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Spiritual Warfare 301b

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02/03/2008

SPIRITUAL WARFARE 301

2 Corinthians 11:3

But I am AFRAID that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of “your” devotion to Christ!

 

            **One of the books that I recommended for you to begin to read is titled When Godly People Do Ungodly Things. It is a good read and it might give you some insight into some of the reasons Godly people can sometimes do such Ungodly things.

 

            **Beth Moore is the author of the book and she does not pretend to be an authority on the subject nor does she pretend to have all of the answers as to why Godly people do Ungodly things.

 

            **In the book she gives three reasons why she believes that it is possible for Godly people who love God and have a record of serving God can suddenly seem to stray away from God and live a season of doing ungodly things.

 

            **The first reason she believes this is because of the testimony of so many Believer’s who have confessed to doing ungodly things (including her own testimony).

 

            **The second reason she believes this is possible is because of the warnings in Scripture that Spirit-filled Believers can be “caught” in a season of perversion.

 

            **The third reason she believes this is possible is because of the nearness of the end of this age! The study of “end times” or “eschatology” emphatically reveals that the closer we get to the return of Jesus the more wicked and lawless people will become But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant . . .unholy . . . malicious gossips and without self control . . . lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God and they will hold to a FORM of GODLINESS, although they will deny the power of godliness (2 Timothy 3:1-5)!

 

            **The apostle Paul was as fearless as any man that you would ever want to meet. He was not afraid of death, of suffering, being beaten or imprisonment. However there is one thing that he said that he was afraid of and he tells us what it was in 2 Corinthians 11:3. Let’s read our text out loud . . .

 

            **The word the apostle Paul used to communicate his fear is the Greek verb phobeo. We get our word PHOBIA from it and this word suggests something far greater than a passive concern. This is a word that means to be TERRIFIED of something.

 

**Imagine the change in the pitch of Paul’s voice as it erupts from the enormous passion he felt for the Corinthian Believers as he says but I am AFRAID . . .

 

            **Paul wasn’t concerned, he was TERRIFIED! Now it is important to remember that Paul was not terrified of the serpent. He consistently preached that Believer’s should be alert, aggressive and resistant but never PHOBIA!

 

            **What exactly was Paul so terrified about? He was AFRAID that these young, and somewhat inexperienced Believer’s, might fall for the craftiness or schemes of the serpent!

 

            **Just what is it about the devil that made Paul AFRAID FOR the Believer’s in the Corinthian Church? There are five (5) things about the devil that Paul knew and we need to be aware of them as well so that we will not be led astray from our simple and pure devotion to Christ!

 

First of all:

**As an:

I.                  ADVERSARY HE IS UNCOMPARABLE

1 Peter 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert, your adversary the devil prowls around . . .

Jn 12:31 Now the ruler of this world will be cast out . . . because the ruler of this world has been judged Jn 16:11

 

**There are many ways the Bible describes the personification of evil. Perhaps the best description you can have of him is as our ADVERSARY!

 

**Peter used this term to describe him in 1 Peter 5:8 when he said  Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around. . . As an ADVERSARY he is UNCOMPARABLE to any adversary you will ever encounter. Listen to some of the ways the Bible describes him.

 

**The ruler of this world or the prince of this age Now the ruler of this world will be cast out Jn 12:31 . . . because the ruler of this world has been judged Jn 16:11

 

**He is also portrayed as already being defeated. Jesus said, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning Lk 10:18 But how can a defeated adversary still be allowed to be the ruler of this world?

 

**When God created Adam and Eve He created them to have “dominion and authority” over all of God’s creation. However there was a war that took place in the heavens between Michael and his angels and Satan and his demons. Listen to how that war is described in Revelation 12: 7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him!

**After Satan lost this war he and his demons were thrown down to the earth and Adam and Eve and the entire human race were supposed to have dominion and authority over them.

 

**Satan knew this was true and so he developed a plan that if he was successful would allow him to take the dominion or authority away from Adam and Eve and thus become the ruler of this world!

