)
“Despite Christ’s victory, the New Testament continues to define the Christian life in warfare terms. The outcome of the war is settled, but there are still important battles to be fought. (If that was not true, why do we have Ephesians chapter 6 that says ‘put on the whole armor of God for we wrestle not’. If we’re not wrestling, why do we need the armor?) Fighting them is what the Christian life is all about. As Wingren puts it, “It is impossible for man in the days of . . . the Church, to have to do with God without at the same time, in some way, having to do with the Devil. These, two . . . fill all existence.” The confidence and hope of the believer in all of this is that Christ has once and for all time vanquished the enemy, and that someday this victory over Satan and the cessation of all the evil that flows from him shall be perfectly manifested.” (Boyd, p. 290-291)
But Isn’t God In Control?
But here is the question, “But isn’t God in control?” This is our theological problem. It’s called the sovereignty of God.
“Does..omnipotence necessarily entail that God is all-controlling, as the classical-philosophical tradition after Augustine has been inclined to assume? … a good divine purpose lies behind all particular events, …People suffer, we are to believe, because they deserve it!…If we do not flinch from the concrete horror, there comes a point when the notions that God has a purpose for everything, that things always go His way, and that nothing can genuinely oppose Him get stretched to the breaking point…It requires the understanding that it is possible for some beings (angels and humans at least) genuinely to resist, and even to thwart, whatever blueprint God might wish their lives to follow. . .such that He does not necessarily always get His way, and may in fact detest the way some things are turning out.” (Boyd p. 41-51)
I cannot tell you how many times we have prayed for people and they have gone back to an abusive situation and I say to them, “Where is Jesus standing right now?” They look around and they say, “I see Him.” Then I say to them, “Look into His eyes. How does He feel about what is happening right now?” They will start weeping and they say, “He does not like it.”
Now, why? Because God has given parents responsibility to protect and supervise their children. What happens if those very people that are assigned by God are the ones that are abusing the child? Is that God’s fault or is it the parents? You say, “Well, God could intervene.” Yes, but God operates according to His own laws. If there are generational rights, if there are sin issues where the enemy has legal right to do what he is doing, then the Lord still operates by His laws.
It is like me going onto the roof out here and saying, “I don’t care what the law of gravity says, I am going to jump off this roof because I don’t like the law of gravity and I’m going to defy it.” No matter how much you do not like the law of gravity and how much you want to defy it, you are going to be caught in the consequences of breaking that law. It is the same spiritually. The Lord has set up a universe with laws, with regulations. If we go outside of those regulations, then we give the enemy rights unfortunately that can even pertain to children being abused and the consequences of that which is a horrific thing. Read on …
“It requires the view that God does not monopolize power, and hence that omnipotence cannot be equated with meticulous omnicontrol. It therefore requires that we do not find solace in any view that would try to reduce evil down to an aesthetic antithesis that secretly contributes to the higher harmony of the cosmic whole. …if we are willing to consider the possibility that spiritual forces exist, some of whom are perhaps major cosmic forces who possess morally responsible free will just as we do, then, I believe, we are on our way to a perspective of God and His relationship to the world in which evil does not constitute an unsolvable intellectual problem. We are, in short, on our way to embracing a warfare worldview.” (Boyd, p. 41-51)
“(The early church) almost unanimously locates the ultimate reason for why there is evil in the world in the evil will of Satan, while the post–Augustine church (after the 500s) and the whole of the classical-philosophical tradition following him tends paradoxically to locate the ultimate rationale for evil within the mysterious, omnibenevolent, all-encompassing will of the Creator.” (Boyd, p. 54)
“By contrast, the New Testament and early post-apostolic church always thought of the problem of evil in the context of spiritual warfare. The world is caught up in a cosmic battle and thus is saturated with horrifying suffering and diabolical evil. That is the final explanation for evil.” (Boyd, p. 56)
Is it not interesting that we call natural disasters in the insurance industry Acts of God? Why is it that no one ever blames Satan? Why do you never hear biblical scholars on television saying, “The problem is evil that has resulted in the tsunami”? We don’t think about that. It is always blaming God.
“The warfare worldview thus presupposes the reality of relatively autonomous free creatures, human and angelic, who can and do act genuinely on their own, and who can and do sometimes go against God’s will. It thus presupposes the reality of radical contingency and of genuine risk. It further presupposes that this risk has sometimes gone bad, even on a cosmic scale, and that this has turned the earth into a veritable war zone.” (Boyd, p. 58)
“In a state of war, bullets fly, bombs explode, mines are stepped on, and children are maimed. War is hell. This is expected. The only real problem is in confronting the evil and in overcoming it. Hence this worldview at once frees us from futilely asking questions we cannot answer and empowers us and motivates us to fight battles we can win.” (Boyd, p. 58-59)
“…then the climate is ripe for a restoration of a New Testament model of the Church as the supernaturally empowered Body of Christ that carries on the work which the Son began during His incarnate ministry. And it means that the time is ripe for a return to a biblical perspective on the problem of evil that defines it more as a spiritual problem to confront that an unsolvable intellectual problem to ponder futilely.” (Boyd, p. 66)
What I love about Gregory Boyd is that because of his biblical theological view, he has built a church that then allows spiritual warfare. It is out of his biblical theological framework that ministry flows. He says that it is biblical. This makes sense.
The Nature of Those Who Want to Lead Us to Disobedience
What is the nature of those who want to lead us into disobedience?
I want to add here that I have a theory and I haven’t heard anybody else talk about it so it is probably just my theory. I have noticed that the enemy wants what we have. Remember, we were given creation, right? We were to rule over creation. We will talk about this more in a little bit. In the Fall we gave creation to the enemy. We still have residue anointing in us. We still have gifts in us. We still have that which has been worked into us; power, anointing, glory. Even though we are fallen people, we still have this. The enemy needs it to build his kingdom.
I want you to listen to this. The enemy’s ultimate purpose is to be worshipped. This is his goal. He does not give a rip about us. I believe he is angry at the fact that we have been given the goods and so what we must do is in our sin we then to have turn over what we have been given to him. That happens through generational and personal sin. The result of that giving away of the goods results in suffering for us. Even the torment is a result of that. You see, we are no longer healthy.
Holiness is healthiness. When we are holy, we are physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually healthy. That means everything is working well and we are not having problems. But, what happens if I am giving stuff away? I am depleted and therefore I suffer. I cannot tell you that 100% of what happens to us is because of the depletion, but I certainly believe that there is a large percentage that is a result of that because the enemy needs the stuff we have been given to build his kingdom. Where else is he going to get it from? He is only a created being. Do you get it? He is only a created being, so he must take what we have. We have felt things being drained out of people. The result is their illness.
There are certain things that we know about the enemy as I said before. Lucifer/Satan fell. Then we have the whole story of Adam and Eve. Through experience in the Word we understand that there are demons that have fallen with him and other spiritual beings.
Ephesians 6:12. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities … (which we believe are entities in charge of regions), … against powers … (which we believe are in charge of electromagnetic fields), … against rulers, … (we just discovered the rulers and we believe they are beings that give the stamp of approval on decisions made by God and they were carried out by the elders; there are fallen rulers) … rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.”
• Personal. We have some understanding by just reading this one verse. We understand the enemy is made up of personalities. In other words, they are individual entities that are personal. They are not just simply vague forces. There are religions that say we are sort of absorbed into the cosmos when we die and everything is about this vague energy field. The Chinese call it the chi energy force which is the same thing as the force in Star Wars. It is this nonpersonal force. The enemy is personal and they have personalities. They seem to act and think on their own.
• Spirits. They are spirits. They occupy a dimension or realm of existence that we cannot see, anyway most of us cannot. Donna actually saw once. There was another time that she saw an angel just as clear as I am seeing you right now. There are people that see evil and they see the righteous. They are spiritual.
• Powerful. It says that we wrestle. These beings are powerful beings. In Acts 19:16-17 we have this phrase, “Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them so that they fled out of their house naked and wounded. This became known both to all the Jews and Greeks dwelling Ephesus and the fear fell on them all and the Name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.” We have these beings that are powerful.
Especially in the early days of deliverance we experienced times when we would pray for someone and five of us would hang on to this person and they would carry us around the room. A few years ago after we had not had many manifestations for a while, because when you deal with the generational legal right the manifestations are not as much of a problem, we prayed for this lady. This was a nice lady, a quiet lady, a worshipper. She would worship and dance.
I started praying for her and she lunged at me. There were five of us there, including Brian, and we had to hold her down I think for almost three hours. There were five of us. She snarled at me and kept on saying, “Look at me, look at me, look at me.” I said, “I’m not going to look at you and I’m not going to talk to you.” “Look at me, look at me, look at me.” She was snarling and writhing, this nice sweet lady. There were issues! I want to tell you. We came to find out that because of abuse by men she refused to submit to the spiritual protection of her husband. She actually refused. I could not understand what in the world was going on here with this nice sweet lady. Even when she left, she said, “I refuse because I cannot trust any man.” There was the reason for the warfare.
• Alive. Some of this is very obvious I know, but sometimes we forget the obvious. Matthew 12:43. “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places seeking rest and finds none and he says, “I will return to my house from which I came,” and when he comes he finds it empty, swept, and put in order and then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself and they enter and dwell there and the last state of the man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”
I personally believe that the Lord here is talking about someone who is not a believer because a believer’s house is not swept clean. In a sense he is not empty, he is filled with Holy Spirit. We are not talking about someone who is a Christian and there is deliverance and if the deliverance is not done right, then seven more come back. This is a danger, I feel, in praying for people who are not Christians which I have done a couple of times. I warn them and say, “Unless you give your life to Christ, I cannot promise you what is going to happen.”
We were in Hawaii and there was a young man there. We found out that he was there to intentionally collect demons. We had dealt with a Kundalini spirit which is a snake that goes up the spine and then we found out that he invited it back right in the conference and was trying to collect other demons. It was the only time that we got together as leadership and had to ask this guy to leave. He was one of the most powerful discerning people I have ever come across, but this guy was in the enemy camp. These beings/demons are alive.
• Limited Knowledge. They are not omnipresent and omniscient. They do not know everything. Look at Acts 19:15. “The evil spirit answered and said, (to the seven sons of Sceva) ‘Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are you?’ … (I don’t know if I would even want to be in that category where they would say they know me. There are some things that you just want to stay under the radar with.) … And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them.”
This was definitely not a good situation here. They are not all knowing. Lucifer is not omnipresent. We know because of scripture that the cherubim can probably travel at the speed of light because they go back and forth like lightening. He can travel very fast, but he can still only be in one location at a time. That is why when people say, “Satan get behind me,” I am thinking that he is probably not going to bother with us. He is going to go after big people. We shouldn’t give Satan so much credit. It is one of his urchins that is bothering us. It is probably not Lucifer. Frankly, we are not all that important. I hate to break that news to you. People say, “I’m fighting Satan,” probably not, because he can’t be everywhere.
There was one time when I thought that I may have spoken to Lucifer. We had prayed for a young man who is still an amazing Christian. He had come to watch a deliverance. As he was watching it, I found out later that he was trying to stop me in the spirit. The man was I think fifth, sixth, seventh generation Mormon. He had become a Buddhist, he had been astral projecting, and he was into all sorts of really bad stuff. So he came and everybody left and it was just he and I. We, of course, got into a theological discussion about Mormonism which was going nowhere.
I had this idea, one of those impressions, and I said, “Well, can I try something?” He said, “Sure.” I said, “Are you sure?” He said, “Sure.” I said, “Anger, come forth.” His eyes rolled back in his head and he started snarling. This demon manifested. I said, “Jeremy, come back.” He went like this … and he said, “What was that?” I said, “That is who is controlling you.” He said, “What do I do?” I said, “You need to give your life to Jesus.” He said, “Okay.” The discussion was over.
Then we did deliverance on him. I want to tell you, we did deliverances on this guy, I don’t know how many we did. He would drag us around. There was another guy that would drag us around. Jeremy was doing really well. That night he went back to his room. He fell asleep, woke up speaking in tongues, the power of God hit this guy. He started having visions and it was just absolutely amazing.
Some weeks later Christy called and said, “You need to call Jeremy, he’s in trouble.” I called Jeremy and I was not talking to Jeremy. He was at work and we were having this conversation and it was saying, “You can’t have him, he belongs to me.” The guy was at work. I said, “Jeremy, I want to talk to you. Jeremy, all the way to the front.” I talked to Jeremy. I said, “Jeremy, I want you to meet me at the restaurant.”
We went to this restaurant because I figured in a public place we would not get out of hand. That is always a good solution incidentally. Do deliverance in a restaurant and it keeps things under control a little bit. I was talking to him, but I was not talking to Jeremy. I felt no sense of evil; it was the most spooky thing. I react to evil, I know when there is evil. There was no sense of evil.
It was a very calm conversation. This being was talking through Jeremy and said, “I know who you are. I know what is going on in this High Desert. I am the one who has called you up here. I am the one who has created the universe. I am the one who has called all these people up here. I am the one who is in control.” I was thinking, “I am out of my league now and I do not know what to do.” I was in reverential fear. I remember the Lord gave me a Bible verse. Don’t ask me what it is because I don’t remember. I gave the verse and the battle was over and he was free. That is the only time that I think that I may have come close, I don’t know for sure. Most of the time, probably 99.9% of the time, don’t even use the word Satan. I feel like it just gives too much credit to him. It is just one of his little problem children that give us a hassle.
• Have Emotions. James 2:19. “The demons believe and tremble with fear.”
• Able to Speak. Luke 4:34. “What do I have to do with You Jesus of Nazareth?”
