FREEDOM FROM DEMONIC DOMINION
This is what I taught at the Cornerstone Church on Sunday, April 8, 2018:
FREEDOM FROM DEMONIC DOMINION
Part 1 of Free Indeed
FREE, NOT FREE
This is part 1 of a teaching series about spiritual freedom, specifically freedom from the oppressive influence of demons in your life. Many genuine believers are not living the abundant life Jesus promised. They cannot enter into the fullness that is in Christ because, for one reason or another, they are restrained by demonic powers.
The letter to the Colossians, which is our textbook for this teaching series, tells us that it is possible to be free, not free. At the same time. To be in free in Christ and to be held back by demons.
Charles Kraft, who has written several very helpful books in this area, uses a graphic idea to help us understand why many of us are free, not free.
Say you run a restaurant. One night, the clean up crew leaves an open bag of garbage on the kitchen floor. You come in the next day and the place is overrun by rats who have come in to eat the garbage. So you take out your gun and you blast away until all the rats are dead. Problem solved, right? Well, the next night, the bag is left out again. And a new set of rats come back. The problem won't go away by killing rats; it can only go away if you throw out the garbage. So ... Charles Kraft writes that demons are like rats. They are drawn to the garbage in our lives. And they won't stop harassing us until we deal with our junk.
What is this garbage that gives demons an open door into our lives? It is any belief, behavior, emotion, or attitude that is contrary to the truth that is Jesus. Colossians provides a checklist we can use to slam shut the open doors to demons. The checklist includes, for example: deep rooted anger, treadmill religion, a false Jesus.
DEMONIC OPPRESSION IS REAL
The devil is a liar and there is a lie he would like all us to believe: all the demons in the world, live in Africa. If he can get us to believe this, we'll stay wide open to their influence and not know what's going on. We'll come up with a false diagnosis for some of the struggles we face.
I believe that demons harass me from time to time. Wednesday, for example, I sat down to begin studying and writing this teaching. I experienced mental confusion and physical oppression - it was hard to think straight or to open my eyes. "You were just tired Peter." No. I had a full night's sleep and I was fully caffeinated. I knew what was happening, so I just stood against it in Jesus' name. I made myself strong in the mighty resurrection power of Jesus. It was so second nature (I've gone through this every week for almost over 30 years) that I barely even noticed as the oppression lifted and the message began forming on the page.
Not everything is because of demons. But it is worth checking things twice before dismissing the possibility. Demons find all sorts of ways to gain what some call a "legal" claim on us:
Have you ever been cursed? It's simple as: "I hate you!" "I wish you were dead!"
Have you ever been abused - physically or emotionally or spiritually? Rejected? Unwanted? Severely criticized?
Are you holding on to anger or bitterness towards someone who hurt you?
Have you ever been involved in a cult or another religion or the occult or the new age? Has a parent or other family member?
Do you ever think or speak negative, critical, words about yourself? Do you ever wish you were dead? Do you ever think about killing yourself?
Are you participating in willful, intentional, rebellion against God's will? Pornography, hurtful speech, crude TV, jealousy, ... ?
All of these are like the open garbage bag; they are potential reasons for demonic activity in your life. It's time to take our stand against the devil; To resist him and his demons so they will flee. Let me show you how ...
In this teaching series, we're going to discover how to live in freedom from:
Week 1: Demonic Dominion
Week 2: Demonic Deception
Week 3: Demonic Religion
Week 4: Demonic Relationships
Week 5: Demonic Strongholds
THREE STEPS TO FREEDOM FROM DEMONIC DOMINION
The information we need is in Colossians 1:12-14:
"... the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
STEP ONE: RECOGNIZE THAT THERE ARE TWO KINGDOMS IN THE WORLD
Kingdom One: The dominion of darkness in which we live under the devil's authority. Jesus sent Paul out to preach, "... to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God." - Acts 26:18
Kingdom Two: The kingdom of light/God's Son, in which Jesus is supreme over us and over all things, including demons. He is "... far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked." - Ephesians 1:21
Either God or the devil is sitting on the throne of your life.
