Spiritual warfare continued by Pastor Don.
Pastor Don continued on the topic of spiritual warfare in a very intense Bible study. We, as usual, ended up asking a question that pulled him off track for a bit, so there is some discussion about carbon dating – trust me, carbon dating and spiritual warfare are not related topics, but as always, because it is interesting and informative, I want to share that as well.
The question that came up was, are demons pre Adamic? (meaning before the time of Adam’s creation).
Pastor Don pointed out that the way people come to this conclusion is inferring their conclusion from Genesis 1:1-2 (1) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (2) The earth was without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
And the people who espouse this theory say that something happened between verse 1 and verse 2. They state that God did not create the world without form and void, that the earth became without form and void when satan was cast down with the rebellious angels and they messed up the earth. So then God sent His Spirit to begin the restoration of the earth.
Pastor Don stated that whether or not this happened is not the important issue, that what is important is that God sent His Son, our savior to the world to reconcile us with Him. And that God clearly includes in the Bible what is important for us to know.
Then Pastor Don went on his own rabbit trail about how there is a problem that scientists and paleontologists are facing in trying to prove that the earth is millions of years old. A problem that they do not come out and admit – Carbon dating is inaccurate after 5,000 years, and also inaccurate after an object is exposed to water (The flood).
Pastor Don used his fingers to represent the strata on the earth, and stated that what scientists decided was that the lower down the layer that the fossil is found at, the older the fossil. (So using hands as strata if your little finger is the bottom layer, and your pointer finger the top. The layer between your pointer and middle finger is a more recent fossil, and the layer between your little and ring finger is an older fossil).
So, since carbon dating is used, and isn’t valid when materials have been exposed to water (and most fossils are created in mud, or on layering of mud in streams, etc), the paleontologist states that he found the fossil in the layer that is the Jurassic layer. When asked how does he know if the fossil comes from that time period, the scientist says I found it in the Jurassic layer. And that is all he repeats, until later he says, and it was carbon dated.
Well, how is carbon dating done? The paleontologist brings the object to the carbon dater, and the carbon dater asks him, where did you find it, the paleontologist says, “I found it in the Jurassic layer.” and so guess what, since carbon dating is not accurate after 5,000 years, the carbon dater adjusts his readings to match where the paleontologist found the bone – and comes up with Jurassic years.
Now carbon dating is dead on right when it comes to things that are not exposed to water, and are within our 5,000 year period, but after that there is inaccuracy.
Now, one other interesting point, the idea of the strata’s age being correct is also called to question. A French scientist asked the question about whether or not the strata were laid down in sequential order. He pointed out that the problem is that when something new is laid down, it pushes up to the top with water, the things first laid down. So that really it may be that the things on the upper layers are actually older than the things that are on the lower layers, so their theories are wrong. Add to that that trilobites are on all strata, but they are supposedly lower in the evolutionary scale, so they should have disappeared in the later years. And add to that, the fact that in some areas, there are on the same strata dinosaur footprints side by side with human footprints.
There is a new book coming out that sounds interesting if you care about the subject, The Vanishing Evidence of Evolution
Another person discovered that what are assumed to be Neanderthal skulls may actually be more recent. Remember that in the Bible, before Noah people lived to be 500-900 years old. Some scientist used a computer program to age faces and found out that after 400 years old, the computer generated aging program produced skull shapes similar to what is currently being labeled Neanderthal.
Pastor Don pointed out that there would have to be 75 million years for a reptile to evolve into a human being under the best of circumstances. (Heather’s note: if you believe in evolution, try this experiment. Take your watch and break it into component parts, put parts in a paper bag and shake up. How many shakes would it take to create a running watch from the component parts? And that gives you the pre-made component parts. You would say, can’t do – watch needs a watch maker. Our earth needs an earth maker too, and our earth maker is God. And humans are more complex than a watch, with far more components. Add to that a vast variety of animals and creatures. It really takes far more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in a Creator.)
Then it was pointed out that there are two beasts mentioned in the book of Job, leviathan and behemoth.
Every country has stories about dragons and heroes who fight them. And on their pottery is images that look remarkably like dinosaurs.
