21. Set the Captives Free
Jesus, the always speaking of God, shouted into the entire creation, 1926 years before I was conceived in my mother's womb, "Here am I, I and the children whom You have given Me." It is impossible that any part of me or my life be found anywhere else but right there in all perfection. When I see that, when I know that, oh, how I am set free!
We are called to set the captives free, and this is how we do it. Worshiping God for the perfection of our lives, that we should know Him, crying, "Holy, holy, holy." And dancing with all abandoned joy and celebration in the midst of darkness, in the midst of blindness, in the midst of all hostility against God, as the very throne of God, as the absolute triumph of our Lord and Savior through us.
21. Set the Captives Free
© Daniel Yordy - 2012
All understanding of spiritual warfare or anything to do with spiritual warfare MUST come first and always out of the revelation of our utter union with the Lord Jesus Christ, we in Him and He in us. All that we speak and consider comes only out of a continual gentle rest of confidence that Christ is our life, that Jesus is living as us in this world, that He utterly carries us and every particle of our life, past, present and future. Our declaration is always that all of His ways concerning us are perfect, that He has never led us wrong, from the moment of our conception to the present hour in which we stand.
Our warfare and the weapons of our warfare proceed always out from the Holiest of All. We move out from the throne of God, yet always remaining seated there in absolute rest and full union with God. We are about our Father's purposes, joined heart to heart with Him in the proving and triumph of His Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, in all realms where He has been accused of lying.
We understand that God takes every individual accusation against His Word from every individual, human or angelic, very seriously. Every single accusation pains and grieves His heart, and by His very nature He must respond. Jesus said, "By your words you shall be justified and by your words you shall be condemned." "Word," is "logos" or "reason-account." The Lord showed Annie Schissler a place in Him where every single accusation against the Word He speaks is written down and every single accusation is answered in full.
More than that, God also takes into account every single hurt caused to others by willful intent. Every tear ever shed in the darkness and in the pain He keeps close inside Himself. He weighs all things in the balance of truth. Forgiveness in no way means shoveling anything under the rug. All things are brought to full account, all just restitution is made, and all imbalances are brought to perfect harmony.
We will be overwhelmed and amazed as God shows us, bit by bit, every single place of hurt and loss we have suffered in the darkness and the unfathomable glory it has brought into our lives. We will face every single time when we caused hurt to others, willfully, for self gain. We will give answer and full restitution to the individual we robbed so callously, not as "payment for sin," but out of the rivers of living water flowing out of our bellies. God is just, and all mercy and all judgment triumph together.
Here, I want to give some specific answers out of my limited understanding to real questions held by real brethren. I share here again from the questions I included in "Deliver the Creation." I have given answer to some, but I wish to offer at least a partial answer to the others.
". . . some say that it is impossible for God and the devil to co-habitate in a believer. My question is does a believer have to go through decades of casting demons out of them to finally walk out their destiny and clean up their past? Is it really just a matter of what people are willing to believe? What do you know of this?" Jim
And again: ". . . I would like to add a couple curious things I have witnessed. I have seen during the course of 'ministry' a person who I considered to be a believer speak in a strange way as if it was another person . . . I understand that these could have been demonic entities. Or perhaps the people only thought they were believers or acted like they were. But I am also aware that the power of suggestion and belief is tremendous. Someone could act in accordance with programming. Is this not how hypnotists operate?" Jim
Thank you, Jim, these are important and critical questions. I answered the "co-habitate" question partially in "In the Womb of the Church," along with my experience and perspective of "demons talking back." But demons manifest ONLY because they are losing and on their way out. They prefer darkness; they prefer their targets to be fully convinced that demons do not exist.
However, our only concern in any ministry of any kind to any one is to take that person's hand and the hand of the Lord Jesus and to place them together. Our ministry is to enable each person to know the full glory of the Lord Jesus Christ inside of them in all that it means. Breaking any demonic hold is merely incidental, a simple and common side-effect of the goodness of God.
Now, I want to answer your last questions before I address the most important question.
Think of our human makeup as an hourglass with a wide funnel on one side coming down into a pinch and then opening up to a wide funnel on the other side. The wide funnel on one side is our physical body through which we communicate with earthly beings. The other wide funnel is our spiritual body through which we communicate with heavenly beings. Both are fully us, both are fully functioning, both are fully familiar and natural to us, both of our bodies ARE fully integrated in the make-up and metabolism of who we are as persons.
(The hourglass picture is only one way of seeing our make-up - at the same time, our spirit and our body are fused and connected at every single point. Our body has no life in it, organ by organ and cell by cell, except by the continual vibrancy of our spirit, which is, in fact, larger than the physical body.)
