960804AM DDD-5 Devil, Demons and Dinosaurs Series SPIRITUAL WARFARE & THE ORIGIN OF SATAN EZEKIEL 28:15
Late one night in 1521 in a massive stone room of Wartburg Castle, Matin Luther sat in the luminous ring of a flickering candle. Suddenly Luther scooped up his inkwell and violently flung it at the wall. Satan was an adversary so present he disrupted the translation of the Word. From that turning point in his ministry flowed the words of the greatest song of he reformation A Mighty Fortress is our God. 1. A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing; Our helper He amid the flood Of mortal ills prevailing; For still our ancient foe Doth seek to work us woe; His craft and pow’r are great, And armed with cruel hate, On earth is not His equal 2. Did we in our own strength confide, Our striving would be losing; Were not the right Man on our side, The Man of God’s own choosing; Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He; Lord Sabboth, His name, From age to age the same, And He must win the battle. 3. And tho’ this world, with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us, We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph thro’ us; The prince of Darkness grim, We tremble not for him;
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His rage we can endure, For lo, his doom is sure, One little word shall fell him.
4. That word above all earthly pow’rs, No thanks to them, abideth; The Spirit and the gifts are ours Thro’ Him who with us sideth: Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also; The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still, His kingdom is forever.
Satan is alive and well on planet earth this morning. This morning his silent invaders swirl through the air. Around us lurk infernal warriors of the Kingdom of Darkness. These are not science fiction aliens. Rather as super strong extraterrestrial intelligent beings their aim is clear. Their shocking strategy is so powerful, normal humans would pale if aware of it. These twisted demon hordes as deadly as a terrorists bomb, are locked on course. Their target is the human mind, the control center of every human being on the planet.
Like hideous locusts they feed on the filth of spiritual wickedness. They find resistance only from those few and far between warriors of the kingdom of light. That’s right, you and me this morning are enemies to Satan and his hosts. To even speak of this dark world of evil invites great and inexplicable difficulties. As this truth from God’s Word is taught you may experience strange and powerful turmoil.
The confidence we have assures us though that we are “more than conquerors through Christ”. As we enter the realm of spiritual warfare lets pray for peace. As we learn and grow today we will find Satan is a defeated foe, a weakened adversary and crushed enemy. We have the victory.
I. Satan is Real A. SATAN IS THE AUTHOR OF SIN. 1. He introduced sin into the universe Ezekiel 28:15 You [were] perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you. (NKJV) 2. He incited Adam and Eve to follow his rebellion against God Genesis 3:13 And the LORD God said to the woman, “What [is] this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (NKJV)
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B. SATAN IS THE AUTHOR OF SUFFERING and of many cases of sickness and disease in the New Testament. Note Acts 10:38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (NKJV); Luke 13:16 “So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound — think of it — for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” (NKJV). C. SATAN IS THE AUTHOR OF DEATH Hebrews 2:14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, (NKJV); but at the cross Christ triumphed over death Colossians 2:15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. (NKJV). D. SATAN IS THE AUTHOR OF TEMPTATION 1 Thessalonians 3:5 For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain. (NKJV); Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (NKJV) E. SATAN IS THE AUTHOR OF BONDAGE 2 Timothy 2:26 and [that] they may come to their senses [and escape] the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to [do] his will. (NKJV); 1 Timothy 3:7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (NKJV) II. Satan is Dangerous A. Satan Invades John 13:2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s [son,] to betray Him, (NKJV); Acts 5:3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back [part] of the price of the land for yourself? (NKJV). B. Satan Enters John 13:27 Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” (NKJV); Ephesians 4:27 nor give place to the devil. (NKJV). C. Satan Blinds 2 Corinthians 4:4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. (NKJV). D. Satan Steals Mark 4:15 “And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. (NKJV) E. Satan Multiplies Evil doers in Matthew 13:25 “but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. v.38-39 “The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked [one.] 39 “The
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enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. (NKJV) F. Satan Empowers wickedness in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (NKJV) III. Satan is Powerful A. Satan Hinders 1 Thessalonians 2:18 Therefore we wanted to come to you — even I, Paul, time and again — but Satan hindered us. (NKJV); B. Satan Resists Zechariah 3:1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. (NKJV) C. Satan Buffets 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (NKJV); D. Satan Tests Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift [you] as wheat. (NKJV) E. Satan Accuses Revelation 12:9-10 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. (NKJV) F. Satan Attacks 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 The coming of the [lawless one] is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (NKJV); Revelation 13:7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. (NKJV) IV. Satan can be Resisted A. WE MUST CLAIM GOD’S PROMISES Hebrews 2:14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, (NKJV); 1 John
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3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. (NKJV) B. WE MUST USE OUR ARMOR Ephesians 6:11-18 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in the heavenly [places.] 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints — (NKJV) C. WE MUST KEEP DISCIPLINED Ephesians 4:27 nor give place to the devil. (NKJV); Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (NKJV) D. WE MUST KEEP ALERT 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (KJV); 2 Corinthians 2:11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. (NKJV) E. We must Resist Satan by Faith James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (KJV); 1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (KJV); 1 John 5:18-19 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. 19 [And] we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. (KJV) V. Satan is Defeated A. Satan is Forever Cursed Genesis 3:14-15 So the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, You [are] cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” (NKJV)
