Luke 11:17-21 ďBut he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the
:Ē The strongman has to have armor to protect his house. (V.22) ďBut when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.Ē To get into the house he has to first get through the armor. If he can get through the armor, he can divide. The warfare is caused by dividing of the spoil. (V.23-26) ďHe that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. 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.Ē kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace
There are three ways or reasons a demon can come into your house. First, someone has opened a spiritual door that allows the evil spirit to come in. Second, someone with a bad spirit carried the demon into the house. They came into the house and brought the spirit with them. Third and maybe more commonly, Satan has set an assignment against the house. You can by sin or a certain lifestyle allow an opening for the enemy to come into your house. Others who have evil spirits take the spirit with them where ever they go. But it can also be a set assignment of the powers of the enemy working against you.
There was a time when a demon came at me when I was asleep and tried to choke me. This has happened to other ministers and Christians, even Pastor Rajan. That is only one of different types of attacks I have known and experienced. Another was when a witch was doing witchcraft against me and every night at midnight, to the minute, I was attacked with a terrible pain as a knife being thrust into my eye. I got deliverance by rebuking it and pleading the blood again and again, night after night until it stopped. Also I learned to start praying before going to sleep and pleading the blood first. That was a key to that victory.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 ď(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;Ē Normally when this passage is quoted, verse 6 is left out, but it is a key in this battle. (V.6) ďAnd having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.Ē When you do what God requires of you, He is saying that He will show up and take care of your enemy. It is all dependant upon your doing your part to obey and pull down the strongholds and casting down the imaginations. When He sees your readiness to be obedient then He is ready to come through on your behalf and deliver you.
In Luke 11 the Bible talks about a strongman in a house and says if he has the house and has armor on, then he can be entrusted that his goods are safe. If we are Christians and we have the armor of God on, as mentioned in Ephesians 6, and we keep it on Ė the Helmet of Salvation, the Breastplate of Righteousness and the Sword of the Spirit, etc. we can protect our family and our homes because we trust in the armor of God to keep us. But then the Word says that if a stronger than that strongman comes. You know in the flesh the Devil can whip any man. Any spirit can defeat any man who is standing in and trusting only in his fleshly strength and ability.
If a devil that is stronger than any that you are used to dealing with comes at you, warfare comes that you are not used to dealing with. So what do you do? What do you do when you have a child that comes to you and tells you that they are in bondage? They have started using drugs, alcohol, or got involved into something and have gotten arrested. A stronger than what you are used to dealing with comes against you. The enemy tries to take the armor off the strongman of the house. If he can get the armor off the head of the house, he can then divide the spoil. A stronger spirit coming into your family, a different battle than you are used too at a higher level coming against you has a two-fold purpose.
First it is to get you out of the armor of God so they can cause division. The stronger man who comes and disarms the strongman of the house comes to divide the spoil. He brings division. Di-vorce, Di-sease, Di-cention. Think of how many words in the negative realm have that little prefix of Ďdií in front of them. The stronger comes to cause a crack in your armor through which he can cause division. Itís like the worldly military phrase, Ďdivide and conquerí. Cause confusion and conquer. Split and conquer. They create confusion and division and then go in to conquer.
We are used to fighting certain battles certain ways, or we know how to deal with and put up with certain battles until it is over. But then a stronger spirit comes. There are four types of spirits in Ephesians 6:12 ďprincipalities, ... powers, ... rulers of the darkness of this world, Ö spiritual wickedness (or wicked spirits) in high places.Ē The smallest are the spirits that everyone has to deal with, common spirits. But then as you get closer to God you come to a new level and into a new level of battle. Itís higher level and higher devil. When you go to a higher level with God you are attacked by a higher devil who comes to stop, distract and defeat you to stop you from dong what God has called you to do.
I surely know that. I was making it all right until I was ordained. Then all hell broke loose against me, which started with Hepatitis and jaundice as soon as I returned from the trip in which I was ordained. That is the worst sickness of my adult life. Then came another series of attacks against my family, and me and ultimately the church was divided and my family was divided by divorce.
Recently as I have tried to seek the Lord to restore and again use me all kinds of things have started happening. Momís car gets damaged, a first time, then a second time. Susanís car has the window stop coming down. The washing machine breaks. The computer has trouble. Sickness beginning with terrible dizziness and nausea, and followed with constant allergy problems worse than Iíve had in 1 Ĺ years and many more little problems just cropping up all over the place. Momís sickness and Susanís reoccurring sicknesses and on and on the list goes. And all we can do is keep fighting the battles and keep going forward and trusting the Lord for victory in the end.
