You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free
(Continued from) © COPYRIGHT NOW UNBANNED PUBLICATIONS
ON THIS PAGE:
· Did God make us ‘demon slayers’ in the ‘heavenlies?’
· Did Paul teach us to launch attacks against “hell?”
· Continually binding and attacking defeated demons in ‘spiritual warfare?’ (Col. 2:9-15.)
· 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’
It is most important that we understand we are not ‘at war’ with Satan to ‘conquer or destroy’ him and his demons, because he is already a completely defeated foe. If God wanted to destroy Satan, He would have obliterated him at the cross. Instead, Jesus fully and eternally won the war for humanity’s redemption (or deliverance) from all bondage and darkness by conquering Satan and his demons at the cross, (Col. 2:9-15; Eph. 1:7, 12-14.) But because God never takes captives to heaven, He still allows these conquered foes to take on the role of stealthy terrorists to test humanity’s faith in Him. Mostly unawares, they infiltrate humanity’s thoughts to get hold of their minds or thoughts and beliefs to turn them against the Most High, all-powerful, Creator God of heaven and earth, (2 Cor. 10:3-6.) They can do this because God allows humanity free choice over their eternal destination. Sincerely loving God will always remain a personal choice, (Jn. 1:12-13.)
As far as God allows, these insurgents mostly cause chaos, suffering, and tribulations through their human operatives, (Jn. 19:11.) If they work directly from the spirit world, their strategies are lies and deceit, which they launch against humanity’s thoughts to control their actions. On a physical level, they are disembodied spirits that need to work through humans. But they can only work in and through those who give them permission to deceive and control them. So, while people unrepentantly choose to cling to lies and other sin, no one can help them. But once they refuse Satan’s lies and choose God’s Truth to defensively resist those onslaughts, the devil has no hold on them. 1 Jn. 5:18, “Those who were born of God does not sin [habitually although they stumble, Jam. 3:2, KJV.) They keep themselves [from sin,] and the wicked one [cannot] touch them!”
In Eph. 6:10-18, Paul revealed the identities of our covert enemies that work from behind the scenes. He wrote, “We [do not war but] wrestle against… principalities, [high ranking demons, which indwell and use people of similar stature; mostly people in religious and political power,] powers, [strong underlings that control and influence people,] rulers of the darkness, [demons that govern specific places and people dedicated to Satan,] and spiritual hosts of wickedness in high places, [or important, wealthy people, indwelt by dark forces, who execute, distribute, and defend evil all over the world.]”
Þ We must not think we “battle” against spiritual entities only. As described above, demons form a symbiosis or mutually beneficial relationship with deceived people to destroy others on a physical level. Hence, God gave His teachings and other ministrations to reach lost humanity - and to discipline and expose the unrepentant to protect the vulnerable, (Mt. 18:15-20; Eph. 5:11; 4:11-12.) Yet, His people are “destroyed for a lack of knowledge [of the Truth,]” (Hos. 4:6 KJV.) That is why He sends His Truth to redeem those who choose Jesus, (Mt. 28:18-20.)
The constant onslaught, which the enemy launches against humans to get them in his deceptive power, is merciless and dangerous, (1 Jn. 5:19.) However, Jesus has us covered. “He is the Head of all principality and power…” and He already triumphed over them all, (Col. 2:9-10; 15.) No sincere child of God needs to fear the conquered devil. Our all-knowing, ever-present God knows every move of every one of these insurgents, and they are all stayed by His almighty hand of righteousness.
Þ In step with this truth, Paul commanded, “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, to [defensively] stand against the devil... to overcome his wiles.” We must overcome the devil’s tricks, deceit, guile, or cunningness that keep the thoughts of people in bondage to his deceptions and their own sinful lusts, (2 Cor. 10:3-6.) The battle (not the war) is for the mind! (Rom. 12:1-2.) The one that controls the thoughts and beliefs of people, controls them.
Þ Paul called the beliefs, which we ourselves sinfully choose to keep, “strongholds” (or “strong delusion,” 2 Ths. 2:9-12,) 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 delusions in our minds; filling our thoughts with lies, false perceptions, and the twisting of truth. That is why our thoughts or minds must be constantly “renewed to know God’s will,” (1 Ths. 5:23; Rom. 12:1-3.)
In fact, dear reader, I am defensively withstanding deceptions right now by telling you the truth. God uses His truth, (the Words Jesus has spoken,) to “destroy the works of the evil of the evil one, [not the devil himself,]” (1 Jn. 3:8.)
