Reading: 2 Corinthians 11:12-15, 1 Peter 5:6-11
[a] This morning, we thought of evil powers operating within the
world today, and especially mentioned demons, and how active they
are in today's world.
[b] Some time ago, Nicky Cruz, the converted New York gang-leader,
[c] In his book, 'Satan on the Loose', he tells how his father was
involved deeply in witchcraft.
[d] Now we might say, "How awful!" But the fact is that he was famous
all over the country, for the apparent 'good works' which he
accomplished through supernatural powers.
[a] Because the end product of something seems to be 'good', we can be
duped into thinking that it must come from God! But this is not so!
[b] Let us remember that the devil is the 'GREAT DECEIVER', who can at
times appear as an 'angel of light' but is in reality more like 'a
roaring lion' seeking whom he may devour! (2 Cor. 11:14, 1 Peter 5:8)
[*] He's more like the pervert who goes up to the innocent little
child, pretending friendship and offering sweets!
[c] In Roman mythology, the god Janus, from whom we get the name for
the month of January, had two faces, one on the front of his head, and
one on the back, so that he could look in two directions at once, and
nothing could creep up on him unawares.
[d] You've heard of PEOPLE being TWO-FACED!! Maybe you even know some!!
They appear to be your best friend, and when you're not looking, stick
the metaphorical knife between your shoulder blades!
[e] Well, here is the mastermind himself!! He is the teacher - the
original, always pretending to be something he isn't - RIGHT FROM THE
BEGINNING IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN, WHEN HE DECEIVED EVE INTO EATING THE
HE HAS NOT CHANGED, SO LET US BEWARE!
[a] In some recent Bible studies on the Gifts of the Spirit, I stressed
very strongly, that for everything God gives to us, and for
everything He does through the Christian, THE DEVIL HAS A COUNTERFEIT!!
This can include, healings, supernatural revelation, speaking in other
tongues, the apparent casting out of demons, and a host of other, often
seemingly respectable, and dare I say even 'Christian like' things!
[b] This comes out very clearly in Nicky Cruz's book.
He tells how his father's fame as a healer was spread abroad, and
people came from all parts to seek help and even deliverance from
[c] Nicky, as a young boy witnessed many of these 'healings'.
In his book, he tells very graphically of one such occasion.
He says that a man was brought who seemed very ill, and there was a
huge swelling in his leg. Nicky got the impression that he would not
have long to live.
He says his father covered the leg with 'healing leaves' from the
garden, prayed to a certain spirit for deliverance, sprinkled water
over the leaves, getting the man to drink the rest.
Nicky says, that as he watched, five long things like worms slithered
out of the man's toe, as the swelling began to go down.
Such stories as this are not uncommon in countries where black magic
and witchcraft are openly practised!
[d] In fact it was not unknown for Nicky's father to CAST OUT EVIL
SPIRITS, on one occasion casting the spirit into a lizard, which took
off like a scalded cat!
[a] There are demons today whose work it is, to lead the victim into -
Whilst it is of course by no means always the case, there are many
people today who are DEPRESSED by a demonic force, and are seeking the
answer in drugs and therapy - without success!!
There are also many people today who are held in the grip of an
OBSESSION of FEAR, SEX, HATE OR VIOLENCE! It is destroying their
lives, and there seems to be no escape. They cannot seem to break
POSSESSION is where the whole personality of the person is literally
taken over by demonic control!
It is a demon, living it's life or existence through that person! It is
giving the demon a body of flesh and blood through which they can
perform their evil work.
People such as spiritist mediums (or spiritualists, as they prefer
rather incorrectly to be known), fortune tellers, witches - both black
and white, astrologers, and some so called healers, can often be
the tangible form of a controlling demon.
If anyone exercises a supernatural power, and it doesn't come from God,
there is only one other place from which it can come - the devil and
[*] Much time in any war, is spent in intelligence gathering about the
opposing forces, without which, the fighting forces don't know what
they're up against, and would be at a great disadvantage!
IF WE ARE TO FIGHT OUR ENEMY SUCCESSFULLY, WE MUST KNOW HIM, IN ALL HIS
GUILE, AND ALL HIS POWER! WE MUST KNOW WHAT WE'RE UP AGAINST!
WE MUST THEN ACQUAINT OURSELVES WITH THE POWER AT OUR DISPOSAL FROM THE
HAND OF GOD - WORK OUT OUR STRATEGY AND GO FORWARD TO VICTORY!
[a] We must be aware, as Christians, of the evil spirit forces
[b] If we are not aware of the enemy, we will not be able to fight him,
[c] I mentioned this morning, how Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 that we
do not war against natural forces of flesh and blood, but
against the invisible forces of darkness, which have enormous power
to try and destroy the Christian who is not aware and vigilant, and
living close to their Lord!
[d] The devil likes nothing better, than when people think he doesn't
exist, and he therefore can continue his evil work without hindrance!
[e] Standing for Christ in this evil world, not only means knowing what
we stand FOR, but also what we stand AGAINST!!
[f] If we are to have both the spiritual power to defend ourselves
against these forces, and also to fight the tide of evil sweeping our
world, we must live close to the Lord, and be sensitive to His leading!
SALVATION ARMY SONG BOOK