You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free
(Continued from) © COPYRIGHT NOW UNBANNED PUBLICATIONS
ON THIS PAGE:
· God did not make us ‘demon slayers’ in the ‘heavenlies’
· Paul did not teach us to launch attacks against “hell”
· Continually binding and attacking demons in spiritual warfare?
· What is the “full armor of God” really?
OUR DEFENSIVE STANCE AGAINST THE CONQUERED DEVIL TO OVERCOME HIS ‘WILES’ - VERSUS THE OFFENSIVE “SPIRITUAL WARFARE” OF CHURCHES AND THEIR ‘DELIVERERS’
To say whether these ‘ministries’ are from the True God of the Bible or not, we have to look at them and the lives they touched in the light of “all Scripture,” (Ps. 119:160; Gal. 1:6-10; 3:1.)
Most importantly, we must understand and always remember that we are not ‘at war’ with Satan to conquer or destroy him and his demons, because he is already a defeated foe. Jesus won the war for humanity’s souls by conquering Satan and his demons completely at the cross, (Col. 2:13-15; Eph. 1:20-22.) Therefore, we are not ‘at war’ with Satan to conquer and destroy him. Paul commanded us to, “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might [to] stand against the devil, [and thus, through God’s truth, to] overcome his wiles, [not Satan himself;]” his tricks, deceit, guile, or cunningness that keep the thoughts of people in bondage to his deception.
In fact, dear reader, this is what I am doing right now by telling you the truth. Through His disciples, God uses His truth to “destroy the works of the evil of the evil one, [not the conquered devil himself,]” (1 Jn. 3:8.)
We are ‘wrestling,’ ‘resisting,’ and ‘standing’ against evil forces from the vantage of Jesus’ total and final victory over them, (Rom. 8:37: Eph. 6:12-14; Jam. 7:4.) The Holy Spirit has come to “give [His sincere disciples this real] understanding [that we must follow Jesus,] Who is the true God and eternal life; [while] the whole [unbelieving, disobedient, deceived,] world is in the [deceptive] power of the evil one,” (1 Jn. 5:19-20; Jn. 16:7-14.) We are not wrestling with Satan himself but with his lies and deception. Apart from causing tribulations through his disciples on a physical level, the only weapons the devil can use against us are lies and deception! Because we ‘wrestle’ against the ‘works of the evil one,’ our “weapons are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down [deceptive] strongholds. [This is what ‘strongholds’ really are and how we deal with them:] Casting down [with the whole truth — not casting “out,”] arguments [not demons themselves,] and every high [thought] that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to [withstand or resist] all disobedience…” While God still allows the devil to ‘test and prove’ all of humanity, who must use their free will to either choose or reject Jesus’ victory over all evil, the devil can and will deceive us into destroying ourselves if we disobey God unrepentantly. Apart from attacking our thoughts continually, he also uses his deceived human disciples to test, tempt, and harm us as God sovereignly allows them to do for the purpose to build Godly character in us. “Thus we rejoice in the hope of God… and in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance character, and character, hope… because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts... [and Godly love in truth and deed is always our greatest weapon against evil people and thus, against the demons that control them,” (Jn. 1:11-13; 8:44; 2 Cor. 10:3-6 Jn. 19:10-11.)
The only effective way to ‘overcome the wiles of the evil one,” is to obey the following most important commandment in God’s Word. We must always be wholly “submitted to God to [prayerfully] resist (or withstand) the devil, [because then] he will flee from us,” (Jam. 4:7-8.) We cannot submit ourselves to church doctrine and think that will make the devil flee from us. We have to be totally ‘sold out’ to God and the entire truth of His Word. We should also be “vigilant, sober,” and on our guard to “bind” or forbid and banish demons as the Spirit leads, and as His Word commands, growing in Christ personally and advancing His Kingdom and truth, (1 Pet. 5:8.)
