Tag: evil spirit

Confronting Evil Spirits

Scripture reading for May 8th:  1st Samuel 28-29, 1st Chronicles 9, Acts 19

Key Scriptures:  Acts 19:16-20  “And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.  And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks.  And fear fell upon them all, and the Name of the Lord Jesus was extolled.  Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices.  And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all.  And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.  So the Word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.”

The disciples of Jesus were performing many miracles of healing and deliverance from evil spirits in the Name of Jesus.  Certain Jewish exorcists tried to use the same “formula” and suffered a great beating by the possessed man.  This became widely known and brought conviction on many who brought their demonic materials to the apostles and they burned them up.  The stronghold of demonic activity was brought down by the Word of God and the Name of Jesus.

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Name and authority over evil spirits.  Help me to walk in faith and power to see Your Word increase and prevail in this region and time.  May I never seek help from evil spirits, but confront and overthrow them.

1st Samuel 28:7 “Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.”  And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a medium at En-dor.””

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Rejoice: God is just!

Scripture reading for March 9th:  Judges 9-12

Key Scriptures:  Judges 9:22-24  “After Abimelech had governed Israel three years, God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem, who acted treacherously against Abimelech.  God did this in order that the crime against Jerub-Baal’s (Gideon) seventy sons, the shedding of their blood, might be avenged on their brother Abimelech and on the citizens of Shechem who had helped him murder his brothers.”

God is just.  A man will reap what he has sowed.  Abimelech, the son of a Gideon and a prostitute from Shechem, wanted power and authority.  He used intimidation to gain power and murdered all but one of his half-brothers.  God allowed an evil spirit to bring about justice on these rebellious people.

Rejoice in God’s justice:  Under the New Covenant, Christ offers forgiveness to repentant sinners and commands His people to allow Him to bring justice!  “Do not repay anyone evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written:  “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.”  (Romans 12:17-19)

 

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The witch connection!

Scripture reading for March 25th: 1st Samuel 27-31

Saul, tormented by the evil spirit that came as a result of his rebellion, sought information about the future by disguising himself and going to visit a medium.  He had tried to seek the Lord first, but God didn’t speak through the priests or prophets. (1st Samuel 28:5-6)   He was terrified and desperate for direction.  He, himself, had banned all witches, mediums, and sorcerers from the land in accordance with the law.  But obedience to God was not a priority in his life.

Amazingly, God allowed the spirit of Samuel to be brought up from the dead through this medium.  Samuel spoke prophetically to King Saul one last time, pronouncing his coming death the next day. (1st Samuel 28:16-19)  Because of his rebellion, truth did not bring repentance.  True repentance must be sought while the Lord may be found!  (Psalm 32:6-7)

Saul and his sons died the next day.  Saul was wounded and asked his armor bearer to put him out of his misery.  The armor bearer was terrified and refused, so Saul fell on his own spear, taking his own life!  Even in his death, he took matters into his own hands! (1st Samuel 31:2-6)

Saul’s anointing by Samuel to become king was a wonderful opportunity to rule and lead under God’s guidance.  Saul’s disobedience to God’s clear instructions brought consequences that eventually lead to further rebellion and death.  Someone has said, “sin truly takes us further than we want to go, holds us longer that we want to stay, and exacts a price higher than we want to pay.”

If you are doing something in clear disobedience to the Word of God, take time right now to get down on your knees and ask the Lord for mercy!  God gives grace to the humble.  Repentance is more than just saying you are sorry, it is getting up to go a new direction of willing obedience! (2nd Corinthians 7:9-11)  “But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1st John 1:9)

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The Friendship connection!

Scripture reading for March 22rd: 1st Samuel 20-23

When I was in school, I had a “best friend” named Kendal.  He and I were in the same class at the same school from kindergarten until our junior year of high school.  Kendal was drafted into the Army and went to Vietnam.  I  had enlisted in the Iowa National Guard.  Kendal gave his life serving our country.  Best friends are hard to find, and even harder to loose!