So as you are endeavoring to go forward in the Lord, the enemy will come forward with demons that your not used to dealing with. If you donít know how to fight this demon it will weaken your resolve. You donít understand that it is the same armor that defeated the devil the last time is what has to defeat this one. There is no other armor and it is sufficient in all cases. There are still stones in the brook when you face another giant. Itís not the stone that kills the giant but your obedience to God and the anointing that delivers you from the enemy. However, it is true that many times the next giant has to be defeated in a different manner, in a different way. Yet it is still the same armor of God we use by faith and in obedience that will bring us to victory.
As said earlier. The enemy works to make a crack in your armor. Then he enters the crack to divide, create division and confusion and then to spoil. We have witnessed those kinds of attacks. The spoil of the enemy is the souls of your family or your church. He doesnít want your money or what you have. That is all tangible stuff that he knows will burn one day, which you will leave behind when you leave this world. He is after eternal souls - those of your family and if possible, yours. He is after souls and he does it through division. In Luke 11:23 Jesus said, ďhe that gathereth not with me scattereth.Ē You are either one who unifies and works to bring unity or you are a divider and work to divide. Division is caused by gossip, slander, back-biting and all evil talking. That is one that is scattering and working against the work of God, which brings unity and strength.
In the Greek, the word for stronghold has two meanings. It means a fortress but it can also mean a prison. The difference between a fortress and a prison is that in a fortress outsiders canít get in and in a prison, insiders canít get out. The key to any fortress or prison is the walls of the prison. You donít have a good fortress or a good prison without good walls. The key to a good stronghold is the walls. The difference between a spiritual fortress and a spiritual prison is this: In a fortress what is outside canít get in. When you have built up walls in your life, you wonít let others who can help you get in. So you have a spiritual fortress in your life. You wonít let the preacher pray for you and lay hands on you. You have built a wall because someone or something has hurt or offended you. If it was a preacher that offended you then you think they are all bad and so you wonít listen to any preacher. It could also have been a close friend or family member that caused the offense. But because someone has hurt you, you build up an emotional wall and you wonít let anyone in. You wonít share your inner feelings with anyone or let anyone in on what is going on inside you and so no one can help you. Itís called a spiritual prison. One you have made yourself. Many people are spiritual prisoners in their minds because they are mad at someone and have been defiled by a root or spirit of bitterness.
Why is it that men and women are so different in this area of spirituality? Though it is not always the case and I am thankful that there are many exceptions, here I am talking about what is most common in the American experience. Two men who are friends can get into an argument and almost a fist fight and normally in no time they just get over it and are there talking with each other about the upcoming football game or whatever. Two women can start fighting and the next thing is they want to run to their best friends and tell their side of the story and after they have told their side of the story they will not go to each other because they are both waiting for the other to come and humble themselves before them. I am not going to her because she was at fault. She is the one that caused this. And she just needs to learn to listen to God, because if she listened to God, then she would know that she needs to come and ask me to forgive her.
Women are more emotional than men and men are more rational then women. There are women in churches that have had a little spat with a sister in the church and havenít talked to them since, even for years. They just wonít let go and allow God to heal them of this offense. Donít get me wrong. There are both kinds of strongholds, emotional strongholds and rational strongholds.
Men have problems with rational strongholds. Emotional doesnít mean you are weak but that you are more feeling oriented and sensitive that men. (Donít look at me so self-righteous.) Many have been hurt and so they put up a stronghold to keep others out. Other people have locked people up and wonít let them out Ė Iím not going to forgive them. I have a right to feel this way. Iíve been done wrong. Fortresses and prisons are spiritual strongholds. One is an emotional stronghold and the other is a mental stronghold. Men are more geared to the mental ones and women are more geared to the emotional ones.
A mental stronghold is one that tries to make everything rational and an emotional stronghold is one that is not based or reality but has become an irrational stronghold. There is nothing to base it on but feelings Ė emotions. So and so doesnít like me. How do you know? I can just feel it. Emotional strongholds are not based on truth. If you had the truth the truth would set you free. The man has a mental stronghold. It is easier to get women in the church and saved and supporting the church than men. Men in their rational minds want to figure it out.
