by Carl H. Stevens
Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise” (Isaiah 60:18).
For some people, walls mean confinement, a sense of being hemmed in with no way out. They fight to tear down every wall that surrounds them, not considering its possible value. In Bible times, however, walls were very important to the preservation of cities against attacks from the outside. When Nehemiah set out to rebuild Jerusalem, it was the wall around the city that was restored first.
God has established doctrine to be the substance of our “walls” today. These walls are not designed to separate or hinder but to preserve and protect. Within the Christian community, we are to have fellowship around the mystery of Christ in us. That fellowship is sweet and, as a result, it is something Satan desires to invade and frustrate.
As this booklet will show, it is only by building walls of truth in our souls that we can maintain this fellowship and defeat the poison of the enemy.
Fellowship Around the Mystery of Christ in You
“Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
“To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.
“According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:7-11)
This is the Holy Spirit’s inspired Word, given to Paul. We are to receive it without self-consciousness or the intimidation of the old sin nature. By these words we receive instruction and edification, “according to the gift of the grace of God.” The standard for Paul’s ministry, and for the ministry of every believer, is the gift of grace that has been given to us. He received his ministry by the effectual working (energeia) of God’s power (dunamis). The “effectual working of His power” speaks of the sequence of power transferred by the Holy Spirit in the human spirit and soul. It makes the written Word a Living Word, which renews us continually and protects us invisibly. Paul was saying, “I minister according to the Word of God being transferred into God-consciousness in my human spirit so that my self-consciousness will be occupied with God.”
This grace was given to Paul that he “should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” “Unsearchable” is anexichniastos, which means untraceable, inexhaustible, un-fathomable, incomprehensible. These riches are given to “make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery.”
From the beginning, that mystery was hid in God who created all things by Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:7-9). The fellowship of the mystery of Jesus Christ in us is there so we will operate through the power of the Word of God, making His promises ours. By this divine transfer, we become living epistles (2 Corinthians 3:2).
In 2 Corinthians 8:6, Paul was saying, “I want you to finish in grace!” The grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lust and to live quietly through Jesus Christ with our souls filled with doctrine. We will take to heaven whatever grace has done in our souls through doctrine. Walls of doctrine are being built with the Word we receive by grace through faith. The Holy Spirit transfers knowledge from the natural, perceptive area of the brain (channel A), taking it through the Cross in the God-conscious human spirit (channel B) and into the soul (channel C).
When we have a decision to make, we hear the Word of God, and we don’t have to labor over it: The Holy Spirit transfers what we hear to channels B and C through energeia. Then ischus does the supernatural work of the Spirit that locks the Word in the memory for recall when we need it (John 14:26; 16:13-14).
By the power of God’s ability in us (dunamis), the Word goes into our frame of reference and becomes a part of our vocabulary. It becomes part of our norms and standards for thinking, confessing, and deciding. Then, the Word becomes a part of our production, application, and manifestation of what we have received. Finally, doctrine becomes our divine viewpoint, and we are able to manifest Christ (kratos) in the fellowship of this mystery, making all men see it (Ephesians 1:19).
Every day of our lives, we can purpose to make others see Christ. Instead of being angry or reactionary or bringing up problems, purpose to edify others. This can only be accomplished by building walls of doctrine in our souls.
Inside of us is a fellowship. We fellowship around a mystery – “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). We have one purpose as a local assembly, and that is to have unsaved people or untaught Christians see something that is impossible to have outside of this mystery. Take the mystery out of our fellowship, and we would operate in the flesh. What is the mystery? It is Christ inside of you and me. Our fellowship is around the mystery.
Yet, while we are still in this body of death, it is amazing that even now the fellowship of the mystery is being revealed to principalities (the head commissioned officers of Satan who give the orders) and to powers (the non-commissioned officers who carry out the orders) (Ephesians 6:12). That is God’s intention as He further humiliates Satan by revealing Himself through sinners who are saved by grace.
