Creflo Dollar - Understanding Satan's Mode of Operation - Part 2
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I don't think we've talked enough about choice and the power of choice. We spent more time blaming the devil for something and looking for excuses for not accepting responsibility for choices that we've made. We've accepted responsibility for choices that we've made, and we've got to ask God to help us to choose right and how to choose differently. Isaiah 26:3, Isaiah 26:3. Lord, help me to choose right. That's a before you leave the home prayer. Lord, help me to make right decisions today. Inspire me to choose right and make the right decisions today, in the name of Jesus. All right, watch this, verse 3: "Thou will keep him in perfect peace".
How many want to be in perfect peace? Look at what you've gotta choose, "whose mind is stayed on thee". "Well, I don't feel like getting my mind stayed on him". Well, that's your choice. That's your choice. But if you choose to allow your mind to just be stayed on him, because you trust in him, when you trust in him, your mind's gonna be stayed on him. This is a perfect illustration of practicing the presence of the Holy Spirit. It's really getting your mind focused on him all day. You're just thinking about him. You're thanking him. You're praising him. You're thinking about him. You're talking to him. You're asking questions. You go into a worship period. You're constantly just focused on him. It doesn't mean you have to fall out at work or break out in tongues at lunch. This is between you and your Father. It's like a private conversation that's inwardly taking place between you and him, and your mind is stayed on him.
And the peace that you'll have, while everybody else is worrying about if they're gonna have a job. Is the job gonna close up? You good, dude. You're just, you're just, I have chosen to keep my mind stayed on him. I have a choice. You know, it's amazing the number of Scriptures we read, and I'm realizing that's a choice. This is a choice, "whose mind is stayed on thee," because I trust him. Trusting him is a choice. You have to choose to trust him. God's not gonna make you do any of these things. You have to choose to trust him. And when you choose to trust him, choose to keep your mind stayed on him, I'll tell you what, you're gonna get, you're gonna be a beneficiary of walking down that right path that you have chosen to walk down.
Now, this is very specific on his MO in Ephesians chapter 6:10, Ephesians chapter 6:10. This is good now. He says, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord". Be strong in the Lord. How do you do that? Be strong in the Lord. I mean, what does that look like, if we're on the path, being strong in the Lord? What's happening with me is I'm just not, I'm not, I'm not rocking with just reading the Scripture and not knowing how to, you know, what does it look like on a practical level? What does it look like? "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and be strong in the ability of His might, the power of His might". What does it look like? Verse 11, he says, "Put on the whole armor of God".
What does that look like? "...that you might be able to stand against the wiles or the deception or trickery of the devil. Put on the whole armor of God. Be strong in the Lord. Put on the whole armor of God, that you might be able to stand against the wiles of the devil". Verse 12, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood". So, our fight is not against human beings, but our fight, check this out, it's against demonic principalities. It's against demonic powers. It's against demonic rulers of the darkness of this world, and it's against spiritual wickedness in high places. These are the one, two, three, four, five classes of demonic spirits. Okay. Powers is the lowest... well, principalities the lowest, then followed by powers, then the rulers of the darkness of this world, then spiritual wickedness in heavenly places, principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness.
Against this, of the world, and spiritual wickedness in heavenly places. Four headings of demonic activity. And from these headings, you have the lower case or the lower operations of demonic activity. But notice he says that our wrestling is not against human beings. So, your problem is not your boss. Your problem is not your wife. Your problem is not your husband. Okay? Your problem is not your friend. Your problem is either principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in high places. Remember, they cannot operate in this physical realm without a physical body. That's why we have a physical body. It gives us authority in this physical world. When you die, you leave the physical house. It goes into a box and in the ground. I don't know if I'll have time to get to this, but the Scriptures talks about when this guy was possessed with a demon, and they cast the demon out, and they said, you know, if we don't fill it with something, that demon goes, and he comes back with seven more.
