The Great Commission:
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mk. 16:15-18)
According to what Jesus said, if you are a believer, you should be casting out demons! That’s what believers do: cast out demons! Notice also it was the very first thing He addressed in what has been called, “The Great Commission!” While it is indeed the Great Commission to all the church, regardless of denomination, affiliation, or creed, yet it is the most disobeyed command Jesus gave.
The number five in the Bible symbolizes grace or another connotation of the Greek word, charis, which is giftings. It is no accident or coincidence that The Great Commission consists of five tenets, all of which delineate supernatural acts that believers are called and commissioned to perform through the power of the Holy Spirit and through the auspices of the authority Jesus relegated to the Church prior to His ascension into Heaven. The fact that there are five tenets indicates that the believer has been empowered and commissioned by the Spirit to perform them by the grace and supernatural giftings of God.
Jesus gave The Great Commission to the Church to be obeyed, yet it is so ignored and disobeyed by churches that it has earned the attribution: “The Great Omission.” It was not given merely to the leaders of the Church, but to believers of the Church. Any believer who is not performing these tenets of The Great Commission is, at the very minimum, a disobedient believer. My personal interpretation is that anyone who is not performing these acts is not a believer at all, for Jesus said this is what believers do; operating in these giftings to perform these acts is what defines a believer. At the very least, believers who are not obeying The Great Commission are unbelieving believers, if there is such a thing. Faith without works is dead; these works of The Great Commission are the works of a believer. James said, no one is saved by their works, but believers demonstrate their faith by their works.
The so-called “eleventh commandment,” or Jesus’ commandment, is Love—to love one another, as He loved us. Jesus also said that if we love Him we will keep is commandments. Setting the captives free IS love! God so loved the world that He gave or sent His only begotten Son, who demonstrated the ultimate love by performing the ultimate sacrifice, laying down His life, in obedience to the only commandment God gave Him when He sent Him to earth to become our kinsmen redeemer. Had the Father not given Him that commandment that He could lay down His life, He never could have died for the sins of the world—the ultimate act of ultimate love.
But during His earthly ministry one of the first and certainly foremost acts Jesus performed that demonstrated not only His compassion (love) but also His authority, which is rooted in love, was to set the captives free by casting out demons. Someone has calculated that two-thirds of Jesus’ fleshly ministry as recorded in the Gospels consisted of casting out demons.
John revealed that the primary purpose of the manifestation of the first-born Son of God on earth was “that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 Jn. 3:8). Indeed, every time Jesus cast out a devil or multiple devils, or healed someone, or raised the dead, He was destroying the works of the devil, for ultimately it is the devil’s works that is behind all diseases, disorders, and conditions contrary to homeostasis—psychological and physiological.
Peter, speaking by the Spirit concerning “the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting in Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed” (which John explained was a baptism of repentance), described Jesus’ three and a half year ministry this way:
“How 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.” (Ac. 10:38)
Notice that the Holy Spirit is indicating that in every case where healing took place through the ministry of Jesus, it was the devil causing the oppression, which stands to reason in so many ways. In healing those who were oppressed by the devil, Jesus was “doing good” and “undoing” or destroying the works of the devil. In essence, He was doing what He was sent to do—”reverse the curse” that the injection of sin into the mainstream of mankind had produced!
When we as believers go forth following the model of Jesus’ ministry and doing the works that He did and even greater works, we too are “doing good,” for God is also with us! If you want to do good as Jesus did, you also need to start casting out and doing spiritual warfare against demons and thereby reverse the curse sin has brought upon mankind. Through the Cross of Christ and His shed innocent blood, we now have that right, authority, and power over all the works of the devil! (cf., Mat. 10:1; Mk. 1:27, 3:15, 6:7; Lk. 4:36; 9:1, 10:19)
Then, when He called and commissioned the original apostles, He sent them out two by two—BEFORE the cross (salvation) and BEFORE the outpouring of the Spirit in the form of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (power)—and empowered them with a two-fold commandment: to CAST OUT DEMONS and to HEAL THE SICK. The fact that these disciples were empowered to both cast out demons and heal the sick BEFORE they were even saved and BEFORE they were baptized in the Holy Spirit is a fact that will really mess up your preconceived doctrines and dogmas! It also demonstrates the efficacy of Jesus’ authority on earth, for it was solely on the basis of Jesus’ authority that the disciples were able to indeed do what Jesus sent them forth to do—heal the sick and cast out demons.
That being so, how much more authority do believers living AFTER the Cross and Pentecost have authority over the same forces. Yet, the vast majority of believers on the planet have no idea that this authority is available to them and therefore are not operating in it to do their part in “destroying the works of the devil.”
