This is what man is comprised of: spirit, soul and body.
It is no coincidence the Word lists these three in the particular order it does. It is the correct order and is as God intends it to be when one is allowing the human spirit to stand in the highest position in one's life. The progression must begin from the innermost man to the outermost man. (This order, though, is upset in sinners and many believers today, as we shall explain later.)
The spirit is within the soul - or is located within deeper than the soul is located within us. It is the innermost man. And the outermost part is naturally the body. The spirit is intended to express itself through the soul, and, in turn, the soul is to express itself through the body in activity.
Many people see no difference between the soul and the spirit, and feel these two words describe one and the same element in man. The Word of God, however, clearly states that there is a division between the two components of the three which the Bible speaks about.
There is a clear distinction between the soul and spirit. Then, what is that difference? What faculties does the soul have which the spirit does not have? God's Word supplies all the answers.
First of all, let us consider Paul's' teaching regarding two manners of thinking. This will reveal that two elements of spirit and soul exists within all people.
The last verse says that we cannot understand the things of God with the "carnal" or natural mind. This is saying that one manner of thinking cannot be subject to God's Law and cannot follow His ways.
The manner of thinking which can be subject to God's Law, though, is called spiritual thinking. Paul said to mind the things of the Spirit causes one to be spiritual. However, when we only think of things which our FLESH can relate to, that is, that which our five senses are aware of (taste, touch, smell, sound and sight), then we will never be able to perceive the things of God. God is not physical, therefore the physical senses will never discern anything about Him nor be able to interact with Him. We cannot understand God's ways, or laws, through fleshly thinking.
It is spiritual mindedness, says Paul, which leads to life and can be subject to God's laws. Our thinking can be directed through the "flesh" and "body" to perceive physical things. Such fleshly thinking alone will leave us without hope. And Paul said that something called "spiritual" thinking (minding the spirit) is subject to God's laws and is good. So, within us there must be another part that can relate to the spiritual besides the body. The soul can direct its attention to physical things, or natural things, by the body. There must be a part of us through which the soul can direct its attention and be made aware of the unseen, spiritual realities which the flesh cannot relate to whatsoever. Another avenue besides the Body must exist. The Body cannot sense anything that is of the Spirit. It does exist, and Paul calls this part of us which can sense the spiritual realm the human spirit.
"To mind the things of the flesh", then, is the type of thinking wherein the soul dwells only upon that which the avenue of the body supplies. And the spiritual mind is experienced as the soul directs its attention towards the avenue of the spirit in order to perceive spiritual things.
We will always be in need of directing our thinking through the physical in order to occupy in this world until He comes, but must not be solely caught up in such outward things. We must spend time nurturing our spirits' abilities to "know" God.
The soul is often called the "flesh" in Scripture since most people's souls, or minds, are entangled only in fleshly things and fleshly thoughts. However, many saved people cannot perceive many of God's truths either, since their minds, or souls, are too fleshly oriented. Some believers spend too much time directing their souls' faculties towards that which their bodies relate to rather than directing their attention to be aware of what their spirits can "sense". Their minds are upon the "natural" and they do not spend much time at all sensing "spiritual" things of God with their spirits. They never have a chance to develop spiritually.
We can actually have the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and yet not understand most biblical truths due to lack of exercising our human spirits. This exercise is accomplished by spending time in reaching out to God through FAITH.
We must become "spirit"-ual. Spirituality is the description of the state of being when one is well acquainted with the unseen things of God. And since the "spirit" of a man is what one reaches out in order to comprehend these unseen realities, we are said to be "spiritual" when we indeed can comprehend them.
That which the spirit of a man can relate to, which the body cannot, is the unseen, spiritual dimension. The soul, the human mind, will either reach out to the spiritual world through the avenue of the spirit, or to the physical world through the avenue of the body. And then we read a passage in Philippians where this grand part of us, the spirit, indeed does relate to God.
It is with our spirits that we communicate with God. We worship in the human spirit.
