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Spiritual Warfare

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O.B.C.

6/5/94

Lk. 11:14-26

(from Chuck Swindoll)

Satan and his demons are real. Though we cannot see them, they exist. Though we may not know their strategy, they operate under a very direct control of an intelligent force at work at all times.

     Though you may not know their destination, they do.  And their hope is to bring every person they can possibly bring to the destination with them.

     Satan and the demons are real.

    

     God and His angelic hosts are real.  Though we cannot see them, they exist. Though we may not know their strategy, they operate under a very direct control of an intelligent force at work at all times.

     Though you may not know their destination, they do.  And their hope is to bring every person they can possibly bring to the destination with them. 

     These two opposing forces are at war and at work against one another and it is relentless.  It never lets up.

     If we could have the scales removed from our eyes so that we could see the supernatural world we would be struck dumb by what we would see.

     Barnhouse called this the invisible war.

     There is constant cosmic conflict. It never lets up.

     "Not even modern wars are fought with great intensity at every moment.  WWII had preliminary months that were called the phony war. The interval between WWII and the inevitable WWIII has been called the Cold War.  From the human point of view it may appear that there are similar phases of relaxation of intensity in the invisible war, but in this realm as in the realm of character, man looketh upon the outward appearance.  There is no truce in the invisible war.  There is no armistice in the invisible war. What may appear to be only a skirmish, may in reality be a major engagement. There are hundreds of millions of battles being fought every day.  The field of battle is the heart."

                   -Donald G. Barnhouse.

    

     Some of you today are engaged in a battle that no one else knows.  Perhaps it is going on for months now, maybe years. Perhaps the battle has destroyed more than one marriage in your existence.

     You may battle when you open the Word of God to take in the truth in a way that transforms your life.

     There are battles in sensual realms. Thoughts you have that are so wrong that you wouldn't tell your closest friend or your mate.


     Battles of revenge

     Battles of anger

          Even though you are a Christian, you would have to admit that you entertain thoughts that are horribly non-christian. I am not saying that all of those thoughts are demonic; I am saying that some are.  It is those realms that we are addressing today as we storm hellish gates through the ministry of Jesus Christ.

    

                        Kingdom of Light 

     Ultimate authority - living God, Maker of heaven and earth, Supreme Being, God the Father in the Godhead, The One who sent His Son.

     God is the one who directs the affairs of the kingdom of light; Satan is the one who directs the affairs of the kingdom of darkness.

    

     Ultimate destination (goal) - eternal bliss with God, a place of sheer light, never darkness, no more tears, no more death, no more threat of enemy invasion, no more war or rumor of wars.

     This place of eternal bliss is the destination of the redeemed.

 

     Strategy - Redemption.  The Kingdom of light wins.  The kingdom of darkness loses. The strategy of redemption is a plan wherein the God, the Father loved this world so much that He sends us His Son. His son lived on this earth 33 years and more and then was nailed to a cross where he gave up his life and his blood continues to wash away the sins of the world.  Jn. 3:16 Believers will be redeemed from the realm of darkness and death.

                   Kingdom of Darkness

     Ultimate authority - devil, Satan, Lucifer, Son of the Morning, angel of light, Baalzebul,

     Ultimate destination -  eternal place of punishment and torment; It could be called a place of despair, of lasting memories. A place of pain that is never relieved. We cannot imagine a place of eternal pain, but such it is. It is called a place "prepared for the devil and his angels; the lake of fire"

     Strategy- Ultimate destination of doom - a place that awaits those who do not know Christ as their Lord and Savior.  It is a place where good people will go. People who are lost nevertheless.  It is a place where intelligent people will go. People of all colors, races and nations will go. It is Satan's plan to draw people from all over the earth into that eternal destiny of doom.

     The Scriptures clearly set forth that there is no hope apart from Jesus Christ.

     Talked to people who have given themselves to the kingdom of darkness. They know misery, bondage and horror like most of us could never imagine unless we have been there.  They speak of things that they cannot control. Things that they have permitted that have now grown into such a state that they cannot break with them. They long to find relief. Some are finding that the only hope is in Jesus Christ. His power is greater than the power of the kingdom of darkness.

          Now, you can imagine when Christ was on this earth how he must have brought from the pit of hell the most incredible demonstrations of hatred toward Him, and how He must have proven Himself again and again the victor over them.

    

     Lk. 11:14-26

(two parts)

     14-20 Jesus casts out a demon and then it is discussed between Jesus and those who disagreed with his source of authority

     21-26  -a deeper discussion about demonism

     1.  (14-20)

     A man has been demonized by a demon

          a demon is able to go into a demon and control that individual's vocal chords, will (casting into a fire)

          a demon can bring a person all the way to suicide

     Jesus perceives that it is a demon and casts it out.