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B. Satan is Limited Job 1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. (KJV); Job 2:4-7 And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. 5 But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. 6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. 7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. (KJV) C. Satan is Conquered Colossians 2:15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. (NKJV) D. Satan will be Cast out Revelation 12:9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (NKJV) E. Satan will be Confined Revelation 20:1-3 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is [the] Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. (NKJV) F. Satan will be Released Revelation 20:3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. (NKJV) G. Satan will be Cast into the Lake of Fire Revelation 20:10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet [are.] And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (NKJV) VI. Our Four Sources of Triumphant Power A. The Cross Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (KJV); Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (KJV) Hebrews 2:14-15 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (KJV)
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B. The Blood Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (KJV) C. The Name Philippians 2:9-11 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.; 2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. (KJV) The Word Matthew 4:1-11 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. (KJV); Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (KJV)
THE NATURE OF DEMONS
1. IMMATERIAL: They are spiritual beings, and as such are not material. Jesus said, “Thuch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have’ (Luke 24:39). Being spirits they are independent of matter. 2. INDEPENDENT: They are personal beings. Personality and corporeality are not to be confused. God is spirit, but He is not corporeal. The same arguments used to prove the personality of God can also be used to demonstrate the personality of demons. They have the power of thought, speech, and of action (Acts 19:15-16), since they have power to influence a
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human personality. The fact they “did not keep their own domain but abandoned their proper abode” (Jude 6) and that they sinned (2 Peter 2:4), shows they had the power of moral choice. They were sensitive to fear (Luke 8:3 1), and had the power of rage (Matthew 8:28). 3. INTELLIGENT: They are intelligent beings. The unclean spirit who controlled the man in the synagogue cried out, “I know who You are-the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24). Their replies to Christ were couched in intelligent language. The evil spirit said to the sons of Sceva, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?’ He could discern the true from the false. Some have suggested that the Greek word demon derives from a word meaning “intelligent.’ But their intelligence is debased and devoted to evil purposes. 4. INVISIBLE: They are invisible beings. Being incorporeal, they are neither visible nor tangible. There is no record in Scripture of their taking visible or tangible form. 5. CONVINCED: They are believing beings. There are no atheists among them. “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder’ (James 2:19). They have faith, but not saving faith, for it does not lead them to repentance. They recognize and confess the deity of Christ, but refuse to give Him their allegiance. They also know who are true believers, and they obey the authority of Jesus’ name (Acts 19:15). 6. BODYLESS: They are incorporeal beings, but seem to have a strange passion to possess living organisms, whether human or animal. “The demons entreated Him, saying, ‘Send us into the swine so that we may enter them.’ . . . The unclean spirits entered the swine” (Mark 5:12-13). “Then it goes, and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first’ (Matthew 12:45). It appears they must have control of bodily organs to enable them to execute their hellish assignments. Having once gained control over a human body, they seem to be able to come and go at will. “When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came'” (Luke 11:24). 7. POWERFUL: They are powerful beings, and exercise superhuman strength. And they are also able to impart superhuman strength to their victims. “A certain man … who was possessed with demons; … He was bound with chains and shackles … yet he would burst his fetters” (Luke 8:27,29). They delight to make use of human bodies for evil purposes. 8. COUNTLESS: They are innumerable and well organized, so they can represent their prince in any part of the world (Mark 5:9; Luke 8:30; Matthew 12:28-27). 9. DOOMED: They are painfully aware of their impending doom. “What do we have to do with You, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?’ (Matthew 8-29, italics added). Their destiny is “the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels’ (Matthew 25:41-).
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10. DEFILED: They are all wicked, but not all equally wicked. The unclean spirit who had gone out of a man returned with “seven other spirits more wicked than itsel .r (Matthew 12:45, italics added). 11. MALIGNANT: They have power to inflict physical disabilities. “My son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute; and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth” (Mark 9:17-18)1.
In C. S. Lewis’ The Screwcape Letters2, Uncle Screwtape offers his nephew a little advice on the goal and strategy of temptation.
You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy. It does not matter how small the sins are, provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one-the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts. Your affectionate uncle Screwtape’
Games Demons Play3 1 Corinthians 10:14-22
The New Testament is filled with actual cases of demons in contact with humans. Nothing in Scripture informs us that such contact ended with the first century. In fact, 1 Timothy 4:1-3 and 2 Timothy 3:1 link demons to some of the causes of our “latter-day” problems. There is no doubt that demons are as active and aggressive (yet subtle) in our day as in Jesus’ day. We shall uncover some of the deceptive ways demons attempt to make contact with humans, what takes place in the process of our becoming “demonized,” and how such can be avoided.
I. Facts About Demons (A Brief Review) A. Their Existence – Then and Now (Ephesians 6:10-13). The Scriptures do not set out to prove the existence of demons. Instead, we are warned of their existence and the battle that is going.on. 1. We are told to “be strong” (v. 10). 2. We are told to “put on the armor” (v. I 1). 3. We are told to “stand firm” (vv. I 1, 13). 1 J. Oswald Sanders, Satan is no Myth, p. 64-67. 2 Lewis, The Screwtope Letters, p. 56. 3 Sindoll, Occult, p.12.
