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Spiritual Warfare 2:Deliverance

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Spiritual Warfare 2: Deliverance

Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill

There is something that I think would help us to get started where we left off last time and that’s Mark 5:1-13. One of the things we said was that Satan worked undercover, to a great extent, in Old Testament times even though the pagans did worship gods that were no gods and did therefore worship demons and Satan and yet still, Satan worked undercover until Jesus came to the earth. And then when Jesus came Satan burst forth and that happens all the time when Jesus is present in purity; Satan bursts forth and exposes himself. That’s why many of us, I think, have little experience of Satan in our lives at all because often we are not in a position of full surrender ourselves and so Satan doesn’t have to burst forth, he can work through our selfish resistant wills. But when we submit our wills wholly to Jesus and Jesus fills us with his Spirit and works fully in us then it seems that we begin to come against Satan. So it’s good to see that that is part of God’s plan.

And here is one instance of it in Mark 5:1, “They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when he had come out of the boat, there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who lived among the tombs; and no one could bind him any more, even with a chain; for he had often been bound with fetters and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the fetters he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out, and bruising himself with stones.”

Now I agree with you that every example of satanic possession is not as clear and obvious as that, but nevertheless it does have some plainly recognizable traits and I think we should realize that if you’re walking in the Spirit with Jesus he will discern through you when a person is possessed by a demon. I don’t think you have to go looking under every stone to find out if Satan is at work. I think you should not wander around looking for Satan. I think you should realize Satan will expose himself in fairly obvious ways if you are walking in Christ.

“And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped him; and crying out with a loud voice, he said, ‘What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.’” That wasn’t the man speaking, that was the demon and the demon realized that Jesus was the Son of God and the demon recognizes Jesus when Jesus is present. And that’s what happens with us, the demons recognize Jesus when he’s present in you and fully freely living in you and so you have no problem. And he (Satan) also recognizes that Jesus has power over him because he says “Do not torment me.” So the demons always have to beg Jesus because he has power over them.

One other thing in verse 6, “When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped him.” Jesus didn’t go looking for the demon. Jesus walked along in purity with the Father and the demons came and exposed themselves to him. That’s something of the way Jesus works in his own body here. “For he had said to him, ‘Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!’ And Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ He replied, ‘My name is Legion; for we are many.’ And he begged him eagerly not to send them out of the country.” So again, the demons begged Jesus.

“Now a great herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside; and they begged him, ‘Send us to the swine, let us enter them.’ So he gave them leave.” As opposed to show us that a demon has to go somewhere, until finally Jesus destroys Satan and all his demons. The demons have to go somewhere and they’re always wandering over the earth somewhere and presumably that’s why Jesus allowed this to take place so that he could teach us a little about it. “And the unclean spirits came out, and

entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea. The herdsmen fled, and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. And they came to Jesus, and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the man who had had the legion; and they were afraid.” That’s the kind of experience that takes place once Jesus came to earth.

Some of you have the book Spiritual Warfare by Michael Harper, which God has shown us is a very balanced approach to the whole question of spiritual warfare and this next reference is on page 29 and is the small paragraph set on its own near the bottom of the page. “It was the unavoidable collision of the unhindered power of the Holy Spirit manifested through a sinless life with the opposing power of Satan. It was impossible for the Son of God to be in the vicinity of evil power and not expose it and challenge it. Shadows of twilight and the curtain of night only temporarily hide what the brilliance of the noon day sun reveals.” And you can see that it’s impossible for the Son of God to be in the vicinity of evil power and not expose it and challenge it, so brothers and sisters, there’s no place for searching under the stones to see if there are demons. That’s not the way we expose Satan; we walk in full purity and full obedience to Jesus and Jesus exposes the demons. This saves us from this preoccupation from a deliverance ministry, or a preoccupation of looking for Satan.

Statement from class member: We don’t have to be fully conscience that we’re engaging in spiritual warfare.

