THE DELIVERANCE MINISTRY
Genesis 2:15 “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.”
Keep: Shamar, in the original Hebrew text, and it means, To hedge about as with thorns (barb wire), to guard, to protect, as a watchman lying in wait for the enemy to try to come in and ambush him.
Adam was commissioned by God to tend and to keep the
garden of Eden.
To Tend means to work by serving.
Adam was to work while serving in the garden, and at the same time he was to keep it safe, by protecting the garden that he had been given dominion over—from demonic intruders, since there were at that time, no other humans besides Adam and Eve.
We see two principles here that deal with our abilities to produce spiritual fruit from God:
First, we need to work out our own salvation by serving God in order to produce spiritual fruit, since spiritual fruit does not happen by itself.
Philippians 2:12-13 “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do (to tend and to keep) for His good pleasure.”
We are to seek after the things of God which are spiritual in order to produce spiritual fruit.
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Secondly, we need to watch out for thieves whose aim is to rob us of the blessings that come as a result of our serving the Living God with a true heart.
Proverbs 27:18 “Whoever keeps (protects and/or tends) the fig tree will eat its fruit; so he who waits on his master will be honored.”
Sadly, too many Christians who serve God faithfully, do not get to partake of the spiritual fruit that their true labor of love produces, because they are not aware of the thief who is robbing them blind.
1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
If the devil did not have the ability to deprive us of our spiritual blessings, we would not be commanded to be sober and be vigilant.
I believe that the reason so many Christians are swindled by the devil out of their spiritual blessings, is because so many churches do not embrace the teachings of the ministry of deliverance, which is all about spiritual warfare and keeping watch: to guard, to protect, as a watchman laying in wait for the enemy to try to come in and ambush him.
Matthew 24:43 “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.”
From the days of the garden of Eden, humans have let down their guard by failing to keep their garden safe and allowed the enemy to rob them of the fruits of their labor.
Zechariah 13:7 “‘Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, against the Man who is My Companion,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘Strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; then I will turn My hand against the little ones.’”
Behind Zechariah’s Messianic prophecy we see the spiritual principle that the enemy uses to steal our spiritual blessings from us.
While the prophecy applies to Jesus dying on the cross and the scattering of His disciples, the principle works the same; if the devil can get to the shepherds of the church he can also scatter the sheep and turn his hand against them.
Spiritual warfare is not a Christian accessory, it is a vital part of everyday Christianity. We are not guarding against flesh and blood enemies; we are protecting against principalities and powers.
Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
In the face of the fact that not too many Christians are taught about spiritual warfare in their local churches—since way too many shepherds have been intimidated by the enemy—we are going to deal with the personal aspect of tending and keeping our own gardens.
The number one, and must important thing that we need to know is that we have a personal—a one and one relationship with Jesus, and no natural family, or church family, or a shepherd who is the leader of the church of which we are members, is ever to come between us and our personal relationship that we have with Jesus, and our responsibility to tend and to keep watch over our own personal gardens.
Matthew 10:37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”
This ensures that if the shepherd fails in his responsibility to properly keep his congregation safe—if he fails to tend it properly—these church members are still guarded and protected by the Great Shepherd under whose wing they have taken refuge.
That is why we take the Word of God to church with us, because our covenant is with the Word who became flesh and died for us, and not with mere mortal men.
Where other men will fail us, Jesus is the Man that will never fail us.
The second thing then, is that we are personally responsible to tend and to keep safe our own garden.
What is our own garden?
Joshua 24:15 “...But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua and Caleb were part of the twelve spies, ten of which gave a bad report and caused the rest of the people to turn back from their inheritance. Although Joshua and Caleb gave a good report, it was not accepted because of the fear that the report of the other ten spies brought into the camp.
Although the possessing of their inheritance was delayed by forty years due to the false report of the other ten leaders, Joshua and Caleb entered into their inheritance because of their faith, while none of the others did, for they all died in the desert.
While they were still part of the whole, they were able to keep the enemy from stealing what was their personal inheritance.
Acts 16:31 “So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.’”
Our own garden is that which belongs to us in accordance with God’s promises, and it is our own personal responsibility to guard it and to keep it safe no matter what.
If a church leader is pressured into compromising the promises given to the body of Christ—they do so at their own risk—we do not have to compromise our own personal promises, we can take a stand like Joshua and Caleb did.
The third thing is, How do we guard our own personal garden?
1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
Keep in mind that it is spiritual fruit that we are trying to guard. Also that our real enemies are spirits masking behind flesh and blood.
Ephesians 6:13-17 “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
If one draws a picture of a human body standing at attention, with both arms completely extended horizontally to the sides, it forms a cross.
Now if we draw a line from the helmet of salvation through the breastplate of righteousness, on through the belt of truth where it ties with the buckle, and unto the feet which are shod with the gospel of peace.
Then draw a separate line from the right hand which is holding the sword of the Spirit, to the left hand which is holding the shield of faith, the cross is complete.
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
The goal of spiritual fruit is self-control; the enemy of self-control is selfish-ambitions. Death to our self-life for the sake of Christ’s life always produces spiritual fruit, for such fruit emanates from the Anointed One Himself who dwells within those of us who believe in Him.
But most importantly, those who die to themselves for the sake of living Christ’s life, clothe themselves with an impenetrable armor that not only protects them, but that also protects all that belongs to them.
Matthew 6:19-20 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
In spiritual warfare all that we surrender to Jesus is kept safe, for we may not always be able to keep the enemy with all his cunning out of our garden. But if all that is within our garden is marked with the sign of the cross, the devil cannot touch it; for it is holy to the Lord and consecrated to God and for the glory of His only begotten Son, the Anointed One.
1 Chronicles 16:22 “Saying, ‘Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm.’”
Let us not forget that the armor of God is also the armor of light which completely covers us with His anointing.
Romans 13:12, 14 “The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness (selfish ambitions), and let us put on the armor of light...But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”