Okay. Because there's nothing, there's nothing in there. And the problem with the world today is this is a gigantic fantasy and joke to the rest of the world, while they are continuing to make themselves subject to demonic powers and don't even know it. But you, as Christians, you need to be able to recognize it. You need to be able to recognize when one of these classes are operating through somebody; and if necessary, in some cases, to cast it out. But you'd better know what you're doing. Don't go in there playing now. There's a story in the book of Acts, where these professional exorcists were going in. And this man was possessed with demons, and they came in and they said, "We adjure you by Paul". And the demons stopped, and they said, "Paul we know". They said, "Jesus we know". Watch this. They said, "Who are you"?
Now every demon ought to know you. If they say, "Who are you"? And the Bible says that they stripped them of their clothes and violently ran them out. And this is very interesting to be able to see stuff like this, especially when I was in foreign countries or on the islands. They were really strong there, and they rose up. And I'm like you've gotta know who you are. You can't be traveling somewhere trying to be faith. A demon can pick up faith. This sermon is for somebody. You'd better open your eyes. There is the strongest demonic activity I have seen in my lifetime now, and it's everywhere. It's in government, it's in schools, it's in children, it's in teenagers, it's everywhere, and people have been blinded. And that's what the Bible says. He wants to blind those who believe not, so that the light of the glorious gospel won't come in. And it's amazing, but he's blinding a lot of Christians to the light of the glorious gospel. Amen?
So, these are classes. Look at verse 13. While we're there, let's just go ahead. "Wherefore," since these demonic spirits exist, "take unto you the whole armor of God", well, what's the armor of God? Is it something hanging up in our closet? "...take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day". Now, your evil day may not be my evil day, but you've got an evil day coming, an evil day where he's going to try to steal, kill, destroy. Some of you, he just try to kill, just try to get you out the way. That evil day comes. "...and having done all to stand," he said do what? "...stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith".
The shield of faith, he says something, and you raise up what the Word says. He says something, and you say what the Word says. He says something, you say what the Word says. He throws a suggestion, you think what the Word says. Okay? "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God". You know what he's talking about getting clothed with? The Word of God. You know the army he's talking about? The Word of God. He's saying, "Put on the Word of God". Just like you get dressed every day, you ought to put the Word on every day. Put that Word on every single day. Put on your identity, your righteousness. Take the shield of faith, so every time he's saying something that doesn't go with the Word, that you're saying something that the Word has to say, and you'll quench every fiery dart that the wicked, he say you gonna die.
You say, "No, by his stripes I were healed, I is healed, and I will live and not die, and give glory to the Lord Jesus". You don't sit there and just listen to what he's saying. You don't catch thoughts with thoughts. You catch thoughts with Word. In fact, let's go there, 1 Corinthians...excuse me, 2 Corinthians chapter 10:3, 2 Corinthians chapter 10:3. An organized system of thought, that's what we're after as Christians, an organized system of thought. Look at this, verse 3. "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh". Verse 4, "(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal," or fleshly, "but they're mighty through God," and this weapon pulls down strongholds. A stronghold is a fortified thought in your mind that the enemy has put in there. I ain't no good. I ain't gonna never be nothing. All that...no, no, no, no, no. You can pull those strongholds down. How? By speaking the Word of God.
You don't fight thoughts with thoughts. You fight thoughts with words. Remember the illustration I've done 100,000 times since I've been pastoring here? We're gonna do it again. All right. I want you to count to yourself. Count from 1 to 10 to yourself. You know, in other words, don't open your mouth up. Okay? Ready, go. Now shout your name. What happened to your counting in your head? It stopped because your mouth opened up and said something. Right? All right, and that comprehension has to try to hear what your mouth was saying. That's how you handle it. When the enemy is doing something in your head, open your mouth and speak the Word of God. You don't have to yell it, but open your mouth and speak the Word of God. If you're hearing something you know is contrary to the Word, the way you catch thoughts and cast thoughts down is with your words. Open your mouth. Say something out loud. You might just had a crazy dream.
You might want to open your mouth and say, "That ain't never gonna happen to me". Open your mouth. Okay? He said, "Casting down imagination and every high thing". A high thing is the high thought that's in the world. A high thing is, you know, the world, people that are not saved live based on the norms and values that have been established by the majority of people in the world. If everybody says this is okay, then that becomes a norm. It's okay. If everybody says that's acceptable, then that's a norm. That becomes the norm, and that's what's valued. It may not agree with the Word of God, but the whole world says it's fine. Then everybody says it's fine. And if you'll look very carefully, that's what's happening right now. What's happening in the world is based on norms and values. If the world says it's okay, it's okay. And that's what we live by, norms and values. We don't live by the standard of God's Word.
And so what happens is if you allow yourself to determine your morals, based on the norms and values of the world, you could run the risk of realizing that it's not based on the Word of God. So, the high thought or the high thing is the norm and the values that have been established by the world. They think that's okay, so you should think it's okay. He says to cast down... now another word, the actual word for imaginations is cast down reasonings, reasonings, and that's where you get in trouble, when you start reasoning about certain things, when you have the established Word of God before you, you ignore the established Word, and you start reasoning. "Well, if God really says I'm righteous, then how come this, and why is that"?
Now, some things you just accept by faith. But when you start reasoning, you move from faith to your carnal mind. It won't be long before you find yourself in that high thing. Casting down reasonings and every high thing that exalt itself against the knowledge of God, there are lots of things that the world has come up with that it looks like it's exalted above the knowledge of God's Word, but he said to bring into captivity every thought. You bring it into captivity, so the thoughts that don't line up with the Word of God, you bring into captivity and you cause it to be obedient to Christ or to line up with what Christ has, obedience to the faith, to line up with what Jesus has already done in his finished work. You've gotta know how to play this chess game.
And if you're getting all of your truths from norms and values of the world, and not from the Word of God, then you're going down a path that's gonna be an awakening moment for you when you get to that destination and that path that you're going to. It is the death cycle. You go down that path, and it leads to the death cycle. You go down the Word, it leads to the life cycle. This is how this stuff works, man. This is how it works. "Well, I don't agree". I don't care. After 41 years of making mistakes and doing what's right and realizing that worked, and doing what's wrong and realizing was that work, I'm not even trying to, you know, you have the freedom to choose. You do what you want to do. In fact, you're doing what you want to do now. That's when I realized, during the pandemic, I realized people do what they want to do. So my job is to water and to plant. God's job is to bring the increase. I can't bring no increase. That is not my job, to bring the increase. My job is to do what I'm doing tonight, teaching and preaching and explaining it, and then you know God.
Go ask the Lord, "Should I believe what he say"? He'll tell you. Have a personal relationship with Jesus. Okay? But this is a serious time right now. This is a time where he's trying to conquer minds, the minds of men and women. He's trying to deceive, and fool, and destroy, and to wreak havoc, and to get you to kill yourself, and to get you to walk away from God, and to get you to the point it's okay not to read the Bible. It's okay not to be participating in church. It's just okay. Stay home. Just stay home. Why not? God don't mind. You can talk all that tomfoolery all day long. But then one day you gonna come to the end of that path. And the question is, "How much of your life was given to the wrong route"?
Siri was hollering the whole time, "Turn around, turn around". Siri, shut up. I'm gonna turn you off. I'm gonna go where I want to go. I know where I'm going. Siri say, "Turn around, it's a dead end. It's a cliff". I went this way 30 years ago. Ain't no cliff. That's where we are. That's where you are. You believe everything you hear on the news. It wouldn't even dawn on you that you are a part of one of the biggest propaganda machines in the entire world, but can't nobody tell you nothing. And you've God to talk to you. The Bible says the Holy Spirit will show you things to come. The Holy Ghost will show you everything you need, and you choose not to, I don't want to hear Holy Ghost news. He'll tell you about it. You can sit there and look at the news and say Holy Ghost don't know about that. He said, "That ain't real".
Holy Ghost, what about that? "Mm, what you think? What did I say? Even if it's real, what did I say"? And you need to know what he said. How can God wake me up at 2:30 in the morning, wake me up at 2:30 in the morning, as a leader, say, "Something's gonna happen today that's gonna change the complexion of the whole world". And when I got up and it had happened, I was like, "Oh, my goodness". And some of y'all probably saw the same thing and can't even see what's going on, what's happening. This is Satan. This is principalities, powers, wicked spirits in heavenly places trying to get you to declare your independence from God and to declare your dependence to self, and self makes all the decisions. And then when it get real bad, now you sitting up there, "Oh, no, no, why this happening to me? I don't understand. What happening to me? Where is God"?
And God, the whole time, was like saying, "Hey! You're going the wrong way"! And you didn't say this, but you know what you was saying? "Shut up! I'm going where I want to go. This is my life. You don't get but one life, and I'm gonna do what I want to do with it". All right, you sure about that? And you kill yourself with the promise of, "I'm just gonna go to sleep. I'm gonna kill myself. Bam, and I'm dead". And you think, well, that's the end. All right, peace and sleep. And you're sitting there, you done killed yourself, and you open your eyes up, like, "Okay, okay, what happened? I shot myself". Right?
Here's the part about it. And you don't believe, but you won't know this until it happens to you. When you die, you just, you pass out of your body. And some people have been looked back and like, whoa. Whoa, that's me. And then you're in that whole new realm, a realm where spirits exist, and it looks just like similar to the realm where you were in your physical body, but you had to have a body to have comprehension in that realm. A lot of similarities. The earth was made based on a previous pattern. Remember, the Bible talked about the tabernacle made after the heavenly tabernacle, the pattern of the heavenly, so when you get to this place called heaven, it's gonna resemble a lot of earth, but it's going to be more brilliant in colors, more brilliant in everything, and a lot of amazing stuff there.
And, hey, you don't even realize the gift that you had in a physical body, and you done kill yourself 'cause you let a little voice squeak in saying kill yourself, kill yourself. "Oh, is that God? Is that the devil? Is that just me"? You'd better figure it out, 'cause you've got a gun, you're trying to kill yourself off some demonic influence, and then you gonna wake up in a realm and a world that have spiritual matter, just like this world has physical matter, that world has spiritual matter that you can comprehend with your spiritual body, and it's gonna freak you out. And you thought you were getting away from something. Thank God for his grace. But don't kill yourself.
You've got too much to do. We haven't even met, look at me, you on that TV, we haven't even met yet, some of you, but there may be a path for me to cross that God getting you ready for something. I might need you to be here. Some of y'all, God got a chess game going on, and he know where everybody's supposed to be. Let's work with him and be where you're supposed to be. Don't let your emotions, "Well, don't nobody know what I'm going through". Listen, I know, I get it. I so get it. I get it. I get the loneliness stuff. I get the ain't nobody calling you. I get the, you know, you know, the relatives ghosting you, and they won't love you, and they won't accept you, and I get all that, I get all that.
But there's a bright side somewhere. There's a bright side somewhere. You've gotta just keep going, man. Don't quit. You've just gotta keep going. I can't explain it to you, but it's just like, you know, don't, don't, don't not be here 10 years from today, 'cause you heard something that wasn't God. And the best is yet to come. You haven't seen the best yet. There's all types of anointings in you, and you probably only discovered just like one or two, and those one or two are like baby step anointings. There's a gigantic will of God to yet be manifested in your life. You shut that voice down and refuse to hear it, and you say, "I am God's sheep. I hear his voice. I know him, and he knows me". And everything's gonna be all right.