This is Part 1 in a four part series that Pastor John gave on Seeing in the Dark that took place at the beginning of 1994. In the previous week leading up to this series Pastor John spoke on the gift of righteousness that God has given those who are redeemed. This is such a powerful and wonderful gift that when we come to Jesus not only are our sins forgiven, but that in His marvelous grace and mercy He not only takes away the penalty for our sin but puts on our account in the heavenlies, the very righteousness of Jesus the son of God.
This righteousness not only goes into our account in heaven, but it comes also into our lives by the gifting of God and we are set free from many of the things we formally were given to. And we find a new change of heart where our desires and lifestyle begins to change by the very presence and power of God and we begin to live differently by his gifting and grace.
In part 1 in this series Pastor John wants to address the complications that come into the process through Satan’s attacks and re-entrenchment. He will discuss how that many times Christians by living loosely, foolishly or not seeking God about their weakness allow Satan to continue ruling in their lives and to what dimension he can rule.
In the first two parts of this series Pastor John will talk about believers and deliverance especially can a believer be demon possessed. He talks on the subject of demonic activity in the morning service followed up in the evening service on how to be set free and deliverance. Pastor John uses references from two chapters in a book he was writing called “Seeing In The Dark.”
What is so important to us to understand is that there is a battle going on in the realm of the Spirit.”
In the beginning of Ephesians 2 Paul is saying that when we follow the ways of the world you are actually following the ways of Satan. Even though we don’t know it and we thought we are doing our own things, going our own ways we didn’t realize we were becoming a pawn, a puppet with invisible strings being pulled by the ruler of the Kingdom of Darkness. The Bible calls this the Kingdom of Darkness in that it cannot be seen with the natural eyes and it’s not perceived with natural thinking.
This is why you need your Bible, because your Bible tells you what really is happening. It tells you the truth of what actually is going on behind the scenes.”
It is because of this that people who come to the Lord only to deal with the sin effect on their lives, looking for eternal life and not looking to be changed by coming under the dominion of God find themselves going back and falling prey again to the same kind of activity that once brought them into bondage.
When we yield to the influences of Satan or his tactics and schemes, we become slaves to an orchestration that we submit ourselves to an unholy rulership. According to Pastor John ignorance concerning this issue keeps many Christians in what they consider to be harmless disobedience. They are completely unaware that by their disobedience they have become sin servants and are being manipulated by the Kingdom of Darkness.
James the Apostle tells us not to be complacent. Don’t allow Satan a foothold. Don’t act like nothing is happening. If it is going on grieve, wail and get before God and make an issue of it until the Lord can bring about the change in your life that is needed. Don’t give him an ounce of your energy, life, income or family time because you have been translated out of the Kingdom of Darkness.
Satan can deceive you. He can try his best to get you back but listen, you don’t have to yield to him, you can yield to God.”
During the last few years leading up to this message there had been many ministries and churches that have taught and practiced deliverance over demonic powers. In part 1 on this series “Seeing in the Dark,” Pastor John tried to introduce the need for this kind of ministry and the understanding that there is a demonic interference in our own personal affairs and in the affairs of the church, that many of the hindrances that we feel and sense are nothing more than spiritual attacks upon our lives. In part 2 in this series Pastor John is going to talk about the actual moving in to deliverance.
Satan is not playing a game he is playing a strategy to win the hearts of people. The need to bring deliverance and healing to the multitude of people caught up in these bondages is extremely great. Yet according to Pastor John, most ministers and churches of our day are not even open to meet this challenge or to meet the needs for deliverance that are there. There has to be deliverance available.
The Church is intended to be God’s particular tool, not only for evangelism, not only for causing the Church family to prosper, but to be a hope for the world that there are answers to these situations. Therefor it is time for the people of God, that means us, to become proficient at dealing with demonic forces.”
Jesus gave his disciples power to deal with the demonic. It was Jesus himself who initiated this ministry of deliverance. Not only did He drive out demons but also He empowered those that ministered with him and his trainees to also cast out demons.
Now it is clear from the Book of Acts that the Apostles were very much involved in, not only presenting a Gospel that would reach the mind and reach the heart, but a Gospel that would bring deliverance from every kind of opposition from Satan, every kind of demon activity. The testimony of the new Church was centered on its ability to drive out demons and to preach a Gospel of power.”
The forgiveness of our sins and the gift of righteousness have combined to make us a holy people. Satan’s power base was established through the authority of our sin and our rebellion against God. Satan has a right to attack us when we live in our disobedience and when we live in our sin. When Jesus became sin and gave himself for us He suffered the complete penalty and took the power of sin away from Satan. Jesus not only took our penalty and brought us forgiveness; He also delivered us from the power of sin. Jesus’ sacrifice and his victory eliminated Satan’s hold upon us.
When you fear a demon it’s because you are believing in him. Don’t believe in the demon. Don’t believe in the habit. Don’t believe in the bondage. Believe in God. Believe in a God who was able to take Jesus and raise him from the very pit and set him to the highest place. And God says that is the kind of power that’s available for your needs.”
