The Spiritual Man (part 2)


Nothing Is More Vital to the Christian life than to walk daily after the spirit. It is this that maintains the Christian in a constant spiritual state, delivers him from the power of the flesh, assists him to obey God’s will always, and shields him from the assault of Satan.

In this installment of our study we will delve deeper into scriptures to discover the nature of our enemy, his weapons of choice, the weapons that God has given us to defend ourselves and how to use them.

AND NO this is not another spiritual warfare study, albeit we will touch on that topic briefly, we do not believe that there is a need to war because the battle has already been won and our Lord has given us dominion over Satan and his minions!

Be Blessed!


The Lordship of Christ

As stated in the first part of this study, there are many Christians who have accepted Jesus as their Savior but have nor truly received Him as their Lord.  That is to say that they have not truly subjugated themselves to His authority.  Likewise there are many who know the scriptural verses which declare the ministry of the Holy Spirit, even the angelic ministry, yet they do not "walk the talk".

Receiving the lordship of Christ Jesus means that "His words" take precedence over all others.

Our Lord has said that "His" words are spirit and life.  He did not say the words of any other are such.

(John 5:33) Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.

(John 5:34) But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.

(John 5:35)
He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.

(John 5:36) But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.

(John 5:37) And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

(John 5:38) And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

(John 5:39) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

(John 5:40) And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

(John 5:41) I receive not honor from men.

There is a great amount of truth to be gleaned from these verses of scriptures!

Jesus makes the point that John the Baptist, of whom He said was the greatest man born of woman (Mat 11:11), bore witness unto the truth of who Jesus was.  He made this claim to elevate John above ALL who were born of women.  This includes Moses, Abraham, David and all of the prophets.

He then makes the point that He does not receive testimony from man (v.34) nor does he receive honor from men (v.41).

Now Watch This!

Jesus says that He has a GREATER witness than John, the greatest man born of woman.
Who and or What is that witness?

The works that the Father has given him to do are the works that he does and these things bear witness that He was sent by the Father!. and that these works were also the witness of the Father as to who Jesus was.

His witness were His works!
His works were the proof that He was of the Father and that the Father was in Him.

Now we must remember to keep this in context. Those to whom He was speaking were Jews for He came only for "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Mat 15:24).  The gentiles came into the faith through the apostolic ministry of Christ AFTER the day of Pentecost.

Therefore when Jesus said that the people (Jews) did not have the word of God abiding in them He was being literal in that they either did not know or rejected the truth that the OT scriptures testify of Him.

Jesus goes so far as to say that the people of God had never, "at any time", heard the Father nor seen His shape.  Even Moses did not see the shape, He only saw the hind portion of God (Exo 33:20-23) but the Son of Man, The Word of God, was with God in the beginning and is seated now at His right hand!  Halleluiah & Amen!

Our Lord also states that the people search the scriptures (the OT scrolls) that they might find life and refuse to come to Him to receive what they were looking for.  They rejected both His words and HIS WORKS.  They did not submit to His Lordship!

Now granted the people did so very overtly, to the point of bringing Him before Pilot for crucifixion.

Obviously Christians are not that extreme.  Their rejection of the Lordship of Jesus is far less extreme.  But the truth is that they do reject Him in so much as they have not completely subjugated themselves to His lordship.  That is to say that they do not walk the talk!

You see nothing has really changed since the time that our Lord walked the earth! (Matt 23:2-7)

That being said, true discipleship is the first step in submitting to His lordship (supreme power, authority, and rule). In order to become true subjects of Christ we must first know what our Lord said, understand what He meant and do that which He has decreed.  We must place Him ABOVE ALL OTHERS and His word  and above ALL OTHER WORDS SPOKEN BEFORE HIM!

This means that we do not blend doctrines and we do not merge covenants!

(Luke 5:36) And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old.

(Luke 5:37) And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.

(Luke 5:38) But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.

(Luke 5:39) No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.

It truly offends my spirit when I hear so called disciples and or ministers of the new covenant preaching and teaching while blending traditions and customs of many faiths into the doctrines of our Lord.  But as He said; the people did not believe the prophets and the will not believe Him! (Mat 23:29-39).  He receives not honor from men!

Therefore it is wise and prudent to be sure that we are indeed "following" Christ and not another!

(Psalms 81:8) Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me;

(Psalms 81:9) There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.

(Psalms 81:10) I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.