Types of Spiritual Beings
As we look through scripture, we notice that there are many different kinds of spiritual beings. I grew up with the concept that you have God and Satan, angels and demons. One time I was talking with a friend of ours who is a therapist and this thought went through my mind, “I think I have this deliverance thing down.” This was years ago. What I have learned since then is amazing. I thought I understood what it was all about.
Then I got this thought, “Paul, how big is the universe?” When the Lord asks questions, He is not looking for information. I said, “Well, Lord, it is really big.” That was real insight. In fact, it is really big going the other way. You go down to quarks and into the atom and now I just heard about a planck and it is the smallest measurable unit inside of the atom. That is really small. Behind that you have superstrings. This is all information I gave the Lord. He said, “Well, why do you think the spiritual world is so simple?” I started thinking, “Oh, yeah.”
You see, it is not just angels and demons, there are other spiritual beings. There are celestial beings, powers, principalities, authorities, rulers, elemental spirits, seraphim, cherubim, orbs. You have seen pictures perhaps on the internet of orbs. We believe the orbs are actually spiritual beings. They are not angels, they are orbs. James talks about God the Father as the Father of lights. We think these are the lights. There are all of these spiritual beings that are righteous and some of them have fallen and have become unrighteous beings and they affect us.
In the Gospels, they are often referred to simply as demons, and they may be just demons. (Rom 8:38; 1 Cor 10:20-21; 1 Tim 4:1; Jas 2:19; Rev 9:20; 16:14; 18:2). Righteous beings are often referred to as messengers or angels, but they may just be messengers or angels because the word angel actually means messenger both in the Hebrew and in the Greek. (Rom 8:38; 1 Cor 6:3; 11:10; 2 Cor 12:7; Gal 1:8; Col 2:18; 1 Pet 3:22; Jude 6; Rev 12:7, 9).
Still other times, especially by Paul, we find superhuman beings, some good and some evil, referred to in more esoteric apocalyptic terminology. Hence, Paul sometimes refers to them as high-level angelic beings or ‘rulers’. We have now come to believe that ‘rulers’ probably are rulers and ‘principalities’ are principalities. (Rom 8:38; 1 Cor 2:6, 8: 15:24; Eph 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Col 1:16; 2:10, 15).
There are other beings called ‘powers’ and ‘authorities’. We now believe that ‘powers’ and ‘authorities’ are powers and authorities. As I studied about the ‘powers’ there was this one guy who has written three volumes on powers. I don’t believe any of them, because the Lord has shown us that ‘powers’ seem to be in charge of electromagnetic fields. (Rom 8:38; 13:1; 1 Cor 15:24; Eph 1:21; 2:2; 3:10; 6:12; Col 1:16; 2:10, 15).
Where Did Demons Come From?
Let’s talk about demons themselves. There are three basic views about demons, about where they came from.
The following information is taken from Deliver Us From Evil by Cindy Jacobs (Page 185)
1. The Gap Theory. (If you grew up with the Scofield Bible like I did, you read about The Gap Theory because it is right in the Scofield Bible. We used to joke that the Scofield notes really enlighten scripture rather than getting it the right way. It’s really all about scripture and not the notes, but I read the notes. This is in the Scofield Bible.) … “It is described by Gordon Lindsay who wrote: “There is a general belief among Bible scholars that demons had their origin in a pre-Adamic age. In this theory, the demons are not fallen angels, but the actual people who were part of this age who participated in Satan’s rebellion. This rebellion of Satan occurred between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. … (In other words, The Gap, there is a gap in there.) … The premise is that God created the world in a perfect state, not the chaos as described in verse 2. Other supporting scriptures for this theory are found in Jeremiah 4:23-26, Ezekiel 28:14-15, Isaiah 14:13-14 and Isaiah 24:1.”
2. (The second theory is one that you will see a lot on in the internet. If you do a search for demons or evil spirits, there are a lot of people who want to distinguish between demons and evil spirits.) “Demons are the offspring of the sons of God (angels) and the daughters of men (see Gen. 6:2) … (Let’s look at Genesis 6:1. “It came to pass when men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born to them that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.” What we believe is that the sons of God are fallen angels and they actually had sexual intercourse with human women and the result, according to some, are demons. They are spiritual beings that are a result of that union.) … who produced giants or the mighty men of old (see Gen. 6:4). These giants are called nephilim and had abnormal bodies… Some had six fingers (I Chronicles 20:6). ……. Some believe this is where the legends of Thor, Zeus, and other Greek gods got their origins. These fallen angels might be described in Jude 6 as one bound in chains who did not keep their proper domain. Other Scriptures concerning this subject include Job 1:6, 2:1, and 38:7.”
3. (The third view is that demons are fallen angels which is the view that I currently hold.) … “Demons are fallen angels. This is most commonly taught on the origin of demons and the easiest to understand. Scriptures for this interpretation include Matthew 12:24; Revelations 12:4, 7, 9; Jude 6; 2; Peter 2:4.”
When you see discussions, very often you will find, especially in relationship to number 2, that people will quote from the Book of Enoch. The Book of Enoch is in the apocrypha and is not part of our Canon. I find it very difficult to base anything that I teach upon a book that is not one of the books of the Bible. That is not saying that it is not true. I do not know and frankly, I don’t worry about all this because I want to get rid of them. I don’t care where they came from. That is my bottom line, ‘when in doubt, cast them out’. We can discuss endlessly whether they are evil spirits or demons and where they came from. In the end, I don’t like them, they are a nuisance, get rid of them.
There appears to be rankings. I have read a lot of the literature. I believe that people have received revelation, so I am not demeaning that revelation. Frankly, I don’t care. I have to be honest. Again, get rid of them. They say you have this level up here, and then you have this level here, and this level here, and this level here. I am sure that is all true because they have to operate by intimidation. These guys are not cooperative. They are nasty, mean, irrational, evil, and they are rebellious. I think that the only way that you are going to get them to get anything done is by superiors putting their thumbs on them and saying they have to do it. Do you understand how that works? So there has to be some sort of hierarchy. But, in terms of what the Lord has called us to do, I don’t care what they are, I just want to get rid of them. Whatever they do, stop doing it. That works for me.
I have listed some rankings. I put them in different categories.
• Celestial Beings. There seem to be heavenly beings, beings that seem to operate mainly in the heavenly realm which would be celestial beings. The word actually means, ‘glorious ones’ and the word is ‘doxas’. We can discern those. They feel like, this is really weird; they feel like ‘Tinkerbelle’. We have actually had people see them. You wonder sometimes if people have seen things because you look at Tinkerbelle and she flies in golden light. Right? The ‘doxas’ (the glorious ones) dwell in the glory.
• Rulers. We believe that ‘rulers’ sit around the Table of Showbread in the Tabernacle in the Heavenly Places.
• Archangels. Archangels do come down to earth.
• Territorial. There are what appear to be territorial beings. We have noticed territorial elders.
• Principalities. There are also principalities.
• Powers. We talked about ‘powers’ which seem to be in charge of electromagnetic fields.
• Elemental Spirits. An interesting new discernment is beings called ‘elemental spirits’ which are mentioned in scripture. I believe the elemental spirits are tied to the elements of the periodic table.
The Lord has done a whole interesting thing with this with the periodic table. This is really strange. I am starting to discern the double helix on the top of a person and actually feel different elements on the periodic table. If I am with other people, they can tell me what element that is, and perhaps that element is out of kilter. The internet is an amazing thing. We have had people get words of knowledge about elements tied to the people’s problems. We will do a search and there is a direct researched cause and effect between those elements, say like potassium or calcium, and what is going on with the person in their particular disorder. I believe that perhaps elemental spirits are these beings. The word actually means ‘foundational, as in 1, 2, 3s, or A, B, Cs’. Isn’t that interesting? Are elemental spirits the foundation of our life in terms of creation? We talk about more of that in our Spiritual Servants of the Most High God seminar.
• Individual. There are levels that seem to affect individuals. Some of these we have come across doing deliverance. Strongman, legion, throne, rulers, elders, chiefs. I used to have a chart when I did deliverance in the early days and I would get the names. We actually had demons that were called no-names which was very strange. I guess they were going through an identity crisis of some sort when they didn’t have a name.
The question is this. Is there a hierarchy of spiritual beings? The scripture does not seem to clearly indicate this. I think that logically we can assume that there is some sort of hierarchy because they only operate because of intimidation by those higher up.
The Story of Redemption
Leading Men and Women from Disobedience to Obedience
How does this all play out in life and in human history? Inquiring minds want to know. How did this all happen? Where did it turn bad? We know that because of Adam and Eve’s sin rebellion took place and the Fall took place. Centuries ago I think it was a monk who developed this thinking and it has come down in a book I read not too long ago. We are going to read through this. This is a great synopsis of how this whole mess started.
The world was made for man and woman and they were appointed as masters over the world. Genesis 1:29-30. “Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground, everything that has the breath of life in it, I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.”
Remember that Adam and Eve were to rule over creation. Now women listen to this and men pay attention. It does not say, ‘And man shall rule over woman and woman shall submit to man and man will rule over creation’. What does it say? It is management by consensus, man and woman ruling together over creation. Eve did not become Eve until the Fall. What happened? Adam named her because you name that which you want to have control over. We have based our theology in the Church on the Fall and not on creation.
When man and woman sinned they turned over their dominion to Satan. … (They said, “It’s yours.”) … “When humanity rejected Yahweh’s lordship, we accepted (by unleashing) a new “god of this world.” We compromised our assigned task to have dominion over the world and thus subjected ourselves and all of nature once again to the destructive influence of the forces that oppose God. The guardians of the world, and therefore the world itself, were thus taken hostage by an illegitimate hostile power. Satan now seizes “control of the entire world” and becomes “the prince of this age” and “the ruler of the kingdom of the air” (1 Jn 5:19; Jn 12:31; Eph 2:2; cf. 6:12). Through Christ, however, the key has been given back to those originally intended as landlords, and we are once again commissioned to shut up Yamm [sea monster] on the Lord’s authority (Mt. 16:17-19; see part two).” (Boyd, p. 111) See also I John 5:19.
We are to again repossess our possessions which incidentally is the whole story of Joshua. Joshua, which is Hebrew for the Greek name Jesus, leads the children of Israel through the Jordan which means in the Hebrew ‘to spread judgment’. Judgment is separated because of Christ. The people of the promise, the people of the covenant, move into the promised land signified by the laying of two altars, one in the river which is baptism, and one on the other side which was circumcision or the Lord’s Supper, and they are taught how to war. The Lord said, “I will now teach you how to war and to take back strongholds in your life.”
The first lesson on warfare was Jericho. The Lord said, “This is how we war. You do what I tell you to do.” They do what He tells them to do and they walk around Jericho thirteen times, six times for six days and on the last day seven times, and the walls fall. Then the people said, “We got it. We thank You Lord and now we will take matters into our own hands.” They go and they fight Ai and they are slaughtered and Joshua falls on his face and is complaining before God. I think that is the only place in the scripture that God said to stop praying to Him; there was a problem in the camp. The problem was of course Achan and not only Achan, but they had not fought the way He told them to fight.
The Christian life now is that through the power of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we now have the ability to take back strongholds that have been taken from us and from our family line. People say to me, “Well, I don’t like that and I don’t think that is true.” Alright, then you tell me how your view is working. You see, I was a pastor for years, and years, and years and it was not working until we intentionally started going after the strongholds and taking back territory in people’s lives and then we saw a change.
People that say that they don’t believe in this do not have an answer for people’s lives. The only answer is to send them to the doctor or send them to psychiatrist or therapist, which I am totally for. All those have been blessings in our lives and we are not faulting that. Even those (professionals) that are Christians say that they are not the only answer because there is a spiritual component that must be taken care of.
“At the fall, Satan became the ruler of the world. Since Adam and Eve turned over their legal dominion to Satan, God recognizes Satan’s legal standing. Thus, when Satan claimed that he could give all the “authority” and “glory” of “all the kingdoms of the world” to whomever he wanted for they all belonged to him, Jesus did not dispute him. (Luke 4:5-6).
“God is all-powerful and He can blast Satan into oblivion. However, God’s power does not operate apart from His character and His rule (and I would add His law).
“The government of the earth was delegated to man. Since man gave it to Satan, only a man can legally recover the rule of the earth.
“Since all men have sinned and are legally under Satan’s dominion, man’s condition was hopeless.
“God solved the problem through the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Because He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, He was not a fallen man and Satan had no claim on Him. Born of a virgin, He was fully human and therefore a full member of the human race. Thus He was the second Adam.
“The temptation of Jesus was Satan’s first defeat since the Garden of Eden.
“The cross and resurrection completed the victory of Jesus Christ. Jesus recovered the deed of trust. The enemy now is a squatter on what belongs to God. Every time we pray confronting the enemy we declare the legal and moral framework for God to release His power and take back what the enemy has taken. (Colossians 1:13-14).
“Man’s appointed vocation in Paradise consisted in the winning back of the earth for God, and this again was based upon the sovereignty of God over man and the sovereignty of man over the creation . . .
