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

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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November 16, 2022 6:00 am

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

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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November 16, 2022 6:00 am

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Any attempts to flee the devil is useless. You can flee the flesh.

Sexual lust is to be flea, flea, flew. You will flew once you've fleed. 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. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through his series called The Believer's 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. Today, Pastor Rick continues his message called Spiritual War with Satan. He'll be teaching in 2 Corinthians chapter 11. He is an imposter, 2 Corinthians chapter 11 verse 14, for Satan himself transformed himself into an angel of light.

He adapts to his environment. The only protection against that is knowledge of the word and the discernment that the Spirit gives. Ruler over vast armies of unclean spirits, principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness. Listen to this from Ephesians chapter 2.

In which you once walked according to the course of this world, once you were under that god of this age. And then he goes on to say, Paul does, according to the prince of the power of the air. The power of the air means the spiritual realm in this context that Paul is using it in Ephesians. He is the ruler of a kingdom, a spiritual kingdom that makes contact with a physical universe through human beings and pigs sometimes, if permitted. So Paul says again, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, those under the god rule of Satan.

He lures human beings to reject Christ even after they have accepted him. 1 Thessalonians chapter 3. For this reason, Paul writes to the Thessalonians, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain. What labor in vain?

The labor of preaching the gospel and converting souls. Paul was worried about this. When he left Thessalonica, he said, what is happening to those new believers, those new converts? Has Satan snatched up the seeds? Is he devouring them? Because he is a tempter.

He lures you to do what God does not want you to do, and he always tries to get you to do what is harmful to you in some form. Here are some of the names. We don't have time to go through all of them, but here are a few.

18, to be exact. Abaddon, Abaddon, pardon me. That means destruction. The accuser, we've covered that one.

He is the one, the devil, that will slander you, but he will charge you before God. Lord, they're defending. They're breaking your rules. They're doing this.

They're doing that. How many Christians are laden down with guilt because of the accuser? They do not take advantage of the Savior's grace, the knowledge of the word, the fortification of the saints that's found in the fellowship. You try to fight this devil alone, you're going to lose. Well, the adversary, of course, Satan, Apollyon, the destroyer. So not only is he into destruction, but he's into destroying. You say that's the same thing.

No, it's an emphasis that he's serious about this. You could say he's obsessed with destroying. Beelzebub, ruler of the flies. Some believe that the ancient pagan temples were infested with flies. The practices were not clean. Blood, sacrifices, these things brought flies. But the Jewish temple, places of worship, were free of flies because of the constant labor they put into keeping the grounds clean.

We read so much about those, you know, in Ezra we talk about the Nethenim, those who were not Levites who were serving at the temple, doing the menial task of hauling water and chopping wood and cleaning up. And so, by contrast, he became the god of the pagans, the god of flies. Belial, the worthless one. The devil, of course, the one that slanders. The dragon of old, means he's been around a long time. The enemy, the evil, wicked one, god of this age. The liar, the murderer, ruler of this world, ruler of demons, roaring lion, serpent of old, tempter and trapper.

Those are just some of the names given to this enemy. Now about him talking to people. The voice of the devil in Scripture. First we see him and hear him talking. We hear his voice in the Garden of Eden, speaking to Eve in what we could say is created paradise before the fall, but on the way to it. And there he is talking to man about God. He is slandering God. He starts off with, did God really say that? How many of these lost souls in the universities are going after our children and saying to them, did the Bible really say that?

Do you really believe that God said that? I've got something else. I've got another bag of goods for you.

Stick your hand in the bag, as the serpent bites and latches onto you. The next time we hear the voice of the devil, he is in heaven. He's talking to God. But this time he's not talking to man about God. He's talking to God about man. He is bad-mouthing Job.

Yeah, I saw him. I want to get my talons into him. But you protect him. God says I will withdraw some of that protection. The last time we hear him speak is there in the wilderness, when he now is dealing with the God-man, the Son of God, the man of God who has come in human form. And there he is lying about the word of God.

He is lying about its application. Because it's written, he would say, that he'll give his angels charge over you, that you can take this bread and these stones and turn it into bread. He's twisting the scriptures, and so the Lord fought him with scriptures.

It's written again. Let's keep this in context, Satan. And finally, the devil gets to the point, worship me. Worship me and I will give you everything.

Well, everything's not yours to give. But he's a liar, and he likes telling his lies. And he always finds someone to believe him, but not this time. He had never encountered anyone like the Christ. Understand, when you read the temptation of Christ, we really cannot get how intense it was.

We're getting just a sort of a summary of what happened, if you were listening in. But we really can't get to the depths, the power of evil that was exposed to the Lord. The Lord was ready for it. The purpose of that temptation was to demonstrate that the Christ was not your average prophet. He's not just a righteous man. No one else could withstand such a temptation. And when Satan walked away, he knew that he had been defeated.

He knew that Christ was not like everyone else. We have to take a moment here just to talk about the demons a little bit. These unclean spirits that are wicked, that are evil, that are deceiving, that are very active, their origin in Scripture is not given to us. They just show up. They're there.

But it doesn't take much to do the work and track down at least some thoughts about where they might come from. But what is important is who do they belong to? They are organized.

Jesus told us that. Satan won't cast out Satan, the kingdom divided. They are organized.

