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2021 online sermons » Robert Morris » Robert Morris - Resist the Enemy

Robert Morris - Resist the Enemy

Robert Morris - Resist the Enemy
TOPICS: The Seven Churches of Revelation, Spiritual warfare, Confrontation, Enemy

So, we're in a series called The Seven Churches of Revelation, and this week is the fourth church and the title of the message is Resist the Enemy. This is the church at Thyatira, and Thyatira was the smallest city of the seven cities, but they got the longest letter, and most of it wasn't good. So, they had a lot of good things going on, but this is kind of a famous letter because he's going to address the Jezebel spirit in this letter to this, the smallest one. It's been interesting me to note the salutation of each letter in that, like, you know, Smyrna boasted that they were a city that was dead and came back to life and Jesus starts with, No, I was dead and came back to life. You know, I'm the real one that came back to life, and then Pergamum boasted that they carried the sword and Jesus starts with, my sword's bigger than yours, by the way. I really carry the sword. So the reason I'm saying that is what did Thyatira boast about?

Now, before I tell you that, I forgot to tell you one thing. Well, this is something they boasted about too. Even though they were the smallest city, they boasted that they had the most trade guilds, and a trade guild would be leather workers, potters, brass workers. Today, we might say electricians, you know, whatever, and they would come together, but again, they would celebrate a false deity, and they would have sexual orgies at these. So, that's one thing they boasted about, but they boasted about something else. They had a statue of Apollo. Apollo was the son of Zeus. So they boasted that they were the city of the son of god. That was their boast. We're the city where the son of god lives. So, let me just show you here how Jesus starts out.

Revelation 2:18, "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, 'These things says the real Son of God, the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, His feet like fine brass: 'I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as far as your works," this is kind of cool, "the last are more than the first". In other words, you're getting better at good works. "Nevertheless, I have a few things against you, because you allow, you allow, that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess". You always need to be a little cautious when people call themselves something. You know, if they really are, you can figure it out. You know, like if a guy gets up and says, "I'm a teacher," and after a few minutes, you're dozed off, he's not that good of a teacher, okay. So, alright, "who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols".

We covered a lot of that last week. "And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and", now, this is important, "those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works. Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine," or this teaching, "who have not known the depths of Satan as they say," This is something they boasted about is that they knew the depths of Satan, and I have no clue why they boasted about that, but he says this, To all of you, "I will put on you, no other burden".

In other words, this is the one thing I want you to deal with. I want you to stop allowing this to happen. "But, hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations, 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels', as I have also received from My Father, and I will give him the morning star". And then again, this statement, remember, is to all seven churches. "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches". Now, here's what he's sayin'. I know your works. You're doing great. You're doing good works. As a matter of fact, you're doin' more good works than you used to, but there's something that you've got to stop doing. You've got to stop allowing teaching in the church that is pulling people away from me and away from what I'm teaching. You've got to stop that. And let me say it another way. He said, you're allowing it. You've got to stop allowing it. What the Lord's put on my heart is, you've got to start resisting the enemy. You have got to resist the enemy.

Do you know that we're in a war? And do you know, if you don't show up for it you're going to lose? That's what he's trying to tell them. James 4:7 says, "Therefore submit to God". So the first thing you got to do is submit to God. "Resist the enemy", so that's the second thing, watch this, "and he will flee from you". So, if the enemy is not fleeing from me, I'm either not submitting or not resisting. Could I say that again, so that you can say, oh me, instead of amen? If the enemy's not fleeing from me, I'm either not submitting to God or I'm not resisting the enemy because it says, "Submit to God. Resist the enemy, and he will flee". So, one of these things I'm not doing, and that's what he's talking to the church at Thyatira about. So, we want to ask some questions here.