(Psalms 81:11) But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me.

(Psalms 81:12) So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels.

(Psalms 81:13) Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!

(Psalms 81:14) I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.

(Psalms 81:15) The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever.

There is truly no new thing under the sun! (Ecc 12:9)

Look at what this is saying!

God is telling his people, "if thou will listen to me thee shall be no strange God in you and you will not worship any strange God"  He is saying; if Israel had walked in His ways He would have subdued the enemies of His chosen people.  That He would have turned His hand against the adversaries of His people.  He calls the people "haters of the Lord" because they did not submit themselves onto Him.

Now this is not going to be popular statement but it must be said because it is the truth!

The chosen people of God, to this very day, have not turned from their rebellion towards Him!
Yes they have many enemies who would see Israel destroyed.  Yes there is an anti-Semitic spirit in the world.  And yes the Hand of God has preserved the Land as He has promised.

And these things not because they are worthy.  Not because they love God.  He did it because He said He would preserve the land because it is His.  He is doing this thing for His glory not for the glory of Israel!

And even now are they grateful to God or are they self-righteous and arrogant and boastful about how great the nation of Israel is!  God receives no honor from men!

Do you want to know why so many around the world hate the Jewish people?
Because the world is not like God!

Only agape love can accomplish this because they are an arrogant and stiff-necked people full of false pride.  They walk around boasting of themselves that they are the chosen people of God.  But God did not choose them because they were worthy He chose them because they were the runt of the litter, so to speak, and because His strength could be clearly seen through their weakness!

I love Israel and the people who inhabit God's promised land (the world belongs to Him) because God said to.  Not because they are worthy of my love.  Not because they are such a loving, kind and generous people.  Rather because I am a child of God and my Father says that I must bless them.  It's not easy to love them, it requires much prayer and a deep desire to please my Father and to do His will.

Do you know why God's people rejected and murdered the prophets sent onto them by the Father?
Do you know why they know Torah but do not hearken onto the prophets?
Do you know why God himself came yet again onto them in the person of Jesus Christ?
Do you know why they rejected Him and would have Him dead as well?

Because they did not like what he had to say!  They did not like what the prophets of old had to say!  It's that simple!

To this day the Jewish people, as did Adam before them, blame others (the Romans) for their iniquity, for the death of our Lord.  Onto this day the Jews proclaim that it was the Romans who nailed Jesus to the cross and not the Jewish people.  The truth is that the only reason that this is so is because the law did not permit them to kill Him.  The truth is that if they had the legal authority to do so themselves, they surely would have!

Isn't our Lord saying the exact thing throughout His earthen ministry?  Doesn't He instruct the people of God to follow Him?  Doesn't He say that His sheep follow His voice and they follow the voice of no other?  Doesn't He say that if they REPENT (change the way they think) that they will be saved from the wrath of God (the hand of God) that is soon to be set against the world?  Didn't they murder our Lord just as they murdered the prophets of God sent before Him?  Didn't they murder John the Baptist?

This is not allegory or hyperbole brothers and sisters.  It is literal and it's the plain truth!

It is also true that just as the Jews reject God Christians reject the authority of our Lord.  They do not keep His words and do His commandments.  They follow and serve another and in their own way according to their own understanding in spite of His words.

(Matthew 12:39) But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

(Matthew 12:40) For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

(Matthew 12:41) The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

(Matthew 12:42) The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.


(Matthew 12:6) But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.

(Matthew 12:7) But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

The whole point here is to demonstrate that there is no new thing under the sun.  The chosen people of God rejected Him and the people of our Lord Jesus reject Him as well.  He receives no honor from men!

What is written here is purposed to provoke believers into self examination (myself naturally included).  To remind ourselves that we do have a human nature, albeit a remnant of that nature, which remains within our flesh and we can deceive ourselves just as the Jews have deceived themselves.

Which leads me to the destroyer, the father of lies, the prince of the powers of the air and the ruler of this world, our mortal enemy, Satan!


Spiritual Warfare

The bookstores are filled with volumes of books about spiritual warfare.  Pastors and preachers spend weeks even months preaching and teaching on this topic.  On the internet you can find literally thousand of web sites and tens of thousands of pages dedicated to it.

We will cover it in a few paragraphs!

(Matthew 8:28) And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.

(Matthew 8:29) And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?


(Matthew 15:28) Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

(Matthew 17:20) And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.


