Archive for April, 2014

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OBJECTIVES:
Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:
• Write the Key Verse from memory.
• Identify four Biblical examples of men who lost a battle but won the war.
• List four steps for winning the war despite losing a battle.
• Give a Biblical reference which proves you can recover from spiritual failure.
• Give a Biblical reference to use when Satan condemns you for failure.
• Explain how you can learn from spiritual failure.

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KEY VERSE FROM THE ARTICLES OF WAR:
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. (II Timothy 4:7)

INTRODUCTION
In this course you have studied many strategies for spiritual warfare. As you apply this knowledge you will advance in your ability to fight in the strength and power of the Lord Jesus Christ. But despite your knowledge of these strategies, from time to time you may face failure. Do not be discouraged…some of the greatest men of God faced similar situations.
In this chapter you will study about four great men who lost battles but went on to win the war. You will learn steps for recovering from defeat and going on to victory despite failure. You will also learn how to deal with the condemnation of the enemy. Failure can teach important spiritual lessons… and remember… it is possible to lose a battle and still win the war.

LOSING A BATTLE
There are several examples in Scripture of men of God who lost battles with the enemy:

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JOSHUA:
Joshua was a great military commander who assumed leadership of the nation of Israel after the death of Moses. One of the challenges God gave Joshua was to lead Israel across the Jordan River to claim their promised land. One of the warriors of Israel sinned by taking spoil (property) from the enemy, something God had forbidden. Because there was “sin in the camp,” Israel lost the battle at Ai (Joshua 7).

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KING DAVID:
King David lost an important battle when the evil Amalekites invaded the southern portion of his kingdom and burned the city of Ziklag. They took the women captive, including David’s wives.
David’s friends and soldiers were so upset with him that they threatened to stone him to death.
David was greatly distressed and discouraged (I Samuel 30:1-6).
King David also lost a great battle in the spiritual world at one point in his life. He committed adultery with a woman named Bathsheba who was another man’s wife. When this resulted in Bathsheba becoming pregnant, he had her husband killed to try to cover his sin (II Samuel 11 and 12).

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THE PROPHET ELIJAH:
A wicked queen named Jezebel sent a messenger to the prophet Elijah informing him she was planning to kill him. Elijah…

…went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. (I Kings 19:4)

Here was the great man of God who had healed the sick, raised the dead, and commanded the elements of nature in the name of the Lord. Now he was hiding, fearful, despondent, and wanting to die.

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THE APOSTLE PAUL:
The Apostle Paul also faced defeat. He wrote once that due to experiences in Asia he was “pressed out of measure” and “despaired even of life” (II Corinthians 1:8). He had times when he was troubled, perplexed, persecuted, fearful, and cast down (II Corinthians 4:8-11; 7:5-6).

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WINNING THE WAR
Each of the great leaders mentioned lost battles with the enemy. As you engage in spiritual warfare, you too may experience a loss. But although you lose a battle with the enemy, it does not mean you have lost the war. A war is made up of many battles. Just because you lose one battle does not mean you have lost the war.
Each of these men lost a battle, but recovered to win the war. The spiritual strategies they used will help you when you have lost a battle. It is possible to recover from the snare of the enemy when you lose a battle:

And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive of him at his will. (II Timothy 2:26)

The word “recover” means to awake or arouse yourself. A snare is a hidden trap. “They may recover” indicates that YOU must take steps to recovery after losing a spiritual battle. Here are the steps to take to recover from the snare of the enemy:

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STEP ONE: RECOGNIZE YOUR FAILURE:
• Joshua recognized and admitted the failure at Ai. He said:

O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies. (Joshua 7:8)

• It was not hard for David to admit failure in the incident at Ziklag. The loss was apparent to the natural eye. The city was burned and the women taken captive. But it was more difficult for David to admit failure in the incident with Bathsheba. No one knew of his sin except himself, Bathsheba, and the prophet of God. But David admitted, “I have sinned against the Lord” (II Samuel 12:13).
• Elijah admitted failure. He said:

…It is enough: now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. (I Kings 19:4)

• Paul recognized his failures. He said he had been “troubled, perplexed, persecuted, cast down, and even despaired of life” (II Corinthians 4:8-9; II Corinthians 1:8).
Do not let pride prevent you from admitting you have lost a battle. In order to recover from the snare of the enemy, you must first acknowledge you are in his snare: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (I John 1:8)

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STEP TWO: REPENT:
It is not just enough to admit your failure. You must also ask God to forgive you:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)

• David repented of his sin with Bathsheba. Read his great prayer of repentance in Psalms 52. This is a good Psalm to use as a prayer when you have failed.
• Joshua searched until he found the cause of the failure at Ai. He discovered that a military leader among the people had disobeyed God and caused the army to lose the battle. He and the people repented before God (Joshua 7).
• Elijah repented. He admitted he was no better than his sinful ancestors (I Kings 19:4).
• Paul indicated that although he had a great battle with the flesh (Romans 7) he was able to gain victory through “repentance from dead works” (Romans 8; Hebrews 6:1).

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STEP THREE: REBUILD YOUR SPIRITUAL STRENGTH:
In the natural world when an army has experienced a military loss, time is taken to rebuild combat forces before returning to the battlefield. Commanders analyze the problems, take corrective action, and strengthen and encourage the troops. This is an important principle in the spiritual world also. When you have experienced failure in spiritual warfare you must rebuild your spiritual strength.
• Joshua waited before the Lord in prayer to regain spiritual strength before returning to the battlefield. He prayed to discover the reason for failure and receive guidance for corrective
actions (Joshua 7:6-15).
• David fasted and prayed after his failure with Bathsheba. Later he received physical food after the death of his child by Bathsheba. In the Ziklag incident David “encouraged himself in the Lord” and reorganized his forces before returning to the battlefield (I Samuel 30:6).
• Elijah rested, was ministered to by an angel, and waited on a mountain until receiving strength through a special manifestation of God’s power (I Kings 19).
• Paul encouraged himself in the Lord. He reminded himself that nothing, not even his failure, could separate him from God:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…Nay, in all these things we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through Him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35, 37-39 )

Here are some ways to rebuild your spiritual strength:
• Study the greatest handbook on spiritual warfare ever written…The Word of God.
• Spend time in prayer and fasting. Incorporate the prayer and fasting principles you learned in this course, including binding the power of the enemy in your life.
Ask God to reveal causes for the failure you experienced and what to do to correct the situation.
• Review the strategies of spiritual warfare in this course. Ask God to renew your strength and help you put these strategies into practice.
• Rest physically. Man is body, soul, and spirit. When your physical body is exhausted, Satan can take advantage and affect your soul and spirit.

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STEP FOUR: RETURN TO THE BATTLEFIELD:
One of the main strategies of the enemy is to tempt you to give up when you have lost a spiritual battle. While it is true that the Holy Spirit will sometimes convict you when you fail, there is a difference between the condemnation of the enemy and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit always singles out a specific sin while the condemnation of Satan is generalized.
Satan will speak generalized words of defeat to you:
“You might as well give up.
Everyone has lost confidence in you.
God does not care, or He would have helped you.
You are so weak and good for nothing.
You will never be able to make it as a Christian.
You are no good.”
Do not listen to the condemnation of the enemy. Acknowledge your failure, repent before God, and recognize that…

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There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)

Use this verse to defeat the condemning strategies of Satan and then… return to the battlefield!
• Joshua continued military campaigns in the Promised Land with great success. He returned to Ai and conquered the same military forces which had caused his defeat. When you return to the spiritual battlefield after failure, you can not only recover all the enemy has taken from you, but you can also go on to win new victories.
• After the loss at Ziklag, David returned to the battlefield to great military victory. He recovered all the enemy had taken from him: And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away…

And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all. (I Samuel 30:18-19)

• Elijah recovered from his despondency, returned to spiritual battle, and performed some of the greatest miracles in the history of his ministry.
• And as for Paul…read the remaining portion of a passage we previously mentioned:

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed. (II Corinthians 4:8-9)

Here is a spiritual warrior who overcame. He said he was:
Troubled…..BUT NOT DISTRESSED.
Perplexed….BUT NOT IN DESPAIR.
Persecuted…BUT NOT FORSAKEN.
Cast down….BUT NOT DESTROYED!
Remember, “A just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again” (Proverbs 24:16).

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LEARNING FROM FAILURE
Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth:

For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life.
But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in the God which raiseth the dead; Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver, in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us. (II Corinthians 1:8-10)

Paul explained that problems in Asia had taught him an important lesson. The lesson was that “we should not trust in ourselves, but in God.” This is a great lesson to learn from failure. You can not trust in yourself in spiritual warfare. Your power, your authority, your victory is assured only in Christ Jesus.
Paul looked beyond the natural world to see the spiritual benefits of problems, temptations, trials, and failures:

For which cause we faint not: but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things, which are not seen: For the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (II Corinthians 4:16-18)

Paul had learned that even though the outward man perished, the inward man was being renewed. The light afflictions of battle were resulting in spiritual growth. It was not what was visible that was important, it was what was happening in the spirit world.
Instead of giving up the battle, Paul learned from failure and went on to victory. In II Corinthians
1:10 he indicated that God…
• “Delivered” (In the past)
• “Doth deliver” (In the present)
• “Will yet deliver” (In the future)

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ON TO VICTORY
Despite all the perplexities, persecution, trouble, and despair, Paul was able to say in the closing days of his life:

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. (II Timothy 4:7)

If you learn how to win the war with the enemy despite temporary failure from a lost battle, you too will be able to echo… “I HAVE FOUGHT A GOOD FIGHT!”

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INSPECTION
1. Write the Key Verse from the Articles Of War.
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2. From the examples used in this lesson, name four men who lost a battle but won a war.
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3. List four steps for going on to win the war despite losing a battle.
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4. Give a Biblical reference to use when Satan condemns you for failure.
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5. Give a Biblical reference which proves you can recover when you have lost a battle with
Satan.
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6. What lesson did Paul learn from his defeat in Asia?
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TACTICAL MANEUVERS
1. Are you currently suffering? How? Review the five reasons for suffering given in this chapter.
• Others around you.
• Circumstances of life.
• Your ministry.
• Direct Satanic activity.
• Your own sin.
Which reason(s) might be behind your current suffering? If you discover your suffering is through your own sin, you need to repent. If your suffering is caused by others, because of your ministry, through the circumstances of life, or by direct Satanic attack, what might be the purposes God has for allowing this?
2. Review the positive benefits of “suffering according to the will of God” listed below. Identify the ones you feel God is working to accomplish in your life, then begin to cooperate with the process.
• Your faith is tested.
• You are equipped to comfort others.
• You learn not to trust in self.
• You develop positive spiritual qualities.
• The works of God are manifested.
• The power of God is perfected.
• That which is unstable is removed.
• Your focus is changed.
• The old self-nature is changed.
• You are prepared for ministry.
• You are prepared to reign with Christ.
• You receive spiritual blessings.
• You learn obedience.
• The Word of God is tested within you.
• You are humbled.
• You are enlarged spiritually.
• You come to know God intimately.
3. In natural warfare, soldiers help one another in the battle. When one soldier is under attack, others come to help him. They fire their weapons at the enemy to provide cover
for him so he can run to safety. Do you know of a wounded warrior, a casualty of war for whom you can provide such spiritual cover? Can you help someone in their battle with the enemy by praying for them and encouraging them?
4. Study more about suffering in I Peter. This book focuses on the subject of suffering.
5. Study the following references about suffering:
Hardness: II Timothy 2:3
Tribulation: Acts 14:20; Romans 5:3; 12:12; I Thessalonians 3:4, II Thessalonians 1:4
Persecution: Matthew 5:10-12, 44; 13:21; Mark 4:17; Luke 11:49; 21:12; John 15:20; I Corinthians 4:12; II Corinthians 4:9; Acts 8:1; 11:19; 13:50; II Timothy 3:12; Romans 8:35; Galatians 6:12
Suffering: I Peter 5:10; Philippians 1:29; 3:8; 4:12; II Corinthians 1:6; II Timothy 2:12; 3:12; Galatians 5:11; 6:12; Acts 9:16; I Thessalonians 3:4; II Thessalonians 1:5
Affliction: Psalms 34:19; 119:67, 71, 75; Matthew 24:9; Acts 20:23; II Corinthians 2:4; 4:17; 6:4; I Thessalonians 3:3; II Timothy 1:8; 3:11, 4:5; II Corinthians 1:6; James 5:10; Hebrews 10:32-33.

