Psalm 16:7,Reigns/heart/kidneys instruct me. Is this a reference to our “gut feelings” and our need to trust them? Night seasons is a Hebraism or biblical poetic of saying “difficult time of darkness, confusion, indecision, and uncertainty.” This may be one way the Set-Apart Spirit directs us is through our inner or deep conscience. In reference to the Set-Apart Spirit, Yeshua said that out of our bellies will flow living waters (John 7:37–38). The Hebrew word navi often translated as “prophet” can, according to some lexicologists (e.g., Gesenius), mean “to bubble up” in an almost ecstatic sense, presumably under the influence of the Spirit of Elohim. If this is the true meaning of the word, then perhaps there is some connections between the gut instructing one, living waters flowing from one’s belly, and the word of YHVH bubbling up prophetically out of one’s belly.
Psalm 16:8, I have set YHVH always before me. What is before my face? What are the most important things in my life? What gods or idols have I set up before me that have captivated my attention, demand my time, dictate the where I go and what I do ahead of Yehovha Elohim the one and only true God? If we will stop for a moment and listen to it, our heart or conscience will instruct or even convict us of where our true allegiances are, who or what is before us, and who the god of our life really is (v. 7).
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I YHVH search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jer 17:9–10)
Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them? Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord YHVH; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I YHVH will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord YHVH; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations. For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I YHVH will answer him by myself: And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am YHVH. (Ezek 14:3–8)
Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols. (Ezek 20:16)
The encounter between Yeshua and the Gadarene demoniac (Mark 5:1–20) teaches us about the characteristics of one who is tormented, oppressed or even possessed by a demon or an evil, unclean spirit. Please note that a demon-possessed person is different than one who is influenced by a demonic spirit. The former, may exhibit the bizarre behavior of the Gadarene demoniac (Mark 5:1–20), while both former and the latter may act like a normal human except when they are triggered (emotionally or psychologically), and then their behavior suddenly alter.
The characteristics of a demon-possessed person can be the following:
One with an unclean spirit is “unclean in thought and life” (Mark 5:2).
Such an individual may have a pre-occupation with things relating to death and dying (Mark 5:3).
They may possess superhuman strength thanks to the aid of the demon in them (Mark 5:4).
They may act wild, and unable to be restrained (Mark 5:4).
They may be prone to fits of shouting loudly (Mark 5:5), shrieking or making a shrill cry (Mark 9:18).
They may cut themselves, or resort to other acts of self-mutilation (Mark 5:5) or self destruction (e.g., burning oneself by fire, Matt 17:15; Mark 9:22), or attempts at drowning (Mark 9:22).
The demoniac may possess supernatural knowledge (Mark 5:7).
The demon can speak through the demonized person (Mark 5:7), or cry out (Mark 9:26).
A demonic spirit wants to possess or inhabit something; if not a human, then an animal (Mark 5:12), or a house, an objects like idols or books (Acts 19:19; Rev 13:15) or even a mechanical device or a “matrix” type system (e.g., the image of the beast in Rev 13:13–14).
They may be clothed improperly or scantily (Mark 5:15).
They will not a possess a “right [sound, self-controlled, sober]” mind (Mark 5:15).
A demonic or an unclean spirit may cause convulsions or spasmodic contractions, bodily contortions within a person, or cause a person to be hurled to the ground (Mark 1:25; 9:18, 20) resulting in one wallowing or rolling around on the ground (Mark 9:20).
Epileptic-type seizures or madness can be symptoms of demon possession (Matt 17:15).
A demoniac may foam at the mouth (Mark 9:18, 20).
A demoniac may grind or gnash their the teeth (Mark 9:18)
A demonic spirit can cause one’s body to waste away, dry up or become rigid (Mark 9:18).
Demonic spirits can accompany people as they come into the congregation of YHVH (Mark 1:23; Luke 4:33).
A demonic spirit can make one to be mute or unable to speak (Mark 9:17).
How to Deal With the Influences of a Demonic Spirit in Yourself or Someone Else
How does one deal with either demon possession of or demonic influence in a person (these are two different, though similar situations)? There are several possible ways. This is where wisdom and the spiritual gift of the discerning of spirits is helpful (1 Cor 12:10). Here are some quick points and guidelines that will help you to help yourself or someone else who is under demonic influences at one level or another.
If the evil spirit is in you or is influencing you, then repent of the sin that your are committing that is opening the spiritual door (like a chink in your spiritual armor) that is allowing or giving legal permission for the evil influence to affect you. Command the evil spirit to leave in the name of Yeshua. This is how you cast a demon out of yourself or shut the door to demonic influences. If this is too difficult for you to do, then seek the help of wise and knowledgeable biblical counselors who have experience in the area of spiritual deliverance.
