Saturday, March 15, 2008
SPIRITUAL HOUSE CLEANING
Spiritual house-cleansing is a much neglected part of "cleaning up our act." We need to realize there are material things that can spiritually contaminate our home.
Many Christians -- and unbelievers as well -- without realizing it, have opened themselves up to demonic influence through images they have brought into their houses.(1) Such objects can attract evil spirits or may already be infested. Until we get rid of these objects, we risk being affected by their presence.This lesson covers:
What Does the Bible Say About Making or Possessing Images?
Are "Christian" Objects an Exception?
Is It OK To Keep Such Objects If We Do Not Worship Them?
Can Material Things Carry Spiritual Power?
How Are We Affected By The Presence of Evil Powers?
What Are Typical Object We Should Look For?
How Should We Dispose Of Objects That Fall Into This Category?
Should We Attempt To Salvage Anything Of Value From Them?
What Else Should Be Done?
How Do We Do This "House-cleaning?
The Covenant Of The BloodWHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT MAKING OR POSSESSING IMAGES?Notice that when God appeared to man He was not in the form of an image.
[Deut. 4:15-26] You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars-- all the heavenly array-- do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. But as for you, the LORD took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of his inheritance, as you now are. The LORD was angry with me because of you, and he solemnly swore that I would not cross the Jordan and enter the good land the LORD your God is giving you as your inheritance. I will die in this land; I will not cross the Jordan; but you are about to cross over and take possession of that good land. Be careful not to forget the covenant of the LORD your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the LORD your God has forbidden. For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time-- if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God and provoking him to anger, I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed.[Deut. 7:25-26] The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire. Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the LORD your God. Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Utterly abhor and detest it, for it is set apart for destruction.
ARE "CHRISTIAN" OBJECTS AN EXCEPTION?
[Acts 17:29] Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone-- an image made by man's design and skill. IS IT ALL RIGHT TO KEEP SUCH OBJECTS IF WE DO NOT WORSHIP THEM?
Many will argue that, since they do not worship these objects, they are harmless. Because they "fit in" with the decor, or are artistically pleasing to the eye, or have been in the family for a long time, or have some intrinsic value, they are reluctant to destroy them. In view of many testimonies and personal experiences about the possible evil influence of such objects, we would do well to ask God if He agrees. Possessing such things is a visible advertisement to the powers of darkness that we are willing to risk their effect because we covet them. In any event, we are being disobedient to God's command. In the following scripture we have a statement that to covet is to idolize!
(Col. 3:5-6) Mortify therefore your members that are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: (KJV)
There is a very enlightening story in the Old Testament about a soldier named Achan. It illustrates this point.
[Joshua 7:1-26] But the Israelites acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord's anger burned against Israel. Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth Aven to the east of Bethel, and told them, "Go up and spy out the region." So the men went up and spied out Ai. When they returned to Joshua, they said, "Not all the people will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary all the people, for only a few men are there." So about three thousand men went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai, who killed about thirty-six of them. They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes. At this the hearts of the people melted and became like water. Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell face down to the ground before the ark of the LORD, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same, and sprinkled dust on their heads. And Joshua said, "Ah, Sovereign LORD, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan! O Lord, what can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies? The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. What then will you do for your own great name?" The LORD said to Joshua, "Stand up"! What are you doing down on your face? Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction. "Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, `Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: That which is devoted is among you, O Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove it. "`In the morning, present yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe that the LORD takes shall come forward clan by clan; the clan that the LORD takes shall come forward family by family; and the family that the LORD takes shall come forward man by man. He who is caught with the devoted things shall be destroyed by fire, along with all that belongs to him. He has violated the covenant of the LORD and has done a disgraceful thing in Israel!'" Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes, and Judah was taken. The clans of Judah came forward, and he took the Zerahites. He had the clan of the Zerahites come forward by families, and Zimri was taken. Joshua had his family come forward man by man, and Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. Then Joshua said to Achan, "My son, give glory to the LORD, the God of Israel, and give him the praise. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me." Achan replied, "It is true! I have sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath." So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath. They took the things from the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites and spread them out before the LORD. Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold wedge, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor. Joshua said, "Why have you brought this trouble on us? The LORD will bring trouble on you today." Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them. Over Achan they heaped up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day. Then the LORD turned from his fierce anger. Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achor ever since.Notice that it is never mentions that Achan worshiped these things, but he did covet them! God had forbidden them to have anything to do with the heathen nations or their possessions.
CAN MATERIAL THINGS CARRY SPIRITUAL POWER?Yes! From the text above, and also from the following one, The Scriptures clearly says material articles can carry both good and evil power.
[Acts 19:12] God did extraordinary miracles through Paul. Handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.
