Preventing Demonic Influence, Control, and Possession
It is unclear how many angels rebelled with Satan and how many are engaged in attempting to frustrate the Sovereign God's plan and purpose for mankind while making an effort to destroy those individuals who have been called to salvation during this age. However, the following two things are clear:
- Satan and other evil spirits have been influencing and controlling individuals to one degree or another since Adam and Eve were evicted from the garden of Eden.
- God has given very specific instructions about how to prevent being influenced, controlled, or possessed by evil spirits, but these instructions have mostly been rejected by mankind in general and specifically by the vast majority of those who profess to believe and follow what is written in the Bible.
A person who is serious about entering the Kingdom of God as a son of the Sovereign Father must maintain sobriety in their thinking and continually focus on their awesome calling to salvation. The Father's calling to salvation is not a child's game to be taken lightly; the call to salvation is a serious endeavor which leads to either eternal life in the Kingdom and Family of God or to eternal death in the Lake of Fire, depending on one's attitude and behavior. Only those who take their calling seriously will enter into the Kingdom of God. See Matt.7:13-14; Lk.13:23-28: Rev.2:7-11.
This chapter outlines the biblical instructions which guarantee success in combating evil spirits. To successfully use the biblical instructions on how to prevent demonic influence, control, and possession, you must know the following:
- Your enemy.
- Your enemy's capabilities.
- Your enemy's strategies.
- Your resources and weapons and how to use them.
- Your defenses and protections.
- How to resist.
If you are to be successful in resisting evil spirits and their evil influence you must know and understand the following things about these spirit-beings:
- Satan and other evil spirits are mankind's enemies and their goal is to influence, control, harm, and eventually destroy mankind.
- Satan and other evil spirits are extremely intelligent and powerful and have, within certain limitations placed on them by the Sovereign God, the ability to influence, control, and manipulate people and the physical existence.
- Satan and other evil spirits use lies, deception, subversion, miracles, and many other natural and supernatural means to accomplish their goals.
Satan the Destroyer
The following warning needs to be heeded if you are serious about remaining free from evil influence and deception:
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, walks about as a roaring lion seeking those he may devour" (1.Pet.5:8 KJV).
Clearly understand that Satan is continually seeking ways to destroy individuals whom the Sovereign Father calls to salvation during this gospel age. Satan shows no mercy to those he is able to conquer. Therefore, the apostle Peter's warning about Satan and the danger he poses to your spiritual success should be carefully considered, taken to heart, and acted upon. Although Peter's warning is specific to Satan, this warning also applies, in principle, to all evil spirits.
YOUR ENEMY'S CAPABILITIES
Satan and other evil spirits have tremendous power to interact with and manipulate the physical existence. Additionally, under certain circumstances, they can influence a person's thought process and emotions, control a person's mind, and occupy an individual's body.
An account in the Book of 1Samuel shows King Saul being harassed by an evil spirit which made him fearful (1.Sam.16:14-16).
The Book of Job shows Satan with the authority and power to take life, cause illness, and torment individuals (Job, chapters 1 and 2).
In the Gospel accounts and the writings of the apostles, there are many accounts of evil spirits controlling an individual's ability to manage their own lives, occupying a person's body, causing chronic ailments, and otherwise tormenting people. See Mk.9:17-22; Lk.13: 10-17.
The account of many demons inhabiting and controlling two men who lived among the tombs (Matt.8:28-33; Lk.8:26-36) shows the tremendous power evil spirits can manifest through individuals whom they inhabit and control. Another account showing the enormous power evil spirits can wield through people they inhabit is the account of the seven sons of the priest Sceva being attacked by an evil spirit when they attempt to use an authorization which was not theirs to use. (Acts 19: 13-16).
In the Book of Revelation, the prophetic Dragon, Beast, and False Prophet send evil spirits into the earth where they work miracles and influence heads of government into building an army to fight Christ:
"And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 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" (Rev.16:13-14 KJV).
Here are three extremely charismatic, persuasive, and powerful demons who, through supernatural works, influence leaders of nations into joining their armies together in order to fight Christ whom they have been deceived into thinking is their enemy.
Prince of the Power of the Air
"And you has he [i.e., God the Father] made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience" (Eph.2:1-2 KJV).
Evil spirits can use the atmosphere as a physical media through which to transmit thoughts and emotions in order to influence people. Evil spirits can also interface and interfere with electromagnetic equipment and wreak havoc on the earth by causing atmospheric disturbances, such as storms and drought.
