House of the Righteous
Demons / Evil Spirits
 
The Ignorance of Christians and the Church
 

Truth of every kind makes free, while lies bind up in bonds. Ignorance also binds up, because it gives ground to Satan. Man's ignorance is a primary and essential condition for deception by evil spirits. The ignorance of the people of God concerning the powers of darkness, has made it easy for the devil to carry out his work as deceiver. Unfallen man in his pure state was not perfect in knowledge. Eve was ignorant of "good and evil," and her ignorance was a condition which lent itself to the deception of the serpent.(2)

The devil's great purpose, and for which he fights, is to keep the world in ignorance of himself, his ways, and his colleagues, and the Church is taking sides with him when siding with ignorance about him. Every man should keep an attitude of openness to all truth, and shun the false knowledge which has slain its tens of thousands, and kept the nations in the deception of the devil.(2)

Through lack of knowledge, the majority of even the most spiritual people, do not carry out a full and perpetual war upon this army of wicked spirits; and many are shrinking from the subject, and the call to war against them, saying that if Christ is preached it is not necessary to give prominence to the existence of the devil, nor to enter into direct conflict with him, and his hosts. Yet large numbers of the children of God are becoming a prey to the enemy for lack of this very knowledge, and through the silence of teachers on this vital truth, the Church of Christ is passing on into the peril of the closing days of the age, unprepared to meet the onslaught of the foe. (2)

Source: War On The Saints, by Jessie Penn-Lewis

 
Their Character
 
In general evil spirits are looked upon as bad influences on human beings and not as intelligent creatures. However, they are distinct intelligences with personality and difference in character, evidenced by:
* The Lord's command of them
Mark 1:25  
Mark 3:11-12  
Mark 5:8  
Mark 9:25  
* Their power of speech
Mark 3:11  
* Their replies to Him, couched in intelligent language
Matthew 8:29  
* Their emotions of fear
Luke 8:31  
* Their definite expression of desire
Matthew 8:31  
* Their need for a dwelling place of rest
Matthew 12:43  
* Their intelligent power of decisiom
Matthew: 12:44  
* Their power of agreement with other spirits and their degree of wickedness
Matthew 12:45  
* Their power of rage
Matthew 8:28  
* Their strength
Mark 5:4  
* Their use of a human being as their medium for divination, foretelling
Acts 16:16  
* Their use of humans for miracle-working
Acts 8:11  
 
Even believers can yield to evil spirits
 
Examples in the Bible:
 
* Saul When Saul became jealous over David, the jealousy opened the door to an evil spirit that, from time to time, tormented Saul (1 Samuel 16:14; 18:10; 19:9). Saul made 21 attempts on David's life and became the tool through which this evil entity worked. (3)
* Peter Peter once rebuked Christ, telling Him that He would not have to suffer. Jesus said, 'Get thee behind me Satan" (Matthew 16:23). Peter was not Satan, but was speaking contrary to the divine will of God. (3)
* Ananias and Sapphira Ananias and Sapphira were members of the early church and were told that Satan had filled their hearts to lie to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3). (3)
 
Our spirit is born again, but our mind must continually be renewed (Ephesians 4:23). Otherwise, our carnal minds could yield to the fiery darts of the enemy, and we could play into the plans of the adversary. (3)

 

When we fall prey to gossip, slander, jealousy, personal opinion and other ungodly attitudes, we open a door for evil spirits to enter and inject suggestions into our carnal minds, causing us to sin and creating spiraling havoc in our relationships and circumstances.

 
Paul was pestered by a hindering spirit
 

The Scriptures are filled with examples of men and women who overcame extreme adversity as they ran the race of faith.

Hebrews chapter 11, often called the hall of faith, lists the names of faithful saints of old whose determination and commitment to God was stronger than all opposition. But no man in Scriptures understood the struggle of dealing with a hindering spirit more than the Apostle Paul did. The spirit assigned to him became a thorn in the flesh. (3)

 
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
 
"thorn in the flesh"
 
In trying to ascertain what Paul meant with "thorn in the flesh", many scholars have taught that Paul had a physical ailment and other that it was a person ("pain in the neck") that bothered him. Many scholars teach that Paul suffered from an eye disease and found it difficult to write his epistles while in prison. Paul was blinded on the road to Damascus but he was healed when Ananias prayed for him (Acts 9:17). Other scholars teach that Paul's thorn was his height, or that he was hunchbacked, but he would not have been allowed to be a Pharisee if he was hunchbacked or a dwarf (Leviticus 21:20). Then there are some scholars who teach that Paul may have had an unconverted wife that was a thorn in the flesh. It is possible that Paul may have had a wife at one time since he was a Pharisee but, years later, when he wrote 1 Corinthians 7:8, he was unmarried.
 
"messenger of Satan"
 
The Greek word translated as messenger always refers to someone who is sent and denotes a definite personality.
 
Greek Word (Strongs # 32) Phonetic Spelling Definition:
Aggelos
"ang'-el-os"

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"angel"; "messenger"; "envoy";
"one who is sent"
 
The word is used 186 times in Scriptures. In most instances in Scriptures, the word "aggelos" is translated as "angel" (179 times). The other seven times the word "agelos" is translated as "messenger". The word "aggelos" usually refers to an angel sent by God, but Paul states that h's messenger was an angel of Satan.
 
