Spiritual Warfare, Pt. 1

Scripture: Revelation 12:7-9, Isaiah 14:12, 1 John 5:19
Date: 07/09/2016 
There is a spiritual battle going on all around us but we do not need to fear. As we near the end of this world, we will see an increase of diabolical powers, signs, and wonders. God is going to pour out His spirit on His people and we will see amazing power and miracles. Part 1

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There are spirits that are at war all around us all the time and they’re fighting over the territory of our hearts and our minds. Now, how many of you will admit that you are demon harassed? If it makes you feel better, Jesus was demon harassed. You know, it tells us in Genesis that in the days just before the flood, the thoughts of men’s hearts were only evil continually and violence filled the land. And Jesus said in the days just before he returned it would be as it was in the days of Noah.

And we can see that it seems like it’s getting that way now, because there is a war going on in the world and what we think is sometimes war in the streets or a physical war, is really beginning with a spiritual war. There is a battle between good and evil. Amen. Now today’s message is going to be on spiritual warfare, part 1. I don’t know how to tell you this, friends, but we are surrounded – you are surrounded right now – you are awash – you are swimming in electromagnetic radio waves, and you can’t see them.

Matter of fact, those of you who have smart phones or apple devices, somebody just came out with a new app – they’ve got an app for everything – it’s called ‘architecture of radio’. And what this app does, is it helps you visualize wherever you are based on gps signals coming down to your phone or your ipad, what are the radio waves – it gives you a visualization of the radio waves, television waves, frequencies – all around you. And its creator, the dutch information designer, richard vijgen, developed this so that it takes the seven million telephone cell towers, 19 million wi-fi routers, hundreds of satellites, television towers and all these frequencies from radio that are filling the air, and it helps you move around and see how bombarded you’re being at any given moment. Wouldn’t that be disconcerting? It’d make you probably put aluminum foil on your head and walk around to try and protect yourself. You just think about all of the radio waves - and then i’ve thought, before, wouldn’t it be interesting for you to have a conversation with one of the apostles and try to explain that we are swimming in radio waves.

Why is it, in our culture, we think that it’s scientific – I mean, a hundred years ago, if you tried to explain radio waves, people’ll think you’re a kook. But we know, now, they’re there. So why do we find it so hard to believe when the Bible says there’s a whole spiritual realm and we just don’t have instruments, right now, to detect it, but it’s very real. There are spirits that are at war around us all the time. Good and evil, there is a battle.

There’s a Great Controversy that is going on. There is a war that is going on and they’re fighting over the territory of our hearts and our minds. And we are involved. You can’t say, ‘well, I don’t believe it, so it doesn’t affect me.’ Whether you believe it or not, it does affect you. And, if you don’t believe it, you’re already captive because there’s nothing the devil wants more than for you to dismiss his reality.

Well, if we say there are devils or angels, where’d they come from? “A war broke out in heaven” – there was a conflict – war is the best word that the writer could use to explain it in terms we understand – “Michael and his angels fought with the dragon and the dragon fought and his angels.” – Notice, the dragon has angels – “but they did not preveal, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the dragon was cast” – to the earth – he “was cast out, that sesrpent of old, called the devil and satan.” Now, do we need to wonder who the dragon is, or does the Bible tell us? The serpent, the devil, and satan – all one and the same – many names – “who deceives the whole world;” – how much of the world is deceived by him? – The whole world – “he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” So where’d they come from? They are originally created as ministering spirits. And one of the highest of God’s creations was sthe leader of the angels who had the name, as far as we know, it was ‘lucifer’ and he was perfect and it was a good name that means ‘light bearer’. But, because God makes all of his creatures free and they’re intelligent and, in order to love God, he gives them a choice because you can’t force love. Lucifer began too choose to love himself more.