If the demon or demonic influence involves another person, you can only help them if they recognize that they have a problem and want help, are willing to repent of their sin, and want to accept Yeshua’s lordship over all areas of their life. If they are willing to confess and repent of their sin and accept Yeshua not only as their Savior but also their Mater, then share the gospel with them and have them accept and confess the Truth concerning Yeshua. Then with the person’s approval, cast the demon out of the person and forbid the demon from influencing them again. Then teach the person how to stay free of the demonic influence by loving and obeying Yeshua their Lord and Savior by embracing a lifestyle that conforms to biblical standards of holiness and righteousness.
If they don’t recognize that they have a problem and don’t want to repent of their sin, there’s not a lot that you can do, except to pray for them and to avoid them if they are toxic. This is because each person has free will, and only they can control what influences their lives or not. If you are dealing with a family member that you live with, a demonic influence is even more difficult to deal with and avoiding the person may be nearly impossible. There may not be much that you can do except to create a spiritual “God bubble” or “force field” around yourself by fortifying yourself through prayer, spiritual warfare, by living a Yeshua-like life, and by surrounding yourself with as many godly and positive influences as possible. You may also need to set boundaries around yourself (of tolerating or not tolerating certain behaviors) and stick to them when dealing with the person. Beyond that, pray for wisdom and guidance from above on how to deal with this situation. It will be a character building experience for sure! Yeshua cast many demons out of people who wanted his help, but not out of people who didn’t want help. YHVH has given each of us freedom of choice. Some people choose to live in dirty houses, while others want Yeshua and Holy Spirit to come in and clean house. It is up to the individual. Demonically inspired people continually persecuted Yeshua, his apostles and the prophets during their entire ministries. As a result, Yeshua and many of his servant ended up as martyrs for their faith. Study the life of Yeshua to learn how he wisely dealt with demonically influenced people. Sometimes he confronted them, and sometimes he avoided them. This is a whole other study in itself.
If a demonic spirit is attacking you directly or through another person, Yeshua gave his disciples the authority to bind that spirit. Just be aware of a couple of things. We don’t have authority over demons except through Yeshua (Luke 9:1; 10:19; Mark 16:17). Furthermore, if we have major sin in our lives, then we limit or negate our authority over demons. To be effective at controlling demons, you must first repent of your own sins. Finally, be careful about binding or casting a demon out of someone against their will. When you’re gone, it may come back seven times worse and the end condition of that person’s life may be worse than before making ministry to that person at a latter date all but impossible (Matt 12:29, 43–45).
When dealing with demonic spirits, remember these Scripture promises:
Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. (Luke 9:1)
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (Luke 10:19)
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in Elohim for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Messiah (2 Cor 10:3–5)
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of Elohim, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of Elohim, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of Elohim; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. (Eph 6:10–18)
Ye are of Elohim, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
Submit yourselves therefore to Elohim. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (Jas 4:7)
And they overcame [Satan the serpent] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Rev 12:11)
Yes, this is another long video by Bible expert, Nathan Lawrence, but this is a complex, multi-faceted subject with many contextual and historical threads. So if you want to understand what the Bible has to say about the current war between the Jews and the Palestinians (Hamas et al), then you will want to watch this. Nathan tags a lot of bases in this video explaining the 4,000 year old roots of this conflict, who Edom is in Bible history and prophecy and how that relates to Jews and Christians, as well as to Islam and Hamas. You will also learn what the Bible prophesies will happen in the future to all of these people groups and how this conflict will be resolved. You will not hear any of this in the current news reports, but this understanding will help you to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together.
In this epistles, John the apostle mentions a term that has become synonymous with the archenemy of Christ or the Messiah and Christians everywhere. It is Antichrist. This word’s meaning is self-evident, but, by John’s own definition, let’s now discover who really fits the strictest definition of Antichrist.
The first place John mentions this term is in the second chapter of his first epistle.
Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. (1 John 2:18)
The prophetic apostles then goes on to make two further references to this arch-villain of the Messiah and his disciples.
…and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. (1 John 4:3)
For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (2 John 1:7)
How does John define the spirit of antichrist? From 1 John 2:18–19, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7 we learn the following:
The antichrist spirit was prophesied to come on the scenes. Presumably, this specific spirit could not emerge until the Messiah had come.
The Antichrist or the spirit thereof pretends to the Messiah or the Anointed One from heaven and deceives people into believing this lie.
Antichrist and all spirits of antichrist, in the most literal sense, emerged of the first century apostolic faith of the Jewish Christian community or, by possible extension, its direct successors.
The spirit of antichrist denies that Yeshua is the Messiah (Savior and Redeemer of man).
The satanic spirit denies that Yeshua is part of the “Godhead”.
Next, it denies that Yeshua is is deity and is the Son of Elohim.
Finally, it denies the incarnation of Yeshua.
This then is how the Bible defines the spirit of antichrist.
Other biblical references that many Christians scholars believe allude to this end times Antichrist figure include:
The Beast (Rev 13:4)
The abomination that causes desolation (Matt 24:15)
The desolator (Dan 9:27)
The man of sin (or lawlessness), the son of perdition (2 Thess 2:3)
The little horn (Dan 7:8)
The Assyrian (Mic 5:5; Isa 10:5; 14:25)
What should be our reaction when we encounter this demonic spirit of antichrist? The wise counsel of John in his second epistle sums up our firm conviction on this matter.
