A BIBLICALLY BASED STUDY ON
REV. ROBERTS. OLIVER
Write down the names of “every” person who has ever wronged you or hurt you in any way (ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind all of them)!
Now, by an act of your free will “CHOOSE” to completely FORGIVE every person on this list! Note: this is absolutely necessary for effective spiritual warfare in the life of the believer! Don’t go by feelings, forgiveness is a choice!
II Cor 10:3-6; I Tim 1:17-19; II Tim 2:1-4; Eph 6:10-13; I Pet 5:8,9
A)Spiritual Warfare is a Complex, Multidimensional, Foundational Aspect of Biblical and Practical Theology!
1) It is Greatly “Ignored” in the Western World.
2) It is an extremely Controversial, Confusing, and even Bewildering aspect of Biblical Revelation.
3) Since abuses abound and fear (in some cases, terror) of this realm of reality is wide spread, many Christians (including spiritualleaders) stay completely away from study or ministry in this area.
4) The Christian World of this new millennium is Under SatanicDemonic Attack as probably Not True since the First Few Centuries of the Church Age (see Rev 12:9-13)
B) One of the First Difficulties we Face as we Begin our Study of Spiritual Warfare is the Fact that it Represents a Multidimensional Warfare Issue!
1) We automatically think of Satan and his Demons but this is actually a great misconception.
2) Spiritual Warfare is First From WITHIN, Warfare with the Flesh. See James 4: l; I Peter 2: 11
3) Secondly, It is From WITHOUT, Warfare with the World. See I John 2:14-17; 5:19
4) Thirdly, It is From ABOVE, Warfare with Evil Supernaturalism. See Job 1:6, 7; 2: 1,2
5) Fourthly, It is From ALL AROUND, Warfare with Sin. See Romans 7: 14-25
6) It is Only in the Understanding of the Inner Working of these Four SIN Dimensions that the Believer Begins to Experience True Victory in Spiritual Warfare.
7) This Balanced, more Wholistic Approach, will be the approach Followed in this Series of Studies.
C) There Are at Least “7” Major Reasons For the Difficulties We Face in Examining This Subject:
1) First, Because Satan and his Demons are Invisible, Cosmic Beings of Total Evil, Intense Hatred, and Awful Destructive Force-Eph 2 :2
2) Secondly, Because Most people are Greatly Ignorant of the spirit World and wholly Unaware of It’s Literal Reality-II Cor 4:3,4
3) Thirdly, Because the Bible does Not Give us a Fully Developed Diabology (Satanology and Demonology) as It Does of Other Major Biblical Truths and Doctrines (But It Gives us Enough)!
4) Fourthly, Because the Scriptures were Written in the Context of a commonly held spiritualistic Worldview which is Foreign to the Western World.
5) Fifthly, Because Biblical Revelation is “Progressive”, not instant. See Isaiah 2 8:9, 10, 13a,b
6) Sixthly, Because the Bible Contains many Givens, i.e. Truths stated with little or “no” explanation provided; examples: Gen 1: 1,2; Gen 3: 1 (we must accept Scriptural Revelation without Inquisition).
7) Seventhly, Because of the Element of Fear of the awesome power of Evil Supernaturalism.
D) A Series of Important Observations:
1) I am Not an Expert (we ALL will be Learning Until we Go HOME to be With Our Dear LORD)!
2) I am Not a Demon Hunter! Jesus and His Disciples Never set out to Hunt Down Demons; we Only Deal with them When they Cross our Pathway or Obstruct Our Ministry.
3) I Never Look for Demons in People’s Lives! I just Obey the Scripture and Teach Believers Spiritual Warfare Techniques (see Luke 10: 17-20); If I Discover Demonic Presence I Follow Biblical Principals Demonstrated in the Ministry of Jesus and His Disciples Concerning the Total Defeat of Evil Supernaturalism By Our LORD and the Believer’s Authority Over Them!
4) While I Do Not Hunt for Demons, They DO Hunt for Me! Every True Minister of God’s Word is a Certain Target; and generally speaking, This is also True of Every Believer that is being Used by God; Specifically speaking, They Hate Intensely Those who Expose Their Deception, Challenge Their Power in The Authority Of JESUS Name, and Expel Them Through HIS Name! Rev 18: 1,2
5) We Must Realize that We are Dealing with TOTALLY DEFEATED FOES! See Col 2:13,15; Heb 2:14; I John 3:8
6) We Must Live our Lives Daily Focused on the Lordship of Jesus Christ and our Divine Union With HIM!
E) Finally, We Must Not Become Too Preoccupied with Demons, But with 3 Other Dimensions of the Normal Christian Life:
1) First, With Our Mighty God, Loving Lord, and Indwelling Empowering Holy Spirit! See Isaiah 26: lA
2) Second, With God’s Precious Believing People, that is, His Church which ls His Body! See Ephesians 4: 11, 13
3) Third, With The Lost, all those who have Not Heard of God’s Redemptive Love as Revealed Exclusively In His SON! See II Timothy 2:24,26
Beloved, as We Enter Into this Incredible Area of Study, Let us be much in Prayer for Our Dear Lord to Instruct Us BY HIS SPIRIT, that We Might Truly Be the Spiritual Warriors that He Desires For Us to Become!
