Are you handed over to the Tormentors?

Episode 99

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Hosted by
Carl Joseph

Carl is a biblical scholar, minister, husband, father and life coach. In his mid-twenties he had a powerful encounter with God and saw miraculous healings as a result. He passionately shares these stories and empowers others to fulfill their God-given potential.

Holding on to unforgiveness is a severe hindrance. Many Christians are under demonic oppression without realizing it, because they refuse to forgive others who have offended them. Holding on to unforgiveness keeps an open door to the enemy and hinders our spiritual walk. Join Carl now as he discusses the importance of keeping a pure heart before God. If you have been feeling under spiritual attack recently, you should consider looking in the mirror, as you might have something to do with it…

Here is a complete transcript of the podcast (below)…

Friend our broadcast today will take on a serious tone and I’m going to ask you, this question, “have you been handed over to the tormentors?” Doesn’t sound like fun, does it? What an odd question you might ask, and who in fact are these tormentors anyway? Well, the Gospels have the answer and especially the Gospel of Matthew. Here’s the deal, if you’re lacking joy and peace in your life for sustained periods of weeks, months or even years then there’s something wrong with your Christian walk friend. This is not the abundant, joyful Zoë life that Christ provided for you when He went to the cross. It’s not a normal spirit filled Christian condition to mope around in life from one day to the next, feeling down in the dumps and full of angst. This should not be the status quo for us. Satan could be robbing your joy friend and it’s time to take it back; and why not during this broadcast? In fact, I suggest you could be under demonic spiritual attack or oppression as it’s called, and you may be ignorant to it or at least until we explore the Gospel of Matthew together.

Friend God’s spiritual laws are in effect whether we’re aware of them or even believe in them. And I tell you now in the very same chapter 18 of Matthews Gospel, where Jesus discusses the power of ‘binding and loosing’ on earth, which many people think is just binding and loosing demons or sickness and yes, we as Charismatic’s or Pentecostals don’t discount these spiritual truths. We certainly do have authority to bind and loose demonic spirits in the name of Jesus, but what if you’ve bound offense to yourself and you’re living with the consequences each and every day?

It should be duly noted, the context of this passage of Matthew chapter 18, is about offense in particular, right before Jesus talks of binding and loosing in verse 18, He outlines the need to approach a brother who’s offended you and the need to resolve the offense swiftly and in the right manner. I present this to you, for your consideration, as Christians the number one trap we can fall into is offense. In the last days and in Christ’s Olivet discourse He warned us that one of the signs of the last days is that many will be offended and betray one another in Matthew 24:5-10. This ought not to be the case for us friend. The onus is on us to have a forgiving heart because we should be willing to do what God is willing to do for us. Let’s pick it up in verse 15 and these are the words of Jesus (Matthew 18:15–17):

Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it to the church.” (KJB)

The point hear friend, is that you should be willing to confront the individual who has offended you and even take the matter to the church but Christ goes on later to explain the importance of forgiving this person in your heart whether or not He has forgiven you.

Now offense has been described as a transgression or affront against physical or spiritual law or an individual. Let’s not forget that the Gospel is also offensive to unbelievers as it pricks their hearts and puts them in a position either to embrace or reject the truth, and there are dire and eternal consequences for rejecting Almighty God in this lifetime friend. Speaking of the need to speak the truth to unbelievers, I’m reminded of the story of Hugh Lattimer who was a preacher during the reign of King Henry VIII and on one occasion he had the honor of preaching directly to King Henry, in his private quarters. However, King Henry, was greatly displeased by the bold and brazen delivery of the sermon and ordered Lattimer to preach again on the following Sunday and ‘apologize’ for the offence he had given the King.

So, the very next Sunday, after hearing of the King’s request, Lattimer began his sermon like this: “Hugh Lattimer, do you know before whom you are to speak this day? To the high and mighty monarch, the king’s most excellent majesty, who can take away your life, if you offend him? Therefore, take heed that you speak not a word that may displease the King. But then consider well, Hugh Lattimer, do you not know on whose behalf you’ve come and for whose message you are sent? Even by the great and mighty God, who is all-present and who beholds all your ways and who is able to cast your soul into hell! Therefore, take care Hugh that you deliver your message faithfully.”

