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Spiritual Warfare (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
June 18, 2022 4:00 am

Spiritual Warfare (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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June 18, 2022 4:00 am

To win a battle, whether physical or spiritual, we need to know our enemy and recognize his tactics. So what are Satan’s most common lines of attack? And what is our best line of defense? Find out when you listen to Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.



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To win a battle, physical or spiritual need to know the opponent and recognize his strategies. So what are some of Satan's most common lines of attack and what's our best line of defense will find out today on Truth for Life weekend. Alastair beg his teaching from chapter 6 in the book of Ephesians, but he begins today with the story about the Ephesians that you find in the book of acts chapter 19 are struggling is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers and authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Our heavenly realms. The people in Ephesus were little doubt that there was a devil.

Acts chapter 19 in verse 11 God was doing extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them and some of the Jews who were intrigued by all of these goings-on were told in verse 13 and around driving out evil spirits. At least they went around trying to and he tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon possessed, and he would say in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches I command you to come out seven sons of CVI Jewish chief priest were doing this one day the evil spirit answered them Jesus I know and I know about Paul but who are you guys so the evil spirit called their bluff.

Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them, overpower them all and give them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding so they need anybody to convince them about the reality of demonic activity.

The reality of spiritual warfare. The existence of cause Megan's atomic involvement in spiritual wickedness.

The very fact of the seven guys go out with older clothes torn off and got beaten up and bleeding. Everybody said you had you hear what happened to the seven sons of Siva. Now nobody would have difficulty talking about spiritual warfare. To these people because they understood it clearly. So much so that verse 17 says when this became known to the Jews and the Greeks living in Ephesus.

They were all seized with fear in the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor, and many of those who believe now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. Incidentally, this is what happens when the Spirit of God moves in power utilizing all the time is the revival here is the revival there. Well, one of the ways in which revival is identifiable throughout all of history.

Biblical history two is that there are drum taken inexplicable events in relationship to the repentance of believers and the radical change which God brings about in their lives.

The seven sons of Siva got there beating and then people began who had practiced sorcery began to bring their scrolls together and he started to burn them in a big public bonfire and when they calculated the value of the scrolls. The total came to 50,000 drachmas and a drachma was a silver coin worth about a day's wages 50,000 days wages.

That was a lot of satanic intimidated and been going on in Ephesus there was that much stuff going on and that amount of people using the scrolls and verse 20. In this way, the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power so when he writes to the Ephesians and he says now I want you to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. They look at one another and say that's right. And when he reminded them that the struggle that they were facing was in this dramatic realm. They were not put off by that and anyway, we may need to be convinced, we may find ourselves sitting here say no I don't think that's right. And indeed, I think, by and large the church at this point in history doesn't think it's right. Apart from a few preoccupied zones.

If we really thought that this was the battle and if we really believe that this is the armor and if we really believe that prayer is the key to effective transformation in a culture then we could relax about November and all political struggle. Why is it that the church is preoccupied with all those other things because the church believes that that's the battle and Paul says here's the battle were not up against human beings we are up against. This powerful evil conning force.

Notice how he identifies this struggle as being a struggle that is against the great power he says these are the world rulers of the present darkness, the word that Yankees actually uses.

There was used in astrology on the planets, which in the minds of these people were used to control the fate of mankind, and Paul wants his readers to understand that the fall is defeated that these powers are no longer what the ones where the fact is, they just won't quit the victory in Christ is certain VD is absolute, but wherein VD and the day the victory has been established by the skirmishes are going on for finality is brought to the whole matter, so we are involved in a struggle that is against dramatic and powerful forces we are involved in a struggle that is against evil evil. These are the spiritual forces of evil Satan. I do know why is it that things are the way they are. Why is it that we have all this dreadful holocaust of abortion. Why is it that the embracing of pornography and filth, and degradation is so endemic in our culture.

The answer is because of the prince of the power of darkness, Hollywood knows that it can make movies and make profit without filth, without distraction, without brutalizing violence. So why in the world don't they just make these highly profitable, very enjoyable family type movies and the uncertainties because they are neither wittingly or unwittingly, the subject's of the Prince of the power of darkness. They are both infiltrated and mobilized and enabled by spiritual forces agents from the very headquarters of evil and that's why it's impossible to reason with them because they have no court of honor.

That's why is impossible to talk to them about right and wrong word about the idea of censorship because they have no moral principles.

