Flash: ON   May 20, 2018 


 Leader: Tony Owens

     Oppression affects so many in the Church, as well as secular people. The Spirit of Oppression is grossly underestimated by the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in this hour. Its effects are far reaching, and varied. So what is oppression? The Hebrew word for “oppression” is “osheq” (pronounced o-shek), meaning oppression, extortion (to obtain from a person by force, intimidation, or undue illegal power), cruelly. The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines “oppression” as unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power; it is a sense of being weighed down in body or mind; depression. 
     When a person is oppressed they just can’t seem to get up or get ahead, no matter what they do. This can apply to certain things in a person’s life, or their lives as a whole. There are multitudes of Christians, as well as those in the world being oppressed in some way or another. The lack of results in ministry, when praying, constant lack, lack of opportunity, etc… is often due to a spirit of oppression. Just when you seem like you are coming out of debt, then you lose your job, or an unexpected bill pops up. Just when you are preparing to do ministry, then those who you were going to minister to, cannot come. We must not ignore this spirit, for it has long held down the people of God. If you get this truth in your spirit today, it will change your life.
     There are many times in the life of a Christian wherein they are oppressed. Yes, the people of God can be oppressed. Not only can ones individual life be oppressed, but ministries, churches, families, cities, nations and ethnic groups can be oppressed as well. The enemy tries to overwhelm Christians with things, issues, troubles, burdens, lack, etc…, causing oppression. After long term or extended times of oppression, the Christian can then become depressed. Oppression is caused by external circumstances, while depression is rooted in the thoughts of the individual, who constantly considers the external things, thus causing it to be internalized.
It’s Our Responsibility To Come Against This Spirit.
     I often hear Christians petitioning God for His power. With God’s power comes responsibility. God extends to us His power for His purposes. When we look at the life of Jesus, we must seek to do those things that He did, as He said we would in John 14:12-14. In Acts 10:38 we see some of the things that Jesus did, it reads;
 “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”
It is our responsibility to deliver those oppressed of the devil. Yet, because we are oppressed we can not focus on the work that we, the Church are called to do. Those who are oppressed are captives in some capacity, who must be set free. We must throw this spirit off of ourselves, and then we will be free to go and deliver many in Jesus name, who are also being held captive by this spirit.
The Purpose Of Oppression.
     The purpose of oppression is to hold down. As I have stated earlier, long term oppression causes depression (within a person), with the intent to cause regression (or people to go backwards). Whenever you try to move forward in God. and receive His promises, then the enemy uses oppression as a weapon against you, to try and get you to go back or regress (return to an earlier worse condition).
     It is the purpose of oppression to not only over burden someone with issues, but also to cause them to be too full, busy or depressed to employ the God ordained strategies necessary to bring them out. Oppression discourages. Oppression is like a cloak that is put upon a person. Yet, unless we do a wardrobe change we will not come out. Isaiah 61:3 speaks of this wardrobe change, it says;
 “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”
     Recently I have been crying out to the Lord, because I have felt oppressed. So much it seems was on me, yet the provisions to accomplish the vision that I was sure the Lord had given me was not there. It was at this point that I would either have to downsize the vision that God gave me, or throw off the cloak of oppression and praise and glorify God. So often in the past I had succumbed to this spirit, while looking at my tools to come out, but not using them. I have found that at these times when I cry out to God for deliverance, He does not move on my behalf to deliver me; rather there seems to be silence from Heaven. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed by responsibilities, lack of provisions, etc…, that I raise my level of weeping and crying out to God, yet to no avail. Still silence from Heaven. It is at this point that many lose their faith. It is only when I stop weeping, complaining, and wondering, and pick up and employ God’s biblical strategies that I had all along, that I begin to see some breakthrough. 
Both A Spirit And A Weapon.
     When trying to get an understanding of oppression, you must know that it is both a spirit and a weapon. Yes, oppression is a spirit that is used as a weapon against you. It is formed against you (designed specifically to be advantageous against you) based on your particular weaknesses or bents. They observe you to see how they can find a doorway to oppress you. When they find the right doorway of sin, or disobedience, then they form an oppressive weapon to use in that area against you. Yet, we must always remember Isaiah 54:17, which says;
 “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.”