To sum it up, we are made of three elements referred in the Bible as spirit, soul and body. The soul is where our thought processes occur. It is Grand Central Station, so to speak. It is in the soul where a manner of thinking towards carnal, fleshly pleasures takes place, or another manner of thinking which reaches out for God can occur. The soul will go the route of one of these two avenues of BODY or SPIRIT in order to reach out and communicate, or to learn.
The soul is the seat of human emotion, will and intellect. The following
scriptures reveal this to be true.
All three of these faculties are affected by that which the soul relates
to. We can be emotionally excited about something physical, or about something
spiritual, depending on what "realm" (spiritual or physical)
the direction of the soul is pointing.
People are born in sin and in need of making Christ their Lord. Until they turn to Him, they try to rule their own lives, though in actuality they are in bondage to sin. Nevertheless, self is their god. Self sits on the throne of the sinner's life.
The "mind" must be changed by God and submitted to the Spirit after God baptizes one's spirit with His Holy Spirit. As a result, the "throne" which self has always sat upon, having ruled the person, is transferred into the spirit where God's Spirit dwells that He might sit on it instead. Self must be dethroned.
In Ephesians 2:3, referring to our past lives in sin, Paul said, "we all" were carnally minded, as the world remains so. Before we were saved, we lived for gratifying our-"selves". Our conversations, or LIFESTYLES, were in the lusts of the flesh and of the mind.
The human spirit is a vessel, along with acting as our contact with God and the spiritual realm. Only our spirits are born again.
God actually fills our humans spirits with His Holy Spirit when we are born again. He dwells in our spirits. The human spirit and God's Spirit are then united as one, much like a man and a woman unite as one flesh in marriage. God likens His relationship with the Church as a husband and wife relationship. We become one spirit with Jesus Christ.
Our spirits were empty until Christ filled them with His Spirit. And now that we are One Spirit with Christ, nothing else can enter our vessels. We are intended to now express His Spirit throughout our souls and then on through our bodies in godly activity and loving deeds.
Since the human spirit is a vessel, and is indeed spirit, it can be housed by one of two types of spirits. God's Spirit, of course, is what is intended to occupy the human spirit. That is what the human spirit was created to house. Yet one's spirit can house a demon spirit if one dabbles into the spiritual side of darkness. There is a dark side to the spiritual realm as well as a godly side. Satan is a spirit as much as God is, though God is everywhere present and Satan is not.
Witches and occultists contain evil spirits in their human spirits, and act as vessels for evil as much as believers can be vessels of God's Spirit. (This will be discussed later in depth in this study).
But a believer who has God's Spirit within the human spirit will NEVER experience a demon spirit entering that human spirit, unless of course the person backslides and slips into witchcraft, or the likes. Therefore, a Christian with the Holy Ghost can never be demon possessed. Spirits of Satan must control all three components of man, namely the spirit, soul and body, before a person can even be called possessed.
God's Spirit does not possess a believer, but rather is said to fill a believer. Possession implies control, and God does not wish to control anybody, but desires us to be workers together with Him of our free will. Demon spirits seek control.
The Greek term translated as soul is PSUCHE. It is defined as the animal sentient principle in man. Sentient implies the ability of having the five senses. It is also translated as life, and mind in the King James Version.
Therefore, PSUCHE is the animal part of us, so to speak. Without human spirits, we would be no different than the rest of the animals of the world. However, an animal possesses not a spirit. Any creature that has mind, will and emotion and can sense using the five senses is referred in the Bible as a soul.
Modern thinking relegates humans alone as souls, although the Bible distinctly called all living animals souls. This does not mean animals will spend eternity with God in heaven or not, since they do not have spirits. It is the presence of a spirit within a being that makes that being a person who will spend eternity somewhere.
The word life, in the above verse, is translated from the same Greek word from which soul is translated - PSUCHE.
The HEBREW word for soul is NEPHESH. And this is also used to indicate natural, animal life in the Old Testament.
