Cast Out Demons

Healing part 4 – God’s Will and Your Authority (Audio)

 

Title:  Healing part 4 – God’s Will and Your Authority

Subject Matter:  This is the fourth part of a series on healing.  We looked and different ways to think about God’s will, and how we can agree or disagree with His will in order to see it happen in our lives.  We had a lot of questions and comments, and there was also a significant amount of ministry time that took place during this class.  In order to respect the privacy of some of the people involved, I edited out portions of the recording.

Speakers:  Neal Leazer

Recorded September 9, 2015 at Spirit Filled LivingHope Chapel, Apex NC

You can download the audio by right-clicking on the following link:  Healing part 4 – Gods Will and Your Authority

Healing part 3 – Authority and Demons (Audio)

 

Title:  Healing part 3 – Authority and Demons

Subject Matter:  This is the third part of a series on healing.  Sometimes sickness and other issues can be the result of demonic influence.  In this class we talked about how to stand your ground against the enemy by using the authority given to you by Jesus.

Speakers:  Neal Leazer

Recorded August 26, 2015 at Spirit Filled LivingHope Chapel, Apex NC

You can download the audio by right-clicking on the following link:  Healing Part 3 – Authority and Demons

Overcoming the Enemy (Audio)

 

Title:  Overcoming the Enemy

Subject Matter:  Some strategies for taking your thoughts captive, and avoiding the traps of the enemy.

Speakers:  Neal Leazer with guest Bill Alsop

Recorded March 11, 2015 at Spirit Filled LivingHope Chapel, Apex NC

You can download the audio by right-clicking on the following link:  Overcoming the Enemy

Authority Over All Power of the Enemy (Audio)

 

Title:  Authority Over All Power of the Enemy

Subject Matter:  Learning about the authority that God the Father gave to His children in the area of spiritual warfare

Speakers:  Neal Leazer

Recorded March 4, 2015 at Spirit Filled LivingHope Chapel, Apex NC

You can download the audio by right-clicking on the following link:  Authority Over All Power of the Enemy

An Army Analogy

In this post, I am writing an analogy that I use sometimes when I teach about the the Kingdom of God.  Just like all analogies, it is imperfect.  But it seems to help people understand how some spiritual principles come together, and it also seems to get people fired up.  It is inspired by a post I read several years ago on a blog that no longer seems to be active.  This army analogy is basically my remake of a portion of that post.

Two Nations at War

Imagine that you are a soldier in the midst of a war that began before you were born.  You heard about the war as a teenager, and you decided to enlist.    You were provided with a training manual and you were told to read it.  You were also instructed to attend training once a week for 90 minutes on Sunday mornings.

In the manual, you read that your army has weaponry that is capable of overwhelming the soldiers in the enemy army.  The more you read it, the more excited you become.

However, in your training session each week, you are never taught about your weapons, or about how to fight your enemy.  Instead, you are taught how to be nice to people, so that the general in your army won’t become angry with you.  Your general, it seems, is very angry with just about everyone.

You are also taught that sometimes the general wants you to win, and sometimes he wants you to lose.  Sometimes he wants you to die in an accident, or get sick, or maybe he wants your children to get sick.  You are taught that your general somehow becomes famous when his soldiers get defeated, or run out of supplies, or run into misfortune.

This doesn’t seem to make sense to you.  It seems very odd that a general engaged in a war would want to bring harm to his own soldiers.  However, you quickly learn that it is viewed as inappropriate, or possibly even treasonous, to question the validity of the things you are hearing.

Any time that you start asking questions about the manual, everyone around you tells you that the amazing weapons you read about in there are no longer available because they are no longer needed.  The way that the battles are fought now is that you allow the enemy to attack you, and then you attempt to send messages to the general.  If he wants you to win, then he will come and fight the enemy for you.  And if he wants you to lose, then your job is to just take a beating for the glory of your general and his mysterious strategies.  But He won’t tell you which one…you are left to figure that out on your own.

You are taught that you should never expect any communication from the general, outside of reading the manual.  This is because during the early days of your time in army, you were also taught that the general stopped communicating a long time ago when the manual was written.

In spite of this fact, you were also told to always send letters to the general every day.  In your letters, you need to tell him about all of your mistakes, and how helpless you are, how you can’t do anything.  You are also allow to ask for patience and endurance so that you can possibly survive somehow.  But you should never expect to receive a personal response.  You can just hope that he is in a good mood when he reads your letters, and that he doesn’t send any harm your way.