Number one, can Christians be influenced by demonic spirits? Now this has been argued in the church for centuries. It's shocking to me. It's shocking to me that it's argued. We know Satan attacks Christians. He's not really attacking the non-Christians 'cause they're already on his side. He's attacking the Christians 'cause we're not on his side anymore. We switched sides on him, see. So, of course he's attacking. Think about this. Sometimes we think, well, if I admit that I'm being attacked, it must mean I'm doing something wrong. Okay, Jesus got attacked and he never did anything wrong. It actually means, if you're getting attacked, you're doing something right, because if you're doing something wrong, there's no reason for him to attack you 'cause you're on his side. It means you're against him and you're not on his side, if you're getting attacked. Are you following me?

So can a Christian be influenced by a demonic spirit? Well, okay, let's take a non-Christian and a Christian, and both of 'em drink a lot of alcohol at one time. Wouldn't it be foolish to say that the alcohol is not going to influence the Christian because he's a Christian? Under the influence, here's another one. DUI, driving under the influence. When my daughter was taking a, getting ready for her driver's test, it said, you know, what test legally can an officer give you if he pulls you over or she pulls you over, and thinks you've been drinking? And Debbie is quizzing her about this, and I'm sitting in the other room, and so Debbie asked her and my daughter said, "Ask Dad. He knows". That was before Christ. Let's remind everyone that was BC. It's not supposed to be brought up, okay? So, but it doesn't matter whether you're a Christian or a non-Christian, if you consume a lot of alcohol, you're under the influence, right?

Okay, if a non-Christian and a Christian starts looking at pornography on the internet, you're under the influence, even if you're a Christian. And just like if a Christian drinks too much, he or she can end up doing something that is totally out of character, and if a Christian starts looking at pornography on the internet, you may end up doing something that you regret and that's totally out of character for you because you've come under the influence now of a demonic spirit. Peter, Jesus asked the disciples, "Whom do men say that I am"? And they said all the worst answers in the world, and then Peter said, "You're the Christ, the Son of the Living God". A few verses later, he's under the influence of Satan because Jesus says to him in Matthew 16:23, "But He turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan!'" Now that would have hurt my feelings, personally. But he says, you're the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and just a few moments later, he got influenced by the enemy.

Now, Satan is not omnipresent. He's not everywhere. So, he has demons who do his work. So, we're talking about, can you be influenced by a demonic spirit. So, let me just blow away some myths and I have to do it quickly. Some people say, well, when you read about demons, they're really only, they really only kind of showed up when Jesus was on the earth, and I've even had people say the Old Testament doesn't talk about demons. Okay, I don't have time to do 'em all. Let me just do three. Leviticus 17:7, "They shall no more offer their sacrifices to demons". Deuteronomy 32:17, "They sacrificed to demons, not to God". Psalm 106:37, "They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons". Then, I would have no way to have time, It would take the entire time and maybe more, to just tell you all the times Jesus cast out demons. Let me just show you a few. Mark 1:39, "And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons". That's Jesus. Mark 3, when he called his disciples, verse 14, "He appointed 12, that they might be with Him and that He might send then out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons".

Why did he give 'em power to cast out demons if there weren't demons? Then I've heard people say, "Well, there were no demons cast out in the book of Acts, so the demons passed away after the gospels". Acts 16:16, "Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us". Verse 18, "Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit," that's a demon, "'I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.' And he came out that very hour". That's Acts. Then, there are people who say... Is this fun? Then, there are people, it's fun for me. There are people who say, "But there aren't any... the demons kind of passed away after the first century," you know, "and we don't have demons today". 1 Timothy 4:1, "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons". There are still demons, and they're still coming after you.

People argue all the time, "Does the church need discipleship or deliverance"? Because some churches focus on discipleship and say, "People just need discipleship. This casting out demons stuff, that's passed away". Other people say, "No, we just need to cast the demons out of people. We don't need discipleship". The answer, "Do we need discipleship or deliverance"? The answer is, "Yes". And here's why, Jack Hayford said this and it's good, "You cannot cast out the flesh and you cannot disciple a demon". Do you want me to say that again? Dr. Jack Hayford, "You cannot cast out the flesh, and you cannot disciple a demon". You've got to cast out the demons and you got to disciple the flesh. You got to discipline the flesh. Are y'all following me?

