Are we keeping our house swept clean?
Our Lord gives us a good parable in his word that reflects what is going on within each person, and how the evil spirits work. We have to continually keep ourselves clean by sweeping out any false thought, word or deed that is not Him. These are very powerful words we all need to heed and pay attention too if we are wanting to remain in Him.
Matthew 12:43 “When an evil (Greek meaning of evil is unclean spirit) spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, “I will return to the house I left.” When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. This is how it will be with this wicked generation.”
Let us brake up this parable and discuss the hidden elements God is revealing to us. The “house” is one human being with “parts or places”, and the parts and places is soul, body and spirit. The “swept clean” action is the Spirit’s work through a human’s surrender to Christ.
The next question one may ask when reading this message is, “What is an evil spirit?” An evil spirit is any spirit that is not of God. Some spirits masquerade themselves as being good but they are not of God. Any spirit that is not claiming their crucifixion in Christ, and their resurrection in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit in words and deeds is not of Christ. His Word through his life, death and resurrection is what the Spirit of God follows. All spirits should be tested, and can only be tested by the Holy Spirit of God leading a person or a body of believers, and will always be revealed through His Word. (1 John 4).
Jesus gives us some insight to what makes each of us unclean in our natural human nature. The Pharisee’s were comparing the disciples of Jesus with their disciples, asking Jesus why His disciples did not wash their hands before eating their ceremonial meal like their disciples did. Clearly the Pharisee’s were focused more on earthly practical things and did not have their minds on God above, which no one truly can until they accept Jesus Christ being the Spirit of God, and through the Spirit of God the mind of God is revealed to that human soul, body and spirit.
This reveals each natural human being has an unclean heart and needs to be washed clean. The Pharisee was no different than any other human needing to receive Christ and follow Him, but they did not accept Him as their Savior and Lord, nor did they have any intention of following Him and His life to glorify Him. Jesus told them they first have to clean the inside of the cup, meaning their own hearts, before the outside can be clean. They were highly thought of in the world they lived in, were loved by many, but at the same time their intentions was to kill and destroy Him they were living in a spirit of false hood and they let that evil spirits of pride, saving themselves, and self reliance clearly take them over.
Mathew 15:19-20 “For out of the heart comes evil thought, murder, adultery, sexual morality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what makes a man ‘unclean’ but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean’.”
Secondly the only way an evil spirit can leave any person is through Christ, it will remain in them and fester inside a person until a person gives themselves to Christ for His Spirit to wash them clean. A person is not aware of how much these unclean spirits are festering within them until they are washed clean. He has appeared to all humans from the Cross. All human beings do not have the power within themselves to defeat the unclean spirits that is born within them. When Christ appears to a human being the Holy Spirit that they receive is what washes their body, spirit, and soul clean.
Titus 3:3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hatingone another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become hires having the hope of eternal life.
This is another very profound statement from God through Paul’s letter to Titus. Titus was one of Paul’s closest friends in Christ. They were helping one another build up the body of believers of Christ and Titus was going to be one of them that would take up where Paul was leaving off, and they each received the faith in Christ that only comes through Christ. These words are found in Paul’s letter to Titus through the Spirit of God. He was reminding Titus that they too were once unclean as any other natural man, and were saved by the grace of God.
Paul knew any human that accepted Jesus and truly followed Him by denying themselves daily could be saved too! God's love could save any man, but first one must know Jesus, and follow Him to know God's love. Let us look at the evil spirit’s that Paul speaks of that use to tie him up thinking he was something he was not before Christ appeared to Him. T
These same spirits can return in our lives as they did through Paul’s life tempting him, but He fought the fight of faith against them, and he knew they could return to tempt Titus’s as well. Let us compare them with the evil spirits Christ has mentioned that makes us unclean.
We are going to break these spirits down, the first word is:
Foolish - this word in Greek is anoetos, it means not understand, unwise to God’s word. This clearly can be any thought that is not of God, and can be twisted as well to make us think something other than God’s true word and Spirit. It could be an idea, or any kind of thought he did not give us. We always have His Spirit and Word to help us discern his truth.
Disobedient - this word in Greek is apeithes, it means incapable of being persuaded, not compliant to God’s word, a disposition unyielding to God’s word, or a disposition of stubbornness to God’s truth and Word.
Deceived – this word is planao, it means to be lead away from the truth, lead aside from the right way, wander, roam about or to lead into error
Lust – this word is epithumia, it means to desire what is forbidden, longing, or craving something one has to have now but does not need.
Malice – this word is kakia, it means a wickedness that is not ashamed to break the word of God, or a person that has ill-will or a desire to injure a person.
