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A Cure For The Serpent's Poison Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
February 17, 2022 1:00 am

A Cure For The Serpent's Poison Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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February 17, 2022 1:00 am

In a culture that elevates self-determination and actualization, why should we submit to God? The devil can do a lot of damage when believers give way to a spirit of self-will. In this message, we’ll learn from a true story of divisiveness in church and demonic oppression. Pastor Lutzer exhorts Christians to die to self-rule 1.) in Christ, 2.) by a choice, and 3.) by faith. Otherwise, much damage can be done to the cause of Christ.  

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. The devil can do lots of damage when believers let him gain a foothold.

Slandering others is only one of the sad results. Christians need to rid themselves of every evidence of these strongholds, otherwise much damage can be done to the cause of Christ. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. We're currently in a series on Satan, God's devil. Pastor Lutzer, why is it that so many are easily deceived by Satan's tactics? Dave, you know, I think I can answer that very quickly by saying this. It's because Satan has a willing partner that resides within us.

The Bible calls it the flesh. And sometimes we are anxious to be deceived. We want to be deceived. To all who are listening today, I believe that this series of messages entitled God's devil is a tremendous blessing to those who are being introduced to spiritual warfare. Perhaps you've been able to get some of the messages but not all of them. We are making them available for you.

For a gift of any amount, you can go to rtwoffer.com or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. Ask for the sermon series, God's devil. You can listen to it again and again. But now let us give our attention to the Word of God as we continue our study of how we can fight successfully against our enemy. Did you know that if you were deceived, you don't know it? You don't know it. Because if you knew it, it would not be a genuine deception.

That's why there are so many things in our life that God has to reveal to us because we need to deal with self-will which lies at the root of this awful tree that God has cursed. Now in order to relate this to demonic activity and for you to understand its significance, I want to tell you the story today of a woman by the name of Laura. Laura came to Moody Church 10 years ago and I might say that she is no longer here and more importantly I might say that she has given me permission to share her story.

In fact, in writing, she said, you can share it and you can even use my name. So we are going to use her real name, Laura. Laura came to the attention of the staff here at the church many, many years ago because of divisiveness. She was a problem, causing division within the church, speaking ill of others, even manipulating to the extent of being able to divide a friend from a friend, causing problems all the time. It became very clear to some of us that Laura was indeed a struggling with deep demonic oppression and she came to us for counsel and another staff member and I counseled her and this may really surprise some of you and if you're not used to this, you have to simply understand that it's not as shocking as it first appears but when you counseled her and spoke to the spirits that clearly oppressed her, the spirits would take her vocal chords and speak and frequently they would not only harass us but they would mock us and they would make fun of our ability to cast them out in the name of Christ.

They were just really wily evil beings and we couldn't help Laura. In fact, about a month later, after we had done some counseling, she came to me here at the church right here at the platform and said, Pastor Lutzer, she said, I want you to know that I've hated you ever since I've come here and I asked her, you know, what I had done to deserve this and she said, really, it's not your fault, it's just mine, she said, but I wanted to make sure that I was reconciled with you and so I accepted that. About a month later, she called me on the telephone at 11 o'clock at night and said, she said, you know, I've been battling these spirits all evening and at last I think I'm free and I want to call and tell you. So I said, fine, and I said, Laura, I'm going to pray with you on the telephone that you might be able to sleep well. The minute I began to pray, a spirit took over her vocal chords and said, why did Laura call you so late? I'm going to wear you down and I recognized again that I was talking not to her but to a spirit. I said, what is your name?

In the name of Christ, tell me your name. He said, my name is Love. I said, will that stand as truth in the sight of the living God?

And he said, no. And he said, I've caused her to hate you at Moody Church so that she wouldn't listen to a thing that you say. And on and on this went for about 15 minutes and then I rebuked the spirit and spoke to Laura. I said, Laura, do you know what's happening?