God wants us to see that our fellowship in the Body of Christ is intended to frustrate Satan, his commanding officers, and all the demons of hell. They will be confounded because they can see the mystery operate in our lives as we relate to each other through God’s love and truth.
The Problem of Predisposition
Satan always tries to hinder, prohibit, and block the fellowship of the mystery. The first thing he attacks is our volition. Next, he puts every effort he can into disrupting the fellowship between a married couple. Then, he attacks families and governments. Then, of course, come the attacks on the local assembly.
For instance, Satan says to his forces, “Go into that city and prohibit couples from fellowshipping around that mystery.”
“Well, how do we do that?” they ask.
“The first thing to attack is their emotions,”
Satan says. “You can manipulate their emotions so they try to go through circumstances by sight, preoccupied with finances and the details of life. After you have effectively done that, the next thing is to draw out their predisposition in Adam.”
Satan’s Jealousy at Work
What is the predisposition of Adam? It is what you are like as determined by your genetic inheritance; it is what comes naturally through the old sin nature. This is backed by the predisposition of Satan that was revealed at his fall.
Satan’s predisposition was jealousy, then envy that is energized by pride and culminates in arrogance. He said, “I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14).
Satan has a program to get Christians to pastor, lead, manage, and teach in their adamic predisposition. That doesn’t mean it is always something bad. Predisposition can be educated to seem quite normal at times, even pleasant. But the root determines the nature of the fruit, and in this case, it is the old sin nature.
Withdrawing into Self
In Adam’s predisposition, feelings and emotions can, in a moment, take the place of thinking with God. When this happens, a believer withdraws into himself. The Bible tells us to draw near (Hebrews 10:19-22), but instead of doing what God says, in his predisposition he withdraws from fellowship with God and the Body of Christ. Eventually, he will withdraw into his negative emotions, and then into some form of sublimation.
By living in his adamic predisposition, he is being set up to take on Satan’s predisposition, which is “I will!” against God’s will. Then, if his pain becomes greater and more intense, he will begin to blame others for how he feels.
Where does that come from? The accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10) makes people feel guilty. If we set the Lord before our face, even on our worst days, the devil and people cannot touch us. But, if we blame others for what’s happening to us, we have not set the Lord before our face for that day. We will not be troubled by circumstances or people when the God of the universe and the God of all power is operating freely in our self-essence.
We have to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12). This is how it works: First, define the issue. Then, use “practical deliverance.” By getting to know God, we also get to know the demons that are at work against us (Ephesians 6:12). Alone, get on your knees and pray, “I am choosing to exercise faith, Lord, through You. You rebuke these demons and deal with them.” The battle is the Lord’s; He will fight for us (Exodus 14:13; 1 Samuel 17:47). Our part is to hear the Word, let God hide it in our hearts, and obey, rebounding as we go.
Recognizing the Serpent’s Poison
“For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perverseness.
“None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
“They hatch cockatrice eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper” (Isaiah 59:3-5).
Exorcism concerns demonic possession. But those who belong to Christ cannot be possessed by Satan (John 4:4). Instead, some Christians need to be delivered of demonic obsession in order to effectively withstand the devil’s influence.
We know Satan’s program. In Christ, we are wiser and smarter than he is, and we are in a position that he can never have. Seated far above him (Ephesians 1:20, 21; 2:6), we have authority and definition over any strategic or tactical move Satan would use to take us out of the will of God.
Knowing the authority we have, Satan purposes to accuse the brethren from morning to night. Imagine it, from morning throughout the evening, Satan’s entire program is to accuse Christians so that the fellowship of the mystery in God’s Kingdom will not be revealed – not to Satan’s government or to lost souls.
The cleverest thing Satan can do is to infect a child of God with poison. The moment we confess our emotions instead of faith, he hatches serpent’s eggs. These are seeds of negativity that have been deposited in the unconscious and subconscious mind by accusations from Satan, through projections or people. If we do not cast down those negative impulses, we assist him in releasing the poison of Satan’s predisposition against truth. The eggs become vipers when our lives are crushed in a trial. Just as the bite of a viper releases a hematoxin into the bloodstream, Satan’s projections cause infections in the life of a believer.