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4. We are in a “struggle” (v. 12). 5. We are told that the demons’ organization is in the form of a chain of command (v. 12). B. Their Entrance – Ground and Hold (Ephesians 4:26,27) 1. Ground. The demons need a ground of entrance to get into our fives. “Ground” has been defmed as “anything that gives advantage to Satan.” Examples of “ground” that give opportunity for the devil and demons to enter are: uncontrolled anger. disobedience. religious fanaticism, false cultd, lust, sensuality, etc. According to Mrs. Penn Lewis, in her book War on the Saints, “This ground needs to be discovered, confessed to God as sin, and then cancelled in the name of Jesus Christ.” 2. Hold. Once a demon gains entrance, it must maintain a “hold” within the person. It is not always the same in every person. In King Saul’s case, his open disobedience to the Word opened the way for a demon to enter his life. The demon’s hold on him was depression and serious anxieties connected with murderous thoughts. C. Their Expulsion – Resisting and Casting (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9). These are the only two methods revealed in God’s Word. Jesus resisted Satan on Peter’s behalf from gaining entrance to his (Peter’s) fife (Luke 22). II. Contact With Demons A. Exposition: 1 Corinthians 10:14-22 1. Historical/Cultural Background. The going taboo in Paul’s day was eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols. This practice posed three problems. 2. The sacrificial dinner. This posed a problem for the Christian who was invited to this event where meat was served that hadjust been sacrificed to idols. 3. The meat market. This involved the question for the Christian regarding whether or not he should buy meat in the marketplace that had earlier been sacrificed to idols. 4. The private dinner party. The Christian who was invited to this event held by an unbelieving Gentile had to make the decision as to whether or not he would eat in this particular situation. 5. Practical Principles a) A dangerous activity may appear hannless on the surface (vv. 19,20). b) Participation brings contamination (v. 20b). c) Activities that encounter demons break fellowship with the Lord (vv. 21,22). III. Exhortation: Modern-Day Contacts A. Amusements to avoid
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1. Movies that follow the theme of Satan and his demons. 2. Television programs dealing with the occult. 3. Music that popularizes demonic activities. 4. Plays promoting contact with demons. B. Games which encourage contact with demons and their related activities should be avoided and burned! (This is the scriptural method of with such things.) C. Literature. The feeding of one’s mind on the lewd information and photographs so widely and easily available gives a ground of entrance for the demons of sensuality. D. Actual OccuItic Practice A list of those things which bring with them demonic contact: black magic, astrology, fetishes and talismans, fortune-telling, seance meetings, witchcraft, palmistry, spiritism, ESP (extra-sensory perception), pictures of witches and occult propaganda, voodoo dolls, candles with occult significance, incense, excessive superstition, religious practices that highlight the emotional, cults, Satan worship, tarot cards, ouija boards, crystal balls, black cubes and related occult practices. IV. Defense Against Demons A. Confession of Jesus Christ as Personal Lord and Savior Uohn 12:46). Full deliverance comes only through personally claiming His blood and His victory at Calvary on your behalf B. Cancellation of All Occult/Demonic Practices. Name the sin specifically and burn every trace of any tangible paraphernalia. A total removal and destruction is the only cancellation that God accepts. Acts 19:11-20 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. 13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. 19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed. (KJV) V. The Equipment (vv. 14-18) A. Defensive Equipment (vv. 14-17a)
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1. Belt of Truth. Implement of battle hung from the belt which held the soldier’s robe together. This means “honesty,” “truthfulness,” “integrity,” and “sincerity.” — Duplicity brings defeat!. 2. Breastplate of Righteousness. This was a heavy piece of armor that completely enclosed the body. This means personal, daily righteousness maintained by confession of sin. — Impurity will bring defeat!. 3. Shoes of Peace. Soles of the soldier were impregnated with heavy, spike-fike hobnafls which gave him a good footing. This carries with it the idea of “readiness” or “peace of mind” — Anxiety brings defeat! 4. Shield of Faith. It was a portable door which the soldier hid behind. The shield served as the buffer from the flaming darts of the enemy. Faith extinguishes all the flaming missiles of the evil one. — Doubt brings defeat! 5. Helmet of Salvation. The meaning of the helmet is assurance of salvation. — Lack of assurance brings defeat! B. Offensive Equipment (Vv. 17b, 18) 1. Sword of the Spirit. Memorizing the Scripture is essential to effectiveness in battle. 2. Prayer. This includes petition at all times for others as well as yourself. 3. Alertness. The good soldier must be ever alert.
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TRANSCRIPT OF 960804 AM
Let’s open in our Bibles to Ezekiel 28. We’re in part two of a look at the devil, demons and dinosaurs. And I’m going to have my little dinosaurs and some extra ones that someone brought.
In fact, last Sunday I mentioned dinosaurs in the service and when I walked out of the front door late last Sunday afternoon, there were two dinosaurs looking in the window of our front door. Someone had left them on our porch, and they’re tall enough they were looking in the window. And you should have seen my children pointing this out to me. And they’d heard so much about dinosaurs they didn’t know any lived in Pecan Grove. And I said, yes, they do, out on our porch.
But next Sunday night, Lord willing, I’m going to share about dinosaurs and where they fit. And you’ve always wondered where they came, from and how come they were so big, and why or why not they’re around anymore, etc., etc. That’ll be next Sunday night.
Next Sunday morning before we come to the Lord’s table we’re going to look at demons. And it’s very fitting because the apostle Paul commanded the Corinthians that they had to choose between the cup of demons or the cup of the Lord. And he talked to Christians and what he told them was, through their activities in the week, they were coming into contact with demons and they were coming on Sunday to the Lord’s table. And they weren’t able to celebrate in God’s sight in a holy way because they had had their contact with the defilement of demons. And you say, well I’m glad we don’t live in Corinth. I think there’s more opportunities for demon contact in 1996 than there were in the year 56 AD. And so we’ll talk about that next Sunday.
But this morning we’re going to look at the devil in the year 1521, which was a long time ago. A young Roman Catholic priest who had come to Christ and had renounced Romanism was sitting in a massive stone room in a castle and the castle was called Wartburg Castle, it was in Germany, and the young man’s name was Martin Luther. And Martin Luther was poring over the manuscripts of the Hebrew scripture and was translating the Bible into the German tongue of the people. And one of the greatest accomplishes that Luther did in his lifetime was to translate the scriptures and take them from being a book in the church to being a book that people had in their home. And they read and it was a real impetus to the Reformation.
But Martin Luther, as he was sitting at that little desk in a luminous circle of light from the candle he was working on late at night, was so aware of Satan’s presence hindering him, quenching his desire to go on with the scripture, that he tells us in his writings that he picked up the inkwell and he flung it against the wall where he saw or felt that the devil was standing and resisting his translation.