Reply: To a certain extent that is true. That is, it seems to me we are often used most by Jesus when we are least conscience of being used. On the other hand it is true that the Holy Spirit at times will tell us clearly that we’re involved in spiritual warfare and we stand against it. But I agree with you that often Jesus is able to deal with demons without us even knowing, so this saves us from all this need to be conscience of the thing and make a big deal out of it. Yes, that’s right.

[Question inaudible 7:01]

That’s right. And it seems Lee, that if we take that attitude to demons we can’t avoid being preoccupied with Satan and that’s why so many people, when they discuss spiritual warfare, become preoccupied with the enemy. And of course, that’s a trick of Satan because then they feel all depressed and sense, “Oh, it’s wrong to talk about this” so they withdraw from the whole business completely which is just what Satan wants. But what Jesus wants is for us to deal with demons the way he does.

[Question inaudible 7:43]

Undoubtedly Jim, the Holy Spirit needs to give you the insight about how to deal with the demon, but I agree with you, you deal with his state, you don’t continue to share just the gospel with him as if he were free to make a decision on it himself, but you do speak to his state. But how you speak depends on the Holy Spirit leading you and I would say this; that if the Holy Spirit doesn’t clearly and unconsciously and naturally tell you how to deal with this, then you ought to pull back from it. But I think brother that’s it; if the Holy Spirit wants you to minister to that person then he will reveal to you how to do it.

[Question inaudible 9:03]

There’s a dear brother who came after service three Sundays ago and he wanted to see me. And way at the end of the conversation, when we’re just about to go, he started to share with me things that had happened during the summer. He had gotten mixed up in the anti-abortion group, and I don’t believe it was Jesus’ will for him to get involved in that. I’m not saying that no Christian should get involved in it; I’m just saying it didn’t seem to be Jesus’ will for him to get involved in it. But he had done that and had in some way become the leader in the group. He began to relate to me all kinds of things that Satan had done in obsessing his mind and he came to a point where he couldn’t eat food, and he felt that nobody should eat food, and he talked on and on and I could see we weren’t nearing the end.

And I found that the same thing happened with me as happened with you; my mind was getting bound by this thing. I was getting all concerned with him telling me, “Okay, he couldn’t get the stuff into the car so he takes the stuff out of the car. Now they try to put him in another plane but can’t get him on this plane.” At last I had the sense to say, “Brother maybe we should stop this and let’s just pray and then will you come and see me?” He came to see me a couple of days ago and the first thing I said was, “Brother, it doesn’t witness with me that God wants you to go through all those details of your experience. That is just Satan preoccupying us both with his activities.”

And so I can see what you say, and it ties up a bit with that there’s definitely a limit to how much we should listen to Satan’s activities and his record of those activities in the brother’s mind. And that helped, that did the job, the dear brother saw that in fact Satan had deceived him into thinking that he had led out this group and now he ought to go and squash that group. And I pointed out to him, “No, you’re responsible for repenting of your sins but you can’t wipe out all the consequences.” Because all Satan wanted to do was obsess him again with the whole business. First he obsesses you with starting the group, then obsesses you with stopping the group and so I can see that it’s fairly easy to get drawn into Satan’s activities by even just listening to a brother or sister recounting them in detail and I don’t think you need to recount them. Jesus didn’t psychoanalyze the fella that was cutting himself with stones. He didn’t go into all that. You sense the Holy Spirit gives you discernment of what’s wrong and you take it from there.

So it seems to me we need to know when a person is obviously in an unbalanced way recounting his experience. We need to know when this is becoming unbalanced and unnatural and I think most of us sense when that comes. Most of us know, “This is useful, the fella is explaining to me what’s happened.” And then there comes a moment when you realize, “This is unnatural; us both sitting here after five minutes going over every detail.” So I think you need to take the initiative and stop it otherwise before you know it your own mind will be messed up and you won’t be able to minister at all.

[Question inaudible 13:03] (something to the effect of why isn’t it helpful for the person to recount the details.)

Reply: Because all that is under the blood and we’re just pulling it out from under the blood. We’re just disbelieving God’s word that the past is past.

