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(Greek words can be viewed with symbol font)
Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
November 30, 2008
Spiritual Warfare, Part 2
Last week I gave an introduction to our topic of Spiritual Warfare. (See: Spiritual Warfare, Part 1: The Nature of the Battle). Whether we like it or not, this war is not optional. If you are breathing, then you are in it and your enemy is attacking regardless of whether you fight back or not. We found that our adversary commonly uses two opposite but effective strategies to neutralize people in this conflict. The first is to overwhelm us so that we fear spiritual things. Spectacular manifestations of overt occultism will do this whether they are actual events or just things portrayed in books, stories or by actors on a stage or a screen. The result is either avoiding spiritual things altogether or using the wrong weapons to try to fight it. Superstitions, magical objects and occultic rituals and practices cannot protect you from Satan since he and his followers are the origin and power of them. You must use the armor and weapons provided by God, not Satan’s devices, if you are to be effective in this war.
The second strategy is to get you to ignore spiritual reality by getting you to think of it as of little to no consequence. This is commonly accomplished by presenting spiritual things as humourous or fantasy. Failure to recognize the enemy leaves you in a very dangerous position.
I also pointed out last week that these two strategies are also at work within evangelical Christianity just as they are among secularists, pagans, false religions and cults. There are plenty of professing Christians who are fearful of demons or practice “Christianized” versions of superstitions and religious rituals to keep them at bay. There are also plenty of Christians who are either ignorant of or simply dismiss the dangers Satan poses to us. We need to be Biblical in our approach and thinking regarding the spiritual war that we are in.
This morning we are going to examine the nature of our adversary, Satan, and his followers, the demons. Turn again to Ephesians 6:10 where we will begin our study.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 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.]
God has already done everything for us that we need to be strong in Him. He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before Him (Ephesians 1:4). He redeemed us through the bloody, sacrificial death of Jesus and by that He extended forgiveness of our trespasses and sin through Christ (Ephesians 1:7). God gave us the Holy Spirit as His pledge of His promises to us (Ephesians 1:13-14). Our very life is due to Him since we were dead in our sins, but He made us alive with Christ and the Lord did so purely because of His gracious love toward us (Ephesians 2:1-9). God has also prepared good works for us that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). He equips us so that we can use our spiritual gifts for the building up of one another (Ephesians 4:11-16), live righteous lives (Ephesians 4:17-5:14), be in submission to the Holy Spirit resulting in singing God’s praises (Ephesians 5:15-21) as well as having proper relationships within the family (Ephesians 5:22-6:3) and on our jobs (Ephesians 6:5-9). All of these things and our obedience to them put us in a better position to wage the spiritual war we are in. The only thing lacking so that we can be strong in the Lord and stand firm against the schemes of the devil is putting on the full armor of God.
We must constantly keep in mind that our battle is with Satan and his minions and not with other people no matter how much those people act like the enemy. Paul tells us here that Satan’s horde is organized and described as 1. Principalities or rulers. 2. Powers or forces. 3. World-forces of this darkness. & 4. Spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Some have tried to specify the abilities and duties of each of these ranks, but since the Bible does not give detail on these matters we will have to keep it more general. We will begin by examining the person and nature of Satan.
Identity of Satan
Ezekiel 28:11-19 informs us that Satan was created full of wisdom and was perfect in beauty at creation (vs 12). He was in the garden of Eden adorned by precious stones (vs. 13). He was the “anointed Cherub who covers” and was on the holy mountain of God (vs. 14). Satan was blameless until unrighteousness was found in him (vs.16). He was internally filled with violence, and so was cast from the mountain of God. The corruption of Satan’s wisdom was caused by pride over his beauty, and so he was cast down (vs 17).
If Isaiah 14:3-15 is referring to Satan, and the description seems to only fit a being of his nature, we gain additional insight into his pride. Starting in verse 13, Satan boasts of five “I Wills.” 1. I will ascend to heaven; 2. I will raise my throne above the stars of God, 3. I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. 4. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; 5. I will make myself like the most High. This being wants to usurp God and take His place and thinks that somehow he will be able to accomplish it.