And she said, oh yeah, she said, I know. She said, I am so oppressed that a spirit speaks through my mouth. Well, we never helped Laura and Laura moved on to another state and left Moody Church and I never heard from her and thought, well, that's too bad.

I didn't know what happened to her. Ten years later, she writes me this letter and I need to read it to you because it is a powerful letter. Just listen. Dear Pastor Lutzer, I wanted to write to you to let you know some of the things the Lord has taught me concerning spiritual warfare. A few years ago when I was attending Moody Church and experiencing demonic oppression, I had a low self image and was not able to experience the victory that had been already purchased for me by Christ. I was beaten up with guilt, shame, despair, hopelessness.

I saw no way out. Since Moody Church, I was involved in two other ministries where practically the same thing happened. I was not even aware that I was being manipulated by demons to try to destroy my pastor. I was not getting along with others in the body of Christ and I couldn't like myself. I couldn't maintain a decent job. I could not grasp the love that God had for me, nor did I understand that he had gained the victory for me. For many years, I drifted in the same direction, nowhere. About a year ago, the Lord brought me to Tulsa where I joined a very powerful spirit-filled ministry. In the beginning, things sort of happened the same, still the same guilt and shame and low self-esteem. But the Lord helped me to determine that I would not run anymore.

Besides, I had run out of places to run. With the Lord's help and the love and patience of the pastoral staff and the support of brothers and sisters in the body, I began to believe that God loved me too and that I could take him at his word and that I could have victory over the devil and his schemes. I can now see that the battle does begin in the mind. If the enemy can get you to focus on the things that he has planted in the mind, he has you where he wants you, defeated and miserable.

Now notice this sentence and this is crucial. All the knowledge that I had obtained through the years was powerless. That's humbling. That means that everything she learned at Moody Church, everything we tried to do with her in counseling was of no value. It was powerless because it was not coupled with faith. How could God love someone as awful as me, I thought?

He's going to leave me just as I am because he didn't care. These are the very words I listened to for years and I believed them. Praise be to God, he doesn't give up. Today I understand the position that I have in Christ. I am a joint heir with him and enjoy the same privileges as Christ. I thank him for his forgiveness.

I keep short accounts with him. He has given me a tongue, a tongue that gives praise and speaks confidently of all that I have been blessed with in him. Everything isn't perfect because we live in an imperfect world, etc., but now I enjoy a sense of freedom and victory because whom the Son sets free, he shall be free indeed. It is my desire to share what I have gone through and to pray for others who are also victim of the devil's lies. Thank you for the part that you played in recognizing that I was being tormented by evil spirits.

Please continue to pray for me. I wrote back and said, Laura, I said, your letter is so fantastic, can I use it? And she said, yes, you can even use my name.

She said, tell anyone you like. In her second letter in which she confirmed that, she said this, please tell others that a life of praise to the Lord is one of the most effective weapons against the enemy. Satan hates praises to Jesus and so I have grown to love using praises against him. Also, if anyone is harboring sin in his life, unforgiveness, lying, hatred, hostility, anger, etc., it only gives the enemy a foothold to torment them.

So you must forsake sin, not making any excuses for what has happened in the past. And I have found that demonic oppression can also be transferred and passed on through the family line. I praise God that he will and can never lie. If he has said the devil is a defeated foe, then he is. It was so hard for me all those years to believe this because Satan made himself to appear very strong.

He made me feel that I was no match for him and that I would have to live the rest of my life in torment. But praise be to God whom the Son sets free. He is free indeed. I am grateful for the blood of Jesus Christ that bought this freedom for me. And then she expresses the hope that others will be brought to the same deliverance. I know that time is hurrying along, but I would like to share with you very quickly what it means to die to self-rule. That is the fruit of sin.

That is the root from which all the other troubles and sins stem. Very quickly, number one, if you're a believer in Jesus Christ, remember that in Christ, in Christ, you died to self-rule. Romans chapter six says that we have been placed into Christ. Shall we then continue in sin that grace may abound?