Þ True believers must defensively ‘resist’ and ‘wrestle’ against evil forces from the vantage point of Jesus’ total victory over them all, (Rom. 8:37: Eph. 6:12-14; Jam. 7:4.) The Holy Spirit has come to “give [His sincere disciples] the understanding [that they must follow Jesus,] Who is the true God and eternal life; [while] the whole [unbelieving, disobedient] world is in the [deceptive] power of the evil one,” (1 Jn. 5:19-20; Jn. 16:7-14.)
Þ Besides our own submission to God, we need the collaboration of people to be God’s instruments in “destroying the works of the evil one,” (Jam. 4:7-8.) As long as people refuse to repent from lies and other sin, the devil will remain in control. But if they are willing to submit to God’s Truth, we can pull down [not cast out, deceptive] strongholds. We cast down [not “cast out,”] arguments [not the demons themselves,] and every high [thought and belief] that exalt itself against the knowledge of God; bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, while being ready to [also withstand or resist] all disobedience [with the truth of Scripture…]”
“Spiritual Warfare:” Did God 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?’
Churches manufactured their dangerous doctrines by replacing the word ‘wrestle’ with ‘war.’ As seen above, Paul declared in Eph. 6:12-13; “We wrestle against spiritual hosts [or multitudes] of wickedness… We must be able to [defensively] withstand evil… and having done all, to stand [our ground.]” Jam. 4:7, “Submit yourselves to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Rev. 12:11, “You have overcome, [past tense, as Jesus fully redeemed us at our rebirth,] through the blood of the Lamb…” “You are more than conquerors, [because Jesus completely conquered the devil and you stand in His victory,]” (Rom. 8:37.)
There is a big difference between defensively ‘withstanding’ to “overcome,” (which means to struggle, endure, resist, keep your ground,) and ‘making war,’ (which is a full military onslaught to invade foreign territory to kill, steal, and destroy.) Only God will cast these terrorists into the lake of fire in Jesus’ judgment on the “Last Day,” (Jn. 12:48.)
Þ Therefore, what these so-called ‘demon slayers’ are doing, is to trespass on God’s sovereign domain. Jesus never gave us authority to ‘torture,’ ‘destroy,’ or ‘kill’ demons — which is impossible because they are ever-living spirits, who will never repent from hating God and all of His creation, (Jn. 16:11.) Jesus gave us His full authority to withstand and wrestle with them when they attack us, His truth, Holy-Spirit work and power in our own minds or thoughts, and in the minds of others, as we preach His Gospel, teach His truth, minister the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and live in this world, (Mt. 28:18-20.)
Þ These “hosts (or multitudes) are in heavenly places.” This means they live in spiritual places or the spirit world, which is not the ‘heavenlies’ of this demon-slaying culture. In the context of these verses, we do not go after demons into their realm. They step into our dimension to attack, harass, and harm humanity and the rest of God’s creation, (Jn. 10:10.) 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 deliberately enter their world, except through occult power, (Astro travel.) Yet, it is possible to enter the spirit world through our born again human spirits, as we “live in the Spirit,” and the Holy Spirit lives in us. So we can worship, pray, rejoice, sing, be troubled, and perceive some things that are going on there, (Jn. 4:21-24; Mark 2:8; 1 Cor. 14:15; Lu. 1:47; Jn. 13:21.) But our defensive ‘wrestling’ with demons in ‘heavenly places’ does not mean our human spirits leave our bodies to go into the ‘air around us’ to attack demons in the spirit world!
Paid said in Eph. 2:1-10, “You were made alive… [and were totally delivered from] the prince of the power of the air, [meaning demonic territories in the spirit world;] the spirit who works in the sons of disobedience… [Disobedient people constantly supply power to demons and visa versa.] Among whom we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our [sinful] flesh, (Rom. 8,) fulfilling the desires of the… [unrenewed] mind...” (Rom. 12:1-3.)
Þ 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 and through those who disobey the truth of God’s Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Spirit Filled Bible 1991, “[Yet, through his demons] he influences and shapes every culture and evil belief on earth, (1 Jn. 5:19.) So, one of the greatest demands is to discern between our spiritual struggle and other social, personal, and political difficulties, [caused by our own, and others’ short-sightedness and irresponsibility.] Otherwise, individual believers become too easily detoured, ‘wrestling’ [not ‘warring’] with human adversaries [while ignoring spiritual influences,] instead of prayerfully withstanding the invisible workers behind the scenes...
Þ “‘Heavenly places’ also refers to spiritual resources available to believers, (Eph. 1:3.) [We should look up these verses to get the full benefit of God’s marvelous Truth.] Christ’s authority is over all evil, (1:21,) believers are spiritually already ‘seated’ with their ascended Lord, (2:6,) [meaning Jesus gave us His highest authority to preach His Gospel.] They minister the gifts of the Spirit, wrestle against evil entities, beseech God in prayer, and confound 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 on earth.”
