Detoxifying the Soul:
What is a spiritual "stronghold"?
What is a "Stronghold"?
If a 250Lbs
Wrestler grabbed your neck and held on to it, he would have a
on you, wouldn't he?
There is also a military use of the word, that defines a well protected fortification that an army has strategic control of. Similarly, if someone or "something"
has a STRONGHOLD on you, you are subdued by them because they now have control over you.
Once they have control over you (and you are submissive)
, they do something interesting: they slack off the pressure - but not too much.
Because if you feel free enough to resist, they will re-tighten that choke hold to keep you in line.
Thus, you remain trapped inside their boundaries ... either by force or by submissive fear.
are built on top of Strongholds. Both of these mechanisms work on all three levels of your being (spirit, soul and body).
You are probably aware of the physical addictions a person can suffer from drugs or alchohol. Yet if the problem was only a physical issue, then a trip to the hospital is all that it would take. But sadly, a good many people who go into the hospital to get their body "cured" of the deadly toxins in their body, usually have a unstoppable craving to go right back to putting the same poisonous substances back in their body. ...
What's really going on? Why are they unable to break free
of the STRONG-HOLD that those substances still seem to have on them?
Ironically, you can't blame the drugs or alchohol (or what ever the physical substance is)
, because it would stay on the table, unless YOU pick it up. The fact is, if you have an addiction, You're the one making the choice .... and yet, you can't stop doing it, even though you know it will eventually destroy you. It's the ultimate self-destruction. This is also not unlike, many convicts who when they are released from from prison, don't know how to live free, and usually end right back in prison after a short period of time.
So, who is the 250 pound wrestler?
... who is this invisible, but very real foe that is overpowering and controling you?
...Is it you?
Some would say yes and that "It's all in your head". Which is not far from the truth, because the battlefield IS IN THE MIND - the place where decisions are made before the action is carried out.
Those who have been addicted will tell you how they are overpowered by a force that is greater than their natural will-power. A "super-natural" force that distorts and hyper-inspires
their natural desire to consume a temporary pleasure (or "escape" from reality)
and compels them to do things they would not normally do if they were in their right mind.
What is a spiritual "stronghold"?
Spiritual strongholds are difficult to see or detect. They're like a blind-spot that becomes dangerous when we turn in that direction without knowing what's really there, and thus a serious and destructive event occurs. Very much like an accident waiting to happen, except that you have an enemy guiding and helping you to not only have the accident, but also blame you or someone/something else as the cause.
A spiritual stronghold can be summed up as follows:
Because of YOUR PRIDE,
You now BELIEVE in a LIE
which is ALLOWING a demon
to have a strong-hold in your soul.
It should now be no mystery what the invisible wrestler
is composed of :
- Your natural desires are twisted into un-natural lust
- The fact that your pride wants to be in control and wants to have it now ( unable to wait and un-willing to think things through nor submit them to God).
- A 'supernatural inspiration' which is, in fact, one or more demons that have gained access to you through a stronghold in your soul.
Can you see why our invisible 250 pound wrestler is endowed with "Super-Natural" powers that by ourselves, we are unable to overcome?
Hopefully, you already understand that demons are, in fact, angelic spirits that are in opposition to God's Kingdom and, in deed, are your enemy. Whether the process of destruction is slow-and-chronic or rapid-and-dramatic, all demons have the same objective for your life (John 10:10b)
and their strategies are subtle and lethal.
So, the compelling 250pound wrestler isn't another human. It's a demonic spirit inspiring your mind, will and emotions ...well beyond your rational capacity. (this can happen even to a born-again Christian - although only as oppression and not possession)
But in Christ, you have the better edge...
“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
The Foundation of a Spiritual Stronghold
The foundation of a Spiritual Stronghold is a lie that you believe in
. Your belief creates a legal right that allows demonic access. Unfortunately, strongholds may also be inherited through your ancestry as well, but it is wiser to first deal with any issues that you might have before addressing ancestrial problems.
Many good Chrsitians have gone through decades of problems because of strongholds that they have either not been aware of, or have not properly dealt with them. Therefore, it is vital that you fully understand how strongholds work. So let's say it again a little differently:
A spritual Stronghold is a lie (which you believe in - as if it were the truth
), that a demon (spirit) gains a "legal" right
to access your soul. The demon uses the stronghold (legal right) like a doorway to enter an area of your soul
and thereby may either influence or control a part of you (to the degree that you have allowed it through your belief in the lie)
True Freedom requires true humility and repentance. If we are honest, we must be willing to take our part in the blame. Only then, will we be ready to get rid of the demons that came in through the doorways (strongholds) of our pride.
Of course, there is the religious solution which is to repent on Sunday and sin Monday through Friday (as the old saying goes)
. This convenient alternative to the Truth, allows us to avoid our responsibility by shifting the blame to something else - like drugs or alchohol. But what has really happened is that we have just made that thing an idol that we worship. Why? - because we give it control over us. It becomes obvious through our actions as we serve it. And the fact is, we serve whom we worship. And you can bet that for every idol, there's a demon masquerading behind it. It's interesting that alcohol also has been nick-named as "spirits".
We can also blame someone else like the government or our parents or husband or wife because we believe the lie that it is their responsiblility to take care of us. And they fail so miserably in their co-dependant position, we use them as our excuse to justify our bad behavior. Which is just another twist of the lie - to keep you in bondage. The devil is very good at helping you to be drawn away of your own pride and lusts, and then keep you in a destructive cycle between the lies of fear of what you can't have, and pride of what you can. (The Bible describes the degenerative process of sin in James 1:13-15
Commonly a stronghold is the root of most,
if not all addictions. But strongholds are just as much used for one-time and intermittent attacks of various kinds (like memory blocks, anger at another person, physical pain, etc). Typically, the one-time attack opens the door to become chronic problem or addiction.
