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Believer’s Basics #8 – Spiritual War with Satan (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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November 17, 2022 6:00 am

Believer’s Basics #8 – Spiritual War with Satan (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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November 17, 2022 6:00 am

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He will attack everything good that your parents have given to you. He will attack everything good that your God has given to you. He again will not report the lovely things, the sweet things, the true things about God. He will suppress those things.

Paul says those who have suppressed the truth in unrighteousness. So we war against the spiritual kingdom. You younger Christians, you're called to that war. The minute you enter this sanctuary, you're called to that war. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through his series called The Believers Basics.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. And now here's Pastor Rick with the conclusion of his message called Spiritual War with Satan in Hebrews chapter 1. In Hebrews chapter 1 verses 1 through 3 make that very clear to us.

But he has left this devil to develop believers proving our love for him. True faith matters. It's not something that's just a statistic. The game must be played. We know this in sports, do we not? A team can say, you know what, their favorite to win, 10 to 1.

Yeah, the game's got to be played because the outcome is not known until the game is played. Our God is a very real God. Not this abstract idea of salvation but a very concrete one. And so our text, Satan has asked for you that he may sift you.

That's why he has left here. This is why God has not killed him. Revelation 2, do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Why are you going to let me suffer?

These things must happen. We don't have all the information as to why. What we have enough to know, we are to act upon the information that we have about God. He continues in Revelation 2, indeed the devil is about to throw some of you into prison that you may be tested. And then he goes on to say, be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life. This is why he has left here. He said, I don't like this.

Well, I don't either. But once you make it across that finish line, once you have fought the good fight and kept the faith, you will say to the Lord in some way, thank you. Because when we see what God has in store for us, we will understand it was worth it. He has left Satan to suppress the flesh in obedient believers. He has left Satan here as a vehicle to suppress the flesh in obedient believers. 2 Corinthians chapter 12, Paul speaking, Unless I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Paul saying, if it weren't for this devil and the way he rolls and what God has done in my life, I would be puffed up with pride, my flesh.

I've had so many blessings, so many reasons to count myself better than other Christians that God has allowed this into my life to keep me in check because this is what the sinful nature needs. He has left the devil here to discipline those within the church, 1 Corinthians chapter 5. This is about a man who was in deep sin and the church was priding themselves on tolerating that sinner.

Oh, we'll look the other way. Well, how's he going to get saved if you don't allow him? And they had all these reasons why this blatant sin could be paraded in front of everybody. God knows that that blatant sin would have taken out everybody.

A little leaven leavens the whole lump idea. And so Paul deals with this. He says, I don't have to be there to know what to tell you to do about this.

This guy needs to be put out. But he gives instructions. He says, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul is saying, we don't want him to go to hell. We need to discipline him so he doesn't go to hell. And they acted upon his advice and he was brought back in and Paul says, I saw your obedience. He uses the word obedient.

You were obedient. It matters. It counts for something.

It's not a philosophy. We have grace and mercy when we can't be obedient. I have to put that in because I know we struggle, all of us struggle. Where sin abounded, grace did much more. But it does not abound when it is stiff armed. It does not abound when we cheapen it. It abounds when we are just weak and don't want to be weak and can do no more. Then grace kicks in.

It's like a reserve tank. He has left this devil here to chasten the unbelievers, 1 Timothy 1, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. So there's a purpose. God is using this very real devil to chasten, to correct, to help steer us clear. Presently, as long as he wills to do evil and he will do evil, he is allowed to but there are restraints put on him. He cannot wipe out the human race. There's a lot of things he cannot do. We take that from the story of Job, for example.

That's just one spot. There are many things he cannot do and this should make us strong. Not a feeling of invincibility in the flesh, but a feeling of invincibility in the Spirit. So when the Bible speaks of the final overthrow of Satan, cast into the lake of fire, it is not saying he's going to be annihilated, made as though he never existed, but that he will be eternally punished and that he will no longer have power at all. That there is an accountability, there is a payback.

And we read about this evil free creation that is coming, Revelation 20, 10. The devil who deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. It's not just a one-time punishment.

It is permanent. There's no annihilation. Their punishment is permanent and so he pays. But now for the believer's response. This is where the meat is. Again, there is not just the existence of Satan, but our hitting him back in resistance to his existence. Any attempts to flee the devil is useless. You can flee the flesh. Sexual lust is to be, flee, flee. You will flee once you've fled. Flee youthful lust, Paul told Timothy.

Joseph gave us an example of that when he left the evidence in the hands of the real criminal in that story, but he ran from it. But Satan, you cannot run from him. We must resist him. Resistance is the only reason why any Christian remains standing.

Do you get that? The only reason why you believers are still believers, that you're still going to church, that you still love the Lord is because of resistance. Even though you've taken hits, even though even in the face of resistance, your position was compromised, you're still standing. You're still worshiping. You're still calling on the name of the Lord. So Peter says, resist him, 1 Peter 5, 9. Steadfast in the faith.

That means not just one time. Knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. All the Christians are going through this. All the Christians are having to face this dragon. Judas Iscariot stopped resisting. Last we heard of Demas, he stopped resisting. Sophia and Ananias stopped resisting.

