Creflo Dollar - Winning In Spiritual Warfare
Now, if you have your Bibles, go with me to the book of Saint John chapter 10. I wanna start there, Saint John chapter 10. It is imperative this morning that you get the Scriptures because I'm gonna say some things that are not preached too often in church, and we're gonna deal with spiritual warfare, and I wanna set this up for you, but I think this is an appropriate Scripture to start with, John chapter 10, verse 10. John chapter 10, in verse 10. Now, notice what he says here in verse 10. Let's read it together: "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy". Jesus says, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly".
Now notice what he says in the first part of the Scripture. He said, "The thief cometh". Now the first thing you need to know is Satan is the thief. Satan is the thief, and the Bible says, "Here's what his objectives are: his objective is to steal, his objective is to kill, his objective is to destroy". Now, sometimes God gets the blame for Satan's objective. Sometimes people blame God for stealing. You know, they say, "God stole the life of my children," or "God stole the life of my loved one," and God gets the blame for killing. "Well, because of God, they died in a car wreck," and God gets the blame for destruction. "Oh, God must have sent the hurricane". But that's not God. God does not come to kill, steal and destroy. You're blamin' the wrong one. "Satan is the thief. He comes to kill, steal, and destroy," but Jesus says, "I come so you can have life and have it more abundantly to the full until it overflows," amen. So let's establish that.
Now let's go to Ephesians chapter 6, in verse 10 through 12, in the King James, and then in the Amplified. Ephesians 6:10-12, King James, and then the Amplified, and I really want to spend a little time here. He says, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might," not your might. "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil". Now notice, he says, "You be strong in the Lord. Put on the armor of God so you can stand against the wiles," what is that? Strategy. The strategy of the devil. Now, a couple of things I need to bring out. First of all, there is a devil loose. There is a devil loose. There's a devil that wants to kill, steal, and destroy. You have an enemy. He's an unseen enemy. He's in stealth mode, and he wants to destroy your life. There's a devil loose.
See, we talk about God, but people don't wanna talk about the devil, and what you gotta understand is God needs you to believe him in order to do things in your life, but Satan doesn't want you to believe in him so he can continue to do things in your life. And so the greatest victory you can give the devil is to say, "I don't believe in him". And when you say, "I don't believe in him," then he just continues to just whop you upside the head all day long. He says, "Put on the whole armor of God. Be strong in the Lord so you can stand against the strategies of the devil". Satan is not just throwin' things at you. Satan has a strategy developed for every believer. There's a strategy that hell has to come against every believer to steal, kill, and destroy.
All right, now watch this next verse: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places". Now, he just gave you the four categories of demonic spirits. These are the four categories of demonic spirits, and I don't know how we could be in the church and a part of the body of Christ and not get ahold of this. Look at verse 12, again. Notice, and he says, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but we wrestle against principalities".
So you're wrestling match is not against Bob on the job or Becky, you know, at the club. Your wrestling match is against principalities, that's one class of demons; powers, that's another class of demons that you can't see with your physical eyes; rulers of the darkness of this world, that's another class of demons you can't see with your eyes; and spiritual wickedness in high places. Those are four classes of demonic spirits. And I know that some Christians right now are streamed in today and thinkin', "Oh, my God, what is he talkin' about"? But what am I gonna do with this Scripture? 'Cause he's warning us to get ready. The strategies of the enemy have been developed against you, and you're not gonna be fighting just human beings. You're gonna be fightin' demonic forces that wants to steal, kill, and destroy in your life.
Now look at this in the Amplified Bible, Ephesians chapter 6, verse 10 through 12, in the Amplified Bible. Now watch carefully 'cause I'm gonna give a definition now. He says, "In conclusion, be strong in the Lord". Well, how am I gonna be strong in the Lord? We gotta have some precision here, man, 'cause, you know, the Bible is saying... doin' things, and then you don't need to just go off and just kind of figure out, "Well, I don't know how to be strong in the Lord," he tells us. "Be strong in the Lord," or, in other words, "Be empowered through your union with Him". Be empowered through your union with the Word.
So the more you're in the Word and you're empowered from that Word and you're empowered by the Holy Spirit, it's gonna cause you to be strong, all right? "Be strong in the Lord, by getting in his Word and be empowered by that Word. Draw your strength from him," draw your strength from him. That's important in this morning's message. I'm gonna draw my strength from what Jesus has said. I'm gonna draw my strength from what Jesus has made available to me. I'm gonna draw my strength from his finished works. Watch this, "that strength which his boundless might provides". Verse 11, "Put on God's whole armor". Well, what's that? It's the Word of God. It's "the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies, that you may be able to successfully stand".
