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Power From The Dark Side

Moody Church Hour / Pastor Phillip Miller
The Truth Network Radio
October 22, 2023 1:00 am

Power From The Dark Side

Moody Church Hour / Pastor Phillip Miller

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October 22, 2023 1:00 am

Satan’s power to pull people into occultism is not to be underestimated. The devil enslaves his victims in a world of false religion: a world of evil and of bondage. In this message from Acts 19, Pastor Lutzer contrasts the power of Satan and his demons against the power of Christ. How does darkness manifest itself?

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Some call it black magic, but to Satan it's just business as usual. He gives spiritual power to deceived people. This power is not for good, it's power to destroy. Through satanic rituals, sorcery, charms, and other means, the devil enslaves his victims in a world of false religion, a world of evil, and a world of bondage.

Please stay with us. From Chicago, this is The Moody Church Hour, a weekly service of worship and teaching with Pastor Erwin Lutzer. On this program, Erwin Lutzer continues a series on the invisible world, where battles are lost and won. Later, we'll turn to Acts chapter 19 and learn about power from the dark side. Pastor Lutzer comes now to open today's service. And we are so glad that you are worshiping with us today, and we hope that you've already prepared your heart so that together with one mind, we might be able to give God praise. In a moment, we're going to be singing God of grace and God of glory.

And thankfully, he is a God of both. The Bible says, the grace of God, which has appeared to all men, teaches us that denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present evil age. So the grace of God motivates us not only to receive God's forgiveness and his favor, but rather to live for him all the days of our life. And as for glory, we're thankful that all things contribute to that glory, especially as we give God praise.

Welcome to The Moody Church. I'm going to pray, and then immediately following the prayer, we invite you to stand and let us give God praise together. Would you join me, please, as we pray together? Father, today we stand in your grace. The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to us in Jesus, and for that we are deeply grateful. Today we pray that we might enter into all the blessings that grace has available for us. May the most needy, the most defeated, and the most confused come to Jesus for grace. And we thank you that you are a God of glory, and today we exist for your glory and give you praise that you might be glorified. In Jesus' name, amen. Glory, all thy people, all thy life, Thy angels' righteous glory, Pray, O God, to know thy Son, Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, For the facing of this time, for the facing of this time.

The world holds the eagle around us, sore like ice, our scale is raised. From the years that long have found us, We are hearts who pray and praise. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the living of this day, For the living of this day. Set our feet among the places, turn our lives that they may be, Hire thee, all praise thy praises, in the fight to set them free. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, And we will never fear, and we will not fear, nor fear.

I invite you to follow along with me in your bulletin as we read together from Ephesians chapter 6. Please read aloud with me on the bold print, this is God's holy word. against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the blessed plate of righteousness, and as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.

To that end, alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints. Against such was hand, the battle belongs to the Lord. Peace and glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord. Peace and glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord. The power of darkness comes in like a sword, the battle belongs to the Lord.

He's raised up the standard of power of His blood, the battle belongs to the Lord. Peace and glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord. Peace and glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord.

With heavenly curses and heart to the field, the battle belongs to the Lord. Peace and glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord. Peace and glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord. Peace and glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord.

Peace and glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord. Jesus, your name is power. Jesus, your name is mine. Jesus, your name will bring every strong hope. Jesus, your name is life. Jesus, your name is healing. Jesus, your name is life.

Jesus, your name will free every mountain. Jesus, your name is life. Jesus, your name is holy. Jesus, your name brings life. Jesus, your name above every earth. Jesus, your name is life.

Jesus, your name is holy. Jesus, your name brings life. Jesus, your name above every earth. Jesus, your name is life. Jesus, your name over every earth.

Jesus, your name is life. Praise the name of Jesus, praise the name of Jesus. He is my brother, He is my fortress, He is my deliverer, He will I trust. Praise the name of Jesus, praise the name of Jesus.

Praise the name of Jesus, He is my right, He is my fortress, He is my deliverer, He will I trust. Praise the name of Jesus. And our Father today, we are here to praise the name of Jesus. We thank you today, Father, that you have given Him a name that is above every name.