No. How shall we who have died to sin live any longer therein? Knowing this that our old man, our old nature was crucified with Christ.

In Galatians six, the passage that we began with, it says, now all those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts. Why is it so important to begin there? Listen carefully. It's because some of you listening to this message say to yourself, you are a hopeless and helpless case. That's what you're saying. And the reason that you are saying that is because you think that God is going to ask you to do the impossible. But remember, God never asks us to do anything that Christ has not already done for us. All that we are asked to do is based on what he has done and therefore I want to give you hope and I want to give you confidence that you, my dear friend today, can be changed. You can be changed.

Christ already paved the way. Number two, we can die to self-rule by a choice. We can choose to. Could Alma have been helped here at the Moody Church?

Yes. Maybe we failed in counseling. Maybe we didn't explain it correctly.

I don't know. But if she had grasped the fact that she was going to have to lay down all that bitterness and she was an abused woman so we can understand how hard it was. But if she had grasped that she had to lay all that down and to believe in the victory of Jesus Christ, why then indeed that transformation could have happened years earlier.

This letter is a great joy. But the downside is too bad that she had to wander around ten years with that kind of a lifestyle and torment before she was set free. Now for Laura, dying to self meant getting rid of that bitterness. It meant believing God. For you it may mean something else. It may mean giving up that stronghold of uncleanness. It may mean surrendering the control of your life and your business and your bank accounts. It may mean something different to everybody. But it is that that God wants. You say, well, Pastor Luther, what should I give up to God today?

I can tell you very quickly. Give him the thing that is hardest for you to give up. There you've got it. And for every one of us it's different. But we come to the point where we make a choice. We simply say that I am no longer going to rule my life. I submit the matter that is dearest to me, to God, and I come under spirit rule rather than self rule.

And God always puts his finger on the thing that is dearest to us and oftentimes the thing that hurts the most. Thirdly, we must die to self rule by faith. It must be by faith. Faith that what Jesus Christ accomplished for us is already done, yes. Faith that we can receive the fullness of the Spirit, but even more than that.

Faith to believe that God can use whatever he wills in our life to perfect us. You say, well, Pastor Luther, I don't know whether or not I've died to self or not. Have I? Have I?

Of course, it's a continual process, so we cannot answer just with a definitive yes and a definitive no. But let me tell you something. A person who has died to self rule has stopped telling God what he can or cannot use in the process of refinement. A person who has died to self does not say, God, you cannot use injustice. I will fight injustice. I will get victory in injustice.

I will not tolerate injustice. No, because the person who has died to self rule says that God used injustice to put Christ on the cross. He might also use injustice to put me on the cross, too. A person who has died to self does not say, God, you can't use betrayal. You cannot use betrayal.

Oh, yes, he can. He used the betrayal of Judas to get Christ to the cross. God can use these things to, so to speak, put us on the cross. And so that's what I'm asking you to do today, is to die to self rule, to say that the things that I hang on to, the things that I will not give up, I will surrender in faith, believing that God's way is best. I can imagine there's somebody here today, maybe a visitor, who says, well, who in the world would want to do this anyway? I mean, who would want to die to self rule? Who would want to turn over the reins of his life to God?

I mean, who would want to do that, and why? Well, one of the reasons is to increase the joy, to increase the joy. Jesus said that these things I've spoken on to you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full, but you can't experience that joy unless you realize that without me, ye can do nothing, nothing, nothing.

That is death to self rule. One other reason might be to take away the loneliness, not all loneliness, but some loneliness is due to a refusal to submit to the sovereignty of Christ. Jesus said that except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone. It abides alone. And there is companionship in fruitfulness.

There is a breaking of our wills, a work of God that is so deep that we give up the surrender of our own lives to Christ, and then the holy spirit of God and the work of God can break out of that hard shell that we have so confidently and completely sealed ourselves within. And that's what God does. Now let me say also folks that when I was out on the farm, you know, I used to frequently walk along in the grass and suddenly you come across a whole bunch of flies. What is a bunch of flies? It's not a herd of flies, it's a something. Anyway, lots of flies. That's what I remember, lots of flies.