WEARE AT WAR!
As we continue on tonight in our study on Spiritual Warfare we shall begin laying the Foundation for everything we will be learning as we Progress onward in Spiritual Warfare Training!
I) We, as God’s Believing People in the World, “Are” at War!
A) This Warfare Began “Somewhere”, Somehow, In the Heavenly Realm, Evidently “Before” the Creation of the World. See Job 4:17,19; Luke 10:18; Rev 12:7,9
B) This Warfare Reached Earth Sometime Shortly “After” Mankind’s Creation. See Rev 12: 12, 13; Gen 3: l; II Cor 11:3
C) Everything From Genesis 3 to Revelation 20 is Focused on This Cosmic,Earthly Warfare Between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Evil Supernaturalism! 2 ways it is Described:
First-It ls Historical, Revealing the Battles with their Defeats and Victories of the Past!
- The Scriptures Declare that there is Really only One Reason for Defeat, and that is Sin in the Hearts of God’s People.
- However, the Overriding Note is that of Victory!
- The Devil Tried All his Schemes of Deception and Direct Confrontal Attacks but, in the End, He ls a Defeated Foe! Secondly-It is Prophetical, Describing the Course of the Warfare until the Enemy is Cast Into the Mysterious Place of Eternal Separation From God, The Lake of Fire, along with All human beings whose Names are “Not” found written in the Book of Life.
II) A Threefold Preliminary Description of This War!
A) First, It ls a Sin War!
- Sin Wars Against Us, the Children of God! Sin is Not Passive, it is a Dynamic, Active Power or Force; It Releases Negative Energy which I call Sin Energy (Sinergy). See Romans 7 :5
- We War Against Sin! We Must Make a “Declaration of War” between Ourselves as God’s Holy Ones and the Unholiness of Sin, All Sin! Hebrews 12:3,4
- I Define Sin as Moral Evil in Contrast to Natural Evil! Natural Evil Exists in the Physical Universe such as Earthquakes, Famine, Volcanic Eruptions, Accidents, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, etc. but Moral Evil Implies at Least 3 things: Moral Standards which Human Beings are to Live by and Will be Judged by, God’s Laws; Moral
Creatures Who are Capable of Obeying these Laws of God and are Responsible to Do so; and Sinful Moral Creatures (mankind and also fallen angels) Who have Broken these Moral Standards.
B) It is a MultiDimensional Sin War, Affecting Us on 3 Levels:
- Sin is Personal, it Comes From Within, The Flesh! Gal 5:19,21
- Sin is Social, it Comes From Without, The World! I John 2: 16
- Sin is Supernatural, it Comes From Above, The Devil! I Thess 3:5
C) It ls a Spiritual Warfare Sin War!
- Present Reality Exists in a State of Cosmic/Earthly Warfare Between 2 Opposing Personal Kingdoms, The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Evil Supernaturalism;Matt 11: 12; 12:22,29; 13:24,30
- In Philosophical Terms this is Called Dualism, that is, that Present Reality Exists in a State of Dualism; But it is Not Absolute Dualism because it did Not Begin that Way Nor will it End That Way; Thus it is a Modified Dualism, having Begun in Cosmic Rebellion and Ending in Cosmic Judgment Against Rebellion! Isaiah 14:4, 19;Ezekiel 28: 11, 19
Ill) As Children of God We Are Soldiers of Jesus Christ and Must Learn Spiritual Warfare on at Least 3 Levels:
A) First, on the Objective Offensive Level; there are 5 Facts About Our Relationship to Present Reality:
- The Kingdoms of This Present World Are Enslaved to Evil Supernaturalism! I John 5: 18, 19
- The Lord Jesus Christ Has Totally Defeated Evil Supernaturalism In His Redemptive Act! I John 3:8
- The Lord Jesus Christ Has Given to ALL of His Children Authority Over the Power of Evil Supernaturalism! Acts 16: 16, 18
- We Are to Invade the Enemies Territory With the Liberating Power of the Gospel and Bring Men, Women, and Children OUT of Their Bondage to Sin and Satan and His Demons! Matt 28: 18,20
- All of Those Who We Seek to Bring to Jesus Christ Are Potentially to one Degree or Another Demonized, most only Mildly so, Many Severely so! Being “Demonized” does Not mean “Demon Possessed” though Some May Be; Demonization Implies that Satan, through His Demons, Latching Onto the Sin Energy Produced by the Flesh of the Unconverted and the Sin Energy Released by the World Against Mankind, Exercises Control Over All Human Beings Who are Outside of God’s Kingdom! In the Lives of Some that Control is Severe, in Others it is Not So Apparent; As Believers and Witnesses of Jesus Christ We Are Responsible to Learn to Recognize the SIGNS of Demonization and, Through the Power of the HOLY SPIRIT, Using the Word of God Spoken In the
Authority of Faith, BREAK that Demonic Bondage So That Lost Souls Can Become Free to Hear and Believe the Gospel! II Cor 4:4
B) The Subjective, Personal Level, that is, Protecting Ourselves From the Temptations to Sin Energized by Evil Supernaturalism!Personal Purity of Life is an Essential Ingredient in Spiritual W arfar James 4:1,8; I Peter 1:13,16
Note: I Believe the Biggest Reason Why Christian Leaders Fall Into Sin is Because of an Imbalanced Focus on the Objective Offensive Level and Personal Neglect of the Subjective, Personal Level.