An addiction is a progressively worsening habit that moves towards self-destructive. Furthermore your brain will form and grow toxic areas to help accelerate negative and complusive thought patterns. Dr. Carlyn Leaf
has uncovered how our brain physiological works with strongholds and bad habits. In addition, she shows how
renewing our minds with God's truth
, physically works to literally restore those toxic areas in our brains back to a healthy state.
Strongholds and the Soul
Once again, the key to remember is that, it is a stronghold that is the door through which a demon can enter.
It possible that you may be able to battle most of the symptoms, but you will never be free until you deal with the root of the problem, which is the lie that a stronghold is built upon.
Worldly techniques (like "emotional clearing, hypnotic therapy, Neural Linguistic programming") give temporary relief but will actually leave you with an even greater problem because they address the symptoms and not the root. And even when they try to address the root, they only deal with factual truth and not THE TRUTH (Jesus Christ) that has power over all.
Now recall from the
Spiritual Basics I
module where we described the three realms of human existence:
You are a spirit,
you have a soul
and you live in a body.
It should now be obvious that it is through your soul that a demon can access (and effectively destroy) your body along with your soul --
as long as you continue to let it
. Even if you are aware of a demonic harassment, your ability to get rid of it
through traditional methods will be limited.
Also, having someone else like a pastor pray for you, may or may not bring lasting freedom if any at all
, because you are the one who must face it
and bring it to the Cross. And a good pastor will help you do that.
If you only deal with the symptoms and DO NOT properly deal with a stronghold and the associated demons (at the root), one (or more) of the following may result:
The original demonic doorway (stronghold) will be perceived as being dealt with, but in fact, the actual problem becomes hidden deeper in your soul (because it is cloaked under the lie that it has been resolved).
The demon will seem to leave the exposed area but actually only diminishes its effect while another demon takes hold in another area of your soul (and/or body). Then as that demon leads you into further doubt, the first demon will now resurface to continue its work of destruction. Example:
The "New Age" thinker will claim that they healed themselves of a cold, but not connect how a couple of months later they got a liver disease.
You (the host) end up replacing one bad habit with another.
Your spiritual vision (via your relationship with the Lord) will diminish.
You will subject to the adverse effect of Double-Mindedness James 1:6-8
A bit more about demons
Unfortunately, most people aren't even aware of the demon's that they are infected with, and most societies are intentionally IGNOR-ant of demonic spirits and how they operate (predominantly in the western culture). It's sadly true that most people are still in the dark about the spiritual realm and have no more education than archaic fables and Hollywood movies.
Experienced deliverance ministers [ see Ministries page ]
reveal that there are different demons with specific characteristics.
It is theorized that as demons, these angelic spirits take on the opposite characteristics from which they were originally created.
For example: an angel who was originally created with a character of encouragement
, would have a rebellious (opposite) character of discouragement
Since demons also like to attack in teams or groups, another demon of despair
would follow discouragement. Since despair
is the opposite of hope
, a person under demonic influence would have intensified feelings and thoughts of both discouragement and despair that would eventually lead to thoughts of suicide. Why? because their faith in life has been crushed. ...Indeed, it's hard have faith in anything when you don't have hope. In fact, the Bible defines faith as being built on hope:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
All demons (including satan), were once angels of God that made a rebellious choice against God
[(click here for more info)
. They are eternal beings and have been around for thousands of years on the earth.
Demons are experts at human psychology and physiology, so they know how your mind and body works and can easily manipulate it.
Though they are rebellious, demons are limited by God's order (and power), and therefore,
they can only gain legal access through deceiving our minds so that we allow them in.
Demons don't play fair as they take advantage of you without you realizing it.
But demons aren't your main problem.
The hardest part that you will struggle with
is your own pride and honesty (which is in denial of the Truth)
But take hope: the reward of true freedom is worth far more than the cost of the struggle, and you don't have to wait for the "afterlife" before you can enjoy it. You can have that freedom here and now,
while still on Earth
True Freedom is NOT some religious pretending that tries to convince you into being something that neither you nor God wants you to be. Neither is it walking around in some ambiguous superstition or mystical and wishful thinking. In Christ, your freedom is a matter of fact and your Peace is in the solid foundation of The Truth.
How is a spiritual "stronghold" formed?
Like a door-to-door salesman, a demon will "knock" on the "door" of your mind. Its sales pitch is not offensive and, in fact,
the solution he offers you even seems helpful...
But instead of a useful product, the thing he's trying to sell you is a lie that is masked to look like a truth.
And you "buy it" wholesale because that lie is reformatted to sound like your own thoughts
which at first seems harmless
because that lie is wrapped so nicely inside a partial piece of factual truth -- about you and the things you like!
But we are not talking about a nice vacuum salesman, we are talking about a thief whose objective is to kill you.
And he's using a lie to get his foot in the door.
You act on what you believe.
When you believe in a lie, it creates a doorway (a stronghold)
which gives a demon access to your soul and allows it to inspire you beyond normal rational human behavior. Just like a dishonest salesman that gains your confidence with a little bit of truth, he convinces you to agree with his lie. To the degree that you believe (agree with him)
you are allowing him to influence you.
Here's a slightly exaggerated scenario of how YOUR artificial
thoughts might degenerate:
"I'm doing really well at my job. I more than deserve the promotion to supervisor. ...But, My co-worker is favored and really trying hard also and it looks like she'll get the promotion instead of me."
