In the early 80’s, while in seminary at Columbia International University in Columbia, SC I had little knowledge of spiritual warfare. My commitment to serve the Lord was to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” I Peter 3:18. It was a season of peace for my beloved wife, Cathi, and me. We started our family, made acquaintances with like-minded saints, and studied the word of God. Being financially deficient, it was a wonderful season of trusting the Lord. “He who calls you is faithful, who will also do it.” I Thessalonians 5:24. I sometime refer to that season as “the normal Christian life”. Little did I know about spiritual warfare until I parachuted into a highly contested warfare “hill” for the advancement of the gospel; I speak figuratively. My normal Christian life changed to one of intense warfare.
CIU is an excellent school, but I was not taught about spiritual warfare and the reality of the demonic. There was one exception. One of my professors, Dr. Harold Burchett, was teaching a counseling class. He recalled going to visit someone and, upon entering the home, he saw an unusual expression of the demonic manifesting in the person. I’ll never forget what he said about the encounter. He said, “in situations like these there needs to be a power encounter.” He was talking about the need of deliverance above and beyond Biblical counseling. Warfare prayer in the name of Jesus must be administered. He quoted John 8:36; “If the Son shall set you free you shall be free indeed.” Administering the Word of God with truth is a very powerful tool of helping people to get free. John 8:36 states, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” Biblical counseling, teaching, preaching, worship, and training in righteousness are the means of grace to set people free. The Spirit of freedom flourishes in the fellowship of the local church where the grace blows. Jesus, in training his disciples, says to them, “It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63.
Part of this freedom has to do with initiating the weapons of our warfare. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.” II Corinthians 10:3-4. We have a witness to this power phenomenon in Luke 11 when Jesus was casting a mute demon out of someone. Some wrongly accused Jesus of “casting out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of demons.” Of course, this was a lie for he cast out demons by the finger of God. And, Jesus is the stronger one in any power encounter. “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils.” Luke 10:21-22.
We read in Luke 8:26-39 of Jesus confronting the man in the tombs who “had demons for a long time.” v27. Let’s look at the showdown. Vs28-29. “When he (the man in the tombs) saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, ‘What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me! For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles: and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.” We notice here the power of the unclean spirit; the man was bound in shackles and chains but the demon broke the bonds. Notice where he drove the man. He drove him back in the wilderness of sin. The unclean spirit will always drive a man back into the wilderness for the purpose of manifesting its desires for evil. This is why those in addiction may need deliverance. It is a spiritual warfare of darkness and light. Jesus, the light of the world, will set the captive free; “to proclaim liberty to the captives.” Luke 4:18.
I will share an illustration from Noel and Phyl Gibson’s book Evicting Demonic Intruders. He speaks about lustful spirits. “Because sin comes from Satan, its driving power is obviously demonic. Lustful spirits are among the most common and strongest spirits to oppress and dominate believers. Normal counseling methods have as much power to stop lust as a sandbank to keep out a tidal wave.” In one instance, Phyl met a man driven by unbridled lust. He said of this man that he found it very difficult to control his fleshly desires. Phyl said this of him. “I realized that words of advice would be as effective as trying to stop a charging bull with a lasso of knitting wool.” This is the place that deliverance needs to be administered. A showdown must come. A power encounter. Jesus is the answer for any bondage. This is our ministry to help you break the chains. Anyone in bondage needs to start the process of repentance for his sins. For sin is the driving power that imprisons us in the wilderness of darkness. Flee to a church where the grace of God blows. That will be a place of refuge for you.
Then make an application to Bethel. We can help you.
Where the grace blows,