It’s Time to Finally Get Free Once and For All

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically today’s passage is found in verses fourteen through fifty-four of the eleventh chapter. “And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? Because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore shall they be your judges. But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scatter either. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first” (LUKE 11:14-26). “And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it” (Luke 11:27-28). “And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold a greater than Jonas is here” (Luke 11:28-32). “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light” (Luke 11:33-36). “And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat. And when the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that he had not first washed before dinner. And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also? But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. But woe unto you, Pharisees! For ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Luke 11:37-42). “Woe unto you, Pharisees! For ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets” (Luke 11:43). “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them” (Luke 11:44). “Then answered one of the lawyers and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also. And he said, Woe unto you also, ye ye lawyers! For ye late men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers” (Luke 11:45-46). “Woe unto you! For ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: For they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres. Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: that the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; from the blood of Abel unto the blood Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple; verily I say unto you, it shall be required of this generation” (Luke 11:47-51). “Woe unto you, lawyers! For ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hundred” (Luke 11:52). “And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things: laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him” (Luke 11:53-54). AND HE WAS CASTING OUT A DEVIL! AND IT WAS DUMB! WHEN THE DEVIL WAS GONE OUT! THE DUMB SPAKE! AND THE PEOPLE WONDERED! IT’S TIME TO BE FREE! When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the beloved physician Luke writing concerning a time when the Lord Jesus was casting out another unclean spirit. If there is one thing I can’t help but think about when reading this particular passage of Scripture it’s how many times within the four gospel narratives we find the Lord Jesus casting out unclean spirits. It is absolutely impossible to read the four gospel narratives and not encounter and come face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the ministry of the Lord Jesus and how during those three and a half years He walked among us as the Word made flesh He would indeed cast out many unclean spirits. Time and time again throughout the four gospel narratives we are brought face to face with the wonderful and powerful truth surrounding this ministry of delivering those who were burdened, those who were oppressed, those who were bound, those who were tormented, and those who were possessed. Perhaps one of the greatest characteristics of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ is when you think about the truly wonderful reality of the Lord Jesus casting out the unclean spirits and devils which were present in the midst of those who were present during those times. Throughout the gospels you can and will find countless men and women who were not only bound but also captive by the unclean spirits which tormented, oppressed and held them captive. If there is one thing we must needs recognize when reading the four gospel narratives it’s that there was a great part of the ministry of Jesus that was centered around setting people free—and not just setting people free but setting them free from that which oppressed, tormented, bound and held them captive. You cannot read the four gospel narratives without coming face to face with the truly wonderful truth that while it was indeed true that Jesus healed the sick, while it was true that Jesus cleansed the lepers, while it was true that Jesus caused the lame to walk again, while it was true Jesus gave sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf He also delivered and set free those who were bound and captive but unclean and evil spirits. As I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture I can’t help but think about how many times during the public ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ men and women needed to be delivered from the unclean spirits which tormented and oppressed them. More often than not there were example and after example of the Lord Jesus Christ coming to the rescue of those who had spent a considerable amount of time in bondage to oppressive spirits who would seek to hold them captive. What’s more is that when you think about this particular truth you must needs understand that these evil spirits which held captive and bound these individuals had absolutely no interest or desire in releasing or setting them free. If there is one thing we must needs recognize when reading the words found within the four gospel narratives it’s that there was absolutely no unclean spirit or devil that had any desire or intention of releasing those whom they had possessed and tormented. Not only this but if there is something else we must needs recognize and understand it’s that even the very nature of unclean spirits tormenting and oppressing men and women is essentially a counterfeit work of the kingdom of darkness. We know from Scriptures that men and women ought to be filled with the Holy Spirit and that one of the works of the Holy Spirit is to indwell those who believe on the name of the Lord Jesus. Time and time again within the New Testament you will find account after account of those who were filled with and full of the Holy Spirit—beginning as early as Zacharias and Elisabeth. It would be in the opening chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative of Luke we find three distinct individuals who would be filled with the Holy Spirit—namely Zacharias, his wife Elisabeth and even their son John the Baptist. The more you read this New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke the more you can and will be brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the tremendous call for