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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Casting Out Evil...for Women -- Part 3: When Casting Out Isn’t Enough

(If the podcast isn't functional, check back in a few hours)

Since the beginning of recorded history, God has exacted consequences upon mortals for disregarding His words and disrespecting His laws (see Jacob 3:12).
  • Cain was cursed as a fugitive and a vagabond upon the earth. Even if he tried to survive, his agricultural efforts were also cursed..These consequences were so severe, even Cain said, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.”
  • In Genesis 5:43, “God cursed the earth with a sore curse and was angry with the wicked, with all the sons of men whom he had made; for they would not hearken unto his voice nor believe on his Only Begotten Son, even him whom he declared should come in the meridian of time, who was prepared from before the foundation of the world.”
  • In Alma 37:28, God cursed the land and commanded destruction upon all the workers of darkness. In Helaman 13:17 and Ether 11:6 and 14:1, God cursed the land because of the people’s wickedness and abominations.
  • In Malachi, the Lord exacted consequences upon Israel’s despising of the Lord: “I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.” (Malachi 2:2-3)
  • In D&C 52:37, In consequence of transgression, that which was bestowed upon Heman Basset was taken from him, and placed upon the head of Simonds Ryder.
  • In D&C 101, the Lord exacted afflictions to come upon the Saints in consequence of their transgressions. 
  • Very soon, the Lord will again exact consequences upon mankind, prior to His second coming, for its sins: “Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.” (Isaiah 24:6)
It’s clear that “The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.” (Proverbs 3:33).

God has also cursed evil for its actions:
  • In Genesis 3:14, God exacted consequences upon the serpent. Because it beguiled Eve, it was cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field. "Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life."
  • As a consequence of untold millennia of disobedience, Satan and his followers will soon be locked in the Bottomless Pit (Revelation 20:1-3). After he is released "for a little while" at its end, God will then cast him into the Lake of Fire “for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10; see a pretty vivid play-by-play of Satan’s fate in Ezekiel 28:17-19).
I have not seen any instances in the scriptures where God or man (as commanded by God) countered Satan’s efforts with kindness, compassion and forgiveness. Quite the contrary (and as detailed in my immediately previous posts), all indications are that God’s pattern is to cast out evil and/or to curse it for its actions.

Why Aren’t You Crushing Satan’s Head?


Knowing that God is fully capable of exacting consequences upon man and devil alike, it’s logical to wonder if man can as well. I’ll forego discussions addressing a mortal’s ability to curse another (that’s a whole other blog post!). What’s left is a discussion on whether we mortals can curse a devil, a follower of Satan, perhaps even Satan himself, for consequences of their (or his) actions.

In the Pearl of Great Price, we read of God giving the seed of the woman (Eve) the ability to crush Satan’s head:
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed; and he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:21 JST) 
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed; and he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Moses 4:21)
This isn’t God saying that we can only cast out Satan. No; in the ongoing spiritual battle between good and evil in our lives, Satan can inflict blows upon us, but we can inflict even more devastating blows upon him (actually, the original Hebrew says we can “crush” [yasupeka] Satan’s head).

Yet it’s been my experience over the decades that we latter-day saints are closer to latter-day aints when it comes to crushing Satan’s head. We rarely, if ever, cast Satan from our midst. And crushing Satan’s head? It’s a phrase we only read in the scriptures, never really pondering whether it applies to us at all.

Are we or are we not the seed of Eve?

If so, then why do we constantly allow Satan to bruise our heels, while we neglect to crush his head?

Casting out Satan isn’t the same as crushing his head. Telling Satan to “beat it” does not equal beating his head with significant and severe consequences for his actions.