That at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord to the glory of God the Father. We say today, Father, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and glory and wisdom and might and blessing. We love Him because He redeemed us. We love Him because He has guided us. We love Him because He is our deliverer.

Thank you for the involvement of many in the work that you've given us. In Jesus' blessed name, amen. This is a series of messages on the invisible world. In the invisible world, there are two kingdoms. One is the kingdom of light and the owner of that kingdom is God.

The other kingdom is a kingdom of darkness and the God of this world tries to exert authority in the kingdom of darkness and those kingdoms come into conflict. I'm well aware that as I speak on this topic that there are some of you who know that you are troubled by the kingdom of darkness and you know that. There are many others who may be troubled by the kingdom of darkness who don't know it.

They just attribute it all to human nature, possibly to their own stubbornness, their own self-will and they don't understand that they are having a spiritual conflict as well. That's why even though this message is for everyone, including myself, there is an opportunity for all of us to listen as perhaps we've never listened before. And even though I've prayed already in this service today, would you join me one more time? And would you pray?

And would you silently ask God to give you ears to listen? That you might hear his word, that there might be understanding and freedom and deliverance today through his word. Father, you know every heart that is bowed in your presence.

You know the trouble, you know the agony. You know, Father, the spiritual conflicts that all of us have experienced. And we ask today in the name of Jesus that there might be clarity, understanding, helpfulness, direction and deliverance. Show that to all who are bowed in your presence and even those who came here today not expecting any particular blessing, surprise them. And show them the greatness and the beauty of the name of Jesus in whose name we pray. Amen.

Amen. Last time I spoke to you about knowledge from the dark side. Today I speak on the topic of power from the dark side. And today we live in a day of occultism.

It is everywhere. Last message we talked about such things as fortune tellers, channelers, all those who are involved in somehow receiving knowledge from the occult world. Today I'm going to be speaking on topics that may include things like charms and ceremonies and sorcery and rituals and curses and all of those things that exist in the spirit world that people in one way or another are connected to.

There's no way that I can list them all. Not sure if I told you this recently, but many years ago, as we have done on several occasions, we've had sermons on this topic and then later on we met in another room to help the people who struggled. We had about 40 people one time who met in a different room after the service. And as we went around and we had them list the issues that they were dealing with, we were surprised to discover that there were possibly 40 different ways that people were in the occult, many of them not even knowing it. They didn't know that palm reading, for example, was occultic. They just thought it was kind of a nice game to play or working with a Ouija board or whatever. And so even though we don't cover all those topics today, the Lord will show you the issues in your life and hopefully by the end of this message how to deal with them. But I also made reference recently as I spoke about this message to the internet because it is on the internet which has such wonderful information that you can also get into all aspects of Satanism today, all different aspects of the occult, and it is so appealing. It won't hurt you.

It will give you power. And now a word about video games. Of course, there are many innocent video games.

Our own grandchildren play with video games and your children and grandchildren may as well. But I'm deeply troubled this past week having read three or four articles on video games to discover what we already knew, namely that the level of violence in video games is increasing and that level of violence, when children are involved in it, it only fuels their aggression, their anger, and their own violence. The idea that somehow, well, you know, he's an angry boy so this gets him an opportunity to work it out is pure nonsense. You know the old idea that counselors used to say, you're mad at your father?

Pretend a pillow is your father and then just go ahead and beat it with a bat and it'll get it out. No, it won't. What it'll do is fuel it more. You can't get over anger unless you deal with the causes of anger. What video games will do if they are violent games where you have the power, you can kill all these people. And no matter who you are, like one article said, no matter how dorky the kid is, he can become a hero in the video game by killing all the people and winning these battles. You can't do that and then suddenly turn out to be a nice, calm boy on Sunday.

Well, you might be able to do it, but not for long. And then the occult, it's there too. Where you are trapped into games that go deeper and deeper into occult issues. Some of the articles that I read said this. In fact, one said that it is a terrible admission, but we have to admit, he says, that video games have the same impact on a child as pornography in terms of these obsessions. And they said that even though one of the most basic concerns of children today is the natural drive to eat and to sleep, children are foregoing that in order to play these games. And Rebecca and I know parents who have told us that what they did is they set up a camera, unknown to the child, to prove that he was into these games because he was saying, no, mom and dad, I'm not. Kid was up almost all night playing these games. Could I suggest to you as parents, why don't you sit down with your child and play those video games with him or her to see what in the world those kids are up to.

