CHAPTER SIX: THE FIERY DARTS OF THE WICKED!
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CHRISTIAN FORUMS-PRAYER REQUESTS-QUESTIONS-COMMENTS!
NOTE: I have talked to several people that will read the chapter on fiery darts before they read anything else and that is fine if you can understand what the Lord is trying to say without reading the first five chapters, but I highly recommend that you read everything leading up to fiery darts either before or after you read fiery darts. This may be the only chapter you need to help yourself or someone else to be able to overcome the attack of the devil, but if you are still having problems please go back and read everything leading up to fiery darts. God bless!
Now that we understand truth, righteousness, peace with God, and above all, the shield of faith, let's learn about fiery darts or “yackity-yack.” Ephesians 6:10-16, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."
Kenneth Hagin was a well known faith preacher whose ministry started in 1936 and ended upon his death in 2003. He was healed as a child of fifteen by standing on Mark 11:22-24 and this scripture became the hallmark of his ministry. He started Rhema Bible College in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma in 1974 and it continues today. God used a teaching from tape three of a four tape series by Kenneth Hagin titled, “Authority of the Believer” as the basis for teaching me about “yackity-yack” or, as I later learned, the fiery darts or distractions or storms of the wicked.
Brother Hagin was talking to Jesus in a vision in 1952 and all of a sudden a demon in a smoky haze got in between them. Brother Hagin said it looked like a little monkey or an elf and began to go yackity, yackity, yack in a loud shrill voice. He couldn't see Jesus clearly and knew He was talking, but he couldn't understand what Jesus was saying because of the “yackity-yack.” He wondered what was taking Jesus so long to do something about the demon that was between them, because Brother Hagin wanted very badly to hear what Jesus was saying. Finally, in desperation, he said, “You foul spirit, in the Name of Jesus, shut up.” When he said that, the demon fell like it was shot and rolled over and began to shake like a whipped pup. Brother Hagin said, “Not only shut up, but get out of here.” The demon said, “I sure don't want to, but if you tell me to, I am going to have to.” The cloud disappeared and the demon ran off and Brother Hagin could see Jesus clearly and understand what He was saying, because the “yackity-yack” was gone. We must learn to recognize “yackity-yack” and use our authority and speak the Word of God to the demons that are creating the “yackity-yack” in our lives and disturbing our fellowship with God and tell them to go in the Name of Jesus.
WHAT IS A FIERY DART?
I can remember when I was first born again and had just started to read my Bible for the first time and I would get to the parts about the virgin birth and the resurrection and I would feel a twinge of doubt that I had never realized was there before. Remember when we began our study on faith that the scripture said that the shield of faith was to quench the fiery darts of the wicked. What's a fiery dart? A fiery dart is a twinge of doubt that you might feel when you read about the virgin birth or the resurrection. I had never had doubts about the virgin birth or the resurrection before I was born again because satan could have cared less what I believed before I was born again.
The word fiery in the Greek is “puroo”, to kindle, to be ignited, glow, to be inflamed (with anger, grief, lust):-burn, fiery, be on fire, try. Dart is “belos”, a missile, spear or arrow-dart. A fiery dart is fired to try to inflame us with anger, grief or lust and as I reported in chapter three, when I accepted the fiery dart or suggestion to get married God gave me Matthew 5:32, but I decided to accept satan's suggestion that was contrary to God's Word and was inflamed with lust, anger and last but not least, grief.
We are going to have to learn how to deal with satan and his evil angels because we are stuck with them until we get to Heaven and we are to give them no love or fear, only the Word of God.
HOW TO CONTEND-WRESTLE WITH-A FIERY DART OF THE WICKED
Looking into the spirit world lets try to envision the wicked firing a fiery dart and creating yackity-yack in our lives. What do they use? A bow and arrow, slingshot, pistol? Seems like a shotgun sometimes. Second Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exaleth itself against the knowledge of God. And bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” The wicked will fire a fiery dart into your mind in the form of a thought that will be against the knowledge, or Word, of God. We are to bring these thoughts into captivity exactly like Jesus did in Luke 4:1-14, “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days did He eat nothing: and when they were ended, He afterward hungered.
And the devil said unto Him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God. [This is Deuteronomy 8:3]
And the devil, taking Him up into an high mountain, showed unto Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto Him, All this power will I give thee; and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thou God, and Him only shalt thou serve. [This is Deuteronomy 6:13 and 10:20]
And he brought Him to Jerusalem, and set Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto Him. If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. [This is Psalms 91:11-12] And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. [This is Deuteronomy 6:16]
And when the devil had ended all temptations he departed Him for a season. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee.”
Jesus was contending with the devil and we are to do the same and quench the fiery dart with the Word of God and remember Ephesians 6:10-12 says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Webster's dictionary tells us that to wrestle is to struggle in opposition to, strive and contend just like in Jude 3. “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful of me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Romans 12:3, “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
We must contend with or fight back against the fiery darts or evil suggestions of the wicked in our battle for our measure of faith that we are given as we read the Word of God to build our faith on a daily basis. The more we take God’s Word into our hearts and allow it to become a part of us the stronger we become to fight satan and his wiles and as our faith grows the harder it will be for the devil to contend with us for our faith. First John 2:12-14, “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the Word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” Anytime we read in our Bible that someone has overcome the wicked one we can rest assured that we also can overcome the wicked one, but God had John write twice that they had overcome the wicked one to remind and encourage them that they are strong and the Word of God was abiding in them.
When my son, Michael, was a baby I loved to wrestle with him and I would get him and roll around with him and toss him in the air and have a good time. As he got older I found it less enjoyable to wrestle with him and now that he has matured and is my size I never try to wrestle with him. Those of us that choose to remain spiritual babies can expect to have to wrestle and be tossed to and fro, but those of us who want to begin to mature and become less and less fun to wrestle with are going to have to learn to use the tools God has given us to fight with by learning who the Word of God says we are and put on God's armor and be conformed to the image of Christ Jesus who defeated satan in the wilderness temptation. When satan sees us he should be able to see and hear Jesus, The Word of God. When we quench the fiery darts of the wicked we are guarding our minds so we can have the mind of Christ and think like the Word of God thinks and all speak the same thing.
Remember, one of the greatest things we have from the Word of God is the ability to loose and bind in the Name of Jesus. Matthew 18:18, “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on Earth shall be loosed in Heaven.” Hebrews 1:14, speaking of angels, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.” We can bind the fiery darts of the devil and loose angels to minister in our, or someone else's, behalf whenever necessary.
