How does Satan's unseen kingdom operate? This sermon will look at the adversary of ours, Satan the devil, and take note of what we sometimes may not fully understand. The Bible talks about and tell us what we need to know about this adversary, and an aspect of what he is that we may not fully grasp and comprehend in our everyday thinking.
[Ken Martin] Good afternoon everyone – here we are on God’s Sabbath and what a wonderful blessing it is to be here with brothers and sisters in Christ. What I’d like to do this afternoon is to address a topic that is not one that we normally talk about, but one we need to know about, and it’s discussed in the Scriptures. Turn with me in your Bible, the word of God, and if you would, let’s go and begin in 1 Peter 5:8 1 Peter 5:8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:
American King James Version×. We are admonished by the apostle Peter in this epistle, where he focuses on the seriousness of what we are dealing with on a day to day basis. He commands us to be sober and to be vigilant, to know what’s going on - in other words, not to be in a state of sleep or slumber. And then he addresses the reason for this, is because your adversary, the devil …now that’s a very interesting aspect of Scripture, because the Bible tells us we have a personal Savior called Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God. But we are reminded also in Scripture that we also have something else on the other side of the coin – a personal adversary who is called the devil, and what does he do as a roaring lion? He walks about seeking whom he may devour. What it is saying is a warning to all Christian men and women who fear God and want to walk in His ways. So we are marked individuals that the adversary knows who we are, and we’re on his hit list. He would like to terminate all who fear God and want to walk in His ways. What he wants is something totally different. And you and I are commanded in Verse 9 “Whom resist steadfast, in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”
What we are going to talk about today is a topic in which I want to raise your level of awareness, to make you more aware of something that we maybe not think about as we live our everyday lives. We’re told in Matthew 6:33 Matthew 6:33But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
American King James Version×that we are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. And His righteousness is defined by His commandments – Psalms 119:172 Psalms 119:172My tongue shall speak of your word: for all your commandments are righteousness.
American King James Version×. And He watches to make sure that we’re living according to His guide lines, because that’s what will bring the blessing of God, which we all hunger and desire to have – the blessing of God. If you don’t have that, you’ve got nothing – absolutely nothing . Whatever you think you’ve got…it’s worthless. The blessing of God makes everything come alive, because He is the source of all life for all of us and all creation, wherever life exists. Well, what this sermons going to do today, we’re going to look at this adversary of ours, Satan the devil, and we’re going to take note of what we sometimes may not fully understand. And I want to take the Bible and what the Bible talks about and tell us what we need to know about this adversary, and an aspect of what he is that we may not fully grasp and comprehend in our everyday thinking.
The title of this sermon is: “Satan’s Unseen Kingdom – How it Operates’’ – “ Satan’s Unseen Kingdom – How it Operates”. Let’s take note of Revelation Chapter 12:9 – in Revelation 12:9 Revelation 12:9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
American King James Version×…in verse 3 we’re told about this wonder that takes place in the heavens, about a great red dragon …that’s an interesting term to keep in mind, as we’ll see later…..and how this dragon drew a third part of the stars of heaven. This has to do with something that transpired way in the eons of past time, and what it did – it’s defined in rebellion that took place in the hierarchy of the angelic kingdom. Now there is a super natural kingdom that is called the kingdom of God, and there is another kingdom that now exists in opposition to that supreme kingdom. It is the kingdom that comes from this dragon, who in Revelation 12 and Verse 9 says:
Revelation 12:9 Revelation 12:9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
American King James Version× So that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil and Satan, which deceives the whole world;
And when I first saw that Scripture years ago, I asked myself this question: “How in the world is he able to do that?” This is not just something being spoken to us to tell us, you know, he deceived the whole world – okay? How does he do that? The world’s a pretty big place – there are a lot of people in this world. How does he do this? Well, we begin to discern some things here by going to the Scripture, when we find in Jude 6 that there is a time and the place in the past where angels sinned. And in 2 Peter, Chapter 2 and Verse 4, it says: For if God spared not the angels that sinned. This is that angelic upheaval that took place in that supernatural realm, that most people cannot comprehend or grasp. It is so vast; it is so awesome in its operations with God at the throne of the universe….we are told that when God Himself created all these angelic beings, He set them up in various offices and responsibilities to do His will, and His good pleasure. And we find references to such as cherubim and seraphim, and many, many, other angels that do the bidding of God, in the kingdom of God.
