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Sometimes we can ask ourselves some questions when we see or hear certain situations. I think that many people have been confronted with the fact that a person born again has behaviours or attitudes that are perplexing. People who can't break addictions, others who get sick after being cursed. The Christian world of African origin is quite affected by these things, but it is not the only one. That is why we will mainly see what are the real possibilities of satan against Christians.
The first thing is to rely on what the Bible teaches us about this, and then model ourselves around that truth.
I am not going to go into detail about what is mentioned in our study on "The True Colours of satan" (available for free on our website), but we will simply take up some important points that the Bible shows us.
Colossians 2:15 (NIV) And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
In this passage "He" is talking about Jesus. We will look at this passage in depth to understand what Paul meant by this. We can start by looking at other translations of this same passage to give us another perspective on its deeper meaning.
Colossians 2:15 (NLT) In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.
Colossians 2:15 (AMP) When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities [those supernatural forces of evil operating against us], He made a public example of them [exhibiting them as captives in His triumphal procession], having triumphed over them through the cross.
Colossians 2:15 (TLB) In this way God took away Satan’s power to accuse you of sin, and God openly displayed to the whole world Christ’s triumph at the cross where your sins were all taken away.
Colossians 2:15 (GW) He stripped the rulers and authorities ⌞of their power⌟ and made a public spectacle of them as he celebrated his victory in Christ.
My first point is to show the real position of satan and his demons today, for it is this truth once established, which will serve as a basis for establishing our position on this subject. The following gives the new position of satan in this world since the event of the cross. Since the sacrifice of Jesus much has changed from the Old Testament.
Let us stay with this first element for the moment, which is: "Jesus has stripped the rulers and authorities". We can see that in the other translations that we have noted, the verb stripped is also translated as:
So this is an additional image we have here. Jesus has: "disarmed and removed their power".
Now let's look in the original text at this Greek word that has been translated as stripped or disarmed: it is the word APEKDUOMAI. This word gives the clear notion of:
It seems that this notion is quite clear, we are talking about people who have lost their power, what they had, their weapons, and their strength.
But then we could ask ourselves if those who were robbed could not perhaps later pick up their weapons or recover their power after having been robbed?
A deeper study of the word APEKDUOMAI shows us that it gives us another notion which is that of:
- To separate, to lose what has been lost in disarmament.
That is to say that this power, or these weapons which were suppressed, removed during this stripping were at the same time taken away, lost from these people (satan and his demons) without them being able to recover their power or weapons at any moment. This is why the Bible says that satan was cast down to earth: he cannot take back his powers by himself because he was cast down, thrown out like a dirty man, powerless. He did not slam the door on himself, he was thrown out.
Revelation 12:9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
This passage corresponds to Luke 10:18, when Jesus said that He saw satan falling like lightning from heaven. We see in the above verse that satan's only power today is seduction. That is all he can do: seduce, and deceive people with lies.
Some may then say to me: "But Frank, I have seen people possessed by demons". Yes, this is true for people who are not born again. But a demonic possession is only the result of a seduction that took place beforehand.
Then if we continue to dig a little deeper into the word APEKDUOMAI (Colossians 2:15), we can see that it also gives the image of being totally stripped, without keeping anything, in order to give an advantage to the one who stripped the other.
Clearly we can say that these people (satan and his demons) were stripped to give an advantage to Jesus and His Church. That is, it is not only that satan and his demons have lost all their power and can only lie, but also that this has given a definite advantage to the Church. This advantage is the authority that every Christian has received over satan and his demons.
Then we can look at the same passage to see who these dominions and authorities are. Indeed, we could ask ourselves if these authorities and these dominions refer to the totality of the demons or only a part of them for example, and perhaps think that some demons would have been stripped and not others?
On closer inspection we can see that the words dominions and authorities have been translated from the original words which are: ARCHE and EXOUSIA.
These two words give us the image of: all power which is not that of Jesus.
That is, dominions and authorities include not only satan and his demons but also every power that is external to God. So this stripping is not limited to satan and his demons. However, we know that in this tangible world everything has its source in the spiritual. This gives us a clear picture of the effect that Jesus' sacrifice had on these people (entities), knowing that this stripping had an effect on any power outside of God.
