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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
April 11, 2010
We concluded our study of 2 Peter six weeks ago. You will recall that the apostle gave very strong warnings against the false teachers and mockers that exist in our own time. Each of us must be diligent to follow the truth of God’s word while being on guard against their deceptions lest we be led astray by them from our steadfastness in following the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that this is so critical for us that the Sunday before I left for California I started a follow-up series in which I want to expose the foundational errors of false philosophies and religions. I want you to be well equipped to quickly recognize the truth from error so that you will be able to defend yourself and those around you against them.
I began this series with a sermon on the importance of knowing and acting upon the truth. (See: A Faith Worth Believing). Those who fall for the lies and distortions of false teachers and mockers do so because of their own failure to know and act upon the truth. Remember that truth is “the state of being the case: fact” and “the property of being in accord with fact or reality.” Truth is that which actually conforms to reality. In our own time people tend to define truth according to their perceptions of what is real, but our perceptions are easily fooled even to the point of being the opposite of actual reality. Ignorance of the truth leaves a person very vulnerable to those who present an alternative, so though it can take a lot of work to determine the truth, it is well worth the effort.
Over the next couple of months I want to expose the foundational errors of false religions and philosophies as well as the major heresies of the cults. They are dangerous and they do desire to lead you away from your steadfastness in following Jesus Christ and into their errors. I will not be getting into a lot of their specific beliefs except as illustrations of their major errors. There are just too many false religions, philosophies and cults to try to expose all their many false teachings. My hope is that by exposing the errors in their foundational beliefs you will recognize them quickly and defend yourself against them before the rest of their theology is even presented. When the theological foundations of a system are rotten, whatever is built upon them will be of minor significance by comparison. No matter how beautiful the rest of the house may be, without a solid foundation the whole thing will collapse.
In the weeks to come I will be addressing the following topics: Cultic Oppression – The errors of man made theology; Experts of Enigmas – The errors of mystery based theology; Tickets to Heaven – The errors of the market based theology; What’s Emerging? – The errors of Post-Modern theology; Spiritual Confusion – The errors of experience driven theology; Religions of My Fathers – The errors of tradition based theology and Philosophical Failure – The errors of secular philosophical systems. This morning we will be examining Demonic Deception – The errors of angelic based theology.
While there are many differences with each of these, all of them do share a common fatal flaw. All of them have a source of authority that they consider to be superior to the Bible. This is true of both those systems that reject the Bible and those that recognize it, for those that do use the Scriptures can interpret the Bible only according to their own source of authority.
In once sense, demonic deception will be at the root of all false religions,philosophies and cults for demons will quickly move in to empower and capture the hearts and minds of those who are not following the truth of God. Paul makes this point clear in 1 Corinthians 8:4 stating that idols are nothing. He then brings the point up again in 1 Corinthians 10:19 before commenting that the problem in idolatry is that the Gentiles were sacrificing to demons. These evil spirits are the power behind idolatry. They are also the power behind the false religions and cults for any detailed study will uncover the evidence of demonic influences in them. Often it only takes asking a simple question to find this out.
When Diane was in college, she had to take a course in cultural anthropology. A shaman was invited to speak at one class, and Diane asked him where he got his power. He replied, “demons.” Since that was in California, the other students just took it in stride as just another alternative without considering the reality of what the shaman had just said. He freely admitted that demons were the source of what he believed and practiced.
The danger of demonic deception is real and grave. In Ephesians 6:10-20, Paul gives a very strong admonition for us to put on the full armor of God in order to be prepared to stand firm against our adversary, the devil, and his demonic followers. Paul explains in verse 12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual [forces] of wickedness in the heavenly places.” We are in a struggle against these powerful, supernatural creatures that have a hierarchal organization. These are demons and Paul describes their various ranks of order here as rulers, powers, world forces of this darkness and spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places. (See: Spiritual Warfare Series) Demons are the one third of the angels that joined with Satan in his rebellion against God (Revelation 12).
