Spiritual Wrestling and the Armor of God, part 1

This is a 3-part series on spiritual wrestling and the armor of God.  In part 1, we examine the importance of not being ignorant of the devil’s devices.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (I Peter 5:8)

Some Christians are ignorant of what areas a demon can attack a believer.  Some are ignorant to the point that they believe that a demon can’t influence a child of God at all. This is falling right into Satan’s trap; it allows his covert operations to remain undetected and intact.  He can accomplish much more in darkness than when exposed.  Satan has the legal right to traffic in the realm of darkness, whether a Christian is there or not. The devil knows that his time is short, and he is on a rampage of destruction. This is not the time to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 2:11:

Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

The word “ignorant” is taken from the Greek word agnoeo, it means “to be ignorant, to have no discernment of, to not understand; to commit a fault arising from the lack of discernment.” Many Christians open the door for demonic involvement because of a lack of discernment. Two-thirds of organized Christendom has no understanding of the spirit world.  Therefore, Satan has the advantage over them. The spirit world is more real than the material world.  Everything we see in the material realm was first conceived in the spirit realm. This domain is where Satan and his demons operate, as well as the angels of the Lord.

Some Christians think that as long as they believe, they cannot be harmed by demonic forces. This type of believing is only mental assent and not heart faith. The Bible says that demons also believe and tremble (James 2:19). We must know that Christians are the special object of Satan’s hatred, for they represent God in the earth. He already has the people of the world under his control, he need not bother with them. Two classes of people receive special attention from Satan: those working for him and those working against him. If you are working against him, he has an assignment out on you. The good news is that the Holy Spirit will give you discernment and power to overcome!

The Christian must “keep” himself if he is to remain free from demonic involvement. Let us note right here that a true Christian cannot be demon possessed! The purpose of these lessons is to show you that there are areas that Satan is working against Christians that exclude possession. These are the areas we must guard our hearts in. I John 5:18 says:

We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.

The original word for “touch” in this verse means “to handle in such a way as to influence, to manipulate.” The entry level workings of Satan are centered in manipulation. Notice the Word says that there is a condition on our part if we are to be protected from Satan’s assignments. The more effective a Christian is at doing the will of God, the more elaborate and sophisticated the assignment of Satan is against them. The Apostle Paul himself said, “Therefore we wanted to come to you—even I Paul, time and again–but Satan hindered us” (I Thessalonians 2:18).

Jesus told us in Matthew 6:22-24 that light could be turned into darkness:  The lamp of the body is the eye, if therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad [margin: evil or unhealthy], your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness how great is that darkness. No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

In the next lesson, we will examine this process of light turning into darkness. It does not happen all at once, it is a gradual process. A Christian has the legal right to say ‘NO!’ to the devil at any time. We cannot say, “The devil made me do it.” Satan can take no ground other than what we yield. Next, we will look at how to take back the ground you may have already forfeited, in part 2, Spiritual Wrestling.

Freedom From Curses, part 8 of 8

This is the final part to an 8-part series on Freedom From Curses.  I will combine all of them together into a syllabus later today for downloading.  Today, we will discuss Split Souls and Sowing and Reaping.

Split Souls

This next area is quite alarming, yet can be seen clearly in the Word of God. It is the curse of a split soul. The best definition is found by simply taking you to the Word of God:

James 1:6-8
… He who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

The original Greek word for “double-minded” is “di-psuchos,” literally meaning “split soul.” The preposition “di” means “split” or “two”; “psuchos” is the word translated “soul” all throughout the New Testament. Would you not say that a man that couldn’t receive anything from God was under a curse? Would you not say that a man that was unstable in all his ways was under a curse?

Instability and inability to receive from God are two of the biggest symptoms of a curse. As a pastor, I see this kind of person all the time.  Something in them wants to receive from God, but another part of their nature always rejects the help they need. Remember, Deuteronomy 28 speaks of the heavens being brass as part of the curse of the law. This person lacks the ability to be resolute in personality and decisions.

A double personality can be life-wrecking, not only for the individual, but for the people around them as well.  People have unknowingly married a person with a double personality and suffered the consequences. It may not sound like such a big problem, but to someone that is unstable in all their ways, it is torment. When they want to go right, they go left, when they want to say yes, they say no.

One of the ways that a split soul occurs is through promiscuity. The Bible clearly teaches that when you join yourself in a physical relationship to someone, you become one soul (see I Cor. 6:15-20). God intended man to only have one partner. Promiscuity takes the spiritual aspect of lovemaking and fragments it out to many instead of one. This great exchange of becoming soul mates is fragmented off to multitudes, and likewise, other personalities are fragmented off into them.  It is no wonder that society is so messed up and people don’t know who they are.

If you were promiscuous before coming to Christ and suffer from these problems, you need to renounce all those relationships. Break any soul ties you may have with those people. Ask for the cleansing blood of Jesus to make your personality whole and to make you one with your spouse.