The narrow neck connecting these two bodies, however, is our soul. The center of that neck is our mind, where we process everything. The mind is neutral, neither good nor evil. It processes whatever comes into it. The problem with our minds is the operating system we use to process the information coming in, not the mind itself. On the body side of that narrow neck is our emotions; on the spirit side of that narrow neck is our will. The line between our will and our spirit is where faith operates.
The central organ of our body is the heart. The central organ of our spirit is the heart. The central organ of our soul is the heart. The heart is the center of Christ's dwelling place in us, not the spirit. In fact, the Holy Spirit specifically lives in our physical body, according to Paul, though He fills all that we are, whereas our spirit is immersed into the Holy Spirit. The heart is our shared union with God. I still don't know how to place the heart into the various metaphors we use.
All evil begins in the heart of the unregenerate. All goodness flows out of our hearts, the love of God shed abroad in our hearts. Our heart is the throne of heaven described by John in Revelation 4; it is the source of the River of Life.
We are as much in full and open communication with all the realms of heaven and spirit as we are with the physical realms of earth. But we have a problem, given us by God, a defect that comes out of His mercy and out of His great and unstoppable HOPE. Right there, at the very point where our will and our spirit touch, that point of our faith, God placed a veil. In Genesis 3 it was the skin of a beast; Paul calls it "subject to vanity" in Romans 8.
Adam saw and walked in all of heaven equally with earth. It is totally and humanly NORMAL for our faith to literally see all the realms of heaven, both all those realms that are shattered and dark and all those realms filled with glory and holiness. The "Annie" visions I often share should be normal seeing to all of us. But right at the point of the normal spirit eyes we do posses, God made us blind. This is literal and natural. Our spirit has eyes as literal and as normal as the eyes of our physical body and those eyes are literally blind, covered with cataracts that we call "the veil."
Thus we CANNOT walk by sight - but only by faith in what God says.
I have known a number of blind people, seeing them every day for years. They are very trusting people. They always pause, the moment they are not sure of their step - and ASK someone whocan see to guide them. Then, taking the hand offered to them, they TRUST what that person says fully, and, stepping into what to them is only darkness, proceed on their way singing. This image is full and complete in my mind - it is exactly how we walk.
But faith is specific to the Word God speaks, that is, our faith as overcoming sons. Faith is not a quality that "produces" anything. Faith is only that which takes into itself a specific word God speaks, making it personal, and bringing forth the life of that word.
All kinds of data flows into our minds through our bodies all the time. All kinds of data flows into our minds through our spirits all the time. More than that, our physical body sends data concerning itself into our minds all the time and our spiritual body sends data concerning itself into our minds all the time. Meanwhile, the mind creates its own continual stream of internal data, responses to stimuli, daydreams, hopes and fears. The mind uses the operating system coming out of the heart to process all that data, and the mind makes a confused mess of all the data all the time, even when the operating system is partly the New Covenant. That's why we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Now, because our spirit eyes are blind, our mind places much more weight on the data coming in either from the body or through the body than it does on the data coming in from our spirit or through our spirit. Nevertheless, a huge amount of the data coming in is from or through our spirit and not the body or internal in the mind. Yet our conscious mind does not recognize any of that as spirit.
For the unregenerate, salvation must begin with a new heart, but for we who have a new heart, cleansed always by the Blood and filled with the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, our second level of salvation is the fixing or renewing of our minds. The third level of salvation is God removing the cataracts covering our spirit eyes so that all the glory of God comes sweeping through and our physical bodies cannot stay any longer in the frequencies of death, but are transformed in an instant, swallowed up by life. Removing the cataracts is called "the apocalypse" in the Bible, when we can, for the first time, see the obvious - the overwhelming glory of Christ filling us full.
Just like the picture of the blind people I have known, our minds are fixed by casting our way in every step we take utterly by the Word God speaks and by nothing else. We are led by the Spirit, but the Word is the light upon our path. The Spirit is the One who takes our hand; the direction He gives is the Word God is always speaking by which we walk.
The human mind makes a continual utter and complete mess of all the data flowing into it every second of every day. Our mind confuses data coming in from the body as data coming in THROUGH the spirit (flailing against demons wrongly). It confuses data coming in through the spirit with the swirling of its own daydreams. Remember there are five sources of data, all five flowing every moment. 1. Through the body from outside the body. 2. From the body. 3. In the mind itself. 4. From the spirit, and 5. Through the spirit from outside of the spirit.