Supernatural Power and Works
The Book of Revelation tells us that, in the end of man's rule on earth, Satan and other evil spirits will deceive people, through miraculous works, into following their religions and governmental systems which are in opposition to the Sovereign God's truth. The following are some of the miraculous works an evil spirit will accomplish while controlling and occupying human bodies:
"And it [the False Prophet] does great signs and even makes fire to come down out of heaven upon the earth before men. And it [the False Prophet] deceives those dwelling on the earth, because of the signs which were given to it before the beast; saying to those on the earth to make an image of the beast who has the wound of the sword, and lived. And it was given authority to give a spirit to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could speak, and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed" (Rev.13:13-15 Para.). See Rev.19:19-20.
Some evil spirits are more intelligent and powerful than others, and have the power to create things in the physical realm and manipulate circumstances and events to their advantage, as well as cause and heal all types of physical deformities and sicknesses. See Deut.13:1-3; Matt.7: 22-23, 24:24; 2.Thess.2:7-9.
YOUR ENEMY'S STRATEGICS
A great advantage in helping one defeat any enemy is to know the strategies an enemy will use against you. The scriptures clearly reveal that deception is one of the most powerful strategies Satan and other evil spirits use to influence and control people in order to accomplish their goals.
Satan the Deceiver
"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, that deceives the whole world" (Rev.12:9 KJV).
If you believe the apostle John faithfully recorded what the Messiah revealed to him, you must believe that Satan has indeed deceived the entire world into practicing governmental, educational, philosophical, and religious systems that cause mankind to have attitudes and behaviors which are fundamentally opposed to the way of truth set forth in the Bible, which if practiced will result in true and lasting peace, happiness, and prosperity.
Jesus taught his followers to pray for the Father's kingdom to come, because it is only through God's rule on earth that humanity can be saved from itself. But, Satan and other evil spirits have convinced mankind that it can solve its own problems through its own religions, philosophies, governmental systems, and scientific achievements. However, the reality is that all of these have failed to bring lasting peace, happiness, and prosperity.
Satan's Religious Strategy
Religious deception is one of the most powerful strategies Satan and other evil spirits use to reach their goals of influence and control over vast numbers of people. Over the centuries, evil spirits have devised many religions, religious philosophies, and counterfeits of the Sovereign God's worship system. Because these spirit-beings know and understand human desires and fears, they have crafted religions and religious philosophies which appeal to people's basic nature. But, in reality these religions are deceptions which allow deceived people to be manipulated into doing the bidding of demons.
Two Basic Religions
Although there are thousands of religions on earth, according to the Bible, there are only two basic religions: The Sovereign God's and Satan's. According to the Bible, if you practice a religion, you are either worshiping the Sovereign God through his worship system or you are worshiping Satan or evil spirits, either directly or by proxy, through a worship system that is in opposition to the Sovereign God's worship system. See Jn.8:42-47; 1.Jn.3:1-19; 4:1-6.
A major goal of evil spirits is to cause as much religious confusion as possible through influencing spiritual leaders to promote many conflicting worship systems. This keeps humanity ignorant of the Sovereign God's plan for mankind, as well as their opportunity to become a god-being in the Family of God. The apostle Paul wrote the following about individuals who are influenced to actively serve Satan's purpose of leading people into demonically inspired worship systems:
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 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" (2.Cor.11:13-15 KJV). See also Deut.13:1-5; Jer.23:21-22.
It is through these individuals that evil spirits deceive people into worshiping them and serving their purposes.
Seducing Spirits, Doctrines of Devils
The elect of the early church were continually warned and admonished to keep the "faith once delivered" and to be on guard against those who wanted to destroy them:
"Now the spirit speaks expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron" (1.Tim.4:1-2 KJV). See also 2.Tim.4:3-4; Rev.2:9; 3:9;12:9).
Satan and other evil spirits are extremely intelligent, clever, and are masters of deception and subterfuge. Over the centuries, since the creation of mankind, Satan and other evil spirits have honed their ability to blend truth and lies in the same way that Satan did when he deceived Eve into disobeying the Creator's instruction to neither touch the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil nor to eat its fruit.
Doctrines of devils are simply the teaching of concepts, precepts, and principles which are in opposition to the Sovereign God's truth and way of truth as set forth in the Bible. These teachings are cleverly disguised in religious sounding words, symbolism, rituals, religious and secular philosophies, mysteries in scientific jargon, and miraculous works. All of these are crafted to deceive people into thinking that what is presented is logical, true, and beneficial.
This strategy has worked very well over the centuries, especially among the world's largest religions. Look at the results of these great religions' teachings. Are the results of centuries of their teachings positive or negative? Have these great religions brought the world peace, prosperity, and happiness or have the results been just the opposite? You be the judge.