 

**Please remember that Satan is the ruler of this world but only by divine permission and for a short time and he knows it! Listen to what God said about this in Revelation 12:12 Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he only has a short time!

 

**There is a scene that takes place in Heaven that John describes for us in Revelation 5:1-10. John tells us about a throne and one that was seated upon the throne. We know this to be God and He had a “scroll or a book” in His hand. A strong angel proclaimed with a loud voice “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?”

 

**John said that he began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it! However one of the elders said to John, “stop weeping”: Behold the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals!

 

**Then John said that he looked between the throne and the elders and he saw a Lamb standing, as if slain . . . and He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne . . .

 

**When Jesus died on the Cross He was buried in a borrowed tomb. For three days and nights the destiny, of the souls of mankind lie in the balance.

 

**What was Jesus doing for those three days and nights? Your Bible says that at some point in those three days and nights He went and “preached” or “announced” something to the “spirits in prison or captivity”.

 

**Allow my sanctified imagination to run wild just a little bit with you this morning. I can imagine a conversation that might have taken place between the devil and his demon helpers. They know that they only had “a short time” to try and defeat Jesus once and for all while He was on earth.

 

**So the spirit of time came and reported to the devil and said For 331/3 years I chased Him but I finally ran Him down!

 

**The spirit of death said yes and then I put Him down! The devil said to the grave can you hold Him down and the grave said nobody has ever escaped me yet!

 

**The first day came and the grave said He came here like all the rest and He is still here like all the rest!

 

**The second day came and the grave said He came here like all the rest and He is still here like all the rest!

 

 **But then the third day came and the grave said: Devil, I have got some bad news to tell you. He was here just like all the rest but then the ground began to shake and the stone began to rock and then the stone was rolled away.

 

**He stood up and began to shake the grave clothes off and then He began to taunt me by saying O DEATH WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O HADES WHERE IS YOUR STING?

**Then He said I will be back in a moment and He took the keys away from me and He went and preached to the spirits in prison and then He led captivity captive and began giving gifts to men!

!

**So no matter how tough your battles are with the devil and his demons, remember that you are not fighting FOR a victory but you are fighting FROM the VICTORY IN JESUS!

 

**Satan is the ruler of this world but just for a short time. If you don’t understand how that can be then maybe this illustration can help you.

 

**In November we will have our Presidential elections. At the end of election day a new President will have been elected but he will not take office until “Innaugaration Day” in January.

 

**Well in the spiritual realm election day was the Cross and Resurrection but Innaugaration Day is not until Jesus comes back to rule and reign on this earth!

 

**Jesus said in John 18: that His kingdom was not of this world. Right now Jesus rules and reigns “inwardly” in the hearts and lives of His Children but one day soon He is going to begin His new Outward reign and it will last for 1000 years!

 

**So with all of that being said, we still must deal with Satan as an ADVERSARY that is UNCOMPARABLE to any adversary we have ever had to face but also:

 

 

 

 

**As a:

II.               DECEIVER HE IS UNCONSCIONABLE

2 Cor 11:3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness. . . . Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies John 8:44

 

**Not only is he said to be the ruler of this world and like a prowling lion but he is also described as being the father of lies: Jesus said this about him: Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies John 8:44

 

**Always remember that our adversary the devil is a spirit being who was created by God. When he was created he was created with incredible beauty You were in Eden, the garden of God, every precious stone was your covering . . . on the day you were created they were prepared and you were the anointed cherub who covers . . . . you were blameless in your ways (Ezekiel 28:13-15).

**As a result, Satan knows how to transform himself into an “angel of light”.

 

**The Bible refers to demon spirits as unclean spirits. This gives us some insight into one of their chief objectives in the life of a Believer.

 

**When we are born again, we are made clean! As strange as it may seem to you we are also called saints or holy ones! Satan hates Christ and what Christ has done for you so much that one of his main objectives is to make the clean feel unclean!

 

**Satan knows that humans act out of how we feel rather than what we know. One of the greatest things you can ever do is to learn how to act out of what you know to be true rather than how you feel!