And when we see the apostle Paul, as he mentions in II Corinthians, the closing chapter of that book, he said he knew a man once who was thrown up into the third heaven. He was talking himself, but he’s doing it in the third person…he doesn’t want to focus on himself, but he says , “I knew this individual ”…and he says, “And when he was up there, he says…whew! I never saw anything like it!” He says it was just mind staggering. He says, “I heard things and I saw things that are just unbelievable.” Now that’s part of the celestial, invisible kingdom of God that operates.
But the kingdom of Satan the devil operates in this world. And it’s this world in which you and I live, and it’s this world that God wants us to fully understand what’s going on in this world. We see the physical manifestation of many things happening in this world. And when these crazy events happen, people ask “Why would they do that?” And they’re trying to figure out what’s going on in the minds of some of these perpetrators of these terrible crimes. And the answer is: You’ll never know unless you listen to God and remember what He says about the hidden – hidden world – the unseen kingdom of Satan the devil, and how it operates. Now, Satan does have a kingdom. Maybe you haven’t thought of it in that way, but let’s go to the Book of Luke…take a look at Luke 11 and Verse 18 – here we see a situation where Jesus performs a miracle, and it came to pass in Verse 14, He was casting out a demon, as it should read, and it was gone – so it actually had frozen the speech of an individual.
Now it’s important for us to look at these Scriptures and remember, there are things going on in this world that are not explained through scientific methods, because you’re touching on areas that deal with supernatural elements. And there are good supernatural elements, and there are evil supernatural elements. We live in a world in which God controls all aspects of His creation. But within this creation on this earth we are told that there is another formidable force that we all contend with on a day to day basis…remember, “ He’s always moving; seeking whom he may devour.” What does that mean? It means he’s watching for the one who’s going to drop his or her guard and begin to get too comfortable and relax in the world, and when that happens, he moves in for the kill. And you and I need to keep this in mind, is what the Scripture is telling us. If we disregard the words of God, we do it to our own hurt. If we listen carefully to the words of God, we will be able to discern things that most people will not be able to discern, because God will show it to us through His Spirit.
You know, when the Veterans in World War II, when our soldiers had to go into Germany, cross the Rhine River, they were given a little book entitled “ Know Thy Enemy”, and a lot of soldiers carried those in their pocket, with a little Psalms, Proverbs…what it basically told them, it said, “Look, you’re going now into enemy territory, and you better know how to deal with these people that you’re going to run into, because If you don’t know how to deal with them, you may end up dead.”
Well, that was just something on a physical level. If you bump that up higher, what the Bible is talking about is spiritual soldiers , men and women, called of God. Paul uses that analogy that we have to fight the good fight of faith, and endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ . He took that example for a reason. And here we have this example now, in Luke 11, where Jesus is casting out this evil spirit that had literally tongue-tied a person – where the person could not speak. Now he goes on, and it says:
Luke 11:15 Luke 11:15But some of them said, He casts out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.
American King James Version× But some of them said, “Well, He’s doing this by casting out demons by Beelzebub”, - who is another name for Satan the devil. He’s doing this by Satan’s power.
Verse 16: And others, testing Him, sought from Him a sign from heaven.
Verse 17: But He, knowing their thoughts ,
How did Jesus know their thoughts? Because He’s the Son of God, and the Son of God means that He has the ability to read your mind – my mind, and know our thoughts. He was fully the Son of man; He was fully the Son of God…the only thing He left behind, according to the Bible, was His divine attributes, that gave Him tremendous capabilities…he left those behind, came as the Son of God, would be now totally dependent on His Father in heaven to provide what was needed, and He never strayed from that to fulfill the will of the Father. That’s why He said, the Father, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” It goes on to say:
“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls.
That does not speak well of us today when we keep hearing about a divided congress and a divided nation, where people can’t seem to get their act together anymore. And I hope our people can wake up in time, because if they don’t, Jesus’ words will stand true, and there will come a tremendous calamity someday in the future. It goes on to say, Verse 18, and here’s the key:
Verse 18: “If Satan also is divided against himself , - you’re saying that I’m doing this by the power of Satan, casting out demons. He said, if that’s true, then how shall his kingdom …he has a kingdom, and that kingdom is in opposition to the kingdom of God, which you and I have been called to be a part of. So in this particular admonition, he says, because you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebub.