C) The “Christian Deliverance Ministry” Level, that is, Helping to Free Demonized Christians From Demonic Bondage! 5 Observations:
- First, We Are NOT Speaking About Demon Possession Because True Believers CANNOT be Possessed by Demons as They Are Already Possessed by GOD’S SPIRIT! I Cor 3:16; 6:19
- Second, That True Believers Can However Come Under Strong Demonic Control In Some Areas of Their Life Through Sin! Luke 22:31,32
- Third, That Quite Often All Demons Do NOT Automatically Leave the Life of Unbelievers When They Come To Jesus Christ For Salvation (especially When They Are Brought to Faith Through Non,Power Encounter Evangelism; Power,Encounter Evangelism Means the Evangelist (Witness For Jesus) Recognizes that the
Unbeliever is Demonized and Through the Power of the Holy Spirit, In the Name of Jesus Christ, Breaks That Demonization Casting OUT the Demons Which Hold the Unbeliever Bound! Acts 5: 12, 16
- Fourth, The Typical Wes tern Evangelism Approach is at Least Two,Fold: First, Instant, Impersonal Evangelism, that is, Not getting to Know the Person or Their Background; this Method usually Produces “Sickly” Children or “Still Born” Children Spiritually; Secondly, The Logical/ Analytical Evangelism; this Method can be Somewhat Effective with Non,Demonized Sinners in the Western World Who are Influenced by Western Culture; But For Severely Demonized Individuals this Approach is Inadequate as Strong
Demons usually will Not Leave Unless Challenged by a Servant of God Who Knows Spiritual Warfare! Acts 19:13,16
- Fifth, True Believers Can Also Become Demonized “After” Conversion to Jesus Christ Through SIN, Either Their Own Sin or the Sin of Others! Matt 12:43A5
Remember, WE ARE AT WAR!
THE SPIRITUAL WARFARE DIMENSION OF A BIBLICAL WORLD VIEW-PART 1
Intro: “World View” refers to one’s Basic Assumptions about Reality! It’s “How” one sees Present Reality Concerning Life; as God’s Believing People we Hold to a Biblical World View, that is, we Believe that “everything” exists Exactly As God Created it and that Everything is Ultimately Accountable to it’s Maker! Therefore, Spiritual Warfare MUST be Studied in the Context of God’s Total Purpose for the Redemption of Lost Men and Women! Spiritual Warfare must Not be Isolated from the Major Thrust of God’s Self Revelation which is 3,Fold: First, God’s Revelation is Theocentric, it Focuses on the Glory of God! Isaiah 45:5,6,20,23; Second, God’s Revelation is Christocentric, it Focuses on the Lordship of Jesus Christ! Phil 2:9, 11; and Third, God’s Revelation is Redemptocentric, thus Anthrocentric! That is, that God, through the “Christ,Event” is Reaching Out to Reconcile Lost men and
women to Himself! John 3: 16; and Therefore, the Study of Spiritual Warfare and Active Involvement therein must NOT become Compartmentalized or a Specialization that Diverts us From the Main Mission that God has Given Us-World Evangelization! So Spiritual Warfare, Correctly Practiced, Fits Into This Main Thrust of God’s Redemption For Mankind, and so we Have the Title of This Study, “The Spiritual Warfare Dimension of a Biblical World V. 1ew. I”
I)The Great Commission Reflects Vivid Dimensions of Our Lord’s World View! Matthew 28:18,20
A)Again, World View Refers to One’s Basic Assumptions Concerning Reality! “Everyone” Holds such Assumptions whether of not They are Aware of it; Everyone who has ever asked, “Where Did I Come From? Why Am I Here? Where Am I Going?” ls Raising World View Questions; “What ls the Purpose of Life? Why Does Evil Exist? Why is there Death?” These are World View Questions; Even if One Affirms, “I Don’t Know! No One Really Knows” is taking an Agnostic Position though he may not Realize it.
B) Everyone “Believes” His Own Assumptions about Reality are the Correct Ones! This is the Way Reality is Personally Perceived; Everyone’s Beliefs and BEHAVIOR (in that order) are Based Upon Their World View, whether or Not They are Conscious of the Fact!
C) In the Broadest Sense There Are Only 2 Possible World Views: First, A Naturalistic or Materialistic World View, that is, that Ultimately, Reality is Material or Physical, Not Spiritual!