(Mark 1:23) And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,

(Mark 1:24) Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.

(Mark 1:25) And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.

(Mark 1:26) And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.

(Mark 1:27) And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.


(Luke 10:17) And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.


(Luke 9:1) Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.

Lastly:

(Mark 9:38) And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.

(Mark 9:39) But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.

(Mark 9:40) For he that is not against us is on our part.

Last thing first:

Here we see a person "casting out devils" in the name of Jesus and this man was not of the faith (he followed not after us) whom John forbade casting out demons because "he followed not us".

This is an important point to receive!

The miracles of our Lord and the apostles after him and His church after them, are worked for two reasons; compassion and more importantly for the glory of the Father!

When the name of Jesus is invoked publicly, that work will be accomplished for the glory of God!
All things are done by the Father and the Son and through the church for the glory of God and for no other reason!

Glory (δόξα - doxa - dignity, praise, worship, honor)

Demons obeyed even those who were not in the faith because they invoked the name of Jesus for the glory of the Father!  Everything God did is to glorify himself, everything Jesus did was to glorify the Father and everything we do is to glorify both the Son and the Father who sent Him!  Amen & Amen!

Also notice that, with few exceptions, each exorcism was complete and immediate by the invocation of the name of Jesus!

Not 3 days, not a week, not months and not years.  Not with many words, not with holy water, crosses, rosary beads or prayer cloths.  Immediately with the word of Jesus, glory to God!

Have we not received authority to cast out demons in the name of Jesus?

(Luke 10:19) Behold, I give unto you power (ἐξουσία - exousia - privilege, that is, (subjectively) force, capacity, competency, freedom, or (objectively) mastery (concretely magistrate, superhuman, potentate, token of control), delegated influence: - authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, strength) to tread on serpents and scorpions (Satan's minions), and over all the power of the enemy (Satan himself): and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

(Luke 10:20) Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

So what is all of the hubub about?  Why all of these books and videos?  Why spend hours, days, weeks, months, even years studying how to cast our demons? 

All it takes is faith (a gift of the Spirit), belief in the words of our Lord that we have been given the authority through His name, and speaking the words, come out!  Amen?

Now, the only reason that we would not be able to accomplish this is in our disbelieving!

(Matthew 17:19) Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

(Matthew 17:20) And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

(Matthew 17:21) Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Yes there are times when prayer and fasting are required, however, Jesus sites "unbelief" specifically as the main cause of their failure.


Faith and Believing

The Measure of Faith (Romans 12:3)

What is the biblical definition of faith?
(Hebrews 11:1) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Faith - πίστις -pistis - feminine noun -  conviction of the truth of anything, of a conviction respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with believing.

Now it is important to note here that there is a distinction between faith and believing.  First and foremost faith is a noun and belief or believing is a verb.

Believing - πιστεύω - pisteuō - verb - to have faith in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing.

Faith is a noun (substance) and belief is a verb, an action, to HAVE FAITH IN with respect to another noun!

Now Watch This!

(Mark 9:23) Jesus said unto him, If thou canst (can) believe, all things are possible to him that believeth (believes).

(Mark 9:24) And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

(Mark 9:25) When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.

(Mark 9:26) And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.

Notice here that Jesus did not say, if you can have faith, all things are possible to him that has faith because we all have been given "the measure of faith" (Romans 12:3).

What Jesus does say however is if you can believe, that is to exercise faith, to work your faith, ALL things are possible to those who work faith!  Faith without works is dead!

Was Abraham justified justified by faith or by believing God? (Rom 4:3) (Gen15:6 - Gal 3:6-8 - Jam 2:23)

Also notice that Jesus seems to have ignored the man's plea to "help my unbelief".  But He did not!
He answered by healing the man's child!

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by The Word of God - You see the man had faith because he had "heard" about Jesus and the evidance of that faith is that he "believed" enough to go to Him (an action or work of faith).  He received help with his "belief" when Jesus spoke and the came out of the child. 

You see his faith was fine he had what he needed.  His belief however needed to be increased and the healing of his child accomplished that!  Glory to the word of God!


Think of it this way, think of your car as faith (noun) and driving it as believing (verb). You have faith but if you do not work it (drive it) it just sits there.

Suppose you get into your car and you don't know how to drive it.  This man says I believe (I know how to drive), help my unbelief (help me to drive better).  He believed but had some doubt.  His belief needed to be stronger.