All right, now notice the armor of God. How do I put on the armor of God? When I clothe myself in God's Word. And the most part of it, Satan is after your soul. So you gotta put the armor of God on where your soul is concerned, and when you get up every day and you get that Word on and you live that Word and you rely on that Word and you trust that Word, you've got the armor on. "Put on God's armor, the armor of a heavy-armed," this is comparing the armor of God to "the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies, that you may be able to successfully stand up against all the strategies and the deceits of the devil".
Now notice what he says. Let me say the opposite of what he says: If you don't understand how to put the armor on, you will not be successful against the strategies and the deceitfulness of the devil. There are strategies, and there is a lot of deceit and deception goin' on, and it comes from the devil, but there are a lot of people who are in the deception. There are a lot of people who are experiencing the destruction and the killing and the stealing, and they don't know it's the devil 'cause they don't believe in the devil, and so they reduce it down to this human condition, this emotional soulless condition, you know, "One session with the therapist will help me," and you don't even know it's the devil.
So these spirits are counting on you remaining ignorant to their existence. They are counting on you to remain ignorant of their existence. They're counting on you not to get in the Word because the Word is your armor. The Word is what you clothe yourself with. The Word is how you're able to stand against the strategy of the devil. Wonder what kind of strategy the devil is usin' against you right now. The strategy in your mind. He got you thinkin' a way that's so wrong, but somehow convinced you that it's right. Self-deception is when you think you're right, but you're wrong. Isn't that somethin'? Self-deception is when you think you're right, but you're wrong.
You've fallen into that strategy, and what is it that you think is right, but it's actually wrong? How are you living, and you think it's right, but it's actually wrong? What opinions are you spurting out every day, and you think it's right, but it's actually wrong, and you don't even know that you are being played like a fiddle. You are bein' treated like a puppet as these demon forces are coming against you, and they will be very successful because the only thing that can be your armor is the Word of God that you no longer believe. It's the Word of God that you no longer read. It's the Word of God that you let somebody talk you out of, and you have chosen to substitute the Word of God with somethin' else, and the end is not gonna be good, and there's gonna be an acceleration of demonic activities in this year, and there will be more deception like never before.
And here's the deal: This is how you know you're deceived. It's the end of a thing. You think you're so smart and you got it all together, and then, the end of the thing, there's this crash, and you fall into this ditch, you don't even know what's happening. It's when you experience depression out of nowhere, and it shows up and just gets you down, and you're tryin' to figure out what's goin' on. It's when you think about killing yourself over and over and over again, and you're tryin' to figure out, "Where is that thought comin' from"? And you don't realize that the most powerful weapon of the devil is suggestion, and he depends on you to remain ignorant of the Word. He depends on you not being clothed in the Word. He wants you not to believe in demons. He wants you to just say, "Well, that's just movie". He don't want you to believe there's a devil, and while he's doing that, he is so getting you fat and ready for eternity in hell, and you have no idea what's goin' on.
And so we're here today to open your eyes to some things that are happening, and hopefully today you might give your attention to see just what's really goin' on. There's a enemy loose. The devil wants your soul. I mean, your mind. He doesn't want your mind to be in line with the Word. He doesn't want your mind to be in line with the Holy Ghost. He doesn't want you to have revelation of who Jesus is and what Jesus has done, he don't want anything to happen. He wants you to join the norms and the values of a worldly system that doesn't believe God, and he wants you to think in line with the norms and values of this world. And the way they think is whatever a whole bunch of people say is right, then it's right because everybody says it's right, and nobody considers the Bible. They say, "This book is no good. This book is outdated. This book can't be trusted". And Satan's sayin', "Yes, yes, yes, it's workin'. My strategy is workin'. My strategy is working. I can now kill, steal, and destroy". Are you listenin' to me?
Now let's go a little bit more. I'm still layin' the foundation here. Luke chapter 10. Luke chapter 10, 'cause there's good news here. Luke chapter 10, verse 19 and 20. So, ladies and gentlemen, there are demons, principalities, powers, lower-class demons, higher-class demons, wicked spirits in heavenly places. Wow, and they are after you. They are after your thinking. They are after your intellect. They operate in your soul, your mind, your will, your emotions, and they applaud you for not believing that Satan even exists, who will later on convince you that God doesn't exist. Listen to what he says here. Here's the good news if you are a Christian, and you're a believer. He says, "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions," that's referring to demons, "and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you".
Now notice what he says here. He says, "Behold, I give you power". That word, that first word, "power" in this verse of Scripture is translated "authority," "the right to command". So the good news is God has given you the right to command and to have absolute mastery over demons, but if you don't know that, you won't ever execute that. You don't read the Word, so you have no idea that these demons exist, but there's no way that you can know that you have authority over them. So, when they show up and they make you feel like you're crazy, they make you feel depressed, oppressed, they make you feel just like you wanna kill yourself, they make your life miserable, and you think it's just you. God says, "I gave you authority over these demons, over these serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy".