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Messiah does not have Elohim. He who abides in the doctrine of Messiah has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. (2 John 9–11)
What additionally can we learn about the person of the Antichrist and the spirit of antichrist from the four passages where antichrist is mentioned in John’s epistles?
From 1 John 2:18–19, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7 we learn that the Antichrist and all spirits of antichrist have come out of the first century apostolic faith of the Jewish Christian community. In the strictest sense, this eliminates some of the world’s largest religions (e.g., Hinduism, Buddhism) as being contenders for the end times religious system of the Antichrist. That leaves paganized mainstream Christianity and Islam. From John’s writings, we also learn that the spirit of antichrist denies that Yeshua is the Messiah (Savior and Redeemer of man), denies that Yeshua is part of the “Godhead,” is deity and is the Son of Elohim, and denies the incarnation of Yeshua. This rules out mainstream Christianity, even in its paganized or somewhat apostate form. Of the existing major world religions extant on earth today, only Islam fits the strictest biblical definition of Antichrist and religion thereof.
Yes, it is true that Islam did not yet exist in John’s day. John died in the 90s A.D., and Muhammad, the founder of Islam, was not born until A.D. 570. However, Islam did not spontaneously combust out of a religious vacuum. If one reads the Koran, one will discover that the tenets of Islam are pulled from several already existing religious systems of the day including Judaism, Christianity, the moon worshipping religion of Muhammad’s own tribal religious system, as well as from the Greek philosophers including that of dualism and gnosticism. When one reads the entire Koran, it is becomes evident that Islam is a mongrelized, jumbled mixture of a various religious threads and traditions.
This then begs a relevant question: To what religious system was John specifically referring when he penned his first and second epistles probably late in his life in the A.D. 90s? What religious ideology was in existence in his day that had broken off of early Christianity and was proclaiming a false Messiah among other things? This most likely would have been the religion of gnosticism that Paul was already combatting in his epistle to the Colossians, and which rose to prominence under Marcion (the heretic) of Sinope (A.D. 85–160), who came to prominence in the early to mid-second century A.D. Eventually, the early church fathers branded gnosticism as a heresy and Marcion a heretic for denying the bodily manifestation of Yeshua the Messiah. However, later on, Muhammad would pick up and proclaim some elements of Gnostic heresy and it would be enshrined in the Koran. Thus, modern Islam is the descendant of this antichrist doctrine.
Now having established which major religious system fits the strictest definition of antichrist as John defines it, we cannot overlook the fact that John also states, “it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come….” While in the end times there may be one Antichrist figure that personifies a larger philosophy of rebellion against the YHVH Elohim and his divine Truth as revealed in his word, the Bible, John leaves the door open for there to be many other iterations of the antichrist spirit as well.
In the loosest sense, anyone, any philosophy, any religious system or anything else that opposes Yeshua the Messiah or Jesus Christ and the Word and Truth of the Bible is of the spirit of Antichrist. This would include anyone or anything that aligns itself with Islam and takes a stand against the followers of Yeshua or those who teach the Word of Elohim. Let’s be frank here. This eventually includes almost the entire world!
Moreover, there are strains of the spirit of antichrist in modern religious Judaism, and even mainstream Christianity. That is why YHVH pleads if not commands his people to come out of Babylon (Rev 18:4).
To be sure, the spirit of antichrist exists in all of the false religions of the world as well such socioeconomic systems as Marxism and all of its ungodly substrates.
Eventually, the nascence of the spirit of antichrist goes back to Satan the serpent in the Garden of Eden, when he deceived the first humans into joining him in his preexisting rebellion against the commands or the word of Elohim.
Ultimately, the evil spirit of antichrist, which is rebellion against YHVH’s Torah-word, has spread its destructive cancerous tentacles globally and now infest everyone and everything. In a word, the spirit of antichrist is nothing more than sin, which is rebellion against and the violation of YHVH’s Torah-law or commandments (1 John 3:4). Only through a relationship with Yeshua the Messiah, who came as Elohim in the flesh as the Son of YHVH Elohim, can sinful and rebellious man be redeemed and set free from the grip of the spirit of antichrist. Those who remain under the control of this satanic spirit will die in their sins, while those who repent and turn to Yeshua and receive him not merely as their Savior, but as their Lord and Master and love him by conforming their lives to his Torah-word will experience eternal life and inclusion in the kingdom of heaven as adopted sons and daughters into the family of Elohim.
How do you combat the Satanic gods that are the driving force behind all the evil in the world? This includes the satanic spirits behind government, education, the media, the arts and entertainment, big pharma, false religious systems, social engineering movements, radical environmentalism as well as the corporate and economic interests that run this world? You need to know what the Bible says so you can be a profitable servant and spiritual warrior for the kingdom of heaven to insure that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Please watch and learn.