From the people you talk to, it seems that the main goal of a soldier is to study and acquire knowledge.  It is especially important that you study all of the instructions in the manual.  You need to memorize them and study them and talk about them with other soldiers…and so on.  But you find this puzzling, because according to everyone around you, a lot of the stuff in the manual is no longer available or applicable.

You continue on like this for some time, but something is always bothering you about all of it.  Something just doesn’t seem right.  This is not what you were expecting when you enlisted.  Your time in the army basically consists of listening to people talk and give lectures, and reading books about different ways to stay on the good side of the general.

There is more

But then one day you hear about some other soldiers.  There are actually soldiers out there that train more than 90 minutes per week on Sundays.  They train every day!  And not only that, but they also seem to be having some success in their battles, which is very unusual based on everything you have been learning.

You become very curious.  The excitement that you felt long ago at the time of your enlistment begins to bubble up inside of you.

You begin researching these soldiers.  It seems that they are frowned upon by most of the people around you…especially the really smart people that give the lectures and write the books.  But you keep on digging anyway.

You begin to learn some interesting things about these soldiers.  First of all, they claim to receive communication and instruction from the general on a daily basis.  Actually, it seems like they depend on it. The communications and instructions are very instrumental in winning their battles.

Secondly, they have found some of the weapons mentioned in the manual and have started learning to use them.  Since there is hardly anyone around that has experience with the weapons, the soldiers make a lot of mistakes, and sometimes there are accidents and people are harmed.

But these soldiers don’t give up.  They keep learning, practicing, and training.  They begin to see some victories in their battles, in spite of all of the obstacles and mistakes and setbacks.

The people around you keep telling you to stop your research.  They have many bad things to say about these soldiers you are researching.  They call them ignorant or reckless, or even accuse them of working for the enemy (even though they are winning more battles than anyone around you ever has).

You finally get the nerve to contact these “rogue” soldiers and attend one of their training sessions.  They explain to you that all of the weapons and equipment from the manual are still just as effective as ever, and they help you lots of ways.  So you ask them where you can find some of these weapons.  To your surprise, they show you that they are right there in your backpack that you received shortly after you enlisted.

The soldiers show you enough to help you get started, but they say the best training is on the battlefield, not in the classroom.  They don’t know how to use all of the stuff in the backpack, but they are learning more and more every day.

They show you how to use your walkie talkie that allows two-way communication with headquarters, rather than just sending letters and leaving voicemails with no response.  You also learn that you don’t have to go through a commanding officer…you have a direct line.   And in fact, you don’t even have a commanding officer among these soldiers.  Instead, other soldiers provide you with training in areas of their expertise, with the goal of showing you how to win.

Good News

Then the soldiers tell you something that makes you extremely happy and extremely sad at the same time.  They tell you that the general is not the way that you were taught.  The general always wants his soldiers to win every battle.  He provides plenty of supplies for everyone, but almost nobody takes advantage of it.

You learn that the enemy has been sending in spies to bring deception and tell lies about the general.  The spies are the ones that bring injuries and diseases and steal your food and your supplies, and then they blame it on “the general’s mysterious strategy.”  In this way, they have been able to continually attack without any resistance.  But you decide that is not going to happen any more.

You go back to your training manual that you have been reading and studying all these years, and it seems like it is brand new all over again.  Now, it really does read more like an instruction manual than a history book.  You begin training in a new way.  You still read and study, but now you go out and use the tools and weapons according to the manual, and you take the battle to the enemy rather than waiting on him to attack you.

You begin to experience some victories, and also some defeats.  You learn more each day, and become more and more effective.  You find out about new pieces of equipment, and you also start recruiting others to come and join you.  Your days become less about listening to lectures and reading books, and more about learning to communicate with the general, putting your manual and your weapons to good use, and defeating the enemy.

So what now

This is where the analogy ends, and real life begins.  I hope this inspires you to seek the truth, even if it means letting go of some long-held traditions.  God, our “general” is not distant and irritable.  He is present, loving, gracious, kind, and generous.  He has already given you all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), and He is ready and willing to work with you to continue the mission of Jesus…namely healing and rescuing all that are oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38).  The battle is already won, but we get to enforce the victory.  Learn how to cooperate with God and use the tools and power that He has given you.  If this is new information to you, would suggest taking a look at any of these posts next:

How Jesus Did Miracles

Introduction to the Baptism with the Holy Spirit

Understanding God’s Will

Healing is in God’s Character and Nature

Our Position of Authority over Demons

 

Angels and Demons 2 (Audio)

 

Title:  Angels and Demons 2

Subject Matter:  Some general information on angels and demons, and some practical information on dealing with demons.