If this were only a one time thought, it might quickly be recognized as irrational, and therefore easily dismissed. But if the thought lingers and re-occurs it can quickly begin to grow into a conscious belief. That wrong belief begins to cause internal conflict that will result in external conflict (with your boss)...
"My boss is going to give that promotion to my co-worker regardless of how hard I try. He's trying to cheat me like everybody else, ... I hate him too!"
Eventually, it would take the following path:
Suspicion --> Unfounded Hate --> Unforgiveness --> Bitterness
Then the path gets re-cycled with a few more added steps:
Bitterness --> Conflict --> Mental Psychosis --> Social Death ("You're fired!!")
Now that the path is developed (if allowed to continue)
, it gets re-applied to your remaining relationships:
- X Co-Workers
- X Neighbors
- X School Friends
- X Girlfriend/Boyfriend
- X Husband/Wife
- X Parents/Family
- X God
By this time, we either a pattern is exposed or we run into so much trouble that we have to do something about it. So, we try to treat the symptoms (to make the pain go away)
. This may result in some relief - for a while, but without the root being resolved, it will further seed and grow into prideful rebellion which eventually will result in the final steps:
Physical Sickness --> Death (Physical ) ...or skip the sickness and just commit suicide. This is the wonderful plan, that the 'god of this world' has for you.
Obviously, we can see that loosing one's job is not the reason why someone would "all of a sudden" take their own life.
It's only a symptom of a deeper problem that lead to a tragically wrong solution.
Again, if we look at this from a military standpoint, your enemy is looking for the most efficient way to kill you.
Here are his optimal objectives:
- Remain Undetected by whispering lies into your mind as if they were your thoughts
- Use as little effort on his part as possible by getting YOU to do most of the work
- Progressively destroy you via YOUR self-sabotage
- Ultimately he gets you to kill yourself through progressive levels of suicide from social isolation to physical death.
Self-destruction is not part of our normal rational human behavior, because we are made in God's image whose nature is LIFE
When we move away from God, we move away from Life. And the only reason we would move away from God is because we want to be the one in control. That's what pride is. We want to be the one who determines what is good and what is evil (instead of accepting and trusting what GOD has already told us). And the devil (that subtle old snake)
is right there to help us by whispering a few well placed and persistant lies in our ears that confirm why we should take control instead of God. This is at the core of why so many can be (and are) led down a path away from God, away from Life - towards the wide path of destruction
. When we take into account the spiritual (demonic) influence on a person's soul, we can see how many path-ologies of the mind actually take place, even to such extremes as not only suicide, but even beyond to murder, mass murder, national hate crimes, wars.
We are all bound to God's laws, whether we like it or not. And since satan nor any demon is not more powerful than Jesus Christ, they cannot bypass or over-ride God's rule. Remember there are twice as many angels of God than there are demons of hell, and God is more powerful than all of them. But, God wont let the enemy take you down, UNLESS the enemy obtains YOUR permission
- either by a willful decision that you make, or through a lie you believe in. Once you buy the lie, your enemy cleverly ties it to your own pride to create a stronghold on you through which it can maintain strategic access.
To drive in the point, one more time: It is through a stronghold (wrong belief)
, that a demon wields its inspiration on your thoughts and emotions BEYOND your normal rational human behavior. AND, take note: it's highly likely the same demon was also instrumental in helping you form that wrong belief (stronghold)
in the first place!
But, you can't fully claim "the devil made me do it", because in fact, it is your own pride that allowed it
through your choice to continue to believe in the lie
that the stronghold is based on.
But an addiction might not be your only problem. What about diseases, blockages to prosperity, or just relationship irritations?
It's true there maybe other factors involved, but knowing how to identify, face and destroy strongholds is usually the first place to begin.
Becoming a Christian doesn't mean all your worldly problems magically go away. In fact, Jesus plainly stated:
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation;
but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
Note that we really have not yet addressed the dynamic of dealing spiritually with other people. That's because we FIRST need to deal with our own issues before we will be effective in handling the spiritual relationships with others. -- Just like a soldier needs to train before he will be effective in combat (in unknown territory), we need to secure the territory of our own heart by first by eliminating the strongholds that the enemy has already placed in our hearts' "eye". Then we will be able to properly see and deal with strongholds (and other issues) with other people.
"Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’
when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye?
Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye,
and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye."
There are other ways that strongholds (planks)
can form and we will look at those next. Then we will see how through Christ, you can overcome them ALL.
Detoxifying the Soul:
How demons gain the right to enter your soul and body.
THE BATTLE (within)
Going back to the military viewpoint, what is a Battle? A battle is a struggle or conflict over a specific territory. But armies would not struggle over a territory that is worthless. So, what is the territory? It is...YOUR HEART
That's where your Life exists.
The enemy in this war is the devil. But the only reason he wants the territory of your heart is to destroy it. Why? Simply because the devil hates Life, because he hates God and hates you for being in the image of God. But beyond his hate, is his fear that you will allow the Light of Christ to pierce through his kingdom of darkness, freeing others as well as yourself.
The strategy of the devil is to influence and control your heart to do one or all of the following:
- steal your hope
- steal your faith
- stop you from communicating with God (your true source of LIFE).
Does this sound like a conspiracy theory? It is most definitly a conspiracy, but it is NOT a theory.
It's an everyday truth of what is going on in the spiritual realm, and we need to stop being ignorant of it.
The devil's primary objective is to lead you to reject God (completely if possible)
and he will use the weakest point in your soul to do it. That weakest point is marked by the thing you want the most, and it is where your pride is the strongest and wants to be in control of your life. ... Keep reading.