Paul also revealed the identities of our real enemies in Eph. 2:1-10; 6:10-18 when he wrote, “You He made alive, who were [once] dead in sins in which you walked according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, [all wilfully unrepentant people are controlled by the devil to some degree or another,] among whom, [as unsaved heathens,] we also conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh… (Eph. 6:12,) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, [or physical people, who are mere instruments of the devil,] but against… principalities, [evil spiritual princes or high ranking demons, which indwell and use people of similar stature; people in religious and political power,] powers, [evil spirits that control and influence powerful people under the control of spiritual principalities,] rulers of the darkness, [demons that govern specific places and people dedicated to Satan,] and spiritual hosts of wickedness in high places, [important, extremely wealthy people, indwelt by very strong dark forces, who execute, distribute and defend evil all over the world.]” We can be certain that the onslaught, which the enemy launches against us is merciless and dangerous. It mostly manifests itself ‘in the flesh’ or physical world through Satan’s disciples and other demon controlled people. However, God gave us the authority and commission to use His reason, or the entire truth of His Word, against the deceived thoughts of people, and we should make full use of every opportunity to do so, while not losing sight of the fact that our real enemies are those who are in control of them.
The only effective way to ‘overcome’ the tribulations, which Satan causes through people, is to follow Jesus’ directives in Mt. 18:15-20, where He commands how to deal with abusers. In the case of a serious offense; for our own, as well as for the sake of the abuser, we must privately confront the unrepentant person as far as possible. If this does not solve the problem, we must bring one or two witnesses and try again. If the person continues his or her abuse, we must call in corporate assistance and confront the person again. If that also fails, we must reject that person, and avoid or “flee” from him of her as far as possible.
“Spiritual Warfare:” God did Not make us into ‘Demon Slayers in the Heavenlies,’ who continually Seek out, Attack, and Destroy spiritual Principalities, Powers, and every other evil spirit ‘In the Air’
Look how churches made a dangerous doctrine by replacing the word ‘wrestle’ with ‘war.’ Paul declared in Eph. 6:12-13; “We wrestle against spiritual hosts [or multitudes] of wickedness… You must be able to withstand evil… and having done all, to stand,” Jam. 4:7, Submit yourselves to God, resist (or withstand) the devil, and he will flee from you.” There is a great difference between ‘wrestle,’ ‘resist,’ ‘withstand,’ and ‘to stand,’ (which means to struggle, grapple, endure, resist,) and ‘making war,’ (which is a full military onslaught, battle or combat to kill and destroy.) Only God Himself, in the end, will cast Satan and his demons in the lake of fire and end the war. Therefore, what these ‘demon slayers’ are doing, it to trespass on God’s sovereign domain. Jesus never gave us authority to ‘destroy’ or ‘kill’ demons — which is impossible to do because they are ever-living spirits, who will never repent from hating God and all of His creation. Jesus gave us authority to resist, withstand and wrestle with them because they attack His truth and Holy Spirit work and power in our own minds or thoughts, and in the minds or thoughts of others, as we preach His Gospel, teach His truth, and minister the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
These “hosts (or multitudes) are in heavenly places.” This means they live in spiritual places, which is not the ‘heavenlies’ of this demon-slaying doctrine. In the context of these verses, we do not go after demons into their realm. They step into our realm to attack, harass, and harm humanity and the rest of God’s creation. Spirits come from the unseen spirit world; the so-called ‘fourth dimension,” (1 Cor. 15:39-40.) They enter our physical world as invisible entities, but we cannot enter their world, except through occult power, (Astro travel,) or as Scripturally born again believers, when God allows us to go there ‘in the spirit’ for a specific purpose. Of course we worship God “in spirit and in truth” without encountering demons because God is omnipresent. Thus, in our wrestling with demons, ‘heavenly places’ describe not so much the hierarchy among demons in the spirit world, as the many important people and places that were dedicated to demons, and which they inhabit — and still try to inhabit.
Paid said in Gal. 2:2, “You were made alive… [and delivered from, (past tense)…] the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who woks in the sons of disobedience…” This “prince of the power of the air” refers to Satan, who has no physical body because he is an unseen spirit - and who can only work in those who disobey the truth of God’s Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Footnote, Spirit Filled Bible, “[Yet,] he influences and shapes every culture and evil belief on earth, (1 Jn. 5:19.) One of the greatest demands is to discern between our spiritual struggle and other social, personal, and political difficulties, [caused by our own, and other’s decisive short-sightedness and irresponsibility.] Otherwise, individual believers become too easily detoured, ‘wrestling’ [not really ‘warring’] with human adversaries [while ignoring spiritual influences,] instead of prayerfully withstanding the invisible workers behind the scenes. ‘Heavenly places’ refers to spiritual resources available to believers, (Eph. 1:3.) [Look up these verses to get the full benefit of God’s Truth.] Christ’s authority over all evil, (1:21,) believers being ‘seated’ with their ascended Lord, (2:6,) [meaning Jesus gave us His highest authority to preach His Gospel, minister the gifts of the Spirit, wrestle with evil entities in in prayer, and to withstand the devil;] and the Father’s will to display His wisdom to the confounding of evil powers, (3:10-12.) On these grounds this passage announces believers’ corporate assignment to, [in the power and leading of the Holy Spirit, resist, withstand, and] drive back evil so that the will of God can be advanced.”
