Robert Morris — Beware of the Chaldeans
We're in a series called "Free Indeed". And if you didn't get to hear last week's message, please listen to it because I laid a foundation that believers can be in bondage. It's nothing to be afraid of; it is something to be aware of and that we need to know how to get out of bondage and we will get to more and more in this series how to get free and stay free indeed. Alright? So this week's message is entitled "Beware of Chaldeans", beware of Chaldeans. And I'll explain to you what I mean by that.
Acts 13, Paul is in Antioch at Pisidia, which is different than Antioch at Syria. Antioch at Syria is where the great New Testament church was that was the greatest missionary New Testament church. It's where Paul and Barnabas were sent from. Now they're at Antioch at Pisidia. In other words, Syria, Pisidia were like regions or states. So this is the city named the same, but it's in a different state. It would be like Paris, Texas. That's not the real Paris, just so you know. But it's a good one. So that's where they are. And he preaches a message about Jesus, and he ends the message with a caution, and I want to show you the caution.
Acts 13:40 says, "Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets," and that's Habakkuk, where we're going, "come upon you". "Beware lest it come on you". And then he quotes a verse from Habakkuk 1, "Behold, you despisers, marvel and perish! For I work a work in your days, a work which you will by no means believe, though one were to declare it to you". Now, he is referencing that God became a man in Jesus, died on the cross for our sins, and that's salvation, and that the Messiah has come. And he's saying, "You're not even going to believe this, even though someone were to tell you this". But he gives them a reason why they won't believe it and it's Habakkuk. And what he's telling them is there's an enemy who's trying to blind you to truth.
And he quotes this scripture. But I want to go back and read the context in Habakkuk, so if you'll flip back to Habakkuk 1. I've already got my Bible open there. I went directly to it. And when I was in college, by the way, a professor said, I think it was Old Testament Survey class, he said, "Turn to Habakkuk". And you know, I was from east Texas and so I said, "You mean, Habakkuk"? And he said, "Yes, that could be your primitive pronunciation". So here, we're in Habakkuk. So Habakkuk 1:5. This is the verse Paul quoted. "Look among the nations and watch be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you".
Now, before I read verse six, let me just tell you he's about to talk about Chaldeans. Chaldeans are an Old Testament type of demons, the enemies that come against the people of God. Watch the next verse. He talks about Chaldeans, but watch how we can relate this to demonic spirits. Verse six, "For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, a bitter and hasty nation which marches through the breadth of the earth," watch what they're trying to do, "to possess dwelling places that are not theirs". There they are. That's what they're trying to do.
We talked about this last weekend, that they are — The word possess doesn't always mean ownership. It means to gain the mastery over. They're trying to gain control over dwelling places that aren't theirs, that don't belong to them. Now, in that day, when Paul quoted this scripture, if they had gone back and read Habakkuk 1 to see where he said, "Beware lest it come on you", If they had gone back and read it, let me explain to you what the skeptics of the day would have said. The skeptics would have said, "I think Paul's out of his mind," because, listen carefully, there aren't any more Chaldeans. The Chaldeans had been utterly destroyed in 539 B.C., so much so Jeremiah 50:51 tells us there'll be none left. The Chaldeans were never again referred to as a nation or as an ethnicity even. Never, after 539 B.C. They were destroyed.
So I want you to think about this. Paul says, "Beware lest what was spoken in the prophets come on you," and there aren't any more literal Chaldeans. So what would he have been talking about? Well, let me say it to you this way. In the same way the skeptics of that day would say, "Paul's crazy. He doesn't know what he's talking about. There aren't any more Chaldeans. We don't need to beware of them". In the same way, the skeptics today would say something like this, "Did y'all hear Robert Morris is preaching a series about demons? He's out of his mind. There aren't any more demons". Yes, there are. You better beware, because they're trying to possess dwelling places that are not theirs. That's what they're trying to do. See, it's right here.
