"The Doorways of the Devil" Part I
Ephesians 6:10-18 is one of the most powerful and important passages of Scripture for the victorious Christian. That is, the Christian who is living in victory for the Lord Jesus Christ by winning the daily battle with the three enemies of the soul, the world, the flesh and the devil.
These vicious enemies of the Christian cannot be defeated without God’s formula for victory found in the book of Ephesians. In Ephesians 6:10 & 11 Paul summarizes the entire book of Ephesians by dividing it into three specific areas. These three distinct divisions are especially designed by the Lord to give us the victory over the three enemies of the soul.
The first enemy is the world system and for this enemy Paul commands: “Be strong in the Lord...” literally be continually strengthened in the Lord. This phrase summarizes chapter 1:1-3:21 as Paul gives us the ammunition to have complete victory over the allurement of the world system and all its trappings by knowing our Position in the Lord as described in these first three chapters of this epistle which is definitely “The Book for the Battle”.
The key word for victory over the world is “Faith”. Faith in who we are in Christ! Our heavenly position and possessions are thoroughly described in chapter 1-3 and beautifully pictured in Ephesians 2:6: “And hath raised us up together, and made us to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”. This is our present exalted position! We are “Right now” supernaturally raised from being dead in our sins and seated in the heavenlies in Christ with all the “Spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.”(Ephesians1:3.)
Faith in our Position, who we are in Christ, and our Possessions, what He has given us, are things that are eternal and will never change! We must rejoice in these manifold spiritual blessings for there are at least (24) mentioned in these first three chapters of Ephesians:
1. He hath CHOSEN us in Him (1:3): Selected for Himself, Separated from the rest of mankind, Picked out from among many. Illustr: Abraham (Gen 12); Demoniac of Gadara (Mark 5); Samaritan Woman at the Well (John 4)-All Gentiles
2. Having PREDESTINATED us (1:5): To appoint from the beginning, To foreordain, To decide beforehand (Rom 8:29)
3. The ADOPTION of children (1:5): The act of making us His children accomplished by His own will, giving the same relationship as the Israelites (Rom 8:15; Gal 4:5)
4. He hath made us ACCEPTED in the Beloved (1:6): To make graceful, charming, lovely, agreeable; To compass with blessing, favor by enduing with grace
5. In Whom we have REDEMPTION through His Blood (1:7): To buy back, ransom, liberate by paying a price He already owned us by creation, but we were sold into the slave market of sin through the transgression of Adam, He then purchased us w/His Blood!! (I Corinthians 1:30)
6. The FORGIVENESS of sins (1:7): Released from bondage, imprisonment and given remission of the penalty through the gift of repentance and through faith in His Blood (Luke 24:47; Rom 3:25)
7. Having made KNOWN unto us the mystery of His will (1:9): He has given us the privilege to know the mystery of His will concerning His gathering together in one all things in Christ.
8. We have obtained an INHERITANCE (1:11): A portion allotted and given to the rightful heirs, those who are in Christ are joint-heirs with Him (Romans 8:17)
9. Ye were SEALED with that Holy Spirit of promise (1:13): To stamp permanently as a sign of ownership; To set a seal upon; To mark w/seal for security
10. The REDEMPTION OF THE PURCHASED POSSESSION (1:14): To keep safe, secure, to purchase for oneself and preserve for a future day. The guarantee of glorification/glorified body is given by the indwelling Holy Spirit’s presence.
11. To have THE EYES OF OUR UNDERSTANDING ENLIGHTENED (1:18): The spiritual eyes of the heart illumined to experientially know: 1. What is the hope of His calling 2. What the riches of the glory of His inheritance 3. What is the exceeding greatness of His power-Illustration: (II Kings 6:17) Eyes of Elisha’s servant opened
12. He hath QUICKENED us (2:5): To be made alive spiritually, To be energized with the life of God
13. He hath MADE US SIT TOGETHER IN HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST JESUS (2:6): Our present position in the eyes of God is in heaven in Christ, just as Christ is in us here on earth, we are in Him in heaven!! (John 15:4)
14. We are His WORKMANSHIP created in Christ Jesus (2:10): His work of art, His ‘poem’
(Greek for workmanship)
15. We are MADE NIGH by the Blood of Christ (2:13): To be brought near, to be ushered into the very presence of God before His heavenly throne i.e. ‘the Throne of grace’ (Hebrews 4:16)
16. The Lord Jesus Christ is our PEACE (2:14-17): Peace is not the absence of outer turmoil, trial, tribulation, but the presence of inner rest in Christ Jesus (John 16:33). ‘The peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus’ (Phil 4:7)
17. For through Him we both have ACCESS unto the Father*(2:18): The act of bringing someone into the presence of an exalted dignitary or person of power, bringing a peasant into the King’s court.