There was a friend of mine that got saved as a hippie in the 70's movement, and he went to a Bible college where they believed in casting demons out. Then, when he went to the mission field, he had to go to language school to learn the language, and he met other missionaries at language school that had gone to Bible schools that didn't believe, you know, in casting out demons, that didn't believe they still existed. And so they're telling him this, and he's just shocked. He's totally shocked, and he said to 'em, "Y'all don't cast demons out of people"? And they said, "Well, no". And he said, "You leave 'em in"? That's a pretty good answer. You either got to cast then out or leave 'em in, 'cause there are demons. So, can a Christian be under the influence of a demon? You better believe it.

Here's Number Two. What are some signs that I'm being attacked? Now, the Christians at Thyatira were being attacked, and many say by a woman named Jezebel and that's possible, but many theologians believe that the woman's name wasn't Jezebel, that Jesus was referencing a spirit. Here's one of the reasons. It would be very unlikely for a Jewish woman to name her daughter Jezebel. I just can't tell you how much that pleases me to say that. I just, but it's possible she was a Gentile convert. Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal who was the King of Tyre and Sidon, and I told you back in August about Tyre and Sidon, those two nations, and what they were involved in, but he was the King of Tyre and Sidon, okay, and she married Ahab the King of Israel, and she did it for power, and I don't have time to go into all that stuff. My main thing is to talk about resisting the enemy, whether it's a Jezebel spirit, an unforgiving spirit, a lustful spirit, a prideful spirit. We want to resist the enemy. That's the point, but we're looking at this.

So, there are two Elijahs, I mean, two Jezebels mentioned in the Bible, one New Testament, one Old. The Old Testament is the one I just told you about. So, Elijah gathers 850. She had 850 false prophets, 450 of Baal and 400 of Asherah, and he gathered them together, and remember, you know the story, 1 Kings 18. He calls down fire from heaven and they couldn't call down any fire, and then, he killed all 850 of 'em. Now, so, I'm going to take a few verses from 1 Kings 19, and show you what happened when he got chased by a Jezebel spirit. It's a spirit behind the person, and then I'll take a few from Revelation 2. I'm going to give you seven, so there are seven sub-points. I'm just going to hit 'em quickly, under Point Two, of how can I tell if I'm being attacked by a demonic spirit, alright.

So, Number One is fear. If you're dealing with a lot of fear, you're being attacked by a demon. I'm not saying you're possessed by a demon. I'm not saying that. I'm saying you're being attacked, and what I am saying is, you need to submit to God and resist. You need to resist the spirit that's attacking you. You need to see it as not just an emotional thing you're going through. You're being attacked spiritually. So fear, so remember, Elijah calls fire down from heaven, 1 Kings 18. 1 Kings 19, verse 1, "And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, 'So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.' And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life". This is the guy who just called fire down from heaven. Why didn't he just walk right up to the castle and say, "Hey lady, you want to talk to me? Come on out, 'cause I got a hair dryer for you, and it's not only going to dry your hair. It's going to dry your skin too, 'cause, God, you got some fire left"?

You know, he runs for his life. This is a prophet of God. All I'm saying is, if a man of God like that can be afraid, don't put yourself down 'cause you're going through some fear. Hello? Are y'all with me? Okay, now we read verses 1 through 3. Now, we're going to start on verse 4 for the next one, but here's the second way you know you're being attacked by the enemy: depression. If you're depressed, there's an enemy trying to attack you. 1 Kings 19:4, "But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and he said, 'It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!'" When you have suicidal thoughts, you're under attack. And many Christians have had suicidal thoughts. That does not mean you're a bad person. Does not mean you're a bad person. Elijah had suicidal thoughts. Moses prayed to die. There's a whole bunch of people in the Bible that actually prayed to die. It just shows you're a human, but I'm just telling you that Satan is attacking you.