I know that they're a lot smarter than we are. If you have a VCR like mine that keeps flashing noon all the time, you need a 12-year-old boy to come and to program it for you. But the fact is this, that why don't you sit down and find out what they are doing and then say no when you see something that is unhealthy.

Just say no. This whole idea, well, you know, everybody's doing it. Well, Jesus would say almost everybody's going to hell, wouldn't he? He said that the way to life is narrow and few there be that find it, but the way to destruction is broad and many go in there at. Your teenager might curse you, he might be mad at you.

Fifteen years from now, he'll say, mom and dad, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for keeping me from the kinds of things, yes, the kinds of things that my peers got into. Well, there's another level of occultic activity and that has to do with miracles and this leads us to one of the most remarkable, interesting passages of Scripture in all the Bible. It's found in the 19th chapter of the book of Acts. Paul is in Ephesus, Acts chapter 19. And first of all, we see here very clearly the power of the gospel, the power of the gospel bringing deliverance, the name of Jesus bringing deliverance. Acts chapter 19, I hope that you turn to it in your Bible if you just happen to forget yours, page 928 in the Bible that is there ahead of you in the seats in front of you, 928. Verse 11, and God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that he had touched or that touched his skin were carried away to the sick and their diseases left them and evil spirits came out of them.

Wow, a couple of comments. First of all, Luke recognizes that these are extraordinary miracles. This was not your average even for an apostle. And when the Scripture says that handkerchiefs that touched his skin, actually the Greek text is a little bit more vivid. It refers to something like we would say sweat bands. Very probably as the apostle Paul worked as we know making tents and that's what he did so that no one could say that he was in the ministry for the money. You remember the apostle Paul doing that probably had a handkerchief or a rag to wipe his brow. Maybe he had some kind of a sweat band and then an apron.

He would work with an apron as a woodsman or whatever was necessary in order to build those tents and to make them. And so these were taken and it was as if the apostle Paul was present when they were taken to people and the people themselves were healed and evil spirits came out of people with the power of those objects. Actually it was God.

Luke wants us to understand who of course wrote the book of Acts. It was God who was doing it and miracles were abounding. A couple of comments regarding these miracles. When you look at the Bible you notice that there are three times, three eras in which there were great miracles. One was during the time of Moses when there were all those miracles getting the people out of Egypt. Another was during the time of Elijah just before the whole prophetic office began and you have all of those prophets that prophesied after the time of Elijah and Elisha. And then the third time are during the times of Jesus and the apostles. Now it's interesting that the apostle Paul was able to do this.

In 2 Corinthians chapter 12 verse 12 Paul says this, I had the power to do the signs of an apostle. There were certain gifts that were given to people back there and to the apostles as the church began and it's interesting that after the apostolic period all of these miracles almost essentially died out. Now today you find people that they are claiming that the dead are being raised and all these miracles are being done. We have some missionary friends who were told the country that you are going to has had a whole bunch of miracles and God is doing all these wonders.

They went over there and the more they investigated somehow all of these stories somehow evaporated and there was no good historical evidence that they were happening. Most assuredly the apostle Paul didn't do like some preachers do today on television and say send me some money and then I'll send you some water, I'll send you a handkerchief. I remember one man saying my handkerchief has been cut into a hundred parts and the people who send me money the first hundred will get it.

Keep your money, alright, when you hear that kind of thing. This passage has been greatly, greatly misused. Of course God can do those kinds of things today. Certainly he casts out demons today whether or not God heals the sick as he did during the days of Paul possibly in instances but we don't have these kinds of apostolic authority today as Paul and the other apostles had. But those miracles were genuine, there was deliverance, demons were cast out and people were healed and they happened immediately, there was no doubt about them and the people who were in the area could observe them and say that is a miracle. But now we come to the power of the devil. Now we come to the dark side and the great clash that took place here. You'll notice you say, Pastor Lutzer, this is bizarre. I agree with you it is bizarre but I hope that you also agree with me that it is true, bizarre things do happen and this might be one of them. Verse 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits saying I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul proclaims.