He says not only that but you have power over that which is trying to get you to submit to him. You have authority over all of the ability of the devil. Anything the devil has, you have authority over all his ability, and you're walkin' around, scared of the devil. You have authority over all of his ability. And he says, "And nothing shall by any means hurt you," so you won't be in fear. You see what the devil is doin'? "I gotta keep you away from the truth of that Word. I gotta keep you away from the Word so that you won't use it against me". Now look at verse 20. He said, "Notwithstanding in this rejoice not". He says, "Don't rejoice because you have authority over devils". He says, "Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you". Don't rejoice because demons are subject unto you, "but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven".
So don't get happy because, you know, you have authority over demons. He said the things you should rejoice over is, "I'm born again, my name's in heaven. I am the righteousness of God," all right? Well, several more. 1 John chapter 5:4, here's some more good news. He says, "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith". Verse 5, "Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God"? All right, so what's the "world"? A lot of people call things "worldly" and doesn't even know what the definition of "worldly" is. When somethin' is "of the world" or if somethin' is "worldly," it has the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, all right?
So, when you talk about somethin' being "worldly," you're talkin' about lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Now, we live in this world, but we're not of it. We live in this world where there is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, but we are not of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. And the Bible says, "This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith". And then he asks, "Who is it that overcomes the world? Who is it that overcomes the world"? He says, "Those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Those that believe that Jesus", so it says a couple of things here:
Number one, he says, "Your faith in Jesus, you believin' in Jesus, your faith in Jesus is your victory that overcomes Satan and the world". But it says, "Who is it that overcomes the world"? The guy that believes that Jesus is the Son of God. Now, I'm sure a lot of people are at home right now, saying, "Oh, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God". And my question is "Do you? Do you really believe it"? That there's something about somebody saying they believe somethin', and then being able to authenticate that belief.
Let's move on now. Let's look at these two Scriptures, James 4 and 1 Peter 5. James 4, verses 6 through 7. James 4, verses 6 through 7. So you see the reality of a devil who is loose, who wants to kill, steal, and destroy, and then you go and you see in the book of Ephesians that "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but we're wrestling against these demonic forces". That's what we're goin against, unseen demonic forces that don't have flesh and don't have blood. He says that's what you're contending against. And we also see that we have authority over all of the ability of the devil and that, if we'll believe in Jesus, we have our victory. Glory be to God. By simply believin' in Jesus, we have our victory.
Now, James chapter 4, I'm goin' somewhere with this, but I gotta give you the right foundation. James 4:6-7, "But he giveth more grace". All right, now the issue is he gives grace, and who does he give grace to? He says, "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but gives grace to the humble". Next verse, "So submit yourself therefore to God," so you can get grace. "Resist the devil," now you can actively, you can actively fight against the devil and win, "and he will flee from you".
Now, this is vital Scripture. Let's go back to verse 6, and I want you to see the dynamic here between the proud and the humble. The proud and the humble. Now, we're gonna define, you know, a prideful man. What is a "prideful man"? A prideful man has an overexaggeration of his self-importance, okay? He has an overexaggeration of his self-importance, whereas a humble man has a low estimation of his self-importance. Now, that's how we've defined it, and then we stop right there, but there's so much more than that. A prideful man is a man who has an over-exaggeration of his self-importance and will not submit to God's Word or God's way of doing things because his overexaggeration of his self-importance says, "Why should I submit to God's way of doing anything"? He says, "You know, I'm not gonna submit to God's way of doin' things. I'm gonna submit to my self-effort. I'm gonna submit to my self-righteousness. I'm gonna submit to my self-preservation. I'm not gonna submit to God. I mean, I'm good by myself. I'm awesome".
You see that? That's a prideful man. And the Bible says that he resisteth that prideful man. In other words, it's not that God doesn't wanna give him grace. He says his position resists grace. Think of that. His position repels grace. Even if grace comes his way, his pride, his overestimation of his self, his refusal to submit to God's way of doing things and really believe it, it resists grace. But it says, "He gives grace to the humble". The humble man has a low estimation of himself, and he will comply. He will submit, and he will comply to God's Word and God's way of doing things, and so grace can be given to the humble, why? Because he complies. He lines his self up. He is not so big on his self that he thinks he doesn't need God.
Let me tell ya somethin' about self-effort. Self-effort says, "Why do I need God? Why do I need anything Jesus has done for me? I depend on me, not him". Wow, and so now you see what happens here. So, in verse 7, he says, "So submit yourself therefore to God," in other words, "So be humble. Submit yourself to God's Word. Submit yourself to God's way". And then he says, "Now, when you resist the devil when he comes to you and you actively resist him," so he put somethin' in your head that says you're gonna die and you're submittin' to God's Word, which says he's already healed you. So when he says, "You're gonna die," you could say, "I will live and not die because, with his stripes, I'm already healed". You can actively resist him because you're submitted to God's way of doin' that. And he says, when you do that, the devil will flee from you. That word "flee" means "to run with fear, run with fear".