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CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO:
1. Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. (II Timothy 2:3)
2. Sin and Satan.
3. Review the five ways suffering enters the life a believer discussed in Chapter Twenty- Two.
4. Review the positive benefits of suffering discussed in Chapter Twenty-Two.
5. Review the proper attitudes towards suffering discussed in Chapter Twenty-Two.
6. a. False b. False c. False d. True

 

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OBJECTIVES:
Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:
• Write the Key Verse from memory.
• Explain how suffering entered the world.
• Identify five ways suffering enters the life of a believer.
• Demonstrate understanding of the proper attitude towards suffering.
• Identify positive benefits of suffering.
• Explain the difference between going through a storm within and without of the will of God.

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KEY VERSE FROM THE ARTICLES OF WAR:

Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
(II Timothy 2:3)

INTRODUCTION
In every natural war, there are casualties of war, soldiers who are wounded in battle. Some recover from their injuries to return to the battlefield. Others become permanent casualties. The same is true of the spiritual warfare in which we are engaged. Christian soldiers are not immune to the attacks of Satan, nor are they exempt from the effects of suffering.
Many of us do not like to talk about suffering. We do not hear a great deal of preaching on this subject. We prefer to hear messages on victory and prosperity, and these things are good, as they are part of the revelation of God. But we avoid the subject of suffering because there are things about it that are hard to understand and difficult to explain. But the Bible is not just a book of promises concerning the abundant life. It is a record of suffering, both of the righteous and the unrighteous.
When Jesus was here on earth and spoke of the suffering He was to face on the cross, many of His followers deserted Him. (John 6:55-66) They had expected the Messiah to reign in power and glory. Instead, He spoke of suffering. They could not understand this, so they turned away from following Him. If you do not understand suffering, you too may turn from following Jesus when you face difficult circumstances. You will become a casualty of the war instead of a conqueror.
This lesson concerns “casualties of war,” those who have been wounded in battle. You will not only learn how to deal with suffering yourself, but how to minister to others experiencing difficulties.

THE SOURCE OF SUFFERING
God did not create suffering. It originally entered the world through the sin of man which was instigated by Satan (Genesis 3). When man yielded to Satan’s temptation and sinned, suffering entered the world. Therefore, sin which resulted in all suffering can be traced to its originator, Satan. Although there are different reasons why suffering enters your life, all suffering can be traced back to this original source. But happily, in the life of a Christian soldier, God can take suffering, which Satan intends for evil, and turn it for good to accomplish His purposes. He can make a victim become a victor.

THE REASONS FOR SUFFERING
The Bible has much to say concerning suffering, problems, and afflictions. In summarizing its teaching, we discover five ways that suffering can come into the life of a believer. All suffering you face in life will come through one of these ways:

OTHERS AROUND YOU:
Suffering and difficult circumstances of life may come through others around you. Joseph is an example of this type of suffering. Through no fault of his own, Joseph was sold into Egypt by his brothers, was imprisoned falsely by Potiphar’s wife, and was forgotten by those he helped in prison. But listen to his response. Joseph said…

Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve life…so now it was not you that sent me hither but God. (Genesis 45:5,7)

One way suffering comes to the Christian soldier from others around him is by what the Bible calls an “evil report” or gossip. Much suffering comes because of what you say about others, and what they say about you. As you have learned in this course, the tongue is the most powerful of weapons, and can create many casualties of war by the words it speaks.

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CIRCUMSTANCES OF LIFE:
The second way suffering comes to you is through the circumstances of life. This is illustrated by the experiences of Naomi recorded in the book of Ruth in the Bible. She was bitter with sorrow because of the death of her husband and sons.
Until Jesus returns and the final enemy of death is conquered, death is part of life. Death entered through the original sin of man and it is a natural circumstance which we all will face, for “it is appointed unto man once to die” (Hebrews 9:27).
When Naomi experienced these difficult circumstances of life, she said, “No longer call me Naomi (which means blessed), but call me Mara.” The name Mara means “bitter.” Naomi was facing bitter waters.

YOUR MINISTRY:
The third reason for suffering is because of your ministry for the Lord. The New Testament speaks of suffering for His name’s sake (Acts 9:16), in behalf of Christ, (Philippians 1:29) for the Kingdom of God (II Thessalonians 1:5), for the Gospel (II Timothy 1:11-12), for well-doing (I Peter 2:19-20; 3:17), for righteousness sake (I Peter 3:14), as a Christian (I Peter 4:15-16), and according to the will of God ( I Peter 4:19).
The Apostle Paul is an example of suffering resulting from ministry. Some people view suffering as a sign of failure or lack of faith. If this is true, then the Apostle Paul had no faith and was the greatest failure in the history of the church. Paul said that while in Asia he was so utterly crushed that he despaired of life itself (II Corinthians 1:8). He presents a different image than that of the cheerful evangelist who promises believers nothing but peace and prosperity.
When Paul was first called of God to ministry he was told of “great things” he would suffer for the sake of the Lord (Acts 9:16). Paul’s response to suffering was to endure “the loss of all things to win some for Christ.” He wrote to believers “to you it is given not only to believe, but to suffer for Him” (Philippians 1:29).
Paul was not alone in suffering for the ministry. The whole church suffered in New Testament times (Acts 8). Hebrews chapter 11 records the stories some of the cruel persecutions they endured. Many of these men and women of faith were delivered by the power of God. Prison doors were opened and they walked out. They were sentenced to death in fiery furnaces but emerged unaffected by the flames.
But some of these believers, who are also called men and women “of faith,” did not receive such deliverances. They were imprisoned, afflicted, tormented, and even martyred because of their testimony of the Gospel (Hebrews 11:36-40). We focus on living faith but God also reveals His power in dying faith. This is a faith that stands true in the bad times, not just in good times when mighty deliverances are manifested.

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DIRECT SATANIC ACTIVITY:
Suffering can also enter your life as a result of direct Satanic activity. This is evident in the story of Job. This book wrestles with the question, “Why do the righteous suffer?”
God’s testimony of Job was that he was a righteous man (Job l-2). Job did not suffer because he had sinned, as his friends claimed. They believed if Job repented, his circumstances would change. These friends tried to make a universal application based on individual experience. It would be similar to saying that because God delivered Peter from prison He will do the same for you. This is not true. Many have been martyred in prison despite their great faith and sinless lives.
We must be careful when we view the suffering of others that we do not accuse them of sin, faithlessness, or unbelief. The Bible does teach that a sinful man reaps a bitter harvest because of sowing in fleshly corruption (Galatians 6:8). But sowing and reaping cannot be used to explain the suffering of the innocent.
Job did not suffer because of anything he had done. Job was a righteous man. This was God’s testimony of Job, Job’s testimony of himself, and his reputation before man. Behind the scenes in the spiritual world was the true cause of Job’s suffering. There was a spiritual battle going on over the heart, mind, and allegiance of Job.
There is a warfare going on in the spiritual world over you. That warfare is manifested in the difficult circumstances you experience in the natural world. An important truth evident in Job’s suffering is that nothing can enter the life of a believer without the knowledge of God. God does not cause your suffering. It is inflicted by Satan, but its limits are set by God. God’s power is greater than that of Satan, and you will experience victory if you continue to trust Him.

YOUR OWN SIN:
The fifth way suffering enters your life is because of your own sin. Jonah is an example of such suffering. In disobedience to God, Jonah headed the opposite direction from Ninevah where he had been commanded to go and preach repentance. He experienced a terrible storm at sea and ended up in the belly of a great fish because of his own sin (Jonah l-2).
Trouble should always be treated as a call to consider your ways and examine your heart before God. You may be suffering because of your own sin. The Bible reveals that God chastises those who are living in disobedience to His Word. Chastise means to discipline, reprove, and correct:

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (Hebrews 12:11)

God uses suffering to correct you and bring you back to His will for your life:

Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now have I kept thy Word…
It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes…
I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that THOU in faithfulness hast afflicted me. (Psalms 119:67,71,75)

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THE PROPER ATTITUDE TOWARDS SUFFERING
Trouble is not necessarily a sign of being out of God’s will. The Bible declares that “many are the afflictions of the righteous” (Psalms 34:19). When you suffer innocently and not because of your own sin, you should maintain a proper attitude towards suffering. The real test of your spirituality is how you respond in the day of distress:

If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. (Proverbs 24:10)

The Bible describes the attitude you should have when you suffer as a believer within the will of God. You should not be ashamed:

If any man suffer as a Christian let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this behalf…(I Peter 4:16)

You should commit your soul (your suffering) to God, knowing He works all things for your good:

Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing as unto a faithful Creator. (I Peter 4:19)

You should be happy when you suffer according to the will of God:

And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. (Acts 5:41)

Paul says you should be:

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer. (Romans 12:12)

…being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it… (I Corinthians 4:12)

…in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses… (II Corinthians 6:4)

Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God. (II Timothy 1:8)

That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. (I Thessalonians 3:3)

But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (II Timothy 4:5)

You should not think it strange when you experience suffering:

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing partaker of Christ’s sufferings; that when His glory shall be revealed ye may be glad with exceeding joy. (I Peter 4:12-13)

Paul summarizes the proper attitude toward suffering when he explains…

..though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory:
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal… (II Corinthians 4:16-18)

Paul viewed suffering as a servant…He said it “worketh for us”.

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POSITIVE BENEFITS OF SUFFERING
There are many positive benefits of suffering according to God’s will. If you understand these, it will help you deal with your own suffering as well as minister to others who are “casualties of war”:

YOUR FAITH IS TESTED:
Everything in the spiritual world is based on faith. This is why the strength of your faith must be tested:

That the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perisheth though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. (I Peter 1:7)

It is a trial of faith when you pray as Jesus did, for God to let the cup of bitterness pass, and yet it does not pass. Instead, you are forced to drink deeply of its suffering. But faith will learn that our prayers are not unanswered just because they are not answered the way we want.

YOU ARE EQUIPPED TO COMFORT OTHERS:

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (II Corinthians 1:3-4)

When you share God’s comfort with others you…

…lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. (Hebrews 12:12-13)

YOU LEARN NOT TO TRUST IN YOURSELF:

Paul spoke of the purpose of his sufferings in Asia:

…In Asia we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life;

But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God which raiseth the dead. (II Corinthians 1:8-9)

You will come to recognize that…

… we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. (II Corinthians 4:7)

YOU DEVELOP POSITIVE SPIRITUAL QUALITIES:

We glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, (resulting in the love of God being shed abroad in our hearts). (Romans 5:3-4)

…after ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. (I Peter 5:10)

These qualities conform you to the image of Jesus, which is God’s plan for you (Romans 8:28- 29; Hebrews 2:10,18).

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THE WORKS OF GOD ARE MANIFESTED:
When the disciples saw a man who had been blind from birth, they asked who was responsible for his condition. Was it the sin of his parents or of the man himself? Jesus answered:

Neither this man sinned nor His parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in Him. (John 9:3)

THE POWER OF GOD IS PERFECTED:

And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (II Corinthians 12:9)

THAT WHICH IS UNSTABLE IS REMOVED:
Suffering results in all that is unstable being shaken out of your life. You cease to depend on people, programs, or material things as these all fail in your time of need. God permits this…

…removing of those things that are shaken as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. (Hebrews 12:26-27)

During the storms of life, everything crumbles that is not built upon God and His Word (Psalm 119:89 and Matthew 7:24-27).