men and women to indeed be filled with—and not only filled with but also full of the Holy Spirit. It would be when Elisabeth heard the voice of Mary the mother of her Lord that the babe within her womb leapt and she was filled with the Holy Spirit. I would also dare say that it would be at this very time when the child which was growing inside her womb was also filled with the Holy Spirit for it would be the angel Gabriel who declared that the child born unto them would be filled from the womb. Not only this but when you think about the words and language found in the opening chapters of this gospel you will find that when Zacharias wrote the name of the child after he had been born the string of his tongue would be loosed, his mouth would be opened and he would be filled with the Holy Spirit. Not only would he be filled with the Holy Spirit but he would also prophesy concerning that which the living God would accomplish and fulfill in those days. With this being said I find it absolutely necessary to first and foremost declare unto you the incredible and tremendous need for men and women to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Oh there is a place within our heart, a place within our soul and even within our own spirit that desperately needs to be filled with the Holy Spirit of the living God. It is not by coincidence or accident the apostle Paul instructed the Ephesian congregation to not be drunk with wine wherein is excess but to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul recognized the incredible need within the life of a believer to be completely, utterly and totally filled with the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul knew and understood that believer desperately needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit for it would be the Holy Spirit who would indeed indwell and occupy that place within a man or a woman that only the living God should occupy. I began this writing with the declaration that it’s time to be free, however, I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to something that is of equal and vital importance. I firmly believe that we as the saints of God have indeed been called to freedom and have been called to be delivered, however, I find it absolutely imperative to emphatically declare unto you that you and I as those who profess to be believers must needs be such who are filled with the Holy Spirit. If there is one thing we must needs understand and acknowledge within our own hearts and lives it’s the tremendous and incredible need to be those who are filled with and full of the Holy Spirit. I am absolutely and completely convinced that if you want to truly walk in the fullness of the living God in this life and walk in a manner which pleases, glorifies and honors Him then you must needs be filled with and full o father Holy Spirit. It was the Lord Jesus Christ—when speaking unto Nicodemus—who declared that unless a man be born of water and of the Spirit—he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. Moreover it would be John the Baptist who would declare how there was one coming after Him—the shoes of whose latches he was not worthy to loose—who would not only baptize with fire but would also baptized with the Holy Spirit. Oh it is absolutely necessary and imperative we recognize and pay close attention to this for when we think about our own lives as those who profess to believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ there must be a cry within our heart to be filled with and full of the Holy Spirit. We as those who profess to believe on the name of the Lord Jesus must needs be those who can and will allow ourselves to not only be filled with the Holy Spirit but also those who will be full of the Spirit. I am absolutely convinced that it is not enough simply to be filled with the Holy Spirit for there is also a great need for us to be completely and utterly full of the Holy Spirit. It is with this in mind I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the powerful truth that we as the saints of God and believers in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ must needs be filled with and full of the Holy Spirit. In the days in which we live in—perhaps more than ever before there is a tremendous need for us as the people of God to be filled with and full of the Holy Spirit. Remember that which was spoken of concerning the seven men who were chosen from among the brethren in the sixth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts and how those men were chosen because they were full of the Holy Spirit. One of the prerequisites for their being called and chosen from among the brethren was their being full of the Holy Spirit for only those who were full of the Holy Spirit would be able to truly fulfill and accomplish that which the living and eternal God had ordained and appointed for the early Church. From among the brethren there would be seven men who would be hand picked and hand selected because they were full of the Holy Spirit and full of faith. It is this particular truth we must needs recognize and understand for when we think about and consider our own lives we must recognize that there is a great need for us to be men and women are filled with and full of the Holy Spirit. There is a wonderful need within our hearts and lives to be those who are indeed filled with the Holy Spirit as we allow the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit to be completely present within us. Oh it would be in the Old Testament where the Spirit of the LORD would come upon men and women for a specific task, purpose and assignment, however, it would be in the New Testament where we find the Holy Spirit no longer coming upon men and women for a specific task and assignment but actually indwelling and infilling men and women. No longer would the Holy Spirit be one who would simply come upon men and women for a specific calling and assignment but the Holly Spirit would now completely and utterly fill men and women within the depths of their beings. Having said this I feel it is necessary to call and draw your attention to the words and language found in the opening chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke. I am absolutely convinced that if you want to truly understand the words and language that is found in this passage of Scripture there is a great need to recognize that we as the saints and people of God have been called to be filled with and full of the Holy Ghost. We dare not and must not miss how absolutely and incredibly important this is for I would dare