Again, it is important to note that if you ARE a Born-Again Christian, the devil CANNOT 'possess' your spirit. But he will still try to either destroy
or imprison your soul within his lies so that you do not let the Light of Christ shine into the darkness of those around you. YOUR HEART has that ability, and therefore, it is extremely valuable territory.
The western culture is built on ignoring the spiritual realm, putting its trust in the physical universe or more specifically, putting trust in only what we can see with our eyes and touch with our hands, ever trying to fit Almighty God into a box (like evolution and many religions)
that we can confine and control with our limited understanding. And so, the devil fills the air around us with a wide variety of subtle lies that appeal to our pride.
Just like every time you open the door to your house, dirt gets in. But you don't panic because it is usually an insignificant amount.
You simply learn to deal with it. But over time, if you don't take care of it, It will build up and become a greater problem.
That's why you have a broom and a vacuum.
Thank God, that in Christ, you have the best spiritual power tools to deal with the "spiritual dirt" that tries to get in your soul everyday!
But, don't go the other way and become such a "clean-freak" that you can't even live in your own house without
pleading the blood of Jesus 10 times and throw in a "Hale Mary" for good measure. The devil would rather you live your life
as a slave to the rules of religion, then have you 'wake up'
and realize the real true power of Life (Christ - The Prince of PEACE) that can overcome his dark grip on your world (of liberalism or religion)
The power of God is like the electricity in a lamp where His Spirit energizes your spirit which ignites your soul and shines into the world through the lampshade of your body.
The devil's objective is to stop that Powerful Light by stopping your heart (the heart of your spirit, the heart of your soul and the heart of your body, which are all connected) . The devil wants to stop your life, anyway he can. And if he can't put out the light, then he will try his best to darken the lampshade.
The "D" Path
Just like in your physical body: when the heart stops, so does your life. The Bible states that the life of the flesh is in the blood
. The life in your blood cannot flow if the heart is not pumping...
Similarly, a relationship remains alive through the reciprocal "pumping" of interaction (communication and action). When the communication fully stops, the relationship dies. Commonly the loss of life-communication is a process that steals your hope and your faith along with it. And without faith, you rapidly plumit downwards towards Death. Many sermons have echoed this as the path of "D"-struction:
Hope deferred makes the heart sick
Every one of those "D" steps
easily opens a doorway (stronghold)
for demonic access to your soul.
Demons, demons demons, why is this section always talking about demons?
Remember, we ARE in a Spiritual WAR (Ephesians 6:10-18
). They are invisible spirits, and YES, it is better to perceive that there is a demon behind every rock!... but NOT to be in paranoia. But rather, in full AWAREness of the Spiritual Realm and the ability to navigate it with sound wisdom ( 2 timothy 1:7
) because you have the simple skill to use the tools of Peace which is the TRUTH that has the power to make you and others Free
There are believers who have come out of satanism that describe more vividly of this reality
(See Resource: Rebecca Brown
Love, Security and Significance
Would you like to know the why demons have been so successful in getting into our souls? It's actually very simple. They weave their lies around one or more of our three God given needs for Love, Security and Significance. These are the three survival needs that we all must have. Without them we will die fairly quickly.
And the reason the demon's success is so easy is because all they have to do is paint an image that your pride will quickly accept. You readily accept and "buy it" because that image (falsely)
reveals how you can take control and fulfill your own needs without depending on God. (Example: lie = 'Money is my life' ... therefore, it's OK to steal because I need money. -- notice it "my" and "I" in the image that the demon spirit whispers in your mind.)
Obviously, a demon will not come to in a bold red costume and tell you directly that You need to steal. You would reject him and his lie right on the spot. So, the devil's first objective is to get you to step away from the Truth (the Light) and into a more darkened and compromising position. This is typically done through a process of questioning what God has already said with a series of half-truths that are so kindly offered by the devil.
This effective strategy has been in use all the way back to the Garden of Eden. The devil's methods remain the same, using a distorted image of who God made us to be. ...The devil only changes the colors of the paint to suit our taste for the "apple". What is the apple? Literally, it is what our eye focusses on, but to eat and consume it, is following through with making the choice to disobey God's word of LIFE, and thereby reject God and our relationship with Him. God is our true source of Life. To reject Him is to reject Life.
That's why the apple is poisoned. It's poisoned by your own disobedience because of your desire to be the one in control... to be god, instead of letting God be God - The one and only God of your life.
The 3 Roots of Sin
The devil knows that we will do anything to meet our God-given needs for Love, Security, and Significance.
Therefore, his subtle tactics are centered around flattering our pride and perverting our natural desires in these three areas.
The perverting of our natural desire is in the form of an un-natural or intensified desire to meet our need with a counterfeit solution. The flattery of our pride is an opportunity where we don't have to wait for God's solution to our need, but instead we can use our ability to choose to have a counterfeit solution -- NOW.
To turn this into lust, the devil presents the offer when we are weak, and intensifies the appearance of his counterfeit solution to become a life-or-death decision which we must take immediately, or we will miss our chance at this great and immediate counterfeit solution that looks more exciting than God's solution. Like: Sex (false love), drugs (false security) and RocknRoll (false significance) all at the same time...
Indeed, the devil's counterfeit has a most satisfying temporary benefit, but it is at a much greater cost. Like chocolate covered poison, it may seem like the best thing you've ever tasted, but you'll be severely regreting it when you get sick later. And if you keep on eating it, you'll die.