Speaker:  Neal Leazer

Recorded December 10, 2014 at Spirit Filled LivingHope Chapel, Apex NC

You can download the audio by right-clicking on the following link: Angels and Demons

 

Our Position of Authority Over Demons

I am writing this post to explain something that is very plain and easy to see in the Bible, but seems to be absent from the understanding of many Christians I come in contact with.

According to the Bible, every Christian has absolute authority over every demon, and the devil himself.  And as we will see, this authority is a gift.  It is not the result of hard work, study, holy living, devotion, prayer, fasting, or any other religious activity.

We are going to look at some passages from Ephesians 1 and 2.  Paul, the writer of Ephesians, explains this authority by first showing us the authority of Jesus, and then showing how that relates to us as believers.

Looking to Jesus

Our first passage comes as part of a very long paragraph, and it is difficult to break into the middle of it, so I am going to quote the whole thing here.  Our focus in this passage will be on the later verses.

Ephesians 1:15-21

15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,

16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:

17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,

18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power

20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

Notice that it says in verses 20 and 21 that Jesus has been seated at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly places.  Notice also that this is a position that is  far above all “principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.”

Paul uses the words “principalities and powers” (and so on) to describe demons and evil spirits.  He uses this same terminology later in this same letter when he says this:

Ephesians 6:12 – For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

So, going back to Ephesians 1:20-21, Paul is showing us that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, and He is far above every evil spirit or demon or fallen angel or any other evil spiritual being that exists.

In a kingdom, being seated at the right hand of the king is the highest position that is available.  There is no higher rank than this.  And since the the Kingdom of God is the greatest Kingdom, and since there is no authority in existence that is higher than God the Father, then we know that being seated at His right is to be in a place of unmatched authority.  Jesus is in this place of authority at the Father’s right hand.  Jesus has absolute, unconditional authority over all demons.

But, that was just for Jesus, right?

Please keep the previous information in mind as we continue reading in Ephesians.  And please pay very close attention here.  What you are about to read is so amazing that it is almost hard to believe.

I am going to quote the next  part of the passage here, and we will skip to the end and work our way back.

Ephesians 1:22-2:6

22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,

23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

2:1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,

2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,

3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus

Take a very close look at the last verse above.  Ephesians 2:6.  I want to show it in several different translations, so that you can see what it is saying.

NET – and he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
NIV – And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
NASB – and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
NLT – For he raised us from the dead along with Christ, and we are seated with him in the heavenly realms––all because we are one with Christ Jesus.
NRSV – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
NKJV – and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

God the Father has seated us at His right hand, in the same seat of authority that Jesus occupies (we are with Christ and we are also in Christ).  This is a place that is far above every demon, every fallen angel, every evil spirit, and even the devil himself.   It is the same seat of authority mentioned in the passage that we looked at earlier.

God has chosen to give us, His beloved children, a level of authority in the spirit realm that is above every other created being.

Also, please notice the tense of the verbs.  This is not something that will take place in the future.  The verbs are in the past tense.  It doesn’t say that we will be seated, is says we have already been seated.  This is something that has already happened.  We, as followers of Christ, have already been given authority that is far above the enemy.

Take a moment and let this sink it.  If you have never seen this before, it make take a while.  It is a staggering truth to comprehend.  We have absolute, unconditional authority over all demons.  We are in a position that is far above them.  We are above even the most powerful and highest ranking forces of evil.  This explicitly includes principalities, powers, and every name that is named.

To further emphasize this truth, read Ephesians 1:22-23 again.  It says “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

All things are under the feet of Jesus.  Jesus is the head of the church.  The church is His body.   The feet are part of the body.  All things are under His feet, so all things are under His body…so all things are under the Church.  The picture that God wants us to see is that every demon is under our feet.  We have authority over all demons.

If you believe the Bible, then you need to believe this, because it is in the Bible, and it is true.  It is true whether or not you realize it, whether or not you believe it.  If you will choose to believe it, then you can and will begin enjoying the benefits of it.

A Free Gift from a Loving Father

Authority over the devil and demons is not something that we should be working towards.  It is not a goal or a target.  It is a fact that is true right now.  It is already so.   We don’t have to work for it, it was given to us as a gift.  God gave it to us “because of His great love for us” (Eph 2:4), not because of our hard work and holy living.

