In an age of Church History where so many lines are being blurred so that truth fits experience, it's imperative that our stand is definitive and clear so there is no room for error.
What does it mean to be free? Is it the power to make choices that benefit our selfish desires above the needs of others, doing what we want, when we want , where and how we want? Unfortunately, this is what the world has portrayed freedom as - the self-centered right of each individual. This is not how the Bible describes freedom. True freedom is walking in the set destiny that God has for us. Jesus described it this way; Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come - in the volume of the book it is written of me - to do your will O God.’ Heb 10:7
The choice to love and serve God is true freedom. This ‘liberty’ begins deep in our spirits and then slowly permeates our whole being. Unfortunately, we have spent most of our lives falling into mental, emotional or physical bondages as we grew older – our ignorance blinding us to the prisons that Satan was subtly forming around us! When Jesus began His ministry he went around the shores of Galilee preaching the Good News, healing the broken hearted, proclaiming liberty to the captives and to open up the prisons of those who are bound (Isa.61:1-2). The Gospels make it clear that Jesus was not in the business of liberating those in the dungeons of Herod or Rome, He came to set people free from bondages to the kingdom of darkness. These bondages can be physical, spiritual, emotional and mental ones. The ministry of Jesus was deeply effective restoring the soul and the body of the individual completely. The Holy Spirit continues this work in His people today.
This has been a source of controversy and division in the Church. The question to be answered is “Can a Christian be demonized?” There is not enough room here to answer this question completely, but to put it simply, the transition from the Kingdom of Darkness to the Kingdom of God’s light is instantaneous in regard to our spirits, but gradual in regard to our souls and bodies. When one becomes born again, this is the renewal of one’s spirit before God. Our spirits become alive to God (Regeneration) through the Holy Spirit’s work. However, we soon notice that many of our old ways of thinking and feeling are still present with us. This is because when one is saved the spirit is renewed toward God, but the soul and body are not – they are ongoing works. The outward man(the body) continues to perish, while the inward man (the soul) is renewed day by day! While the work of Salvation is God’s alone (Crossing Jordan), the work of sanctification involves the believer’s cooperation and obedience. Our Soul is our ‘Land of Promise.’ God promises us freedom, but we need to displace the ‘giants’ that resist His will in our lives. The way we think, feel and desire are to reflect Jesus and nothing else!
Walking in the knowledge and grace of God draws resistance – Satanic resistance. Usually, this resistance is first from without – people begin to react adversely to our faith (usually family or friends). But much of the enemy’s resistance soon turns to from within us. Satan in an attempt to derail our walk begins pulling on areas of our souls that we have let him rule over, unawares. Most of this is done through deception or by keeping it in the dark. We have not allowed the Holy Spirit to “captivate’ that area and bring it into the obedience of Christ! Some of these areas of our souls are so entrenched with lies that they have become strongholds. We have swallowed the lie so deeply that it is no longer recognizable – we need others to help us locate and expel the entities feeding the lie.
This is when the help of other believers is so necessary. Spirit empowered ministry is necessary to dislodge demonic strongmen. Discernment in correct approach and procedure is also imperative. Too much concentration on one aspect of freedom is counterproductive. As tripartite beings we need to allow the Holy Spirit’s movement in all three areas of spirit, soul and Body.
Deliverance is a step by step process. Expulsion of demonic entities is only the first step, walking that freedom out is just as essential.
We therefore assign a follow up or walkout procedure.
This may include:
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." (Heb 10:24,25)
The study of last days events is vast and varied and there is numerous schools of interpretation and prophetic fulfillment. While the majority of believers agree on the physical return of Jesus to earth, the time and circumstances leading up to His coming is a mishmash of calculations, predictions and hypotheticals.
Our Lord Jesus will return to earth in physical form in the clouds of heaven, just as He promised. We are not to let the diversities of theologies and opinions frustrate us into an “its too hard” approach to eschatology. The Bible is not full of contradictions but ‘mysteries’ or secrets that the Holy Spirit unlocks at the appointed times.
Paul in the book of Hebrews describes the manner of some will be to forsake the assembling together of themselves -to stop fellowshipping and having connection to the Body. This action comes with great risk of shipwrecking your faith, especially because one removes the exhortation of themselves from their brethren. This Paul said, should not be our attitude especially when we see the day of the Lord approaching.
Some Christians have no idea of the signs of the times. The harlot religious system gains momentum year by year as the worldly unity of religions continues to grow – including many traditional churches. Morality has declined to the level of Sodom and Gomorrah and the value of life to the days of Noah. This Day of the Lord, Paul says, is not to surprise us like a thief comes catching the household asleep, but we are to ‘see’ that Day approaching.
Many look to the nation of Israel as a sign, the evil in the world, the revealing of antichrist and the one world government as signs of the end, and they are such signs. But the real reason Jesus is held back is that the Bride has not yet made herself ready!
End time prophecies have had their fair share of extremes. Some people selling homes, leaving jobs, buying ‘tribulation’ bunkers and food preservation technologies, all on the back of some calculation of Scripture presented as prophetic insight. But although we may not clearly know the day or the hour set by the Father alone, we are encouraged to be discerners of the season of His coming. He will return to rule and reign on the earth and he will govern from His throne in Jerusalem. Until that season comes we need to continue spreading the gospel to the four corners of the earth and winning souls into His glorious Kingdom.