Also we have another example in Ezekiel 28 and Verse 13, a common Scripture…I won’t turn there for sake of time, but you write it down and go through it yourself at a proper time. And it tells us that when this powerful creature, this angelic creature called Lucifer, who was created, in Verse 13 it says he was in Eden, the garden of God ; so he was already here on the earth. The implication is that his throne was on the earth; because Isaiah 14:13 Isaiah 14:13For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
American King James Version× says that he now gets this brainstorm that he is going to do what? I will ascend into the heavens, and I will sit on the throne of the …I think he uses the term like this: I will raise my throne …In fact, let’s turn there real quick, Isaiah 14, to make sure we’ve got it exactly like it needs to be said. Isaiah 14 and notice how the Scripture is written:
Isaiah 14:13 Isaiah 14:13For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
American King James Version× For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt (Oh wow!) my throne … now who gave him that throne? God did! God gave him that throne, and he said he was going to go and sit on the mount of the congregation, on the sides of the north;
Verse 14: And I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
So he was driven with a desire to be worshipped like God. We’re told in Ephesians 2, Verses 2 and 3 , that he is called the prince of the power of the air. And he has the ability to charge the atmosphere in which we live, and because we breathe air into our lungs, we breathe also into our very being much of what he generates in the atmosphere. And so these things that happen in people’s lives, as you read that very carefully, it says: he works in the children of disobedience.
Now, we’ll take this a little bit further, as you’ll see, in II Corinthians 4:4 he’s called the god , small letter “g”… the god of this world . Now why does he want to be called the god of this world? Well, God calls him that because he covets the very throne of God. When Jesus in Matthew 4:4 Matthew 4:4But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
American King James Version×was challenged by Satan, remember one of the challenges that Satan threw at him: Fall down and worship me…worship me, and I will give you this, for it is mine to give to whomsoever I will … How did he get that authority?
Well now that brings us to something very important, what we’re going to take a look at now. I’d like you to turn with me to Colossians 1:16 Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
American King James Version×. We’ll move through these Scriptures fairly rapidly…I want to just tie them together in your mind so that you can see how God puts it all together for us, step by step. Doesn’t maybe answer every question, but boy does it gives you a lot of insight as to what’s going on in the everyday world in which we live in. In Colossians 1:16 Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
American King James Version×. Referring to Jesus Christ in Verse 15, it says:
Colossians 1:15 Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
American King James Version× Concerning Him who is in the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature.
Verse 16: For by him all things were created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, - there are a lot of things going on in everyday life that are in the invisible world, which most people don’t stop to consider. And he goes on to say: Whether there be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created by Him and for Him.
Verse 17: And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
So we have here a clear explanation that all aspects of hierarchy within the…in this case, I would say the angelic realm …in which God first created to execute His will and good pleasure. Once that throne was violated by Lucifer, who now becomes Satan the devil, as the Scriptures point out, we now find ourselves warned from a different prospective. Turn back, if you would, just a few, to the Book of Ephesians, Chapter 6:12. The Kings James puts it this way:
Ephesians 6:12 Ephesians 6:12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
American King James Version× For we wrestle …when it uses the term wrestle, that means we struggle – every day is a struggle as you live life…why? Because there’s something else out there struggling against you, against me, against every human being. And it goes on to say: For we struggle not against flesh and blood, …human beings are not the problem, although a lot of human beings think other human beings are the problem: if we could just get rid of him everything would be great; get rid of her, everything would be wonderful. And so people miss the whole picture. The struggle that we’re going through is generated by something unseen. And that’s why the Bible calls us to be overcomers, and if you can’t see it, you can’t overcome it - that’s why it is imperative to know what the Bible says about this hidden realm, this unseen kingdom of our adversary the devil, and how it operates.
In Ephesian 6:12 we’re told, it isn’t flesh and blood , but notice: It’s against …uh, oh, listen: principalities , powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (or the marginal reference which say wicked spirits, or fallen spirits). It’s telling us that not only do we have the honorable, angelic class that are faithful to God, but we have a very dishonorable class of fallen spirit angels, that do the bidding of Satan the devil, and not the will of God.