Scientists are fighting to keep evolution, but it is not standing up to science.
Then Pastor Don laughed and said that we are so good at pulling him off target with our questions.
The common theme in the Bible is the battle between good and evil. And it is important to remember that a spiritual battle may manifest in the physical, but that even though there is a manifestation in the physical, there is a spiritual battle being waged.
Every culture has a concept of God, they have structured concepts of good and evil.
Good fights against evil to prevail.
Some people want to stay stuck in the natural, not wanting to accept the spiritual battle that is going on, but whether or not you accept it or not, the spiritual battle is still being waged.
Periodically in history great leaders arise that actively pursue evil roles, one example is Adolf Hitler. They exert great evil, genocide (such as in the Sudan and Middle East), a sort of blood lust. When reasonable people get into a fight, they do not look to be hurt. But in demonic situations, there is a desire to kill, kill, kill and shed much blood. Atrocities occur, and the people who perform these atrocities look at a segment of the population as not human. So they end up committing what we call “crimes against humanity.”
Pastor Don used to be involved in jail ministry, and talked about a person who is serving a life sentence for killing his wife, stabbing her 14 times with a knife. He told Pastor Don that a voice told him to do this, he did it, and then the voice said, “I’ve got you now!” and the spirit lifted. The man called the police and confessed, and is serving time. Pastor Don said that the man knew that he couldn’t tell the police about the voice for it would not be believed. Son of Sam had a similar testimony.
Then we got to Saul, we are still looking at Saul’s life and how he opened the door to the demonic.
Remember that God did not want the Israelites to have a king, but they wanted a king like the other kingdoms. They cried out to God and he let them have their way in this. Saul had all the qualifications that the people thought that a king should have. But we have seen that he did not have one important qualification, obedience to God, and he opened the door to the demonic when he let his emotions take over.
Saul gets into a mental state, and each time he does, there is no mention of satan causing it, but once he lets himself get into that mental state, then the demonic influences begin to control his behavior.
God gave satan the permission to impact Saul because Saul came out from under the protection of God due to the sin of disobedience. Some may then say, what about Job – that famous conversation in Heaven with God and satan where God says, “Have you considered my servant Job?” Job is described as an upright man. But Job is not without sin. Remember, satan wanders to and fro on the earth seeking whom he can devour. Sin lurks at the door, Cain opened the door to sin when he slew Abel and did not honor God with the right sacrifice or repentance. Job also sinned, but God had put a hedge of protection around Job. Satan could not touch Job when that hedge of protection was up. But Jesus had not yet come to die for our sins, so Job had sins, as we all do. One of his sins was worry. Remember he sacrificed daily for his children for he worried that they may have spoken wrongly about God. Worry is a sin, and God commands us not to worry. Job was not acting in faith, for fear is the opposite of faith. That which is not of faith is sin. Also, at first Job had pride, for he debated with God about whether he deserved what happened, concluding that he was righteous, until the last chapters of Job when Job realized that God is God and sovereign.
God’s law requires that if there is sin there is death, but He could not permit Job to experience the trials he experienced if Job was without sin. If God permitted trials on people without sin, he would be no better than dagon or baal, for there would be a fickleness about God. The only sin free person who suffered was God Himself, when He came down to die for our sins. (Jesus Christ).
The Body of Christ wants to be able to be wrong and slide by even when we are wrong. We won’t take the right choices to get us out of fear and into faith. We want to justify our lack of faith so that we can make it all right with ourselves. We choose the wrong attitude and solutions to our problems.
So often we say that God is not in a situation because we can’t feel Him. Or that God is far away when we are in the midst of our problems. It isn’t God who has moved, it is us who have moved out of faith and into fear and unbelief. And then we want to play the blame game, blame someone else for our problems, blame God, blame our pastors, blame our situation. Anything but realize that it is us that is at fault.
Jonathan is David’s friend, but Saul’s son. Jonathan has a right attitude toward David, and has taken steps to protect his friend. Saul suspects this. Remember, when it says that a distressing spirit from the LORD came upon Saul, that God did not put the spirit on Saul, there are no permissive clauses in Hebrew. God just removed his hand of protection from Saul and the spirit was able to come upon him.