Second Timothy 2:24-26, “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure [quickly] will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him [the devil] at his [the devil’s] will.” The devil can take those that oppose themselves and don't have the truth of God's Word at his will. Anytime he gets ready, day or night. I was born again and was a captive because I didn't have the truth and I didn't know I could be taken captive. The repentance in this scripture is “metanoia”, which means “for guilt, including reformation; by implication, reversal of decision:-repentance.” The repentance in this scripture is an ongoing process that every Christian must do on a daily basis and is referring to saints of God, Christians. The scripture says “that they may recover themselves” and non-Christians can’t recover themselves out of the snare of the devil because they have no authority over the devil.
CAN satan SPEAK TO US?
Our Lord, our Redeemer, our Savior, our Deliverer said in Luke 4:18-19, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor [scared, frightened, cringing, distressed]; He has sent me to heal [spiritually] the broken [crushed, shattered] hearted [inner being or total self-the mind-the soul], to preach deliverance [liberty, freedom] to the captives [a prisoner of war] and recovering [restoration, reversal] of sight [see-as in John 3:3-spiritually] to the blind [conceited, high-minded, proud], to set at liberty [freedom, pardon, deliverance, remission] them that are bruised [to break, wreck or crack, to sunder [to become parted, disunited, or severed] by separation of the parts] to preach the acceptable year of the Lord [Instantly, right now].”
Do you really think we are in a war? I wonder who is holding the spiritual captives captive that are prisoners of war. Second Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh; (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal; but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds ;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into the obedience of Christ.”
How many times have we hidden ourselves from the presence of the Lord because we don't feel worthy or have time to fellowship with the Lord? Mark 4:18-19, “And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the Word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the Word, and it becometh unfruitful.”
Genesis 3:8-10, “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid.”
We understand why he was afraid from verses 1-7, “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”
Genesis 3:9-13, “And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
And He said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat”
God said in Second Corinthians 11:3, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” Second Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Fear is of satan and power, love and a sound mind are of God.
We know that satan spoke to Jesus and Eve and to further illustrate that satan can speak to us let’s read Matthew 16:21-23, “From that time forth began Jesus to show unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Then Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But He turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, satan, thou art an offense unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” Of course, Jesus was talking to satan that spoke through Peter, not Peter himself, because if Peter would have understood the scriptures about the coming Messiah he would have known what Jesus was talking about and the devil couldn’t have used him. In the story about John and Peter racing to the tomb of Jesus when Mary Magdalene told them He wasn’t there we read, John 20:9, “For as yet they knew not the scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.” Of course, Peter wasn’t filled with the Holy Ghost yet either.
Jesus was a Spirit being in flesh, Eve was a spirit being in flesh and Peter was a spirit being in flesh. satan spoke to Jesus, Eve and Peter and what makes us think for one minute that satan can't speak to us just like he did them. Peter grew to become a mighty man of God and God used him in the book of Acts over and over and he was the one God used to announce to the gentiles that God's salvation was for them also, [Praise the Lord!] but we find in the book of Galatians 2:11-21 where Paul has to admonish Peter because Peter went back to his old Jewish ways and withdrew himself from fellowship with the very gentiles that God had used him to announce salvation to and the other Jews followed his example. The devil was still talking to him and, unfortunately, influencing him. We all have to be careful about what we say and do and know the truth and the truth shall keep us free from yielding to the wiles of the devil"
God has blessed me by allowing me to hear a fiery dart being placed into my mind and creating yackity-yack in my life. The first time was when my wife and I were separated and she was going to come by the bookstore for something and I was very determined that I was going to be nice to her and not argue with her. I was thinking positive when all of a sudden an ugly voice said, “Kick her butt and run her off.” It was very clear, just like someone was standing there beside me and said it and I know my mouth fell open. I immediately went to the back of the store and asked God if that was me and He quickly impressed my spirit that it wasn't, thus explaining to me what my wife meant when she told me one time that God had told her a lot of things about me. The devil was firing fiery dart after fiery dart in my marriage and I didn't even know what a fiery dart was. Up until that day I had always given myself credit for whatever popped into my mind and never dreamed that the wicked could fire a fiery dart in the form of an evil thought or evil suggestion into my mind. The next time God allowed me to hear a fiery dart was about a week later in the form of a negative suggestion as I was cat napping. The voice was loud enough that it woke me up and was making a negative statement about my physical make up and trying to make me feel inferior, inadequate.
God demonstrated that satan could speak to me through another person like he did with Peter to Jesus by using the person that probably cared as much about me as anyone on this Earth, my mother. We were just talking one day when she said something, I don't remember what, that historically would upset me and I would immediately become defensive, but this time I recognized the source of the statement, satan, and just looked at her and said, “Oh, really.” satan knew he was detected and from that day forth, he could no longer use her and we became closer than ever and I was able to share many things with her about the Bible until her death three years later. I discovered the offense, satan, not my mother.
Luke 17:1, “Then said He [Jesus] unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come; but woe unto him, through whom they come.” Offence is “skandalon”, snare (fig. cause of displeasure or sin):-occasion to fall (of stumbling), offence, thing that offends, stumbling block. The important thing to see here is the word through in this scripture. When we turn on a water faucet and water comes out the water is coming to us through a pipeline from the source of our water supply. Always remember that an offense works the same way and is coming through whomever from the source, satan, to you, and to keep from being offended by the one the offense is coming through remember Luke 23:34, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” and Matthew 6:14-15, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive men not their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Another good reason not to allow the offence to become a stumbling block is that the person will be accountable, but if we don't allow them to be a stumbling block they will not be accountable for being a stumbling block to us, only for being a stumbling block. Now that we know the source of offences we will be accountable if we don’t forgive them.
And we need to be careful that we are not the one the offense is coming through. James 3, “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all.
If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of Hell.
For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? Either a vine, figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”
I have learned that the wicked are real good at “making up stories” and planting them into our minds through fiery darts or thoughts. I have told person after person that they are “making up a story” when I hear them saying something negative with nothing to support their story.
I once met an ex-pastor of a church who had a spiritual awakening and had left his church. When I met him the devil was trying to destroy his marriage and he said he would be talking to his wife and it seemed like she was hearing something entirely different from what he was saying. Remember that Second Corinthians 4:3-4 says that satan can blind the minds of the lost. We must begin to take our spiritual battle seriously and bind satan according to Matthew 18:18 from lying to anyone about us or telling them lies contrary to what we are trying to tell them. If I could only get people to recognize when satan is speaking to them through someone else and just simply not respond or take authority in the Name of Jesus and bind the devil from speaking through someone to you or about you we could eliminate a lot of the envying and strife in our lives and when satan doesn’t get a negative response he will be defeated.
