That video clip is from - The Exorcism of Emily Rose…and I would not recommend the movie but…
· it is based on the real story of Analiese Michel
· Mentally ill young woman who apparently also struggled from demon possession.
· In the process of attempting her deliverance she died which led to the court case over her neglect and conviction of two priests and her parents.
Analiese’s story raises one of the most misunderstood topics in our faith – the existence of demons and their influence on human beings.
· What are demons?
· What do they do?
· Can they hurt me?
Early on in the life of this church those were exactly the questions I was asking even though I had attended Bible School. I maybe had 1 class in 1 course devoted to the subject. For years I simply avoided the subject even as the new Senior Pastor of Grace. Until one day I could not avoid it.
The story of my first encounter with deliverance.
· after a sermon one Sunday – a woman approached me with a younger woman in tow
· “we have to do this now” … I suspected demonization but put off doing anything
· she was clearly disturbed and almost out of it…her eyes told the story
· I gathered some people and we met in my office
· The next hour was chaotic and troubling (I will spare you the details)…but eventually she was temporarily set free.
After that encounter I determined to never be naïve and unprepared again. So I studied and prepared myself.
· Since then I have participated in numerous deliverances that were not chaos but ordered and under control.
o I’ve watched many people who were under the influence of dark spiritual forces be set free.
Friends…this is a real thing. Demons are real things. But…deliverance from the influence of demons is also a real thing…and entirely possible and assured though the power of Jesus Christ.
· As a matter of fact, deliverance from demonization is one of the evidences or hallmarks of revival. Where the Holy Spirit is causing spiritual awakening in a community people are set free.
For example: Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed. Acts 5:16
And this from when one of the early church leaders, Philip, went to Samaria : With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city. Acts 8:4-8
In his book The Adversary, Mark Bubek explained that… A spiritual revival will send the kingdom of darkness into retreat as no other event can. That is why Satan will do everything he can to stop a revival and the declaration of the gospel. Mark Bubeck, The Adversary
So, if nothing else I want you to know this so that maybe you’ll pray a little more intently for revival.
· pray for: conversions, conviction, healing, unity,
· pray for: ordinary people to be empowered with extraordinary ability and pray that a wave of desperate love and sacrificial community will overwhelm us
· and pray for: deliverance…for people to be set free from the grips of the adversary.
That’s really all I wanted to say today. Please pray with me for revival.
But…since this topic is so misunderstood and frankly odd and frightening I thought I’d better give you all a primer on the subject.
I’m going to keep it very simple. Here’s my outline for the rest of this sermon:
· Demons are real and active
· Demons are completely defeatable
1. Demons are real and active
Ephesians 6: 10 page _______________
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6:10-18
Note: V 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
· There is an unseen world all around us: the heavenly realms.
· There are invisible beings: not flesh and blood
· They inhabit that world around us: rulers, authorities, powers and spiritual forces of evil.
· They harass human beings: our struggle (the word = a contest or wrestling match)
***Keep your bibles open to that passage to which we will return.***
We get a little more description of these beings from an excerpt from John’s Revelation:
· Describes a war between angels, long ago, before the world was created. One group led by Michel on behalf of God and the other by Satan. And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven. This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels. Revelation 12:8-9 (NLT)
· So…demons are angels – ancient created beings that existed before humans
· at one point they rallied with Satan, himself an angel, and they were sent to this planet their outpost.
What do they do here? Based on many actual stories, which we do not have time to examine, they harass human beings and can cause mental and even physical distress.
· Mostly they lie, they cause confusion, and they somehow inflame weaknesses or struggles in human beings. Sometimes it is really hard to discern whether a person has a mental illness or a demon.
· Can a person really be possessed? Well, yes and no.
o Interestingly there is really no Greek word for possessed.
§ literally – possessed was from the words “has a demon” …so my take on a better interpretation would be “under the influence of a demon or “demonized”.
§ it is similar to “having an infection”
· e.g. someone can have the flu and be flat out and others just the sniffles
· look at it on a scale of 1-10. 1= mild temptation 10 = full on possession
So, they are real…they can affect us…some of us quite intensely but let me dispel some rumors about demons:
· They are not omniscient – they do not know everything and cannot read your mind.
· Although they are timeless they are not omnipresent – they can only be in one place at one time (including Satan)
o problem is there are a lot of them
· They are not omnipotent – not all powerful…in most cases easily defeat-able.
2. Demons can be defeated( and in a revival that will happen a lot)
Let me show you just how defeat-able they are:
16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her. Acts 16:18
Memorize that phrase: “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you ……….”
· come out, go, go away, leave…and THEY HAVE TO OBEY YOU
As a follower of Jesus …You have authority over the spirit realm. So…
· First off, if you are not a follower of Jesus may I recommend you become one?
· And if you are…you want to know how to gear up for dealing with the spirit realm?
***Let’s go back to Ephesians 6***
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes….
…..13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6:10-18
You indeed have authority but you best be in fighting shape:
1. Note Vs. 10 – Be strong in the Lord
a. geared up – armor – a metaphor for being spiritually prepared
i. truth, peace, readiness, faith, the word of God
b. in short – be walking in the spirit
2. Pray like mad - And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6: 18
Note: for fuller description both of walking in the spirit and prayer go back and watch the sermon of July and august.
So…assuming you are prepared and you are praying let’s get specific about what to do if you sense you or a loved one is being harassed…
Confront the demon(s) with simple stated authority “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to ……….”
· go away, come out of me, come out of her, leave this home
And they will.
In an interesting story from Jesus life…The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, "What is this? A new teaching--and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him." Mark 1:27
Jesus conferred THAT authority to you as a follower of His. Again, Mark Bubek… The authority of which we are speaking is the portion of every believer. It is the inherent right of the child of God because of his elevation with Christ to the right hand of the Father. Mark Bubeck, The Adversary
Which is a fancy way of saying – you have the power over evil spiritual forces around us.
I love this declaration of Paul. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4
They are real. They are defeat-able. In Jesus name!