Be Aware! Spiritual renewal brings attacks! (Part 5)
April 19, 2023
Spiritual renewal brings attacks!
Any time that God does something fresh in your life, Satan and his kingdom will seek to attack and oppose you!
Be aware and be prepared.
Ephesians 6:10-18 (MEV)
Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your waist girded with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 having your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace, 16 and above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the fiery arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit always with all kinds of prayer and supplication. To that end be alert with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
The beginning of Jesus’ ministry
Matthew 3:13 – 4:11 (NLT)
Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?”
15 But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him.
16 After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. 2 For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.
3 During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.”
4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say,
‘People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, 6 and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say,
‘He will order his angels to protect you.
And they will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’”
7 Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the LORD your God.’”
8 Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.”
10 “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say,
‘You must worship the LORD your God
and serve only him.’”
11 Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.
Luke 4:13 (NLT)
When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.
Betrayal by Judas
Luke 22:1-6 (NLT)
The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is also called Passover, was approaching. 2 The leading priests and teachers of religious law were plotting how to kill Jesus, but they were afraid of the people’s reaction. 3 Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, 4 and he went to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them. 5 They were delighted, and they promised to give him money. 6 So he agreed and began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest him when the crowds weren’t around.
Peter and John persecuted
Acts 4:1-10 (NLT)
While Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees. 2 These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead. 3 They arrested them and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning. 4 But many of the people who heard their message believed it, so the number of men who believed now totaled about 5,000.
5 The next day the council of all the rulers and elders and teachers of religious law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, along with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other relatives of the high priest. 7 They brought in the two disciples and demanded, “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?”
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, 9 are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? 10 Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead.
Persecution in Jerusalem
The Holy Spirit was poured out.
Thousands were saved.
The lame man was healed.
The church grew at an astonishing rate.
Stephen was martyred.
Acts 8:1-7 (NLT)
A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria. 2 (Some devout men came and buried Stephen with great mourning.) 3 But Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison. 4 But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went. 5 Philip, for example, went to the city of Samaria and told the people there about the Messiah. 6 Crowds listened intently to Philip because they were eager to hear his message and see the miraculous signs he did. 7 Many evil spirits were cast out, screaming as they left their victims. And many who had been paralyzed or lame were healed.
After Philip’s Ministry in Samaria
Acts 9:1-2 (NLT)
Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest. 2 He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains.
Paul’s conversion and preaching
Acts 9:22-25 (NLT)
Saul’s preaching became more and more powerful, and the Jews in Damascus couldn’t refute his proofs that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. 23 After a while some of the Jews plotted together to kill him. 24 They were watching for him day and night at the city gate so they could murder him, but Saul was told about their plot. 25 So during the night, some of the other believers lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the city wall.
Persecution through Herod
Acts 12:1-19 (NLT)
About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. 2 He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. 3 When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration.) 4 Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover. 5 But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.
Peter’s Miraculous Escape from Prison
6 The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. 7 Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. 8 Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered.
9 So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. 10 They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him.
11 Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!”
12 When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer. 13 He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!”
15 “You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.”
16 Meanwhile, Peter continued knocking. When they finally opened the door and saw him, they were amazed. 17 He motioned for them to quiet down and told them how the Lord had led him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers what happened,” he said. And then he went to another place.
18 At dawn there was a great commotion among the soldiers about what had happened to Peter. 19 Herod Agrippa ordered a thorough search for him. When he couldn’t be found, Herod interrogated the guards and sentenced them to death. Afterward Herod left Judea to stay in Caesarea for a while.
Methods of attack
Sun Tzu –The Art of War quote:
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.
If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.
If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
1. The world:
1 John 2:15-17 (NKJV)
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
1 John 2:15-17 (NLT)
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
Lust of the flesh.
James 1:14 (NKJV)
But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
Romans 6:19 (AMP)
I am speaking in familiar human terms because of your natural limitations. For as you yielded your bodily members [and faculties] as servants to impurity and ever increasing lawlessness, so now yield your bodily members [and faculties] once for all as servants to righteousness (right being and doing) [which leads] to sanctification.
