February 5, 2008
Pastor Mark Driscoll
Christus Victor (Part 3)
I then ask, "Who sent you?" and I check all this over and over by the white throne. Invariably it's Satan. I know that. That's always the answer but I want `em to say it because I want the counselee to hear, "You know, I can't open this door. If [knocks] there's a knock on my door and I look out--who is it? `uh, Satan sent me.' Don't open the door."
How many associates are working under you? Three, four, seven. Sometimes they'll lie and give you a crazy number like they're really powerful. No. Sometimes it's zero. Will that stand as truth before the white throne of God almighty? I wanna know who all's involved here and what we're dealing with.
What effects have you had on them? That question is, I'll hear things like: "I gave them this illness. I made `em sick. I made `em depressed." For one person it was, you know, "they'd had multiple surgeries and I keep harming them physically" and after we dealt with it the person was miraculously healed and no more surgeries. Sometimes it's nothing.
"Do you still hold any ground against them that would keep you from leaving upon command?" Again, they've opened the door. We're gonna repent of sin and kick you out and then shut the door. Is there any reason that if we tell you to leave you don't have to leave because they still want you to be here? And this is where they have to be 100% honest and totally truthful with repentance. This is where I'll be sitting with a couple and a demon will say, "Yeah. I don't have to go anywhere." Why? "Well, they haven't told their spouse about the adultery they had last week. It's been going on for years." And the person hears this in their mind and immediately they have two choices--lie and just keep the demon or tell the truth and get rid of it but sometimes they're reticent to get rid of it because they don't want to tell the truth. And so what you're really dealing with here is getting to the root of sin in people's lives and bringing them to repentance because, again, the issue is if you open the door, if you welcomed them in and you refuse to stop living in this way then you have no right to kick them out.
And this is where we get brutally honest with hardcore real repentance. I've had people confess things that would blow your mind. They'll say, "I want the demon gone." Okay, why does it not have to leave? "Well it says it doesn't have to leave cuz I still got a porn stash in my house and I got my bong and, you know, I got my girlfriend and my wife and--" Well, yeah, you're not a victim here, you opened the door. You invited evil in and until you're willing to repent thoroughly, meaning `get rid of all of this sin', and be honest with your spouse and whomever else needs to know, yeah, a demon's just gonna keep living at your house. They don't have to leave. You're welcoming them. You keep biting the hook.
Once we get all the sin confessed, all the ground cancelled, we get it all cleaned out, I then have them pray after me: In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we command (whatever the spirit and its name is) to leave the person with all your works and effects, all your associates and all their works and effects. Go to the pit immediately (again, I dont want them going to anybody else). We command you in the name of Lord Jesus Christ." And then we pray that the Holy Spirit would fill the space that is has been vacated because if you cast out a demon and the Holy Spirit doesn't come you get seven more demons. And then we do this over and over and over and we work through ALL of the various areas: sexuality, drugs, suicide, depression, spiritual supernatural power, ancestral sin, rape, pedophilia, homosexuality, whatever it is we work through all of it. And then lastly I do a mop up. Of all the spirits that are remaining I command that spirit holding highest authority to step forward and sometimes there's nothing there, we've cleaned up everything, sometimes there's something we've missed. Complete the process.
Number eleven--part of this, too, is I'll say this, don't try this on your own. I've done this. Pastor Tim has done this. You don't just grab this sheet of paper and do this. If a counseling issue comes up like this there are a handful of elders who've done this. We may be involved, you can observe first time along. Watch. Learn. See. Don't just start doing this. I'm not giving anyone permission to just do this like, "Cool. I gotta sheet of paper. Let's go ghostbusting." No [laughter from the audience]. The lies, the accusations, the vain regrets, the ordinary demonic, the temptation, the world, the flesh, all of that [is] normal biblical counseling. That's just using the Gospel. When it gets into having a full trial dealing with demons, speaking to them, make sure you get more than just this lecture.
Couple of things, too, number eleven--sometimes the trial can really get bogged down. They're not listening. They're not responding. It's not going well. I stop and we pray and I have the counselee pray with me. We ask the Holy Spirit to enforce the ground rules and to glorify Jesus and punish those who disobey and sometimes I'll just hand the Bible to the counselee and I'll have `em read offensive psalms. God, crush my enemies. Come against those who would do me evil. I'll use Psalm 18, Psalm 27, Psalm 31, Psalm 35, Psalm 83. I'll go in with psalms and occasionally say, "Look, this isn't going so good, just read the Bible." Just pull out the sword, read the Bible. It helps to build the counselee's trust in Scripture and it puts things back in order.
And then, when we're all done, here are my follow-up recommendations. One, I tell them (leaving here) keep short sin accounts with God. If you sin, repent. Don't keep opening the door welcoming everybody--don't do that anymore. If you open the door, repent, kick them out, shut the door. Whatever you're doing keep short, close sin accounts with God.