- Thus the Universe has No Ultimate Purpose, it is just a Cosmic Accident.
- Human Life also has No Ultimate Purpose, it is just a “Biological” Accident.
- There is therefore No Ultimate God or Creator Behind the Universe, Everything just Exists because it Exists.
- Furthermore, Life Ends Forever at Death (Annihilation Theory).
- Finally, the Mind Has No Separate Existence or Survival “Apart” From The Brain. Secondly, A Spiritualistic World View, that is, that Ultimately, Reality is Spiritual, Not Physical or Material!
- The Majority of People in the World Hold to some Form of Spiritualistic World View.
- The Church, Therefore, Has A Common Beginning Point with Most of Mankind, and therefore, Opportunity to Witness.
II)Some Crucial Dimensions of a Biblical World View! We Must Distinguish Between a Theistic World View and a
Pantheistic or Polytheistic World View; this is the First “Limiting” Factor Among Spiritualistic World Views:
- First, God is a Personal God, He is a True Person!
- Second, God Possesses Perfect Personality, Perfect Mind, Perfect Emotions, Perfect Will, Perfect Power, etc.
- Third, Christians Share a Monotheistic World View in Common with Judaism and Islam.
- Fourth, this is in Contrast to: Pantheism, the Doctrine that the Universe, the All of Reality, IS GOD, the Cosmic Whole is God; this view is Held by Most Eastern Religions, i.e. New Agers; Polytheism, the Doctrine that there is a Plurality of gods, many gods; this view is also Held by Many Eastern Religions, i.e. Hinduism.
A) A “Revelational” In Opposition to an Intuitional Theistic Spiritualistic World View.
- Intuition is the Power or Faculty of Attaining to Direct Knowledge Without Rational Thought, Reason, and Inference.
- We Do NOT Believe in the One, True, Personal God as a Product of Human Intuition or Common Sense.
- We Know What We Know About God ONLY Because HE Has Chosen to REVEAL (Revelation) Himself to Mankind! Luke 10:22 ,,Again, We Share this Revelational Monotheistic Spiritualistic World View in Common with the Jews and the Muslims.
B) It’s a Trinitarian Revelational Theistic Spiritualistic World View.
- The One True Personal GOD Exists as FATHER, SON, and HOLY SPIRIT! II Corinthians 13:14
- We Know This Because of the Second Phase of God’s Self, Revelation of Himself! Hebrews 1: 1,2; 2: 1,4
- This Revelation is a Further “Limiting” Dimension of the Biblical World View “Separating” Christianity From Judaism, Islam, and Other Monotheistic Religions.
- However, there is yet One Other Vivid, Dynamic, and All Pervading Biblical World View Dimension:
C) A Spiritual Warfare Trinitarian Revelational Theistic Spiritualistic World View, that is, that Present Reality Exists in the Context of “Cosmic Conflict” or Spiritual Warfare!
- We Shall Examine Various Aspects of This Conflict in All the Studies in This Series.
- In the Rest of This Study Tonight, and Also Next Week, We Shall do some Theologizing which Should Have the Profoundest Application to our Christian Life and Redemptive Ministry!
Ill) According to God’s Divine Revelation In Scripture, Since Before the Fall of Man Until Today, Terrible Spiritual Warfare Has Been Raging In the Entire Universe!
A) This Divine Revelation Declares That Cosmic Dualism Is a Reality In the Universe:
- There IS War In Heaven and On Earth Ongoing.
- It ls a Limited Cosmic Dualism, However, It was Not So in the Beginning and Will Not be So in the End.
B) Some Dimensions of This Warfare World View Are Recognized By Thinking Men Everywhere, and Are Described In Different Ways By Different People:
- The Struggle Between Good and Evil.
- The Battle Between Right and Wrong.
- The Contrast Between Righteousness and Unrighteousness.
- The Tension Between Positive Forces and Negative Forces.
- The Opposition Between Light and Darkness.
C) From a Biblical Perspective This Battle is Revealed As a Conflict Between 2 Opposing Kingdoms, The Kingdom of God and The Kingdom of Satan.
D) This Spiritual Dualism Involves 2 Radically Different Groups of Beings or Personages:
- It Involves Invisible Cosmic Beings of 2 Opposite Types: God and His Angelic Kingdom, and Satan and his demonic kingdom. See Mark 1:9, 15,21,2 7 ,33,34,39; 3: 13, 15,22,2 7
- It Also Involves Human Beings, again, 2 Opposite Types: the Children of God, and the children of the devil. I John 3:8, 10
- Understand Here Beloved, that these Cosmic Beings and Human Beings are Brought Together in Many Passages of Scripture; one of the Most Important is found in Matthew 13; the Whole Chapter is on the Kingdom of God, and All 7 Parables Describe It; It is an Evangelistic, Quantitative, Church Growth Passage, as All 7 Parables Deal with the Expansion of the Kingdom of God throughout the World, see vs. 11; It is also a Spiritual Warfare Passage; the 2 Major Parables are that of the Sower and that of the Tares amongst the Wheat; Both Occur Within the Context of Warfare Between the 2 Kingdoms; the Contrasting words are: The Wicked One, vs.19 The Enemy, vs. 25,28; The Devil, vs. 39; The Children OF The Wicked One, vs. 38; The SON OF MAN, vs. 37; The Children of The Kingdom, 38; The Angels Of The SON OF MAN, vs. 39.