YOUR RESOURCES AND WEAPONS AND HOW TO USE THEM
Without the resources and weapons needed to wage spiritual warfare and the knowledge and understanding of how to use them, your battle against evil spirits is lost before it begins. But, God intends to expand his family through the transformation of people into his spirit sons; therefore, he has provided the necessary resources and weapons for those he calls to be able wage spiritual warfare and defeat the enemy. Moreover, throughout the Bible, he has provided descriptions of the available resources and instructions on how to use the weapons and protections that he provides.
Knowledge Is Power
There is no doubt that knowledge is power when it comes to winning a battle against evil-spirits. In order to acquire the knowledge that will give you the power to resist and overcome evil, you must first know what evil is and is not.
Although instinctively most people have some sense of right and wrong and good and evil, the only place a person can find an infallible and empirical standard of right versus wrong and good versus evil is in the Bible. This understanding is key to being able to win a spiritual battle.
The following foundational knowledge is necessary to enable a person who is serious about their salvation to use the resources and weaponry provided by God to win spiritual battles.
A Way Which Seems Right
Solomon said the following about things which seem good on the surface, but are actually harmful and destructive:
"There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Prov.14:12. KJV). See also Prov.16:25.
Look at the results of mankind's governmental, philosophical, and religious systems. Have any of these brought mankind lasting peace, happiness, and prosperity or have they brought just the opposite? Have the results of centuries of mankind's attempts to better his lot brought the results that God promised to those who follow his way of truth?
People's proclivity to do what seems good to them without investigating to see if the end result is good is a major help to evil spirits in influencing and deceiving people into doing their bidding and promoting their goal to destroy mankind and its opportunity to enter into the Sovereign God's Kingdom as his spirit sons.
Attitudes and Behaviors
Satan and other evil spirits influence people to conduct their lives in opposition to what the Sovereign God deems as the proper attitudes and behaviors which will lead mankind to living in harmony with him and each other. Therefore, you must know what God considers to be unacceptable attitudes and behaviors to prevent yourselves from being influenced or controlled by evil spirits into doing what is unacceptable to the Sovereign God.
The Bible contains crystal clear definitions and guidelines about what attitudes and behaviors are acceptable and which are unacceptable. The Bible is God's instruction manual to mankind and sets forth the boundaries which dictate right and wrong and good and evil attitudes and behaviors for humans. The Bible defines good attitudes and behaviors as righteous, but evil attitudes and behaviors as unrighteous.
The scriptures clearly show that the concepts and principles of righteousness and unrighteousness cannot be separated from God's law, which defines righteous and unrighteous attitudes and behaviors.
The book of Psalms clearly shows the quality of righteousness as being associated with God's law:
"You are righteous, O Lord, and upright are your judgments. Your testimonies that you have commanded are righteous and very faithful" (Psa.119:137-138).
"My tongue shall speak of your word: for all your commandments are righteousness" (Psa.119:172). See also Psa.119:142.
God is a god of law, and it is his law that is the standard against which righteous attitudes and behaviors are measured. This is the same law that the Creator God promised to place within the hearts and minds of people when the Kingdom of God rules the earth:
"Behold, the days come, says the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was an husband to them, says the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, says the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people" (Jer.31:31-33 KJV). See also Heb.10:16-17.
"Don't you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't be deceived: no fornicator, idolater, adulterer, homosexual, thief, covetous, drunkard reviler, or extortioner will inherit the Kingdom of God" (1.Cor.6:9-10 Para.).
"All unrighteousness is sin" (1.Jn.5:17 Para.).
The Apostle Paul said, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom.6:23 KJV).
All of the Sovereign God's rules for the moral and ethical attitudes and behavior of humans are found within the pages of the Bible and anyone who violates these rules is deemed to be unrighteous (i.e., a sinner) and will eventually be punished with eternal death, unless these sins are repented of, a person's death penalty is removed through the sacrifice of Christ, and a harmonious relationship is established and maintained between a person and the Sovereign God.
Because the result of practicing sin is death, your attitude and response to God's definition of sin and his rules concerning your behavior will either bring you eternal life or death. Therefore, it behooves you to know exactly what sin is.
Transgression of the Law
"Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law" (1.Jn.3:4 KJV).
Here, you have a clear statement that defines sin. Sin is the violation of God's law, and this law encompasses the ten commandments plus all of the precepts and principles set forth in the Bible which define righteous and unrighteous attitudes and behaviors.
In our modern age of science, we have learned there are laws which always function automatically: the laws of physics, chemistry, mathematics and all of the laws necessary to keep the solar system functioning and life continuing. If there is not conformity to these laws, disaster, death, and destruction will occur.
In exactly the same way, all of the laws of God are a point of reference to which all people should look as a standard of attitude and behavior toward God and their fellow humans. The Ten Commandments and God's other laws are empirical laws which result in benefits for obedience and penalties for disobedience (Deut.30:15-19).