Number Three: fatigue. Not just tiredness, fatigue. We read verses 1 through 3, then verse 4. Here's verse 5. "Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, 'Arise and eat.' Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again". That's how tired he is. Okay, so, when you're under attack, you need to take naps and eat cake. That's what the Bible says. The Bible, that's what the Bible says. The Bible, the Bible says. The Bible says eat cake. By the way, this is the first reference to angel food cake. Okay, I'm just letting you know. You get really tired, take a nap and eat some cake and then take another nap.

Alright, alright, here's Number Four: sickness. I'm not saying every time you're sick, I'm not saying that. This is a huge subject. I understand that. I'm just saying that sometimes it's an attack of the enemy. Revelation 2:22, "Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation". Unusual and frequent sicknesses could mean you're under demonic attack.

Number Five: immorality, Revelation 2:20, "Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce", I'm going to tell you about the word seduce, "my servants to commit sexual immorality". Okay, if you're going through a time of greater sexual temptation, and you've been maybe doing fine for years and all of a sudden, you're really being tempted more, that's a demonic spirit coming after you. You're being attacked. So, and here's what you can do when you're being attacked, by the way. Get some brothers and sisters around you. You tell some people you're being attacked. You get some other people to help you fight.

So when you're being attacked by the enemy in an area like this, and if you're married, hopefully, you've gotten to the place where you can talk to your spouse about this and say, I'm being attacked, and your spouse doesn't feel insecure. Debbie and I have gone through this many times where I've said, I'm being attacked in this area and I have no desire at all, but I'm being attacked, and I know it's a demonic attack. By the way, the word seduce means someone who coaxes you just to wander a little bit off the path. That's what the word seduce means, just wander off the path. In other words, now don't do anything bad. Don't, like, have an affair, but just flirt with this person a little bit. Just wander off the path a little bit.

Okay. Number 6: insecurity. If you're dealing with tremendous insecurity, you could be under attack from the enemy. Many, many people have father wounds, probably most, and maybe all have some father wounds. I don't know if you've ever thought about this, but everybody, everybody gets affirmation from fathers. Women get affirmation from fathers. Little girls get affirmation from fathers. They can go in with their new dress and say, "Mom, do I look pretty"? "Yes". They go to dad then. "Dad, do I look pretty"? "You look beautiful". That's where the affirmation comes. Little boys get affirmation from fathers and grown men get affirmation from fathers.

Now, here's the good news. You have a new Father who will affirm you and encourage you. But, most people, most people have father wounds that they've never dealt with. I just wanted to show you one in the Bible, okay, just one. Jonathan, Saul's son, they're at a banquet. His dad gets mad at him. I'm going to read it out of the New Living Translation. 1 Samuel 20:30, "Saul boiled with rage at Jonathan," and said, "You stupid son of a whore"! Okay, if you never had any counseling training, that's a father wound. When your father calls you a stupid son of a whore in front of, of course, what does that say about Saul's wife? Anyway, so, maybe you didn't catch that, but anyway, it's, so, that's a father wound.

Here's Number 7: Rehearsing Your Speech. If you're rehearsing a speech towards someone, you're being attacked by the enemy. This is back to Elijah, 1 Kings 19:9. "And there he went into a cave and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?' So he said, 'I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.'" Then he goes back in the cave. Then, there's a fire, an earthquake and a wind and then a still, small voice. When he hears the still, small voice, he comes back out of the cave, verse 13. "So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?' And he said, 'I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.'"

The exact same speech. What I'm telling you is that I have had many many people and I've had many many times in my life, where I have taken up an offense or something's gone on, and I rehearsed my speech to that person over and over in my mind. Sometimes I can't fall asleep at night 'cause I'm rehearsing my speech. I was doing that one night. It was about 2 AM, and the Lord said to me, "Will you please shut up"? Please, it was almost like he was saying, "Some of us are trying to get some sleep". And I said to him, "But Lord, I don't know what to do". And he said, "Forgive him". And I said, "I have forgiven him". He said, "Uh huh, that's why you keep going over this thing in your mind, huh"? And I said, "Well, I don't know how to forgive him". He said, "Well, I can tell you. Forgive him the way I forgave you, because I'm not rehearsing my speech of all the bad things you've done". In other words, drop it. Stop it, let it go. Alright, and here's the third point: What do I do if I'm under attack? It says, "Therefore submit to God," James 4:7, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you". Okay, so we're talking about resisting. How do you resist? You submit. But, how do you submit?

Now, that's James 4:7. Here's the verse right before it, verse 6. "But He," talking about God, "gives more grace". Okay, so I could just ask you to raise your hands. Let's just do it. How many of you have received grace from God? Okay, how many of you would like to receive more grace? That's pretty cool. Okay, here's how. "Therefore He says: 'God resists the proud, But gives grace", and in the context of this verse, more grace "to the humble". Humble yourself. That's the only way you're going to repent. You know, five of the seven letters talk about repent. And repent means change your mind. The only way you're going to change your mind about whatever area you're being attacked in, is to repent. And can I tell you, the only way you're going to repent is to humble yourself, and let me tell you, the only way you're going to humble yourself, listen very very carefully because I'm so tired of people getting this wrong. You're going to have to submit to some brothers and sisters that have a different perspective than you do.

Let me say that one more time. If you're only talking to the people who agree with your offense, you are not humble and you are not repentant. Talk to someone who has a different perspective than you, who can say, "Can I give you a different perspective"? Because you might find out, Oh, I do need to repent about some things. I didn't see that. Now, we're talking about getting free. I've told you that in the seven letters there's always grace. So many people don't see grace in these seven letters. I have to show you this verse to show you grace. Revelation 2:21 and 22, "And I gave her time to repent", he's talking about Jezebel, "I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation," look at the grace, "unless they repent". There's still time to repent.

In Mark 5 is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. There's a guy who's living in the cemetery, naked, no clothes on, cutting himself, crying out day and night. They bind him with chains. He breaks the chains, and when Jesus said, "what is your name," this voice comes out of him and says, "My name is Legion, for we are many". Legion is a Roman word. It describes a troop of soldiers. Strong's says that it's 6,826 men. Some others say 6,000. So, this guy had 6,000 demons. 6,000 demons. And he's living in a cemetery, naked. So, there's nobody here that's in as much bondage as he was, okay, 'cause y'all got your clothes on. This is my favorite verse, verse 6. "When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him". Okay, do you know what that tells me? That Satan cannot stop you from coming to Jesus. He can't stop you. If he could have stopped anyone, he could have stopped this guy, But he didn't just come to Jesus, he worshiped Him. That word worship is the Greek word proskuneo.

Let met tell you what it means. It means to bow to the ground, listen to me carefully, and kiss the feet. You got to be humble to kiss someone's feet. I'm telling you, you will not get free... You can be under an attack. You can be in bondage in an area, but the key to getting free is to humble yourself, submit to God, then you can resist the enemy, and then he will flee from you. I want you to bow your heads and close your eyes, and I want you to just let the Holy Spirit speak to you. Every weekend, we ask the Holy Spirit, "Lord, what are you saying to me through this message"? And there are probably areas that every one of us can say, "This is an area I'm under attack". "I know I'm under attack in this area".

Unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, lust, some sort of immorality, some sort of addiction, pride, insecurity, inferiority, those are actually sins that Satan traps us in to cause us to not be able to do the calling that God has on our life, because we don't feel adequate to do it, and we're adequate because he makes us adequate. So, what's the Holy Spirit saying to you? Take a moment, just say, "Lord, what are you saying to me"? And then, I want us to submit to God. I want us to humble ourselves and tell the Lord, "Lord, I can't get free without you. I submit to you, but because of the authority you've given me, now that I've submitted to you, I resist Satan in Jesus' name". And you could even do, as Michael the Archangel did, and as the angel of the Lord did in Zechariah 3. You could say to the devil, "The Lord rebuke you". "The Lord rebuke you".

Lord, I pray that you'll speak to all of us, everyone online, every campus. I pray, God, that you'll speak to every person here. Whatever area where we're being attacked by the enemy, that we will submit to you, and we will resist the enemy, in Jesus' name, amen.

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