[Question inaudible 13:50]

I think Harper leads us into this, “But a new and important stage had been reached in the age long battle against the powers of darkness.” Then he says at the bottom line there, “The church was to

take the gospel to every nation and to those who were in a special way under the commander of the spiritual powers of the air, the spirit then at work among God’s rebel subjects.” Now that’s the church’s job and maybe we should look at that verse in Ephesians 2, this became the job of the church. Often we think the job of the church is just to preach the forgiveness of the sins, or even to lead people into the fullness of the Holy Spirit, but really the job of the church is far far more than that. Ephesians 2:1,” And you he made alive, when you were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once walked.” And then this is what the entire world is doing, “following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. Among these we all once lived in the passions of our flesh.”

But the point is that it wasn’t just because our bodies led us astray or because we got hungry and became gluttonous, but rather because we were following the prince of the power of the air and the job of the church was to war against this “prince of the power of the air.” In other words, the job of the church is always to bind a strong man so that you can plunder his goods — that’s always our task — and that’s why the church is always to be a triumphant body. The church cannot just be a faithful witnessing body, faithfully sharing Jesus with other people; the church is to be a triumphant body praising and glorifying God because that is what destroys Satan and that is what exposes Satan. So there is no place for just a sort of ordinary little plodding Christian life; that will not expose Satan. The church must be a triumphant and glorious body and a militant body in that sense because we’re coming against the powers of the air.

Then Harper says, “They were to move out into all the world and so they were to need in a new way power to deal with the spiritual wickedness that they were going to encounter.” So Paul conceived his mission to the Gentiles in terms of turning them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God and it might be good to see that in Acts 26:18, “To open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” But you see, many of them cannot receive the forgiveness of sins or a place among those who are sanctified by faith because they have not been turned from darkness to light or from the power of Satan to God.

And I think we’re naïve about this in the office where we work, or on the campus, or in the biology theater, or in school; there it seems that our job is to release people from the power of Satan and that means we must come against Satan. That’s why we meet so much defeat when we share the four spiritual laws, which we need to share eventually. But we meet defeat because we’re sharing the four spiritual laws with people who are under the power of Satan and we have not come against Satan and released them. And so that’s the excitement, I think, of the whole vision of Christian Corps; that what is needed in our world is men and woman to go in and take ground from Satan. Why is the Muslim world so closed? Because we are little naïve Christian witnesses, we are not men and women of God fighting against the power of Satan that loose the Muslim world; we don’t come against the power of Satan.

We come and try to share a little ideology with them, but we haven’t broken the power of Satan so there is no victory. And you see brothers and sisters, that again and again, we have seen intercessory prayer and warfare and pray as an optional extra. We have thought, “You share the gospel and prayer helps. Prayer helps to get them to understand the gospel.” Do you see that it’s wrong? A pure life before God warring in prayer against Satan releases people so that they are able to understand the gospel. But that’s the order.

That’s why I shared with you the idea that it would be far better for some of us to have a guest

house where we just took in guests or a hotel in the Caribbean on some island and spent the first six months or a year praying and standing against Satan and warring against him in prayer before we ever went out and shared Jesus with others. You see, that’s what we need.

But we have turned it the other way around in so many of our missions. We have sent the people out and said, “Okay, we want some converts.” So the wee souls have gone out and started to share the gospel without real prayer backing, without spiritual warfare prayer, many not knowing how to war in prayer, but they’ve gone out thinking “Our job is mainly ideological.” It isn’t. It’s not the words of the gospel that saves, it’s the power of the gospel that saves and the power of gospel is the gospel that is in those of us who are, as Hank mentioned, at the right hand of the Father warring against Satan in our homes. It’s again and again in our homes.

We don’t understand why dad won’t see our brilliant explanation of the existence of God, or why mum won’t see the whole baptism with the Holy Spirit just as we’ve explained it. But loved ones, it isn’t an ideological battle at all, it’s a blindness that Satan brings upon the dear ones and we’ve to release them from that blindness and only the Holy Spirit can guide us how to do that. But you know yourself, there are times – I noticed it early on when God first led me into any kind of evangelism; I hated the whole idea of evangelism, I thought it was very unsophisticated and very un-intellectual. Then I went to some of these summer camps and began to find that after prayer God would bring a softness into a meeting, just a gentleness and people would say “these people have been fighting this for years” and there would come a softness and a gentleness into the meeting. Now do you see that’s what I mean?