say that only way we can truly please the Father in this life is through our being filled with and full of the Holy Spirit. There would indeed be many men and women who would think and even dare believe that they can somehow please the living God without and apart from the presence, the power and the person of the Holy Spirit and yet the truth of the matter is that nowhere in Scripture is this supported. We know that Jesus was given the Spirit without measure, however, we must also recognize that we as the disciples and followers of Jesus are and have been called to be filled with the same Spirit that indwelt and filled Him. We as the saints of God and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ must needs be those who can and will allow ourselves to be filled with and full of the Holy Ghost in this life. We cannot and must not make any attempt to live our lives without the person, presence and power of the Holy Spirit who not only seeks to indwell us but also completely and utterly fill us. With this being said I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the opening chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke concerning the activity, the movement, the function and the role of the Holy Spirit: “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the LORD blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, according to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: For thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at this birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the LORD, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the LORD their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the LORD” (Luke 1:5-17). “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the LORD God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:26-37). “And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, los, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blesses is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:39-45). “Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marveled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him. And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied” (Luke 1:57-67). “And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the LORD; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child JESUS, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God” (Luke 2:21-28). “And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether her were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latches of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people” (Luke 3:15-18). “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased” (Luke 3:21-22). “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil” (Luke 4:1-2). “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about” (Luke 4:14). “And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his customer was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:15-19). If you are reading the words which are found in these passages of Scripture I am absolutely and completely convinced you must recognize the tremendous truth surrounding the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. Beginning with Elisabeth the mother of John the Baptist being filled with the Holy Spirit when she heard the salutation and greeting of Mary the mother of her Lord and the babe leaped within her womb. Over the next few chapters you will find the person and presence of the Holy Spirit being very much involved and active during those days as the angel Gabriel would describe how the Holy Ghost would come upon Mary and how the power of the Highest would overshadow her. Moreover it would be after Zacharias wrote and declared the name of the child born unto them would be John that not only would the string of his tongue be loosed, not only would his mouth immediately be opened but he would be filled with the Holy Spirit and would prophesy. What’s more is that if you take the time to read the words which are found within these chapters you will find it written concerning Simeon that He was a man upon whom the Holy Spirit’s presence was upon. Not only this but Scripture reveals how it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Furthermore Scripture goes on to reveal how he would come by the Spirit unto the temple at the exact time Mary and Joseph would bring the Lord’s Christ that He might be dedicated as holy unto the Lord. This is something we must needs recognize and acknowledge for within the opening chapters of this gospel we find the presence, the person and the power of the Holy Spirit. It would be John the Baptist who would also declare that there was one coming after Him who was mightier than He was who would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire. As if this weren’t enough we also find it written of Jesus that He was full of the Holy Spirit, that the Spirit would lead Him into the wilderness, that He would return from the wilderness full of the power of the Spirit and that the Spirit of the LORD was upon Him and had anointed Him. I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which we find in these passages of Scripture and I can’t help but be reminded of the words which our Lord Himself spoke by night when Nicodemus came unto Him for to hear Him speak and to ask questions of Him. There is a great need for us to recognize and pay close attention to this encounter and exchanged for it further confirms the incredible truth that those who believe on the name of the Lord Jesus must needs be those who are not only born of water (baptism) but also born of the Spirit (Pentecost). It was the Lord Jesus Himself who would declare that unless a man was born of water and of the Spirit that man would in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven. This is something which must needs be carefully considered when reading the words found in the gospel narrative written by Luke for they call and draw our attention to the wonderful truth surrounding the need for men and women to not only be born of water but also born of the Spirit. It is when we are born of the Spirit that the Spirit of the living God not only comes upon us but also in dwells and fills us—such as what would take place on the day of Pentecost when those one-hundred and twenty in the upper room would indeed be baptized by the Holy Spirit. If there is one thing we as the saints of God must needs recognize and understand it’s that we have indeed been called to be those who are indwelt with and by the Holy Spirit and those who are filled with and full of the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. There is absolutely no place in the kingdom of heaven for those who are not filled and who are not being filled with the Holy Spirit. We as the saints of God must needs recognize the awesome invitation and clarion call for us to be completely and utterly filled with the Holy Spirit as we have indeed been called to be those who manifest the presence and person of the Holy Spirit within our lives. It is having said and written these words I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the following words which are not only found in the third chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John but also the words which are found in the epistles written by the apostle Paul unto the Galatian and Ephesian churches as well as the words presented in the twelfth chapter of the first epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Corinthian saints. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the Scripture beginning with the words the Lord Himself would declare unto Nicodemus by night when this ruler of the Jews and Pharisee came unto Him inquiring of Him and asking Him questions: “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily I say not thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind blowers where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:1-8). Consider here the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Ephesian saints concerning the need to be filled with the Spirit as they would speak to themselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. It is here the apostle Paul invites the Ephesian saints to be those who are not only Spirit led but also those who are Spirit-filled as men and women who believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ are called to be. With this in mind I invite to read and consider the following words which are found in the fifth chapter of the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Ephesian saints: “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye l ought in the Lord: walk as children of Light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a sham even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepiest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5:5-21). Now consider the following words which are found in the twelfth chapter of the first epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Corinthian saints as well as the words which are found in the fifth chapter of the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Galatian churches: “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues; but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or fee; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:1-13). “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh luster against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lascivious ness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying,, murders, drunkenness, revel kings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another” (Galatians 5:13-26). I am absolutely convinced that we must pay careful and close attention to the words which are presented in these passages of Scripture for within them we are brought into the place where we recognize that we have not only been called to be filled with the Spirit but we have also been called to be led by and walk in the Spirit. It is only through and by the Spirit’s presence and power within our lives we are indeed able to crucify the deeds of the flesh and be crucified with Christ. This particular reality of being filled with the Spirit is incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to think about it for it stands in stark contrast to that which we find within the gospels. Nowhere in the Old Testament will we read of anyone being possessed, oppressed and tormented by unclean spirits as we do in the four gospels and the book of Acts. Oh there is of course the account of Saul king of Israel when the Spirit of the Lord departed from him and an evil spirit from the Lord would come and torment him, however, there is absolutely no place in any of the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament where we read of any one being tormented, oppressed, possessed, enslaved and held captive by unclean spirits. It is when we come to the New Testament gospel narrative written by the four gospel authors we begin reading powerful words and language concerning men and women who were possessed with and by unclean spirits. This is something which warrants strong consideration as I am convinced it is not only the enemy’s counterfeit to what would be the indwelling and filling of the Holy Spirit but also the means of keeping and preventing men and women from being filled with and full of the Holy Spirit. I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in the opening chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke and I am confronted with the truth of the angel Gabriel describing of John the Baptist that he would be filled with the Holy Ghost from the womb of his mother. Not only this but both Zacharias and Elisabeth would indeed be filled with the Holy Spirit as Zacharias would prophesy and Elisabeth would bless the LORD God who had dealt wonderfully and marvelously with His people. This is something we must needs recognize for I would dare say there seems to be this anticipation and expectation within those days of something that would happen—something that was entirely different from the days of the Old Testament. In the days of the Old Testament the Holy Spirit came upon people as a covering and anointing thus enabling them to carry out and complete a specific task, assignment and request. From the time of the two men who were entrusted with constructing the Tabernacle with all its furnishings and equipments to the time of judges, prophets and kings the Holy Spirit would come upon men and women thus enabling them to carry out that which the living and eternal God had called and commanded them to. There are countless times within the Old Testament where the Holy Spirit would come upon men and women “for such a time as this” and enabling them to carry out that purpose which the living God ordained and appointed them for during their generation. Oh I can’t help but be reminded of the Spirit of the LORD coming upon Saul when he was first chosen as king over the nation of Israel, reminded of the Spirit coming upon Samson enabling him to wreak havoc upon the children of the Philistines to begin to deliver the children of Israel out of their hand and even the Spirit of the