David and Jonathan were best friends.  The Scripture records their love for each other and how their hearts were knit together.  (1st Samuel 18:1-4) Jonathan was Saul’s son and the probable heir to the throne of Israel.  David was a shepherd and musician who God had selected to be the next king of Israel.  God placed David in Saul’s court to prepare him for his kingship.  Jonathan recognized the favor of the Lord on David and was drawn to him.  They made a covenant that would bind them to help each other.

King Saul was jealous of David’s reputation and was afraid of David’s anointing.  He was insecure and tormented by an “evil spirit from the Lord”.  (1st Samuel 17:14, 23)  David played his harp and the evil spirit would leave for a time.  The evil spirit would return and sometimes turn murderous towards David.  Saul tried to kill him on several occasions and David was forced to flee.  Jonathan always tried to patch things up or help his friend.

Finally, David realized that King Saul was going to kill him.  Jonathan tried one more time to patch things up, but was himself attacked by his own father!  Jonathan sent David away with tears and reaffirmation of their friendship. (1st Samuel 20:41-42)  When he could, Jonathan would slip away and meet with David.  (1st Samuel 23:15-18)  Jonathan maintained friendship even when he knew his own father was out to kill his best friend.

We have such a friend as Jonathan in our Lord Jesus Christ!  He is faithful and true to us, even when the going gets rough!  He provides encouragement and shares his strength with us!  We can call on him at any time and he will come.  He will warn us of danger and help us to either face it or escape.  He is benevolent and can be trusted to do us good all of our lives!  (John 15:15-17)  He will never leave us!

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The “Witch” way to trouble!

Scripture reading for March 24th: 1st Samuel 27-31

Our world is full of curious people and many would like to know what tomorrow holds for them.  If they had that information,  they could get rich, save themselves from disaster, or control the world.  But God warns us not to seek any source other than Him for information about the future! (Leviticus 19:31)  When we do, we risk deception and death!

Saul, under torment by an evil spirit, sought information about the future by disguising himself and going to visit a medium.  He had tried to seek the Lord first, but God didn’t speak through the priests or prophets. (1st Samuel 28:5-6)   Earlier he had banned all witches, mediums, and sorcerers from the land in accordance with the law of God but now sought out one for his own use.  He had a habit of partial obedience that was a fatal flaw in his character!

God allowed the spirit of Samuel to be brought up from the dead through this medium.  Samuel spoke prophetically to King Saul one last time, pronouncing his coming death the next day. (1st Samuel 28:16-19)  Saul was in rebellion and under God’s judgment and found truth hard to face.   True to the word of Samuel, Saul and his sons died the next day.  Saul was wounded and asked his armor bearer to take his life.  The armor bearer was terrified and refused, so Saul fell on his own spear!  Even in his death, he took matters into his own hands! (1st Samuel 31:2-6)

The life and death of this first king of Israel has much to teach us.  Saul’s anointing by Samuel was a wonderful opportunity to rule and lead under God’s guidance.  Saul’s choice to disobey God’s instructions brought consequences that eventually lead to his death.  Someone has said, “sin truly takes us further than we want to go, holds us longer that we want to stay, and exacts a price higher than we want to pay”.

Examine yourself right now.  If you are doing something in clear disobedience to the Word of God, take time to get down on your knees and repent!   Repentance is more than just saying you are sorry, it turning to a new direction of obedience by faith! (2nd Corinthians 7:9-11)  Continuing in disobedience is rebellion. Rebellion is like the sin of divination and leads to trouble and death!  (1st Samuel 15:23)

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Come out!

Scripture reading for February 27th: Mark 9:1-29, Psalms 43:1-5, Proverbs 10:18

Jesus was a man who spoke with authority and was not afraid to rebuke demons or His own disciples!  Mark records an incident in which a man had brought his son to the disciples.  The son had an evil spirit that often tried to kill the boy by throwing his systems into symptoms of a seizure or stroke.  The disciples tried to cast the spirit out but were unsuccessful. (Mark 9:17-18)

“O unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you?  How long shall I put up with you?  Bring the boy to Me.” (Mark 9:19)  Jesus rebuked the people and especially the disciples for their unbelief.  Jesus had demonstrated their authority to cast out demons and they had been sent out and also had experienced people getting delivered.  (Mark 6:7, 12-13)  The problem was not with the evil spirit, but with those who should have had faith to see it leave!