We can only banish and overcome the evil works of demonic forces in the power and leading of the Holy Spirit, the Almighty Name of Jesus and His completed atonement in our place; the power of God’s holy angels, our personal submission to Jesus and our faith in Him; constant Holy-Spirit inspired prayer to God, and naturally, the truth of God’s Entire Word. When explaining the truth as in declaring Jesus’ Real Gospel, we are talking to people while ‘wrestling’ with the covert entities that govern their deceived thoughts. Because these spirits cannot operate without their decided consent, we must resist all deception and stand against these spirits in Jesus’ truth, while explaining the truth that will set these people free if they should choose to accept it, (Jn. 1:11-13; 3:16.) We are actually wrestling with the enemy on the battlefield of our own, as well as other people’s thoughts and beliefs.
Paul called the beliefs, which we ourselves sinfully choose to keep because they suit us in different ways, “strongholds” (or deceptions,) which can “forcibly hold” our thoughts in bondage to the devil, even while we are living in God’s Kingdom of Light. Not because demons can live in the brains or minds (souls) of sincere believers, but because we have given the devil permission to capture our thoughts by erecting dilutions in our minds; filling our thoughts with lies and the twisting of truth.
Paul actually wrote, “Our weapons are… mighty in God for pulling down [not casting out!] strongholds. [How do we pull down these strongholds of the devil?] By casting down [not casting out!] arguments [not demons!] and every high thing [or deception] that exalts itself against the [liberating, redeeming truth or] knowledge of God, bringing every thought [not demon!] into captivity to the obedience of Christ and being ready to rebuke all disobedience… [which keeps us from knowing and choosing the truth.]
It was for the purpose of “casting down sinful arguments” that Jesus commanded us to “know the truth,” for the truth of His Real Word and of every situation that pertain to our lives, will set us free! It is therefore vital that we ourselves, in the leading and power of the Holy Spirit and the real truth of God’s Word, work continually at casting down all deceptions in our minds by asking, seeking, and finding Jesus’ whole truth, which will set our thoughts (or minds) free from the power of deception. If left in control of our thoughts, these ‘strongholds’ can, by our own choice, influence us to turn back into the kingdom of darkness.
Paul did Not teach Us to Launch Attacks against “Hell,” because Jesus promised, “...The gates of Hades shall not Triumph Over you…”
Jesus was not referring to “hell” when he promised that “...The gates of Hades, [the grave; or in New Covenant terms, spiritual death, which keeps people’s thoughts and beliefs in bondage to Satan,] shall not prevail against, [or triumph over] the body of Christ…” Unbelievers and disobedient, deceived believers, who are still physically alive, are not in hell but in Hades, or in Satan’s kingdom of spiritual death. Hell and Hades are two completely different places. (Mt. 16:17-19.)
As if confusing hell and Hades was not enough, churches made the body of Christ into the “warring” aggressors. Jesus’ wrestling, resisting, withstanding but advancing disciples must not attack either hell or Hades, or anyone or anything else, (Eph. 6:10-20.) It is Jesus’ disciples, who will be attacked from beyond the gates of Hades, but these attacks will not “prevail against,” or actually, “triumph over” them because they have the “keys,” or Jesus’ authority to preach His Gospel (or Life) to all the nations. If the listeners choose to accept Jesus, God will bring them out of spiritual death, or Hades and “the house of bondage” into His spiritual Kingdom of Light, (Mt. 16:28-29; 28:19-20; Ex. 20:1-2; 1 Pt. 2:9-10.)
So, we can see that Jesus’ defensive “spiritual warfare” techniques do not nearly resemble the sweating, screaming attacks on “hell,” so-called ‘oppressing’ demons living in the ‘brains’ of people, and very powerful entities in the “heavenlies.” In 2 Cor. 10:1-6, Paul clearly stated that our defensive but advancing stance is against deceptive arguments, religious pride, unteachable attitudes, and disobedience to Scripture! We are not attacking Satan but warding off, or withstanding him to overcome his tricks and deception!