STEP TWO: REALIZE WHOSE KINGDOM IS RULING YOUR LIFE
The Devil and His Demons? We don't have to do anything to come under his authority - born into it: 1 John 5:19 "The whole world is under the control of the evil one."
King Jesus? The only way into his Kingdom is at the cross - verse 14. That's where we're redeemed/forgiven. That's where the devil loses his kingdom authority over us.
STEP THREE: REMAIN OR RESCUE? CHOOSE A KINGDOM
Choice One: Remain under the dominion of Satan by rejecting Jesus. Likely, you'll never notice demonic activity in your life because he's got you where he wants you.
Choice Two: Rescue from the dominion of Satan by receiving Jesus as King. You'll be free, but ironically, you'll likely experience demonic temptation, harassment, opposition, and push-back. But ... you need not fear because ...
HOW TO STAY FREE FROM DEMONIC DOMINION
OK. So, you're free from the kingdom of darkness. You're a citizen of the kingdom of light. But the devil and his demons are doing everything they can to keep you bound in darkness: temptations, obsessions, mental confusion, self-hatred, whatever.
Here's what to do to live free from demonic dominion:
ALWAYS STAND FIRM IN THE SUPREME AUTHORITY OF JESUS
Don't give demonic powers an inch of space in your life. Declare to them that Jesus is your King and theirs. Get your confidence from verses 15-22:
Verse 18: Jesus is supreme over everything.
Verses 15 and 19: Jesus is the Supreme God.
Verse 18: Jesus is supreme over the church.
Verses 17-18: Jesus is supreme over the devil and his demons.
Verse 22: Jesus is the supreme Savior.
Jesus said it, "If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed." - (John 8:36) How? Because Jesus is supreme. If you are in Christ then, the devil can't condemn you because Jesus went to the cross for you. The devil can't control you because Jesus raided his kingdom for you. The devil can't capture you because Jesus is keeping you. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Stand firm in the supremacy of Jesus. Memorize this: Jesus declared in John 12:31 "Now is the time for judgment on this world; NOW the prince of this world will be driven out." - Context: at the cross. Believe that Jesus drove the devil out of your life.
ALWAYS STAND AGAINST THE STRONGHOLD AUTHORITY OF THE DEVIL
Remember the garbage bag in the restaurant? Don't give the devil a stronghold. Get rid of anything that gives the devil a doorway back into your life. For example, unforgiveness, occult stuff, negative self-talk, anxiety, bad theology. Reject any belief, behavior, emotion or attitude that is against God's will for you.
CHOOSE NOW TO LIVE FREE FROM DEMONIC DOMINION
This morning is a time of decision for all of us:
For those of us who have not yet turned to Jesus in faith, what will you choose: to remain under the devil's power? Or will you choose freedom?
For those of us in Christ by faith, but living under demonic oppression, do you want to live in the freedom Jesus won for you at the cross? Then, in Jesus' name, take back your life. Stand in his supremacy. Stand against the garbage.
I recommend talking to someone about getting free and staying free. I'll be right there at the cross and I'm in no hurry to leave. Or, you can email me - see the address in the bulletin. You can Facebook Messenger me. I want to help you.
Perhaps you'd prefer to read something. We have a good resource on the book table today: Truly Free by Robert Morris. I also have a list of recommended books on the table there.
I don't want anyone to leave here today still bound in the darkness. Please let me pray with you, talk to you, stand against the devil with you. You can be free in Christ today ...
Defeating Dark Angels - Charles Kraft.
I Give You Authority - Charles Kraft.
The Evangelical's Guide to Spiritual Warfare - Charles Kraft.
Two Hours to Freedom - Charles Kraft.
Daily Prayers - Victor Matthews (this is a free booklet on the book table)
Truly Free - Robert Morris.
Victory in Spiritual Warfare - Tony Evans.
The Strategy of Satan - Warren Wiersbe.