In the Garden with Eve (Genesis 3:1-6)
and even when the devil tempted Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11)
, he strategically attacked Him also in these three root needs.
The lust version of these three needs are described in 1 John 2:16
- The lust of the flesh -- Tries to obtain Security through the lie that we can control the physical world with our own power (instead of putting our trust in God and working with Him to provide our needs).
- Garden: I must, I can and I will taste the Apple.
- Temptation of Christ: You will die unless you eat...Usurp God's power by turning rocks into bread.
- The lust of the eyes -- Tries to obtain Significance through the lie that we can control what others think,
or conversely, that what others think about us is more important than what God says ...
- Garden: I must own the most beautiful fruit (the apple) in the Garden
- Temptation of Christ: Own the world now... (but not as the Messiah).
- and The pride of life -- Tries to obtain Love through the lie that we can make others love us (or that our good works will make God love us).
- Garden: I don't need God, I can create my own reality, by eating this apple that the snake-oil salesman sold me.
- Temptation of Christ: Let the angels catch you to prove that you are the Messiah.
Again, Lust is the condition where we allow our desires to take control of us. And the thing we lust for becomes what we tenaciously believe is our source of life and we must have it at all costs. Ironically, in this state, we believe that we can gain control over what we actually have NO control over. Furthermore, we have effectively yeilded our control to our enemy!
Yet, we fiercely contend that we must have and consume this lie as if it were the truth. Why? Because it has a real tangeable benefit (like pleasure, fame, wordly success, etc.) and we now believe we NEED it to live. But the benefit is only temporary, doesn't fulfill the need and costs the part of us that has eternal value. Why? Because we want it so badly right now, we make the decision to improperly satisfy our root needs through wrongful and ironically self-destructive means. And where does that lead? ...
"But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin:
and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."
What's the difference? between Christians and non-Christians
Why does the devil's strategy still work on Christians after they have been Born-Again??
ANSWER: When you are born-again, your spirit is changed instantly and belongs to Christ, but your soul is still in your control! Giving your soul to Christ and allowing His nature to grow in your heart is an ongoing processs.
Therefore, a demon cannot possess (or own) your spirit. But as far as the soul goes, there is no dividing line between you as a Christian and someone who has not been "saved" and therefore the devil can easily manipulate you to the degree that YOU allow him. As long as you allow your pride to rule your soul, the devil can easily mess with your mind. Your personal wisdom and power are no match for the devil. So as long as you keep your head stuck in 'the Matrix' (the mind of your flesh)
, you will not overcome it.
"For to be carnally minded is death,
but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. "
But there is a major advantage a Born-Again Christian has because the devil is no match for The Holy Spirit of God (Christ) in you! The blood of Jesus applied to the doorway of your heart is the dividing line in the Spirit. And since the devil is a spirit, the Blood of Christ is a threshold he cannot pass over, and therefore cannot possess you on the inside. But there is still a battle that engages on the outside (your soul and body) where, if left unprotected, the devil can and will oppress you.
Can the devil cause you to lose your salvation?
Please understand that this issue is controversial, but obviously very important to consider. So please, first pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give you His Peace before reading the following explanation:
Let's take a quick look at the Controversial Question: Is it possible that after you come to Christ, for you to die on all three levels (your body, your soul AND YOUR SPIRIT)???
Yes, but understand that the devil can't force you to make a decision but will do his best to influence you. So, the choice is still yours, but you would have to COMPLETELY reject the TRUTH (CHRIST) at every level with ALL of your heart and soul. It is only at that point that you would have committed the only unforgivable sin, which is Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31-32)
which is COMPLETE REJECTION OF GOD. ... please keep reading with an open mind.
To blaspheme against the Holy Spirit would require extreme WILLFUL EFFORT. It's not something that you can do unknowingly or by accident.
It can only be done by conscious effort that cannot be done in a single moment, but requires repeated confirmation
of 100% willful rejection of the TRUTH (Truth = Jesus = God = The Holy Spirit)
. At that point, The redemption of the Cross of Calvary cannot save you, because you have 100% rejected Him
. At that point, you are making the same eternal decision that satan and all the demons did: to reject God because you want to be God. Which is the epitome of foolishness.
Even though as a born-again Christian whose spirit is owned by Christ, your soul still has the right and the choice to reject Him. Look at it this way: He has accepted you, but there relationship is not complete unless you accept Him. ... Not just one time down at the alter - as if you could go to 'Alter Airlines' and buy a ticket to Heaven. God is a Living God who wants an unending, dynamic, LIVING relationship with you.
If you pull away nothing from all that is written here but this, understand that what God cares about most is YOUR HEART. He will not violate the free-will He has given you because Love is based on choice not on feelings.
"For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
(1 Samuel 16:7b)
--So don't worry. You wont loose your Salvation unless you decide you want to absolutely, consciously and willfully hate God to the fullest, and unrepentingly would rather burn in Hell for eternity than lose your pride and let God be your God and be with Him for Eternity.
God is Love, and therefore, even though He loves you, He can't (nor would He) force you to love Him. Please, have no fear to loose your legalism about your gaurantee of Salvation. The guarantee that you have is that He will never stop loving you, and if you know Him at all, you know that there would be no reason for you not to love Him, and therefore, you have no need to fear loosing your salvation.
It's not worth having a heated discussion over, unless you really wanted to just buy that 'Alter Airlines' ticket (mentioned above)
so that you could spend the rest of your breathing days simply living in your flesh and rather than seeking the greater life you could be having in persuing your relationship with the most awesome person of Christ is waiting to help you unlock the greatest destiny of your life.