They have a ruler over them. The god of the flies is the one that rules over them, Satan himself. But Satan is never referred to as a demon. But they are the enemy and so they come under that umbrella of being our adversary, Satan's kingdom. And they mess up everything.

They mess up the world. They teach people how to live in opposition to Christ, even believers. If they can get a believer to become an apostate, 1 Timothy chapter 4 verse 1, the Spirit, and that is the Holy Spirit, expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. Now if you're a student of the Scripture, that word doctrine to you, you're familiar with it, you know what it means.

But maybe you've heard it so much you're missing some of the other points that are critical to that word. The teachings of demons, the influences of demons, the ideas of demons, the stupid ideas of demons that men fall for. Those are the doctrines of demons, the new age, the world's false religions, the cults that belong, they say, to the Bible. They use it, the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Mormons for example, Unitarians. These have fallen for the teachings of demons. They don't believe it.

You don't have to believe it. Satan does not need you to sign off on this any more than a rabbit caught in the jaws of a wolf needs to agree with him that he can do this. He's captured and he's at the mercy.

He's not really mercy, he's at the dinner table is what he is. Demons cannot possess believers. Lust, anger, envy, et cetera, these come from a sinful nature that is inflamed by Satan, but they're not evidences of demon possession. To say that a Christian can be demon possessed, to say that the Holy Spirit is weaker than God, that he who is in you is not stronger than he who is in the world, and when John uses that he's referring to Satan, of course, and that the work of the Holy Spirit, that process of sanctification is useless if you believe that a believer can be possessed. It is also to take away one's personal individual accountability. Oh, I'm not accountable because the devil made me do it.

Well, that's nonsense. Some of you remember a comedian from many years ago, Flip Wilson, and one of his big lines was, the devil made me do it. And anybody that says that is, yeah, that may be, but you are held accountable.

You are going to do. And so if he made you do it, Judas Iscariot, it would have been better that you had not been born. There is responsibility on our end. And so there is no scriptural support or examples or anything close to a believer being demon possessed. Colossians chapter 1 verse 13, he has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the son of his love. We are conveyed.

We are transported into the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. In preparing this message, I felt no evil presence more than just normal. I felt no attacks from the enemy. I had no anxiety. I trust the Lord.

The Lord told me to speak on this. I don't need anything else but to go ahead and work it out. And so this is not, you know, this, ooh, kind of horror movie stuff going on. Some of you remember the character, Freddy Krueger, whatever he was. I mean, if he had showed up on my doorstep, I would have punched him out.

And if that didn't work, I got other stuff. But I'm not going to walk around afraid of these things. God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love.

We're going to get back to that one. Of power and a sound mind. Built on doctrine. A sound mind.

It is a tool of God. You cannot have a righteous witness without a sound mind. It's unfortunate that many people think you've come to church to watch them show off to you how spiritual they can be.

Running around crazy in sanctuaries and kicking off their shoes and doing cartwheels. I mean, this is what I came to church for. I've come to God's house to receive from God. I am hoping that the man he put in the pulpit has received something from God to share with me. Is there anything wrong with that? Now take the person in the pew that jumps up and wants to distract you from that. There's something very, who's working there?

Who wants that to happen? A very real devil. The result will be a bunch of people using Jesus' name but have made themselves delicacies, made themselves delicacies to a very real and hungry devil. God's enemy in the hearts of men. Why doesn't he just kill him?

The question that Friday had asked and Robinson Caruso. Why doesn't God just kill him? Caruso couldn't answer the question, at least not to the satisfaction of most students of the scripture. God purposely uses Satan. God has every right to create a people that will love him without being forced to love him, that will love him by faith, by evidence having not yet seen him eye to eye in his glory. He has every right to establish that decision by giving an option.

How else will it be established? And so he has put us here and he has put a tree of temptation and he has forbidden us to take from it. But man has taken from it and God has made a way of escape that we should not be destroyed because of this. And so God does not kill him and God has a purpose for not killing him. Ezekiel 14 23, and you shall know that I have done nothing without cause that I have done says Yahweh God.

God knows what he is doing and these things are not random nor out of his control and as horrific as it can be sometimes he is still focused on what he is doing. He has left Satan to identify believers to be used as a tool to identify who believes. Mark's Gospel chapter 4. These are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown when they hear. Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.

Yah, well not everybody lets him take it. How many times do people say I want to be born again, I want you to pray for me. And then once that happens they are back to rejecting Christ like they were before.

Satan came along and plucked the seeds up. Second Corinthians chapter 4 whose mind the God of this age has blinded who do not believe lest the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God be sown in their hearts. That image of God means he is God. You cannot say that about, yeah we are made in the image of God that image has been marred but when the Bible speaks about Christ being the image of God it is the exact of God. Hebrews chapter 1 verses 1-3 make that very clear to us.

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

Yah, the game has 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 but you are about to suffer. Why are you going to let me suffer?

Well 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 is 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 have 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 well look the other way. Well how is 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 sell you to do about this.

This guy needs to be put out. But he gives instructions. He says deliver such a want 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. And 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 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. 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 crossreferenceradio.com. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast too so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit crossreferenceradio.com and follow the links under radio. Again, that's crossreferenceradio.com. 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 / 2022-11-16 06:17:11 / 2022-11-16 06:26:30 / 9

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