“Man’s calling was to “destroy the works of the devil” and to renew the earth, thus transforming it into an abode of light and life . . .The first man . . . received the task, beginning from Paradise, to restore the whole earth to an abode of the presence and revelation of God. His service as ruler consisted in bringing the whole of creation through his mediation into relation with the glory of God and in making the “fullness of him that filleth all in all” accessible to it.” Boyd, p. 110-111
“Thus as Scripture portrays the matter, the foundational reason Christ appeared was “to destroy the works of the devil” (I Jn 3:8), to disarm “the rulers and authorities” (Col 2:15), and to “destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil” (Heb 2:14). The consequence of this victory is that He is seated on His rightful throne, the whole cosmos is liberated from a tyrannical and destructive ruler, humanity is delivered “from the power of darkness and transferred . . . into the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col 1:13), and all who accept it are thereby reinstated to the original position and responsibility of stewards of the creation that God had always intended for us.” (Boyd, p. 241)
Now, what needs to happen? This is what needs to happen. Look at Romans 8:18. “For I consider the sufferings of this present age are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. … (And I would suggest not as I was taught that this is not in the ‘by and by’, but in the here and now.) … For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly awaits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even ourselves groan within us eagerly awaiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”
I am not declaring here incidentally an all millennialism because there is a time of the Second Coming. There is a time of the Second Coming, but until then we do not just need to sit and take it. There can be a revelation of the sons of God and we are the sons of God and we can take back the land. We can make a difference. We can violently take the Kingdom of God for His glory. Amen.
Session 3 of 5
One of the things that we like to do at Aslan’s Place is to offer on our website new insights. Every once in awhile you can visit us at www.aslansplace.com. We are very excited because we are going to have a new website soon; as soon as Jeff does all the work he needs to do to upload everything that needs to be uploaded. Praise God, I don’t need to do that. He is going to do that in his free time. Jeff has a very liberal work schedule; he can work as much as he wants. We are glad to have him.
How the Enemy Leads Us to Disobedience
We want to continue and look at how the enemy leads us to disobedience. Again, some of this is somewhat obvious, because if you are living, you are aware of this. Sometimes in seminars we simply restate the obvious so that we can fill up time. We want to at least list for you, and you might even find some areas that you have not thought about before.
• Aggravates us to Sin. John 13:2. “The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Him. Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, that He had come from God and was going to God, rose up from supper and laid aside His garment.” … (Remember, He washed the disciples’ feet, but the idea was put there by Lucifer. Lucifer saw that this was his chance to get rid of this Guy, not knowing of course the mystery of the Gospel.)
• Causes Sickness and Suffering. Acts 10:38. “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”
Look at Matthew 4:24. “Then His fame went throughout all Syria, and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, paralytics, and He healed them.”
It is interesting here that the Lord talks about they had diseases, torment, they were demon-possessed, epileptic and He healed them. The indication being maybe there are some that are not demon influenced that are sick. I am going to make a statement I have never made before. Through discernment I can tell where there is anything that is wrong there seems to be an evil component. I think I can go on record as saying that. I believe that is true now. The nature of the evil I cannot tell you. There may be demons or there may be some other evil being, could be ‘powers’ or other entities or could even be something tied, I will just say this and don’t let your your heads go ’tilt’, but there could be something dimensionally where something is tied into a dimension in an ungodly way, but I can feel ungodliness.
I have used the illustration of when Donna was suffering for several years with a pain in her side. I could feel the evil there. That was not the problem; the problem was we could not get rid of it. In that particular case, it seemed to be that it was necessary to take care of the physical problem before the pain would leave and whatever spiritual attack was taking place could be eliminated. These are things that I do not understand, but if there is a weakness, there seems to be the enemy tied to it somehow. The nature of all that I do not know, but I do know that there is evil.
The enemy can cause sickness and suffering. There are scriptures listed here. Dumbness – Matthew 9:32-33; Deformity – Luke 13:1; Compulsive behavior – Luke 8:27.
• Power of Death. Hebrews 2:14. “Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death– that is, the devil.”
“Viewed in this light, the various accounts of Jesus’ raising people from the dead come to mean a lot more than simply nice miracles that Jesus did for people. Like His exorcisms, healings and other miracles over nature, they reveal yet another dimension of His war on Satan. As when He saw the sick and hungry, Jesus was moved by compassion toward those who had died and those who mourned, for He knew that these things were never intended to be part of God’s creation (e.g., Jn 11:33-35). They were, rather, the work of the devil, and it grieved and angered Him to see it.” (Boyd, p. 213)
It is so tragic that in the evangelical church we say that sickness is just part of the way life is. We don’t understand that Jesus really came to bring health. Healing is a mystery to me. Why does it work sometimes and doesn’t work other times? I think that it is because there are things that we just do not understand. I am more and more convinced that the Lord wants us well.
We even talk about the whole issue of childbirth. I remember Corrie’s birth of Amber; it was the most amazing thing. Our daughter-in-law, Janelle, Brian’s wife, can get very pushy when she wants prayer. She was not doing well. When she is not doing well, she calls and says, “You need to take care of this!” No one believes in my ministry like Janelle believes in it. She will call me while she’s on rounds, she is a second year resident, and say, “I’m having a bad day, you need to pray for me.” This woman believes in what I do. So, she called and she said, “I am not doing well.” I said, “Janelle, I am so tired, what do you want me to do? Do I need to come over there?” She said, “Yes!”
Somehow I was there and Donna ended up there and Corrie, our daughter, ended up there and Corrie was about ready to birth. We all sat down and I was ready to tackle Janelle and find out what was going on and Janelle says, “I don’t think this is about me, I think this is about Corrie.” Immediately Brian started into a tongue and he started warring in tongues and going off and we started praying and Corrie immediately started labor pains. I think Donna has said this to Corrie so it is nothing that we haven’t told her. Donna has always said that when Corrie starts delivering babies Donna wants to be in a different state or country preferably. So Corrie went right to the hospital. They tried to discharge her and then she went back. She had what I have observed as one of the easiest births I have ever seen. I believe that we broke a curse off of her of pain in childbirth. It was the most amazing thing. What the enemy intended, the Lord supernaturally intervened. We didn’t have a clue what He was doing. We were like, “Oh, look at that.” We didn’t know what He was up to.
So, notice this again that Jesus because of compassion cares for those who are suffering.
Last November, the first weekend of November, we were doing a Heaven Trek. Donna stood up in severe pain and she had just sat with a lady that is one of the most abused people that we have ever worked with. She suffers horribly at many levels. Some of our intercessors were having difficulty with Donna sitting with this lady because she is a difficult person. Donna said, “I’m going to sit with her and she’s going to sit here with me.” Donna was in the front or second row. Donna got up and said, “I will be healed,” and she was healed, just like that.
The whole theme of the conference was the compassion of Christ that leads to healing. It was a brand new insight for me. Why is it that so many people get healed in other countries? Because we go there and we have compassion because of the way they are living. Could that be a key to healing in the United States? We are annoyed more often than we have compassion, aren’t we? Jesus had compassion on those who were ill and He healed them.
• Sets Traps. The interesting thing about the enemy is that he anticipates what can happen in the future and he will set a snare or a trap looking for the long-range goal. He is not afraid to wait 3, 4, 10, 15, 20 years and then he will snag you. Look at some of the ministers that have fallen. He waits and then he snags them all of a sudden. I Timothy 3:7. “He must also have a good testimony among those who are outsider less he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”
The enemy is always waiting to snag you. That’s why I will not ride in a car alone with a woman, why if I am home I will not allow a woman to come into my home. I have had women get very angry at me, especially at Aslan’s Place when we lived there and I would stand outside until Donna would show up. They would get really frustrated. They would get frustrated when I would not sit in a room by myself with them. It is because I am aware that it takes one accusation and it is finished for any of us. Remember, the enemy is always looking for some way to snare you, to trap you.
• Controls. This is the passage I used when I first started speaking on spiritual warfare. You are familiar with the passage. Mark 5:1-4 Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.”
That is a lot of control. These were madmen, madwoman, you have seen them. It is interesting that even the media says, “He can’t get a hold of his demons.” You hear this all the time and you wonder if they know what they are saying. They are saying the truth.
• Seeks to Take Away the Word of God. Remember in the parable of the scattering of the seed that some fell on the path and the birds came and ate it up. This was the enemy stealing the seed. (Matthew 13:4)
• Accuses Us Before God. Job 1:6-8. “One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. … (Isn’t that interesting, he came into the very presence of the Lord of Hosts?) … And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” … (As if the Lord needed to ask. As I said, the Lord doesn’t need information because He knows; He just wants Satan to cough up the truth. It was probably refreshing to hear the truth from Satan.) … Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing?” … (So here is the accusation and then of course Job was attacked. I personally believe that there were generational rights in Job’s line that gave the enemy the right to attack. This was not a random attack. This was an attack with a legal right and the Lord knew that.)
• Wants Us to Act Independently of God. The story of Peter where Peter says his opinion and Jesus said to him, “Get behind me Satan.” I’m sure Peter was thinking, “What do You mean? I’m Peter.” But, the Lord knew who it was influencing Peter and wanted Peter to act independently. (Matthew 16:23)
• Wants Us to Be Unforgiving. The Word of God is very clear about our need to forgive. 2 Corinthians 2:10-11. “Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed you have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ lest Satan should take advantage of us for we are not ignorant of his devices.”
Forgiveness is a key issue and the enemy wants to keep us from forgiveness. There is a close tie between salvation and forgiveness and us forgiving others. If we have been truly forgiven, then we will be forgiving. If you are not forgiving, you need to think about whether you have really been forgiven. You could be under the influence of the enemy. The Lord takes this very seriously.
We just had a conversation the other day with someone. We were talking about when people die and this one lady was not dying. The relative realized that the person was unforgiving and the person had to deal with that before they died. This is serious business. If we are forgiven, we will be a forgiving people. It is throughout the Gospel.
• Fills Us With Pride. I Timothy 3:6. “He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.”
• Controls World Governments and Philosophies.
Daniel 10:4-13- In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar. The message was true, but the appointed time was long; and he understood the message, and had understanding of the vision. In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. Now on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris, I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude. And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength. Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground. Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.
___… (The answer was immediate, but the battle continued 21 days before he got the word.)
Daniel 10:13-_____. … (Here we have a cosmic battle taking place that involved countries. Later we are told that soon the Prince of Greece would come in verse 20. These cosmic battles are going on which are still going on incidentally in the same region of the world.)
Follows God’s Direction. This is very strange. 1 Kings 22:17-And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”Then Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left. And the LORD said, ‘Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, and said, ‘I will persuade him.’ The LORD said to him, ‘In what way?’ So he said, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And the LORD said, ‘You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.’ Therefore look! The LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the LORD has declared disaster against you.”
• … (Isn’t this interesting? Here you have an evil spirit volunteering to do some work for the Lord. The Lord is still the Boss. There are those that have to respond to His wishes. It is very unusual, but it is here in scripture.)
• Carries Curses. We talk much more about that in our series on curses and blessings, Tipping the Scales.
• Tied to Wild Animals. Isaiah 34:14 talks about night creatures. And the word for ‘night creature’ is Lilith. Lilith is actually an evil entity. There have been ties to other animals which is also very weird. There are many stories out there of demons being on cats. My brother had a cat that we used to call Damien. Our granddaughter saw something on a cat in our backyard at Aslan’s Place, I forgot that. She said that there were demons riding on them. They are tied to animals and wild animals.
• Disciplines Believers. The Lord uses them or the enemy to discipline believers. I Corinthians 5:5. “Hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.”
• Control False Teachers. I Timothy 4:1. “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” We see this happening today. We see some wild stuff being taught in the Church.
• Affect Nature. “The most significant of Jesus’ miracles over nature for our purposes is undoubtedly Jesus’ calming of the raging sea. As James Kallas puts it: “If language means anything at all, it appears that Jesus looked upon this ordinary storm at sea, this ordinary event of nature, as a demonic force, and He strangled it.” Behind this storm Jesus perceived a demonic power, perhaps here strategizing to kill Him and His disciples. To cite Kallas again: “Rain may be normal, but to Jesus, when nature goes berserk and tries to drown men and wipe them off the earth sucking them down to a watery grave, this is demonic and He treats it like a demon.” (Boyd, p. 206-207) (Mark 4:36-41; Matthew 8:18-27; Luke 8:22-25).
In fact, the language is the language of deliverance. He delivered the storm of demonic influence. Isn’t that interesting? I had an interesting experience. I was with a friend and we were in Missouri. We received a phone call that a line of tornados was heading towards us. I went to the Weather Channel and sure enough we could see where we were and here were these thunderstorms and tornados moving right at us. We had just been doing some territorial type warfare on the land. We made some phone calls. I think we called our house and called several other people.
I was watching because I love weather, but I don’t like the twisty things. I told Pastor Patty that I would like to have a good lightening storm, but no twisty things. We started praying. I watched this tornado and it was coming right at us like this… and all of a sudden it went just like that … and went like that …. in front of my eyes. The Lord intervened. We have heard stories of many hurricanes where people have prayed and they have been diverted. There are times I have felt the evil in a storm. It is a very interesting thing.
What contributes to our disobedience?
Three Major Ways
• Birth. First, it does not seem fair, but birth does. Just being born. There is this cute little baby and then all the generational stuff is just right there. I remember Julianne, our first grandchild was born, and Brian and Janelle brought her in and she had not been out of the hospital but just about a week. When she walked in, I said, “Oh my goodness, there is witchcraft all around that baby.” There was a definite effort to take her out. We have had warfare over many of our grandchildren, literal warfare. She was just this little baby and she had not done anything, but already the enemy was exercising legal right.
The issue is generational sin, which is what the Bible calls ‘iniquity’. If you look at Isaiah 6, the Lord says to Isaiah, “I will remove your sin and your iniquity.” The sin is what we call personal sin; iniquity is the word that means ‘to twist or to bend’. It is talking about the bending or twisting that goes down the generational line.
