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December 31, 2020 3:00 am
Satan comes to you through the world system that engulfed you.
We are tempted through the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life and the way Satan gets at you is not by sending some individual demons a mess you up, but by creating a world system around you that appeals to those three temptation fighting anyone in.
That's good, but at the same time. If you're a Christian, you need to realize you are in constant battle you face a savage relentless enemy every day with clever ways of doing you harm to make sure you're ready for the fight stay here on grace to you as John MacArthur identifies that enemy and shows you how to withstand his toughest attacks is part of John study designed to help you be what he calls the courageous Christian. Now here's John turning your Bible to Ephesians chapter 6. Listen to what verse 10 says in Ephesians 6. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might hear again is a call for strength. The Lord wants his church mature full-grown strong courageous so that it can stand against the weaknesses of the flesh and against the stratagems of a very powerful supernatural enemy, namely Satan, we have a formidable battle in regard to the domain of darkness, verse 10.
Then finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the full armor of God. In other words, don't engage yourself in this battle with anything less than complete armor. The following is formidable more formidable than any other photo, and it requires the greatest amount of spiritual strength to come out victorious.
Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil you know is that he doesn't put us on the attack.
He puts us on the defense were not called to assault Satan. We are called to stand against him. He will show up with his formidable powerful invading force and we need to be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. The devil is none other than the slanderer, the Avalos, the adversary, Satan, the one who structures the world system and he it is that comes against us with his subtle schemes doesn't come alone it comes with a sophisticated and powerful spiritual network. Look at verse 12 for our struggle is not against flesh and blood were really not fighting against the human system obviously were battling in our lives with our flesh only get outside of ourselves were not really battling a flesh and blood system, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly above the earth in the spiritual domain the spiritual dimension.
There are sophisticated spiritual beings and we are engaged in a war with them.
Now notice that there are number of terms that are used to describe these beings. They are called rulers powers and world forces and then summarily all of them spiritual forces of wickedness. These are terms used to define the various responsibilities and levels of the order of demons under Satan, the prince of this world. The Bible calls Satan the God of this world. The Bible calls them has under him a highly structured order of demons to carry out his plan. They are given assignments and responsibilities under his leadership. Here we are in this world fighting against this very formidable foe. That is why in verse 10 it says we need to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his mind what that translates into is putting on the full armor of God. Again we find it where there is a command to be strong. There is immediate explanation as to what that involves. Remember last time when dealing with Timothy's weakness. Also, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and then got very specific and said, in order to be strong, you must see yourself as a soldier and a teacher and an athlete and a farmer and gave them a pattern for developing that strength. You have the same thing here to stand against the subtle schemes of Satan that are being pushed through a vast demonic host against us. We need to be strong in the Lord in the strength of his might. And how do we do that by putting on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Now keep in mind that this very very sophisticated supernatural powerful system of evil from Satan flowing through these demons basically operates in the world system around us. First John 519, the whole world lies in the lap of the evil one. He is the god of this age. He is the prince of this world. He is in control of the world system and I want you to understand this because I think people misunderstand it so often. Satan comes to you through the world system that engulfed you, according to first John we are tempted through the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. Temptation comes through those avenues.
What we see what we lust for our desire and personal pride in the way Satan gets at you is not by sending some individual demons a mess you up, but by creating a world system around you that appeals to those three temptation avenues.
It's not that you as a believer need to fear that somehow the demon of lust is going to get in you or the demon of deceit is going to get anywhere. The demon of lying for the demon of discontent or is one guy even included the demon of postnasal drip. It's not that we have to live in some fear that some some demon with a certain kind of wicked bent is going to take over our lives and catapult us into some category of iniquity over which we have no control. That is not how it works.