I watched as another couple's marriage was destroyed by the lies of satan. She talked about all the innuendo's that were being said in her marriage. Innuendo’s are indirect remarks, gestures, references, usually implying something derogatory; insinuation. They were both born again but had no idea that satan was destroying their marriage by planting lies in their minds and I wished I would have understood and could have explained it to them at the time. The last time I saw them she was sitting on one side of the church by herself and he was on the other side with their children.
First John 3:8 says, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”
WORRY OR WRESTLING
I was in bed one night trying to go to sleep and began to worry about something I had already done and couldn't change and I had no desire to worry and knew that God tells us in His Word not to worry. Always remember that worrying is wrestling and we are not wrestling with ourselves.
Matthew 6:24-34, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
And why take you thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith.
Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? Or, what shall we drink? Or, wherewithal shall we be clothed? For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness [dikaioaune, His righteousness-be born again], and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
No matter how bad things get or how much ground I give satan to operate, God always provides my needs. Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” He will never forsake you once you have put your trust in Him, you may feel forsaken, but you aren't. One of the big differences between the new person and the old person is what we learned earlier that God said in Hebrews 10:14-17, “For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that He had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”
When the battle gets intense I am always aware of the presence of God's precious Holy Spirit. I have God's Word in my heart and the Holy Spirit will bring it to my remembrance and sometimes I will get to fussing and complaining to God and I can feel a peace within me. I feel lost and undone and like everything is about to come apart and He is always there with an inner peace that is hard to describe. He will remind me of the Word, and God’s love, and God’s plan and purpose for my life to set the captives free, and that satan is fighting me and He will tell me to never give up and don’t quit.
First Peter 5:6-11, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
Back to the being in bed and worrying story as the thoughts continued I finally said, “Lord these aren't my thoughts and I have no desire to worry and want to go to sleep.” I started praying for everyone I could think of and before I knew it I was waking up refreshed and ready for a new day. Philippians 4:6-7, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Time after time the Holy Spirit has prompted me to bind the devil from planting the idea in someone's mind to come onto my property and steal or destroy something. John 10:10, Jesus speaking, “The thief [satan] cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Matthew 18:18, “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on Earth shall be loosed in Heaven.” Second Corinthians 1:14, speaking of angels, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.” This can be used to keep people from attacking you or your loved ones or friends or casual acquaintances or whomever. God has provided us with a defense through the works of the cross and His Word and we don't need to live in fear. Second Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
EVERYDAY DISTRACTIONS OF THE ENEMY
satan will do anything to control our thought life and sometimes even what we perceive as pleasant or good thoughts are merely thoughts designed to distract us from keeping our mind on spiritual things and setting us up for an attack with carnal thoughts.
For instance a person makes a decision to pray or read their Bible. This is an intellectual decision and will move to the temporary stage when acted upon and I say temporary, because if a person only sits down to do something and never finishes it will then become dead action. There are numerous things that can keep the person from praying or reading their Bible. The phone will ring and, if the devil gets desperate, you can begin to hear from people you haven't heard from in years. Projects you have been putting off for years will suddenly become very important. You will get hungry, have the urge to write letters, make phone calls, etc., etc., etc. One of satan's favorites with me is day dreaming and they may be good wholesome, even spiritual daydreams or fantasies, but nonetheless they will keep me from praying or reading my Bible. We must learn to determine to “humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God” before we pray or begin to read and study our Bible that satan will not plant the idea in our mind or someone else's mind to do anything that will disturb our time with the Lord. Ephesians 6:11 tells us to put on the whole armor of God to stand against the wiles of the devil and we must not allow the carnal mind or the cares of this world to come in and disturb whatever we are trying to do for God and, if need be, we need to get on our knees by the bed or couch or a chair to pray and/or read our Bibles.
If the enemy can get your prayer life he has got you!
Watching television is one of satan's favorite diversions and ninety-nine point nine percent of all television is carnal and has nothing to do with God or God's ways. I heard one preacher call it “devilvision” and, of course, I heard him say that on television, but that is beside the point. Ninety-nine point nine percent of all television owners don't have a television to exclusively watch Christian programs. I go on the internet to check the headlines and if there is something I feel I need to read I will, but normally it is not edifying. We need to stay informed, but if it troubles your spirit just get out. Blogging, making comments on an article, has become very popular, but some of the opinions are just downright troubling. I have tried to make a comment pertaining to articles about preachers or churches, but you never know if they comprehend what you are saying or not. It is probably best to just leave it alone.
I always thought I was wrestling with a problem, myself, my wife, somebody else, debt, bosses, co-workers, inflation, divorce, poverty, unemployment, sickness, politicians, etc., etc. Have you ever struggled not to do something that you shouldn't and didn't want to do and did it anyway? For instance, make an unwise or untimely purchase, eat something that you shouldn't, eat too much, smoke, dip, chew, do drugs, say something unkind to someone when you really wanted to be nice, not say something to someone when you really wanted to, call in sick on your job when you really weren't and then regretted it and wished you hadn't, let your children do something they shouldn't, turn on the television, radio or read the newspaper when you had more important things to do, such as, pray or read your Bible, waste time, waste money, waste your energy on meaningless task or any number of things that we wrestle with all the time.
Have you ever been trying to read about fiery darts and start thinking about other things to the degree you couldn't concentrate on learning about fiery darts? Have you ever been minding your own business and thinking pleasant thoughts and then all of a sudden begin to think about something you really shouldn't and really didn't want to think about, but couldn't seem to stop thinking about? Think about it. Have you ever been thinking positive about a situation and then begin to have negative thoughts about what you were thinking positive about? Have you ever been complimented and then begun to think just the opposite of what you were just told? Such as, you sure do look nice today, you are doing a good job, you have a nice home, car, spouse, children, job, etc., etc. Have you ever said something ugly to someone when you didn't mean to, but it just seemed to fly out of your mouth before you could stop it? Have you ever had someone say something ugly to you for no reason?
Have you ever had an exalting or negative thought about someone that had no foundation and then formed an opinion about that person based on that thought? Have you ever been told something about someone, formed an opinion about that person based on what you were told and then found out later it wasn't true? Gossip!