Context. We don't know much about these sons of Sceva that are going to come up in the next verse but there were exorcists who used to go around the country and what they would do is try to find a spirit that was more powerful than the spirit that they wanted to exorcise from someone. So, you know, they'd have discussions and say what spirit seems to be working for you? Well, I use the spirit of Solomon, that really works. Well, alright, what about the spirit of Moses, does that really work?

And so what they were doing is they were looking for some spirit that was more powerful than the spirits that they were trying to extort from an individual. So they see all these miracles. Paul is speaking in the name of Jesus. The miracles are being done in the name of Jesus and they say, wow, we really found someone here who can do it. And so they say, I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul proclaims. Verse 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this, but the evil spirit answered them, Jesus I know and Paul I recognize. Well, who are you? The spirit speaking through the man, of course.

Who are you? And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them and mastered all of them and overpowered them so that they fled out of the house naked and wounded. Wow. What a story.

Couple of comments. When the evil spirit asked the question, who are you? It's not as if he said, I need to know your name.

What the evil spirit was saying is, you don't have any authority over me. Who in the world are you to use the name of Jesus? You don't even know Jesus. As a matter of fact, that's why you put it in the other tense. You're saying the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.

Whoever it is that Paul is proclaiming that Jesus, that's the one that I want to use. When the Bible says that this man leaped on them and overcame all seven, we have to believe that they just didn't run, which would have been wise. They probably stopped to fight him. They thought, you know, this guy's attacking my brother. I'm going to help my brother. One brother helping another brother, another brother helping another brother. And all seven of them were taken care of. And if you ask the question how it was that they fled naked, if you know the way in which people dressed in those days, oftentimes once you took their robe off, there wasn't much left to do after that.

And so these people flee naked and wounded, and they learned a wonderful lesson. And the lesson that they learned is this, that the name of Jesus is not a good luck charm. You can't just evoke the name of Jesus and think that just because this ministry is talking about Jesus, that means we're talking about Jesus Christ's power.

No, not necessarily at all. There are all kinds of ministries on television, many of which are good and right and upright, and there are also many ministries on television today where you have false prophets, and they're always invoking the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus. That does not mean that they are authentic. I hope that you know how to identify false prophets. I'm not going into this in detail, but to give you just a certain clue, first of all, false prophets generally are just incredibly, incredibly arrogant.

I watch them from time to time on TV, just so that I keep up to date on what is happening in that cyberspace. And, you know, I saw one that says, I decree that you are going to be rich. I decree that I'm going to get a certain number of millionaires. Are you serious? You send him some seed faith and he's decreeing that you're going to be a millionaire?

Give me a break. And then I had another one I'm thinking about who looked in the eyes of a couple. They said, we've come forward because we can't have children and we want to have a child. He says, what do you want, a boy or a girl?

And they said, a boy. What color eyes do you want? We want them with blue eyes.

Now, let's suppose that that couple doesn't have a child or let's suppose that they get a brown-eyed girl. Are they going to say, you know, we were just deceived by a false prophet because he told us that we're going to have a blue-eyed boy? That's not what they're going to say. What they're going to say is, oh, if only we had had the faith. These folks always win. If there's a miracle, they take the credit. If not, it's your fault.

You didn't have enough faith. And so it is that they prosper. Another characteristic of false prophets is that they are always speaking positive messages, exactly what the people want to hear, exactly what they want to hear. They want to hear about prosperity. They don't want to hear about greed and things such as the dangers of money. All that they want to hear is health, wealth. And I have to deal with that nasty thing called sin.

You never hear these folks talking about that. At one time, I was actually thinking I might preach a whole series just from the book of Jeremiah about false prophets. Let me give you a verse. They have spoken falsely of the Lord and have said, he will do nothing. No disaster will come upon us. Jeremiah preaching disaster, the false prophets, uh-uh, he's wrong.

All is going to be prosperous and wonderful. We shall not see sword or famine. Then God says the prophets will become wind. The word is not in them and thus it shall be done to them. And then another verse, an appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land. The prophets prophesy falsely and the priests rule at their direction. And my people love to have it so.