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In fact, I remember going through that very spot and seeing the stain. I don’t know if they keep painting it on or what, but there is still a stain on the wall over his desk where supposedly that inkwell had crashed and the ink had gone into the wall.
But from that experience Martin Luther wrote a hymn that all of us know and it’s called “A Mighty Fortress is our God.” But listen to the third stanza ‘cause this is his testimony. “And though this world with devils filled should threaten to undo us, we will not fear for God has willed his truth to triumph through us. The Prince of Darkness grim we tremble not for him. His rage we can endure for lo, his doom is sure. One little word shall fell him.”
This morning I hope you see that that is true. And that Satan does not like to be the topic of our study as believers and he will hinder and thwart us in that attempt, because we will find from the scripture that he is a defeated enemy. He is a crushed foe, and he is a totally, totally out of the power that he thought he could have adversary to us because of the cross of Christ.
But Satan is alive and well on planet earth this morning. And even as we sit here, his silent invaders swirl through the air around us. And lurking are his infernal warriors of his kingdom of darkness. Now these are not science fiction figures that we can watch in comfort on the screen, but rather the scriptures tell us they are super strong, extra-terrestrial, intelligent beings. And they have a very singular aim. Their shocking strategy is so powerful that normal humans would pale if they were aware of it. These twisted demon hordes are as deadly as a terrorist bomb and they’re locked on course, and their course is to target the human mind and to enter the control center of every human being on this planet and to influence them. And like hideous locusts they feed on the filth of spiritual wickedness and they find resistance only from those few and far between soldiers of Christ.
That’s right. You and me this morning offer resistance to what Satan is doing on this planet. We are enemies to Satan. We are enemies to his hosts, and thus to even speak of this dark world of evil invites his great and inexplicable entrance, bringing difficulty to our lives. As the truth from God’s word has taught us, may we experience His power, though Satan should resist us even this morning. The confidence we have assures us that though we are more, that through the word of God, we are more than conquerors in Christ. And as we enter into the realm of spiritual warfare, let’s pray for peace. And as we learn and grow today we will find that Satan is a defeated foe, a weakened adversary and a crushed enemy.
And I want to say that it’s true that whenever you talk about spiritual warfare, whenever you talk about the occult and demonic activity and Satan himself, that there is an oppression that comes to all who are seeking to be more than conquerors. The apostle Paul said that he was constantly thwarted by Satan as
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he exposed him. The Lord Jesus Christ wrestled with agony in the garden as Satan tried to make him turn from God’s plan. And so this morning, as we look into God’s word, let’s once again bow and ask the Lord to open our eyes as we see Satan is real and see how he is defeated.
Oh Lord, I pray that you will show us from your word the truth that we can resist and triumph over the evil one. And Father, I pray that by your grace you would keep our minds from wandering, that you would keep the fiery darts of the evil one from penetrating our shield of faith. Help us as was read this morning in the elder’s prayer scripture that we would cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of you, oh Christ. And let us bring every thought into your captivity, that it might be obedience to you that we live. We pray this for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
This morning there are five things I’d like to share with you. 1) Satan is real. I’m going to give you about 20 references; you might want to jot ‘em down. There’s space on the back of your bulletin if you’d like to write them down. Satan is real and first of all he, Satan, is the author of sin. Ezekiel 28 where I told you to turn initially says this in verse 15. Satan, it’s speaking of. “You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created ‘til iniquity was found in you.” Satan is the one that introduced sin to the universe. He is the author of sin. God is not the author of sin. God allowed the anointed cherub, the most powerful and elevated of all created beings, He allowed Satan to rebel against Him. And Satan became the author of sin, introducing sin to the universe.
It says in Genesis chapter three that Satan incited Adam and Eve to follow in his rebellion against God. And the Lord God said, Genesis 3:13, to the woman, “What is this you have done? And the woman said, the serpent deceived me and I ate.”
Secondly, not only is Satan the author of sin, but Satan is the author of suffering. You might want to look in the book of Acts chapter ten. And this is a very, very interesting verse that talks about Satan. Satan is the author of suffering and of many cases of sickness and disease in the New Testament. It says in Acts 10:38 in the middle of this message that Peter is giving, this is what Peter says. He says, “And how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and Jesus went about doing good and healing all,” listen, “who were oppressed by the devil.” Satan is the author of suffering. He is the author of sin. Luke 13:16 says this. Christ said, “So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan bound.” Think of it. For 18 years be loosed from this bond on the sabbath. Satan had oppressed. Remember the woman who was bent over and she could not stand up, and she’d been bound in this condition for 18 years by Satan? Satan is the author of suffering.
Thirdly, Satan is the author of death. It says in Hebrews 2:14, “Inasmuch then as children have been made partakers of flesh and blood, he himself,” that’s Jesus,
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“likewise shared in the same,” listen, “that through death Jesus might destroy him who had the power of death.” That is the devil. Satan is the author of death. And Satan was destroyed in his power by Christ. It says in Colossians 2:15 that at the cross that Christ triumphed over death. Paul said this, “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them at the cross.” Jesus Christ came and defeated Satan’s hold on death. Satan is the author of sin, the author of suffering, the author of death.