“How you are fallen from heaven, o lucifer, son of the morning!” It just tells us, at some point he began to wish that he was the most high. Beautiful angel – powerful – intelligent – talented – he began to love himself and gradually his love for self eclipsed his love for God and, see, God designed us so that love comes from us and flows out. God is love. Love is always going out from God. The compass needle was destroyed in lucifer so he wanted the worship to come in.

And he, eventually, led a rebellion saying that the world and the universe would be much happier if he was in charge. And you and I think, ‘how is that possible?’ But don’t underestimate, this was a creature that was just under God in power and intelligence and he was very persuasive and very cunning and he’s got most of the world persuaded right now. You read in 1 John 5, verse 19, “we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” People are often asking, ‘if there’s a God, why do so many bad things happen?’ I think we ought to be asking the question differently. Since the whole world is under the sway of the wicked one, why do so many good things happen? But as the Spirit of God and his restraining angels are being driven from our world. What is the goal of the devil and his fallen angels? You realize the devil is just – he is the supreme fallen angel and, often we’ll say, ‘well the devil is tempting me.

’ Do you think it’s the devil, personally, tempting you? He’s often operating through one of his fallen angels. Quite frankly, since the devil is not all knowing – the devil doesn’t know all your names. He’s probably delegated that to some of his – and he – the Bible talks about there’s an organization among the angels – good and bad – they’re organized in their work. There’s a hierarchy among the angels, good and bad. And they’re organized like an army’s organized and there are some sergeants and privates assigned to different people.

Some of you remember that in the book of acts, I think it’s chapter 19, these exorcists – these sons of sceva were trying to cast out devils and they heard how Paul was casting out devils in the name of Jesus. They thought, ‘well, we’ll try that, you know, maybe just say the word ‘Jesus’ like ‘abracadabra’ and it’ll work.’ So they found this demon-possessed man and they said, ‘in the name of Jesus, who Paul preaches, we cast you out.’ And the devil said something interesting. Yes, devils talked through people in the Bible. We’ll get to that later. The devil said, ‘i know Jesus’ – because they knew Jesus before the fall.

He is their creator. All things that were made, were made by Christ. Those fallen angels were once good angels and Jesus made them and they rebelled. He said, ‘i know Jesus and I know Paul, but,’ – he said – ‘who are you?’ (Laughter) in other words there are a lot of people out there, they’re just so swallowed up with the darkness of the world that the devil doesn’t even fret about them. It makes you wonder, do you want to pray that you can live a life the devil will take notice of? That’s one of those trick questions.

Do you want to live a life that is going to be so Godly that the devil will know who you are? Amen. The right answer would be yes, but when you say that, then you think, ‘i don’t want any more attention from the devil.’ Right? James 2:19, “you believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe – and tremble!” Now this is something that I thought more about this week. Evil angels are not happy.

They’re just unhappy. Why are they unhappy? They have been cast out of heaven and they know they’re never going back. They don’t like you because you have a chance to get back. We are separated from God also, you know, but, because of the mercy of Christ, we have a probationary time. The fallen angels had a probationary time – they used it up.

It’s gone. They’re – they’ve committed the unpardonable sin. I’ve actually heard people ask me before, ‘Pastor Doug, now, if the devil repents’ – they’re optimistic – ‘would God forgive him?’ Now, he’s not going to repent. Don’t hold your breath. He has committed the unpardonable sin.

He has completely lost his capacity to repent, as have all of the fallen angels. They’re not going to repent. They are sealed. They are doomed. They are kept in everlasting chains of darkess waiting for that fateful day.

They don’t know when, but the Bible says, ‘woe unto the inhabitants of the earth for satan has come down unto you having great wrath’ – this is Revelation 12 – ‘because he knows his time is short.’ The demons tremble. They know their day of judgment is coming. Christ is going to say, ‘depart ye cursed into the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ They know that it’s not going to end well for them. And so, they’re just trying to tear and rip as many as they can on their way down. It’s like – they’re like these suicide bombers.

