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Resist the devil and he'll flee? Context please!



Home > Resist the devil and he'll flee? Context please!

Resist the devil and he'll flee (Exposing a misinterpretation)

James 4:7, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

A lot of people claim that this is proof that a Christian never needs a deliverance. They claim that all we have to do is draw near to God and resist the devil and he's quickly on his way.

What an ear tickling message to say the least. So why isn't it working with so many countless believers who are being tormented and harassed by demonic spirits? They can try to resist the devil and draw near to God with everything they've got, and still the harassment and torment doesn't stop. Many pastors are known for writing the people off and saying that they aren't trying hard enough, but these people can try with everything they've got and still have no progress! What's wrong?

Quite frankly, James chapter 4 is not speaking of demonic harassment or torment... no, it's speaking of how to deal with the temptation that the devil sends our way!

This verse has been taken out of context to make it say something that it never said.

It's like the saying goes, "Never read a verse in the Bible again, always read a chapter!"

Furthermore, it's not telling us that the devil will come out of us, it's telling us that the devil will flee, which gives us a good indication that this is speaking of spiritual warfare where we are resisting the temptations of the devil from the outside.

Now let's take a look at some stories found in the Bible on how to deal with demonic torment or harassment.

An example of how demonic problems were addressed:

In Luke 13:11, there stood a woman with a spirit of infirmity:

"And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself."

How did Jesus handle her? Did He walk upto her and say, "Thou woman, you aren't resisting the devil and drawing near to God! If you would just do that, your demon would depart from you!"

No, that's not what happened. Jesus gave us a clear indication that she was a precious and sincere child of God when He said...

Luke 13:16, "And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?"

Obviously this women didn't need to draw near to God and resist the devil, she needed to be set free from her demonic bondage! That's exactly how Jesus did for her in verse 12:

"And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity."

For those who insist that this woman was not a believer, I encourage you to read the following teaching, which will present an irrefutable case that she was indeed a believer, and she indeed had a demon: The Daughtor of Abraham

Another example of how demonic problems were addressed:

In Acts 19:12, we find where Paul was sending out prayer cloths to those in need of healings and deliverances.

"So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them."

Now Paul was known for teaching and guiding the believers in the ways of the Lord. After all, he wrote a very large percentage of the New Testament! He was continually instructing them on how to grow in the Lord. Now if those requesting prayer cloths could have solved their problems by simply drawing near to God and resisting the devil; why would Paul have been trying to give them a quick fix to get rid of their demons?

It makes no sense! After all, he was the one who was so diligent in teaching them the ways of the Lord and how to successfully do spiritual battle!

Let me put it bluntly, if all we had to do was resist the devil, then honestly, what would be the point in casting out demons? Would that not be a quick fix so we wouldn't have to draw near to God and resist the devil?

Did you know that Jesus never told us to fight or struggle against demonic oppression?

How was demonic oppression solved in the Bible? It was certainly not something the people did on their own, it was something that Jesus did for them as they came to Him. Acts 10:38 tells us...

"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."

The word healed means to make a person whole. There were other times when Jesus was said to heal a person of an unclean spirit, which involved casting it out. A good example of this is found in Matthew 12:22...

"Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw."

What do we find just a couple verses down the page? We find out how Jesus healed the man...

"But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils." (v.24)

So if all the people had to do was draw near to God and resist the devil, why would Jesus be going around taking so many 'shortcuts'? Why wasn't Jesus teaching them to draw near to God and resist the devil? I'm sure these people would have done ANYTHING to be freed from their condition!

In a nutshell

I encourage you to go read James 4, then tell me, is it speaking about dealing with demonic harassment, possession, bondages and being vexed by demons? Is it speaking of getting people set free from demons? No, it is not! It's telling you how to overcome the temptations that the devil throws our way in this world!

The Bible is also clear on how we are to go about handling demons that need to be driven out:

Matthew 10:8, "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give."

Mark 16:17, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils..."

Now if all we had to do was draw near to God and resist the devil, there would be no point in casting out demons, would there? Would not Jesus and His disciples have been wasting their time, along with the early church? Would they have not been giving people 'quick fixes' to problems that they ought to be drawing near to God and resisting the devil to solve?

While it is true that we should always resist the devil and draw near to God, it is not the Biblical solution to solving problems that are demonic in a person's life.



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Spiritual Warfare




Breaking Addictions
Get the root for real freedom

What to do with our feelings
Fear, guilt, shame, etc.