The residual effects of the past life and habits must be trained out of you mind, emotions, and body by mind renewal.
1 Corinthians 9:27 (NLT)
I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:27 (GW)
Rather, I toughen my body with punches and make it my slave so that I will not be disqualified after I have spread the Good News to others.
1 Corinthians 9:27 (ESV)
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:1 (Wuest – The New Testament: An Expanded Translation)
I therefore beg of you, please, brethren, through the instrumentality of the aforementioned mercies of God, by a once-for-all presentation to place your bodies at the disposal of God, a sacrifice, a living one, a holy one, well-pleasing, your rational, sacred service, [rational, in that this service is performed by the exercise of the mind].
Lust of the eyes.
Psalms 101:1-3 (NLT)
I will sing of your love and justice, LORD. I will praise you with songs. 2 I will be careful to live a blameless life— when will you come to help me? I will lead a life of integrity
in my own home. 3 I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them.
I have made a covenant with my eyes;
Why then should I look upon a young woman?
Matthew 5:28 (NKJV)
But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Pride of life.
Isaiah 57:15 (NLT)
The high and lofty one who lives in eternity,
the Holy One, says this:
“I live in the high and holy place
with those whose spirits are contrite and humble.
I restore the crushed spirit of the humble
and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.
1 Peter 5:5-6 (AMP)
Likewise, you who are younger and of lesser rank, be subject to the elders (the ministers and spiritual guides of the church)—Give. Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility [as the garb of a servant,so that its covering cannot possibly be stripped from you, with freedom from pride and arrogance] toward one another. For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)—[and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble. 6 Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you,
3 Keys to living free from the pull of the flesh:
1. Maintain a strong devotional life with Jesus.
Matthew 4:4 (NKJV)
But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
John 6:63 (NKJV)
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
2. Watch your close friendships.
1 Corinthians 15:33 (AMP)
Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character.
3. Draw a line of demarcation between you and what could tempt you to stray from Jesus.
2. Mental Harassment:
Worry or mental intoxication
Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
Philippians 4:6 (PHILLIPS)
Don’t worry over anything whatever; tell God every detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer, and the peace of God which transcends human understanding, will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 5:7 (AMP)
Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns,once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV)
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
1 Peter 5:8 (Wuest – The New Testament: An Expanded Translation)
Be of a sober mind, be watchful. Your adversary who is a slanderer, namely, the devil, as a lion roaring in fierce hunger, is constantly walking about, always seeking someone to be devouring.
1 Peter 5:8 (GW)
Keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion as he looks for someone to devour.
Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)
You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Psalms 19:14 (NKJV)
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.
Psalms 119:11 (NKJV)
Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.
Joshua 1:8 (NKJV)
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Colossians 3:2-3 (AMP)
And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.
3 For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God.
Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Colossians 3:16 (NKJV)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
John 14:26 (NKJV)
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
3. Mind games
2 Corinthians 2:11 (MEV)
Lest Satan should take advantage of us. For we are not ignorant of his devices.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (MEV)
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, 5 casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is complete.
3. Envy and strife – discord
James 3:13-18 (MEV)
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show his works by his good life in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, do not boast and do not lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, and devilish. 16 For where there is envying and strife, there is confusion and every evil work. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
4. Deception with false doctrine.
1 Timothy 4:1-5 (MEV)
Now the Spirit clearly says that in the last times some will depart from the faith and pay attention to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and not to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
Dake Study Bible Notes)
Forbidding to marry (1Tim. 4:3). To forbid means to prohibit, hinder, oppose, or operate against. Seducing spirits influence people to hinder and operate against wedlock by enticing them to meet the demands of the sex drive apart from the sanctity of marriage. To heed (as in “giving heed to seducing spirits,” 1Tim. 4:1) means to pay attention to and act under the leadership and control of. Hence, those who satisfy their sex needs through perversions–any of the ways contrary to what is approved by Scripture–are under the control, more or less, of demons (Rom. 1:21-28 Lev. 20:13; Joel 3:3). This also applies to religions that discourage or forbid marriage to anyone among laymen or clergy. Marriage is honorable to all and the bed undefiled (Heb. 13:4; 1Cor. 7).
(Dake Study Bible Notes)
Commanding to abstain from meats (1Tim. 4:3). Among the heathen and even some of the so-called Christians, certain meats and food are forbidden in utter disregard of 1Tim. 4:3-4. Such unscriptural commanding under the new covenant is prompted by demons arrayed against the gospel and the liberty it provides regarding food (Gen. 9:1-7 Rom. 14:1-6).
(Fire Bible Study Notes) 4:3
THEY FORBID PEOPLE TO MARRY AND ORDER THEM TO ABSTAIN.
This sort of extreme unbiblical asceticism (i.e., self-denial) stemmed from the belief that the material world was completely evil–a main concept of the heresy (i.e., false teaching) of Gnosticism. Its basic teaching was that spirit is entirely good, while matter (i.e., the physical world) is entirely evil. This led to the belief that salvation was achieved through escape from the body, which came not by faith in Christ, but by special knowledge (the Greek word for “knowledge” is gnosis; cf. 6:20). This misguided belief caused some people to reject Jesus’ true humanity and to accept strange ideas about Jesus. Some claimed that Jesus only appeared to have a body. Others believed that a spiritual Christ was separate from the physical Jesus and that they were joined only between Jesus’ baptism and just before he died. This philosophy also led to extreme asceticism (i.e., denying and even punishing the body) since the physical body was considered evil (cf. Col 2:21-23). On the other extreme, this belief also led to sexual promiscuity and other activities that were meant to satisfy other physical desires because some people felt it did not matter what they did with their physical bodies. As long as they had the right beliefs, they felt that their physical actions did not affect them spiritually. A form of these same lies still infects some people’s religious beliefs and personal lifestyles. Even in the church today, there are people who feel that it does not matter how they behave as long as they have the right spiritual beliefs.
2 Timothy 4:1-5 (MEV)
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word, be ready in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching. 3 For the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine, but they will gather to themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, having itching ears, 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn to myths. 5 But be self-controlled in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, and prove your ministry.
2 Timothy 4:1-5 (AMP)
1 I CHARGE [you] in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who is to judge the living and the dead, and by (in the light of) His coming and His kingdom:
2 Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. [Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong.] And convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching.
3 For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold,
4 And will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions.
5 As for you, be calm and cool and steady, accept and suffer unflinchingly every hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fully perform all the duties of your ministry.
2 Timothy 4:1-4 (TPT)
Paul’s Farewell Message
1 Timothy, in the presence of our great God and our Lord Jesus Christ, the One who is destined to judge both the living and the dead by the revelation of his kingdom—I solemnly instruct you to 2 proclaim the Word of God and stand upon it no matter what! Rise to the occasion and preach when it is convenient and when it is not. Preach in the full expression of the Holy Spirit —with wisdom and patience as you instruct and teach the people. 3 For the time is coming when they will no longer listen and respond to the healing words of truth because they will become selfish and proud. They will seek out teachers with soothing words that line up with their desires, saying just what they want to hear. 4 They will close their ears to the truth and believe nothing but fables and myths.
Romans 1:21-32 (NLT)
21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.
28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. 32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.
(Fire Bible Study Notes) 1:27 MEN … WITH OTHER MEN. This passage gives the picture of homosexual and lesbian activity as one of the greatest evidences of human rebellion, corruption and a drive for self-satisfaction. The choice comes from the rejection of God’s pattern for behavior. So God allows those who insist to go their own way (see previous note; see Ge 19:4-5; Lev 18:22). Any nation that justifies homosexuality or lesbianism as a perfectly acceptable lifestyle is in its final stages of moral corruption (see v. 24, note), a fact proven throughout the history of nations. For other Bible passages on this type of behavior, see Ge 19:4-9; Lev 20:13; Dt 23:17; 1Ki 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; Isa 3:9; 1Co 6:9-10; 1Ti 1:10; 2Pe 2:6; Jude 1:7.
Notice also that failing to depend on God and refusing to follow his ways result in many other forms of ungodly behavior that “ought not to be done” (see vv. 28-31)–things that are equally detestable to God. Some of the sins mentioned in this list are surprisingly common (e.g., greed, gossip, arrogance, disobedience to parents). In God’s view, sin is sin; and it all represents defiance against him. People who are guilty of any of these things–just as those involved in homosexual behavior–must acknowledge their sin against God, accept his forgiveness, yield their lives to his Son, Jesus, and submit to his leadership. As they rely on God to change and transform their lives, the Holy Spirit will begin to work within them, helping them to overcome and find a higher fulfillment in their lives.
(Fire Bible Study Notes) 1:32 APPROVE OF THOSE WHO PRACTICE THEM. Paul concludes this passage on human sinfulness and corruption by confronting a condition that is equally as serious–in some ways more so. The apostle is grieved over the reality that some have been supporting and encouraging evil by taking pleasure in the immoral actions of others, and thereby showing their approval of these acts. Approving and defending ungodliness causes it to multiply in a society much faster than the sinful acts themselves. (1) The word “approve” (Gk suneudokeö), meaning “agree with,” “consent to” or “sympathize with,” points to the casual enjoyment of the sins of others. It is the highest expression of corruption when sin and sensual behavior become a form of entertainment.
(2) Today many experience the great harm a society can suffer when it saturates itself with all kinds of crude and godless examples that fill so many of our venues of entertainment, e.g., movies, books, magazines, theaters and television. Yet, many people (young and old) approve of and take pleasure in what will destroy them in the end. Even Christians can find themselves drawn into this hopeless path, using any number of misguided excuses. They may call it harmless fun, a means of socializing, an experience that teaches reality or helps them to relate to the culture. But being entertained by watching other people sin and engage in ungodly actions, even though you yourself do not participate, does not please God any more than those who are sinning directly.
(3) Those (especially Christians) who use the immoral actions of others as entertainment are directly contributing to the public’s tolerant and favorable opinion of moral indecency and spiritual insensitivity. This careless attitude allows the influence of evil to increase by encouraging people to keep doing what they are doing. Approval discourages any sense of guilt or shame, so there seems to be no reason to change or stop. But the end result of such a path is spiritual and eternal destruction on the day of judgment (2Th 2:12).
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NLT)
9 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Leviticus 18:21-28 (NLT)
21 “Do not permit any of your children to be offered as a sacrifice to Molech, for you must not bring shame on the name of your God. I am the LORD.
22 “Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.
23 “A man must not defile himself by having sex with an animal. And a woman must not offer herself to a male animal to have intercourse with it. This is a perverse act.
24 “Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, for the people I am driving out before you have defiled themselves in all these ways. 25 Because the entire land has become defiled, I am punishing the people who live there. I will cause the land to vomit them out. 26 You must obey all my decrees and regulations. You must not commit any of these detestable sins. This applies both to native-born Israelites and to the foreigners living among you.
27 “All these detestable activities are practiced by the people of the land where I am taking you, and this is how the land has become defiled. 28 So do not defile the land and give it a reason to vomit you out, as it will vomit out the people who live there now.
Jude 1:3-7 (NLT)
The Danger of False Teachers
3 Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. 4 I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
5 So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later he destroyed those who did not remain faithful. 6 And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness,
waiting for the great day of judgment. 7 And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment.
Use your God given authority over Satan!
3 reasons for problems:
1. Physical Issue
2. Sin issue/personal responsibility issue
3. Demonic Influence
Definition – Authority
A power to require and receive submission; the right to expect obedience; superiority derived from a status that carries with it the right to command and give final decisions; delegated power over others.
Satan was removed by God from his original position in heaven and fell to the earth.
Luke 10:17,18 (NLT)
When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!” “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning!”
God gave man an original time-limited authority over the earth.
God gave mankind a measure of His all-authority when He created Him. He became God’s under-ruler on the earth.
Genesis 1:26-28 (NKJV)
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (27) So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (28) Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
When Adam sinned, mankind’s God-given authority was usurped by Satan, and he became the god of this world.
Luke 4:5-6 (NKJV)
Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.
Satan now has a legal right to be here and rule over mankind and the earth.
His purpose is to kill, to steal, and to destroy, and to hinder God’s purposes on the earth.
Jesus has defeated Satan and restored to the church Adam’s lost dominion.
Today, for this period of “Adam’s lease,” God has to have permission to invade earth with His ability and power. Our prayers and our faith give God permission to invade our lives and circumstances with His grace, His mercy, and His provision!
Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Jesus went to the cross as the representative man.
Second Adam/Last Adam – 1 Corinthians 15
Became our sinned, judged for our sin, raised from death when our sin debt was paid.
Dethroned Satan for us!
Revelation 1:18 (NKJV)
I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of death.
Jesus regained our original authority for us.
Notice these scriptures:
Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
This was before the cross. Jesus gave His disciples the authority of His personage by the use of His name. His name represents all that He is!
Authority – Exousia
1 Corinthians 2:6 (NKJV)
However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.
Who are coming to nothing:
who are being brought to nothing and are doomed to pass away.
Who are in the process of being liquidated.
Youngs Literal Translation:
Of those becoming useless.
the dethroned powers that rule this world.
Colossians 1:13 (AMPC)
[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
Colossians 2:15 (NLT)
In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.
Colossians 2:15 (NKJV)
Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
Colossians 2:15 (AMPC)
[God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross].
Colossians 2:15 (MSG)
He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.
Colossians 2:15 (God’s Word)
He stripped the rulers and authorities of their power and made a public spectacle of them as he celebrated his victory in Christ.
Colossians 2:15 (J.B. Phillips)
And then, having drawn the sting of all the powers and authorities ranged against us, He exposed them, shattered, empty and defeated, in His own triumphant victory.
(Wuest Word Studies – includes articles) The principalities and authorities here are the same as in Ephesians 6:12, the demons of Satan in the atmosphere of this earth. Our Lord, after His death on the Cross, needed to present Himself at the heavenly Mercy Seat in His bloodless body glorified, as the great High Priest, thus completing the atonement, fulfilling the O.T. type when the High Priest on the Day of Atonement killed the sacrifice at the Brazen Altar and then carried the blood into the Holy of Holies, sprinkling it on the Mercy Seat, thus completing in type the atonement for sin. In order to do this, our Lord had to pass through the kingdoms of Satan in the air. The demons offered opposition. He, stripping them off and away from Himself (apekduomai spoiled A.V.), displayed them boldly (deigmatizo, “to make an example of,” “made a shew of” A.V.), leading them in triumph in it. These are the captives taken by our Lord in His ascension as He left the tomb.
If you’ve been watching scary sci-fi’s, or movies like Polterguist or _____, you need to reinforce the fact that you have authority…
Ephesians 1:19-23 (NLT)
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.
Ephesians 2:6 (NLT)
For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.
Now you can understand James 4:7
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
James 4:7 (NEB)
Stand up to the Devil and he will turn and run
Matthew 18:18-20 (MEV)
Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19 Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are assembled in My name, there I am in their midst.
Luke 10:19-20 (MEV)
Look, I give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. And nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
Ephesians 2:1-6 (MEV)
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the age of this world and according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among them we all also once lived in the lusts of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and we were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in sins, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and He raised us up and seated us together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Philippians 2:9-11 (MEV)
Therefore God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name which is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
James 4:7 (MEV)
Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Revelation 12:11 (MEV)
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.
3 weapons you should use:
The name of Jesus
The blood of Jesus
Praise and worship