In the incident involving the Syrophoenician or Canaanite woman who came to Jesus imploring Him to cast the demon out of her daughter (Mat. 15:22-28), Jesus said deliverance is “the children’s bread,” meaning the children of the Kingdom. Jesus is the ultimate deliverer. Thus, to deny, refuse, or reject the matter of deliverance as well as deliverance itself is to deny, refuse, and reject Jesus Himself as well as the provision He has provided to do warfare against the forces and effects of the devil on earth. That may sound radical, but it is nonetheless the irrefutable facts.
In Biblical parlance, “bread” is a symbol of required sustenance. The term “bread” is a metonymn symbolizing more than merely cooked dough, but rather it symbolizes the larger issue of “food.” Food is not optional for human sustenance, but a requirement. God has designed the human body to require the intake of food in order to survive and thrive. For this reason, we can know with certainty that eating disorders are at bottom, demonic, the goal of which is one of the tri-fold purposes of Satan — to kill, steal, and destroy (Jn. 10:10). Modern fixations with a myriad of new-fangled diets is a form of eating disorder.
But, much worse, the Body of Christ as a whole has a spiritual eating disorder—”spiritual anorexia”—because it refuses to eat and is repulsed by the spiritual bread—deliverance—Jesus has provided, not only for our own needs but also the needs of multitudes around us! Deliverance is the Children’s Bread!
Now this matter when followed to its conclusion gets very interesting, for which reason I cannot resist the temptation to follow briefly an obscure but pertinent tangent here. The Apostle Paul by inspiration of the Spirit, incredibly, predicted that one of the prevalent issues that would be extant during the last days apostasy would be an advocating of “abstaining from foods, which GOD HAS CREATED to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the Truth,” and that these vain philosophies would be promulgated by apostate people who are influenced by “deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron” (1 Tim. 4:1-5).
In other words, this seemingly endless range of diets and health-food crazes that has become a massive cottage industry are not inspired by God at all, but rather are demonically inspired, and according to this passage are by definition a form of eating disorder, in that they contravene God’s design regarding gratefully partaking of the vast array of “foods” God placed on this planet for man’s provision and sustenance.
This matter alone is an area in which a multitude of people, professing believers and non, are in great need of deliverance. In my 34 years of deliverance ministry to date there have been hundreds who have been set free from their chains of bondage to eating disorders and the “doctrines of demons” related to an obsession with “abstaining from foods,” or diets that are actually demonic in origin.
Diet demons, many will find incredible, are actually of the category of religious spirits. That’s the reason so many false religions or subcultures of false religions have special diets associated with them. The root of religious spirits is self-righteousness, which explains why invariably those who are obsessed with “health diets” display such an overt pride about their diet and attempt to evangelize everyone they come into contact with to get on the diet they’re on and to read the books they’ve read extolling the excellency of the fad diet they are on.
I don’t know when believers are ever going to understand that it really is the Truth that the human body, as the Bible says, is “fearfully and wonderfully made!” It’s made to work! And it will work, if we don’t abuse it and do things that counteract the way it was designed by God to work.
In the model prayer He gave the disciples in response to their request for Him to teach them how to pray (commonly known as “The Lord’s Prayer”), Jesus taught all disciples in all times to pray daily requesting the Father provide “our daily bread,” which means far more than just the physical sustenance we need for each day, but also the spiritual bread, or food or provision, we need to sustain us that day.
Jesus also told us we cannot live on physical bread alone, but that we also need the sustenance of spiritual bread, which is every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, in order to be able to live the life of the Kingdom.
In all of this, God is speaking to believers concerning the requisite for deliverance. That’s right—requisite! Deliverance is not an option, but a requisite—for ALL believers! There are two kinds of people in this world: those who need deliverance, and those who are lying and too proud to admit their need!
Jesus declared He was the true “manna from heaven,” or “the bread of life,” which the Father gave out of Heaven to give life to the world (Jn. 6:24-35). He referred to Himself as the spiritual bread or sustenance during “the last supper” when He passed around unleavened bread which He had broken and told the disciples, “Take, eat, this is My body which is given for you” (comp., Mat. 26:26-29; Lk. 22:19), meaning that that loaf of bread respresented His body which would be broken and crushed (symbolized by chewing with teeth) for you, which, of course, by extension, meant all disciples of all times.
If you are a Child of God, Jesus said, Deliverance is for YOU! He said deliverance is the “Children’s Bread!”
CLICK HERE to read another article I wrote in 2006 about God bringing deliverance to the forefront!
I strongly urge you to listen to this short message, “Deliverance—The Children’s Bread”:
If you think you or someone you know may need deliverance, check out DeliveranceNow.Com.
DELIVERANCE FROM DEMONIC POWERS, by Dr. Steven Lambert
[Click on image to learn more about this powerful book]
that has helped many
to be set free
from the fetters
of demon powers!
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