We read that “His [the wicked’s] mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.” (Psalm 7:16)

Indeed, Pres. Ezra Taft Benson said,
“Of course, the war in heaven over free agency is now being waged here on earth, and there are those today who are saying "Look, don't get involved in the fight for freedom. Just live the gospel." That counsel is dangerous, self-contradictory, unsound.” (“Protecting Freedom—An Immediate Responsibility,” October 1966 General Conference).
The Book of Mormon gives us an example of one man who personified this ability to defend and go on the offensive against the wicked: General Moroni:
"And Moroni was a strong and a mighty man; he was a man of perfect understanding, yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery . . .
Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had sworn with an oath to defend his people his rights, and his country, and his religion, even to the loss of his blood" (Alma 48:11,13)
And then Moroni is paid this high tribute:
"Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men" (Alma 48:17)
When General Moroni faced an enemy fully capable of destroying life and liberty, he didn’t perceive his enemies as angels of light. He didn’t say, “Well, let’s talk to them first,” “Let’s try to convert them,” “Let’s try to be their friends” or even “Let’s hear what they have to say.” The First Presidency described Satan:
“He is working under such perfect disguise that many do not recognize either him or his methods. There is no crime he would not commit, no debauchery he would not set up, no plague he would not send, no heart he would not break, no life he would not take, no soul he would not destroy. He comes as a thief in the night; he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing” (Messages of the First Presidency, comp. James R. Clark, 6 vols., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965–75, 6:179).
General Moroni didn’t wait to see just how nicey-nicey his enemies would be. He consulted the Lord and was given specific instructions on how to take the battle -- and win the war -- against the enemy with astounding force, speed and efficiency. No flowers in guns. No negotiations. Just good old fashioned, head crushing, God-endorsed consequences.

Proactively Preventing Intruders


Let’s put it this way: What if some unknown person was checking out your house in the middle of the night? What if an armed intruder broke into your house and held your family at gunpoint? Would you want to fix them dinner? Watch TV? Maybe just ignore all the crime and teach them the gospel? Or would you proactively forewarn them with your video doorbell system, alarms, motion sensors, barking dogs and enough lights to blast illumination over every square inch of your property? Would you have an easy way to contact the police?

Why do we have elaborate protection systems for our homes, but not our souls?

These unwanted evil guests in our bodies and homes are no different than stalkers and intruders. They were not invited to watch us or enter into our homes or bodies; thus, we should not treat them as guests. We should have a way to warn them that should they place even the tip of a toenail in your proximity, they will suffer severe, significant and lasting consequences upon them?

Casting out without consequences is like declining to press charges once the intruder is identified and apprehended. Without said consequences, what are the chances said intruder will probably continue to observe your home, and even return to it, at some point in the future?

Are you going to let the intruder -- even someone who is constantly observing or stalking you, your family or your home -- off scott-free, or will you press charges?

Just how passive do you intend to be over the battle being waged for your soul and the souls of each member of your family?

What would General Moroni advise?

Consequences 101


Develop The Strongest Possible Spiritual Fortifications

One of the reasons why General Moroni is so highly praised in the Book of Mormon is because of the fortifications he envisioned and had developed. He first prepared “the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God.” (Alma 48:7). Then he built fortifications which strengthened the entire land. (Alma 48:8-9).

These fortifications were built by -- believe it or not -- his prisoners “because it was easy to guard them while at their labor; and he desired all his forces when he should make an attack upon the Lamanites.” (Alma 53:5).

The result: an “exceeding stronghold” “round about the land, or the city, Bountiful” (Alma 53:3-5) -- so strong, that he “[1] gained a victory over one of the greatest of the armies of the Lamanites, and [2] had obtained possession of the city of Mulek, which was one of the strongest holds of the Lamanites in the land of Nephi; and thus [3] he had also built a stronghold to retain his prisoners.” (Alma 53:6)

You can develop spiritual fortifications around yourself and your home just as impenetrable as Moroni’s.

How?

By doing what Moroni did -- obtaining "Inside Information" from God about Satan's plans. And you can, too.

