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Lars Wilhelmsson

2 CONTENTS Pages PREFACE INTRODUCTION 1. WE ARE IN A SPIRITUAL BATTLE A. Twin Errors to Avoid B. Evidence of our Spiritual Battle C. The Structure of Satans Spiritual Forces 2. THE KINGDOM OF THE WORLD AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD A. The Kingdom of the World B. The Kingdom of God 3. THE CITY OF MAN & THE CITY OF GOD 4. ENEMY OF OUR SOUL: THE WORLD 5. ENEMY OF OUR SOUL: THE FLESH 6. ENEMY OF OUR SOUL: THE DEVIL 7. UNITY IS ATTACKED BECAUSE WHAT THE CHURCH IS A. What is Unity B. We Must Work Hard To Keep the Unity 1. The Challenge to Unity 2. Prayer for Unity 3. Weapons of Unity 8. THE ARMOR OF GOD A. The Soldier B. The Armor 1. The Belt of Truth 2. The Breastplate of Righteousness 3. Shoes of Peace 59-82 24-30 31-38 39-45 46-52 53-58 14-23 4-7 8-9 10-13

3 4. Shield of Faith 5. Helmet of Salvation 6. Sword of the Spirit C. The Communication in Battle: Prayer 1. The Characteristics of Prayer 2. The Frequency of Prayer 3. The Variety of Prayer 4. The Recipients of Prayer 9. THE OCCULT A. Demonology B. Fortune Telling C. The Worship of Demons and Demon Possession D. Spiritualism or Spiritism E. The Powers of Darkness F. Why the Occult is Forbidden EXORCISM (DELIVERANCE MINISTRY) A. Characteristics of Demons B. The Kingdom of God and Miracles C. Symptoms of Demonization E. Dangers in this Ministry F. Preparation for Deliverance Ministry G. Ministering Deliverance H. Satanic Counterattacks I. A Suggested Form of Prayer J. Example of Demonization K. A Prayer to be Offered by the Counselee, Commands to Demonic Spirits, Questions for Testing the Spirits L. Warfare Prayer M. The Three Rs: Remember, Renounce, Reclaim NOTES BIBLIOGRAPHY 110-115 116-117 83-109

4 PREFACE There is no doubt that the history of the churchs belief in Satan, demons and witches have been used by superstitious people to bring about much evil and suffering. Yet in spite of abuses of the concept, neither science nor philosophy can prove or reasonably affirm that superhuman spirits or beings do not exist. If for a priori rationalistic reasons we reject Jesus belief in the existence of a realm of evil spiritual powers, it is difficult to see why His belief in a personal God may not be eliminated also, or why such a process of evaporation might not be successfully applied to all contemporary literature. When theories of accommodation and mental illness and the impact of a powerful personality have been taken into account we are left with mystery and many unanswered questions. In spite of centuries of neglect and confusion, belief in Satan and demonic influence is growing. In fact, the interest in the supernatural in the last forty years, and especially the last decade, has been astonishing! People are more willing to entertain the possibility of the spiritual than ever before. And more people are yearning for spiritual experience. This is partly due to the continuing power of evil in society and human life. In the view of many, reasonable and optimistic scientific views of progress have failed to account for escalating evil in our time. This seems to call for at least a serious look at the biblical view. The Bible gives an explanation of the reason for the evils that are submerging our age into darkness, leaving us with a sense of horror and helplessness. Can we adequately explain the genocidal campaigns of Adolf Hitler or Idi Amin, the murder sprees of Charles Manson or Ted Bundy, the suicide/murder of Jim Jones and his followers in Guyana, or the success of the kiddie-port industry without at least considering the possibility of a personal power of evil in the universe. Another reason for the surge of interest in the supernatural is the fact that a naturalistic worldview no longer seems as compelling as it used to. The golden era of science is over. People no longer believe that science and technology is the answer to everything. Thus a vacuum developed which has made people curious for the spiritual dimension of life. While materialism has served as an integrating agent for modern society that integration has been bought at the cost of neglecting spiritual realities. The result is that the modern world now finds itself without an adequate vocabulary for dealing with powers as real today as they were two thousand years ago. Basil Jackson, professor of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin, opened a conference on the demonic at the Notre Dame Conference Center by confessing: A sense of desperation has come upon some of us. We cannot cope with certain problems that we have been faced with clinically. The people with these problems make little response to our professional ingenuity. Perhaps we have missed something quite important both psychologically and spiritually because we have ignored the material in the Bible about Satan and the demonic.1

5 There is the story about an old, uneducated preacher who was confronted by a well educated and sophisticated person who said, You dont mean to tell me that you really believe in a personal devil? The preacher replied, Well, I figured with all the evil in this world there has to be a headquarters somewhere. Psychiatrist Scott Peck says that, before witnessing his first exorcism, he had been intrigued but not convinced by Malachi Martins book on exorcism (Hostage to the Devil). It was another matter after he had personally met Satan face-to-face. He put it, I now know Satan is real. I have met him.2 He wrote his book, People of the Lie, in the hope that, as a result of his experience and that of Martin, closed-minded readers will become more open-minded in relation to the reality of Satan. I have personally been involved in a dozen exorcisms which have further convinced me of the reality of a personal devil and of personal demons. I have conversed with these evil creatures through other peoples voices (the persons demonized). They have expressed knowledge not known to human beings. We are often mystified by what looks like devilish harassment, exaggerated human imagination, a psychological malady, or a chemical imbalance. In trying to find some kind of control over out-of-control phenomenon, we are tempted to either unrelenting skepticism or naive gullibility. We tend to either dismiss the possibility that the demonic may be involved or we see demons under every bush. We are fooled by either believing what isnt so or by refusing to believe what is so. The challenge then is to be able to discern what is demonic and what is not. What complicates this process is the fact that demonization may go hand in hand with a psychological disorder, physical illness and sinful habits. Demonic invasion emulates the most ordinary symptoms and thus leads many astray. Therefore skepticism about the demonic is healthy, yet we dare not dismiss the stories of those who have been helped by exorcism and deliverance. The following pages address such matters. It begins by looking at the problem of sin in general and moves toward supernatural evil. Too often in studies on spiritual warfare the flesh and the world are overlooked as is sin in general. This is a grave mistake which leads to distortion. After all, our greatest enemy is self or the flesh. When the devil is seen in the context of sin in general we are protected from either not recognizing him for the enemy that he is or for giving him too much credit. Both are pitfalls we need to avoid.

6 There is much practical help offered in this treatment because there is so much confusion on the subject. I have attempted to soak everything in Scripture to ensure that outlandish views are not presented. Although, as Martin Luther points out, . . . for still our ancient foe does seek to work us woe, we need not be intimidated by such a foe since Apostle John points out in his first letter, You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (1 Jn 4:4).

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devils schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. --Ephesians 6:10-12


9 G. K. Chesterton was correct when he said that when people cease to believe in God, they dont begin to believe in nothinginstead, they will believe in anything. The 60s ushered in the Age of Aquarius, a psychodelic era in which Americans began to believe in anything. Relativism was embraced and unorthodox spiritual searches became acceptable. In an era of flower power, sexual liberation, the gay movement, peace marches, Woodstock, the Beatles, and the Vietnam War people, especially young people, opened up to exploring unconventional spiritual answers. Modern superstitions became prevalent. The entertainment cultures fascination with the demonic has contributed significantly to the widespread belief in the demonic. Books and movies began to appear with increasing frequency since the early 1970s: movies such as The Exorcism in 1973 by William Blatty and William Friedkin, as well as the book Hostage to the Devil in 1976 by the former Jesuit priest Malachi Martin. This book became a Book-of-the-Month Club main selection. This book describes five cases of demonic possession and successful exorcisms. In the late 1980s, talkshow host Geraldo Rivera featured Satanism on a controversial but widely viewed television special. Since The Exorcism other films that portrayed supernatural evil that fed our collective imagination were the following: Devil Times Five (1974), The Possessed (1977), Good Against Evil (1977), Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), The Entity (1982), My Demon Lover (1987), The Devils Advocate (1997), The Blair Witch Project (1999), Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000), a re-release of The Exorcist (2000), Bedazzled (2000), The Little Vampire (2000), and Dracula 2000. Television movies also contributed to this, movies such as The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Charmed, and Touched by an Angel. Since Satans time is getting shorter and shorter he no doubt is coming into the open as he increases his frontal attacks. Thus pop cultures portrayals of the demonic mirrored reality. But we also know the power picturesimageshold over our minds. If seeing-is-believing and true faith manifests itself in action, then what we see, especially for the more suggestible, influences their behavior. There is no question but that the devil has been helped by pop cultures hypnotic, scary and seductive depictions. There is clear evidence that the entertainment industry directly stimulated the market for occultic practices. Mass media loves the demonic because it makes for lavish special effects and attracts the thrill-seeking American audience. On the other hand media has reflected the spiritual difficulties that people were experiencing because they opened themselves up to real demonic influences when they became involved with the occult in the New Age movement. During this same period there has been an increased acceptance of demonic presence, and even possession or demonization, among Christians in general. Before this time such views were mostly held by charismatics and Pentecostals. Now deliverance ministries have gone mainstream and have developed in evangelical churches, colleges and seminaries as well.



11 It is indeed a very poor Christian who is so ineffective that he is not on the devils black list.1 --Oswald Chambers Life from the moment of our regeneration by the Holy Spirit is peace with God, but it is war with the enemy of our souls. --Anonymous As Christians we are at war! The church lives in hostile territory! These are ominous days. The great increase of knowledge and technology is paralleled only by mans inability to harness it. Thus we seem to be sitting on a bomb that may explode momentarily. What is behind the lawlessness and moral breakdown in the world today is satanic in origin. And all that is good in the world stands as a target for all that is evil. We, who are pilgrims or sojourners in this dark and evil world, will stand strong only by constant alertness and the providential protection of Almighty God. Just as anyone may be in gravest danger when unaware of any trouble at all, so Christians may be in greatest peril by not recognizing the presence of peril or the source from which it comes. Twin Errors to Avoid Human nature tends toward extremes by a kind of evil magnetic attraction. We instinctively run to one of two excesses, and that is why so often we are in error. This propensity is clearly seen in our attitude toward the devil. C. S. Lewis pointed out long ago in his book, The Screwtape Letters, the twin errors we must avoid in our approach to Satan, the enemy of our souls: There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.2 (Emphasis added) One common error in our approach to Satan is to deny or ignore Satan. The problem is that denying or ignoring him will not make him go away. As we will see in this study, the devil is real and there is a spiritual battle going on. Another faulty approach is to be preoccupied with Satan. An obsessive preoccupation with Satan is as dangerous and deadly as denying or ignoring him. There are scores of people in mental institutions who have become preoccupied with the enemy of their souls.

12 Our focus must always be on God while we are aware of Satans schemes. A balanced approach to life generally, and spiritual warfare specifically, is that while we are to be amazed with God, we dare only be aware of the devil. Otherwise we will be in perilous danger. Evidence of our Spiritual Battle 1. A marked intensification and manifestation of evil. This should be no surprise since the Bible states that the devil is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short (Rev 12:12; see also 1 Ti 4:1). 2. Strongholds have to be defeated for prayer to be answered (Da 10:12-21; 12:1). The prince of the Persian kingdom (v. 13) and the prince of Greece (v. 20) were apparently fallen angels exercising influence over the Persian and Grecian realms in the interests of Satan. Their resistance was finally overcome by the archangel Michael, the great prince who protects the people of God (12:1). Gabriel assists Michael. 3. There is warfare in the heavens (Rev 12:7-9). Michael, the archangel, defeats Satan in heavenly warfare. 4. Our fighting is not with human beings (flesh and blood) but with Satan and his demonic spirits (Eph 6:12; 2 Co 10:3-4). Neil Anderson and Steve Russo did a recent survey of 1291 professing Christian high-schoolers. They found that 47% have experienced a presence in their room (seen or heard) that scared them. 54% struggle with bad thoughts about God. 37% say it is mentally hard for them to pray and read their Bibles. 70% have heard voices in their heads like there was a subconscious self talking to themselves, or struggled with really bad thoughts. 20% frequently have thoughts of suicide. 24% have impulsive thoughts to kill someone, like Grab that knife and kill that person. 71% have thoughts that they are different from other people (It works for others but not for me).1 In the last twenty years I have counseled hundreds of adults who are hearing voices and struggling with irrational, evil thoughts.

13 The Structure of Satans Spiritual Forces The structure appears like a human military chain of command with everything funneling to and from Satan. Principalities or rulers come from the Greek word archon, the root of some English words that have arch in them. For example, an archenemy is the principal, chief enemy. Powers or dominions come from the Greek word exousta and seems to be related to a realm or sphere of rulership. Rulers of the darkness (kosmocrator), seems to have even more power. It possibly refers to demons who have infiltrated various political systems of the world, attempting to pattern them after Satans realm of darkness (Da 10:13; Col 1:15). Perhaps the Prince of Persia, with whom the angel Michael struggled in the supernatural realm during Daniels intercession (Da 10:12-21), is one such kosmocrator. Spiritual wickedness in high places seems to be the highest level of dark power. Such demons may be involved in the most wretched and vile immoralities such as perverse sexual practices, the occult, Satan worship, etc. Pauls purpose here is not to give a detailed description of the satanic hierarchy but to point to its sophistication and power so we realize that we face an incredibly evil and potent enemy. Therefore our great need is not to recognize every specific feature of our adversary, but to turn to God who alone provides us with protection and victory. Although it is impossible to know the precise identity and role of each of these forces, none of these powers pose any contest for the strength of Gods might. When there is a clear and present danger, life brings a great purpose and a great choice: life or death, blessing or curse, victory or defeat, God or Satan (Dt 30:19).



15 The whole issue of spiritual warfare must be seen in the light of two kingdoms: The Kingdom of the World and the Kingdom of God. These two kingdoms vie for superiority. They will seek supremacy until The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign for ever and ever (Rev 11:15; see also Da 2:44). The Message of the Coming Kingdom Mark points out that following His baptism by John the Baptist, Jesus entered upon a ministry of proclaiming the Kingdom of God: After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. The time has come, He said, The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news! (Mk 1:14-15). Matthew gives a similar version: Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. (Mt 4:23) Luke tells about an incident in Nazareth when Jesus read a prophecy about the coming of one anointed by the Spirit of the Lord who would proclaim the coming of the acceptable year of the Lord, and then announced, Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing (Lk 4:18-21). The message and miracles of Jesus must be interpreted in the setting of His view of the world and humanity, the kingdom of the world, and the need for the coming of the Kingdom of God. THE KINGDOM OF THE WORLD Its Meaning The kingdom of the world refers to this age of which Satan (meaning to oppose or to be or act as an adversary) is god: The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ (2 Co 2:4).

16 This means that the devil is the archenemy of God and the unseen power behind all unbelief and ungodliness. Those who follow him have in effect made him their god. Similarly, the kingdom of the world refers to the world system which is under the control of Satan: We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one (1 Jn 5:19). John does not say that the world belongs to Satan, for Satan cannot lay claim to creating it. Jesus calls Satan the prince of this world (Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). This is why Gods children are warned: Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the worldthe cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and doescomes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever (1 Jn 2:15-17). From the biblical account of Genesis (Gn 3:1-19), we know that by deception Satan took control of the entire world. When Satan tempted Jesus, he showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and said, I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me (Lk 4:6). Jesus did not challenge Satans claim to authority and power, but He did resist his temptation to set up a kingdom that would be mightier far than that of the Romans. He resisted the worlds methods. It meant casting out demons by Beelzebub. For Jesus it meant turning His back on His calling. His Kingdom was of a very different kind (Jn 18:36f.). He had already identified Himself with the sinners He had come to save (Lk 3:21). That meant the lowly path, not that of earthly glory. It meant a cross, not a crown. The phrase it has been given to me in reference to authority and splendor (4:6) means that the whole world lies passively in his power. The authority and splendor was given to Satan in the sense that since he (the serpent in the Garden) was instrumental in the fall of mankind he reaped the authority and splendor that once belonged to man. It is no question that Satan exercises a very powerful influence for evil over the lives of all those wicked people and spirits (demons) that acknowledge him as their master. But this does not mean that the devil is the ultimate owner and ruler of the nations, with the right and the might to dispose of them and of their wealth as he pleases, so that Christ Himself, at least during the present dispensation, would have to take a back seat to him. In fact, the very opposite is true (Gn 3:15; Ps 2: Mt 11:27; 28:18; Ro 16:20; Eph 1:20-23; Col 2:15 and Rev 12; 20:3-4,10). Some

17 argue that some of these passages refer to the power given to Christ in His exaltation, however, it must be remembered that during Christs humiliation Satan was able to do no more than Christ allowed him to do (Mt 4:11; 12:29; Lk 10:18; Jn 8:44; 12:31). Further-more, Satan knows that Jesus has come to drive him out and that Jesus claims the world which rightfully belongs to God. Paul calls Satan . . . the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient (Eph 2:2). This means that Satan is no mere earthbound enemy (6:12). As spirit he is a created, but not a human, being (Job 1:6; Eze 28:15; Isa 14:12-15). In the Synoptic Gospels Satan is pictured as a supernatural evil spirit at the head of a host of inferior evil spirits called demons. As such he is the prince of demons (Mk 3:22). And his chief function is to oppose the redemptive purpose of God. The reality of Satan and demons means that evil is not imposed upon people directly by God, nor it is blind chance or capricious fate. Evil has its root in personality. Yet evil is greater than human beings. It can be resisted by the human will, although the human will can yield to it. Yet evil is not a disorganized, chaotic conflict of powers, as in animism, but is under the direction of a single will whose purpose it is to frustrate the will of God. Furthermore, a rationale for the creation of spiritual powers that were allowed to become hostile to God is not lacking. The Activities of Satan The work of Satan is seen in several aspects though his activities are mainly ethical. In the Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat, which represents the mixed society in this world, the wheat represents the sons of the kingdom while the weeds are the sons of the evil one (Mk 13:38). Satan is pictured as snatching away the word of the Kingdom from hearts that are too hard to receive it (4:15). He tried to divert Jesus from His redemptive mission in the temptation (Mt 4:11). He spoke through Peter urging that it could not be the role of Messiah to suffer and die (Mk 8:33). He entered into Judas, leading him to betray Jesus to the priests (Lk 22:3).

18 He desired to lay his hands upon Peter to prove the unreality of his faith, to show his was nothing but chaff (Lk 22:31). In this instance his purpose was frustrated by Jesus prayer for Peter. A woman who had been a cripple for eighteen years is spoken of as bound by Satan (13:16).1 In the synoptic Gospels, the most characteristic evidence of the power of Satan is the ability of demons to take possession of the center of peoples personalities. Demons are represented as evil supernatural spirits. At the very beginning of His ministry in Capernaum, Jesus came face to face with demonic power. Immediately, the demon recognized Jesus by direct intuitive insight and said, What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God (Mk 1:24). The demon recognizes a supernatural power in Jesus that is capable of crushing satanic power here and now. The Spiritual Conflict As Jesus looked at people, He did not always see them as rational moral units; rather, He saw their souls as a battle-ground, an arena or theatre of tragic conflict between the opposed cosmic powers of the Holy Spirit of God and Satan.2 As New Testament scholar George Ladd put it, The theology of the Kingdom of God is essentially one of conflict and conquest over the kingdom of Satan.3 (Emphasis added) Scripture shows no speculative interest in either Satan or demons. Rather, it recognizes the supernatural power of evil, and its concern is the redemptive work of God in Christ delivering people from these malignant forces. THE KINGDOM OF GOD Its Meaning Of the references to an eternal kingdom in the New Testament, more than 70 refer to the Kingdom of God. The Hebrew word has the abstract dynamic or idea of reign, rule, or dominion.

19 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom, and tell of your power. . . . Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations (Ps 145:11,13). The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all (103:19). This seems to indicate that the Kingdom of God means Gods rule or sovereignty. The Greek word basileia is best translated kingship, kingly power, rule or reign (Lk 19:12; 23:1-2; Jn 1 8:36; Rev 17:12). The kingdom that Jesus appointed for His disciples is royal rule for it is the same kingdom that God the Father conferred on Jesus (Lk 22:29-30). The coming of the Kingdom for which we pray in the Lords Prayer means that Gods will be done on earth, i.e., that His rule be perfectly realized as it is in heaven (Mt 6:10).4 How can the Kingdom of God be both present and future? God is now the King, but He must also become King. This means that It is the coming of Gods Kingdom (v. 10) or its appearing (Lk 19:11) that will bring this age to its end and inaugurate the Age to Come. The Kingdom of God can designate both the manifestation or coming of Gods kingly rule and the future realm in which Gods rule is enjoyed. Inheriting eternal life and entrance into the Kingdom of God are synonymous with entering into the Age to Come. When the rich young ruler asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life, he was thinking of the future life of Daniel 12:2. Jesus replied that it is hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God. Then, turning to His disciples, He assured them that because they had left house and family to follow Him, they would receive eternal life in the Age to Come (Mk 10:17-31).5 The Present Kingdom Jesus saw His ministry as a fulfillment of the Old Testament promise in history. This is particularly clear in two passages. In the synagogue of Nazareth, Jesus read the messianic prophecy from Isaiah 61:1-2 about the coming of an anointed one to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord; and He then solemnly asserted, Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing (Lk 4:21). When John the Baptist, in doubt, sent emissaries to ask Jesus if He really was the Coming One, Jesus replied by citing the messianic prophecy in Isaiah 35:5-6 and told them to report to John that the prophecy was truly being fulfilled (Mt 11:2-6). Throughout the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), Jesus mission is repeatedly understood as the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises.6 The sayings about the Kingdom of God as a present reality must be interpreted against this background. The strongest statement is Matthew 12:28: But if it is by the spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.

