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Life of Paul Part 31 - The Reality of the Occult

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
May 28, 2020 7:00 am

Life of Paul Part 31 - The Reality of the Occult

So What? / Lon Solomon

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May 28, 2020 7:00 am

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Thank you guys so much.

Hey we want to take a Bible and let's open it together were going to be studying today in the life of the great man.

The apostle Paul. Acts chapter 16 if you will open there will be coming there just a moment accept the 60 but I like to begin the day by giving your list of movies and seeing if you can tell me what one common thread ties all these movies together here we go. Here's a list Rosemary's baby poltergeist carry the Amityville horror devils advocate the witches of Eastwick bedazzled the omen one to win three and the exorcist. Now, with the exception of Rosemary's baby, which I saw as a college student before was a follower of Christ. I've never seen any of these other movies but I know just as you do what it is that ties them all together. What ties them all together is that they all deal with the issue of the devil, demons, and the occult in our question for this morning is, is there anything really to is the devil, and the demons and the occult is not just a topic for making scary movies or there is some reality here that you and I as followers of Jesus Christ need to take stock of in our lives here in the 21st century wealth that sort of talk about because were going to watch the apostle Paul confront this very issue in our passage for today. Chapter 16 verse 16 and once while we were going to the place of prayer. Her second. Remember, there were not enough Jewish people here in the town of Philippi to make a synagogue and so as a result they would meet down by the river that flows through town. The Jewish people were there and every Sabbath, they would have prayer Sabbath prayer down by the river will call this where he went and preached first.

This is where he met Lydia this where he led Lydia to Christ, and now the for this verse tells us that this was his habit every Sabbath he would apparently go back to this place and continue sharing with them. That's where is on his way to rest of verse 16, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future.

Now the Roman writer Plutarch refers to these people as belly talkers and the way this term came about is that these folks were going to trances and while they were in these trances the voice that was coming out of them sounded like it was coming out of their belly and so he called them belly talkers.

The Greeks at this time believe that actually people like this were filled by the God Apollo Apollo was the God of the Delphic Oracle and they believe that Apollo would fill the life of these people and talk through them, giving oracles giving prophecies that it was Apollo who was doing the talking, but interestingly, this word Plutarch uses for belly talkers is the same word that the Greek Old Testament uses for people in the Bible that are possessed by demons that are demonized who have familiar spirits, and so therefore the little short in the simple answer is this lady was a lady who had a demon. She was demon possessed.

She was demonized and that's who was talking through her in terms of doing this prediction of the future.

Now verse 16. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling and this girl began following Paul and the rest of us and shouting. These men are servants of the most high God for telling you the way to be saved and she kept us up from any days and finally Paul became her Paul became literally said now you say well you know lot. If I understand correctly, this girl was walking through the city, and wherever Paul would go this girl would go along with him and would say these men are proclaiming the most high God, why, why would Paul get mad about that.

Seems to me if somebody who was supposed to have a God Apollo inside of them walks along and says hey a greater God that Apollo is now shown up missing some impulsive excited about that.

Well, not exactly.

And I'll tell you why. First of all, this term the most high God is a term that was used for a variety of deities at this time, not just the God of the universe like we think, for example, we know that Zeus, the Greek God in Christ is the Egyptian goddess and bail the Phoenician God were all gods for whom this term was used, the most high God.

Therefore this cow walked into town proclaiming that the most high God has representatives in town. It doesn't automatically mean to them back there what it means to us to understand they could amend a number different things. Also, by having her do this. Paul ran the risk of everybody in town thinking that he was connected with this lady and all of her demonic stuff and so Paul didn't really want to be connected with the sling. Finally, the Bible says he got better. He said hey I know is enough. Any turn in this lady.

Verse 18 and he said to the demon in the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to come out of her, and at that moment the demon left her. Paul dealt with this demon very authoritatively. Just like the Lord Jesus Christ filled with demons when he was here. However, there is one difference that we should know when the Lord Jesus dealt with the demon. His authority was personal and direct. He would turn to a demon and he would say I command you, Lord Jesus would know when the apostle Paul deals with this demon. He doesn't have authority that's direct and personal life. The apostle Paul can't turn to a demon and say I command you anything. Rather, he turns to the demon with delegated authority and says in the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to come out. What Paul didn't have any authority over this demon didn't have any authority over this demon just because he was an apostle have any authority over this demon just because he was a missionary are good guy.