Obtain “Inside Information” About Satan’s Plans for You

“There are carefully charted on the maps of the opposition the weak spots in every one of us. They are known to the forces of evil, and just the moment we lower the defense of any one of those ports, that becomes the D-Day of our invasion and our souls are in danger.” (Elder Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, Sept. 30, 1949, p. 56.)

We can know not only what’s charted on those maps, but also how to defeat any incursions on our spirits before they are launched.

As you immerse yourself in God's word throughout the day, you acclimate your spirit to the divine signal of truth and love. And on that wavelength, if you seek it, the Lord can and will give you "inside information" about Satan's plans that will help you avoid deception and temptation ahead of time.

The Prophet Elisha got this concept. In 2 Kings 2, we read:
"Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp.
And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down.
And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice.
Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel?
And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber." (2 Kings 2:8-12)
The Nephites (under the command of who? You guessed it -- General Moroni) experienced something similar:
"And this was their faith, that by so doing God would prosper them in the land, or in other words, if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of God that he would prosper them in the land; yea, warn them to flee, or to prepare for war, according to their danger;
And also, that God would make it known unto them whither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them; and this was the faith of Moroni, and his heart did glory in it; not in the shedding of blood but in doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments of God, yea, and resisting iniquity." (Alma 48:15-16)
When we are tuned in to the Lord, we can actively take Him up on His offer to help us avoid battles with our common enemy. He can and will give you promptings as to what Satan is planning for you. Indeed,
"We can monitor our own progress and discern the gains we make and the patterns in which we are vulnerable to temptation. I am indebted to a wise old friend (both in years and in association) of another faith who taught me to take an active interest in learning about the patterns in my life and how temptations occurred. He struggled a long time with some of his temptations and finally decided to take a proactive interest. He tried to anticipate where in his life he might encounter that 'old trickster devil' again. He became a good scout. He watched the terrain of his life and could tell where it looked like his own form of quicksand might be. He rerouted and gave up trying to see how close he could get to that quicksand without getting caught." (Marie Cornwall and Susan Howe, eds., Women of Wisdom and Knowledge: Talks Selected from the BYU Women's Conferences, p. 114)
What are some of the tactics the Lord may recommend to you, to build and fortify you and/or your home? Here are a few of the endless possibilities:
  • Throw away anything in your home or your life which erodes the spirit.
  • Play Christ-centered music in your home throughout the day (click here for some terrific suggestions)
  • Return to your Sacred Grove
  • Meditate; grow closer to Jesus
  • Bear testimony of Jesus

Exacting consequences

We can do a lot to spiritually fortify our spirits and homes.

However, if you really think evil will just go, “Hmmm, fortified spiritual strongholds. Let’s just give up!” you’re sorely mistaken. Satan never let up just because Job was a good guy. He never let up on Nephi nor Joseph Smith. Quite the contrary, we have every reason to believe that Satan will assign his best and brightest, and implement his most brilliant strategies, against those who pose the greatest threats to him. That’s because the more spiritually developed one is, the more resources Satan must assign to bring down that individual. Reciprocally, we are also given more tools to conquer Satan. There is opposition in all things.

I’ve heard people say that they don’t want to cast out Satan, because they don’t want to attract his attention. Well, news flash! Any true believer in Jesus Christ already has his attention! The only question is, will we allow him to have the upper hand, to control the situation, or not?
"Satan wants to stop you. He will try to distract, deceive and weaken your righteous desires, your trust in the Lord, your resolve. Do not be afraid. We have already overcome Satan at another time and place. . . . We had a valiant testimony in our pre-existent state and we can awaken it again." (Elder Robert K. Dellenbach, “Supernal Event Became Hour of Conversion,” LDS Church News, October 20, 1990)
I agree! In the battle for our souls, and the souls of our families, we MUST not be afraid, and overcome Satan here, disallowing him to have any control of our lives here. We must return to this post’s original concepts: Consequences...and crushing Satan’s head.

