One of the vilest characters in literature and most unsettling is “the Mouth of Sauron.” The Mouth of Sauron is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien‘s legendarium. He appears in The Lord of the Rings — specifically in the chapter “The Black Gate Opens” in the third volume, The Return of the King — as the chief emissary of Sauron. Sauron, a ruler who with no equal with respect to evil, is a type of Satan who desires to rule over Middle Earth and destroy the good within it.
According to Tolkein’s fictional account, the hideous Mouth of Sauron belonged to the race of the Black Númenóreans and briefly appeared in person when he haggled with the Army of the West in front of the Black Gate (Morannon in Elvish), trying to convince Aragorn and Gandalf to give up and let Sauron win the war for Middle-earth. When Gandalf turned his proposal down, the Mouth of Sauron sets all the armies of Mordor to attack them. Before the armies attack and the meeting ends, Aragorn angrily cuts “the Mouth’s” head off! This is a powerful picture of how to wield the sword of the Spirit! God’s Holy Spirit speaking through your mouth the real truth, the Word of God, which overcomes the lies of Satan!
The appearance and the arrogance of the Mouth of Sauron (enhanced and enlarged by Director Peter Jackson) before the Army of the West have biblical symbolism. The character matches the description of Satan in the Book of Revelation, speaking arrogant words and blasphemies. (Note: The first three paragraphs adapted from Wikipedia.)
His Name is “Worthless”
“The Mouth” we have to deal with is arrogant still, constantly speaking lies, accusations, blasphemies, condemnation, temptations, filth, hatred, and belittling words to the human race, particularly Christians. One of Satan’s names is Belial (Diablo), which means “worthless.” Is it any wonder then that one of Satan’s chief weapons is to make believers feel worthless or at least less than worthy? Consider also that one of the greatest problems in the Body of Christ is feelings of worthlessness! Expect to hear “You are worthless” or other such statements that are leveled at you to make you doubt who you are in Christ.
In effect, the enemy always wants to instill fear in you, especially fear of rejection.
The often-used section of 2 Cor. 10, verses 3-5, is one that is not exactly clear to believers, or it is at least sometimes not taught correctly. The stronghold mentioned in this section is not a demon – it’s the words that make up the stronghold in our minds. In a study of negative words conducted by NBC, they found that typically 50 percent of people’s words were negative (Negative Words Dominate Language) – http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/DyeHard/story?id=460987&page=1#.UXhDhbR9nww. What Paul is describing here is a mental stronghold that’s filled with negative words, evil thoughts, much of which are condemning or self-condemning. Yes, there’s no doubt that evil can wield the stronghold of the mind, but evil always has to have something to work with! To overcome, these thoughts, feelings and attitudes must be pulled down from their lofty positions in our heads and replaced with truth.
Do you believe that your own head is full of these ideas, and they just come naturally to you? Certainly, we can succumb to terrible thoughts about others and ourselves because of early rejection spoken to us through parents and others who had no idea the kinds of hurt and self-condemnation they would inflict! As we grow to adulthood, we fall prey to others’ critical and disparaging remarks and subsequently fill our own heads full of self-criticism unbiblical self-evaluation and judgementalism. However, punctuating all human communication is the evil “ Mouth of Sauron.”
A War of Words
Spiritual warfare for the most part is nothing more psychological verbal and nonverbal warfare spewing forth from hell to humans, and then from humans to humans. This warfare is very real, very painful and very intense. Some scenarios, in which this warfare is never-ending, lead to mental breakdown and even suicide to shut out the condemning voices. The Bible is clear that our protection lies with the helmet of salvation (Eph. 6:17). Exactly what is the helmet of salvation? 1 Thess. 5:8 says it’s hope. When hope is gone, here comes depression or the spirit of heaviness. You can see how important hope is for us today! Satan always wants to steal our hope, which is the anchor of the soul. Basically, if we lose the anchor of our soul, we become very unstable inside, which leads to panic in the body, high blood pressure, migraines, you name it.
The often-quoted Isaiah 54:17 teaches us that words are indeed the weapons of warfare:
“But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced]; this is the righteousness or the vindication, which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord” (Amplified).
Satanic/demonic bombardment through words, suggested evil ideas, lies and threats are intended to instill fear and self-rejection in the life of the believer. These often come as our own thoughts with a voice inside our heads that sounds like our very own. These thoughts are housed in the area called the carnal mind from which all our trouble flows (Rom. 8:5-7). Carnal mindedness must be dealt with, or we will continually lose the war against evil bombardment. To be carnally minded simply means that the mind is set on the flesh or essentially following after human thinking. To be the opposite, or spiritually minded, a person must desire with all their being to let the Holy Spirit lead and fill their thoughts.
As one Christian writer put it, “We are a house of thoughts.” The house is filled with good, bad and evil input. If “excellent things” (Phil 4:8) dominate, our minds remain on God, and the result is consistent peace (Isa. 26:3). However, if the thoughts remain evilly focused – with or without our involvement – we lose and remain in a whirlwind of doubt, fear, despair and defeat. In our heads, we lose. “As a man thinks in his heart, he is” (Prov. 23:17). We respond emotionally to what’s in our heads, and even if we don’t act on these thoughts, we remain captive to them.
They overcame him by the Blood and the Word of their Testimony (Rev. 12:11)
God has given us many weapons with which to defeat the enemy, but there are two that are mentioned as key in the Book of Revelation: the Blood of Jesus and the word of our testimony. The Blood of Jesus is all-powerful. It removed and continues to remove every sin and has wrecked every satanic plan hatched in hell to keep people in bondage to sin and defeat. Problem is, the modern church preaches and teaches very little about it. If it was good enough for the early church, it’s far better for us today, as we confess the miracle working power of the Blood by our verbal confession. Here this: demons hate the Blood and the very mention of it, especially if it’s preached, is extremely powerful.