20 The parallel verse in Luke 11:20 reads finger of God. One of Jesus most characteristic miracles was the exorcism of demons. Jesus amazed people because He spoke words of command and people were at once delivered from satanic bondage (Mk 1:28). When accused of Himself exercising satanic power, He replied that He cast out demons by the power of God, and this was proof that the Kingdom of God had come upon them (Mt 12:22-28).7 The Greek word ephthasen, has come, in Matthew 12:28 most likely refers to the kingly power of God, attacking the dominion of Satan and delivering people from the power of evil. Or how can one enter a strong mans house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then he can rob his house (Mt 12:29). In these words, Jesus declares that God has acted in His kingly power to curb the power of Satan.8 This means that Gods Kingdom in Jesus teaching has a twofold manifestation: At the end of the age to destroy Satan In Jesus mission to bind Satan Before Satans final destruction, people may be delivered from his power. Binding is a metaphor and designates in some real sense a victory over Satan so that his power is minimized. It is obvious that this metaphor does not mean that Satan has been rendered completely powerless since he continues to be active. It seems that while he is bound, he still has a long rope. Even though his power has been broken by Jesus victory on the cross, he is not powerless. Although the decisive battle has been won and the tide of battle has turned the final victory is still in the future. As George Ladd put it: The whole mission of Jesus, including His words, deeds, death, and resurrection, constituted an initial defeat of satanic power that makes the final outcome and triumph of Gods Kingdom certain.9 Every time evil spirits were driven out by Jesus was a defeat of Satan and a victory of Jesus. Furthermore, it was an anticipation of the time when Satan will be visibly robbed of his power. Any victory over Satans dominion is a foretaste of the eschaton (the End). This power over Satan is also seen in the authority and power Jesus gave to His disciples when He commissioned them to travel throughout Galilee preaching the Kingdom of God (Lk 10:9). When they returned from their missions, they reported with joy that even the demons were subject to them in Jesus name (v. 17). Then Jesus said, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven v. 18). Jesus saw in the successful mission of the seventy disciples an evidence of the defeat of Satan. In the mission of Jesus and His disciples a decisive victory was won, Satan was bound, he fell from his place of power, but his final destruction still awaits the end of the age.

21 Although Jesus reinforces their authority over Satan, He also warns them: I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. (Lk 10:19-20) The snakes and scorpions may represent evil spirits; the enemy is Satan himself. The point Jesus is making is that salvation is more important than power to overcome the evil one or escape his harm. In the New Testament the enemies of Gods Kingdom are not seen as hostile nations as in the Old Testament, but spiritual powers of evil. The victory of Gods Kingdom is a victory in the spiritual world: He must reign until He has put all his enemies under His feet (1 Co 15:25). In His own person and mission Jesus has invaded human history, has wrestled with the powers of evil, won a decisive victory over them, and in the end of the age these powers will be finally and forever broken. When the Pharisees asked when the future Kingdom was coming Jesus answered them that it was already in their midst, but in an unexpected form. It was not accompanied by the signs and outward display the Pharisees expected and without which they would not be satisfied: Present in the Person of Jesus The presence of the Kingdom is asserted in Luke 17:20: Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, Here it is, or There it is, because the kingdom of God is within you. The Greek phrase entos hymon can mean either within you, that is, in your hearts, or in your midst. It is unlikely that Jesus would have said to the Pharisees, the Kingdom of God is within you since they were unbelieving. The translation in your midst, in Jesus person, therefore, best fits the total context of His teaching. This means that the Kingdom is present in the person of its King, Jesus.

22 To Be Received in the Inner Person Mark 10:15 makes it clear that the Kingdom is to be received in the inner person: I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it Jesus is probably indicating that the Kingdom is spiritual and internal (Mt 23:26), rather than physical and external (Jn 18:36). Jesus teaching about the Kingdom of God radically modifies the redemptive time line. The Old Testament and Judaism looked forward to a single daythe Day of the Lordwhen God would act to establish His reign on the earth. George Ladd diagrams it with a straight line: The Age to Come moves on a higher level than this age, and the time between the resurrection and the parousia is a time of the overlapping of the two ages. The church lives between the times; the old age goes on, but the powers of the new age have irrupted into the old age. George Ladd explains: There is a twofold dualism in the New Testament: Gods will is done in heaven; his Kingdom brings it to earth. In the Age to Come, heaven descends to earth and lifts historical existence to a new level of redeemed life (Rev 21:2-3). This is hinted at, although not elaborated on, in the Gospels. Those who attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die any more, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection (Lk 20:35-36). Here is a truly inconceivable order of existence. There are no human analogies to describe existence without the physiological and sociological bonds of sex and family. But this is the will of God: to conquer evil and to bring his people finally into the blessed immortality of the eternal life of the Age to Come. The diagram also suggests that Gods Kingdom was active in the Old Testament. In such events as the Exodus and the captivity in Babylon, God was acting in his kingly power to deliver and judge his people. However, in some real sense Gods Kingdom came into history in the person and mission of Jesus.11 The coming of Gods Kingdom will mean: The final and total destruction of the devil and his angels (Mt 25:41).

23 The formation of a redeemed society unmixed with evil (13:36-43). Perfected fellowship with God at the messianic feast (Lk 13:28-29). In this sense the Kingdom of God is a synonym for the Age to Come. A heavenly Kingdom (Mt 6:33; 19:24) that is eternal (Ps 145:1,11-13; Da 4:3; 2 Pe 1:11) and universal (Ps 103:19) in which the poor in spirit (the humble) will be welcomed and rewarded (Mt. 5:3) and in which the righteous will rule (Mt. 5:10; 6:33). In fact, in Gods Kingdom all believers will partake of His glory (Ro 8:16-17; 1 Th 2:12). A Kingdom where God will exercise His sovereignty without resistance (Mt 13:43; 26:29) since Satan will have been forever vanquished (Rev 12:1011) and where worship will take precedence as the Lamb of God will be adored as He should be (Heb 12:28).




THE CITY OF MAN (Rev 17:1-8; 18:1-5,8-10) The last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, gives us images of two cities: the city of man and the city of God. God gave visions to John where he sees the ultimate collapse of human history. History, as we know it, is not to continue forever. Civilization awaits the awesome and sure judgment of God. Ultimately the city of man must give way to the city of God, the secular city to the Holy City. Babylon must fall, God says, only the New Jerusalem can remain. Revelation 17 and 18 depict the images John sees and the voice he hears. While the images are earthly, the voice is heavenly. A Seductive Mistress In the city of man, the first image is that of a seductive mistress (Rev 17:1-18). John refers to Babylon, the city of man, as "the great prostitute" (v. 1), "the mother of prostitutes" (v. 5). Rather than being a cheap prostitute who sells her body on some dark alley, this mistress is an attractive, stunning woman who wears the latest fashions, whose neck glitters with gold and whose hands are filled with diamonds and precious stones. The Bible says that this woman sits on a beast which energizes her. While he is pictured as an ugly animala monster; she is pictured as a beautiful womana model. While hethe anti-christoppresses the church, sheBabylonseduces it. Because of her beauty and attraction, she is to be feared just as much, or more, as the beast. This mistress invites us to drink from her cup. Caught in sexual sin, she seduces us into delusion whereby we rationalize: "It's not an affair; its a relationship." "Some-thing that feels so good must be right." Making sure that we have enough money to live on, we cheat, just a little bit, on our taxes. We reason, "After all, everybody is doing it. Anyway, our government wastes so much of our money. Why should I give so much of my hard earned money." So we also rationalize Jesus' statement, "Give to God what belongs to God and give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar" (Mt 22:21). The mistress lures us into thinking that things are more important than relationships. We end up treating people with less than dignity as we use them to further our goals. This woman seduces us into such a preoccupation with temporal concerns that there is no time nor energy left for the eternal, the spiritual concerns of our life. Wanting to live a comfortable and safe life, we, unlike Jesus and His disciples, secure our future by avoiding suffering at all cost.


A Powerful Mistress This mistress is not only attractive, but she is also powerful. John views her as one "who sits on many waters" (17:1). The language is obviously figurative with the meaning given by John: "The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, crowds, nations and languages" (v. 15). Her influence extends to all. This includes common people as well as people of royalty (v. 2). And her influence extends throughout all ages (vv. 8ff.). This means that her power and influence are virtually without limitations. Unlike the beast, however, who persecutes the people of God, this woman seduces them. She lures us into thinking that by embracing her we will experience "the good life," but her bed has within it the stench of death. John writes that she holds a "golden cup in her hand" (v. 4), but just when a person thinks she is going to bring the best wine, she brings "abominable things and the filth of her adulteries" (v. 4). A Destructive Mistress This woman, representing the city of man, who is both attractive and powerful, is also destructive. Jim Jones and David Koresh serve as a powerful reminder of the seductive and destructive powers of evil. As Jim Jones and David Koresh started out in their ministry they were genuinely concerned about the needsthe hurtsof their people. Jim Jones spoke of human dignity to people who were oppressed and rightly opposed racial prejudice and proclaimed the value of every person. But he, like David Koresh, became drunk with power and pride which in turn gave way to delusion. The tragedy is that as scores of followers blindly flocked to the People's Temple and to the Waco compound, fully expecting to drink the life of the wine, found only the chalice filled with cyanide. In various ways we follow the attractive, seductive lure of the values and standards of the world and in so doing we become deceived, compromised, and eventually destroyed (vv. 16-17). IDENTIFICATION This mistress, this seductive, powerful, destructive woman is called "Babylon the Great." The Bible states that the following title was "written on her forehead": "MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (v. 5). The word "mystery" tells us that this mistress is to be understood figuratively rather than literally, symbolically rather than geographically, theologically rather than politically.


A Representative City This mistress, the city of Babylon, therefore, is not a real city to be built. Rather, she is a representative city in history waiting to be destroyed. Throughout the Bible she stands for the city of man which is opposed to the city of God. The cities of today, as then, are marked by loneliness, insignificance, apathy, hatred, violence, suspicion, selfishness and despairthe very opposite of the community life planned for us by God, a life marked by love and service. Babylon, the city of man, represents: Godless Society False Religion Proud Humanity A DESOLATE CITY While the first image we see of the city of man is that of a seductive mistress, the last image we see is that of a desolate city: "After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. . . . With a mighty voice he shouted: 'Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird" (Rev 18:1-2). Here the angel announces the demise, the collapse of every pagan civilization--past, present, and future. Then John is given the reason for the collapse of civilization: "Her sins are piled up in heaven, and God has remembered her crimes" (v.5). Though we boast about our security and make great plans for the future, the Bible warns of the inevitable judgment of God: "In one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her" (v. 8). Funeral Songs In this chapter 18 of Revelation there are three funeral songs which mourn the death of the city of man. The first funeral song is sung by the politicians of the earth (vv. 9-10) because their power has come to nothing as the city over which they held power is burning.


The second funeral song is sung by the earth's economists (vv. 11-17) who are weeping because the great monetary institutions such as Wall Street have collapsed and because there will be no more people to buy their goods and services. The third funeral song is sung by common laborerssailors and merchant marinesthe trade unionists of the world (vv. 17-19) who are weeping because they will never again be employed in the world. Such is the fate of the city of man! Song of Jubilation At the very time this earthly crowd weeps and mourns, a song of jubilation erupts in heaven: "Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her for the way she has treated you" (v. 20). While people may forget God, God never forgets people! The aftermath of God's judgment as described by John, will be like the devastation of a nuclear explosion. This is the awesome fate of the world in which we live. Every civilization, every empire, every culture, every political ideology, every false religion will one day be buried. Only those who live in the city of God are secure eternally. IS THERE ANY HOPE? If this prophecy of the collapse of every human institution and culture is true, then is there any legitimate reason for hope? John, who received the vision, responds positively as he sees images and hears a voice thundering from heaven: "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues" (18:4). Come out of her or you will be destroyed with her, warns God. If you don't reject her, she will reject you. If you give in to her seduction, you will share in her judgment.


IDENTITY God is identifying us with Babylon. The crucial question for every one of us is: Where are you encountering Babylon, the world, the city of man? Where is she insidiously seducing you? Where is she ruthlessly destroying you? Although most of us describe the fall of civilizations as we speak of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, in the Bible, however, the demise of nations and persons is spoken of in terms of spirituality. Just as a nation either remembers God and submits herself to Him or rebels against Him, so individuals either submit to God or rebel against Him. Martin Luther said, "Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your god." What do we love more than God? Money, status, prestige, power, pleasure, things? Whom do we love more than God? Spouse, child, parent, friend, lover? We Westerners have not yet met the beast as we have not yet experienced the iron fist of persecution. But we do know this seductive mistress and we have already sensed her seductive embrace. While we have not been physically persecuted, we have been lured. Though we have not been physically harmed, we have been deceived. If we are going to get rid of Babylon from our lives, we will have to examine the attitudes, thoughts, dreams, words, and lifestyles we embrace, not those we despise and detest. DETHRONE But it is not enough to merely identify Babylon in our lives; we must dethrone her. How can we be sure that people or things do not enslave us? We do so by loosening our grip on them. We must always guard against allowing the things we own to own us. The danger of things is that though they come to us as a trust from God, we end up trusting in them instead of trusting in God. The tragedy is that what was designed to be our servant ends up as our master. God's answer to a materialistic spirit is generosity. Thus He calls us to give. If we have much we are called to give much, and if we have little, we are still called to give away something. This is God's formula to dethrone Babylon: Give away what you have. Beware of the world's warm, but deadly embrace! Why do you invest your time, energy, and money in the city of man? They are headed for destruction. The Bible puts it:


"With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again" (18:21). ONLY TWO CITIES The choice is clear: there are only two cities to choose from. Babylonthe city of manthe secular city, and the city of Godthe Holy City. We must stop embracing Babylon. We must reject her before it's too late. We must renounce our allegiance to the city of man and pledge allegiance to the city of God. Babylon the Great will one day be destroyed by the judgment of Almighty God. Only the city of God will endure. Therefore we must imitate Abraham about whom the Bible states: "For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God" (Heb 11:10). No one can serve both cities. We cannot at the same time serve the city of God, which will last forever, and the city of man, that will one day be utterly destroyed. We cannot live in one city and enjoy the pleasures of the other. We must choose and our choice will determine our eternal destiny!




We have already seen that although in a real sense we only have one enemy, that is, the devil (he is the only one of these who is actually called an enemy), the world and the flesh are also called enemies because Satan uses these as means to work his diabolical plans. The World Sins from Without (Jas 4:4; Eph 2:2; 1 Jn 2:15-17) The world does not mean the material planet. God created that, and pronounced it good (Gn 1). Rather it refers to the world system or evil empire of Satan. It is the evil era or order of things that began not with the Creation but with the Fall (Jn 16:11; 1 Jn 5:19; Eph 6:12). It began when our remote ancestorsAdam and Everebelled against God. The world is the world of the Fall, not of the Creation. The world is the sins from without man which tempts him. Babylon stands for the world and all that is in itthe world system whose values and standards are opposite to God's. John, the apostle, said: "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the worldthe cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever" (1 Jn 2:15-17). The World and Its Motivating Desires The world's motivating desires are contrary to God's nature. The world consists basically of three things. The Lust of the FleshThe Cravings of Sinful Man The world is the passionate craving to gratify the physical body. The lust of the flesh goes beyond the satisfaction of normal bodily needs and makes the bodys pleasure the highest priority. The world is that which appeals to our physical appetites, our need for a high, whether it is lust, excessive food which leads to gluttony, alcohol and other drugs, etc. Lust draws us to relationships and things that encourage us to feed unhealthy sexual appetites. We allow our imagination to take flight as we imagine people, places and things that stimulate our sinful human nature. The Lust of his EyesGreed and Envy The world is also the craving to obtain what we see. Restless greed. Covetous desires that are not of Godbut physical, intellectual, and emotional desires which lead to materialismpossessionsand/or sensuality. The lust of the eyes is that which appeals to our materialistic nature, our dissatisfaction whereby we never have enough and our jealousy in which


we are upset with those who have more than we or who are more successful than we are. This was the sin of Achan (Jos 7:21), and it manifests itself today in the restless greed for possessionscars, real estate, clothing, electronic conveniences, furniture, and the money that can provide these and much more. The Pride of LifeThe Boasting of What He Has and Does The world is also the craving for recognition and prestige. Pride of life would have us measure our success in life by who we are, what we have and do. It is the craving for recognition and prestige. This finds glory in what a person is, owns, and accomplishes (1 Jn 2:16). It takes pride in appearance, possessions, achievements, talents, moral uprightnessand even humility! It glories in nationality, social rank, appearance, talents, achievements, possessions and even moral uprightness (self-righteousness which is spiritual pride). Therefore the more we have and the more we accomplish the more reason we have to be proud. This leads then to a proud and haughty spirit which looks down on others. The world appeals to the pride of race (racism), face (vanity), place (status and prestige), and grace (self-righteousness). It ensnares the youth with physique and beauty, the miser with money, the ambitious with power, the intellectual with snobbery, and the zealous with false doctrine (false religions or cults). Opposition The world represents man and society in opposition to God. In the opening chapters of the Bible, humanity gathered itself together and said, "Come, let us build a city, with a tower that reaches the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the earth" (Gn 11:4). Independence The city in Scripture has come to symbolize the world in her independence from God. Thus God warns us: "You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. . . . Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (Jas 4:4; 1 Jn 2:15). The Temporal, Transient Nature of Satan's Domain It is also foolish to be a friend of the world, to love the world because it is Satan's domain since he is "the god of this world" and because it is so temporal, so transient. The Bible puts it:


"The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever" (1 Jn. 2:17). The world focuses on the tangible, the superficial, the apparent, the expedient. This is why the real needs of people are often overlooked. People's needs, all too often, are viewed as means to their own ends. Distortion of God-Given Desire Note that in all of these drives there is a distortion of God-given desire. The desire for food ends up in gluttony, the concern to look presentable turns into vanity, the normal attraction and desire for the person of the opposite sex, ends up in lust and sensuality. The healthy pride in doing ones best, ends up in egoism, where man takes the credit for his accomplishments and the innate desire to know God turns into religiosity or fanaticism. Priorities In Revelation 18:12-13 twenty-nine articles are listed. The order is important as it lists gold first and people last. Isn't that always the order of the world, the city of man? Gold first, people last. Things first, relationships last. Instead of worshiping God, relating to people, and using things; we worship things, use people, and pay lip service to God. In the city of God, however, gold is used to pave the street since its purpose is for people to walk on, to use. But in the city of man, people get passed up for gold and used for silver. Non-Christians Thinking that this Christianity stuff is all a bunch of nonsense. Thinking that in order for us to commit ourselves to Christianity, we have to commit intellectual suicide.

Thinking to ourselves that Christianity is only for the ignorant and the weak. Thinking that we can get along just fine without God. Christians Ready to compromise our standards, just a little, so we can fit in, so we can be better accepted and even popular. Consider a serious relationship with a non-Christian of the opposite sex, or maybe we are even about to marry a non-Christian.


Involved physically, or at least emotionally with someone other than our spouse. Start a business partnership with someone whose ethical values you question. Involved in a relationship or business venture that is slowly pulling us away from our commitment to Christ. Babylonthe worldis out to seduce you! Her attraction is stunning. Her power is cunning. And her destruction is utterly devastating. How to Respond to our Enemies We need discernment in fighting our enemies. Fighting one enemy with weapons fit for another is foolishness. It is like attacking a ship with a sword or a sword with a ship. Our strategies against our three enemies must be different. We need to be detached from the world. We need to master and control the flesh, to tame it like a wild horse. And we need to be freed from the devil; only God can conquer him. We dare not interchange these strategies. For instance, if we try to conquer the world instead of being detached from it, we take it too seriously. Christ has already conquered the world (Jn. 16:33), not by power, but by suffering. If we think of our temptations of the flesh as coming straight from Satan, we become obsessed with themjust what he wants. Or if we think the devils work comes only from the world, from society, we underestimate him and think we can defeat him with social progress or revolutions. An army would have a clear advantage if the opposing army overestimated or underestimated its power. Therefore it is as essential for us to identify our spiritual enemies and assess their real power, as for an army to identify and assess its physical enemies and their resources, and to use the necessary weapons against each, to use the whole armor of God (Eph 6:11). Response to the World Although as Christians we have been rescued from this realm (Col 1:13), we constantly encounter its lures. No Love We are also not to love the world, but to be have a holy hatred for it (Ro 12:9), that is, to be crucified to it (Gal 6:14). Jesus prescribed radical surgery as He knew that it is the only way to deal with lust (Mt 5:27-30). Were not to be squeezed in by the worlds standards and valuesall its evil and corruption. Were bombarded daily by its anti-God messages, some which are subtle and some which are not so subtle.