1 Samuel 19:9 Now the distressing spirit from the LORD came upon Saul as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand. And David was playing music with his hand. Then Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he slipped away from Saul’s presence; and he drove the spear into the wall. So David fled and escaped that night.
Saul permitted himself to get into this state. He did what we often do, prepare to get into a battle before the situation occurs. Who spends time holding onto a spear in one’s own house? Saul opened the door in his heart, intending to do wrong, for he had purposed to kill David. He was jealous and felt I am king and I want to stay king, so he wants to stop David from becoming king, no matter the cost, including killing David. Pastor Don asked us if we have had a boss in our lives who was determined to stay boss by hook or crook. Saul had other choices he could have made, he could have helped David prepare for his future role and taken the time to relax and enjoy the perks of kingship. Instead, he chose to open the door to sin.
We are the ones who are responsible for our happiness. So often we want to put someone else into a position of making us happy. If my husband would only do this…If I could only get this promotion….. but once these things are acquired, we look elsewhere for happiness. Real happiness comes from a right relationship with God.
Saul was not a happy guy before he was king, and being king did not change his level of happiness. Saul had two choices 1) be happy, embrace David, and help David or 2) the one he chose to be sad and angry and try to kill David. The real truth is that David was God’s anointed, and he will be king no matter how hard Saul tries to stop this situation.
1 Samuel 19:10 – see above – How many times do we have our spear ready before the devil comes in. How many times have we argued with a person in our head, “If he says this, I will say that. How dare he do this. I would like to….”
What happens if we give into these mental dances, mental spears, is that just like Saul, we miss an opportunity to discern who is really prompting these feelings and thoughts. Who is saying these things and how do I want to react? So often, once we open the door to sin, we leave ourselves open to suggestions from lying spirits, tormenting spirits, who are there to take away our peace and cause trouble. We need to keep our thoughts captive.
1 Samuel 20:29 This is Jonathan informing Saul where David is “And he said, “Please let me go, for our family has a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to be there. And now, if I have found favor in your eyes, please let me get away and see my brothers: Therefore he has not come to the king’s table. Then Saul’s anger was aroused against Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness?”
Saul is playing the blame game. Notice that he is blaming Jonathan and Jonathan’s mother. But conveniently forgetting that he also had a hand in raising Jonathan. When you start blaming someone else for your strife you may be under the influence of a whispering spirit. It is Saul’s sin, but he would rather blame the woman. Adam blamed God and the woman for his sin, “It was the woman You gave me…”
To escape from the influence of a whispering, lying spirit, you must face the truth of the situation, to be honest about who is really being unreasonable, or you open the door to sin.
Everything in God’s kingdom is under covenant rights, so if you are not happy with the situation you are in, it is time to change how you are praying for it. You have to realize that the battle is not in the flesh, in our earthly situation, but the battle is a spiritual battle.
We also have to be careful not to justify dangerous behavior. An example is a person who has stopped smoking cigarettes keeping one unsmoked one in the car to prove to themselves that they have conquered the habit. In a moment of weakness satan would step in to cause that person to smoke. Better to rid oneself of cigarettes completely if you have made the choice to stop smoking.
But it is also important to realize that we cannot be assuming that there is a demon in every tough situation we face. The demon does not usually come in when we are in the middle of our fleshly ideas and thoughts. Demons and spirits are limited in power and cannot be everywhere at once. So if we are caught up in our flesh, they do not need to waste time on us. It is when we take a positive step, make a right choice, change our way of behaving and praying that we create a ripple in the pond that attracts a demons’ attention. Haven’t you noticed that sometimes situations get worse before they get better? That is because the demons are trying a last ditch attempt to throw us off of God’s best course for ourselves. When the situation gets tough we need to hold tightly onto our confession of faith.
When the demonic wants to affect a person, they look for the weakest link, the weakest point in our defense, the weakest person in our church group. They hit the weakest spot, hoping that we will open up the door to sin. Sometimes the manner of attack is not always logical. If a person is getting their finances in order, maybe the attack will be on the person’s health so that they cannot hold a job.