I love to share the story about Brian, he’s here. I don’t know if he has ever heard me share it publically. When Brian was a little baby, we had outside of our house what I called ‘the faucet of good and evil’. I would say to Brian as a two or three year old, “Brian, do not go and touch that faucet.” Of course, he would go outside and he would go right to the faucet because of generational sin on his mother’s side. No, that’s not true. You see, there is this twisting. One of the first words a child learns is ‘No’. It’s not ‘Yes’, ‘Yes, mommy,’ ‘Yes, daddy’, it’s ‘No’ because there is a twisting.
• Child Abuse. Again, this leads to our disobedience, but we are a victim. This is a very tragic thing. There are so many who get into intentional sin and lifestyles that are very destructive that can go back to roots that come from child abuse. I hear horrible stories, and those of us in personal ministry hear horrible stories.
I had a man that came in, a wonderful man of God who loved Jesus. He said that every day of his childhood when he came home from school his father would beat him. He said that what he did was that he would intentionally aggravate his father to beat him right away so that once the beating took place then he would be alright the rest of the night. This man found the Lord and then his father found the Lord and they now pray for each other on the phone. It is an amazing thing of God’s grace. But, this man was so demonized when he came to me. He was a wonderful Christian man, but the demonic on this man was so strong I was literally getting sick from the deliverance. He had suffered for decades because of all this abuse. He was a victim, but then he became a victimizer too. You know how that works? You know all this.
• Willful Sinful Actions. You can be involved in doing séances, curses, channeling, and getting spirit guides. You can become angry, be in the occult, be involved in spiritism, astrology. You can be involved in all sorts of magical things like rods and pendulums, love and hate magic, fertility charms, fortune telling, palm reading, psychometry (telling about a person from an object), necromancy (summoning dead), Ouija board, drug usage (pharmakia), drunkenness, abortion, sexual sins, crystal balls, mirror magic (a lot of children get involved in this when they try to conjure Mary Worth or someone in the mirrors), table lifting, levitation, a type of hypnosis that is demonic, occult activity, Masons, magic charms, actually doing things to curse dolls and then using the dolls to do voodoo, books of magic. There are so many things that are intentionally done that allow a hook to come in.
Sometimes it is the most amazing things. You go back in the generational line and you are amazed at the kinds of things that you can find that people do. There are things that we could never even think about that could actually be a problem in the generational line. I think of it this way.
This is going to really disturb some of you, it disturbs me. It doesn’t mean this to me anymore, okay, I’m not going to stop doing it. I did some research. Do you know that the original use of birthday candles was to light a candle to the moon god? It does way back there. It doesn’t mean that to me, so it doesn’t bother me. It is just like the Christmas tree meant something back there, but it doesn’t mean that to me so it is not an issue. Back there it was an issue and back there it could cause a curse that could come down. We actually have someone who had a vision of a birthday cake with candles. I did a search on Google and found all this information out. It is amazing. Isn’t that true Jana? The things you find out you’re thinking, “Oh my goodness, I never thought about that.”
We found out about another one. I want to do some more research on it. Do you know that Egyptians and other people would take stuff that belonged to that person and bury it with them, right? So, listen to this. You are taking the inheritance of the family and you’re dedicating it to the dead which then puts a curse on your inheritance. The Bible says that you need to have enough inheritance to give to your grandchildren. So, by doing that in the generational line what has happened? Your inheritance is cursed and it is a curse of poverty. Isn’t that amazing?
The enemy is very clever, he is stupid, but he is clever. He does all these things and we are these victims of all this stuff, but the good news is, this is what is so fun, is that Holy Spirit knows all this and so He just tells us. He says, “Let me tell you a secret here.” These are the treasures of darkness. Then you can do something about it. These spiritual things make a difference.
The Results of Our Disobedience
• Physical. Blindness, seizures, spells of unconsciousness, amnesia, foaming at the mouth, excessive sexual activity or cravings, cuts on body, migraine headaches, choking, drugs, alcohol, and strangeness about the eyes, and on and on it goes.
We have found that in the generations past they would cut out livers or kidneys or other body parts and offer them as sacrifices or curse them which then resulted in a curse on that part of the body. They would read people’s entrails which would then put a curse on your intestines. People give the evil eye which then puts a curse on the right eye. You would be surprised how many people have problems with just the right eye. All these things take place physically.
• Emotional and Psychological. Moral depravity, deep melancholy/extreme ecstasy which would be manic depressive activity, violence, cursing, shame, extreme guilt, fear of going insane, sense of isolation, thoughts of violence towards others, suicidal suggestions, thoughts you hate, voices, fear, abnormal aggression, sudden fluctuations in moods, preoccupation with rock music. What about mental illness?
In the past, I would say that not all mental illness was demonic. I’m going to change that. If there is something wrong, there is something of the enemy tied with it. I like what a friend said, “There really is a demon under every bush.” The enemy does several things. One thing he does is that he tries to minimize and if he can’t minimize, then he will maximize. We need to look at what is the real truth. It is interesting with discernment that when I am dealing with someone who has mental difficulty or psychological problem, I can feel the evil.
Let me make this statement. You can take care of a spiritual issue, but the thing that affects you physically may still not be healed. That is why I believe that if you can pray for infants and get rid of all that spiritual stuff that could take root somehow in physical problems, then you are really further ahead. If it does take root in a physical problem, then you have two issues. You have deliverance and you have healing.
The same thing psychologically. If you have terrible depression, you can take care of the spiritual, but you may already have physical damage that has been done to the brain and therefore you need medication. We have a good friend, Dr. Grant Mullen, who deals in the area of deliverance, inner healing, and medication. The truth is that many things have taken root from the spirit generationally and have now affected the brain physically and so there needs to be a physical solution.
I like the example of using glasses. I would not be able to read the Bible without my glasses. Some people cannot read the Bible without medication that slows their brain down so that they can concentrate. We in the Church need to understand that it is not a sin to take medication. In this case, medication would be operating just like my glasses. It is helping to solve a physical problem.
Again, I believe we can pray for children and infants and get rid of the spiritual baggage that is coming down the line. For example, schizophrenia. There is a type of schizophrenia that always seems to get activated around age 20. What if you could pray for that in the generational line before then? I think it could be stopped. That is what I would like to do.
• Spiritual. Resistance to prayer, Bible study. (We have had people come in, especially in the early days and we would start praying and they would start laughing, we would read scripture and they would start laughing which is a spirit of mockery and blaspheme. They would just laugh. I would just read more and they would start laughing. That is a spiritual acting out.) Hatred of the cross, hatred of the Blood of Christ, speaking in tongues that are ungodly. (We can actually discern whether the gift of tongues is of God or not because there are demonic tongues. Do you know that at the dedication of the Mormon Temple Joseph Smith and Brigham Young spoke in tongues? Speaking in tongues is not unusual at cult activities.)
Through Christ We Can Be Obedient
• Perfect Acceptance. The good news is that even though all this can be going on in my life or my generational line, I can move towards obedience and it is through Christ. Through Christ and His blood which was shed on the cross for us, His resurrection power, we can be obedient because we are perfectly accepted in Christ.
Ephesians 1:4-7. “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”
Isn’t it a wonderful thing that in Jesus Christ we are accepted? Acceptance is a big deal. It is a big deal. It is a big deal when you are accepted by other people, but to know that in Christ you are accepted by God, that gives you the wherewithal and the fortitude to say, “I’m going to fight against this stuff and I’m going to be victorious.” It is amazing to me the perseverance of some Christians that have warred, and warred, and warred, and warred, and warred. They say, “I will gain victory in Christ over this.”
• Perfect Access. Not only are we accepted, but we have perfect access. Ephesians 2:5-7. “Even when we were dead in trespasses, He made us alive together with Christ. By grace you have been saved and raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show us the exceeding riches of His grace and His kindness towards us.”
So notice that we have been given access because we are seated with Christ.
• Perfect Authority. Look at this, we have perfect authority.
Colossians 2:15. “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
Ephesians 1:17-23. “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.”
“We need to exercise our authority. Psalm 110:1 was the most frequently cited Old Testament passage by early Christian writers. It was commonly used to interpret God’s enthronement of Christ. The ‘enemies’ of this psalm were always identified with the invisible powers whom Christ defeated and subjugated.” (Clinton Arnold, p. 16)
I Corinthians 2:6-8. “We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom.”
“There are a number of good reasons for believing Paul intended his readers to think of demonic rulers when they read this passage.” (Arnold)
“It appears that Paul may have used the terms height and depth as a comprehensive way of referring to all the astral spirits who were commonly believed to control human destiny. (Arnold) … (I now believe, incidentally, that ‘height’ is a spiritual being and ‘depth’ is a spiritual being. I have discerned a ‘height’ before. The point is, however, that we have authority to deal with these beings.)
We Are to Establish God’s Kingdom on Earth
We are to establish God’s Kingdom on earth. This is what we are meant to do. Why is it that we are to pray, ‘Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done’. …
“The kingdom of heaven has come near. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. (Mt 10:7-8).
In other words, this is the business that we are to be about. We are to be ‘about’ deliverance and healing and raising the dead so that His Kingdom can come on earth. That is what we are to do.
We Have Been Given Authority! (Luke 10:19)
Expect Resistance to Deliverance. Anytime we move into Kingdom authority, expect the religious world to react. I want you to look at a very interesting passage.
Matthew 12:22-30. “Then there was brought to Him one who was demon possessed … (so this here is this demon possessed man) … and he was blind and mute. … (We have a spiritual problem and we have a physical problem. What did Jesus do?) … So the blind-mute man both spoke and saw and He healed him. … (Jesus delivers this man and heals him.) … The multitudes were amazed. … (How did the religious people react to deliverance healing?) … They said, ‘You are doing this through the power of Beelzebub (or Satan).’ … (Then Jesus goes on and He says in verse 30), … “He who is not with Me … (in which way, He who is not with Me in the healing and deliverance) … is against Me. He who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. Therefore, I say to you that every sin and blaspheme will be forgiven men, but the blaspheme against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.”
What is the blaspheme against the Spirit? It is saying that deliverance and healing is of Satan and not of God. This is a dangerous thing when you think of where the Church is today. When the Church says that deliverance and healing is of the enemy and not of God that is a sin against Holy Spirit. In fact, He says in verse 28, “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the Kingdom of Heaven has come.” It says that in the Bible.
I was in Germany and I said this and this German man, very religious, came and said, “I don’t believe that.” I said, “What is the context?” “I don’t believe that.” I said, “What’s the context?” “I don’t believe that.” I said, “What’s the context?” He walked away because he could not say anything. The context is clear. Deliverance and healing is in the Kingdom of God and when you say it is not, then that is a sin against Holy Spirit.
We Are To Come In Compassion
“Toward the demonized, however, He never expressed anger; rather, He exhibited only compassion. When He dealt with people who are suffering, He had compassion on them. Langton notes, “Pity rather than anger characterizes the attitude of Jesus toward the possessed . . . He treats them as if they were the victims of an involuntary possession.” Indeed, He treats them as though they are casualties of war. For, in His view, this is precisely what they are.
“. . . just as evil adults can and do sometimes victimize children against their will and God’s will, just as rapists victimize women against their will and against God’s will, and just as despotic political powers victimize their subjects against their will and against God’s will, so demonic spirits can apparently sometimes victimize people against their will and against God’s will.” (Boyd, p. 199-200)
Our attitude needs to be not ‘get out of my church’, but ‘how can I help you’. In one church that I pastored, in a meeting when they were trying to kick me out, one person actually stood up and said, “We do not want all these hurting people in our church.” I tell you, the Lord of the Universe, Jesus Christ our Savior, died for those hurting people. He wants them in His Church.
We are going to take a break.
Session 4 of 5
(Participant Testimony) I had a deliverance session about a month ago which was not my first. It was with Jana. I had been dealing with a recurring virus, Epstein Barr virus. I have had it three times. The first time was in high school. It actually causes mono. It is very unusual to get it more than once. I have had it three times. The third time was this last November when it started. It would just not go away. I worked with it for several months without knowing that I had it which meant that my spleen got very enlarged. I had to take about six weeks off of work which is really unheard of for me. I had it last year when I was in massage school and all kinds of stuff. I had the deliverance session and Jana got a word that I would be healed of it in seven days. On the seventh day I was thinking, “Alright, I feel horrible.” I had all these dreams and I was really going through some major change in the spirit. I don’t understand it yet. The eighth day I felt much better and since then I have not had the virus. My spleen has gone down. I have been able to work out all the time. It has been awesome. It is just really unusual.
(Brian Cox) My name is Brian Cox. You might be able to look around and notice a resemblance to a few people in the room. It is an honor to be here. I’m working more and more with Aslan’s Place and this is very exciting for me.
Jonathon wanted to be a firefighter all of his life. In fact, when he was accepted to the academy, he was very excited, a very happy camper. He was so excited, in fact, that he went straight to Ebay and bought a full set of equipment even though in the orientation he was told not to do so.
Coming home from training one day, as he often did, he was listening to the scanner and heard a call on a structure fire not too far from where he was. He thought, “I have my equipment, I should help.” He actually arrived on the scene first. It was called on scene flame showing. He threw on his equipment and decided, “I am going to help these people.” That is really all he wanted to do.
He ran into the house with full equipment and full armor on and was immediately struck by the heat and the smoke. He lost his orientation, but he plowed forward. He couldn’t discern where he was going, but he wanted to help. As he continued, he realized that he was starting to feel a lot more pressure. He thought, “I have all this equipment. What is going on?”
He didn’t have the training to understand that even though he had the armor that would protect him from being burnt, he could still get heat exhaustion and he started to collapse.
As Christians, we are very similar. We want to help. We are excited. Look at the skills that we can gain, look at the authority we have in Jesus Christ, but we have to understand our position in Christ and understand what it means to walk in this battle. As we do so, like with Jonathon, we need to understand that it is a struggle for obedience to where we do the right thing.