Fourthly, Satan is the author of temptation. He is truly the one who makes the tests that we go through into temptations. In 1 Thessalonians 3:5 the apostle Paul says this, “For this reason when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know of your faith lest by some means the tempter, Satan, had tempted you and our labor might be in vain.” You see it’s possible for Christians to be so tempted that they turn from obedience to the faith. Now, they cannot turn from salvation, because God is able to keep them from falling and to present them faultless before His presence with great joy. But a test they go through, whether it be a physical suffering, whether it be an emotional suffering, whether it be some type of spiritual war, they can allow the test to be turned into a temptation and cause them to turn away from obedience to God. Satan is the author of temptation. For no man, when he is tempted is tempted of God. For God cannot be tempted with evil neither tempteth he ever any man. But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, James says, and enticed. And then when lust hath conceived it bringeth forth sin, and sin when it’s finished bringeth forth death. Satan is the author of temptation. In Matthew four in verse one, Jesus was led by the spirit to the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Satan is the author of temptation. Satan is the one who brings to us the bait for us to yield to the flesh, whether it be the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh or the pride of life. He brings us the opportunity to yield and to sin against God.
Satan is also the author of bondage. You want to look at 2 Timothy in chapter two, the very interesting verse. Second Timothy chapter two describes those who yield by habit to Satan. And it says this, “and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” See, Satan is the author of bondage. He likes to get people into bondage to him. He likes to get people to be his servants, and when a Christian comes into bondage to Satan, when they fall into his snare, they are denying the one that released them.
In fact this morning in the Discovery class I told them that simple theology is this, that you and I are dead in our sins and we are there when Christ meets us and he redeems us, He buys us out of sin. He justifies us, He raises us up into a right standing, and then He pulls us closer to Him every day the rest of our life. That’s sanctification. But when Christ found us, He brought us out of the slave market of sin. We were dead. And Satan is one who wants to keep us that way. He wants to not let us remember that we are new creations in Christ. He wants
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us to forget that the shackles have been broken and the prison doors have been set open for us to be set free.
In 1 Timothy 3:7, one of the qualifications of spiritual leaders, the elder shepherds of the church, says this, “Moreover he, this one who leads the flock, must have a good testimony of those who are outside lest he fall into reproach in the snare of the devil.” Satan is always baiting his hooks and throwing them out and trying to reel in any who will take and follow his ways of bondage.
Well, 1) Satan is real. He is really the author of sin. He’s really the author of suffering. He’s really the author of death. He’s really the author of temptation. He is really the author of bondage. And if you find someone that is bound to an addiction, to some filthy habit, to some pernicious way, Satan is on the other end of the chain. Because Satan is the author of those things.
But secondly, Satan is dangerous. And I hope you realize this morning that he’s not wearing red tights, you know, and has the little pitchfork with the pointy tail. He is the most malignant, dangerous, insidious, foe that can be found in this universe. 1) He’s dangerous because Satan invades. Look at the gospel of John chapter 13, and look what Satan can do to unbelievers. John’s gospel chapter 13 in verse two. Satan can invade. It says in verse two, “and the supper being ended, the devil already having put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him.” You know what it says a little bit later? Satan entered him. You see, Judas was such a key figure in the betrayal of Christ that he planted this thought that Satan planted into Judas’ mind that Judas, in his jealousy or whatever prompted him, he said, you know what, you can make some money. You can betray this fellow. And so Judas thought about that and that’s usually where sin starts. We just think about it and we say, oh, that’s not a good thought, but we still think about it. And we say, oh. Pretty soon we think about it so long we start planning and then we do it. But it was so important that Satan himself entered and invaded Judas to accomplish the betrayal.
It says this in Acts five verse three. But Peter said to Ananias, “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to hold back part of the price of land?? Now, with Judas, Judas was not a believer. Judas was an apostate. Judas was a fake. But Ananias was a believer, and Ananias in the early church allowed Satan to fill his heart.
You see, you and I have to realize that Satan is dangerous. For unbelievers, he can enter them. He can possess them. For believers, he can fill our hearts with his malignancy.
You know we don’t have any trouble thinking about germs. I have a very close friend who is an anti-infectious pharmacologist. And that’s a big word for the guy who learns how to take chemicals and to destroy germs and viruses and everything else before they destroy the person. And this man has spent his life,
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and I’ve told you about him before, he grows tissue. He has living organs from different people that have died, and they’ve harvested these organs and he keeps them all alive. And they’re feeding them and they’re growing in his office, in his lab. And he goes in and he’ll cut off a little of that organ and he infects it, and then he injects it and tries to kill what he infects it with. You know, we don’t have any trouble with that. We know about germs. And when people sneeze, you know, we turn our heads and tell ‘em, you know, cover your mouth when you sneeze and cough. And children, you know my mother used to always say if you lick doorknobs you’ll get sick. Well, I haven’t licked a single doorknob since then. Because I learn quick about those germs. But you know what? We have no problem with germs. But did you know there is an infection and a contagion and there’s just a terrible virus, and it’s all the demonic and Satanic-induced evil. And we don’t guard ourselves from that.
I think it’s very interesting that most parents spend a lot of money sterilizing the silverware but their children are sitting in front of an open sewer outlet in the living room. And they’re sitting right underneath it like this, watching it. And all of Satan’s lies, and all the filth, and all the trash, they’re just ingesting like that. And it just is permeating them and they’re getting infected with spiritual wickedness. And it’s not just children. Satan invades.
But secondly, Satan enters. And this is what I was alluding to in John 13:27, a little bit later in chapter 13, this is what Satan can’t do to believers. It says this, John 13:27, “Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him, entered Judas.” Satan came and as a spirit being, he is incorporeal, that means he doesn’t have a body he was a spirit, he actually entered inside of Judas’ body, and he became the active agent controlling Judas.
And it says this in verse 27, “and Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” See, it was no, I mean, Jesus, being God the son, could see Satan. He saw him. He saw him coming. He saw the entrance that Judas had made for Satan. He saw Satan invade and enter into Judas’ body. And Jesus spoke to Judas and Satan. He says, get on with it. And Satan entered him.