Balaam and Gehazi stopped resisting. They gave in to the lure of the world, the doctrines of demons, the greed, the lust, the appetites of the flesh. They crumbled, not this time and that time, but all the time.

They gave up. Satan has a relentless strategy to ugly up your life. You know that. So we read in Revelation 12 verse 10, the kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ have come for the accuser of the brethren who accused them before God day and night has been cast down. You see that day and night, he is relentless.

He does not slumber nor sleep. He is obsessed with your destruction, but he is not unbeatable. That is the point and the proof is again you're here. We've also been given some instructions on how to fight back and the reason why you're here is because you've been doing them whether you know it or not. 2 Corinthians 10, Paul says the weapons of our warfare are not physical, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Every thought.

You've got to fight for those thoughts because Satan will tempt you to abandon that straight and narrow path and take you out off of it. Bunyan's pilgrim's progress when he wandered off the path, he ended up in the castle of despair where the giant beat him every day, he and faithful, until they remembered the key. The key was faith and they got out of the castle.

Bunyan's illustrating the struggles that we go through in his story. So war, war is it. The work of the church in the world is to make war on the kingdom of Satan. The work of the believers assembled locally and individually is to make war on the kingdom of Satan. What Christian does not get that? What Christian is too interested in themselves to understand that? Acts chapter 26, Paul is giving a recount of his conversion and he said, The Lord said to him, rise and stand on your feet. We need to hear that. For I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you.

I will deliver you. I now send you to open the eyes in order to turn them, the Gentiles that is, from darkness to light and the power of Satan to God. To turn them from the power of Satan to God, he says. He then continues that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me. The church is to make war. God was telling Paul, I am sending you, you younger Christians, you take these years of youth of learning and you load your magazine, your quiver, you load it up, you learn as much as you can learn about things that are good.

Mathematics even, English and anything you can learn that is wholesome and you put that into the magazine for future fights that are coming because the world will come at you. Satan is not satisfied that you're satisfied with Christ. He will attack everything good that your parents have given to you. He will attack everything good that your God has given to you. He again will not report the lovely things, the sweet things, the true things about God. He will suppress those things.

Paul says those who have suppressed the truth in unrighteousness. So we war against the spiritual kingdom. You younger Christians, you're called to that war. The minute you enter this sanctuary, you're called to that war. You say, I was called to that war before that.

You would be right. You're part of the army. Christians encounter defeat in this war.

There's no question about that. The battle within the heart, the inner life, the thoughts, the impulses, the temptations. We face defeat in our efforts to destroy wickedness and misery around us and the lives of others. We face defeat in the building of the church, in the guarding of the church, but we do not experience absolute defeat.

So when you do come across setbacks and defeats, that is not an indication that your weapons are not working. That is war. Ephesians chapter 6, for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual host of wickedness in heavenly places, in spiritual places.

That's a lot. That's a kingdom come against us. We're going to resist. We use the word, of course. Of all the names that the Bible is referred to or given to the Bible, of all the names given to the Bible, the word of God is the most significant, it is the most impressive, it is the most complete description of the Bible. It is the word of God. And so we read Ephesians 6, take up.

Take up the helmet of salvation, because he won't bruise your head with that, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. You must have the scripture. You say, I've taken up the scripture.

Well, that's not enough. It's not just to say to only take up the scripture. That you must have the word. Christ used the scripture to defeat the devil, but that is not all that he used to defeat him. Prayer. Prayer is something with God. That's what prayer is. It can be asking him for something, praising him, discussing something. Prayer is something with God.

God's word is the weapon Jesus used to resist him, but as I said, not the only weapon. Christ prayed for Peter. He does the same for you and me. He says, Peter, I've prayed for you.

That's the weapon in action. But I have prayed for you. Luke 22, verse 32. 22, verse 32. But I have prayed for you that your faith should not fail, and when you have returned to me, strengthen your brethren. Jesus anticipated victory, but first sifting.

First there would be defeat. Peter was defeated. And he wept and he repented. Judas did not.

Judas stopped resisting, as I mentioned earlier, but not Peter. And so, yeah, we do suffer hits, but we recover. And he who sheds tears, he who shed his tears and his blood for us is the same one that prays for us, that intercedes for us. We have this divine intercessor. Before we came out, you know, on Sunday mornings we gather and we pray for those who are coming up here to minister with song. And a pastor and myself, we pray. And the people of this church are always praying for me. And it's, you know, it's very, you know, it's easier to deal with an insult than it is a compliment sometimes.

Because you don't want to get puffed up. You feel a little embarrassed. I'm not worthy. Well, we've already settled that you're not.

So let's not revisit it. But just this morning, some of the saints were praying for me when I come up here into the pulpit. And if it doesn't work for you this morning, it's their prayers that you need to take up, not mine. Anyway, the Lord spoke to me. And he said, that is me interceding for you. I wanted to cry. I didn't. I held it together. But that's how it works. After all these years, I will always feel a little uncomfortable with that.

And from now on, it's like, yeah, yeah, I'll take that. Because Satan wants you. Do I worry about, well, after this sermon, he's going to sift you?