How to Struggle for Obedience
Renew Allegiance to God. Romans 12:1. “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God which is your reasonable service.”
This word that is used ‘beseech’ is a word that is used in the Classic Greek to exhort troops. This wasn’t begging. This was a command you would give your troops on how to follow orders. By offering our bodies, we are insuring that we are free from contamination. You can imagine soldiers that are about to go into battle, they have to have their focus on what their goals are. If they are thinking about what they are going to have for dinner, they are not going o be very affective in battle.
Reject False World Views. Romans 12:2. “Do not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
September 1999 the Climate Orbiter finished a 198-day journey to Mars. It was a long journey. It was a 150 million dollar piece of equipment. It fired its engines to try to enter orbit around Mars and went 15 miles too deep into the atmosphere. Instead of entering orbit, it came straight ongoing and now no one really knows where it is. The investigation showed that the Lockheed Martin team had measured the calculations in miles. Everyone else in NASA had measured in kilometers. They were using a different standard.
If we try to operate under a worldview, we are using the wrong standard on how to undergo spiritual warfare. Our standard must be Jesus Christ. When we operate under the same standard, you can have a ministry team in Singapore and a ministry team in Illinois that are going to come to the same conclusions.
Remove False Ways. Acts 8:18-24. “When Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money saying, ‘Give me this power also that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’ But Peter said to him, ‘Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent, therefore, of this your wickedness and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.’ Then Simon answered and said, ‘Pray to the Lord for me that none of the things that you have spoken may come upon me.'”
When we use the standard of the world, we look to motivations that are not God’s. Simon had been following the crowd. He was actually following Phillip who had gone ahead of Peter and John. He wanted to go where the show was. He wanted the latest greatest. One of the things that we have to watch out for as we struggle for obedience is that we don’t just want to go where the show is; we want to go where God is. That is what Simon was doing. He wanted the latest, greatest. Not only that, he was seeking a prophet. He actually offered them money.
What was happening was that Phillip was teaching, but the Holy Spirit had not come on this group of people yet. When the church heard that, they sent Peter and John to kind of help things along. When Peter and John came and prayed for them, then the Holy Spirit came. Then Simon said, “Oh, that’s got to be the better thing to do. I want to do what they are doing.” But, he didn’t say, “Teach me,” he said, “Let me invest so that I can make some more money.” Simon was operating as a magician; he was not operating as a minister.
In addition, you have to watch out for spiritual giftings and how they are used. We know someone who operates in discernment who would walk down the streets of Venice. If you have ever heard of Venice, it is supposed to be a very entertaining place to go to people watch. There is just about any kind of street performer that you can imagine. In addition to that, you have psychics, fortunetellers, things like that. This person could walk down and see real, false, real, false. Even though they were operating for profit, they were operating with spiritual gifts. The problem was that their standards were off and their motivations were off as well.
Rely on the Armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-11. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
If you have had any involvement with spiritual warfare, you have heard this. In fact, we even heard it earlier in the day. It is important to pause and actually think about the components of the armor. What is interesting is that although Paul lists specific parts of armor, the word that is used when he says ‘whole’ is ‘panoplian’. We know the prefix ‘pan’ from pandemic, which is a worldwide disease. Pan is all encompassing. When we talk about this armor, this isn’t individual pieces, this protects the entire body. There is no piece of God’s armor that leaves us exposed. It is good to break it into pieces so that we can understand the components that Paul names.
Belt of Truth. Ephesians 6:14. “Stand therefore having girded your waist with truth…”
This belt of the Roman soldier would protect the abdomen. It wasn’t just a skinny little belt to keep his pants up. First of all, he wasn’t wearing pants, so that would be the first part of it. It was also where the sword was kept. So, by having your belt on, your belt of truth, it showed that you were ready for battle. If you didn’t have your belt, you wouldn’t have your sword and you weren’t going to be very effective except as a target.
Breastplate of Righteousness. Ephesians 6:14. “…having put on the breastplate of righteousness.”
The word that is used in the Greek means a metal. Often, if they were a rich enough soldier, it would be even chainmail that protected both the front and the back. When we think of breastplate, we think of the chest. This actually went all the way down to the abdomen. You can imagine going into battle that you would feel a lot more confident with a big piece of metal protecting your front and your back. This is what it does for us. With the breastplate of righteousness, when we know we are operating in righteousness, we can go advancing the Kingdom in confidence that we are being protected. That our chest, the seat of our feeling and emotions, is protected and is watched over by God.
Shoes of peace. Ephesians 6:15. “…having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.”
Roman soldiers’ shoes were often studded to provide sure footing. Don’t think of these as just the simple sandals that would keep the camel dung off your feet or whatever else might be on the battlefield. These were studded to provide sure footing. In fact, the ‘readiness’ that is used in the Greek means ‘sure foundation’. What else but the shoes of peace? To have our peace resting in Christ is how we should operate and move forward in advancing the Kingdom.
Shield of Faith. Ephesians 6:16. “… taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
When you think of a shield, Hollywood provides many different images for what a shield might look like. This was not the little pizza-size shield. This is more like hiding behind a door. This was a big shield. Also, if you watch Ben Hur or something like that, what would you see? You would see them block or defend themselves with a shield. That is not what this shield was for.
This was a shield that operated as the foundation for the tank that we have today. The Romans would create a row of soldiers. It wasn’t just a row, but then there would be rows back behind them. The soldiers that were in the back would hold the shields above them and they would advance like a tank moving forward. This shield is for advancement. This shield is for offense. We go into the enemy’s territory to advance God’s Kingdom. This is the kind of shield that we carry when we carry our faith. It is for offense, but it does defend us as well.
The enemy that the Romans would often fight did not just have bows and arrows. They also had pitch and tar and matches. They would light their arrows on fire. The soldiers would often dip these shields, which had layers of leather, in water. You can imagine that you had to be pretty strong. The benefit that we have is that Christ gives us the strength to carry all this armor. The shields would actually quench the arrows of the enemy. No matter what the enemy shoots against you, your shield of faith will quench those flaming darts.
If you have your Christian allies with you, then you are going to get the arrows quenched that can be coming at you from behind as well. If you operate by yourself, you are not protected from your back as well as you are when you are with your friends.
Helmet of Salvation. Ephesians 6:17. “… take the helmet of salvation…”
It was a heavy brass object. It came all the way down in front of the cheekbones. The Roman soldiers had arrows coming against them. They also had who knows what else, battle-hammers, battle-axes. These helmets were actually strong enough to protect from a blow from that. They might have a headache. They would also fill them with cork or sponge to help make the weight bearable. The helmet of salvation protects your mind. If we do not operate in salvation, then we are open to all types of deception. In addition, our discernment seat is in our brain. All of our sense is from there. If we don’t have the protection of the helmet, then we can have deception come into our discernment as well so the helmet of salvation is very important.
Sword of the Spirit. Ephesians 6:17 “… and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.”
Again, if we talk about Ben Hur or gladiator battles, this is not the giant broad sword that takes two hands and if you hand it to someone else their hands drop to the ground. This is a short sword that would be used in conjunction specifically with that door shield that they had. This again was used for attack. You could swing it in behind the shield as you were advancing and then smite your enemy. The Bible is often referred to as a sword. With this and your full armor, you could advance into the enemy’s territory and you are advancing God’s Kingdom and there is no weapon that can fight against this. You just keep on plowing forward.
Practice Doctrinal Praying. Ephesians 6:18. “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”
Paul finishes the description by admonishing the reader to pray and to be vigilant. That takes us to the point regarding practicing. We just talked about the doctrine of the armor of God. That means that when you pray, you should be conscientious of the armor that you carry.
Before you can carry it, you need to put it on. When Paul uses the word that commands to put on the whole armor of God, he uses a tense in Greek that states it as a one-time act. That means that when you apply the armor of God, it is on. There are oftentimes where we have even taught and believed in the past that it should be a daily activity; you should get up in the morning and put on the armor of God. According to how it is stated here, when you put it on, it is on. Imagine a soldier after a battle; it is going to be pretty beat up. You may have arrows sticking out, etc. It doesn’t mean that you don’t need to get some repairs done. The repairs also come from Christian fellowship.
When you pray, be aware of the armor of God and what it equips you to do. You need to also understand that the strength for carrying the armor comes from Christ. Just like our friend, Jonathon, you will understand that your training comes from Christ on how to use your armor and how to carry it properly and that just because you have the armor, it does not mean that you are not going to get beaten, meaning they are going to come against you, you are going to withstand it, but you need to have respite with your Christian brethren.
I Peter 5:9. “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
James 4:7-8. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
As my dad taught earlier, the enemy likes to often act in deception and subterfuge. What then do you do? You are here, you are ready with your armor, ready to fight, and how do you identify where the enemy is moving? You have to look to Christ by going to God, go to your Commander in Chief and say, “Where do you want me to go?” The soldier who gets up, polishes his armor, and goes out on the battlefield himself looking for a fight is going to get stomped. You have to remember that when you operate in God’s Kingdom, you operate with the proper marching orders. That is an important part about resisting Satan. Remember, he will either operate in the minimum or the maximum. If he can get you out on your own, operating outside of God’s will, then he gets to stomp you even though you were doing it in His name, but you were operating outside of His will.
Respond to Godly Counsel. Proverbs 12:15. “The way of a fool is in right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.”
This goes back to the theme. A soldier by himself is just one man, but when he is with his army, he is mighty. If you have that one soldier who is going off on his own, he better be wise to listen and be reminded that he was operating outside of his orders. We need to remember that we are operating within the full Body of Christ. We are not a Body all on our own, but we are only a Body when we are together with other believers. We have to remember that if a fellow Christian calls us on something we are doing, we have to pay attention and then prayerfully consider what it is that they are offering.
In addition, that is why there is leadership in the Church because you can then test what you have been instructed to do with your leadership as they help you to learn your discernment as you are getting new instructions. A soldier is always advancing his training. A great army does not have a boot camp and then send out their soldiers forever never reminding them. They go through periods of training and refreshing. That refreshing is when you come together in the Body of Christ.
Be Filled With the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18. “Do not be drunk with wine in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.”
The world offers many different ways for us to attempt to fulfill the spots in our life that God built specifically for Himself. If we operate in those kinds of worldly pleasures, then we have diverted ourselves away from Holy Spirit. Before we can truly be filled with Holy Spirit and operate in obedience, we have to be sure that we have cleansed ourselves of anything that is going to be trying to fill the gap that God was intended to fill. This is the whole round peg/square hole kind of a situation.
How do you do that? Go back to godly counsel. Be ready to be called on in anything that you are operating in out of disobedience and be receptive to godly counsel even in the states where you may be straying and moving away from Holy Spirit. By doing that you have cleaned out contamination. It is almost like you have a spy in your midst within your own mind when you stray away from Holy Spirit.
Thank God for Your Warfare. Brave men and women are fighting in many places of the world right now for the United States. They went voluntarily. We do not have a draft active right now. If you ask them right now if they would rather be home with their families, they would say, “Yes”. But, they are proud, and I would say many are thankful, that they are there and they are able to fight for their country. That doesn’t mean that they would choose to go out and put themselves in harm’s way just to get a kick or just to empty bullets out of their machine guns. They go because they understand that there are weak and innocent people who need to be protected. They have risen to the challenge and have gone.
As Christians, we operate in the understanding that there are weak, wounded, and innocent people that are being attacked all over the place. We, therefore, should operate in thanksgiving that we can battle because we have the strength and we have Jesus Christ on our side to wage that battle. That doesn’t mean that we should be thankful that we get to suffer. By taking the pressure of the suffering, we take away its power.
Affirm God’s Greatness and Goodness. Ephesians 5:19, 20. “Speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
When we enter into times of worship, it is not only a time of great celebration. It is amazing in God’s planning how He gives us that desire and joy. Remember how we talked about that we might put our armor on once, but it can get pretty tattered. Worship is the act of coming together in fellowship to repair your armor and your spirits. When you affirm God’s greatness and goodness, you are actually boosting morale. In an army, morale is a very serious concern. In fact, even today we have the USO and other groups that will go over and help the troops get some respite from the battle and the trenches that they are in, pull them out and give them some actual relief. When we come together and we affirm God’s greatness and goodness, not only should we be doing that in our daily devotions, but doing it as a congregation because when we come together, we are coming into agreement and then we have additional authority.
Be a Part of the Body of Believers. Ephesians 5:19. “Speaking to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”
This is the continually the theme. When we are part of a body of believers, we have support. One of the things that the enemy would like you to believe is that your suffering is too minor to bring to anybody else’s attention. Looking at the problems that everyone else is facing and feeling like why should you even bring something up, not wanting to make any noise, just be the brave little trooper and plug along. That is what the enemy wants you to think, not what Jesus wants you to think. He came to set the captives free, whether they have little handcuffs on or big handcuffs and chains and are underwater being drowned. He wants everyone to be saved. For you to be effective, you need to be completely set free. Don’t believe the lies of the enemy that state that you have to be in shackles. Come to a body of believers and be set free and ask each other for prayer whether it is little or big.
Forgive. Ephesians 4:26-27. “Be angry and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger, nor give place to the devil.”
I love to indoor rock climb. How many of you have ever seen the indoor rock climbing gyms? Picture a wall multiple stories tall with cast sand blisters coming out going all the way up the wall and you have just a rope to keep you from falling off. This entire wall starts with the bottom.
I am very fortunate and blessed to have two wonderful children. My daughter is just about 14 and actually shares this love of indoor rock climbing as well. It is an interesting thing as a father to watch your child go up to this, your child who used to not even be able to crawl and now is going to scale up a wall with you responsible for the rope that is going to keep her from falling. That is a little bit of diversion, but it is quite the picture.