They don’t care anymore what happens to them, they’re just trying to take as many with them as they can. So they know they’re doomed and he’s come down with great wrath to try and cause as much misery as he can. So what are the tools of satan’s trade? Well, he’s – pretty good tool box. Revelation 16:14, “they are the Spirits of devils, working miracles.” Revelation tells us that these fallen angels, they can do signs and wonders and miracles. There are a lot of religions that gained their credibility because fallen angels did signs and wonders and brought people in and it was all the devil that was manipulating people.

So satan does have a certain amount of power. You can read, also, in the book of job chapter 2, verse 7, “so satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and struck job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.” A lot of people have been made sick by the devil. Now, of course, there’s some sickness that obviously comes with age. There’s sickness that may come with bacteria. There’s some naturally induced sickness, and then there are supernatural ailments.

Luke 13:16 – Jesus healed a woman who had been bent over for 18 years. Listen to how Christ described it, “so ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom satan has bound lo these eighteen years” – satan has bound her – “be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath.” And Jesus healed her and she was straightened for the first time in 18 years. She had been all hunched over. The devil deceives and he persecutes. Revelation 12:9 and 13.

He makes war against God’s people. If you’re a believer, you are the special target of his anger – his wrath. He falsely acuses. Matter of fact, the word ‘devil’ means ‘slanderer’ – he slanders. He’s called the accuser of the brethren.

You may remember there, in the book Zechariah, it talks about satan stood there by the high priest, pointing his finger and accusing because his garments were filthy – he prompts betrayal. What was it? Satan entered Judas and Judas went out and sold Jesus. That’s what it says. He traps and ensnares through a variety of ways. 2 Timothy 2:26, 1 Peter 5:8.

He brings disease. We touched on that. He imprisoned – he imprisons – Luke – i’m sorry, Revelation 2:10. He’ll possess or hinder a person – Luke 22:3-5, 1 Thessalonians 2:18. He can appear as an angel of light.

Now, when the devil came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness – i’m assuming you all know the story – you can find in Matthew and Mark – Matthew and Luke – and he said, ‘if you’re The Son of God, turn these stones into loaves of bread.’ Do you think that the devil plopped down on the ground there in front of Jesus, snapping his pointed red tail, wearing his red leotards. Think of this idea he’s got the horns. Do you see anything in the Bible that portrays the devil that way? Now, in some of our graphics – our artwork – you may see the devil – you know, is pictured as the typical thing, but it’s just an artist’s concept. No, the devil was a beautiful angel and when he appeared to Jesus during that great temptation, he probably came looking like an angel sent from God to bring relief. Angels did come to help Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane.

Angels did come and take care of Elijah in the wilderness when he was hungry and tired. And so, it’s like the angel came and says, ‘i’ve been sent from heaven. Now, if you’re The Son of God, just do one little miracle here. Let’s prove that you still believe.’ And he was so subtle. I mean, you and I sometimes miss what was going on there, but it was a real temptation.

He can appear as an angel of light. Now, if he could appear as an angel of light during Christ’s time, can he still do it today? Yes. What do you think – God came to earth in the form of a man – the incarnation is Jesus. Before the end of the world – satan is saving his masterpiece. You know, at the end of the show you’ve got the big cresendo – the climax – and the final masterpiece of satan’s masquerade is going to be he will come, not just as an angel of light, but he will come and appear to be the dazzling Christ himself.

And much of the world is going to be swept up in that. So there’s a war going on. We need to know how to recognize that. Don’t go anywhere, friends, we’ll be back in just a moment with the rest of today’s presentation. One of the most confusing subjects in our world today is the big question: ‘what happens when we die?’ It seems like everywhere you turn, someone out there has a different opinion about the afterlife, whether heaven, hell, purgatory, limbo, or eternal non-existence.

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And, after read this incredible resource, be sure and share it with a friend. Let’s return now to today’s presentation and learn some more Amazing Facts from the Word of God. Now, this is all sort of an introduction to something, I want you to notice. If I were to ask you ‘what was the first miracle of Jesus?’ What would you say? Turned water to wine. Turning water to wine.

