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05.09.2009 Religion

Jesus gives us power to overcome unclean spirits

By Ms. Joyce Aryee - Ghanaian Chronicle
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Unclean spirits are messengers of Satan, the enemy of God and therefore enemies of Christians. One of the primary emphases in the Gospel of Mark is Jesus' overriding concern to defeat Satan and his demonic powers in Mark 3:27. This is rendered as “tying the strong man and robbing his house” that is setting for those who are enslaved by Satan through unclean spirits otherwise known as demons.

In His first public appearance after His 40-day fast and victory over Satan's temptations in Luke 4:18-19, Jesus appropriated the message in Isaiah 61:19, as His own vision and mission for ministry: the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind; to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil – chief among which was the devils use of his messengers – unclean spirits or demons to oppress, harass and destroy human beings.

1. Demons are spirit beings with personality and intelligence. As members of Satan's kingdom and enemies of God and humans they are evil, malicious and organized with different levels of rank and delegated authority under Satan. Paul in Ephesians 6:11-12 describes them as rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. The King James rendition is: principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in high places. The bottom-line is that these unclean spirits are evil and powerful. But praise God, they are not more powerful than Jesus Christ. We have weapons of warfare against them. Weapons that are mighty through God for pulling down all the strong holds.

2. Demons can and often do live in the bodies of unbelievers - Mark 5:15; Luke 4:41; Acts 16:18, and use their voices to talk. They enslave such individuals and influence them toward evil, immorality and destruction.

3. Demons can cause physical illness in the human body - Matt 9:32-33; 12:22; Mark 9:20 -22; Luke 13:11 & 16, throughout all sickness and diseases are the results of evil – Matt 4:24; Luke 5:12-13.

4. Those involved in spiritism, magic, sorcery and occultist practices are dealing with evil Spirit and this can easily lead to demonic bondage - Acts 13:8-10; Gal. 5:20; Rev 9:20.

5. Evil spirits will be especially active in the last days of this age, promoting the occult, immorality, violence and cruelty. They will assault God's word and sound doctrine – Matt 24:24; 2 Cor.11:14-15; 1 Tim 4:1.

Beloved Christian brothers and sisters we need not be alarmed that demons or unclean spirits abound and are at their destructive best. The sovereign God and our Father has given us victory over them through the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ and as His disciples He gives us authority to overcome demons and their activities because Jesus clearly stated His purposes for coming to earth was to bind Satan and set free those enslaved by him - Matt 12:29; Mark 1:27; Luke 4:18; and 1 John 3:8.

You and I know for certain that Jesus Christ has triumphed over Satan through His suffering and death on Calvary's Cross - Col 2:15; the proof of His suffering and the power therein. Through him we have been delivered from the kingdom of darkness and brought into His marvelous Kingdom of light. In this light, all Satan's work is revealed and destroyed.

Now that we know, that ultimately we have authority from Jesus Christ to overcome all the works of demons, what are some of the specific things we should know and do.

1. The Bible teaches us that no true believer who is indwelt with the Holy Spirit can be demon possessed. The Holy Spirit and demons cannot live in the same body – 2 Cor. 6:15-16. Demons may however, influence the thoughts, emotions and actions of Christians who have not been delivered from old strongholds covenants and habits or those who fail to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit – Matt 16:23; 2 Cor. 11:13 & 14.

Beloved are you allowing the Holy Spirit to control, direct, empower and teach you? We must, as Christians, remember that we belong fully to Christ. We have been bought at a price and so we need to be fully subservient to the Lord Jesus and allow His Spirit to be our Guide.

2. Jesus has promised true believers authority over Satan and his cohorts. You see the demons themselves know that Jesus has authority over them and they recognize and submit to this authority. Often in the gospels we read about demons recognizing Jesus as the Son of the Most High God and one with authority over them. That is why they leave their victims on the orders of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is the authority we also have in 2 Cor. 10:3-5, as we read in the New Living Translation: We are humans, but we do not wage war with human plans and methods. We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons to knock down the devils strongholds. With these weapons we break down every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God. With these weapons we conquer their rebellious ideas and we teach them to obey Christ.

Beloved, we are empowered to overcome every trick, every evil manipulation and machination. We are empowered to discern the thoughts of these wicked unclean spirits and demons. We are empowered not to be afraid of them and not to succumb to them. Jesus has conquered and rendered powerless, all forces of demonic activities through his death and resurrection. Satan and his demonic forces have been defeated and therefore they cannot exercise any power over believers and the church. This knowledge should keep us away from things and activities that would lay us open to their power, rather we are called to oppose them.

1. We should recognize that we are not in conflict against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces of evil. -2 Cor. 10:3-5; Eph 6:10-12.

2. Live before God, fervently committed to His truth and righteousness – Rom 12:1-2; Eph 6:14.

3. Have faith that we can overcome evil and unclean spirits and that their new power broken in any specific area of his domain. Operate in the power of the spiritual armour and weapon provided. Perfected by this amour we can defeat demons and all the schemes of the devil. We should wield the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God and claim the protection of the Blood of Jesus.

4. We should pray, fast, study the word of God, share the gospel with others and produce the fruits of the spirit. Our lives should always give testimony that we belong to the Lord Jesus Christ and that our lives are defined by kingdom values of truth, love, forgiveness, service to God and others, honesty, integrity, discipline, compassion, fear of God.

5. Above all we should know that those who are with us are more than those against us. We have at our disposal a myriad of angels to fight for us and to protect us from the wiles and schemes of the evil one.

As we confront demonic powers in our Christian pilgrimage, let us face them as victors because Christ Jesus has won the victory over all demons through the blood. Stay Blessed Please do join us on Sunny – Tuesdays 5:30am; Asempa – Sundays 5:30am & Unique – Saturdays 7:30pm for our radio Bible study

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