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Angels

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1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (ESV)
23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

·         I am still convicted in my preaching on this subject of angels

·         Therefore we need to continue into our discussion of angels and today, by God’s grace and your prayers, we will look at the other side of the coin, looking at fallen angels, at Satan and Demons.

·         But in doing this, we must maintain our focus

·         Our focus on who’s day this is, ‘the Lord’s Day’

·         And especially our focus on this being the first Sunday the Sunday that we set aside for the ‘supper of remembrance’

·         I also want us to have the correct focus because when it comes to this subject, we bring to the table a variety of baggage containing ideas, teachings, views, fears, and beliefs

·         C. S. Lewis summarizes this in the preface of his book “The Screwtape letters, How a senior devil instructs a junior devil in the art of temptation.”  He says;

·         “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils.  One is to disbelieve in their existence.  The other is to believe and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.  They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”

·         The materialist is one whose beliefs are limited to what can be recognized by the senses (see, hear, smell, taste, and feel)

·         The magician on the other hand believes, at different degrees, in the occult and it’s practice. 

·         Good luck / Bad luck charms, horoscopes, Tarot Cards, Ouija  Boards, Fortune telling, witchcraft, and devil worship all fall under magic in this context

·         Once again, as I said before, mass media control much of what we see, hear, and believe in this field

·         Both of these views are unhealthy to deny their existence when they actually exists, sets one up for serious damage from the unknown

·         And to put too much emphasis in them actually is a form of idolatry

·         We must approach them in remembrance of Him, in Jesus’ name

·         Scripture lets us know that there is a reality to angels and there is also a reality to fallen angels.  Listen:

2 Peter 2:4 (ESV)
4
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;
Jude 6 (ESV)
6
And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—

·         Scripture informs us that these fallen angels, these Demons, and Satan himself, desire to do us harm.  Listen

Job 1:7 (ESV)
7
The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.”

1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)
8
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)
12
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

·         This Ephesians passage allows us to see their tactics

·         Tactics with one goal in mind

Galatians 4:8 (ESV)
8
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.

2 Corinthians 4:4 (ESV)
4
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

·         The tactics of the devil and his demons are meant to blind people to the gospel and to keep them in bondage to things that hinders them from coming to God

·         What are these tactics?  Here are a few

o   Hesitation

o   Procrastination

o   Temptation

o   Doubt

o   Guilt

o   Fear (they love the horror films and stories)

o   Confusion

o   Sickness

o   Envy / Jealousy

o   Pride

o   Intellect

o   Status 

o   Slander

o   Any other means possible to hinder a Christian’s witness and usefulness

·         We must move on because the temptation is to stay looking at these things

·         The key is not to sin and to live a righteous life

·         How?  In remembrance of Him

·         Brothers and sisters of New Hope, once again the timing of our God is perfect

·         We are about to take part in the supper of remembrance and along this subject of Satan and demons, I can remember three events that our Lord left for us to examine from time to time

·         Three events that I would like to call conversations

·         The first conversation of our Lord is found in the Sermon on the Mount, specifically in the “pray then like this portion”

·         In your conversation with your heavenly Father (your prayer) pray; “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

·         Many translate this; “deliver us from the evil one”

·         The ‘evil one’ is another name for Satan

·         The second conversation of Jesus is actually when He instituted the Lord’s Supper and after supper conversation with Peter.

·         In this conversation, Jesus mentions a conversation He had with His Father.  Listen

Luke 22:31-32 (ESV)
31
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

·         We talk much about Job and there are blessings in those lessons but Job did not have this

·         Yes Satan may have made a similar demand but notice the contra and the conversation, the statement ‘but I have prayed for you’,

·         You will look defeated, knocked down, guilty, filthy, and confused

·         But Jesus in his conversation with Peter on this day tells him that I have had the conversation with the maker of heaven and earth that through it all, your faith will not fall

·         And through what seems like failure, the plane is in a dive falling to death and destruction but when to turn, when you pull up, strengthen your brothers.

·         In remembrance of Him, is the Holy Spirit reminding you today and at this moment that Jesus had a conversation like this about you?

·         You realize that Peter thought he was all of that.  He could handle whatever came upon him.  But thank God the pray was not based on Peter assessment of Peter but Jesus’ assessment.

·         In remembrance of Jesus, there is one more conversation we are blessed to have access to

·         It is also during that time after the Lord’s Supper and before the betrayal, arrest, and Crucifixion

·         Jesus in what is called His ‘High Priestly Prayer’, converse with His Father and says;

John 17:15 (ESV)
15
I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.
John 17:20 (ESV)
20
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,

·         Fallen angels are real, how do you deal with them?  In remembrance of Him our Lord

Ephesians 6:10-13 (ESV)
10
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
1 Peter 5:9 (ESV)
9
Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

James 4:7 (ESV)
7
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

·         My reading, studying, and meditating on this uncovered a practical point that is easy to apply to each of your lives.

·         The point made was this; Scripture does not say if angels, elect or fallen, can hear our thoughts

·         It is, therefore, a good practice in your resisting to just say out loud your prayers and pronouncing the name of Jesus on it.

·         I see nothing wrong with saying ‘In Jesus’ name’ out loud

·         One final point about this before we have the supper of remembrance.

·         And the point is that we have the victory, Satan has been defeated

·         I close with this passage from Hebrews chapter 2

Hebrews 2 (ESV)
1
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, 4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. 5 Now it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. 6 It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? 7 You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, 8 putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. 9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, 12 saying, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” 13 And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again, “Behold, I and the children God has given me.” 14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

·         We do this in remembrance of Him!




Here is a quote from CS Lewis in the preface of his book “The Screwtape letters How a senior devil instructs a junior devil in the art of temptation.”

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils.  One is to disbelieve in their existence.  The other is to believe and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.  They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”

Luke 22:31-32 (ESV)
31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

John 17:15 (ESV)
15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.

John 17:20 (ESV)
20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,

·         Two conversations – one with Peter that talks of a demand and a conversation with the father known better as prayer

·         And the John’s passage that deals with a Father and Son conversation.

·         We learn it as kids and we sing it in worship.  Most of us know the words to what is called the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ by hard.  In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount sais to pray like this and one statement in this model prayer is found in the latter part of verse 13; “but deliver us from evil.”

·         If I am allowed to use the Bible as it own commentary, we find Jesus praying a high priestly prayer in John chapter 17.  There we find Jesus praying these words in verse 15; “I do not ask that You take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.”

·         Focusing on the words of Matthew alone, one could argue the point that as written, ‘deliver us from evil’, implies some type of force that’s evil, some evil thing, an evil substance that is maybe inanimate and/or abstract.

·         But John 17 commentary clears that up, the ‘evil one’, refers to a person, some type of being.

·         Paul in 2 Thessalonians 3:3 says the following:

2 Thessalonians 3:3 (ESV)
3
But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.

·         Note: Ephesians 6:10-12 implies that this is more than one person.

·         Solutions:

James 4:7 (ESV)
7
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

1 Peter 5:9 (ESV)
9
Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

Ephesians 6:10-13 (ESV)
10
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

Ephesians 6:10-12 (ESV)
10
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

James 4:7-8 (ESV)
7
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

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