We must not love the world because love for the world is incompatible with love for God. John put it, "If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1 Jn 2:15). Since God and the world system are opposites, a person cannot love both of them at the same time. In fact James points out that friendship with the world is enmity or hatred toward God (Jas 4:4). As a soldier cannot divide his time between his commander and the enemy, neither can we divide our spiritual loyalties. We must also not love the world because, unlike the kingdom of God, it is transitory (1 Jn 2:17). It is foolish to attach ourselves to a system whose ruler already has been defeated and condemned (Jn 16:11) and which, through the selfish lusts of its subjects, is even now destroying itself. Since we have been spiritually removed from the world through faith in Christ (Php 3:20; Col. 1:13), and the cross has made us dead to it judicially (Gal 6:14), we must nevertheless die to it (say No! to it) on a daily basis. We must keep ourselves unstained by its evil (Jas 1:27). We must also expect opposition from the world since it hated Christ (Jn 15:18-19). This opposition may bring great suffering though we know that ultimately our Lord has overcome the world (16:33). Non-Conformity In fighting the enemy called the world we are told not to be conformed to it: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will isHis good, pleasing and perfect will (Ro 12:2). Bad company corrupts good character (1 Co 15:33), said Paul and in this present world it is virtually impossible completely to avoid bad company or even stay away from the bad habits which are still clinging to what, on the whole, can be called good company. Therefore, unless we are on our guard, we are in danger of falling prey to the pattern of this evil age (2:6; Gal 1:4), he is warning us of yielding to the various manifestations of worldliness by which we are being constantly surrounded. The main reason Paul warns us believers against allowing ourselves to be squeezed into the worlds mold is that mans chief purpose should never be to merely live for oneself, but to live to the glory of God (Isa 43:7; 1 Cor 10:31). Another reason is that constant yielding to the temptations of becoming fashioned after the pattern of this evil age ends in bitter disappointment since this world is passing away (7:31; 1 Jn 2:17).


The remedy is transformation! The word transformed in the Greek language is the word from which we get metamorphoses, the change from one form to another, as in the transformation of the tadpole to the frog or the caterpillar to the butterfly. Such transformation is inner change through the renewal of the mind in which not only the thinking and reasoning is affected, but the inner disposition, that is, the inner being or the heart (Ro 7:22-25). This means that we must think critically. As Harry Blamiers says in his book, The Christian Mind, Because secularism is in the saddle, it follows that the Christian mind is suspicious of fashionable current conformities.1 We must be careful about what we read and watch. We must not fear to challenge others presuppositions. Above all, we must not be afraid to be different. Paul uses the present tense of the verb transform to emphasize that such a transformation is continuous: Continue to let yourselves be transformed. In using the passive voice he is not saying, Transform yourselves, but Let yourselves be transformed. This is crucial since transformation is not a matter of self-help and self-improvement, but the work of the Holy Spirit. This is what is referred to as progressive sanctification: And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lords glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Co 3:18). Although the verb is in the passive voice, it is also in the imperative mood. This means that believers are not completely passive. Rather they must allow the Spirit to do His work within their hearts and lives. Their duty is to respond or cooperate to the full (Php 2:12-13; 2 Th 2:13). The result of such a process of continuous transformation is so that we will be able to test and approve what Gods will isHis good, pleasing and perfect will. Here we see that in order to discern the will of God for our lives, we cannot just depend on our conscience as our guide, but we must receive instruction from the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth (Jn 16:13), who inspired Scripture (2 Pe 1:20-21), and who will teach (Jn 14:26) and will guide us into all truth (16:13). Paul ends this verse by pointing to the contents of Gods will: that which is good, pleasing and perfect. Gods will is good in that it leads to the spiritual and moral growth of the believer. It is pleasing to God, that is, not necessarily pleasing to us. Gods will is perfect since no improvement can be made on the will of God. The aim of the life of the believer, says Paul, is nothing short of perfection (maturityMt 5:48; Php 3:7-11). As Christians we find out the will of God not to contemplate it but to do it.

38 Jesus high priestly prayer (Jn 17) consists of a series of petitions to the Father for the mission of the church. A new, distinctive community has been born by hearing the word, knowing the truth and believing it (v. 8). The main thrust of the four petitions of this prayer is a prayer for the protection of this church from the world. Notice that Jesus prayer for His church is that it be in the world, but not of it. He prays not that His church be taken out of the world, but that the church be guarded from the power of the world. The first of the four petitions of this prayer is linked to the last (vv. 18-19) as Jesus prays for the sanctification of his followers. They are to be holy, distinctive, recognizable from the world. The church, as the body sanctified or set apart in truth (v. 19), is a body that is sent into the world in the same way Jesus was sent into the world (v. 18). The world looked upon Jesus and did not know Him (1:10-11), yet His light shown in a darkened world. Now Jesus prays for His people who are to be similarly in the world. It is a constant danger for us Christians that we feel ourselves to be at home here on earth. As long as we are aliens we cannot forget our true homeland which is that other kingdom, the kingdom of God. Just as a boat is to be in the water, it is not to have water in it. We have been sent into the world as a witness (17:8) by being salt and light (Mt 5:13-16). We must therefore not embrace the sin of isolation whereby we completely separate ourselves from the people of the world (non-Christians). Such a response would thwart Gods purpose for placing us here as His agents of reconciliation (2 Co 5:9-10). We must live in the world in much the same way as Jesusdistinctive, at odds with a world that does not know or worship God.




The Flesh Sins from Within (Gal 5:17-21; Jas 4:1-3) The word flesh has two different Greek roots and sometimes means the physical body. In most cases, however, the word does not mean the skin or the body or sex or anything made by God and declared good (Gn 2:7; 1:27-28,31). The flesh referred to in these verses is not the body as such but the addictive, selfish, bodily desires of fallen man: not sex, but lust; not money, but greed; not self, but selfishness and self-centeredness. The flesh refers to the sins from within man. Malcolm Muggeridge says that sin is the only Christian dogma that can be verified just by reading the daily newspapers. Contrary to what psychologists, psychiatrists, sociologists and anthropologists say, sin is not merely maladjustment, ignorance, mistakes or errors, bad education or miss-programming. Sin is missing the mark! That is, the mark of Gods standard of righteousness. Moral Sins (Gal 5:19) 1. Sexual immoralityIt refers basically to unlawful sexual intercourse and probably includes illicit relationships of every description (1 Co 5:1; 6:13,18; 7:2; 2 Co 12:21; Eph 5:3; Col 3:5; 1 Th 4:3). Christianity came into a world where sexual immorality was not only condoned, but was regarded as essential to the ordinary working of life. 2. ImpurityThis is a very comprehensive concept which includes not only uncleanness in deeds but also in words, thoughts, and desires of the heart (2 Co 12:21; Eph 4:19; 5:3; Col 3:5; 1 Th 2:3; 4:7). It is that which makes a person unfit to come before God, the soiling of life with things which separate us from Him. 3. DebaucheryWords such as indecency, licentiousness and lasciviousness are used also to describe a person who is unrestrained, who totally lacks self-control, and therefore gives free play to every impulse of his sinful nature (Mk 7:22; Ro 13:13; 2 Co 12:21; Eph 4:19; 1 Pe 4:3; 2 Pe 2:18; Jude 4). Such a person is so far gone in desire that he has no concern for what other people say or think. Religious Sins (Gal 5:20) 1. IdolatryThis refers not only to the worship of images as such but also to any evil practice in connection with such worship. For example, to eating meats that had been offered to idols when conscience forbids this, and, in fact, to the substitution of anything at all for the adoration of the true God who has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ (1 Co 10:14; Col 3:5). Thus we often see in Scripture that greed is closely associated with idolatry, for by means of it a person has substituted self for God.

41 2. WitchcraftThe Greek word for this means literally the use of drugs. It can mean the use of drugs by doctors but it can also mean poisoning, and it came to be specially connected with the use of drugs for sorcery, of which the ancient world was full. It primarily refers to sorcery by means of which mysterious powers were erroneously ascribed to certain articles, formulas, or incantations (Ex 7:7:11,22; 8:14; Isa 47:9,12; Ac 8:9; 13:8; 19:13,19; Rev 9:21; 18:23; 21:8; 22:15). The sorcerer generally claimed to have access to this or that supernatural power by means of which he used his trade. When faith in magic replaces trust in God it is exposed as a form of idolatry. 3. All kinds of false religious teachings and systems. (Dt 32:17; Ps 94:4-5; 1 Ti 4:1-4; 1 Jn 4:1-4; Rev 13:4,15) Social Sins (Gal 5:20-21) This is the longest list and this list has often been referred to as the Christians sins because they are so typically practiced and accepted by the Christian community. 1. HatredAnother word used of hatred is enmity which describes a person who is characteristically hostile toward others (Eph 2:16). 2. Malice (Discord)This refers to strife, contention, quarreling, and rivalry. While it can be used in a good sense in that connection (e.g. in the sense of competition), more commonly it means the rivalry which has found its outcome in quarrels and wrangling (Ro 13:13; 1 Co 1:11-12; 3:3; 2 Co 12:20). 3. JealousyThis is the word from which we get the word zeal but it degenerated to mean the desire to have what someone else has (Ro 13:13; 1 Co 3:3; 2 Co 12:20). 4. Fits of RageThis is uncontrolled temper which describes not an anger which lasts, but anger with fiery flashes of rage (fury) but which then dies (Ro 2:8; 2 Co 12:20; Eph 4:31; Col 3:8). 5. Selfish AmbitionAnother word used is self-seeking. It originally meant the work of a hired laborer. It then came to mean canvassing for political or public office. It describes the person who wants an office, not from any motives for service, but for what he can get out of it (Ro 2:8; 2 Co 12:20). Such ambitions at times invade even the Christian ministry (Php 1:17; 2:3). 6. DissensionsLiterally the word means a standing apart. It describes a society in which members fly apart instead of come together (Ro 16:17). This happens when people are actuated by selfish motives, each craving honor for himself. Groups working and scheming against each other (1 Co 11:19) in which one member chooses one side and another the side of another leader.

42 7. FactionsThis refers to heretical division and comes from our word heresy whose root means to choose. It was used for a philosophers school of followers or for any band of people who shared a common belief. The tragedy of life is that people who hold different views very often finish up by disliking, not merely each others views, but each other. It should be possible to differ with a person and yet remain friends. 8. EnvyGreek philosopher Euripides called it the greatest of all diseases among men.5 The essence of this word is that it does not describe the person who wants what someone else has, but rather begrudges the fact that the other person has these things at all. It does not so much want the things for itself; it merely wants to take them from the other. The Stoics defined it as grief at someone elses good.6 Basil called it grief at your neighbors good fortune.7 It is the quality which leads to bitterness. It was envy that caused the murder of Abel, threw Joseph into a pit, caused Korah, Dathan, and Abiram to rebel against Moses and Aaron, made Saul pursue David, gave rise to the bitter words which the elder brother (in the Parable of the Prodigal Son) addressed to his father, and crucified Christ. Love never envies (1 Co 13:4). 9. DrunkennessThis refers to excessive drinking of alcohol. It was not a common vice in the ancient world. Although the Greeks drank more wine than they did milk (even the children drank wine), they drank it in proportion of three parts of water to two parts of wine. Greek and Christians alike would have condemned drunkenness as a thing which turned a person into a beast. Scripture considers alcoholism to be a sin, not merely a disease (Lk 21:34; Ro 13:13). It states that drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of heaven (1 Co 6:10). Though the disease aspect of this evil should be given its due, the responsibility aspect must not be ignored. Minimizing personal accountability has been the destroyer of several civilizations. 10. OrgiesThe word carousing is also used to describe orgies and the original word meant a band of friends who accompanied a victor of the games after his victory as they danced and laughed and sang his praises. It also described the bands of the devotees of Bacchus, god of wine. It has come to mean unrestrained revelry, enjoyment that has degenerated into license. 11. LustThis means turning a subject into an object. Treating a human being as an object of sexual gratification. Persons of the opposite sex are always to be considered as fellow human beings and be treated with honor and respect. It is sexual gratification whereby we feed unhealthy sexual appetites. It is allowing our imagination to take flight as we imagine people, places, and things that stimulate our sinful human nature. 12. Evil DesiresThis refers to desires that have to do with evil things. Thinking of ways to take advantage of others and thinking of various ways to hurt them.

43 13. GreedThis means never being satisfied but always wanting more (Col 3:5). Therefore it is closely related to jealousy. This sin places undue attention to that which is material. Preoccupation with, and bondage to, things. 14. SlanderThis refers to gossip where we tell things that hurt others and also where we tell things about others that may not be true (v. 8). 15. Filthy LanguageUsing words that are not honoring to God and often degrading to people (Col 3:8). 16. LyingNot telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth (v. 9). A distortion of truth. Exaggeration is typical of many people. 17. PrejudiceThinking less of people because of appearance, race, ethnicity, status, etc. (v. 11). It may also mean showing preference to some. This list of vices is not meant to be exhaustive. Rather it is representative, as is indicated by the words, and the like or and things like these. Deadly Enemies Twentieth-century prophet and pastor A. W. Tozer has also added the following that he saw as deadly enemies of the soul: unbelief, complacency, self-righteousness, and the fear of man.1 Unbelief is deadly in that it tempts us to reject what we cannot explain, or at least to withhold belief until we have investigated further. This approach tries to circumvent faith as it is dependent upon proof. It turns upside down the biblical notion that we know because we believe for it says that we think and know in order that we may believe. Such a stance always ends up requiring just one more evidence before there is a wholehearted commitment. Faith must rest in the Person and work of God alone. Complacency is perilous because to be complacent is not to be in danger of attack, for such a person has already been attacked. He is sick and does not know it. The only way out of such a condition is to declare war on contentment and press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me . . . and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Php 3:12). Self-righteousness is another dangerous enemy as it makes us feel morally pleased with ourselves as we advance in our spiritual journey. The antidote to such smugness is to remind ourselves that our, that is, everyones hearts, are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer 17:5) and that all our righteousness are but filthy rags (Isa 64:6). A spirit of penitence in which we remember where we have come fromour past guiltand a knowledge of our present imperfections are not incompatible with our joy in the Lord. In fact, such sobering reminders is what Paul means when he says that we are to work out our salvation in fear and

44 trembling (Php 2:12). A realistic and serious estimation of Gods work in our lives will sober us to the point of humility which is so essential in fighting against our proud enemy. Pride, even spiritual, that is, especially, spiritual pride, cannot overcome pride, even pride from the pit since all pride is from the pit though it may look religious. The fear of man will prove to be a snare, says Solomon (Pr 29:25). The world incessantly tries to wear us down so we are brought into conformity to all the rest of mankind. Any deviation from such uniformity is quickly punished. Since we cannot love God and the world (1 Jn 2:15-16) at the same time, we must choose God. Such a choice will bring us in for the displeasure of the world. It is then that we dare not cave in to fear, but stand strong in the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom (Pr 1:7; 9:10) and which, along with humility, will bring wealth and honor and life (22:4). Preoccupation with Everyday LivingAllowing everyday activities to so consume us and absorb our time and energy so that little, if any, time and energy is left for spiritual pursuits. WorkaholismExcessive value and devotion to work. Too busy in the work of man and too unattentive and/or lazy in the work of God. The person prone to being a workaholic either is overly anxious about finances and thinks he has to provide apart from God's sovereign provision or he has an abnormal love for work and/or is a person who is seeking ego satisfaction through work, through accomplishment. ReligiosityThe focus on religious externals. The belief and thinking that as long as you attend church and go through certain religious rituals a person is made spiritual. PridePride is considered by theologians to be the mother of all sinthe root sin. It is the universal disease which, unlike other sins, follows us to the very throne of God as it so easily disguises itself to others, and even to ourselves. Pride is a chameleon that fits in everywhere. Racial PrideElevating one or more races above others. Physical PrideMeasuring the value of human beings by their physique or beauty. Educational PrideMeasuring the value of human beings by their degree of intelligence. Vocational PrideMeasuring the value of human beings by their status, prestige, and power gained by their position. Religious PridePharisaical, legalistic pride where meticulous attention is given to external religious forms "having a form of godliness but denying its power" (2 Ti 3:5).


Pride leads us to make sure others know when we receive recognition or when we do something for others. The ego does not mind helping others as long as people hear of our good deeds. The ego is not bothered if we contribute financially as long as our benevolence is recognized. Pride makes sure that credit is given where credit is due! That is, that any deed done that has any semblance of what is good or important is recognized. There are many activities that are not wrong in and of themselves but when one of them lures us away from the presence, love, and power of God, that activity becomes Babylon. Most of us, if we are honest, have to confess that it is easier to talk about God, to even teach about God, than it is to talk to Him. It is much easier to read and study books about Him, even write books about Him, than it is to read His Book (the Bible, the Word of God). While the former Soviet Union and the Eastern-block countries of the world feel the hard hand of the beast who persecutes the people of God, we in the Western world know the warm and cuddly embrace of the woman whose beauty, rationally or passionately entices us into ungodly relationships, questionable practices, a dependence upon the externals of religion, and into a dependence upon material things. Response To be dead (to reckon) to the flesh (Ro 6:3-13)Living a life of denial of self , which is the first requirement of being a disciple (Mt 16:24-26; Mk 8:34; Lk 9:23). To be dead to sin and self is to be quick to say No to the temptations of our sinful human nature which wars against the Spirit of God (Gal 5:16-17; Ro 7:15-23; 1 Pe 2:11). To follow Jesus requires selfdenial, complete dedication and willing obedience. Live by the Spirit (Gal 5:16,25), be led by the Spirit (v. 18; Ro 8:14) and Keep in step with the Spirit (Gal 5:25)Pauls phrase live by the Spirit is in the present tense meaning go on living (used of habitual conduct). Living by the promptings and power of the Spirit is the key to conquering sinful desires (v. 25; Ro 8:2-4). To be led by the Spirit means that we are not under the bondage of trying to please God by minute observance of the law for salvation or sanctification. This does not mean that as Christians we have been freed from all moral authority. Rather, it means that we have been freed from the law in the manner in which Gods people were under law in the Old Testament era. Law provides no enablement to resist the power of sin; it only condemns the sinner. But grace enables (6:14).




The Devil (1 Pe 5:8) Sins from Above (the ruler of the kingdom of the airEph 2:2). The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.1 --Martin Luther The devil . . . the proud spirit . . . cannot endure to be mocked.2 --Thomas More The devils snare does not catch you unless you are first caught by the devils bait.3 --Saint Ambrose It is easy to bid the devil to be your guest, but difficult to get rid of him4 --Danish Proverb Our third enemy, the devil, is not the mythical person in red tights, with horns and hoofs and a pitchfork. Rather he is the fallen angel Lucifer who has a personality with a mind and a will. Personhood That Satan is a person is clear: Personal Pronouns are applied to him (Job 1:8,12; 2:2-3,6; Zec. 3:2; Mt 4:10; Jn 8:44). Personal Attributes are ascribed to him (willIsa 14:13-14 and knowledge Job 1:9-10) Personal Acts are performed by him (Job 1:9-11; Mt 4:1-11; Jn 8:44; 1 Jn 3:8; Jude 9; Rev 12:7-10). Names His names give us insight into his personality and strategy. 1. Satan (1 Ch 21:1; Job 1:6; Zec 3:12; Mt 4:10; 2 Co 2:11; 1 Ti 1:20)The name Satan comes from a Hebrew word meaning to be the enemy. It means adversary (1 Pe 5:8)the one who takes a stand against another. He is the adversary of both God and man.

48 2. Devil (Mt 4:5; 13:39; Jn 13:2; Eph 6:11; Jas 4:7)This name occurs only in the New Testament (33 times). As the devil he is the slanderer, the accuser of the Christians (Rev 12:10). He slanders God to man (Gn 3:1-7), and man to God (Job 1:9; 2:4). 3. Tempter (Mt 4:3; 1 Th 3:5)This name indicates that one of his chief aims is to induce man to commit sin. He would cause man to disobey God and His Word by presenting the most attractive motives to sin. 4. Deceiver (Job 12:16)Deception is one of the most effective ways that Satan uses to infiltrate Gods people and their work. In fact, in the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares (Mt 13:24-30,36-43) Jesus points out that Satan is so effective that only Jesus Himself knows who really belong to Him. 5. Evil One (Mt 6:13; 13:19,38; Eph 6:16; 1 Jn 2:13-14; 5:19)Satan is the source of sin in the universe (Isa 14:13-14) and on the earth (Gn 3:1-7). He is wicked in both character and conduct. 6. Beelzebub (Mt 10:25; 12:24-27)The Prince of demons. This term means lord of the house, that is, the one in charge. 7. Prince of the Power of the Air (Eph 2:2; 6:11-12)This shows that he is over the hosts of evil spirits (Mt 9:34; 12:24,26; Lk 11:14-18). There is doubtless allusion here to the fact that the world of evil spirits is organized, and that Satan is its head, its leader. 8. Dragon (Isa 51:9; Rev 12:3,7; 13:2; 20:2)This is a great monster, whether of land or sea. The term is more commonly applied to some kind of serpent or reptile, but not exclusively restricted to that sense. 9. Serpent (Gn 3:1; Isa 27:1; Rev 12:9; 20:2)By this term Satans crookedness (Job 26:13) and deceitfulness are pointed out (2 Co 11:3). 10. Belial (1 Co 6:15)This term means worthlessness, recklessness, lawlessness. (2 Th 2:7) 11. Lucifer (Isa 14:12)This may refer to his brightness (Eze 28:12-13; 2 Co 11:14). 12. Prince of this World (Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; Eph 2:1-2; 1 Jn 5:19)This points out his influence over the governments of this world (Mt 4:8-9). 13. God of this World (2 Cor. 4:4)This associates him with the false religions of the world. As such he has his ministers (2 Co 11:15), doctrines (1 Ti 4:1), sacrifice (1 Co 10:21), and synagogues (Rev 2:9).