Let's look at unforgiveness becoming bitterness. Here's how it works. Someone does something awful against us, betraying us openly and personally. The offense is deep. Now, that information concerning this offense comes through the body. That is, the eyes see and the ears hear. It passes first into the mind, where you sit blinking your eyes, not believing what you just heard or saw. Then it enters your spirit as offense. Now, your spirit is speaking offense from itself to your mind. Your spirit is hurt and that is not wrong; it is perfectly normal. Your mind chews on those thoughts. You have not entered sin. Sin is an act of the will. At the same time, a demon is also speaking to you through your spirit. Your mind interprets the demon's thoughts as your own thoughts. At a certain point, you will to AGREE. That point of agreement is the demon's property. Now he has a claim. He has no claim on you, but he has a claim on your agreement. That agreement is, in actuality, a signed contract with the demon. Now you become bitter. That bitterness is the normal human offense of your spirit now anointed by a demon, now feeling the demon's feelings and not your own. However your mind interprets all of it as ME. "That's just the way I am." Next, the feelings of the demon flow into your body. Now your body begins to speak sickness to your mind. You believe the body, as it reflects the feelings of the demon and you become sick.
Now, let's eliminate our defect, the blindness of our spirit eyes, and see what is actually happening. Let's also add another party, say a second human person that shares the same betrayal and offense as you. You sit there together, muttering over the offense. In muttering over the offense, you always justify yourself and condemn the offender - at no point do you justify God. The offense is shared with the speaking of words. We call this "complaining" and/or "gossiping," the scourge and destruction of all godly fellowship.
Whenever we join together with another person to speak evil together about a third person, we have already entered a no-man's land of evil. I run from such talk immediately. I don't mind responding in general without personal incrimination when I am visiting with my students, but at no time do I ever join in any form of agreement to speak evil against a third party. It is a horror of darkness, and I flee from it instantly. Even if it means embarrassment, I do not care.
Now, let's say that the two of you agree together to "get back" at the offender. Now you have entered a further level of binding reality in God. That agreement is an act of your will and is a binding contract in the heavens. You now are bound to walk by that agreement.
Let me insert here, now, the simple question. Does that other party, let's call him Joe, now co-habitate with God inside of you? Does your mind ever confuse your agreement with Joe with Joe himself, now "possessing" you? Of course not. In the same way, the voice of a demon comes through our spirit in exactly the same way as the voice of Joe comes through our body. If we agree with Joe, if we agree with the demon, the affects inside of us are identical. We are bound by our own agreement, the act of our own will. It is our will that binds us, not Joe or the demon.
This binding is why God says, "Don't ever agree with evil men to do evil." That is why pledging allegiance to the flag is such a horror. It is an agreement with sons of Belial, a sworn oath of the heart spoken by the confession of the mouth that must hold people to the Beast and not to Jesus.
In exactly the way that our minds never imagine that Joe is now "inside of us," so they should never imagine that the demon is now "inside of" what is ME. More than that, if Bill beats you with his fists, is he co-habitating with God inside of you? You sure feel the pain in your body. If a demon beats you with his fists, is he co-habitating with God inside of you? You sure feel the pain in spirit, mind, emotions, and body. Do you see how clear thinking on these things eliminates so much confusion and allows us to walk boldly in those things we read about in the New Testament?
BUT, the agreement with the demon, or the agreement with Joe, is most definitely inside of me, inside my will, as a binding contract.
- However, the story of the Gadarene demoniac gives us a critical truth. The demons had full control of the man's mind, emotions, and body. In fact, in front of Jesus, it was the demons that did all the talking immediately, as if the man was not there. But there is one thing the man did that the demons had no control over. The man came to Jesus. Demons can never prevent anyone from choosing to take that first step towards Jesus, an act of the will. -
Demons are always pressing their claims on any agreements we have made with them, especially when we call their thoughts and feelings, "Hey, that's just me."
And that is why it is so very important, in the middle of any form of deliverance for the person who made any such agreement, by an act of their will, to say with their mouth in sincerity of heart, "I forgive you, Bill, for doing that to me." That act of forgiveness breaks the agreement with evil. It's also why it is so very important to say, "Please forgive me for . . ." when we offend someone, naming our offense. And just as important to say, "I forgive you," when someone apologizes. Never ever say, "Oh, it doesn't matter." It does matter, and the words we speak bind or set free.
What do we do, as sons of God, walking in full union with God inside such a scenario? Simple. The aggrieved hurt of our spirits is right and just. God shares that hurt fully with us, it is His hurt equally as much as ours. We never see ourselves separately from Him. We take that hurt and the person that caused it and we place it and them entirely into the Lord Jesus Christ. Certainly, our minds are confused. That doesn't change our reality. We just hold it all in Jesus, knowing that His joy will bubble up within us any moment now. Should a demon speak through our spirit into our confusion and hurt - and they always will, then we just take that demon and all that he suggests and place it RIGHT THERE inside the light inside of Jesus inside of God. I can tell you from continual experience, they are not at all impressed.