It does not say that the person being healed had to worship the handkerchiefs or aprons to receive the blessing. Is it reasonable, therefore, to agree it would not be necessary to worship forbidden material objects to receive the curse?(2)
HOW ARE WE AFFECTED BY THE PRESENCE OF EVIL POWERS?There are many ways in which they may make their presence felt. The most obvious are the kinds of activity that would cause a house to be regarded as haunted. These can be the appearance of apparitions, unexplained temperature changes, foul odors, unexplained noises, etc. Less obvious, are feelings of oppression, heaviness, gloom, and fear. Still, the absence of all or any of the above manifestations does not justify disobeying what God has commanded. He forbids us to bring such objects into our house.
[Deut. 7:25-26] The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire. Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the LORD your God. Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Utterly abhor and detest it, for it is set apart for destruction.
WHAT ARE TYPICAL OBJECTS WE SHOULD LOOK FOR?Look for little Mexican sun gods, Tiki dolls, images or pictures of frogs and owls.(3) Also look for amulets, fetishes, idols, incense, Buddhas, hand-carved objects from heathen cultures,(4) or Ouija boards. Anything connected with astrology, horoscopes, fortune telling, handwriting analysis, and so on, should be destroyed. Books, records, tapes, or objects associated with witchcraft, or the cult religions (metaphysics, Christian Science, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc.), are no-nos. Rock and roll records and tapes fall in the category of items that often are loaded with evil spiritual powers. Other things are so-called good-luck objects.(5) These include rabbit's feet, horse-shoes, and four-leaf clovers. Some jewelry, such as crystals, copper bracelets, charm bracelets, Masonic, fraternity, or sorority pins and rings(6) are highly questionable.(7)
If in doubt, ask the Holy Spirit to show you anything specific. Sometimes it can be something that we would otherwise overlook. I read of one case where getting rid of an arrowhead collection solved a problem. Be reminded that the American Indians -- as well as many foreign cultures often worshiped idols.
HOW SHOULD WE DISPOSE OF OBJECTS THAT FALL INTO THIS CATEGORY?
Burning is recommended, if that is practical.(8)
Otherwise, destroy or dispose of them in a way that will prevent them from falling into someone's hands. To sell them, no matter how valuable, or to give them away, is to transfer the evil influence from yourself to someone else. They may have been expensive purchases or gifts, but it doesn't cost anything to destroy them.
SHOULD WE ATTEMPT TO SALVAGE ANYTHING OF VALUE FROM THEM?Scripture is clear that we should not try to salvage any investment in them.
[Deut. 7:25] Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the LORD your God.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD BE DONE?
It is well to cleanse the house(9) itself, since former owners may have been involved in occult practices. If they were involved in such activities or were in serious bondage to sin, there is reason to suspect that evil spirits remained behind. These spirits can and will cause trouble for the new owners. Used cars fall into this category, since the activities of previous owners could be spiritually contaminating.
HOW DO WE DO THIS "HOUSE-CLEANSING?"
Win Worly(10) suggests that two believers undertake this, with Bible in hand. Appropriate verses from Scripture may be read aloud in unison or separately. Prepare by praying for the discernment of spirits and the word of knowledge to help the process. Verbally denounce(11) Satan and his power and all his demon hosts. Claim your authority as a believer-priest(12) in the name of Jesus Christ, and the authority of His shed blood. Let the believers take turns reading Scriptures(13) (preferably in every room in the house). Claim the cleansing of the area by demanding,(14) in Jesus' name, that the spirits leave and never return. Do not overlook the dark places where spirits like to hide. Closets, attics, basements, crawl spaces, and cupboards are examples.
Finally, anointing the top and sides of doors and windows and declaring them to be spiritual locks, in the name of Jesus, is practiced by some. Each room and area should be claimed as ground for the Lord and taken back from Satan and his demons.
Each occupant should renounce any known sins or occult connections, involvement confessed as sin, and ask God to forgive them. Any specific areas of demonic activity or influence of which you are aware should be renounced by name.
The following declaration is very effective:
Dear Lord, I have a confession to make; Through ignorance, or willfulness I have sought supernatural experiences apart from You. I have disobeyed your Word [Deut. 17:2-5; 18:10-12] and I ask you to deliver me as I renounce these things. Cleans me in body, mind, soul, and spirit, I pray
I now renounce, forsake, turn away from, all contact with witchcraft, magic, ouija boards, and other occult games;I renounce all kinds of fortune telling, palm reading, tea leaves reading, crystal I renounce all crystal balls, Tarot and other card laying!
I renounce all astrology, birth signs, and horoscopes!
I renounce the heresy of reincarnation, and all healing groups involved in metaphysics and spiritualism!
I renounce the practice of hypnosis under any excuse or authority!
I renounce all rock music that is not consistent with the Word of God.
I renounce all transcendental meditation, Zen, and all other eastern cults and idol worship!
I renounce all martial arts, including Judo, Kung Fu, and Karate!
I renounce all water witching [or dousing], levitation, table-tipping, body lifting, psychometry [divination through objects] automatic writing, and handwriting analysis!