Instead of my turning these two concepts into a practical application, I’ll let this anonymous person (I’ve nicknamed “Angie”) do the talking:
“I have suffered for years with many physical and family challenges. Within the last year, I began casting out evil from my midst. For a while, it alleviated a lot of the ‘spiritual interference’ I had been experiencing. I started to feel better both physically and in my family life.  
But earlier this year, I found that despite my still trying to be true and faithful in all things, my casting out was losing its effectiveness. Then one night, I was clearly attacked in ways that were inconceivable to me. It was brutal, horrific and continued for a long period of time. It was so bad that the next morning, I was furious.  
That morning, I vocally vowed to do a number of things that I knew would simultaneously enrage Satan and please God. I also said that if I was ever attacked again, I would do more things that would deepen and broaden God’s kingdom. 
The attacks subsided a little bit, but a few days later, they continued again. I implemented my promise and made sure that those who were agents of Satan received very severe punishments for negatively influencing me. 
Over the months, I’ve learned that the Lord calls these “Consequences.” He has inspired me with new and creative ways to put on consequences on evil.  
After doing this frequently, I’ve found that both the frequency and intensity of evil’s attacks on me has greatly diminished. I no longer wake up in the middle of the night gasping and crying. I no longer stay awake for hours because I dread going to sleep. I also have the assurance of knowing that if evil ever tries to negatively influence me, they will receive very harsh and long-lasting consequences. 
This whole thing has been life-changing to me. It has certainly been a miracle to me. I praise Jesus’ name for teaching me this principle which has brought tremendous, constant peace into my life like never before. 
And to me, there is no surer testimony of Jesus’ presence in my life than peace that surpasses all understanding.”
Here’s Michael’s testimony of consequences:
“During my mission, my mission president taught us that if we ever felt we were being influenced by Satan, we could just verbally tell him that if he persisted in tempting us, we would go hand out a Book of Mormon, proselyte even more people than the last week, work in the local soup kitchen -- anything that would be counterproductive to the building up of Satan’s kingdom. 
So at times during my mission, when I would get depressed about things or upset at someone, I would remember those instructions and carry them out. The negative feelings would quickly vanish. 
Since my mission (so long ago), I’ve implemented that advice at least a thousand times. If Satan punched me, I’d punch him back, usually via serving others and testifying of Christ. 
What I have learned over the years is that we do not need to let Satan bully us throughout mortality. He and his associates need to know that there are still a few folks who will turn to God and ask Him to rain down consequences upon evil for picking on us. 
Some may think “Oh no! Be careful! You’re liable to REALLY tick off Satan and have him come at you with more troops and bigger weapons.” Actually, just the opposite is true. Satan is a big coward. He reminds me of the picture of the little stuffed animal that casts a huge T-Rex shadow on the wall. Satan does not want consequences being proclaimed on his troops because consequences can be demoralizing and very destabilizing to morale. Consequences prove to his forces that we mortals DO have power over evil. If Satan knows you enthusiastically blast consequences at his forces, he will be forced to weigh every molecule of negative influence he contemplates against you. 
For example, things which would have ordinarily tempted me haven’t. My generation of men has really been plagued by pornography. I have seen elders quorums without functioning presidencies, and well-respected, long-time church leaders cry, because they had struggled to “kick the habit” of porn. My parents, and other extended family members, struggled to overcome substance abuse issues, and it nearly killed some. But for me, neither porn nor drugs have had any influence on me whatsoever. 
I know I’m far from perfect, and still need to repent every day. But if I can cast Satan and his forces out from my presence and the proximity of my family, and then put consequences on them, then so can you. The only question is will you have Jesus by your side, endorsing your actions, when you strike back at Satan? If so, then what do you have to fear? Jesus is just as real as Satan, and I’m pretty sure he would love nothing more than to work with you in minimizing Satan’s domain as effectively as possible.”
In summary, God is a God of love, but also consequences for those who are disobedient and even evil. He has invited you to join with Him in crushing Satan’s head. Those who have done so experience relief from evil in ways they never dreamed.

