Posted by CC on Wednesday, October 8, 2014
DELIVERANCE MINISTRY: GOD’S BATTERING-RAM
I was ordained in 1949 in Miami, Florida, and enjoyed a fruitful ministry from the beginning. In 1977, however, I had an encounter with the Holy Spirit that intensified my relationship with Him in astonishing ways. Soon after that His powerful manifestations suddenly exploded in my ministry like I had never known before. Not long after my "baptism in the Spirit"--(Acts 1:8)–one of my former church members telephoned me long-distance. Her reason was urgent: For eighteen years she had been a severe alcoholic. Her husband divorced her and her two married sons would not visit–they did not want their children to see the grandmother in that drunken condition. Except for another alcoholic woman, she was abandoned and alone.
That day in a ten minute telephone-ministry she was completely delivered. The demon of addiction was cast out and she never drank again. Not only so, but she was filled with the Holy Spirit. What happened to her became typical of my new ministry. Drug addicts, sexual deviates, depressives, others with life-crushing problems were set free. The same "signs" recorded in the New Testament happened before my eyes. I never asked for this kind of spiritual work–I did not even know it existed–but it began happening anyway.
The Boynton Beach Police Department witnessed my ministry to a violent young man who was completely out of his mind and had to be restrained by four other men. It took all their strength to hold him down. After an hour of spiritual battle he was set free–totally–and walked out of the room a normal youth again. The Officers were astonished and returned to their Station to report full details of the incident. They wrote: "We witnessed a successful exorcism." Years later one of those Officers came to my church office, reminded me of that historic night and said, "That made a ‘believer’ out of me! Ever since then I have been a Bible-thumping Christian!" The down-side to those events was that my Ordination was cancelled and I was barred from the denomination. My only other choice was to leave such wounded people in those horrific conditions. That, I could not do. I have never regretted the choice I made.
Recently I preached to a Church of Christ congregation in Tennessee and many people had dramatic encounters with the Holy Spirit. Without exception, all the Elders experienced the power. The following, they–and many others–shared their testimonies before the congregation. One of them was a woman who had "an issue of blood" but was healed at the night service. Matthew . This ultra-conservative church accepted the fact that the Holy Spirit is still doing today what He did in the first century. He has not changed. To better understand this healing/deliverance ministry, I suggest you study I Corinthians 2:1-5; , I Thessalonians 1:5,6, and Ephesians 6:10-18.
Thirty percent of Jesus’ recorded ministry in the gospels was spent in direct conflict with unclean spirits. The modern church totally ignores the need. My alcoholic friend whom I mentioned above was eventually forced to leave her church. They could accept her alcoholism because it did not challenge their denominational doctrines; her deliverance was a severe challenge. Rather than change, they let her go. Such is the religious bondage that typifies many churches today!
Jesus "called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease." Matthew 10:1. That impartation has never been revoked. Most churches have quit believing in the power but it is still available. The following account from Jewish history is an illustration of how I understand the Ministry of Deliverance to work:
When Titus laid siege to Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and brought Jewish nationalism to crushing defeat, one of the principle weapons he used against the city was a gigantic battering-ram named Nico. In a very real sense, the title Nico was prophetic and still speaks to the church today. It means "conqueror." Nico is the same word used in the Greek text of Revelation, where Jesus speaks to the church in Pergamos of His hatred for the "doctrine of the Nicolaitans." The word Nicolaitan is a combination of the words, nico, i.e., "conqueror," and laos, meaning "laity," or people under the leadership of others. The message of these combined words is obvious. In the only instance in Scripture where Jesus is described as hating something, it is used here. He hates the doctrines and deeds that enslave the saints. He wants the saints to be free and has fully purchased that freedom for them.
Ancient battering-rams, such as Nico, were usually assembled by invading armies at the battle site and consisted of immense wooden platforms overlaid with iron plates. This metal covering protected the scaffolding from enemy fire. The ram itself consisted of a huge log, suspended horizontally by chains, that could be swung back and forth by squadrons of men holding onto ropes below. As the huge butt-end struck the wall and bounced back, the men maintained a rhythm much like the pendulum of a clock. The slamming of the ram against individual stones was important, but of equal value was the fact that the constant thudding set up a vibration that affected the molecular structure of the whole wall. Though unknown to the Romans, they employed a principle of physics which would not be identified until much later times. It is this: Energy stored in the log by the "rhythm of input" was transferred into the wall at the instant of impact. This sudden impact overcame what is known as the "moment of inertia" in the stone.
Initially, in the log's striking the stone, it appeared that nothing happened. That, however, was not the case. Though unseen, the energy in the log instantly transferred into the stone. This is the same pattern which frequently occurs in the realm of spiritual warfare. The natural eye may see nothing happening when in reality the kingdom of darkness has instantly been shaken to its core. Hear this carefully: The power of the Holy Spirit is often transferred through the laying-on-of-hands in such shattering force that a demonic stronghold is instantly jarred to its center. This may not always be outwardly visible. The believer's faith, as well as the one receiving, must go beyond their sight. Each must realize that the Holy Spirit is working in power in the spiritual realm even if they do not see it.
Some of the stones in Jerusalem's walls weighed 570 tons, were forty-five feet long, fifteen feet wide, and twelve feet high. The fact that stones like these were dismantled and pushed aside by the Roman Army helps us realize the tremendous energy that was released by the battering-ram. Ultimately, it was battering-rams like Nico, mere wooden scaffolds supporting ordinary logs, manned by teams of soldiers, empowered by a principle of physics, that penetrated Jerusalem's walls and brought the city to defeat. Many of the towers which Titus erected against the walls of Jerusalem were over seventy-five feet tall. Some even had wheels and were portable. Such was the ingenuity of ancient warfare; Rome conquered because of its overwhelming military superiority. When the Jewish War was over, not one Temple block was left standing upon another. Titus dismantled everything. This was precisely what Jesus had foretold would happen. Matthew 24:2.