Now, let me show you, again, Chaldeans representing demonic spirits. Let me show you some things about Chaldeans, about demons. Alright? Three things. Number one, they're thieves. They're thieves. Remember, verse six says they're trying to possess dwelling places that are not theirs. We need to understand that Satan is the thief. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But many times, the Bible talks about Satan but it's actually referring to the work of Satan, not Satan himself, because Satan is not omnipresent. You need to know that. Omni means all. We say God is, by the way, omnipresent. He's all present. God is omniscient, omniscience. So omniscience, he has omniscience. That means — Science means knowledge. God has all knowledge. And he is omnipotent; potent means powerful, God is all powerful. 'Kay. But Satan is not omnipresent. He can only be in one location at one time.
When he tempted Jesus, by the way, that was a real dude. That was Satan, because Jesus did merit his personal attention. I've had other people say to me, "Satan came to me". I don't know if it was Satan himself. But Satan has an army of demons, and demons do his work. Jesus said it this way. There was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity, and He said, "Shouldn't this woman be loosed from this whom Satan had bound"? Okay, Satan did have her bound, but Satan had her bound through one of his demons, through a spirit. You understand? So it's important to understand that there's an army of demons when the Bible talks about the work of Satan.
Again, verse 6 says they're trying to possess dwelling places that are not theirs. They are thieves. They are thieves. You need to know, if you're going after God, they're coming after you. See, so many times, we think they're going after the unbelievers. No, they're not. They've already got them. They're coming after the believers to keep the believers defeated so they don't win the unbelievers to Christ. That's what they're trying to do.
Now, I'm telling you Chaldeans represents demons. Let me just show you though — I was reading this past week. This is the exhaustive dictionary of Bible names. This is how the exhaustive dictionary of Bible names describes, the definition of Chaldeans. Look at it here. Chaldeans: as it were demons. The root word means to lay waste or to destroy. And the actual word means wanderers. They were wanderers. And I'll tell you some more about them later. But isn't it amazing that it means wanderers, and watch what Jesus said about demons. Matthew 12:43, "When the unclean spirit has gone out of," it means he was in, "out of a person, it wanders".
The Chaldeans are wanderers. Demonic spirits are wandering and they're trying to possess dwelling places that are not theirs. It wanders through waterless regions, looking for a resting place. But it finds none. Then it says, "I will return to my house," the houses, "I will return to my house from which I came. When it comes," that's very important, these three things it says about the house, "when it comes," this is Jesus talking, by the way, "when it comes," this spirit, "it finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first".
Now, notice how the demon can come back in, because when it comes back to the house that it left, it finds it swept, in order, swept and put in order. But here's the key word, empty. How many times do people come to Christ, get saved, and then get their act cleaned up and swept, put in order, but they don't fill their house with the word of God? This is why it is very important for you not just to attend at Gateway, but for you to go through Catch the Vision and become a member and get involved and volunteer and go to a group and go to Equip and go through Freedom Ministry, because you need to fill your house with the word of God. And how many times do we know someone that got saved and they did great for a while and then they went back into bondage and the bondage that they went back into was actually worse than what they came out of?
Because we're in a war, so it's very important. These are wanderers. Chaldea would be, at that time, when the Bible writes about them, they were a very small nation. They were about 40, they were never more than 40 miles wide. They were about the size of New Jersey. And here's the thing that you need to know. They were actually never conquered until they were destroyed. And when God said, "When My purpose is finished with them, I will destroy them". Think about Satan and the demonic spirits. And God does have a purpose for 'em. God used the enemy all through the Old Testament to teach His children to call out to Him. When His children went into bondage, they would cry out to Him and repent. And it's the same way today. Many times, we don't think we need God until we're in trouble. And then we call out to Him.
I want you to notice that there are some things about the Chaldeans that many people don't realize. The Chaldeans actually took over Babylon. As a matter of fact, when you read about Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar was a Chaldean. And the Assyrians used to appoint the kings of Babylon, but Babylon conquered — I mean the Chaldeans conquered Babylon and Assyria. And Nebuchadnezzar takes over. He's the one — He set up the 90 foot gold image and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, which is how we know him. By the way, those were not their names. Those were their Chaldean names. Those are Chaldean names. Their names were actually Hanania, Michael, and Azaria. And they gave them Chaldean names.