That's why it is impossible to suggest to them that there are things beyond ourselves that are more significant in terms of the matters of life because they have no higher feeling and the church lives in the midst of this world. Jesus said, I don't pray father that you take them out of the world. I pray that you leave them in the world. I pray that you keep them from the evil one were supposed to be living in here were supposed to be in Hollywood making movies were supposed to be writing editorial articles for major newspapers and were not in the reason were not is because 20 years ago. Somebody told everybody. You're not supposed to do that to the best of my knowledge there is no significant Christian in that arena speaking out for the cause of Jesus Christ. Jesus is taken out of the hand of the world. Father three.

Leave them in the world in the middle of this cosmic warfare with forces that are powerful with forces that are evil and I pray father that you keep them from the evil one run away from that stuff because we are more afraid of the devil.

We couldn't go there.

You may get us what we get is greater to see that it is in us than he that is in the world. Powerful evil and cunning forces.

That's the significance of the phrase the devil's schemes the devil's schemes. The end of verse 11, then you will be able to take your stand against the devil's schemes. You find them saying similarly to the Corinthians in two Corinthians, chapter 2 in verse 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us, for we are not unaware of his scheme's the evil one seldom attacks as openly he identifies himself as an angel of light.

He comes as a dangerous move, but he comes disguised as a sheet. He is the master of intimidation. He comes as a bully.

He is the master of insinuation.

He comes as a big Eiler and that is why it is so imperative that were no longer infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Ephesians 414 were not to be those kind of people he said were to be people on the alert were to be people with the knowledge of the Bible we are to be people understanding the schemes in the dreams and the dialogues of our day.

We are to be able to interact with the world in which were living were supposed to understand what's going on here. We don't have to drink the poison to know it will kill us but we are alert to the fact that it is poison.

We are able to equivocate between light and darkness, truth and error and we are able to stand back from it and see that ultimately this great and tragic cosmic affair is in light of the fact that we are engaged in spiritual warfare. As I see all I wanted to do tonight was to introduce this to you, and that's really all I have endeavored to do. I want to mention to you that the concern that Paul has for them in photons is that we would be able to stand that we wouldn't be wobbly Christians who have no foothold either in Christ or in the Scriptures for the wobbly Christian who neither knows his Bible, not as an intimate relationship with Jesus is an easy prey for the devil and this whole section is about becoming stable both in character and in the face of conflict. That's why he says I want you to be able to take your stand against the devil's schemes.

When you have faced the evil day, that you may be able to stand your ground and after you've done everything else that you would be able to stand and then in verse 14 that you would be standing firm that is about to go on and introduce the material that is there concerning the armor, into which we will come, let me just summarize this by reminding you that there are a number of traditional lanes along which the evil one come to the believer. Remember, he attacked Jesus without success. In Matthew chapter 4. You can read that for your homework and as we observe his insinuations and his attacks in the Scriptures, and as we become alert to them in our lives we find it least I find perhaps you do to that the evil one comes to attackers in the realm about assurance right in the very beginning of the relationship between man and God the evil one comes to Eve in the garden and what is a satyr. Did God really say, did God really say that. And one of the classic and continual lines along which the evil one comes to Iraq and to displace the believer tonight is to seek to attackers in the realm about assurance to try and unsettle us concerning the truths of who Jesus is and what he is done and we need to learn how to identify his scheme he comes to attackers in the realm of our worship. He comes to attackers in the realm of our impunity. He comes to endeavored to disable his and discourage us, and these masterful in his scheming he settlers it says here in verse 11. He's a schemer. He likes to come and attackers also on the intellectual around two Corinthians 4 for the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

You listen to that Discovery Channel for more than half an hour to drive you crazy tremendous intellectual prolapse that is manifested there. How can it be that people so bright miss it so badly because of the cosmic struggle in which we find ourselves, the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, they can't see the light of the glory of the gospel in Jesus becomes to attack not only in a subtle way not only an intellectual way becomes to attackers in the realm of morality. Second Timothy in chapter 2 fleet evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness and faith in love and along with those of call on the Lord out of a pure heart, unavailing to do with foolish and stupid arguments because you know they produce quarrels in the Lord's servant must quarrel.

Instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil who has taken them captive to do his will. Can I ask you this evening are you standing your ground in the matter of assurance in the matter of worship in the realm of purity, whose winning the battle. There when we have fought as Philip says to a standstill, enabled by the strength of the Lord Jesus, we can still stand our ground and it is as we live in relationship with God that will enabled in that way. How was it that Daniel in an environment so alien to in a world in which they changed his name and changed his education and changed his location and change so much about how was it that Daniel was able to stand in the evil day. I think the answer simply ensure leers that he recognized that his strength was in the Lord. He recognized that the backhoe belongs to the Lord, and he dared to put God to the text, the mantle of spiritual warfare has been dealt with in a number of key places throughout history. Some of you may have on your shelves or may like to get on your shelf a book by William Gordon Col. and English pastor in Suffolk in the 17th century, he wrote a book in 1655 called the Christian in complete Armour in one of its versions three volume version it runs to 1472 pages.

It is 261 chapter that's what I call a book he he qualifies as a writer. It was called the Christian in complete Armour. Listen to his subtitle the Saints war against the devil wherein a discovery is made of that grand enemy of God and his people and his policies and power seat of his empire.

Wickedness and chief design. He hath against the saints, a magazine open from whence the Christian is furnished with spinach alarms for the battle help Don with the armor and taught the use of his weapons together with a happy issue of the whole war. Can you imagine them trying to convince the editors today that this would fit nicely on the front cover is a little subtitle. What are you saying this I spent 1472 pages telling you dear people about this because you live in a war zone. I was born in 1952 there was still rationing in Britain when I was born, and indeed, when I was old enough to be aware of what was going on. There were still the evidences the lingering evidences of warfare all around us. We know why is the cooking so bad in Scotland and in Britain. I mean, what, why is that why is the food the way it is. People avast's not so bad today but it was traditionally pretty bad. Or I should say pretty basic. Not bad. Those of you who understand this and were around the time will know that there was a clich, which went round and round. When people said oh I love to have NA or I love to have some sugar in my tea, or I love to have a pastry and the answer was, don't you know there's a war on love once whenever believers start to fight one another so you know there's a war on, whenever we begin to assume that the whole object of our Christian experience is so that we might sit around and of pastries with each other and just rub one another's bags for the kingdom pay, don't we know there's a war on whenever were tempted to settle down into superficiality and sample for lethargy in our Christian experience. We need to open up the Scriptures and hear the spirit of God city is a you know there's a war on, and then taking it seriously with a thorough knowledge of what we're up against the solid grasp of the victory that is ours in Christ and with an awareness of the provision that God is made for is in the struggle we will be able is in the words of the hymn. We sang to stand. Then, in his great might, with all his strength in June and take to arm us for the fight panoply of God. That means the fullness of his provision in terms of the arm that having all things done and all our conquests past. Whatever the word was that we may be victorious in Christ alone and stand completed last. It is important that we are able to recognize the devil's schemes on the same time, to stand firm in Christ, victory in the truths of God's word. Listening to Truth for Life.

We can with Alistair Begg. Alastair returns in just a minute. I will tell you about a brand-new book titled gospel shaped marriage grace for sinners to love like saints. If you been married for any length of time you know that even the best union isn't going to be perfect. All marriages have challenges the book gospel shaped marriage explores how to draw from both God's design for marriage and the love of Christ to overcome common challenges. You can find out more about the book gospel shaped marriage when you visit our website Truth for Life.org now hears Alastair to close with prayer.

Our gracious God and father, we thank you that your word is clear that you have redeemed us in Christ and raise this to the heavenly places in Christ Jesus raised us to the realm of victory, but to the realm also of warfare. We thank you for the reminder that the struggle that we face is not ultimately against flesh and blood. Agenda's that are error-free in their origins, but it is ultimately against powerful evil conning forces and we thank you for the reminder that your plan and purpose for us is not that we would go and how you do in a corner somewhere and wait for you to come back and get us. Nor is it that we would go and make a fuss in the border in the areas that we should leave well alone, but it is that we should be in your world actively living in the round of business and education Holman music and literature journalism and ethics shining in the midst of darkness. We thank you tonight for the protection that is ours in the Lord Jesus Christ against the evil one, and we pray that you will continue to protect us to provide for us to enable us to say afresh here.

I sent me out more use me in the struggle and grant that I may go in the enabling of your great strength for Jesus say about Lapine.

Thanks for listing. The Bible is clear that Jesus has defeated Satan. So why do we still need to be concerned about. Join us next weekend to hear the answer on behalf of all of us a Truth for Life. Happy Father's Day to all of the dads listing this weekend. We hope you're able to spend time together with your family Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life where the Learning is for Living


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