Power over Satan and demons (Part two)
JESUS AND DEMONS1)
The New Testament frequently describes individuals who are suffering from Satan’s oppression and influence due to evil spirits that take up residence in their bodies and gain control of their lives. Throughout the Gospels (the narrative accounts of the “good news” and the true story of Jesus Christ), Jesus shows His power and authority to free people from this spiritual slavery. The Gospel of Mark, describes many times in which Jesus comes in contact with and stands against demons with the power of God: “That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.” – Mark 1:32-34.
“Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. – Mark 1:23-26.
2) In His miracles, Jesus often attacks the power of Satan and demonic forces. Jesus states clearly that one of His purposes in coming to earth was to destroy the works of Satan and to set free those the devil holds as slaves.
3) One way Jesus binds and destroys Satan’s power is by driving out demons (by His authority, forcing them to leave the person’s body and give up control of the individual’s life). But he paid the penalty for our sin. This victory shattered the power of Satan’s kingdom and restored the power of God’s kingdom in people’s lives. Jesus’ work and personal sacrifice made Satan’s defeat certain and gained God’s victory over him.
4) Hell, the place of eternal punishment, torment and separation from God, has been prepared by God for the devil and his demons. “Then He will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” – Matthew 25:41
BELIEVERS AND DEMONS
1. God’s Word teaches that because God’s Holy Spirit lives within each true follower of Christ, a Christian cannot be demon-possessed. God’s Spirit and demons can never live in the same body. Demons may, however, influence the thoughts, emotions and actions of Christians who fail to follow and respond to the leading of the Spirit.
2. Jesus promised His followers that they would have authority over the power of Satan and demons. As we confront them, we must rely on Jesus and use His authority to break the power that demonic forces want to force upon us and others. This means we must wage intense spiritual warfare through the power of the Holy Spirit. The power of God is the only source that frees us from the power and influence of the devil’s darkness and brings us into God’s spiritual light with victory.
3. According to the parable in Mark 3:27 – “In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house.” Spiritual conflict against Satan and his demonic forces involves three stages of spiritual battle:
a) Declare war against Satan according to God’s purpose.
b) Enter Satan’s territory (any area of life where he has a “strong hold” or has strongly forced his evil control), then attack and overpower him through prayer and God’s Word. By doing this, God will destroy the devil’s weapons of deception and temptation.
c) Take what the devil possesses. This means helping to liberate those who have been enslaved by Satan’s power and helping to restore them to God so that they may receive forgiveness and new life through faith in Christ.
4. As we boldly embrace the authority and power of God, we should take the following steps in our spiritual battle:
a) Recognise that we are not in a conflict against flesh and blood (human persons, powers and purposes). Rather, we are fighting against spiritual forces and powers of evil.
b) Remain deeply committed to God’s truth and to living by the standards of His Word.
c) Have faith that Satan’s power can be broken in any specific area where he might have control. We must also realise that God has given Christ’s followers powerful spiritual weapons for the destruction of Satan’s strongholds.
d) Boldly proclaim the message of Christ and His kingdom (His highest power, authority, purposes and way of life) through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
e) Challenge Satan and his power directly by relying completely on Jesus and taking authority in his name, using God’s Word, praying in the Spirit, fasting and driving out demons.
f) Praying particularly that the Holy Spirit would work in the consciences of people who are spiritually lost (who have not accepted forgiveness from Christ and do not have a personal relationship with God). Only the Holy Spirit can truly convince them of their sin, the truth of God’s Word and the fact that they will be judged by God’s standards.
g) Desire, pray for and expect the Holy Spirit to be active in your life, your ministry and your church through His spiritual gifts (special abilities and empowerment He gives for the purpose of building Christ’s church and encouraging those who are a part of it). Among these gifts are healing, prophecy, tongues, miracles, signs and wonders.
It cannot be emphasised enough that we must be in a right relationship with God and fully equipped to do spiritual battle by spending time in prayer and God’s Word. We must have a deep understanding of God and His Word, and we must be actively growing in all spiritual areas of our Christian life. Doing this is important because we are no match for Satan’s powers on our own. Christ’s followers must pray constantly and remain spiritually alert, relying on God’s strength and resources to recognise and conquer Satan’s evil schemes and to maintain a strong faith. They must also rely on God so that when they do come face to face with demonic powers, they will be able to fearlessly exercise Jesus’ authority over them.
This article is culled from the FIRE BIBLE: Global Study Edition.
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