You see, when Jesus said, "Here am I, I and the children whom You have given Me," he was hanging there in the darkness bearing all the sin and offense and evil and lechery and perversion of all of fallen man. Yet He took Himself and all the darkness, ran right out into the open in the very light of God and said, "Here am I." It matters not what darkness assails us, we are found NOWHERE else, but right there in Jesus, in the light, inside of God. "I and the children whom You have given Me."
I don't care what accusation there might be, what mistakes I have made - and I make many, or what hurt I have caused in my bumbling foolishness. I don't care what feelings I feel inside or out. I don't care if you call it sin, flesh, evil, or the devil Himself. I stand there absolutely and utterly inside of Jesus inside of God. You will never find any part of me anywhere else. My sin is in Jesus. My flesh is in Jesus. My pain is in Jesus. My everlasting joy is in Jesus, and He is all there is in me. And I never allow any thought otherwise entrance into my mind, ever. My decision is final; my will is sealed.
But - are there things that are from our body only? Certainly. Are there things that are mentally conjured such as hypnotism? Certainly. And so on. And all five sources of info into our minds can overlap and inter-relate in all sorts of differing ways, adding to unending confusion.
Let me give another scenario. Soon after I learned about Asperger’s, I went with my family to the circus. Before the circus started hundreds of people milled around on the floor looking at various exhibits. My family crowded in close to watch a clown display. Not me. When I do not have my own "place" and find myself in a crowd, I get very uncomfortable. But now that I understood Asperger’s, I knew exactly what I was feeling and why. No big deal. I just backed up to where there was some barrier behind me and few people from where I could be more comfortable, but still watch my family enjoying themselves. Now, always in the past, I would have puzzled over myself, convinced that my uncomfortable feelings meant there was "something wrong with me." No more. I never blame myself anymore for any Asperger's feelings. Those conditions come from a neurological element in my physical body that is not spirit. That neurological element carries both disability and ability. To be healed of the difficulty would mean losing the ability, something I'm not interested in. Rather, I take the difficulty and place it in the expectancy of being swallowed up in LIFE.
None of Asperger's is "demonic." BUT demons do use such disability to add pain and confusion into a person's life. And far worse was that so many people whom I looked up to in the Lord told me in every possible kind of way that my problem was "spiritual," meaning "demonic." And since demons operate only through "rebellion against God," my problem must be, ultimately, rebellion against God.
You can understand how fervently I would protect autistic and Asperger children from such horrific religious abuse. Christian ministries telling you your "problem" is a demon coming because of your sin and your fleshy "nature" is a thousand times worse than any pain any demon pokes into the mind along with the difficulty.
You can see how the answer to all our foolishness and difficulty as Christians is simply to place every part of ourselves, especially our sin and our flesh, along with all the silly nuances of the human, entirely into Jesus entirely into the Father and to rest there in Him alone in quietness and joy. And then to see Him alone residing in and coming through every particle of who and what we are as rivers of living water.
The problem is not demons, it is agreement with demons. The solution is repentance, that is, breaking that agreement by an act of our will and our mouth. There is nothing you can do more powerfully for yourself in the heavens than to speak with your mouth what God speaks about you in the New Covenant. Yet we know that demons, laying claim to that agreement, work to block any light from shining upon the agreement that must be broken. It is easy to break the agreement. Therefore, spiritual warfare on behalf of others consists almost entirely of breaking the darkness the demons hold over that agreement to keep the person from seeing it as it really is.
Deliverance is turning the lights on.
A sister asked me some questions about certain manifestations of demon spirits that somehow happen through others, sometimes as a direct result of the "seeing" that God gives to her. I will not share her questions, since much of it is private. However, I will share my answers here before coming back to Jim's original questions.
The demonic is very real, and I have been a part of much godly and anointed deliverance. There are Christians who want to pursue a knowledge of the demonic, but soon, you find, you don't want to go with them. The most important thing is to know that all of it is outside of us.
Everything is personal. God is always personal and everything He creates is personal - there are no "forces" that are not, actually, persons. And yes, what you described is the demonic. But I can tell you that the more you practice Christ as your only life, the more those realms fade.
As I read your sharing about what you go through, holding to Christ in the midst of the assault, I recognize it completely. I can give you a complete assurance that, as you practice Christ your only life the darkness breaks, it slowly loses its steam, and bit by bit, disappears.
As I ponder what you ask, I see two different things inside your asking. One is the external dynamics at play - and your intuitive gift of discernment. The other is the nature of the Tree of Life.
