Amid Powers of Darkness

As families and communities mourn another grievous act of violence, political pundits rally with vehement demands for gun control and, to a lesser degree, a call for expansion of mental health services. A separate post would be needed to address the inadequacy of gun control. Mental health is a vital component, addressing individuals’ emotional suffering and instability but would it really prevent violence?

Martyn Lloyd Jones presented a teaching, undated but prior to his death in 1981, entitled, Not Against Flesh And Blood. To expedite a concise review I will merely post some quotes taken therein. (emphasis in quotes are his)

Chapter 1: The Forces of Evil and the Nations

“Christians are not merely good men and women…they are essentially new people…partakers of the divine nature, the life of God enters into our souls and the Holy Spirit dwells within us.”

“Consequently, anything that happens to Christian men and women immediately becomes a test of who they are and what they believe as Christians.”

“‘We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of the world, against spiritual wickedness in high places’. And that, according to the Bible, is the ultimate explanation of the whole of human history, both biblical and secular.”

“Why do wars happen at all? The tragedy today is that people do not seek the causes…Nor do wars come about merely for political reasons…These evils are entirely the result of the operation of the devil and principalities and powers…They are all the work of the devil as he operates both upon individuals and upon larger groups.”

“...the devil produces lawlessness”.

“He insinuates thoughts into the mind and we are not aware of it.”

While much of this chapter addresses the evils of war, the principles therein are applicable to individual acts of violence and lawlessness. Martyn Lloyd Jones also outlines ‘The Christian’s Duty’ amid social and national uprises and war,

“Christians are to aid the state and the government that is appointed of God in its task of arresting and subjugating, as far as is possible, the forces of evil.”

However, “…a man or woman who believes that any league, union or organization will banish war has never understood the spiritual teaching of the Bible. They are thinking in terms of flesh and blood, and do not understand human nature. They have no knowledge of the devil and the principalities and powers of evil.”

“Men and women will never introduce an era of peace.”

“Anything is possible from humanity in sin…wars and strife will go on until the arrival of God’s appointed day, the day of the Lord…There is a definite end to history….a day when the Lord Jesus Christ shall come back as the King of kings…And He will destroy every enemy: the devil, the principalities and powers, the very rulers of this darkness, this spiritual wickedness in high places. They will all be finally destroyed.”

In chapter 2 Lloyd Jones discusses ‘The Manifestation of Evil Powers’, including demonology, the activities of evil powers specifically in witchcraft, mesmerism, astrology, and magic. In chapter 3 are warnings for those who partake in any form of spiritualism.

The focus of chapter 4 is Demon Possession. As a medical doctor, Martyn Lloyd Jones outlines the distinctions between a medical condition and demon possession, “In devil possession there is always a failure to conform to any known pattern of symptoms for a disease.” and “…there are certain unusual symptoms which are not found in clinical diseases.” Strange and unusual behavior, including violence, is noted here.

He points to examples of known demon possession, “We are aware today of the fact that one personality can command and control and direct another.”

Over 50 years ago Martyn Lloyd Jones wrote,

“…today – in an age of moral declension, in an age of godlessness, in an age of excesses, in an age when people no longer believe in God…When education becomes purely secular and denies the Bible entirely and denies God…though people become sophisticated and have a knowledge of a kind, it is not sufficient to withstand the onslaught of these evil powers.”

Fifty years later, these truths are personified by a plethora of demonic influences within our schools, media, entertainment – nearly every cultural outlet. Allurements all to self-gratification, self-glorification, and every evil thought to fuel and ignite behavior.

Social initiatives and new laws will not curb the ongoing violence in our streets and schools, that’s like fighting a fire breathing dragon with a toothpick.

There is nothing in our purview powerful enough to address increasing wanton violence. As believers, our strength comes from separation, shutting in with the Lord through prayer and His living word. Only through the Holy Spirit can we gain understanding and the unction to minister in our communities amid the powers of darkness.

27 thoughts on “Amid Powers of Darkness

  1. So true from top to bottom. Your penultimate paragraph speaks volumes: “Social initiatives and new laws will not curb the ongoing violence in our streets and schools, that’s like fighting a fire breathing dragon with a toothpick.”

    In Christ alone is our hope! Forge on in Him, Lisa Beth!

  2. I agree with David! What amazes me is when people write how bad things were 100 years ago, 50 years ago etc and compare it to how much worse off we are today (May 26, 2022). In my life even unbelievers are noticing the heaviness and darkness of this world. But, instead of turning to Christ they turn to politics or within as if the state or themselves could overcome the darkness. You are a wise woman Lisa and praise God for the ability to call you friend! Lots of love, hugs and blessings!