We are not to be Ignorant of the Devils Strategies (Schemes) The devil wrestles with God, and the field of battle is the human heart.5 --Dostoyevski The serpent--subtlest beast of all the field.6 --John Milton Our adversary is a master strategist, forever fogging up our minds with smokescreens.7 --Charles Swindoll Personal sin is usually due to our evil desires (Jas 1:14) rather than to direct tempting by the devil. However, Satan can use our sinsespecially those, like anger, that are directed against othersto bring about greater evil, such as divisions among Christians. Basic Dealings with Man The following are the basic ways in which Satan deals with non-Christians and Christians. 1. Non-Christians a. Blinds them to the truthfulness and reality of the Gospel. (Mk 4:15; 2 Co 4:3-4,13,15; 2 Th 3:1-3) b. Encourages DisobediencePaul speaks of the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient (Eph 2:2). 2. Christians a. Entices to Sin (Gn 3; Mt 1:11; 16:23; Mk 1:12-13; Lk 4:1-13). b. Accuses Falsely (Rev 12:10) His Work Directly Generally speaking, Satans objective is expressed in Isaiah 14:14: I will make myself like the Most High (assuming Isa. 14 symbolizes Satan). The Word of God represents him as having power, a throne, and great authority (Rev 13:2; Mt 4:8-9). To achieve this purpose, Satan sought to tempt Christ to bow to him (v. 9); and when that effort failed, to induce Him to worship him (Lk 4:6-7). Had Christ failed, Satan would have achieved the first part of his purpose: to establish his rule on earth.


His Work Indirectly Satan uses various methods in the realization of this purpose. Since he cannot attack God directly, he attacks Gods master-creation: man. Roaring Lion (1 Pet. 5:8-9) 1. Seeks to DevourIt means to swallow up. He is never satisfied and he is extremely patient as he waits for an opportune time (Lk 4:13). 2. Tries to get a Foothold (Eph 4:27)A foothold may be provided for the enemy by anger, nursed grievance, deliberate sin, involvement with false cults or the occult. 3. Sets a Trap (2 Ti 2:26)The purpose of the trap is to take people captive to do his will. 4. Falsehood (vv. 17-18)Since Satan is a liar and the Father of Lies when he lies, he speaks his native language (Jn 8:44). It is not surprising then that he tempts human beings with such lies (2 Co 11:3). Toward the end of the age we can expect the devil using powers, signs, and lying wonders (2 The 2:9). 5. Iniquity or Wickedness (2 Ti 2:19,22)This refers to any unrighteous conduct in the broadest sense. It is used of unsaved people (Ro 1:18), of money (Lk 16:9), of parts of the human body (Ro 6:13; Jas 3:6), and of actions (2 Th 2:10). 6. Foolish Arguments (2 Ti 2:23)The reason we must stay away from this practice is that the purpose of foolish questions is to stir up controversy and division. 7. Oppression (Da 7:25)One of the four characteristics of Satans rule is oppression which refers to wearing out Gods people by a long drawn-out persecution (e.g. wearing out, as a garment). 5) Intimidation by fear (1 Pe 5:8). Thief (Jn 10:10) 1. StealOur inheritance in Christ through infiltration as the god of this world (the whole world is under the control of the evil one1 Jn 5:19) and through outright opposition. He also makes the world with its standards and values look very attractive.


2. KillLiterally kill by planting irrational thoughts in our minds at weak moments (e.g. Drive into that semi and end your misery. Everybody will be better off that way). 3. DestroyAs the accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10), who accuses us night and day (v. 10) and harasses Gods servants (2 Co 12:7), he destroys our peace and joy. When that happens unity is threatened. By the way, the next time the devil comes to remind you about your past, remind him about his future. Satan brings condemnation (contrary to Ro 8:1) in which there is no hope (despair). When God by His Spirit brings conviction, we are encouraged to make things right. 4. HinderPaul testified, For we [Paul, Silas, and Timothy] wanted to come to youcertainly I, Paul, again and againbut Satan stopped us (1 Th 2:18). Repeatedly Paul was all set to go but Satan threw up a roadblock (the metaphor implied in 1 Th 3:11). The obstacle was human rather than an event in nature. The devil uses sinful people as his agents. The Thessalonian authorities might have forbidden the return of the preachers, or at any rate of their leader; or the Jews might have raised problems which detained them. Without doubt, the desired journey was a subject of prayer (v. 11)which is an answer to those who would limit prayer to spiritual matters. What Paul himself sought to avoid (1 Co 9:12), Satan accomplished for the moment. (2 Co 2:11; 12:7) 5. Deceive and Lead AstrayThere is no doubt but that Elizabeth Barrett Browning was right when she said, The devils most devilish when respectable.8 It is when Satan appears as an angel of light that he is most dangerous. Just as Eve was deceived and led astray from our sincere and pure devotion to Christ by the serpents cunning, so we must guard our minds against a spirit other than the Spirit of Christ (11:3-4). Satans subtlety is seen in tempting is seen in tempting people in their weak moments (Mt 4:1-11; Lk 22:40-46); after great successes (Jn 6:1-15); by suggesting the use of right things in the wrong way (probably the most common method of temptation since it is so subtleMt 4:111); and in deluding his followers by signs and wonders (24:24; 2 Th 2:9-10). Other Strategies of Satan and his Demons 1. They cause or intensify physical ailments or hurts. They can cause seizures (Mk 9:20; Lk 9:39); physical crippling (13:11,16); blindness (Mt 12:22); the inability to hear or speak (9:21,33; Mk 9:17-29); and some physical injuries (5:5; 9:22; Lk 9:39).


2. They cause severe storms and sometimes control the elements in order to help Satan carry out his plans (Job 1:12,16,19; 2:7). 3. They promote sexual perversions and the vilest kind of human behavior. (Ro 1:18-32; 1 Co 5:1-5; Eph 2:1-3; Rev 18:2-3) 4. They influence Gods people and cause them to dishonor the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ac 5:1-6; Eph 6:10-18; 1 Ti 4:1-4; Rev 2:12-17) 5. They cause severe emotional disorders and try to bring individuals to selfdestruction (Mk 9:22; Lk 8:27-35). 6. They masquerade as good spirits doing good things to lead people into deception and bondage (2 Co 11:3-5,13-15). 7. They destroy things through violence (Mt 10:28). 8. They encourage double-mindedness by compromise whereby man tries to serve God and mammon (Mt 6:24; 2 Co 6:14-15; 7:1). 9. They encourage doubt by inducing hesitation (Ro 14:23). Response Submit to God (Jas 4:7)Humility brings Gods grace and protection or covering (1 Co 11:10) whereas pride brings Gods resistance. The godly servant Oswald Chambers put it: The only soul Satan cannot touch is the soul whose spiritual life and rational life and physical life is hid with Christ in God; that soul is absolutely secure.9 --Oswald Chambers Resist (OpposeJas 4:7; 1 Pe 5:9) and Take a Stand Against (Eph 6:11) the devil. To resist is to openly and actively oppose Satan, the enemy of our souls. Peter adds the phrase standing firm in the faith (1 Pe 5:9). When Paul similarly says that we are to take a stand against he is picturing an individual soldier withstanding assault. Oswald Chambers reminds us: Resist the devil, [do] not attack him.10 We are not asked or encouraged to chase Satan, but be ready for him when he comes to us, as he will. Courage and resolve then is what is needed.




Nothing doth so much keep men out of the church, and drive men out of the church, as breach of unity.1 --Francis Bacon The church of Christ is always quarreling, but did you ever hear that the devil and his confederates quarrel? They are so united that if at any special moment the great prince of hell wishes to concentrate all the masses of his army at one particular point, it is done to the tick of the clock, and the temptation comes with its fullest force just when he sees it to be the most likely that he will prevail. If we had such unanimity as that in the church of God, if we all moved at the guidance of the finger of Christ, if all the church could move in one great mass to the attack of a certain evil, how much more easily might we prevail! But alas, the powers of hell far exceed us in unanimity.2 --Charles Spurgeon Oneness describes the essence of the church: Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to one hope when you were called--one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Eph 4:3-6). In ages past God worked through a nationIsrael, but now He is working through the church to make known His wisdom, which is the reconciling and uniting of Jews and Gentiles (3:6): His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to His eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord (vv. 10-11). The word manifold refers to variegated or multifaceted in the way that many facets of a diamond reflect and enhance its beauty. It is a staggering thought that the church on earth is observed, so to speak, by these spiritual powers and that to the degree the church is spiritually united it portrays to them the wisdom of God. Division reflects merely the wisdom of the world in which personal rights and freedoms are so elevated that the good of the people is lost. Do your own thing, Look out for number one, If you dont look out for yourself, who will? etc. are phrases that reveal what the message of the world is. When we as Gods people are not united, we display the wisdom of the world rather than Gods wisdom and thus lose our witness.

55 The greatest target is the unity of believers since without it the church is ineffective and the world will continue in confusion and unbelief. 1. Ineffective as a witness to the world (Jn 17). 1. Confusion about who Jesus isthe Messiah, the Son of God (v. 23). 2. Unbelief concerning Gods lovefor the world (v. 23). What is Unity? LikemindednessThis does not mean uniformity (Ro 14:5,10-13,22) but having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose (Php 2:1-2). Be personally persuaded (Ro 14:17). You dont have to agree on everything. And if you think some of your thoughts may be easily misunderstood or objected to, keep them to yourself. Unity is not dependent on form or methodology, in which there must be freedom. Rather unity has to do with fundamental things, not merely cultural and generational issuessecondary matters. Worship is fundamental, styles of worship are not. Being in the Spirit when we worship is fundamental, the way we find most helpful in being in the Spirit, is not. For instance, Cubans, Messianic Jews, and most Black people can hardly imagine worshiping meaningfully (in the Spirit) without dancing, whereas Scandinavians and Britishers can hardly imagine worshiping meaningfully with dancing. We Must Work Hard Toward Keeping Unity The Challenge to Unity Paul challenged the believers at Rome: Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food (vv. 19-20). We can add, Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of holy days or any other thing of secondary importance (Rom. 14:19). Paul told the Christians in the region of Ephesus:


Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Eph 4:2-3). Notice here that we do not have to try and create unity. Rather we are to keep unity. When we become Christian we are placed in the body of Christ by the Spirit of God (1 Co 12:13). Our new identity as Gods children means we are united with Christ. And because we are united with Christ we are also united with each other through Him. The problem is that we may not live up to our new identityas Gods childrenand live our former way of life where we focused on self instead of Christ and our union in Him. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus (Php 2:3-5; see also vv. 6-11). Prayer for Unity Again at Rome, Paul makes an appeal to the believers to pray for unity: With one heart and mouth may glorify God and Father of our Lord (Ro 15:6). Weapons of Unity Paul pointed out to the Christians at Corinth: For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Co 10:3-5). The context in which Paul makes these statements is that he found himself the victim of injustice, false report and personal abuse. The circumstances of this attack grew out of Pauls residence and work in Corinth. For a year and a half he had given himself, his time and his energy in prayer and teaching. When the church reached a certain stage of maturity Paul moved on to other places. Since leaving he heard of an effort on the part of certain religious leaders to sabotage his character and reputation. They had succeeded in turning some of Pauls converts away from confidence in him. They had succeeded in destroying the friendship of Pauls old friends. What was worse, these personal enemies were stopping at no lengths to so effectively damage Pauls reputation as a servant of Christ as to make it difficult for him to carry on his ministry. As Paul moved out other leaders moved in who immediately set out to build up their own reputations by destroying Pauls reputation.


How would Paul respond? By taking everything personally and hitting back or by looking to God for his defense? He points out that God has provided weapons unlike the weapons prized by this fallen world and fashioned by human pride and arrogance. Gods weapons have divine power. This divine power is available, says Paul, to do two things: 1. To demolish arguments and every pretension (2 Co 10:5). 2. To take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (v. 5). What does it mean to demolish arguments and every pretension? These are the faulty reasonings by which the false apostles have been trying to shake the faith of the Christians at Corinth. As Paul said earlier to these Corinthian believers: This is what we speak, not in words taught by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Co 2:13-14). In order for us to demolish human arguments and pretensions we must be indwelt by the Spirit of God. Otherwise we simply cannot understand spiritual realities. They simply make no sense. Without the Spirit of God we will be looking only on the surface of things (2 Co 10:7) just like the religious enemies of Paul. What does it mean to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ? It means literally to subject all our thoughts to the lordship of Christ. In the book of Proverbs it says: What a man thinks so is he (Pr 23:7). If what we think is what we are then it is critical to think correctly. Our first battle with ourselves (our sinful human nature), the world, and Satan, takes place in the mind. No one does things without having thought about those things initially. Our deeds are the result of our thoughts. This is why a tree always falls in the direction it has been leaning. A motto that was given to me when I was very young and which I have found to be helpful through the years is:

58 Sow a thought, you reap an act. Sow an act, you reap a habit. Sow a habit, you reap a lifestyle. Sow a lifestyle, you reap a destiny.3 --Anonymous Our destiny is dependent upon our thought life! Paul tells us: Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirableif anything is excellent or praiseworthythink about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in meput it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you (Php 4:8-9). Gods peace is promised to those who think about the right and good things and who puts into practice what Paul has taught and lived. How do we find out what Paul taught and lived? We find it from the Bible, the Word of God. Another motto I learned early in life and which I put on the open page in the beginning of my Bible was: This Book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this Book. We must become saturated with Gods thoughts. Since Gods thoughts are contained in His primary revelation to mankind, the Bible, we must make it our lifetime study if we are to find any success against the enemy of our souls.



60 And though this world with devils filled May threaten to undo us, We will not fear for God has willed His truth to triumph through us.1 --Martin Luther, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God We cannot stand the wiles of the devil by our wits. The devil only comes along the lines that God understands, not along the lines we understand, and the only way we can be prepared for him is to do what God tells us, stand complete in His armor, indwelt by His Spirit, in complete obedience to Him.2 --Oswald Chambers THE SOLDIER We Protestants are an undisciplined people. Therein lies the reason for much of the dearth of spiritual insights and serious lack of moral power.3 --Albert Edward Day It should not be surprising that Paul used military illustrations in his letters since he lived in a military state and often was in prison himself. Seneca said, To live is to be a soldier.4 Paul calls Archippus, in whose house a church met, our fellow soldier (Phm 2) and he calls Epaphroditus, the messenger of the Philippian church, my fellow soldier (Php 2:25). He saw in the life of the soldier a picture of the life of the Christian. His use of the military imagery of a soldier then has great bearing on what it means to be a Christian. He uses the same imagery later in 2 Timothy 2:3: Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairshe wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if any one competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victors crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops (2 Ti 2:3-6). Here we see that Paul gives three examples for Timothy to follow: (1) a soldier who wants to please his commander; (2) an athlete who follows the rules of the game; and (3) a farmer who works hard. Characteristics Since it is the imagery of the soldier that Paul uses in spiritual warfare, what are some characteristics of the soldier?


1. He Endures Hardship (2 Ti 2:3)To be a Christian is to be a soldier since we are in a battle that requires spiritual endurance (Eph 6:10ff.). Part of the hardship is the call to sacrifice. Early Church father Tertullian said, The man who is afraid to suffer cannot belong to Him who suffered.5 The Christian must be ready to sacrifice himself, his wishes and his fortune, for God and for his fellowmen. 2. He Avoids Worldly Entanglements (2 Ti 2:4)Once a man has enlisted in the army he can no longer involve himself in the ordinary daily businesses of life for he must concentrate on his service as a soldier. The Roman code of Theodosius stated, We forbid men engaged in military service to engage in civilian occupations.6 A soldier is a soldier and nothing else. A Christian soldier is totally committed to his commanding officer, the one who enlisted him. In our case, this is Jesus Christ. Loyalty to Him means that we are faithful to death, if need be. Unquestioned obedience or is part of what it means to be committed and loyal to the commanding officer. Complete trust is vital because there may come a time when such instinctive obedience will save his life and the lives of others. It is not always necessary to know the reason why his commanding officer gives certain commands. Since he is involved in the midst of the battle, he cannot see the over-all picture. The decisions he must leave to the commander who sees the whole field. The first duty of the believer is obedience to the voice of God and acceptance even of that which he cannot understand. 1. He Magnifies Jesus Christ (2 Ti 2:8-9)Remember Jesus Christ! is Pauls point to Timothy. He put it: Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But Gods word is not chained (vv. 8-9). The great missionary, J. Hudson Taylor, often said, It is not by trying to be faithful, but in looking to the Faithful One, that we win the victory.7 2. He Thinks of the Whole Army (v. 10)Paul not only suffered for the Lords sake, but he also suffered for the sake of the elect, the church: Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. (v. 10)


There were yet many people to reach with the gospel, and Paul wanted to help reach them. A soldier who thinks only of himself is disloyal and undependable. All three metaphors chosen by Paul also convey the importance of discipline. No soldier, athlete, or farmer could ever be successful in their vocations apart from discipline. The same is true of the Christian life. A. W. Tozer lamented over 40 years ago: We must face the fact that many today are notoriously careless in their living. This attitude finds its way into the church. We have liberty, we have money, we live in comparative luxury. As a result, discipline practically has disappeared. What would a violin solo sound like if the strings on the musicians instrument were all hanging loose, not stretched tight, not disciplined?8 If this were true 40 years ago, how much more true it is today! We are told throughout Scripture to be disciplined in our life. The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair . . . The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. (Pr 3:1-3,7) For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life (6:23). Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding. (23:23) Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined (Titus 1:8). Discipline leads to freedom. Elton Trueblood demonstrates the relationship between discipline and freedom by his statement: We have not advanced very far in our spiritual lives if we have not encountered the basic paradox of freedom. . . . that we are most free when we are bound. But not just any way of being bound will suffice; what matters is the character of our binding. The one who would be an athlete, but who is unwilling to discipline his body by regular exercise and abstinence, is not free to excel on the field or the track. His failure to train rigorously denies him the freedom to run the desired speed and endurance. With one concerted voice, the giants of the devotional life apply the same principle to the whole of life: discipline is the price of freedom.9

63 Although it is true that discipline is the price of freedom, it is also true that freedom is the reward of discipline. Jesus is the Captain of our salvation and our purpose is to bring honor and glory to Him. Jesus died and rose again, proving that suffering leads to glory, and that seeming defeat leads to victory. Jesus was treated as an evildoer, and His soldiers will be treated the same way. Discipline is essential if we are to endure to the end. Reward Pauls statement, The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops (2 Tim. 2:6) shows that dedicated effort will be rewardednot necessarily monetarily, but in enjoyment of seeing the gospel produce changed lives. THE ARMOR Eph 6:11-13 Why do we need armor? Paul gives two reasons for putting on the whole armor of God? 1. That we may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil (v. 11). The word schemes (methodia) from which we get method in English has to do with strategy, craftiness, cunning, and deception. The term was often used of a wild animal who cunningly stalked and then unexpectedly pounced on its prey. Stealth and deception are used by the enemy of our souls to enslave and destroy us. 2. That we may be able to stand our ground (withstand) and to stand in the evil day (v. 13). This has the idea of holding a critical position while under attack. It is our responsibility to resist and stand firm! We need the armor of God for just as the strength which we need is not from ourselves (be made powerful in the Lordv. 10), so neither are the means of defense or offense. The armor of God is to be lifelong companions for the Christian as it provides divine power from Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy (Jude 24). The following are six pieces of armor God provides and expects us to wear (Eph 6:14-17):


THE BELT OF TRUTH The Belt of TruthThe belt was used by the Roman soldier to tuck up his tunic, and it was the first piece of armor he put on. It ensured him that he could fight unimpeded by a flowing garment. Another use for the belt was to hold his weapons, both his large and small swords. Paul says that the Christians belt is truth. The belt of truth is a reference to the truth of God. This means the content of that which is true. Without knowledge of biblical teaching, the Christian is subject to being tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming (Eph 4:14). Paul warned in his first letter to young Timothy that The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron (1 Ti 4:1). There are almost 5,000 cults in our country that teach the doctrines of demons. Such false teachings can only be encountered successfully with the truth of Gods Word. Since Jesus claimed to be the truth (Jn 14:6), He is the very basis for life. Everything we do must be anchored in Him if we are to fight this battle with success. Truth also refers to our knowledge of, and belief in, the truth. A body of truth is irrelevant unless it is understood and believed. It is our faith in the truthfulness of God and His Word that makes truth become real in our lives. This is also a reference to truth in the sense of integrity truth in the inward parts (Ps 51:6), that is, Christian character in which a person lives a life-style that conforms to Scripture. Character, not brute force, is the first step in winning battles against Satan. The girdle gives ease and freedom of movement so that we can move freely and quickly. Truth is foundational because it is only truth that can dispel the devils lies (Eph 4:21; 5:6,9). We cant win against the Liar of liars by lying. Even white lies are a lie by definition. All lying therefore is of the realm of Satan and we are called to reject it. Satans first attack in the Garden of Eden was in the realm of truth as he questioned what God said by asking, Did God really say . . . (Gn 3:1)? This was also Satans strategy in tempting Jesus. As William Shakespeare put it, The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.10 It is therefore crucial that we use Scripture properly, in a truthful way. When we do Satan has to give in. This is why Jesus used Scripture when He was tempted in the wilderness. His defense each time was truth: it is written (Dt 8:3; 6:13,16). As Jesus Himself put it, You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free (Jn 8:32).


BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS Breastplate of RighteousnessThe breastplate covered both the front and back of the soldier. It was a major piece of equipment that protected the soldiers heart. In Proverbs 4:23 Solomon says, Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the well-spring of life. The breastplate of righteousness refers to either the righteousness of God which is given to us (imputed righteousnessRo 3:21f.; 5:1,33-34) which means our justification and forgiveness of sins or it means the uprightness of character (imparted righteousness) which is loyalty in principle and action to the holy law of God (Eph 4:24; 5:9). Or it refers to both. Since the breastplate protects the heart it seems first of all to refer to the condition of the heart as it is the heart that determines the course of our lives. Good character, not words, is the best defense against accusations. In Philippians 3 we see the relationship between these two forms of righteousness. Paul is very clear that his salvation was based solely on Gods imputed righteousness, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christthe righteousness that comes from God and is by faith (Php 3:9). Yet his Christian life involved another kind of righteousness: Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Php 3:12-14; see also Heb 12:1). Imputed righteousness will protect us from the fires of hell in the life to come, but it will not necessarily protect us from Satan and his minions in this life. Although imputed righteousness given by God makes practical righteousness possible, only obedience to the Lord makes practical righteousness a reality. The breastplate of righteousness that we put on as spiritual armor against our adversary is the practical righteousness of a life lived in obedience to Gods Word. It is the righteous behavior in line with the new self that Paul refers to in Ephesians 4:24-27 and Colossians 3:914, which having been done, will not give the devil an opportunity. Peter warned, Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul (1 Pe 2:11). Sinful desires are part of Satans arsenal in fighting Gods people. As believers we must have our minds set on things above, not on earthly things (Col 3:2) so we can take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Co 10:5). Similarly Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome:

66 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime . . . Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature (Ro 13:12,14). To neglect what we know to be right action is to leave a big hole in our armor. When evil presses against our hearts the breastplate of right actionsimply doing right when we know we shouldis crucial to our victory. This means living by faith since our emotions will likely tell us to do something different. Any righteousness that originates in us is self-righteousness, which is not righteousness at all but the worst form of sin. Self-righteousness is thinking that our own character and legalistic behavior and accomplishments please God and will bring His reward. A cloak of selfrighteousness, instead of protecting the believer, gives Satan a ready-made weapon to stifle and smother our spiritual life. Such so-called righteousness brings us no favor with God and no protection from Satan. Not only did Jesus say that He is the truth, but He also claimed to be our righteousness (1 Co 1:30). In our battle against the enemy of our souls we dare not come in our own righteousness, which is filthy rags (Isa 64:6), but we must come in dependence on the righteousness of God in Christ. We need to get our eyes off of ourselves and back on the provision of the cross. And God has made His grace available so we can live a holy life in which we live in daily, moment-by-moment obedience to our heavenly Father. Such a life makes the teaching about God our Savior attractive (Titus 2:10). SHOES OF PEACE Shoes (sandals or boots) with the preparation of the Gospel of PeaceRoman soldiers wore protective and supportive footgear. Tied to their ankles and shins with ornamental straps, their boots equipped them for long marches and gave them a solid stance. A soldiers footgear are more important even than an athletes shoes, because his very life could depend on them. A soldier must be ready for any kind of terrain! And when it comes to terrain, his shoes are the most critical part of his armor. Why? Because he will not be able to handle his sword or shield effectively if he cannot retreat or advance rapidly. Good boots allows the soldier to be ready to march, run, or climbessential to successful combat. When Paul refers to the preparation of the Gospel of Peace he is probably making two points. Preparedness means first that we are ready for action in the conflict with evil by sharing the alternative to that evil which is the gospel of peace. This means knowing how to tell others about Christ and being open to the Holy Spirits leading in specific situations.

67 Second, preparation may mean a prepared foundation in the sense of being prepared to share the gospel because we are at peace with God. Such peace gives us a firm foothold in conflict as it allows us to fight with confidence, boldness and perseverance. Better not attempt to fight an external enemy if we are already defeated within. But if we have peace with God were ready to move forward. After all, Jesus promised: I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you (Lk 10:19). Then notice what Jesus says next: However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven (v. 20). Their authority was not based on their intrinsic or spiritual power. Rather it was based on their salvationthe Gospel of peacethe fact that their names were written in Gods Book of Life in heaven (Rev 3:5; 20:12,15; 21:27). When Peter took out his sword as the soldiers came to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, he thought he was invincible since he had just seen all the soldiers fall to the ground simply at Jesus words, I am He (Jn 18:6). But this was not Peters battle to fight. Nor was it Peters battle to fight with mans resourcesa sword. So Jesus rebuked him by telling him to put away his sword and asked if He (Jesus) was not meant to drink the cup the Father has given Me? (v. 11) Peter should have known that Jesus was to drink the cup of suffering, the cup of Gods wrath, to secure mans redemption. And as a further rebuke to Peter taking things into his own hands, Jesus healed the ear of Malchus (Lk 22:51), the servant of the high priest, which Peter had cut off (Jn 18:10). After having observed His Master for over three years Peter also should have known not to take things into his own hands. If Jesus needed help, He could have called a whole realm of His angelic hosts. As the Israelites faced the great Midianite army that numbered about 32,000 men, the Lord told Gideon, The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, otherwise Israel may become boastful, saying, My own power has delivered me (Jdg 7:2). After Gideon had trimmed his own army down to only 300 men, the Lord gave Israel a remarkable victory without their using a single weapon (v. 22). God does not wage war as people do. As Judah was about to be invaded by the powerful armies of Ammon and Moab, the Lord promised King Jehoshaphat, Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but Gods (2 Ch 20:15). As Gods people

68 began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. The men of Ammon and Moab rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped (vv. 22-24). As with Gideons band against Midian, the Lord won the victory without His people raising a weapon. The Christian who stands in the Lords power need not fear any army, even Satan himself and his scores of demons. When he comes to attack us, our feet are rooted firmly on the solid ground of the gospel of peace. As the risen and ascended Master of the universe, Jesus has taken His rightful place, far above all rulers and authorities and powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Eph 6:12) and God has put everything under His feet (1 Co 15:27; Ps 8:6). Now He directs you and me to wear shoes gained through His victory. He thus calls us to march forward through the fires of hells worst attacks without fear. THE SHIELD OF FAITH Shield of FaithThe Roman army used small round shields and large rectangular ones. The large curved shield was a heavy shield about 4 ft. long by 2 ft. broad and was made of two wooden layers covered with canvas, with an outer hide covering which covered the body of the warrior. The soldier would plant the shield and squat behind it. The soldiers who carried these shields were in the front lines of battle, and normally stood side by side with their shields together, forming a huge phalanx extending as long as a mile or more. The archers stood behind this protective wall of shields and shot their arrows as they advanced against the enemy. Anyone who stood or crouched behind such shields was protected from the barrage of enemy arrows and spears. The flaming arrows were arrows dipped in pitch, lit, and fired at the enemy. Frequently the soldiers would dip their shields in water before battle so they would extinguish the flaming arrows. Thus the Christian is here depicted as a heavy-armed soldier who is engaged in war and not merely a skirmish. These shields were held up to form a wall of protection that could be trusted as the army moved forward. The shield of faith is the true safeguard in the evil day.

69 The faith to which Paul refers is not the body of Christian teaching which he refers to in Ephesians 4:3, but basic trust in God. The substance of Christianity is believing that God exists and that He rewards those who seek diligently Him (Heb 11:6). This means putting total trust in Gods one and only Son (Jn 3:16) as the crucified, buried, risen, and ascended Lord and Savior. Since faith is only as reliable and helpful as the trustworthiness of its object, the Christian faith is powerful and effective since its object of faith is Jesus Christ who is infinitely powerful and absolutely dependable. Christian faith never fails simply because the One in whom that faith is placed never fails. John Paton was a missionary in the South Seas. When he was translating the Bible for a particular tribe, he discovered that they did not have a word for faith or trust. One day a native who had been running hard came into Patons house, flopped himself in a large chair and said, Its good to rest my whole weight on this chair. Immediately Paton said to himself, Thats it, Ill translate faith as resting ones whole weight on God.11 When the flaming arrows of temptations of anxiety, doubt, distrust, fear, despair, anger, bitterness, resentment, hatred, covetousness, envy, immorality, and pride come our way we must rest our whole weight on God who alone can protect us from Satans diabolical schemes. At the heart of temptation is the temptation to doubt and distrust God. There is no doubt but that all of Satans arrows are designed to drive a wedge between believers and God by causing believers to forsake their trust in God. Doubting God is to disbelieve God, which, as John tells us, makes a liar of Him who cannot lie (1 Jn 5:10; Titus 1:2). All sin results from failure to act in faith in who God is and in what He is. Solomon put it: Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar (Pr 30:5-6). Similarly David reminds us: As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God (Ps 18:30-31). John put it: This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God (1 Jn 5:4-5)


Our protection lies not in introspection, but in the Godward look which is the essence of faith: My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare (Ps 25:15). Paul points out that, Faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of Christ (Ro 10:17). We cannot muster faith by mere human resolve or willpower. To strengthen our faith then, we must give attention to the words of Christ found in the Bible. To be a people of faith we must be a people of the Book. By faith the Christian is justified (Ro 3:26,30; 4:5; Eph 2:8-9), by faith he lives (Hab 2:4; Ro 1:17; Gal 3:11; Heb 10:38), and by faith he fights (1 Co 9:26; 2 Co 10:4; 1 Ti 1:18; 6:12; 2 Ti 4:7). Jesus alone can be trusted to empower us to move ahead even in difficult and confusing situations. THE HELMET OF SALVATION Helmet of SalvationThe typical helmet was made of iron, brass or bronze, although some were constructed of leather. They had attachments on the side for protecting the face and a shelf on the back to cover the neck and shoulders. Such a helmet was essential for the survival of a soldier in battle. No soldier in his right mind would enter battle without the helmet. The helmet obviously protected the head from injury, especially from the dangerous broadsword commonly used in the battles of that day. This was the large two-handed, doubleedged sword that measured three to four feet in length and would be used by cavalrymen who would swing at the heads of enemy soldiers to split their skulls or decapitate them. Since the helmet is mentioned in reference to salvation we see that Satans blows are directed at the believers assurance and security in Christ. Since the head is the seat of our thought life, many Christians are incapacitated because they do not know how to protect their thought life. Probably the two most effective and dangerous and therefore common edges of Satans broadsword are doubt and discouragement. To cause doubt the devil points to situations in life that dont make much sense and reminds us of our lack of answers to prayer. To cause discouragement he points to our failures, sins, unresolved problems, irreconcilable differences with people, poor health, or whatever else seems negative in our lives to make us lose confidence in the love, wisdom and power of our heavenly Father.


For Satan the battle is never over. He loves to attack us with discouragement the moment we think we are safe. The Lord told the disciples of the Parable of the Importunate Widow to show them that they should always pray and not give up (Lk 18:1). The test of a persons character is what it takes to stop him. Satan will try every means to discourage us and deter us (as he did with Job), reminding us of defeats as he puts every possible object in our way so he can destroy our assurance in Christ. Our adversary tempts us to become discouraged also by the trials and sufferings of other believers. Paul assured the believers in the region of Ephesus: I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory (Eph 3:13). Another form of discouragement is the lack of results. Paul told the believers in Galatia: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Gal 6:9-10) The helmet of salvation is the knowledge of salvation which removes from the Christian all sense of condemnation, all doubt, all uncertainty concerning his possession of eternal life. John put it: And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life (1 Jn 5:11-13). The Bible is clear: eternal life is a matter of having Jesus Christ in our lives. Such beliefliving faithenables us to know that we have eternal life. Once we understand fully our position as children of God, as heirs of the eternal possessions and of our security in the Lord (Ro 8:17; Eph 1:11), we have a sufficient helmet to protect us from all evil. Our salvation provides forgiveness of past sins (justification) and strength to conquer future sin (sanctification). In Philippians 2 we see the two sides of Gods initiative and mans response: Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absencecontinue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose (Php 2:12-13).

72 Notice here that Paul did not say that we are to work for our salvation. We cannot work for our salvation since it is by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9), but we can, and we must, work out our salvation. We cannot work out what we do not have. It is because we have been given salvation as a free gift (v. 9) that it can be worked out. The idea here is that we are to work it out to the finish as an expression of our spiritual growth and development. Salvation, then, is not only a gift received once for all; it expresses itself in an ongoing process in which the believer is strenuously involved (Mt 24:13; 1 Co 9:24-27; Heb 3:14; 6:9-11; 2 Pe 1:5-8)the process of perseverance, spiritual growth and maturation.12 Pauls reference to fear and trembling does not point to doubt or anxiety; rather, the reference is to an active reverence and a singleness of purpose in response to Gods grace. His phrase to will and to act refers to the fact that intention, or faith, and our obedience cannot be separated (Gal 5:6; Jas 2:18,20,22). Similarly in Colossians Paul states: To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me (Col 1:29). As believers in Christ we do not merely look on as our Lord and Master works as passive observers. Rather we work by the energy our Master provides. Such expenditure of energy on behalf of the Lord may lead to afflictions, hardships, distresses, beatings, punishment, labors, sleeplessness, hunger, glory and dishonor, evil report and good report, sorrow, and poverty (2 Co 6:4-10; 4:8-18; 11:23-28). When this happens we should see them as badges of our faithfulness as Paul did. In 2 Peter 1:5-7 we are told that by cultivating the qualities listed (faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, love) we can be assured that God has chosen us and called us (Mt 7:20). The genuineness of our profession will be demonstrated as we express these virtues (Gal 5:6; Jas 2:18). When God elects and calls, it is to obedience and holiness (1 Pe 1:2; Eph 1:3-6), and these fruits confirm their divine source. Those who in this way give evidence of their faith will never cease to persevere. It is Satans plan to cause believers also to doubt Gods promises, power, goodness, truth, and above all, His keeping powerour assurance of salvation. If our security is in the holding power of our faith rather than in the keeping power of Gods faithfulness, then our security is jeopardized. Gods keeping power, however, is our assurance. Gods armor will always be needed as long as we live on this earth since the adversary will never lay down his sword against us. Only when our work is finished on earth can we say with Paul, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith (2 Ti 4:7). May we follow the example of the Ephesian church in the book of Revelation in that they had persevered and endured for My names sake, and have not grown weary (Rev 2:3).


THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT Sword of the SpiritThe Roman soldier carried a small dagger and a large doubleedged sword used for thrusting. The sword was usually about 18 inches long and was attached to the belt. It was used in close, personal fighting. The Roman soldier would look for chinks in his opponents armor and then attack them with his little sword. This sword was the primary piece of equipment used to attack and thus advance. The sword of the Spirit is a reference to Scripture. It is both our weapon of defense against sin and of offense against demonic invasion. The writer to the Hebrew Christians stated concerning Scripture: For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Heb 4:12). Gods Word is dynamic as it is active in accomplishing Gods purposes. It is a living power that judges as with an all-seeing eye, penetrating a persons innermost being. Then the writer says: Nothing in all creation is hidden from Gods sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account (v. 13). Here we see that the author associates the activity of the Word with the activity of God as though they are one and the samewhich in a sense they are. Like the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation, this weapon is always to be at hand, ready to be taken up and used when a battle begins. Why is this so essential? Because it is a treasure of unfathomable riches. The following tribute states it well: There are words written by kings, by emperors, by princes, by poets, by sages, by philosophers, by fishermen, by statesmen, by men learned in the wisdom of Egypt, educated in the schools of Babylon, and trained at the feet of rabbis in Jerusalem. It was written by men in exile, in the desert, in shepherds tents, in green pastures, and beside still waters. Among its authors we find a taxgatherer, a herdsman, a gatherer of sycamore fruit. We find poor men, rich men, statesmen, preachers, captains, legislators, judges, and exiles. The Bible is a library full of history, genealogy, ethnology, law, ethics, prophecy, poetry, eloquence, medicine, sanitary science, political economy, and the perfect rules for personal and social life. And behind every word is the divine author, God Himself.13 Is it any wonder Scottish pastor Thomas Guthrie claimed:

74 The Bible is an armory of heavenly weapons, a laboratory of infallible medicines, a mine of exhaustless wealth. It is a guidebook for every road, a chart for every sea, a medicine for every malady, and a balm for every wound. Rob us of our Bible and our sky has lost its sun.14 The Bible teaches many things, and most importantly, it claims God as its author: Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophets own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Pe 1:20-21). All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Ti 3:16). With God as its author it is no surprise that it meets the needs of man. It is helpful in teaching as it provides information to show us the path to walk on, rebuking in showing where we have gotten off Gods path, correcting in showing us how to get back on the path, and training in righteousness as it shows us how to stay on Gods narrow path. Since Scripture is God-breathed, and since God is true, so is His Word: Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth (Jn 17:17). In the Bible we have the source of all truth about God and man, life and death, time and eternity, men and women, husbands and wives, parents and children, right and wrong, heaven and hell, salvation and damnation. David, the psalmist, testifies about the Word of God: The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statues of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. . . . The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous . . . (Ps 19:7-9). Similarly Solomon says: Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take their refuge in Him (Pr 30:5). Since it is divine it is effective:

75 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My word that goes out from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it (Isa 55:11). What sets Scripture apart from all other writing is that it is divine (God-breathed) as well as human. And since the Spirit of God superintended human beings in the writing of Scripture what they wrote is what He wanted written. Therefore Scripture is infallible, right, trustworthy, faultless, flawless, perfect, effective. This is why Solomon warns: Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar (Pr 30:6). This is also a reference to all words (rhema) that come from God by His Spirit. Such words from the Spirit are given to assist us in defending ourselves against the enemy. This is exactly what Jesus did when He encountered Satan and demons: He rebuked them and drove them away. As a defensive weapon the sword of the Spirit is able to deflect the blows of our opponent, the devil. Unlike the shield, however, which gives broad and general protection, the sword must be handled skillfully and thus correctly if it is to be effective. This is why Paul instructed us: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Ti 2:15) When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, His defense was not, I believe, but it is written (Mt 4:1-10). His defense for each temptation was a passage of Scripture that precisely contradicted the devils word (Dt 8:3; 6:16; 6:13 as quoted by Jesus in Mt 4:4,7,10). If we do not know the Word well we will not be able to use it effectively for although God promises us that the Holy Spirit will remind us of everything He has said to us (Jn 14:26), He does not promise to remind us of things we have never heard. Such a promise would be a contradiction of terms since the word remind means to bring back to our thoughts something we have heard or known. If we have never heard it or known it, this would be nonsensical. God uses that which we have heard and known. It is therefore vital that we hear the voice of God as He speaks to us through His Holy Word.

76 J. I. Packer says concerning Satans strategy: If I were the devil, one of my first aims would be to stop folk from digging into the Bible. Knowing that it is the Word of God, teaching [people] to know and love and serve the God of the Word, I should do all I could to surround it with the spiritual equivalent of pits, thorn hedges, and man traps, to frighten people off. . . . At all costs I should want to keep them from using their minds in a disciplined way to get the measure of its message.15 It is because of the importance of Scripture that Satan so powerfully and skillfully fights against it. In the Parable of the Soils we see that Satan is quick to snatch Gods Word from a hearers heart before it has a chance to take root (Mt 13:19). How often we see people who gladly listen to the gospel, but before they fully commit themselves to embrace it, they allow some intrusion to distract them and thus the effectiveness of the Word is lost as is the soul of the hearer. In this same parable we also see how the devil works in another persons heart as that person initially accepts Gods word with joy. But then Satan sends trouble or persecution and that person quickly falls away (v. 21). We have no excuse for not knowing and understanding Gods Word. As believers we have the Holy Spirit who has promised to illumine the Word He inspired so that it reveals its riches to us. This means we must be teachable. And to be teachable we must submit to His instruction by studying the Bible with sincerity and commitment. It is then not a question of ignorance and inability, but disinterest and neglect. If we misquote Scripture and are confused about its teachings we will not be successful in using the sword of the Spirit. The more we study, understand, love, and apply Scripture, the more we will be able to deflect Satans blows, conquer his strongholds, and lead people from his kingdom to Gods. PRAYER The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil . . . mocks at our wisdom . . . but trembles when we pray.16 --Samuel Chadwick Communication is key to any battle. This is why prayer must pervade all aspects of our spiritual warfare. Putting on Gods armor is not a mechanical operation but an expression of our dependence on God, as prayer itself is. So it is no surprise that Paul ends this section on spiritual warfare with an exhortation to pray: And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints (Eph 6:18).