I renounce all literature I have ever read and studies in any of these fields and promise I will destroy all such material in my possession!
I renounce astral projection, soul and out-of-body travel and other demonic skills!
I renounce, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, all psychic heredity that I may have. I break any demonic hold or curse on my family line back to ten or more generations on both sides of the family!
I do now renounce and forsake every psychic and occult contact that I don't know about, also well as those I know about!
I renounce every cult that denies atonement through the blood of Jesus Christ and every philosophy that denies the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ.
[Note: If you have difficulty renouncing any of the above, ask yourself why. Experience has taught that such items may be the very thing that should be renounced. In any case, go ahead with the list. Ask the Holy Spirit to confirm those items that you take exception to.]
I break any curse that may have come upon this household by my disobedience or the disobedience of my ancestors back for ten generations on both sides of the family in the name of Jesus!
Now Satan, I close any door I may have opened to you through these contacts.
The following declaration is recommended for personal deliverance. However, it is equally effective for house-cleansing.
THE COVENANT OF THE BLOOD
*Satan! I testify to you personally what the Word say the BLOOD does for me!
Revelation 12:11 - They [the believers on earth] overcame him [Satan] by the Blood of the Lamb [Jesus Christ] and the word of their testimony. [That is, they testified to what the Word of God says about the Blood of Jesus.]
*Through the BLOOD OF JESUS, I am redeemed out of the hands of Satan!
Psalm 107:2 - Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.
Ephesians 1:7 - In whom we have redemption through His Blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the richness of His grace.
*Through the BLOOD OF JESUS, all my sins are forgiven!
Col. 1:12-14 - Giving thanks to the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
*The BLOOD OF JESUS is cleansing me now from all sin!
1 John 1:7 - But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son cleanses us from all sin.
*I am justified, made righteous, just-as-if-I'd never sinned, through the BLOOD OF JESUS!
Romans 5:9 - Much more then, now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
*Through the BLOOD OF JESUS, I am sanctified, set apart to God!
Hebrews 13:12 - Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
*My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, redeemed, cleansed, sanctified, through the BLOOD OF JESUS!
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - What? Know you not that your body is the temple of the holy Spirit, which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
*I belong to Jesus Christ, God's Son, spirit, soul, and body!
His BLOOD protects me from all evil!
Luke 10:19 - Behold, I give to you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt youBLOOD OF JESUS, Satan, you have no place in me, and no more power over me! I renounce you and your hosts completely, and declare you to be my enemies! Jesus said, "these signs shall follow the believer. In my name they shall cast out devils." [ Matt. 16:17] I am a believer! In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, I exercise my God given authority to expel all evil spirits from this place. I command them to leave now, according to the Word of God, and in the name of Jesus! And now, Lord Jesus, I ask you to fill all vacated areas will your Holy Spirit.
The following is a suggested closing prayer.
[II Sam 7:29] Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, O Sovereign LORD, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed foreverEndnotes:1 If you are living in someone else's house, or the object is not your own, anoint it with oil and command any evil spirit to leave in the name of Jesus.
2 If you feel that a curse may have come upon you household, it can be broken.
3 Experience has determined that frogs and owls seem to have a strong attraction for demons. Some ask, " aren't they part of God's creation?" Yes, although they were not created in a fallen state. He created the serpent that appeared to Eve. I was involved in a case where a four-year old girl had chronic nightmares. The Holy Spirit revealed to me that a large stuffed toy frog named Kermit was the cause. When it was removed the nightmares immediately ceased.
4 Actually, this refers to any heathen culture. The American Indian would be a very pertinent example.
5 If we believe in luck, and we believe objects can bring us good luck, in whom are we placing our faith?
6 If secret vows were made as a part of receiving these things, it may be necessary to renounce those vows. Examine them in the light of what scripture says we should vow. Any vow contrary to our singular allegiance to Christ is trying to serve two masters. Above all, my brothers, do not swear--not by heaven, or by earth, or by anything else. Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No" be no, or you will be condemned. [James 5:12]
7 if you have removed the obvious items and there is still not a sense of peace in the household, consider the less obvious things that you have been reluctant to give up. Remove them to some other location and see if that solves the problem.
8 There are testimonies that when some objects [like an ouija board] were burned, a loud scream was heard.
9 Second-hand cars may also need to be cleansed. Don't forget to eliminate any St. Christopher metals!
10 Win Worly, a native Texan, is an ordained Southern Baptist minister. He is now pastor of Hegawisch Baptist Church in Lansing, Ill. He has been involved in deliverance ministry for nearly thirty years and is the author of many books on the subject.
11 This is not prayer. Do it with authority, and in a firm voice. Let the enemy know you mean it!
12 See the Covenant of the Blood.
13 The 91st Psalm is a good example.
14 If you have the ability to speak in tongues, exercise it. The demons hate to hear it!
Also review this list: Occult Check Sheet