That is why when you are traveling and say you miss a turn in the road. The woman will stop at the nearest gas station and ask directions. The man will keep on driving and trying to find where he is going and wonít stop and ask for help until he is convinced he is lost. Men want everything to be logical. The woman can more easily just believe God for something. The woman will say, I donít know how, but I just know the Lord is going to provide and meet our need. The man will be there will a calculator trying to figure out how to pay the bills.
Sitting in church the man will look at others and say; I think its just emotion. The woman wonít care whether it is emotional or nor, they are just going to cry when they feel like crying or scream if they feel like it. And the husband is sitting there next to his wife acting like he doesnít know her. Women are not embarrassed to show their emotions but men usually are. Some men are so bad about this that if they start crying in church they will try to cover it up by pretending they have a cold. Men are just harder to get to when it comes to showing emotions in church. Years ago in America young boys were told that if they cried they were sissies and men didnít cry and a whole generation in America were raised that way and so they learned to bottle it up to Ďact like mení no matter what, even at a funeral. But I want to say this. Because a man doesnít cry doesnít make him tough. You are more of a man if you can express your feelings and be real. There hasnít been a man any tougher than Jesus in being able to take hardship and suffering and all He experienced in this life. And Jesus showed emotion and wept. Yet He feared no man and had no fear of death. You can be sensitive to others and show emotion and be a man. A lot of this has been because of what society has taught men that this is what a man is supposed to be.
A mental stronghold is logical reasoning. A mental stronghold is a battle between logic and truth. It is trying to figure out what the Bible says before you will believe it. There is a real battle between truth and facts. Something can be a fact but not be true. Truth is what God says. It is a fact that the devil is real but the truth is not in him. Satan exists and is a fact, but there is no truth in him. Men say, just give me the facts, prove it too me. But there is a difference in facts and truth. Fact may say that you are sick and have some disease. But the truth says; ďI am the Lord that healeth thee.Ē The fact may be that you should die, but the truth of the Lord can raise you up and give you a testimony of His grace and glory. Jesus said; ďI am the way, the truth and the life.Ē He said, ĎYou shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.í To know here is not just to have head knowledge but too have an experience with, an intimate relationship with the truth. You have an encounter with the truth and it brings faith and sets you free. It is knowing the truth in your heart and having a revelation that makes it real to you. We donít have to live in mental logical reasoning to figure out what God is doing. All we have to do is know the truth and allow the truth of Godís Word to do the rest in our lives.
There are emotional strongholds based upon unfounded fears. Things like, Ďyou just donít love me.í Yes I do. No you donít. Iíve been telling you for 25 years that I love you. But you donít love me today. What are you basing that on? I just donít feel like Iím loved. Itís unfounded!
Many walk in unfounded fears that are based on nothing. Fears based on emotions, fears based on what someone else said or did. God said fear brings bondage, but perfect love casts out all fear.
How does the enemy use a stronghold to get into our life? In 2Samuel 5 David was going to take the stronghold of
Zion, which because the city of David. It is a mountain called Zion. This city was built on the side of a mountain, a ledge and it was impregnable. David found out about the water shaft which they used to get water into the city. It was just big enough for a man to climb through. So David and his men used the water shaft to get into the city while they were sleeping and took the stronghold of Zion. Water represents the Holy Spirit in scripture. David got in the flow of the water to take the stronghold. When you get in the flow of the Holy Spirit, He will help you take the stronghold. You have to hear from God and walk in that flow.
The opposite side is how the enemy gets into your life as a believer. He gets into your flow. It sounds bizarre. A few years ago a pastor who was also a medical doctor worked in a home for unwed pregnant women. He said that what he found that instead of finding mostly girls from off the street, what he found was that 70% of them were girls from Pentecostal churches like the A/G and
Church of God and others, who had been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. He did a study of when it happened. Over a period of years he found out that they had gotten pregnant after having a relationship with a young man after a Ďgreatí church service. They had been in a service that they described as a great move of the spirit and one of the greatest moves of God they and ever experienced. They felt Godís presence like never before. They went out to eat with a young man and ended up having sex and getting pregnant. This was their story, over and over. Those girls were open for intimacy. They had been in Godís presence and opened up their emotions to intimacy and to the Holy Spirit. With their emotions open and a feeling of intimacy and closeness and the flesh came into the water flow. While they were open to intimacy in the spirit, the flesh came in and it became intimacy in the flesh. They then yielded to their flesh and got in trouble.