Oppression should not be able to prosper against you. But to stop it, you must shut the doors that it would operate through. I want you to understand something, the greater the call, the greater the work, the greater God’s purposed breakthrough for you, then the greater the oppression and resistance from the enemy.
     Many Christians don’t think that they are important enough for the enemy to take the time to design weaponry to specifically stop them. Stop looking at what you are presently doing, and begin to see God’s desired purpose in your life. The enemy has designed weapons against you, not because of what your doing now; rather for the potential you have, when you fully embrace God’s purpose for your life. Many confuse the operations of the spirit of oppression, with being cursed. Although curses can use oppression to enforce its objective, oppression can also work outside of a curse as a weapon against people. One way to identify the operation of a spirit of oppression, is when you first start out doing something you find success, then all of a sudden things dry up. This can often signify that a spirit of oppression has stepped in to be a weapon to resist you and what you have been given or called to do. The enemy uses the spirit of oppression as a weapon against you to do many things, some of which are:
Hinder your finances and provisions - Living from hand to mouth, pay check to pay check, barely getting by. Each time that it seems you are getting ahead, then something else comes up to hinder you from having enough. Over and over again this may happen.
Stop people from getting saved or coming to the Lord - they can oppress individuals, families, communities, cities, nations, ethnic groups causing people not to get saved or come to Christ for salvation. They will oppress people from getting saved to cause you to be discouraged and stop trying to evangelize. One day you may talk to a person and they seem interested in Jesus Christ, yet the next day they don’t want to hear anything about Him. It is a good possibility that the spirit of oppression used someone to discourage them from coming to Christ, thus oppressing their salvation.
Frustrate the growth of a church or ministry - When you know that God has called you to do a certain ministry service for Him, and you don’t see breakthrough or your ministry may be shut down or have limited results, it might be the enemy oppressing people from responding, and other things.
Stop opportunity for advancement and promotion - You may have favor with a job when you first start, then things go downhill from there. You see those who are not as skilled as you being promoted above and before you. They are holding or pressing down your opportunities.
Oppress healing and deliverance - You quote the word, and believe in healing, yet the manifestation does not come. These oppressive spirits are trying to hold down and oppress the manifestation of God’s healing and deliverance power in your life.   
Oppress the Anointing from flowing when a person is ministering - They can oppress the speaker, singer, or the people that you are ministering to. They may use fear, doubt, sleepiness, etc… to cause the Anointing from flowing. 
Oppress families, causing issues - Your family may always be broken, never having peace. Perhaps one issue after another rises up in your family. This may be a way the enemy uses to oppress you, through family issues and troubles.
Oppress breakthrough in a community, people group (including youth, women, men, etc) - The spirit of oppression can target individual groups and category’s of people to oppress them. He can lead them to sin, and then oppress them. Such is the case with many communities that have a lack of men (due to imprisonment, etc…), or with the youth, trying to get them to pursue some fantasy of becoming famous so that they can be worshipped. 
Oppress your health and strength - Sometimes you can feel exhausted or weak, yet you know that you have rested. Many people wake up tired.  This should not be. There is a possibility that oppression is at work to stop you from having the strength to be a testimony for the Living God.
Oppress your name by slander - The enemy can oppress you by discrediting or slandering your name and your character falsely.
Oppress your time with issues and problems (especially other peoples issues) - You could have planned to spend time in prayer, when the enemy has someone call you with a supposed emergency, all with the purpose of oppressing your time.
Oppress your faith to believe God - These spirits try to hold down and stop your faith to believe God. They want you to doubt that God is doing what you have asked Him to do.
Oppress breakthrough in your life - Wherever you have been striving to get a breakthrough the enemy pushes down, with hopes that you accept where you are and what you have, yet with the intentions to take even that from you.
Oppress people from being baptized in the Holy Spirit - So many Christians are seeking the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, yet many never receive it. Why? The enemy tries in many ways to oppress them. It could be through doubt, fear, anxiety, etc….
Oppress dreams and revelation from the Lord - Just as with the Prophet Daniel, whose answer from God through an Angel was delayed (oppressed) because of demonic activity, so can your dreams, and revelations from God be delayed and hindered as well.