 

**As a liar and the father of all lies he will lie TO you, ABOUT you and he will even lie ABOUT you TO you! When he does this long enough you begin to FEEL the way he has lied to you. After you think a certain way long enough then you begin to FEEL that way!

 

**So as an ADVERSARY  he is UNCOMPARABLE and as a DECEIVER he is UNCONSCIONABLE and

 

**As a:

III.           TEMPTER HE IS UNAVOIDABLE

Mark 1:13 Jesus was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan

 

**As the tempter Satan knows three things about temptation.

1)      Temptation is ALLOWED by God

2)      Temptation is LIMITED by God

3)      Temptation can be DEFEATED

A)                By the FAITHFULNESS of GOD

B)                By the DISCIPLINE of MAN

 

 

**As a:

IV.            SEDUCER HE IS UNIMAGINEABLE

2 Timothy 2:26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will

 

**2 Timothy 2:26 teaches us that Satan’s objective is to take people captive and to get them to do his will instead of God’s will. So that they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will!

 

**Satan is very crafty at manipulating outside influences to affect the inside decision-makers of the heart and mind.

 

**Satan wants to make the CLEAN feel UNCLEAN with the hopes that they will act UNCLEAN.

 

**The major way that he accomplishes this is through SEDUCTION! However please do not think for a moment that the only form of SEDUCTION is SEXUAL.

 

**People are seduced every day by POWER, MONEY, POSITION and FALSE DOCTRINE.

 

*With that being said, there are not many things that will make a person feel UNCLEAN than SEXUAL SEDUCTION! Satan is able to make sexual sin feel dirtier than all of the other dirt we get into!

 

**While it is true that all sin is equal in the sense of eternal consequences, but not all sin is equal in its earthly consequences!

 

**For example stealing $100 dollars is a sin. If I stole the $100 dollars and on the way home I got convicted of it then I could throw it in a trash can and is some ways I could walk away from that sin without carrying it home with me.

 

**However if I commit sexual sin I have a much harder time dumping it in the trash can. Why is that? Because sexual sin is against my own body and it carries a much stronger staying power than any other sin!

 

**Since the Holy Spirit dwells in the body of every Believer, Satan knows that the best way for him to assault and injure Christ is by getting a Believer involved in sexual sin!

 

**Sexual sins have a way of “sticking to us” and making us feel like we ARE that sin rather than the fact that we COMMITTED that sin!

 

**God desires more than anything to restore sexual purity to anyone who has been “sexually seduced”, but it takes time to peel away the damaged character. The pain that is involved in this sin takes a long time for God to peel it away and to restore you back to wholeness!

 

**In 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 God says that we should Flee immorality! Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral man sins against his own body!

 

**Satan knows that all Believers have been “set apart” from the “unclean to the clean”, and from the “unholy to the holy”

 

**So far we have learned that as an ADVERSARY Satan is UNCOMPARABLE and as a DECEIVER he is UNCONSCIONABLE and as a TEMPTER he is UNAVOIDABLE and as a SEDUCER he is UNIMAGINEABLE but perhaps the worst is still to come becasue

**As an:

V.               ACCUSER HE IS UNFORGETABLE

Rev12:10 for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down

 

**John tells us in Revelation 12:10 that Satan is also the accuser of the brethren has been thrown down but he still accuses us before our God day and night . . .

 

**It is not bad enough that he is our Adversary and that he Deceives us and then Tempts us and when we are deceived and tempted that he seduces us. But after he has done all of that and we have given in to the temptations and seducing spirits, then he begins ACCUSING us before God day and night . . .

 

**This is where the guilt, shame and condemnation comes in and then torment comes in and then depression comes in and then suicide comes in and then we are discouraged and we feel dirty and used.

 

**O but beloved listen to me, there is a beautiful picture of what Jesus does for us found in the Old Testament book of Zechariah 3:1-4.

 

**Joshua the high priest was standing before the Angel of the Lord and Satan was standing at his right hand to ACCUSE him!

 

**But then the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you Satan! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?

 

**Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments standing before the Lord. But the Lord said “remove the filthy garments from him!

 

*And again He said, “See I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you will pure robes!

 

 

 

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