Paul did Not teach Us to Launch Attacks against “Hell,” because Jesus promised, “The gates of Hades [the grave and/or spiritual death] shall not Triumph Over you…”
Jesus was not referring to “hell” when he promised, “The gates of Hades, [the grave; or in New Covenant terms spiritual death, which keeps people’s thoughts 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 incarcerated in Satan’s kingdom of spiritual death. Hell and Hades are two completely different places. (Mt. 16:17-19.)
Þ As if confusing hell with Hades is not enough, churches also made the body of Christ into “warring” aggressors. However, Jesus’ defensive, resisting but advancing disciples must not attack either hell or Hades, or anyone or anything else, (Eph. 6:10-20.) In reality, Jesus’ disciples are attacked from beyond the gates of Hades, (or from Satan’s kingdom of death and darkness in the spirit world,) but these attacks will not “prevail against” or triumph over them because they have the “keys” or Jesus’ authority to preach His Gospel (or Redemption) 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 and Liberty, (Mt. 16:28-29; 28:19-20; Ex. 20:1-2; 1 Pt. 2:9-10.)
Hence, we can see that Jesus’ defensive battle does not resemble the sweating, screaming so-called “attacks on hell,” ‘oppressing’ demons living in the ‘brains’ of people, and the alleged ‘slaying’ of powerful entities in the “heavenlies.” In 2 Cor. 10:1-6, Paul clearly stated that our defensive stance is against deceptive arguments, religious pride, unteachable attitudes, lies and deceptions, and disobedience to Scripture! We are not attacking Satan and his demonic terrorists but withstanding them to overcome their tricks and deception in our own, and other people’s minds! (Rev. 12:11; Rom. 1-3.)
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’ clergy, how scared and bound is the defeated devil by now? But because these entities were totally “disarmed” at the cross, they only have the power, which we 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 physical harm in this dimension. But once given the go ahead by their unrepentant human co-workers, they are powerful entities, although still under God’s control.
Þ We ‘wrestle’ against these evil spirits with “our weapons that are mighty in God,” and we already have [present tense] the full anointing of the indwelling Holy Spirit to follow Jesus through every battle we must face, (1 Jn. 2:20.)
Jesus gave all His sincere believers the authority to preach redemption, salvation, and blessing to the bound, lost, and cursed ‘world,’ (Gal. 3:10-14.) 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 Christ,] I will [begin to] build My [spiritual] Kingdom [inside the spirits, minds, and lives of all My true believers.]” This promise was fulfilled when Peter, 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’ true disciples, through the ages 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 My other true disciples,] the keys of heaven, [or the Holy Spirit “power” to preach My Word to the world, 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, New, and other Apostles 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 1991 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 by a demon, the disciples have the authority [or Holy-Spirit power,] to [forbid or ‘bind’] and cast out the spirit that withstands the truth of Jesus,” (Mark 3:27; Mt. 12:29.)
Binding and loosening also pertains to dealing with an unrepentant believer. Through private confrontation at first, confrontation by one or two witnesses later, or corporate confrontation, the ‘bound’ sinner might choose to repent and be ‘loosened’ on earth and in heaven to worship God in spirit and in truth once again, (Mt. 5: 23-24; 18:15-20.)
WHAT IS THE ‘FULL ARMOR OF GOD’ REALLY?
This is what Paul actually commanded in Eph. 6:13-18, “Take up the whole [allegorical] armor of God that you may be able to withstand, [not ‘make war’ as Jesus already fully vanquished evil at the cross, Col. 2:9-15,] in the evil day, and having done all, [as Scripture and the Holy Spirit commanded,] to [immovably] stand” in your born-again position in the Kingdom of Light.
Our metaphorical armor must be ‘worn’ at all times. We must never be caught without our ‘armor.’ Imagine what will happen if the enemy launches a surprise attack on an army base to find the troops naked and unarmed! It would be a massacre. So, the “armor of God” has nothing to do with those “spiritual warfare” ministers and their silly ‘quick dress’ rituals before a ‘deliverance’ session. [This hilarity too, surely make demons crawl with laughter.] Paul taught that our armor is our personal spiritual integrity or our holy character in Christ, to defend ourselves and others against the spiritual assaults of the devil.
So, we might think, why all the ‘fuss?’ To stand is not that difficult? Well, let us look at what we are really up against in this defensive battle 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 serious prayer, might be necessary. Confession and repentance of personal sins, and making right with God and also with people as far as possible to ‘cancel’ all ‘footholds’ that the devil might have gained, will greatly benefit the situation, (Mark 9:28-19; Isa. 58:6-12; Jam. 5:16; Eph. 6:18.)