Satan’s goal is to usurp God and exalt himself (Isaiah 14),and the demons have followed him in that pursuit. Their effort is to keep unbelievers away from a true understanding of God by blinding them to the truth (2 Corinthians 4:4) and to sway believers from walking with God. They will use any means available to them to accomplish their goals,but their most often used strategy is lies and deception.
Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), and the deceptions that he and his followers will use range from outright contradiction of what God has said to subtle insinuations that skew the truth just enough to lead a person to false conclusions. His actions against Eve in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3:1-6 are a good example of this.
Satan begins by questioning God’s instructions, “Indeed, has God said,”You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The question is purposely phrased to insinuate that God is too restrictive. Eve answers that they could eat from any of the trees except one in the middle of the garden. She understood that she was not to eat or even touch it lest she die. Satan then directly contradicts God’s command saying, “You shall not surely die!” This would have been the first time Eve would have heard anything questioning the veracity of God, but before the shock of it could even fully register, Satan continued on to slander God’s goodness and care for Eve. The devil said, “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” This is accusing God of being selfish and holding back a good thing from Eve because God wants to keep people in a lower position and not achieve an exalted state of knowing good and evil like Him.
Eve took the lies and slander to heart and they swayed her from the truth which allowed her to be enticed by her own desires. She saw the fruit would be good for food, was pleasing to the eyes and desirable to make her wise, so she took the fruit and ate, then gave it to Adam who also ate it, and mankind was plummeted into sin.
Satan’s lies and slander were effective in deceiving Eve and leading her astray (2 Corinthians 11:3). He attacked her trust in God resulting in her believing that Satan was the source of truth, and since his suggestions matched what she desired, she acted upon them and fell into sin. Satan still uses the same strategy and it has been even more effective on mankind since the fall because we are born in rebellion against God (Ephesians 2:1-4). It does not take a lot for us to believe Satan’s lies instead of God’s truth.
If Satan can do so, he will seek to not only keep the unbeliever from knowing and believing God, but will also strive to get people to worship him or some proxy for him. While the number of people that are blatant worshipers of Satan is still extremely small, the number of people that worship one of his proxies,one of the many demons, is large. As already pointed out, all idolatry reduces down to the worship of some demon. The occult is also filled with the demonic worship. The hallmark of animism and what are now being called “native religions” are idolatry and occultic rituals. The sources of knowledge and authority in them when fully exposed prove to be demonic.
The danger to those caught up in religions that are blatantly Satanic or demonic is obvious since there is an outright rejection of the true God. However, the danger of Satan’s deceptions are just as real when the lies are not so direct. There are millions of people following religions today who think they are following the true God of the Bible, but are in fact following a demon that has substituted himself for the true God. There are millions more following religions in which the truth of the God of the Bible has been perverted resulting in a false gospel. Those caught up in those religions believe they are bound for Heaven when in truth they are condemned to Hell. Jesus and Paul had strong words of warning about this.
In Galatians 1:6-9, Paul is shocked at their response to a false gospel and gives the strongest warning possible to those that would preach a different gospel. “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is [really] not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.” Notice again in verse 8 that even an angel preaching a different gospel was to be accursed. This points out both the danger and seriousness of demonic deception. It can affect even those that profess faith in Jesus Christ.
Jesus Himself also gave strong warning about false teachers who were deceived by false doctrine. In Matthew 7:15-23 Jesus warns about false teachers saying that we would know them by their fruits, then He gives extremely strong warning about how deceptive the false teaching can be by saying, 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord,Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'” This depth of deception is incredible. These people were even doing miracles in the name of the Lord, but the reality was they did not even know Him. (See: The Deception of Self Righteousness)
The danger of Satanic and demonic deception is real. We must be on defense against the lies and deceptions of our adversary and diligent in our pursuit of truth lest we find ourselves in the same situation at the end of our lives.
In the months to come we will uncover some of the demonic influences in various religious systems, but this morning I want to concentrate on exposing those systems in which the demonic influence is direct and not just an influence. There are quite a few religious systems that have received their doctrine directly from demons. Their source of authority is not the word of God,but evil spirits.