In order to avoid an evil influence in your life, you must avoid things which are in opposition to God's precepts, principles, laws, and the way of life he has prescribed for mankind. This is why it is important to know and understand God's law, which defines righteous and unrighteous attitudes and behaviors.
The Bible tells us the whole world is being deceived by Satan (Rev.12:9) and this deception will continue until Christ returns to depose him as ruler of the earth and destroy him (Rev.11:15; Ezk.28:12-18).
Because the majority of mankind is deceived by Satan, they are locked into attitudes and behavioral patterns which are in opposition to the Sovereign God's law and the way of life he prescribed to bring true and lasting peace, happiness, and prosperity. Therefore, the choices most people make are heavily influenced by the world around them, which is influenced by evil spirits.
The only way to break the cycle of evil influence is to make decisions which are in harmony with God's law and way of life. When decisions, attitudes, and behaviors are in harmony with God's law, evil cannot influence or control a person's mind, because an impenetrable barrier has been raised against evil.
All individuals have the ability to make decisions and choices about their personal attitudes and behavior. The exceptions are individuals who are in a mental state which makes this impossible, such as infants, very young children, people with a reduced mental capacity, or individuals who have not matured mentally.
When you know and understand the difference between righteous and unrighteous attitudes and behaviors, using God's precepts, principles, and laws as your guide, you are equipped to prevent evil influence and control. All you have to do to remain free of evil influence and control is to diligently exercise this knowledge and understanding.
After reviewing what God had done for the Israelites and what he had offered them if they would obey and serve the Creator God, Moses records the following:
"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live" (Deut. 30:19 KJV).
If you choose to make decisions that are in harmony with God's laws, percepts, and principles, you do not have to fear an evil influence or being controlled by evil spirits. The apostle Paul gave these encouraging words to those who make righteous decisions:
"Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifies. Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yes rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. No, 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" (Rom.8:33-39 KJV).
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." This well known proverb from Benjamin Franklin who was one of the founding fathers of the United States is absolutely true when it comes to preventing evil influence, control, and possession. The surest way to prevent demonic influence, control, and possession is to avoid situations where there are evil influences and to immediately, upon recognition, resist all evil influence that may come your way.
The apostle James gives the following advice to those of the Sovereign Father's elect who want to remain free from demonic influence, control, and possession:
"What causes warfare and fighting among you? They come from your sensual desires that battle within you? What you long for, you do not get. You kill and desire to have, yet you do not obtain it. You fight and war, yet you do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask incorrectly that you may consume it on your sensual desires. You adulterers and adulteresses, don't you know that friendship with the world is being hostile to God? Therefore, whoever will be a friend of the world is the adversary of God" (Jms.4:1-4 Para.).
James' advice also applies to anyone outside of the elect who wants to remain free of evil influence, evil people, and evil spirits. Being a friend of (i.e., being fond of ) the world means to have the same attitudes and behaviors as people who God considers unrighteous and are living in opposition to his laws, precepts, and principles. Being a friend of the Sovereign God is to be in a harmonious relationship with him and his son, the Savior of mankind. This harmonious relationship absolutely prevents any evil influence, control, and possession by evil spirits.
PROTECTIVE ARMOR AND WEAPONS
At the close of his letter to the elect at Ephesus, Paul encourages them to be spiritually strong and prepare themselves to do battle against Satan. He warns them that their struggle is not against a flesh and blood enemy, but against principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph.6:12).
During Paul's lifetime, he and all people within the Roman Empire were well aware of the armor and offensive capability of a fully outfitted Roman soldier, as well as the care with which they prepared for battle. They were also aware that the Roman soldier was highly intelligent, disciplined, courageous, and aggressive. This seems to be the tone in which Paul gives the following instruction about how to maintain spiritual strength and gain victory over evil spirits:
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Eph.6:10-11 KJV).
The Living Bible Paraphrased translates verse 10 and 11 as follows:
"Last of all I want to remind you that your strength must come from the Lord's mighty power within you. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand safe against all strategies and tricks of Satan" (Eph.6:10-11 TLB).
The English words strong, power, and stand are translated from the Greek words endunamoo, kratos, and histemi, which respectively mean to empower, vigor (as in the presence of force or power), and to stand.
A person with the indwelling of the holy spirit has the power to stand firm against Satan and ward off his attacks and the attacks of other evil spirits.