Envy- this word is pnthonos, it means a painful or resentful awareness of another’s advantages.
Hateful- this word is stugnetos, it means detest God, or to curse God
Hating- this word is allelon, and it means hating ourselves or one another.
These are some powerful evil unclean spirits that we all have had as Paul was telling Titus. He and Titus once were overtaken by them, so like Paul and Titus we will be gentle in telling someone else the truth because they, and we, were once foolish not understanding God’s word, disobedient to God, were deceived, had lust, and malice with envy and hatefulness toward God, ourselves and others.
Paul knew Christ and His grace was much more powerful than all these unclean spirits that use to live in him because they all were defeated in him as well as Titus through God’s saving grace when Christ appeared, and we too know by the power of God’s grace when Christ appears in us these evil spirits were defeated in us as well, and by keeping our house swept clean they will have no power over us.
Now that we know the evil spirits in every human being, how they are tested, and the only way an evil spirit can come out of a man, what then does this evil spirit do in this parable Jesus is telling us about once this human has swept his house clean by the power of the Holy Spirit God gave them through his Son?
“It goes through arid places, seeking rest but does not find it.”
This first evil spirit that was unclean in this person in this parable comes out but does not give up, it goes back through this person’s body, soul, and spirit, and tries to re-enter quickly, but it can’t find a place to rest in and grow in this person’s soul, body or spirit because it is swept clean in this person through following the Spirit of God through the life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
This evil spirit will never give up, because that is the evil spirits job and that is all it knows to do is destroy God’s truth. The evil spirit will twist God’s Word, the life of Jesus, and try to keep any human away from God's Spirit of truth, living out his power and grace to heal the body, spirit and soul of every human being the Spirit comes in contact with through God's truth. The evil spirits do not want anyone to bear fruit for God.
That is why Jesus told the woman at the well His Father is looking for worshipers who worship in Spirit and truth. We today seek many other spirits to follow other than His truth, only when we follow His truth do we know His love and the fullness of Christ.
John 4:22 You Samaritans worshipers what you do not know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worshipers the Father in Spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
The evil spirit’s lives to deceive many in walking in a spirit of false hood by giving thoughts, ways and practices. Many of us however fall at this point because we let the first “thought” back in and it finds rest and does not have to leave, because we have not kept our house swept clean and pure in Christ being the only one that fills our souls up, we have let the spirit of man, the world and evil thoughts that Satan uses back in quickly. Remember it is not only “evil” that Satan uses to deceive us, it is also man’s good, his pride, and his own good works. “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”
2 Corinthians 11:13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their ends will be what their actions deserve.
Through this parable we are discussing today by Matthew’s account of the parable of Jesus the evil spirit does have to leave because in this human when the first evil spirit returns it is swept clean by the Holy Spirit, but what does the evil spirit say to itself?
“I will return later to the house I left”
When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order.
Through this parable when the evil spirit arrives back the “house” or human is still kept clean by the power of the Holy Spirit. This could be anyone in the world in their season of life that have kept this evil spirit from re-entering their body, spirit and soul by the power of the Holy Spirit. It does not reveal how old the person is, or how long the evil spirit stayed away before it came back. This tells us we should always test each spirit, and stand watch to receiving only His truth. This person has kept their “house” (soul, body and spirit) swept clean through the Holy Spirit and the evil spirit finds nothing but God has control of this human soul, body and spirit and He has kept it in order because this human has surrendered up to this point in time to God’s truth in Jesus every day. This person remains swept clean because they remain in Him and His Word. The one evil spirit has to leave again because it has no power against God and His Spirit up to this point in this human’s life. Then what does this one evil spirit do when it finds the “house” swept clean unoccupied by other evil spirits but only the Spirit of God?
Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked then itself, and they go in and live there.
It comes back with seven wicked than the first! The first thought that deceives comes back with six more trying to tie up this human, then it turns into actions and deeds that works with other spirits to take over a person’s mind, soul and body that makes one think they are living a truth when truly they have been living a lie. This is when wisdom of thought, murder, sexual immorality, and the spirit of falsehood work all together and it may seem to lead a person into thinking they are living right, and they are being deceived and these evil spirits have taken over and have made a home in their body, soul and mind.
The evil spirit of falsehood is a dangerous wicked spirit of deception that drives humans into thinking their soul, body and spirit are pleasing God, when truly they are being the opposite of what God intends them to be and are living in an illusion only the Spirit of God and His Word can break. Paul is an amazing example of living a spirit of falsehood thinking he was living for God when truly he was being deceived by the evil spirit of falsehood by using his accomplishments, and position as the illusion.