You and I are blind and ignorant. We are very vulnerable, walking though minefields, a narrow path with pitfalls on every side. So many of our brethren fall into those mires that serve only as sidetracks. All of this is in God's hand, but we do not know all His purposes. He creates some for mercy and others for wrath. Paul said that we do not question why; we simply believe God with all our hearts, placing ourselves entirely into Him in every possible way.
God is not responsible for any evil actions. He does not know them. "Evil" is not a thing in itself. Individual persons, whether human or angelic, both, who are morally responsible agents commit acts that harm others and benefit themselves. Those actions, coming out of conscious decision, are evil. The extent of the evil is the extent of the harm versus self-benefit. The moral actions of fallen angels are not one wit different from the moral actions of fallen men in definition. They may appear outwardly in differing kinds of effects, but that's all.
The tree of knowledge is simply holding in our minds the ignorance of a false separation from God and out of that ignorance trying to do "what God says," or anything else people try to do.
The tree of life, on the other hand, is utterly personal and intimate. It is Jesus. He is in us and we are in Him. I place myself utterly in Him and He carries me. I am not responsible for anyone else, He carries them as well. But I am ignorant and blind, and therefore, I do not know Him beyond all that He says in the New Covenant applied intimately and personally inside of me.
He says, "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world." Everything God says about evil and our relation to it in all the rest of the Bible is found clearly inside that statement. I am not "one" with "he who is in the world" in any way shape or form.
But I am a son of God (as are you) sent by God into this world to demonstrate the nature and being of God. God is a mighty warrior; He defeats all of His enemies. That's who He is in us.
Now we can come to your particular circumstances. Yes, those are particular and personal demons you sense. They are intelligent and willful beings who have each their own characteristics. They inhabit human flesh and are given that human flesh - those who live separated from God in the darkness of their own minds - as their food by God in Genesis 3. The only place these characters can hide from the light of God is inside human flesh. Hidden there, they can ignore God. Outside of human flesh, they tremble in terror of their hatred of that which is Holy.
We do understand, of course, that God placed these wicked angels on this earth before Adam sinned. He created us to walk inside this arena - and to know God through it. God made you to know total and real and complete victory over all evil.
The nature and level of opposition is essential to the story of God (His revelation). Without an enemy, there is no story. We are that story - we have an enemy who is entirely on the outside of us. His work against us is to cast accusation as a net to weigh us down, that is, to drive a wedge between us and our Savior who fills us full and who carries every part of us, so that we don't see or know Him. We defeat our enemy by casting down every shadow or shade or thread of every form of accusation. That's what living in the tree of life, abiding in Christ, is all about.
Then, out from that victory over the accuser, God sends us out, He revealing Himself as He is through us, through our weakness, as the Victorious One triumphant over all of His enemies. That is the purpose of evil - to be defeated, as God bends the effects of its wickedness to His will.
So, back again to your particulars. Fallen angels operate around all of us and in all who live in any way separated from God including Christians. They are common and very, very familiar to every single person on this planet. Much of the pressure you feel coming against you is simply one or another of these despicable characters who uses your disability, which is a gift of God, against you in order to discourage you. In my walk with God, I have come to know exactly when it is my own human emotions or neurological difficulties, versus the pressure of an angelic person pressing against me (always from the outside of me). I can bear my disability; it is this pressure from demons that I am always casting down. I used to cast them down by crying out to God, now I do so by speaking and believing that what God says is true. The second is far more effective than the first.
However, you also have a specific gift of discernment. God will use that gift in particular and dramatic and wondrous ways. Yet, I would give you this caution. Relate that gift tightly together with other believers of like precious faith. We do not walk in any form of fearfulness, but neither do we walk alone. God made us part of a body, part of each other, in more ways and to a greater degree than we presently know.
Here is how I would describe your experiences. You discerned the particular nature and character of a person - a fallen angel. That fallen angel is completely and totally OTHER than the human they were using and abusing. Yet he so hides himself inside of them that they don't know the difference. Your discernment acted like a stab of light in the heavens. Your discernment was, itself, light. Demons hate light. You exposed him (without yourself meaning to, it was just Jesus inside of you, personal and real), and he knew it.
Demons don't show themselves unless they are forced to. In each instance you describe, the demon showed himself openly BECAUSE you terrified him with the certainty of his exposure and defeat, BECAUSE you terrify him period. You walk so high above him; you are encased in all glory, enveloped with all the presence of the risen Christ. So he plays a cheap trick, manifesting in some open and outward way in the dim hope of scaring you off.