The fact that Jerusalem's stones were larger, heavier, and stronger, than the battering-ram, did not alter the fact that they had to move. Darkness cannot resist light, death cannot resist life, so the stationary rock wall could not resist the movement of the log. Identically, when the authority of Scripture, spoken by a believing disciple, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, is brought against a demonic stronghold, there is an immediate effect. Hell may pretend that it has not happened but inwardly it knows that it has; best of all, the kingdom of darkness panics with the knowledge of the attack. If the saints proceed in faith, believing what their eyes cannot see, and do not quit the battle early, they will win. With believers following God's battle plans, it is impossible for them to lose.
Jesus' gift of divine blood redeemed us from sin, from the hand of the enemy, and from the curse of the law. In addition to these, He made available to us other amazing gifts for spiritual warfare. Here are four:
1. The position of sonship in the Kingdom,
2. The ministry-gifts of the Holy Spirit,
3. The authority of the written Word of God.
4. The anointing of the Holy Spirit.
These provisions are ultimate endowments of power. Not only so, but each contains a plethora of accompanying grace-gifts. It is therefore totally unnecessary that the saints become prey to the devil's attacks. Quite the opposite, it is Jesus' intention that the offensive of warfare be turned against Satan. Three times, in a progressive extension of His own power, Jesus gave authority to the saints. First, He gave it to the twelve Apostles. Luke 9:1. Secondly, He gave it to the seventy evangelists. Luke 10:1. Lastly, He gave it to all believers when He said "these signs will follow those who believe. In my name they will cast out demons ...". Mark,18.
Significantly, we find that all whom Jesus sent to preach were equipped with power to cast out unclean spirits. It was because of this established pattern that Paul wrote the Romans that "the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly." Romans. God always does the crushing. That is absolute fact. But it is equally true that He does it under the feet of the believers. If Satan is not being crushed it is because the church is not carrying out its mission. Demons are forcibly exorcized wherever the Kingdom of God is present. Matthew .
We have the exact parallel of God and the saints functioning in this cooperative role in the Old Testament account of Israel's victory over the giants of Anak. Moses identified this two-fold aspect very carefully: "Therefore understand today that the Lord your God is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. (1) He will destroy them and (2) bring them down before you; (3) so you shall drive them out (4) and destroy them quickly ..." Deuteronomy 9:3. Two things were to happen: God would destroy them and drive them out, but, identically, Israel also was to "drive them out and destroy them." Deliverance is a cooperative effort in which God works through men using His Kingdom power. Jesus said, "If I, by the power of God cast our demons, no doubt the Kingdom of God has come upon you." Matthew.
Though it is not apparent in most of our English translations, the Hebrew language uses two different words in this verse which are translated as "destroy." The first, referring to God's destruction of Anak, means a total annihilation of the enemy's presence and power; the second use of the word "destroy" in regard to Israel, denotes a less violent operation but signifies a necessary part of God's total battle plan. The point is that in the Old Testament as well as the New, God works in cooperation with His people.
Jesus said, "I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy." The analogy of treading upon the enemy implies that the enemy is under the feet of the church. Satan's power is therefore subordinate to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. It cannot and will not be otherwise. Again, the Old Testament gives us the physical example of this spiritual truth when Joshua ordered his captains of war to stomp their feet on the necks of the five heathen kings. Joshua 10:22-26. The number five is significant in regards to Satan's kingdom.
This is identified for us in Ephesians. 1) Principalities. 2) Powers. 3) Rulers of the darkness of this world. 4) Spiritual wickedness in high places. 5) Satan himself. Significantly, the five-pointed star of the pentagram is used as a power-symbol in Satanism and various forms of witchcraft today. There were also five Philistine kings who withstood Israel, Goliath had four brothers, equaling five giants, Moses destroyed the five kings of Midian. The list goes on.
Jesus forever settled the question regarding the Seat of Power with His declaration to the early church that "All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations ... teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19,20. There is no mistaking this language: Jesus intended that all nations be taught "all things" which He had given the first disciples "to the end of the age." Theologically, there is no such thing as an apostolic church and a post-apostolic church–with the final one having less of the Holy Spirit, less Scripture, and less power. No! Regardless of the age or nation there is simply the "church," the "gospel," and the "power."
God has entrusted us with weapons of attack and defense far greater than that which Titus brought against Jerusalem. As "Sons," we are "seated with Him in Heavenly places." Ephesians 1:3,20. As anointed disciples, baptized in the Holy Spirit, He is has endowed us with miraculous gifts. Acts 1:8. As lovers of truth, we have the "sword of the Spirit" which is the Word of God. Ephesians.
THE BELIEVER'S SCRIPTURAL AUTHORITY OVER DEMONIC -SPIRITS
1. Luke 10:17-19: "Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name. And He said to them, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you."
2. Mark,18,20: "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." V.s. 20: "And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs."
3. Psalm 149:5-9: "Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, To execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute on them the written judgment-- this honor have all His saints." Praise the Lord!
4. James 4:7-8: "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..."
5. II Corinthians 10:3-5: "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled."
6. 1 John 4:1-3: "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world."
7. Matthew 10:1: "And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease."
8. Mark: "And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them."
9. Hebrews 2:14-15: "Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."
10. Romans: "And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly."
11. Psalm 91:13: "You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot."
Finally, God has put the rope to His Battering Ram in our hands! Use it. Hallelujah!
Tags: spiritual warfare authority demons