Have you ever read a Bible verse, understood it, felt good about it, and then begin to have second thoughts about what it really means? Have you ever had someone start telling you that's not what that scripture really means? Have you ever been in church and noticed when the pastor is telling the congregation something important from the Bible, especially about satan, people will be distracted by all sorts of things. I am especially dismayed when I look at the youth when a very important point is being made from the pulpit. Could it be the devil blinding minds and stealing the Word out of their hearts? Can you see where the roots of divorce can be planted in someone’s mind if that person isn’t aware of the source of that thought and then it can begin to grow and end up in divorce.
I was listening to a lecture one time about raising teens and during the course of this lecture the speaker said that someone had surveyed the contestants in the Miss Teenage America Pageant and that 90 percent of the girls didn't think they were pretty and another survey said that ninety-five percent of all teenagers don't like themselves. From another survey they had determined that among teens, that a boy thinks about a girl every eight seconds and a girl thinks about a boy every four seconds and no wonder they also said that a million teenage girls get pregnant every year just in the United States?
How come beautiful, talented people kill themselves? Why do some obviously attractive people think they aren't and some obviously unattractive people think they are? Where do the negative or exalting thoughts come from? I now know where mine come from and to further demonstrate where they come from we will go back to our only source of the truth, the Word of God. Remember! God gave us the shield of faith to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Romans 8:5-8, “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Carnal is “sarkikos”, pertaining to flesh, bodily, temporal or unregenerate. Enmity, as used here, is the Greek word, “echthra”, hostility; by implication a reason for opposition;-hatred. satan will attack our carnal mind or our fleshly, non-spiritual mind. One definition in the Greek dictionary is unregenerate. satan will attack our carnal, fleshly, unrenewed or unregenerate mind and that means that when we don't take the Word of God and counter his attack and become spiritually minded we will turn to the things of the flesh and the world and become carnally minded which will be in opposition to the things of the Spirit.
Always remember that God is not the enemy and we are not the enemy of God, but the carnal mind is the enemy of God so we must learn not to be carnally minded. A mind that is not carnal is a spiritual mind that agrees with the Word of God. The carnal mind works the same way as the four stages of faith-intellectual, temporary, destructive and real destructive. Carnal thoughts that satan is trying to plant in your mind is going to be contrary to God's Word and we need to take control of the thought and bring it into the obedience of the Word of God, Second Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh; (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal; but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exaleth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
We must have the Word of God stored in our hearts to be ready to defend ourselves in the “evil day.” Remember, one of the definitions of salvation was defense. If we don't take control of the negative thought it will be planted in our mind and begin to grow and cause us to either begin to not believe God's Word, or to be distracted from doing what we need to be doing for God and then we will be doing things God doesn’t want us doing, carnal things.
Romans 7:21-25, 8:1-4, “Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Second Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Philippians 4:6-8, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things"
Anytime we are taken captive, our fellowship is broken with the Lord because we are giving the devil ground. What is ground? One of the big things in “War on the Saints” was ground and it was defined as “Anything in a person whereby evil spirits gain.” Ground is obtained by the wicked when we accept the fiery darts or a negative or exalting or distracting thought or a thought that is contrary to the Word of God and don't bring it into obedience to the Word of God. Ephesians 4:27 and other scriptures tells us not to give the devil ground, “Neither give place to the devil.” James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” You must determine in your heart and battle to do whatever it is that you are trying to do or have been led to do by the Holy Spirit. First Peter 5:6-9, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time:”, as He knows what is happening in the spiritual realm better than you do and with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26 and Mark 10:27, “But with God all things are possible.”
The hardest thing in a spiritual battle is recognizing when you have given ground and in a physical battle that is very easy, but in a spiritual battle it could be things we have done all of our lives and never realized we were giving ground to evil spirits. In battle, a soldier's main objective is to take ground, not give it up. Second Timothy 2:4, “No man that warreth entangeleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who has chosen him to be a soldier.”
Ground can be obtained by evil spirits through your parents and there are tons of ways that parents that don't know what they are doing can allow demons access into their children's lives. I have asked my children to forgive me for the ground I gave up in their lives and I have forgiven my parents and I now know that my parents weren't my problem.
The devil had obtained ground in my life with a spirit of rejection from my mother's womb. I visited my dad's oldest brother only once after I became an adult and God used the visit to show me something so that when I became His child He could help me understand why I react the way I do in certain situations. During the visit I learned that my mother had a very difficult delivery when my brother was born and she almost died. He is 27 months older than I am and when she discovered she was pregnant with me she was very upset and praise the Lord that abortion wasn't popular then. My uncle's wife said that they went to visit us after I was born and during the visit she walked into the room where my crib was and my brother had a pillow over my head. She asked him what he was doing and he said, “We don't like this baby.” They took me to live with them and after a period of time my dad came to get me.
Shortly after this I learned from another set of relatives on my mother's side of the family that my mom used to carry my brother while I walked along behind them and after I was born again God could then show me what had happened and where this was the works of the devil and I could forgive them and I have absolutely no animosity at all toward my mother or my brother, because they weren’t my problem. But the devil used this rejection and fear of rejection all my life and I have done a lot of ridiculous things to try to avoid rejection all my life and I have also rejected people to keep from being rejected. My parents never knew anything about the devil and ground and I praise the Lord that now I do and not only am I re-taking ground in my life, but I can re-take ground I have given the devil in my children's lives and begin to help others to re-take ground in their lives so that they can re-take ground in their children's lives.
My mother knew scripture, the book of James was her favorite, but since she never received the baptism of the Holy Ghost she had no defense and was spiritually ignorant as far as satan was concerned. My mother gave the devil ground when she yielded to the suggestions of the wicked. This was either in the form of a fiery dart injected into her mind by an evil spirit or a fiery dart injected by an evil spirit using another person. satan obtained ground in my mother by a spirit of fear, because she was afraid that she would have another difficult delivery and instead of almost dying, she might die and I am sure the devil was having a ball, but I aim to get even.
My mother underwent shock treatments when I was about eight years old and I am sure it was because she was trying to change the way she felt about me. I have some letters that she wrote us when she was in the hospital and I can't help but cry when I read them because I feel so sorry for her. The devil was her problem, but she just had no way of knowing, so she under went all that torment and torture and afterwards her mind was bright, but she just seemed passive or resigned-complacent. I want to help set the captives free so people don’t have to live a life that is dominated by the devil and his demons.
Ground can be given in the form of actual physical contact with another person or by any one of the incredibly numerous ways satan has to deliver his messages today, such as, television, music, magazines, newspapers, people, churches, billboards, computers etc., etc., etc. I had given up a tremendous amount of ground in my past life before I was born again and many of the things that I did that was giving ground to evil spirits I thought were “normal.” When I felt the spirit of lust when I was around my wife when I was in what, I believe, was my one year grace period, it was something that I recognized as “wrong” at that time, but after the one-year grace period when it returned and didn't go away, I thought that it was love. You might say that anybody would know better than that, but that is the way I had been attracted to the opposite sex my whole life.