The Holy Spirit is able through prayer to bring a softness and a gentleness in people’s spirits so that they’re able to receive truth. Our problem is we’re going in and flinging truth at them without any intercessory prayer, without any standing against Satan, without any pure lives ourselves and so naturally there’s little success – they fight like mad. It’s virtually useless to minister at all in that kind of situation. So that’s that whole business of breaking that power of Satan before you ever share the gospel. 1 John 5:19 emphasizes why people do not respond to the gospel and usually it’s because they cannot. 1 John 5:19, “We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the evil one.” And I don’t know how much more plainly we need to see it, but we keep thinking, “Oh no, that nice fellow that works next to me, he couldn’t be in the power of the evil one,” but his blindness to the gospel is because he is blinded by the evil one.

Satan loves to get us fighting against each other and we keep thinking, “He’s stupid, he’s dumb, he can’t see what I can see.” It’s not that at all, the dear soul is blinded by the evil one and we’re doing nothing to help him. The soul can’t see it because he’s in the power of the evil one. There is a good verse that you ought to look at because I’ve mentioned it several times 1 John 5:18, “We know that any one born of God does not sin, but He who is born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.” Now the King James Version translates it, “He who is born of God keepeth himself so that the evil one toucheth him not.” But it comes to the same thing whichever translation you accept, that one who is born of God does not need to be harassed by Satan and does not need people to be delivering him all the time. He can be kept by Jesus through the power of faith and the Spirit so that the evil one does not touch him. So there’s no need for us to be tied to that evil one, and it’s good for us to see that.

Then Harper explains what this power was that was given to the church, “But before this mission could begin, the enemy had to be defeated and disarmed. Jesus achieved this on the cross. It is most important to see the dual purpose of that death. It is summarized perfectly for us by John in

his first epistle,” 1 John 3:5, “You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.” That was the first purpose of Jesus’ death on the cross and then verse 8 is the second purpose, “He who commits sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” Now that’s why Jesus died; to destroy the works of Satan.

The greatest work of Satan was death. Disease leads to death and psychological maladjustment leads to disease, if you destroy the final enemy you destroy all that leads up to it. Now Jesus destroyed death. Satan worked death in his body and Jesus destroyed death and came alive again so Jesus thereby destroyed Satan’s final power and therefore every secondary power after that. So Jesus at any time can destroy any of Satan’s works and always will do so in response to our faith. That’s the triumph: at the cross man’s sins were cleansed and Satan’s power broken.

To use some of the imagery of Wesley’s hymns, sinners lost both their guilty stains and their heavy chains. Satan’s strong grip on the world was slackened and the way was opened for the church, in power and authority, to deliver millions of prisoners Satan had in chains throughout the world. And that’s why when Paul walked down the streets, the people were healed. As they touched his handkerchief they were healed. That’s why everywhere the early Christians walked there was a releasing from fetters and a releasing from chains. And brothers and sisters, that’s the way, and it always happens when we walk in victory, but it will not happen if we walk in this old slithering half surrendered life, you see. It will not. But when you walk in triumph, and in victory, and in full obedience there Jesus repeats his victory on the cross and continues to repeat it. Someone said, “There’s no holiness that is not jealous and enthusiastic,” and there is not. And there’s no power over Satan that is not filled with triumph and glory day-by-day, and we walk in that by faith.

Now if you say to me, “Do you get up every morning, happy?” I often get up with Satan present like mad, but I know where my victory is and I take my position in Jesus at the Father’s right hand and I exercise faith against Satan and say, “I don’t care about a sickness. I don’t care what my mind seems to be telling me. I don’t care about my feelings. I know you were destroyed at Calvary 1,900 years ago and Lord Jesus, I thank you for that position in the Father.” And it may be when I get half way down the road, it may be even when I get to this building, victory comes through and God lightens everything.