If you’re interested in some suggested guidelines on how to exact consequences on Satan and his forces, then seriously consider subscribing to this blog’s Facebook group. Just click the button below.


I look forward to reading your comments here, on the Facebook group or via anonymous email (click here to email me directly) about how “Consequences” has worked for you.

You know what?

This could change everything.

Let it begin.



4 comments:

  1. The link for good music isn't highlighted.
    Loved this post. Thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! (I knew I forgot something -- LOL). The link to the good music is now active in the post. It'll take you to https://www.facebook.com/groups/MySongsoftheHeart/

      Delete
  2. In coming to better understand "Casting out", I have observed different techniques professed by others. In addition to casting out, there are those that "Bind the entities to spirit prison, destroy records, and place protective barriers." However in Joseph Smith's explanation of the Spirit World, there is no separation between "Paradise and Prison". The world of spirits is occupied by both good and evil. For certain there are organizations of Priesthood on the side of righteousness, and Satan has his counterfeit forces marshalled in his own organized way.

    So my question is this...For those who "Cast Out and bind to Spirit Prison," What is actually being accomplished? Casting out seems obvious? We have scriptural reference to and instructions that True disciples of the Savior will follow his example. Binding to Spirit Prison? I don't see the point (waste of time and energy, since they already have access to and are present in the "World of Spirits."

    I'm thinking that along with those suggestions from the article, and "Casting Out," among the other weapons that I have to deploy, would be to Destroy Records, and to Fill the once dark spaces with light. Employ,through Priesthood power and authority, the help of heaven. Who's to say that we can't follow the example given to us in the Garden of Eden and place Cherubim and a flaming sword to guard the entrance to our homes?

    I'm interested in What others are doing and the tools they use, in addition to those mentioned in the article, to "Crush" the head of the adversary.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  3. "I have observed different techniques professed by others." -- Me too. Lots of them.

    "there are those that 'Bind the entities to spirit prison, destroy records, and place protective barriers.'"

    "However in Joseph Smith's explanation of the Spirit World, there is no separation between 'Paradise and Prison'. The world of spirits is occupied by both good and evil." -- Hmmm that's news to me. I've always thought that spirit prison/world were in two separate realms. I may be wrong, and forgive me if I am, but I doubt it would be considered merciful for God to consign a relatively good person to be living right next to Hitler, Stalin or Charles Manson.

    "We have scriptural reference to and instructions that True disciples of the Savior will follow his example. Binding to Spirit Prison? I don't see the point (waste of time and energy, since they already have access to and are present in the 'World of Spirits.'" -- I'm kind of hazy on the differentiation between spirit prison and hell. However IMHO actual physical or dimensional location is secondary in my book; they're all evil, they're all fighting against God, my family and I, and all are unwelcome in my body and home.

    "I'm thinking that along with those suggestions from the article, and 'Casting Out,' among the other weapons that I have to deploy, would be to Destroy Records, and to Fill the once dark spaces with light." -- Yes. These tactics are being performed successfully by many.

    "Employ,through Priesthood power and authority, the help of heaven. Who's to say that we can't follow the example given to us in the Garden of Eden and place Cherubim and a flaming sword to guard the entrance to our homes?" -- Does it take belief in Christ or priesthood to call upon the powers of heaven? Does it take priesthood or belief in Christ to cast out? Where in the scriptures does it say that priesthood is required to ask for and receive heaven's help? That was the point of my first post -- for generations, we members have been indoctrinated into believing that only priesthood can cast out evil. That's not what the scriptures say...repeatedly.

    "I'm interested in What others are doing and the tools they use, in addition to those mentioned in the article, to 'Crush' the head of the adversary." -- More strategies will be coming soon (including one which isn't based on historical or scriptural precedent).

    ReplyDelete