In last week’s article, we examined the importance of embracing all the truth that YHVH has revealed. Our failure to receive the truth and employ the gifts Elohim provides has caused division and dissension within the Body of Messiah. Our assignment from YHVH is to build up His Body (Matt. 28:16-20) and prepare ourselves to live in His kingdom (Eph 4:13-15). It is time that we re-consider the gifts and tools that are missing in our lives.
For example, some followers of Yeshua say that speaking in tongues is from the devil. Are they saying that YHVH used a sign from the devil to demonstrate that His Holy Spirit had fallen on the followers of Yeshua? (Acts 2:4, 1 Cor 14:2) Speaking in tongues serves as evidence that we have received the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44-47, 1 Cor 14:22). Actually, praying in tongues is a very powerful tool to strengthen the user (Jude 20). We can pray in tongues when we aren’t sure how to pray in our native language (Rom 8:26). We can us tongues to intercede powerfully on behalf of our brothers and sisters (Eph 6:18).
From the very beginning, there has been misunderstanding and misuse of the gift of speaking in tongues. Hasatan wasted no time in working through people’s pride and immaturity to discredit this gift. When we refuse the gift of speaking in tongues or abandon its use, we lose many opportunities to strengthen ourselves and to assist our brothers and sisters in Yeshua.
Healing the sick is suspect among many believers in Yeshua. Yeshua clearly stated that His followers would lay hands on people and they would get well (Luke 10:9). Sometimes we pray for the sick and they don’t recover, so we give up. Does that mean that healing is not for today? Consider Yeshua’s followers who were unable to expel a demon. Yeshua rebuked them for their lack of faith and then proceeded to expel the demon Himself (Matt 17:14-20). The laying on of hands for healing others is part of our commission from Yeshua (Luke 10:9).
The gift of prophecy is also misunderstood by many. Some people believe that because the Bible is now complete and nothing new is being added, that prophecy has ceased. However, the prophets spoke their messages to the intended audience. At some point, they also recorded the message in writing, but first it was spoken and sometimes demonstrated to enhance understanding (Jer 1:17, 2:2; Hos 1:2) Fortunetelling is hasatan’s counterfeit for prophecy. Prophecy is relaying a message from YHVH at His command to individuals or groups of people, sometimes to a whole nation. We are expected to prophecy as the Holy Spirit leads (1 Cor 14:39).
For everything that comes from YHVH, hasatan has created a counterfeit to try to discredit YHVH and to cause confusion among humans. We must be discerning at all times and we cannot do this without direct assistance from the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we need infilling or baptism of the Holy Spirit and we need to be open to His direction at all times. Whatever we truly hear from the Holy Spirit will always line up directly with Scripture. YHVH does not contradict Himself.
Perhaps the most misunderstood and least used gift is deliverance. Hasatan has done an excellent job at persuading us to avoid deliverance because it has such a negative impact on his work. Thus, many people in our culture do not even acknowledge that there are demons. Others believe that demons can only affect non-believers. In addition, there has been and still is unnecessary drama in deliverance sessions. If we ask the Holy Spirit to take charge and follow His guidance, deliverance can be accomplished in a calm and orderly manner.
Most people react with outrage when confronted with the possibility that they may be in bondage to demons, saying something like “I’m a nice person.” That is probably true, but can you picture demons reporting back to their leader with the excuse that “we just couldn’t do it because he is such a nice person? In the physical realm, we can be assaulted or kidnapped by others despite the nature of our character.
Hasatan is well aware of his final outcome since it has already been recorded by YHVH in Scripture (John 12:31, Rev 12:9). The best he can hope for is to take down as many humans as he can while he has the opportunity (2 Cor 4:4). He is delighted when humans, who were created in YHVH’s image, do anything to mar that image. Hasatan has no pity or compassion, but is the father of lies (John 8:44) who seeks to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). So you are a nice person? Fine, hasatan will take care of that. In fact, he has been seeking opportunities to snag you from the time you arrive on earth.
Can believers be in bondage to demons? Yes! Right after YHVH revealed the Messiah to Peter, hasatan worked through Peter to try to dissuade Yeshua from His mission (Matt 16). Even though Peter spoke the words, Yeshua confronted hasatan. Consider also the Corinthians, who were born again, baptized in the Holy Spirit, and operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, yet were still heavily influenced by demons and subject to sin (1 Cor 3, 5). Over the centuries, many denominations and congregations have suffered from the scandalous behavior of their members, sometimes even their leaders.
Lack of trust in YHVH is our biggest barrier to accepting the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Lack of trust stems from our two worst enemies: fear and doubt. Trust is built as we get to know YHVH personally and interact with Him. As we learn to trust Him in small things, we can move on to bigger things.
Hasatan knows the power of YHVH’s weapons and tools. He knows one sure way to thwart YHVH’s plan is to persuade us to relinquish our weapons. If hasatan can convince us that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not from YHVH, but from hasatan, then we will avoid them and think we are doing a very good thing. If he can persuade us to fear or mistrust the most powerful weapons, we won’t be able to use them against him. We will not be effective in building up YHVH’s kingdom. Instead, we will be assisting hasatan in building up his kingdom.
We tend to conform to and become like the god we serve (Ps 115:8). Division, chaos, dissension, mistrust, accusations, self-righteousness are from hasatan. Unity, order, harmony, trust, acceptance and true righteousness are from YHVH. So a Body of Messiah that is riddled with division, confusion, and self-righteous accusations is serving whom? Let us serve YHVH and restore the house that YHVH built by using the gifts and tools He gave to us.