‘We have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand’ (Rom 5:2)
‘In Whom we have boldness and access by the faith of Him w/confidence (Eph 3:12)
18. Now, therefore, ye are...FELLOWCITIZENS *(2:19): The reality of possessing citizenship the same as others who were natural born. The Gentiles brought into the same position as the Jew
19. Ye also are.an HABITATION OF GOD through the Spirit *(2:22): To be built together with others to make up the whole, All parts/pieces required to make up the entire Kingdom of God, God dwelling place is His saints
20. That the Gentiles should be FELLOWHEIRS (3:6): To be joint participants in the blessing of the Jews ‘Heirs together of the grace of life’ (I Peter 3:7)
21. That the Gentiles should be...PARTAKERS OF THE PROMISES (3:6): To be joint participants of the O.T. promises of the Jews
22. We take part in God’s ETERNAL PURPOSE (3:9-11): God demonstrates to the principalities and powers in heavenly places His wisdom BY THE CHURCH, through Meditation on the Word, Spirit-led Prayer, Preaching of the Word, Witnessing with the Word and Winning of the Lost.
23. We have BOLDNESS, and ACCESS, with CONFIDENCE by the faith of Him (3:12): God gives a Fearless Confidence, Freedom to speak the Word, Courage with Cheerfulness, and a Christ-like Assurance to His children.
24. That He would grant you according to the RICHES OF HIS GLORY (3:16-19): Supernatural Spiritual Strength, The Knowledge of the Indwelling Presence of Christ, Being Rooted and Grounded in THE LOVE, Supernatural Comprehension, to experientially KNOW THE LOVE OF CHRIST, that ye might be filled with all the FULLNESS OF GOD!!
“Doorways of the Devil” Part II
Full comprehension of our Position and Possessions as completely described above is a must for victory over the “world”. When the world and all its allurements knock on the door of your soul, knowing the reality of the eternal spiritual blessings found in Christ and turning our desires and passions to these heavenly things, in essence “Setting our affections on things above” (Colossians 3:3) will give us complete victory over the sin of hungering and thirsting after the things of this present world.
Rejecting our temporal worldly desires by replacing them with memorizing and meditating on the reality of these marvelous eternal blessings in Christ is the only answer for victory over the world! Yes, it is our faith, faith in our exalted heavenly Position and these eternal Possessions that gives us the victory over the world! (I John 5:4). The key word to focus upon in order to defeat this enemy is FAITH!
The next progressive enemy Paul deals with is the “Flesh”. For victory in the battle with the flesh Paul again commands: “Be strong...in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). This next pointed command summarizes the victory over the flesh found in the next section of ‘The Book for the Battle’ Ephesians 4:1-6:9. Literally, being continually strengthened in the power of God’s might can be found only in the Person of the Holy Spirit. Five times in this section of Scripture Paul uses the word “Walk” to describe our practical victory over the “Flesh” by walking in the Power of the Holy Spirit.
First of all he commands us to “Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4:1). A worthy walk can only be accomplished by the Person of the Holy Spirit for Jesus said: “Without Me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). We cannot in the strength of the flesh please God! Only Jesus can please God! Only as we yield to the ever present Power of the Holy Spirit will be able to “Walk” with our Lord demonstrating the worthiness of the vocation, the calling He has given us, as He commands! “This I say then, walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).
The second “Walk” Paul emphasizes is found in (Ephesians 4:17) where he commands us to “Walk not as other Gentiles walk”. He then describes a multitude of flesh works in (v.17-19) second only to his list in Galatians 5:19-21. The only possible way to have victory over the flesh works described here is by fully yielding to the Power and control of the Holy Spirit.
Being “Continually strengthened in the power of His might” necessitates a full dose of the Word of God! We must digest the “Living Word” by letting it “Dwell in us richly” (Colossians 3:16). The result of memorizing and meditating on the Word of God will result in “Teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”(Colossians 3:16) This is the direct result of letting the Word dwell in us richly! It is also the direct result of being “Filled with the Spirit”! (Ephesians 5:18, 19) which are the key verses in this second section of Paul’s “Book for the Battle’.
It is significant that being filled with the Spirit causes the same result as letting the Word of Christ dwell in us richly: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord.”(Ephesians 5:19) So, if you want to have the Holy Spirit’s Power over the flesh and be filled with the Holy Spirit just fill your soul with the precious Word of God!