The Characteristic of Prayer Prayer is to be in the Spirit (Eph 6:18). Jude said virtually the same thing: But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit (Jude 20). Zechariah, the prophet, put it, Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty (Zec 4:6). This means that prayer is to be energized by the Spirit of God (Eph 6:18). Righteous people understand this since they know they are totally dependent upon God. James points out that it is the prayer of a righteous person that is powerful and effective (Jas 5:16). Our prayer life is no more effective than our walk with God. Integrity is critical to genuine communication. Without it prayer becomes hypocritical and hollow. Although the phrase in the Spirit may refer to the gift of tongues as we find in 1 Corinthians 14:14-19, it does not always refer to that. In Romans 8:26-27 we find it means praying in tune to the Spirit of God in accordance with Gods will. If praying in the Spirit always means praying in tongues, then the only kind of prayer we should ever pray is praying in tongues. For the contrast in Scripture is between praying in the Spirit or praying in the flesh. The simplest definition of praying in the Spirit is, We pray in the Spirit when the Holy Spirit prays in us. It matters little whether that is in English or any other tongue or language. The important thing is that it is He, the Holy Spirit, who prays in us. Praying in the Spirit is prayer that is prompted and guided by the Spirit of God and with the power of the Spirit (Gal 4:6). Therefore to pray in the Spirit is to pray in the name of Christ (Jn 14:14; 16:23), to pray consistent with His nature and will (15:7) and to pray under the Spirits control (Eph 5:18). It is to pray in concert with the Spirit, who helps us in our weakness; for we do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express; and He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with Gods will (Ro 8:26-27). We see here that praying in the Spirit has at least three components. First, it is acknowledging that it is the Spirit who is praying through us (v. 26). He is our source. Second, praying in the Spirit is praying with the Spirits cooperation (v. 27). Third, it is also praying in the Spirits communion. Communion with God is the highest sense of prayer as it speaks of the deepest and most sacred intimacies of love which are both human and divine. Such intimate prayer is often wordless (with groans that words cannot express as Paul put it). The implication of what Paul says in Ephesians 5:18 is that praying in the Spirit is also praying under the Spirits control. R. A. Torrey put it: If I pray in the Spirit and look to the spirit to teach me Gods will . . . He will lead me out in prayer along the lines of that will. And He will give me faith that the prayer is to be answered.17


The Frequency of Prayer Prayer is to be made on all occasions since we are constantly in the world which is run by Satan. The fact that we are to pray all the time in all circumstances shows that Paul is not talking about formal or ritualistic prayer every waking moment of our lives, for that would be impossible. Even Jesus and the apostles did not do that. In fact, we are warned about the dangers of meaningless repetition which results from reciting prayers mechanically (Mt 6:7). What Paul means by praying on all occasions is that we, as Gods people, are to live in constant consciousness or awareness of Gods presence whereby we silently commune with Him as we continually commit everything to Him. It is what Brother Lawrence called, Practicing the Presence of God. In speaking of the end of the age, Jesus warned, Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man (Lk 21:36). Jesus practiced what He preached! He provides us with an example as to when to pray: In the morning (Mk 1:35) All night (Lk 6:12) Before important business (vv. 12-13) In times of crisis (Mt 26:36) Before temptation comes (3:21-22; 4:1) After some great achievement or victory (14:23) When usually busy (Lk 5:15-16)

The early Christians devoted themselves . . . to prayer (Ac 2:42) and the God-fearing Cornelius who was the recipient of the message of salvation through Peter prayed to God continually (10:2). And Paul assured Timothy, a young pastor that he prayed for him night and day (2 Ti 1:3). It is no wonder then that Paul urged his people to regularly devote themselves to prayer (Ro 12:12; Php 4:6; Col 4:2). In addition to praying at all times in general, we are also to have stated times for prayer (Ps 55:17,19; Da 6:10; Ac 3:1) and special occasions should drive us to special prayer (Ps 50:15; Lk 6:12-13; 22:39-46; Jn 6:15). Closely related to such continual prayer is persistence. . . . always keep on praying says Paul (Eph 6:18). We are told in several places in Scripture to persist in prayer (Mk 7:7; Lk 11:9-10; 18:1). This again emphasizes that prayer is a constant process, a lifestyle (1 Th 5:1518). Prayer is also to be earnest prayer like that of Elijah, the prophet (Jas. 5:17). Everywhere in Scripture we see God emphasizing the importance of wholeheartedness. We must mean business with God if we are to gain victory over our enemy and if we are to get anywhere in our walk with Him.


Prayer, more than any other spiritual discipline, most accurately captures our relationship to Goddependenceand our rich privilege with Godfellowship. The Variety of Prayer In addressing the variety of prayer Paul begins by giving the command to be alert. Throughout His ministry Jesus emphasized the need for watchfulness in view of the unexpectedness both of His return and of the onset of temptation (Mk 14:34-38). The apostles also echoed this same admonition (1 Co 16:13; Rev 3:2-3) for the following reasons: The devil is always on the prowl like a hungry lion (1 Pe 5:8). False teachers like fierce wolves (Ac 20:31). So that we are not overtaken by surprise by the return of Christ. (1 Th 5:1-8; Rev 16:15) Our tendency to sleep when we should be praying (Eph 6:18; Col 4:2).

Watch and pray Jesus urged. It was failure to obey such an order that led the apostles into their disastrous disloyalty as they all fled when Jesus was taken to stand trial and be crucified. Similar failure leads to similar disloyalty today. We are to offer up a variety of prayers: all kinds of prayers and requests. This is crucial because the battle with the enemy of our souls is persistent and creative. Even if the soldier is armed from helmet to sandals with his equipment thus being in perfect condition, what good is he if he goes to sleep as he stands on sentinel duty? What good does his armament and good intentions do him since a soldiers duty is to be alert at all times (Eph 6:18). Peter warns the dispersed and persecuted Christians in the early church, The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray (1 Pe 4:7). Anticipating the end times, particularly Christs return should influence our attitudes, actions and relationships (2 Pe 3:11-14). As Christians we are to be characterized by reason so that we make wise, mature decisions and that we have a clearly defined, decisive purpose in life. Otherwise we will not be in a position to pray much less know how to pray. To pray effectively is to pray sensibly, with a clear mind and understanding. Pauls specific prayer request was that whenever he opened his mouth, words would be given him to that he would fearlessly (mentioned twice in this verse) make known the mystery of the Gospel, for which he was an imprisoned ambassador (Eph 6:19-20).


Since our greatest problems and challenges are spiritual, our greatest prayer concern should be for spiritual protection, strength and healing. Although it is legitimate to bring physical needs before our heavenly Father, our sharpest focus should be for our spiritual needs: forgiveness of sin, victory over temptation, courage for witnessing, etc. Since the context of Pauls call to prayer is spiritual warfare, our prayer should certainly be about such warfare. Our chief concern, whether for ourselves or fellow believers, should be that we will be victorious in our battle against the enemy of our souls. The Recipients of Prayer Paul ends his exhortation to prayer by pointing out that the recipients of our prayers is all the saints (Eph 6:18). Although we are told in other places in Scripture that we are to pray for various people such as government officials, unbelievers, enemies, etc., here the focus is on saints. This makes sense since only saints or Christians are involved in spiritual warfare. It is important we notice that we are not challenged to pray for ourselves. This is not to say it is always inappropriate or wrong to pray for ourselves, but that Paul practiced praying for others rather than for himself. Throughout his letters we see Paul praying for the spiritual wellbeing of the people of God (2 Co 1:4-7; Php 1:9-11; Col 1:9-11; 2 Th 1:11-12). He did, however, ask other believers to pray on his behalf, as he does in the next two verses in the passage on spiritual warfare (Eph 6:19-20). What greater thing can we do for a fellow believer, and that they can do for us, than to pray? Samuel said to the people of Israel, As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you (1 Sa 12:23). With the Holy Spirit to indwell us (Ro 8:1516) and help us in our praying (v. 26), what excuse can we give for not praying or for not praying more, for our fellow believers? While psychological and spiritual sickness is evidenced by the preoccupation with self-selfishness and self-centerednessspiritual health and maturity means devotion to God and to others. Our very self-centeredness cuts us off to others who would otherwise know us well enough to know our needs and thus to pray for us. English physician and preacher D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones points out that before the Spanish civil war that Spain was experiencing such an epidemic of neuroses that psychiatrists had a difficult time handling all the cases. But the war unexpectedly cured many of the thousands of people suffering from neurosis in Spain. Even though the war brought its own terrible and destructive aspects its very destructiveness had the effect of changing the focus of those suffering from neurosis from lesser concerns to the greatest concern, that of survival. When they were forced to think about the welfare of their families, friends and country instead of their own problems, their neurosis disappeared and hospitals and clinics were almost emptied of such cases. As Lloyd-Jones put it, These neurotic people were suddenl y cured by a greater


anxiety.18 This greater anxietysurvivalreached beyond their own selfish welfare and thus brought healing to their self-absorption which resulted in neurosis. This same thing also happened in Lloyd-Jones own country of England during World-War II. It is a biblical principle that it is in giving that we receive (Gal 6:7-10). James points out that it is in praying for others that we are healed: Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.; If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective (Jas 5:13-16). Pray for each other so that you may be healed shows that in focusing on the needs of the other person our needs are met (here specifically it happens to be physical healingmake the sick person wellv. 15). Freedom is what Paul longs for, but not freedom from confinement, but freedom to preach the gospel. When Paul asks for prayer for himself he does not ask that they pray for his sore ankles as he was chained in a prison cell nor did he pray for healing or even release from his miserable environment. Rather he wants prayer for courage and boldness, that as he was tempted by Satan to keep quiet about his witness in the dungeon (prison), that he would be bold in faithfully proclaiming the gospel by which he sought to rescue people from the devils dominion turning people from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God (Ac 26:18). As a leader, Paul recognized his great need for prayer as leaders become special targets of Satan. Jesus warned: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered (Mt 26:31 quoting from Zec 13:7). Since the fall of leaders has such enormous fallout, it only makes sense that Satan will go after them especially hard. And since Gods leaders are to equip the saints for the work of service (Eph 4:12), if Satan can thwart the leaders in any way he will thwart the equipping and the works of service of other Christians. Here we see a domino affect. Push the leader over and his followers will go with him. Why extend unnecessary energy in going after Christians individually if they can be reached through one or more leaders. So this is why Satan targets leaders. And this is why fellow believers need to uphold leaders in prayer continually. Pauls exhortation to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests . . . [being] alert and always keeping on praying for all the saints (Eph 6:18) too often translates to Christians praying sometimes in the Spirit and sometimes in the flesh, with some kinds of prayers, with some degree of perseverance, for some people. This explains partly why Christians are not experiencing victory over Satan, why they are not living life as Jesus meant it to be livedlife to the full (Jn 10:10).

82 In a letter written shortly after Pauls request for prayer as recorded in Ephesians 6, he testified: Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. (Php 1:12-14) Here we see that the prayers of the Christians in the region of Ephesus were answered. It was Pauls boldness that attracted the Praetorian Guard to the Gospel and that same courage inspired other believers in being bold in their witness for their Master. As the hymn, Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus urges, the Lords soldier should put on each piece of the armor with prayer. Such contact with God makes triumph possible. Jesus told us: . . . you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (Jn 8:32). Ephesians 1:15-2:6 points out that because the Father has placed all things under our Masters feet that Christs resurrection and ascension set believers far above every power of evil. And because we as children of God have identified ourselves with the Master in His death, resurrection and ascension, we will share Christs triumph. Being spiritually united with Him, we find that God has already seated us with our Lord and Savior in the heavenly realms (Eph 2:6). All we have to do is believe such a promise. When we do we will exercise our position in practical experience against the accusations and deceptions of the dark powers and enjoy consistent victory in spiritual warfare.




A. Demonology B. Fortune Telling C. The Worship of Demons and Demon Possession D. Spiritualism or Spiritism E. The Powers of Darkness F. Why the Occult is Forbidden Since there is so much ignorance and confusion about demonic possession it is important that it is dealt with in a thorough and balanced manner. David Pytches, in his book, Spiritual Gifts in the Local Church, gives a good treatment on the subject. Thus most of the following material dealing with this sensitive topic is taken from his book. The Bible is clear that some mental and physical illness is the result of demonic activity. The Greek word daimonizomai, most often translated demon possessed, is most accurately translated demonized. There are degrees of demonization from the milder form of afflicting demons to the acute form of controlling demons. As Pytches points out, Sickness caused by a demonic influence may have all or some of the symptoms of any spiritual, emotional or physical disease.1 It is vital, therefore, that healing in such cases include the deliverance from whatever demonic influences may be causing the disease. CHARACTERISTICS OF DEMONS John Wimber gives the following characteristics of demons as found in the New Testament. They are spirits (Mt 8:16; 12:43-45; Lk 10:17-20; 24:39; Rev 16:14). They have separate identities (Lk 11:24). They have intelligence (Ac 16:16-18; 19:15-16). They are able to evaluate and make decisions (Lk 11:25). They are able to combine forces (v. 26). They can exist outside or inside humans (Mk 5:12). They travel at will because they are spirits. They manifest themselves in different forms (2 Ki 6:17; Rev 9:1-12; 16:13-14). They are malevolent (Mt 12:43-45; Mk 1:27; 3:11; Lk 4:36; Ac 8:7; Rev 16:13). They vary in degrees of wickedness (Mk 9:29; Lk 11:26; Eph 6:12). They are able to communicate (Lk 11; Mt 8:28-34). They have supernatural strength (Mt 12:29; Mk 5:4; Lk 8:29; Ac 19:13-16). They must bow to Jesus name (Mt 8:28-34; Mk 5:7; Lk 8:26-33). They know their own end (Mt 8:29; 25:41; Jas 2:19).2


The Kingdom of God and Miracles Jesus public ministry included basically two elements: Proclamation of the Good News of the Kingdom of God Demonstration of the Power of the Kingdom of God Jesus commissioned the Twelve and the Seventy-two to preach and demonstrate the kingdom of God. Healings and miracles are given to demonstrate the power of the kingdom since God the Father sent Jesus to destroy the kingdom of Satan and its evil works (Jn 12:31; 1 Jn 3:8) and to establish the kingdom of God. The following sums up Jesus instruction on the kingdom of God: 1. Gods reign entered the world in the Person of Jesus (Mt 12:28). 2. Through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, people redeemed from the world, the flesh and the devil and thus come under the reign or rule of Gods kingdom (Jn 3:1-21). 3. The kingdom of God is destroying the kingdom of Satan (1 Jn 3:8). 4. At the second coming Satan will be eternally destroyed as Christ ushers in the fullness of the kingdom of God (Mt 13:36-43). X. EXORCISM (DELIVERANCE MINISTRY) Deliverance of demons was part and parcel of Jesus healing ministry. As Jesus preached the kingdom He healed the sick and cast out demons. The following are a few examples: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Two demon-controlled men (Mt 8:28-34). Gerasene demoniac (Mk 5:1-20). Epileptic boy (Mt 17:4-21; Mk 9:14-29; Lk 9:37-45). Man in the synagogue (Mk 1:21-28; Lk 4:31-37). The Canaanite womans daughter (Mt 15:22-28; Mk 7:24-30). Others who were demonized (Mt 8:16; Mk 1:32-34; 3:10-12; Lk 4:41; 6:18).3


The Greek word for exorcist (exorkistes) means to send out, to leave, to expel, to cast out, to release, to call forth, to free. Demons or evil spirits require a form of treatment different from that offered through the gifts of healings. To be demonized or possessed by an evil spirit is not a normal illness, nor is it purely a psychological problem. It is a state of being bound by an alien force. Therefore the only way for a cure is an expulsion of that alien force (demon). Of the seven deacons, both Stephen and Philip performed great wonders and signs (Acts 6:8; 8:6), some of them being healings and some exorcisms (Ac 8:7). Later Paul and Barnabas performed signs and wonders in Iconium (14:3), and on his second missionary journey Paul cast out the evil spirit of clairvoyance from the slave girl (16:16-18). The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people . . . and they brought their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed (5:12,16). God did extraordinary miracles through Paul. Handkerchiefs and aprons that touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them (19:11-12). Symptoms of Demonization John Wimber gives the following list of symptoms for demonization. He is careful to point out that the presence of one or more of these symptoms indicates the possibility, though not the necessity, that the person is demonized. Many symptoms that may look demonic are not necessarily so. Most people who claim they are demonized are not. 1. Contorted physical reactions, especially when the power of the Holy Spirit is present, as in a worship service or prayer meeting. 2. Addiction to drugs or alcohol (which in reality is also a drug). 3. A problem with compulsions such as eating disorders, lust, fornication, pornography, masturbation, homosexuality, stealing, murder, lying, or suicide. 4. Bondage to emotions such as fear, depression, anxiety, and rage. 5. Bondage to sinful attitudes like self-hatred, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, and contempt. 6. Chronic physical sickness, especially sicknesses that have been in the family for several generations. 7. A history of occult involvement. 8. A disturbed family history involving, for example, incest, alcoholism, and various forms of child abuse.4

87 Michael Scanlan and Randall Cirner, in their book, Deliverance, describes four types of deliverance. The first is the mild form which is personal and self-deliverance, where bondage is broken by the individual apart from a special ministry session.5 Wimber suggests the following steps for those who suspect a personal problem (mild form) with demons. 1. In faith turn to Christ, committing every area of your life to His lordship. 2. Confess and renounce the area of sin and temptation with which you are having difficulty. 3. Take on the authority and power that is rightfully your in Christ and command any spirits that you sense is present to leave. This may be done with a simple prayer like: In the name of Jesus, I command you, spirit of [fear, homosexuality, etc] to leave and stay out of my life. 4. Destroy all objects associated with the area of sin you are struggling with, especially occult objects and books.6 Wimber then points out other kinds of deliverance that may be necessary. Some people are too severely demonized for self-deliverance to be effective. They need other types of deliverance. Fraternal deliverance is when Christian brothers and sisters help cast out demons. Pastoral deliverance, ministry from pastors, is helpful in more extreme cases of demonization. In these instances there is usually need for ongoing pastoral care after the person has been delivered. The last type of deliverance comes from people whom God has given special gifts of discernment, revelation, and authority to overcome Satan and evil spirits at their most profound levels of activity.7 David Pytches provides the following lessons from Christs deliverance ministry: 1. Jesus did not seek out the demonized. He dealt only with those who were brought to Him or to His attention. 2. He never argued with demons. 3. He sometimes bound a demon before casting it out. 4. A few times He commanded demons never to return. 5. He addressed the demons directly.


6. He once cast out demons from a distance. 7. He delivered demonized children. 8. He ministered to the demonized in synagogues, the open air and in their homes. 9. He asked questions to help diagnose the problem before beginning His deliverance ministry. 10. He showed that demons had to obey His orders. 11. His deliverance ministry illustrates that multiple demonization is possible. 12. His ministry indicated clearly that healing and deliverance from demons were sometimes linked (Mt 9:32-33; 12:22; 17:14-20; Mk 9:14-29; Lk 8:35; 9:38-43; 13:12).8 Deliverance of demons was central not only in the life and ministry of Jesus, but also with the disciples. Jesus commissioned the Twelve to preach the kingdom, heal the sick and cast out demons (Mt 10:1,7-8). He commanded the Seventy-two to preach the kingdom, heal the sick and cast out demons and they reported back by rejoicing that even the demons were subject to them in His name (Lk 10:17). Jesus, by the way, rebuked them for their arrogant attitude and warned them of the danger of being taken up with the issue of power and authority. Instead they were to focus on their relationship with Himthe fact that they have been given the free gift of eternal life. Jesus also told His disciples to make other disciples and teach them to do everything He had taught them (Mt 28:20) which obviously included casting out demons. We also see that the disciples developed this ministry of deliverance as they reached out to people with every kind of need (Ac 8:7; 16:16-18). Pytches gives the following analysis of the different categories (degrees) of demonization. The Greek word daimonizomai does not indicate degrees of demonization. This will become manifest by the nature of the afflicted persons problem in the process of ministry or be discerned through the relevant gifts of the Spirit, i.e., discernment of words of knowledge. It is almost impossible by the nature of the subject to categorize spirits, since so much depends on the gift of discernment. Some are clearly more powerful than others, but it may be helpful to define according to the area/origin of the spirits influences on the body, mind or personality of the sufferer.9


Degrees of Demonic Afflictions Fiery Darts Some afflictions seem to be temporary and external, even though they may cause an internal illness. Such afflictions can be lifted or cast off in the name of Jesus.10 Footholds We are warned in Ephesians 4:27: Do not give the devil a foothold. Footholds may be provided for the enemy by anger, nursed grievance, deliberate sin, involvement with false cults or the occult (this latter even through such seemingly innocent games as glass-tipping, ouijaboards, fortune-telling and horoscopes, etc.). All such practices need to be renounced and repented of.11 Strongholds These result from a long-standing rebellion, feud or some deep trauma (in the conscious memory or suppressed). Where repentance is called for it should be made and forgiveness received. Often there is a primary need for inner healing, which begins when forgiveness is released to those who have been perceived as causing the hurts. Inner healing alone may expel the spirit by closing a stronghold against the enemy.12 Bondages Some long-term oppressions are caused by such things as covetousness, idolatry, spells, curses, involuntary bonding with the past through the blood-lines or present family relationships, an overbearing parent or any other unhealthy relationships (soul-ties). Such bondage may produce a pattern of compulsive behavior. The bond can be broken in the name of Jesus (Mt 18:18; Jn 20:23).13 Possession The degree of demonization referred to as possession is not common, but could be one of the preceding in an acute form. The condition is generally caused by a deliberate contract with the devil, either by the sufferer himself or by an ancestor. The whole personality is affected when the spirit seizes the sufferer periodically. The person suffering from this demonization may admit to a root cause, such as blood sacrifice to the devil or selling his soul to Satan, or the Lord may reveal the occult cause through one of the gifts of the Spirit. The spirit/s should be bound in the name of Jesus and the case reported to the church leadership to deal with as, when, if and however it is deemed right.14