When Nebuchadnezzar came in, he took two things that Satan is trying to take today. In other words, he's a thief. Demons are thieves. Alright? Let me show you the two things that he stole. You can just stay there in Habakkuk. We'll come back to that. Daniel 1:1. "In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim, king of Judah, into his hand, and some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god. Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king's descendants and some of the young nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking" I probably would have been taken. That shouldn't have been that funny. Okay, let's go on.
Okay. "Gifted in all wisdom", see? See? I probably, "Possessing knowledge and quick to understand". Yes, that's me. Exactly. Okay. "Who had ability to serve in the king's palace". Let me just sum this up, the young future leaders. "And whom they might teach". Now, watch what they did. "They might teach them the language and the literature of the Chaldeans. And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king's delicacies". So they would get, be in bondage to the lust of the flesh. "And of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king".
Alright. Let me tell you the two things that Satan's trying to steal, the tithe and the next generation. That's what Nebuchadnezzar stole when he went into Israel. He took the gold and the silver from the temple. It was dedicated to the Lord. It was the tithe. And he took the future leaders. This is one of the reasons that we brought The King's University here. It's because I'm very concerned about the next generation, and they really — many of 'em really, really love God and want to go on, but the problem is that the world is trying to train them in their language and their literature and I want to train them in the word of God. Many of 'em could not count backward from Matthew 'cause they don't know the Bible. Many of 'em can, but many of 'em can't. And I want to teach them God's word. And I want you to also notice that the enemy wants the tithe. This is how the enemy comes against you. This is how he came against the children of Israel when he took them into bondage. What they put in their mind, what they put in their body, and what belonged to God.
By the way, these — 1 John tells you it's the pride of life, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes. The lust of the flesh being what you put in your body and what you do with your body. The lust of the eyes being what you put in your mind, what you see to try to make you smart. And the pride of life? You say, "Well, how does that relate to the tithe"? Listen to me carefully 'cause I'm going to say something strong. Any person that doesn't tithe is arrogant, because you believe you can make it your way and not doing it God's way. And you have to be arrogant to steal from God. You have to be extremely arrogant to steal from God. And please understand, if you don't tithe, that's an open door to demons because that's exactly what the enemy does. He's a thief.
So number one, they're thieves. Number two, they're vicious. They're vicious. You need to know that demons are vicious. Satan never has a good day. He never has a merciful moment. Not one. Look back in Habakkuk 1:7, "They are terrible and dreadful" They're terrible and dreadful. "Their judgment and their dignity proceed from themselves". There's another reason they think they could steal from God. "Their horses also are swifter than leopards, and more fierce than evening wolves. Their chargers charge ahead; their cavalry comes from afar; they fly as the eagle that hastens to eat. They all come for violence; their faces are set like the east wind. They gather captives like sand".
Now, I wish I could take and do a whole message just on that, talk about leopards, eagles, the vultures come in, all this; but let me just show you one thing. It says they're like wolves. They're like wolves. Few other scriptures that describe the enemy as wolves Ezekiel 22:27, "Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain". Again, this refers to the pride of life, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes. Zephaniah 3:3, "Her princes in her midst are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves that leave not a bone till morning".
Let me tell you what that means. It means they feed at night. Can I just tell you something about when demons will attack you? They'll attack at night. If you haven't noticed that — you'll wake up in the middle of the night and they will start trying to get your thoughts to go the wrong way. Am I telling the truth? And the best thing you can do when you can't sleep is read the Bible or pray. It's the best thing you could do, because otherwise you'll end up doing something or watching something that you shouldn't watch and do. That's what the enemy tries to do. They attack at night.