What Paul said to the Ephesians about the use of God's power within them must not be taken lightly, because the threat by Satan and other evil spirits to your salvation and physical well-being is very real. Paul's instruction to be strong in the power of his might and to put on the whole armor of God is a reminder to the Ephesians to use the power of the holy spirit that God had given them to repel the attacks of the devil. Indeed, God's children can use this spiritual power if they know and understand how to use it, and then exercise their authority to use it as protection and as an offensive weapon in their spiritual battles.
The enemies of mankind and especially the enemies of those who are of the Sovereign Father's earthly family of king-priests are evil spirit beings who inhabit the physical and spirit realms of existence:
"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" (Eph.6:12 KJV).
Although the battle being waged may sometimes manifest itself in the physical realm, the battle is a spiritual one. Therefore, if you are to obtain a victory over evil spirits, you must not only know that you have spiritual protection and weapons, but you must also become expert in their usage:
"Wherefore take to you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand" (Eph.6:13 KJV).
Because evil spirits are extremely intelligent and powerful, Paul instructs the elect to equip themselves with all of the spiritual protection available to them from their heavenly Father.
Truth and Righteousness
"Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness" (Eph.6:14 KJV). See also 1.Thess.5:4-8.
The first piece of protective armor we are instructed to have on is truth and righteousness.
Prior to going over the brook Cedron to the garden where he was betrayed by Judas, Jesus ask the following of his heavenly Father:
"I have given them your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth" (Jn.17:14-17 KJV).
In this prayer, Jesus concisely defines truth as his heavenly Father's word and asks his Father to sanctify these individuals through his truth. The English word sanctify in verse 17 is translated from the Greek word hagiazo, which means to make holy, i.e., (ceremonially) purify or consecrate; (mentally) to venerate.
During Jesus' lifetime his Father's word was found in the Law, the Writings, and the Prophets which existed at that time. Today, we have these collected works, the Gospel accounts, and the writings of the apostles to use as a guide to holiness. Paul and Jesus spoke of the same truth which you should have as a major part of your protection against evil spirits. See Jn.17:17-19.
The heavenly Father's truth contained in the Bible reveals knowledge, understanding, and instruction into spiritual concepts and principles, which includes how you should comport your life as a holy person.
An individual who maintains their holiness through the practice of their heavenly Father's truth not only declares their holiness but also has holiness as a major part of their spiritual armor. Moreover, a truly holy person, by the biblical definition of holiness, will understand the foundational elements of the Father's truth. A holy person will also have faith in this truth and in the promises contained in it, as well as in the exercise of truth to protect them from evil spirits.
An individual who truly understands the seriousness of combating evil in all its forms will put forth the time and effort, through diligent study and meditation on the Father's truth contained in the Bible, to acquire the knowledge and understanding of God the Father's truth in order to equip themselves to do battle against evil spirits.
Remember that, when Satan came before God and Job was discussed, Satan could not accuse Job of any wrongdoing, because Job was a righteous individual and therefore had a harmonious relationship with the Creator God:
"Then the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil" (Job 1:8 NIV). See also Job 2:3.
Satan replies to God's praise of Job's character:
"Does Job fear God for nought? You have made an hedge about him, his house, and everything that he has, You have blessed his work and have increased his livestock and his land" (Job 1:9-10 Para).
God was showing special favor toward Job, because he was a righteous individual. It is this righteous condition that promotes a harmonious relationship between God and individuals and causes God to show favor toward them and protect them. The Psalmist had the following to say about God's special favor toward righteous individuals:
"For you, Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor will you compass him as with a shield" (Psa.5:12 KJV).
"The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. . .. The righteous cry, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. . . Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivers him out of them all" (Psa.34:15, 17, 19 KJV). See also Psa.55:22; Prov.10:30; 11:9.
The Sovereign God is aware of his righteous children. He hears their requests for help, and delivers them from problems. See 1.Cor.10:13.
Maintaining righteousness affords tremendous protection, because a person who is continually striving to make righteous decisions in their life is alert to situations that have the potential to provide evil spirits with an opportunity to influence a person's life.
A person who is serious about successfully protecting themselves from being influenced by evil spirits and from an attack by Satan or other evil spirits must wear the breastplate of truth and righteousness.
The Gospel of Peace
"And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace" (Eph.6:15 KJV).
The feet are mentioned in the light of something that needs preparation, because the feet are the foundation on which the body stands and is carried around. Anyone who has ever had problems with their feet knows how extremely important the feet are to one's comfort and well-being.
The English word shod in verse 15 is translated from the Greek word hupodeo, which means to bind under one's feet (i.e., put on shoes or sandals). In the context of the Roman soldier, this footwear would have been hobnail sandals which provided for extremely stable footing in battle and allowed a Roman soldier to step on their opponents foot and hold it down while pushing them off balance, making it easier to kill them.