"Every living thing" has a soul. Note that Adam was not a living soul until God breathed the breath of life into him. And this verse in Job, above, notes the breath of all mankind in conjunction with the thought of the "soul of every living thing," implying that a breathing creature is indeed a soul.
"...the living NEPHESH after his kind."
Creature above is translated from the same word which soul is translated from in the Old Testament - NEPHESH.
"...a living NEPHESH."
Blood seems to symbolize the soul, though it is not the soul, to be sure.
"The NEPHESH of the flesh is in the blood."
Since the blood is so essential to living beings, the blood represents the soul, and Christ shed His blood in our places so that our souls would not be lost.
Blood was offered as a sacrifice in order to forgive sins because it represented the fact that the penalty of death was fulfilled. All souls that sin must die (Exo. 18:4). God did not stipulate that the particular person who sinned must shed his/her own blood, but simply that blood had to be offered in payment of the penalty for sin. This of course foreshadowed Christ's death for sinners, in their places, so they would not have to die, and yet be able to say they paid the penalty. So long as the ransom was paid, the penalty was satisfied. Otherwise their own blood must be shed in death.
Just think what could be accomplished if we were totally submitted to the Spirit of God within us! If the whole being of spirit, and soul and body was given to Him and dedicated to Him for His use, what great exploits could God do through it? Our spirits are already one with His since Spirit baptism as they united with His Spirit. Yet our souls and bodies sometimes remain non-submitted.
Notice that one is advised to give God the mind and the body for His purpose. The spirit is not mentioned since it is already One with Him. After one receives the Holy Ghost one must submit the body and soul/mind to Him. One will then be able to try the will of God (as the term "prove" in the phrase "prove what is that ... will of God" means). His perfect will is that one submit completely to Him. Try Him to see how wonderful His great will is for those who submit totally to Him.
We can have our spirits united with God but yet not have our souls and bodies submitted to His cause. And THIS is the major cause of problems within believers' lives. Since we have His Spirit, Paul says, we must now present both our souls and our bodies to Him. Those of us who insist on spending our thinking on worldly, sensual things and who continue to dedicate their physical activity to only the pleasures of the world will never know what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Some activities and thoughts are not necessarily evil, but are not helpful in having us become more familiar with the things of the Spirit. And for that reason, they render us carnal, or fleshly, since we are never touching the spiritual realm. They are in effect wasting our time if we are spending all our time on these outward things. We must take time to pray and commune with God using our spirits. We must not be seeking that which the body can relate to alone.
Being fully submitted to God allows His Spirit within our human spirits to exude outward and into our souls. When our minds are upon the things of the spirit, we can then receive the mind of Christ. If our spirits receive His Spirit, then it stands to reason that the mind of Christ, about which we read in the Bible, can be relayed into our human minds. And, on the other hand, if our minds are continually upon the things of the world, we cannot have the mind of Christ, though we have His Spirit within us.
When our minds are solely targeted towards pleasing ourselves through the avenues of our bodies, we are said to be selfish. We are carnal. When our whole mind is aimed at such things, "self" sits on our thrones, and the Holy Spirit within simply is not allowed to rule. Therefore, He cannot use us in His Kingdom. Such is the plight of believers who simply go to Church.
However, when one commits one's time and life and thinking to the things of God, one gives the throne of "self" over to Him, and He can then express Himself through the vessels of the minds which are open and available for Him to do so. They are not occupied with other things.
With no effort put forth to mind the things of the spirit, one will not ever experience the hand of God using oneself. God is waiting to be allowed to work. We must present our minds and bodies to Him for His use. Submit is the key word.
The moment we receive the Holy Ghost, we are totally submitted to Him. But unless that submission is maintained, we will not go further in our experience into actual ministries for His kingdom. We speak in tongues when we receive His Spirit in indication that our whole beings of our lives have been totally submitted to Him, for control of our tongues indicates total control (James 3:2-8).