YOUR FOCUS IS CHANGED:
When you experience suffering you often focus your attention on cause and effect. You are concerned with what caused the difficult circumstances and the terrible effect it is having in your life. God wants to change your focus from struggling to understand the temporal situation to recognizing the benefits of the eternal:

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (II Corinthians 4:17-18)

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. (I Peter 4:12-13)

If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him… (II Timothy 2:12)

THE OLD SELF-NATURE IS CHANGED:
God said of the nation of Moab:

Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity; therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed. (Jeremiah 48:11)

Because Moab had not experienced the troublesome pouring out and stirring similar to that necessary to develop good wine, the nation did not change. Moab was at ease and settled in prosperity and because of this did not develop and mature properly spiritually. Therefore there was no change. His “own scent” remained in him. Suffering rids you of the old self-nature. As you are stirred, troubled, and poured out, your spiritual scent changes from carnal to spiritual.

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YOU ARE PREPARED FOR MINISTRY:
You have asked to be used by God. You desire to be more like Jesus and prayed to be a chosen vessel for His use. The answer to your prayer may come through suffering:

Behold I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. (Isaiah 48:10)

It is through affliction that you move beyond the calling as a child of God to become chosen of God. Affliction according to the will of God refines you for His use just as metals are refined in a furnace in the natural world. God actually prepares you to wage warfare against the enemy by suffering!

YOU ARE PREPARED TO REIGN WITH CHRIST:

If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him…(II Timothy 2:12)

YOU RECEIVE SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS:
Jesus said:

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake; for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12)

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YOU LEARN OBEDIENCE:

Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered… (Hebrews 5:8)

THE WORD OF GOD IS TESTED WITHIN YOU:

The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (Psalms 12:6)

YOU ARE HUMBLED:

Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;
Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that He might humble thee, and that He might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end… (Deuteronomy 8:15-16)

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YOU ARE ENLARGED SPIRITUALLY:
This means you grow spiritually

Thou has enlarged me when I was under pressure. (Psalms 4:1 Revised Standard Version)

YOU COME TO KNOW GOD INTIMATELY:
You come to know God on a more intimate basis through suffering. Job, who suffered much, learned this truth and said…

I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes. (Job 42:5-6)

Some of us know God only second handedly. When you are experiencing the blessings of life, God is often a luxury instead of a necessity. But when you have a real need, God becomes a necessity. Job came to know God more intimately through suffering. Before he suffered, Job knew God through theology. Afterwards, he knew Him by experience.
Paul expressed a similar desire when he said:

That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death. (Philippians 3:10)

You can only come to know God in resurrection power through the intimate fellowship of suffering. Throughout his suffering, Job questioned God as to the cause of his suffering. It is not wrong to question God. Jesus knew the purpose for which He had come into the world was to die for the sins of all mankind. Yet in His hour of suffering He cried out, “My God, My God, WHY hast thou forsaken me?” It is what follows the questioning that is important. Jesus’s next words were, “Into thy hands I commit my spirit.”
Despite the questions, Job’s response was…

Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him…(Job 13:15)

For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. (Job 19:25-26)

After all the questioning is finished, the emphasis must change from “me” to “Thee.” You must commit your suffering, with all its unanswered questions, into the hands of God.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)

God may reveal some of the purposes in your suffering, but it is possible you will never fully understand it:

It is the glory of God to conceal a thing…(Proverbs 25:2)

The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us… (Deuteronomy 29:29)

There are some secret things that belong only to the Lord. As Job, you may never understand all the purposes of your suffering.

Since the Lord is directing our steps, why try to understand everything that happens along the way? (Proverbs 20:24 The Living Bible)

When God finally talked with Job, He used several examples from nature which Job could not explain. God stressed that if Job could not understand what he saw in the natural world, he certainly could not understand that which he could not see in the spiritual world.
When Job faces God, it no longer matters that he does not get an answer to his questions about suffering. He is in the direct presence of God, and that experience leaves no room for anything else. He is no longer controlled and tormented by human reasoning. He replaces questions, not with answers, but with faith.
When you come to know God intimately through suffering, you see yourself as you really are. You no longer know God second-handedly. That face-to-face encounter with God does what arguments and discussions cannot do.
When Job stood before God, he had no new answers. He was given no new facts about his suffering. But he replaced questions with faith. Job had been in the direct presence of God, and that experience left no room for questions or doubts.

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THE STORMS OF LIFE
Suffering is sometimes compared to a natural storm. When you suffer, you experience a storm spiritually speaking. This “storm” may affect you spiritually, mentally, physically, materially, or emotionally.
The Bible tells of a storm which the disciples of Jesus experienced. Read the story in your Bible in Mark 4:35-41. Jesus told the disciples to go to the other side and He joined them in the boat.
The storm was an attack of Satan who was trying to prevent them from reaching the shore because of the miraculous works that were to be done in Gadarea (see Mark chapter 5).
Immediately Jesus took authority over the storm. He rebuked the powers of the enemy. Calm returned to the sea and they continued their journey unhindered.
Difficulties of life can be compared to natural storms. A “storm” of Satan is anything that tries to hinder you from fulfilling the will of God for your life and being an effective Christian soldier. It is not suffering resulting from your own disobedience. Neither is this kind of suffering is “according to the will of God.” God does not want anything to hinder His plan for you and your victory in spiritual warfare! When you face a storm caused by Satan, exercise authority over the enemy. Jesus has given you power over every power of Satan.
There are two other stories of natural storms recorded in the Bible which illustrate storms resulting from chastisement for sin and storms that occur “according to the will of God.” Read the story of Jonah and the storm in Jonah chapter l. Read the story of Paul and the storm in Acts

Then study the following chart:
Jonah put himself in the storm.
Paul was in the storm through no fault of his own…
Jonah paid the fare
Paul tried to prevent them from sailing
Jonah was the cause of the storm
Paul was the remedy for the storm
Jonah slept during the storm
Paul fasted and prayed in the storm
God’s blessing was not with Jonah
God’s blessing was with Paul
The crew was fearful
The crew was told to be of good cheer
To be saved: Jonah must be cast out
To be saved: All must abide in the ship
There are differences between going through a storm of life within God’s will and experiencing a storm out of the will of God. When you go through a storm out of the will of God, it is a situation which you have created. For example, a believer who marries an unsaved person will experience trouble because they have violated a Scriptural principle. You are the cause of a storm that results from disobedience. You have violated God’s will and His commands. Often you are not even aware of the seriousness of your situation. You sleep spiritually while the storm increases its fury around you.
In a storm caused by your own sin, you are fearful and those around you grow fearful. The storm is not an attack of Satan. It is chastisement from God. You can confess promises of “power over the enemy” but it will not change the situation. When you recognize a “storm” of suffering as one resulting from sin, there is only one remedy: Ask forgiveness from God!
But when you suffer according to the will of God, the situation is different. You suffer through no fault or sin of your own. You can be a remedy to the problems around you instead of a cause.
Like Paul, you can assume spiritual leadership because God’s blessing is on you. You can bring encouragement to others because you are a solution to the storm instead of the cause. You should not bail out of the ship or run from the trouble. You must abide in the “ship” of this type of suffering for it is the will of God.

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THE SUFFERING SOLDIER
When you suffer according to the will of God, you should realize you are not alone. Many others in God’s army are experiencing similar battles:

…knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (I Peter 5:9)

“Storms” of life are inevitable and uncontrollable, as illustrated by the parable of the two houses in Matthew 7:24-27. Storms will come to those who have built their lives upon God’s Word as well as those who have not. The foundation of a man’s life is what will determine the outcome of the storm. Suffering is to be expected as part of the will of God:

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (II Timothy 3:12)

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake (Philippians 1:29).

…that ye may be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer… (II Thessalonians 1:5)

For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass and ye know. (I Thessalonians 3:4)

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9)

…they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers formy names sake. (Luke 21:12)

Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you… (John 15:20)

Now this does not mean that you make yourself suffer believing it would be pleasing to God. God is never pleased when people suffer. To purposefully make yourself suffer (an act called asceticism) is a sin. Many people try to do this to try to appease God’s anger and/or make themselves appear holy or religious before men. But God is only appeased by the blood of Jesus Christ. God does, however, take the tragedy of suffering when it does touch your life and redeem it for good.
Part of the follow up plan in establishing early churches was to teach believers that they would experience suffering. This is missing in many churches today:

…They returned…confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter the kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22)

The call of Jesus to followers is one of denial and suffering:

And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:38)

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)

…Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me. (Mark 8:34)

…come, take up the cross, and follow me. (Mark 10:21)

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:27)

Spiritual warfare is not a succession of great victories and celebrations of praise. As a soldier in God’s army, you are called to endure suffering:

Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. (II Timothy 2:3)

One of the principles of natural warfare also applies to the spiritual realm: “Do not stop fighting just because you are wounded!”

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INSPECTION
1. Write the Key Verse from the Articles Of War:
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. How did suffering enter the world?
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Identify five ways suffering enters the life a believer.
____________ ____________ ____________ ___________ ___________
4. List three positive benefits of suffering according to the will of God.
_______________ _______________ _______________
5. Identify three attitudes a believer is to have when experiencing suffering.
_______________ _______________ _______________
6. Read the following statements. If the statement is True, write the letter T on the blank in front of it. If the statement is False, write the letter F on the blank in front of it.
a._____It is never God’s will for you to suffer.
b._____If you experience trouble it means you are out of the will of God.
c._____Paul was out of the will of God in the storm at sea which he experienced.
d._____When we suffer out of the will of God we are often the cause of our own problems because of disobedience.

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TACTICAL MANEUVERS
1. Study the following examples of how Jesus dealt with demonic powers:
Incident: Woman in the synagogue with the spirit of infirmity (Luke 13:10-17).
Summary: This woman was attending Sabbath day services and Jesus called her a “daughter of Abraham”. We can assume she was a righteous, God fearing person. Yet a spirit of infirmity had bound her for 18 years.
In His ministry, Jesus distinguished between normal physical illnesses, which were cured by laying on of hands or anointing with oil, and cases of demonic affliction. In cases of a believer being bound from the outside as a result of demonic affliction, the binding spirit was loosed. If it was an unbeliever with physical infirmities resulting from demonic possession, the demons were cast out.
The deliverance of this woman occurred during a regular church service. It raised opposition from the spiritual leaders, including the ruler of the synagogue. Dealing with demonic powers still raises objections from many spiritual leaders. Some deny their existence. Others deny their power to oppress or possess.
In this deliverance, Jesus laid hands on the bound woman. Immediately, she was made straight and glorified God. In all true ministry to demonic oppressed or possessed, God should receive the glory, not the person used of God in the deliverance process.
Incident: The Syrophonenican woman’s daughter (Mark 7:24-30; Matthew 15:21-28).
Summary: This young girl and had an unclean spirit which her mother recognized by outward manifestations of the spirit. She described her daughter as being “grievously vexed”.
Jesus healed the girl because of the great faith shown by her mother. The daughter was never in the presence of Jesus, which demonstrates actual physical presence is not necessary for effective ministry to those oppressed or possessed by Satan. This and the following incident prove children can be possessed and oppressed by Satan.
Incident: The deaf mute boy (Mark 9:14-29; Matthew 17:14-21; Luke 9:37-43).
Summary: The father of an only son sought Jesus for the healing of his boy. The demonic possession of this boy included physical deafness and dumbness. The combined descriptions of Matthew, Mark, and Luke reveal that the demon sorely vexed the boy, causing him to fall into the fire and water.
At times the demon would tear him and cause fits with foaming at the mouth and grinding of teeth. He was often bruised (injured) by the spirit, and the demonic presence caused a general pining away physically. His father called him a “lunatic”, which indicated there were also mental problems associated with his condition. The disciples of Jesus tried to cast out the demon in the boy, but failed.
Luke records that as the boy was coming to Jesus, the demon caused him to have a fit. Jesus rebuked the spirit and healed the child. Matthew records that Jesus rebuked the devil and he departed and the lad was cured that very hour.
Mark’s record of this demonic encounter is more extensive than those of Matthew and Luke. He records that Jesus questioned the father as to how long the boy had been possessed. The father said the condition had existed from early childhood.
Jesus stressed to the father the importance of belief, then spoke to the deaf and dumb spirit and told it to come out and enter no more. The spirit cried and came out leaving him in such a condition that many thought him dead. But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up.
When the disciples asked Jesus why they were unable to cast out the demon, Jesus answered:
If ye shall 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.
Howbeit, this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:20- 21)
His answer reveals the importance of faith, prayer, and fasting in dealing with demonic powers. It also proves some demons are more difficult to cast out than others because Jesus said “THIS KIND goeth not out” without prayer and fasting.
Incident: Demon in the synagogue (Mark 1:23-28; Luke 4:31-37).
Summary: Although this man was present in the synagogue, Jesus does not refer to him as a son
of Abraham or indicate He was a follower of God. There can be those present in a church fellowship who are unbelievers and demon possessed. Church attendance does not guarantee a born again experience or freedom from demonic powers.
This possession was indicated by “us,” revealing the presence of more than one demon. One demon was the spokesman, however, for he said “I.”
When the demon began to speak, Jesus told it to “hold its peace,” which means to be quiet. He rebuked the demons, they tore the man, cried out, threw him down, and came out. The witnesses of this event marveled at the authority and power with which Jesus dealt with unclean spirits.
Incident: The blind and dumb demoniac (Matthew 12:22-29; Mark 3:22-27; Luke 11:14-22).
Summary: Possession here included the physical afflictions of blindness and dumbness. Jesus healed this man by casting the demon out of him. He was able to speak and see after the deliverance. It was in connection with this deliverance that Jesus gave His most extensive teaching regarding the casting out of demons. A summary of this teaching reveals:
• A house with division cannot stand. Demons call the bodies in which they reside their “house.” It is not possible for demons and the spirit of God to exist in the same house.
• Kingdoms or cities divided also cannot stand.
• Satan cannot cast out Satan.
• Casting out of demons is part of the ministry of God’s Kingdom.
• Demons are cast out by the Spirit of God.
• It is necessary to bind the strong man (Satan) before attempting to cast him out (spoil his works).
• There is no neutral ground in this spiritual battle. If you are not with Jesus, you are against Him.
• When an unclean spirit is cast out of a person, it seeks reentry into a human body.
• If the person from whom the demon has departed does not fill his spiritual house, the demon will return with other demons. The final condition of that person will be worse than in the beginning.
Incident: Demoniac of Gadarene (Mark 5:1-20; Matthew 8:28-34; Luke 8:26-34).
Summary: According to Matthew, two men possessed by demons, so fierce that no man could control them, lived in the tombs. Mark and Luke stress the terrible condition and the deliverance of one of the two, whose condition was perhaps the worst ever encountered during the ministry of Jesus.
Possession here was by many demons. Both men were so affected that they could not live in normal society. They lived in the graveyard. The demons in one man called themselves “Legion” for they were many. They made it impossible to bind him even with chains. The demons tormented him so badly that he went around crying out, cut himself with stones, and did not wear clothing.
The demons recognized Jesus and asked if He had come to torment them before their time. “Their time” refers to their final judgment to the lake of fire (Hell). That they requested not to be sent out of the country indicates demons may be assigned by Satan to specific territories. Jesus permitted them to enter a herd of pigs when He cast them out which resulted in the death of the pigs. The residents of the city asked Jesus to leave. Pigs, which was their livelihood, were more important to them than the deliverance of men from demonic powers.
Other incidents: In addition to these specific encounters of Jesus, the Bible makes general
references of His ministry to those affected by demonic powers.
• In the following references the term “healed” is used to describe how Jesus dealt with the demons: Matthew 4:24; Luke 6:18.
• In the following references the term “cast out” is used to describe His strategy: Mark 1:32- 34,39; 6:13.
• Luke 4:41 simply records that the devils “came out.” Luke 7:21 states that He “cured” them. Matthew 8:16 records that He “cast them out with His word”.
• Mark 16:9 and Luke 8:2-3 state that Jesus cast seven devils out of Mary Magdalene.
2. Sometimes God uses demons to accomplish His purposes. See I Samuel 16:14 and II II
Corinthians 12:7. Wicked Ahab was punished for his sin by a lying spirit which God put in the mouth of his prophets to lead him to disaster. See I Kings 22:23. Demons will lure the armies of Armageddon to a similar fate. (See Revelation 16:13-16).
3. Demonic powers can exercise control over nations as well as men and women. See the example in Daniel 10 of the “prince of the kingdom of Persia.” This demonic power seemed to be in charge of the affairs of this region. The book of Revelation also mentions evil spirits and their activities in regards to nations. See Revelation 16:13-16.
4. Joking about demons or Satan is not wise. See II Peter 2:10-11. Neither do we have the power in ourselves to rebuke Satan. See Jude 9.
5. Jesus gave His disciples power to cast out demons. Study the following accounts of their use of this power: Mark 9:38; Luke 10:17; Acts 5:16; 8:7; 16:16-18; 19:11-12.
6. Study the following references where the word “possessed” is used: Matthew 4:24; 8:16,28,33; 9:32; 12:22; Mark 1:32; 5:15-18; Luke 8:36; Acts 8:7; 16:16.
7. Jesus was oppressed, but without sin: Isaiah 53:7. When Hezekiah was oppressed, he asked God to undertake for him: Isaiah 38:14. Jesus Christ healed all who were oppressed of the Devil: Acts 10:38.
Study further about oppression:
• By the wicked: Psalms 17:9
• By our enemies: Psalms 106:42
• By the proud: Psalms 119:122
• By the rich: James 2:6

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CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE:
1. How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the Devil: for God was with Him. Acts 10:38
2. Seducing spirits, spirits of infirmity, unclean spirits.
3. The gift of discerning of spirits enables a believer to discern the spirits operating in others and to immediately discern whether or not a person has an evil spirit operating through or against him. It prevents deception by seducing or lying spirits. One with this gift can recognize the tactics and evil motives of demonic powers.
4. Demon possession is a condition in which one or more evil spirits (demons) inhabit the body of a human being and take complete control of their victim at will.
5. Compare your list to the list given in Chapter Twenty-One.
6. To be demon obsessed means to be consumed by an interest in demons, Satan, and the occult.
7. Compare your list to the list in Chapter Twenty-One.
8. To be demon oppressed means demonic powers bear down, come against, or bind from the outside.
9. Compare your list to the list given in Chapter Twenty-One.
10. Compare your summary to the discussion in Chapter Twenty-One.

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SPIRITUAL WARFARE ADVANCED TRAINING
ADVANCED INSTRUCTION IN SPECIFIC AREAS OF WARFARE
After gaining some experience in warfare, soldiers usually receive more advanced instruction in specific areas of warfare. This portion of the warfare manual is entitled “spiritual warfare advanced training,” the initials of which spell “SWAT.” In military action, a “SWAT” team is a specialized group of soldiers used for difficult missions.

DEALING WITH DEMONIC POWERS
OBJECTIVES:
Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:
• Write the Key Verse from memory.
• Identify three major kinds of demons that attack the body, soul, and spirit of man.
• Explain the value of the gift of discerning of spirits in dealing with demonic powers.
• Explain what it means to be demon obsessed.
• Identify characteristics of a demon obsessed person.
• Explain what it means to be demon oppressed.
• Identify characteristics of a demon oppressed person.
• Explain what it means to be demon possessed.
• Identify characteristics of a demon possessed person.
• Summarize the ministry of Jesus in relation to demonic powers.
• Use Scriptural guidelines for overcoming demonic powers.

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KEY VERSE FROM THE ARTICLES OF WAR:
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the Devil; for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38)

INTRODUCTION
For too long the work of demons has been dismissed by many as a curious practice in heathen cultures. It has not been considered as a problem which invades lives, homes, churches, and nations.
As you previously learned, demons are an organized force of powers against which believers wrestle (Ephesians 6:12). Demons are the agents through which Satan works to accomplish his purposes in the world.
The following chart summarizes what you have learned about demons and their realms of operation:
Seducing Spirits
Affect The Spirit
Unclean Spirits
Affect The Soul
Spirits Of Infirmity
Affect The Body
These Spirits Can:
Oppress Possess Obsess

If you are to wage effective warfare, you must learn how to deal with demonic powers that obsess, oppress, or possess the body, soul, and spirit. There are people all about you who are tormented, troubled, and even possessed by the powers of darkness known as demons. This chapter presents guidelines for ministering to those affected by demonic powers.

JESUS AND DEMONS
The teaching and ministry of Jesus demonstrated that demonic spirits are a real force of evil. What Jesus taught about demons and how He dealt with them yields valuable information about the strategies of Satan.
Jesus accepted the fact that Satan is the ruler of a host of demons. He taught of the reality and power of demons. He said that the casting out of demonic powers was one of the signs that the Kingdom of God had come. Read Matthew 12:22-30, Mark 3:22-27, and Luke 11:14-23 for a summary of what Jesus taught concerning demons.
A large portion of the ministry of Jesus involved dealing with demons. It is the example of Jesus and the authority of His name that provides the Scriptural basis for dealing with demonic powers. Jesus ministered to “all” who came with demonic problems. Peter said of Jesus:

… God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil. (Acts 10:38)

In the “Tactical Maneuvers” section of this lesson you can study further on specific cases recorded in the Bible where Jesus dealt with demonic powers.

HOW DEMONS OPERATE
As you have learned, demons are used by Satan to oppose God, His plan and purposes, and His people. They also war against unbelievers to keep them from the truth of the Gospel. Demons control specific territories (principalities) such as the prince of Persia mentioned in Daniel 10:12-13. Demons also work through personalities, through men and women, to accomplish Satanic objectives in the world.
Opposition to God’s will is Satan’s main objective. The word “Satan” means “adversary.” Satan is primarily God’s adversary (Job 1:6; Matthew 13:39). He is secondarily, man’s adversary (Zechariah 3:1; I Peter 5:8).
As you learned, demons have different natures. Remember that one demon identified himself in I Kings 22:23 as a “lying spirit.” A “deaf and dumb” spirit is identified in Mark 9:25. Demons of various natures operate as spirits of infirmity, seducing spirits, and unclean spirits. Satan uses them to war against man in body, soul, and spirit:

SPIRITS OF INFIRMITY:
These are spirits that can afflict the bodies of believers as well as unbelievers. Read Luke 13:10- 17. This woman was afflicted with a spirit of infirmity. She was present in the Sabbath services and Jesus called her “a daughter of Abraham.” Both of these facts indicate she probably was a follower of God, yet her body had been afflicted by Satan for eighteen years.
For other examples of demonic powers afflicting the body see Matthew 12:22; 17:15-18; Acts 10:38; II Corinthians 12:7.

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SEDUCING SPIRITS:
These spirits afflict the spirit of man, seducing him to believe doctrinal lies and be condemned to eternal punishment. They are the spirits of false doctrine, cults, false Christs, and false teachers:

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (I Timothy 4:1)

These seducing spirits are deceptive. They actually work miracles which lead some to believe they are of God: For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. (Revelation 16:14)

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all powers and signs and lying wonders.

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (II Thessalonians 2:9-10)

Seducing spirits include the “spirit of divination” mentioned in Acts:

And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying. (Acts 16:16)

Such spirits of divination or “familiar spirits” operate in fortune tellers, witches, and palm, crystal ball, and tea leaf readers. Through unscriptural methods the spirits of divination foretell the future or discover knowledge which is naturally unknown. Warnings against familiar spirits are given in Leviticus 19:31; 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:9; 18:10; Leviticus 20:27; and I Samuel 28:3.
Seducing spirits sear the conscience, seduce, entice, tempt, allure, interest, fascinate, excite, arouse, attract, and deceive. Seducing spirits are active in causing “spiritual wickedness in high places.” They are present and operative in every cult and wherever doctrinal error exists.
Remember that Satan craves worship and he will take it any way he can get it. Seducing spirits entice men and women to worship idols and even Satan himself. You will learn more about “spiritual wickedness in high places” in Chapter Twenty.

UNCLEAN SPIRITS:
These demonic powers afflict the soulish nature of man. They are responsible for immoral acts, unclean thoughts, temptations and other strategies of Satan used to bind men and women. When Satan controls individuals with unclean spirits, he can also operate in homes, churches, and entire nations as these groups are composed of individuals. This is how Satan works in the various levels of structure in society. For examples of unclean spirits see Matthew 10:1; 12:43; and Mark 1:23-26.