    

     a. Demons would have us believe that they are all powerful, they are not.

     They must be subject to the name and authority of Christ. The demons must submit and do exactly as they are told. There may be a fight, resistance, but they must ultimately obey. The demons will obey.

     Lk. 10:17 they were delighted that the demons were subject to them in Jesus' name

     Jesus warns them (v.20) to not be demon-centered.  Don't become a witch hunter.

     ill. demons of nicotine, nagging wives, stubborn wives, lust,

     Wait! There are demons and they are at work. But, they are not in every sickness. They are not in every stubborn will. They are not in everybody who disagrees with you. They are not in every psychological disorder; they are not in every seizure.

     1:15

     How ignorant it would be of us to assume that they are in every one of these things. If they were we'd merely cast them out and there would be no more....

 

     b. Demons must obey the authority of Christ.

          Obedience followed Christ's command.

    

     c. Relief invades following demonic departure.

     Exhausted yet nevertheless relieved.

     Bondage Breaker, Neil Anderson

     "One of the first person's I dealt with about spiritual conflicts and demonic influences was Daisy. A 26 year-old flower child from the 60's. Daisy was a Christian and a university graduate. But, she had severe mental and emotional problems after her father divorced her mother. Within a period of 5 years, Daisy had been institutionalized 3 times as a paranoid schizophrenic. After about 3 weeks of counseling with me, Daisy finally found the nerve to bring up the snakes in her life.

     What about the snakes", I asked.  "Well they crawl on me at night when I am in bed." "What do you do when the snakes come?"

"I run in to my mother, but they always come back when I am alone."

"I'll tell you what you should do.  When you are in bed and the snakes come, say aloud, `I command you in the name of Jesus Christ, to leave me."

     "I couldn't do that Daisy protested.  I'm not mature enough or strong enough."

     "It is not a matter of your maturity, it is a matter of your position in Christ. You have as much right to resist Satan and make him leave as I do."

     Daisy squirmed at the prospect.  "Well I guess I could do that Daisy sighed, sounding like she had just agreed to take castor oil."

     The next week when Daisy walked in Daisy said, "The snakes are gone."

     Great! Why didn't you tell me about them sooner?

     "I was afraid that you would get them too. Now I realize that this was just another part of the lie."

     Within a few months, Daisy was free of demonic entanglements and was ministering in our children's department at church. If her problem had been strictly neurological or caused by chemical imbalance, taking authority over the snakes in Jesus' name would not have worked. But in Daisy's case the problem was spiritual. And 5 years of hospitalization and chemical treatment had not worked."

     Be careful with what you hear. I always have to caution people when listening to information about something as fascinating as demonism. That they hear more than they think they hear. That all you need to do to cast out whatever that illness is is to cast out the demon of that illness.  Wait a minute.    

     You must be discerning as you hear information like this. It is true that demons are at work relentlessly. But, this is not to say that every mental turmoil is demonically inspired. Or that by casting out the demon of that turmoil you are relieved of that turmoil.  There are occasions when that will work and that demons are the source.

     A growing number of people spend their time dealing with troubled people. How marvelous it is when relief comes.

    

     Lk. 11:15  -  Beelzebub ?

     II Kings 1

     4 times in this chapter

     "the god of Ekron" each time

     Baal in Heb. means ruler, lord or god

     zebub means "dung"  sometimes "flies" that feed on and get the germs and carry them elsewhere "Lord of the flies"

     "Lord of the dung"

     One of the many false deities of the Philistines; demonically empowered

     There is nothing in the false deity. But there is something supernaturally present in the demons that empower those deities.

     There can be incredible power, influence.

     "Jesus, your authority comes from the same source as the false deities of Elijah's day."

     Jesus responds (v.17) "A house divided will not stand."

     You are saying that I am operating against Satan by casting out what he would want in.  Your criticism is strange. (v.18)

     v.20 a finger movement of God, (no big thing; no reason to fear the adversary)Greater is He who is in you...

     "... then the kingdom of God is upon you."

    

     You have a choice today. You can believe what is being told or you can reject.

     In order for any force to stay strong it must stay united.

     When it is divided it is weakened. v.20 is the climax

     this leads him to go on...

     v.21 when the demons, fully armed, guards an individual's life, he lives in a realm that is undisturbed.  He takes possession, he takes control and he does his ugly bidding in that life. But, when the power of Christ comes bringing a strength stronger than the enemy and He attacks and overpowers the demon, he removes all of the armor and distributes his plunder.

     Lk. 8 -multiple demons; go back to your people and tell them...

     In the struggle between opposing forces, neutrality is impossible.

    

     Some of you may be thinking, "If I just get rid of these negative influences, stop running with the crowd I have been running with, stop playing in enemy territory, and I can live my life clean and free.  For your sake and for those in Jesus' day

v.24-26 (insight)

     the demon goes out of the person and is disembodied, it lacks rest, it is the realm of the nether world, unrest "waterless places"

     I will go back where I was.