He only had authority over this demon because it was authority that was in the name of Jesus Christ member what Jesus said Matthew 2818. He said all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me not to you as my followers not to apostles, not the missionaries.

The authorities mine in order to exercise this kind of authority. The apostle Paul had to come with the delegated authority of Jesus. He didn't have any authority all by himself. Well as you can imagine this raise quite a stir in town, particularly with the owners of this girl who could make any money off of her anymore were to talk about that next week but we want to stop right here and right now NASD most important question. Nobody knows what that question is so here we go nice allow one to three right is a lawn.

So what I'm really glad to this girl and I'm really glad that you know Paul cast the demon out of this group and frankly big differences make them a lot. Well it see if we can answer that question. I hope you're walking a few years ago the Bay Hill invitational golf tournament down in Orlando. PGA golfer John Daly was there and had a pretty amazing experience. He stepped up on the six hole part five and he took his is a driver off the tee and he hit the ball and it went right into the water hazard on the right of the whole. So according to PGA rules is allowed to drop another ball 30 yards in front of the tee box and hit it again takes a penalty stroke so we stepped up, got his three wood out of his bag and he swept the ball with his three would guess where the ball went right in order to drop another ball took another penalty stroke unit with his three wood again. Guess where the ball went right in order.

He had five consecutive shots with his three wood and all five shots went in the water. Finally, on the six shot with his three wood. He hits the ball over the water day and right in the sand trap he got an eight teen on the whole. Now this is not you and me playing golf, we could get an 18 on a whole like this business John Daly professional golfer third seen overpour.

They don't even have a name for 13 overpour if not there is no bogey that goes that high. You can't do it.

13 overpour and one of the commentators on television made this comment he said maybe his problem is that his three wood is demon possessed, well you know it's kind of funny because we all know three words can't be demon possessed. But really, is this a joke.

I mean, it really is this just a scary movie, topic, or is there some reality to all of this stuff about Satan and demons, and the occult time magazine had an article several years ago entitled Angels among us, and they asked the question, they took a poll and they asked the question, do you believe in the existence of fallen angels or devils 45% of Americans said no. What that means is that one out of every two Americans you meet will think you are not.

If you tell them you believe in the devil if you tell them you believe demons are real they'll think you're crazy and yet listen to what time magazine's time magazine noted that when we look at the Nazi Holocaust. We look at the purges of Joseph Stalin. We look at the genocide of recent years in Africa and in Eastern Europe. We look at the Charles Manson's and the Jeffrey Dahmer's that have been in our world. Time said and I quote were hard-pressed not to recognize that there is some kind of soup broth human evil present in our world." In other words, you can't just explain the evil in the world.

By looking at human being something else bigger than that is going on in our world. Well, congratulations to the time magazine. They have finally come around to seeing what God is been trying to tell the human race for thousands of years that yes there is a super human evil in our world and I want in the next five minutes give you the fastest course on biblical demonology in history were to teach everything the Bible has to say about this suprahuman force in the next five minutes but here we go. The Bible calls this supernatural being that leads this force Satan. Satan literally means in Hebrew adversary.

Satan is an adversary, primarily of Almighty God.

Second Thessalonians 2 says that his mission statement. Satan's is to oppose and exalt himself against everything that has to do with God. But you know and that they regard Satan is the adversary of every single one of us was a follower of Jesus Christ because we love this God and we worship this God and we serve this God that he, Satan hates so vehemently now. Satan is a finite meaning he can only be one place at one time but he extends his influence around the world by having a group of henchmen that the Bible calls demons.

The Bible does not tell us where these demons came from simply that they exist and that their real and together Satan and his demons have a twofold goal. Goal number one is to convince every person alive to reject God and to go his or her own way with their lot. You know, before was a follower of Christ that I would hear the word sooner. I would think of people who were rapists and murderers and armed robbers and kidnappers. Is this what I thought sinners were, and then I got I became a follower of Christ. I suddenly realize that's not what the Bible says it all. In fact the definition in the Bible is this.

Isaiah 53, six, all of us like sheep have gone astray, each one of us has turned to his or her own way. The core of sin is simply deciding to live like our own way of me that's all Adam and Eve really did in the garden. The fruit had nothing to do with the God simply said, with regard to the fruit I want to live this way and Adam and Eve said we want to do it that way that's always do it and they put us on the course where we find ourselves today friends. Satan understands all he's got to do to cause people to be alienated from God in this life and to be separated from God for all eternity.

All he has to do is not convince people to be murderers or rapists or kidnappers always got to do is convince people to go their own way. Their whole lives.