After having submitted to Him so as to see Him fill us with His Spirit, let us not assume there is no more submission to be accomplished. We must afterwards live LIVES of submission to His will. We must always seek Him to use us in this world. If not, we will remain carnal and have bad tempers and all sorts of negative traits that go along with a world which does not even know God! We will act as sinners who do not even believe in God.
We must remain filled with the Holy Spirit. For the Bible to use the term filled with the Spirit, we must realize that one can be partially filled. To simply have the Spirit of God dwelling within does not necessarily mean one will ever remain filled with it. The Spirit of God is not physical, and so cannot be said to occupy space within us. Rather, the term "filled" implies a total submission to the Spirit so as to allow it to flow through, not only our spirits, but also, our souls and bodies. Since our minds or souls are involved, then our minds must be open to the things of His Spirit. His Spirit will not move out of our spirits and into dirty minds that are occupied with the filth of this world.
We must take time to think about the things of God!
Paul called the Corinthians carnal.
Look at what their minds were upon:
The book of Galatians mentions these very three things amongst the works of the flesh, and explains that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven (See Gal.5:19-21).
Paul told a group of people who had the baptism of the Holy Ghost that they were carnal!
Paul instructed pastor Timothy to minister to believers who were caught in Satan's snare. These folks were not fully submitted to God, and had touched the things of the enemy. (Such is a common problem today amongst believers whose minds are filled only with worldly and material things).
The Bibles implies Satan can get an advantage of us unless we are aware of his abilities and tactics.
The reason these believers had fallen into Satan's snare was due to their lack of being fully submitted to God. Jude speaks of being kept from falling, implying that we can in fact fall.
Submitting to God builds a barrier around us (which we will study later). And lack of submission makes for lack of protection and defense against the enemy. We must submit our whole spirits and souls and bodies to God, or the enemy can literally invade our souls and bodies!
A mind that is not submitted to God, and entertains thoughts of evil and envy, etc., is a mind that can be invaded, since there is no presence of God's Spirit in such a mind, though He be in the spirit. But unless He can flow into the mind of the person, the Spirit of God is locked up, as it were, within the human spirit.
Lack of submission does not mean a demon is in the soul or body, but that it is possible for one to enter these areas if sinful thinking, etc., is allowed to grow into a major problem.
Paul clearly teaches that there is the possibility of a spirit literally invading a believer's life:
The Greek word for "place" is TOPOS, (top'-os; "a spot, generally in space, but limited by occupancy.") OCCUPANCY is implied in this verse. We are not to let the devil OCCUPY our lives. The same word was used in describing the lack of occupancy for Joseph and Mary in the Inn.
The word "room " in the above verse is translated also from TOPOS, and implies occupancy. So we are to give no room within us, or no occupancy, to the devil.
What does "filled" with the Holy Ghost mean? It means a mouthful.! If you are filled then you are completely submitted - in body, soul and spirit. Your "whole spirit and soul and body" is "preserved blameless." That's saying a lot! (1 Thess. 5:23).
Picture this through the illustration of a bottle:
The full state of the vessel is similar to one being full of the Spirit. In a bottle that has a water level at the half-way point, the bottle is not full. The water level in this illustration symbolizes "submission" not "quantity" of the Spirit. Spirit is not restricted to time or space, so we cannot use the term fullness of Spirit with regards to any thought of "quantity".
The term "filled" infers yielded. Since the human spirit is always full of God's Spirit (made one with It after experiencing New Birth) the level of submission to the Spirit always decrease or increase in the soul and body alone. As we set our hearts to do more for God and let Him have His way, as opposed to having our own ways all the time, our souls are set to then submit moreso to Him, than they were in the past. The less we submit to God the less the level of Spirit filling we will experience.
We have mentioned earlier that God's Spirit and man's human spirit become one after Spirit Baptism. Therefore, submission is not a problem with the human, born-again spirit.
The body of a person must be submitted to God, also. Romans 6:13 tells us that our souls and bodies must be consciously yielded to God. Submitted.