The third “Walk” mentioned is in (Ephesians 5:2) where Paul gives still another astounding command: “Walk in love as Christ also hath loved us and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.” This command brings to mind the Lord Jesus’ great love that only He could have demonstrated to us by His great suffering on the Cross of Calvary.
We as lowly men and women could never perform such an act as this in our own strength, but, if we are “Continually strengthened in the Power of His might” we can walk in love as Christ walked or else the command to do it would never have been given! What a miraculous thought! We have the ability to walk in love as He walked if we “Present our bodies a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1) just as Jesus did, to Him who alone can do these marvelous things through us by the Power of the Holy Spirit!
The fourth “Walk” continues to challenge us to give full control to the Holy Spirit as Paul gives still another command: “Walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). Immediately following he underlines the necessity for demonstrating the “Fruit of the Spirit” in order to fulfill this most important requirement. His emphasis centers on separating from all “Unfruitful works of darkness” in the process we should do the positive thing and “Reprove them.” Here again the Power and presence of the Holy Spirit is the means utilized to have victory by walking as children of light.
The fifth and final “Walk” Paul commands us to perform is found in Ephesians 5:15: “Walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise” which directly leads into the closing passage of this section dealing with the second enemy of our soul the “Flesh”. This command is connected with wisdom and “Understanding what the will of the Lord is.” Unless we are filled with the Power of the Holy Spirit where all wisdom dwells providing us with His full knowledge of God’s will we cannot expect to “Walk” as we are commanded!
We must digest the precious Word of God, allowing it to dwell in us richly providing the food the Holy Spirit thrives on! It is through this process of memorizing and meditating on the Word of God that we have the ability by faith to yield full control to the Holy Spirit allowing Him to sing a “New song” which is “Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody in our hearts to the Lord” and thereby getting victory over the “Flesh” the second enemy of our soul.
The ultimate command given by Paul in this vital section for victory over the “Flesh” is the most important: “Be not drunk with wine wherein is excess, but be (continually) filled with the Spirit.” The result of the filling is not speaking in tongues, but “Speaking to yourselves in songs and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord”. Herein lies the formula for victory! As mentioned before, the result of the filling of the Holy Spirit coincides precisely with the Word of Christ dwelling in us richly! So if you want to be filled with the Power of the Holy Spirit, fill your soul with the Holy Word of God!
“Doorways of the Devil” Part III
Please compare these two passages: Ephesians 5:18, 19 & Colossians 3:16, 17. Allow the Living Word, the Son of God to control your mind, and the Power of the Holy Spirit will control your attitudes and actions! Besides, it's the only Biblical way to have success and prosperity! (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2, 3; I Timothy 4:15)
Let us move on to Paul's third summary command that deals with the final and most deceptive enemy of our soul, the devil himself! Paul gives us the only sure-fire way for victory over the wily, wicked methods of the devil when he says: "Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11). It is this armor, the Provision of the complete weaponry of God centered in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ that will give us victory over the last progressive enemy of the soul, the devil himself!.
This third command summarizes the closing section of the book of Ephesians 6:10-18. This vital section deals with the strongest and most vicious enemy of all, the devil and his “Wiles” which literally means methods, his trickery, his deceit, his plans to trip up the victorious Christian! Once we get victory over the world by exercising our Faith in our Position and Possessions, and victory over the flesh through the Power of the Holy Spirit, we will step into the battle which rages continually in the heavenlies for the souls of men.
We now can have an impact on the Kingdom of God and the souls of other men women and children when we enter into the spiritual battle with the devil and his demons for souls! ‘Souls for Jesus’ must be our battle cry! Our love for Him must ever be our motive for fighting in the war that has already been won on the Cross of Calvary by the precious Blood of Jesus!! Yes, the victory has already been won on the Cross! We know the end from the beginning! Jesus is coming again to rule and reign on earth! He is the King of the Universe! He controls the outcome of every battle, but we must fight in these skirmishes that are left as we enter into spiritual warfare through intercession for the souls of men, fulfilling our part, putting our pieces into God’s Great Unfolding Drama of Redemption!
Intercession is the highest form of service and sacrifice as we give ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ to take part in the same work He is doing at this very moment for the souls of men for He ever lives to intercede for us before the Throne of God. Our orders are to "Stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." as we, too, like our Savior, intercede for the souls of men.
With this most powerful enemy of our soul we must "Stand against" him, "Resist him steadfast in the faith" (I Peter 5:9), "Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). All of these significant commands of Scripture are rooted in the same Greek word meaning "To take a position in the battle, to oppose, to fight with a great struggle" while we intercede. However, we must recognize beforehand that the devil seeks to open "Doorways" to our soul by entangling us in sins that provide him with the opportunity to set up shop in our lives, thereby defeating us in the battle for souls.