The whole point of this website and ministry is wrapped around Matthew 6:33
. The more you seek the true Messiah (Jesus Christ), the more all the religious rhetoric fades away as you begin to see His Righteous Kingdom bring Life to you and those around you. Like pure oxygen that refreshes your lungs and brings energy to all your cells... God doesn't want you to wait until you physically die before you live in His kingdom. He wants you to walk in it now on Earth as it is in Heaven
HOW TO FIGHT THE BATTLE (within)
For the weapons of our warfare
are not carnal but mighty in God
for pulling down strongholds.
2 Corinthians 10:4
The only way to tear down our strongholds and kick out the demons, is through the Truth: Jesus Christ. But to bring them to the Cross, it will take great humility and brutal honesty ... not because of resistant demons, but because of our own pride.
Here are a couple of common strongholds we all must confront within ourselves:
- God is God, BUT my family doesn't like it, so I just go with the flow and don't talk about God.
You may say you believe in God while you are in church, but your actions will reveal what you really believe! Our adamic nature naturally seeks the approval of others more than we seek the approval of God. Consequently, there will be areas of life style changes that may include even losing friendships because you have made a choice to follow Christ, which leaves you in the world but no longer of it. John 17:14
- God is God, BUT... I can't pray when my emotions are too strong. (I can only pray when I feel like it).
WARNING: Usually your strong emotions ... are none other than LAZINESS (avoiding the Truth and avoiding responsibility). You must choose to believe God even when you don't FEEL like it. Otherwise, you are making your feelings your God -
which is the same as you being the Lord of your life, rather than God. That's what we like to call a "plastic Christian", because we're just not being real.
We all struggle with this. It's one of the blind spots that develop as we drift away from seeking Christ in our daily life. But as we start making the choice to overcome our laziness and seek the Lord in prayer ... especially when we don't feel like it, we will find ourselves no longer playing "churchianity" and start becommong true followers of Christ. At the same time, we will find our nature transforming into the better person we were meant to be, not unrealistic Christians, but the kind of people that people like. ... Like the Jesus who wasn't too proud to do the right thing, wasn't too proud to serve, wasn't too proud to be honest and real and Love - even with His very life.
Dealing with demons is not the main focus, nor should it be. Deliverance minister Don Dickerman
dealing with demons is not a power encounter but rather: "a truth encounter
". You do NOT fight on your own power, but simply with the authority you have in Christ (James 4:7
The "fight" can be over with
Punch: Take away the demon's right
to access you, Identify
and PROPERLY destroy each stronghold (remove the plank from your own eye)
Punch: Kick out
the encamped demon(s) by commanding the demon(s) to leave (like swatting a small dog on the nose with a newspapper. Similar to Jesus, you don't need to yell nor get emotional, you just need speak the truth directly).
Getting that first punch in, is not as easy because your opponent likes to move in the shadows (lies you that you believe).
Those shadows are "blind spots" within your soul where the devil builds his strongholds - undetected.
So, how do you deal with your blind spots? We can get a good clue from those who drive commercial trucks and must constantly deal with blind-spots when they can't see objects or cars in their mirrors or windows... They have a saying: To see a blind spot, you have to make it your G.O.A.L. (Get Out And Look)!
IDENTIFY THE STRONGHOLD(s)
It's time to clean out the garage of your heart. It's time to stop storing the junk that's been hindering you from
living an abundant life in the freedom of The Truth.
There are two requirements that may be difficult but that we all are capable of:
HONESTY: You have to be honest with God and honest with yourself.
HUMILITY: You have to willing to actually do the exercise below.
If your heart meets these two requirements, you are ready to begin to do some serious soul-cleaning. In addition, it would be best to find two other Holy Spirit filled Christians who have gone through this process themselves, and are willing to pray with you and help you in following the Holy Spirit through them.
The 7 Areas (Strongholds)
- that give demons the legal right
to access your life!
Dr. Mark Virkler (Another very successful deliverance minister)
shows seven different ways that one or more strongholds can be constructed in your heart, mind and life.
For his free pdf workbook that includes prayers to help you overcome in these seven areas [Click Here].
- Humble yourself and Pray, asking God to give you revelation of what and where these
strongholds may be in your soul and life.
- Prepare yourself with a notebook and pen
- Write down what the Holy Spirit reveals to you as you go through the 7 areas below. Capture as much detail as you can instead of general bullet points.
The following are only brief summaries of 7 general catagories (areas) of where you should search in your soul and life history for areas where the devil might hold the right (stronghold) to harrass you. For better understanding and help, please seek out a Holy Spirit filled pastor or deliverance minister (also see Ministries page
3. Ungodly soul ties
When you agree with someone...in any way that dishonors God or His ways, you open a doorway (stronghold) for demons to access your life. This can happen many subtle ways: from gossip to unethical business deals, and especially in any form of sex that outside of a proper marriage under God.
It's a hard thing to do, but you will be a better friend, to break off a current friendship and reset your relationship with them under the proper Love and Righteousness of God. Then, You will be free, and able to help them get free! If they do, then you can re-establish an even better friendship in Christ because it built on integrity and Truth (not religion)
, rather than our own selfishness. If they reject you, then you can still be free,
realizing how shallow the depth of your friendship with them really was --
Yet now, be more able to love them as yourself without getting entangled in the web that their demons have them wrapped in.
"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven,
for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
REMEMBER: In Christ, we can break every stronghold at the Cross.
4. Negative beliefs (Expectations)
You act on what you believe.
If you believe in a lie, then to the degree that you believe in that lie and act on it, is the degree to which the results will be destructive. In other words, a negative belief will have a negative effect. This can happen from one circumstance to chronic variations throughout your life.