Among the names given to this evil being are: The “prince of this World” (John 12:31), “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), and “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4). All of these titles tell us that his domain is this world. Satan is also “Beelzebul,” the lord of the flies or the prince of demons. He has an army to do his bidding as we already noted in Ephesians 6:12.
Other names given to this wicked creature tell us more about him. He is Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12) which means the shining one. That is a reference to his original state as the anointed cherub who covers (Ezekiel 28:14). His name “Satan” is from the Hebrew (Zechariah 3:1) and means “adversary” or “opposer.” Satan opposes God and God’s people (Zechariah 3:1-2, Luke 22:31,32). He is also called the “devil” (Revelation 12:9) from the Greek diaboloV / diabolos meaning “slanderer.” He is called the “Old Serpent” in Revelation 12:9 which refers to Genesis 3 and his role in the downfall of man. Revelation 12 also calls him the “Great Dragon” & “Great Red Dragon” as he seeks to destroy Christ and devastate God’s people. The name, “Appollyon,” is used for him in Revelation 9:11 which signifies him as the destroyer, for he is the one who seeks to destroy both spiritual and physical life. Most fitting of his character is the name used in 1 John 5:18 which simply calls him the “Evil One.” Other names indicate his activity: Tempter (Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5), Accuser (Revelation 12:10), Deceiver (Revelation 20:3), and the Spirit that now works in the Sons of Disobedience (Ephesians 2:2). Satan is also described as a murderer (John 8:44), a liar (John 8:44), a confirmed and practicing sinner (1 John 3:8), and the opposer of the righteous (1 Peter 5:8).
Satan’s War Against God
A holy war began when Satan was filled with pride and sought to usurp God. That war which began in heaven broadened to include man in Genesis 3. Man is the triumph of God’s creation. God created man to rule over all the other things created on the earth and to worship God. Satan sought to usurp God by coming to the Garden of Eden to lead man into sin. He used the serpent as his mouthpiece and by his lies he deceived Eve. His first lie was a subtle questioning of what God had said. “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” Satan’s second lie was a direct contradiction to the penalty God had set for eating from the only tree restricted from them. Satan said, “You surely shall not die!” Satan’s third lie was a claim that God was holding back something good from Eve. “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.” Satan deceived Eve into believing him rather than God. She in turn gave to Adam who also ate of it. Satan had succeeded in usurping God in their lives.
However, God had a plan and in Genesis 3:15 He gave to them the first promise of the redeemer to come. In that promise we find that this Holy War between God and Satan will continue. God’s curse on the serpent included, “And I will put enmity Between you and woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” This ultimately refers to Christ’s triumph over Satan and Satan’s battle against him. (See: Sin & Its Consequences – 7/15/07)
Satan’s next major effort comes in Genesis 4 when Cain, who according to 1 John 3:12 was of the evil one, kills his brother, Abel. It was an attempt to end the hope of a redeemer by murder of the righteous, but God gives another son – Seth. From this point the battle only spreads. (See: The Spread of Sin) By Genesis 6 we find that men have become so corrupt that “every intent of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually.” Yet, God preserved a remnant in Noah and his family and destroyed the rest of the world. However, man was still sinful and it was not long after leaving the ark that sin is dominating again resulting in the tower of Babel. (See: God’s Judgement & Grace and Man’s Continued Rebellion) This battle against sin and Satan’s influence is fought over and over again by every generation. Satan seeks to usurp the place of God in the hearts of men.
The battle against the promised redeemer continues as well. At every opportunity Satan has sought to thwart the plan of salvation. Revelation 12 tells us that Satan, the Dragon, sought to devour the child (Christ) at the time of His birth. (Is that not what Herod tried to do? – See: God Protects His Son). Yet he was unsuccessful. Satan tried to tempt Jesus to sin directly, but he failed. Satan tried to eliminate Jesus throughout His life on earth. The gospel of John has a recurring phrase, “His hour had not yet come.” There were multiple attempts to kill Jesus. They sought to throw him off the cliff at Nazareth, but His hour had not yet come (Luke 4:29f). They sought to stone Him, but His hour had not yet come (John 8:59). The sought to seize Him, but His hour had not yet come (John 7:30f). Finally, His hour did come and Jesus willingly went to the cross and died (John 12:23f – (See: Jesus’ Hour has Come – 08/20/00). Had Satan finally won the victory? NO!