Oppress understanding of the Word of God - Some find it difficult to memorize or study the Word of God. Sleep seems to come upon some as soon as they open up the Word. I have heard some Christians say, “whenever I can’t get to sleep I just open up my Bible and soon I fall right to sleep.” This is because a demonic spirit wants to oppress them from reading the life giving Word of God.
Oppress the Gifts of the Holy Spirit from operating in peoples lives - They oppress the Gifts from operating in the lives of the Christian. This can be a confidence or faith issue, it can be a fear issue, yet in any case it is oppression holding them down.
Oppress you from getting into prayer - These spirits try to oppress the Christian from getting into the presence of God. They cause all kinds of issues and distractions to push down a persons time and ability to seek God’s face.
     The enemy uses a variety of tools to oppress the people of God, and others. They can use fear to oppress, lack to oppress, sickness to oppress, other people to oppress you with their words or opinions (this can happen through people picking on you, discouraging you, or making everything that you do or are called to do seem like nothing), peer pressure to oppress, low self esteem to oppress, prejudice or racism to oppress you, doubt and unbelief to oppress you, pride to oppress you, and more.
I’ve Asked And Praised God For It, So How Can I Be Oppressed?
     So many people are praising God and praising God for a breakthrough, over, and over again, yet that breakthrough does not happen. Why? Often it is oppression that is hold it up or pressing it down. The garment of praise increases our faith, for in praising God we put in view His divine attributes, thus giving us greater faith and confidence in Him. Yet, that should not be the only weapon or tool that we use here. Praise can bring in God’s presence and send the enemy fleeing, but when we stop praising they come back. The proper tool to use here is binding and casting out the Spirit of Oppression. This is how we resist them, causing them to flee from us. James 4:7 says;
 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Whether you have asked for something in faith, or praised God for the manifestation, sometimes it might yet require that you bind the Spirit of Oppression off of those things that you have asked and praised God for. God can give you a ministry and a specific vision on how to fulfill it, and it still not manifest, because the Spirit of Oppression has come against you. Cast this spirit out, and then keep it out and watch the manifestation of God’s promises break forth in your life.
Oppression Is Intended To Steal Or Kill Your Faith In God.
     The enemy wants to oppress you until you begin to doubt and thus not believe God regarding who you are in Him, or what He has called you to do.
     It is imperative that when you are warring against the spirit of oppression that you balance the warfare with faith. Often while you are warring against this spirit it sneaks up behind you to attack your faith. It is oppressions goal to have you lose your faith, first in the fact that God did not answer you, second, in the fact that God does not care, and thirdly, it wants you to ultimately lose your faith in the fact that there is a God at all. You keep and strengthen your faith in these times by thanking God for those things that you have requested, and God promised (especially regarding those things that you have bound oppression off of). This faith attack is a counter attack that is intended to cause you to stop your attack on the Spirit of Oppression. After this you must praise God for who He is (His faithfulness, love, mercy, etc…). Often we get so busy with the warfare (especially when we begin to see success in it), that we forget the area of faith, in which the enemy then attacks.
     The Spirit of Oppression will always try to get you to look at its effects against you. You must not look at what this demonic spirit is attempting to do against you. This will cause your faith to decay. You can never try to believe God based on what you are seeing; rather on the truth of who He is. Your ministry will never rise above where and in what you can believe God for, before you see it. This applies to dealing with oppression as well. You will never remove this spirit, if you will not believe that you are battling it. Spirits want to make you think that you are not doing anything to stop them in your spiritual warfare. Don’t stop warring, for you are making progress.
     You must engage this spirit, or else you will stay oppressed. Doing nothing is not an option. For in your inactivity against it, it will actively come against you to continue to press you down, until you are crushed. Many Christians, instead of consistently fighting this spirit, they rather fall into its trap of looking at the results of what it is doing against them, and then begin to complain and murmur about their plight. Fight the good fight of faith and don‘t fall into the sin of complaining, for it will give this spirit further access to oppress you.
Not In Unrighteousness!
     Do not take this particular point lightly, for if you do, you will become a spiritual casualty, “you can not war in unrighteouness!” Isaiah 54:14 says;
 “In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.”