And then you'd look and find out why and you'd discover that perhaps a bird had died there and was rotting or perhaps a rodent had died and was rotting and, you know, it would have been interesting to try to get rid of the flies to do an analysis of the flies, to try to see the different kinds of flies, to observe the behaviors of the flies, and we could have written a book on flies and I'm sure somebody has written a book on flies. There's another way to get rid of them. Just get rid of the rot, just get rid of the rot. This isn't true all the time, but in most cases the reason that we are so harassed by Satan is because there is something within us that we will not give up and it becomes his playground. And you can counsel Laura and you can exhort Laura and you can try to help Laura and you can pray with Laura and you can do everything and it doesn't work. She said it was powerless, powerless until she dealt with a fundamental issue of who will rule my life completely and totally and give up the thing that is hardest to give up. And that's what I'm asking you to do today. I'm asking you to die.

That's what I'm asking you. Jesus said that if you come after me you have to take up your cross and follow me. And whoever Christ bids, he bids him die. Are you willing to die?

That's the antidote to the serpent's poison. And if you will, let us pray. Father, we invite your blessed Holy Spirit to do what no man can. We're humbled by the words of this letter that everything that was learned was powerless. And Father, that's the way we feel today.

Everything we've heard is powerless unless it's mingled with action and faith. We ask today, Father, therefore, that you will do what only you can do. What I would like to do today is to read a prayer. And this prayer is basically a prayer that is an admission that we are dying to self and we are receiving the life of Christ into our lives.

That we are being broken, that the thing that we hang on to is finally being given up. And I would like you to have an opportunity to recite this prayer out loud after me if you would so desire. I would think that most of you would want to.

For whatever reason, others of you might not want to. But it's a prayer that I want to pray and I hope that many of you want to pray it with me as I give it phrase by phrase and line by line. Will you join me out loud? My Father, I want to thank you that Jesus Christ died for me. I thank you that I also died with Christ. I now accept his death on my behalf.

I now accept his death on my behalf. In faith I choose to die to self will. In faith I choose to die to self will. I surrender every struggle I have with sin. I surrender every struggle I have with sin.

Into your hands. I receive your cleansing and forgiveness. And I crown Christ as Lord of my life. I resist Satan. I affirm his defeat at the cross.

I accept the truth that his defeat is final and complete. And now in faith I accept what you have provided for me. I receive the fullness of the Spirit. And I desire to walk in obedience. In Jesus' name. Amen. Well, my friend, this is Pastor Lutzer, and even though that story about Laura occurred so many, many years ago, I still remember it very clearly. Here was a woman who was not delivered until she thoroughly dealt with sin. My friend, today from my heart to yours I want to say that these issues are very important in our lives.

That's why we're making this sermon series entitled God's Devil available to you. Some of you have heard some of the messages, you've missed some. You would like to have these messages so you can listen to them again and again, share them with your friends. And thanks in advance for helping us.

I hope that you have time to get a pencil so that you can write this down. As I've mentioned, for a gift of any amount, these sermons can be yours. You can go to rtwoffer.com. I'm going to be mentioning that again. Or if you prefer, you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. Go to rtwoffer.com. And thank you so much for helping us. And ask for the sermon series God's Devil.

Or pick up the phone right now and call us at 1-888-218-9337. The series is called God's Devil. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, 60614. Running to Win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life. The ravages of Satan clutter the annals of time, but the devil's doom is certain. He's on death row, howling until his date with a lake of fire. Next time on Running to Win, an encouraging look at the final end of Satan, the prince of liars. At long last, he'll get his due. Don't miss The Serpent's Destiny, an eternity of regret. For Dr. Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-04 04:12:56 / 2023-06-04 04:21:54 / 9

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