There are those who teach that Satan was victorious at this point and ruled over Jesus. Let me state categorically that the devil was never victorious over Jesus and he has never held influence over Christ much less had power over Him. Even 1 Peter 3:19, from which the idea arises that Jesus went to hell after His death, is a point of victory, not defeat, for “He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark . . .” Jesus proclaimed His victory there. Satan was defeated, and when Jesus rose from the dead three days later, Satan’s doom was absolutely sealed.
But does this mean that Satan is through fighting? NO! Satan may not have prevented the plan of salvation from being carried out, but he is not through trying to make the plan of salvation ineffective to individual people. He still strives to keep the minds of the unbeliever blind to the truth and to keep Christians from being useful for God.
If Satan was willing to argue with Michael the Archangel for the body of Moses (Jude 9), do you not think that Satan is still going to be battling against you and me? If Satan’s host tried to prevent the answer to Daniel’s prayer from coming to him (Daniel 10), and in fact did hinder the answer for 21 days, do you not think Satan is still going to try to do the same thing when we pray? Over and over again we see Satan trying to hinder the work of God by any means that he can.
Abilities of Satan
We must also remember that Satan is powerful and can do dramatic things including those we consider supernatural. Remember Job? I pointed this out last week, but it bears repeating again. In Job 1 we find that Satan caused the Sabeans to attack, take all of Job’s oxen and donkeys and kill the servants (vs 14,15). Satan caused fire to come from “heaven,” the sky, and burn up the sheep and the servants (vs 16). Satan caused the Chaldeans to attack and steal the camels and kill the servants (vs 17). And Satan caused a great wind to come and destroy Job’s sons and daughters by collapsing the house they were in. Then Satan smote Job with “sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head” (Job 2:7).
Satan was able to do some very nasty things to Job, but does that mean we should fear him? NO! In Matthew 10:28 our Lord tells us, “and do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Who is the one that can destroy both the soul and body in hell? It is not Satan, for he does not rule over hell. Satan will be sent there as a prisoner in punishment for his evil. We are to fear God alone. In addition, we know from 1 John 4:4 that He that is in us, God, is greater than he that is in the world, Satan.
The demonstration of Satan’s supernatural power as seen in Job is a reminder to us that truth is not based on experience, but on the Word of God. In Matthew 24 Jesus explains to the disciples what will occur in the last days. Starting in v 21, “for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall. 22 “And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short. 23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There [He is,]’ do not believe [him.] 24 “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.”
2 Thessalonians 2 talks about the same time period and describes the “man of lawlessness” “whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.”
Satan will use his powers to deceive people in any way that he can. It may be the occult, paganism, false religions or cults. Satan will use the means at his disposal to deceive people from the worship of the Eternal God to something else.
We must understand the nature of our adversary so that we may stand firmly against him as Ephesians 6 tells to do.
What about Satan’s comrades in evil, the demons? First, understand that demons are real. Scripture presents the reality of demons as fact. In Deuteronomy 32:17 Moses warns the children of Israel about those that “sacrificed to demons who were not God . . . “ Psalm 106:34-38 speaks of Israel’s folly in not following the Lord and practicing the same thing that the pagan nations before them practiced in sacrificing to demons. Jesus accepted as fact that Satan was the ruler of a host of demons (Matthew 12:22-28). Jesus had many encounters with demons and He cast them out of many people (Matthew 15:22-29, Mark 5:1-16). The apostles also had regular encounters with demons and warned against them. Peter casts out unclean spirits in Acts 5:16 as did Philip in Acts 8:7 and Paul in Acts 19. Paul warns us about the demonic in 1 Corinthians 10 and 1 Timothy 4, and James 2 also speaks of them. Demons are real!
Though some deny it, the reality is that demons do exist, there are many of them, and they are powerful compared to us. You are in danger if you go to either extreme in dealing with them. If you deny their existence, or think you can somehow ignore them, then they can work on you unimpeded since you will not have done anything to protect yourself against them. If you go to the other extreme and attribute every problem to them then you will live in improper fear of them and / or you will blame them for things they have not done such as your own sinfulness. Either way, you will miss the true solution to your problem.