LOVE OR LUST
I have talked to people that if they don't have “feelings” for someone of the opposite sex that they meet, and are thinking about having a relationship with, they will quit seeing that person. With the “feelings”, or spirit of lust, out of the way that is a very good time to get to know that person. “Feelings” for someone will take care of itself once they get married for the right reasons to that person. Of course this will be after they have spent time in prayer and are sure this is whom God wants them to be with as their partner for life. Hopefully in the first five chapters you have come to realize if you don’t first seek and obey God satan could easily direct someone to whomever he chooses with a spirit of lust if they thought that they had to have “feelings” for that person before they could marry them. I have felt a “spirit of lust” attack me and I have felt it go away when I resisted. First Peter 5:8-9, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith.”
LOOK TO THE FUTURE, NOT THE PAST
Now that we know God has a plan and a purpose for our lives and that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places like Ephesians 6:12 tells us we now know that satan will do anything to keep us in the past and try his best to keep us from fulfilling our God given destiny. Always remember that when we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God that no weapon formed against us will prosper. Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. ” I don’t know if demons have tongues, but condemn every evil thought and go forth in the Name of Jesus and fulfill God’s plan for your life. Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Jeremiah 1:4-5, “Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.” God is not a respecter of persons and if He knew Jeremiah in his mother’s womb and had plans for peace and not evil for him you can rest assured He knew you in your mother’s womb and has plans for peace and not evil for you also.
When thoughts of your past begin to enter your mind and interfere with your future remember John 10:10, Jesus speaking, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.”
Anytime you see your unwanted past in your future bind it in the Name of Jesus and fill your future with the goodness of God and His blessings knowing He has a plan and a purpose for your life.
Romans 3:24-25, “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation [an atoning victim] through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” and any sin we commit in the future, First John 1:8-10, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.”
Philippians 3:13-14, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
And go to First Peter 5: 6-11, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion [not a roaring lion, but as a roaring lion], walketh about, seeking whom he may devour; Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
THE CURSE ON CHILDREN IS BROKEN
What is known as “the curse” on children has scriptural basis in Exodus 20:5, “for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” I was cleaning my bathroom one day, the commode to be exact, and I asked the Lord how He could stand to put a curse on little children. He was very quick to reply, “I don't put the curse on them, their parents do.” I know the scripture says fathers, but He said parents.
I finally realized one day that a lot of the things my son did that I would have to correct him for were things he had picked up watching me. When we do, and allow our children to do, everyday activities that are against God's Word, we are giving satan ground in their lives whether we know it or not and ignorance is no excuse. When dealing with children we must be very careful when we retake the ground they, or we, have given satan in their lives because our repentance, “ametamelatos”, doesn't mean they have repented and that is a decision they have to make on their own. Just because we have been convicted by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit doesn't mean they have been. I often wished I could send them to their room and tell them not to come out until they were born again, but alas, it doesn't work that way.
Ephesians 6:1-4, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the Earth. And ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” In Greek, nurture is “paideia” and admonition is “nouthesia.” “Paideia” is instruction, discipline, correction and “nouthesia” is to put into the mind, training by act and discipline. “Nouthesia”, admonition, is mainly by deed, living the life, while “paideia”, nurture, is by word or teaching.
If need be we must ask our children to forgive us for giving satan ground in their lives and for doing things in front of them or teaching them things that were against God's will. Then we must begin to live the life that we know that God wants us to live in front of them to the best of our ability. My son Michael lived with me for 12 years and the first ten years of his life I wasn't a child of God, but the last twenty-four I have been. When he is born again, his purging will be much easier than mine because satan has been able to obtain much less ground in his life when he was living with me because I tried to raise him in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We can instruct them as what to do and then we must not only teach them what to do, but then we must do those things and live a Christian life as an example to them. We can't have a code of conduct for them and another for ourselves.
Galatians 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” I was redeemed from the curse of Exodus 20:5 when I was born again, but I still had to learn God's ways and to be purged of my old sinful nature. The curse that was on my son and daughter was also broken the day I was born again and they will have to go through the same purging when they are born again, but I will be able to help them speed through the process.
Should never happen now that we know God has a plan and a purpose for our lives and that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places like Ephesians 6:12 tells us. Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Jeremiah 1:4-5, “Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.” God is not a respecter of persons and if He knew Jeremiah in his mother’s womb and had plans for peace and not evil for him you can rest assured He knew you in your mother’s womb and has plans for peace and not evil for you also.
Jesus said in John 10:9-11 “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.”
1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.
3He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
If you have ever had thoughts of suicide it was satan and his demons trying to steal, kill and destroy. Second Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ:”
James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
First Peter 5:6-9, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”
I worked with a man that wasn't born again, but had been brought up by a family that knew scripture. He got into a life or death situation one night and said he felt like he was being smothered and he began to recite Psalm 23 and it went away. I don't know where he is now, but I pray that God will bring that to his remembrance and, hopefully, our paths will cross again someday. Ralphena and I love you Anthony.
I recently had a very good friend of mine tell me that every time her daughter would begin to attend church regularly and draw closer to the Lord that she would start thinking about committing suicide. The girl doesn't even want to attend church now and for some strange reason she hasn't had the urge to kill herself lately.
The day after Christmas in 1986 after my wife had divorced me in July, I was studying at home alone when my wife and what I thought was her boyfriend, drove by my house. I don't know if an evil spirit told me that she said, “I hope he is looking out the window”, or I heard it in my spirit, but I heard her say it. Her youngest daughter sat up in the back seat to look out the window and her boyfriend was laughing as they drove by and I was immediately attacked by what seemed like a herd of demons that began to vex my mind. They, of course, were trying to get me to commit suicide, but I knew what was happening and all I could really do was weather the attack until it ended by me writing a suicide note. I was never concerned about committing suicide, but it was unpleasant to say the least and I learned that day what it was like to be vexed by evil spirits.
Luke 6:18 and Acts 5:16 tells of those that were vexed. Luke 6:17-18, “And He [Jesus] came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of His disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear Him, and to be healed of their diseases; And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.” This word healed, “therapeuo”, meant to relieve of and vexed, “ochleo”, means to mob, harass, to torment, to afflict, to wear down with toil.