That's all you gotta do and frankly he's got a fairly easy job because everyone of us is wired to want to go our own way. That is a fight therefore going on for the souls of men and women in every city in every nation and every culture in every school in every college. The battle is raging for the souls of men and women if you're here today and you never trusted Christ is real and personal savior is a battle raging for your soul. Satan and his forces want to win that battle in your life. They want to convince you, just to keep going your own way.

That's all you gotta do without remedy because they understand how catastrophic the consequences of doing that will be in your life, both in this world and in the world to come. Now God wants to also win that battle in your life and our goal. What were doing here is McLean Bible church.

Our goal is to help God win that battle in your life. Our goal is to bring you to the place where you decide to surrender your life and your will to the will of God for your life and will help you if you just let us that's what Christianity 101 is all about giving you the information to help you understand what the battle is about and how God can win in your life but if you sometimes sense and feel there's a tug-of-war going on inside you, my friend the reason you feel that's because that's true, is a fight going on for your soul and remember to win all Satan has to do is just convince you to go your own way. That's always got well you see longer what if I give my life to Christ. What if I surrender my will to God.

What if he loses this first goal because I become a follower of Christ.

Well, that's wonderful. If he loses it. He then moves on to a secondary goal, and Satan secondary goal. Once we become followers of Jesus Christ is to nullify our effectiveness and and take away our impact for Jesus Christ is or how does he do this. He does this by getting us to make choices in our life that ruined our credibility that undermine our authenticity, bringing us to the place where we ruin all platform that we have with people to reach them for Christ and by even getting us to make life choices that will actually hinder the work of God here on this earth to get our soul we can certainly use us to keep the work of God from getting other people so and that's what he's up to in your life today of your follower of Jesus Christ. Today the enemy is out through Madison Avenue to every newspaper you read through every magazine you read to the radio and television you watch through the friends at work you have that are followers of Christ, he is out to get you and me to make choices that will nullify our impact for Christ and maybe even make a choice so bad that we can actually hinder the work of God in other people's lives that we need to understand that Satan and his henchmen are absolutely ruthless in the pursuit of these to go first Peter chapter 5 verse eight, the alerts God says for your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour dear. The strong language in this verse.

Your enemy prowling around like a roaring lion looking to devour people friends. Satan is not just out to hurt us. He is not just out to wound us.

He is out to devour us. Were not used to dealing with a beast like this. Someone was no mercy, no compassion, no pity, no forbearance, no grace when he's got to downhill step on your face when he got the knife in your back you'll turn it to do more damage to me when it were not used to dealing with people who have no pity on me. Even the worst human beings love their mother's gotta want anybody or anything. He's unapologetic goal is to destroy you, your friends, your children, your grandchildren and everything you cherish and do it without mercy. You say what a horrible beast. Why would God make something like this. Well, the answer is God didn't make them like this.

He didn't start like this.

Isaiah 14 tells us that Satan started off as an angel, a good angel. His name was Lucifer, Ezekiel 28 tells us that Lucifer was the most magnificent angel in all of creation. But then the problem is, Lucifer began believing his own PR.

He decided you want to serve God anymore. He wanted to be in charge as Milton has it has insane paradise lost.

Better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven and you know what, he led a revolt against God. He listed some other angels. The Bible says to cooperate with him, they lost they got thrown out of heaven and at the end of the age.

God has it. Big surprise for Satan. Revelation chapter 20 says the devil who deceived the nations will be thrown into the lake of fire, along with all of his henchmen where they will be tormented day and night for ever so Alanis good news right it is with the bad news is, this isn't the end of the age. The bad news is that Satan is still alive and well on planet Earth. The bad news is, for reasons God never explains in the Bible.

He is chosen believe Satan and his demonic friends free to circulate and try to cause trouble here on earth now friends, that's it.

That is the fastest course on demonology you will ever get.

That is a summary of every single thing the Bible says about Satan and demons.

Okay, you got it, do it now here is the last question answer this morning in light of the fact that Satan is alive and well on planet Earth. How do you and I as followers of Jesus Christ keep from being devour.