Severe Demonization John Wimber gives a very perceptive analysis of what he calls severe demonization. Jesus healing of the demented man in the region of the Gerasenes (the name of the region varies in the gospels and the textual traditions) provides a classic illustration of severe demonization (Mt 8:28-34; Mk 5:1-20; Lk 8:26-39). This is the story in which demons, when they were cast out of a man, went into a herd of pigs. The result was the complete healing of the man. A close examination of this account (the Lucan account specifically) reveals characteristics that distinguish severe demonization from mild demonization and from mental illness: 1. The severely demonized person still has some control over his own life. The demonized man from the region of the Gerasenes met Jesus when he came across from Galilee; his coming forward to meet Jesus was perhaps an indication that he wanted healing. 2. Inhabiting demons exercise influence episodically, often precipitating epileptic-like seizures with convulsions and other symptoms like rigidity, screaming, and foaming at the mouth. For example, when the demonized Gerasene saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at His feet, shouting at the top of his voice (Lk 8:28). Sometimes the attacks are self-destructive, and they may last for only a few minutes or go on for several days. 3. Evil spirits may actually reside in a severely demonized person. They take over almost complete control of the person at will, even blotting out the persons consciousness. Sometimes the person may be unable to speak or hear (Mk 9:25; Lk 11:14). He becomes a slave, a tool to the demons. 4. Many demons can inhabit a person simultaneously. Scripture says that many demons had gone into him (8:30). The Gerasene demoniac was inhabited by demon called legion (v. 30). A Roman legion normally consisted of 6,000 men. 5. Frequently a severely demonized person has unusual physical strength. Many times it [the evil spirit] has seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places (v. 29; see also Ac 19:16). 6. The severely demonized person frequently projects a new personality. The demon speaks directly to others through the person it inhabits. The demon refers to itself in the first person, bystanders in the second person, and the person the demon is inhabiting in the third person. The man approached Jesus when he first cam on shore, then the demon threw him down and begged Jesus not to torture it (the evil spiritLk 8:27-28). 7. A severely demonized person has a strong resistance and opposition to Jesus. What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, dont torture me! (v. 28)


8. A severely demonized person often has the ability to convey knowledge that the inhabited person did not have access to in his normal state. The man knew immediately who Jesus was, even though the man had never met Him before. He also recognized Jesus authority to cast the demon out (vv. 29,31; see also Ac 16:16-18). 9. Severely demonized people often speak with voices and languages other than their own. The man was described as shouting at the top of his voice, an unnatural way to speak (Lk 8:28). It is common for demonized people to speak with strange voices. At times men will speak like women, but more commonly, women will speak like men. After a specific demon (the one speaking in the strange voice, since, typically, there are usually other demons in the person as well) is cast out of a person, he does not speak with that voice again. 10. Severely demonized persons are marked by moral depravity, depending on the personality of the demon who lives in them. Frequently they may go naked. This man had for a long time . . . not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs (v. 27). It seems that every severely demonized person has struggled with some form of serious sexual sin. Many also struggle with alcohol and drug abuse. 11. Immediate deliverance from the evil spirit is possible for the demonized person. For those whose mental illness is caused purely by demons, the cure is immediate. Those whose mental illness is other in origin must go through a long and costly process of psychological healing. The severely demonized man was immediately and completely healed: When they came to Jesus, the found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people how the demonized man had been cured (vv. 35-36). 12. Demons resist leaving their host. They may plead for their own well-being (v. 31). 13. When demons leave a person they seek out other bodies to inhabit. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into a herd of pigs, and He gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned (vv. 32-33).15 14. Demons respond to authority. Jesus issues a command on His own authority. In contrast to exorcists of His day, who used elaborate rituals and incantations, Jesus simply utters the command, Come out of the man! Based on our union with Christ, our being filled with the same Spirit by which he cast out evil spirits (Mt 12:28; Lk 11:20), and our right to exercise authority in His name over this realm, we can issue a firm and direct command to an intruding spirit with the expectation that it will leave. Symptoms of those who are Demonized Diagnosis by physicians and psychiatrists:


1. Personality changes including changes in intelligence, moral character, demeanor and appearance. 2. Physical changes: preternatural strength; epileptic convulsions; foaming; catatonic symptoms; falling (often forward rather than backwards); clouding of consciousness; anaesthesia to pain; changed voices. 3. Mental changes: uncontrollable glossollalia; understanding unknown languages; preternatural knowledge; psychic and occult powers, e.g. clairvoyance, telepathy, and prediction. 4. Spiritual changes: reaction to and fear of Christ, sometimes causing blasphemy adverse reactions to prayer.15 Acute Demonic Attack The above diagnostic indication of acute demonic attack have been collated by the Rev. John Richards from eight different authorities and David Pytches testifies that his own experience in this area is similar. 1. Public Knowledge. There are extreme cases of people possessed by spirits which make them violent and who are, therefore generally diagnosed by the local community (Legion was a case in point--Mk. 5). 2. Natural discernment: If a demon manifests itself, both those who witness it and the afflicted person know it, or the afflicted person becomes aware of a definite pattern of compulsive behavior (bondage) which may be symptomatic, such as addiction, sexual perversion of some kind, self-destructive thoughts, etc. 3. Through the gift of discerning of spirits the kind of spirit at work is revealed. (1 Co 12:10) In one meeting Smith Wigglesworth ministered to two people who seemed to everyone but Wigglesworth to have identical problems: both were deaf and dumb. Wigglesworth put his fingers into the first persons deaf ears and said be opened in the name of Jesus. He then placed his hand on the persons lips and said, Tongue be loosed The man was healed. He dealt with the second problem in a different manner. He looked the man straight in the eye and said, Thou deaf and dumb spirit, come out of him in the name of the Lord Jesus. The person was wonderfully delivered and received his hearing back. 4. Through the gift of a word of knowledge the spiritual cause behind the affliction is revealed.


5. When the Holy Spirit is invoked over an oppressed person there is frequently a manifest power encounter--shaking, contortions of some kind, eyes rolling upward, localized pain. 6. Sometimes the speech is unusual in its pitch and strange in its content. Sometimes there is a manifestation of al false tongue which is not of God--it is almost uncontrollable in its speaking or its singing. Sometimes there is clearly another voice speaking through the person being ministered to, usually vocalizing such things as a boast of its power, a claim to long time ownership, a plea to be left alone, a threat to expose something in the life of one of those ministering or a challenge to his authority. Sometimes the other voice utters a stream of filthy language and blasphemy. 7. General spiritual sensitivity and experience by which those ministering detect the presence of demonic influences. The pattern of symptoms becomes recognizable; covering emotional, and sexual problems, addictions, physical infirmities and religious error, etc. 8. It would be quite wrong to suggest to the afflicted person that the cause of a problem was due to an evil spirit without other corroboration and some manifestation of its presence. Many people seeking help have been greatly frightened by such a suggestion and have retreated from a fellowship which has real help to offer, feeling terrified, condemned or rejected. 9. It is far too easy and damaging to jump to such a simplistic solution. There needs to be clear confirmation: either by evidence of a spirits control in the sick persons history or through the gifts of the Spirit or experience. 10. Sometimes a sufferer is convinced he has an evil spirit but the counselor is not certain. In such a case it may be right in the name of Jesus to command any dark spirit to manifest itselfwhich it will do, producing such symptoms as in #6 above. 11. Beware of assuming that all shaking, bodily contortions, hysterical screaming or sudden physical pain, etc., is demonic. Many people have deep reserves of suppressed emotion which may be manifest when they are being surfaced to the conscious mind by the Holy Spirit for healing.16

DANGERS IN THIS MINISTRY Pytches continues by pointing out the dangers in this ministry: 1. If all life is seen as a battle with demons in such a way that Satan and his hosts get blamed for bad health, bad thoughts and bad behavior without reference to physical, psychological and relational factors in the situation, a very unhealthy demonic counter part of supernaturalism is being developed.17


2. This ministry should never be engaged in without authority from the leadership of the church. 3. It would be unwise to engage in this ministry alone, but in exceptional circumstances there may be no other option. 4. Do not be distracted by exhibitionist or mining spirits, nor be deceived by lying, boasting, mocking, threatening or bargaining spirits. These should be ignored or silenced. Be quiet! said Jesus sternly. Come out of him! (Mk 1:25). 5. The exercise of forceful physical restraint may easily provoke a physical reaction. Lack of a proper relationship with the Lord on the part of those ministering may also produce this response (Ac 19:16). 6. There is always a danger of those ministering that they are operating on the basis of a technique, when only the operation of Gods Spirit will be effective. 7. The suggestion from an affiliated person that the cause of his problem is a demon is not sufficient grounds in itself for initiating 8. Beware of those Christians who are persistently avoiding taking responsibility for their own lives and seek deliverance from demons as an escape. Such people waste precious ministry time. Sooner or later they have to make decisions for themselves if they are to be healed.18 PREPARATION In no ministry is spiritual preparation more important than in this most difficult ministry. The following are essential: 1. A right relationship with the Lord is paramount (Jn 15:4). 2. Prayer and The Lords Prayer is especially relevant. 3. Fasting. This may not always be necessary, but there are some kinds of spiritual afflictions for which it is helpful (Mk 9:29). 4. Scriptures which recount Jesus victory on the cross, the defeat of Satan, and the authority which Christ gives to his disciples should be meditated upon (Mk 16:15-20; Lk 11:2122; Ro 8; 1 Co 2:14; 2 Co 10:3-5; Col 2:15; Rev 18, etc.). 5. All known sin must be confessed and cleansed (1 Jn 1:7,9). 6. The whole armor of God should be put on (Eph 6:10-18).19


MINISTERING DELIVERANCE 1. It is always best to minister in groups to encourage each other; to allow some to minister whilst others pray or sing praises and still others listen to God. 2. It is possible to minister quietly but firmly at all times. 3. It is helpful to sit in a circle with the leader of the group facing the afflicted person. 4 It is better to minister in a private placepreferably in some room in the church building, where noninterruption may be ensured; better not late at night.

5. In the course of this ministry some dark secret or sin may come to light. Those ministering must avoid any appearance of shock or disgust if such is mentioned. 6. The afflicted person needs to feel secure in the love and confidentiality of the group. 7. A prayer may be offered for protection through the blood of Christ over all who are present and the members of their families just where they are. 8. It may help someone in the group to lay one hand lovingly on the persons shoulder to give him a sense of assurance. The dignity of the person being ministered to should be preserved, though this may not always be possible. 9. The ministry may begin with a brief dialogue covering the following areas: a. Personal occult involvement. b. Family historyespecially of those who died immediately prior to the onset of the symptoms. c. Any false religion, cult involvement or masonic links. d. Any sexual liaison with another demonized person or one with occult involvement. e. General case history. 10. The afflicted person will need to repent and renounce all the work of the occult and of the flesh (Gal 5:14-21: Col 3:5-10). 11. One of the group will call down the Holy Spirit upon the one seeking help. The afflicted person will be encouraged to invite the Holy Spirit to come into his life, welcome Him, and thank God for His coming. 12. Sometimes by the infusion of the Holy Spirit (a power encounter may be manifest), demons are driven out by the same operation.


13. It is possible to exercise a degree of deliverance ministry without any mention of demons at all. It is possible to simply addressed the darkness in a person and commanded it to leave. The affliction may be commanded to go or its power broken in Christs name. It is important to remember this when any mention of demonic activity would be counter productive. 14. The afflicted person should cooperate and share the nature of the demons activity as far as he can recognize it, where it is and what it does. The ministry group will need to keep their eyes open--even in prayer--to see what God is doing to the person or may be saying to the others in the group. 15. When ministering, we may address the afflicted person or the evil spirit and it is necessary to specify to whom we are speaking. 16. The voice should be clear and commanding, but to speak too loudly or excitedly is undesirable and is often counter productive. 17. In addressing the evil spirit, it is good to look straight into the afflicted persons eyes (Mt. 6:22), though sometimes the eyes will roll upwards, hiding the pupils. 18. The spirit may speak aloud through the person afflicted own voice or within his own mind, especially to maintain a lie such as I dont have to go, Dont believe him, etc. It is not uncommon for demons clearly say they are demons! 19. When the spirit speaks, the afflicted persons own mind is often somehow blanked out. 20. It is important to sense Gods leading before beginning any deliverance ministry. To minister to someone who is unwilling to continue in obedience to Christ is to risk the last state being worse than the first (Lk 11:26). 21. Demons may try every delaying device or tactic, pretending they will not come out right up to the last minutebut they have to yield to Christs name, the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, and prayer. 22. In the case of a spirit manifestly resisting the command to come out in the name of Jesus, it may be better to stop the proceedings and ask the Lord to reveal what foothold the enemy still has in the afflicted persons life. 23. Spirits get wary and fearful (this sometimes manifests itself in the afflicted person). 24. Experience in this ministry will help in discerning when the spirit has left the afflicted person. This could be manifest in a variety of ways. When Jesus delivered the deaf and dumb boy, The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, Hes dead (Mk 9:26). But the act of deliverance may simply produce an immediate sense of peace.


25. In ordering an evil spirit to leave, it is wise, for some peoples peace of mind (though not essential), to command the spirit to go to the place God has prepared for it. 26. The afflicted person should put his own will to his deliverance and should himself renounce the spirit, telling it to go. Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (Jas 4:7). 27. Experience would indicate that there are sometimes more than one spirit to cast out (Mk 5:9-10; Lk 8:2). 28. Forgiveness and repentance are normally a prerequisite, but not necessarily so.20 SATANS COUNTERATTACKS It is important to be alert to the enemys tactics. He hates any penetration of his kingdom. 1. He may attempt to make us boast of the fact that God is using us in this ministry. When the seventy-two disciples returned from their first mission saying Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name, Jesus warned them, Do no rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven (Lk 10:20). 2. On the other hand he may try to convince us that we have bungled it and failed our Lord. 3. Frequently, those who have been ministering (especially women) sense a felling of oppression following this deliverance ministry. It is vital to learn to resist the devil (Jas 4:7).21 CONCLUSION 1. If any attempt is made to write up what has happened (which is always useful) it should be done in such a way as to disguise the treated persons real identity. 2. Once a person has been delivered he should be encouraged to seek and receive a greater fullness of the Holy Spirit to fill any void left by the spirits expelled (Mt 12:43-45). 3. The person delivered must be warned of the dangers of falling into similar sin again. 4. When a person has been delivered, it is important that he should be integrated into a home group or a caring cell. Some other follow up ministry may also be necessary. 5. All objects which have contributed to, or were associated with, the demonic affliction-books, jewelry, symbols, cards, etc., are best destroyed (Ac 19:19).


6. Some who have experienced genuine deliverance have subsequently suffered a brief period of disconcerting turmoil, causing confusion about the effectiveness of the ministry received--a kind of post op depression, including feelings of condemnation and rejection and fears that nothing has changed at all. Alarmingly, some problems reassert themselves more intensely than ever. This will normally pass after a few days when the person has regained his spiritual psychological and emotional equilibrium. During this time the person will need someone to minister the truth of Gods word to him; to talk and pray with him. 7. If any further deliverance ministry is required, it is important that the afflicted person returns to those who previously ministered, unless the church leadership feels one of the other staff should take it over. 8. Some who have experienced genuine deliverance may be open to any suggestion from those ministering and will respond psychologically, emotionally and physically to the merest hint of residual demonic activity. Such need to be discouraged from being ministered to further and taught of their security through the blood of Christ (1 Pe 1:2) and how to put on the whole armor or God (Eph 6:10-18). 9. Some who have experienced genuine deliverance and are very open to God easily begin to blame demons for every sinful response in their own fallen nature. Such need to be taught the biblical truths about fallen mans old nature and his new nature in Christ and be led to understand that sanctification (holiness) is a process of daily dying to self and rising to Christ (Lk 9:23; 1 Co 15:31). 10. We should not assume the role of demon seekers for every spiritual problem. The devil would love to preoccupy our ministry time with this and it is very counterproductive for the one receiving ministry. 11. If it is clear that there is a case of demon control which needs exorcism, the spirit should be bound in the name of Jesus and the case referred to the leadership of the church. 12. It is essential to give God the glory for every victory won.22 A SUGGESTED FORM OF PRAYER A suggested form of prayer of renunciation and ministry for release from the occult. Person being ministered to: I thank you, Lord God, for your life as man on this earth; for your death on the cross for my sins; for your triumph over evil by the resurrection from the dead and your ascension into glory. I thank you for your intercession for me now as my High Priest, and the hope of your coming again to establish your reign for ever as my King. Amen.


I CONFESS: I have disobeyed you, Lord; I need your help and grace to repent and ask you now to cleanse me in body, soul and spirit through the blood of Jesus Christ. Amen. I have sought supernatural experience apart from you. Please forgive me, Lord. I renounce all witchcraft and magic, both black and white. I renounce all ouija-boards and all other occult games. I renounce all necromancy, seances and spiritualistic mediums, all ESP, second sight, mind reading, levitation, body lifting or hypnosis for evil purposes. I renounce all astrology and interest in horoscopes. I renounce all table tipping, psychometry and automatic writing, numerology and metaphysics of the occult. I renounce astral projection and other demonic arts. I renounce all literature I have ever read which encourages such practices and promise to destroy all such books in my possession. I renounce every cult that denies the power of Christs shed blood. I renounce every philosophy that denies the divinity of Christ. I renounce the heresy of the reincarnation and participation in Yoga meditation. I renounce any spirit that binds or torments me.23 The Person ministering: In the name of Jesus I break any curse placed on you from occult sources. I break all psychic heredity and any demonic hold upon your family line due to any disobedience of your ancestors. I break any bonds of physical and mental illness and all demonic subjection to your mother, father, grandparents, great grandparents or any other human beings.24


EXAMPLES The following account is given by Rev. Charles Bryant, a Methodist pastor and author of the book, Rediscovering the Charismata. My training was in liberal theology and clinical psychology (the psychology being based on the Rogerian technique of nondirective counseling, the pastoral theology being based on the mode of the 1950'sfacilitating and enabling ministries). I believed that the ills of the world could be solved with the preaching of love, justice, and brotherhood, and supplementing those with deeds of mercy, social services, and the right liturgy. It took me a long timetwenty four yearsto confess how burned out I was, how bankrupt I had become. How I longed for the authoritative word of Jesus or someone in the name of Jesus to release me from a bondage I was in, but could not describe! It happened, but in solo fashion. After an eight week struggle all the way to hell and back, finally being willing to look at myself as God presented me to me, piece by piece, I was lying in the middle of the floor in a pitch dark bedroom telling God that I was through fighting him and hurting myself, I had fought the unbeatable foe, had given up dreaming the impossible dreamthe scorn and scars with life, with me. At that moment, in the thick blackness of the midnight hour, I saw and felt an even blacker thing move up through and out of me leaving in its wake a peace and calm I never dreamed existed. I watched the thing as it silently moved upward from my body and vanished in the darkness. It would be verbally impossible to describe what began to change in my life. Suffice it to say, nearly every aspect of my life and faith took an 180 degree turn. I had been possessed by something that was alien to Gods will for my life. I was now emptied of it. A new beginning was given me. That was three years ago and I praise God now, hundreds of times every day and night. My life is turned around now. Virtually everything is approached from a different attitudeprayer, Scripture, devotions, hard work and long hours, loving and appreciating (without using) others, serving the church for what I may be privileged to offer rather than for political and status aspirationsand I am actually dreading the day when retirement is forced upon me. I am not where I want to be, but it is great fun to be in process.25 Michael Easton, a 54-year-old businessman, found that his conversion in 1979 did not stop him from multipartner jomosexuality, alcoholism, and a drug habit. In the days when he was drinking to get drunk in 1987, Easton attended a deliverance meeting in Montana led by a visiting pastor Win Worley, a controversial exorcist, author of Battling the Hosts of Hell: Diary of an Exorcist (1976), and then-leader of Hegewisch Baptist Church in Indiana. During the 30 minutes Worley prayed for Easton, evil spirits oozed out of him through deep heavy coughing, lots of tears, things coming out of my nose, a substance that came out of my stomach--its just as if a faucet was turned on, Easton recalls. Since that day 14 years ago, Easton hasnt engaged in any homosexual acts, he has stopped smoking pot, and the self-described fallen-down-drunk hasnt touched alcohol.26


Worley also exorcised Thierers demons. Thierer was a narcotics addict and dealer in 1979 when he spent 8 to 10 months on the floor, he recalled in an interview with CHRISTIANITY TODAY. Once Thierer got rid of his rock music collection, which he believes was blocking his deliverance, Worley wrestled all kinds of drug spirits out of the man who would eventually marry his daughter and take over Hegewisch Baptists leadership after Worleys death in 1994. Since his deliverance in 1979, Thierers drug addiction has been gone.27 Arnold also tells a story of a successful demon expulsion. A college student had episodes in which her pulse would sometimes shoot up to 150 or more beats per minute; she would black out and often end up in the emergency room. Cardiologists were stumped by her condition. Wearing a monitor to track her heart rate, the young woman stopped by Arnolds office one day to tell him that the heart condition originated when a demon startled her out of sleep. Knowing that she was under the care of a cardiologist, Arnold decided to investigate if there was a spiritual root to her condition. He made sure that she knew Jesus as her Savior, and talked with her about the possibility of unconfessed sins and her background.28 Having eliminated these as causes of the womans condition, Arnold had her ask Jesus for strength and told her to address any afflicting spirit by saying, I command you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to leave. I am a child of God and his property, and I dont want you. He then joined the student in commanding any spirit that was present to leave. A shuddering sensation went through her body as Arnold, the woman and her roommate prayed for deliverance, the woman later told Arnold. At the end of this power encounter, the woman recommitted herself to Christ and announced her allegiance to him, and that was the end of the heart problem, Arnold says. He admits that he still has questions why this took place, but there was not doubt that something seemed to me to be a clear example of the reality of the demonic. Demons attack Christians, but we have the resources in Christ to command them to go.29 C. S. Lewis and others have helped us overcome the faulty and childish image of the devil with horns and tail by pointing out that he is an angel of light (2 Co 11:14). As an angel of light he often works in subtle ways to destroy the work of God. Whether his methods are subtle or obvious God has provided the means whereby His children can be freed from any and every kind of satanic force that would bind and destroy. A PRAYER TO BE OFFERED BY THE COUNSELEE COMMANDS TO DEMONIC SPIRITS QUESTIONS FOR TESTING THE SPIRITS Lead the Counselee in this or a similar Prayer: Heavenly Father, I want to belong wholly and completely to you. I give my whole self to you body, soul and spirit. I want you to reign in every area of my life. I refuse permission for Satan to occupy any part of my life.