It is in righteousness that you are established, causing oppression to not be able to overcome you, for in righteousness it has no legal place to press you down. You see, to retaliate against you, this spirit will need a place of sin (whether little or great), and if there is none in you, it will try and cause you to sin to create a legal way for it to oppress you. To defeat this spirit you must stay in right standing. You will not defeat this spirit falling into old habits of sin, including little sins like complaining, gossiping, lusting, lying, fantasizing in your mind about ungodly things, etc…. You must stay holy both in your mind and in your actions.
You Must Stay Constant And Persistent.
     To defeat this enemy it requires you to be constant and persistent in your battle against it. Daily, you must repent of your sins and bind the Spirit of Oppression off of yourself and everything under your authority. Bind it off of each individual thing that the Lord leads you to. Not just once in a while; rather daily, as well as throughout each day.
     As I have stated earlier, when battling this spirit, please be aware that it will respond by sending things and people at you to oppress you from warring against it. For example: if you are binding a Spirit of Oppression off of your finances, then it may respond by sending more bills at you, or unexpected things that will require you to spend more money. Its purpose in doing this is to get you to complain, doubt, fear, etc…, which would give it a place to legally come at you and re-oppress you as you are climbing out.
     Spirits of Oppression constantly try to get you to look at the results of what they have done or are doing against you presently. Don’t dare think that they are greater than God. Bind them and begin to thank God for what He has done (especially what you have asked God for concerning the areas the enemy has oppressed). Beloved you must constantly war against these spirits to gain ground, for they are always contesting you. Little by little you will see their effects dwindle, and the manifestation of God’s provisions and promises break forth. 
     Again, as you begin to war against these spirits they will fight tooth and nail to stop you from getting results. Yet you must press forward past its wall of resistance, moving one brick of oppression at a time, until full breakthrough is manifested. You must not be moved by this spirit; rather you must be persistent and constant in your warfare against it to move them. I regularly bind and war against the Spirit of oppression. Daily I do this for the breakthroughs I know I need. These spirits do all they can to stop you. A few days before I wrote this teaching I was in the post office. When I came in, the line had about 10 people ahead of me. It was my intention that when I left the post office, that I would go to pray and also do warfare against the Spirit of Oppression. Well, I was waiting on line, and waiting on line, yet the line moved about 2 people in 20 minutes to 30 minutes. Then out of the 3 people working at the window, 2 of them disappeared and walked in the back. The lady standing behind me began to complain loud enough to try to get my attention, and I believe to try to get me to complain with her. I then realized that this was the Spirit of Oppression that was trying to oppress my ability to go and pray. I whispered “I bind this Spirit of Oppression that is operating here against me, that is trying to hinder me from going to pray.” Beloved, I am not exaggerating when I say this, immediately upon me saying this, the one lady working behind the counter went to a bell and rang it, and then 2 others came out and started working. Within 3 minutes I had been called and served. This spirit was trying to hinder me from going to pray and bind it. It also tried to use the lady on line behind me to try and get me to complain (sin) with her, thus affording this spirit to steal my right to move it. 
     Child of God, you must prepare for war against this spirit, as well as others. You must be constant in fighting this enemy that seeks to keep you and all you have authority over pressed down.
The Challenge.
     I challenge you to combat the Spirit of Oppression for 90 days. If you commit to this and succeed you will see great breakthrough in your life and ministry. Start by doing this during these 90 days:
1.      Repent of all of your sins.  Never go into battle with the enemy with doors open, for they will use them to afflict you.                            
2.      Stay out of sin, and when you do repent quickly.
3.      Each day go to war against the Spirit of Oppression. It may require you to do it several times a day. 
4.      Quote scripture when binding and casting out this spirit; such as Mark 16:17-18, which says; “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
5.      List the things that you are binding this spirit off of (your finances, home, marriage, children, job, opportunities, ministry, church, extending family, souls being saved, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit manifesting in your life, etc…). Daily take at least 20 minutes or more warring against this spirit. Do not forget to bind the spirits that oppression tries to use against you as you war against it, such as; spirits of doubt, fear, unbelief, complaining, retaliation, etc….
You must be persistent until you see the breakthrough, yet after you see it, continue to bind this spirit in order to keep the breakthrough.

By the Holy Spirit through Bishop Tony Owens       www.riversofrevival.com
House of David Ministries Inc. and Tony Owens Ministries Inc. 1(877) 35-JESUS or 1(516) 792-3456 

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