That's the Lord's department. Why would I take no thought of tomorrow? Tomorrow's problems are tomorrow's problems.

Deal with what you have now. God's not given me the spirit of fear, but of love and of power and of a sound mind. And so this same Lord who bled for us is the same Lord that prays for us. And as valuable as you are to God, your soul is as valuable to Satan.

You didn't see that coming. As precious as a prize we are to Christ, Satan with an evil intensity matches that desire by wanting to destroy us. There are evil spirits who desire to overthrow us and do ruin to our souls. However, there are also good spirits, good angels, unfallen angels at the beck of God, at the beck and call of our Savior.

They are on our side and they are strong. In fact, God demonstrates that He has beings in heaven that are stronger than Satan, who will grab Him and lock Him up and there will be no resistance. The strength will be so overwhelming, for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever. So when we read in Kings, and Elisha prayed and said, Yahweh, I pray, open His eyes that He may see. Because this is when the servant of Elisha was so nervous that the armies surrounding them.

And they were going to be, of course, defeated. And Elisha prayed. Because Elisha could see into the spiritual realm by faith, those eyes of faith. And Yahweh opened the eyes of the young man and He saw.

And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. So we have those who have been assigned to us. When Lazarus died, the Bible says the angels took him.

We are not alone. God has set this up. We don't pray to angels, nor do we talk to them, nor do we try to bribe them.

We just accept it. It is the Lord who gets all the glory. It is His work. He uses various agents.

Sometimes He goes direct, sometimes He dispatches in this invisible war that we are engaged in. You say, but I don't always feel like I'm still standing. I feel knocked down. I feel beaten up. I feel sometimes just dirty and filthy because I've sinned. Well, you're going to have to understand that there's nothing pretty and nothing clean and nothing pleasant about war.

It is dirty business. So you have to use the word, you have to pray, but you have to work. That is something for others.

I know there are a lot of Christians that think just attending church and just singing songs means that they've satisfied any demand put on them by God and they're wrong. There are things we are supposed to do for others, not reckless things either. And serving forces the enemy to go on defense. Do you understand that?

I'm running over a little time here. Serving puts him on defense, makes him work. You see, when you're not serving, that platoon that has been assigned to you doesn't have to worry about you because you're not doing anything. But when you get up, when you rise up, when you go forward, they are alerted that there's troop activity against them. So we hit back when we serve. We strike back at Satan when we serve. An army that is always retreating is not an army for much longer. It just gets picked off.

It gets destroyed. And then, and this is the closing section, I've only got about 100 words left, the word, the prayer, the work, and the love. We hear this all the time.

We try it all the time. And it just always seems to be this evasive commandment of the Lord that I cannot get my hands on to love. Love. Christian love. Agape love.

Well, let's start here. John 13. Jesus speaking. By this all will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another. Have you ever met Christians that have almost no love? They would kill them to make eye contact with you and smile at the same time.

It would kill them to initiate a greeting to you. There are many other things. I don't want to stay on that too long. We covered enough verse by verse. Don't be that guy. Don't be the dumb guy in church that cannot show Christian love. Anybody can love. It's like the altars of Abraham.

Anybody could put together an altar of Abraham. Anybody can love. Love is a product of faith. Let's consider its potency just for a moment. Peter says, above all have fervent love for one another. For love will cover a multitude of sins.

That's pretty powerful stuff. Now, there are some, again, that are high maintenance. They want you to fawn over them all the time. You don't give them attention. You accidentally don't say hello to them. Oh, they fall apart. You don't love them. I'm not talking about the weaker brethren.

They're weak. We will endure you. We love you. But real love, fervent love, that knows what it needs to do when the time comes to do it. That has a basic decency to it.

That is not always judging and critical of others. Find out what that means. If God says, they'll know you're my disciples if you have love for one another, it's for us to find out what that means and do it. You say, I've tried, I've tried. Okay, stop resisting then. Give up. See what happens to you.

Keep going. Be the last man standing because the last man standing is love. 1 Corinthians 13, love never fails.

Find out what that means too. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail. Whether there are tongues, they will cease.

Whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. But love, not love. The apostle goes on to say, love never fails. It continues. Love is the last man standing.

You're still here. These are our weapons. We don't have to like it. We have to use them.

Let's not neglect them. Satan cannot be destroyed in this life, but his purposes can be. His purposes are beatable. And we who believe are proof. If you are saved, you are proof. You are walking proof that the gospel works.

Not three cheers in hell over that. Close with this verse, Revelation 12, 11. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.

They did not love their lives to the death. The word of their testimony. You know, the ministry of the word means to actually do what you've studied.

That's the ministry. When I come to church, I say, Lord, that you will help me in my preparation time, in the delivery of the word and in the ministry of the word. Thanks for joining us for today's teaching on Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia.

We hope you've been blessed by this believers basic series, exploring the fundamentals of what it means to follow Christ. If you'd like to listen to more of this series or share it with someone you know, please visit We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast, too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit and follow the links under radio. Again, that's That's all for today. We hope you'll tune in next time to continue studying the word of God right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-17 07:21:46 / 2022-11-17 07:31:05 / 9

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