     The person is relieved and cleaned up.

     v.26 (it begs the imagination)

 

     1. Unclean spirits prefer to inhabit human bodies.

          They like to operate in human realms

 

     2.Living a clean life is insufficient defense against the adversary.

     It was clean, swept but not defended.  There's no armor of God. No protective presence of Christ.  No power of prayer. No shield of faith. No helmet of salvation.

 

     3. A second or third encounter with the demonic can be worse than the first.

     This information may be shocking to some who have not had the biblical information. You feel hopeless up against unseen forces. The only way that you are without hope is if you are without Christ. Without Christ you are without hope.

     You cannot deal with the enemy without Christ. You are dealing with a supernatural force.

    

     1. If we wish to understand Satan's strategy we need information; the Word of God.

          The Word of God is the source. Do your own study if you do not want to listen to a teacher.

    

     2. If we plan to withstand enemy attacks we need protection; the armor of God.

     Eph. 6:11-18

     It is a deliberate choice that the Christian must make.

    

     3. If we hope to be protected from demonic invasion we need salvation: the gift of God.  

     Placing one's faith and trust in Christ for eternal life and for daily deliverance.

     Neil Anderson

     "Harry was a normal southern California businessman who dabbled in psychic phenomenon.  At one time he was the president of a local psychic research society.  But, his psychic interests were little more than a hobby - a guise to hide his satanist activities. His mother had been a high priestess in satanism and had groomed him for his secretive role in satan worship. He was involved in hard-core satanism at a level that very few people ever hear about. Six months before he came to see me, Harry had decided to walk away from satanism.  But when he tried, the powers of darkness held on to their prize in a frightful way resulting in violent physical outbursts.  His landlady, a backslidden Christian and former girlfriend was deeply frightened so she called the paramedics.

     The demonic influence had Harry in such bondage that it took 7 paramedics to restrain him. It is important to understand that demonic influence is not an external force in the physical realm it is in the internal manipulation of the central nervous system.  The physical power that a demoniac possesses is similar to the extraordinary adrenolin driven power exerted in a crisis such as a mother that allows a mother to lift a car that has overturned on her child in an accident.

     After observing Harry for a day, the doctors could not observe anything wrong with Harry and let him go. After several futile attempts at helping Harry to get out of Satanism, Evelyn was referred to me.  She called and set up an appointment for him.

     Harry came to my office of his own accord but he was uneasy about the battle which he anticipated.  Once he was seated he said, "You have no idea what kind of power you are up against." "Yes, I do think  I understand the power of Satan." I answered calmly. "But, you obviously have no idea of the power of God. You say you want to get out of the darkness but, you have discovered that you cannot do it on your own.  In order to be free you must choose Christ as your lord. Only he can set you free. Are you prepared to choose Christ?"

     Harry began to shake a little and I realized that the enemy wasn't going to give up without a fight. I decided that I needed some additional support for prayer and accountability, so I left Harry in my office while I went to look for someone who could join me. The only person I could find was Wayne, our custodian.  Wayne agreed to sit in my office and pray while I dealt with Harry. Wayne was a good Christian man who had served as an elder in our church, but I knew that he had never seen anything like what he was about to see.

     I sat down facing Harry and said, "Are you prepared to make a decision for Christ, Harry? When he tried to answer me, suddenly it was show time. He exploded with a bloodcurdling roar, then stood up and was seemingly thrown across the room.  He ranted and raved and rolled around the office like a crazy man.  The demons who controlled Harry were using his mind, will and muscles and his emotions in a noisy display of resistance.

     By this time Wayne was plastered against the wall, praying like he had never prayed in his life. But I just sat still. I learned a long time ago that Satan's display of power is just another facet of his deception designed to provoke fear. He knows that if he can deceive us into being afraid of him fear will control our lives instead of faith.

     Satan prowls about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (I Peter 5:8). Why does a lion roar?  To paralyze its prey with fear. Once its victim is immobilized with fear, the lion can easily subdue it and kill it. But, because of our position, authority and protection in Christ Satan can't touch us.

     Satan is a powerful controller.  But the only thing that we have to fear is fear itself.

     As the devil roared at me through Harry, I began to read Scripture aloud and pray in a normal controlled voice that the enemy would be bound in silence. The portion of Scripture I usually read in these situations is Eph. 1 which graphically describes our position and authority in Christ.

     After I had taken several minutes taking authority in Christ through prayer  and reading Scripture, Harry fell flat on his stomach in front of me. "Lord Jesus, I need you." He cried out.

     I led him in a prayer of commitment to Christ, and when he stood up he was free.

     He embraced Wayne and me with a child-like joy he had never experienced before." 

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