When you chose to put your faith in Jesus, several things happened.  You were declared righteous and holy by God the Father (Romans 5:1).  You were spiritually born again (John 3:5-8) into the family of God (John 1:12).  You were given citizenship with full rights into the Kingdom of God (Eph 2:19).  And you were placed into a seat/position of authority that is higher than every other created being (Eph 2:6).

All of this took place the instant you believed.  It was all an act of unmerited goodwill (grace) from your heavenly Father.  You did not work to earn any of it.  It came as a result of faith in Jesus, “not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph 2:8).

It was given as a free gift, totally apart from your own goodness or merit.  Like I said before, you did not earn your place with God by working hard, reading your bible, fasting, praying, giving to the poor, or any other good deed.  It was all a free gift.

Since it was a free gift, and since you already possess all of these things, then you can be very confident that you do not have to achieve any level of performance in order to maintain any of these things…including your authority.

Your authority over the devil did not come as a reward for your holy lifestyle, and likewise it not be decreased or taken away because of any moral or ethical failures, large or small, that you may experience during your life.  Don’t get me wrong…sin is bad, and sin can make things very difficult for you.  But remember this:  your level of authority over the devil is not related to your ability to avoid sin.  You have authority over the enemy, even when you sin.

So never let the enemy lie to you and tell you that you have lost your authority because of something you did.  That is just a lie to trick you into becoming an easy target.

So, what now?

If you have any experience working for different managers, supervisors, or company owners, then you can probably identify with what I am about to say.  There are some people in a position of authority that can speak and people will listen to them.  Then there are other people in a position of authority that can speak and people will ignore them, or disrespect them, or any other variety of responses.

It is possible to have a position of authority…to have authority…but not know how to use it.

You have authority over the devil, but it is not doing you any good if you don’t know how to use it.

In my next post, I plan to spend some time giving some examples of how to use the authority that your Father has given you.  But for now, I want to highlight something from the beginning of the first passage I quoted in this article.

Ephesians 1:15-19

15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,

16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:

17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,

18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power

The writer is offering a prayer here.  Notice that he is not praying for God to pour out His power, or to give the people more authority.  He is praying that the people would open their eyes and realize what they already have.   We do not need to be praying for more power or more authority.  That is actually unbelief….you don’t believe that God gave you what the Bible says that He gave you.  If we want to pray about this subject, we need to be praying that God would help us see what He gave us, and train us and help us learn how to use what He has already provided.

So, in closing, I encourage you to pray something like this:  Father, I believe that you have given me power and authority to represent you, and to destroy the works of the enemy.  Help me understand this.  Teach me how to cooperate with you to do your will, and to use this power and authority to bring glory and honor to Jesus.  Amen.

Open Letter to the Men of God

“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other guy die for his.”
― George S. Patton Jr.

We are citizens of the kingdom of God (Phil 3:20), sons in His family with full rights and privileges (Gal 4:7), ambassadors with authority (2 Cor 5:20, Luke 10:19), and soldiers in His army with supernatural weaponry (2 Cor 10:4).

We are at war.  We have an enemy, but our enemy is not a human enemy (Eph 6:12).  It is a real enemy, but it is not a visible, physical enemy. It is a spiritual enemy.  It is an opposing army that is loosely organized under the leadership of a fallen angel named Satan.  He is called the ruler of this world, and he is a renegade criminal dictator (1 John 5:19).  He has a kingdom (Luke 11:18) that is called the power of darkness (Col 1:13) that he is seeking to expand.  That kingdom is our enemy.  I will call that enemy “he” or “him” in this letter, but I am referring to members of that enemy kingdom.

Our enemy has infiltrated our society and culture, our government, and our churches.

The weapons that he uses against us are not missiles, bombs, and bullets (although sometimes those come as a result of his influence on humans).  His weapons require our cooperation, our complacency, or our ignorance in order to have any lasting effect on us.  They include (but are not limited to):

deception
intimidation
manipulation
enticement and temptation
condemnation
defilement
judgmental, finger-pointing, self-righteous Pharisee-ism
backbiting or gossip
factions
enslavement / bondage to addictions
unbiblical religious tradition
other forms of physical, mental, or emotional problems

Through these weapons, our enemy uses us against each other, and against ourselves….like we are his foolish little puppets.  Does this make you angry? It should.

Here is some insight into some of the ways our enemy operates.

He will pound on you with temptation over and over until you give in, and then he will point the finger at you and rub your nose in it.  If you don’t give in, he will leave you for while, in search of an easier target.  He will likely return to again at a more opportune time.  He will tempt you to use your own voice to injure your own wife, family, and friends.  He will lay traps to entice you into doing something you will regret.  It is still your choice, but the traps can be very deceptive.  Then he will lie and tell you that you are the only one, and that God is mad at you, and you are a failure, and all kinds of other crap.  He will tempt you to judge other people, or get offended, or criticize someone behind their back, or who knows what else.