Her entire climb starts with that one little sand blister at the bottom. Depending on the difficulty of the course, it could be a big step, or it could be this little nub. That is the foothold. When she doesn’t get her foothold, she just scurries her feet back and forth and falls. The rope is stretchy because if you are up high, it absorbs the stress of the fall. But, when you are on the ground, you fall on your rear-end. So she would scale, scale, scale and then fall. When she would get her foothold, she would rocket to the top.
When we don’t forgive, that operates as a foothold for Satan. That means that he can then scale right up you and get to deeper things that may have needed a little more work for him to have right to, but when we hold hatred or unforgiveness of others, then you just basically hooked up a little loop and said, “Here Satan, hook on your carabiner (which is what the climbers use) and glob on.” Then a little beacon goes out for everything else that might be around that is evil that would try and bring you down. Before you know it, that little bit of forgiveness that you refused to give, you end up dragging, and who knows what behind you.
Imagine trying to take a landmine or little battleship mines with all the spikes sticking out of them and trying to drag that behind you. You are here with your armor and you’re going to advance God’s Kingdom and you are dragging pieces of metal behind you. That all started because you wouldn’t forgive. That is why it says, “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” In fact, dad talked about that as well; how the woman was not even released from life to go to heaven until she had dealt with the forgiveness that was necessary. God understood that unforgiveness was going to be a curse on her future generations that needed to taken care of now so that her children and grandchildren did not have to deal with it later.
Appropriate the Blood of Jesus. Romans 5:9. “Much more than having now been justified by His Blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”
This is a pretty awesome verse. You have to pull back into the Greek. On the surface it is pretty cool, we are justified. But, if you look into the Classical Greek, the word that he used for ‘justify’ means ‘preservation from all causes of destruction’. There is nothing that Christ’s Blood cannot wash away, cannot save us from. When you appropriate, when you call upon the Blood of Jesus, you are taking care of anything that the enemy can throw at you.
What about our friend Jonathon? The trained professionals reached him and rescued him. Believe it or not, after a severe dressing down, he was actually allowed to stay within the academy. He completed his training and this time he was riding in the truck with the training on how to use all the equipment and he was with his team. He went into the flaming house, but this time with his captain, following his captain’s directions, and this time he was the rescuer instead of the victim.
Jesus Christ is our Captain. When we understand that we can go in with Him, following His directions and operating in obedience, then we will be the rescuers and not the victims.
(Paul) Brian that was very well done. We were sitting back there trying not to be too proud and it was very difficult. Donna says, “That’s my son!”
Demonization of Christians – Is It Possible?
We have come to the last section that we want to look at. This is a very interesting section. I am thinking that we are not going to go into detail, so we are going to ask you to look at those scriptures later. We will probably pick out a couple just to illustrate our point.
When we pray for people, the common question is, “Do I have a demon inside of me?” That is a legitimate question. What does it mean to be demon possessed?
We have this picture of the movies and people spewing things out of their mouth and being held down. I remember I think on 20/20 or 60 Minutes where they had an exorcism. They moved into this room and they took all the pictures off the walls and all the lamps and tables out. Then they tied this poor girl down. She was writhing and they had this nice big book and they were reading out of the book and she was snarling and carrying on. I was thinking, “Oh my goodness, that poor girl.” Then you have someone come to you for prayer and you wonder, “What do they think is going to happen here?”
What does it mean to be demon possessed? Are people possessed by demons? Good question.
I am very grateful for a book called Demonization of the Christian by Fred Dickason who is here in the Chicago area I believe. He talks a lot about this. I have also done some other research into other books and have found some very interesting things.
The Greek word is given for you here in your notes. I have learned not to try and pronounce these words because everybody has an opinion and that way I solve that problem.
William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: “The Greek verb daimonizomai means “to be possessed by a demon”. The participle from the same root, daimonizomenos, is used twelve times in the Greek New Testament. It is used only in the present tense, indicating the continued state of one inhabited by a demon, or demonized. This participle has components to its structure. First, there is the root, daimon, which indicates the involvement of demons. Second, is the causative stem, iz, which shows that there is an active cause in this verb. Third, is the passive ending, omenos. This conveys the passivity of the person described as demonized. Putting it all together, the participle in its root form means ‘a demon caused passivity’. (This is very typical where the person becomes passive in his response to the external influence of evil.) This indicates a control other than that of the person who is demonized; he is regarded as the recipient of the demon’s action. In other words, demonization pictures a demon controlling a somewhat passive person.”
Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament: daimonizomai – be possessed by a demon, occurs thirteen times in the New Testament, exclusively in the Gospels (seven times in Matthew, four times in Mark, and once each in Luke and John). It designates a condition of sickness that is explained by a demon dwelling in the person (possession). (p. 274)
The word that we need to look at is ‘possession’. I started becoming intrigued by this because it is clear in the Greek translation. The Greek translation is ‘possession’, but as we started developing discernment and deliverance, people started having issue with this word ‘demonized’ or ‘demon possession’. What we did was change the word to ‘demonized’. This takes care of the problem of possession.
Where did this come from? I happened to look at a dictionary that I had at the time which was the same dictionary that I used when I was in college which was about a thousand years ago. This in the Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1965).
Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1965): possession – (a) The act of having or taking into control. (b) Control or occupancy of property without regard to ownership. (p. 662)
How do we define the word today? We say that possession means ownership, don’t we? So, the word has evolved in its definition. Where possession used to mean ‘control’, it now means ‘ownership’. So that is the correct definition then. Demon possession would be a correct definition way back in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, it would not. I like to use the words ‘unyielding influence’. The enemy does not give up and he is influencing you. If that is true, what is it that happens to us? Where is the demon? People say, “Do I have demons inside of me?”
Let’s think a little bit about this. I don’t want us to go into tilt here. The Bible says we dwell with Christ in heavenly places. The mathematical-scientific term is ‘dimensions’. What does it mean to have something in another dimension? One Japanese author said that if you are in the tenth dimension, you could go into the third dimension as a medical doctor and do surgery without cutting somebody, because inside and outside have no more meaning.
I like to use that word again ‘attachment’. There is an unyielding attachment. Where is the attachment? Who knows? The truth is it will not leave. It can be attached perhaps in places that we do not understand because we are really multidimensional people. Does that help? It kind of makes my brain hurt, but I think it helps. Inside and outside are irrelevant in the spiritual world.
Following material taken from Three Crucial Questions About Spiritual Warfare by Clinton Arnold.
“Where did the English Bible translators get the idea of translating daimonizomai as “demon possession”? The translation was most likely influenced by the Latin Church’s tradition of using the term possessio to describe a person deeply troubled by a demonic spirit. Interestingly, the Latin Vulgate, however, does not use the term possessio to translate daimonizomai, but the simple expression to have a demon (habeo with daemonia). But it is also important to realize that the English term possess has a long history of usage where the emphasis could fall on control or occupancy as opposed to ownership. This is significant because it is by no means certain that the translators of the King James Version intended to convey the notion of ownership by using the term possession.
“The obstacle for us is that in popular contemporary usage we have a difficult time disentangling possession from the concept of ownership. To avoid this confusion, some Christian leaders have suggested that we begin transliterating the term daimonizomai by the expression demonized. This has the advantage of providing us with a new term to use without the baggage that comes with “demon possession.” It might also be advisable to use other common translations of daimonizomai that we noted earlier.
“I am convinced that there would be far greater agreement among Christians on this issue if we framed the question differently, leaving out the word possession. We might ask, “Can Christians come under a high degree of influence by a demonic spirit?” or, “Is it possible for Christians to yield control of their bodies to a demonic spirit in the same way that they yield to the power of sin?”
I like to use the term ‘unyielding attachment’. This is my quote. I think that unyielding attachment is perhaps a better way of looking at it because in this way we can understand that there is an influence that is taking place.
By this time in my life, I have done hundreds and hundreds of deliverances. We have found that people are demonized and that we are all a mess and that we all have issues and that we all need help. The Bible, in fact, says that we are being changed from glory to ever increasing glory. I believe one of the reasons why we are not seeing the miraculous in the Church in terms of healing, signs and wonders, deliverance is because we are so clogged up with stuff from the generations past and from our own life that the power of God can’t flow through us so that we can be all that we can.
As a Baptist pastor, I would preach, preach, preach trying to convince people to do, do, do. The truth is, it is all about ‘being’. When we be what we are supposed to be without the influence of the enemy, guess what happens? The power flows. It’s like unclogging the pipes. Get the pipes unclogged, then the power flows, because we can’t do it. We can’t even be obedient. We can’t do anything without Him. Right? What we do is that we who are preachers, it is our job to shame you into being better so we work, work, work. We get frustrated because it is not working. Trust me, generally it is not working.
We have someone at our office and all they do is answer the phone with people calling. We are not talking about the nonChristian, we are talking about Christians calling because they say that they cannot do it anymore. They say terrible things like, “You are our last hope.” I hate being the last hope of anybody. It is the Lord that can do it, not me or those at Aslan’s Place, but it is the desperation of people.
There is a question that was asked and this probably a good place for me to insert it. If Jesus was bruised for our iniquities, why are some under so much of its influence? I would dare say that the reason is that because there are issues that have not been dealt with yet, generational issues that have not been dealt with yet. This is a very difficult thing. I don’t like it. I would like to believe this is not true, but it is true. It is true.
The good news is, and I love saying this to people, “I know you are going to be different. I don’t know how different you are going to be, but I know you are going to be different because I have seen God help too many people now. I have seen it.” I never tell them how much better they are going to be because I don’t know, but they will be different.
Evidence Against Demonization of Christians – A Response
We have to deal with the issue though of scripture because we want to. We want to be honest with the Word of God. We want to see if there are scriptures that show that Christians cannot be demonized. That’s a fair question isn’t it? We want to be honest with the Word. Are there scriptures that show us that Christians cannot be demonized? I have listed for you in your notes many of these scriptures. Let’s just look at a couple of them so you can get the idea of how we are approaching this.
John 12:31. “Now is the judgment of this world, now the ruler of this world will be cast out.”
People might say, “Well, this proves that Christians cannot be influenced by the enemy anymore.” This refers to the legal judgment of Satan, not to his detainment in the abyss now. Even after Christ made these startling declarations, Satan very seriously affected Peter, leading him to deny the Savior (Luke 22:31-32). Just after this, there is the influence of Satan. We are talking about a future event, not a present event.
Revelation 20:1. “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven and the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon and the serpent of old who is the devil and Satan and bound him for a thousand years. He cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up and set a seal on him so that he should deceive the nations no more until a thousand years were finished. But after these things, he must be released for a little while.”
The binding of Satan occurs at the Second Coming. However, Satan is now seen as active along with his demons at the present time (2 Cor. 11:13-15). Scripture is very clear about that again, that there is an influence.
We are not going to go through each one of these scriptures because you can read just as well as I can. With each scripture we talk about what is the reality about what is being said. Then there is a conclusion and I want to read you the conclusion which is at the end of this section.
(These scriptures were all in the other manuscript so I included them here even though you did not go through them in the class.)
Hebrews 2:14-15. The Greek word katargeo does not mean to destroy or reduce to no power. It rather means to make ineffective, nullify, set aside, doomed to perish. The same word is used in the judgment of our old man in Romans 6:6. Few would argue that our sin nature has not the possibility of controlling our lives. Demonic forces have been judged by the cross and have been rendered inoperative in having the rule over death and the bondage that result from fear of death. Satan’s dominion of believers through fear has been broken.
Colossians 2:14-15. If Christ has so routed and stripped the enemy of weapons, how could the Christian ever expect the enemy to attack let alone invade a believer’s body? This is a positional legal victory over Satan and demons. Paul did not intend to convey that we need not stand guard against them or that they could not seriously affect our lives as Christians. It is one thing to have a perfect legal standing before God through being “in Christ”; it is quite another to walk in obedience to the Word and to keep one’s self from being led astray through demonic deception.
Colossians 1:13. This is to be understood positionally and in a legal sense. We are no longer citizens of the kingdom of Satan. We have been redeemed and forgiven of sins; redemption and forgiveness are legal possessions of those in Christ. We are now citizens of the Son’s Kingdom. However, we are in a battle (Col 2:1, 2:8, 18).
Acts 26:18. This is positional truth, but the practical walk and battle continue.
John 10:22-29. This is true! This passage does not deal with demonic attack or invasion.
John 17:15. Christ is praying for Christian’s preservation from becoming completely engulfed in Satan’s destructive power and devastation.
Matthew 6:13. What happens if the believer does not ask to be delivered from evil? The meaning seems to be, “Do not allow us to fall into such temptation that would lead to ensnaring by Satan.”
2 Thessalonians 3:3. Paul knew the attack of Satan in his ministry and in his body (2 Cor 12:7, I Thess. 2:18). He warns all Christians to put on the whole armor of God so that they might be able to stand against demonic wiles (Eph 6:10-12). It is to be expected that those who do not stand in the power of the Lord and the armor of God will not be able to stand in the battle. This promise is for those who walk in obedience to the Lord. Satan will not be able to take them unaware and render them weak, unfaithful, and unproductive in Christian life and service.
2 Tim. 2:25-26. In another passage, Paul advises Timothy on how to minister effectively to a believer whom Satan has “taken captive”. “Those who oppose him [the Lord’s servant] he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will” (2 Tim. 2:25-26).