Identity of Demons
What exactly are demons? In Matthew 25:41 Jesus describes hell as “the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.” This passage reminds us again that the devil is not the ruler over hell. It is an eternal place of torment for him too. But notice as well that Jesus calls the demons the angels of the devil. A demon is simply a fallen angel. Revelation 12:4 indicates that one third of the angels fell with the devil. Since demons are angelic, they also have angelic power which to us will seem supernatural.
What sort of thing do demons do? One of their primary functions seems to be pulling people into the worship of things that are not God. They are the power behind idol worship and well as occultic practices. I already mentioned the warnings in Deuteronomy 32:17 that Israel was to not involve themselves in sacrificing to idols and thus be involved in the worship of demons. Psalm 106:34-38 says, “They did not destroy the peoples, As the LORD commanded them, But they mingled with the nations, And learned their practices, And served their idols, Which became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, And shed innocent blood, The blood of their sons and their daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; And the land was polluted with the blood . . .” Notice verse 37 says they sacrificed to demons and verse 38 describes that as making a sacrifice to an idol. Paul says much the same thing in 1 Cor. 10:18-21.
Look at the nation Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices sharers in the altar? 19 What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 [No,] but [I say] that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.
Demons are the power behind idolatry and the occultic, and there is real power there. Missionaries stories abound about their work with various tribes that worship idols. There is a consistent fear among such people because they have experienced the power associated with their idolatry and pagan worship. They may or may not know the power is demonic, but they are scared of that power. We tend to want to laugh off things like voodoo and the Santuria cult of South America, but there are genuine supernatural things that occur. These are demonic manifestations designed to keep the people enslaved to worshiping the demonic and not God.
That reality of the power of demons can be very scary since it is greater than our own. They can bring about real physical phenomena such as levitation in which an object appears to rise by itself. It is a demon doing it. Demons are the source of apports in which solid objects appear to move through another solid object. They are also the power behind telekinesis in which objects move by themselves or do things which seem contrary to physical laws. These things do happen. There is also a variety of psychic phenomena brought about by demons such as the visions of spiritists, automatic writing, materializations, apparitions, and such.
Are ghosts real? Not if you mean the spirits of dead people, but demonic apparitions certainly do occur and people think they are ghosts. Remember that demons are fallen angels, and the Bible is clear that angels can take the form of men. An example of this are the angels that visited Abraham before they went on to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19). Hebrews 13:2 commands us to “Not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” If angels can so appear to men, then demonic apparitions should be no surprise to us.
Additional aspects of demonic power can be seen by looking at the confrontations Jesus had with them. In Matthew 12:22 Jesus casts out the demon in a man that had made him both dumb and blind. In Luke 13:11,12, a woman is physically deformed by a “spirit.” She is bent over and could not straighten up because a demon held power over her health and the body. In Matthew 17:15-18 a demon caused a boy to act like a suicidal lunatic including falling into fire and water. Demons can control the actions of an individual if they have yielded themselves to them. The Gerasene demoniac (Mark 5) was able to break shackles and chains and overcome anyone who tried to subdue him. The demons had given him a “superhuman” strength. The same demons also caused him to cry out and slash himself with stones while living among the tombs and in the mountains. The demons were the source of his self destructive tendencies which we would call a “mental illness.” When those demons were cast out, they caused the herd of swine they were cast into to go mad and drown themselves in the sea. The demons controlled the actions of these animals to their own destruction.
The apostles had similar experiences with demonized people in their ministry following Jesus’ ascension to heaven. Paul became irritated with the demon controlling a slave woman who was following him. She had a spirit of divination which we would call fortune telling. Her ability to do this made a lot of money for her masters. She kept following Paul around saying, “These men are bond servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.” What she said was absolutely true, but who wants the testimony of a demon? Paul finally got irritated and cast the demon out. Could the demon really foretell the future? No, but demons are very intelligent with access to a lot of knowledge so they can make very accurate guesses about what will occur in the future based on that. People assume that to be foretelling the future and in doing so yield themselves to demonic influence.