Negative beliefs are quickly and easily formed in a wide variety of ways,
especially inside a mind that is ignor
of the truth. For example, as a young teenager I watch a KungFu movie and decide
I want to train myself as fast as possible and get strong tough hands. So, I start hitting my thumb with a hammer,
with the assumption that my thumb will eventually get tough. And extrapolating that belief
, I reason that if I hit it harder,
my thumb will get tougher quicker.
...Obviously, the truth is that you will just injure yourself. And even though that example sounds ludicrous... sadly, that's the same
thought process that traps someone into gambling away their financial savings account! They are acting on a belief that puts their trust in chance
(or foolish lies) rather than putting their trust in the reliability of the Living God who could better guide their financial path (Proverbs 3:6
When our negative beliefs or expectations are directed toward other people, we end up judging them wrongly. And when they do not perform or measure up to our expectations, then not only do we judge them, we don't forgive them. Ironically, we are the ones who suffer more because unforgiveness breads bitterness in our hearts. And bitterness and the demons that enter through that stronghold will eat you alive from the inside out, first in your soul and then in your physical body.
REMEMBER: In Christ, we can break every stronghold at the Cross.
5. Negative Inner Vows
Mark Virkler states it as follows: "INNER VOWS DEFINED: the promises or statements one makes as a result of the negative expectations he holds." Another way to say it is that if you believe that you're not going to make it, you're probably right. Inner Vows are extremely toxic because now you are making an INTERNAL COMMITMENT to fulfill a negative outcome
. For a demon, it as if you just given him direct access to your accelerator pedal.
Examples of statements of the heart that may or may not also come out of the mouth:
REMEMBER: In Christ, we can break every stronghold at the Cross.
6. Word curses
- "I'll never get that promotion! So I might as well steal what I can."
- "I will make them pay for what they did to me, if it's the last thing I do!"
- "I'm going to be a billionaire before I'm 36 ... or die trying"
- "I will destroy the house before I die so there will be nothing left for my stingy sister."
- "I will never forgive the person that rapped me!"
- "The only way I'll believe in God is if he speaks to me audibly and says I can do anything I want."
- "It'll be a frosty Friday in Hell before I let Jesus in my heart!"
spoken over you (by others ...or even from yourself)
They are negative statements (that can also turn into negative beliefs and visa-versa).
They are a direct means of audibly giving a demon permission to enter! Remember, demons cannot read your mind.
They can make suggestions into your mind but they look for affirmation through your words and or actions.
Demons are what give a curse its power, because demons are the ones that enforce the curse.
Why? Because the curse gives a demon permission to torment your mind, emotions and body as defined by the curse
in so much as you have allowed it, or not prevented it.
Also, word curses will commonly build one upon another.
- "I get sick every 'Cold & Flu Season' " ... "Oh, here it comes again!"
- "Your father died of a heart-attack ...that means you will probably die the same way"
- "Your father died of a hereditary (generational) disease (like cancer) ...that means you will probably die the same way"
- "What astrological sign are you? ... Mine is (the spirit of) Cancer."
- "Everybody says: You're a loser." ... "I'm such a Loser."
- "You're an idiot." ... "I'm so stupid."
- "No woman would ever want you."
- "Step on a line, your mama drinks wine; Step on a crack, break your daddy's back"
- "I hate my father, I wish he would die!"
- "You're just like your father, an alcoholic!" ... "Hello, my name is ____, I'm an alcoholic."
- "I'm a fat alcoholic loser and I'll always be that way."
- "I'm slow because that's what everybody says about me."
These hardly scratch the surface, and it goes seriously deeper if witchcraft ceremonies are involved,
which happens in more ways than many people realize (as in the schoolyard rhyme above)
But the end result is the same. A stronghold is created through which demons gain access to your soul and life.
The stronghold (lie) grows roots in your way of thinking and usually opens other doors (strongholds) for other demons that continue where the first one left off.
REMEMBER: In Christ, we can break every stronghold at the Cross.
7. Soul wounds (images)
from Traumatic Events
If you have been wrongfully violated: mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, ... or all at the same time
(as in a rape crime), it is a traumatic event that engraves a stronghold that has almost direct impact on everything in your life.
Though the stronghold can be broken, and the demons kicked out, there will be a process of restoration that your mind
and physical brain alone will need to go through. Carolyn Leaf explains the physiological process of how toxic images form
and how they can also be replaced. [Click for Reference
Souls wounds typically are behind many life-long addictions.
If you need further help with this please pray with the Holy Spirit to guide you to the appropriate resource
REMEMBER: In Christ, we can break every stronghold at the Cross.
If some of these areas are difficult to uncover, it's probably because they have developed without you even realizing it.
Again, the devil does not "play fair" and takes full advantage of you in the shadows of his kingdom of darkness in the world
...and in the forgotten corners your mind. (Hint: look for patterns in your behavior).
All of us need to examine our life in these 7 areas and do some serious spiritual house cleaning by exposing the lies
with the LIGHT of the TRUTH (Christ) and then destroy the strongholds at the Cross.
This is done in the Holy Courtroom of God as follows:
- Humbly come before God in prayer and simply confess the specific offenses that have been identified.
- Then pleed the blood of Jesus in your legal defense. Because when Jesus died on the Cross, He paid for ALL of our sins, past present and future. But if we don't apply His payment, the devil holds it against you to gain the right to access your soul and life. To further understand this, we highly recommend watching the following youtube links: Courts of Heaven
- Once, we have cleared our offense, we can use the our authority in Christ to kick out the demons who no longer have a right to remain: "In the Name of Jesus, I command you demon of ______________ to leave me now, and never return."
