“Deliver us from the evil one” Luke 11:4
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me. Because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor, He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted. To proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound. To comfort all who mourn. To console those who mourn in Zion. To give them beauty for ashes. The oil of joy for mourning. The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. That they may be called trees of righteousness. The planting of the LORD that He may be glorified” Isaiah 61:1-3.
Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted. People’s heart are broken due to sin and the consequences of sin.The person behind sin is a spirit person called Satan or the devil. Yes, Satan is a person without flesh and blood. We need to know how to identify our enemy before we can fight him effectively with the spiritual weapons God has given us.
One thing we need to be aware of is this, Satan or the devil is behind all the evil in the world. The bible has identified this evil spirit by two primary names, Satan or devil.
- Satan, each name has a significant meaning. The title Satan means “the one who resists or opposes”.Satan resists and opposes God, God’s purposes and God’s people. As people of God, we must recognise that Satan as God’s adversary or resister opposes us.
- The devil, the other title for this bodyless spirit person is the devil, which means “the slander” or “the accuser”. His primary weapon against Christians is accusation Revelation 12:10.
The devil or Satan was not created evil, God created him as Lucifer, one of the chief archangels of God. He was known for his beauty and his wisdom, apparently he was in charge of one-third of the angels in heaven. The Bible tells us in Isaiah 14:12-15, that Lucifer rebelled against God, he and the one-third of the angels that followed him. I am of the opinion that Lucifer was very jealous of God and wanted to be worshipped as God. His jealousy and pride got him ejected from heaven.
Lucifer who has now become Satan set up his own rival kingdom in another area of the universe, what the bible refers to as “the heavenlies” or sometimes the second heaven. The heavenlies are situated somewhere between earth and the third heaven where God’s throne is situated. So Satan’s headquarters in this age is located in the heavenlies where he rules over the large company of rebellious angels. His primary purpose is to resist and stop God’s will from being done on earth as it is done in heaven.
In the book of Ephesians 6:12, the apostle Paul gives us an insight on the location and operation of Satan’s kingdom, as well as the other spiritual beings operating with him. This is the Passion Translation of Ephesians 6:12 “your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. For they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage”.
These evil spirit beings, including the devil, are in opposition to God and His people. These spirits are located in the spirit world, but their activities manifest in the physical world. This is the nature of our warfare and the conflict in which we are engaged. Unless we understand this, we cannot possibly be fully successful engaging in this battle.
From Paul’s observations in the book of Ephesians, we can discern three key points. 1) Our battle is not a physical battle, our conflict is cosmic in nature, supernatural. It involves not just the earth, but the whole universe, both heaven and earth.
2) We cannot see our enemy with our physical eyes. Rather, we come to understand them by revelation from the Holy Spirit and out of our understanding of scripture.
3)Majority of people in the world do not recognize or understand the nature of this conflict. They are simply unaware of whom they are up against. People know that there is something which is resisting them, a force which they are struggling against, whether in their day to day life in their relationships with other people. Even in their relationship with God, there is something that is coming against them. They cannot see it, understand it or define it, but it is there. As a result, they do not know how to deal with it.
The result of this conflict in the spirit realm for each one of us, whether it is victory or defeat will determine the result in every other area of our lives. Those who are ignorant of this fact leave themselves open to Satan’s devices. God said in the book of Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”.
In everything Satan does, his main purpose is to steal, to kill and destroy. Yet the bible tells us that we are victors in this conflict with the powers of darkness. We are not going in to win the war with Satan because the war has already been won. The fact of the matter is, Jesus has already defeated Satan on our behalf. The victory over Satan is not waiting to be won, it has been won. It was won when Jesus died, shed His blood on the cross, was buried and rose again from the dead.
This is the Good News, the Gospel for us as individuals and for the entire human race. The victory Jesus won over Satan was total, permanent and irreversible. Satan cannot change what Jesus has achieved for us by the cross. So Satan’s only option is to try and make us doubt the work of the cross to keep God’s people from realizing what has been achieved for us at Calvary. Satan does everything he can to keep us from knowing, understanding, and applying the victory Jesus has won.
The book of Colossians 2:13-15 tells us how Jesus won this victory for us, let’s have a look at it from the Passion Translation, “This “realm of death” describes our former state, for we were held in sin’s grasp. But now, we’ve been resurrected out of that “realm of death” never to return, for we are forever alive and forgiven of all our sins. He cancelled out every legal violation we had on our record and the old arrest warrant that stood to indict us.
He erased it all, our sins, our stained soul, he deleted it all and they cannot be retrieved. Everything we once were in Adam has been placed on his cross and nailed permanently there as a public display of cancellation. Then Jesus made a public spectacle of all the powers and principalities of darkness, stripping away from them every weapon and all their spiritual authority and power to accuse us. And by the power of the cross, Jesus led them around as prisoners in a procession of triumph. he was not their prisoner, they were his”.
This scripture describes what God, the Father did through Jesus Christ, the Son. At the cross, Christ disarmed all of Satan’s forces, stripping them of their weapons and defeating them. Through his death, Jesus nullified Satan’s strongest weapon against us, which is guilt.
The Ministry of deliverance is similar to the story of Jesus calling Lazarus out of his death tomb, in John11:43-44. Lazarus, a friend of Jesus died he was in the grave for three days when Jesus called him out of the grave. Jesus calling Lazarus out of the grave is the spiritual equivalent of Jesus calling us out of the grave of sin our spirit has been buried in. The stone that covered Lazarus’ tomb had to be rolled away, like wise the stone of sin keeping us in our death tomb has to be rolled away.
Jesus’ death on the cross did that for us. Through our confession and repentance, we accept and come into agreement with Him. Just as Jesus asked the people to loose Lazarus from his grave clothes, as Christians we also need to be loosed from our death clothes. These are the things that still gives Satan the legal right to still be in your life. Majority of Christians are still wearing their death clothes.
Evangelism, deliverance and healing go hand in hand. But we have a problem in our churches where our focus is mainly on soul winning, which is very good, repentance is the first step of entering the kingdom of God. But once a soul has entered through evangelism, the next step should be deliverance. When we give our lives to Jesus, we open our hearts to Him through repentance, He forgives us and He seals our heart with His spirit, the Holy Spirit. The work of cleansing us from all that belongs to the enemy will then begin.
When the Holy Spirit takes absolute control of a person’s life it is because He didn’t have it before. God will never take hold of anything unless you give it to Him first. Before we accepted Christ we belonged to the enemy. We made vows and came into covenant with him, we were under his authority. Therefore when we become Christians the devil fights to keep us under his authority. Therefore if the newly converted soul doesn’t go through the process of deliverance which will involve:
- Repentance for coming into agreement with the kingdom of darkness.
- Forgive those who have hurt them and offended them.
- Renounce the work of Satan in their lives.
- Command the demons to leave.
- Bless them with the Father’s blessings
- Then discipleship should then begin.
If these initial steps of deliverance are not taken, Satan will continue to have legal rights in that person’s life. The abundant life Jesus came to give His people will not be achieved. The Ministry of Deliverance must go hand in hand with the Ministry of Evangelism. Both are a very important part of the Church’s mission as the Bride of Christ here on earth. When we ignore this Ministry, we remove a vital part of the Body of Christ. As a result, spiritually handicapped Christians are raised in the Church.