Notice, the eggs remain hidden until we are crushed. When they hatch, every Christian goes through the same thing: withdrawal. Usually, a person will begin by saying he is no good, which isn’t true. In God’s eyes, he is still as good and as precious as ever. But he thinks he is no good.
A person who thinks he is no good will eventually accuse others that it is their fault: “You made me this way!” After condemning himself, he has to condemn others. This is all part of the program to hinder, block, and stifle the fellowship of the mystery, which is to have Christ’s love and grace fellowshipping with us. It is Christ’s mercy flowing from you to me; Christ’s gentleness coming from me to a lost soul; flowing through us, to each other. It is Christ’s kindness, patience, and wisdom flowing from His throne, to us, to others, and back to Him. We are together in perfect unity, operating as one organism – the Body of Christ. And Satan is out to prevent that unity.
Living in adamic predisposition can lead to making compulsive decisions. Never make a decision regarding your geographical location while you are in a trial; never let a famine in Canaan drive you to Egypt the way it drove away Abraham (see Genesis 12:10-20). I would say, “If I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16). “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15a). Never allow circumstances to drive you out of an area. God must do the leading.
Never make a decision based upon sight, finances, experience, feelings, or satanic illumination. Remember, Lucifer is an illuminator into brightness. He can give light, and it seems to be God’s light. But this light turns into darkness. When your light turns into darkness, your whole body is filled with darkness. You would swear to a pastor that it is light, and you will contend, “I know you are going to say that it does not line up with the Word. But I know God told me!”
No, it is light that has turned into darkness, and how great is that darkness. “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23).
There are some devastating illustrations of the principle of compulsive decisions. A rapist may appear to be the best person in the world for a month, but then a terrible compulsion comes over him. In the case of the Boston Strangler, hatred for his father began to take over this man who appeared to be rather ordinary.
A psychiatrist discovered this during an interview with him. He found out that this man had a father who was a mean, hateful, authoritarian figure who drove him with demands and who never said a kind word to him. His subjective mind went into a rage about his father and he would go out and kill. Every woman he strangled was his father, in this man’s mind. He didn’t even enjoy the sex when he attacked. He just wanted to kill his father.
The man who did these things seemed normal, with a wife and three children. But he would be driving home from work and suddenly be taken over by a rage. Through a satanic compulsion, he would kill his father again and again by killing women. He didn’t dare go after a man because he was so intimidated by his father.
Compulsion often drives acts of child molestation. There is this raging compulsion and the person doesn’t know how to handle his sex drive. He doesn’t have God’s provision, which is having walls of doctrine to protect his soul, so he takes on a distorted and perverted disposition. Through a compulsion, he does terrible, unbelievable acts of molestation.
In these last days, with the increase of domestic violence and “hate” crimes, and with public disregard for bona fide authority and godly standards of living, it is vital for Christians to build their defenses. We do it not with the arm of the flesh, but by putting on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-18) and by building strong walls of doctrine on our firm foundation – which is Christ, the Living Word of God.
Doctrine That Celebrates in the Soul
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now you see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:7-8).
Satan’s predisposition is revealed in the characteristics of “I will,” with his accusing the brethren from morning to night, hatching serpent’s eggs, weaving spider ‘s webs in castles where no one can see what he is doing (Isaiah 59:5; Proverbs 30:28). This predisposition cannot be seen but is still very poisonous.
Unbelievable guilt may come in as Satan makes his subjects feel guilty while they blame others and withdraw. Every one of us has been through it. We have withdrawn into our emotions and our sublimation. Don’t be hyperspiritual and claim: “Oh, I have never had these times.” Yes, you have had those times. Perhaps you just withdrew into pride instead, which is worse than many other forms of sublimation.
Contrast that behavior with the fellowship of the mystery in Christ. When we bring a truth that we know into a new setting and apply it, that makes the body of the truth new and real. That is why the Word of God is always fresh. When we hear a verse, we can never say that we already know it. Just as every moment is new, the application of His Word is always brand new.
