DEMONS IN CHARGE
Many who criticize the deliverance ministry will claim that we tend to blame everything on demons to avoid personal responsibility. That is simply not true in most cases in this type of ministry. I do not intend on ignoring the flesh or overemphasizing the demonic, but I would like to clearly explain how the two work together to carry out Satan's plan in our lives.
The flesh is the gateway to the demonic. Many times (unless it is generational, etc.), it is through the flesh that demons gain entrance into a person's life. We are first tempted by demons (the enemy works through his army of fallen angels) because they are seeking to gain entrance into our lives or carry out a plan to kill, steal or destroy us (see John 10:10), then once we give in, they become welcomed into our lives, and once they enter, they will serve as bad friends who will constantly seek to negatively influence us. Having a spirit of lust will be like working in an adult bookstore... it will work to wear you down and get you to give in. Without having that spirit, it is much easier to resist the temptation. But wait a minute, what about plain old temptation that is thrown our way on regular bases? We are not immune from that, are we? No, unfortunately we will probably be tempted to a certain degree until we leave this earth. But let me illustrate the difference between normal temptation and having a demon which is pressuring you to sin: When you drive down the road and see an adult bookstore alongside the road, you can easily resist thinking about what is inside that store... that is temptation. Now let's say that you had to work in such a store, and have sex videos playing on the TV screens all day long... that is what it's like to have a spirit of lust. There is a VERY big difference! If you simply feel a little temptation once in a while and find it very easy to resist, then you are likely experiencing simple temptation from the enemy and your goal is to resist it and move on. However, if you feel driven to lust or pornography (or other sinful behavior such as anger, hate, rage, etc.), then you likely have a spirit that must be driven out.
As I said earlier, the flesh is the gateway to the demonic. Demons cannot simply walk up to us and enter... they must be welcomed, and our flesh is their tool to get the job done. If they can tempt us to sin, and our flesh opens the door, then they will have 'permission' to access our souls and/or bodies. This is why you cannot effectively minister to a person who is not ready to let go of their bondage. If somebody is not willing to give up lust, then even if you do get them delivered (by casting out all spirits of lust, addiction, etc.), that person will likely (without even knowing it) re-open that door all over again and the demons can come right back.
Did you know that a person can welcome an evil spirit into their soul without even knowing it? It is not an uncommon scene when a person actually welcomes unclean spirits without having to do anything on the outside -- your thought-life is quite capable of opening doors all by itself! What happens is the enemy (working through unclean spirits) approaches a person at a time of need in their life, and gets the person to agree with the demon's bait. This bait can be very appealing to the person and it can even seem harmless and beneficial at that point and time. The enemy is known to disguise himself as an angel of light, as to deceive people into giving him access into their lives:
2 Corinthians 11:14, "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."
I feel it is important to understand how the enemy works, so that we can equip ourselves to stand against him schemes. Paul said that they were not ignorant of Satan's devices... this is something that many in the church today cannot claim:
2 Corinthians 2:11, "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."
The thing I've found with unclean spirits, is that they almost always offer some kind of 'sweet reward' to get a person to grant them access into their life. It could be forbidden sexual pleasure, supernatural power or knowledge of some kind (mind control, fortune telling, etc.), even healing (through occult powers) and physical defense (martial arts). Jesus made it clear that even evil thoughts can defile us (make us vulnerable for spiritual infection):
Matthew 15:19-20, "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man..."
When we yield ourselves, whether it be our thoughts, actions and so fourth to the enemy, we are giving him access to our souls (mind, will and emotions). Here is a brief list of some popular spirits and how they often make themselves appealing:
Spirits of rebellion - The spirit seems to take the person's side and whisper to them, "I will stand up for you... I will stand up for YOUR rights!" The spirit is looking for the person to say, "Yeah, I need that!"
Spirits of divination (fortune telling spirit) - The spirit offers the person supernatural secrets into the future that others do not have access to. If the person begins to seek this sort of power, they are letting the demons know that they are welcome.