But the thing is, none of it is up to us. It's all Jesus, and He knows exactly what He is doing through us. However, we now come to what your discernment, which is Jesus showing Himself through you in the way He made you, is for.
When you discern a particular demon, one who is tormenting and abusing this person you see, the love of God in you goes out to them. That love sees the tormentor. That LOVE exposes the tormenter, particularly in his character traits by causing you to see those dark spiritual traits. The purpose is redemption, the purpose is love. God is moving through you with the intent of setting that person free from torment.
The whole reason why you discern that particular demon is that the Love of Jesus billowing out from you in mighty rivers has compassion on the person afflicted by that demon, and He desires with great desire to see them free of its pain and torment. All you have to do is to agree with Him in His intention. You discern because He intends. You agree with that intention and "BAM!" Jesus is released in His intention, you with Him, and He with you (This is all Him, He just moves by our believing Him with all confidence and exuberant joy.) He sets that person free, and pain, torment, lies, and darkness they had never hoped to escape vanish in a moment. Your role is to see that dark accuser gone.
So, pay no attention to the "conjurors tricks" they pull. The only reason they show themselves openly is they are on their way out. A demon who "manifests" is a demon who has already lost his hold. He can no longer hide and he knows it; his happiness from feeding off human misery is doomed and coming to an abrupt end.
Our most powerful weapon, indeed, the only weapon we need, is 2 Corinthians 2:14. We dance with absolute and abandoned celebration in the victory over all that opposes the kindness and goodness of God regardless of what we see or don't see and regardless of what we know or don't know. God always leads us in triumph. God always leads us to boast exuberantly in the absolute and total victory of Christ in us and through us swallowing up the whole planet and casting every single demon spirit out of the experience of man, now, before we see it for real.
In all I have written here, and it is a lot to consider, I have only one thing in mind, that is to see you grounded in reality, looking out from the embrace of Jesus your life, and thus see your purpose, sent by God to prove His will upon this earth. I am sharing only from how I have come to know Him as well. Let me rattle on some more to help give clarification to these things and as we must, to place ourselves entirely into Jesus as we look out at them.
Now, I have been part of many deliverances and have seen demons exposed and cast out, but showing all their ugliness out from the bodies of dear and precious people as they left, yet such joy and radiant peace when they are gone. I have known many who say, including myself, "Wow, it's like waking up. I was staggering under a weight I thought was 'me' but it wasn't, and now everything looks different, fresh and wonderful."
However, my wife and I live in such a bubble of grace that all kinds of bad things could be happening around us and we have no idea of their existence. God is very specific on the particular things He allows into my life and some of the things you share are not among them. Yet - they are the things He allows into your experience. We each of us are made for God through us in unique ways.
We ourselves always see all opposition as being entirely on the outside of whatever we are and however far whatever we are reaches. Jesus said, "The prince of this world comes and finds nothing in Me." That teaches us something important about demonic power. Satan works by establishing beachheads inside a human. That human can be a Christian, it makes no difference. Once that beachhead is established, a suction cup, a grapple hook, tied into something the human imagines is "themselves" and critically important to them, then the demon has a connection, a line, a bond to that thing. There is something inside that person that belongs to the prince of this world.
I will talk about how that works in other believers in a general way, but for us there is only one way to view such strongholds. We simply walk right into the light of Almighty God and say, "God, here I am, me, with all my problems, every sin, every stupid thing, all of me - I am in you. Wow. Look at this stupid demon, even his hold inside of me is holy for it is inside of You."
Let me tell you, when I did that after learning Christ as me, boy, they left fast. Demons really hate seeing their tricks placed into the light. And of course, placing even our "sin" into Jesus, seeing all of it in Him, including whatever that needed to die, fully dead upon the cross, that IS how we put on the new man, break all strongholds, etc. And not by "crying out to God," or "pleading the blood."
Now let's look outwardly at other Christians. We do not know why God has chosen us, but we do not question that He has, rather we speak that He has with all confidence. Yet we see that not every believer is given to know the same grace that God has given us to know.
All right. The enemy gains that stronghold by several means. One is a heart agreement with evil. In other words, someone does something another doesn't like. So the offended says in his heart, "I hate you." or something similar, and agrees in his heart with those words. That agreement becomes a covenant with evil. Or, I share about the demon of fear that entered into my space and tormented me for 15 years before being driven out by Jesus - he came in through an overdose on LSD. Another is the habitual practice of hiding from God. But the most powerful demonic strongholds come from the actions of abuse towards others. One who manipulates and abuses others, especially inside the church, creates inside himself strong and insidious ties of bondage to demon spirits.