These "Doorways of the Devil" are specifically pointed out in the Word of God. The first doorway is found in Acts 5:1-11 in the sad story of Ananias and Sapphira. Here "Satan filled" the hearts of this couple "To lie to the Holy Ghost". This sin of hypocrisy caused God to take the lives of both Ananias and Sapphira in one of the most unusual demonstrations of God's chastisement of sin. Hypocrisy, putting on an act, masking the truth from others, trying to impress others by lieing openly to the Spirit of God Who was mightily evident in His working in the church there in Jerusalem. Their penalty for yielding to the spirit of hypocrisy in this instance was instant physical death!
God, here, exacted the degree of His penalty to the same degree His presence and power was manifested to these two Believers who had experienced all the miraculous working of the coming of the Holy Spirit, the phenomenal occurrences of the day of Pentecost, the presence and power of all the Apostles, witnessing the multitudes that were being saved, seeing God shake the building wherein they prayed, and the other unwritten acts of the Holy Spirit's power must have been very inspiring to witness, but, they decided to yield to Satan and lie to the Holy Spirit! The spirit of hypocrisy is the most often condemned sin in Scripture, but, one of the easiest to fall into when we walk in the flesh instead of the Holy Spirit.
The second doorway to the devil is opened in II Corinthians 2:10, 11: "To whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also: for if I forgive anything, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices." Here Paul clearly tells us that the sin of yielding to the spirit of unforgiveness literally opens the door to Satan and his devices, his methods, his trickery and deceit! If we are unwilling to forgive others Jesus tells us: "Neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matthew 7:15)
The weight of our own sins, the dark deceitfulness of living in a sin-clouded world without the fellowship of the Lord opens up the doorway to the devil into our lives, giving him the ability to discourage, delude, and depress us, and thereby destroy our walk and testimony! "Delivered him to the tormentors" is how Jesus describes the punishment that comes to those who will not forgive: "So, likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts, forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."(Matthew 18:34, 35)
The word "Tormentors" literally means: Torture by use of the rack, to vex with grievous pains. This vicious abuse of those who are unwilling to forgive is not done by the God of heaven, no, He simply allows Believers to be delivered to Satan and he does his all too familiar but torturous handiwork!
The third doorway is mentioned in Ephesians 4:26, 27: "Be ye angry and sin not, let not the sun go down upon your wrath; Neither give place to the devil." The sin of wrath, oubursts of uncontrollable anger, opens up a place for the devil to operate in our lives! Paul says righteous anger is not sin, but allowing wrath to continue, letting the sun go down upon it day by day does indeed give opportunity for the wicked one to "Set up shop" and do business in and through the saint of God.
Yielding to the spirit of wrath is not an uncommon doorway opened to the devil in the lives of God's people. Paul mentions this same word in his list of "Works of the flesh" in Galatians 5:20 proving that this too was one of the many sins that was found there in the church at Galatia. This very attitude yields control to the one who relishes the control of God's children, that he might damn and destroy the testimony of one for whom the Lord Jesus Christ shed His precious Blood and died!
The fourth doorway opens in I Timothy 3:6: "Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil." Pride, is the sin committed by the devil in the beginning causing his great fall. Pride, is the root of most of man's sin. The attitude of taking credit for something that we should not…exalting ourselves rather than the God of glory Who should receive all the glory!
When we think that, in our own strength and ability, we are the ones responsible for some great thing when in reality what have we gotten that we have not received? All good things come down from "The Father of Lights" the Lord God of heaven! There is nothing we can take credit for, nothing we in and of ourselves have accomplished!
“Doorways of the Devil” Part IV
This spirit of pride certainly opens the doorway to the devil's working in our minds, telling us lies that he "The father of lies" fabricates to deceive us! Three common signs of the proud are:
1. Not giving God the glory for His working in our lives
2. But instead taking credit for accomplishments
3. Blaming others for failures.
The Bible lists seven devastating effects of the sin of pride:
1. Condemnation of the devil (I Timothy 3:6)
2. Shame (Proverbs 11:2)
3. Contention (Proverbs 13:10)
4. Destruction (Proverbs 16:18)
5. Deception (Jeremiah 49:16)
6. Hardening the mind (Daniel 5:20)
7. Resistance by God (James 4:6)
Might it be that this sin is running rampant in our lives today?
The fifth doorway to the devil is found in I Timothy 3:7: "Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." Falling into reproach refers to one who has blemished their testimony through any kind of continual sin habit. Our testimony is the most valuable thing we own and cannot be purchased with money!