Yielding is necessary after rebirth. If one was immediately filled with the Spirit, and forever remained so, what need would Paul have in telling believers to "yield"? This yielding is just what we are referring to as being necessary for constant filling. One is totally yielded to God upon reception of the Spirit, signified by speaking with tongues. James tells us that the hardest member of the body to control is the tongue. So, when the Lord inspired the believers in Acts 2 to speak in tongues, He signified that He had, for that moment, gained total control over those believers.
Ephesians 5:18 relates filling of the Spirit with the drinking of alcohol. Fullness of alcohol causes base desires of the flesh to superabound. Fullness of the Spirit, on the other hand, allows stimulation to do the will of God. And just as one must have a great intake of alcohol so as to allow stimulation to occur towards excessive debauchery, one can have an increase of Spirit stimulation!
The body must be yielded to God in prayer, requesting that the Lord use it. It must be presented to Him. Romans 12:1 tells us to present our bodies to God as living sacrifices. And it emphasizes "servitude" when it tells us that this is our reasonable "service". Submission is servitude! Through yielding our bodies to God we can rightly find the victory to "do" that which we would do. Many cannot do what they will, or desire, to do (Ro. 7:18). In fact many abandon the goal of fulfilling God's will in their daily lives after trying to accomplish it and then failing. The fact is that they are not yielding their bodies to God for His use, but are trying to work in their own power.
There were three main sections in the construction of the tabernacle.
The temple was similarly divided into three sections. This is much like
the make-up of a person.
There is the outer court which corresponds to the body of a man. Then we have the holy place relating to the soul of a man. And finally the tabernacle contained the Most Holy Place which is relative to the human spirit.
What was the purpose of the tabernacle?
Compare this with our experience in Jesus Christ:
God tabernacles in us when we have the Spirit of God within. He dwells in the innermost man - the human spirit. If allowed, He will penetrate into the inner man which is the soul and accomplish His will in the mind.
He wants to come into our minds that He may make us like Himself in character. This is godliness. He will change our habitual wrongdoings and make us meek and loving. He will actually shine through us as a light shone through Gideon's clay jars that were broken.
To begin with, realize that Paul spoke this to the Ephesian Church. Not to sinners. These people were believers who had received the Spirit. Therefore, when Paul told them God would grant them to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man, we can see that simply having received the Baptism of the Spirit does not strengthen your inner man, the soul, alone. We must consciously allow God to do it. If we were already strengthened in our souls by His Spirit through simply having received the Spirit, Paul would have no need of writing these words. He is in our spirits, but now we must let Him strengthen our souls by that Spirit within.
What does the strengthening of our souls accomplish? We read that this yielding involves a grounding and a rooting in love.
"...that ye being rooted and grounded in love "
Again, we must work towards this end after we have received the Spirit into our lives. Once we are rooted and grounded we can comprehend (understand) the breadth, length, depth and height of God's Spirit. Comprehending is a function of the mind, or soul.
Paul continues and says we will then also be able to "know" Christ's love.
"...and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge..."
All this ends up in our opportunity to then be "filled" with "all the fullness of God". Notice the words - "that ye might be". "that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."
Believers may not necessarily be filled with all the fulness of God. If we submit to the Spirit of God within and experience the breakdown of independent endeavours of our human wills, which act like barriers through which God cannot stimulate our souls, His Spirit can fill us.
If we yield our souls, it can be said that God dwells in them, as well as dwelling in our spirits.
All these experiences are not guaranteed upon reception of the Spirit alone. We must submit to that Spirit within so that it might move into our souls to "fill" us with the Spirit.
A strengthened soul is a mind that is set to do God's will, and therefore is aided by God to do so. Emotions are then controlled - they are not given to anger, hatred and jealousy, by God's power.
In the tabernacle, only one individual could enter the Most Holy place. The High Priest. Jesus Christ is our High Priest -
Jesus Christ is the Holy Ghost and High Priest who enters a man's spirit. After He does so, none else can enter there. The spirit which dwells within the human spirit is the ruling force in that person as far as the spiritual world goes. None other may claim control until the occupying spirit leaves the human spirit - whether it is demonic or whether it is the Spirit of God.