Now, here is a local church of Jesus Christ, operating in ignorance of Him, and of His goodness in their lives, ignorant of walking in the light, always cleansed by the blood. The false church gives to most local churches the concept of a hierarchical structure of "power over." Then the "powers" in the church commit particular acts of evil against others in the church.
I won't go any further, but it is easy to see how the overlapping bonds tying individuals in that church to all sorts of dark things operate.
Now, when we look at our brethren, we see them as belonging entirely to Christ and not to evil. And indeed the Lord is working all that to bring them to their senses someday, to abandoning all their hiding to walk in Him only. But that comes in its time. God has a specific order for the entrance of His kingdom. It comes through a firstfruits, and then through them to all.
So, you can see how specific acts of abuse, held tightly and not repented of, creates great bands of bondage even in our brethren, even though they belong to Jesus and He intends fully to win in them.
These bands are spiritual, that is, if your spirit were to gain its lost eyesight, you would see in the heavens, real, tangible cords attaching these dear believers to some pretty dark things. The point of connection by which those cords grip the person is their agreement with the evil.
So, the things you describe, the lying accusations, not even human, but dark - those things come ONLY because the prince of this world holds possession of certain things inside our brethren, things they refuse to let go of, but hold tightly, mostly out of shame and fear, but also out of pride. In all those things, the Lord Jesus is working to bring them to the end of life separate from Him, but none of those things are "of Him."
So - your gift and role. Not that you are in any danger of it, but we do not "go looking for" spiritual confrontation. The things God brings our way in ordering our steps are sufficient. So what I am sharing is no sort of "go out ministry," but rather just a simple-hearted understanding of your place and role and ministry when God does bring things like this your way.
When you "see" these spiritual bonds working upon those you love or upon those whom God brings across your path, the authority of Jesus is in you and you in Him.
We do not "plead" the blood. We SEE BY the blood. Demons hate the blood like nothing else. By the Spirit you are breaking that "possession" the enemy holds inside the person. Now, that "breaking" often requires repentance on the part of the person. In other words, until a person forgives, truly and from the heart, the bondage will not lift.
However, as an emissary of Christ, you have two weapons. One is tenderness and kindness, doing good in such a way as to draw the loved one's heart away from their foolish holding on tightly to the very thing that is killing them and creating all the pain while doing so. The second is the authority of Christ to cause the demons to back off, so that the controlling power coming through those bonds lifts just enough so that the person can see truth and light and Christ.
I said "two things," but now reading back through, I realize there is a third. And that is to see that God is in us reconciling the world to Himself. Everything you find yourself in, every circumstance that comes your way, every whatever banging around inside your emotions, person, heart, soul, mind, all of you, as you place yourself utterly into God, all of it is God working in you to reconcile the world to Himself. As we place all that we are into God, casting down the accuser out of our own heavens, seeing the incredible Person of God moving through all that we are, then we are participating in the deliverance and the redemption of all whom we love, of all in the church, and of all mankind. Mighty things are happening in the heavens as you wrap yourself in Jesus while enduring assault. Mighty things beyond our comprehension. I believe that is true with all my heart.
Two things we must always understand, though. One, freedom comes only by the dear one letting go of that thing, by forgiving or asking forgiveness, or true repentance. Two, Jesus will win; and we can continue in confident certainty and joy that He wins, especially in those we love.
There's no way, of course, that I can give a complete understanding. Complete understanding is in the Holy Spirit in whom you live. But I give what I am able in the hope that it helps a bit.
Now I want to address the most important question that Jim asks.
"My question is does a believer have to go through decades of casting demons out of them to finally walk out their destiny and clean up their past?"
You have worded your question in this way because this is normal "Christian" thinking and no problem at all. I cannot answer your question, however, because it makes no real sense. There are two questions here, let me change the first question so that it fits reality as it is.
"Do we come to know the Lord Jesus Christ inside of us, God manifest in the flesh, in the way God intended from the very beginning, by walking out of a vale of darkness, by casting down the accuser, by struggling out from Christ our life against the chrysalis, against the vanity God subjected us to, against the curse, casting it off of both us and this earth forever? Do we really come to know all the nuances of the life of God inside of us in power, in reality, in victory - through endurance, through perseverance, through tribulation? Is the entrance into the Holy City pearls, our response to the difficulty God momentarily clothed us with - in HOPE?"
The answer to that question is an easy, "Yes!!!"
I do not believe for one moment that we are under this veil of darkness through fault. I am absolutely convinced that it is the only possible way that God could take His own heart, place His heart in a shared oneness with another, and thus be seen by all creation as who and what He really is. It's the only possible way our Father could ever be seen and known in the way that His heart cries for.