CONTINUALLY ‘BINDING’ AND ATTACKING DEMONS IN “SPIRITUAL WARFARE,” SCARING BELIEVERS INTO BELIEVING SATAN IS SO POWERFUL?
With all their violent attacks and constant ‘binding’ of the devil by ‘hyper-anointed’ and other clergy, how scared and bound is the defeated devil by now, I wonder? Because these entities were totally “disarmed” at the cross, they only have the power, which us humans allow them to have, (Col. 2:11-15.) As disembodied spirits, demons must use the thoughts, (minds,) mouths, hands and feet of human beings to do real harm in this dimension. Once given the go ahead by their unrepentant human disciples and co-workers, however, they are powerful entities, although still under God’s control.
Jesus gave all His sincere believers the authority to preach life, redemption, and blessing to the lost and bound world. In Mt. 16:18-19, Jesus promised, “On you, Peter, [a little rock of the Great Rock, or a particular member among the members of the body of Jesus Christ,] I will [begin to] build My [spiritual] Kingdom [in the hearts, minds, and lives of all My believers.]” This promise was fulfilled when Peter, at Pentecost, under the New Covenant of Christ, with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, was God’s instrument to preach Jesus’ truth to 3,000 souls, who chose to accept Him, (Acts 2:1-42.) All Jesus’ sincere disciples, through the ages even until the end of this world, have exactly the same authority in Christ, (Mt. 28:19-20.)
What does “binding the strong man” really mean? Then Jesus continued in Mt. 16:19. “I will give you [Peter, as all other true disciples,] the keys of heaven, [or the Holy Spirit “power” to preach My Word, Acts 1:8.] Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” This is not, as Old and other Apostolic Churches teach, a key to turn before the faces of non-members and go “Click!” to shut or open the Kingdom of God for them.
“Rabbinic in imagery, binding and loosing have to do with forbidding or permitting,” the footnote in the Spirit Filled Bible explains. “Jesus empowered His body of believers to continue in the privileged responsibility of leavening the earth with His Kingdom power and provision. So, if someone is bound by sin, [true disciples] have the authority to “loosen” him by preaching the [full] Gospel of Christ to him, (Rom. 6:14.) If someone [like the unbelieving slave girl, whom Paul ‘delivered,’] should be possessed with a demon [that completely overrides the decisions of the person,] the disciples have the authority (or Holy-Spirit power,) to forbid [‘or bind’] that spirit to withstand the truth of Jesus.” Should the person choose to accept the truth, he or she will be completely ‘loosened’ to know and follow Jesus, (Mark 3:27; Mt. 12:29.)
Binding and loosening also pertains to dealing with an unrepentant believer, where, through private confrontation at first, confrontation by one or two witnesses later, or if necessary, corporate confrontation, the ‘bound’ or unrepentant sinner might choose to repent and be ‘loosened’ on earth and in heaven to worship God in spirit and in truth once more, (read Mt. 5: 23-24; 18:15-20.)
WHAT IS THE ‘FULL ARMOR OF GOD’ REALLY?
To stand against the wiles of the devil, the Whole Armor of God, which Paul described in Eph. 6, must be worn and at all times. We must never be caught without our armor. Just imagine what will happen if the enemy launches a surprise attack on an army camp, to find all the troops naked and unarmed! It would be a massacre. So, the armor of God too, has nothing to do with these “spiritual warfare” ministers and their silly ‘quick dress’ rituals before a ‘deliverance’ session. In short, Paul taught us that our armor is actually our own spiritual integrity, or our holy character in Christ: sincere prayer and submission to God, hope, faith, love, truth, readiness for true Gospel service, and obedience to the contextual Truth of God’s Word.
This is what Paul actually commanded in Eph. 6:13, “Take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand [not ‘make war] in the evil day, and having done all, [as Scripture and the Holy Spirit commanded,] to [just] stand.”
So, we might think, why all the ‘fuss?’ To stand is not that difficult? Well, let us look what we are really up against in this defensive war that intends to flatten us over time if not instantly, and which the enemy deploys against us every day.
In the case of great resistance and demonic attack, because some demons are stronger than others, fasting under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, combined with prayer, is necessary. Confession of personal sins and making right with others to cancel all ‘footholds’ that the devil might have gained, can only benefit the situation, (Mark 9:28-19; Isa. 58:6-12; Jam. 5:16; Eph. 6:18.)