Brothers and sisters, if I had to walk in that for three weeks or a year, I’d walk in it because I know what victory is and that’s the way we war in faith; we keep in triumph through faith after exercising the power and maybe it would be good to look at it in Ephesians 2:6, that’s the position of power “and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” That is the position from which we war against Satan. And do you see what God did in 1:20, “which he accomplished in Christ when he raised him from the dead and made him sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come; and he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”

He has put all things under his feet. That means Satan has been put under his feet and that if you are in Jesus, even if you are in his big toe, you are still above Satan and that’s our position. It doesn’t matter where you are in the Savior, it doesn’t matter if you’re the nail on his little toe, or the sole of his foot, you are still above Satan and that’s our position by faith. You war from that position, loved ones. I think a lot of us make the mistake of saying, “I look within because

Jesus is within.” The Spirit of Jesus is within you, but Jesus is at the Father’s right hand and you’re up there and you look up to Jesus and out to Satan, you don’t look within to find it, you look up to Jesus and you see him at the Father’s right hand and that’s where you dwell. But you don’t look inside to see Jesus.

I think a lot of us say, “Oh yes, he must be within me,” and that’s where we get wrapped up in spiritism, because a spiritist will say every man has God inside him. Well the Spirit of Jesus is God’s agent inside you and he moves within you and guides you, but when you’re looking you don’t look within, you look to Jesus at the Father’s right hand and you dwell there and that’s where you regard yourself as sitting day-by-day. Watchman Nee says, “Sit, walk, stand.” That’s where you sit, you sit in that position. That’s a restful position, and then you walk, and at times you stand against Satan but you sit in Jesus at the Father’s right hand and that’s a good spot to be.

Colossians 2:14-15 nails down again what Jesus did on the cross and maybe it is good to the two works that he has done on the cross. Colossians 2:14-15, forgives us our sins and the destruction of the powers, “having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands.” Satan said, “I have a right to these people. They’ve sinned, you’ve given them up, and I have a right to them.” Jesus took that bond and paid it and said, “I take that bond, and I nail it to my cross. I pay for the right that you have over them. I die in their place; you take my life in place of theirs. Now you have no more legal right to them.” That’s our position with Satan.

You don’t fiddle with Satan; you don’t discuss the thing with him. You tell him plainly, “You have no more right to me. Jesus has paid this bond; I am rightfully Jesus’ and God’s.” Verse 14b “This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” When Satan comes to you and says, “I have a right to you.” You say, “No, it was nailed to the cross.” Then verse 15, “He disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in him.”

Now here’s the thing; Satan had power over you until Jesus died for you. Satan had every right to you until Jesus died for you. After that, Satan has no right to you and he is destroyed. Now you ask, “What is his power then in the world today?” Lies and deception; he has no power in the world today. No power when it comes up against the power of Jesus. He has only the powers of lies and deception. He can deceive people into thinking that he is still the king of the universe but it is lies, and every time, we go back to what Jesus did on Calvary and we always fight on that ground. You always fight on that ground.

Now it might be good to remember those words in Colossians 2:14-15. You need to have those and you need to have that verse in Ephesians and I would suggest you memorize them as the Holy Spirit guides you, as well as Ephesians 1:20-23 and Ephesians 2:6. I really do think we need to know those so that you war from the right place. It might be worth it to put it in Harper’s words because he does it well, but in Ephesians Paul takes the triumph a stage further from the cross by linking it also with the resurrection and the accession of our Lord and expressing what these events mean in terms of victory over Satan.