I have already mentioned Paul’s warning in Galatians 1 about even an angel preaching a different gospel. Such an angel would of course be a fallen angel, a demon, and demons have done such things. Remember that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). He will often mimic what is true in order to lead people astray into what is false.
In Hebrews 1:1-2 we are told about how God has communicated His truth to the world. “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in [His] Son,whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” The “many portions and many ways” in which He spoke to the prophets included dreams, visions and angelic revelation. Angels appeared in the Old Testament directly to many people including Abraham, Jacob, Moses and the Israelites,Joshua, Gideon, Samuel and many other judges, David, Elijah, Daniel and Zechariah. In the New Testament angels also appeared directly to many people including Zacharias, Mary, the women at Jesus’ tomb, the apostles, Philip,Cornelius and Paul. Angels are ministering spirits from God, and most of these visitations were for a particular ministry to the individual. Angels still appear to men for we are told in Hebrews 13:2 that we should be hospitable because we might even entertain angels in the present time and be unaware of their true identity. There is still ministry they carry out from God for our benefit. However, there are also portions of the Bible that come directly from the revelations of God communicated by these angels. An example of this would be the prophecies that Daniel received from angels (Daniel 9-12).
Since demons are fallen angels, it only makes sense that they can do what angels can do which includes appearing directly to people. There are a couple of incidents in the Scriptures where this is recorded. For example, when Jesus was casting out demons there were times they manifested themselves by talking. Luke 4 records such an incident when Jesus was in Galilee, “And demons also were coming out of many, crying out and saying, “You are the Son of God!’ And rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ” (Luke 4:41). Revelation 16 describes demons that appear as like frogs that perform signs in order to gather the kings of the world together for war.
However, for the most part, demons do not make such overt manifestations of themselves. Instead they show themselves in their influence on people. This can be a spiritual influence on the person’s mental thoughts or emotional state. An example of this would be the deceitful spirit in 2 Chronicles 18 that used Zedekiah to encourage the Kings of Israel and Judah to fight against Ramoth-gilead in order that Ahab, King of Israel, would be killed. Another example of this would be the slave girl in Acts 16 that had a spirit of divination that kept following Paul around and proclaiming who he was. Paul was finally annoyed to the point that he cast the demon out.
Demons can also manifest their presence by the physical influence they have on those they indwell. This often resulted in some physical handicap or malady such as being blind, dumb or insane. They can also cause the demonized person to perform an action such as the boy in Matthew 17 that would cast himself into fire or water, or the demonized man in Acts 19 that overpowered the seven sons of Sceva and sent them fleeing.
By these various kinds of manifestations, demons can influence people away from God and the truth. Overt and physical manifestations can frighten people and then control them by fear. Spiritual manifestations on the mind and emotions can lead people to accept their lies as truth which are then spread to others. This is the origin of much of the false doctrine that exists today. Some of it is blatant and obvious, but much of it is more subtle and fools a lot of people into thinking the doctrine is from God instead of demons.
Paul warns in 1 Timothy 4:1, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” He goes on in verse 3 to mention two of these which are those “who forbid marriage and abstaining from foods, which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.” I don’t think it is hard to find religious groups that do teach one or both of these ideas. It is a surprise to some people that these ideas are demonic in origin since those advocating these positions make themselves out to be very spiritual, in fact, more spiritual than everyone else. That is exactly the problem. It is a false spirituality generated by their ability to keep a list of behaviors they have defined instead of following the Spirit and Word of God. But there are a lot more false doctrines that come from demons than just these two.