Now let's look at the way Jesus stripped satan and his demons. The VOICE and MESSAGE versions give further details on this subject referring to our passage.
Colossians 2:15 (VOICE) He disarmed those who once ruled over us—those who had overpowered us. Like captives of war, He put them on display to the world to show His victory over them by means of the cross.
Colossians 2:15 (MSG) He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.
As mentioned in our study on "The True Colours of Satan", at the time Paul wrote this passage, Roman generals returning from battle had a certain custom... When the Roman army won a battle against a region or city, the Roman general would go to the leader of the defeated army. There he would first order his thumbs to be cut off. As a result, the defeated leader was left without any strength and totally unable to hold a sword in his hand to fight. This action was of course irreversible. Then this Roman general ordered that the big toes of the defeated army leader be cut off so that he would not be able to run or keep his balance on a chariot for the rest of his life. It is also important to remember that at that time the vast majority of battles were fought on foot, or on a chariot for the commanders. These mutilations were not reversible, and rendered the leader of the defeated army totally powerless.
Not only were these mutilations imposed, but they were done in front of all the inhabitants of the region or the town, depending on the case. Everyone could see what was happening. This action was also a public declaration of defeat of the opponent.
Now we can see how Jesus triumphed.
The original word translated as "triumphed" is THRIAMBEUO. This word gives the notion of a procession with songs, hymns, a declaration of certain, unequivocal victory.
However, it is also clear that this entity has been stripped of its power by Jesus, and can therefore only be manifested by a person in whom Jesus dwells permanently, i.e. a person who has been born again.
It is now very clear how satan and his demons have lost all their power. However, we could ask the question whether satan and his demons have lost all their powers towards Christians only or all human beings?
The Bible tells us that satan and his demons have lost all the power they had. It does not say that this power has been stripped from Christians only, but that only Christians have authority over Satan and his demons. It also says that this stripping was done once and for all. That is, everyone who is born again is given an authoritative superiority over satan and his demons.
satan and his demons have therefore been stripped but they have not been exterminated if I may say so, they can come and go, speak and seduce with lies. That is to say, they are certainly without power but nevertheless alive. They no longer have any authority, any power. But they can still enter a person who is not born again, for example. This is a case of demonic possession.
The Bible shows us that a spirit can act physically in a body, creating a disease or any other dysfunction. This is not by any power but simply by physical action inside a human or animal body. A demon can enter a body where the spirit is not born again and cause all sorts of negative actions, sometimes resulting in dysfunction.
This is found in Luke 13:11 (NIV) … and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all.
A demon will not be able to enter the body of a born-again person, but it can speak in the form of thoughts to that born-again person. For example, a demon cannot make you sick directly, but it can suggest stupid actions to make you sick. For example, he may suggest that you don't cover up well enough, that you have an intimate physical relationship with a person who has AIDS, or that you take risks that will endanger your life, that a curse has been cast on you and that you are sick, and many other things like that.
The apostle James gives us a key element to help us understand how far satan can really go with a born again person.
James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
It is not by chance that James said this, and he quoted it in a very specific order. It is my submission to God that will give me the ability to resist the devil, and it is because I will resist the devil that I can see him flee from me. These three things are linked and cannot happen without the previous one being fulfilled.
In the original text, to submit gives the notion of: To follow the advice of..., voluntarily to obey in the sense of subordinate.
So it is because I will voluntarily follow the directions and practice the counsels of God in my daily life that I will then be able to resist the devil.
It is important to understand what it means to resist the devil.
In the original text the word translated as resist is ANTHISTEMI. This word gives the notion of opposing something. And this is exactly what happens with satan. Resisting satan means that we oppose him with what God says in the face of his lies. Resisting the devil simply means "not believing his lies, by opposing them with the truth that God says in His word".