It’s so good to see that another man finds the same truth that God shows you and it’s a testimony, but this is what the Father wants, “Speaking of Christ’s new position he writes of us far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and above every name that is named not only in this age but also in that that is to come and he has put all things under his feet and has made him head over all things for the church which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. ” It’s good to see that’s the purpose for the church. And in quoting from Psalms 68:18 he refers again to

Christ being, “Far from all after he had led captivity captive and he is still there far above all. What confidence this should give us in our warfare against Satan. Now the church can penetrate the dark jungles of the world protected from danger and able to tame them in the power of Jesus’ name. Here we are dealing with the bedrock of any successful ministry in the field of spiritual warfare. We dare not enter into battle without a firm confidence in the efficacy of the death of Christ and a firm trust in the power of his new position in the heavenlies.”

I used to be very skeptical of the happy soul that said, “Ah, don’t bother about your problems let’s just take a position in Christ.” I used to think, “But you’re not dealing with me, you’re not dealing with my problem.” But I can see there’s a time to deal with problems and there’s another time to say, “Let us exercise faith at this time. Let us take our position in Christ.” And I’d testify that again and again I’ve come into situations which I could not sort out and I took my position, you may say by blind faith, in Jesus and the thing sorted itself out.

Now I could give details in my own life where I have not known which way to turn and I’ve taken my position in Jesus and exercised faith and God has brought the thing through. So do you see that there are times when you don’t bandy with the problems, you take your position in Jesus.”

[Question inaudible 35:48]

That’s right it’s Colossians 2:14 and I’ll explain what God showed me about it. 2:14 reads, “Having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands.” Now what was this bond? The bond was simply this, God said, “Anybody that sins must die.” Satan came in and said, “That’s right. I have a right to them.” So he was actually working along with God’s own word and he was pleading God’s own will and he was saying, “You’re right Lord. You said it, they must die and I am the king of death, I have power over them.” So really, Satan had a right to us because of God’s own declaration against sinful souls. But when Jesus then died in our place, and paid our penalty to God’s law of justice, then God was able to say, “I am justified in forgiving these people and in regarding them as being pure in my sight,” so Satan could no longer say, “You have no right.” God could say, “Yes, I have a right because my Son has paid that. He has paid that to my law of justice and holiness. Now I have the right to these people.” And so Satan had to admit, “yes that’s right” so the legal bond is cancelled. That’s why if we ever, or if any human being in the whole world ever yields to Satan and says, “I am yours,” he’s telling a lie because in a real sense God has reconciled the whole world unto himself through Jesus’ death.

Now, I agree with you; they are not born of God unless they receive the Spirit. People will be lost not because God has not reconciled them to himself, people will be lost because they have refused again the tree of life. In reality, all of us are back again in the Garden of Eden situation. God has reconciled the whole world unto himself but we are still resisting receiving his life and that’s what will kill us and send us to hell eventually.

So that’s why, when we go to a person who is not a Christian, and they’re yielding themselves to Satan, we have every right to treat them as people who are under deception. They are deceived; they think they belong to Satan, they don’t. And we go to them in that spirit and in that ministry. That’s why we go to non-Christians with not quite a proprietary air to them, but a sense of ownership. We go to them saying, “These are God’s children, it must be revealed to them. We must pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal this to them,” you see. We’re not going to hostile enemies, we’re going to people who have been reconciled to God and if they have been reconciled to God by the death of his Son how much more will they be saved by his life. And so we’re saying, “Will you

receive the life that the Father is willing to give you at this moment?” But still it’s true, if they don’t receive the life then they will die eternally, but they won’t die because God has not reconciled them. They’ll die because they’ve refused his life yet again, as Adam did in the Garden of Eden.

(Question from the audience, inaudible)

Next time we’ll be dealing a bit more with evil spirits and the fact that Satan has different spirits for different places. But it seems at this point, that it’s wise to share that the Holy Spirit can show you how to war against this particular prince, as you say, and I think its vital Steve, not to get tied up with phrases. Some years ago everybody was talking about the “prince of Minneapolis.” Well that’s maybe true, but I think it’s important for the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what particular symptom of that prince’s activity you are able to see, and that’s what has to be bound.