The Corinthian church was fractured by divisions and had problems in a lot of areas of doctrine. Much of this was due to a false spirituality that Paul seeks to correct in chapters 12-14. They thought they were spiritual because all the spiritual gifts were present within the church, but they were actually carnal (1 Corinthians 3:3) because they were waking in pride and not following God’s Spirit. Paul even chastened them about those who were supposed to be speaking in tongues by the spirit of God, but instead of glorifying the Lord they were saying, “Jesus is accursed” (1 Corinthians 12:2). (See: Being Spiritual) In 2 Corinthians Paul identifies those who were leading the Corinthians astray as false apostles and deceitful workers who were servants of Satan (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
The apostle John was also concerned about demonic doctrine. He warns in 1 John 4:1-3, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit , but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the [ spirit ] of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” He gave a similar warning in 2 John 1:7 saying, “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ [as] coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch yourselves, that you might not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.”
How then can we tell the doctrine of demons from that which comes from God? First, we examine to see if what is being taught is promoting the worship of the God of the Bible or a different god. It is not a matter of supernatural signs because demons can do things that are supernatural and can even have limited success in predicting the future. The primary sign of identification will be what they say about God. Moses warned in Deuteronomy 13:1-3, “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Second, according to what we have just read from the Apostle John a minute ago, carefully examine what is being taught about the Lord Jesus Christ. Doctrine from God will glorify Jesus according to the New Testament claims of Him being God in human flesh. Demons will deny some aspect of Jesus’ nature,either His deity or His humanity.
Third, compare what is being taught about the gospel with Paul’s explanation that salvation from sin comes by God’s grace through faith in the person and atoning work of Jesus Christ. If it is another gospel, it is false and has a demonic origin. The most common heresy is adding some kind of works righteousness whereby the individual earns the favor of God and thereby gains entrance into heaven by keeping some list of rules and rituals. There is also the opposite heresy in which salvation is from something other than sin with the consequence that it allows the person to live however they desire and still think they are saved. These are the people Jesus warned in Matthew 7 that He would deny. We are saved from our sin that we might be holy and blameless before Him (Ephesians 1:4) and that we might be conformed into His image (Romans 8:29).
Fourth, compare what is being taught with the rest of the scriptures to see if it is in harmony or contradicts. God is faithful and true and not the author of confusion. If the teaching comes from the Holy Spirit it will be consistent with what He has taught in the past.
Fifth, apply the test of a prophet to the one who is claiming something new. Deuteronomy 18:22 states, “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” The Biblical requirement is 100% accuracy, and according to the verses just preceding this one, such a prophet would have been put to death in ancient Israel. If such a consequence were still carried out in our own day there would be a lot less TV preachers.
Foundational to all of these tests will be the source of knowledge and authority. If it is anything other than the Lord God of the Bible and His word,then it is false. Demonic revelation and doctrine abound in our time flourishing in the occult, false religions and cults. The demonic influence is hidden in many of them, but quite obvious in others. Let me point out some of these to you.
Examples of Religions Founded in Demonic Revelation.
Satanic religions and the occult are the most obvious examples for they do not hide the source of their knowledge and to whom they give allegiance. I did find it interesting that the Church of Satan which uses The Satanic Bible written by Anton LaVey rejects belief in a supreme deity. Instead they believe each person is his or her own god with salvation viewed as achieving a powerful lifestyle of self interested hedonism. That is really just a corollary to the lie that enticed Eve. You can be like God, you can be god.
Most Satanists believe that they will become empowered by Satan in the present and a ruler in Satan’s future kingdom. Often there is a pact made with him that includes committing suicide on a particular future date. Russ Wise reports that about 14 young people per day do take their own lives.
Most Satanists function independently or in small groups such as the Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold who committed the Columbine High School Massacre in 1999 and then killed themselves. Occultists also function in small groups,though there are many larger groups with occultic practices. Occultists may or may not recognize Satan or demons directly, but they are involved with rituals that are empowered by demons just as in idol worship.
The greatest danger from Satanists and occultists is their influence on others through music, media, and fantasy games that introduce people to occultic practices. Some music, such as black metal rock, are directly Satanic while other types only promote evil themes. There are a host of books written by automatic writing in which the person who channels the demon records what the spirit says. An example of this is Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach which was very popular when I was in Jr. High School and became mainstream reading material. Television also promotes the occult. An example is the TV series, Ghost Whisperer, which has popularized spirit channeling, an extremely dangerous practice. What most people do not know is that the Executive Producer of that show, James Van Praagh, is a very active medium. People are told they are tapping into their inner self or the wisdom of some ancient person, but what they are actually getting is their own personal demon. While those who channel a spirit usually only have a small following at best, there are two men who founded major religions from what was channeled to them.
