Demons in politics
…And he was saying that the demons have a network in the governments of countries like our own by which they control these countries. Now if you think that’s something brand new, you ought to go back and read the tenth chapter of Daniel. That’s nothing new at all. Demons have been politicking since the beginning.
When Satan was unmasked in Isaiah 14 and when he was unmasked in Ezekiel 28, both times the prophet was really speaking to a human ruler, wasn’t he? And then going behind that ruler to the Satan who was really there.
In the case of Daniel chapter 10, you’ve got certain nations being governed by men, but men being possessed by demons. So, Satan has always been active politicking. In fact, when he tempted our Lord in Matthew chapter 4, he had the audacity to say to Him – If You will bow down to me, I will give You…what?…
all…what?…the kingdoms of the world.
Devil tempts us to doubt
He loves it. In the very beginning, in Genesis 3, what did he tempt Eve with? Doubt God. Doubt God’s word. Doubt God’s goodness. God made a mistake, He should never have done that to you…dirty deal you got. Doubt God’s concern. Doubt God’s security. And that’s why Paul says in two places, “put on the helmet of the hope of salvation and get rid of those doubts.”
Persecutes the Church
Another thing he likes to do secondly is this – not only creating doubt but motivating persecution. Satan loves to motivate persecution.
We see him creating doubt in Genesis chapter 3. We see him motivating persecution in Revelation chapter 2. Revelation 2:10 says: “Fear none of the things which you shall suffer,” and this is the church of Smyrna, “behold the devil shall cast some of you into prison, you may be tried.”
Here we have an illustration that Satan loves to persecute the church. In fact, we’ve just taken up where Israel left off. He’s always…always persecuted Israel.
Read Revelation chapter 12, it’s all there. He’s always persecuted the people, the woman that brought forth the man- child, people of God. He persecutes the church today. And here we find him in the church in Smyrna giving us an illustration of the fact that the devil casts some of you into prison, you may be tried and have tribulations 10 days. “Be faithful unto death and I’ll give you a crown of life.” Satan wants to persecute the church. So, Satan creates doubt. Satan persecutes the church. Expect it…that’s what he’s going to do. Get ready for it.
And, you know, when Paul left Thessalonica, the desire of his heart was to return, he wanted to return, and there’s a lot of speculations about why he never got to go back. Some say – Well, it was because Jason was bonded and if they went back Jason would have forfeited the bond. Others say that the…the polyarchs, the people who ruled the city, would have been very hard to deal with. So whatever it was it says in verse 18: “We would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again but…what?…Satan hindered us.”
Satan is in the business of hindering the ministry. Expect it.
If you think – Well, I think I’m going to develop a ministry, and everything is going to be…. And as soon as you run into the first obstacle – Op…I…I’d better quit, apparently it is not God’s will. You better check it out. You better check it out well because it’s Satan who hinders.
He’s busy doing that. And I’m sure the more effective you are, the more he hinders. In fact, the Apostle Paul went through his ministry with a terrible hindrance, he called it a thorn in the…what?…in the flesh. And he said it was a messenger of…whom?…of Satan sent to buffet me.
It’s always there banging away at me and Satan wants to make me miserable and he wants to make me quit but I stay at it. And if God says that’s good for me to have that struggle, to keep me humble, that’s fine because when I’m weak, then I’m…what?…strong. And believe me, with all of Satan’s hindering, he never short-circuits God’s plans. He just filters out the weaklings.
Infiltrates the church
Fourth, Satan not only hinders our service, but…and here’s a biggie, he infiltrates the church. He infiltrates the church. He’s really good at this. You say – How does he do it, John? First of all, through phony Christians.
He gets the church to take in people who appear to be Christians and we really can’t tell them apart, and they’re really the devil’s people. And then he gets them on the inside and they really create havoc. And they do it a lot of ways. They do it by having a life style that doesn’t match up to what their claim is and so it confuses the world as to what a Christian is. They become difficult to deal with. We don’t know how to handle them. Many things. They usually try to worm their way into leadership so that you’ve got Satan getting a voice in everything.
In Matthew 13:38 it says: “The field is the world, the good seed of the children of the kingdom, the tares are the children of the wicked one, the enemy that sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age and the reapers are the angels.” The only way the wheat and the tares are ever going to be separated is by God in the end. We can’t always tell them. Satan infiltrates the church with false Christians. Grace Church has got them.
And that’s why in the armor of the Christian we are given the sword of…what?…the Spirit which is the…what?…the Word of God because we’ve got to counteract Satan’s infiltration of the church through false doctrine.