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OPPRESSION, OBSESSION, POSSESSION
Evil spirits can oppress people. To oppress means to bear down, come against, or bind from the outside. This oppression is accomplished by evil spirits in various ways. They cause depression, create negative circumstances, and insert wrong thoughts into the mind such as thoughts of suicide, immorality, unbelief, fear, etc. Demons create Satanic circumstances and situations which tempt men to sin:

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were OPPRESSED of the Devil; for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38)

Demons can also possess human beings. Demon possession is a condition in which one or more evil spirits (demons) inhabit the body of a human being and take complete control of their victim at will. Some people prefer using the word “demonized” rather than possession, but regardless of the term, the possessed person is host to resident demons. “Possession” does not mean a person is not responsible for his own sin. His responsibility rests with the factors that led to his condition.
Possession can happen willingly. A person may desire to be taken over by spirit powers in order to conduct seances, pronounce curses, become a witch, or secure some other supernatural power.
Possession can also occur unwilling. An individual does not ask to be possessed, but through sinful thoughts, actions, or contact with the occult possession results.
Demonic powers operating in parents and the sins of the parents can affect the next generation. (See Exodus 20:5; 34:7; and Deuteronomy 5:9.) This accounts for demon possession or oppression of children such as recorded in Mark 7:24-30 and 9:17-21.
There is also such a thing as demon obsession. This is a condition where one becomes obsessed by an interest in or preoccupation with demons. It is an unusual interest in the occult, demons, and Satan which controls interests and pursuits in a dictating manner. Such obsession with demon powers can lead to possession by them.

CAN DEMONS AFFECT BELIEVERS?
A true believer cannot be possessed by a demon because the Holy Spirit cannot inhabit the same temple as an evil spirit:

What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
For ye are bought with a price: Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (I Corinthians 6:19-20)

When you belong to God and are filled with the Holy Spirit, you cannot belong to Satan and be filled with his spirits at the same time. The Holy Ghost will not abide in the same “temple” with Satan.
But this does not mean believers cannot be affected by demonic powers. It is these powers against which we wrestle. Satan uses demonic powers to attack believers from the outside through oppression, the symptoms of which were previously discussed. But he cannot possess the true believer. To “possess” indicates inside occupation. To “oppress” or bind indicates control from the outside. The activities of believers can be Satanically directed if they allow demonic powers to oppress them. Such oppression or binding by evil powers permits Satan to use them for evil purposes.
This is what happened when Peter, a disciple of Jesus, was used of Satan to try to divert Jesus from suffering for the sins of all mankind. When Jesus described the suffering He was to go through, Peter said:

…Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. (Matthew 16:22)

Jesus said to Peter:

…Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Matthew 16:23)

Jesus did not mean Peter was actually Satan. He recognized that at that moment Peter had allowed Satan to operate through him. He was not demon possessed, but he was allow in Satanic spirits to influence him.

Believers, by their own actions, give place or make room for Satan to use them. (Ephesians 4:27)

When a person is born again, his name is written in a special book in Heaven called the book of life. Only those whose names are in this book will be residents of Heaven for eternity:

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15)

It is possible to have your name written in the book of life, but later blotted out because of turning back to sinful living:

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before His angels. (Revelation 3:5)

If a believer continues in known, unconfessed sin, there is a point at which he can cease to be a Christian. The Apostle Paul expressed his own concern that he not be “cast away” after preaching to others:

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (I Corinthians 9:27)

Paul realized that sin, especially continued unconfessed sins of the flesh, could result in the loss of his own soul even though he had preached to others.
By continuing to live in sin you will eventually end up in a backslidden condition. This means you will no longer be a true follower of Jesus Christ. If you continue in known and unconfused sin, no one can tell you at what point you cease to become a follower of Jesus and again become part of Satan’s Kingdom. It is God that determines that point. But at when it does occur, you are opening yourself up to greater attacks of the enemy, including the possibility of demon possession. This is why it is important when you sin to immediately confess your sin and turn from unrighteousness:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us. (I John 1:9-10)

Jesus is called the Word of God in many places in Scripture. If the Word of God does not dwell in you, then Jesus does not dwell in you.

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HOW DEMONS GAIN CONTROL
Demons gain control in several ways:

1. Through generations: Demons may oppress or possess a person because of previous possession or oppression of the parents. This accounts for demonic influence over children (Exodus 20:5; 34:7; Deuteronomy 5:9).

2. Through the mind: The mind is one of the major battlefields of Satan. If Satan can control your thoughts, he will eventually control your actions. Lack of mental control eventually results in lack of use of the will. This leads to sinful actions. Continuing in sinful thoughts and actions can lead from oppression to possession and finally to a reprobate mind such as is described in Romans l. This is a mind totally controlled by evil thoughts.
Demons also gain access through mind-altering drugs which reduce the ability to resist demons and grant increasing access. “Brain washing” or “mind control” teaching also provides an entrance point.

3. Through sinful actions: Sinful thoughts are soon fulfilled by sinful actions. For example, the thought of adultery is fulfilled in the actual act of adultery. Sin is rebellion, and rebellious thoughts and actions provides an entry point for demonic activity.
When a believer continues in sinful thoughts or actions they “give place” to the Devil (Ephesians 4:27). More spiritual room is given for the operation of the enemy. Sins of involvement with the occult, including objects, literature, seances, etc., are actions which are especially dangerous and attract demonic powers.
An unbeliever who lives in sin is open not only to oppression of demonic powers, but also possession. As you have learned, there is no neutral ground in spiritual warfare. You are either on the side of good or evil. You belong either to God or Satan. If you belong to Satan and have not experienced the new birth in Jesus Christ, then you are his to use, oppress, or possess as he wills.

4. Through desire: Some people desire and request of Satan to be under the control of demons powers. They do this for purposes of having supernatural power or performing supernatural acts.

5. Through an empty “house”: Demons consider the body of the person they inhabit as their house (Matthew 12:44). When a person who has been delivered from demonic powers does not fill his spiritual house with the new birth experience and the infilling of the Holy Spirit, reentry may occur.

6. Through permission: Sometimes God grants permission for activities of demonic powers to accomplish special purposes. This can be allowed as a trial of believers as in the case of Job. It can also be judgment for sin as in the case of King Saul.

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WHO IS TO DEAL WITH DEMONIC POWERS?
Dealing with demonic powers is not something to be left to professional ministers. Jesus said all believers would have the ability to overcome demonic powers:

And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils… (Mark 16:17)

Jesus has given His followers the ability to deal with demonic powers. He first delegated such power to the disciples:

And when He had called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. (Matthew 10:1)
And He called unto Him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits. (Mark 6:7)

He delegated this same power to all believers:

And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils… (Mark 16:17)
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:8)

There is no Biblical basis for believing God intended this important ministry to be restricted to a particular group of people. A layman named Philip was used by God to cast out evil spirits in Samaria (Acts 8). But this does not mean believers should rush into encounters with demonic powers without proper preparation, as the sons of Sceva discovered (Acts 19).
It is also important that believers do not become overly demon conscious. We are not called to major in demons. There is no spiritual gift of “casting out demons.” But you are not to fear demonic powers. When confronted with those affected by demons, you should have the power to bring deliverance from God.

DETECTING DEMONIC PRESENCE
To overcome demonic powers it is important to be able to recognize their presence and tactics. The Holy Spirit has provided a special spiritual gift for this purpose. This gift is called “discerning of spirits” (I Corinthians 12:10).
To discern means “to discover, evaluate, and make a distinction between.” The gift of discerning of spirits enables a believer to discern the spirits operating in others. It permits him to discover, evaluate, and identify evil spirits.
The gift of discerning of spirits is very important when dealing with demonic powers. It enables you to immediately discern whether or not a person has an evil spirit operating through or against him. It prevents deception by seducing or lying spirits. One with this gift can recognize the evil tactics and motives of demonic powers.
For example, some deafness and dumbness (according to the Biblical record) is caused by a spirit. Other deafness and dumbness might be the result of an accident or illness. Discernment would enable you to determine the cause behind the condition which would enable specific ministry.
Not all believers have this special spiritual gift of discerning of spirits. If a believer does not have this gift there are signs of demonic presence which can be observed.
When the Syrophenician woman came to Jesus with an appeal that He cast out an unclean spirit from her daughter, she said “My daughter is grievously vexed with a devil” (Matthew 15:22). How did she know this? She knew it by the symptoms. Detection is simply observing what demonic spirits do to a person. Here are some symptoms of demonic activity:

Demonic obsession is recognized by an uncontrollable and unusual preoccupation with demons, Satan, or the occult. Such a person may dabble in occult practices, constantly credit everything to Satan or demons, or be preoccupied with the study of demons and Satan.

Demonic oppression can be recognized by the following signs:
1. A physical binding: The “daughter of Abraham” who Jesus relieved of a spirit of infirmity was bound physically. See Luke 13:10-17. Chronic sickness may be demonic oppression. All illness is not caused by demonic powers. Some illness is caused by a violation of natural laws, such as not eating properly or drinking bad water. Some illness is also chastisement. One King in the Bible who did not give glory to God was stricken with intestinal worms and died!
2. A mental oppression: Disturbances in the mind or thought life such as mental torment, confusion, doubt, loss of memory, etc. Restlessness, inability to reason or listen to others, abnormal talkativeness or reserve may be exhibited. All mental problems are not caused by Satan. Discouragement, depression, and disorientation can be caused by allergies to certain foods or a wrong chemical imbalance in the brain. God is able to heal mental problems and illnesses not caused by demonic powers as well as bring deliverance in cases caused by demons. But caution should be taken not to class all illness or mental problems as being caused by demonic spirits. Sometimes a simple change in diet or lifestyle will eliminate a problem if it is caused by physical causes.
3. Emotional problems: Disturbances in the emotions which persist or recur, including resentment, hatred, anger, fear, rejection, self-pity, jealousy, depression, worry, insecurity, inferiority, etc.
4. Spiritual problems: Extreme difficulties in overcoming sin, including sinful habits. Rejection of spiritual solutions to problems. Any type of doctrinal error or deception, including bondage to objects and literature of the cults.
5. Circumstances: Demons can create difficult circumstances which are oppressive. Such circumstances usually involve confusion and can immediately be identified as demonic because God is not the author of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33; James 3:16).

Demonic possession can be recognized by the following signs:
l. Indwelling of an unclean spirit: This is demonstrated by a basic moral uncleanness and filthiness. It might include the desire to go without clothing. For examples see Mark 5:2 and Luke 8:27.
2. Unusual physical strength: A person shows strength beyond normal capabilities. For examples see Mark 5:3 and Luke 8:29.
3. Fits of rage: These fits may be accompanied by foaming at the mouth. See Mark 9:14-29 and Luke 8:26-39.
4. Resistance to spiritual things: In the accounts in Mark 6:7 and 1:21-28, the demons knew Jesus immediately and asked Him to leave them alone. Fear of the name of Jesus, prayer, and the Word and blasphemy of that which is spiritual are all symptoms of demon possession. Excessive blasphemy may be noted or contorted physical features and abrupt behavior changes when spiritual things are mentioned.
5. Changes in personality and/or voice: A person who is normally shy may become aggressive or violent. Actions as well as appearance may be affected. Moral character and intelligence may change. Voice may be altered. See Mark 5:9.
6. Accompanying physical afflictions: In cases of demon possession, these appear most commonly to be afflictions of the mental and nervous system. (See Matthew
9:33; 12:22; Mark 5:4-5). They can also include a general “pining” or wasting away physically. (See Mark 9:14-29).
7. Self-inflicted physical injury: In Matthew 17:14-21 there is the story of a man’s son who would cast himself in the fire. In Luke 8:26-39 this demon possessed man cut himself with stones to inflict physical injury.
8. Terrible anguish: Luke 8:28 relates that this man went about crying because of the terrible inner torments caused by his possession.
9. Incapacity for normal living: This man could not live in society but lived in the tombs of the cemetery. See Luke 8:27.
10. Through unscriptural methods, the ability to foretell the future or discover that which is unknown: The woman in Acts 16:16 is said to be “possessed” by a spirit of divination. The following also may indicate demonic oppression, possession, or obsession:
1. Obsessive immorality such as involvement with pornography, adultery, fornication, masturbation, homosexuality, and other sex sins. Strong compulsions toward eating disorders, suicide, self-mutilation, maiming, and murder.
2. Addiction to drugs or alcohol.
3. Trances, visions, and meditation which are not focused on or from the one true God.
4. Bondage to emotions such as fear, anxiety, depression, hatred, rage, jealousy, backbiting, envy, pride, bitterness, negativism, and criticism.