Here's a New Testament scripture on wolves. Acts 20:29, Paul said, "For I know this," I know this, "that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock". 'Kay. Paul said, "When I leave, wolves are going to come in". 'Kay. Let me just ask you a very simple question. Do you really believe he was talking about literal wolves. Now, you think about how we — I mean, we like to see wolves on the Discovery Channel and movies about wolves that became pets and helped people out and all. That's great. But wolves are vicious. And when they're watching you — When you see 'em and you think, "Well, look at that wolf. He's just out there just, he just looks so innocent". He's actually studying you to learn your movements so he can attack you.
Do you understand that they watch and study people and look for the weak times, the isolated, you realize they attack the sheep on the fray? That's the one the wolf goes, when there's a whole herd of sheep, they get the sheep that's off to himself. Listen. Please, please, please hear me. This is a sheep fold right here. You're a sheep and there's a wolf that's trying to get you. If I were you, I would not be on the fray of the church. I would not be on the fringe. If I were you, if you're on the fringe, here's what I would do. I would say, "Excuse me. 'Scuse me. 'Scuse me. 'Scuse me. 'Scuse me. 'Scuse me. I'd get right in the middle of the sheep fold, right next to the shepherd.
These Chaldeans lived in marshes until they took over Babylon. They lived in marshes. And the thing that was so incredible about them is they would hide and they were expert archers. They would hide in the marshes and when you were trying to trudge through the marsh and getting stuck and trying to look where you were stepping, that's when they'd shoot you. It's the exact same way with the enemy. When you're trudging through life, that's when he's going to shoot.
So number one, they're thieves. Number two, they're vicious. Here's number three, they're cunning. They're cunning. Notice, remember, it said they've taken crafty counsel against your people. They're cunning. Chaldean, the term, is synonymous with astrologer, magician, or sorcerer. Show you one reference. Daniel 2:2 says, "Then the king gave the command to call the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to tell his dream". That was their desire, to be synonymous — A magician deceives you. Let me say it another way. He distracts you so he can deceive you. He distracts you so he can deceive you.
A sorcerer deceives you by actual spirits, spirits that can tell your future. Spirits can tell your future. That's how he deceives. And then, an astrologer tries to determine your future by natural events that you don't have any control over. Instead of God determining your future, he says the stars can tell you what your future is. That's a crock. Don't read your horoscope. Don't do anything like that. Let me tell you who determines your future if you're a believer, the Lord Jesus Christ does. So when you sum up these three things, here's what demons are trying to do. They're trying to distract, deceive, and determine your future. Distract, deceive, and determine your future.
One more scripture, 1 Peter 5:8 says, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour". Be sober simply means to be in control. In other words, don't let the, something else be in control of you. Be sober. A person who's drunk is not in control. Let me say it another way. It's amazing that the Bible says, "Don't be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Holy Spirit". Don't be out of control, but be under the control of the Holy Spirit. So be sober. The other thing it says is be vigilant. All that simply means is watchful. It does not mean to be afraid of Satan. You don't need to be afraid of Satan.
You remember Psalm 23. It talks about the shepherd. "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want". But here's something it says, "His rod and His staff comfort me". 'Kay, you need to understand that He doesn't hit you with His rod. His rod is not to hit the sheep. Otherwise, we couldn't say His rod comforts us. He does not hit the sheep with His rod. Let me say it in Texan. He uses His rod to beat the snot out of the wolf. That's what the Lord does. So here's the answer. You say, "Well, what about it? You're saying beware of Chaldeans, and I'm telling you I know, Pastor Robert, they're coming after me right now". Okay. What's the answer? Run to the Shepherd. Come to the Shepherd.
Think about it. Paul said, "Beware of the Chaldeans," and he said this and it's recorded in Acts 13. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul says to us in Acts 13, "Beware of the Chaldeans". And here's what it says they're trying to do, they are trying to march through the land to possess dwelling places that are not theirs. That's what the enemy's trying to do. He is trying to come in and he is trying to take you in bondage even though you're a child of God, owned by God, and filled with the Holy Spirit.