LORD coming upon David after Samuel had anointed him with oil to be the next king of Israel. In the Old Testament the Spirit of the Sovereign LORD came upon people at specific times and seasons during their lives as He would cover and clothe them with Himself and His person and presence. When, however, we come to the New Testament we find something entirely and altogether different. It is in the New Testament where we no longer find the Holy Spirit coming upon people but actually indwelling then. Essentially it’s as if the Holy Spirit would no longer clothe men and women with Himself but would now clothe Himself with others whom He would indwell and personally fill. With this being said I would dare say the enemy and adversary was entirely and altogether threatened by this particular truth and how the Holy Spirit would indeed clothe Himself with men and women. There is not a doubt in my mind the enemy and adversary was entirely and altogether threatened by the idea of men and women being filled with the Holy Spirit and so he would launch a counterfeit indwelling and a counterfeit filling—this of an entirely different spirit. We know within the four gospel narratives that Satan would enter into Judas thus enabling him to betray the Lord’s Christ into the hands of His enemies and adversaries, however, the four gospels—and the book of Acts—present us with the incredible truth surrounding countless men and women who were possessed, tormented, oppressed, enslaved, ensnared and held in bondage by unclean and evil spirits. It would be during those days where there was not only the expectation of the Messiah but also of the indwelling and filling of the Holy Spirit as Zacharias, Elisabeth and John the Baptist would be the first to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Oh it is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the sixth chapters of both the first and second epistles written by the apostle Paul unto the Corinthian saints. Within each of these chapters we are indeed brought face to face with the incredible truth that those who believe on the name of the Lord Jesus and those are born of the water and of the Spirit are such who are made and transformed into the temple of the Spirit—and not only the temple of the Spirit but also the temple of the living and eternal God. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the sixth chapters of both epistles written by the apostle Paul unto the Corinthian saints: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revivers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of Go0d. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: But God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for no citation, but for the LORD; and the LORD for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:9-20). “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) Giving no offense in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: but in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in a Louis, in watchings, in fastings; by pure ness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honour and dishonor, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet truth; as UNKOWN, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; and chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. Ye are not straitened in us, bye are straitened in your own bowels. Now for a recompense in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, be ye separate, saith the LORD, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the LORD Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:1-18). Within these passages of Scripture we are brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth that we are indeed and have in fact been called to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. The idea of our being the temple of the Holy Spirit and even being filled with the Spirit is the same concept as what we find in the Old Testament pattern of the Tabernacle and the Temple. It would be in the Old Testament where we not only find the glory of the living God filling the Tabernacle upon completion in the wilderness but we also find the glory of the living God filling the Temple at Solomon’s dedication of the Temple. There is something truly astonishing about the words which are presented here in the epistles written by the apostle Paul for they call and draw our attention to the wonderful reality of the presence of the Holy Spirit being present within the life of a believer who believers on the name of the Lord Jesus and how is born both of water and of the Spirit. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that when we come to the New Testament we find the Holy Spirit no longer clothing men and women with Himself but rather clothing Himself with men. The Holy Spirit would indeed clothe Himself with men and women as He would be the indwelling and abiding presence of the eternal Father and the only begotten Son. Oh during those days there would be the expectation and anticipation of the coming of the Holy Spirit as John the Baptist would not only allude to the coming of the Messiah but would also allude to the coming of the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. This is something we must recognize and pay close attention for it directly confronts us with the truth surrounding the need for men and women to be filled with the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. Oh the more I read the words which are found in these passages of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the awesome and wonderful truth surrounding the countless men and women who were present during the days of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am absolutely convinced that with the expectation and anticipation of the coming of the Messiah the enemy and adversary would seek to infiltrate the hearts and lives of countless men and women in the spiritual realm. There is not a doubt in my mind that when we read the narratives of the unclean spirits possessing, tormenting and oppressing men and women it is indeed a false and counterfeit indwelling and infilling of the powers of darkness within the hearts and lives of men. What’s more is that even in the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ we find the unholy trinity of the beast, the false prophet and the dragon having what appeared to be frogs coming out of their mouths which were unclean and evil spirits. It would be during the days of the Lord Jesus where we find and read the tremendous and incredible language concerning those countless men and women who