Now they are living in a constant state of torment and fear, because they realize they have stepped over the line. And they would rather have us live in a spirit of fear, so that we also will cave to their influence. Now I’d like to show you how this breaks down. What that Scripture in Ephesians 6:12 Ephesians 6:12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
American King James Version×is telling us and what Colossians 1:16 Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
American King James Version×, when you put those two together, there are what appears to be six basic elements that we need to contend with and understand about the hierarchy that exists within the unseen realm of the heavens and on earth:
The very first one we’re told is thrones . Now we’re told in Colossians…who made all these thrones? Who created all these thrones? God did! That’s when everything was going great. Now these thrones that exist in the dark realm, these individual thrones are mentioned in the Bible showing us that when God worked after the so-called debacle that took place in the Garden of Eden, when man ceded his responsibility to govern this world according to God’s laws, fell prey to the devil and his seduction, and all of us caved, that’s why all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. None of us are clean in this area; we’re all unclean in the eyes of God. We can only become clean through the blood of Jesus Christ, who cleanses us of all sins, and it takes time for that to happen – it just doesn’t happen like that!
And so you live life, and you are faced with things that come your way, and you have to deal with, one way or the other…you can’t run from it. Who allows that all to happen? God does! Why? He’s working out a plan of salvation, and he’s testing every human being within the framework of that great plan and purpose, to see where our allegiance lies: Do we really want God? Or do we like the world, the way the world is? He told us that we should pray Thy kingdom come , and I think we see every valid reason why we should be doing this now as never before. This is not a friendly place down here, and there’s a reason for it, because of this other fallen kingdom driven by Satan the devil.
God chose Israel, according to the Bible, to be His own. And He deals with the Israelite people first. The rest of the world, after sin entered this world, was basically turned over to the fallen spirit world. And that’s where, guess where, things in this world pop up at us and remind us of what the Bible was saying, but we sometimes we don’t connect the dots. For example, if you live in China…what is one of the great things that you know about China? The great red dragon - Why did they choose that? Well, there’s a reason for that, because the Gentile nations do what? These fallen angels are what you would call lesser gods or lesser elohim – they are of a God-like class to human beings. They look at these beings and they worship them. And the Bible says that we have such…there are a few names: are you familiar with Baal in the Bible, or Mar duke, or Molech or Astarte, Dagon…those are names of Pagan gods. But what works behind those Pagan gods; what drives those things. And those are the fallen spirits of this world. And most people have not a clue how that all comes together. Well, these thrones, and of course Satan, we’ve already seen. He’s got a throne; he’s the top-dog in this invisible, unseen kingdom.
Then we’re told that there are dominions: This would be the second area, or breakdown that goes on within the spirit world. Have you ever heard of the spirit of Africa? Or, dark Africa? Why is that so interesting? Well, it’s because Africa is dominated by evil spirits. And some of our ministers who go to Africa, they’ve had to contend with such. And these are individuals who worship these gods of their various religions…we call them Witch doctors …now which doctor do they want to go to? I don’t know about! It’s not a witch doctor we want to go to! That’s one thing that’s for sure! They are evil spirits that who dominate the continent or ethnic groups of those countries. And you can tell by the type of worship they are involved in what kind of spirit is driving behind the scenes.
This is why it’s so important to be mindful of what the Scripture has told us here in Colossians I: 16 and Ephesians 6:12 Ephesians 6:12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
American King James Version×. There are a lot of things going on in this world. And we think, “Oh boy! We’re so busy.” We think we’ve “got so much on our mind.” We haven’t got a clue as to the activity that is going on behind the scenes. And it drives and drives and drives this world to the point it’s going to drive to the great day of the battle of God Almighty, when Jesus Christ comes back to this earth. So these are things here that we need to be mindful of. So we’ve seen, there are thrones, and there are spirit contingents that rule on those thrones, in which Satan himself has. And there are dominions, where they rule over continents of the world, and ethnic groups, and principalities…how does that play out? Principalities are spirits that rule in countries and states. There are places to go…places where these spirits operate and serve the will of Satan the devil.
We see with that in an interesting aspect, when it talks of one principality of the Prince of Persia, mentioned in Daniel, Chapter 10. You remember when Daniel was praying in Chapter 10, Verses 12 through 13…and this is from the Good News Bible…he wanted to know just when is this 70 years going to come to its conclusion, and he was praying and fasting, and he said: “And Gabriel was sent to him to answer his prayers.”
Verse 11: And the angel of the Lord said: “Daniel, God loves you; stand up and listen carefully to what I am going to say.
Verse 12 : I have been sent to you, he said, because, Daniel, don’t be afraid. God had heard your prayers ever since the first day you decided to humble yourself in order to get understanding.
We want understanding…what is that telling us? We’d better humble ourselves before God. And if we set our minds to do that, God will grant us the understanding we’re seeking. But then one thing happened, it says:
Verse 13: “But the prince of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and Michael had to come and to assist.