I take my position with the Lord Jesus Christ in the place of authority with you, Father. I put my feet upon all demonic forces. If there are any demonic spirits in me, I ask you, Lord Jesus, to force them to identify themselves so they can be cast out in this session and be sent to the Abyss. I ask that I may be completely freed in this session. I worship and praise you and ask this in the powerful name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Some Commands to Demonic Spirits: In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by his authority, I command the binding of the Strongman so that we may take away all the forces of evil that may be in . By the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ I make the following commands: There is to be no exchange of communication in either direction, either inward or outward, either of information or power. I close all gateways into s personality. There is no further entry permitted--only upon command. There is to be no distraction, harm or violence to or to anyone in this room, or to any of our families. When we command you to go, you are to go directly to the abyss where God sends you, permanently and promptly. We command the punishment of Christ on all disobedience and lying. There is to be no hiding; no sharing of strength between demonic spirits. I cancel all previous commands to Satan. I break all occult holds, satanic pacts, and any curses that may be upon . I break the authority and hold of any generational spirits that may be upon . I command that all absent demonic spirits who normally make their home within . Be permanently cut off with no authority ever to enter him/her again. This command includes: --any who may have fled to escape this session --any that are shared with another person --all parts of divided demonic spirits --any absent communicators. I bind all demonic spirits to silence, except as we command you to speak. When we command you to speak, you are to respond truthfully and immediately. I command that all demonic spirits must be in complete subjection to us, because of our authority over you in the Lord Jesus which you now exist.


You are not permitted to split, to rename yourselves or regroup yourselves in any way. On behalf of all persons present (the leader here should name each intercessor and her/his own name), I break all subjections to demonic spirits encountered in any way through our dealing with . All these commands I make in the name of, and by the authority of, our Lord Jesus Christ. Questions for Testing the Spirits: Do you love the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you love (the counselee)? Who is your Lord? (1 Co 12:3) Is Jesus Christ the Son of God? Is Jesus Christ the Lord? (v. 3) Is Jesus Christ your Lord? (v. 3) Does all the fullness of the Godhead dwell in Jesus Christ bodily? Do you want to resist Satan so that Satan will have to flee? Do you want to see people to come to the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved? Do you honor the blood of Jesus Christ? Do you call Jesus Christ accursed? (v. 3) Ask a question that arises out of the persons immediate problems he/she may have spoken of (e.g., Do you want to be filled with anger?). Do you confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh as a human being? (1 Jn 4:2-3) Did Jesus Christ defeat all demonic spirits on the cross? Does have any indwelling demonic spirits? It is useful to make the following Identification: What is the name of the demonic spirit? When did the spirit enter? What happened that opened the door? What is the demonic spirits function in the person? Why is the demonic spirit still there? What grounds has the individual given that allows the demonic spirit to stay? What is the name of the demonic leader? What other demonic spirits are present?30 WARFARE PRAYER Heavenly Father, I bow in worship and praise before You. I cover myself with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ as my protection during this time of prayer. I surrender myself completely and unreservedly in every area of my life to Yourself. I do take a stand against all the workings of Satan that would hinder me in this time of prayer, and I address myself only to the true and living God and refuse any involvement of Satan in my prayer.


Satan, I command you, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to leave my presence with all your demons, and I bring the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ between us. Heavenly Father, I worship You , and I give You praise. I recognize that You are worthy to receive all glory and honor and praise. I renew my allegiance to You and pray that the blessed Holy Spirit would enable me in this time of prayer. I am thankful, heavenly Father, that You have loved me from past eternity, that You sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world to die as my substitute that I would be redeemed. I am thankful that the Lord Jesus Christ came as my representative, and that through Him You have completely forgiven me; You have given me eternal life; You have given me the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ so I am now justified. I am thankful that in Him You have made me complete, and that you have offered Yourself to me to be my strength. Heavenly Father, come and open my eyes that I might see how great You are and how complete Your provision is for this new day. I do, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, take my place with Christ in the heavens with all principalities and powers (powers of darkness and wicked spirits) under my feet. I am thankful that the victory the Lord Jesus Christ won for me on the cross and in His resurrection has been given to me and that I am seated with the Lord Jesus Christ in the heavens; therefore, I declare that all principalities and powers and all wicked spirits are subject to me in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am thankful for the armor You have provided, and I put on the girdle of truth, the breast plate of righteousness, the sandals of peace, and the helmet of salvation. I lift up the shield of faith against all the fiery darts of the enemy, and take in my hand the sword of the spirit, the word of God, and use Your word against all the forces of evil in my life; and I put on this armor and live and pray in complete dependence upon You, blessed Holy Spirit. I am grateful, heavenly Father that the Lord Jesus Christ spoiled all principalities and powers and made a show of them openly and triumphed over them in Himself. I claim all that victory for my life today. I reject out of my life all the insinuations, accusations, and the temptations of Satan. I affirm that the Word of God is true, and I choose to live today in the light of Gods Word. I choose heavenly Father, to live in obedience to You and in fellowship with Yourself. Open my eyes and show me the areas of my life that would not please You. Work in my life that there be no ground to give Satan a foothold against me. Show me any area of weakness. Show me any area of my life that I must deal with so that I would please You. I do in every way today stand for You and the ministry of the Holy Spirit in my life. By faith and in dependence upon You, I put off the old man and stand in all the victory of the crucifixion where the Lord Jesus Christ provided cleansing from the old nature. I put on the new man and stand in all the victory of the resurrection and the provision He has made for me to live above sin. Therefore, in this day, I put off the old nature with its selfishness, and I put on the new nature with its love. I put off the old nature with its fear and I put on the new nature with its


courage. I put off the old nature with its weakness and I put on the new nature with its strength. I put off today the old nature with all its deceitful lusts and I put on the new nature with all its righteousness and purity. I do in every way stand into the victory of the ascension and the glorification of the Son of God where all principalities and powers were made subject to Him, and I claim my place in Christ victorious with Him over all the enemies of my soul. Blessed Holy Spirit, I pray that You would fill me. Come into my life, break down every idol and cast out every foe. I am thankful, heavenly Father, for the expression of Your will for my daily life as You have shown me in Your Word. I therefore claim all the will of God for today. I am thankful that You have begotten me unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. I am thankful that You have made a provision so that today I can live filled with the Spirit of God with love and joy and self-control in my life. And I recognize that this is Your will for me, and I therefore reject and resist all the endeavors of Satan and of his demons to rob me of the will of God. I hold up the shield of faith against all the accusations and against all the insinuations that Satan would put in my mind. I do, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, completely surrender myself to You, heavenly Father, as a living sacrifice. I choose not to be conformed to this world. I choose to be transformed by the renewing of my mind, and I pray that You would show me Your will and enable me to walk in all the fullness of the will of God today. I am thankful, heavenly Father that the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses, and for destroying speculations and every lofty things raised up against the knowledge of God, and to bring every thought into obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore in my own life today I tear down the strongholds of Satan, and I smash the plans of Satan that have been formed against me. I tear down the strongholds of Satan against my mind, and I choose to think my thoughts after You, blessed Holy Spirit. I affirm, heavenly Father, that You have not given me the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. I break and smash the stronghold of Satan formed against my emotions today, and I give my emotions to You. I smash the strongholds of Satan formed against my will today, and I give my will to You, and choose to make the right decisions of faith. I smash the strongholds of Satan formed against my body today, and I give my body to You, recognizing that I am Your temple; and I rejoice in Your mercy and Your goodness. Heavenly Father, I pray that You would renew me with Your life; show me the way that Satan is hindering and tempting and lying and counterfeiting and distorting the truth in my life. Enable me to be the kind of person that would please You. Enable me to be aggressive in prayer. Enable me to be aggressive mentally and to think Your thoughts after You, and to give Your rightful place in my life. Again, I now cover myself with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and pray that you, blessed Holy Spirit, would bring all the work of the crucifixion, all the work of the resurrection, all the work of Pentecost into my life today. I yield my life to You. I refuse to be

106 discouraged. Your are the God of all hope. You have proven Your power by resurrecting Jesus Christ from the dead, and I claim in every way Your victory over all satanic forces active in my life, and I reject these forces; and I pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ with thanksgiving. Amen.31

The Three Rs: Remember, Renounce, Reclaim

A simple formula, applying Gods truth in your life! A pattern affirmed in Scripture. Spiritually very powerful.32 The Three Rs The Three Rs are a spiritual discipline you as a child of God can use for personal inner healing and victory. It is a way of affirming the Lordship of Christ in your life, so it is a kind of truth encounter, committing yourself to the truth of who you are in Christ! Actually, there are three such encounters. An allegiance encounter occurred when you committed your life to the control of Jesus. Then a truth encounter occurs whenever you reaffirm Jesus as Lord of the whole or any part of your life. The third is a power encounter which occurs when God works powerfully to defeat the forces of darkness and set someone free-such as a prayer session asking for deliverance from something in your life. That is why we recommend the use of the Three Rs as a preparation before coming to a deliverance prayer session.33 The process involves three steps that begin with the letter R: Remember, Renounce, Reclaim. Here are some suggestions how to go about it: Remember Take a sheet paper and have a pen handy. Ask the Lord to bring to your remembrance happenings, or issues that Satan might have used as a gateway, or grounds for activity in your life. Write down the ones you already know, and let Jesus remind you of others that may be important to list. This may be a very painful exercise, but it is only a steppingstone to the second and third Rs, so dont get bogged down with the remembering step. As soon as you have anything on the list, you can go on to do the second R, and then the third. You can also keep coming back to add items to your remember list as other things come to mind.34 People sometimes ask, What kind of things should I list? List happenings, traumatic events that occurred in your life, things that left you wondering if God is really in charge, of if He really cares about you.

107 List sins or questionable activities. It may be something you have confessed numerous times but just do not seem to be able to get victory over. It may be something you have confessed and Jesus has forgiven you for, but Satan keeps throwing it in your face and condemning you about it, even though it may be something from long ago that you are not directly involved in currently. Remember, Jesus loves to forgiveit is Satan that condemns and makes you feel like there is no way out. List any involvement with the occult: use of ouija boards, tarot cards, horoscopes, fortune telling, seances, witchcraft, satanic rituals, any curses or pacts. List anything that seems generational, that is, some problem that seems to be passed on in your lineage. I would caution against delving deeply into your past, since it is usually unwritten history and hard to know what is true and what is legend. However, if the Lord impresses something on your mind, go ahead and list it. List attitudes or emotions that control youanger, depression, fear panic attacks, contempt or bitterness. Sometimes these emotions are linked with any of the above sins, and you can deal with them paired with the traumatic event or sin that seemed to be the starting point. Or you may list them separately and deal with them individually. As Jesus brings something to your mind, be sure it gets on your list. When you have anything on your Remember list, you can move on to the second and third Rs.35 Renounce In the Renounce step, we are doing what James admonishes us as believers to do: Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (4:7). Starting with the first item on your list, then, resist the devil by saying (out loud if you want), Satan, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I renounce your using this ________________ (name what you have listed) as a gateway into my life. I renounce your using it as a reason for staying. I belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. I am his child, and He lives in my heart by his Holy Spirit, so you may not use __________________ (name it) as grounds for involvement in my life any longer. I renounce you. I command you in the name and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ to leave me and go to the Abyss where Jesus sends you. Renouncing is not done in your own strength, but always clearly in the name and authority of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:19-21).36 Renouncing involves recognizing Satans lies, and countering them with Gods truth. For instance, one of the lies that Satan often uses is, Obviously God does not love you. If he did, that terrible thing (whatever it was) would not have happened to you. And then he follows it up with, But God is Love, so the problem must be with youyou are just not lovableyou are not worthy of his love, so he can not love you.37

108 It is very easy to fall into Satans lies because they seem to make such good sense. But they are lies straight from the Pit! Nonetheless, they must be countered with the truth of Gods Word. If not, the lies keep going on and growing. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 tells us they become strongholds built up from false arguments and every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God.38 It is important that these lies be countered by the affirmation of Gods Truth. Sing the Sunday School chorus, Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so . . . Little ones to him belong. They are weak, but he is strong. Affirm Gods Truth: For God so loves the world (me), that he gave his only Son to die on the cross for me. Look up other verses (such as Ro 8:31-39) that state clearly that Gods love for us is not based on our worthiness, but is steady and strong and unchangeable in every circumstance. As you do this it will become easier to see that the bad things that happen to us do not come from Godthey come from Satan.39 Sin has skewed the whole universe, bent it out of shape, so that even as Christians we groan, waiting for the day when Christ returns and things are put right again (vv. 14-25). But, in the meantime, Satan lies to confuse us and make us think that it is Gods fault that bad things happen, so that we do not see that it is Satans evil work. By affirming Gods truth, that he loves us unconditionally, we can call Satans bluff and tear down the stronghold of lies that the devil has built up.40 Renouncing is saying NO and you can say NO to Satan in as many ways as you can think of. Then be sure to move on to the third R, Reclaim. Reclaim When James tells us to Resist the devil he also admonishes us to Submit yourselves to God . . . come near to God and he will come near to you (Jas 4:7-8). Reclaiming is saying to God, I give this whole area of my life to you (Name the item that you have written down. If it is an emotion, say my emotions. If it is in the area of your sexuality, say my sexuality. Or, if it is a happening from the past, you can say my memories.) I give it to you. I love you and I want to belong to you, body, soul, and spirit. I want you to be Lord in this area of my life. I cannot handle it, but you can, so I give it to you. If it is a sin, confess it and ask Jesus to forgive you. If it is a sin that has already been confessed, but Satan keeps throwing it back at you, you may need to specifically verbalize that you receive Gods forgiveness.41 Getting Help Some find the Three Rs very difficult to do themselves. If you do, finding a friend to do it with might help. Often we think that we out to be able to come to God all by ourselves to get the help we need. Some people may be able to do that, but actually God does not mind when we need a friend, a prayer partner, a sister, or a brother. In fact, the Bible says, If two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it will be done . . . by my Father in heaven (Mt 18:19). See what works best for you.42

109 The Three Rs may seem so simple, just a formula, and you may think, It cannot possibly help. Actually, it is applying Gods truth in your life, and it is a pattern affirmed again and again in Scripture. It is spiritually very powerful.43


NOTES PREFACE 1 Topical Encyclopedia of Living Quotations, edited by Eliot Wirt (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1982), 41. 2 Scott Peck, People of the Lie (New York: Simon & Shuster, Inc., 1983), 12. CHAPTER 1 1 C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York: MacMillan Publishing Company, 1961), 3. 2 Neil T. Anderson, The Bondage Breaker (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1990), 173. CHAPTER 2 1 George Eldon Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1974), 48. 2 Ibid. 3 Ibid. 4 Ibid., 61. 5 Ibid., 62. 6 Ibid., 63. 7 Ibid. 8 Ibid. 9 Ibid., 64. 10 Ibid., 67.


CHAPTER 3 1 William Barclay, Idolatry: Or Home-Made Gods, The Bible Speaks To Our Day, 38. 2 C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, 3. CHAPTER 4 1 Harry Blamiers, The Christian Mind (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1978), 94. CHAPTER 5 1 A. W. Tozer, That Incredible Christian (Harrisburg: Christian Publications, Inc., 1964), 87-88. CHAPTER 6 1 Topical Encyclopedia of Living Quotations, edited by Eliot Wirt, 215. 2 Edyth Draper, Drapers Book of Quotations for the Chrisitan World, (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 1992), 150. 3 Ibid., 148. 4 Ibid., 150. 5 Ibid. 6 Ibid., 148. 7 Ibid., 150. 8 Oswald Chambers, The Best from All His Books, edited by Harry Verploegh, Vol. II (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989), 311. 9 Ibid., 63.

CHAPTER 7 1 R. E. O. White, You Can Say That Again (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1991), 322.


2 Tom Carter, Spurgeon at His Best (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1988), 214-215. 3 Eleanor Doan, The Speakers Sourcebook of 4,000 Quotations (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1964), 264. CHAPTER 8 1 Martin Luther, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration (Waco, TX: Word Music, 1986), No. 26. 2 Oswald Chambers, The Best from All His Books, edited by Harry Verploegh, Vol. I (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1987), 82. 3 Edythe Draper, Drapers Book of Quotations for the Christian World, 150. 4 William Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus and Philemon, The Daily Study Bible Series, Revised Edition (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1975), 159. 4 Ibid. 5 Ibid. 6 Ibid. 7 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Faithful (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1984), 141. 8 A. W. Tozer, That Incredible Christian (Harrisburg: Christians Publications, Inc., 1964(), 87-88. 9 Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1991), 61. 10 Edythe Draper, Drapers Book of Quotations for the Christian World (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 1992), 150. 11 Elton Trueblood, Leadership, Vol. 10, No. 3 (Summer 1989), 60 cited in Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, 21. 12 John MacArthur, Ephesians, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1986), 368. 13 Ibid. 14 R. C. Sproul, Knowing Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1979), 9-10.


15 J. I. Packer, Knowing Scripture (Wheaton: InterVarsity Press, n. d.), n. p. 16 (9-27-2011), 1. 17 R. A. Torrey, How to Pray cited in (9-272011), 1. 18 Martin Lloyd-Jones, The Christian Soldier (Grand Rapids: Barker, 1977), 342 cited in (9-27-2011), 1.

CHAPTER 9 1 David Pytches, Spiritual Gifts in the Local Church (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1985), 196. 2 John Wimber with Kevin Springer, Power Healing (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1987), 106. 3 Pytches, Spiritual Gifts in the Local Church, 196-197. 4 Ibid. 5 Wimber and Springer, Power Healing, 124. 6 Ibid. 7 Ibid., 124-125. 8 Pytches, Spiritual Gifts in the Local Church, 197. 9 Ibid., 198. 10 Ibid. 11 Ibid. 12 Ibid., 198-199. 13 Ibid., 199. 14 Ibid.


15 Wimber and Springer, Power Healing, 110-113. 16 Pytches, Spiritual Gifts in the Local Church, 199-200. 17 Ibid., 200-201. 18 Ibid. 19 Ibid., 202. 20 J. I. Packer, Keep in Step with the Spirit (Wheaton: InterVarsity Press, 1984), 196 cited in Pytches, 202. 21 Ibid., 202-203. 22 Ibid., 202-205. 23 Ibid., 206-207. 24 Ibid., 209-210. 25 Charles Bryant, Rediscovering the Charismata (Nashville, TN: Abington Press), 130-131. 26 Agnieszka Tennant, In Need of Deliverance, Christianity Today (September 3, 2001), 56. 27 Ibid. 28 Gerald McGraw, War Manual, Shamaim Ministries, n. d., n. p. 29 Ibid. 30 Mark Bubeck, Overcoming the Adversary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1984), 140-144. 31 Ibid 32 John and Helen Ellenberger, The Three Rs: Remember, Renounce, Reclaim Pamphlet, Deliverance Ministries (July, 1999). 33 Ibid. 34 Ibid. 35 Ibid.


36 Ibid. 37 Ibid. 38 Ibid. 39 Ibid. 40 Ibid. 41 Ibid. 42 Ibid. 43 Ibid.


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Pytches, David. Spiritual Gifts in the Local Church. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1985. Richards, John. But Deliver Us From Evil. Darton, Longman & Todd, 1974. Scanlon, Michael & Cirner, Randall J. Deliverance from Evil Spirits. Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1980. Sproul, R. C. Knowing Scripture. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1979. Tennant, Agnieszka. In Need of Deliverance, Christianity Today. September 3, 2001. Topical Encyclopedia of Living Quotations. Edited by Eliot Wirt. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1982. Tozer, A. W. That Incredible Christian. Harrisburg: Christians Publications, Inc., 1964. Trueblood, Elton. Leadership, Vol. 10, No. 3. Summer 1989. Unger, Merrill F. What Demons Can Do to Saints. Chicago: Moody Press, 1977. White, R. E. O. You Can Say That Again. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1991. Whitney, Donald S. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1991. Wiersbe, Warren W. Be Faithful. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1984. Wimber, John with Springer, Kevin. Power Healing. San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1987. (9-27-2011), 1. (9-27-2011), 1.