Bad news is that there are situations when we are under attack and we have done nothing wrong. When we feel under attack we must assess our situation – unconfessed sins, lifestyle changes, wrong thinking, but if we cannot find a cause, it may just be the ripple in the pond effect.
God will permit these attacks so that we will know where we stand in faith. Will we pass the faith test? God doesn’t need to test us for He knows where we stand in faith, but we need to know so that we can grow more in faith in our weak areas. These attacks on our faith build patience and build our character.
When we sign on with Jesus, there will be testing. And so often we do not listen to God’s best for us, for every angel or the prompting of the Holy Spirit that tells us to look out and not do something, we still have demons dispatched to tell us to go for it. (Heather’s note, reminds me of the cartoon with a demon on one shoulder whispering in one ear and an angel on the other shoulder whispering in the other ear. We have a choice as to which one we listen to.)
Sometimes, even when we are in sin God will put a hedge of protection around us. He limits what satan can do (remember he told satan that he could destroy Job’s possessions but not his person, then later he could inflict things on Job but not kill him). God’s covenant concerning health does not mean that we will never get sick. If we are healed by His stripes, that must mean that there must be sickness that we get healed from. But there is one condition for healing. Healing is based on faith. PERIOD. Where is your faith at? When an attack comes you need to be acting in faith. We need to have the weapons of our warfare ready and use them, until Jesus comes. But even in the tribulation there will also be attacks.
Remember demons will not show up until you are making changes in your life that will prevent them from oppressing you. Remember, when you are saved you can get oppressed, but not possessed. For example, there are not enough demons to hold us in lust. We make the choice to lust or to flee and resist the lust. Once we cross that ethical line, then the demons come to try and tempt us back across that line.
1 Samuel 22:8 All of you have conspired against me, and there is no one who reveals to me that my son has made a covenant with the son of Jesse: and there is not one of you who is sorry for me or reveals to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me to lie in wait, as it is this day.
Here is a good example of a whispering spirit whispering lies into Saul’s mind. He is having one huge pity party. And he certainly is not listening to the right counselor, God. He is blaming everyone else for what is happening and seeing a conspiracy around every corner.
1 Samuel 22:17 Then the king said to the guards who stood about him, “Turn and kill the priests of the LORD, because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled and did not tell it to me.” But the servants of the king would not lift their hands to strike the priests of the LORD.
He has really lost it, wanting to attack God’s priests. He has blamed them for sheltering David, and has gone beyond all the boundaries of propriety, seeking to kill the priests. The servants would refuse to do that, so Saul persisted until he found someone to agree.
1 Samuel 22:18 And the king said to Doeg, “You turn and kill the priests!” So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck the priests, and killed on that day eighty-five men who wore a linen ephod.
Saul is in a downward spiral and has ceased hearing from God, so he made another major mistake. When he couldn’t get an answer from God, he sought an answer from the medium of En Dor, and that sealed his fate for by doing that he was willfully seeking the demonic realm.
Pastor Don talked about hearing from God as being something like an AM and an FM radio receiver. God is the transmitter, but we have a choice of how we receive God’s signal. The AM band travels farther, but has more static the further you get from the source, and there will often be cross talk, and a need for discernment about who is speaking. With the FM band, you have to stay close to the source, but the sound quality is much better, with little or no interference. So we need to stay close to the transmitter, and receive on the FM band, and listen to it carefully but there is a better solution.
Then Pastor Don pointed out that both the AM and the FM is insufficient. That what God really wants is for us to have the transmitting system reside in us, through the Holy Spirit. When God is in the midst, we do not need to struggle in lack of confidence or fear. What is important is to focus on God, God knows the problem. We need to shut up and listen about what is inside us that God is telling us.
When troubles are upon us we need to get quiet, and listen to God. Satan wanders to and fro seeking whom he may devour. Remember temptation starts out sweet until we are lured in, then it destroys us. In the last days we are noticing that things are getting busier, information is increasing, and there is much activity in our lives. Satan likes to keep us so busy that we do not stop to listen to God. There is a war going on and we need to stop and listen to God.