All true believers are constantly wrestling with the devil because he is constantly at war with us through numerous strategies and different types of assault. The enemy always sows sin like doubt, fear, unresolved anger, unforgiveness, and confusion, which are Trojan horses that can demolish all our standing beliefs if we’re not careful! Constant prayer and supplications, (intercession for ourselves and others before the throne of God,) is wrestling, resisting and withstanding even warfare of the fiercest kind, and should be our lifestyle in Christ even throughout our busy day, as we direct our thoughts in prayer to Him inwardly, not just during our ‘quiet time’ or in ‘wresting.’ Someone said that prayer is the ‘breath,’ (air, or life) of our human spirits. A whole day without prayer, is a whole day without a single breath for our human spirits!
Our personal character and lifestyle in Christ make up our whole spiritual armor, which, under the banner of His atonement in our place, are our defence against evil entities that work in our thoughts, lives, and through other people. This does not refer to a charismatic or brave human character and a flawless Godly lifestyle, but to Jesus’ own righteousness, which He bestowed on us by fulfilling the entire Law in our place. Colossians 1:13-14 and Eph. 1:7 triumphantly declare, “He has delivered us, [past tense,] from the power of darkness [spiritual death and deception] and conveyed [or transferred] us into the Kingdom of the Son of His love, in Whom we [already] have redemption [or absolute freedom] through His blood: the forgiveness of sins.” Righteousness is not part of the so-called quick-dress rituals before a ‘deliverance’ session. We are already constantly in a sinless ‘right standing’ before God’s holy throne by what our Savior and Redeemer had accomplished for us on the cross. Our ‘righteousness’ or holiness in Christ is a most important spiritual position, which all truly born again believers occupy in the Kingdom of God, and where they must continually stand, (Mt. 5:17: Col. 1:13.)
The ‘helmet of salvation’ is an important part of our ‘armor’ and not something tangible we can cover our “minds” or thoughts with. It is our personally born again hope of eternal life in heaven through our Lord Jesus Christ.
If we are not prepared to preach the true Gospel as God opens doors and presents opportunities, we are standing bare feet against the wiles or schemes of the enemy, (Eph. 6:15.) Without the willingness to fulfil Jesus’ commission, (Mt. 29:19-20,) we cannot go into all the world to preach His Real Gospel of Peace as, when, and how the Holy Spirit leads us. Hence, we will never be able to overcome the “wiles” of our enemy, either in our own thoughts, or in the thoughts of others.
Girding our waist with the truth is not a physical thing we can strap around our waists. Living and speaking the truth of God’s Word and of everything else, hold entire holy character intact, (Jn. 8:44; 16:13.) As soon as we lie and keep it up unrepentantly, we are without the ‘belt of truth,’ which keeps our whole armor or Godly character together. The enemy’s most dangerous assault is through false dogma and other lies and deceit. So, a disciple of Christ, praying ‘in the Spirit’ and following obediently as the Spirit leads; fulfilling the commission to preach His True Gospel, and teaching the Truth of His Word where possible, is at the forefront of this ongoing defensive advancement into Hades or spiritual death. Our quest is for the salvation, redemption, and blessing of souls; bringing them God’s Gospel and telling them the whole truth about everything.
Additionally, we will never be able to use the ‘sword of the Spirit,’ (the Word of God,) against the enemy without our symbolic “shield of faith” to ‘quench all the flaming darts’ or lies against God’s Word, other people, and against us personally. It was with the truth of His Word that Jesus withstood (not attacked) Satan in the wilderness; quenching all the flaming darts that Satan shot at Him, (Mt. 4.) Even when Jesus eventually chased Satan away by name, He used the ‘sword’ of His Word against him, saying, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written…” Then the devil left Him and angels came to minister to Him...
We cannot add stunts and gimmicks to God’s Word to supposedly ‘cast the devil out of people,’ or to withstand the schemes of the evil one. True believers do not have demons; they have deceptions or ‘strongholds of delusion’ in their ‘minds.’ We don’t actively ‘hunt’ demons either; we withstand them in God’s truth. Once we have obeyed the Scriptures and the leading of the Spirit as far as possible to withstand the enemy, we “have done all.” This is it; we have done everything God allows us to do. Spiritually and emotionally, we must now stand or actually continue in God’s truth, leaving everything behind, which the person whom we ministered to allows the devil to do, knowing that the Holy Spirit will use all we have done thus far.
We may boldly leave the ultimate outcome of the spiritual conflict in the hands of Almighty God Himself, (Eph. 6:18.)