What Satan does is develop very sophisticated schemes, cunning craftiness, Ephesians 4: and though schemes are carried out by this vast host of demon who developed the world system into a massive source of temptation, which is designed to assault you and me. It's designed to assault listen carefully, God's people. There is nothing in the Scripture to indicate anywhere that a believer can have demons living in him or her being possessed of demons is not characteristic of believers either in the older New Testament we don't find a believer who had demons in him or her. We never find in the New Testament any occasion of anyone ever casting demons out of a believer in Christ and the apostles cast out demons. They were casting them out of nonbelievers. This was messianic supernatural power and apostolic power. The power that could also heal the sick, and raise the dead, which was given to the apostles and the apostles alone.
So the objective of the spiritual war is not to attack demons but to defend ourselves against the world wicked system which Satan has designed to attack us and I say that because so many Christians are so confused about this running around thinking that the way to deal with the issues of their life is to somehow chase the demons away. If the demons all packed up and went away.
The system they've created would still be here, and it is that system which is the point of temptation is loving the world that is so deadly and all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life. That's what's so devastating is that loving of the world that is enmity with God, our flesh is vulnerable to Satan as he comes through the world system which he controls the issue is not chasing the demons.
The issue is if you're going to win the battle.
It says very clearly take up the full what armor of God, you're the you're the issue that has to be dealt with or what you have to do what you got this vulnerability in the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. These are the bridges to sin and the world is going to come right at you.
The satanic system that is all around you and it's going to cross those bridges if you can, and that's where you have to arm yourself and that's why he gives us the armor in this text.
Now before we look at the armor I want to take you to a chapter that explains this warfare in detail. Revelation 12 and here we get an insight into spiritual warfare were to see how the battleships appear in chapter 12. All right. Who are the participants will talk about the participants who is the enemy. First of all, look at verse three. John has an amazing vision here in verse three as a part of his vision. He has a sign that appears to him in heaven, and behold a great red dragon, this Dragon is pictured in full authority and power, having seven heads and 10 horns, and on his heads were seven diadem's each of them crowned now.
What is this what is this great red dragon go down to verse nine and the great dragon was thrown down. Here's the definition, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives what the whole world. Now that is the main strategy of Satan. He is a liar.
He is the father of lies. He is the deceiver that's his name and he has created a worldwide deception is schemes are all about lies lies about God lies about life and death and morality lies about relationships lies about everything, the whole deceptive wicked world system so the first and major participant in spiritual warfare is this great red dragon who has all these angels following with him who is none other than the serpent of the garden, who is the devil, who is the slanderer, the liar, the adversary goes out to deceive the whole world. He's not alone go back to verse four his tail that is keeping Satan in this motif of a dragon this image of a dragon when he fell. He swept away 1/3 of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. This depicts the fact that Satan in his fall took with him. One third of the angels now. That means that there are twice as many holy Angels two thirds as fallen Angels, one third, God's force being double that of Satan's but there were angels who join in Satan's rebellion.
You can read about his rebellion in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, which describes it, and when Satan fell. He took 1/3 of the angels with him. They joined his rebellion against the true God and these fallen Angels became the soldiers in Satan's great army. Now that's not all that out of verse 11, and the implied addition to his force. It talks about believers here. The brethren those who come to know Christ says they overcame him.
That is, they overcame the Dragon and Satan because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they didn't love their life even to death what is Astellas that tells us that through the years, Christians are going to be what killed martyred at the hand of whom human beings that takes us down to the final participants in this tremendous warfare that is the unredeemed people who reject the truth so we have Satan fallen Angels and the unredeemed people who are hostile against the truth Melanie type something that you may not thought about its basic Satan is not attacking the unregenerate world. Okay is not attacking the unregenerate world they're not his enemy there on his team understand that there are participants with him. He's not attacking them. They already belong to him. They are soldiers in his army there. His human troops would carry out the demons wishes carry out his schemes. So the wickedness of the world are you ready for this. The wickedness of the world. The wretchedness of the world is not for the sake of the unregenerate is to corrupt God's people. That's what Satan is trying to do. Why because he's trying to destroy God's plan. He's trying to destroy the church destroy the redeemed he wants defeat to defeat God, the great wars between Satan and God.