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COUNTER STRATEGIES: FOR DEALING WITH DEMONS
Here are some Scriptural strategies for dealing with demonic powers:

PRELIMINARY PREPARATION IN YOURSELF:
Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, the specific or “Rhema” Word. Begin to build faith in your own heart by reading the New Testament through with a new attitude:
• Whatever Jesus told His followers to do, you begin to do.
• Whatever He said He would do, expect Him to do it.
• If He said you can deliver those afflicted by Satan, then expect to see them delivered.
• If He said to cast out Devils, then do it in His name and expect them to obey you. Disregard all the teaching of man and personal experiences you have had. Accept that the New Testament means exactly what it says. Accept it as true and act accordingly. You are an ambassador for Christ (II Corinthians 5:20). An ambassador never doubts that the country he represents will back up its Word.
Fast and pray before you go to minister deliverance. Since power and authority for deliverance comes from God, it is well to be in touch! Some demons will come out only by prayer and fasting. Isaiah 58 teaches that God honors the fast which focuses on ministering to the needs of others.

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PRELIMINARY PREPARATION IN OTHERS:
Whenever possible, a team of believers should be used when binding or casting out demons. Jesus sent out His disciples in pairs for this ministry:

And He called unto Him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two: and gave them power over unclean spirits. (Mark 6:7)

This does not mean you cannot minister alone to a demonically affected person when you encounter them, but there is strength in unity of prayer with another believer. Since strength comes from unity, those who are joining you in the ministry of deliverance should be similarly prepared with prayer and fasting.
In cases of oppression and obsession (such as depression, demonically caused illnesses, etc.), prepare the person who is to receive the ministry. They need to have their faith built through the “Ramah” word of God about deliverance. (This may not be possible in the case of possession).
If you encourage the demonically affected to be prayed for without proper instruction, it is like encouraging the unsaved to accept Jesus as Savior without knowing who He is, recognizing their sin and need for salvation. When sharing the Gospel a wise soul winner does not press for a decision too quickly. There is preliminary ministry to be done. Proper instruction must be given.
The same is true of deliverance. Sometimes, God delivers without such instruction. But in ministering deliverance you want to properly use every channel prescribed by God’s Word to see the work done. Faith is one channel for God’s delivering power and it comes by hearing God’s Word, so instruction is important. Jesus combined preaching and teaching with healing and deliverance and He instructed His followers to do so also.

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THE PLACE FOR MINISTRY:
Ministry of deliverance to those affected by demonic powers can be done during a regular part of the church service. Such ministry need not be confined only to private sessions. It is a valid ministry of the church.
Jesus ministered to the demon possessed as part of a regular church service (Mark 1:21-25). However, it is not necessary to wait until a regular service to deal with demonic powers. Jesus brought deliverance when and wherever they were encountered.

THE TIME OF MINISTRY:
When you are ready to minister deliverance…

1. Begin with worship and praise:
We enter His presence (where there is deliverance and healing) through worship and praise. Deliverance can come through worship and praise, even without ministry by prayer because God inhabits the praises of His people. When we praise, He is present to heal and deliver.

2. Create an environment of faith:
You already started to do this when you ministered the Word on deliverance, but you may also need to take additional steps to create an environment of faith.
Unbelief hindered even the ministry of Jesus in Nazareth. Sometimes Jesus put unbelievers out when he ministered (Mark 5:35-40). Other times He led people out of their village (an environment of unbelief) in order to minister to them (Mark 8:23). On occasion as God leads, you may need to ask those struggling with unbelief, fear, etc., to leave.

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3. Pray first:
Ask for wisdom and discernment before you begin to minister deliverance. During prayer, God may reveal to you…
• A word of knowledge: Specific facts and information about a person or condition so you will know how to pray. A “word of knowledge” can include a deep sense of knowing or an impression in your spirit, thoughts, words, or feelings. The Word of knowledge may reveal what the sickness is or why the person has the condition.
• A Scripture verse: The Rhema word for that situation, condition, person, or group.
• A vision: Pictures in the mind’s eye pertaining to the one to whom you are ministering.
• Words of faith: Special words of encouragement and faith specifically for that individual.
• A special anointing: A sudden infusion of power, perhaps felt as a tingling, heat, or supernatural confidence.
• A special act of faith, that if the person will perform, will be delivered.

4. Conduct a brief interview:
This is not required. It is optional and should be done according to the leading of the Lord. God may give you specific words of wisdom about the person’s condition and you will not need to interview.
But if God does not supernaturally reveal something to you, do not hesitate to use the interview. Jesus used both natural and supernatural methods. On occasions He discerned people’s conditions by the Holy Spirit. At other times He asked them what they wanted and how long they had been afflicted.
An interview helps you gain information so you can pray more specifically. It also helps you determine if the person needs further instruction before you pray. Jesus often did this. He asked people questions concerning their faith and then dealt with negative forces of unbelief before ministering. Study the following examples:
• Mark 5:1-20: Jesus questions the demonized man.
• Mark 8:22-26: Questioning the blind man.
• Mark 9:14-27: A boy with an evil spirit.
• Mark 10:46-52: Questioning blind Bartimaeus.
Ask the person, “What is the problem?” Speaking a request for prayer is important. Jesus delivered many who came to Him making known their need. The request is in itself an act of faith that can set in motion the healing processes (James 5:14-15). Ask for a specific statement. You need only brief facts. You do not need the complete history or a life’s story.
Do not try to psychoanalyze the information you are given. Your function is to minister deliverance. Some unique cases may require privacy and more time for counseling with a trained counselor. Have counselors available for this purpose.
Ask the person who is to be prayed for, “Do you believe Jesus can deliver you?” If they answer positively, then ask, “Do you believe Jesus will do it now?” If the answer is “no” to either of these questions, further instruction from God’s Word is needed.
When you are ministering to a large crowd, you will not be able to talk to each person. God may reveal to you specific demonically caused conditions of people in the audience or may lead you to pray specific prayers for individuals.
If you are ministering deliverance in a crowd, it is best to train others to minister along with you rather than you doing all the ministering yourself. The commission of Jesus was that these signs would follow THEM that believe, not “him.” The work of the ministry was to be through the body, not just one or two lone believers or evangelists.

5. Determine the specific problem:
Use the information from the interview and/or the wisdom God has given to you to determine if the problem is in the:

Spiritual realm: Problems related to sin. These require a ministry of spiritual healing (salvation, repentance and forgiveness of sin).

Physical realm: Bodily sickness caused by demonic spirits of infirmity.

Emotional realm: Problems concerning anxiety, fear, anger, bitterness, resentment, guilt, doubt, failure, jealousy, selfishness, confusion, frustration, perfectionism in the energy of the flesh, unforgiveness, past situations.
This is often called “inner healing,” but the term has been abused. It is not necessary to go back through a rehearsal of the facts and relive these emotions. It is not necessary to spend weeks, months, years to recover from such traumas. If you do this, you are trying to heal the old person instead of helping them become a new creation in Christ.
Problems in the emotional realm are often related to the social realm of a person’s life, ie., they affect and stem from family and social relationships. Deliverance comes through identifying, asking forgiveness, and forgiving the other parties involved.
The greatest barrier to emotional healing is usually forgiveness, so emotional healing includes the healing of social relationships.
We are called to be ministers of reconciliation (II Corinthians 5:18-21). Reconciliation includes both with God and man, and this is where emotional, mental, or inner healing comes in (all similar titles for in essence the same thing).
You may need to instruct the person in forgiveness. It is not:
• Justifying someone else’s wrongs which they have done (“They were under a lot of pressure”)
• Denying we were hurt in the first place.
• Accepting with resignation what was done to you.
• Waiting for “time” to heal the hurt.
True forgiveness comes by:
• Recognizing what was done to us was wrong, the result of sinful men in a sinful world.
• Confessing the hurt to God and asking Him to heal the harmful emotions (i.e., hate, bitterness, etc.). You may not ever forget the fact of the incident…What you are in need of is healing for the wrong emotions relating to it.
• Asking God to help you forgive others involved, then forgiving even as Christ forgives you. Recognize that God extends forgiveness to you as you forgive others: “Forgive us our trespasses AS we forgive those who trespass against us.” The person may also need to forgive themselves (guilt over their own wrongdoing) and will definitely need to pray for emotional healing:
• Acknowledge the sin causing guilt and/or sinful emotions, confess it to God, and repent. Ask Him to forgive your sin and heal your emotions.
• Recognize when God forgives, He forgets (He casts our sins as far as east from west).
• Claim I John 1:8-9 and Romans 8:1.
• By an act of your own will, release yourself from condemnation. Control future thought patterns by casting down “vain imaginations” and “forgetting those things behind.”

Mental realm: Problems stemming from negative thinking, attacks of Satan on the mind, mental retardation. Remember: Because man is a triune being, problems in one realm affect the whole person. As you minister, deal with the whole person, not just one area. Man is body, soul, spirit: Wholeness implies dealing with all of these.

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6. Determine whether it is time to pray:
Determine whether or not it is time to pray the healing prayer. In most cases, you will pray, but in some, do not be surprised if the Lord directs you not to pray or to delay prayer. Jesus delayed healing in the case of the Syrophonecian woman’s daughter and Lazarus. He did not do many works at all in Nazareth because of unbelief. The Lord may also direct you to delay until further instruction is given, i.e., they may need to deal with a sin problem, need more instruction on deliverance, etc.

7. Pray the prayer of deliverance:
Pray a prayer of deliverance which focuses on the specific problem of demonic influence which you have identified. You do not have to persuade God to deliverance by your prayer. Just as salvation is already available, the same is true of deliverance. Just as salvation is based on the condition of faith, so is deliverance. God wants to deliver, just as He wants to save.
Although the power of God is sometimes present in a special way for deliverance (Luke 5:17), you can still pray without a special anointing to do so because Jesus commanded you to do so just as He told you to spread the Gospel.
Use others to help you minister if you are in a group setting. There is multiplication of spiritual power when more people are praying (Matthew 18:19). “Body ministry” discourages individuals who experience success in deliverance and those who receive it from giving glory to man. Jesus taught that first you should bind the enemy, then you can exercise power over him:

Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. (Matthew 12:29)

If demonic powers are binding in oppression from the outside, pray for their hold to be loosed and their powers to be bound. For example, Jesus loosed the woman in the synagogue from the spirit of infirmity. She was not possessed, but oppressed. A casting out was not necessary.
In cases of demon possession, you have the authority to cast demons out in the name of Jesus. It is not authority in your own power or ability, but in His name. It is important to use the name of Jesus in the actual prayer of casting out the demon.
Faith, fasting, and prayer are necessary to cast out demons. (Read the account in Matthew 17:14- 21). This is why preliminary preparation is encouraged in these areas. The Word of God (Ephesians 5:17; Hebrews 4:12); the blood of Jesus (Revelation 12:11), and the infilling power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8; 2:38) are also “tools” for deliverance God has given you.
Yelling and screaming at the demons is not necessary. It is your authority in the name of Jesus that will cause them to come out, not the volume of your voice during the prayer of deliverance. Always forbid the demons to reenter. This is an important part of the prayer of deliverance:

When Jesus saw 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 9:25)

Do not spend time talking with the demon, should it manifest itself through spoken words. Jesus rebuked demons and told them to be quiet (Luke 4:34-35). Remember that any conversation with demons is dangerous because there are lying spirits.