- Now, Here We Discover a Key Dimension of the Lord’s World View: that is, that Present Reality Exists Within the Context of Cosmic and Earthly Spiritual Warfare, and there is a Continual Power Encounter Between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of the Evil One! The Implications of This View of Reality to the Christian Life and Ministry are Awesome!
Next Week We Will Penetrate Much Deeper Into This Mystery of Cosmic and Earthly Spiritual Warfare Beginning with the Old Testament.
THE SPIRITUAL WARFARE DIMENSION OF A BIBLICAL WORLD VIEW-PART 2
Intro: Remember, “World View” refers to one’s Basic Assumptions about Reality, that is, How someone “sees” Present Reality Concerning Life; so for Those who Hold to a Biblical World View, Spiritual Warfare should be a “Natural” Element of Their Present Reality! Tonight, we shall begin with the Old Testament Account of this “Ongoing” Conflict between Good and Evil and Attempt to Answer some Pressing Questions Concerning How it all Began.
I) The Most Profound and Complex Dimension of This View of Reality is the Fact that This Cosmic/Earthly Conflict Began Somewhere/Sometime in the Heavenly Realm, Evidently Before the Creation of Mankind!
A) The Old Testament Hints of Cosmic Rebellion Against the Rule of God!
- Evil, Supernatural Beings are Mentioned in Some Detail all Throughout the Old Testament.
- Satan, as an Evil Supernatural Being is Mentioned 19 times!
- In His First Appearance His Main Strategy is Revealed: Deception! Genesis 3:1; II Corinthians 11:3; II Timothy 3:13; II Thess 2:7-12
- His Main Target is the People of God!
- His Main Tactic is to Influence the Leadership of God’s People Into Disobedience to God’s Will!
- He’s Called the Serpent 7 Times!
- Evil Spirits are Mentioned 8 Times, All Involved in the Demonization of King Saul! I Samuel 16:14-23; 18:10; 19:9
- Lying Spirits are Mentioned 6 Times! I Kings 22:21-23
- Familiar Spirits are Mentioned 6 Times! Leviticus 20:2 7; I Sam 28
- Unclean Spirits are Mentioned Twice! Isaiah 19: 14
- Religious Spirits and Spirits of Harlotry are Mentioned Several Times, Especially in the Book of Hosea in Conjunction with Baalism, Idol Worship, and Divination!
- Demons, as Identical with the gods of the Pagan Nations are Mentioned 4 Times! Lev 17; Deut 32; II Chron 11; Psalm 106
- Evil Princes (Prince Demons) Who Rule Over Nations and Fight Against God’s Angels and His People! Psalms, Prophets, and Dan ,,3 Important Questions Arise Here: First, Where Did These Evil Supernatural, Created, Cosmic Beings Come From? The Scripture is Clear that God Created Everything Good! Second, Why are They Always Revealed to Be God’s Enemies, Continually Trying to Resist God’s Purposes, Corrupt His Creation, and Defile and Enslave His People? And Third, How is it, that While Being God’s Enemies, at the Same Time, They are Ultimately Subject to God’s Will, and are Used by Him to Defeat Themselves, and Enhance Mysterious
Profound Dimensions of God’s Sovereign Purposes? Well, the Old Testament tells us “Where” This Rebellion Began: Job 4: 18; Isaiah 14:12,13; Ezekiel 28:11,18
B) The New Testament Clearly Declares that Such a Cosmic Rebellion Did Occur!
- The Lord Jesus Said So: Luke 10: 17,20
- The Apostle Peter Said So: II Peter 2:4
- Jude Said So: Jude 6
II) The Next Mysterious and Complex Aspect of This Biblical World View is the Revelation That This Cosmic Conflict Between 2 Opposing Kingdoms “Reached” Earth Shortly After Man’s Creation!
A) The Historical and Pictorial Old Testament Account! Gen 3
- It is an Historical Account, Not a Fable! This is the United Testimony of Both the Old and New Testaments!
B) Some Valuable Lessons to be Drawn From This History!
- Mankind was “Led” Into Rebellion Against the Rule of God By an Already Existing Evil, Supernatural, Cosmic Being!
- That Evil Being, Satan, Deceived Man Into Choosing a Course of Action Contrary to the Will of God!
- Man’s Rebellion Against the Will of God “Made” him a Willing Participant In the Cosmic Rebellion, Making it a Cosmic/Earthly Rebellion! Ephesians 2: 1,3
- Most Important of All, Man Not Only Becomes a Participant In the Conflict Between the 2 Kingdoms, But He Now Becomes the Central Person Around Whom the Conflict Revolves!