So what it is saying is that there is a struggle going on even in the angelic realm, that God sends his good angels to help and assist the people of God down through time, and certainly the Church of God today, and then beyond what? To help us in the struggle to overcome against the ones that are struggling against us. This is so important to keep in mind.
Then there is the fourth category …we call it powers – it says powers. That God is responsible for all powers. But then, we’ve got the good powers and we’ve got the bad powers. And the powers of the fallen spirit world, what did they do? Well, they operate in countries that have provinces, like in the Province say, of Alberta, Canada – they have provinces in their country; and in various countries. That’s where they operate, and they operate and infiltrate provisional governments. Now this is why God tells us to pray for kings and for leaders and all these things…why? These people who are in positions of power are influenced by this spirit world. Isn’t it interesting that we’re told, people joke about it and say, “Well, you know, nobody is safe as long as Congress is in session.” Now why do they say that? Congress passes laws, and laws affect us, and we have to live under those jurisdictions.
Now if the leadership is influenced by wrong spirit influence, you begin to see what happens. And it’s not only governments; it can be church governments also. And we’ve seen how churches can be infiltrated and how they can be destroyed. So we’re living in some very interesting times that God says He wants us to be mindful of, and not asleep at the switch.
Then we have the rulers of darkness … the rulers of darkness . Who are the rulers of darkness? These are evil spirits that rule in cities and towns of every nation of the world….cities and towns. There are some cities you don’t want to live in…why? Because of the spirit influence that is causing terrible things to happen…would anybody like to go to South Chicago right now? If you know what’s going on in the news, you don’t want to live there. Even the police don’t want to live there. They have to deal with it, but it’s a terrible time where things are being influenced, cities and towns…they had a report here not too long ago, what are the ten best cities to live in and the ten worst cities to live in? People don’t want to live in a worst city. Well, why is it a worst city? What’s influencing the leadership of these cities, these towns, these states, these countries, these counties, provinces…whatever? We live in a world that is not of God . That’s why were told to come out of her my people, that you don’t partake of her plagues. We’ve got to understand, we live in it but we don’t ascribe to what it’s teaching; we don’t buy into these arguments, these teachings. These rulers pass laws that affect all of us.
And when we talk about the sixth area, wicked spirits in high places , what are we addressing there in the Old Testament, high places were always a place of worship – a place of worship . And what we find out is that these spirits target ordinary people, and they have a purpose of making their life tormented. It’s amazing how many people today are tormented. Now they’re going to psychiatrists, and they’re trying to find out…why are they having these problems? There’s no clinical answer for it – they can’t come up with some of the answers. Now some things they can help with. But the vast majority of things, they don’t have a handle for it. They can’t explain, “Why would somebody do that?” Well, when you understand the spirit world and what’s out there, you understand where they’re coming from. People today, as we see on the highways, now it used to be illegal to tail-gait…you used to get a ticket for that. Now they’re right behind you, and they’re on you, and they’re trying to push you off the highway…boom! You’re not moving fast enough! And so they’re doing what? They’re not driving…their driven ! Something’s driving their minds, and they’ve got to get ahead of you, get a little space…and got to get there first! The world is being driven to its final conclusion , brethren.
So again, those are just six categories, basically, that the Scriptures are revealing to us and showing us…there may be more. But those two Scriptures right there give us quite a bit of insight. Now you add to that, there are different kinds of spirits in this world – different kinds of spirits. Now what I’m talking about today is not to have you looking under every rock for a spirit…a fallen spirit. That’s not what I’m talking about. This is designed to make you aware of what’s going on out there and how it can impact people’s lives, and why it’s causing a lot of heart aches and upset in the lives of many people. And you can look for all you want trying to find answers, but when it’s based on sin, driven by this kind of evil empire behind the scenes, you begin to realize… we need help ! We need help big time…we need God! Because if we don’t have God, there’s no way we can fight this element. Maybe that’s why people say, “You know, you can’t fight City Hall!” Why do they come up with expressions like that? They know that there’s a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes, not only in the physical, but especially in the spirit realm.
Well, for example one class of spirits that people come in contact with, they may not realize it, but they’re called “ unclean spirits ” - that’s a “give- away”: unclean spirits. And what they do is, they affect the mind of an individual. Oh man, now listen carefully: Have any of us at any time ever had bad thoughts? Answer? Every one of us! And if you think you haven’t had any bad thoughts, you are really in the dark! Those thoughts did not come because you sat down and pondered up in your mind and said, “I’m going to have some bad thoughts today.” You were minding your own business, going about doing…and wham! Something comes into your mind - and it’s not a good thought. Why do you think Jesus is expressing through the apostle Paul in II Corinthians where He says we must bring every thought into subjection to Jesus Christ. In other words, put those thoughts under the microscope of how Christ would think, and you’ll immediately say, “Hey, this is not of God.” Not of God at all. And you’ll have to cast it out and ask God to just clear your mind and get rid of that.
You don’t think Jesus’ mind was bombarded by this type of stuff – He’s knows every aspect of it, but He never caved to it. Human beings cave because they don’t discern the difference, and they fall for these things. This is why many times people today are just losing all direction. Why do people do immoral acts? Where do immoral acts come from? People don’t wake up and say, “I think I’m going to commit an immoral act today.” No! We know from the word of God that’s not what Christ would have us do. But they are happening in the lives of many people. And why do they happen? What about oppression, depression, where people get into beyond just an analysis of depression. Now everybody gets a little depressed from time to time, but don’t go off to why people just sometimes…the government now trying to say, everybody has a little depression has got mental problems…and want to reclassify everything. And I mean that’s good for the government, because they’re way off the wall themselves.
But here’s the key that we have to keep in mind, and that is this: When something becomes obsessive - you can’t let it go; something is driving you. If you’re depressed and then you become excessively depressed – something’s driving you in that direction, magnifying those elements that you’re struggling with. Remember, I said, we struggle? Not against flesh and blood, but against wicked spirits in high places. The highest point on your body is your brain, and that’s what they target – they target your thinking . They want you to believe certain things that are not true, according to the Bible. They, in their own way, try to even lead people to, as Jesus encountered, to become possessed. Most people are not possessed of the devil – you’ve got nothing to fear on this subject we’re talking about, as long as you’re under the umbrella of God’s divine providence . It is they who fear you; it is they who fear the God-fearing man and woman, because they know you’ve got God on your side; He’s fighting the battle for you.
But these unclean spirits – notice very quickly, Matthew 10:1 Matthew 10:1And when he had called to him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
American King James Version×
Matthew 10:1 Matthew 10:1And when he had called to him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
American King James Version× And when He had called to Him his twelve disciples, He gave them authority over – what - unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.
So sickness and disease can be associated with sin, and all of the spirits, as we’re going to see. Matthew 12:43 Matthew 12:43When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.
American King James Version×– this is from the Modern King James version – it says
Matthew 12:43 Matthew 12:43When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.
American King James Version× “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest, and he finds none.
So he decides he’s going to go back again to where he came from, and he’s going to bring seven other of his buddies. That’s why it’s so important to be extremely careful in dealing, and why God forbids us to get into the spirit world. He doesn’t want the occult world to be sought for answers. And that’s where these spirits dwell, in the occult world, and as you’re going to see, it’s all around us – big time. That’s why He tells us to be alert to these things.
In a synagogue where Jesus was talking, in Mark, Chapter 1, Verses 23 through 27:
Mark 1:23 Mark 1:23And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
American King James Version× And in the synagogue there was a man with an unclean spirit. – Oh wow! That means they can even invade a church organization; a congregation - you see why we have to be on our toes. Because again, evil is always present in this world.
Verse 24: And this man with the unclean spirit cried out, And he said, “What is it to do with us, you Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know You, who You are – the Holy One of God!”
Verse 25: But Jesus rebuked him…stopped him right there, said, shut up! Come out of him right now…and He gave him a command.
And the spirit world has to obey God, because God is in charge. Oh they rankle under it – they hate it, but they can’t do a thing about it, because God’s power is free. That’s why you’re never to fear and worry, because God says “Fear not” – He is with us. And will never forsake you or leave you – and those are promises that God keeps. And it says:
Verse 26 : And that that spirit convulsed him and came out, this guy did a shake, and all of a sudden cried out with a loud voice.
Verse 27: And people were amazed, and they said, what in the world is this? What kind of doctrine is this that’s being done here? They’d never seen anything like that. And then they said, “He commands unclean spirits with authority, and they obey Him.”
They had to obey Him, because He was the Son of God – relying on the power of God’s Holy Spirit. And then we have again another group of individual spirits that are out there that are called lying spirits – lying spirits . You believe everybody’s out there telling the truth today? Lying has become almost a way of life for a lot of people. I think it was Jerry Clower, who used to say, and I like to listen to him sometimes, in his comedy act, and he used to say, “If I’m alive, I’m dying.” Boy, we’d have a clean house here…if everybody was lying, they’d all be dying, wouldn’t they? Sure enough! In 1 Kings 22:23 1 Kings 22:23Now therefore, behold, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets, and the LORD has spoken evil concerning you.
American King James Version×, it says:
1 Kings 22:23 1 Kings 22:23Now therefore, behold, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets, and the LORD has spoken evil concerning you.
American King James Version× “And behold, Jehovah has placed a lying spirit in the mouth of all these, your prophets. And Jehovah has spoken evil …or harm, danger, trials…
That’s what it means – God doesn’t create evil to hurt anybody, but He says He does allow evil to come upon people for disobedience. Now in that particular case, it just shows that God allowed one of the evil spirits to become a lying spirit in the prophet’s mouth. Then there are evil spirits of deception . We’re going to see one in the end time when he comes on the scene…II Thessalonians 2:8-10 and what is he going to do? He’s going to come with all the seed of unrighteousness, who perish, and those who do not love the truth that they might be saved. In other words, that individual is going to really turn people’s heads…he’s going to bring fire down from heaven. He’s going to have all the workings of the power of the devil behind him - and the world is going to believe him. They’re going to follow because they don’t listen to God.
When you go to the Book of Revelation, Chapter 16, Verses 13 and 14…what do we have there? We have the example of three unclean spirits like frogs that come out of the mouth of the dragon: One with the dragon; one with the beast; one with the false prophet - Gathering all these nations to the great day…the battle of the Great Day of God.
Then we have deaf and dumb spirits – Oh yeah! There are people that can’t hear or can’t speak, and in some cases the cause of their problem is a spiritual one. Something is involved there, and science cannot figure it out, because it can’t analyze the spirit realm. Some things are created that way by physical elements…it could be genetics, it could be a lot of things, but the one thing they overlook when they’ve tried all that they try to do, they can’t answer these things because they don’t understand the spirit realm. And if you don’t believe this, according to the Scripture, then you leave yourself wide-open.
That’s why this sermon is important from that perspective; not to make you fearful, but to make you informed, so you’ve got nothing to worry about in terms of any shenanigans that Satan might try to pull to get into your thoughts, into your mind, and to try to sabotage your conversion – because that’s what he’s out to do. If he can make you doubt…there’s an old saying: “ He that doubts is damned” - you damn yourself; you create your own problem, because you believe your own lie that is being forced upon you by this evil menacing power behind the scene.
Alright, what do we see next? We see that Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit in Mark 9:25 Mark 9:25When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying to him, You dumb and deaf spirit, I charge you, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
American King James Version×: And the dumb and deaf spirit , it says here, came out of him , and he said, and entered him no more ! And suddenly the guy speaks. Wow! That’s quite a revelation!
And then we have another one, and you’ve heard of a spirit of infirmity . There are people who become sick, and sometimes their sickness is generated by fallen spirit influence. Now it’s a complicated issue – I’m not here to tell you all the ins and outs about these things; I don’t have all those ins and outs. But I have enough here from the word of God that tells you this, because you find that in the area of Luke 13:11 Luke 13:11And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.
American King James Version× . This was the woman that had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years – she’d gone here and gone there trying to find…and what was her spirit of infirmity? She was bowed over – she was like something had her bent over, and she couldn’t stand up erect. And it wasa spirit that was binding her, holding her over like that. And Jesus could recognize that; He saw it and He rebuked the spirit, and suddenly the woman stands up straight.
Now that doesn’t mean everybody who’s walking around, maybe bowed over, has a spirit…so you’ve always got to remember these things and put them in a balanced perspective. Or otherwise you’re going to go off the deep end thinking everything you see is “this and that” and it’s not what you see. You have to let the word of God be the guide in this area. Well, if you remember, on one occasion the apostle Paul , II Corinthians 12:7 , he had an incident where he was frustrated. Something was bothering him, and three times he went to God and asked for help and deliverance. And God answered and said, “ My grace is sufficient for you .” Now what was it that it was? It says, because of all the revelations Paul had from God, and lest I be made haughty , it says a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me …to keep me always off balance… lest I be made haughty …That again, from the Modern Kings James version.