Satan hates God resents God wants to be above God and still that war wages in his wicked heart and he is not corrupting the world for the sake of the already corrupt is corrupting the world in order that its influences might somehow destroy the purposes of God for his own people, so that all war is being waged against the redeemed.
That's why it's crucial to understand. We better know how to fight this deal we can't get all caught up and try to find it politically or try to chase demons around and pronounce formulas on who are the targets. Let's talk about that more specifically verse one of this chapter as this battle unfolds a great sign appeared in heaven. Woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet on her head a crown of 12 stars and she was with child sees this amazing image of this woman who is pregnant. She cried out being in labor and in pain to give birth. She's crying in the very last moments of birth pains about to issue the child done verse five and she gave birth to a son, a male child who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.
And her child was caught up to heaven and to his throne, who is that child Jesus Christ Jesus Christ.
The first target for the Satanic war is Christ. He's the first target from the very beginning of God's redemptive plan way back in Genesis. The enemy began to work his attack in Genesis 315. There is the promise that Satan is going to come out and bruise the heel of the Messiah right is going to assault the Messiah when he comes when the baby was born in Bethlehem.
You remember that Herod sent out the decree that every male child of two years and under should be massacred.
What was that that was Satan in another attempt to destroy the Messiah at his birth, and then he thought he could pin them on the cross, and keep in bed and keep them in a tomb and had the room and seal the tomb and it's always been that he wants to destroy Christ because Christ is a poor of course the key to God's whole redemptive purpose and why doesn't Satan wanted because Satan does not want a whole redeemed humanity taken the glory to do nothing but praise God forever and ever because he hates God so greatly he doesn't want that glory, for God.
Secondly, as I already noted he target someone other than just Christ. Look at verse six. Here we read about the woman who gave birth to the child. You should have some hint about who this woman is.
It's not Mary on her head in verse one. She had 12 stars that refers to the 12 tribes of Israel and you come in verse six and find that this woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she might be nourished 4260 days 3 1/2 years. That's the second half of the seven year tribulation known as the time of Jacob's trouble, and the woman is Israel.
The Messiah was born of Israel. The woman Israel in the time of tribulation will be persecuted by Antichrist, and the abomination of desolation's in the middle of that seven year. He will come against Israel try to do genocide again and again. Satan always wants to wipe out Israel one way or another to destroy them to wipe them out. Then verse seven. Here we find another participant. The demons coming after another target the holy angels.
There was war in heaven. Michael and his angels waging war with the Dragon. Satan goes after the holy angels. I don't know about that warfare. We have a hint of it. As I mentioned in Daniel nine but there is a tremendous war going on between demons in the spiritual realm and holy Angels and they are battling at that level as well and then we come down to the last targets and that's us. Verse 10, heard a loud voice in heaven, saying how the salvation of the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brother and has been thrown down, the first thing that Satan does against the believers is go up to heaven and stay there in the presence of God day and night and accuse us says he accuses them before our God day and night. He is incessantly up there accusing us to God always say what is he telling him he's telling him about everything he knows about you and everything he knows about me.
Everything he knows about us and he may not know all of us obviously is not omniscient and is not omnipresent so he doesn't know everything that goes on and he doesn't know everything about everybody is nothing in Scripture to indicate he can even read your mind, but he does know enough about Christians to have a long list of the things they do, they ought not to do right and so he's up there, and insomnia, knows probably very well and he's up there in heaven constantly accusing like some lawyer trying to bring an indictment that sticks in he's telling God how unworthy. We are now undeserving and how unfaithful and unloving and how we violate his commands and we continually sin and we continually fail. We continually disobey any continually believers, God, through all the years since redemption started about the, the unfaithfulness and the unworthiness of believers. He attacks us at that level then on earth.