The English word preparation in verse 15 is from the Greek word hetoimasia, which means preparation; which is derived from a Greek word which means to prepare. A soldier does not go into battle without preparation and neither should you enter into battle with evil spirits without being prepared to do battle and be victorious.
The gospel of peace is the Sovereign Father's good news message which Christ delivered and is the foundation on which you must stand firm in your spiritual battles. This gospel of peace contains the promise of protection from the second death from which there is no return (Jn.11:25-26: Rev.2:11), the promise of eternal life in the Kingdom of God as a son of God the Father (Matt.25:34; Rev.21:6-7), and the promise that the Father and his son will never leave those who diligently pursue their calling (Heb.13:5; Jn.14:16-23).
The English word peace in verse 15 is translated from the Greek word eirene, which means peace (literally or figuratively); by implication, prosperity. This is the peace Paul spoke of to the elect at Philippi. This peace gives individuals with the indwelling of the holy spirit confidence in the promises of their heavenly Father and their Savior:
Ephesians 6:15 says that a person should make preparations to protect their feet (i.e., their spiritual foundation) with the good news message. Therefore, a person who is serious about their salvation and protection from evil influence should clearly know and understand the message Christ brought and the promises this message contains in order to protect themselves against the trickery of the devil and other evil spirits.
The Shield of Faith
"Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked" (Eph.6:16 KJV).
The Roman soldier's shield could be used for his protection and in conjunction with his offensive weaponry. The shield of faith refers to your belief and confidence in the promises your heavenly Father and Savior have made to those called to salvation about protection and power to overcome evil.
Although love is the greatest gift of God (1.Cor.13:1-13), it is through the exercising of faith that all other attributes, qualities, authorizations, and powers of the spirit are accessed, increased, or acquired.
Because having faith is an extremely important part of having access to the power of the spirit, it follows that a person must know what faith is. There are two types of faith that impact spiritual growth and access to spiritual power: 1) faith that is belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ, and their promises; and 2) faith that is power through which works are produced. These two types of faith are different, yet they both must be used in order to gain more spiritual power. The three major components of faith are knowledge, performance, and confidence.
In Acts 2:38, we see that those who want to receive the holy spirit must repent, but a person must have the knowledge of what to repent of before a person can truly repent. Not only must a person know what to repent of, but also understand what repentance is and how to repent.
Acts 5:32 shows that the holy spirit is given to those who obey, but a person must first know what to obey.
Spiritual knowledge and understanding must be based on truth, which is not a nebulous notion or a mystical philosophic idea. Jesus says that the Father's word is truth. It is a lack of knowledge and understanding of God's word that is a barrier to having the kind of faith which pleases the Father and produces powerful works.
Both Acts 2:38 and 5:32 show that a person is required to take positive action (i.e., repentance, baptism, and obedience) based on what they know and understand in order to receive the holy spirit:
"Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the holy spirit" (Acts 2:38 KJV).
"And we are witnesses of these things, as is also the holy spirit, whom God has given to them that obey him" (Acts 5:32 Para.).
Because the approximately three thousand people who were gathered together on the first Festival of Pentecost after Christ's resurrection knew that the God of Israel was real and believed that Jesus was the Messiah who was sent to save them, they had confidence that they would receive the power of the holy spirit if they did what they were told in reference to repentance and baptism. See Acts 2:37-41.
In Acts 2:38 and 5:32, we see all three components of the type of faith that is belief. A person must have knowledge and take positive action on this knowledge in order to have the confidence that God will fulfill his promise based upon their knowledge and positive action.
Faith That is Belief
Faith that is belief and faith that is power are tied together. Without faith that is belief, a person cannot access or use faith that is power through which works are produced:
"But someone may well argue, You say the way to God is by faith alone, plus nothing; well, I say that good works are important too, for without good works you can't prove whether you have faith or not; but anyone can see that I have faith by the way I act. Are there still some among you who hold that only believing is enough? Believing in one God? Well, remember that the devils believe this too so strongly that they tremble in terror! Dear foolish man! When will you ever learn that believing is useless without doing what God wants you to? Faith that does not result in good deeds is not real faith" (Jms.2:18-20 LBP).
The King James Version renders the last half of verse 20: "Faith without works is dead."
True faith (i.e., true belief) must be followed by positive actions in order to accomplish a righteous way of life and fulfill your calling. Faith that is power can be manifested in the physical and spirit realms (Matt.17:20). Faith that is belief is the link between faith that is power and the physical and spirit realms of existence. A child of God is able to exercise faith that is power through the exercising of faith that is belief. Therefore, neither kind of faith is independent of the other; both must be used together in order to cause an effect.
Faith That is Power
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb.11:1 Para.).