Paul continues to be concerned about false teachers in the midst of the churches. He is not speaking of wolves among the sheep, but of sheep who have been led astray and threaten to lead others astray. Since Paul advises Timothy on how to minister in a way that effects restoration, these opponents are Christians who have fallen off the rails. They have become ensnared in a trap (pagis) set by the devil, and the result is quite severe–they are now captives of Satan. George Knight aptly comments that the phrase being captured alive (ezogremenoi) “conveys the sense of ‘having been taken and held captive’ and expresses the decisive hold that the devil has.”
It is quite possible that these false teachers were Christians who had never made a clean break with their occultic past and were continuing to be involved in magical practices. Paul compares their opposition to what Moses experienced when he faced Jannes and Jambres, the Egyptian sorcerers (2 Tim. 3:7-8; cf. Exod. 7:11-12, 22).
I John 4:4. John is warning against possible deception promoted by false teachers influenced by a spirit or spirits not from God. God’s Spirit will enable the discerning and obedient believer so that he will not be taken in by false teaching. The issue of demonization is not addressed in this verse.
I John 5:18. The sin here is not a particular sin, but “habitually sinning”. The believer does not habitually practice sin; he guards himself so that Satan does not grasp hold of him. If habitual sin is practiced, the door is open for attack.
Psalm 5:4. The verse must be taken in context. The parallel is God does not dwell with evil. Presence and fellowship are different. Evil cannot have fellowship with God, but God can call evil into His presence (Job 1:6, 2:1).
I Corinthians 10:21. If these people sat at tables of an idolatrous feast and partook of the food dedicated to idols, they would be fellowshipping with demons. This partaking means to participate, to have a part in. This unfitting combination does not rule out the possibility that some may try to partake of both tables. Instead of excluding the presence of demons from believers, the passage is a stern warning about the possible sin of fellowshipping with demons by participating in idolatrous actions.
2 Corinthians 6:14-16. This shows that it is possible to have fellowship with unbelievers, even to participate in the works of Satan. Partnership meaning a sharing or participating.
CONCLUSION: We may definitely say that the believer who heeds the warnings and obeys the Scripture and walks in fellowship with Christ cannot be freshly invaded. … (I believe that. I believe that a believer is not easily invaded by evil. I believe that most, if not all that happens, is before a person becomes a Christian in their personal life and in their generational line. I can remember that I prayed for a young man who had just gotten out of prison. He had tattoos everywhere, big swastika right here on his head. This guy was packing when he came in. There was stuff swirling around him. It was an extremely, extremely difficult deliverance. He ended up going back and sleeping with his girlfriend which is a good way to get reinhabited. I noticed a very interesting thing. When he came back, the deliverance was virtually nothing compared to what had happened the first time. I have noticed this pattern. After you pray for someone, I do not see the enemy easily coming back. I believe it is the truth.) … In vain do we search for a Scripture that grants Christians full immunity from the attacks or invasions of Satan. All of us know too well the external attack of Satan…There is not one statement of Scripture to indicate that Christians are incapable of being harassed or even invaded by evil spirits if they give ground to these evil spirits.” (Ensign and Howe- Bothered? Bewildered? Bewitched? Your Guide to Practical, Supernatural Healing)
The truth is that as we look at scripture, there is nothing that says that a Christian can’t be attacked, invaded, or have an unyielding attachment by the enemy.
Session 5 of 5
Evidence Supporting Demonization of Christians – A Response
We have looked at scriptures that speak against the demonization of people. What about scriptures that are used supporting the demonization of Christians, which is the next section? Again, you can read that section and read those scriptures.
I wanted to show one scripture that is very interesting which is speaking of Saul.
1 Samuel 10:6. “The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you and you will prophecy with them, and he turned into another man.” (It says he changed his heart, the Lord changed his heart. Saul at this point would be an Old Testament believer, following the true and living God.)
1 Samuel 16:18. “Then one of his servants answered and said, “Look I have seen the son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent speech, and a handsome person and the Lord is with him.” Therefore, Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son who is with the sheep.” Jesse took a donkey, a loaf of bread, a skin of wine, and a young goat and sent them to his son David. So David came to Saul and stood before him and he loved him greatly and became his armor bearer. Then Saul sent to Jesse saying, “Please let David stand before me for he has found favor in my sight.” And so it was whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul that David would take a harp and play it with his hand and then Saul would become refreshed and well and the distressing spirit would depart from him.”
We know from 1 Samuel 16:14 that this distressing spirit would come on Saul. I know how this works because I have been doing this long enough. Here’s the argument, “Well, that’s Old Testament and not New Testament.” So we come to the New Testament and let’s go to Luke 8:2.
Luke 8:2. “And a certain woman who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of who had come seven demons.”
Okay, there is obviously someone who is influenced by demons. Right? This is how it works. “Well, that’s before the Cross and not after the Cross.” So we find deliverances in Acts and I was taught this, “Well, Acts is a transitional book so you do not base anything upon the Book of Acts.” So, eventually we get to one verse in Jude that we believe. I’m being a little sarcastic, but not much. You see, the only way to solve our problem in what we believe as far as proving what we believe is to eliminate scripture. Remember what I said this morning, my big problem is I believe the Word of God.
I really like what Dickason has done in Demon Possession of the Christian. He writes a conclusion for scriptures that prove the demonization of Christians.
Conclusion: “Most of these cases cannot be considered valid evidence for demonization. However, there are some passages that present evidence that cannot be lightly dismissed but must be considered as fairly strong evidence, such as the daughter of Abraham with a spirit of illness.”
His basic conclusion is this. Okay, if you want to prove that Christians can be demonized, you can’t do it. If you want to prove that Christians cannot be demonized, you can’t do it. So then what is his solution? I like this. Then look at the evidence. If you were to try to prove cancer from the Bible, you can’t do it. So using the logic of most Christians, then you would say that Christians cannot have cancer because cancer is not in the Bible. The evidence proves something different. Now there is nothing in the scripture that says that people cannot have cancer or that they can. Do you see that? You can’t prove it either way. You need to look at the evidence. I would suggest to all of us, look at the evidence.
When I get really nasty, and that is not too often, and people bring this up to me that they don’t believe in this, I say, “Well, that’s fine. I will tell you what. Let’s go into the local mental institution and you use your ideas and I’ll use God’s power and we will see what works.” I remember when this started happening at the church and it happened for 18 months and there was much discussion in the church about this. Deacons were discussing this, of course. My good friend said, “Where’s the evidence?” I said, “Okay. I don’t want to be one who goes around bragging about what is happening. I brag about what God has done, but I didn’t want to go around bragging.”
We had a Sunday evening of testimonies for two hours. Person, after person, after person, people that had been in the church the entire time I had been there, the entire time, who we had not been able to help all of a sudden were being changed by the power of God. This was his comment afterwards, “I don’t care what they say, I don’t believe in it.”
This is very, very destructive and only gives hopelessness to Christians because then there is no answer to what is happening to them. We go church and I cannot tell you how many times people have said this to me, “I go to church, but I do not tell people what is really going on inside, because if I do, I am afraid I’m going to be rejected.” It’s sad.
(These were in the other manual so I left them in.)
2 Corinthians 4:3-4. No clear evidence of demonization of the unbeliever or believer.
I Thessalonians 2:18. Passage says nothing of demonization in any clear sense.
I John 4:1-4. Does not present any sure evidence that believers can be inhabited by demons.
1 Peter 5:8. The apostle Peter warns believers in Asia Minor to be strong in their faith because of the real possibility that they could be “devoured” (katapino) by the devil. Peter compares Satan to a lion that paces back and forth and creates fear through his awful roar.
This passage clearly has believers in view and, at the minimum, envisions the potential for Satan to have extensive and dominating control over the life of a Christian. The term for devouring (katapino) was commonly used for wild animals that tore apart their prey and swallowed all that was edible – a term quite appropriate for the hungry lion. Because of the context of intense, localized persecution of Christians, J. Ramsey Michaels thinks that the imagery of the passage point to Satan working in the hearts of believers in such a way that they break, shatter, cut-off, dissolve and destroy their allegiance to Christ. The fear and dread Satan creates by his roar – perhaps signifying the threats to family members, friends, and acquaintances by the persecutors – was one of the principal means he used to carry out his designs.
In this verse, the devouring does not suggest demonic control in the sense of dramatic manifestations of demonization, but it does convey the idea of near-total dominance.
2 Peter 2:1-22. “Christians stand in real danger of being tempted, attacked, and even controlled by evil spirits if they are not careful to be fully protected by the whole armor of God and the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ensign and Howe). No clear evidence of the demonization of genuine believers.
Colossians 2:8. Paul’s motive for writing his letter to the Colossians was to prevent these believers from falling captive to a demonically inspired teaching. He warns them, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.”
Once again he sees Satan operating powerfully through inspiring a teaching that would keep believers away from the Lord Jesus Christ. On the surface, it would appear that the teaching of the faction in the church at Colossae could be explained strictly on a human level (it “depends on human tradition”), but ultimately it can be traced to demonic powers, which Paul here calls stoicheio tou kosmou.
Theological Considerations Against the Demonization of Believers
There are some theological considerations and let’s look at those. This is fun. I love this. People bring this up. Here’s the first one.
Satan, Demons, and God Cannot Dwell in the Same Place. If the Christian has Holy Spirit, they cannot have demons.
There is a simple response. Where is God? Everywhere. Then, where is Satan? He’s nowhere. That would be the logic. If Satan and God cannot dwell in the same place, then Satan has to be nowhere. That’s not true, he is somewhere. Spatial consideration is not a consideration. Besides, you have this passage in Job that is a real difficulty when Satan comes to present himself before God. It happened! It is a matter of us taking back the ground that the enemy has taken. We belong to the Lord. I would even say to people, “If the curse has been finally broken, then why do people die?” Of course the curse has been taken care of, but in scripture there is ‘already’ but ‘not yet’. We have learned that and it’s true. There is an ‘already’ but ‘not yet’.
Moral Presence Consideration. God cannot dwell with evil. God dwells in every believer; therefore, a demon cannot dwell in any believer. The Holy Spirit lives in the believer where there is still a sinful, evil sin nature. Also the real issue is presence and not control. The demon can invade and be a trespasser. The truth is that we are and can be influenced by evil.
The Bible contains declarations that suggest the possibility that demons can invade and control a Christian. Paul testified that he was “not ignorant of his (Satan’s) devices, lest Satan should be at an advantage.” (2 Cor. 2:11) Satan seeks to gain a favorable and strategic place in the life of the believer to do him harm (Eph. 6:11, 2 Thess. 2:9). Unless we acquaint ourselves with his wiles and subtle strategy, we are bound to fall under his attacks. Paul says, “Neither give place to the devil” (Eph. 4:27). This is a warning against yielding ground or giving foothold to the devil. Also, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) The satanic principle is to take as much ground as possible when not resisted.
There are people that I have dealt with that if I would share their story with you, you would go out of here shaking your head in bewilderment and disbelief wondering how it was possible. My friend, Tom Hawkins, who deals with Dissociative Identity Disorder and people who have been terribly abused. I have met with some of his clients who he has met with for years. The evil is on a scale that I do not understand and a battling that I do not comprehend. To say to them, “Well, that’s not possible,” is so ludicrous that you would be an idiot to even say those words after being with these people. These are some of the most gifted wonderful believers who want to so desperately to be set free and yet they have been invaded at an unprecedented level. How does that happen? Through generational right. Why I do not understand.
I want to tell you it is real. There are thousands, upon thousands, upon thousands, upon thousands of people in the Church that are secretly waiting for someone to help them. They are desperate. Unfortunately, thousands upon thousands, upon thousands are leaving the institutional Church because they wonder where the God of power is that is being preached about.
Let me read some comments.
Lewis Sperry Chafer Systematic Theology, 3:273. (A conservative evangelical, Dallas Seminary. That is conservative.) “Grievously sinning saints may go beyond the old nature. In cases of serious, persistent, scandalous sin, such as gross immorality or participation in occultism or occult religious, demons may exercise control over the believer for a time until his sin is confessed and forsaken and deliverance from the evil powers is gained.”
That is an amazing statement from that man. Is that not true Pastor Patty?
Unger wrote a book many, many years ago about the demonic world. He did not believe in the possibility of demons influencing Christians. He then wrote a later book called Demon Possession and The Christian (or something like that) in which he literally says that this is certainly a possibility. Listen to some of these quotes.
Unger – “In an age of increasing moral laxity and spiritual lawlessness, the more serious forms of demonic influence are becoming more prevalent among Christian people.”
Unger – “The demon enters, it is true, as a squatter and not as an owner or a guest or as one who has a right there. He comes in as an intruder and as an invader and enemy … Satan and his minions have no legal right to enter, for the Christian’s body belongs only to God both by creation and redemption. But as a squatter, defined as ‘one who settles on land without right or title or payment of rent’ a demon can come in and settle down for a time. He will leave only if he is forcibly ejected by faith and prayer on the part of Christian warriors who know their position and resources in Christ and use their prayer armor effectively.”
Unger – “Those who maintain, however, that no believer can be invaded by Satan or demonic powers run into a serious problem. In every case of clear-cut demon invasion they must assume that the person in question is unsaved. But the fact remains that numbers of Christians are experiencing vexing problems and grave hangups that manifestly go beyond natural infirmities or the struggle between the Spirit and the flesh.”
Unger – “The testimonies of numbers of Christian counselors dovetail. They have worked with scores of people who joyously confessed Jesus Christ as their Savior but who were unquestionably invaded by one or more demons. In each case, the unmistakable indication of the demon’s presence was discernible. There was the speaking out through the affected individual of another person who denied the lordship of Christ and gave allegiance to Satan.”
