Sr. Pastor Darrell G Vaughn
Faithfulness – A Key Step to Happiness
Jan 27 2013; “The Unseen Battle!”
Sun AM Worship Can’t walk with God while Holding hands with the Devil.
Text Romans: 7:14-25 (King James Version)
“Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people.”
The Fields are
white and the laborers are few!
C.H. Spurgeon said, “If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if
the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;”
Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
Rom 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
Rom 7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Let’s pray. Father, Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.
Open my ears so I can hear
Your voice. Open my mind so I can understand Your Word.
And open my heart so I may receive all that You want me to receive. AMEN
Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For 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.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
In the heavenlies is where
the battles are.
For 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. [the heavenlies!]
The devil will not yield
ONE blessing without a fight. Spiritual battles in the air are far more serious
than we’ve ever imagined. The unseen spirit world is more real than the
temporary things we see with our eyes. Our enemy is not wicked people, or terrorists,
or the meanie in our workplace, or the President. Our enemy is Satan himself,
and his hosts.
Principalities=demons who have oversight over nations.
Powers=demons who have power over individuals.
Rulers of darkness=demons of hell in charge of Satan’s world affairs.
Spiritual wickedness=demons in charge of religion, which sends more to hell than anything else!
There is an unseen world with a great spiritual battle taking place.
Daniel prayed for God’s help for 3 weeks with no answer once, and finally an angel came to him and helped him. Daniel must have wondered what took so long.
12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me...
This is not an allegory, this is a true life experience! Here’s an angel delivering an answered prayer to a believer being resisted
We all have to fight our
own battles on a daily basis.
There are no conscientious objectors to this war. There are no deferments from this battlefield. Fame and fortune will not keep you out of the fight. John Daly, the PGA golfer, battles alcohol. Phil Mickelson battles arthritis. Mike Tyson battles anger. Drew Carey, the host of "The Price Is Right," battled depression so badly that twice, before he was 20-years-old, he attempted to take his own life. The truth is, we all fight our own wars, and we all face battles. Some will be physical, some emotional and some spiritual.
Everywhere you look, wars are being fought. There are wars between nations, wars between governments, wars between families, wars between spouses. Wars seem to be a constant, and people are always willing to fight.
So, how did these wars get started? How can we win? and How will it end?
Beginning with Genesis 3, the Bible tells a story about a warrior, who is also known as the Prince of Peace. He’s the only warrior capable of winning this war. He alone will have the victory, and He alone will bring us everlasting peace.
The story begins in the Garden of Eden. It was a place of perfect peace. There were only two people in the garden: Adam and Eve. They were at perfect peace with God, perfect peace with each other, and perfect peace with themselves. Then, something happened. It’s the most tragic event in human history. This event plunged our world into a war we continue to fight.
God’s solution to this problem is wrapped up in a single verse in Genesis 3. It’s a passage which provides hope in the midst of the new war. God said, And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.
Amazingly, peace is wrapped up in a promise and a prophecy. This verse promises that a warrior will come to rescue us from conflict; it prophesies that this warrior is none other than Jesus Christ.
What we lose track of, and what we need to hold onto is this fact — the story of the Warrior is the story of the Bible. Not only that, but this should also become the story of your life. We need a warrior who can fight and win the war, for us.
Law school professor, Edwin Keedy, from Penn University used to begin his first class every year by writing two numbers on the blackboard: 4 and 2, side-by-side.
He would ask, “What’s the solution?” Students would call out, "6." Others would cry out “2.” Then several would shout out, “8.” Keedy would shake his head no to each response. Finally, he would explain they all made one fatal error. “There’s one reason why you cannot find the solution, and that’s because you failed to ask the key question, ‘What’s the problem?’ Unless you know what the problem is, you will never find the solution.
Folks, we’re living in a world that’s trying to find a solution to a problem that it hasn’t properly identified. Nobody can deny our world is in a mess. It’s in a mess morally. People debate the definition and meaning of marriage. We face terrorism all around us. Nations are threatening nuclear weapons. We have an important election, with candidates who will put each other down at every opportunity. Things we were once told were wrong are now right, and what’s right is wrong.
This world is in a mess politically. There’s political unrest on almost every continent.
This world is in a mess economically. We’re currently experiencing the worst global crisis since the Great Depression. Cities and countries are declaring bankruptcy.
But all of these problems are a symptom of a greater problem: this world is in a mess spiritually. We have never seen more interest in spiritual things in our lifetime, yet there has never been more cultural and societal chaos than now.
The problem, in one sense, goes all the way back to a snake in the grass. If you aren’t familiar with the story, in short . . . God created Adam and Eve. He put them in a perfect environment — the Garden of Eden. There was absolutely nothing that could make them do wrong. There was absolutely no sin. There was no need for greed, because they had everything they could possibly want. God said they could eat from any tree in the garden, except for one tree. It was off limits.
Then came the snake ~ 1Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
2The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die'" (Genesis 3:1-3).
The Bible identifies this snake as satan, popularly known as the devil. All Adam and Eve had to do was simply say one single word, and they, and we, would have lived happily ever after. That word was NO! But they made the mistake of having a discussion with the devil. Let me warn you: never discuss anything with the devil.
Today, there are so many
of us who are struggling with deep sin issues because we’re willing to dialogue
with the devil.
That’s what happened to Eve ~ When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it (Genesis 3:6).
You might think – that was Adam and Eve. That wasn’t me. Just because they gave in to the devil doesn’t mean I will. But think about it this way: If they couldn’t defeat the devil in a perfect world, what chance do you have in the world we live in right now? You don’t have a chance apart from God.
We’re all caught up in sin. For some, it’s pretty deep stuff that we’re stuck in. Maybe you feel like you’re a slave to your sin. You might be trying to quit sinning,
Adam started a war he
couldn’t win, against an enemy he couldn’t beat. We face that same enemy, and
we fight that same war. However, we’re going to win, because we have a Warrior
who cannot lose.
Some men were talking about the body of Christ, about which part of His body they would like to be. One man said, “I would like to be his heart so I could love like He loves.” Another said, “I would like to be His eyes so that I could see and understand the way He sees and understands.” Another said, “I would like to be His brain so I could know everything He knows.” A last man, who had come from a hard, sinful life, who had been beaten and battered by the devil, until he gave his life to Jesus, smiled and said, “I would like to be one of His feet so I could bruise the devil’s head.” I guarantee you, that day is coming, because of the Warrior. And victory, forever, will be ours.
Listen to this verse
again: I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring
and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel (Genesis 3:15).
For the people of Israel, this verse represented hope. To satan, it was God’s
declaration of war. To Adam and Eve, it was a sign of God’s forgiveness.
Although Adam and Eve had disobeyed God, one of Eve’s descendants would give
birth to the one who would make things right.
The key to this verse is the phrase "her seed." The word seed is used over 300 times in the Bible, and this is the only time it is used to describe the seed of a woman. Every other time it describes the seed of a man. Technically and medically speaking, a woman does not have a seed. The woman has the egg; the man has the seed. Why would God speak of the seed of a woman? How can a woman have a seed?
There can only be one explanation, and it’s found in Isaiah 7:14: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. This was a prophecy about something only God could do. The Warrior is going to be a human being. He’s going to have an earthly mother. It says He is of the seed of a woman. He’s not going to have an earthly father. But we know every child has to have a father. Therefore, the only father this child will have is the heavenly Father.
This seed could not be a son of a man like Adam; he would have failed just like Adam. He had to be a human in order to fight and win the battle that Adam lost. But only a sinless man could undo what a sinful man had done. In order to be a sinless man, he also had to be divine. Only God is sinless. Therefore, this seed was both the Son of Man and the Son of God.
2Ti 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
2Ti 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
2Ti 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
2Ti 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
2Ti 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
2Ti 4:9 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:
2Ti 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
Test the Spirits
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. - 1 John 4:1
Never just accept a prophetic word regardless how gifted or important that person may be.
Not every voice we hear is from the Spirit of God. Satan has the ability to counterfeit spiritual gifts in order to bring confusion and allow us to take the wrong course.
His ability to
counterfeit includes the gift of prophecy.
Too often we forget that we live in a spiritual war zone. Remember, the devil will try to mislead you and will portray himself as the truth. Our spiritual battle is with the devil and his evil forces. But we who are Spirit-filled have the ability to expose his lies and wicked assignments.
And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. - 2 Corinthian 11:14-15
In order to be effective in discerning spirits, we need to be filled with the Spirit.
The anointing of God can
only be manifest in our lives if we have been baptized in the Holy Spirit.
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. - 1 Corinthians 2:14
In order to be able to discern whether something is of the Spirit of God or not, we need to have the Spirit of God because in the natural we are not able to discern spiritual matters. It is only by receiving God's Spirit and being transformed by His Word that we are able to discern whether spirits are of God or not.
The Word of God
If we study the Word and are mature in the Scriptures, we can test the spirits and know what is right or wrong. The first test will always be whether anyone or anything contradicts Scripture.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17
It is important to weigh up what a person does and says in the light of Scripture.
The testimony of Jesus
The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. - Revelation 19:10
If a prophecy does not sound as if Jesus would have said it and you feel uneasy in your spirit, then it has probably come from another source and not from the Spirit of God.
Jesus has come in the flesh
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. - 1 John 4:2-3
Make sure the person or spirit acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.
Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. - 2 John 7
Jesus is God
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe they shudder. - James 2:19
The devil and his followers acknowledge Jesus but do not confess Him as Lord. The evil spirits in Jesus’ day recognized Him during His ministry on earth. They acknowledged Jesus as the Son of God and acknowledged His ministry.
But they will not acknowledge Him as Lord and Messiah. The litmus test for every religion or religious group in the world is to check what they say about Jesus.
Many false religions today can be easily and quickly exposed by asking them what they believe about Jesus. They will mention Him by name and say they believe in Him. They will even believe that He is the Son of God. That is why so many people follow after false religions and cults.
The difference is that although they believe Jesus is the Son of God, they do not necessarily accept that He is equally God with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit and an equal member of the Godhead.
These are some of the questions that you should ask that will enable you to tell whether a person or spirit is true or false:
* Do you believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ?
* Do you believe that Jesus died upon the cross, was buried, and rose again physically after three days?
* Do you believe that Jesus ascended bodily into Heaven after His resurrection?
* Do you believe that Jesus is the only way to eternal life and salvation?
* Do you believe that Jesus is a member of the Godhead and that He is God the Son?
* Do you believe that Jesus Christ always existed and that He is the Creator of the universe?
Love the name of Jesus
No evil spirit will invite people to accept Jesus into their lives because they hate the name of Jesus. That is why the devil rebelled against Him. He wanted to be like Jesus, but could not be like Him, because he was not made in the image of God. That is why he is intent on destroying the lives of people, because they are made in the image of God.
Every spirit sent from God will glorify God and worship God. True messengers of God do not receive worship for themselves.
At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” - Revelation 19:10
By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. - Matthew 7:16-20
Test the lives of those pretending to be sent by God. Test whether there are inconsistencies in their lives. Test to see if they are relying on God only for direction or whether they are basing their teachings on writings from men. Any inconsistencies like these will reveal to you if they are from God or not.
Spirit of mockery
First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. - 2 Peter 3:3
Today there are many Christians who mock other Christians and ministries. This is motivated by a spirit of pride and they tend to despise and badmouth other servants of the Lord.
The devil is the accuser of the brethren. Anyone who criticizes and constantly accuses other believers is operating from a demonic spirit. The Spirit of God is motivated by love and respect for others.
Spirit of the dead
If the spirit of a dead relative or friend appears to you, it is not an angel from God. God's angels do not inhabit human bodies or join themselves to human spirits. God's angels do not draw attention to other beings other than Jesus and the Father.
Against your will
Anyone who forces you to do something against your will is not from God. God's Spirit in you will lead and guide you into all truth. You will have an inner peace with what you are prompted to do and you will know that it is from God.
The Spirit of Truth
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. - John 16:13
Remember, only God's Holy Spirit will lead you to the truth. The devil will lead you to a mixture of truths and lies.