Points to Take Into Consideration Before Engaging in Spiritual Welfare Effectively
If you have any old Pentecostal up bringing, you definitely have heard about spiritual welfare, fighting the devil, fighting demons, taking authority and so on. The reality is that many times we just don’t know what we are talking about. We out there looking for spiritual fights, but many times, not even realizing that we are getting out butts whip. We cast out demons publicly while privately we let them entertain us with R rated movies, pornography and all kind of secret sins.
When involved in spiritual welfare you have to 1) be saved. If you are not saved, you still belong to the devil; he is the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4). 2) you must have authority. Second Corinthians 10:6 gives us one of the most powerful tools in spiritual welfare, “being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” (ESV) So first step? Let us work on our basic obedience. Wives respect your husbands, husbands love your wife, young man honor your parents, man and woman of God stop all that gossip and be obedient to your supervisors, pray for our leaders and lest bear some fruit, shall we? 3) Even more importantly, you must understand that, that kind of authority comes from Jesus, NOT FROM YOU! Acts 19:13-16 tells us,
Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. (NIV)
Did you see what happen here? Seven men against one man; but because that one man was demon-possessed; he had supernatural powers. The Bible tells us that one man gave these seven men “…such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.” That takes us to point number 4) casting out demons cannot be done in our strength or in the strength of our flesh, our knowledge, education, physical abilities or how loud we yell. Our flesh does not have a chance when facing demons.
So how do we engage in spiritual welfare? Well, let’s do a little summary of the enemies we have identified in this series. Who are our enemies,
- The Devil (He is the leader of all evil)
- The fallen angels (Genesis 6) I am not sure what is the role of these fallen angels or if they deal with us directly. I know that some of those fallen angels are in the Abyss that we spoke about previously and they will be release at the end of the Millennium. They will attempt to fight God one last time, but you know how that’s going to go.
- The Nephilim were genetically and spiritually corrupt creatures who were the result of the fallen angels having sex with the women. Genesis 6 introduced us to them. Jude gives us the impression that they are amongst us (Jude 1:3-4), but it is obvious that they no longer look like giants; they look like normal humans. It is not surprising to me that Satan will continue to duplicate the iniquity of Genesis 6.
- The gods who rebelled against God (Psalm 82). These are the gods whom God placed in charge of the nations of the world (Genesis 10) according to Deuteronomy 32. These gods are the principalities Paul speaks about in Ephesians 6:12. These principalities or gods are over regions.
- And then we have demons; as I discussed before, these are the spirits of the dead Nephilim. Demons have an advantage over the rest of the demonic realm in that demons know us more intimate. They know how to walk in our bodies; they know what we feel, how we think and so on. Do you find it a coincidence that Jesus also came to us through the womb of a woman just like the Nephilim did? Something to think about!
Now, as it relates to spiritual welfare, we are not told in the Bible to rebuke the devil, we are told to resist him. But again, let’s not forget the important point about obedience; James 4:7 tells us, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (NIV) Our submission to God is first and foremost. Let’s learn some more about spiritual welfare with Jude,
In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. 9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them. Jude 1:8-10 (NIV)
Jude 1:8 is talking about the homosexuals in Sodom when they wanted to have sex with the angels in Genesis 19; there we see Genesis 6 in reverse. Notice that in verse 8 the Bible uses Archangel Michael as an example, because even as powerful as he was, he did not rebuke the devil when fighting for Moses’ soul. Michael understood his place and that his authority came from God, “The Lord rebuke you!”. The word Rebuke means to punish and to charge… Only God has that power! Verse 10 is describing these ungodly people in the church who slander each other; they are compared with those homosexuals in Genesis 19. So, in Spiritual welfare we do not rebuke the devil, we submit to God and we say like Michael, “The Lord rebuke you.” We love to say “I rebuke you Satan in the name of Jesus”, but it is not biblical… that is not our job.
There is nothing in the bible about us going against the gods or principalities of this world. Again, when Jesus taught the disciples how to pray, he told them to say “…deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:13 (ESV) It is God’s job to deliver us from evil. But Jesus did give us one green light to fight the evil realm. In our next article we are going to learn what the Bible has to say about casting out demons.
To be continue…