III) The Potential Demonization of All the Unredeemed!
A) All Those Who Do Not Know Jesus Christ Are Controlled By Satan to One Degree or Another, the Scriptures Affirm!
- Jesus Himself Taught on the 2 Opposing Kingdoms! Matt 13
- Jesus Declared that Satan is the Ruler of This World! John 12:31; 14:30; 16: 11
- Jesus Commission to the Apostle Paul! Acts 26: 18
- Paul Taught the Potential Demonized Condition of the Unregenerate! Colossians 1: 13
- John the Beloved Taught the Same! I John 3:8,10; 5:19
B) This is Not to Affirm That All Non-Believers Are Demon Possessed!
- Demon Possession is Different From Demonization!
- Demonization would Cover All Forms of Such Invasion or Partial Control, from Mild to Very Severe! (Demonic Attachments)
- But Demon Possession is a State or Condition Where Demons Have literally “Entered” a Person’s Body and Taken Control By Occupancy “Over” The Person’s Body, Soul, and Mind!
IV) An 8-Fold Biblical Description of the Unredeemed From the Perspective of Potential Demonization!
1) They Are The Children of the Devil! John 8:44; Matt 13:37,39
2) They Are “In” the Kingdom of Satan! Colossians 1: 12, 14
3) They Are “Bound” By Satan! Luke 13: 16
4) They Are “Blinded” By Satan and Unable to See! II Cor 4:3
5) They Are “Under” the Power of The Evil One, In His Grip, and Under His Dominion! I John 5:19
6) They Are Satan’s “Property!” Matthew 12:22,29
7) They Are “Enslaved” to a World System Controlled by Satan!Matthew 4:8,10
8) They Are “Surrendered” to the Prince of the Power of the Air, and Their Life is “Energized” By the Power of Evil Supernaturalism! Ephesians 2:2
In Closing: Beloved, Let Us Realize, that In This Spiritual Warfare, You and I “Have” Everything We Need to Be Totally Victorious, First In Our Own Lives Personally, and Then In the Never Ending Battle to Set the Captives Free By Bringing Them to Our
Wonderful Lord Jesus Christ!!!
THE NORMAL CHRISTIAN LIFE
Intro: So far, we have been studying Spiritual Warfare in the Dimension of Reality in Light of a Biblical World View, and found that “every” Believer is Actively engaged in this Ongoing Battle; But tonight we must Lay the Foundation for what we will Learn in the weeks ahead by First Examining what Should be the “Practical” experience Daily of Every True Christian; it’s what I term “The Normal Christian Life!” The Bible Gives us a 5-Fold Description of The Normal Christian Life:
1) It’s AN ABUNDANT LIFE! Jesus said to His Disciples in John 10: 10 ”I am Come that They might HAVE LIFE, and that They might HA VE it MOREABUNDANTLY!”Oh Yes Beloved, Jesus Himself makes it Clear here, that We, as His Followers, are Supposed to be Living the Abundant Life Everyday! Now, “LIFE” is one of the Characteristic Words used in John’s Writings over and over; he uses it 76 times in His New Testament Writings; 44 times in his Gospel, 15 times in his Epistle of I John, and 17 times in Revelation! Over Y2 of all New Testament uses of the Word LIFE are found in John’s Writings; Most Characteristic of John is His Habit of Using the Word LIFE with or without the Definite Article; he uses “THE” Life or the “TRUE” Life many times; “GOD’S” Life, “THE” Life of the Lord Jesus Christ Shared with Men As He is Allowed to FILL their Life with Himself and Live Within Them! See John 1:4; 3:36; 5:24,26, 40; 6:33,35,48,53; 8: 12; 11:25; 14:6; I John l: 1,2; 2:25; 3: 14: 4:9; 5: 11, 13, 20 The Apostle John also will Interchange “LIFE” and “THE LIFE” for “ETERNAL LIFE” 15 times, and “EVERLASTING LIFE” 8 times!So, to John, True Human LIFE is GOD’S LIFE, ETERNAL LIFE, and EVERLASTING LIFE, “INSIDE” the Believer! He speaks of “The TREE OF LIFE” the “CROWN OF LIFE” the “BOOK OF LIFE” the “SPIRIT OF LIFE” and the “WATER OF LIFE!” Thus, the Normal Christian Life Is, by it’s very Nature, an ABUNDANT LIFE, that is, LIFE in it’s Fullest Sense, the LIFE of GOD Himself Given Us Through the Indwelling SPIRIT of HIS Dear SON!