Notice in Luke 6:17-18 that there is a distinction between the people that were healed of their diseases and those that were vexed by unclean spirits. From my experience if thoughts were being planted into someone's mind day and night it would be almost impossible for someone that didn't realize the source of these thoughts not to be convinced to do almost anything or of anything. It isn’t easy when you do know where they are coming from. I just keep saying, “Lord, these aren’t my thoughts and don’t give me credit for them.” If I do yield to the attack and say or do things I shouldn’t, I ask Him to forgive me because I know He understands my battle better than I do. Hebrews 2:17-18, “Wherefore in all things it behoved Him [Jesus] to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour [Help, aid] them that are tempted.”
First Corinthians 10:13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” If my experience can help one person recognize an attack by evil spirits that are trying to get them to do anything, it will be well worth it. If anybody, saint or sinner recognizes an attack by evil spirits and cries out to God, I feel that He would answer that cry. I can't help but think of all the things people have done under the influence of evil spirits because they didn't realize what was happening and didn't have Jesus to see them through. Our jails, prisons, hospitals, courts, psychiatrist offices, cemeteries and other places we don’t want to be, are full of people that didn’t realize there is a devil that has come to steal, kill and destroy.
Anytime we yield to what we call an addiction, it always starts with a single thought that grows and grows until we obey the fiery dart or thought that has been placed in our mind. An addiction can be any behavior that we cannot control and this can be any number of things, such as drugs, alcohol, smoking, dipping, pornography, sex, masturbation, sports, hunting, unhealthy relationships, shopping, eating, collecting, television, music, work, stock market, general foolishness and anything that will interfere with our relationship with God and also the people that depend on us on a daily basis.
Fantasies always begin with a thought that is introduced to the mind and can be very pleasant and even appear to be in the will of God. Most pleasant, or perceived to be pleasant, fantasies are simply demons preparing you for a satanic fantasy. You can be a hero or heroine one minute and thinking of suicide the next minute. This is better known as a set-up and they are just getting us ready for the next step by gaining access to our minds. We need to make Jesus and God’s will the center of our focus. Once we have a regular prayer life that includes praying in tongues and the natural we can speak God’s Word’s of protection and blessings over ourselves, family, friends and anyone else God puts on our hearts.
First Corinthians 14:14-15, “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also;” Romans 8:26-28, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities [weaknesses]; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession FOR US with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”
Sexual fantasies can be particularly debilitating as far as our prayer life is concerned. You can spend large amounts of time trying to fulfill sexual fantasies through pornography, masturbation, promiscuity, prostitution and all the consequences. We live in a pornographic world so we must train ourselves to be aware of our adversaries’ devices and control our minds and bring them into obedience to the Word of God. Even in marriage we must strive to fulfill Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled:” God is telling us that the marriage bed is to be kept undefiled, pure, unsoiled. We don’t need to be shopping for lingerie.
The July 13, 1998 issue of the Houston Chronicle had an article entitled, “Unseen scars vex victims of false memory. Healing comes slowly after controversial therapy stops.” People are hypnotized and given psychotropic drugs to elicit false memories and a door to the satanic world of deception at its most wicked is opened and demons are allowed access to these people’s minds and plant false memories of sexual abuse and satanic rituals in their minds. They even make false accusations against friends and relatives and destroy or damage their relationships with these people. There has been a foundation created called the “False Memory Syndrome Foundation” to study “the problem.” “the problem” is satan and his band of renegade angels planting false thoughts in these peoples minds to destroy their lives and the lives of the people around them. They can only truly be set free by taking the “Keys to the Kingdom of God” and allowing the Holy Spirit to show them the truth through the Word of God. The demons will continue to torment these people until they are set free by the truth of God’s Word.
God's definition of fornication and the world's is vastly different. Webster’s Dictionary says it is “voluntary sexual intercourse between an unmarried man and woman.” Using Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bibles' Greek dictionary we find that the combination of the definitions of the words for fornication, as used in the Bible, pornein and porneuo, are as follows: Harlotry (including adultery and incest); fig. idolatry-fornication [oral sex]; to act the harlot; indulge unlawful lust (of either sex) or (figuratively.) practice idolatry-commit fornication. The word pornography came from the Greek words pornein and porneuo. I guess we can safely say that pornography is actually fornicationography since pornography came from the Greek words pornein and porneuo.
First Corinthians 6:9-20, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” and First Thessalonians 4:1-4, “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That everyone one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour.”
As a single man I have been tempted in the past with masturbation on almost a daily basis. Masturbation can be physical, but many times it is simply the result of allowing fiery darts of the wicked pertaining to sexual activity access to my mind and since I no longer want to sin, Romans 6:11, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” I go to Second Corinthians 10:5 and bring my thoughts into obedience to the Word of God. “Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exaleth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
And of course one of my favorite scriptures other than First John 1:7-11 is First Peter 5: 6-9, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion [not a roaring lion, but as a roaring lion], walketh about, seeking whom he may devour; Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”
First Corinthians 7:1-9, “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.”
We need to have our flesh under subjection to be an effective soldier in God’s Army and not be giving the devil place. Ephesians 4:27, “Neither give place to the devil.” First Corinthians 9:24-27, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [people in the world] do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
Unfortunately, evil spirits can also possess people. In “War on the Saints” the definition of possession is “Any hold which evil spirits have in or upon a person in any degree. They ‘possess’ that which they hold.” Another word for hold would be “control” and if the devil, through his wiles, can keep you from reading your Bible and praying or anything else, he is in control. If he can control your prayer life he can control you.
My wife and I got together for one last time after we went to our church for counseling. We went to my house and through the wiles of the devil, to prove to her that I loved her; I committed an act of perversion. I was a born again Christian that was not in control of my actions. Now my spirit-being belonged to God and cannot be possessed by satan, but my flesh was and can be possessed if I allow it to be possessed. My flesh was possessed through ignorance and the things taught me by the devil when I was serving him for 43 years. I had never done what I did before that day, but there were other things I had done that didn't make it that difficult. Remember, satan can speak to us, deceive us, possess us and use us if we don't know he can. I read in a book sometime later that sexual perversion is an extreme attempt to overcome rejection which satan worked to establish in me from my mother’s womb.
In Matthew 8:16 we read, “When the even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils; and He cast out the spirits with His Word and healed all that were sick.” Acts 8:6-7, “And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them;” Mark 16:9 tells us that Jesus cast out seven devils from Mary Magdalene, “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.” Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” These people heard the Word and were delivered.
It seems like God likes to use the extreme to illustrate His point in His Word. My favorite demon deliverance story is the man in Mark 5:1-20, “And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when He was come out of the ship, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped Him. And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For He said unto him, Come out the man, thou unclean spirit. And He asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is legion: for we are many. And he besought Him much that He would not send them out of the country.