Continuous repentance is necessary for daily victory, not for justification but for sanctification. The Lord wants to get at every area of our lives that we are holding onto in defiance and self-will. As we do this, we’ll realize that Satan has lost his stranglehold in yet another area of darkness we had failed to bring to the light. A warning here: repentance is not the power, grace is. We can overdo trusting in repentance as our deliverer. It can even be fear driven and compulsive.
The “word of our testimony” means we know how to identify with the overcomer Jesus in us and confessing who He is to others. As long as we’re trusting in our own righteousness (hence the need for allowing God to search us – Psa. 139:23-24), we will fail. As the old song goes, “Trusting in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.”
The Game Called Self-Righteousness
One of my favorite teachers, Bob Mumford, said long into his more mature years as a Christian, he was once attacked while traveling to speak to a group of believers, with every kind of horrendous, ungodly thought a person might endure. The accusations were aimed at him – concerning his righteousness. Without trying to refute this avalanche of filth, he said, “I am righteous in Christ alone.” The demons fled. Would that work for you? Yes, ONLY if you KNOW you are righteous in Him alone. If you entertain some semblance of righteousness that you could boast about – you will lose every time! Satan knows how to play the game called “self-righteousness.” If we do something commendable, he’ll provoke us with pride, which will eventually bring us down. If we sin, he’ll attack us as hypocrites. The only safe place is Christ’s Righteousness, believing and standing in it!
The other side of the coin is knowing the Word and speaking it. As our minds receive the Word of God and speak it as reality, we experience overcoming power. The battle of words includes “both sides of the brain” – confronting evil thoughts and replacing them with the truth of the Bible. When you hear, “You’re really not up for the task. As a matter of fact, you’re just a failure,” consider Philippians 4:13 here: “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”
On a more daily level, you may hear, “You’re such a sorry Christian. Do you think He would ever want to use you? Come on, you’ll never amount to anything.” First you could say, “According to the Word of God, I’m His precious child, and very worthy of His love and trust.” And if you know the truth, as it’s found in Ephesians 1:1-15, for example, you could say any number of things concerning your life as a son or daughter, your joint heir-ship, His plans and purposes for your life, etc. However, if you don’t know the Word, how can you give a proper response to the accusations?
In the Old Testament are found many physical wars in which God gave instructions on how to defeat “the Mouth of Sauron.” The Bible says, it’s “first the natural and then the spiritual” (I Cor. 15:46). In 1 Cor. 10:11, Paul writes that the OT instruction was for us. ”These things happened to them (Old Testament people – emphasis mine) as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.” Physical warfare in the OT involved strategies given by God to defeat the enemy. But also note that it’s spiritual in that words were used from the enemy and against the people of God. Listen to Psa. 64 as David recounts how the words of the enemy attempted to defeat him, and then God’s word as a response:
1 Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint;
protect my life from the threat of the enemy.
2 Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,
from the plots of evildoers.
3 They sharpen their tongues like swords
and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.
4 They shoot from ambush at the innocent;
they shoot suddenly, without fear.
5 They encourage each other in evil plans,
they talk about hiding their snares;
they say, “Who will see it[b]?”
6 They plot injustice and say,
“We have devised a perfect plan!”
Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.
But hear the rest of the Psalm:
But God will shoot them with his arrows;
they will suddenly be struck down.
8 He will turn their own tongues against them
and bring them to ruin;
all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.
This is a picture of the “war of words” – those of the devil (worthless) against those of the Lord God. The question always is what will we do when combative situations arise? Will we trust in some sort of psychological verbal exchange with the enemy (he always wins in this situation) or realize we are being accused, berated and condemned by the “plots” of the “Mouth of Sauron” and that a spiritual response is needed?
How do we discern the difference between “the Mouth of Sauron” and the Voice of the Lord?
- We need to be still. We have to quiet our inner being to allow God to speak us. If we’re full of anxiety, worry and agitation, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to hear the quiet, still, gentle voice of God. A military manual published to help soldiers overcome Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) provided some wise instructions on how to overcome this disorder. Guess what was in the top 10? “Be still.”
- We need to understand and develop our human spirit to overcome satanic wiles. Much of a failure results from not understanding and employing the power of the Holy Spirit’s downloads to our human spirit. Satan is a spirit, and God gave us our spirit for spiritual battles, among other things!
- We need to understand that God’s voice is kind and not compulsive. We are LED by the Spirit and not compelled.
- God’s voice is never condemning, and even when He convicts, He does so with utmost respect for the person listening.
- We must bring the carnal mind to death on the cross. Jesus was crucified at Calvary (“the place of the skull”). He also paid for the redemption of our minds by wearing the excruciatingly painful “crown of thorns.” The pain and the Blood shed paid to crucify our minds and wash them at the same time. Both these actions need to be appropriated by faith. Don’t worry your mind won’t die – just the carnal aspects of it.
- We must be willing to let go of the constant barrage of worldly noise around us. We are so hemmed in by TV, music, and extraneous social chatter that God’s voice may be difficult to hear. If there’s nothing but incessant blab filling your head, the still small voice of the Lord will find it hard to break through to you.
- An obvious one is that we need to know the Word of God. In this New Age filled environment, people often can’t tell the truth from error. Only by careful study and being led by the Holy Spirit, as we read, can we digest truth the way it was intended. As our minds are redeemed, we can know great peace in a chaos filled world.
After all, all these are nothing more than standing with the King on our side and using His words (Matt. 4:4) in every situation to defeat our enemy. Listening to “the Mouth of Sauron” is the way to defeat, despair and failure. What your head has in it can make all the difference in the world!