would indeed be tormented, oppressed and possessed by unclean spirits. Oh Scripture is unclear how such individuals would become tormented, oppressed and possessed by these unclean and evil spirits, however, we must needs recognize and understand that such men and women opened themselves up to those forces of darkness they should have otherwise not allowed to be manifested within their lives. Scripture provides no clear explanation on the backstory of these men and women who were tormented, oppressed and possessed by unclean spirits—only that during the days of the Lord Jesus there were a great number of men and women who were indeed and were in fact tormented and oppressed by unclean and evil spirits. It is with this in mind I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words and language found in the gospel narratives concerning Jesus casting out unclean spirits and devils from those who were present during the days in which He walked upon the face of the earth: “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatics, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan” (Matthew 4:23-25). “And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever, and he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them. When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses” (Matthew 8:14-17). “And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine perished in the waters. And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him, that he would depart out of their coasts” (Matthew 8:28-34). “As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marveled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel. But the Pharisees said, He ceaseth out devils through the prince of the devils. And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” (Matthew 9:32-35). “Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, is not this the Son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils” (Matthew 12:22-24). “Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coats, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master’s table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour” (Matthew 15:21-28). “And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this. Mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall be or even; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out by by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:14-21). We must carefully consider each of these passages—particularly and especially when we come to the words which are found in the eleventh chapter of the gospel written by Luke for within this particular section of Scripture we find Jesus not only speaking of a kingdom being divided against itself being brought to desolation but we also find him speaking of a house being divided against a house falling. Moreover Jesus would also declare that if Satan be divided against himself then how would his kingdom stand—thus suggesting that if Satan cast out Satan or if Satan be divided against himself his kingdom would not stand. Oh if there is one thing we must needs recognize when reading these passages of Scripture it’s that Satan does indeed and does in fact have a kingdom. Just as much as Jesus came preaching the kingdom of God within and upon the earth we must also recognize that Satan does indeed have a kingdom which seeks to exercise authority and power upon the earth. What we find in this passage of Scripture is an incredibly powerful picture of Satan having a kingdom and how if that kingdom was divided it would and could not stand against itself. Jesus would declare that if he by Beelzebub cast out devils then how and by whom do their sons cast them out for they would stand up and be their judges. Jesus would then go on to declare that He by the finger of God cast out devils which would be a powerful manifestation and demonstration that the kingdom of God was come upon them. Jesus casting out and exercising authority over unclean spirits during those days is something we must needs recognize and understand for it calls and draws our attention to the incredibly wonderful and powerful truth surrounding the manifestation of the kingdom of God as being that which is stronger, mightier and greater than the kingdom which was present in the midst of the earth. It would be Jesus’ exercising authority over the unclean spirits and devils during those days that would indeed demonstrate the kingdom of heaven was manifested unto and among them for he would begin to topple the kingdom of darkness which tormented, oppressed and possessed man. If you continue reading the words of this passage you will not only find Jesus speaking about casting out devils by the finger of God as a demonstration of the kingdom of God coming upon them but we also find him speaking of a strong man who kept his palace and how his goods were in peace. With this being said, however, Jesus would go on to speak of one who was stronger than the strong man who would come upon him, overcome him and take from him all his armor wherein he trusted and dividing his spoils. This is something which must be carefully considered within our own hearts and lives for Jesus is indeed one who is stronger than the strong man and the strong man not only represents the devil but also the unclean spirits and devils which were present during those days. There were countless men and women who were tormented and oppressed by what would be considered as strong men—those who would oppress, enslave, ensnare and hold them captive—and yet would find themselves being overpowered by the Lord Jesus Christ. It would be through and by His word the Lord Jesus would cast out and drive out unclean spirits and devils which were present during those days. During those days the kingdom of God would indeed and would in fact be manifested unto and among the men and women as they would witness first hand one who was stronger and greater than the unclean spirits and devils who had tormented and oppressed them. Scripture does not reveal how long men and women were tormented, oppressed and possessed of devils and unclean spirits, however, one thing for sure is known and revealed in the gospels and that is how when the Lord Jesus showed up He would exercise authority, dominion, power, strength and might over the unclean spirits which were present during those days. The enemy and adversary might very well have had a kingdom which was present during those days, however, the Lord Jesus would indeed and would in fact spoil, plunder and decimate that kingdom. Oh how absolutely incredible it would be to think about how many critical damage the Lord Jesus would have done and did in fact do within, upon and against the kingdom of darkness during those days. We read the words present in these passages of Scripture and we discover how Jesus is indeed one who is stronger than the strong man and how the kingdom of God is indeed stronger and greater than the kingdom of darkness in the earth. If there is one thing we must needs acknowledge when reading the words present in this passage of Scripture it’s how the Lord Jesus was indeed stronger than any devil and unclean spirit which was present during those days. Even when Jesus would encounter the legion of devils which were present within the man of the Gadarenes he would command them all to come out of the man. It would be Mary Magdalene whom Jesus would cast and drive out seven unclean spirits and devils thus completely and utterly delivering and setting her free. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the wonderful reality of the Lord Jesus and the authority of the Holy Spirit and the authority of the kingdom of God. There was indeed one stronger than the strong man who tormented, oppressed and possessed that generation and would exercise authority and power over the entire kingdom of darkness which sought to exercise a reign of terror and control during those days. It would be the Lord Jesus who would be the strong man operating with and by the finger of God and demonstrating the kingdom of God in the earth as He would drive and cast out unclean spirits and devils. The Lord Jesus Christ would indeed be that one full of might and power and strength who would enter into the house of the strong man during those days and would completely and utterly plunder his house and divide the spoils and goods he had indeed thought and believed he had captured and secured. The enemy and adversary thought and believed he had established his kingdom in the midst of the earth through a false and counterfeit work which was the tormenting, oppression and indwelling of men and women by unclean and evil spirits and yet Jesus would indeed demonstrate and reveal that there was one great and stronger than the enemy and adversary, stronger than the unclean devils and unclean spirits and one who was stronger than the kingdom of darkness which was present in the earth. As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call your attention to the language that is used within this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with language of might, strength, power and authority. If you take the time to read the words presented in this passage of Scripture you will find Jesus speaking a strong man who is armed and keeping his palace and his goods are in peace—that is UNTIL one stronger than himself comes upon him, overcomes and takes from his all his armor wherein he trusted and spoiled his goods. ONE STRONGER THAN HIM! COMES UPON HIM! OVERCOMES HIM! TAKES FROM HIM ALL HIS ARMOR! WHEREIN HE TRUSTED! DIVIDED HIS SPOILS! We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular language for within it we are brought into an understanding one stronger than the strong man who not only comes upon him and overcomes him but also takes from his the armor in which he trusted and divided his spoils. Scripture is very clear that Jesus was indeed—and still is in fact—that one who is stronger than any strong man who seems to guard his palace or that place which he occupied. The more you read the words found in this passage of Scripture—and not only this passage of Scripture but the various passages I presented you with from the gospel written by the apostle Matthew—the more you will encounter the tremendous truth surrounding Jesus being that One who was stronger than the strong men whop guarded those palaces and houses wherein they occupied. The unclean and evil spirits which tormented, oppressed and possessed men and women during the days of Jesus were permitted to do until Jesus showed up for it was when Jesus showed up they were stripped of their might, their power, their authority and even their reign of terror within the lives of those whose spirits and lives they occupied. Oh you cannot read the gospel narratives without encountering and coming face to face with this for it calls our attention to the incredible truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and how He was indeed one who was stronger than the strong man within the lives of these individuals. Not only this but Jesus was stronger than the Legion which was present within the man from the Gadarenes who spent his nights and days among the tombs and in the mountains cutting himself. I sit here today thinking about and considering the words and language found in these passages of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the Lord Jesus who is indeed able to not only overcome the strong man but also overcome him, take from him his armor and divide the spoils he seized and stole from men and women. In all reality I find myself coming face to face with the awesome need for Jesus to enter into the lives of countless men and women and overtake the strong man who has kept them in bondage and held them under oppression. There are countless men and women who might not necessarily be possessed internally by unclean and evil spirits, however, there are men and women who are and who have been oppressed with and by unclean spirits. Such men and women have been tormented, oppressed, afflicted, bound and held captive by such unclean spirits who have served as spiritual taskmasters for the kingdom of darkness to keep them enslaved and in bondage. There are countless men and women who desperately need to be delivered and set free within their minds, within their hearts, within their souls and within their lives. There are countless men and women who need to be healed and who need to be cleansed and this much is undoubtedly true, however, we must needs recognize that He whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Perhaps the single greatest question we must needs ask ourselves is whether or not we are ready to be delivered—and not only delivered but delivered and set free once and for all. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for within this passage of Scripture we find the language of deliverance within the life of a man who was blind and dumb being bound by an unclean spirit. The further you delve into this passage the more you will find Jesus speaking of “when the unclean spirit is gone” which is a reality countless men and women desperately need to experience within their hearts and lives. There are men and women who desperately need to be delivered and set free from whatever strong man has been holding and keeping them in bondage. Oh permit me to ask who the strong man is within your heart, and/or who the strong man is in your heart and/or who the strong man is within your soul and life. What unclean and foul spirit from the very depths and bowels of hell has been tormenting and afflicting for too long now? What unclean and foul spirit within the kingdom of darkness has sought to keep you in bondage as you have been tormented and afflicted? Oh this is a question we must needs recognize and understand for within it we are brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the strong man who has been present within the lives of men and women for too long now and who needs to be expelled and driven out once and for all. Jesus speaks of that moment “when the unclean spirit is gone out of a man” and how that unclean spirit walks through dry places seeking rest and finding none. Of course we know and understand when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture that Jesus also goes on to speak of that unclean spirit purposing to return to the house from which he came out and when he comes he finds it swept and garnished. Not only this but Jesus would also describe how he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself and how they enter in and dwell therein. It is this latter portion we must needs be aware of for I am convinced it is not enough for the unclean spirit(s) which have tormented, afflicted, oppressed and kept you in bondage to be expelled for their presence must needs be filled and occupied with and by the person of the Holy Spirit. I am absolutely convinced we must pay close and careful attention to the words present in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the unclean spirit being gone and how when the unclean spirit is gone out the house was swept and garnished. Oh I am reminded of the man in the Gadarenes whom when those of the city came and found him together with Jesus they found him clothed, seated in the presence of Jesus and in his right mind. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible truth surrounding the powerful reality of a house that is clean and garnished—and not only clean, swept and garnished but also occupied by the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. I firmly believe there are countless men and women whose houses not only need to be delivered from those unclean spirits which have tormented, oppressed and kept them in bondage but who also need the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit to be manifested within them. There are men and women of whom it’s not enough for that One who is stronger than the strong man to show up and overcome the strong man taking and stripping him of his armor and dividing his spoils. There is a great and powerful need for that place wherein the unclean spirit occupied to be filled and occupied by a different spirit—the very Holy Spirit of the living and eternal God who created the heavens and the earth. There is a great and present need within our hearts and lives to not only be delivered and set free from those oppressive spirits who have tormented and afflicted us for far too long but also to be filled with the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. I fully recognize that I wrote of being filled with the Holy Spirit prior to being delivered from the oppression, the terror and the tyranny of those unclean spirits which have afflicted and oppressed us, however, we must needs recognize that the time has come for us to once and for all be delivered and set free from those spirits who have been present within our lives for far too long now. The time has come within this generation for us as the saints of God and believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to be delivered and set free once and for all from that which has tormented, afflicted and held us in bondage. There is a great need for us as the saints of God and the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ to be delivered and set free from those unclean spirits—those strong men who have not only kept the house secure but who were also clothed with armor wherein they trusted and used to defend the house wherein they were present. Please note that I am not speaking of the saints of God and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ being possessed by unclean spirits and devils but rather being tormented, afflicted, oppressed and even kept in bondage by such spirits. We must needs recognize that it is possible for the people of God to be tormented, vexed, oppressed, afflicted and kept in bondage by unclean spirits who not only seek to guard the house wherein they are present but who are also clothed with armor wherein they trust to maintain their defense. There are men and women who desperately need the person, the presence and the power of Jesus Christ who is that One stronger than the strong man to overtake the strong man within our lives who has not only guarded the palace but also who was and is clothed with armor wherein they trust. Within this generation and the days in which we are living there are men and women who once and for all need to be delivered from those strong men who have oppressed and afflicted them. Much like the children of Israel needed to be delivered from the slavery, the bondage and oppression of Egypt as well as from the tyranny and terror of the taskmasters so also are there men and women who need to be delivered from their own bondage, their own slavery, their own oppression and from those who have unleashed a reign of terror and tyranny within and upon their lives, their homes, their families, their relationships, their jobs, their finances and the like. Oh that we would be a people who would indeed be delivered and set free once and for all and that we would invite the person of the Lord Jesus to come and deliver us from those unclean and foul spirits who have tormented, oppressed and afflicted us for far too long and who have unleashed their reign of terror and tyranny within our lives for far too long now. Oh that we would be delivered once and for all—and not only delivered once and for all but also occupied, indwelt and filled with the abiding presence of the person of the Holy Spirit. Oh that we would be a people who would both be delivered from the oppression, affliction, tyranny and terror of those unclean spirits which have been present for far too long as well as occupied by the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s