Where do you read that? Gospel of John, chapter 2 – the wedding of cana, right? That’s the Gospel of John. And I believe that was the first miracle of Christ, but when you read Luke and Mark it’s not listed as the first miracle. John says it was the first miracle, but when you read Mark and Luke, the first miracle listed – the wedding of cana was over – was casting out a devil. You can look – Mark chapter 1, verse 21, “…immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and he taught. And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit.” You wonder, would they have noticed that man had an unclean spirit if Christ hadn’t been preaching the word. But when Jesus began preaching the word, one of the ways that evil spirits are cast out is through the proclamation of the word. You’ve probably seen television programs before where there’s a minister and people are coming up front and the minister maybe is laying hands on them and they’re shaking and they’re writhing and flopping around on the floor. And i’m not saying that that doesn’t happen. I’ve seen things like that.

But, most of the time when people are being harassed by the devil or even possessed by the devil, it is so subtle that no one around you would ever know. When a person, like Mark chapter 5 is possessed with a legion of demons – he’s got 2,000 demons in him – well, then they start to, like, tear off their clothes and break chains and they’re screaming and cutting themselves with stones and running around like a maniac and living in a tomb. When you get 2,000 demons, it’s hard to hide. But suppose there’s only 1,000 demons. Well, they’d probably be still really difficult to get along with.

What if you cut that down to 100 demons? Well, they might be able to walk up and down the streets and you wouldn’t spot them right away. Get it down to just four or five and you might even get to where you could hold position in a church and people would never know. You hear where i’m going with this? Yes. Is I think we misunderstand: there are people where the devil’s got hooks in them and it’s a thin line between harassment and possesion, but some people are bound by the devil. Mark 1:24, when Jesus told the devil to come out, the demon-possessed man responded, ‘let us alone.

’ So does that man have more than one devil? Again, he’s in church – ‘let us alone.’ “What have we to do with you, Jesus of nazareth? Did you come to destroy us? I know who you are” – it’s interesting, he goes between ‘us’ and ‘i’ – “i know who you are – the holy one of God!” Jesus gives us a divine mandate. You read, for instance, in Mark 6:12 – he sent out the disciples and “so they went out and preached that people should repent. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.” Now do we believe in preaching? Notice what it says: they ‘preached that people should repent.’ Do we believe in that? Yes. Do we do that? Yes. And then you jump and it says, ‘they anointed many who were sick with oil.

’ Do we believe in that? Do we do that? Now what’s it say just between there? ‘They cast out many demons.’ You might be wondering, ‘what does that mean?’ Do you think that’s still part of the message? Yes. It is. Here’s what I think: old testament – very little about demonic possession – it’s there, it doesn’t talk about – the Jewish priests didn’t say, you know, ‘come for’ – ‘we’ve got a special sacrifice for being delivered for demons.’ They had all these different sacrifices for leprosy and different things, but you don’t read a lot about it. King Saul and maybe a couple of others. Balaam was possessed.

And then you get to the epistles – they don’t talk a lot – it is in the book of acts and the Gospels, but wherever you see the preaching of the Gospel, you see the resistance of the devils because the preaching of the Gospel is the most effective means of casting out the devil. Amen. It is the word. What did Jesus use against the devil? His word. ’It is written.

’ When satan came to Christ in the wilderness and he tempted him, those three primary temptations, he met every temptation by saying, ‘it is written. It is written. It is written.’ And, finally, the devil had to leave. And it’s the power of the word, still, that does that – that makes that difference. So we have a divine mandate: satan and his devils can cause physical reactions.

I want you to notice, quickly, Mark 1:25 – when Jesus rebuked the devil there in the synagogue, he said, “be quite, and come out of him.” – The devil was talking – and when that happened, it says, “the unclean spirit had convulsed him and he cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him.” There was a convulsion. He was writhing. Mark 9:26, “then the Spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, ‘he is dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand, lifted him up, and he arose.” There was a great battle that transpired sometimes. When the children of Israel were born as a nation and they came out of Egypt, did they come with just, you know, waving hankies and everything was fine? Or was there a great convulsion? Was there resistance? Did the pharaoh chase after them? Did he try to hang on to them and claw them to keep them? When people are being delivered from the devil and they are being born again, there’s a battle.