We think about trying to strengthen our weaknesses but we donít think about guarding our strengths. David ended up with Bathsheba because of something called passion. David was a man of passion. He danced before God with all his might not caring what anyone thought or said, including his wife. David was passionate for the presence of God and built a tabernacle and put the
Ark in it and wanted to build the temple of God. But God told him that because he was a man of war he couldnít build the temple, but his son Solomon would build it. David allowed the flesh to get into the flow of this strength of passion, he turned his passion where it shouldnít have been and it caused him to sin. I am talking about how the devil can get into the life of a believer.
How many times has a pastor who is a good marriage counselor ended up getting into an affair with a woman whom he was counseling? I have seen it happen to pastors where I went to church. Or one that loves to visit his flock ends up in a visit where he is alone with another woman and the enemy comes in and he gets in trouble. The strength becomes the area where the enemy attacks and that strength is then turned into a weakness. When men are strong in a particular area, it is easy for the enemy to come at them with pride in that area. They will say, like Peter, Ďthough all forsake you, I wonít forsake you. Iíll never do that.í That is when you need to watch out. The Lord will allow the enemy to come against you in that area just to prove to you that you arenít as strong as you think you are and that without His strength you are no match for any devil. It is Godís protection and shield that keeps us from temptation and falling, not because we are anything in ourselves. Singers who are gifted and love the Lord start out singing for the Lord with a pure heart. Then here comes the record and promotion company and they end up selling out. The money corrupts them. Their gift, their strength becomes the place where they fall. They began as wonderful singers signing out of Love for the Lord and then they find themselves singing what they are given to sing because that is what sells. So instead of singing songs of truth and worship they start singing songs that are aimed at people and appeal to their flesh. Why? They will tell you it is their ministry and they are singing songs that the unsaved will listen too so they can get saved. Nonsense! People donít get saved by listening to music! They get saved because of the preaching of the Gospel. Music is a ministry to lead people into worship and the presence of God and prepare them for the hearing of the word. It is by the foolishness of preaching that men are saved. The only time a song might possibly bring someone to the Lord is if it is scriptural in context, but even then it is only a tool and part of the whole that will bring someone to Christ. Music in the church is for worship and is to be directed to God. God never intended for music in the church to be directed at men to pump up their flesh. But that is what is going on today with most contemporary music.
2 Corinthians 10:5-6 ďCasting 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; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.Ē In these categories we have been talking about, where you open the door to the enemy and let them in. God says that when you obey His Word and do what youíre supposed to do that He will stand and avenge you and bring revenge upon your enemy. But that will only happen when you are ready to get rid of that enemy. Donít complain about lust problems if you are looking at lewd pictures in magazines or movies. When your ready to get rid of the trash that you are allowing into your life, then God will deliver you and set you free.
Let us talk about seasons of set assignments. Though you are saved and filled with the Spirit and love God and though you are not doing anything wrong you will hit an attack of the enemy that is an assignment of a bunch of spirits. The devil came against Job to destroy his integrity. It kept telling us that in all those things he endured, he maintained his integrity. With integrity comes influence. When you loose your name and your integrity, you loose your influence. Many a minister has fallen and been destroyed and some killed because when this attack came upon them, like the one against Job, they wouldnít tell anyone because after all, they are a minister of the Gospel. They felt they couldnít share with others or tell others their need and what they were going through. So the enemy was able to keep working against them in darkness. One pastor friend of mine was attacked and ended up committing suicide. His co-pastors said he wouldnít share what was going on. He wouldnít tell them what he was facing so they could pray with him about it.
I too have been there and know what this is. The greatest attack of my life and ministry came after I was ordained and my pastor had passed away. Before when I had a problem, was being tested or tempted, I would tell my pastor and the devil had no place to hide and I would always be delivered and continue on. If I fell in any way, it didnít keep me down long or get victory over me because I went for help and the Lord always gave me grace. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ďTwo are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.Ē Because I never stood alone the Devil never defeated me. But this time, I felt I had no one to go to and tell what was happening and to ask to pray with me. I didnít have a pastor to go to and I didnít have a group of strong spiritual believing men to go to. Just a church of babies! The local pastor I knew had committed suicide. My pastor had passed away. I couldnít even trust my own wife, for the enemy had also entered her. The devil through it nearly destroyed me. I am still trying to recover and get back to where I was before that attack against my ministry, my family and me.