The idol Dagon fell when it was in the presence of the ark of the covenant in the same room. A demon spirit, in like manner, cannot enter a man's spirit that is one with the Spirit of the Lord.
Christ prayed that we might be one with Him. When our spirits and souls are one with the Lord, there is no room for any other influence within to lead us astray. We are in harmony with Christ and at perfect victory. This was Christ's prayer.
Only that which has "holiness unto the Lord" written across its brow can enter the temple of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is holy.
Our souls and bodies, however, can have unholiness within them at the same time our spirits can have the Holy Ghost in them.
Eli was a high priest. A Levite. Eli's sons were priests also (see 1 Sam. 1:3). During their servitude in the tabernacle these two men were found to have laid with women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle (1 Sam. 2:22). These sons, Hophni and Phinehas, continued ministering in the Tabernacle while committing adultery! However, should they have entered the Holiest Place, they would have been struck down by God's power! In other words, sin can dwell in our souls and bodies, although God's Spirit is in our spirits. A demon spirit may even gain access there, although this can never happen with the human spirit that is made one with God's Spirit. A devil can put his foot in the outer court or the holy place, but never in the Holiest of man's spirit.
The spirit of a saved believer is impenetrable to demon spirits. If that one has not fully yielded the soul, as Ephesians 3:16 states one can be strengthened by God's Spirit in the inner man, emotions are carnally oriented, the mind thinks carnally, and that one is self-willed.
The soul is the real you. If not submitted to God it will act selfishly and self-centredly. The negative traits of the fall of man will show through. When submitted to God, it will express, instead, the emotions of the Spirit of God - His love, joy, peace, etc. Fruit of the Spirit.
Since our minds and emotions are parts of our souls, demon spirits can affect our minds and emotions unless these are yielded and made available to God through conscious presentation to Him daily in prayer. Lack of submission does not mean a demon is inside, but it means a spirit may someday enter that area. Demons that affect emotions, such as spirits of fear and hatred, occupy this region of the soul if indeed they are occupying any region at all.
The Body is literally the bones, joints, flesh and organs of a person. The physical. Jesus delivered a woman of a spirit of infirmity which bound her for eighteen years (Luke 13:11). This type of spirit literally occupied her body. Many diseases are indeed caused by spiritual entities, such as cancer, epilepsy, etc.
The Bible tells us to keep our bodies holy. Cancerous spirits are invited to enter our bodies when we smoke, drink or commit any other number of violations against our health and well-being.
Prior to salvation, a demon spirit could enter a person's spirit. This is how one can become demon-possessed. Therefore, possession cannot occur with a believer. It is incorrect to say a Christian is demon-possessed if that believer has a demon spirit occupying part of the soul or body. Possession, remember, implies total control. Simply possessing a spirit only means that a specific region of life is under control, and not the whole life of the individual. (To see what a possessed person is like read Matthew 8:28-29.)
People use the term possession too loosely as though everyone who has an evil spirit within them is demon-possessed. This is much like saying everyone who has the Holy Ghost is filled with the Spirit. That is simply not true.
As one who is totally submitted to God is said to Spirit-filled, so, too, is one who is totally bound by the devil said to be possessed. There are degrees of submission to God's Spirit just as there are degrees of control a demon may have within a person.
However, it is possible for a believer who simply has the Holy Ghost, and is not filled with it, to possess a devil within the soul or body only. Such a believer is in need of deliverance from that evil spirit.
In the illustration of the bottle from our previous chapter, the potential region into which a demon may enter is the unsubmitted area of one's life. However, I stress the word potential. Simply because a void of the Spirit exists in that part of a person's life, does not mean to say that a spirit must be dwelling there. A spirit can enter there if the reason for the void, such as constant sinning in a particular manner, is allowed to increase.