Second Corinthians 4:4 tells us a third element about the danger of Satan. The one who can invade and enter also can blind. Second Corinthians 4 in verse four gives us a real insight into why, when we talk to our neighbors, I mean, have you ever spoken to a neighbor that you love or a relative, as my wife is ministering to her family this weekend, and if she talks to them about the gospel, they’re kind of like this. Have you ever noticed that, they go, I don’t get it at all. No, I don’t see anything. What are you talking about? I don’t see anything. What are you talking about? Well listen to 2 Corinthians 4:4, “whose minds the God of this age, that’s Satan, has blinded, who do not believe lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”
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Satan has put blinders over the eyes of our world. And Satan cannot be everywhere. He’s not omnipresent. Satan is not all powerful. He’s not omniscient. In fact, you this morning know far more than he does ‘cause he can’t understand this book. And that’s why he wants to keep you from it. And the more you understand of this book, the more you see that he is disarmed and he is defeated. But he so fears the word of God that he spends his time finding ways for people to have their minds blinded so that they can’t believe, so that the light of Christ cannot shine on them, so they can’t see Christ as an image of God. Satan blinds. And that’s why debating is not always profitable.
You know a lot of people they write these lurid and wicked accusations against Christ. Satan has blinded their heart. The only thing we can do is to pray that the spirit of God will soften that heart. I cannot defeat a blinded person in my own strength. I can pray that God will open their eyes, Acts 26:18, and turn them from darkness to light. Turn them from the power of Satan unto God, that they might receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance, because Satan blinds.
Fourthly, Satan steals. It says in Mark’s gospel, chapter four in verse 15, that these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sewn, and when they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sewn in their hearts.
You know a real joy I have is when I get the opportunity to share the gospel with someone. I write their name down and I pray, and I pray, and I pray, and I pray for them. What do I pray for? That the word that was shared with them, Satan wouldn’t take away. That it would find root in their lives, and that it would build fruit, and that they would come to Christ.
Do you pray for the people that you share the gospel with? Do you pray for the people that our teams share the gospel with when they go out on evangelism explosion? Do you pray for the word of God to take root in people’s hearts that Satan would be kept from stealing that away? Satan steals. Satan is dangerous. Satan also multiplies evil-doers. It says in Matthew’s gospel chapter 13 in verse 25, “but while men slept, the enemy came and sewed tares among the wheat and went his way.” In verse 38 and 39 of the same chapter says, Christ was explaining this, the apostle said, we don’t get it. Who goes around sewing weeds at night? Never heard of such a thing. And Jesus said this in verse 38, Matthew 13:38, “The field is the world. Good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one,” that’s Satan. The enemy who sewed them was the devil. The harvest is the end of the age. The reapers are the angels. What does Satan do? Satan is multiplying evil-doers. He’s as fast as he can sewing seeds to get as many evil-doers as he can.
And so, you and I, our goal and our purpose in life is not to Christianize the world. We can never do that. This world is under the control of the god of the prince of the power of the air, the god of this world, Satan. Our goal is by the
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grace of God to see as many individuals come to Christ, because we will never be able to keep up with the sewing that Satan does of evil-doers. The Lord says many go Satan’s way. Few go Christ’s way. My job is to work my whole life with the few. Now I would pray that there would be many “few.” But there are always going to be few. Few there be that find the straight and narrow way.
And you should be thankful this morning that God led you, if you by faith have come to Christ, that God led you. Because straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to righteousness. But broad is the way, wide is the road that leads to destruction. And that’s where the many are.
Did you know Jesus spent so much of his ministry talking to groups just like this and trying to convince people out of their smugness that they thought they were going to heaven. And you know one of the biggest problems we have in Tulsa and in the United States and our world today is there are so many people that have just enough of the truth that they think they’ve made it. And they don’t realize that it’s only by simple faith in Christ personally that they can know life eternal.
I hope that this morning you’re not on the broad road sitting next to a few people that are on the narrow road. I hope that you have come to embrace Jesus personally by faith for yourself. Because if you’re not careful, Satan will steal away the words you even know.
Finally, Satan is dangerous because he empowers wickedness. It says this in 2 Corinthians chapter 11. And 2 Corinthians eleven is a very key passage, because it tells us that Satan’s main battleground is not in the fleshly things, you know, the bars, and drugs, and immorality and alternate lifestyles. That’s not where he primarily works. I mean, most people just enjoy doing that on their own. Satan’s working in the religious realm.
And Satan primarily masquerades as an angel of light. Satan goes around looking, in fact his ultimate deception is when he comes impersonating Jesus himself. And you know what, he’s going to get the whole world, except for a few, to follow him when they think he is Jesus. He is called the anti- what? (Christ.) Yeah, and that doesn’t mean against Christ. It means in place of Christ. He’s going to come as the alternate Jesus. I mean the one that everybody can love because you can love ‘em your own way. And you can worship him by idols, and through demons, and you can worship him through immorality, and you can worship him through drugs. You just come because all roads and all religions lead to this Jesus.
And I tell you what, that’s what’s going on right now. And so many churches and denominations and religions in our world are part of Satan’s plan, because what they tell people is, “Don’t be exclusive. Don’t be like those narrow, bigoted, fundamental people that think there’s only one way. All roads lead to God.” And
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like recently some theologians said, they said, the God of the Old Testament can be called “Allah” if it’s in an Arabic translation. He can be called “Buddha” if it’s in a southeast Asian translation, but He’s just the one God. And that’s not true. And that’s Satan’s lie because Satan, in 2 Corinthians chapter 11, it says this, “for such are false apostles, deceitful workers transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.” These people don’t go around as Lamas and Yogis, they go around as apostles of Christ. They go around in a church that has Christ in it somewhere. They go around with a Bible under their arm. And they say, oh, you don’t have to believe, no, no, miracles. Oh, no, no. You don’t have to believe the blood of Christ, oh, that’s kind of messy, that’s awful to talk about. We don’t… Sin?