How do we defend ourselves so we are not one of these people that he chews up and completely nullifies in our service to God. What I got for suggestions from the Bible to give you and they were done. Number one suggestion number one is don't despair. After always said about Satan be easy for us to feel intimidated a little unnerved a little helpless but you know the Bible reassures us over and over that even though Satan's power is great God's power is greater. First John four. Greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world in which a notice in the gospel accounts here in the Bible. Every single time Jesus met a demon guest who one every single time Jesus met Satan himself guest who want and Jesus just didn't win. He dominated the devil and the forces of evil. Greater is he who visit us friends when he was in the world and you know Job chapters wanted to tell us that God is actually put a spiritual sense, a spiritual hedge around every single follower of Christ and if Satan is only permitted to do to us what God allows him to do. The point is we are not at the mercy of Satan. He does not have free and unlimited access to us as followers of Christ we are under the protection of Almighty God, we are inside the fence of Almighty God, we have nothing to fear from this being, don't despair.

Number two. My second suggestion is that if we're going to survive and not be devoured by this being were going to have to learn to use God's weaponry in resisting him. The reason this is so important is because what Ephesians 6 says.

Ephesians 6 is our struggle is not against flesh and blood. Hey you know what if we were quite in question. What we could use hand grenades.

We could use mustard gas. We can use any human weapon around but our flights not against flesh and blood. Our fight is against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. We have a supernatural flow and therefore we need supernatural weapon.

James chapter 4 verse seven says, resist the devil and he will flee from you. But we gotta resisting using the right weapons. You guys all remember Superman right faster than a speeding bullet more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single battle. What a powerful guy but you know there was one thing that would Superman was in the presence of this thing all his power was gone. He was as impotent as could be. Remember what it was kryptonite yet member. The green stuff yeah what the Bible is telling us is that God has given us mere ritual kryptonite to use against the enemy when he is in its presence, his power is gone and listen to what it says. Second Corinthians chapter 10. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of this world. On the contrary, weapons have divine power to demolish Satan's strongholds and what is this weapon that God is given us. Ephesians 6 tells us it is the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Remember when Jesus and the devil faced off Matthew chapter 4, three times the devil tried to tempt the Lord Jesus into doing things that would have not only made in sin but robbed him of his Messiah ship and ruined the plan of salvation for the human race and all three times. Would Jesus say to. He said no I'm not doing those things. It is written, it is written, it is written, how to Jesus fight off the enemy and leave an example for us. He thought he and by quoting to him from the written word of God is written, it is written, it is written, and the Bible says, Satan left. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

If you're using the right weapon and dear friends. This is the weapon God has given us to fight back with the problem is so many of us fight back against the enemy with the wrong weapon.

He's out there, tempting us to do things we know we got no business doing. We know will hurt our platform for Christ. We know will ruin our authenticity and all the people's eyes for Christ and yet the way we try fighting back is in our own energy and in our own strength and we gotta go and we can we lose why because you and I don't have the energy or the power to beat him but it is written, no I'm not going to do that because it is written in what I have found is when we quote the word of God back to him or to any temptation he's going out of the way, the Lord Jesus did that temptation melts away like broken glass in the appeal just leaves. This is the weapon and friends going out without the word of God is like going out to shoot without a bullet. This is why we encourage you here to read the word of God study the word of God to memorize the word of God.

So when you're in combat you got it right there at your fingertips and you can use it to say it is written, it is written, I'm not going there I'm not doing that. Don't go out every day with an empty clip you going to get shot go out there with some bullets in the gun and the bullets that work the kryptonite. That works is, it is written. That's our weapon number three. If we're going to survive. Number three. Don't fixate don't get focused on Satan and demons not have believers who come up to me. Followers of Christ. So could you give me a tape. Could you suggest some books.

Why can become an expert on Satan ontology and my answer is no because Hebrews 12 to says let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith. It doesn't say let us fix our eyes on Satan, the opposer and the enemy of our faith.

Friends August told you everything you'll ever need to know about Satan on this earth, you will need to know anymore. You should even want to know anymore God told us everything we need to know. Let's leave it at that. God wants our focus to be on getting to know him his power, his character, his person, he doesn't want us to have a PhD in Satan.

He wants us to have a PhD in the person the work in the character of Almighty God and believe me, if we know God. And we know truth. You won't have a bigger problem picking Satan out. When he brings arable number four and finally is. Don't dabble in the diabolical.

You know, in spite of all the protection of God. We talked about God still says to us. Ephesians 427 do not give the devil a foothold in your life.

God still warns us that we dare not underestimate the maniacal power. The harmfulness of Satan schemes in our lives and how do we give Satan a foothold in our lives.

One of the key ways is by messing with dabbling with experimenting with things of the occult. Remember who Satan is.

You give them a foothold. He's going to try to turn it into a stronghold. You give them a beachhead. He's going try to take the whole island remember who he is and God says don't give them a beachhead. Don't give them a foothold.