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The Holy Spirit will direct you in the prayer of deliverance, but if you are new to this ministry here is a sample prayer pattern to study:

“In the name of Jesus Christ and on the basis of the authority of His power, His Word, His blood, and the Holy Spirit…”
…This establishes the power base for deliverance…
“…I bind you….”
…Jesus taught to bind the strong man first before attempting to cast him out…
“…and I command you…”
…Ministering deliverance is a prayer of authority, not of entreaty. You can speak quietly, but you must take authority over the forces of evil in the name of Jesus.
Look directly into the eyes of the person as you speak.
“…the spirit of_________” or “…you foul spirit of Satan…”
…if the spirit has been identified either through spiritual or natural discernment, then name it specifically; otherwise, generally.
“…to depart….”
…this is the casting out process…
“…without harming________(name of person being delivered), or anyone in this house, and without creating noise or disturbance”
…Sometimes the demon will try to harm the person or create disturbance.
“I forbid you to reenter this person…”
…Remember that Jesus used this command…
“…and I loose the Holy Spirit to fill of this person with the cleansing, delivering power of the blood of Jesus.”

…We are told to loose as well as bind. If you have identified a specific spirit at work, loose the opposite spirit. For example, bind the spirit of pride and lose the spirit of humility.
Do not make a show of such ministry and try to attract crowds with it. When Jesus saw the actions of a demon attracting a crowd, He immediately stopped the performance being staged by the evil spirit and cast it out:

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 9:25)

Do not attempt to cast demons into Hell. Jesus and His disciples did not do this. We have authority only to bind, loose, and cast out. There is a set time for the final judgment of demons in the future. The demons said to Jesus:

…What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us BEFORE THE TIME? (Matthew 8:29)

Prayer for those affected by demons can be done with or without the laying on of hands. Jesus used the laying on of hands to minister to the woman oppressed with the spirit of infirmity in Luke 13:11-13. In other cases, He did not lay on hands but simply spoke to the demons (Luke 9:42).

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8. Praise God for the answer:
Follow prayer with praise to God for deliverance. Remember that in the Biblical example of the ten lepers, all were healed but only the one who returned to praise was made whole. Praise by faith and not by sight. You have done what God’s Word said to do. Believe He has done what He said He would do. Thank Him for it.

RECOGNIZING SIGNS OF DELIVERANCE:
In cases of demonic possession, sometimes the demons come out with a struggle, such as crying out or throwing the person on the floor. When demons have departed (whether in possession or oppression), there will be a sense of release, joy, like the lifting of a weight.

PROVIDING FOLLOW UP CARE:
After deliverance, those who have been possessed by demons should be led in a prayer of confession, repentance, and renouncing any sins or involvements connected with the demonic activities. If the person has any occult items (for example idols, voodoo items, witchcraft equipment, etc.), these should be destroyed.
Additional follow up care is very important for those delivered from demonic possession. When a demon is cast out, he will seek another body through which to operate. Jesus taught that the departure of evil spirits leaves an empty place. There is danger of a demon returning to his former victim accompanied by worse spirits:

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. (Luke 11:24-26)

When a demon is cast out it is restless and discontent outside of a human body. It is only by indwelling and controlling a human life that a demon is able to fulfill Satan’s evil purposes. This is why casting the demon out is not enough. The spiritual “house” must be filled by the new birth experience and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Follow up counseling and ministry is necessary.
The person should be immersed in the Word of God and prayer and become part of a community of believers.
Those experiencing deliverance from demonic powers also should be encouraged to give their testimony. Jesus told the demoniac of Gadarene:

…Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
And he departed and began to publish in Decapolis (ten cities) how great mthings Jesus had done for him; and all men did marvel. (Mark 5:19-20)

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PROTECTION FROM DEMONIC POWERS
There are specific ways to protect yourself from the activities of demonic powers. The most important protection is to receive Jesus Christ as Savior because demons cannot possess a true born-again believer. Keep yourself from sin, for through sin you “give place to the Devil.” You provide opportunity for him to use demonic activities of oppression against you.
Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Demonic spirits and the spirit of God cannot inhabit the same spiritual vessel.
Avoid an obsessive interest in demons. It is not wrong to study what God’s Word says about them, or courses such as this one which are based on God’s Word. But do not read secular books, attend seances, etc., to learn more about demons. Avoid any contact with the occult. Do not consult witches, shaman, astrologers, horoscopes, card, palm, or tea leaf readers. Do not serve false gods or allow idols to come into your home:

The graven images of their gods you shall burn with fire; you shall not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourself, lest you be ensnared by it; for IT IS AN ABOMINATION TO THE LORD YOUR GOD.
Neither shall you bring an abomination (an idol) into your house, lest you become an accursed thing like it; but you shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is an accursed thing. (Deuteronomy 7:25-26 The Amplified Version)

It is important to control your mind, your tongue, and select your associates carefully. It is also important to gain victory over the world and the flesh.
You must also wage both defensive and offensive warfare against demonic powers. Use the weapons and strategies you have learned about in this course.

INSPECTION
1. Write the Key Verse from the Articles Of War.
______________________________________________________________________________
2. What are the three major kinds of demons that attack the body, soul, and spirit of man?
______________________________________________________________________________
3. What is the value of the gift of discernment in dealing with demonic powers?
______________________________________________________________________________
4. What does it mean to be demon possessed?
______________________________________________________________________________
5. What are the characteristics that may be shown by a demon possessed person?
______________________________________________________________________________
6. What does it mean to be obsessed by demons?
______________________________________________________________________________
7. What are the characteristics of a person who is demon obsessed?
______________________________________________________________________________
8. What does it mean to be oppressed by demons?
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9. What are the characteristics of a person who is demon oppressed?
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10. Summarize Scriptural guidelines given in this lesson for overcoming demonic powers.
______________________________________________________________________________

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TACTICAL MANEUVERS
1. Study the warnings of God to Israel regarding Satan and the occult: Deuteronomy 18:10- 12; Leviticus 17:7; 19:31; 20:16.
2. Study more about sacrifices made to devils: Deuteronomy 32:17; II Chronicles 11:15; Psalms 106:37.
3. The following are common characteristics of cults:
• Dictatorial Leadership: Cults cluster around domineering, charismatic personalities who have absolute authority and are accountable to no one.
• Exclusive: Cults adopt the attitude that they are the only group with divine truth. They exclude from fellowship others who disagree with them.
• Legalistic: Cults usually have strict rules of belief and behavior which have no Scriptural basis.
• Defensive: Cult members are usually led to believe that society, organized
religion, and government are against them. This causes a reactionary attitude towards religion, government, and society.
• Oppressive: Cult members are usually manipulated and oppressed by the leadership.
• Secretive: Many things about the cult are kept secret from “outsiders”.
• Higher Revelation: Cults often claim “higher revelation” from God. They will always have a source of authority beyond the Scriptures. It may be the writings or revelation of the founder or another person. In some cases it may be the founder’s peculiar interpretation of the Bible. Their doctrines will not currently represent Biblical teachings.
• Anti-church: Cults vigorously oppose organized churches and their pastors.
• Anti-family: Cults are sometimes anti-family, which means they want their members to break ties with family who are not members. They try to break biological family ties in order to retain their disciples.
4. There are so many cults world-wide that it is impossible to identify them all, but because of the increasing growth of what is called the “new age movement” we felt it important to mention this “doctrine of demons.” At the time of writing of this manual new age involves millions of people throughout the world and is growing rapidly! Major publishing houses in the United States now have “new age departments” because there is such a demand for their materials. The new age movement has its roots in the ancient occultism. It has historical ties to Sumerian, Indian, Egyptian, Chaldean, Babylonian, and Persian religious practices. The “new age” is a fresh title, but the occult involved in it is nothing new.
Jesus is considered just one of many “gods” or revealers of “truth” along with Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, Zoroaster, Krishna, and many others. The deity of Jesus is denied. While the Bible teaches man was separated from God by sin, the new age movement believes man is born inherently good. They believe he is separated from God only in his consciousness and is the victim of a false sense of separate identity that blinds him to his essential unity with God.
Because of this, the new age movement advocates various methods of altering the consciousness such as yoga, meditation, chanting, ecstatic dancing, drugs, etc. They consider these a means to salvation. Because of these practices and involvement with witchcraft, sorcery, mediums, etc., new age practices open the door to demonic influences.
The new age movement also heavily emphasizes the ancient Hindu doctrines of “karma.” Man is considered his own “Satan” as well as his own god and salvation. Thus, the new age movement is rooted in humanism. Values and morals are relevant, which means they vary according to person and culture. You create your own reality by doing what feels good and right to you. The new age movement does not recognize the moral absolutes in God’s Word.
Because they believe there is no evil, therefore there is no crime and no victim. Death is considered an illusion and because they believe a person is continually reincarnated, there are no victims of murder or abortion.
The new age methods of spreading propaganda include infiltration (even of the true Church) and unification through world-wide networking. New age members speak of a coming “purging” which will cleanse the world of all those “lesser evolved souls” who do not see themselves as gods. They are working towards the centralizing of power on a global level, an ungodly unity with man as the sole authority. The new age movement may be one of several forces through which Satan will culminate his plans for global unification. It could very possibly could be the platform upon which the antichrist will rise to world-wide domination.
5. Study II Peter chapter 2 and the book of Jude. List characteristics that will help you detect Satan’s messengers in the church:
Characteristics Of False Teachers
II Peter Chapter Two
Example:
False teachers teach damnable heresies: Verse 1
They deny the Lord: Verse 1
Now…continue the list:
______________________________________________________________________________
Who Have Crept Into The Church
The Book Of Jude
______________________________________________________________________________

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CHAPTER TWENTY:
l. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness: whose end shall be according to their works. (II Corinthians 11:14-15)
2. They were used for worship.
3. When Paul speaks of “spiritual wickedness in high places,” he is referring to wicked spirits who have infiltrated the religious systems of the world. They have even crept into the congregations of the righteous.
4. Compare your summary with the discussion given in Chapter Twenty.
5. Compare your answer to the discussion in Chapter Twenty.

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OBJECTIVES:
Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:
• Write the Key Verses from memory.
• Explain what is meant by “spiritual wickedness in high places.”
• Summarize the strategies of Satan in this area.
• Identify spiritual counter strategies to overcome spiritual wickedness in high places.

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KEY VERSES FROM THE ARTICLES OF WAR:
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness: whose end shall be according to their works. (II Corinthians 11:14-15)

Gods Plan for Spiritual Battle

INTRODUCTION
You have learned that spiritual warfare is not with flesh and blood. You studied about the forces of evil and how they are organized. This chapter focuses on a specific division of Satan’s evil forces, “spiritual wickedness in high places.” The Apostle Paul warns of these forces:

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 6:12)

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HIGH PLACES
It seems to be inherent in human nature to think of God as dwelling somewhere in the heights.
From earliest times men have chosen high places for worship, both of the true God or false gods and idols invented by man. In Old Testament times these high places became the scenes of evil orgies and human sacrifice connected with the worship of false gods.
God told Israel when they entered the Promised Land to drive out all the inhabitants of the land and destroy their high places:

Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places. (Numbers 33:52)

In the book of Judges we read of Israel’s failure to drive the people out of the land. As a result, they fell into idolatrous worship in the high places. After the period of the judges, some of the good kings of Israel destroyed the high places. Others rebuilt them and worshiped false gods.
King Manasseh was one who rebuilt the high places. After he had been punished and repented for this sin, he was restored to his throne and resumed worship of the true God. The people still sacrificed in the high places, but “only unto Jehovah their God” (II Chronicles 33).
When Gideon was called of God to be a mighty warrior, the Lord told him to destroy the altar and cut down the wooden image. Then Gideon was to build an altar to God. A burnt offering could be made only after the high places were torn down. It was then that deliverance came! God still calls today for the “spiritual wickedness in high places” to be torn down by the mighty warriors of God.

