Healing, Forgiveness and Demonic Indwelling/Oppression

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Healing, Forgiveness and Demonic Indwelling/Oppression

James R. Aist

“…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

The Bible is a remarkable resource of spiritual revelations that can rightly inform us of otherwise-hidden truths that can greatly affect our lives. This article focuses on a set of interconnected spiritual truths that, I believe, are not common knowledge within the mainstream of modern Christianity but are, nevertheless, important to our living as “more than conquerors.” (Romans 8:37). I will present three pertinent scriptural truths in bold lettering, followed by biblical references that support each one, respectively.

Demonic indwelling and infirmity are often causally related

Matthew 9:32-33. As they went out, they brought to Him a mute man possessed with a demon. And when the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke…”

Matthew 12:22. Then one possessed with a demon was brought to Him, blind and mute, and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.

Mark 9:17-27. One in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. Wherever it takes hold on him, it dashes him to the ground. And he foams at the mouth and gnashes with his teeth and becomes rigid. So they brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit dashed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. He rebuked the foul spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and enter him no more.” The spirit cried out and convulsed him greatly. But it came out of him, and he was as dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.

Luke 4:40-41a. Now when the sun was setting, all those who had anyone sick with various diseases brought them to Him. And He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons came out of many, crying out, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!”

Luke 13:10-16. He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years and was bent over and could not straighten herself up. When Jesus saw her, He called her and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” Then He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight and glorified God. …should not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham whom Satan has bound these eighteen years, be loosed from this bondage on the Sabbath?”

Acts 10:38. “…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”

Forgiveness and healing occur together

James 5:15. “And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.”

Luke 5:17-25. Now some men brought in a bed a man who was paralyzed. They searched for ways to bring him in and lay him before Him. When they could not find a way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his bed into their midst before Jesus. When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” The scribes and the Pharisees began to question, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” He answered them, “Why question in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” He said to the paralyzed man, “I say to you, rise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he rose before them, and took up that on which he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.

Something causes forgiveness and healing to occur together

I have yet to find direct, biblical evidence for this scriptural truth, yet I do believe that the evidence is in the Bible. For example, consider the case of an unbeliever who is indwelt by spirits of infirmity, and gets saved. This new Christian is instantly forgiven of all past sins (we call this “justification”) and is made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). The Holy Spirit then indwells the new Christian, and any previously indwelling demons will be cast out, because the Holy Spirit will not abide co-habitation of any evil spirits in the new believer (Psalm 5:4; 1 John 4:4). Thus, one may surmise that when the sins of a newly born-again Christian are forgiven, healing may follow because spirits of infirmity have been cast out. This is a causal relationship that would bind forgiveness and healing together, which is exactly what we were looking for.

To broaden this causal relationship to include all born-again Christians, one need only to remember that the born-again Christian is not indwelt by spirits of infirmity (because, that is impossible; see above), but only oppressed by them so as to cause infirmity. In this case, the evil spirits would not be literally cast out, but, instead, bound (i.e., expressly forbidden to continue oppressing the Christian and ordered to leave him alone. See Matthew 18:18).

Note that, in either scenario, forgiveness and healing occur together, because the influence of spirits of infirmity have been removed.

Practical Significance

To me, the Scripture passages quoted above clearly demonstrate that healing, forgiveness and demonic indwelling (or oppression) are variously interconnected. Knowing this can inform us how to best approach the task of ministering to people in need of healing. Of course, we should always be quick to lay hands on the sick and pray for their healing, believing that God can and will do it; He often does. But, leading a person to salvation can also be effective in bringing about healing, because forgiveness of sins (justification) is an essential component of the salvation work that God does in the new believer, and healing may follow. Finally, because evil spirits can cause various infirmities to manifest, it may be that, in order for healing to come, such spirits must first be either cast out or bound. We know that born-again Christians have both the authority and the power to minister in these ways, because Jesus said so: “These signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:17-18). So, let’s be bold and use the God-given power and authority that we have as believers, and see what God will do!

Further Reading

Morris Cerullo. Receiving and Ministering Deliverance. (click HERE)

Derek Prince. Spiritual Warfare: Demons of Sickness and Infirmity. (click HERE)

(To read more of my articles with a biblical theme, click HERE)

Abortion: A Biblical Perspective

 

Abortion: A Biblical PerspectiveJewish torah scroll in cover

 James R. Aist

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20)

Introduction

Although abortion has important social and political ramifications, to those of us who are born-again Christians, the most basic issues have to do with what God has to say about it. For that information, of course, we turn to the Word of God, the Holy Bible. But, can we find in the Bible the spiritual guidance we seek and get a clear understanding of the moral issues surrounding abortion, as well as God’s opinion of it? Let’s find out.

God Knows When Human Life Begins

Who could possibly answer this question better than the God who created human life, the God of the Bible? What does the Bible have to say about when human life begins?

Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” God knew Jeremiah before He formed him in the womb (i.e., before he was conceived). In the mind of God, Jeremiah existed as a human being even before he was conceived.