Those who are committing a sin and do not curve it off and stop it, and allow it to grow more serious, will end up opening their lives up so much so until a demon spirit possessing the nature of that particular sin can enter inside them. Spirits of hate can actually enter believers who continue to allow hatred to dwell in their hearts.
Let us submit ALL areas of our lives to God's Spirit and ensure we repent and forsake those sins we may presently be committing before they worsen and provide entry for a spirit associated with such a sin.
Satan dwells in darkness and cannot stand light. Christians, whose hearts have grown dark, actually "give place" to the devil. If we walk as sinners, we will have the problems sinners have. And one of them is occupancy by a demon spirit.
Jesus is the Light!
Then He turned around said we were the light of the world!
Now, the Bible says the spirit of a man is the candle of the Lord.
And in Jesus' speech about the light of the world, He stressed a point we must ever keep in mind.
It is possible to have the human candle (spirit) lit with the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and yet cover that candle as with a bushel. If God is light, and if He dwells within us, we can see that our human spirits indeed are sources of light, or goodness. Darkness is not literal, but also implies evil while light implies good. People who see our good works are said to see light.
So, by putting a covering over the candle we are blocking the light. And if it is the spirit of a man that is the candle, then a covered spirit will inhibit the light of His Spirit within from shining out into the soul.
Every person who received God's Spirit has a task to break the shell of the carnal nature in the soul so it does not cover the Spirit of God within the human spirit. The light must shine through. And cracking the shell of carnality, which repels God's light, will allow that light to come out.
Notice the diagram:
The dark shadows cast by voluntary sins are just the right places where demons would love to indwell. This is especially so in a Christian's case. If they could only get inside these dark areas, they could more easily affect the Christian to create more darkness by more sin. They could work upon the believer to block out all light of God in the spirit by prodding at the soulish element through temptations and lies.
Demon spirits, however, cannot gain entrance until the sin is repeated and intensified as the Christian heeds to the lying devils over and again. Slack believers who do not strive for more of God are often successful targets.
Let us picture a Christian who loves the world too much and gives in
to the flesh more often than not.
Such a person is unhealthy, depressed, tormented at night and has many problems that cannot be stopped. There is no joy of God in such a believer, and rarely, if ever, does such an one speak in tongues. Such a one depresses other people and may habitually lie and hate those who are close. The list of possibilities is endless.
Soulish-destroying spirits can open the way for other spirits to enter, including physical-destroying spirits of diseases. One major factor contributing to arthritis has been proven to be severe constant anger. This does not mean arthtritis is caused by a demon spirit. But shows an example of how sin can open the door for physical problems
Satan was speaking to God about a hedge which stood around Job, protecting him from danger. Job was an upright man with integrity. Believers like Job are similarly protected by God. God allowed Job's hedge to be removed that Satan might tempt him, however we must understand that Job had the goods to be able to withstand such temptations.
The Bible speaks of this hedge being broken down.
When we voluntarily sin due to yielding to temptation, we inadvertently allow our hedges to be broken down. And a serpent can enter our lives and bite us. The protections God sets up around us are removed when we sin.
These serpents are evil spirits. Evil spirits will enter a believer's life if that believer sins and breaks his/her hedge. This is also shown in Proverbs 24:30-34.
Picture a once beautiful vineyard growing with luscious grapes. And then imagine it overtaken by weeds and briars until the beauty is obliterated and replaced by a horrible looking field of wild weeds. The wall is broken down around the vineyard which formerly kept out the scavengers which sought to devour all the fruit. Amidst broken stones and crumbled rock, serpents are seen invading the former Garden. (See Isaiah 5:1-7).
Let us remain faithful to the Lord and not allow slothfulness to become our lifestyles. God upholds a hedge of protection around those who do His will.
Fill your soul with the thoughts of God (Phil. 4:8). The soul filled
with the things of God is the soul open and ready to receive the Mind of
Christ. In this manner will we be filled with the Spirit. And no enemy
can ever invade a vessel that is full of the Holy Ghost!