Don't get anywhere near some of this diabolical stone is Avalon but on all these things bogus anyway.

I mean, fortunetellers and palm readers and Miss Cleo on television. You know what her to row cards, body weight is reading the paper that the federal government recently ran a sting operation against Miss Cleo and a founder she was teaching people about put them on hold for half an hour to an hour to time in charge of nine dollars a minute while they were on hold. She's under federal indictment.

Now you know it doesn't seem strange to you that she didn't see it coming seem strange to you.

Okay well the point is, of course she's bogus and so will have all this other stuff to go but you know, not all of it is bogus. Ouija boards in sťances and tarot cards and fortunetellers and mediums will really connect you with dead people and crystals and palm readers Dungeons & Dragons demonic movies friends.

These are not harmless thing. These are things that open our life up to the occult and give the enemy an opportunity to establish a foothold in our life and God says we have no business messing around with this stuff. We need to guard our lives like a whole from exposure to this dog and we need to guard our children and we need to guard our grandchildren's lives. Don't underestimate the sky. Are we safe as followers of Christ. Yes, we are unless we step outside of God's guidelines and start playing around with this guy don't under S made our enemy so I got this friend at work on is in the New Age movement. What about this New Age movement thing.

I have a friend told me they went to see a psychic and the psychic predicted exactly all about them.

Stop us like you could never know how I explained that well let me respond and say two quick things.

Number one. Remember the New Age movement is nothing but a sanitized version of vehicle that's all it is. Don't get duped in the thinking is anything new. It's just the a cold rebate for the 21st century. That's all of a number to remember that as a follower of Jesus Christ.

I don't have to explain every spiritual phenomenon in the universe. My job is not to figure out what this psychic did or said I don't care.

My job is to know the word of God backwards and forwards and when something doesn't meet up any experience doesn't meet up with the word of God says is true, rejected, and it don't matter.

Frankly, what I can explain it or not, with the resentment.

God never promised you and I as his followers want to be able to explain every spiritual phenomenon in the universe. All he simply said is if it doesn't square with the word of God. Stay away from. Don't you let some friend in the office back you into a corner and intimidate you, because you can explain their spiritual experience. God never told you you'd be able to and never entrusted you with that responsibility, but friends of it doesn't square with the word of God. You stay away from it. You don't want anything to do was summarize what we learned today we learned that God wants you and me to be one of the 50% of Americans who believe without a doubt, there is a devil who believe without a doubt, there are demons who believe without a doubt that the occult really does exist and God wants us to know how to protect ourselves. As followers of Christ from being devoured by the speed how we do it number one by not despairing were not intimidated by this guy because greater is he who is in us than he was in the world.

Number two. By using the weaponry that God is given us to resist the devil with by using the spiritual, kryptonite God is giving us using the word of God. It is written, it is written, it is written, number three, by not getting obsessed with this guy. We don't care about this guy. He is irrelevant. His doom is already settled and he can't bother us, in less we leading why are we even worried about what will even care about it. Why do we even want to focus on and we don't.

He's irrelevant what is relevant is the person the nature and the character of Almighty God.

That's where our focus needs to be and forth and finally don't dabble in the diabolical friends stay away from this stuff is not harmless is dangerous.

Don't underestimate the power of the enemy is we open our lives up voluntarily and we let them in. Don't underestimate him for member who is an he's out ruins play around with this guy was pretty good for Jesus, thanks for talking to us today about truth that I don't really matter to us Lord of half of America and believe in the devil we don't care it on matter to us if 80% of America didn't believe in the devil we don't care. Those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ and who believe the Bible we believe in him because you say he's real Lord. We certainly don't think that we know more than you do. So thanks for reminding us today that the occult is real, that this demon stuff is real, but there are some dangerous stuff in our world and that we need to follow these four principles.

If we want to make it through our world and not get devoured and I thank you Lord for the wonderful good news that if we follow these four principles. There is no way in the world that we can become the victim of Satan. It is impossible to grant that if our lifestyle doesn't line up with these four principles that will make the lifestyle changes we need to for not giving enough time to the study and the memorization of the word of God for not using it in the fight change I have a pattern and if we are involved in things like Thoreau cards in sťances and movies, and other things that we got no business being involved for change our behavior pattern grant that we might live out these four principles because if we do, there is no way we can be a victim of the thanks for speaking to us today.

Lord, protect and change our lives because we were here. We pray in Jesus name, amen

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