Look at the crowds that they get. Beware of false prophets. One of the predictions made in the New Testament regarding the end of time was the proliferation of false prophets and miracles, as indicated in the book of Thessalonians and the very words of Jesus. So here we have the power of Satan bringing confusion because the name of Jesus is not sufficient if it is simply used as a name. And by the way, since I'm on a roll here, talking about the name of Jesus, don't ever think that other religions that use the name of Jesus are talking about the same Jesus that we are, not in your life. If you want to really know about a very different Jesus, and in 2 Corinthians 11, Paul warned about the fact that there were many Jesuses that were floating around. He says you're close to believing another Jesus. And by the way, we don't know exactly what that Jesus was like, but we do know this. We're close to the real thing that Paul thought the believers might not tell the difference even though he was another Jesus. Today in false religions, we have many, many Jesuses, false Jesuses, who can't save anybody, who can't redeem, who can't cast out demons because it's the name, but it's not the person. If you want to have a good example of how we can use the name Jesus and throw it around and how different it can be, just study Mormonism. Find out what the Mormons actually believe about Jesus, go to the Internet, you can do that, and then ask yourself, is this the same Jesus that we believe in?

Plenty of Jesuses out there. Now, notice the repentance that all this brought. As I read the book of Acts, I am almost amused by this statement. Verse 17, and this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks.

I would think so. You've got seven guys running around all trying to tell the reason why they need to go to a clothing store, and they're all telling what happened, and they've all got the same story, and that word spread pretty quickly, I think, even without the Internet. And so what happened is great fear fell upon them. People began to realize, we're in the presence of God here.

This is not play. We're in the presence of the living God. Great fear fell upon them, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled, the right Jesus, the Jesus that Paul proclaims, the Jesus of the New Testament. His name was honored, and I would think so, because people were frightened now. They understood. You don't play around with the occult, you know, because this is real stuff. This incident happened. This is true. In fact, we have instances today where you almost have a similarity of this because it's not as if, you know, there were demons back there, but there's none today. Oh, no.

Just ask some of our staff members in terms of the counseling that we do. And then you'll notice that it says, fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Also, many of those who were now believers came confessing and divulging their practices, and a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of old.

Let me just explain. Don't think for a moment that they're talking about books like you and I use the word books. What they're referring to is little papyrus scrolls on which there were all kinds of secret codes and good luck charms that were written, and these were popular all throughout Ephesus, which was really the hub of occult religion. And it says that they burned them, and it came to about 50,000 pieces of silver. One piece of silver is about a day's work. So I figured it out on my trusty iPhone, which also has, you know, a pad where you can do mathematics.

We can't do any of these things in our minds anymore, can we? And discovered that it would be about a year's wage for 250 people. We're talking about a lot of money going up in smoke. Two things I'd like to tell you about their repentance here, wonderful things.

First of all, it was complete. When you actually take and burn something, that means that you can't say the next day, well, I think I'm going to go take it back. If they had just said to themselves, all right, we're not going to use these, but we paid some good money for these little scrolls and for the artifacts that we use in occultism, and therefore we're not going to give it up, it's too precious, but we won't use it because Paul has taught us not to, they'd have gone back to it. They'd have found out that when the temptation became strong, they'd have said, well, you know, there's a certain amount of security in going there, and what's wrong with believing in Jesus and some of these occult practices? So burning them was a wonderful idea. It indicated a complete repentance. The other kind of repentance was costly. This was the people's livelihood.

This is what was sold in all of the shops. When you were in Ephesus, as you can go today to see the ruins, they had all kinds of shops where you could pick up these occult paraphernalia that would also be spread to the surrounding region, a lot of money was made, and this was really their livelihood, and they said there are some things more important than living. And so they took these things and threw them into the fire. A number of years ago, perhaps 10, there was a spiritual awakening that took place in some of our seminaries and some of our Christian colleges and other universities throughout the country. What happened is students stood up, and one after another stood up for hours confessing their sins. And they did this in order that they might be able to break the bondages that they were involved in. And in several cases, they had to get garbage bags because the students began to bring all of their pornography, and they began to bring their videotapes and their magazines and everything, and they filled these garbage bags with the kind of artifacts that led these students continually into sin.