I remember one, the guy with the highest Nielsen ratings for his television show that wears a robe and smiles all the time, you know what he said once? He said if I believed in sin you’d hear me talk about it. And he doesn’t talk about sin. He doesn’t believe in sin. When I did my Masters dissertation, I wrote him. I said, do you believe in hell? He said, Son, if I believed in hell, I’d talk about it. If I believed in a virgin birth, I’d talk about it. If I believed in those things, I’d talk about them. I don’t talk about those things. And the world follows his upbeat, positive message which denies the deity and the necessity and the power of salvation, which is Christ dying for sinners, in their place.
Angels of light, apostles of Christ, they masquerade. No wonder verse 14, “for Satan himself,” Paul said in 2 Corinthians 11, “transforms himself into an angel of light.” Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transformed themselves into ministers of righteousness whose end will be according to their works. The battleground today is in spiritual darkness masquerading as light.
And that’s why Satan’s goal since the Tower of Babel is to have one world church. And you know what? This book claims and prophesies that’s the way we’re going. And guess what? You don’t have to go very far to find it happening. There are joint communions and inter-conferences between everybody. There was a religious convocation recently in Chicago that had members of every global religious community. There were people that worshipped snakes, and people that prayed to sticks, and there were people that worshipped the demons and there were almost every denomination of what we would call Christians, and they all met together and they all said we’ve got to find a way that we can all, you know, get along, and worship the same God. And that’s where our world is going to. Because Satan is dangerous. Satan can invade. Satan can enter. Satan blinds. Satan steals the word. He multiplies evil-doers and he empowers wickedness by masquerading as truth.
1. Number one Satan is real. 2. Satan is dangerous. 3. Satan is powerful. Satan hinders God’s work in our lives. Write this verse down if you’re taking notes. 1 Thessalonians 2:18. Paul said this,
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therefore we (that’s Paul and Luke) wanted to come to you. Even I, Paul, time and time again, put a roadblock in the way. That’s what Paul said. He thwarted us.
Did you know that Satan can thwart you from doing God’s will? That’s his powerful, powerful way. Now ultimately, we talked about that in the Discovery class, God’s truth will triumph. His will — will be done. But on the short term, Satan can thwart, can hinder, can roadblock you and me. Satan is powerful. Satan can truly hinder us. Here’s another one. Zechariah 3:1. Satan can not only hinder us, he can stand right next to us and resist all that we’re doing. Listen to Zechariah in the Old Testament, chapter 3 verse one. “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord.” Here’s this Old Testament high priest and he’s standing before the Angel of the Lord which is the pre-incarnate Christ. It’s Christophany. It’s Christ before he was incarnated as a child and born of the virgin Mary. He eternally existed and he showed up in the Old Testament as the angel of the Lord. He’s the one that led the children of Israel out of Egypt. He was all over the place doing lots of great things. He is the creator. But there he was standing and Joshua the high priest in Zechariah 3:1 is standing and ministering before him. And listen to this, what it says in verse one of Zechariah three. “and at his right hand Satan stood opposing him.” So here’s the high priest in his outfit, here’s Jesus, and there’s Satan.
I mean, it reminds me, have you seen and read in the paper about these, and I don’t know if all of them are on the level, but there are some interesting servants of the Lord working down there at the Olympics, preaching on street corners and ministering. And I can just see them telling a group of these people that they must repent and turn to Christ. And I can see Satan standing right next to them going, “Oh, don’t believe that. Don’t listen to this.” You know? And he’s stealing. He’s running around getting all the gospel that hits their hearts and he’s trying to resist that message.
Satan resists what we do. And you can be seeking to have a Bible study in your place where you work or at your school and Satan will be standing right beside you, and I’ll tell you what, since he’s not omnipresent, as we’ll see next week, he has got hundreds of millions if not billions of little demonic warriors that are right along with him, that are resisting everything we do, that are road-blocking us, that are thwarting us, that are stealing stuff out of the minds of people, and that are implanting in evil thoughts and evil desires and accusations.
In fact, one of the ways that Satan most works in the church is when he can find a foothold in the hearts and minds of God’s people and cause them to ruin the most powerful thing we have in Christ. I want to show you that for just a second. James chapter three. Now this is one some of you need to wake up. Wives, could you bump your husbands, please? And James chapter three, I want to show you something. Because probably the most powerful activity Satan can
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have in our midst, I doubt there are very many of you going home this afternoon with your Ouija board, you know, or your black cube, trying to get a message from the spirits, and you’re not sitting around over a grave with a candle trying to seance and do some necromancy. I don’t think you do that. You probably aren’t involved in looking at the livers of animals, trying to do heptascopty or anything else like that, trying to figure out the future from occultic means. But you know what? You’ll be tempted to give a foothold to the devil to destroy the powerful witness we have for Christ in this community of the oneness we have in Christ.
Did you know that the church is unique because you can have rich people and poor people and God uses both. And you can have skilled people and unskilled people, and you can have beautiful people and you can have not so beautiful people. And you can bring in every part of the social strata and bring them and they get homogenized into a marvelous oneness in Christ. It’s the only place in the world where it works like that.
But you know what Satan wants to do? He wants to disrupt that unity. Listen to how he does it in James chapter three. “Who is wise,” verse 13 of James three, “and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.” “But,” verse 14, “if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your heart, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual,” what? Demonic or devilish, right? Now listen, “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” What happens in the church when a little outbreak of confusion shows up?