2) It’s A CONQUERING LIFE! The Second Aspect of the Normal Christian Life is that it is not only an Abundant Life but it is also a Conquering Life! Romans 8:3 7 says “In ALL these things WE are More than CONQUERORS Through HIM that Loved Us!”Glory to God, Romans 8 Clearly Reveals that the Normal Christian Life of Abundance & Conquering is Only Lived By the Person and Ministry of God’s Holy Spirit Within! Verse 1 says the Normal Christian Life is Lived by “WALKING IN THE SPIRIT!” Verse 2 tells us that “The SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS”Makes us FREE From SIN’S Power! Verse 5 Discloses the Fact that we “By The SPIRIT DO MIND the Things Of The SPIRIT!”V erse 11 shows that The HOLY SPIRIT QUICKENS(Empowers) Our Mortal Bodies/Verse 16 tells us that The SPIRIT Bears Wi’tness that We ARE the Children of GOD/Verse 26 shows us that The SPIRIT Maketh Intercession For US! And Teaches us How to Pray! He also shows us that God is Working For Us to CONFORM us to the Image of HIS SON By His Spirit! So the Normal Christian Life is an Abundant Life, it is a Conquering Life, and . . .
3) It’s A VICTORIOUS LIFE! We are Informed in I Corinthians
15:57 of This Victorious Life, “But Thanks Be Unto GOD, which GIVETH US THE VICTORY Through OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST!”Now Listen, the Context of This Victory Shout is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and As a Natural Consequence, the Literal Resurrection of the Believer and Final, Total Defeat of Our Last Enemy, Death! See vs. 50-54; Then, the Certainty of this Resurrection Leads Paul to “Mock” Death, Declaring That It Has Lost It’s True Power Over the Believer, vs. 55; This Follows with the Declaration That it is Not Death Itself that Represents Our Great Enemy, But Death AS the RESULT of SIN, which Results From Man’s Breach of GOD’S LAW, vs. 56; Now Listen, the “Sorrow” of Experiencing Death AS a Result of Sin is TOTALLY DISMISSED In the Experience to the Believer THROUGH the REDEMPTIVE Work of JESUS CHRIST In Our Behalf!!! Vs. 57; Listen, as a RESULT, the Christian Life ls NOW a Life of ABOUNDING VICTORY In the MIDST of Our Confident Labors In the LORD, vs. 58; So, the Normal Christian Life is a Life of Work and Service to the KING, But, Paul Declares, that the Normal Christian Life is Also a Life of Steadfastness, Immovableness, Always Abounding in Confident Assurance of the Eternal Significance of Our Life and Ministry! It’s an Abundant Life, It’s a Conquering Life, It’s a Victorious Life, but also it’s . . .
4) A TRIUMPHANT LIFE! We are Informed in II Corinthians 2:14 “Now Thanks Be Unto God, which ALWAYS CAUSETH US TO TRIUMPH IN CHRIST!!!”W ow, Did You Hear That? In chapters 1 & 2 Paul Openly Confesses His Own Sorrows, Afflictions, Sufferings, and at one point, even Despair; in chapter 2 he Reveals the Major Reason for His Sorrow, Satan was Gaining an Advantage Against the Corinthian Church Through “Unforgiveness” and even Incest in the Church; Paul, in this Context, is Compelled by the Holy Ghost to Utter this Incredible Proclamation in verse 14, that is, that GOD is FAITHFUL, and Regardless of What Our Present State May Be, HE Always LEADS Us IN TRIUMPH IN CHRIST JESUS!!! Verse 15 & 16 Reveal that When We Witness to Others, Whether or Not they Come to Jesus Christ, WE ARE SWEET UNTO GOD and TRIUMPHANT!!! O.K. we’ve seen that the Normal Christian Life is an Abundant Life, it’s a Conquering Life, it’s a Victorious Life, it’s a Triumphant Life, but Finally ……. .
5) It’s A HOLY LIFE! “Holiness” of Life IS a Normal Part of the Normal Christian Life! And if We are to Live Our Lives Abundantly, Conqueringly, Victoriously, and Triumphantly, We will Have to be Living Our Life HOLILY!!! Ephesians 1:4 says
“According as HE Hath Chosen US IN HIM Before the Foundation of the World, That ivE SHOULD BE HOLY and Without Blame Before HIM in Love!” It’s Part of the Package in the Normal Christian Life to Live Right, and to Practice Godliness; speaking of The Church Paul said in 5:27 “That HE Might Present It to HIMSELF a Glorious Church, Not Having Spot, or Wrinkle, or Any such thing; but that It SHOULD BE HOLY and Without Blemish!”Yes Indeed, We, who Know Jesus as Savior From Sin, Must Live a Holy Life By the Power of the HOLY SPIRIT!
II Corinthians 7: 1
In Closing: Beloved, Realize tonight, that if You and I are going to be Truly Effective in Spiritual Warfare, We Must First be Living What I Term “The Normal Christian Life!” and Glory be To God that Everyday, His Grace is Sufficient to Enable Us in Every way to Do So, and to Please Him Who has Called us to be Faithful!
