the Devil will Flee
I haven't written or spoken much about the devil during
my years of pastoral and internet ministry. In some churches
where I have been invited to preach there has been a
suggestion that it is a taboo subject - you know "We don't
talk about that here." Well, perhaps we should, and I intend
- controversial or not - because I experienced a major
attack for the first time in my life and I want to share
that with you.
We all know about the love of God and there are some
passages in the Bible about the devil. Like 1 Peter 5:8 "Be
self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls
around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
God is real to us and that is the very basis of our faith.
But the devil? Does it exist or is this symbolic or a
biblical myth to scare us? Do we really understand the power
of the devil and the authority we have in the name of Jesus
Christ to defeat it and be victorious? If not, then here is
Laying in my hospital bed in a private ward one night,
recovering from surgery, I put out the light preparing to
sleep. There was still some light from the passageway. As
soon as I closed my eyes, the ward was full of horrible
black demon-like creatures, chattering and crawling toward
me. I opened my eyes and they disappeared. Closed my eyes
and they reappeared. This happened several times until I
fell into a restless sleep.
The next night, on putting out the light, a dark, leering,
ugly face appeared before me and gradually got closer until
its nose was touching my nose. I opened my eyes and it
vanished, closed my eyes and it reappeared. This happened
several times until I realised that for the first time in my
life I was knowingly under satanic attack. For nearly nine
years I had been writing and emailing Word for the Week and
each morning Vera and I covered that program with prayer,
specifically against satanic attack. But in my hospital bed,
alone in the ward, not in the pink of condition but
certainly not suffering from drug-induced hallucinations, it
was time for the devil to do the 'roaring lion' bit. Here
was Ron Clarke, recovering from major surgery and about to
start writing again - this time with a new lease of life at
age 73. Someone to devour?
My eyes remained closed as I stared out the apparition. I
prayed: "I come against you in the name of Jesus Christ.
Go." I waited. We stared, eyeball to eyeball. After a few
moments the face gradually moved away and finally
disappeared. I have not been troubled again and, praise be
to God, He has allowed me to start writing again.
Does the devil exist? Believe it. Do we have the power to
banish the devil from us? Believe that too, invoking that
authority by calling on the name of Jesus Christ. "Submit
yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee
from you." (James 4:7)
Dwight L. Moody (1837–1899), the American evangelist and the
chief spokesman for the revivalist wing of the flourishing
American evangelicals of his day, said: "I believe Satan to
exist for two reasons: first, the Bible says so; and second,
I’ve done business with him."
Have a good and victorious week, Pastor Ron NOTE: As the
work of Satan and his demons requires understanding, I have
included the Bible study for all recipients this week.
Word for the Week Page 2 LIFE ISSUES HOME BIBLE STUDY
PROGRAM Relating the Word of God to the realities of life.
This week’s ‘Word for the Week’ study message: AND THE DEVIL
* Read Matthew 4:1-11 (key verse 1). Satan even tempted
Christ himself. This temptation by the devil gave Jesus the
opportunity to reaffirm God’s plan for his ministry. It also
gives us an example to follow when we are tempted to give
up. Jesus’ temptation was an important demonstration of his
humanness and sinlessness. He faced temptation, but he did
not give in. Satan is a fallen angel. He is real, not
symbolic, and he is constantly fighting against those who
follow and obey God. Satan’s temptations are also real. He
is always trying to get us to live his way or our way rather
than God’s way.
* Read Mark 1:21-28 (key verse 27). Many psychologists
dismiss all accounts of demon possession as a primitive way
to describe mental illness. Although throughout history
mental illness has often been wrongly diagnosed as demon
possession, clearly a hostile outside force controlled the
man described in Mark 1. Mark emphasized Jesus’ conflict
with evil powers to show his superiority over them, so he
recorded many stories about Jesus driving out evil spirits.
Jesus didn’t have to conduct an elaborate exorcism ritual.
His word was enough to send out the demons.
* Read Luke 9:37-45 (key verse 30). Jesus confronted demons
with absolute authority. These demons recognized Jesus and
his authority immediately. They knew who Jesus was and what
his great power could do to them. Demons, Satan’s
messengers, are powerful and destructive. Still active
today, they attempt to distort and destroy people’s
relationship with God. Demons and demon possession are real.
It is vital that believers recognize the power of Satan and
his demons, but they are powerless against those who trust
in Jesus. If we resist the devil, he will leave us alone.
* Read Ephesians 6:10-18 (key verse 12). The enemy is
unseen, but the struggle is personal. These enemies who are
not “flesh and blood” are demons over whom Satan has
control. They are not mere fantasies—they are very real. We
face a powerful army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s
church. When we believe in Christ, these beings become our
enemies, and they try every device to turn us away from him
and back to sin, depression or failure. Although we are
assured of victory, we must engage in the struggle until
Christ returns because Satan is constantly battling against
all who are on the Lord’s side. We need supernatural power
to defeat Satan, and God has provided this by giving us his
Holy Spirit within us and his armour surrounding us.
* Read James 4:1-10 (key verse 7). God has already defeated
Satan (Revelation 12:10-12), and when Christ returns, the
devil and all he stands for will be eliminated forever
(Revelation 20:10-15). Satan is here now, however, and he is
trying to win us over to his evil cause. With the Holy
Spirit’s power, we can resist the devil, and he will flee
"There are two great forces at work in the world today: the
unlimited power of God and the limited power of Satan."
Corrie Ten Boom (1892–1983)
This is one of a series of weekly messages of encouragement,
now in its ninth year, originating from Snug, near Hobart,
Tasmania, Australia. A companion Bible study page is
available each week. To subscribe email email@example.com
with the words 'subscribe word' (or) 'subscribe word and
study'. Our ministry is free and mailing lists are
confidential. Tell a friend - we welcome new subscriptions.
Pastor Ron Clarke JP