You see faith and belief are, in a manner of speaking, connected at the hip.  One can not believe if they do not first have faith.  And even then there are varying degrees of belief.  On one side there is total belief and on the other doubt, and there is a whole grey area in between the two but the requirement (the law of prescriptive usage) is total belief with no doubt:

(James 1:3) Knowing this, that the trying of your faith (the testing of your belief in faith) worketh patience.

(James 1:4) But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (believing with no doubt), wanting nothing.

(James 1:5) If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

(James 1:6) But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (do not hesitate) (διακρινόμενος - Not equivalent to unbelief, but expressing the hesitation which balances between faith and unbelief, and inclines toward the latter. This idea is brought out in the next sentence)  For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed (as in Peter walking on the water).

(James 1:7) For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

(James 1:8) A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

You see the effectiveness of faith is dependent on the amount of faith (the measure of faith) that you have been given!

(1 Corinthians 12:4) Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

(1 Corinthians 12:5)
And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

(1 Corinthians 12:6) And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

(1 Corinthians 12:7)
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

(1 Corinthians 12:8) For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

(1 Corinthians 12:9) To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

(1 Corinthians 12:11) But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

The spiritual gifts are given to "every man severally (individually), in measure, as the Holy Spirit wills, depending on how much of that gift is required to accomplish the task before them. 

Regarding faith, it's like saying; He will put as much gas in your car as you need to get you where you have to go.

The question is; do you "believe it"? 

Will you drive your car and not stop to put more gas in it because your not sure that you have enough to get you where you need to go?

Abraham had enough faith because God knew how much He needed.  What was tested was not His faith rather his belief.  He "believed God" and he had the boldness to do what was asked of him!

Faith In Action

(1 John 5:14)
And this is the confidence (boldness) that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

(1 John 5:15) And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Our faith is boldly ask anything of our Father, according to His will, in the knowledge that He hears us and that we HAVE the petitions we asked of Him before we receive them (that is before they become manifest).

it is our belief in our faith which manifests that which we have asked for!

We ask boldly in faith believing that He hears us.  We believe in faith that we have what we ask for before we get it.  When we receive (get) that which we have asked for our belief is increased!


The Primary Weapon Of The Enemy

Contrary to what we believe, the enemy has only one truly effective weapon in his arsenal:

Doubt!

What was the true cause of the fall of man in the garden? Doubt!

The eating of the forbidden fruit was just symptomatic of a deeper issue.  Adam and Eve doubted (they didn't believe God).  If by believing God Abraham was accounted as righteous it stands to reason that disbelieving (doubt) is accounted as unrighteousness.

God told Adam that if he ate of the forbidden fruit that he would surly die on the day that he ate it. (Gen 2:16-17)

What was Satan's response?

(Genesis 3:4) And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

Satan used doubt to lead Eve astray!

There is no new thing under the sun!

(Mat 4:3) And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

(Mat 4:5) Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
(Mat 4:6) And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

When Satan tempted our Lord, as ridiculous as it seems, he tried to get Jesus to question His identity!

You see Jesus, having been made man, had two natures within Him just as we do.  He had a spiritual nature and a carnal nature.  Now Satan waited 40 days and 40 nights before he tempted Jesus.  He waited until he was physically hungry from fasting and he tried to use that physical desire for food against him just as he used the pleasant apearance of the forbidden fruit to tempt Eve.

Satan's temptations are always sensual (carnal).  He uses the physical to tempt the spiritual!

What should our response to temptation be?  The word of God!

When Jesus was tempted by Satan how did He respond?  By Quoting Scriptures!

What was the result?  Satan eventually fled from Him!

(James 4:7) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.


Spiritual Warfare (Part Two)

Within the scope of military tactics, when one has established a strong hold on the top of a hill, and the enemy attacks from below, they do not go charging down the hill to fight the enemy.  They stand and defend their position.

In that light when we are attacked by the enemy, being above him in every way through our victory over him in Christ, we do not leave our position in Him to go after the enemy.

The weapons of our warfare, the whole armor of God, are defensive weapons, not offensive ones, and it is important that we come to understand this truth!


(Ephesians 6:10) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

(Ephesians 6:11) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

(Ephesians 6:12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

(Ephesians 6:13) Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

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(Ephesians 6:14) Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

(Ephesians 6:15) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

(Ephesians 6:16) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

(Ephesians 6:17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

(Ephesians 6:18) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

In my opinion the temptation of our Lord by Satan, after He received the Baptism of John, is the pattern or template for all spiritual warfare.

