In this article we will be teaching from a spiritual sense on the mind, soul, spirit, conscience and heart. Through understanding their functions, it will help to see a little clearer what happens when a person is dealing with depression or a mental condition. The question I want to explore is if this is a demonic attack or a mental disorder and how do we deal with it.
There are many scriptures through the Word of the Lord that refer to a person as a city (Jerusalem), a temple and even a tabernacle. This is taught more in depth in RBD Course 3 under Spiritual Warfare.
The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and as a high wall in his own conceit (Proverbs 18:11). He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls (Proverbs 25:28).
As we continue to study the scriptures, we find more of these principles and types to give us a clearer understanding of God’s plan in our lives. “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” (Ephesians 2:21). Peter says it like this… “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5).
I want you to picture in your mind a medieval castle or stronghold. Picture this castle having high walls with a moat around it with one large gate at the front. If you were to go through the main gate and enter into the compound there would be several buildings within, and in the center of the castle many times you would find a chapel, or even the main office (center of activity/throne). I will reference this type of castle throughout this article to bring out insights from the scriptures.
In the Old Testament there is much written concerning judgments and decisions being made at the gate. In some places in the Old Testament the king would have his throne set up at the gate to show that he had conquered the city. In another place you find two kings sitting at the gate making battle plans. In the book of Ruth, Boaz took legal action to make Ruth his wife and buy all of the lands of Naomi. Also, Lot was a judge in Sodom and sat at the gate. Another basic principle is the door of your home, this is where you decide if you are going to let someone into your house or not.
The gate was a place of decision making, a place of judgment. Therefore, we will put the mind at the gate. This is where your judgments and decisions are made.
One of the meanings of the mind in the Greek is “a particular mode of thinking and judging, i.e., thoughts, feelings, purposes, desires”. One of the meanings of the mind in the English dictionary is “(in a human or other conscious being), the element, part, substance, or process that reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, judges, etc., the processes of the human mind”.
I will refer to the Temple as the heart. Here are some of the meanings of the “heart” in the English dictionary: “The center of the total personality, especially with reference to intuition, feeling, or emotion: ‘In your heart you know I’m an honest man.’ The center of emotion, especially as contrasted to the head as the center of the intellect: His head told him not to fall in love, but his heart had the final say”.
Some scriptures on the heart:
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23).
“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders.” (Mark 7:21).
“Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” (2 Corinthians 1:22).
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love…” (Ephesians 3:17).
The Heart speaks of the nature of mankind or the very seat of emotions where the issues of life spring forth. Therefore, if a person’s heart is evil, his spirit is also evil. When a person receives the Spirit of God, God writes His nature or law upon the heart or gives a new nature to the person.
Some scriptures on the spirit:
“And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:5).
“But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” (1 Corinthians 6:17).
Your spirit speaks of your nature. In Genesis 6:5, God saw that the imagination of mankind’s heart was evil continually. In other words, his spirit was corrupted, or he had lost the divine nature of God through sin. The only alternative was to start all over again. But, Noah found grace in the eyes of God.
“And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.” (Daniel 5:21).
Mankind has a spirit and nature as well as every animal. Animals will die and their spirit will die with them. When mankind dies, his spirit continues to live because the soul will live forever.
The Temple is where God sits on the throne of our life, if we let Him. If not, we pile other things into the center of our lives and these things will guide us.
The Counselor at the Gate:
Man became a living soul when God breathed the breath of life into him (Genesis 2:7).
The spirit of the beast will die upon the death of its flesh, however the spirit of man lives forever (Ecclesiastes 3:21), because the soul of man will live forever.
The soul is the inner being of mankind. One of the meanings in Hebrew is the activity of the will. It is very interesting to note that the word for conscience in the Greek is “the soul as distinguishing between what is morally good and bad, prompting to do the former and shun the latter, commending one, condemning the other”.
The conscience is the function of the soul. The soul knows what is morally good. Many times we appeal to the conscience of mankind. We sometimes call for the conscience of a person to witness against them.
“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 9:1).
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” (1 Timothy 4:1-2).
“Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” (Titus 1:15).
