Introduction: Last week, ‘anointing breaks the yoke of bondage.’
Questions: So, what is the ‘anointing’ and what are ‘yokes.’ I will probably spend two weeks here.
Transition: Today, I address the yokes and burdens.
What are Yokes
What is Bondage(s)?
‘Slavery or involuntary servitude. The state of being bound or subjected to some external power or control.’
The most common use of the word foothold today is as a place or thing that will support a climber’s foot or as a secure starting position from which further advance can be made. In biblical Greek it can refer to a spot, place, location, room, home, position, tract, occasion, opportunity, locality, region, or condition.
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:26-27)
Another of Satan’s deceptive schemes is to establish strongholds in our mind. Look at what the Apostle Paul has to say about this:
“…though we live in the world we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
Galatians 5:19-21, ‘Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery1, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders1, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.’ (NKJ):
The differences between footholds and strongholds are subtle. But we can make this distinction. A foothold is based upon lies one believes that lead him/her into sin for which he/she remains unrepentant. Continuing to function in that sin gives Satan a place from which to advance against us—to gain more ground in our lives.
Demonology / Demon Possession /Deliverance
Question: Is demon possession possible? Does it exist?
Application: I heard a very well know and well-respected preacher, John McCarther say on the radio on Monday that there were no exorcisms in the bible and so they we not needed today…that the work of the cross handles all of that.
While the specific term “demon-possession” or “demon-possessed” is not used in Scripture, the Bible does speak of people “having a demon,” “demonized,” or demons entering into people and controlling their actions. For lack of a better term, we will use “demon-possession” to speak of these activities.
Demonization: It Does Happen
There are a number of accounts in Scripture where demons were driven out of people. For example, Matthew makes the following statement about the miracles of Jesus.
And the report of Him went forth into all Syria: and they brought unto Him all that were sick, with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, possessed with demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and He cured them (Matthew 4:24).
Jesus gave His disciples authority over demons when He sent them out to preach the kingdom of God.
Then Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness (Matthew 10:1).
The Book Of Acts
After Jesus ascended into heaven, the exorcism of demons continued through the ministry of His disciples. They were able to drive out demons through the authority of Jesus.
‘for unclean spirits, crying with loud shrieks, came out of many who were possessed; and many others who were paralyzed or lame were cured’. (Acts 8:7).
What points to the reality of a demonic presence would be the complete eclipse or changing of someone’s personality, speaking in unknown languages (still a criteria for the Catholic rite of exorcism), supernatural knowledge or abilities, animal behavior, and extreme profanity and blasphemy. The object here is to draw attention to the fact that such activities defy psychological explanations, and point to the reality of evil spirits.
There are also specific instances in the New Testament where a person was diagnosed as being demon-possessed.
Synagogue At Capernaum
Two of the four gospels relate the story of the demon-possessed man in a Capernaum synagogue (Mark 1:25-27; Luke 4:51-56). Jesus was teaching with authority in this synagogue when suddenly a demonic presence made itself known. Jesus exorcised the demon, causing amazement with Him, and His ability.
They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching – with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him” (Mark 1:27).
The Gadarene Demoniacs
Three out of the four gospels relay the story of the demoniac in Gadera that were healed of their demon possession (Matthew 8:28-34) (Mark 5:1-20) (Luke 8:26-39).
These two people were living among the tombs, cutting themselves, and causing fear to all who passed by. Jesus exorcised the demons out of these two individuals. The people saw the change.
They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid (Mark 5:15).
The Daughter Of The Gentile Woman
Two of the gospels tell the story of a Gentile woman who had a daughter who was demon-possessed (Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-50).
Jesus healed the daughter of this woman without being physically present.
Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is your faith: be it done unto you even as you will. And her daughter was healed from that hour (Matthew 15:28).
The Mute Man
Matthew records an account of a man healed from demon possession. This individual was both mute and demon-possessed (Matthew 9:32-34).
And when the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke: and the multitudes marveled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel (Matthew 9:33).
Mute, Blind, And Demon-Possessed
There is also the account of Jesus healing one demon-possessed who could not speak or see (Matthew 12:22-30; Mark 3:20-27; Luke 11:14-23).
Then they brought to Him a demoniac who was blind and mute; and He cured him, so that the one who had been mute could speak and see (Matthew 12:22).
This is the only specific New Testament example of a person who was blind, mute, and demon-possessed that was healed of all three ailments.
Slave Girl At Philippi
In the Book of Acts there is an account of a slave girl who was demon-possessed. The Apostle Paul cast the demon out of her.
But Paul, being very troubled, turned and said to the spirit, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And it came out that very hour (Acts 16:18).
The Demoniac Boy
Three of the four gospels tell the account of a boy who was demon possessed (Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 9:17 One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk (Mar 9:17 NLT)Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-42). Jesus cast the demon out of him.
After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand (Mark 9:26,27).
Terms used in this passage:
- Mute (speechless/dumb) spirit – 17 Mark 9:17 ‘One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk.’ (NLT)
- Unclean (foul) (in life and thought) spirit – 25 – spirit = essence of evil that is inhabiting.
Rebuked = order, command, adjust, censure (disapprove, condemn, castigate, punish)
- Deaf and Dumb spirit – 25
Conclusions About Demon Possession
From reading these accounts, as well as from other statements in the New Testament, we can make the following observations and conclusions about demon-possession.
- Demon-Possession Does Occur
Demon possession is a fact – demonic spirits can take hold and control an individual. There are a number of specific examples of it occurring, as well as general statements about its reality.
* It is interesting to note that those who volunteer to serve Satan–the fortunetellers, spiritists, witches, warlocks, and Satanists–are themselves consumed by Satan
* Mind altering substance abuse?
2. Possession Voluntary or Involuntary?
Some say both possible both ways. I disagree. There has to be some sort of either invitation or participation of demonic/occultic activity.
Can spirit-filled born-again Christians be possessed? No!
- They Don’t Necessarily Live Immoral Lives
Those who were possessed by demons were not all immoral people. Any unbeliever, whether they live a moral life or immoral life, can be possessed by a demon.
- May Or May Not Be Permanent
Demon possession can be only temporary. It is possible for the demon to leave and then return.
- Can Affect The Body
Those who are demon-possessed can have their body affected by the demon.
- Can Also Affect The Mind
It is also possible for the mind to be affected by one demon-possessed.
- There Can Be A Wide Variety Of Symptoms
There is not just one symptom of demon possession. We find a wide variety of symptoms of those who are possessed.
- When Someone Is Delivered It Is Immediate
Finally, when deliverance from demon-possession does come, it is immediate. There are no long periods of waiting for the demon to come out.
I. It can come instantaneously/miraculously.
II. It can only come from authority that Jesus himself has and deposits into those who have a genuine walk and relationship to him.
- Faith, Prayer, and Fasting plays a vital role.
Matthew 17:21; Mark 9:29
III. Maintained through Permanent and Consistent walk with the Lord.
- Time in Word
- Personal Prayer
- Prayer of Elders
Question: Are we ever ‘completely delivered?’ Of demonization where it exists/existed, yes! Of the flesh and our carnality no.
Of the flesh no. Sinful nature / works of the flesh will always be present and part of our struggle.
But the Bible says we are no longer slaves to sin. That through Christ the process of sanctification.
Conclusion: There are a lot of questions, positions and debate over where and how and if strongholds, footholds, demonology exists and why?
One thing I am 100% convinced of is that the ‘anointing of the Lord’ breaks ‘the yoke of bondage.