When the boy’s father brought his son to Jesus, he asked Jesus to help him if He could.  “If you can?” said Jesus.  “Everything is possible for him who believes.”  “Immediately the boys father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”” Jesus again corrected the father’s doubting request with a question.   “If” is a word indicating doubt, not faith in the possibility!  According to Jesus, there is nothing that is not possible for the person who will believe!  This man cried out spontaneously for help with dealing with the unbelief!  This was an honest prayer and Jesus answered by rebuking the spirit in the boy.  “You deaf and mute spirit,” He said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” (Mark 9:25b)

When they left this family, the disciples wanted to know from Jesus why they could not drive out the demon.
“He replied, “This kind can only come out by prayer.”‘ (Mark 9:29)  Some manuscripts added “fasting” after the prayer.  Our power comes only from God through faith in Him and His ability to do anything.  These disciples were encouraged to focus on prayer as they dealt with situations like this.  Only prayer will drive out unbelief and enable us to successfully confront Satan’s power.

Take some time to pray today for help with driving out your unbelief.  Jesus wants His disciples to walk in authority and power that comes through faith in God!  (Mark 11:22-24)

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Abimelech, the self-appointed leader!

Scripture reading for March 12: Judges 9-12

All authority come from God and the Bible declares that God places people in authority. (Psalm 75:6-7)  When God places someone in authority, His anointing and counsel guide that person.  The person must stay under God’s anointing and follow His directions closely.  As we have observed the various leaders so far in Scripture, we see how God has placed them where He wanted them and used them as they followed Him.

For example, Gideon was a man placed by God in a position of leadership.  Gideon interacted with God to be certain of what to do and how to do it.  He certainly was not perfect and made some glaring mistakes, but brought peace to the land for a period of time.  He had 71 sons and a large family.  When Gideon passed away, a leadership crisis arose.  The Israelites went back to idol worship and one of Gideon’s sons sought to take over.

Abimelech arose to take over his father’s place.  Abimelech was the son of a slave girl.  He had 70 brothers who were produced through his father by other mothers.  He went to his mother’s town and relatives and proposed to take over leadership.  They paid him some money from an idol temple and he hired mercenary soldiers. They then killed 69 of his seventy brothers.  Jotham, the youngest, was the only one who escaped.  Jotham spoke a word of prophesy from Mt. Gerazim at Abimelech’s coronation ceremony then quickly escaped.  He basically pronounced a judgment on Abimelech’s leadership and those who followed. (Judges 9:7-21)

The Scriptures state that God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem.  God did this to avenge the shedding of innocent blood of the seventy brothers.  Abimelech and the citizens of Schechem had conspired to commit that murder and now they would become enemies themselves!  (Judges 9:22-24)  This evil spirit would destroy them both and was God’s judgment on a self-appointed leader and those who joined with him in rebellion!

What can we learn from this today?  God does place people in leadership for our good, protection, and blessing.  When a leader follows the Lord, the people and leader are blessed.  When someone tries to place themselves in leadership by his own power, craftiness, or manipulation, then both the leader and those who scheme with him come under God’s judgment!  We must be vigilant today in our country.  Politics and media are always at work trying to manipulate people.  Politicians use religion and try to destroy their rivals.  In the workplace, people scheme and plot to get advantage.  In the church at times, people seek to appoint themselves.  Beware– God’s judgment will come on those who appoint themselves!

Shechem’s punishment: “So all the men cut branches and followed Abimelech.  They piled them against the stronghold and set it on fire over the people inside.  So all the people in the tower of Shechem, about a thousand men and women, also died.” (Judges 9:49)

Abimelech’s punishment: “Abimelech went to the tower and stormed it.  But as he approached the entrance to the tower to set it on fire, a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull. Abimelech had his armor-bearer kill him so he did not die at the hands of a woman.

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