Called to Set Captives Free

When a Christian is moved by his love for Christ, in sincere and humble faith (in the word of God), he enters a reality of war against personalities of darkness, which are determined to extinguish his faith.

I appreciate the way A.W. Tozer frames this concept in his book “I Talk Back to the Devil”

I Talk Back to the Devil: The Fighting Fervor of the Victorious Christian  by A. W. Tozer, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

“Show me an individual or a congregation committed to spiritual progress with the Lord, interested in what the Bible teaches about spiritual perfection and victory, and I will show you where there is strong and immediate defiance by the devil!”

Satan and his cohort know those who are truly saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. The kingdom of darkness detests any Christian, but with acidic hatred do they seek to eradicate any Holy Spirit filled believer, operating in the simplicity of faith (II Corinthians 11:1-4).

An immature and carnal Christian can be easily manipulated by the enemy, being pushed and pulled by the enemy using the world and the flesh. A Holy Spirit filled Christian, is a much more difficult temptation, because they are growing in the mind of Christ.

1 Peter 4:1-21 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

Therefore, we must understand Satan’s rage against those souls on fire souls for Christ, is a flood of fiery violence.

It is quite simple to understand why, considering that such a saint has been delivered from their bondage to Satan’s kingdom, and now serve as ambassadors of God’s kingdom, and soldiers of Holy Spirit power; to set captives free from Satan’s camp.

All Christians, whether they know it or not, whether they walk in it or not, have been called to set captives free. This is necessary because there are men, woman and children, in bondage to Satan in every place across the landscape of lost humanity.

Most are simply lost and living in the lie, that they do not need God (or His Messiah Jesus Christ), following their own religion or mode of life, hoping that if there is a heaven, they will make it. Their plight is a sad one, for they are still responsible for their sin before the Holy God and without repentance and faith in Christ, they will be judged as worthy only of the Second Death (Revelation 20:11-15).

These, like we once were, need Christ to set them free. It is why He came.

Isaiah 61:1-31 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, 3to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

When Paul was testifying before Agrippa in Caesarea Philippi, he relates our calling, to the degree of faith given by God.

Acts 26:17-18 17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’

Jesus led captivity captive | Light-N-side

It is the calling of the Spirit filled Christian to open the eyes of their lost neighbors—to turn them from darkness to light—to turn them from the power of Satan to the power of our God—that in repentance and faith they may receive forgiveness of sins and grow in Christ until the day of His return for us.

As we move closer and closer to that Day, we must admit, that leading people to say a sinner’s prayer, getting them wet and inviting them to church may be a small part of their discipleship, but it takes the power of the Spirit of God, through the continual efforts of sold-out saints, to bring them to full deliverance.

We often believe the lie, that demon possession (demonization or the degree to which a person is influenced by demons) was more of a first century thing, just like the lie that the gifts of the Holy Spirit, divine healing, and casting out demons were from that by-gone era; we need to repent of this mind set.

We live in a more demonic age then the first century. Remember that in the last days Satan is dislodged from his being the prince of the power of the air, to earth, where he is in a rage (Revelation 12:7-8, 13-17). Revelation 18 reveals that the nation and city which represents Babylon, with be a foul place of extreme demonism (Revelation 18:1-6).

Look around brethren, where do we believe the perversity of LBGTQ acceptance comes from? Where do we think legalized drug use with marijuana leads to? How did the world, against the natural order, accept pornography, cohabitation, fornication, adultery, rejection of parental authority?

The answers: Satan and demons in those being demonized. Yes, demonization is a reality, we must confront.

In the early church, lent was three days before a person was baptized. During this period, they would go through deliverance from demonic influence, from their pagan past. In our day, satanic and demonic influence is in every political, sports, entertainment, religious and cultural sphere, hiding in plain sight. We must once again account for the influence of Satan in those coming to faith in Christ.

Sadly, many who say the sinner’s prayer, desire salvation and freedom as much as the Gadarenes demoniac, yet there is no one to bring them to freedom. Many, in this state, sit miserably in building where the church meets, week after week for years; smiling on the outside while miserable and chained. They are given to fits of rage, cannot tell the truth, have secret addictions and despise themselves.

We followers of Christ must recognize that leading a person in a sinner’s prayer of faith, is a good tool, but it is not a magic incantation which breaks every chain and sinful pattern. The salvation prayer may indicate a sincere belief in Christ, from a person in bondage, yet without repentance, there is no forgiveness.

When a person is under influence of demons, they cannot always produce works worthy of repentance and they do not always appear demonized. Many appear quite normal, until the anointing of the Holy Spirit threatens the hold of the demons.

Consider the account of the Lord Jesus in the synagogue in Capernaum in Mark 1:21-28. The man in question, had an unclean spirit, meaning he was ritually unclean from some sexual, religious, or other violation of God’s law, in relation to paganism. Notice, no one in the synagogue was running from him or announcing him unclean. He was hiding his sin and the demonic hold, and no one knew. It was the presence of the Holy Spirit, in Christ, which uncovered the sin and the demon activity.

How many Christians sit in fellowship, in a secret sin or a secret wound from their past, whereby the enemy is able to keep their soul and mind locked up from Christ’s freedom?

Brethren, the time has come for us to work, for the purpose of presenting every man complete in Christ. The time has come for churches to stop trying to get as many as they can stuff in their buildings and realize, those we have met with for years, may want to be free in Christ and have no means but us to lead them to that freedom. The time has come for us to walk in the fullness of the Spirit, to set captives free, making disciples that will glorify Christ forever.

About Michael J Erdel

Mike is a pastor with The Assembly of God Fellowship. He is the lead pastor at Encounter Church in Fostoria Ohio. His desire is to encourage the Church of Jesus Christ, and declare God's hope through His Son Jesus, to a world which is long on excuses and short on hope. Mike has experienced the truth that when we kneel before Christ, surrendering to Him as Savior and LORD, being led and empowered by His Spirit. To Jesus Christ be all glory and honor.
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