How can people love God, preach under the anointing and fall so miserably? You know even the devil quotes scripture. He quoted from Psalm 91 when tempting Jesus. You can be anointed and be tempted of the devil? Jesus had just been anointed at the
Jordan River and then was led into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil for 40 days. David said, I am weak this day though anointed king. Anointing doesnít exempt you from attacks of the enemy. Unfortunately we judge people by their gift, by an anointing, by a message they preached, a song they sang. But what made them fall? The Word alone is not enough to keep you from an attack. Using the name of Jesus alone will not exempt you from an attack. Praying in tongues alone is not enough. What is your greatest armor? A shield of faith that quenches the fiery darts of the enemy. This was written based on the experience of the times. The Romans found out they could tie a cloth on an arrow, dip it in oil, light it and shoot it. The others who had a shield of wood and leather, when shot with one of these arrows would stop to try to get that fiery arrow out and get hit because he dropped his shield. But there is another piece called the breastplate of righteousness.
1 John 5:16 ďIf any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.Ē That sin unto death is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. If you have seen someone do that knowingly and they know what they are doing, like the Pharisees did, there is no use or need to even pray for them for it will do no good and they will still die in sin. For others you can intercede. (V.17-18) ďAll unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.Ē ĎSinneth notí means that you donít habitually practice that sin. This says the devil canít get to this one. How do you keep from falling? You get the word in you and you preserve yourself with it. 2 Corinthians 7:1 ďHaving therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.Ē There are things God delivers you from and then there are things you cleanse yourself from. There are things you lay aside and get rid of from your life.† Hebrews 12:1 ďWherefore 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,Ē Jesus said, ďthe prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in meĒ (John 14:30). The devil is coming and is going to try to attack me but he has nothing to hold onto. What you have to do in your life is get to where you walk in the righteousness of God to where the devil has nothing in you to hold onto. When you walk in Christ to where you get victory over those fleshly things and learn to immediately go to the cross and ask forgiveness when you fail, then the wicked one will not have a place to get hold in you. Men fall because the devil gets something on them, something in them that he can use against them. The next secret to victory is keeping the Sword of the Spirit sharp. The Romans had 5 kinds of swords. The Sword that is used in the analogy as the Sword of the Spirit was a sword that was double edged and had a curve on the end. When it was pushed into an enemyís stomach, twisted and pulled back out, the insides of that enemy were ripped out. There is the Logos Word and the Rhema Word. Your strength, your protection and your victory is in when God takes the Logos that you hear and makes it a Rhema Word within you. That only happens when the preaching or teaching of the Word, or the scripture that you are reading is quickened to your spirit by the Holy Spirit and made alive and real to you.
We have lost several things in the church that keep us from walking in victory in
. Many churches donít baptize people in water like they should. Your identification seal of the Lord in the New Testament is water baptism and it is like circumcision was in the Old Testament. It isnít an option. It is where other religions know that you are truly a Christian and where the line of demarcation is and where the attack begins for Jews, Muslims, Hinduís or whatever. Converts who are quickly baptized after confessing Christ usually stand better than those who donít. Those not baptized are more likely to waver. In Acts they got baptized the same day they got saved. America
Second is communion. It is where we are to judge ourselves and deal with what we hold against others and remind ourselves that if we drink unworthily we drink damnation. It is one of the basics of the New Testament but many believers havenít had communion in years. These are areas where I have failed and it has hurt. This is where you remember the Lordís body and what He has done for us and deal with our differences and forgive one another and get it under the blood before we partake and therefore it helps keep us clean and bring us His life and presence. If you canít partake of the Lordís supper because you are unworthy or sin is in your life, then you know you wonít be ready for the Lord to come and arenít ready for heaven. 1 Corinthians 11:23-31 ďFor I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.Ē
Thirdly, we have forgotten foot washing. Jesus told His disciples to do as He had done for them. Jesus said, happy are you if you do these things. John 13:12-17 ďSo after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.Ē There is no way to get on your knees and wash someone elseís feet without showing humility. The ministers need to wash one anotherís feet. Family members or those with something against another need to wash their feet so God can touch and heal them.
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