The Accusing Spirit
The voice of condemnation

How to overcome rejection
Correcting a mistaken identity

The Anti-self Bondages
Self-hate, self-rejection, etc.

Pillars of Inner Healing
Position yourself for healing

Defense Mechanisms
A huge key to inner healing

Inner Healing 101
Healing emotional wounds

Will God forgive me?
Advice from the Holy Spirit

Is God upset with me?
One of Satan's biggest lies

Exposing dead religion
#1 enemy of the cross!

Steps to inner healing

The Blood is Enough
Complete forgiveness!!

Who we REALLY are
Our identity in Christ

Forgiving Yourself

It's vital to love yourself!
It's not what you think!

Emotional buildup
Easily offended? Irritable?

Opening demonic doors
Even with your thoughts...

Guilt & shame from sexual sins
Why are they so embarrassing?

Our Direct Enemy
Satan? Or demons?

Identifying strongholds

Keys to Biblical Faith

Resist the devil and he'll flee
Exposing a misinterpretation

Spiritual Warfare vs. Torment

What's on your mind?
Where the battle is fought

Spiritual Warfare

Dealing with Guilt

The power of your thoughts
Where many strongholds begin

Condemnation vs. Conviction
Feeling like a failure? Guilty?

Strongholds

Anti-stronghold Bible verses

The unpardonable sin


Salvation essentials




Wicked made for punishment?
A closer look at Proverbs 16:4

The Blood is Enough
Complete forgiveness!!

Message of Salvation

Why we need Jesus

Salvation in the Bible


The Christian life




Bearing Kingdom Fruit
What is our personal role?

Doing the WORKS of God
The works JESUS did!!

The fear of the Lord
It's not what you think!

Communion and Judgment
Exposing a misunderstanding

Prosperity Gospel
Is it Biblical to be blessed?

God's will on earth
Just as it is in heaven??

How God sees us
An important key to faith!

Importance of Holiness
Two kinds of righteousness

Once-saved, Always-saved?
Or just false security?

Will God forgive me?
Advice from the Holy Spirit

Is God upset with me?
One of Satan's biggest lies

Exposing dead religion
#1 enemy of the cross!

The Jesus of the Bible

God's authority in the family

The Blood is Enough
Complete forgiveness!!

Who we REALLY are
Our identity in Christ

Forgiving Yourself

Ambassadors for Christ
Jesus' ministry today!

It's vital to love yourself!
It's not what you think!

Emotional buildup
Easily offended? Irritable?

"But nobody is perfect!"
Let's grow into perfection!

The 10 Commandments
What if we reversed them?

Guilt & shame from sexual sins
Why are they so embarrassing?

Abortion & spiritual bondage

The Root of Bitterness

A Thankful Heart 1
A key to overflowing joy!

A Thankful Heart 2
Recognizing unthankfulness

A Thankful Heart 3
How to become thankful

Beauty of Repentance
Come clean before God!

Delayed Repentance
The cost of waiting

Jesus... Son of Man
He was our example!

The dangers of rebellion
A doorway to the demonic

Keys to Biblical Faith

A Love Relationship w/Jesus
A powerful revelation!

John the Baptist
Prepare the way for the Lord!

Dealing with Guilt

Blessing Confessions

Condemnation vs. Conviction
Feeling like a failure? Guilty?

The forgiveness of sins
Very liberating teaching!!

Forgiven sinner or saint?
How the power of sin is broken

The two commandments

Forgiveness & reconciliation

Unforgiveness: Poison

Sex Outside Marriage


The Holy Spirit




The loving Holy Spirit
He loves you dearly!

Baptism of the Holy Spirit


Divine healings




Worthy to Receive Healing

12 Vital Keys to Healing
Jesus healed them ALL!

God's will when prayer fails
More on God's will to heal

Live a LONG life!
Live out your full years

Pauls thorn & healing
And other arguments...

Biblical faith & healing

Dissociative Identity Disorder
Multiple Personality Disorder

Can you lose a healing?

God's will to heal

Divine Healing

Your Spiritual Authority


The Word of God




The Mark 16:9-20 debate


Spiritual Warfare Series




The battle in your mind

Combating temptation

Combating deception

Combating accusations

Tear down strongholds

Who you are in Christ

What God is really like

Defeating guilt & shame

Break the power of sin

How to forgive others

Warfare vs bondage

Christian have a demon?


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