Tuesday, September 13, 2011

PUFF AND BLUFF

[There are three erroneous approaches to the subject of Satan and demons. The first is the open and active involvement in demonic activity as in the occult, psychic phenomena, and the animism of primitive societies. The second approach is to deny their existence altogether. The third, and somewhat irrational, approach is that of Christians who believe in the existence of evil spirits because they read about them in the Bible, but who simply ignore the subject as if the evil spirits described in the Biblical examples somehow mysteriously faded into the background and do not relate in any real way to our contemporary society except to entice people to sin.
The spiritual realm as it is described in the Bible is real. The following article simply touches the subject in a matter-of-fact manner without giving any preparatory instruction. If we follow the Biblical pattern and model, we will present the subject in a balanced and proper perspective. But still it is difficult to make it palatable to those who reject the Bible or the spiritual realm.]      –Billy Long



The Puff Adder
When I was a young child I came upon a snake that frightened me. It coiled up, looked right at me with head raised and puffed up making a hissing noise. I started to back away, but a friend told me not to fear, that this was only a puff adder. It had no venom and could do no harm but was simply putting on a show to intimidate me. I picked up a stick and poked gently in the snake's face. The snake then employed a new scheme when it realized its strategy had failed. It flipped over belly-up and pretended to be dead with its mouth disjointed and tongue hanging out to the side as if it had been beaten to death. I took the stick and tried a few times to turn the snake back over to the normal position. But it wanted me to think it was dead, and kept flipping itself back over onto the belly-up position. Its fierceness was only a bluff.

The Girl with the Demon
A young girl was involved with a fellow who practiced Satan-worship. She had decided to leave home and run away with him. One of her friends, however, brought her to Laurel and me, hoping we could persuade the girl to change her mind.

As we sat in our living room I addressed the girl with these words: “We are living in a day in which there is much spiritual activity. God is pouring out His Holy Spirit and we are witnessing a visitation of God’s presence and a revival in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the supernatural presence of Jesus Christ in His church. But there is also an intensification in the realm of darkness which tries to counterfeit the working of the Holy Spirit. This counterfeit is seen in the surge of demonic activity in the areas of psychic, occult, and new age activity.”
I proceeded to tell the young lady that this rise in spiritual stirrings had created a great hunger in the youth of her generation, and that she was faced with a choice. She could turn to the Lord and experience the treasures He is making available, or she could follow her boyfriend in Satan-worship and enter the bondage and deception of demonic activity.

At that point in the conversation an unusual thing began to occur unexpectedly. As I spoke to her she began to twitch and tremble, and her eyes began to turn up in their sockets. Laurel and I looked at each other knowing that the Lord’s presence had stirred up a demon in the girl. I then told the girl, “What you are experiencing right now is an evil spirit that entered you as a result of your involvement with your boyfriend in Satan-worship. We are going to cast it out.”

The girl immediately held up both hands with clenched fists, and with a very angry and threatening expression on her face said, “Don’t bother me. There is no telling what I might do!”
I was surprised by this unexpected response. As I paused for a second Laurel immediately spoke to the spirit saying, “We are not afraid of you. Come out of this girl now!”

The threatening and intimidating expression on the girl’s face immediately changed from anger to fear and grief. She began to cry as she actually slithered out of the chair and onto the floor. The demon came out of her with groans and cries.

The spirit in the girl behaved in a similar fashion to that of the puff adder snake. It first tried to intimidate and frighten. But it came out of the girl when faced with the reality of Jesus’ presence and our knowledge of the authority we have in His name.

A Superstitious Couple
A few years ago I was talking with a husband and wife who were beginning to delve into witchcraft and who thought they had received communications from dead relatives. I shared the gospel with them, pointing them to Jesus, and telling them that the Bible forbids involvement in these occult activities because witchcraft is of the devil, and ghosts are not dead people but are in fact demons or evil spirits pretending to be dead people.

The enemy was angry that I had shared the truth of the gospel with this couple. Later on that day I was in my motel room working at my computer when all of a sudden a couple cans of tuna sitting on the microwave were thrown across the room and onto the floor. It was a spirit trying to frighten me and intimidate me into not sharing the gospel with this couple.
I was not afraid but felt the power of the Holy Spirit and the righteous indignation of the Lord rise up within me. I immediately stood to my feet and commanded the spirit to depart, leave, and not come back.

I immediately felt the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit. I took a few minutes to praise the Lord for the truth of His word, for the efficacy of the blood of Jesus, and for the power and joy of His presence. I then went back to my computer and finished my work.

The Bluff
“Bluff” means "to deter or frighten by pretense or a mere show of strength; to deceive an opponent in cards by a bold bet on an inferior hand with the result that the opponent withdraws a winning hand." This is how the devil operates. He seeks to frighten and intimidate us. This strategy often works on believers who do not know the scripture, the power of God, and their authority in Jesus’ name.

We as believers need not fear. Christ has delivered us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into His kingdom. He defeated Satan at Calvary and stripped him of his power.
Satan can only rule over those who chose to serve him and follow him and his ways. To gain advantage and control over Christians he must use fear and discouragement, deception, accusation, and enticements to sin. Fear and discouragement lead to unbelief and disobedience. Deception leads astray into error, accusation produces guilt which hinders faith and confidence, and sin causes us to turn away from God.

But when confronted head-on and in the open, the enemy tries to bluff his way by appearing strong and threatening. But he knows he is defeated. He knows that we as followers of Jesus are victorious in our God. The main point that I emphasize in this post is that we need to know it.


Then the seventy returned with joy saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you authority…over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10: 17-20


Phillip went down to Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitude with one accord heeded the things spoken by Phillip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many…and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in the city.” Acts 8: 5-8