Number two, pray offensively. In the psalms there are lots of offensive prayers. [note this is a contrast between offense and defense in the verbal delivery, not an allusion to Ps 137 and killing babies] Too many people pray AFTER they've been shot. Pray before you get shot.
Number three. Read scripture, read scripture, read scripture, read scripture. Dispel the lies with the truth.
[Number four?] Do not obsess over lies and accusations. You WILL get lies. You WILL get accusations. That is [a] normal part of Christian life. Jesus was accused. Jesus was tempted by the enemy, you will be, too. This is normal. Don't freak out but, when the lie comes, reject it with the truth. When the accusation comes, reject it with the truth. Jesus says, "My sheep hear my voice." Keep listening to the voice of Jesus.
Be in fellowship. The enemy loves to isolate people. Stay close to you friends, to you family, to people who love Jesus. Schedule another appointment if things arise. If something goes crazy let me know.
Exercise the authority Christ has given you. You don't need me. I'm not some guru. The same spirit is in you that is in me; the same Bible in my hand is the same Bible in your hand; this is not guru-ism. This is: "what's the truth? what's the lie? where's the sin? where's the repentance? I command you in the name of Jesus to leave me alone. I belong to him and he's forgiven me." You have the same authority I do.
Be careful to avoid arrogant pride. Don't walk arou--some people do this. They're like, "Yeah, man! I learned a new trick. I can kill demons now." Satan loves pride. He just--you cast the demons out and bit the pride hook which is the big one. You know, that's not what we want.
I recommend that they keep a journal to record lies and accusations. Write `em down as they come so they can remember, "I believed this junk." And if they're married I them, "Go to your spouse and ask them, `Is this true? Am I an idiot? Am I a failure? Did Jesus not die for me? Should I kill myself?" Let people who love Jesus confirm and then I give them some recommended reading. Parts of the Bible, Clinton Arnold's book Answers to Three Questions About Spiritual Warfare. Things of that nature.
I've got some Q&A in the back for you that you can take with you. Last thing and then we'll take a break. In the very, very back in chapter fourteen, I do give you a chapter. I've got a book coming out called Death By Love. It'll be out in October with Crossway. I wrote it with Dr. Gerry Breshears of Western Seminary and what we did was I wrote twelve chapters that are biblical pastoral counseling and what I do is I tell someone's story and then I write them a letter. The Bible's got some letters written to people, I thought it might be an interesting idea. And each chapter, I tell someone's story and then I write them a letter about one aspect of the atoning death of Jesus on the cross and what he's done for them. It comes out of our ministry here at Mars Hill. This is an unpublished (so don't distribute it), this is an unpublished copy of chapter one, "Christus Victor", about a woman who was demonically tormented and I tell her story and I write her a letter explaining in a pastoral way much of what I've taught you today. And my goal there is just to give you an example of what, you know, spiritual warfare, Christ-centered, cross-centered biblical counseling would look like under the doctrine of christus victor. You can read it on your own. I hope it's helpful. It's not yet published so this is not final proof-edited version, Crystal is cleaning all of it up for me, but I give it to you as an example, as an example.
[goes to a prayer, which Wenatchee the Hatchet isn't going to bother transcribing as a whole. There are some salient statements within it, however]
Many of you represent the heart of the ground war. The ground war matters more to me than it does to you. Don't believe the demonic lie that I don't care. I founded this church in my living room. Many who are on staff I had the privilege of leading to Christ and baptizing.
Many of you in this room I've counseled, met with, officiated your weddings. The day has come to where it is I'm incapable of doing all the ground war but I care more than you do. I care more than you do. I love our people. I care for our people. I'm concerned for our people.
I want the best for our people. I really want out people to walk in the freedom of the gospel that Jesus has for them. That's why CCEF, I brokered that deal. That's why the biblical training and the reliving and the reorganization, I spearheaded that. And I'm not saying in pride, "Look what I've--" what I'm saying is this, "You and me, we work together." That's what I want you to know. When you sit down with somebody in a community group or Redemption Group; or you sit down with them to counsel them in an office, or your home, or over coffee; and I stand up here and I preach and teach and write; you know what? We're working together. I love `em. You love `em. I'm doing my part. You're doing your part. I'm hitting the masses, you're hitting the individuals and groups. I care at least as much as you do for them and I'm trusting them to you to love them, to pray for them, to care for them, and to shepherd them to point them to Jesus. It is work that I used to do almost exclusively and now there's just too many of them and I can't and it doesn't mean I don't care. But it does mean I really appreciate the opportunity to teach and to train and to help you guys think biblically because I want our people to be well-served and cared for and it means the world to me.