Have you ever noticed that when you are shaky, everyone else is shaky too. If you are right with God, it does not matter what other people are saying. When we are not plugged in with God, people can easily steal our joy by their comments. If we are focused on God, we can begin to see them with God’s view of them.
There is a point where we realize that in a situation we have turned a corner, where the battle becomes not a battle in the flesh, but one that is spiritual, and we have to battle by faith with the full armor of God. We have to realize that the battle is not physical, but spiritual.
1 Chronicles 10:1-2 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. Then the Philistines followed hard after Saul and his sons. And the Philistines killed Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons.
Because Saul opened that door to sin, the spirit followed hard after Saul and his sons.
1 Chronicles 10:3-4 The battle became fierce against Saul. The archers hit him, and he was wounded by the archers. Then Saul said to his armorbearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised men come and abuse me.” But his armorbearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword and fell on it.
After the devil fully took over Saul’s actions, he let Saul be destroyed. Saul killed himself, and that demon that had attached itself to Saul now lost it’s human host. Remember, demons crave bodies, so it jumped to the next nearest body.
1 Chronicles 10:5 And when his armorbearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword and died.
The demon who caused Saul to kill himself, then affected Saul’s armorbearer.
Pastor Don told us to never stay in an unguarded condition if you are around someone who is off-base, for you may be caught in the spiritual battle. If you get free of drugs, you should not stay around people who are still taking drugs, for in an unguarded state you may allow that spirit of addiction to come back on you. And when you get delivered from a condition, keep your focus on God, and fill yourself with what is true and good and of God.
Pastor Don said that if you are in an environment where people are not growing, if they are fixated at a certain point of spiritual growth, you may want to look for someone who is chasing after God and moving on. Pastor Don said that if he stopped and stagnated, and did not keep growing in the Lord and challenging us to grow spiritually, it is time to seek another pastor. If there is no fruit and you are being fed dead religion and traditions that are not Biblical, it is time to make a change. We need to be fruit testers, to make sure that what is being served from the pulpit is from God.
There was no reason for the armorbearer to have died. He could have become part of David’s kingdom, and been an armor bearer for him. The armorbearer did not sin, did not kill Saul.
1 Chronicles 10:6 So Saul and his three sons died, and all his house died together.
The wages of sin is death.
1 Chronicles 10:8-10 So it happened the next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. And they stripped him and took his head and his armor, and sent word throughout the land of the Philistines to proclaim the news in the temple of their idols and among the people. Then they put his armor in the temple of their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of dagon.
Dagon was half man, half fish, and the people who worshipped him ate fish on Friday. Saul has found himself fully in the camp of the enemy.
1 Chronicles 10:13 So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the LORD, because he did not keep the word of the LORD, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance.
Saul died because of UNFAITHFULNESS and consulting the MEDIUM.
1 Chronicles 10:14 But he did not inquire of the LORD; therefore He killed him, and turned the kingdom to David the son of Jesse.
This is another situation of God not preventing something from happening, the killing of Saul. Saul wasted 17 years chasing after David, trying to destroy David and keep his crown. It was a waste of time and stole Saul’s joy. And in the end, what God said would happen, happened.God has the full endgame plan. At any time Saul could have turned the situation around and had his relationship with God restored, there could have been reconciliation, and forgiveness. Without that climate of reconciliation, forgiveness, and relationship with God, there is guilt and hate. We need to repair the breach in our wall of defense, we need to close the door to sin. We cannot fix things in our own power, we need God.
With God all things are possible. Remember that God can deal with our honesty. If we do not have faith for a situation, God can deal with that if we are honest with Him. Remember the father of the demonically possessed son who said, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief.” Because he was totally honest with Jesus, his son could be healed. We cannot be dishonest about our faith position.
In church at times we feel we cannot fully share where we are, we cannot tell others of our lack of faith for a particular situation. That just keeps us from receiving our healing. We need to let others know what we can believe in so that we can agree together in faith. But God can deal with our honesty, and he can help our unbelief if we confess it to Him.
We then spent some time quietly listening to God and asking God what it is we need to work on in our lives, and then we prayed for God to help us with that area.
Hoping you have a blessed Friday. Today is Bible study, Yeah!!!!!
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