    • Thank you so much sister for always encouraging and uplifting!
      SO true about unbelievers seeing but not turning. Just yesterday my 92 yr old mother got riled up about a political issue and said, “Call your senators, I’m calling mine!” But if I point to Biblical truths or relevant prophecies – conversation over.
      Thank you again Mandy, I appreciate you, sending 🤗 ❤⚘❤⚘, hoping for 🦈 🐟 🦈 🐟 🦈 and even 🦞 and 🦀 !

  3. Thank you for the good thoughts here, Lisa Beth. I appreciate the several passages from MLJ. Americans look to politics and the government to solve the “moral decline,” but that is like asking the fox to guard the henhouse. I think it’s absolutely ludicrous that a troubled 18YO is able to walk into a gun shop and easily purchase two AR-15s, but there’s also the ongoing genocide of 1700 pre-born babies daily that few newsroom or Hollywood-types shed any tears over. Yes, it’s a spiritual battle. Salvador Ramos, the Texas shooter, didn’t know Christ and neither do the people working at the 800 abortion clinics

    • Thank you Tom for valuable comments. Not sure why anyone needs an AR-15, but yes, it’s ludicrous to imagine a deranged 18 yr old making such a dangerous purchase.
      I do believe though, when fueled with a bloodlust, no law can stop a killer.
      May the Lord guide His people through these days and enable us to minister to others.

  4. I had to stop looking at the news for a few days because it was making me physically sick. Our world is lost on demonic sickness and it will only get worse until Christ finally returns. I hug my children extra tight. We watched Pilgrim’s Progress last night together.

  5. We live in a desperately sin-sick world that rejects the only One who can bring wholeness and peace. Outside of Him, the world will continue to spin hopelessly out of control, no matter the regulations or treatments we put into place. But praise God, He continues to rescue people from sin’s grasp everyday! And someday, us all. Blessings to you, Sister.

  6. This school shooting seems to be a microcosm of what’s going on all over the world, not just individuals but “nation rising up against nation.” And most of humanity is trying to fix things by every means except repentance and turning to God. And while we try to tell people the Way, we know that for the majority of people who ignore the warnings, it will not end well. Praying that the Lord will wrap these dear families in His arms and comfort them, and that we all will find our rest in Him.

    • Every point you make here Ann is totally true, sadly true. Thank you for reading and adding valuable comments.
      Several families, one in particular, desparately called for prayer. In this terrible tragedy, may God’s spirit rise up to save and heal.

      • Amen, Lisa Beth. I’m old enough to remember that after tragedies like this (Challenger disaster, 9-11, Columbine, Oklahoma City bombing, etc) church attendance goes up for a while, and people seem to be seeking spiritual answers … for a while. I’ve always wondered what would happen if as a nation we started seeking God and KEPT seeking Him, but I guess we’ll never know.

      • People may turn to God for help but ultimately, they don’t want His authority over their lives.
        I hope all is well with you Ann, have a good weekend.

  7. No amount of gun control is going to deter a criminal from committing a criminal act once he has made his mind to do so. Why didn’t we hear of these shootings when I was a little girl? Because our God was allowed in the schools. But once it was decided that we didn’t need our God anymore satan took over. America is no more. We are seeing the death of America before our own eyes. Very heartbreaking. Like Ronald Reagan said: “if we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”

    • All true Eve. We have literally scrubbed God out, starting in schools. It is the death of America, like watching a slow train crash.
      Thanks for reading, I really appreciate your comments. ⚘

  8. “like watching a slow train crash”… That’s a good analogy Lisa Beth. Terribly sad what we see happening, and I’m afraid to say that it’s only going to get worse.

  9. Pingback: Amid Powers of Darkness | Reformed Theology Blog

  10. Yes Lisa Beth you are correct. I agree that Americans looking to government to solve these mass shootings will never get a solution. Instead they are frustrated and angered time and time again when Congress does nothing about it, nor could they either.
    Ever since the 1999 Columbine School Shooting, these mass shootings have become the norm from 1999 to today. I have lost track of all the mass shootings happening back to back these past 23 years and don’t watch the news stories much anymore. I just wrote a post on mass shootings today, and it will probably be my last on that subject because their will be another mass shooting this year.

    • Good points Joseph. Refusing to acknowledge God’s authority, man has no choice but to depend on man’s authority to solve every calamity. Sinful man depending on sinful man – ludicrous!
      But it is all ripening toward acknowledgement and dependence on Satan’s authority, through the one world government and antichrist.
      I hope all is well with you brother! (Karin too)
      Will see your post, thank you!

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