Demonic Doctrine & Influence
Demons are also very involved in developing and spreading false doctrine. In 1 Kings 22 it was a deceitful spirit that gave the prophet of Ahab the lie that lead him to defeat and death at the hands of the King of Aram. In 1 Timothy 4 Paul warned, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the fath, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods, which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.” Anyone who forbids marriage or teaches religious dietary laws is teaching the doctrine of demons. There are several church denominations that do this very thing. They advocate the doctrine of demons, so stay away from them. False doctrine in what are supposed to be “Christian” denominations and sects is just one way in which demons work to keep the eyes of non-believers blinded from the truth and Christians from living properly for God.
Cults and false religions are all based on the doctrine of demons. They contain false teachings that lead people away from the true worship of God and to the worship of other things. There can also be direct occultic involvement in which the people involved worship Satan either out of desire or fear. Satanic worship may or may not involve organized and formal rituals. Much of it is more individual or in small groups doing what may appear to be spontaneous, but it is demonically directed.
Jim Hardy, Pete Roland and Ron Clements murdered their friend, Steve Newberry by hitting him 70 times with baseball bats and dumped his body into a broken cistern they called the “Well of Hell.” When Jim Hardy was later asked how he got involved in this he said, “I would kind of just pray to God and Satan at the same time to see who was more powerful. Little by little, I fell out of God and started falling into Satan . . . You can’t just dabble. It sucks you in real quick . . . There was something definitely inside me.” (Focus on the Family’s Citizen magazine, October 89 issue).
We tend to think that demonic activity is more common in other countries, and perhaps in some ways it may be more overt in other nations. However, overt demonic activity, Satanic worship and occultic religions continue to increase in the United States. I and other pastors I know have had not only our share of people whose actions and attitudes suggest demonic influence, but also on occasion those who give overt displays of being demonized. Some years ago I had some other church leaders join me to deal with a woman who had three different voices speaking through her to one another saying things that she could not have known.
It should not surprise us that there is increasing overt demonic activity in our land when we consider the increased avenues for their influence. Since demons will take advantage of anything by which they can assert their influence over people including superstitions, non-Biblical religious rituals, and entertainment. I mentioned briefly last week that there are occultic elements in many movies, TV shows and even children’s cartoons. It also occurs in many games. Ouija boards are tame compared to some of the material included in games for computer and game consoles. What is presented as harmless fantasy can easily include occultic elements that can lead to increasing involvement in the occultic. What can begin as fun can turn deadly under demonic influence.
What are some of the avenues for demonic influence in our society? Aside from the obvious such as satanic churches, witches’ covens, directly occultic books, media, and practices such as fortune telling, palm reading, seances, tarot cards, etc., there are also less direct and subtle influences. New Age thought and eastern mysticism are now readily accepted in our society. Even churches offer yoga classes, and yoga is not just a form of exercise. Certain genres of music, such as Heavy Metal, are worse, but demonic themes and evil thought can occur in nearly any style. The same is true of all media including movies, video and television, radio, podcasts, books, magazines, web sites and blogs. Drugs are a door that often leads to the demonic. Then there are games. Fantasy games such as Dungeons and Dragons are worse than other genre, but teachings that have their origin in the demonic can be slipped into even what appears to be innocent learning games for kids. How discerning and careful are you?
A society that kicks God out of their schools, rejects the Bible as a source of moral authority but requires tolerance of nearly everything else should not be surprised when evil increases and some people believe the things they see in the media, read in books and play with in their games. The teens that committed the Columbine High School massacre began with fantasy games and got sucked in deeper and deeper. The lines between truth and fiction and good and evil became blurred and then reversed as demonic influence increased.
Tommy Sullivan kept a diary he entitled the “Book of Shadows” in which he chronicles his relationship with Satan. Among the things he wrote, “I will tempt all teenagers on earth to have sex, have incest, do drugs, and to worship you. I believe that evil will once again rise and conquer the love of God.” In another place he wrote that Satan had told him in a dream to “preach Satanism to other kids, then kill everyone in your family.” Tommy did accomplish part of this when he murdered his mother by stabbing her 12 times with his Boy Scout knife. He then went upstairs to the living room, arranged several occultic books in a circle, piled newspapers in the center, and set them on fire. Tommy’s father woke to the sound of the smoke alarm. He was able to put the fire and shortly after discovered his wife’s body in the basement. Tommy was not found until 9:30 the next morning, slumped in a blood-soaked snowbank, his wrists slashed and his throat cut. He nearly severed his own head. (Moody Monthly, March 1989 – The murder occurred on January 9, 1988 in Jefferson Township, N.J.)