Sowing and Reaping

In closing this teaching on curses, let me say that a great deal of what we’re dealing with is found in the principle of sowing and reaping.  Galations chapter 6 sums it up nicely:

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 

Much of what we’re contending with is what we have sown into our life and the lives of others. So beyond just saving a prayer of deliverance, begin to sow mercy into the lives of others.  Matthew 5:7 says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” Begin walking in faith, hope and love.  Let’s once again look at Galations 3:13: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”).”

Your redemption is past tense, it is already paid for! There is nothing left but for you to appropriate it and begin to act upon it. As I said at the beginning, if you have a curse in your life, it is either because of ignorance or disobedience. I have taken care of the ignorance part; you have to deal with all disobedience in your life. If you choose, you can be free! Heed these words in Deut. 30:19:

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your decedents may live.

Things To Pray For:

As we prepare to enter our building and begin having services there on June 3rd, there are several needs that I am requesting prayer for:

  • Chairs. 50-100 to start.
  • Podium
  • Tables and chairs for children’s/ youth ministry
  • PA equipment
  • Banners and decorations
  • Communion set
  • Supplies for children’s/ youth ministry
  • Leaders for children’s/ youth ministry
  • Musicians and singers (called and anointed)
  • Last, but foremost, the outpouring of God’s Spirit!

Freedom From Curses, part 7

This is the seventh of an eight-part series on Freedom From Curses.  We will conclude tomorrow with the last installment.  Today, we discuss the transference of spirits and charismatic witchcraft.  After the last piece, I will put it all together into a syllabus for downloading.

Lucifer and a third of the angels were cast out of heaven as a result of the spirit of rebellion that was transferred

 

Transference of Spirits

Another area that curses can affect Christians is in the transference of spirits. How real is it? Lucifer’s spirit of rebellion was transferred to one-third of the angels of heaven. Think of it, heaven itself was infiltrated, and you think that just because you’re a Christian it couldn’t happen to you?! Lucifer transferred the spirit of rebellion to Eve, and Eve transferred it to Adam. They were perfect! They were in Paradise!  They walked with God Almighty! Yet they did not protect their heart.  Adam’s rebellion was transferred to all of mankind: “For by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners” (Romans 5:19).

In Numbers 13:31, ten of the twelve spies said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” That testimony and their negative spirit brought down 3.5 million people from fulfilling their calling in God. They became defeated because they received a wrong spirit, transferred from ten evil hearts of unbelief.

Remember, one of the words for “curse” is galal, meaning “to lessen and make light of.”  Don’t hang around people with negative attitudes, or people with angry critical spirits; they will soon pull you down with them.

Proverbs 13:20
He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.

Proverbs 22:24-25
Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, Lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul.

Charismatic Witchcraft

One of the most prominent and treacherous methods of cursing around is what I call Charismatic Witchcraft. This is done knowingly or unknowingly through soulish prayer: praying your will on someone else.  An example would be: to pray that your friend would break up with her boyfriend because she doesn’t spend as much time with you.  Another would be to pray that God would remove a pastor from his position because of a personal disagreement with him.  Many examples  could  be  found of this type of manipulation in the spirit realm. Manipulation is the root of all witchcraft. God has never authorized us to exert our will over another’s through prayer. Pray for God’s will or don’t pray at all!

Someone may protest by saying, “Wait a minute, God wouldn’t answer prayers like those anyway.”  That is exactly the truth, God will not, but there is someone who will. Satan has the ability to INTERCEPT any prayer that is not Scriptural.  Listen to Proverbs 28:9:

One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be an abomination.

When a person turns his ear away from the Word of God and begins to pray his own selfish will and desire. Satan has an open door. What is an interception? In football, when the guy in the white jersey throws the ball and the guy in the red jersey catches it, that is an interception. The person for whom it was intended did not receive it, but the opposition did. This is what Satan does to these carnal prayers. It is a dangerous thing to trifle in the affairs of God, praying someone out of their position, or praying harm upon someone with whom you disagree.

Break these curses immediately! Renounce all prayers that have roots in manipulation! Ask God to forgive you and break the spirit of control and manipulation off of your life forever! There is no room to play God in the Christian walk. God places everyone in the Body as it pleases Him (I Corinthians 12:18). If you are not involved in this kind of activity but still feel these influences, ask God to cancel any prayers or words spoken about you that are not in agreement with the will of God.  Take authority over them in Jesus’ name.

Church Building News

Praise the Lord!  There is good news to share about our search for a building.  The River has entered an agreement to occupy a 3500 square foot building on 5th Avenue in Safford.  The building was previously used for a dance studio, so the layout is perfect for a church.  There is ample room for a sanctuary to seat 200-300 people and separate space for children and youth ministries.  

The River will begin having services in the new building starting the first Sunday in June.  There is much to be excited about.  Let’s continue to grow and build momentum in the month of May.  God is pouring out His Spirit!  Come join us as we move forward.

A picture of the room that will be turned into a sanctuary: