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July 2, 2022 4:00 am
Anti-Christian someone who is a true follower of Christ being demon possessed, you'll find an unlimited number of opinions that argue one way or another today on Truth for Life weekend will look at what the scriptures have to say in answer to this question will learn about the devil's strengths and his limitations. Alistair Begg is teaching from first John chapter 5 were focusing on verse 18, when we take the Bible and begin to understand that we find. First of all, that the devil was a created being. There is great mystery in this admittedly, but nevertheless the devil fulfills the very purposes of God is a fallen angel. The second thing that the Bible makes perfectly clear is that this devil is defeated. First of all, it is clear that the devil had no power over Jesus. He had no power over Jesus.
He has no power over Jesus. John chapter 14 and verse 30 Jesus says I will not speak with you much longer for the prince of this world is coming, he has no hold on me is powerful, but he has no influence or power over Jesus and we just turn back. I'll give you one or two verses John chapter 12 and verse 31 now is the time for judgment on this world.
Now the prince of this world will be driven out but I when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself. Jesus says the devil and his hosts are about to be defeated radically and powerfully. The time is coming for his judgment to be declared and it is directly related to his being placed upon the cross. John chapter 16 and verse 11, and in regard to judgment because the prince of this world now stands condemned okay. Stay with me now. Just keep your Bible going here.
Hebrews chapter 2 and verse 14. Since the children have flesh and blood. He, Jesus shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil and freeing those who all their lives were held in slavery by fear of death not notice the phrase that by his death he might destroy him. The devil who holds the power of death. The only way that he can hold it is because God allows him to hold it for a week while God wants to get back than he can hold it.
Colossians chapter 2 Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians chapter 2, and in verse 50. Speaking of Jesus, and having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them triumphing over them by the cross and in Romans chapter 16 we learn that the devil is in deep trouble concerning not only his defeat but also his ultimate destiny Romans chapter 16 and verse 20 the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. He's going to be crushed so the reason that I think time to emphasize this is because it is imperative that we understand that the devil is a defeated foe checkmate has already occurred on the chessboard of life.
At the cross Jesus played the checkmate.
There are moves left on the board. But if they cannot reverse the fact that checkmate is certain, those of you play chess understand we can spend the last 20 minutes or so playing it out, but they've already seen the end that is what is happened at the cross, he is going to be crushed under our feet. He was defeated at Calvary. He has no hold on Christ, he is no hold on the Christian.
Therefore, we are told not to be casting him outdoor casting demons out, but we are told that the devil is to be resisted.
Okay, you with me. He's a fallen angel. He is defeated he is to be resisted. We are not to be ignorant of his devices. That's Paul's advice. Two Corinthians 211. We noted also. Ephesians 613 we are to be armed for battle. We been given that the warfare armor and what we didn't notice, but referred to is James chapter 4 and verse seven where James and one of the most practical letters in the New Testament reminds his readers that it is very important that they resist the devil. James 47 submit yourselves then to God.
Resist the devil and he will flee from you on the strength of this biblical instruction and what the rest of the Bible has to say. Let me anticipate a question which will inevitably come.
Can Christians be demon possessed and never ever taught on this without someone comes to me afterwards and said do you believe then that it is possible for demons to possess Christians the answer to that is no I do not and I don't care whether you whether you know what I believe I care whether you understand what the Bible teaches, and you need since your sensor will be able to examine the Bible yourself to see if these things are so because you can go in your Christian bookstore and you can find somebody writing a book who will say this, the prevailing belief among evangelicals today is that Christians cannot be severely oppressed by demons. Nothing is done greater damage to diagnosing spiritual problems than this on truth. Those who deny the enemy's potential for destruction are the most vulnerable to so I want you to know that what I'm telling you I'm telling you, I believe the Bible teaches. But you better check. Let me tell you why I believe that it is impossible for Christians to be demon possessed. First of all because of what we read in Colossians chapter 2 that Christ's death has given victory verse 10 of Colossians 2 for in Christ all the fullness of the deity lives in bodily form and you have been given fullness in Christ who is the head over every power and authority. Jesus Christ is filled your life believer. That's what the Bible says your fullness is in Jesus God lives in you. See you in Christ and you are filled with Christ and in verse 15. He has disarmed the powers and authorities as we saw, and he's made a public spectacle of them. We are now united with the Christ to his disarmed the authority and power of the evil one. The believer is described as the one who has been delivered from these things still in Colossians and in verse one. He says of God the father that he is qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and he has brought us into the kingdom of the son he loves, in whom we have redemption, even the forgiveness of our sins, he has brought us into a kingdom where this where the evil one has no right of access. He cannot, he is not welcome. He has no power. He doesn't know the code he can break it. He can bring Jesus power and we are all wrapped up in the power of Christ.