Demonic & Angelic Battles
Daniel 10 gives us a glimpse in the spiritual war that we cannot see, yet is raging around us. Daniel 10:2 tells us that Daniel had been praying for 21 days – three weeks. He is on the banks of the river Tigris when he sees a vision. Daniel 10:12 gives the account of the angel that had come to Daniel and explained what had happened. “Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the Prince of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.”
This angel had been dispatched to answer Daniel’s prayer when he first started praying 21 days earlier. Yet, one of Satan’s host, here designated as the Prince of Persia, held up this angel for three weeks until he was helped by Michael, a chief prince. That is just part of the unseen battle. It involves angels and demons of different ranks wrestling with each other. The angels seek to carry out God’s will and the demons try to hinder them. We cannot perceive it, but we can be confident that such angelic struggles continue in our own time.
Response & Conclusions
How do we respond to all of this? If you are not a Christian, then fear is a proper response. You are without the needed resources to wage this spiritual battle. You will be influenced and you will be defeated unless you are rescued by God. However, your real fear needs to be of God, not Satan. Jesus said in Matthew 10:28 not to “fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell.” Only God can do that, for Satan himself will be cast into hell. You need to turn away of your sin and self-righteousness and cast yourself on God’s mercy found in Jesus Christ. You will find forgiveness through Him and in the Holy Spirit you will have the resource needed to be victorious in spiritual conflict.
Christian, you have no need to fear. Perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18) and God and demonstrated His perfect love for us (Romans 5:8, Romans 8:38,39 etc.). “Greater is he who is in you (Christ) than he who is in the world “(Satan). If you are in Christ, then you are protected by Him (2 Thessalonians 3:3). You must put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6) which we will be explaining in detail in the months to come, and you must submit to God and resist the devil which will cause him to flee (James 4:7).
The point of this sermon is that this spiritual battle is real. There is a Holy War going on and there are supernatural creatures doing supernatural things. Safety comes only in Christ. You must be “strong in the Lord and the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10), and then you will be able to be victorious in spiritual battle for you will be standing firm against the schemes of the devil.
The next Sermon in this series is: Spiritual Warfare, Part 3: Satan’s Subtle Devices)
Sermon Notes – 11/30/2008
Spiritual Warfare, Part 2: The Nature of Our Adversary – Ephesians 6:12 & Selected
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 – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times the words “Satan” or “demon” is mentioned. 2) Talk with your parents about the nature of Satan and demons and how you can be protected against them.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What are the two most common strategies Satan uses to keep people from effective defense in spiritual warfare? What has God already done for us that will enable us to be strong in Him? How will our obedience to His commands enable us to be strong in Him and stand firm against the schemes of the devil? What was Satan like before he fell into sin? How did his character change after that fall? What was the source of his pride? What does Satan want to do – Isaiah 14? What do the various names for Satan tell you about him and his character? What are some of the character descriptions used for him? How does Satan seek to usurp God? How did Satan deceive Eve? What was God’s response to man’s fall into sin? What was Satan’s next effort to try to separate man from God? What was God’s response to man’s wickedness? What hope did He give mankind? What are some of the ways that Satan tried to destroy Jesus? Satan failed many times in his attempt to murder Jesus – what changed that Jesus finally died on the cross? Why wasn’t this a victory for Satan? What did Jesus do that sealed Satan’s doom? How did that same action give hope to mankind? How does Satan continue to fight against God – in the life of the non-Christian? In the life of the Christian? What are Satan’s abilities regarding: supernatural phenomena? War? Theft? Murder? Health? Animal behavior? What danger do these supernatural abilities pose to the non-Christian? To the Christian? What are demons? What is their origin? What do they seek to do? What is their relationship to idolatry? What are some of the supernatural phenomena that they empower? What is their role in false doctrine? 1 Timothy 4 lists specific doctrines that are come from demons. What are they and what groups do you know that teach / practice any or all of them? List some of the overt displays of demonic activity in the United State of which you are aware. What are some of ways you have seen occultic themes or demonic doctrine taught in each of the following: music, radio, movies, TV, cartoons, books, magazines, schools, government, business, computer or video games, board games. What does Daniel 10 indicate about how demons try to hinder the work of angels? About the breadth of spiritual warfare? Can non-Christians defend themselves against Satan & the demonic? Why or why not? What hope can be given to non-Christians? Why should Christians be unafraid of Satan and the demonic? How can Christians cause the devil to flee? What must Christians do to be victorious in spiritual warfare?