In other words, you can go to this in your mind, you can say, “Somebody has told me there’s a ‘prince of Minneapolis’ now I must war against it.” And you start warring in your mind saying, ‘prince of Minneapolis I war against you.’” Well, that’s autosuggestion, it’s just a game. I think you need to say, “Holy Spirit, will you give me discernment to see where Satan is expressing himself in the spirit of this town?” And then, as the Holy Spirit reveals that to you, you stand against that and as you stand against that the Holy Spirit leads you further, and further, and further in and you deal with those symptoms first. As you deal with those, the Holy Spirit leads you deeper and deeper into new levels of obedience and then he leads you face-to-face with the enemy.

But that’s the way you approach the enemy. You don’t approach the enemy through a mind belief that thinks “Tthere must be a prince here, I better stand against him.” The victory is not in the words you use. I think that’s where a lot of us have a problem; we say the right words, “We stand against you in Jesus’ name.” Well in Jesus’ name is not important, in so much as in the Spirit of Jesus, the power of Jesus, according to the will of Jesus, exactly as the Spirit of Jesus guides us. So it seems to me it’s a more inner thing than just a ritual or a formula that we go through. But that’s what I would say.

I know in my own life the Holy Spirit has shown me some real spirits that are vicious and are satanic and I’ve seen that is of Satan and I come against that. And then when I’ve come against that, that veil is drawn back and the Holy Spirit shows me a deeper veil, and a deeper veil, and that’s the way. The Father takes a deep and a mature man of God to put face-to-face with Satan and normally he won’t put you face-to-face with Satan, it’ll be, “The Lord rebuke you,” that’ll be the words on our lips and we’ll let Jesus stand against Satan. And it seems to me Steve; we’re making some mistakes in this business of, “I want to hit you. I want to kill you with my bare hands. Let me get that prince of Minneapolis.” No, I think we stand in our position of Jesus, we retain that position, and we minister the peace of that position at each point that the Spirit of Satan comes against us. I think that’s the way you drive back Satan.

I think the other way is a wile of Satan to get us naked face-to-face with him and that’s what preoccupies so many people with Satan because they say, “Let me at him.” Jesus doesn’t want you at him, Jesus wants you in him at the Father’s right hand and from there you stand. And then when these things come from outside, you push them off and keep praising. And if you say, “How does he lead you in?” He allows you to come in. You come in and again and again you feel, “Boy, I’m going to lose my position.” You retain it and he moves you deeper into enemy territory.

That’s what he means when he says, “Your aim is not to gain more but to retain what God has given you in Jesus.” And it seems to me that’s our position. Your motive or your purpose of your spiritual life is not to gain more life but to retain what you have in Jesus; to retain your position in Christ at the Father’s right hand against all comers, all enemies. We should be glad when Satan attacks. We should be glad when we win through and here we are, still at that position at the Father’s right hand. We should not have this attitude, “Oh, we ought to feel deeper, or we ought to feel more spiritual after this.” No, we should be glad, “Here we are Lord, thank you. The wind and storm has passed, that’s a victory for you.”

[Question inaudible 44:28]

It seems to me that you have to be careful what the parable of talents is because I think, for instance, the parable of talents in the New Testament was about money, and God does expect us to use the money in a sensible way and he is prepared to prosper us and to prosper what he has given us. For instance, I feel strongly that the offerings that the Father gives us and the gifts that you dear ones give, it’s up to us to use those wisely and to multiply them for the Father’s work. So it seems to me the parable of talents is more directly connected with the use we make of the material gifts that God gives us.

[Question inaudible 45:20]

No, we often use it in regard to our own natural talents and I think we have to be very careful in that whole area because many of us think our natural talents will achieve something for God. Well, they won’t. Our natural talents have to go through the cross, the natural life has to go through the cross and then the Father is able to allow us to retain those talents and maybe to appear to minister through them. But we don’t really minister through those; we sing or we speak but it’s the life of Jesus that achieves or accomplishes. So, I’d just go slowly on the whole normal use we have made of that parable. I was speaking to a brother at the fellowship yesterday and he’s just a great singer, but really I was sharing that that has to come through the cross otherwise all you’re sharing is your own personality.

So perhaps we’ll stop there and continue at our next meeting.