This is a fundamental and yet commonly overlooked step in the Christian Life. The more you exercise these steps, the easier you will be able to maintain freedom in your life.
In addition, for each area you that you obtain freedom, you will then be properly equipped to truly help others do the same,
because you have done it yourself.
Want Greater Depth?
You can also go into greater depth by reading two excellent books by Neil Anderson called
"Victory Over the Darkness"
and "The Bondage Breaker"
Neil explains in a very practical way, how to deal with many of the struggles we face as Christians. Then he offers a process which he calls
"The Steps To Freedom In Christ"
which takes you through a fairly complete inventory (greater extension of the 7 areas) of your life and includes direct prayers that you can use to break those strongholds at the Cross.
To those who think it's not working...
IMPORTANT : Don't play around with your freedom!
If you only read
the books and then just say the prayers mechanically - YOU WONT GET FREE!
If you're doing that, it means you don't want to let go of your pride... and you're only fooling yourself, which let's the demon stay in your head, and whatever confusion or destruction you are allowing it to keep you in.
If you really want freedom, the prayers must truly come from your heart. The books and even this website are here to help you - but just reading them is NOT ENOUGH. If you truly want to get free from the darkness (the lies in your head)
- YOU HAVE TO REACH FOR THE LIGHT (the Real Truth)
. The hardest part (the part you will struggle with the most) is your own humility and HONESTY
. YOU HAVE TO COME TO THE CROSS WITH YOUR WHOLE HEART. YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO DIE COMPLETELY (in your soul)
to your way of controlling your life.
"He who finds his life will lose it,
and he who loses his life for My sake will find it."
Indeed ... THE REWARD OF TRUE FREEDOM is worth the effort of losing our pride. For many of us, it is the hardest part of getting to our freedom. But once we decide to get serious and get humble, the obstacles begin to desolve. Your freedom is closer than you think. It is an attainable level of solid and POWERFUL PEACE that yields a better and higher quality of life for you. - - not serving superstitious religion. Not pretending. But a quality that others who are not Hell-bent, are attracted to. Like comming out of the stench of a mold-infested cave into the pure fresh air of The Truth - That Truly makes you free. A freedom that we all crave and were made to share.
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time
are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
WARNING: It Is Possible For An Unclean Spirit (a demon) to Return (with reinforcements)
“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest;
and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’
And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order.
Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself,
and they enter and dwell there;
and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”
It would be nice to say that once you clean out the Strongholds and demons in each of the seven areas, that finally you've done it all, the movie is over, close the book and live "happily ever after". But that's not reality... Unfortunately, the war has not ended and your spiritual enemies aren't dead, nor will they ever want peace. Therefore you must stay on guard -- NOT in fear
of the enemy, but in faith, being confident in God's Word as it is written in the Bible, and as it is living in Jesus Christ who hears and answers your prayers.
A practical way to look at it is: demons are like dirt. Somehow it keeps getting in the house and if you don't clean house on a regular basis, the dirt will build up and turn into mold. Left unattended, it will invade your house to point that it starts making you sick and then you're forced to deal with it or let it kill you.
The best way to guard your house (your heart) is by filling it (keeping it clean) with The power of God's PEACE
and the Light of God's TRUTH
- When your house is filled with the Light (LIFE), there is no room for darkness.
- When your house is filled with the TRUTH, there is no room for a devil and his lies.
- When your house (heart) is filled with the LOVE of God, there is no room for complacency
One of the biggest keys, to your freedom, is to
Put your focus on what your trying to get to,
rather than what your trying to get away from.
Are you trying to get to the Kingdom of Heaven manifesting in your character? Or are you trying so hard to just to stay away from situations where you fail.
... Or worse: You are already perfect in your own mind.
Are you trying to get to The King of Kings (Jesus), or are you the king?
Filling your "house" is not done so much by your efforts, but by you allowing Jesus to be your King, and no other (including yourself). He's the only one worthy, because he has proven himself perfect (as a man), powerful (as God), compeletly capable (as a loving Heavenly Father), and values your life with His life (as a friend). Your house is your life. Your time on the Earth is a rare time to fill your house with the Kingdom of LIFE - a wealth immensly greater than all the riches of this earth, no matter where you are, young or old. We have the gift of Life before us every moment. let's not waste time worrying about what we may have lost. Let's grab hold of the true life that God has given us. Seek it out in each other and share it with Love - His Love.
Jesus said to him, “I am
and the life.
No one comes to the Father
except through Me."
...is the The Way
It is the active ingredient of Life.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Now you have the tools to truly fight and overcome any addiction and Stay Truly Free. But having the tools will not help you, unless you use them...
CAUTION: Be aware of your emotions, but don't led them lead you. Make your decisions based on the Truth of God's Word and let your emotions come in-line. Some will find that more of a challenge than others. But keep your vision on that deep thing inside you that you know God has given you. Remember if it contradicts anything in the Bible, it's not from God.
The thing that is deep inside you is your identity and your destiny. Talk to Him about it, ask him to provide confirming scriptures. You'll know it's right because you come alive, the more you seek God (Matthew 6:33), the more you come alive and the clearer your spiritual vision becomes.
As you persue your destiny (even in trying to discover it), your identity begins to increase the value of your character. You will find Jeremiah 29:11 begin to take on definition, and the mystery of your life will begin to effect others. But watch your pace. Don't try to go faster than God. Your destiny falls into place only as you walk WITH God - not ahead of Him or any other way from Him.
"But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. "
This is not the End. Please continue...