Go to verse 17, the dragon was enraged with the woman whose Israel, so he goes off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who was that one thing that happens in the tribulation is really interesting for the end of the tribulation. There is a tremendous conversion of Jews and God picks 144,000 of them 12,000 from every tribe to evangelize the world and they do that and their successful are so successful that Revelation 7 says there's an innumerable number of people are converted out of every tongue and tribe and people and nation.
The greatest evangelism. The world has ever known will be done by Jews during the tribulation after they've come to know their Christ.
So the Jews are going to have offspring. That's what verse 17 is saying they could have offspring that is those people who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. Believers in the Dragon is mad at them. There we find it again. Satan is against Christ, he is against holy angels. He is against Israel and he is against believers in any age in every age that gets the battle right down to us things come after units develop the whole world system to do it but you can stand against it.
How do you do that go back to Ephesians 6, it's very simple terms of the expression put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
Verse 11 verse 13 take up the full armor of God, he says it twice that you may be able to resist in the evil day Wednesday will day any day that evil really comes in and having done everything you stand the idea is to stand your ground firm against the onslaughts of Satan when he comes in the day that perpetrates evil. I don't know how it is in your life, but I've noticed that there there are those days that seem quiet on the front there are those days when I don't feel to embattled when my heart is filled with joy and his arrest in a piece, and I accomplish things there for the kingdom and the word is alive in my life and quickened in my spirit. I mean, are those wonderful, happy, joyful days and you rejoice, because your mind is free and clear. And then there are those evil day when you just feel like all the guns are pointed and you just the battle just rages in those evil days.
We need to be able to stand firm and resist the devil so that he turns and what flees from us the way to do that is to put on the full armor of God.
This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John is a pastor, author and Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary. He's titled our current study, the courageous Christian John is you talked about spiritual warfare today.
You reminded us that as Christians we are like soldiers who need to arm ourselves before we go into battle. We have to prepare every day to face temptation and spiritual conflict, and you urged us not to walk into the battle with anything less, than the full armor of God talk about what that preparation that daily spiritual arming for battle. Looks like the I think of him. Although there are different armor pieces depicted in the graphic description. The Paul gives in Ephesians. They all come down to some divine truth.
Your feet are shod solidly with the gospel of peace. You made peace with God. You understand that he holds you and you can stand firm in him the breastplate of righteousness means your covered and protected by the righteousness of Christ and you learn about that in his word. What it means to have his imputed righteousness granted to you as an unworthy sinner and of the helmet is the.
The security of the believer that no blow is going to take away your salvation, that the helmet of salvation means that you have the assurance of protection from all the blows is going to come against what God's promise to the sort of the spirit is the word of God. So everything goes back to what Scripture teaches. So the believer is armed for spiritual warfare and victory in that warfare by the word of God by knowing the truth and that means reading God's word every day and that allows me to mention, since this is the last day of the year, MacArthur daily Bible. This takes you. Verse by verse through the entire Bible. One day at a time every day you will read a section of the Old Testament part of the New Testament, some from the Psalms and Proverbs and a 365 days later when the year is over you will of covered the entire Bible every day at there's also a devotional that is drawn out of the section you been reading great for husbands and wives to commit to reading through this one your Bible together allow door evened independently and kinda comparing your notes. Great for family devotions great to have at the office when you're at work wherever you are, even in your car when you get a break if you're on the road so if you want a copy of the MacArthur daily Bible helping you read to the Bible in a year. Go to Jide TY.org GT Y.org when our staff returns to the office will process your order and get your daily Bible to you in a few days you can jump on the day you receive and catch up sometime later, but order the MacArthur daily Bible today a GT Y.org yes, I encourage you to pick up the MacArthur daily Bible, it really can help you read Scripture consistently plus the select study notes by John will help you dig even deeper into the truths of God's word to order the MacArthur daily Bible for yourself or for a few to give out as gifts get in touch today. You can get the MacArthur daily Bible for reasonable price and shipping is free.
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