Today many “Christians” could be living through the spirit of falsehood and do not even recognize that they are. With deeds, and thoughts that are not from God but many think they are. The evil spirit of falsehood works with many evil spirits that makes anyone be something they truly are not. Sexual immorality in all its evil forms when occupied by the spirit of falsehood can give a person a false identity, and a false gender. Today the evil spirit of falsehood is seen more and more taking possession and living in many children, teens and adults. The spirit of falsehood can work in any religious organization, or denomination giving them a sense of pleasing God when truly, these denominations like anyone else can be taken over by evil spirits masquerading as servants of righteousness using man’s wisdom, and inviting the world in. When we look at this parable that Jesus gives us what happens to the person in this parable then?
"And the final condition of that man is worse than the first."
The final outcome of this human after they have let all the evil spirits work with the spirit of falsehood of man, and the world take over the condition of this persons soul, body and spirit are worse off than it was the first time before it was swept clean. Before they had only one evil spirit to contend with, and it went out into the world among men and brought in six more, and what does Jesus say?
"This is how it will be with this wicked generation."
Does this mean the generation Jesus was living in is more wicked than this generation we are living in today, or is every generation the same letting evil spirits over take them again once the Holy Spirit has swept their house clean? I think every generation has had this problem facing the evil spirits and their working together with deception trying to deceive many giving them an illusion of pleasing God. God reveals this through the first body of believers, and those that have received Christ is no different from generation to generation each having their own evil spirit come back and bring more to work together and create a sense of falsehood and deception they are not aware of.
Through the Bible we clearly can see many let evil spirits return and live in them after they have received Christ. Our Heavenly Father reveals in the Old Testament false prophets that lead Israel astray as well as the New Testament false apostles and teachers Jesus, His first apostles, and all after including Paul and many others discuss false prophets and teachers many times, and at some point I believe we quit listening to God, His Word through the Holy Spirit and was deceived by false teachings, and ways. Remember a thought that does not come from God can begin a deception.
Does this mean this person’s condition is irreparable and cannot return to God once they have let the seven spirits deceive them and over take them? It clearly says their condition is worse than they were at first, meaning they will have more of a struggle to surrender because there are seven more evil spirits that are living in them then they had the first time they repented being only one.
It may take them longer to sweep their house due to more untruth they have to sweep out. The spirit of deception may be deep, using other spirits that have been bedded into them for years, but with a strong will of wanting to sweep their house clean for the Father and the Son, with man it is impossible, but with God all is possible.
Is your house swept clean of all other thoughts, words, teachings, and deeds that are not of Him? If you do not know read his Word and He will reveal his truth, but you have to be willing to accept it, not justify it being him when it does not truly coincide with his Word. Paul clearly says their will be a time when humans do not put up with sound doctrine.
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
It is up to each of us not to be this kind of teacher, and Paul says there is a great number. We who are in Christ should be willing to put up with the sound doctrine of God as He gives it to each of us in truth through the life, crucifixion, and resurrection power of the Holy Spirit, and it should not matter the cost.
Peter gives us some insight to this same parable that takes us further into the power of the deception the evil spirit of falsehood can give, but he speaks plainly through the Spirit of truth to the body of believers in his day through his written Word of God. This letter was given through the Spirit of God for all who in Christ want to live to please Him and are willing to give up all the evil spirits that work with the spirit of falsehood.
2 Peter 2:20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, then to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: A dog returns to its vomit and a sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.
After Peter proclaims this word, as we read on he writes to the followers of Christ, God is patient with us not wanting any of us to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. This lets me know if by some chance any one gets tied up again through many spirits working together that creates a sense of falsehood after their house has been swept clean, this person may not know they are living with falsehood, can overcome any stronghold any evil spirits has taken over through repentance, and begin again!
Those in Christ do not want to be false but true in Him they are not like dogs or pigs returning to their sins, good works, or pride in themselves making them unclean, they truly want to please Christ as the Head giving him all the glory and praise. It may be more difficult because that person is more entangled with more evil spirits working together, seven to be exact in this parable, and seven more that were more wicked than the first one, but God will give them a way out if they are willing to fight off all the evil spirits that have made a home in them.
It is time for those of us that truly want to follow Him to truly begin again sweeping them out by coming to repentance and beginning again truly following His life, crucifixion, and resurrection, and keeping hold of only what has taken hold of us, and sweeping out any other thought, and teachings that are not of Him and Him alone! Let us begin together being an example of His first church as Him only being the head through the words and life He gives us to follow that His Holy Spirit's power works fully in!
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
His truth given through His Spirit and Word always!