But if you don’t cooperate, then power of the enemy is very limited.  Our enemies do not have physical bodies, so they can’t come and put you in a headlock and make you do things.  You have a choice.  You can do something about it.  But they have cleverly convinced most people to either blame the “issues” on their past, their parents, God’s will, or God’s mysterious plan or timing.  The goal is for us to think that we just have to live with it, or to just try harder with more willpower.  This allows the enemy to go around defiling and afflicting people without much retaliation from anyone.

Every now and then, some folks start learning about the weapons of OUR warfare, and start learning to cooperate with God to enforce His will and set people free.

When this kind of thinking begins to break out among the citizens of our Father’s Kingdom, the enemy does not just sit back and watch.  One of his counter attacks is to stir up controversy in the body of Christ and have people to stand up and label these soldiers as heretics, or greedy, or crazy, or ignorant, etc.  Or they use fear of failure or fear of rejection to keep people sitting on the bench.

Another tactic is to present a false choice.  For example, people will say something like “developing your character is more important than miracles.” Or “God is more interested in your heart than in physical healing.”  Those are false choices.  We don’t have to choose one or the other.  We are supposed to “pursue love AND desire spiritual gifts (1 Cor 14:1).”  God forgives all our sins AND heals all our diseases (psalm 103:3)

When forced to choose between ethics/morals and the power of the Kingdom of God, I imagine that our enemy would much prefer us to focus our studies on self-improvement rather than power and authority.  This puts us in a defensive mindset, and it will limit the scope of our ability to inflict damage on their kingdom.  But we don’t have to choose one or the other.  We can do both.  You can learn to live wisely, AND learn to use the authority and power God has entrusted us with.

The body of Christ is being tricked, robbed, and abused.  We should be putting our foot on the devil’s neck.  We should be evicting every trespasser.  But instead, many Christians look at you like you have two heads when you start to talk about this stuff.  There are actually preachers that attack other Christians who are trying to figure out how to use our weapons.

All of this should make you angry.  Not angry at yourself, and not angry at any other person.  It should make you angry at the father of lies, who is sowing unbelief, legalism, and ignorance in the body of Christ.

We are at war.  But it seems to me that most Christians do not understand this.  Or if they do, they think that they way to fight this war is to huddle in a corner and pray for our “General” to come and do something.

But our “General” gave us authority and equipment, and then told us to take the fight to the enemy.  Yes, the battle is the Lord’s, but He has chosen to fight the battle through you.  He has given every believer the right, privilege, authority, and power to destroy the works of the devil in every place that we find him working.  And if we aren’t following orders, then we don’t need to blame it on the General when things don’t go the right way.  We need to go back and reexamine the orders and the strategy, train, and get back out there and fight again.

The works of the devil are sickness and disease, oppression (spiritual, emotional, mental, physical), and condemnation.

Acts 10:38 “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, who went about DOING GOOD and HEALING ALL WHO WERE OPPRESSED OF THE DEVIL for GOD WAS WITH HIM.”

Our weapons are healing the sick, casting out demons, and preaching the gospel.  Set people free from sickness, oppression, and guilt and condemnation.  That is how you attack the enemy.  That is how you damage their kingdom and take ground.  That is how we fight offensively.

That is what our General has equipped us for.

That is His strategy.

That is His will.

Healing is war.

Deliverance is war.

The gospel is the POWER OF GOD.

And as we (every believer) learn to preach the full gospel, with signs following, then we are getting closer to what we are built for.

James 4:7 says “resist the devil and he will FLEE from YOU.” It is your job to MAKE HIM RUN AWAY FROM YOU. You are to make him sorry that he ever messed with you and your family. If you don’t know how, then start learning.

Wars are not won by only playing defense.  We are not seeking to merely hold our ground and protect our fort.  We are seeking to destroy our enemy and make sure it is known that we are not a group of men that are just going to lie down and take another beating.   We do not need to be afraid of the enemy.  The enemy needs to be afraid of us.

Taking Every Thought Captive (Audio)

 

Title:  Taking Every Thought Captive

Subject Matter:  Using your God-given authority to overcome temptations

Speaker:  Neal Leazer

Recorded October 29, 2014 at Spirit Filled LivingHope Chapel, Apex NC

You can download the audio by right-clicking on the following link:  Taking Every Thought Captive