Therefore, if we continually sin and it is known by those "Which are without" the lost, we will bring ourselves into the snare of the devil, the trap he has set to cause us to be caught in our own sin! This will surely cause those who are lost and saved alike to discount our words of so called religion thereby damning the souls of those that we could have impacted for the glory of God! So, we must have a good report if we are to witness and win ‘Souls for Jesus’, otherwise the devil will claim another victory as we fall into his well baited trap!
The last doorway is found in II Timothy 2:24-26:
"And the servant of the Lord must not strive but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."
The spirit of opposition, actively opposing revealed truth, being hearers only and not doers of the word, deceiving our own selves and playing right into the hand of the great deceiver himself! This spirit of opposition says: "I don't care what the Bible says I know what I've experienced" or "I will not separate from these worldly associations, music, friends, activities" or "Who does that preacher think he is, telling me what to do with my life?" or "It has been our tradition to...why must we change the way we always have done things, just because the Bible says..."
Yes, one who actually opposes the truth opposes himself, the one in whom the Spirit of Truth abides, thereby causing them to fall into a trap, a snare specifically designed to take one captive coming under the power of the will of Satan himself!
How do we enter into continual victory over the devil? By putting on the "Whole armor of God"! which is our Provision for victory over the devil. How do we put on the whole armor of God? Through praying and putting on the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14) Who is clearly described here in the specific pieces of armor.
It is an action of simple childlike faith! Through the prayer of faith we must have "Our loins girt about with truth" believing that our vital spiritual lives will be protected by Him who is Truth (John 14:6), the Lord Jesus Christ!
Then we must have "On the breastplate of righteousness" the righteousness of the One who is our Righteousness (I Corinthians 1:30). Our spiritual feet must be "Shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace" again through Him who is our Peace (Ephesians 2:14). Taking the "Shield of faith" the spiritual shield of faith is found in Him who is “the Author and Finisher of our faith.“(Hebrews 12:2).
The spiritual "Helmet of salvation" here too is only through Jesus that we can have salvation for "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
In this next piece of armor lies the secret for the putting on of all that went before, for here, by the Sword of the Spirit is the very source of our faith, for "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God."(Romans 10:17) The precious Sword of the Spirit is the source of our faith and thereby we gain all that is necessary to perform the supernatural fetes of faith in winning the battle with the forces of darkness!
The final piece of armor mentioned is the method whereby we commune with the King! Prayer, without it we would be still in our sin! It was prayer that brought us to the foot of the Cross, it was prayer that gave us the ability to cry out to God in repentance as we laid hold upon salvation by faith in what Jesus did to pay the penalty for our sin as He bled and died for us upon the Cross!
Yes, prayer, the humble utterance of faith brought us to salvation and now brings us to Him who alone can save and deliver us from the presence and power of sin! Put on this vital armor of God and walk in victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil and his manifold doorways of sin!
Intercessory prayer is the key to walking and continually communing with the Lord as this verse underlines “Praying with all kinds of prayer…praying always… with all perseverance…for all saints” emphasizing the four alls of prayer!! We get our orders continually from the King of kings Who alone knows the battle-plan for the day, the hour and this very moment.
"Doorways of the Devil"-Paul made specific provision in this closing section of Ephesians, with the armor of God in his " Book for the Battle" so that we might have complete victory over the world, the flesh and the devil who has six deceptive 'Doorways' which are specifically designed to bring the Christian into submission to his will, instead of the blessed will of God.
We must be living victoriously knowing by faith our Position and Posessions in order to have victory over the alluring ‘Rubble’ of this world vs. the Righteousness of God. Once victory is secured the next progressive enemy which is ‘the animal-like old man’ that dwells within our soul, “The flesh”, rears its ugly head. We must be filled with the Power of the Holy Spirit, which comes by being filled with the Word (Colossians 3:16, 17; Ephesians 5:18-20) in order to “Walk” in victory. Victory over the devil can only be realized through the Provision the Lord supplies through His armor. The first five pieces of armor are defensive and the last two provide us with the offensive weapons to go to battle in complete confidence of the victory we have in Jesus!
Let us examine ourselves thoroughly in view of God's Holy Word and see whether there be any wicked way found in us, and if so, repent, confessing our sin, defeating these enemies of the soul, closing the ‘Doorways of the Devil’ if any are open, and thereby allow the Lord to rule in our hearts so that we might be powerful Holy Spirit-filled witnesses for Jesus sake! After all, Drivers, that is the main reason He called us!!
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