In the year A.D. 610, following a custom common among his people, Muhammad sought a place of solitude in a cave in Mount Hira. There, at age 40, he received the first of a series of revelations that were supposedly from the angel Gabriel. Muhammad thought he was being possessed by jinn, or demons, but his wife, Khadijah, finally convinced him there were of divine origin. These revelations resulted in the Quran, which was originally only spoken, but was eventually written down. The Hadith, the sayings of Muhammad, is used as a guide for living and the Torah, Psalms of David and Gospel of Jesus are respected.
The differences between Islam and Biblical revelation demonstrate the real nature of the angel that spoke to Muhammad. Among the more serious differences are the following: the arbitrary nature of Allah as compared to the immutable nature of God; the rejection of the triune nature of God; the rejection of the deity, atonement and resurrection of Jesus; salvation based on good deeds outweighing bad ones. Islam presents a different god with a false gospel.
The other major religion founded in a channeled revelation is The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints, the Mormons. There are several varied accounts of Joseph Smith’s claim recounted in The Pearl of Great Price to have seen a vision of God the Father and the Son in 1820 when he was 14 or 15 years old. In that vision the Son told him that all the sects were wrong and not to join any of them. He then claims that in 1823 the angel Moroni reveled to him the location of golden plates that he would not be allowed to retrieve until four years later. The writings on these plates, which could only be seen by faith,were then translated by the help of a seer stone, later called Urim and Thummim,which was placed into a hat that Smith would then bury his face into and then dictate what was to be written. This became the Book of Mormon which was published in 1830. Smith claimed additional revelations which were complied into Doctrines and Covenants. These two books plus Pearl of Great Price and the Bible, if correctly translated, are their sacred texts.
The differences between Mormon doctrine and Biblical revelation once again demonstrates its actual origin. Among the more serious heresies: God, Elohim,was once a man who achieved deity and faithful Mormons can do the same (As man now is, God once was. As God now is, man may be); Jesus is a created being from the sexual union of Elohim and Mary, and is the brother of Lucifer; salvation is by faith and good works and Mormon rituals. Mormonism presents a different god with a false gospel.
There are many other false religions and cults that have belief systems that trace to demonic revelation, but these serve as examples of them all. I do not need to know all of their bizarre beliefs, unfulfilled prophecies or inconsistencies to know whether they are false religions that need to be avoided. I only need to know something about their source of truth and authority. If that source has an origin in the demonic, then it is false. With some religions that will be easy to discern because they freely tell the origin of their beliefs. With other groups you may have to do a little research to find out what they believe about God, Jesus and salvation and then compare that to Biblical truth. Those that promote another god, a different Jesus or a false gospel are to be rejected and avoided.