With the Word of God circulating in us, and walls of doctrine protecting us, we have fantastic fellowship with people. But after every blessing comes temptation. Remember: Temptations come from Satan, while testings come from God. Though we have been deeply touched and greatly blessed, along comes the temptation. But if we are Spirit-taught, we can operate in agalliao (rejoice). That means we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory (1 Peter 1:8).
When we are being viciously attacked, the doctrines in the soul begin to celebrate. When that is going on, we can feel strangely wonderful in spite of the pressures against us. Joy fellowships with love. Love fellowships with peace. Peace fellowships with kindness. Kindness fellowships with our personal destiny. Our personal destiny fellowships with our eternal purpose. All of these doctrines are joined together and literally have a party in the soul.
People may accuse us, verbally attacking us, and we don’t feel a single thing. Why? Because there is a concert and melody of grace going on inside in the form of a doctrinal celebration. My soul has a party. That is exactly what the scholars say about the meaning of agalliao.
“For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her” (Zechariah 2:5).
Faith and the Wall of Fire
Around every believer is a wall of fire. What is this wall? It is not just the positional truth in a man who lives in his positional authority because he knows the wicked one cannot touch him (1 John 5:18). It is more than that. The Holy Spirit is referred to as a “fire” in Isaiah 4:4 and Matthew 3:11. The Word of God is a fire, according to Jeremiah 23:29.
To have a wall of fire around us is to be empowered by the Holy Spirit, surrounded and protected by a wall of doctrine – line upon line, line upon line, each one connecting with new applications of the old landmarks. We are kept by the irrevocable, absolute truth of God that has always been with God. It is an awesome thing to consider.
What we believe and what we are celebrating on the inside is producing the manifestation of the Word and the Spirit on the outside. Satan cannot break through that wall – it is the Living Word, the Written Word, and the Holy Spirit’s power with the Word in us. Because we have internalized God’s words, doctrine becomes our wall. Satan cannot break through it.
Instead of people causing us to raise up a wall of excuses and our own understanding, forcing us to withdraw, we have a wall built by God. We can walk into the arena of conflict with a smile and frustrate the devil.
Hell’s Mode of Operation
Satan’s commanding officers report to him and, because he is not omnipresent, he has to ask, “How did you do today?”
“Very good,” the officer reports.
“What was the first thing that you looked for in the attack?”
“Good, you did what I told you to do. So, their countenances appeared very sad, didn’t they? Remember, always go after the people whose countenances are sad (Isaiah 3:9).”
“That’s what we did,” the officer says. “Then, we projected millions of electronic vibrations to their emotions and their central nervous systems.”
“How did they react?” Satan wants to know.
“They withdrew right into what we planned.”
“Then what happened?”
“We tried to get them to sublimate, but they fought that, so we made them feel guilty and think they are no good.”
“Good, good. What happened next?”
“They blamed other Christians – friends and family – and then they even started to accuse members of the church, including the pastor.”
“You did all of this in half a day?” Satan says. “How many did you infect?”
These conversations actually go on between the forces of darkness. Satan has a temporal purpose to make us self-destruct; but thanks be to God, we have an eternal purpose which destroys the works of the devil. We are surrounded with doctrine. It is the Word of God, and He exalts it above His name. It can never be destroyed.
How do we overcome the devil? Through faith. Here’s a little rhyme to help you remember it:
“Fact, faith, and feelings walked on the wall;
Feelings and faith had a great fall.
Fact looked down and picked up faith;
Feelings just said, “I’ll go along for the take.”
Paul wrote, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
Imagine it. We can be set free from any negative influence in our lives. When we have walls of doctrine surrounding us and God’s love and power in us, there isn’t a detail that can affect us. We don’t just conquer occasionally; we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us (Romans 8:37). We are more than conquerors because the battle is over, and it will never have to be fought again. Satan’s city is destroyed.