He then preached the very same sermon he had preached the preceding Sunday—and with considerably more energy and enthusiasm. Hugh Lattimer was a brave man indeed. Friend the truth bows to no-one and that includes Kings on earth because everyone must give an account to the Lord Jesus, the King of Kings, for the truth they’ve heard in this lifetime. What we’re talking about today are transgressions you might’ve made against the royal law, spoken of in Jam 2:8, which is,” to love your neighbor as yourself.” One aspect of this loving attitude is the deliberate choice to forgive the person who’s offended you. The sad part is that if a brother has wronged you, the immediate repercussions are bad enough but by not forgiving them, we’re allowing them to influence our lives for the worst in the days ahead. Remember what I’ve said in previous broadcasts. “Holding on to unforgiveness is like drinking from a poisonous well and hoping the other person gets sick.”

Holding on to offense is flat out ridiculous when we see it in light of this illustration. Now remember it’s in this very same chapter of Matthew 18 that Jesus implores Peter to forgive 70 x 7 in one day, that is 490 times a day friend and when we do the math, it equates to once every 3 minutes. So, in effect, if Jesus is asking Peter to forgive every 3 minutes in a day, then God wouldn’t ask us to do something He wouldn’t be willing to do Himself, therefore, check this friend, God is willing to forgive you every 3 minutes too! Amen, Hallelujah, the point is God is a forgiving God and because He’s forgiven us of our trespasses and sins against Him, He expects us to be forgiving in return and that’s the very crux of this passage I’m about to read to you in Matthew 18. Let’s read it now, Matthew 18:21–35 (KJB):

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. 23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him a hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Friend you can see the grievance of the Lord in this passage, this man was forgiven a debt that in today’s currency would equate to approximately $6 billion by some scholars reckoning. Yet when it came to the servant in question, he was not willing to forego a measly amount equivalent to $65 in today’s money! Friend, can you now see how upset God gets with us? The lord in this passage is a typology of the Lord Jesus Christ. Consider the debt he has forgiven you, our vast sins toward Him, your trespasses against Him, but Christ chose to die for you. Why would you now hold any debt of offence toward another after being forgiven of such a vast debt yourself?

Friend, God cancels all debt for penitent sinners who’ve come to the realization they’re indebted to Christ for what He did! Have you come to that realization yourself? I hope so friend, and most people listening to this broadcast are Christians no doubt. God also requires fair treatment between men but especially Christians. But here’s the key take away from this passage, in verse 34, it says, “And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.”

Let me put it to you another way. The demonic realm is ever present around us and when we give legal ground over to them via resentment, hate, bitterness, jealousy, anger of even unforgiveness, we are in effect being handed over to these tormentors and friend we don’t want to be in that position. Remember in Eph 4:27, the Apostle Paul warned us, “neither give place to the devil.” I like the ESV version in this case, it says, 27 “and give no opportunity to the devil.” Friend we should give the devil no opportunity whatsoever in our lives but unfortunately some have given him place through holding on to offense. If you have had a long-standing grievance, let it go today friend, it could not only be affecting your soul condition, but having an impact on your physical body also. All issues of sin and righteousness stem from the heart and the NT makes this plain. Our heart is the very epicenter of our decision making and guidance in our lives. If your heart is negatively impacted by unforgiveness you’ll struggle to lead a victorious Christian life because I firmly believe that unforgiveness is a thief.

Remember the famous discourse concerning prayer in Mark 11:23-25, in verse 23, Jesus discusses the importance of speaking to the mountain or obstacle in our lives, then in verse 24 he goes on to share the importance of believing we receive, when we pray…right? Remember that? But here’s the crux of it in verses 25-26, verses that many people often overlook. Mark 11:25–26 (KJB); 25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Wow did you catch that friend? God is not going to forgive you if you don’t forgive the person who’s offended you! Ouch it is absolutely crucial that you understand the importance of letting go of offense and trespasses today because the Gospel of Mark reveals that a major hindrance to getting our prayers answered is this aspect of harboring unforgiveness in our hearts.  

Friend if you’re holding offense in your heart, I urge you to let it go today. It’s robbing from you in the day to day. Remember the issues of life stem from the heart and I implore you to steer your life in a new direction today because if you do not let go of this offense, your Father in Heaven will not forgive you either, as this is spiritual law. Some people say well I don’t feel like forgiving the person. Listen its act of faith to forgive someone. It is a decision that isn’t based on our feelings ok, please understand that. When you make the decision to forgive in your prayer closet and speak out loud by saying the words “I forgive”, your feelings will eventually line up with your decision in due course. Let it go today friend, don’t hang on any longer and you will experience times of refreshing in the presence of the Lord.

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