THE REALITY OF BELOW NORMAL PERFORMANCE
Intro: Last time we saw what the “Normal Christian Life” is supposed to be: an Abundant Life, a Conquering Life, a Victorious Life, a Triumphant Life, and a Holy Life! But the sad Reality is, that this type of Normal Christian Living is NOT the Norm among the Majority of True Believers, but Why? Why is it, that Many, if not Most, of God’s People do not live up to this Ideal set by the Lord Jesus Himself? It is the purpose of this study to give some Scriptural Answers to this question.
I)A General Observation: All Believers will, at times, Fall Short of the Biblical Ideal “Until” our Glorification takes place in the Kingdom of God!
A) The Ideal is, in one sense, always “unattainable” in This Life, and it is Designed to be that way! We are not Yet Glorified in Body!
B) Yet it is the Absolute Goal, toward which, All of us are Moving, with Varying Degrees of Success, throughout our Christian Life!
C) That All of us are in Process of Formation, and this side of Glory, we will Always come Short of God’s Perfect Ideal for our Lives; and as God is Patient with us, we must also be Patient with each other!
D) Remember the Apostle Paul himself, and his personal Testimony of His own Struggles in Light of God’s Ideal! See Phil 3: 10-1 7; Hebrews 12:10-16; Romans 7:14-25
II)A Specific Confession: Many Christians, Including Christian Leaders, Fall Far Short of the Biblical Standard; Why?
A)It would be Possible, both from Scripture, and from Past and Contemporary Christian Experience, to Develop a Typology of Failure! But we will not take time for such an Unpleasant Inquiry.
B) I Would Make 2 Primary Observations as to Why: First, Many Fall Short of the Biblical Norm because of the Fact that They are Really NOT Interested in Reaching the Biblical Standard!Their Primary Focus is on Salvation From Sin’s Guilt and Penalty, but NOT on Sanctification and Holy Living “After” Salvation! Secondly, Others are Truly Interested in Reaching the Biblical Standard, but are Facing Problems about which They Themselves are Baffled and Confused! This is where Spiritual Warfare “MUST” come into Play! Overcoming the World, the Flesh, the Devil, and Sin, takes Serious Spiritual Warfare, and will NOT happen Accidentally! See Hosea 10: 1,2
III)The Missing Element in Much Teaching about The Normal Christian Life is the Full Biblical Dimension of Spiritual Warfare!
A) Usually, the Biblical Ideal is Presented, Then the Believer is Told to Submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and to Strive to Follow the Biblical Model! However, the Normal Christian Life, is much more than an Issue of Human Resolve, Correct Attitude, and Submission to God! That is only One Side of the Coin; the Other Side of the Coin is the Spiritual Warfare Side, which Leads to our Next Major Subpoint:
B) That is, that the Sincere Believer, Who Truly Submits to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, WILL BE STRONGLY RESISTED, each step of the way! Both from Without, and from Within, and from Above, we Will be Harassed, Resisted, Afflicted, Tormented, Tripped Up, Sabotaged, and Too Often, Defeated, in our Christian Life! We will Grow Weary in Well Doing, and Can Become Discouraged, Critical of Others, Bitter, and Even Cynical at times.
C) Our Churches are Full of Hurting People, Believers, Who are Suffering Alone for Fear of Being Rejected by Others if they Share their Struggles; This is NOT the Way it Should Be!!! We Ought to be Able to Pray for One Another! Romans 12: 10, 16; I Cor 12: 18,26
D) Tens of thousands of Godly, Sincere, Christian Parents have seen some of their children stumble and fall, sometimes while still living at home, or often After they have left the Covering of their Parents, and are Crushed, Bruised, and Ashamed, but are Afraid to Share their Hurts with Others; this is NOT Right!
E) An Increasing number of Christian Homes are Being Destroyed by Infidelity, Adultery, and Divorce; To Whom do the Innocent Parties Turn for Help, or even the Guilty Party When he or she Repents and Wants to Truly Return to the Lord and His People?
IV) Spiritual Warfare is a Sanctification Issue, NOT a Salvation Issue! Salvation is the Gift of God, Not of Works, and is Received by Grace through Faith, but Sanctification is an Ongoing Process and Often Struggle, in the Life of the Believer!
A) The Lord Jesus Himself Spoke of Our Need to be Kept From the Evil of This World, While Serving Him! See John 17:6?20
B) The Apostle Paul Spoke of Our Need to be Kept From the Evil of This World, While Serving the Lord! I Thessalonians 4: 1,8
C) The Apostle Peter Spoke of Our Need to be Kept From the Evil of This World, While Serving! I Peter 1:2; 3:15
D) The Apostle John Spoke of Our Need to be Kept From the Evil of This World, While Serving! I John 2:1,3, 15,17
Conclusion: In Closing Beloved, we must Realize, that “as” we continue Serving Our Lord Jesus, and some experience Below Normal Performance, that is, Failure in some area, we Must Not Condemn or Discourage them, but Lovingly, Compassionately, and Sincerely, Seek their Restoration and Spiritual Well Being, While Considering the Fact, that it is Only by the Grace of Our God, that We Ourselves are Enabled to Continue Walking In Victory!