We are _____________ in spiritual warfare whether we like it or not and whether we fight back or not.
________ of spiritual warfare will cause people to avoid spiritual things or become superstitious
Ignorance and / or humor will cause people to think of the demonic as ________________
God has _____________ done everything for us that we need to be strong in Him
We must also put our __________ on to stand firm against the schemes of the devil
__________ army is organized into four categories: Principalities; Powers; World-forces; Spiritual forces
Identity of Satan
Ezekiel 28:11-19: – He had been full of wisdom, perfect in beauty, anointed cherub who covers, ________
Satan became: _____________ , filled with violence, wisdom corrupted, proud because of beauty.
Isaiah 14:3-15 – ________ stated in five “I wills” – he seeks to usurp God and take His place.
Names for Satan: “prince of this World,” “the prince of the power of the air,” “the god of this age”
___________, Lucifer, Satan, devil, the Old Serpent, Great Dragon, Great Red Dragon ,
Appollyon, _____________ , Tempter, Accuser, Deceiver
Descriptions of Satan: murderer, __________, sinner, opposer of the righteous
Satan’s War Against God – he seeks to _________ God
Genesis 3 – Satan deceives Eve through three ________, Adam sins and mankind falls.
God had a plan for the redemption of mankind – Genesis 3:15 – Christ will ___________ over Satan
Satan instigates _____________ (Genesis 4 / 1 John 3:12), but God gave another son – Seth
Man is utterly _______________ by Genesis 6, and God judges, but preserved a remnant
Satan sought to have Jesus killed, but Christ could not die until His __________________to redeem man,
Jesus proclaimed ____________ and rose from the dead
Satan is defeated, but still _________. He still strives to keep unbelievers _____& make believers useless
Abilities of Satan
Job 1 & 2: The ________________ of theft, murder, a “natural disaster,” and physical suffering
He will be the source of great signs and wonders to ______, if possible, even the elect (Matt. 24; 1 Thess. 2)
Satan will use every means to __________people from the worship of the Eternal God to something else.
Demons are ________- Deuteronomy 32:17 ; Psalm 106:34-38 Matthew 12:22-28; Acts 5:16 ; James 2:19
Identity of Demons – Matthew 25:41 ; Revelation 12:4
Demons are fallen ___________. ___________of the angelic host fell with Satan
Demons are the power behind _________& the occult – Deut. 32:17 ; Psalm 106:34-38 ; 1 Cor. 10:18-21
____________; apports, telekinesis; occultic visions, automatic writing, materializations; apparitions, etc.
“___________” are demonic apparitions and materializations – demons can do what angels do
____________ can be the source of disease, disabilities, insanity, masochism, animal behavior, divination
Demonic Doctrine & Influence
Demons develop and spread _____________________ – I Kings 22; 1 Timothy 4:1-4
False religions and cults are all based on the doctrine of __________- so are some theological aberrations.
Overt demonic activity occurs around the world and is ______________ in the United States
Sources of demonic influence include: False religions, cults, directly occultic teaching and practices, some ________________ media, some education materials, drug abuse, and even some _________.
Demonic & Angelic Battles – Daniel 10
The spiritual battle between demons and angels that ranges from _________ to national to international
Response & Conclusions
The non-Christian is ________ the necessary resources. He needs to fear ____, repent & believe in Christ
The Christian is ___________by God. He needs to submit to ________and resist the devil and he will flee
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