Furthermore, what we are told is that the Holy Spirit indwells our lives.
First Corinthians chapter 6 and verse 19. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God.
One John four for says greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. So now we know that in realistic terms. The Holy Spirit lives within our lives. And he's not about to leave to make room for demons or you say what about the story in Matthew chapter 12 someone else's work. Story Matthew chapter 12 so we gotta turn to Matthew chapter 12 to find out turn to you just for a moment. Verse 43 when an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through added places, seeking rest, and does not find that it says I will return to the house I left when it arrives it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself and they go in and live there in the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation. So in other words within the state and sphere of natural man. It is clearly possible to be possessed of demons, it is also possible for those demons to leave are to be removed if they leave voluntarily or removed by any power unless not house, namely that life is meant to be filled with the fullness of Christ and with the indwelling spirit of God, then that life becomes the very potential for a far worse experience of demon possession than anything that it never knew before, but not once did I need to understand that when the Bible says that the Holy Spirit fills our life. The Holy Spirit fills our lives and it is the Holy Spirit who answers the door and any attempts of repossession. See the Holy Spirit says you're not welcome here. This is a child of God. When Jesus died upon the cross. He defeated you demon he defeated you Satan go back to hell where you belong.
This is a child of the kingdom. These people belong to heaven. They belong to the reality and power of Christ.
I am not saying that demon possession is not a reality demon possession is a reality I have seen it twice in 18 years of pastoral ministry and not here in the United States is one of the most fiendish scariest things that anybody ever encountered in all of their life is like nothing else you've ever seen, but it is not the experience of the believer says Scripture. For example, John chapter 17 Jesus is praying to his father and he reinforces the fact of his power over all these affairs where he says in John 17 verse 15. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the evil one thing that Jesus asks the father to do something for his family and somehow or another that the father is unable to provide the protection necessary is not some Mickey Mouse insurance company you know that might not be able to pay at the right time. Father I pray not that you remove them from the world in which there is satanic activity and demonic activity. I just pray that you keep them from the evil one. Why would Jesus ever pray that prayer unless it was a necessary prayer and you think you would pray a prayer like that. In anticipation of any other answer except yes verse 18 one John five. We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin, the one who was born of God keeps them safe. The evil one cannot harm him.
Nowhere in the New Testament are believers said to respond to Satan or to demons by casting them out nowhere in the lives of believers. All that were told to do in relation to demonic activity is to stand firm where the armor and to resist because all of the power that has vanquished all of that stuff is being unleashed at Calvary, and is now the experience of the believer. As a result of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God. Two Thessalonians 33 the Lord is faithful and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. Here's what I think this really hits home in the moment, would you not agree with me that many people today have been programmed to believe that their problems are primarily as a result of something someone is done to them in the past rather than something for which they are currently responsible. Would you agree that as a prevailing emphasis. Your problem is not your problem. The problem is something somebody did to you and whether you are a believer or nonbeliever. It doesn't really matter. We are all in this dreadful problem about past and the explanation about existence is in our past.
If we don't know about our past and will of some guru dredge up our past re-create our past and give as a past so that we might explain our present you notice that there are so many people using the jargon words of psychology so they have to be programmed for their usage. That's one thing but the really bad thing about it is this that there is an increasing emphasis that goes like this. Your past can be explained in terms of demonic strongholds in your life. And so the key to your effective Christian living lies in our being able to break your demonic strongholds which are there in the past soon as we begin that line of reasoning, then it becomes increasingly possible for the kind of overemphasis on these things, and the absolute Ms. focus which leads people into dreadful situation. I want to read for you and expensive now and you can just sit back and relax and listen to this God has provided his word, which enables us to discern the spirit of truth in the spirit of an but we do have to make an effort to learn and apply it. God is also regenerated every believer so that the Christian now has the volitional capacity to obey God and resist the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil.
Any believer who thinks that they can crucify the flesh discern the world or resist the devil has already been deceived by Satan's line.
Here's how it goes couple come for counseling. The Bible says you should love your wife as Christ loved the church. The man responds.
I'm sorry. I can love my wife the way Christ loved the church. The issue is not can the issue is wont. Unless of course the Kent has to do with some kind of demonic interference soon as we make it demonic interference, then it is candid isn't wont we have now externalize the problem. We made it something else other than the disobedience of the believer. We have made it external to him, and we may now take a completely different diagnostic route and we will provide a very different form of pure problem being that if, in point of fact, the chap really is just a disobedient rascal than any kind of hocus-pocus with demonization is going to render the whole thing obsolete. Sooner than we realize. Many Christians are being told today that God's work on the cross his word and the Holy Spirit are not sufficient to handle life as a Christian that's true. I agree with that.