I heard about one Tuesday night. One of our elders reported that someone came to them and said, “Well, we’re taking bets on when the next split happens at Tulsa Bible Church.” Do you know that was a demon speaking? Did you know that Satan would like nothing less than for there to be, verse 16, envy. Why that group’s getting more powerful in the church than our group and they’re, oh, they’re stacking the deck, you know. We’re going to militate against that. We’re going to cause some trouble. Envy. Confusion. Do you know how we get confusion in the church? People deal in half-truths and no truths and they call it, “Could you pray with me? Have you heard? Now it’s just a prayer request. Don’t share it with anybody. But have you heard what so-and-so is doing or what, you know, the elders are doing, or what the deacons are doing, or what the Sunday school teachers are doing, or what the youth group is doing? Why, have you heard what they’re doing?” And you know when we track these down, about 99% of them have one shred of truth in there and the rest is absolutely false. And what does it cause? It causes confusion and it causes every evil thing and it’s based on self-seeking and ambition and envy and it’s earthly and it’s sensual and guess what? It’s demonic. Because it’s not from God.
If someone comes to you critical of the unity that we have in Christ in this church, they are not being prompted by the Holy Spirit. The wisdom is not descending
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from above. ‘Cause what does that wisdom look like? Look at verse 17. The wisdom that is from above, the stuff that comes from God, is pure. It will cause peace. Hmm. Peaceable. It’s gentle. It’s willing to yield. Doesn’t say, if I don’t get my way, that’s it. I’m out of here. Boy, that’s never from God. Just test it, you know? Just check when you see someone’s behavior, you can tell which direction the power is coming from. If it’s fleshly, if it’s unwilling to yield, if it’s causing confusion, if it’s truly exhibiting selfish ambition, it’s coming from beneath. It’s earthly and it’s demonic. But if it’s pure and peaceable and gentle and easy to be entreated, if it’s full of mercy and good fruits, if it’s without partiality, if it’s without hypocrisy, it’s wisdom that comes from above.
You know the best way to deal with this, if someone comes to you and says, “Well, I’ve heard that Tulsa Bible Church is harboring people in sin.” You go, where’d you hear that from? Why don’t you go back to that person and tell them that they ought to talk to one of the elders at the church. Don’t infect me. Because I don’t know anything about it, and I don’t want to know anything about it because I know this. I know that God is at work, and that God is working through the leaders and through me as I serve Him, and I trust them, and I pray for them, and why don’t you talk to them instead of you telling someone else and someone else telling someone else? Because Satan’s desire is to disrupt the unity of the spirit that we have and the bond of peace. Because Satan is dangerous. Because Satan is powerful. He will hinder God’s work here. He will resist us. He will stand at our side. He will buffet us and he will seek to accuse us.
I want to close with chapter 12 of Revelation. Just open to the last book of the Bible and I want to show you something neat before we go. I remind you that Satan is real this morning. He is really the author of sin, and suffering, and death, and temptation, and bondage. He is dangerous because he wants to invade our lives, he wants to enter unbelievers, he wants to blind them, he wants to steal the word, he wants to multiply evil-doers and just empower false teaching. He is powerful in our midst because this morning he can hinder us, and resist us, and buffet us.
But you know people are never more like Satan than when they are accusatory, because that’s Satan’s biggest ministry. Look at Revelation 12:9,10. So “The great dragon was cast down, that serpent of old called the devil. He is cast to the earth to deceive the whole world and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Now salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ has come for the accuser of our brethren who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.’”
You know what Satan does right now? He is right now in the process of going Na-na-na-na-na-na. Did you see what they just did? Uh-huh? Are they one of yours, God? Look what they just did. Look what they just thought. Look what
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they just said. Ooohhh. Look how he treated them. He didn’t…. He’s just up there accusing the brethren. That’s his infernal ministry.
Do you want to be like Satan today? Have a ministry of accusing people. Accuse them falsely or rightly and you stand shoulder to shoulder with the most malignant, most wicked, most depraved, most evil being there is. Because all Satan likes to do is point at us, and point out our sins, and accuse us to God.
You know what God says? There is now, therefore, no condemnation to those who are in Christ who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit. And when we don’t walk after the spirit and after the flesh, the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s son, cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
How do we conquer? Four ways. We have to learn this morning that Satan is defeated because we have the cross. Jesus Christ triumphed over him on the cross. We have the blood, verse 11 we just read, says they overcame him by the blood of the lamb. And what can wash away my sins and all of Satan’s accusations? Nothing, what? But the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. We have the cross. We have the blood. We have the name. Wherefore God has exalted Him highly and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow. Of things in heaven, and things on the earth, and things under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God. And Paul concluded with, “Thanks be unto God who always causes us to triumph in Christ.” You know this morning you have the cross, you have the blood, you have the name, and you go out of here carrying the word.
And when Jesus faced Satan face-to-face in the wilderness, He didn’t bind him, he didn’t hex him , he didn’t do any incantations. He did just what you and I are supposed to do this morning. He spoke the word of God to him.
Do you want to be a more than conqueror this morning? Find out and make sure you’re underneath the shadow of the cross. Make sure you got saved God’s way, that you have come humbly confessing that you are a lost sinner and only the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse you, and when you’re under the shadow of the cross, you have partaken of the blood of Christ. You’re trusting in His name and you find this book is your sword of the spirit wherewith you can resist the evil one.
Let’s bow for a word of prayer this morning and ask God to bless to our hearts this truth. And then we’re going to sing, ladies, just for your being alert, two stanzas of number 26. Let’s bow for a word of prayer. Oh, Father, we thank you this morning that Satan is defeated, disarmed, and crushed but only when we walk your way, when we yield to your spirit, and when we deny him all the snares and advantages and places that he wants to take in our lives. I pray that none of us would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Satan this week and be an accuser, a
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divider, that none of us would let him use us to snare others but rather we would walk in triumph and let your wisdom from above be that which flows out of our lives. Help us to conquer through the cross, the blood, the name, and the word. In your precious name we pray. Amen.