Here, the English word substance is translated from the Greek word hupostasis, which means the reality of the things hoped for. If you have the kind of faith that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 17:20, "the thing hoped for" will become reality in the physical or spirit realms of existence, because the spiritual power that will cause it to become reality has been accessed and set in motion through faith that is belief.
Through the gift of faith that is power. All of those mentioned in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews were able to perform great works and have spiritual success in their lives. Please read Heb.11:1-40:
"For one is given by the spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same spirit; to another faith by the same spirit. . ." (1.Cor.12:8-9 KJV).
Faith to Move a Mountain
While speaking to his disciples about the reason they could not cast a certain demon out of a child, Jesus said:
"For truly I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard; you shall say to this mountain, move from here to there! And it will move. And nothing shall be impossible to you" (Matt.17:20 Para.).
Faith that is power is much more than just believing in something and hoping that it will happen. Moreover, a child of God who has this kind of faith has the ability to convert spirit-energy into physical energy in order to perform awesome acts.
Faith that is power also has the three basic components of Faith that is belief: knowledge, performance, and confidence. This kind of faith has substance, tangible energy, and power which can be used to produce works.
Through faith that is power, Moses, the prophets, Jesus Christ, the apostles, and many others in the past were able to perform their great supernatural acts.
Jesus truly did great things, because the Father gave him an unlimited supply of spirit-power which he could access through faith. See Jn.3:34.
Through faith that is power, Jesus healed the sick, resurrected the dead, walked on water, turned water into wine, and performed many other supernatural acts through the power of the spirit. Although Jesus did great works, he says that those who believe in him will do even greater works:
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father" (Jn.14:12 KJV).
How is it possible to do greater things than Christ did? It is possible because Christ did not fully use the power available to him through faith that is power. The elect who will be given powerful faith just before the return of Christ will be able to perform even greater works through this same spirit-power.
An individual with the shield of faith not only can protect themselves against the attacks of Satan and other evil spirits, but also confidently apply their faith that is power as an offensive weapon in their spiritual battles.
"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph.6:17 KJV). See also 1.Thess.5:4-8.
The helmet of salvation protects the head which contains the brain in which the spirit of man resides and through which humans interact with this physical dimension.
The English word salvation is translated from the Greek word soterion, which means defender or (by implication) defense, which is similar to the Greek word soteria, which means rescue or safety.
Paul is instructing the Ephesians on how to protect themselves from evil spirits and thwart their attempt to influence them to sin. Therefore, we can assume that the protection Paul speaks of is to be provided through an individual's faith in God the Father's promise to forgive our sins through the sacrificial blood of Christ, which pays the penalty for our sins and in turn spares us from the second death in the lake of fire. See Matt.26:28; Heb.9:22-28; 13:20-21.
After John the Baptist's birth, his Father Zacharias foretold the following about the salvation and protection which would come through the sacrificial blood of Christ:
"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he has visited and redeemed his people, And has raised up a horn of salvation [i.e., Christ] for us in the house of his servant David; As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us" (Lk.1:68-71). See also verses 72-77.
The most powerful enemy that a physical person has is death. Through the sacrificial blood of Christ, the Sovereign Father's earthly children gain victory over death. See 1.Cor.15:54-57. The psalmist David wrote the following about God's salvation:
"Truly my soul waits upon God: from him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved. How long will you imagine mischief against a man? you shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall you be, and as a tottering fence. They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah. My soul, wait you only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; you people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah" (Psa.62:1-8 KJV).
An individual who truly believes God the Father's promise of salvation and is diligently pursuing a harmonious relationship with him should not fear doing battle with evil spirits, because that person has their heavenly Father's protection and promise of salvation.
There are many accounts in the Gospels and the writings of the apostles demonstrating the authorized use of God's spirit-power to resist the influence of evil spirits and to remove evil spirits from their control and possession of individuals through the use of the sword of the spirit:
"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph.6:17 KJV).
The sword of verse 17 is an offensive weapon used to kill the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. Warfare with evil spirits is not a no-contact sport; it is extremely personal and deadly serious. Evil spirits are highly skilled in the use of their weaponry and have had centuries of practice in perfecting their attacks on the unsuspecting, the naive, and the unprepared. Therefore, in order to survive an attack of Satan or other evil spirits, you must become highly skilled in the use of your spiritual protection and you must learn to wield the sword of the spirit with authority and accuracy to make your enemy retreat and not return.
The writer to the Hebrews says the following about the sword of God's word:
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb.4:12 KJV).