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STRATEGIES OF SATAN: SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS IN HIGH PLACES
When Paul speaks of “spiritual wickedness in high places”, he is referring to wicked spirits who have infiltrated the religious systems of the world. They have even crept into the congregations of the righteous. Satan has organized his evil forces to imitate the organization of the true church of God. In some cases he actually has congregations known as “The Church of Satan” or “Spiritualists.” He has set up a form of worship in the spiritual high places.
Satan has also prompted the organization of many cults. The word “occult” means to “hide or conceal a thing.” Cults are those who are part of the occult, those who hide and conceal evil behind the cloak of religion. But even more dangerous, Satan has set up his system right in the true church through evil people who have “crept in unawares” (Jude 4).
Through “spiritual wickedness in high places” Satan aims for the total allegiance of man. He uses false cults, his own church of Satan, and infiltration into the Body of Christ to accomplish this purpose. This is what the Bible teaches about Satan’s religious organization:

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SATAN HAS HIS OWN TRINITY:
You previously studied about the Trinity of God, the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Satan also has a trinity. It includes Satan himself, the beast and a false prophet. You will study about the latter two in the final chapter of this course. In the book of Revelation, John describes the final destiny of this unholy trio:

And the Devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)

Battle Plan

SATAN HAS HIS OWN CHURCH:
God established the true church which is known as the “Body of Christ” of which Jesus is the head:

Now ye are the Body of Christ, and members in particular…(I Corinthians 12:27)
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16)

Satan has his own church which is called “a synagogue of Satan”:

…I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. (Revelation 2:9)

The name “synagogue of Satan” is not always openly used but his synagogue is established anywhere the true Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is not preached.

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SATAN HAS A DOCTRINE:
The Bible is filled with the true doctrines of God revealed by the Holy Spirit:

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine…(II Timothy 3:16)

The doctrine of Satan is called the “doctrine of demons”:

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (I Timothy 4:1)

One category of demons is called “seducing spirits.” Their specific job is to seduce men into doctrinal error. The “doctrine of demons” is any teaching presented as “truth” which does not agree with the written Word of God.

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SATAN HAS A SYSTEM OF SACRIFICE:
In Romans 12:1, we are told to present ourselves to God as a living sacrifice. This means we are to surrender in total allegiance to God. Satan demands sacrifices also:

But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. (I Corinthians 10:20)

Satan demands total allegiance of body, soul, and spirit. There are actually services of sacrifice carried out where men and women dedicate themselves to the service of Satan. The blood sacrifice of humans and animals is also practiced.

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SATAN HAS HIS OWN COMMUNION SERVICE:
The sharing of the communion bread and wine was started by Jesus as a way of remembering
His sacrifice for the sins of all mankind on the cross (I Corinthians 11:23-34). Satan counterfeits this by his own communion:

Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils; ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. (I Corinthians 10:20)

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SATAN HAS MINISTERS:
God has called some believers to serve as pastors and minister to His church and proclaim the Gospel (I Corinthians 12:28). Satan also has ministers:

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (II Corinthians 11:14-15)

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SATAN’S MINISTERS PROCLAIM HIS GOSPEL:
The “gospel” of Satan is contrary to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ:

Which is not another, but there be some that trouble you and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we or an angel from Heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:7-8)

SATAN HAS HIS THRONE:
God has a throne in Heaven. Satan also has a throne, although we are not told its exact location:

And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon (Satan) gave him his power, and HIS SEAT, and great authority. (Revelation 13:2)

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SATAN HAS WORSHIPERS:
There are many who worship the true God. Satan also has worshipers:

…and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast?… (Revelation 13:4)

Some worshipers of Satan pretend to be followers of Jesus:

The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. (Matthew 13:38-39)

Satan mixes the bad “seed” in with the good “seed” (believers).

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SATAN HAS PROPHETS:
God has set in the Church prophets, men who are especially anointed to bring a direct message from Him to the Church (I Corinthians 12:28). Satan has false prophets who deliver false messages:

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. (Matthew 24:11)

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SATAN HAS TEACHERS:
God has anointed some people as teachers to share and explain His Word to others (I Corinthians 12:28). But all teachers are not from God. Satan has false teachers to spread his evil doctrine:

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of
truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you… (II Peter 2:1-3)

Satan’s teachers bring in “damnable heresies,” teachings which are false and cause division. They speak lies and are experts at mixing truth and error in a way that makes error acceptable.
Many such false teachings have resulted in the growth of cults. A cult is any system of religion or worship that is not in complete harmony with the written Word of God. It is a “damnable heresy.”
The names, doctrines, and organization of cults vary from nation to nation. There are so many cults that it is not possible to mention them all. But remember, any religious system not in harmony with God’s Word is a cult. (The “Tactical Maneuvers” section of this lesson provides additional guidelines for recognizing cults.)

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SATAN HAS APOSTLES:
An apostle is a person who spreads the Gospel and establishes churches (I Corinthians 12:28). Satan also has apostles doing his work throughout the world. They deceive people by imitating the true apostles:

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. (II Corinthians 11:13)

Satan’s apostles become leaders of false cults and infiltrate churches in leadership capacities.

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SATAN IMITATES JESUS BY FALSE CHRISTS:
Satan has even imitated the Lord Jesus Christ by raising up false Christs. Jesus warned:

…Take heed, that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (Matthew 24:4-5)

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SATAN HAS A SYSTEM OF COMMUNICATION:
The Bible is a record of how God spoke to man. God continues to speak to men today. Satan also speaks to man. His first words to humans resulted in their fall into sin in the Garden of Eden (Genesis chapter 3).
Believers pray to God regarding their needs and God responds to the prayer of the righteous (James 5:16). Satan’s followers pray to him and communicate with evil spirits. Sometimes Satan responds with supernatural events such as voices, the moving of objects, noises, etc.
God has communicated to man through His written Word, the Bible. Satan’s message is also being communicated through the written word by evil magazines, books, motion pictures, and music. God’s communication through His written and spoken Word provides guidance for man in the affairs of life. Satan has a system of false guidance accomplished through methods such as the following:

Astrology and horoscope: Which use stars to predict events and give guidance. Reading of tea leaves, cards, pictures, bumps on the head, palms of the hand and crystal balls: The formation of the tea leaves, cards, lines in the human hand, crystal balls, and pictures are claimed to give guidance.

Witchcraft: Using spells, potions, charms, magic, rituals, seances, divinations, methods of chance, divining rods, visions, drawings, and similar unscriptural methods to receive guidance.

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SATAN HAS SUPERNATURAL POWER:
Jesus promised supernatural power to His followers after they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). Satan also gives supernatural power and authority (Revelation 13:2). His demons can provide supernatural strength and energy. Satan can perform many supernatural signs and miracles:

For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles… (Revelation 16:14)
Jesus said:

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:22-23)

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SPIRITUAL COUNTER STRATEGIES:
TO WAR AGAINST SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS IN HIGH PLACES
Here are specific counter strategies for overcoming spiritual wickedness in high places.

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RECOGNIZE SATAN IS AN IMITATOR:
From your study of this lesson to this point it should be clear that Satan is an imitator. “Imitation” means to copy or counterfeit something. The first step in overcoming wickedness in high places is to recognize that Satan imitates every part of God’s religious structure. Be on the look out for imitations!

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USE DISCERNMENT:
There is a special gift of the Holy Spirit called “discerning of spirits.” It is an unusual ability given by God to immediately discern another person’s spirit and know if they are good or evil. If you have this spiritual gift, use it in dealing with spiritual wickedness in high places.
If you do not have this gift, God has provided other methods of detection. In II Peter 2 and the book of Jude He has listed the characteristics of these men with seducing spirits. (Use the “Tactical Maneuvers” section of this lesson for additional study of this subject.) All believers are encouraged to “try the spirits” (I John 4:1) To “try” means to “test” the spirits. If you test the spirits it does not mean you are operating in unbelief. If the spirits are of God, they will pass the test!

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STUDY THE WORD OF GOD:
In order to recognize the false doctrines of Satan’s teachers, apostles, prophets, and ministers you must know what is taught in the Word of God. Paul told Timothy:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (II Timothy 2:15)

Even though Paul was a great spiritual leader in the early Church, the believers at the city of Berea checked everything he said by God’s written Word:

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11)

To avoid being deceived by spiritual wickedness in high places, examine everything that is taught in light of God’s Word.

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REJECT ANYTHING NOT IN THE WORD:
Satan establishes much spiritual wickedness in high places through so-called “special revelation of new truth.” People will claim special dreams, appearances by angels, visions, voices, or other supernatural events. But Paul warned:

…but there be some that trouble you and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we or an angel from Heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:7-8)

Reject any teaching, doctrine, manifestation, or revelation that is not in harmony with God’s Word. Do not accept any so-called prophecy that is not in right relation to the faith (Romans 12:6) and which does not come to pass (Deuteronomy 18:22). Do not accept any revelation that leads you away from God and the truth of His Word (Deuteronomy 13:1-5):

The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead. (Proverbs 21:16)

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EVALUATE BY SPIRITUAL FRUIT:
Because Satan imitates the power of God through supernatural manifestations of miracles, signs, and wonders, God has provided a special method of evaluating ministries. You are to evaluate the supernatural on the basis of spiritual fruit. Jesus compared men to fruit trees. He said you would know both the real and the imitators by their spiritual fruit:

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring
forth good fruit. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. (Matthew 7:18, 20)

Satan can imitate spiritual gifts and God’s power, but he has no imitation for a holy life exhibiting the fruit of the Holy Spirit which includes true…

…love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance; against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Evaluate ministries by spiritual fruit, not by supernatural manifestations of power.

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AVOID EVERY SATANIC INFLUENCE:
God warned Israel to avoid every type of Satanic influence:

…destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places. (Numbers 33:52)

Read the additional instructions God gave in Deuteronomy 18:9-14. Israel was to have no contact with the work of Satan in any form. You should destroy anything you own that has to do with witchcraft or the work of the devil. This would include idols, “lucky charms”, potions, amulets, crystal balls, games, divining devices, and other similar items. This is what people did in the New Testament when they became believers:

Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men, and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver (about $9,300). (Acts 19:19)

Destroy any evil literature and music that does not glorify God. Do not spend time in places where there is evil influence. The Bible records that God manifested Himself in special places such as the Old Testament temple and the upper room of a house on the Day of Pentecost.
It is equally true that Satanic power can be manifested in special places dedicated to evil. This would include places where evil pictures are shown, drinking and riotous behavior is occurring, seances are being held, worship of Satan is occurring…. anywhere sinful practices are going on. Avoid such environments, because Satan’s power is especially strong there. You cannot pray the Lord’s prayer, “Lead us not into temptation” and then put yourself in such a place:

…and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. (I Corinthians 10:20)

Do not associate with false leaders, teachers, prophets, ministers or apostles:

Abstain from all appearance of evil. (I Thessalonians 5:22)

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EXPOSE THE WICKEDNESS IN HIGH PLACES:
Believers must not ignore this spiritual wickedness in high places. Pastors must preach the whole counsel of God in face of deception (II Timothy 4:1-4). False teachings of the occult and doctrines of demons must be identified. Believers are not to participate in the “unfruitful works of darkness” but rather should expose them (Ephesians 5:11).

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EXERCISE THE MINISTRY OF DELIVERANCE:
God’s organization, the true Church, is more powerful than that of Satan. You learned that Jesus is the head of the church, and that believers are the body. With that in mind, read the following verses:

(God) hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church. Which is His body… (Ephesians 1:22-23)
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God. (Ephesians 3:10)

Jesus is the head of the Church. Believers are the body. If all things (including Satan and his religious structure) are under the feet of Jesus, then they are also under our feet because we are the body. “Under the feet” means they are under the power and authority which God has delegated to us. Jesus said He has given us power over “all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10:19). This includes spiritual wickedness in high places.
The church is actually to demonstrate His power to these principalities and powers! We must exercise this ministry to bring deliverance from those in bondage to “spiritual wickedness in high places.” We must turn men from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to the Kingdom of God (Acts 26:18).

Poster_1___Quiet_Please_by_Ascavilya

INSPECTION
1. Write the Key Verses from the Articles Of War.
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2. How were the “high places” used in the Old Testament?
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3. What is meant by “spiritual wickedness in high places”?
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4. Summarize what you remember about Satan’s strategies for spiritual wickedness in high
places.
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5. Summarize the counter strategies for overcoming wickedness in high places.
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