The premise that we are to go out looking for or go on the attack against a spirit of temptation or a possessing spirit is illogical, irrational and un-biblical.  Jesus did not go out into the desert looking for Satan, albeit He was led by the Spirit.  Jesus did not initiate the confrontation he responded to it.  He did not vanquish Satan, He did not throw him off of the mountain and He did not call down angels to do battle on His behalf.

What He did do however is stand His ground and quote scriptures!

As a matter of fact, of the many exorcisms noted in scriptures, there was but one occasion recorded when the exorcist went out looking for trouble, so to speak.  The rest were brought to our Lord or to the apostles by family members or friends.  Let's look at an exception to the rule:

(Acts 19:13) Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits in the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.

(Acts 19:14) And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.

(Acts 19:15) And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

(Acts 19:16) And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

Could this have been so because they were not Christians?
NO!

Could it be because they were against Jesus?
NO!

(Mark 9:38) And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.

(Mark 9:39) But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.

(Mark 9:40) For he that is not against us is on our part.

These men were clearly not Christians but they did however invoke the name of Jesus.  Therefore there must be something else going on here which caused their defeat because in one example the exorcist was successful and the other fled out of the house overcome, wounded and naked.

The chief reason, as stated by many, is that this happened because they used the name of Jesus as a mystic charm in an attempt to receive compensation for their efforts and I can not discount that explanation.  However, due to the lack of scriptural evidence to the contrary, I must stand on my position that it was because they went looking for trouble and dun took a whoppin.

In every single exorcism recorded, with this one exception, to the best of my knowledge anyway, the possessed person was brought to or was come upon during the travels of Jesus and His apostles!

Therefore, in my opinion, the best way to engage in spiritual warfare is to wait for the battle come to you and then stand your ground.  Stand on the name of Christ, stand on scriptures and stand on your faith regarding the word of God.

Exorcism & The Spiritual Gifts

Where does exorcism fit into the gifts of the Spirit?

Just as physical healing are a subset of miracles, so exorcisms are a subset of miracles; also, some exorcisms result in physical healing, and some do not. An example of an exorcism that does not result in a physical healing is Paul's casting the spirit of divination out of the slave-girl (Acts 16:16-19). An example of an exorcism that does result in a physical healing is related in Matthew 12:22 and Luke 11:14. Matthew 12:22: Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Yeshua, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw. Luke 11:14: And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute; when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed. It seems likely, then, that exorcisms that result in physical healing are among the gifts of healings within the broader gifts of miracles, and that those exorcisms that do not effect physical healing are within the scope of miracles, but not of healing.

It must be noted that, just as one without the gift of evangelism can lead people to Messiah, so God may heal a person in answer to the prayers of a believer without gifts of healings (or work a non-healing miracle in answer to the prayers of one without the gifts of miracles); but just as the evangelist is far more effective in evangelism than others, so is the one with gifts of healings far more effective in seeing people healed than others. Also, it is probable that the healings of all those with the gifts of healings will show the same characteristics that those of Jesus and the apostles did (above), whereas the healings effected through the prayers of those without gifts of healings may not show all of the above characteristics; for example, healings that are speeded up, but not instantaneous.

An examination of New Testament healings by Christ and the apostles is noteworthy. These healings were: instantaneous (Mark 1:42); complete (Matthew 14:36); permanent (Matthew 14:36); ... unconditional (including unbelievers who exercised no faith and did not even know who Jesus was [John 9:25 (also Acts 3:1-7; 9:32-34 and 35-42; 20:9-12; 28:8 - N.M.)]); ... subordinate (secondary to preaching the Word of God [Luke 5:15, 16]); significant (intended to confirm Him and the apostles as the messengers of God and their message as a word from God [John 3:2; Acts 2:22; Hebrews 2:3, 4] (also Acts 5:5-11; 13:8-11 - N.M.); successful (except in the one case where the disciples' lack of faith was the cause of failure [Matthew 17:20]); and inclusive (the supreme demonstration of this gift was in raising the dead [Mark 5:39-43; Luke 7:14; John 11:44; Acts 9:40])


In the next installment of this study we will take a closer look at the Gifts of The Spirit, The Armor of God and begin to put the pieces together so that we might better understand the totality of the biblical precept of walking and more importantly "living in the spirit".

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