The word of God has authority, force, and power to cause an effect. In his messages to the seven churches in Asia, Christ warns the saints at Pergamos that, unless they repent from certain evil practices, he will come quickly and fight against them with the sword of his mouth:
"And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things says he which has the sharp sword with two edges; I know your works, and where you dwell, even where Satan's seat is: and you hold fast my name, and have not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you, because you have there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So have you also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come to you quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth" (Rev.2:12-16 KJV).
The English word fight in verse 12 is translated from the Greek word polemeo, which means to be engaged in warfare, (i.e., to battle). The use of the Greek word polemeo, tells us that Christ's words will have a devastating effect on those he comes against. This same concept of words having authority, force, and power to destroy is shown in the prophetic events, which will occur as Christ returns to earth to conquer the nations:
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God" (Rev.19:11-15 KJV).
The creation account in the Book of Genesis clearly shows the power that can be exercised by the words of a righteous spirit-being. "God said let there be light and there was light" (Gen.1:3). Having the intent to create light and merely speaking the words, light was created. In the same way a person who understands that he or she has the authority and power (i.e., the sword) of the holy spirit within them to resist evil spirits and to rebuke them only needs to exercise this spiritual authority and power properly in order to force an evil spirit to comply.
The sword of the spirit is your authorization by God the Father to exercise the power of the holy spirit to thwart attacks from evil spirits, remove evil spirits from your surroundings, and for men who are authorized, to command evil spirits to relinquish possession and control of an individual.
The scriptures show that evil spirits have no defense against the Sovereign God's word and his promises to his elect, because his word (i.e., his truth and way of truth) and his promises are backed up by his authority and power, which no evil spirit can withstand. When a person is armed with God's word and properly exercises the authorizations and promises contained in it, no evil spirit has the power to withstand it.
After listing the protective armor and weapons available to someone who has the indwelling of the holy spirit, Paul instructs the Ephesians to communicate with their heavenly Father:
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak" (Eph.6:18-20 KJV).
As noted in many biblical accounts, prayer is an extremely powerful weapon that can be brought to bear in a battle against Satan and other evil spirits. The following are two of the reasons that prayer is an extremely powerful and readily available weapon in your battles against evil and trouble of all kinds:
"The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles" (Psa.34: 15-17 KJV).
"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb.4:15-16 KJV).
Paul instructs the Ephesians to pray in the spirit. Because the Father is spirit and lives in the spirit realm, we must communicate with him through spirit-power. In order for us to do this, the Father has provided a function of the holy spirit that communicates our thoughts, emotions, desires, frustrations, and needs to him and Christ.
Those who have the indwelling of the holy spirit should fear neither Satan nor other evil spirits and their influence, because the Sovereign Father's elect have been given tremendous spiritual power to overcome these threats to their salvation.
The Armor of Light
The whole armor that Paul instructs the elect to put on is summed up in his instruction to the elect at Rome to cast off the works of darkness:
"And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light" (Rom.13: 11-12 KJV).
The English word armor in verse 12 is translated from the Greek word hoplon, which means an implement, or utensil, or tool (literally or figuratively, especially offensive for war).
The scriptures speak of two powerful lights which have protective power and can be effectively used in your warfare against evil: One light is God's word which contains his eternal truth and way of truth (Psa.27:1, 119:105; Jn.17:17), and the other light is the Creator God who became Christ, the light and revelator of God's word (Jn.1:1-10).
Paul says to "cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light." The works of darkness are all things which are in opposition to God's truth, including the incorrect attitudes and behaviors of your former life. These will lead to the second death in the lake of fire if not discarded for righteous attitudes and behaviors.
The armor of light is God's word (i.e., his truth and way of truth), which if diligently practiced, protects you from evil influence, control, and possession and guarantees your entry into the Kingdom of God as one of the Sovereign Father's immortal sons. See 1.Jn.3:1-2; Rev.21:7-8.
There are no magical formulas, incantations, or rituals which can replace biblical knowledge, understanding, and the authority and power of God in your battle against all kinds of evil, including evil spirits.
To be able to fully use the resources, protections, and weapons which are provided by God the Father to repel influence, control, or possession by Satan or other evil spirits, you must study and meditate on the instructions given in the Bible about these things. If you do this and apply the precepts, principles, and laws noted in the biblical record, you will be able to wage a winning battle against evil spirits.
The spiritual warfare which the elect of God are engaged in is a life and death matter. A major goal of Satan and other evil spirits is to destroy God's elect. In order to become victorious over these evil beings, you must know and understand who and what the enemy is, as well as its strengths and weaknesses. If you do not know these things about your enemy, the battle can be lost before it even begins. Once you know the enemy and its potential for destruction, you should thoroughly acquaint yourself with the superior weaponry of God's spirit, which is given to each person who has the indwelling of the holy spirit in order for them to be successful in overcoming evil.
By B.L. Cocherell b9w24