When you think about it, this is exactly what Jesus did when He was in the desert. He did not believe the lies of satan and He countered them with what the Bible says about them. So there is no question of fighting against satan, of arguing with him, because we do not have to engage in dialogue with him. We simply have to oppose a false thought with what God says when we see that satan or one of his demons is suggesting such a thought. Resisting the devil is nothing more than not believing his lies. But to be able to detect a lie we must know the truth. Therefore, if I do not study, pray, or research what God is telling me, then I will be unable to detect a lying thought. And this is what happens in many cases in the body of Christ throughout the world, many Christians take as truth demonic false thoughts and are destabilised in their faith. This leads to people believing huge lies, such as that a Christian could be demon-possessed.
I will only be able to see satan flee from me if I resist him, being willingly submitted to God.
So we come to the question of why we can sometimes see Christians acting as if they have generational bonds on them, or acting as if they are possessed for example.
We can see what the Bible says about generational bonds and with reference to Christians.
satan cannot act directly in the body of a born again person, because he cannot enter it. But he can very well make this person act in the direction he indicates by various lies. satan is not in charge, but it is just the same, because a born-again person will follow these demonic directives out of ignorance of his or her position as a son or daughter in the kingdom. satan takes his power from people, his only means of action is in the power that people give him (very often by ignorance), Christians included.
It is therefore also possible, as we have just seen, that satan uses other people to act in a person's life. We are talking about indirect actions that can result in various actions, percussions, etc...
A born-again person has no spiritual family, generational or ancestral ties.
Paul was also confronted with this problem because even at that time some people were teaching that it was possible that one could still have curse ties with one's ancestors when one was born again.
Paul speaks about this to Timothy:
1 Tim 1:3-4 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.
So there is no more bond when we are born again. However, sometimes some Christians believe this kind of lie and will then end up acting in their lives exactly as if they still had this kind of tie. We can trigger diseases by the way we think and act as if we are what we think.
Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
That is, the Bible tells us that: The way we think, we are, or we will act on what we think is true.
Make a person think they are possessed and they will end up acting like they are even if they are not, it is only a matter of time.
Make a person believe they have cancer and they will also end up acting like they have cancer, even if they are perfectly healthy, they may even trigger symptoms sometimes.
You see this is the power of satan, he has the power that people accept to give him out of ignorance.
I have seen Christians thinking that they were possessed by a demon. As a result, they were rolling on the floor, screaming and foaming at the mouth. The pastors who were present did not have the right discernment and therefore tried to cast out this so-called demon. But nothing worked. They were trying to cast out a demon that was not present, but it was a waste of time.
I was able to talk to this person a little later and explain to her that she was the victim of a demonic trick. Without having prayed for her, simply by opposing the truth to what she thought was true, these manifestations disappeared, and this for over 15 years.
Or another person who told me that she couldn't stop herself from throwing herself to the ground at church meetings, undulating like a snake. Again, after teaching this person about the truth that the Bible gives us, these manifestations disappeared without ever having prayed to cast a demon out of her body.
satan is a liar, a deceiver and a counterfeiter. His only purpose is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). Today his only power is lies, and it is up to us Christians not to fall into his traps and believe anything. We must learn the truth so that we are equipped to oppose these lies.
A pastor I know who is passionate about nature once told a story about a young eagle in Australia. This eaglet had been rescued at birth by Aboriginals who had put it in a chicken coop because its mother had disappeared.
More than a year later, this eagle, having spent its life in a coop with chickens, acted like a chicken. It would fly no more than 2 or 3 metres, even when it was outside the coop. He waddled like a chicken when he walked. He was very much like a hen and yet he was an eagle, simply because he was convinced that his identity was that of a hen.
One day these Aboriginals decided to release him back into his true environment. After a while he found his identity and flew to the mountains.
This eagle had not acquired its identity. He had been deceived by his environment, he did not know who he really was. He didn't know his position in creation, he didn't know the truth about himself, so he conformed to what he thought was his life.
The same is often true of some poorly taught Christians. Often they live according to what they think is the truth, thinking that satan has power against them, that he can make them directly sick, that he can ruin their lives. But satan cannot do anything without a human being. Jesus destroyed the works of the devil, and gave us that power too!
Bye for now...
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