Do I know the Lord Jesus Christ inside of me more deeply, more tenderly, more confidently because I have persevered through the darkness, casting down the voice of the accuser, never ever accepting separation in any of its forms until I know Him now so precious inside of me? You bet. Have I seen nothing yet? Even more so.
Now the second question, "clean up their past?" My initial response is to say, "I don't like that question; I don't like it at all."
But I must go back to the picture of the hour glass and the reality that our mind has made such a convoluted and tangled mess of everything that has ever come into it. The problem is not our past; the problem is our minds and how we see.
I have shared elsewhere how, from 1999 through 2005, God took all the tangled mess of my mind and unraveled everything, taking me all apart in the process, primarily through John Eldredge's sharing in his books. Then, I also shared how from 2006 to the present day, God has put the thinking of my mind all back together again, primarily through The Jesus Secret, that is, speaking what God speaks concerning me, and listening to Pastor Joel Osteen teach me how to stop thinking the curse.
The view of my "past" that I held at the beginning of 1999 versus the view of my "past" that I hold today is so great in difference that I cannot say "from night to day," but rather, from "hell to heaven."
Here is my true and certain testimony today - in all possible ways.
All of His ways concerning me are perfect. Everything that ever happened to me, everything I ever went through, every difficulty, every weakness, every stumbling, every offense, every tear, every loss, every triumph, every achievement, every joy, every love, every moment is perfect - could not have been better in any possible way, but comes of perfection out of the bowels of my Father. I see those hours lying on my bed in fear overdosed on LSD as pure and holy and utterly carried inside the Lord Jesus Christ. People can cry "Blasphemy" all they want, they don't know God. Every particle, every moment of my life, from conception until now is utterly inside of Jesus; He carries me. I am found in the light. Every particle of my life is heaven. Every moment is God causing me to know Him.
Can we comprehend such a thing? To know Him?
Those are just words to most people. They are not just words to me. They are the most awesomely incredible proposal that can be found in the mind and bowels of God. And by the path He, in His wisdom, in His tender kindness, in His overwhelming desire that I know Him, has chosen, oh so carefully for me, by that very path through which I have been seized by His determination, He has caused me to know God and to know Jesus Christ whom He has sent.
Now, someone might say, what about this horrific thing that happened to me? I cannot place that into Christ; I cannot give Him thanks, I will not see Him bending all the intentions of that particular evil into my glory.
We do not go searching for "memories." We throw ourselves with abandon into Christ with no need to "know" anything about ourselves. But when the Lord does bring something from our past to our attention, can we place it, no matter how horrific, into Christ? You see, here are the brass tacks. Either that thing is in Jesus' hand or it is in my hand. There are no other options. If He does not carry me through that thing, then I must carry myself. A good word for carrying one's self is "hell."
When that thing happened, there were two completely separate realities. On the one hand were the actions of the agents of evil, human and angelic, they will give account for their actions and they will bring full restitution. Those actions of evil were NOT God; He did not intend them IN ANY WAY. But in that circumstance, there was also me. And God does intend me every moment of my life. I was not alone; He carried me. I don't understand it, of course not, but I believe it.
And I know that however horrific the intentions of evil were against me, the intentions of God to bend the effect of that thing to my glory and to inestimable goodness, that I might know Him, are overwhelmingly greater.
To refuse to give thanks is to hold tightly to the effects of evil and all the pain it continues to bring in one's life. To give thanks is to release it and myself into the goodness of God. My decision to give thanks for all things in spite of my reeling confusion and hurt is final - and proven through years of trial.
Shall I not worship Him for the perfection of my life, for every moment, for every circumstance, pure and holy? What moment, wandering in my own darkness of confusion was the Blood not washing over me? What circumstance, as I stumbled along in hurt and difficulty, did His bowels not yearn over me that I might reveal Him to all creation? That I might make God known to all?
Do you see how screwed up our minds can be, Jim, that we would imagine any other scenario than God?
I hear Christians say, thinking they are ministering Christ, "Forget your past." Or, "you don't have to look back at all the days of your life, Christ is 'as you' right now." When I read such things, they feel like a shock of ignorance against my face.
Jesus, the always speaking of God, shouted into the entire creation, 1926 years before I was conceived in my mother's womb, "Here am I, I and the children whom You have given Me."
It is impossible that any part of me or my life be found anywhere else but right there in all perfection.
When I see that, when I know that, oh, how I am set free!
We are called to set the captives free, and this is how we do it.
Worshiping God for the perfection of our lives, that we should know Him, crying, "Holy, holy, holy." And dancing with all abandoned joy and celebration in the midst of darkness, in the midst of blindness, in the midst of all hostility against God, as the very throne of God, as the absolute triumph of our Lord and Savior through us.