 
"buffet"
 
Greek Word (Strongs # 2852) Phonetic Spelling Definition:
Kolaphizo
"kol-af-id'-zo"

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"to strike with the fist"; "give a blow with the fist"; "to maltreat"; "treat with violence and contumely"
 
One might picture a man in a ring boxing with an opponent, continually clipping him with a blow strong enough to knock him off balance. Paul was basically saying, "When I think I am standing up and doing well, I am suddenly knocked down again. I pick myself up and think I am making progress, when suddenly I am hit again." (3)
 

Paul's thorn in the flesh was a wicked spirit or angel sent by Satan. It was assigned to Paul for one reason - to stop the Word from being preached. Wherever Paul went, the messenger of Satan worked to incite the people against him. All the persecutions that Paul suffered were Satan's attempt to steal the Word from him (Mark 4:14-20). (4)

Satan will see to it that no believer is exalted above the measure of the Word that actually lives in him. The Word that is alive in your heart is the word on which you steadfastly act. You will have to stand in faith for every word of revelation knowledge you receive. (4)

 
 
The Trials and Difficulties Paul suffered
 
In 2 Corinthians chapter 11, prior to Paul revealing thsi thorn in the flesh, he listed a series of obstacles he consistently encountered that slowed his ministry and caused him great pain, both physically and emotionally. (3)
 

Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more:
in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.
From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.
Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked;
a night and a day I have been in the deep;
in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen,
in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea,
in
perils among false brethren;
in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst,
in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—
besides the other things, what comes upon me daily:
my deep concern for all the churches.
~ 2 Corinthians 11:23-28

 
The list includes 22 different trials and difficulties Paul encountered during his ministry. No apostle in the New Testament had a list like this! The Book of Acts gives the direct references to many of Paul's attacks and hindrances he experienced (3):
 
Acts 9 His life was threatened and he escaped over the wall in a basket.
Acts 13 The Jews rejected Paul's message and he was accused of blasphemy.
Acts 14 Paul was dragged outside the city of Lystria and stoned.
Acts 15 A strong contention arose between Paul and Barnabus that caused division.
Acts 16 Paul and Silas were arrested, beaten, and placed in prison.
Acts 17 Paul's preaching caused an uproar at Thessalonica.
Acts 18 Paul's message was rejected at Corinth. He was arrested and stood trial.
Acts 19 A riot broke out at Ephesus after idol worshippers were converted to Christ.
Acts 21 A riot broke out in the city and Paul was arrested.
Acts 22 Paul had to go to court for preaching the Gospel.
Acts 23 A group of zealous religious Jews sought to kill Paul.
Acts 27 While on his way to Rome, Paul was in a severe shipwreck, yet survived.
Acts 28 Paul was bitten by a deadly viper, yet miraculously survived.
 
 
 
 

When Paul asked the Lord to make this messenger of Satan depart from him, the Lord said, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness". He did not say that the messenger would not depart. He was saying to Paul, "My favor is enough. For when you do not have the ability to humanly overcome, you have My Name to stop Satan's attack and cast out the devil." (4)

The Greek word dunamis, which is translated strength in this verse, can also be translated as power. We get our English words dynamite and dynamo from it. It is the same word Jesus used in Acts 1:8 when He said, "Ye shall receive power [dunamis], after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you." Weymouth'stranslation of 2 Corinthians 12:9 reads, "My grace suffices for you, for power is perfected in weakness" (The New Testament in Modern Speech). This is the opposite of the traditional teaching that Paul had no victory over the thorn in the flesh. (4)

Satan's angel, the thorn in the flesh, could gain no victory over Paul through adverse circumstances because the power of Christ rested on him. "I have learned in any and all circumstances, the secret of facing every situation..." (Philippians 4:12, The Amplified Bible). He revealed this secret in the next verse: "I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me - I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me." (4)

When Paul in himself was weak, Paul in Christ was strong. Satan's angel, the thorn in the flesh that we have heard so much about, never did overcome Paul and the power of God. Satan could do no more than irritate or annoy him like a thorn in his flesh - a temporary discomfort which could be removed. Paul was a covenant man; he ran the race and won. He knew his authority as a believer. He knew the shield of faith would quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (Ephesians 6:16). When he began using his faith, the Lord was able to deliver him out of all the afflictions and persecutions (II Timothy 3:10-11). (4)

 
 
SOURCE:
 

1. Scripture taken from the New King James Version (NKJV). Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2. Penn-Lewis, Jessie. War On The Sains. World Wide Web Edition. 1912

3. Stone Jr., Perry. Dealing With Hindering Spirits - When the warfare turns supernatural. Cleveland, Tennessee: Pressworks, 2002

4. Copeland Jr., Kenneth. What About Paul's Thorn In The Flesh? Kenneth Copeland Ministries: Septermber 16, 2010. http://www.kcm.org/real-help/article/what-about-pauls-thorn-flesh

 

 
  Dealing With Hindering Spirits
- When The Warfare
Turns Supernatural

by Perry Stone
 
 
 

 

 
Books
 
War on the Saints
by Jessie Penn-Lewis

FREE VERSION

Unabridged 1912 edition, freely available in the public domain.

In pdf format (www.apostacynow.com)
... or ...
Read the online version (Jesus is Lord Ministries - Bill Carrigan)

   
Blumhardt's Battle: A Conflict with Satan
by Johann Christoff Blumhardt
Edited version

In pdf format (David K. Eames)
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 


 
Notes
 
They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
~ Titus 1:16
People may doubt what you say,
but they will believe what you do. 
~ Lewis Cass
 
   
   

 
Sourced Notes
 
Source:

 
Books
 
War on the Saints, by Jessie Penn-Lewis In pdf format (www.apostacynow.com)
Unabridged 1912 edition, freely available in the public domain.
   

 
Bibliography
1. Scripture taken from the New King James Version (NKJV). Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
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