They say we need some help from the world's way of coping: psychology. This is called being balanced. Many of these courts balance. Christians believe that they are victims of something that someone else is done to them so that they are incapacitated from their responsibility to live the Christian life.
This is why they feel like they can apply the normal techniques of the Christian life to deal with the problems of living, they say, I've tried it and it doesn't work, refuse to believe that Christ is provided only need to deal with sins of the flesh and false doctrine, but it will not put on Christ's armor and fight the battle there waiting for a quick fix like a drug or an experience that will make their flesh feel like trusting and obeying God with this kind of mentality dominating evangelical Christianity. No wonder there is such an openness to the message which says that believers are victims of demonic control and need post salvation, deliverance, anyone engaging in post salvation. Deliverance is in essence acting like a believer can be demon possessed. There is a huge market for those who feel like they cannot trust the Lord because they feel like they are volitional in their ability to do is bound by Satan in the demonic, when in reality if they are indeed a Christian if simply not properly matured. Hebrews 513 calls them spiritual babies not in need of deliverance. Hebrews 512 says they need the solid food of the word of God makes with the exercise of obedience. Hebrews 12 calls these believers week undeveloped and in need of discipline in exercise for these Christian couch potatoes.
They do not feel like they need discipline and exercise they feel like someone is keeping them from growing up in the Lord. They feel like Satan has them bound so it is not surprising that they feel like they need deliverance and onto the scene, prances the bondage breaker to lend a helping finally the devil is defeated, the devil is to be resisted and the devil is limited. Let me finish the way I finish this morning.
It's a it's a great insight this and is very very he's not omniscient. All right God is the only one who knows everything. Satan doesn't he know Solomon is a really good guesser but he doesn't know everything she tried to go to your bed at night wondering if Satan knows everything about what's going on.
He does secondly he is not omnipotent, only God is all-powerful, Satan can only ultimately do what God permits him to do and he is chained to the cross.
Okay, as far as he can go. We can go any further. He's like he's like a pitbull and some in his backyard change. A big concrete state. They can roar all they like but if the chain is 15 feet long.
Make sure the estate 16 feet and you're okay. The devil is chained to the cross. He's totally neutralized in terms of his ultimate ability to interfere with and affect the believer's life. And lastly, he is not omnipresent. Only God is everywhere. Satan can be everywhere at the same time tempting everybody. He has to operate one at a time, or uses assistance. Therefore, we finish with this intriguing notion that Satan is probably never tempted you, or even anyone you know, therefore, don't overestimate him. Keep your eyes on Jesus from straddling the fence and keep close to the cross. Spiritual warfare is Bible assures us useless work on the cross, along with God's word and his spirit are sufficient for us to handle life as Christians listing to Alistair Begg on Truth for Life weekend. Alastair will return to close today's program with prayer in just a minute. In addition to Alister's messages Truth for Life.
We select books to recommend we select them with great care and with our mission in mind the book recommending currently fits that bill. It's a book called living life backward. This book draws from the Scriptures, specifically from the book of Ecclesiastes, living life backward is written to help you refocus your attention away from earthly things. We all know we been around a while the material pleasures of this world will not satisfy us for long personal success can give us a boost of happiness in the moment, but it doesn't last. So, does anything provide continued joy.
While the book living like backward delves deep into the book of Ecclesiastes to answer that question. You can find out more about the book living life backward when you visit our website at Truth for Life.orc now here is Alister to close with prayer.
Father, I recognize that these things are even difficult to talk about. Certainly the evil one hates it when his cover is blown when your word is unleashed. He runs and hides spoiled child and I pray tonight that the teaching of your word today may come to our lives with conviction, with clarity without that anything that is unclear or uncertain may be banished from our minds help us to get a hold of the main things that the devil is a defeated foe, that we may resist in and find that he flees that he is limited in his access and in his power and the greater is he who is in knots. Then he who roams the world. Help us to be biblical, believing all that the Bible teaches and holding it in the balance that the Bible sets it in give us as a congregation of sanity and the reality about our Christian living SEVIS from carping out with the cures of the world, and the diagnosis of the same. Help us to be honest about sin and rebellion straightforward about our unwillingness to do what the Bible says maybe not BBB Christians relying on our feelings mainly become mature, able to say we walk by faith and not by sight. And now unto him, the one who is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy to the only wise God our Savior be glory and majesty, dominion now and forevermore about the pain listing. Satan is sneaky is deceptive and is ruthless.
So how can we recognize and respond to his schemes and hope you'll join us. Next we come to find out the Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life with the learning is prolific