Could I say something to you candidly? And that is that if you have something like that in your home, would you get rid of it? Would you put it in a garbage bag? Don't light a fire.

That could be a problem here in the city of Chicago. But take care of it. I learned long ago, someone pointed out that if you're going to jump across a chasm, if you're going to jump across a chasm, it is much better to do it in one long jump than in two short ones.

And when you get rid of sin, do it upright. Get rid of it. Oh, you see, but it's costly. This cost us a lot of money.

Who cares how much it costs? Your eternity, your soul, your spiritual health is at stake, and these people, by their willingness to give up their sins to burn it no matter how much it cost them, including their livelihood, indicated their true faith in God. And don't worry.

Jesus, I'm sure, took care of them in his own way. A couple of things that we have to remember as we nail this passage down so that you can begin to apply it more specifically to your life. First of all, do I need to remind you?

I shall. That Jesus Christ is totally triumphant over all the forces of evil, every single one. Jesus not only paid it all, he won it all, and he deserves it all, and we give him the glory, and we give him the praise.

And you have to see that. Your greatest struggle when you're dealing with spirits from the dark side, your greatest struggle is going to be their intimidation and the idea that somehow there's no deliverance for you. And therefore, that's why Paul says, above all, when he was talking about the armor of God, above all, he said, take the shield of faith. Even if you drop one or two of the other pieces, and of course we need them all, the fact is that the shield of faith is the basis upon which we see the victory, not just that Jesus will someday have, though Satan is out on bond, and therefore Jesus Christ is eventually going to cast him into the lake of fire and all, but the victory has been totally, completely won.

There's no contest. We have read the end of the book, and we know where Satan is headed, and he knows it too, and he doesn't want you to know that he is defeated, but he is. And those of you who struggle with guilt, who think that you've committed a sin too big for God to forgive, when Satan reminds you of your past, would you please remind him of his future? Jesus Christ, total victor. I want you to see that today.

It's not what I'm saying. It's what the Word of God proclaims that he disarmed all principalities and all powers and made a show of them openly, and it is that basis upon which you and I can find deliverance and protection from the dark side of the spirit world, and I encourage you today to see Jesus in new light. Some of you are here, and you have to see him as your Savior, the one who died in your place that you might be redeemed. As it says here, after they believed, they became believers. It is then that they got rid of the stuff that was leading them into occultism, and in the very same way, God today is speaking to your heart to believe on his Son.

His triumph is uncontested. There's a second observation that we need to make, and that is that Satan's work, Satan's work is characterized by confusion. People are confused. They're confused sometimes by false teachers. Fear.

He'll tell you, you'd better serve me, and if not, you're going to be in trouble, and you need my protection. What a lie. Oftentimes, it is filled with self-hatred. Young people want to cut themselves and so forth. They want to draw blood because they're dealing with all of these issues, and they don't know where to go, and they don't know the completeness of Jesus Christ's work on their behalf, and the cleansing and the forgiveness that Jesus gives them so they think they somehow have to sacrifice because they hate themselves. The devil wants you to hate yourself because if you hate yourself, you're not believing in Jesus.

If you're a believer in Jesus, you are a son and a daughter of the Almighty. Oftentimes, there is disassociation from reality. There's the blurring of distinctions between good and evil. Certainly, that is true in things such as Wicca and other ways that you can get into the occult.

Manipulation, intimidation, those are the marks of the evil one and his demonic spirits. God, in contrast for God, it is a sense of freedom. It is cleansing.

It is plugging into reality. It is affirming your self-worth as a son and a daughter of God. That's what God brings about in our lives in contrast. There's a final lesson, and of course we learned this from the Jewish exorcists.

They have something to teach us. We cannot exercise the authority that we have in Jesus unless we are under his authority, under the authority of the true Jesus. The name Jesus just can't be thrown around, you know, and say, well, you know, there's power in the name of Jesus. Yes, there is power in the name of Jesus.

And every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that he is Lord to the glory of God the Father. There is infinite power in the name of Jesus. After all, he's the creator. He is the sustainer of the universe.