Now there was nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all of the devils besought Him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray Him to depart out of their coasts. [All they could see was the missing swine]
And when He was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed Him that he might be with Him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord has done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.”
He knew Jesus was coming and when he saw Jesus from afar off he ran to meet Him. He had been crying out to God and God heard his cry and sent His Son to deliver him, because the man wanted to be delivered. I have met people that needed to be delivered and didn’t know they needed deliverance and, believe it or not, some don’t want to be delivered because they are used to being possessed and don’t want to lose their “friends” or “companions” even when they know they are demons because that is how they are used to living. That may be hard for some people to understand, but I have been dealing with a man for years that is in this very position. He says they aren’t demons, they are evil spirits. Pray that I can find a way to get him to turn to God and talk to Him instead of his “companions” that have been with him for almost 50 years. Maybe if I read Mark 5:1-20 to him it will help to set him free, because the Word says that Jesus cast out spirits with His Word and the people gave heed unto those things Philip spake.
I was in my store, by myself, a few days after the earlier incident with my wife and this same evil spirit manifested itself and the attack lasted for about a minute and then it left after I resisted. James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” I was driving down the freeway a few days later and this same spirit attacked again. My flesh was enjoying the attack, but I, the invisible, immortal spirit living in that body of flesh, wasn't. The battle was on and the wrestling match had begun and I could either obey my flesh or obey my new born again nature and I really don't remember my sinful nature being as sinful before I was born again as it was being at this point. I have mentioned several times that I felt as if I was worse off after I was born again than before like we read in Luke 11:24-26, “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”
There have been times when I will be letting the fiery darts of the wicked bother me and the Holy Spirit will tell me to just ignore them and don't respond. It is like when you know someone is trying to get your attention and you don't really want to respond. Just look at them as mosquitoes without stingers and once you realize what is going on, they just buzz around and are irritating, but they can't sting you. The only way they can sting you is if they can get you to agree with them and do it yourself. devils have only two ways of attacking, they will either use you or someone else and they are constantly looking for someone to use or “mess-up.”
One day I was driving home from work and as I drove along I was allowing myself to be vexed by demon spirits. The Highway Department were building the Crosby freeway close to my home and when I stopped at the freeway I looked to see if there were any cars coming and when there weren't I started across the freeway. I got halfway across and remembered that it was two way because they were still working on the other side. I knew this, but since I was allowing my mind to be vexed, I could have been in a serious accident if not for the grace of God. In terror, I finally looked the other way and there were no cars coming and I immediately decided that I had better get my mind under control.
We must learn to fill our house or temple of God with knowledge, wisdom, the Word of God so when the devil comes back like this scripture says he will, we can resist him with the Word that is stored in our hearts or temple. When my year of grace was up the unclean spirit came back and found an empty house and moved back in with seven more spirits more evil than himself and unfortunately I found myself worse off than before. I am writing this so that you will not have to go through what I did, because I have been battling ever since by the grace of God, the works of the Cross and the regenerating powers of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God to rid myself of these unclean spirits and become qualified for the Master’s use and I know the victory is at hand. The victory has accelerated as of July 17, 2005, when I began to attend Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas and submitted myself to the ministry of Joel Osteen and the music ministry of Israel Houghton and Cindy Cruse Ratcliff. I have come to understand to a greater degree how much God loves me and that He knows my name and I am not forgotten and that I am His friend and that He has a plan and purpose for me that was created before the foundation of the World.
Ephesians 1:3-14, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as He [God] hath chosen us in Him [Jesus] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved.
In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; Wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence [insight]; Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him:
In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will: That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.”
As I said earlier, I feel through my own experience that the church has a one-year grace period to teach a new babe in Christ the spiritual truths to be ready for the battle when the devil and his demons come back checking to see if the new convert’s house is empty. If it is full of the truth-The Word of God-the devil will move on just like he did with Jesus in the desert temptation.
Romans 8:12-14, “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
Back to the battle as I drove down the freeway. The battle was taking place in my mind and I had a choice to obey my flesh and be spiritually dead and separated from God or I could obey the law of God. Romans 7:25, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord, So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” When I resisted I actually felt something detach itself and move away from me and it scared me because I was afraid the Holy Ghost had given up and moved out, but I have since learned that He never leaves us nor forsakes us, Hebrews 13:5 and in John 14:16-18, Jesus said, “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another comforter, that He may abide with you forever.”
What if I had obeyed my flesh? What would have happened? Would I have been lost forever? Would I have died and gone to Hell? I had already obeyed this same spirit less than a week earlier and I know I sound like a broken record sometimes, but there are some of us that need to get this into our hearts, First John 1:4-2:2, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.
My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He is the propitiation [an atoning victim] for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
I know that He was with me through the whole thing, because I could sense His presence and I also knew that on October 18, 1983 at 3 pm I was born again, but I didn’t know that I had an enemy that was out to kill, steal and destroy and try to keep God’s plan and purpose for my life from being fulfilled. The enemy knows that God has a plan and purpose for our lives and will do anything to keep us from fulfilling our destiny. What I needed was First John 2:3-6, “And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His Word, in him is verily the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.”
I needed desperately to know Him and that He loved me so that I could fulfill First Thessalonians 4:1-4, “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That everyone one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour.” Romans 6:14-18, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”
I couldn't continue to enjoy sin because Jesus took my sins away and I was dead to sin. Look up righteousness in your concordance and read all the wonderful Bible scriptures on righteousness. Read E.W. Kenyon's “Two Kinds of Righteousness” [An excellent book on the Starter Kit righteousness] so we can get righteousness down in our spirits and understand what happened at Calvary. I had, and still do have, the physical capability to sin, but I no longer have the heart to want to sin, because I am a servant of righteousness! The works of Jesus, God’s Starter Kit by Jesus, has changed my heart. Sin is stressful and as we will find out will slowly kill you physically. Now when I sin I cry out to God for forgiveness and to be cleansed from all unrighteousness just like it says in First John 1:8-10. Sometimes when temptation arises and I find it appealing I have to just refuse because I know that the temptation is something that will displease or grieve the Holy Ghost and hinder me from becoming what God and I want me to become, profitable for the Master’s use.
Paul wrote in First Corinthians 9:24-27, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [people in the world] do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” Hebrews 12:9-10, “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.”