Psalm 51:5 – “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” Let’s think about that for a moment. Could David have been sinful before he was a human being? Of course not; the curse of original sin applies only to human beings. It follows, then, that if David was sinful from the moment of conception, then he must also have been a human being from the moment of conception.

Luke 1:36 – “Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.” Note that, here, the angel of the Lord states that what Elizabeth conceived was already a “son” (i.e., a male human offspring). The implication is that John the Baptist was already a human being at the moment of his conception.

Conclusion: In the mind of God, we exist as human beings even before we are conceived. Moreover, the Bible speaks of the product of human conception as being already “sinful” or a “son”, both of which are distinctively human attributes. Thus, in the Bible, human life is understood to begin at conception, because the God of the Bible says it does.

When Does God’s Plan for Our Life Begin?

Luke 2:21 – “And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.” God’s plan for Jesus was already in place before he was conceived, as the name given by the angel, “Jesus”, means “Savior.”

Jeremiah 1:5 – “…before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” God ordained Jeremiah a prophet before he was born.

Isaiah 49:1 – “Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.” Isaiah received his calling from the Lord before he was born.

Judges 16:17 – “I have been a Nazarite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb.” Samson was dedicated to God as a Nazarite before he was born.

Galatians 1:15 – “… God… set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace…” Paul was set apart, by God, to be an Apostle before he was born.

Conclusion: According to the Bible, God has a plan for our lives before we are born!

Why Does the Bible Condemn Abortion As “Sin”?

First, we must understand that God created us, all of us, in His own image: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them….” (Genesis 1:27). This fact means that we human beings are the pinnacle of God’s creation and are the only living beings that bear the very image of God in themselves.

Second, God said that “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.” (Genesis 9:6). Abortion is undeniably the “shedding of human blood”, and as such it is an act of utter and total disrespect for the image of God himself, a grave offense to the very being of God.

And third, as the shedding of innocent human blood, abortion is the sin of murder and, therefore, a violation of God’s 6th Commandment, “You shall not murder.”

Conclusion: The Bible condemns abortion as sin, because it is murder.

Is It OK to Be “Pro-choice”?

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. – 1 Corinthians 10:23-24

People who are “pro-choice” believe that they are just defending the right of the mother to decide whether her unborn child lives or dies; thus, “pro-choice.” At the same time, they deny that they have any responsibility for the death of the unborn child if the mother decides to abort. This is nonsense. By supporting their so-called  “right to choose”, you are, in effect, implying that you believe either choice, life or death, is equally good and moral, and to the extent that you influence them to agree with you, you share in whatever decision they make. Let’s be honest and realistic for a moment: Every time you say, “It’s a woman’s right to choose”, you’re also saying, “It’s OK to murder babies – either male or female – in the womb.” Do you really believe that a woman has a right to murder another woman in the womb? How does it promote “women’s rights” to deny unborn women the most basic human right of all, the right to live? And, what if the choice were up to you? Would you choose to murder your own baby in your womb? If not, then why would you support someone else choosing to do it? The only way you can avoid a shared responsibility in a decision to abort is to take a stand against abortion, i.e., to be “pro-life.” Does the Bible have anything to say about this point? Indeed it does. The Bible has stern rebukes and dire warnings for those who approve of sin or encourage others to sin (Leviticus 19:1; Isaiah 5:20; Malachi 2:17; Matthew 5:19-20; Matthew 18:6; Romans 14:22). Thus, anyone, including born-again Christians, who even approves of or encourages the sin of abortion in any way will, someday, have to answer to God for it. If that’s you, then now is the time to repent!

Conclusion: It is not OK to be “pro-choice”; according to the Bible, it is a sin.

An Appeal for the Rights of the Unborn

If you want to make me cry, then remind me of the accidental traffic death of my daughter, Liesel, when she was only 20 years old. Or, remind me of the accidental drowning deaths of twin toddlers in Knoxville a few days ago. But, if you really want me to weep and mourn deeply, then remind me of the intentional deaths of tens of millions of innocent, helpless, unborn babies, murdered in their mother’s womb, in America since Roe v. Wade. The United States will have no claim whatsoever to any moral high ground concerning anything, unless and until we, as a nation, rise up against this, the most despicable of man’s inhumanity to man, and legally declare it to be what it is: murder of the worst kind. And that’s why we need more and more pro-life justices, judges, governors, legislators, presidents and God-fearing voters to lead the charge against abortion. America, bless God and stand against this national tragedy!

Summary

According to the God of the Bible, human life begins at conception. God has a plan for our lives before we are even conceived, and abortion thwarts the plan of God. We are made in the image of God, and He condemns abortion as sin because it is murder, an act of utter and total disrespect for the image of God himself and a grave offense to the very being of God. And, it is a sin to be “pro-choice”, because a pro-choice position, in effect, approves of and encourages the sin of abortion, even though it is the mother who makes the decision.

You might also want to read this article by John MacArthur (click HERE)

(For more articles on ABORTION, click HERE)