In the first two parts of this series Pastor John spoke in regards to the difficulty we have in our day with the concept of a Christian demon possessed. Some of the things Pastor John will be talking about in the third part in this series are repetitions of things he has already covered. He does this because he says we have to understand that whenever he preaches to an audience like the one during this service, because there is not always continuity there will be some repetition of things but it is only so that we can put the message together as a whole.
In this part of the series Pastor John will be talking about the “Strong Man Principle” and how to be delivered and bringing deliverance into our homes through understanding this principle of spiritual warfare and authority.
The Kingdom of God is one rulership that moves against another. The Kingdom of God moves against the stronghold and the dominion that Satan puts upon people’s lives. According to Pastor John, binding the strongman is the central issue in bringing people out of Satan’s bondage and into the freedom of the Kingdom of God.
As long as Satan is allowed freedom and is allowed access to our lives and the lives of those we love it’ll be difficult to bring deliverance to them on many of the issues of their person, their personality, or their habits.”
The principle of binding the strongman is basic to any kind of deliverance. Understanding this principle alone will clear up so much of what happens when exorcism or casting out of the spirits takes place outside of the true power of the Spirit of God.
Pastor John believes it is very important when Christians know how to deal with spirits they also know how to encourage the people that they are dealing with this on how to fill their house with the principles and power of the Kingdom of God. It is so important for us to lead people into the fullness of the Holy Spirit that we would be filled with the Spirit and lead those that we are dealing with this into that experience. It is not enough just to cast demons out. It is very important that the house be filled.
The foundational principle to defeat Satan is to bring your will to Him and lay it at His feet and let Jesus be Lord. Let Him be Lord not in a part of your life, but Lord of all of your life.”
According to Pastor John in the Church as we know it has many people who’ve accepted and believed in Jesus Christ but live their lives are totally worldly. And so darkness comes back, the power of the Spirit has been removed, and the Church gets into arguments, fights, divisions and problems just like the world. The Church plays politics, games of power, money and influence. Why is that he asked? It’s because the minute you take authority back from the Lord Jesus and you begin to live your own way you move back under the sway of Satan in the Kingdom of Darkness.
How did James the Apostle say we fight Satan? He says to submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Our obedience and submission unto God is the first level of binding the strongman.
Thy will be done in me. And I need to say that over and over in my life every day. I need to say it every time I can remember it. Thy will be done oh God! Let this body do your will and let this mind think your thoughts. Let this heart pursue your goals, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. That’s how you bind the strongman, because when you’re obedient to God like Jesus said Satan cometh but he hath nothing in me. He has no place to hold, he has no foothold because I do the will of my Father.”
This is the fourth and final part in a study on Seeing in the Dark. Pastor John will be going through a few chapters from a book he is writing on the Kingdom of Darkness on how to see and understand it, how it works, and most importantly how to be delivered from it. The reason we are studying this is to show us how that Satan has strategized his world so that we will fall into his plot.
I myself don’t want to give him any time of the day or any of my energies or any of my resources. I want everything I am, all my time, all my opportunities to be given to establishing the Kingdom of God.”
The command of Paul to the Ephesian Christians is to prepare themselves for spiritual battle. He is saying their combat, their face-to-face encounter, their personal battles they are fighting are not battles with flesh and blood but it is against four realms of spiritual beings in the Kingdom of Darkness. The four realms of spiritual beings are rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world, and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
I believe the first realm deals with the human spirit, the second realm deals with the soul, the third realm deals with the mind, and the fourth realm deal with the emotions in the body what we would call the flesh.”
Satan is simply trying to dominate and affect every area of our human self: our spirits, our souls, our minds, and our emotions. Paul is also telling the Ephesians they must be careful to put on the Lord’s power and be strong in the Lord. Many of us are strong in lots of things but we are weak in our relationship with the Lord. This has to be strengthened and then we must put on His might power and full armor of God so we can stand against Satan.
In part 3 in this series Pastor John talked about the strongman principle found in Matthew 13 that if we are to deal with the house we need to deal with the strongman over the house by tying him up and rendering him useless. In order to do that we need to look at how the strongman works. In his final message in this series Pastor John talks about the characteristics of the various levels of the Kingdom of Darkness, how Jesus defeated them, and how we can defeat them.
Pastor John asks, how do we bind these strongmen. First, by refusing to go our own way. Pastor John wants us to understand the importance of the complete surrender to Jesus’ lordship. Secondly is our ambitions, desire, and motives. Jesus says to desire character, His righteousness, and to be ruled by God.
We need to look past that lie and say I don’t want to be orchestrated by Satan in any way. I don’t want Satan to have any control of my life, in my spirit or in my soul. I don’t want to be covetous. The only thing I want to covet is the will of God. I want to see His Kingdom come. I want to see the vision of this church accomplish. I want to see the souls and the people of this city challenge with the Gospel of Christ and I believe all of our efforts, all of our time, and all of our resources aught to be laid down through the Lord to accomplish that task.”