This is why I cringe every time that somebody tells me how their child is reading Harry Potter books... that child is letting the occult spirits (demons) know that they are interested in what the occult has to offer, and this gives them the right to move right in on that child! I have seen AWFUL things happen to children who have been involved in Harry Potter, yet so many parents are ignorant and convinced that it is a harmless storybook.
Automatic writing - This type of spirit offers beautiful 'out of this world' writings to the person that they wouldn't otherwise be able to produce. However, let's never forget that demonic power is very expensive and lands the person in bondage. Again, when a person begins to seek this forbidden power / ability, they are making themselves available for the spirits to enter.
New age spirits (including Yoga) - Energy healing along with better mental and physical health are offered to the person, when in reality it's only bait to land them in bondage. Again, when a person partakes in Yoga, or seeks energy healing, they are opening themselves up to these spirits.
Spirits behind Karate (including spirits of mind control) - The person is offered an 'out of this world' means of defending them self that the average person does not have. When a person begins to seek this power found in martial arts, they are welcoming spirits of mind control and such to come in and make themselves at home.
When a person breaks a board with their hand, there is an evil spirit that goes ahead of their hand and breaks the board before their skin even touches the board! If you take a macro slow motion video of a young boy breaking a 2x4 in half, you will eye-witness this fact. The same spirits will cause a person to be able to strike a seriously harmful blow to somebody else's body, and do far more than more than a mere physical blow would do the person. That is because evil spirits are involved. One time a man came to Christ after earning a high level ranking in karate, and not long afterwards, his karate instructor said to him, "You have lost the spirit of karate!"
Spirits of lust / perversion - The person is enticed to enter a world of forbidden pleasure. If the person begins to seek such pleasure, they are letting the spirit realm know that it's okay to feed them more pleasure in that area of their life. Once the person has a spirit in them such as lust or sexual perversion, it can become very difficult to resist the strong pull that the spirit has on that person.
Spirits of addiction - These spirits often promise a world of escapism from reality for the person who is trying to cope with life. When a person turns to escapism, it can open them up to addiction which grows into a bondage where spirits of addiction are involved and it seems nearly impossible to break free (without deliverance that is).
Spirits behind cancer - The spirit offers the person a pleasurable 'they will pay' feeling that comes from bitterness and unforgiveness. Let's be honest, it can feel good to hold a grudge... but it will block God's forgiveness for your own sins! (See Matthew 6:15) When a person turns bitter, it invites an evil spirit into their system which will aggravate the cells in their body, which will cause abnormal growths, tumors and such.
Witchcraft & warlock spirits - These spirits offer supernatural power to 'get even' to an offended person. This can be very appealing to somebody who has been rejected or hurt in this world. When a person begins placing curses or seeking to learn about witchcraft, or even seeks to have a witch place a curse for them, it lets the spirits know that they are welcome in that person's life. God's Word tells us not even to seek somebody with occult power, lest we become defiled ourselves:
Leviticus 19:31, "Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God."
Occult spirits - The lure of supernatural power and knowledge of the unknown. When a person seeks such occult power and knowledge, they are making themselves available to those spirits.
Spirits of bondage - A person may think it's best to make a vow, in order to help them stay motivated to do or not do something, however, the Bible is clear that oaths can bind the soul (see Numbers 30), and it's not uncommon to find scenarios where a person has unclean spirits that entered in through vows that they have made in the past. Rash vows can be forgiven (Leviticus 5:4-11), and must be renounced (taken back) verbally. I also recommend verbally breaking the vow in Jesus' name and declaring it void by the power of the Blood of Jesus.
Spirits of self-pity, etc. - The spirit whispers to the person, "You poor thing! You deserve much better than that!" When a person agrees with such thinking, they are welcoming such spirits into their souls (mind, will and emotions). After all, it can feel good when "SOMEBODY" agrees with that person's pity party!