He spoke, and the stars were created. That's the power of the name of Jesus. But don't take it for granted unless you are under the authority of Jesus.

Then you can exercise the authority of Jesus. Let me give you an example, and I'll summarize it. A number of years ago, there was a woman here at The Moody Church who came up to me afterwards and says, Pastor, I hated you ever since you came here, and I'm just here to tell you that I'm sorry. And I said, What did I do to contribute to this? And she said, Nothing, it's just all me.

Okay, that's fine. She was a woman who was troubled, yes, causing a great deal of difficulty in our college ministry. We knew that she was troubled by a spirit. I will not go into the details to let you know how that was known because for some of you that may be going just a little bit further than we need to in this message, but we knew it.

And in fact, it was to the point where sometimes the spirit even spoke something like you have in the New Testament. We worked with her. We counseled her and didn't help her. You know, as the pastoral staff, you win some and you lose some. So she left the church and she went down south somewhere and that was the end of the story until she wrote me a letter maybe, I don't know, six, eight years later thanking me and saying, even though she didn't receive deliverance here at The Moody Church, she thanked us for pointing her in the right direction. But this is what she said. She said, I discovered that I was so full of anger because of childhood abuse. I was consumed with anger. And she said, as long as I held onto that anger, the darkness around me would not leave.

And you know, how did that darkness manifest itself in many people in many different ways? But back to the singles ministry, what she would do is divide people from one another. Slander was very, very important because you see, you slander this person against this person because what you want to do is to create a circumstance in which these friends are broken up and this intervenes so that you always are causing disunity within the body of Christ and you use your mouth and the accusations of the devil to do it.

Parenthesis. Did you know that in 1 Timothy 2, verse 11, the Apostle Paul is talking about the wives of deacons? And he says they should be dignified and not slanderers. Do you know what the Greek word is? Diabolos. They should not be devils. The word diabolos means slanderer. When you slander someone within the body of Jesus Christ and you become a gossip and you divide people from one another, you are doing the work of the devil. And this lady was doing the work of the devil. She was causing these kinds of problems.

And that's what the devil often does by people who are in his column. But anyway, in the letter what she said is, I dealt with this horrible sin of bitterness. I just gave it up. I opened my heart to God and said, God, I can't deal with this.

I can't live with this anger, this resentment. And I just give it to you. And it's after that that the darkness left. It's like the old thing that I've said from time to time. If you want to get rid of flies, you have to get rid of the garbage. And what you find is that people harbor sin in their hearts. They hug it to their bosom.

They will not let it go. And they stay in the dark side of the spirit world. Today, God is inviting you, actually, to a whole new life of freedom, of deliverance, if you see Jesus as the answer to your problem. And he is the only one out there.

The only one out there is Jesus. By the way, no other prophet did you notice? If Jesus were only a prophet, the demons wouldn't obey him.

But he is the Son of the living God. When he speaks to them, they have to obey. We serve a risen, triumphant Jesus, who is Lord of all.

Father, would you take these words and apply them however they need to be applied? And we pray that your Holy Spirit might bring a sense of deliverance and clarity to issues over which people stumble. And we pray today that we might know that Christ is triumphant. We thank you today that he is above every name that is named in this world and in the world to come. We see him today as the triumphant one. Cause people to believe on him for salvation and deliverance. In Jesus' name, Amen. On today's Moody Church Hour, Pastor Lutzer spoke about Power from the Dark Side, the fourth in an eight-part series on The Invisible World, where battles are lost and won.

Next week, join us for part five in this series. We'll turn to Philippians chapter three to learn why we should be motivated by the invisible world. The future for a child of God involves an appointment before Jesus. Pastor Lutzer has written a book on your eternal reward, triumph and tears at the judgment seat of Christ. We'd like to send it to you as a way of saying thanks for your gift of any amount to The Moody Church Hour. Call 1-800-215-5001. That's 1-800-215-5001. Or write to us at Moody Church Media, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, 60614.

Mention your eternal reward when you write or call. Online, go to That's Join us next week at this same time for another Moody Church Hour with Pastor Erwin Lutzer and the congregation of Historic Moody Church in Chicago. This broadcast is a ministry of The Moody Church.
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