Sermon Notes – 4/11/2010
Demonic Deception – Selected Scriptures
2 Peter gives strong warnings about ____________ teachers and mockers
We must be able to _________ ourselves and those around us from them
_________is “the state of being the case: fact” and “the property of being in accord with fact or reality.”
Ignorance of the truth leaves a person very _____________ to those who pervert it
A theological system with a _____foundation will eventually collapse regardless of what is built upon it
The foundational flaw is having a source of authority they consider to be _____________ to the Bible
__________deception will be at the root of all false religions, philosophies and cults – 1 Cor. 8:4; 10:19
Paul gives instruction in ___________________ on the armor of God and standing firm against the devil
____________the unbelieving to the truth and leading believers astray fits Satan’s goal of usurping God
Satan, the father of lies, used lies, contradiction and slander to tempt _________into sin – Genesis 3:1-6
Satan still uses the same strategy in attacking our _________ of God to lead us astray and into sin
If possible, Satan and demons will try to get people to __________ him / them directly
More often, Satan deceives people into worshiping a ______________ while thinking it is the true God
In Galatians 1:6-9 Paul gives very strong warning about those that would proclaim a false ___________
___________warned about false teachers in Matthew 7:15-23 including those who think they serve Him
God has revealed himself to man through many ways to the ______________ – Hebrews 1:1-2
______________have been the messengers of God’s revelation in both the Old and New Testaments
____________are fallen angels and can do what they do including directly revealing themselves to men
More often, demons influence the ___________& emotions of people, but can also physically control
1 Timothy 4:1 – it should be expected that we will find people who follow the doctrine of ____________
Forbidding marriage and abstaining from ___________as a means to spirituality is demonic – 1 Tim. 4:3
The Corinthian church was fractured by _____spirituality. Some speaking in tongues even ______Jesus
How to tell if a source of doctrine is godly or demonic:
1) Does it promote the worship of any ________________than the God of the Bible? – Deut. 13:1-3
2) Does it ____________ either the humanity or deity of Jesus Christ? 1 John 4:1-3
3) Does it proclaim a gospel that is _____________ from what Paul taught? Galatians 1:6-9
4) Is it in ______________ with the rest of the revelation of God?
5) Is it _______________ accurate in its prophecies? Deuteronomy 18:20-22
___________that has a source of knowledge and authority other than the Lord God of the Bible is false.
Examples of Religions Founded in Demonic Revelation
*Satanic religions and the ____________ are obvious in this regard
Most Satanists believe they will be __________by Satan in the present and a rule with him in the future
Most Satanists and occultists tend to be independent or in _______groups instead of large congregations
The greatest danger of Satanists & occultists is the syncretic inclusion of their ideas into _____religions
Ghost Whisperer has popularized _________channeling. Its Exec. Producer is an active medium.
*Muhammad claims to have received revelation from the _________ Gabriel starting in 610 A.D.
Allah is _____________from God being arbitrary instead of immutable and singular instead of triune
Islam _________the deity,atonement and resurrection of Jesus and its salvation is based on good _____
*Joseph Smith received revelation from ________, and used _________to produce the Book of Mormon
Mormonism is polytheistic,teaching _________ can become gods
The Mormon Jesus is the son of Elohim and Mary, and is the brother of ____________
Mormon salvation is dependent on faith and good __________ including Mormon rituals
Religions that are rooted in the demonic or occult are ___________.
God has revealed Himself through His word and His Son so that we might know the __________
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – 1) Write down all the verses mentioned. 2) Count how many references are made demons. 3) Talk with your parents about the danger of falling for the teaching of demons
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Why does 2 Peter give such strong warnings about false teachers and mockers? What is truth and why is it important? What is the real power in idolatry? Paul prepares us for spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6:10-20. Who does Paul say our battle is with? How are we to defend ourselves? What is Satan’s ultimate goal? What is Satan’s nature and what is his most commonly used strategy against people? How did he use this strategy to lead Eve into sin? How does he uses this strategy to get people to worship him, a demon or an occultic religion? What is the danger of believing a gospel other than the one Paul preached? (See Galatians 1). How does Jesus separate those who know and serve Him from those who do good deeds in His name, but do not actually know Him (Matthew 7).
How has God revealed Himself in the Old and New Testaments? How can demons mimic some of those forms of revelation? In what ways can demons influence people? Paul warns about demonic doctrine in 1 Timothy 4. What are two of the specific examples he mentions? Do you know of religious groups that follow either of these doctrines? What demonic doctrine was effecting the Corinthians? According to the apostle John, how can we know the spirit of anti-Christ? What can be concluded about someone that tries to promote another god? What about those that proclaim a different gospel than Paul’s? What about those that give prophecy that is less than 100% accurate? How does Satanic/demonic/occultic thought influence our society? What is the source of the Quran? The Book of Mormon? What does Islam teach about the nature of God, Jesus and the gospel? What should be our response to Islam and Mormonism?
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