Then, Eph. 6:1-18 must swing into action. Our personal Godly character and lifestyle in Christ make up our spiritual symbolical ‘armor,’ which, under the banner of Jesus’ atonement in our place, form our defence against evil entities that work in our thoughts, lives, and through other people. This does not merely refer to a charismatic or brave character and a so-called flawless Godly lifestyle, which is impossible because we all remain human and “stumble in many things,” (Jam. 3:2.) Our “armor” points directly to the perfect, sinless Man Jesus Christ Himself, and His full atonement in our place, (Isa. 53:3-5.)
To “stand” in this “battle against the wiles of the devil” begins with “girding our waist with truth.” This is not merely speaking truth under all circumstances as all lies come from the “father of lies;” but “being in” Truth, Who is Jesus Himself. Thus, we must “stand,” grounded in a firm, sincere, committed relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ, The Truth. This is actually a lifestyle of deed and truth in Him through obedience to the Truth of His Word, (Jn. 4:21-24; 2 Ths. 2:9-12.)
We must also wear the “breastplate of righteousness.” The reason why Jesus became the sinless Lamb of God to suffer, die, and be resurrected, was to fulfil all the precepts of the ceremonial temple law, as well as the inward Moral law in our place, as that was impossible for us to do, (Mt. 5:17; Col. 2:13-15.) Although the Man Jesus never sinned, He took every punishment for every trespass against the entire Law of God in our place. In this way, He earned our “right standing” or righteousness in God.
Thus, righteousness is not “getting holier” through so-called ‘saving’ church sacraments or ordinations. All sincerely born again believers were spiritually born again into a state or position of holiness in the Kingdom of Christ. We cannot ‘get holy;’ we must “be holy” and live holy, because we are the Holy-Spirit indwelt ‘saints’ of Christ. And we can only be holy through the righteousness that only Jesus could bestow on us by fulfilling the entire Law in our place. We can never ‘achieve’ righteousness. We must also be “born into” righteousness as with everything else in Christ. This is not our own ‘righteousness” by keeping parts of the law, but “justification” through Christ. Justification means, we were excused or forgiven and cannot be punished because Jesus was punished in our place. In His righteousness, we can stand before God as if we never sinned. (Read Gal. 5:1-6.)
“Our feet must then be [symbolically] shoed with our willingness to preach the Gospel.” [Scroll down on the page.] We lose part of our “armor” or defence to stand against the schemes of the enemy, if we do not follow the directions of the Holy Spirit to go where He leads us to “preach His True Gospel to make disciples, water baptize the disciples, and teach them everything Jesus [and not churches] has said,” (Acts 1:8; Mt. 28:18-20.) Without the willingness to fulfil Jesus’ commission, (Mt. 29:18-20,) we are standing “bare feet” against the onslaughts of the enemy, (Eph. 6:15.) Hence, we will never be able to overcome the deceptions of the enemy with the Truth of God’s Word, either in our own thoughts, or in the thoughts of others.
The ‘helmet of salvation’ is another 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 and His full atonement in our place. We will surely be deceived to focus on life on earth and lose our way, if we do not keep our ‘minds’ or thoughts stayed on eternal life in heaven. Heb. 11:13-16; 12:22, “...These [examples of faith] all embraced and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth, for they declared plainly that they seek a homeland… a heavenly country… the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem...”
Moreover, we will nullify our ‘armor’ in Christ if we do not “take the sword of the Spirit, which is the [study, preaching, and teaching of the] Word of God, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, [or as led, inspired, and supported by the Holy Spirit,] while being watchful [against the schemes of the devil] with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.”
Additionally, we will never be able to withstand 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 the Man Jesus withstood (not attacked) Satan in the wilderness; quenching all the “flaming darts” of manipulation and lies that Satan shot at Him, (Mt. 4.) Even when He 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 withstand the schemes of the evil one. True believers do not have demons. They have ‘strongholds of delusion’ in their ‘minds’ that must be ‘cast down’ by God’s Truth to constantly ‘renew’ or ‘transform’ their minds to understand and obey the Real Word of God in the leading of the Holy Spirit, (Rom. 12:1-3.)
True believers don’t actively ‘hunt’ demons either. They refute their onslaughts from the spirit world and through evil humans with the truth of God’s Word, while guarding their territory, clothed in their symbolical armor. This means, once we have obeyed the Scriptures and the leading of the Spirit as far as possible to “overcome” them, 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 to resolve the situation one way or another.
We may boldly leave the final outcome of every spiritual conflict in the hands of Almighty God Himself, Who already won the war on all evil for the complete redemption or deliverance of all His believers, (Eph. 6:18.)