Unger – “The truth of the matter is that the Scriptures nowhere plainly state that a true believer cannot be invaded by Satan or his demons. Of course, doctrine must always have precedence over experience. Nor can experience ever furnish a basis for biblical interpretations. Yet, if consistent experiences clash with an interpretation, the only inference possible is that there is something wrong with either the experience or the interpretation of the Scripture that runs counter to it. Certainly the inspired Word of God never contradicts valid experience.”
(We are talking about valid experience of thousands upon thousands of people.)
(You did not quote these in the audio, but they were in the notes so I left them in.)
Unger – A Christian psychiatrist, Dr. Marion Nelson, declares that those who hold that a demonic spirit cannot invade the same body as the Holy Spirit must bear the burden of proving that it cannot happen, using Scriptures properly interpreted and applied. This is difficult in the face of numerous reports of people who seem to be real Christians and who apparently suffer from demonic possession.”
Unger – “Dare we be so naive as to believe that demonic powers will not press their claims to the limit in any life? How much more in the case of the child of God failing to count on what he is in Christ, neglecting to use his resources in warfare, and above all, opening the door to the enemy by serious and persistent sin. Does the believer dare to presume that he will not be attacked, defeated, oppressed, or even invaded by the enemy.”
Unger – “To deny the possibility of demonic working in the lives of Christians is to fail to allow Scripture to speak in the full scope of its implications, and to flatly ignore experience. To fail to grasp the full extent to which such sinister power may operate is perilous, for it DENIES TO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN INVADED BY THE ENEMY THE UNDERSTANDING AND HELP THEY SO DESPERATELY NEED. Those who deny the possibility of a demon invading a believer run the risk of believing the devil’s lie that he will not enter if permitted, or they assume that the believer loses his moral choice in the matter and cannot open the door to demonic powers.”
Unger – “Certainly Satan would like us to underestimate what he can do and how far he can go. How delighted he is to have us theorize in a theological dream world that does not face the relevant Scriptures fully and fairly nor come to grips with the facts of experience realistically. How gleeful he must feel if he can cast the halo of supposed orthodoxy over the whole procedure. He would like us to live in a fool’s paradise so that we will be unable to sound a full warning to the perils of the occult contamination and other willful sins, as well as the demonic bondage that follows.”
Wagner, (Third Wave of the Holy Spirit) – “I now feel certain that the power of evil spirits is real and can have direct influence in the life of a Christian…..almost all those who themselves are actively involved in a ministry of exorcism or deliverance affirm that Christians can be demonized. Those who deny it, by and large, have had little or no direct contact with the demonic.”
Charles Swindoll, author of a number of Christian best sellers and former pastor of First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton, California, (and for a while President of Dallas Theological Seminary), says the following in a booklet entitled Demonization, “For a number of years I questioned this, but I am now convinced it can occur (demonization). Wicked forces are not discriminating with regard to which body they may inhabit.” Swindoll asserts that through the years he has worked with troubled, anguished Christians. And “On a few occasions I have assisted in the painful process of relieving them of demons.” (I like that, ‘relieving them of demons) …
Southern Baptist evangelist James Robison says there was a time when he did not believe that Christians needed deliverance from demonic oppression. Through a ministry of a friend he was delivered from what he perceived to be a demonic claw, and from that moment he was a free man…
Edward Murphy, missionary to Latin American, former professor at Biola University and now vice-president of Overseas Crusades writes. “It used to be thought, and I made this assumption just like everyone else, that the moment the Holy Spirit entered a new Christian’s life, the evil spirits, if there were any there, were automatically expelled.” His missionary experience, however, forced him to change his mind. “I have found,” says Murphy, “that people can come to Christ in a genuine salvation experience and still have problems in the demonic realm.”
(I bear testimony of a thousand times and more that people can be demonized. The good news is that they can be set free.)
Much of this material has been taken from Demon Possession and the Christian by Fred Dickason.
Q. To what degree can a demonized person help himself or what should he do?
A. We have found that what needs to be done is that you need to have someone pray for you and explore the possibility that there could be issues that are being empowered by the enemy. Prayer helps. Remember when I talked this morning, I had to come to the place in my life where I am now, the place where I realized that I needed to get down onto the field and enter into the conflict. When you do that, you start seeing things happen.
Q. How can one tell if a person is undeliverable from demonic forces?
A. I believe that nothing can withstand the power of Jesus Christ. There are legal rights that we do not understand, but His power is complete. His victory is complete.
I thought last night of this hymn. “I heard an old, old story how a Savior came from Glory, how He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me. I heard about His groaning, of His precious Blood’s atoning, then I repented of my sin and won the victory. Oh, victory in Jesus, my Savior forever. He sought me and He bought me with His redeeming Blood. He loved me before I knew Him and all my love is due Him. He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood. I heard about His healing, of His cleansing power revealing, how He made the lame to walk again and caused the blind to see, and then I cried, “Dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit,” and somehow Jesus came and brought me to victory.”
You see, there is victory in Christ. It is just not a topic for a sermon on Sunday morning. I love the Black tradition. I love Black preaching. But, I am saddened when week after week in churches the people say, “Yes, there is victory,” but they don’t see it. I love that faith and I affirm that faith. But, you know what, we don’t need to pretend or even hope. I’ll tell you, people’s lives can be changed by the power of the Blood of Jesus Christ for all creation is awaiting for the revelation, the revealing of the sons of God and that is the good news, that can clean us out and make us whole and use us.
I would like for you to go back to that passage in Isaiah 61 where we started. This is a great passage.
Isaiah 61. ….
Who are ‘they’? They are the ones who have been set free, healed, encouraged, comforted, they are verses 1 through 3. They are the ones who are going to turn around and they are going to rebuild the old ruins … the desolation of many generations. That is where we are today.
Out of God’s grace He took a Baptist pastor and his wife who knew nothing about this, who only knew that they were tired of the same old thing and said, “I’m going to use you to make a difference.” The good news is that He allows us to train others to do the same thing. We all are the ‘they’. We are going to undo the mess in our generations past. We are the ‘they’. I want to tell you, I don’t care anymore what anybody says because this works. It has worked for my marriage, my family, my children, and my grandchildren.
Our grandchildren are so convinced that this works, that when they have a difficulty they talk to their parents, they call me, and they say that they need to come over for the ‘full course’ which means that they have to stay overnight and get delivered. We now realize that the first line of defense is prayer. I want to tell you how much this works.
We love Pastor Patty. We felt Pastor Patty was to come to Aslan’s Place. She came two months ago. We have dealt with so many generational issues in Donna’s and my line with poverty and lack. I was raised as a Baptist and it was the belief that holiness was poverty, that lack is where we were supposed to live. I’m not talking about extravagance and opulence and all that, I’m talking about just having enough. You were more spiritual if you suffered from financial problems. That’s true. We had broken many curses off and the Lord has given us so much revelation and just recently revelation was given about Donna’s line and so she worked on that and I have worked on stuff in my line. We have found so many things and have had so many dreams.
So, Pastor Patty came two months ago on a Saturday night. She had done a conference during the day. The power of God hit me and we were in this little church with about 25 to 30 people there at the most. The power of God hit me and I was laid out on the front. I was looking at her and she was looking at me saying, “What am I supposed to do?” I said, “I don’t know, I can’t move, just carry on.” So she did.
Then one of our intercessors, in fact, the lady who is in charge of intercession for Aslan’s Place, Raylene, said, “I had a vision a long time ago and you and Pastor Patty have two keys and there is a safe right there.” So we had two keys that we could not see and a safe we could not see. She said, “Pastor Patty carries an anointing to break something off of you and to release something into the ministry.” So we put the two invisible keys into the invisible safe and we opened the invisible door to look into nothing. Two days later Aslan’s Place got the largest check donation we have ever received. I believe curses have been broken off of us. It’s not about us, it’s about the Kingdom. The Lord wants to release the funds into the Kingdom, not so we can go out and by a lot of stuff. I’m not against stuff incidentally. But, it works.
I need to tell you one more story. I love this story. Our daughter, Christy, was pregnant with Jessica. The doctor said, “Jessica has a brain tumor.” They tried to convince her to abort Jessica. Christy wouldn’t do it. Then they hospitalized her because they said that her amniotic fluid level had gone to I think 3 and it was supposed to be at 14 or something like that. It was bad enough that an HMO was willing to hospitalize her for several weeks, that’s how bad it was, that’s bad. The first day I visited her, the second day I visited her. I was impressed to lay hands on her tummy and to pray for her and Jessica and she went through a deliverance. For 20 minutes I could feel evil coming off of her stomach.
The next morning at 8:30 she called me. She said, “They’re sending me home.” I said, “What?” She said, “Yes, everything’s back to normal.” I said, “What?” She said, “Well, don’t you believe in what you do?” Her numbers were perfectly normal.
I can stand up here and Donna can stand up here and tell you story after story, after story, after story. I’ll tell you, we’re taking back ground from the enemy. Our goal is that as we pray for Brian, Christy, and Corrie and now for our seven grandchildren, and they are going to have to have their spouse prayed for before it is a done deal when they get married, and then we will pray for their children. We are talking about four generations. The enemy has right only for four generations. The fifth generation will be men and women of the glory. I can feel the anointing on that. That is our goal. Uninhibited, because by then it is all going to be taken care of. That is the goal, the redemption of the line of Paul and Donna Cox. Wouldn’t that be cool?
I had an impression that we were go do a group deliverance. Jana came up and I said that I felt that and she said that the Lord just told her. You can’t keep secrets around here. We would like to pray for you as a group. Can we do that? Jana, Donna, Mimi, Brian, Jeff, and Pastor Patty come up here. Now the Lord has given me a certain authority so when I pray for you, the Lord will start removing evil from your generational line. Let’s stand up. We are just going to do a general breaking of generational curses and then we will start calling out issues for you to demand to leave.
Lord Jesus, we just ask that through Your Holy Spirit You will give us words of knowledge. Lord Jesus, we thank You for Your power. This is all about You Lord and what You can do and not what we can do. Pray this after me.
In the Name of Jesus Christ and by the power of His Blood I come against all evil that has been empowered in my family generational line and I break all evil generational ties from before time to the present to a thousand generations. I demand all evil leave and go to the feet of Jesus.
There it goes, leave in the Name of Jesus.
Lord, remove all generational iniquity. Rejection leave. Abandonment leave. (Just call them out as you get them.) Shame leave. Fear leave. Hatred leave. Doubt and unbelief leave. (Paul with message in tongues.) Witchcraft leave. Generational hatred leave. Unforgiveness leave. Doubt and unbelief leave. Rage leave. Resentment leave. Bitterness leave. Sorrow leave. Fear leave. Sadness leave. Abuse leave. Oppression and depression leave. Anxiety leave. Hopelessness leave. Death and destruction, destroyer leave.
A wave of God’s power is coming on us right now, here it comes, here it comes.
Unbelief leave. It’s increasing. Rebellion leave. Despair and despondency leave. Strife leave. Mockery leave. Jealousy and envy leave. Cynicism leave. Confusion leave. Chaos leave. Self-pity leave. Pride and arrogance leave. Infirmity leave. Insanity leave. There is another wave of power coming. Here it comes.
Despair leave. Torment and torture leave. Self-hatred leave. The power is increasing. Hardheartedness leave. I feel the fire of God coming and sweeping over us. He’s coming and He’s burning off things. Hearts of stone leave. Irresponsibility leave. Mistrust leave. Passivity leave. Phobias leave. Denial leave. Unhearing/blocked ears. Lord, break all curses against ears. All deaf and dumb spirits leave. Denial of the gifts leave. Pride leave. Independence leave. Agony and anguish leave. Sickness leave. Isolation leave. Unrighteous burdens leave. Here is another wave. Arrogance leave. Atheism leave. Blasphemy leave. Queen of heaven leave. All religious spirits leave. Whoa, that’s a big one. Adultery leave. Perversion leave. Mockery leave. Lust leave. Slander and gossip leave. Performance and perfectionism leave. Phariseeism leave. Qualifying spirits leave. Barrenness leave. All poverty spirits leave. Impotence leave. Unworthiness leave. Love of money leave. Low self-esteem leave. Rejection leave. Timidity leave. Insecurity leave. Stubbornness leave. Intimidation leave. Anything that blocks giftings leave.
Now it is getting hot. Lost identity leave. I have a sense that you are just to put your hands out and the power of God just wants to come on you right now. Lord, I just ask You to release Your power now. Just release Your power, Lord. Anything that would block the Lord’s fire must leave. Here it comes in another wave. It’s increasing. Thank You Lord for Your presence.
In the Name of Jesus Christ I break any canopies that would try to divert or alter the flow of the anointing. I destroy it in the Name of Jesus Christ. Counterfeiting spirits leave. Idol worship and false worship leave. False Jesus and antichrist spirit leave. (Brian) The canopy that I am seeing in the spirit still appears to be there. I want to pray this which is the impression that I am getting. If you are in agreement with this, “In the Name of Jesus Christ, I repent for anyone in my family generational line that taught against Holy giftings, that taught that God does not move today. I declare that God’s glory is accessible to all and that God is setting us free right now. Come Lord Jesus.”
I am going to take the sword and cut the canopy that is over us in the Name of Jesus. You can feel the anointing coming now, feel that, here it comes. Whoa! All blocking spirits leave and blocking revelation leave, mocking spirits leave. Resistance leave. All lying spirits leave.
Now Lord Jesus would You come and fill all the places with Your Holy Spirit, all the places where the enemy is leaving? Lord, thank You that You are changing us from glory to ever increasing glory.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord cause His countenance to be upon you and give you peace. Lord, would You now write Your name on each of us, for Lord we are Yours and You are ours? Lord, make us repairers of the devastation of generations that the name of the Lord God might have fame in the world. Amen.