The soul or conscience of a person is a witness and a counselor of truth that connects the mind (judgments or thought process) with the heart.
Some other important aspects of the castle:
“He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” (Proverbs 25:28).
Another way of looking at this scripture is if you do not allow the Spirit of God to govern your life, then there is no salvation. Romans 8:14 says it like this, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
“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).
The Walls that protect your life are salvation. If Jesus Christ does not sit on the throne as the Lord of our lives, then we do not have walls of salvation, but we are on our way to destruction. The devil gains access to a person’s life very easily.
The Gates are Praise. Praise should live at the place of judgment and decisions. Some people tend to be judgmental with no life and power; this is due to the lack of praise at the gate of our life. Some people call this the power of positive thinking. The scriptures talk about this as the power of praise.
This subject is very important, and shows a problem within the heart of a person. It means that the gates of a person’s mind have been opened to allow depression to enter into a person and bring darkness to their life.
Does this mean that the person is under the control of demonic power? Not necessarily. However, that is the desire of this demonic power.
This can be a problem that was in their life from before, and it has never been dealt with, and the person suppresses it. In other words, this situation has not been totally given to the Lord Jesus and the weak spot in the gate, or the thought, can make all of this come alive again in the heart of a person. Evil spirits know this weak spot at the gate and look to push away the Word of God that holds this section of a person’s life to bring about disaster in the very heart and spirit of a person. The only way to be totally set free from this is to acknowledge the problem and give this problem to God for emotional and spiritual healing. If this person is not strong enough to minister to themselves and get deliverance from depression, then they need to find someone that knows how to help in this situation. Acknowledge the problem, get deliverance from the depression and be totally healed by allowing God full access to this tender spot.
Counseling will help reveal the problem. Talking about the problem can relieve some of the suppressed feelings of the depression, but it does not bring deliverance. These actions help you to the road of recovery, but do not finish the work. The work of the Holy Spirit can deliver us from this evil. The prayer that Jesus gave is very important for deliverance. He said to pray for deliverance from evil. You can repent of a situation, but this is not enough because this is a decision of the mind. Deliverance is a matter that Jesus makes for us as we ask Him to heal the emotional wounds and deliver us from the attack of demonic powers that would take advantage of the wound. We need to be renewed in His Word at the gates of our lives (mind). Then we need to be sensitive at those gates and listen to our conscience as the Spirit of the Lord governs us and makes us aware of attacks against the gate. When words and feelings that are contrary to God’s Word and the fruit of the Spirit within us start coming against the gate, then you have to use the sword of the Spirit against those lies, otherwise they will overcome you and enter into your heart and take you captive.
Maintain a broken heart and spirit before the Lord by daily surrendering your will to God.
A person that has a mental handicap can sometimes appear to be demonic. Many a minister has tried to cast out these spirits from the life of a person. However, here are the basics to understanding how to deal with mental handicaps from a spiritual standpoint. The mental part of a person is dealing with the gate and not the heart. If a person cannot communicate correctly so that others can understand them, then it becomes a matter of the heart and turns to frustration and anger. Many ministers make the mistake of trying to cast out the spirits of anger and frustration and bi-pass the true problem which is a mental handicap with its root at the gate.
Can a person that has a mental problem come under the control of demonic power? Of course they can, and the root of it is at the gate/mind. Deliverance must take place, however the mind of that person needs to be healed.
The best way to deal with this kind of a situation is with peace. First you have to address the spiritual condition of the person if they are under the control of demonic power, and then you release peace to the mind and heart of that person so that you can give understanding through communicating peace and love to the person that you are dealing with. Understanding is going to unite the gate with the heart which will allow for true ministry.
These principles that I have shared in this article are simply the basics. Many times we deal with these situations correctly because of the Spirit of God within us; however there are times when fear overcomes us because we do not have the understanding in our minds and we then make mistakes.
We need to have the fear (a holy reverence) of the Lord in our hearts, and knowledge of the Holy for understanding. Combining these two components in our lives will enrich us in knowing God and ministering to others.
We, as ministers, have to build people and help them with matters of the heart, mind, soul and spirit in order to have the proper protection in their lives.