Now what is he saying? Now you read the commentaries and they try to tell you what this thorn in the flesh is, and they say, well it might have been this with his eyes, and it might have been something else…they speculate. What is a messenger of Satan? A messenger of Satan very plainly is this: Another individual who is coming in and undermining everything that Paul was doing when he worked with the people. That’s why Galatians says: “ Who has bewitched you? ” Paul comes in, teaches one thing; this guy comes in and teaches something else to take away…this is Satan at work. You hear all kinds of things today: You hear this; you hear that. Satan’s at work on a vast area of individuals today.
Well, Scripture tells us in I Timothy 4:1 that there would be seducing spirits; there would be spirits of divination. And we find that in Acts 16:16 Acts 16:16And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
American King James Version× . This individual had a woman who did what? She brought tremendous amounts of revenue through her divination – or divining. The spirit of divination operates in the following areas…now you tell me if you’ve seen any of this; you be the judge. Have you seen anything in your life such as fortune tellers? Have you seen anything like witches? Oh yeah – they’re real! We have a big area here in the United States called the Religion of Wicca . And even in the United States Military now, these witches can practice their Pagan Cult activities within the United States Military. Oh, things are going on all over the place. What about palm and crystal ball? And tea leaf readers? Yep! They’re there! And why does God forbid it? Because again, you’re going to individual sources to find revealed knowledge that is naturally unknown. God asks us to come to Him with our requests.
God warns us against the spirit of divination and He tells us that in Leviticus 19:31 Leviticus 19:31Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
American King James Version×- He says:
Leviticus 19:31 Leviticus 19:31Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
American King James Version× If people consult with spirits of the dead …oh my!
And with television programs…people say, well you can turn those things on and people will go, and they want to talk about their deceased loved ones. Well the Bible says they’re dead and they know nothing – in the Book of Ecclesiastes. But here this guy purports to be talking with your ancestor from the past. Or as one particular lady, she wanted to make these people feel good because these people were concerned how their pets, their dogs and cats died, and did they “love me when I died?” “Yes, this cat here really loved you while you were alive!” “Now this dog is still waiting in heaven”, you know, “for you!” I’m being facetious now – but it’s crazy! Crazy that you would go and want to ask somebody to tell you, “How did my dead dog…did it really like me?” The word of God says: When you’re dead , you’re dead!
Those in the past, where God says in Leviticus 20:6 Leviticus 20:6And the soul that turns after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.
American King James Version×…Good News Bible…He says:
Leviticus 20:6 Leviticus 20:6And the soul that turns after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.
American King James Version× “If you go to people for advice from the spirits of the dead, I will turn against you and you no longer will be one of My people.”
Wow! That’s what happened in the Old Testament times: Any man, any woman who consults with spirits of the dead should be stoned to death and you’ll be responsible for your own death. Wow! That’s in Leviticus 20:27 Leviticus 20:27A man also or woman that has a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be on them.
American King James Version×.
Alright – final Scripture. Where do we go with all this, now that we know that that’s out there? Now we need a lot of help, and God has promised to help us. Ephesians 6:10 Ephesians 6:10Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
American King James Version×- He says:
Ephesians 6:10 Ephesians 6:10Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
American King James Version× Finally, my brethren, be strong …and how are you to be strong? … in the Lord …don’t try to tackle this element on your own - don’t think you’re smart enough to deal with it – these beings have been around a lot longer than any of us, and they have tremendous capability and powers that they use for evil. You’re told to guard your mind, and ask God to guide you and help you every day, to keep your mind clean and right . What did David say when he had strayed from the things of God? He says : “Create in me a clean heart, Oh Lord.” He says, “My hearts not clean right now.” “ And renew a right spirit within me.” We have to constantly ask God to do that. And finally he says: “be in the power of His might.”
So it is God’s power working in and through us that helps us to do these things. And then He says, again: We struggle, we wrestle not against flesh and blood …which means, armor up daily, folks…armor yourself up with the things that God outlines there, and know that with God’s help you will be victorious, because God has promised to be with you and fight your battles for you. You may not understand it right then and there, but you don’t have to…that’s the beauty of God’s calling. You don’t have to know everything; you don’t have to answer for everything. God has all the answers. He’s the One that asks us to trust Him and He will “hit the home run for us” and across the plate, and we will score big time in the kingdom of God. That’s a promise that God makes for each and every one of us. He loves us; He wants us to love Him in return. And how do we do that? By keeping His commandments… “If you love Me, keep My commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in My sight.”
May God grant us all, awareness of what we’re up against, and may we reach to God daily for the help we all need so desperately.