People want to be saved without any kind of struggle. And when you’re trying to give up the old ways and take on a new way of life, there’s often a battle. And the devil will tighten his grip. And I resent, sometimes, when pastors tell people, ‘just come forward, say this prayer, and everything’s going to be fine.’ That’s not honest. You might feel a struggle because you’ve gone from being a compliant slave of the devil to being his enemy and you’re going to meet with some resistance.

And people need to be prepared for that and discipled and taught. So there’s a physical reaction, often, when being delivered. Demons may speak through people. Luke 8:30, “Jesus asked him, ‘what is your name?’” – This is the only time when Jesus actually addressed the demon – “and he said, ‘legion,’ because many demons had entered him.” Can we win the battle against the devil in this spiritual warfare? Yes. Let me give you a few promises - i’ll give you more, later.

Colossians 1:13, “he has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the Kingdom of The Son of his love,” – he will or he has? Has. You can – the Kingdom of God is at hand. You can leave the Kingdom of darkness that encompasses this world – the whole world is in darkness, we read. 1 John 2:13, “i write to you young men because you have overcome the wicked one.” Can wee overcome the wicked one? Amen. 1 John 4:4, “you are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

” And who is he talking about that ‘he who is in the world’? He’s talking about the devil. But he that is in you is greater than the one who keeps the world in darkness. So, yes, you can overcome. How do we defeat the devil? This is just the first part. Psalm 119, verse 11, “Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

” James 4:7, “therefore submit yourself to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.” How do you submit to God? Through prayer. You pray, you say, ‘Lord, I am willing to make you Lord and comply with Your Word. I am going to be your servant, you are going to be my Lord.’ Instead of submitting to the devil as your Lord, you submit to God as your Lord. A willingness to obey who your new master is. If you submit to the Lord, draw near to God, he will draw near to you.

The devil flees from you. “Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” You know, in the Lord’s prayer, when it says, ‘deliver us from evil’? You know what it actually says in the original? You look, for instance, in the new king James and some of the other translations, it literally says, ‘deliver us from the evil one.’ Now, the fact that that Lord’s prayer says, ‘give us this day our daily bread’ implies that every day we need to be praying that God will deliver us from the evil one because every day we are harassed by the devil. And i’ll give you one more: 1 Peter 5:8 and 9, “be sober, be vigilant; because you adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion,” – lions like to sneak up through the bushes – “seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” Christians everywhere are struggling with temptation and many are being victorious and you can be victorious, is what he’s saying. Peter says, ‘resist him, steadfast’.

What did we start with? ‘Stand, therefore, with the armor of God because you don’t wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. Jesus fought the devil with the word. (Dramatic music) (rain falling) (creaking doors) throughout recorded history tales of ghosts and spirits could be found in folklore in nearly every country and culture. The Egyptians built pyramids to help guide the Spirits of their leaders. Rome sanctioned holidays to honor and appease the Spirits of their dead.

Even the Bible tells of a king that used a witch to contact the Spirit of a deceased prophet. Today, ancient folklore of spirits and apparitions have gone from mere superstitions to main stream entertainment and reality. Scientific organizations investigate stories of hauntings and sightings, trying to prove, once and for all, the existence of ghosts. Even with all the newfound technology and centuries of stories all over the world, there is still no clear-cut answer. So how do we know what’s true? Why do these stories persist? Does it even matter? We invite you to look inside and find out for yourself.

Visit ghosttruth.com. Don’t forget to request today’s free offer. It’s sure to be a blessing. And thank you for your continued support as we take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. We hope you’ll join us next week as we delve deep into the Word of God to explore more Amazing Facts.

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