And the list goes on! These are just a few of the ways that demons make themselves appealing to a person's fleshly desires. When we leave the Word of God behind and seek to satisfy our own fleshly appetites, it can give unclean spirits access into our lives. Most people do not even realize what they are getting themselves into, and then they wonder why they have lost control in that area of their lives afterwards!
Sin is a work of the flesh
Is it possible for a demon to take complete control over a person, and cause them to murder, rape, etc.? Yes! But in most situations, that is not the case.
Unless the demon takes complete control over the person, it is the flesh that commits the sin. Take for example a person who has a spirit of lust and then commits adultery... it is their flesh that has sinned, but it was coaxed along (or pressured) by the spirit of lust (or similar spirits). Having a spirit of lust can pressure us to sin, but it cannot force us to sin. This is why the Bible still refers to various sinful acts as 'works of the flesh':
Galatians 5:19-21, "Now the works of the flesh 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."
Demons are like bad friends
So what if you have a spirit of rage, and you are driven to violence? Wouldn't at least some of it be the demon's fault if you fell into that type of sin? Having a demon is like having a bad friend who has access to your mind and can sit there and inject thoughts or feelings in your system day after day. If you hang around bad friends all the time, what happens? You begin to become like them... they will wear off on you! That is what happens when a person has a demon; the demon's ways will wear on that person's flesh and break it down... making it hard to resist temptation and sin!
Can a demon take control over a person and use their body to commit gruesome acts of murder, etc.? While it can happen, it is rarely the case. Demons are great at working the flesh up to the point of sin and putting pressure on them that can be very hard to resist. This is usually how they do their dirty work in our lives.
The flesh is the open door to the enemy, and the demons are here to ruin our lives. The two work together to carry out Satan's plan to destroy us!
The flesh must be crucified (or consider ourselves dead to sin - see Romans 6:11), and demons must be cast out. If we try to crucify the demon or cast out the flesh... we are wasting our time! It is vital that we accomplish two things when seeking deliverance:
A) Make sure that our flesh is not joining hands with the demon or giving it any permission
B) Get rid of any unclean spirits that may be working against us
It is pointless to constantly discipline the flesh yet allow the demons to remain, and it is also useless to cast out the demons, but allow the flesh to re-open the doors to them again.
There are many today who will attempt to pray over a person who is obviously in demonic bondage, but they don't even consider the thought of casting out the demon spirit behind the bondage. What is the usual result? The person remains in bondage and the prayer does little or no good.
God has given us authority over demon spirits, and along with authority comes responsibility. We were not given authority over demon spirits and told to cast them out for no reason! When we pray over a person who has a demon, asking the Lord to remove it, we are basically asking Him to do something that He told us to do:
Matthew 10:7-8, "And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give."
Now some might ask, "What about the verse where Jesus tells His disciples that this kind can come forth by prayer and fasting only"? In that scenario, an unusually strong demon was involved and Jesus clearly told His disciples that their faith levels weren't high enough to cast it out, and that they needed to spend more time in prayer and fasting before they could drive this particular demon out:
Matthew 17:19-21, "Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."
Let me ask you this question, did Jesus pray and ask His heavenly Father to remove the demon? No, He commanded it to come forth like any other demon spirit:
Matthew 17:18, "And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour."
Jesus was considered the son of Man while He was here on earth... Why? Because He was our example, and as our example, He went about doing the works that He intended us to do as well:
John 14:12, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."
Are we not given authority over ALL powers of the devil? If so, why couldn't the disciples tackle the stronger-than-usual demon and cast it out freely? They could have, if they had spent more time in prayer and fasting. Jesus made it abundantly clear that the reason they were unable to cast it out, was because of their lack of faith:
Matthew 17:19-20, "Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief..."
We don't see Jesus and His disciples going about praying for demons to come out, do we? Where did we get this concept of praying out demons? Let's stop praying for demons to come out, and start acting on our God-given authority and do as Jesus commanded of us... let's cast them out!
Mark 16:17, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils..."
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