WORKS OF THE FLESH
Galatians 5:13-26 is written to the church at Galatia and was written to Christians. If Christians didn’t have to overcome the works of the flesh God would have never had Paul write this epistle to them, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh [the devil] are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
The definitions of the works of the flesh with the corresponding Strong’s numbers:
· Manifest-5318-appear, known, manifest, open(ly), outward(ly).
· Adultery-Webster’s Dictionary-Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than their spouse.
· Fornication-4202 & 4203-Harlotry (including adultery and incest) idolatry-to act the harlot-indulge unlawful lust of either sex or (figuratively) practice idolatry-commit fornication.
· Uncleanness-167 Impurity-physically or morally. From 169-impure, lewd or specifically demonic- foul, unclean
· Lasciviousness-766 Licentiousness [Webster’s-Lacking legal or moral restraints-especially disregarding sexual restraints] (sometimes including other vices) filthy, wantonness.
· Idolatry-1495-Image worship [Can be anything-person, place or thing-Stock Market, money, church, oral sex-You make a list].
· Witchcraft-5331-magic, sorcery.
· Hatred-2189-Hostility-by implication a reason for hostility, enmity, hatred.
· Variance-2054-A quarrel-wrangling-contention, debate, strife.
· Emulation(s)-3863-Provoke to jealousy-2205-envy, fervent mind, indignation, jealousy.
· Wrath-2372-Fierceness, indignation, passion (as if breathing hard)
· Strife-2052-contention(ous)-to stimulate (especially to anger), provoke.
· Seditions-1370-Disunion, dissension, division
· Heresies-139-To take for oneself; to prefer. [Close to sedition, but different in preferring one person over another-causing a division or dissension].
· Envyings-5355-Akin to the base of 5351-to spoil, ruin, deprave, corrupt, defile, destroy-ill will (as detraction) i.e. jealousy, (spite), envy.
· Murders-5408-(To slay); murder; + be slain with, slaughter.
· Drunkenness-3178 An intoxicate, i.e. (by implication) intoxication.
· Revelings-2970-from 2749; carousal (as if letting loose):-reveling, rioting.
If you recognize any of these to be a problem in your life, remember that you are under attack from the enemy, but God has us covered with First John 1:8-10, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” and then pray and ask Him to help you to overcome the works of the flesh and let the fruit of the Spirit rule in your life.
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”
The definitions of the fruit of the spirit with the corresponding Strong’s numbers:
· Love-26-Agape-Affection or benevolence; a love-feast-(feast of) charity (charitably), dear, love.
· Joy-5479-Cheerfulness, i.e. calm delight:-gladness, greatly, (be exceeding) joyful, joyfully, joyfulness, joyous).
· Peace-1515-(to join) by implication prosperity:-one, peace, quietness, rest, plus set at one again.
· Longsuffering-3115-from 3116-with long (enduring) temper, i.e. leniently:-patiently, longanimity, i.e. forbearance, fortitude:-longsuffering, patience.
· Gentleness-5544-Usefulness, i.e. moral excellence (in character or demeanor) gentleness, goodness, kindness.
· Goodness-17-A well doer, i.e., virtue-well-doing.
· Faith-4102-Moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance on Christ for salvation [deliverance]; By extension the system of religious truth itself:-assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.
· Meekness-4236 Gentleness; by implication humility;-Meekness.
· Temperance-1466-from 1468-Strong in a thing (masterful) i.e. self-controlled (in appetite, etcetera) /self-control.
CHASTISEMENT OR ATTACK?
Hebrews 13:1-13, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness, [dikaios] unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.”
When we yield to wiles of the devil God uses the attack of the enemy to chastise us. Ephesians 4:27, “Neither give place [ground] to the devil.” We need to recognize when we are under attack and remember that the enemy can speak to us and to us through someone else and we must, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exaleth itself against the knowledge of God. And bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” Second Corinthians 10:5 and bring that thought, whether it is ours or someone else’s, into obedience to the Word of God, Jesus, the Son of God.
First John 1:4-2:2, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.
My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He is the propitiation [an atoning victim] for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
Unlike Adam and Eve we as born again Christians can go to First John 1:9 and restore our broken fellowship any time we so desire and we must all realize that God’s mercy is greater than any sin we can commit and that we are sinners. Luke 18:9-14, “And He [Jesus] spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I possess.
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto Heaven but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” First John 3:20-24, “For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
And this is His commandment, That we should believe on the Name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment. And he that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us.” His commandments are His Word and that includes His commandment to go to First John 1:9 and confess our sins and restore our broken fellowship whenever necessary.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
An evangelist friend of mine, Ralphena Dodson, told me a story about a former witch that she met that used to be able to leave her body with other satanists and go into people’s homes and stir up trouble. She was telling Ralphena about the experience because the former witch had come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through what happened when they went into this one home and other manifestations of the power of God. She said as they entered this home in the spirit and began to stir up trouble by planting thoughts into the minds of the family living there that suddenly a door opened at the top of the stairs and a small grandma type lady stepped out and said, “In the Name of Jesus, you foul spirits shut-up and get out of here.”, and to the surprise of the satanists they, the yackity-yack, had to leave. We must begin to recognize when we are under attack and tell our demons to shut-up and get out of here. We will study this more thoroughly in chapter ten, “The Authority the Born Again Believer Has Obtained Through the Name of Jesus over the Powers of darkness!”
Brother Pittman’s book “demons an Eyewitness Account” tells of the demon of greed and warring demons and demons of witchcraft and demons of perversion and that there are other orders of demons in satan’s kingdom that we are fighting every day. We can see from our economy and the terrorism and the lack of morals and the total lack of concern about 1.4 MILLION American abortions per year that there doesn’t seem to be very much effective prayer being sent forth into the heavenlies to combat satan’s onslaught against humanity. We must unite and come against the principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places by teaching the truth in our churches. I understand that there is a movement that is beginning to pass laws that will prohibit any Bible based Christian teaching that is against the beliefs of others. They are taking away freedom of speech from Christians but everyone else will be able to express their views anytime or anywhere.
If there is one thing I could convey to people in every country and way of life and religion regardless of their race or national origin is that the devil can speak to anybody, anywhere, anytime. Somebody once told me that the devil can’t create anything, but he can create the things that we just listed from Galatians 5:19-21. Once we all realize this the easier it will become for us to recognize him working and then we will be able to defeat him through united prayer and grow to be the victorious church that God planned on us being. Then we will be able to forgive each other and fight the devil that is creating the problems in our world instead of fighting each other. There are so many more things in this world that we need to be praying about other than our petty arguments with other people and things God has already provided for us in His Word.
Onward to "the story of satan" so we can better understand his hatred toward mankind.