Freedom from Demonic Deception
Here is my teaching on Freedom from Demonic Deception. The Cornerstone Church on Sunday, April 15, 2018.
FREEDOM FROM DEMONIC DECEPTION
Part 2 of Free Indeed. Colossians 2:4
Peter Foxwell. The Cornerstone Church. April 15, 2018.
THE CONTEXT OF DEMONIC DECEPTION - COLOSSIANS 1:24-2:10
I've got so much to share and so I'd like us to dive in right away. This much content isn't good preaching, but it will be life-changing teaching if you stick with me.
Here's what I want to do this morning: I want to walk you through the passage and make it clear what Paul was telling the church. Then, I want to use that outline to answer four questions about demonic deception. Got your Bible ready?
1:24: Paul's Mindset. I've given sacrificial service for the good of the church.
1:25-27: Paul's Message. Christ in you, the hope of glory.
1:28-29; 2:2-7: Paul's Method. I proclaimed Christ so that you would root yourself deep into him.
1:28: Paul's Mission. I coached you towards full maturity in Christ: His life, his character formed in you.
2:4, 8: Paul's Milieu - the context, the problem. Your faith was under fire from deceptive teachers who wanted to turn you away from Jesus to their demon-inspired mysteries, wisdom, and fullness. I showed you that it was all a kindergarten level of spiritual understanding without God’s supernatural impact.
Some things never change: Today, God offers us spiritual fullness in Christ - he's all we need - but there are so many deceptive teachings that turn us away from Jesus.
OK. Now, let's ask and answer four questions about demonic deception.
THE CONTENT OF DEMONIC DECEPTION
Question 1: Is there such a thing as demonic deception?
Answer 1: Yes. Another word for deception is lies and Jesus called the devil a liar (John 8:44). False teachers get their lies from the Father of Lies - the devil himself.
They may be gifted communicators. They may use clever marketing, and their books may appear to be so, so helpful, so full of 'fine-sounding arguments' (2:4). Paul tells us what this kind of teaching really is:
1 Timothy 4:1 "The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons."
Lying spirits are real and their mission is to destroy the work of Christ in our lives. Behind every false teacher is a deceiving spirit who is downloading demonic teaching into the church.
The Apostle Peter warned:
2 Peter 2:1 "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce DESTRUCTIVE HERESIES even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them ..."
"Destructive (GK. apoleia) heresies" are demonic deceptions. I'm convinced of this because in Revelation 9:11, the demon king is called Apollyon, which means destroyer and shares the same Greek root - as "destructive" in 2 Peter 2:1.
Demons want to destroy your faith, so we must be knowledgable and discerning and on constant guard. Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate, evaluate. EVERYTHING.
Question 2: How can we tell if someone is teaching demonic doctrines?
Answer 2: Our passage in Colossians gives us three "tells."
Demonic doctrine denies or twists the truth of God's Word. This is why Paul emphasized his ministry of the Word of God: he proclaimed and taught and admonished and made the Word fully known.
On September 21, 1823, Joseph Smith met a lying spirit who called itself the Angel Moroni who gave him the deceptive revelation that became the Mormon church. At first glance, Mormonism looks like a Christian church, but a closer look reveals that their doctrines are not found in the Bible; they use the same terms that we do, but they do not mean what we mean by them - the identity of Christ, the meaning of grace, and the power of the cross. Demonic doctrine twists truth.
Demonic doctrine denies or minimizes the all-supremacy and all-sufficiency of Christ. This is why Paul emphasized that he proclaimed Christ and that Christ was the focus of all his teaching.
Lying spirits want to distract us from Jesus. Back in the 1990's people were chasing spiritual experiences at conferences instead of pursuing greater knowledge of Christ himself. It all sounded very spiritual, but in the end it led to spiritual exhaustion. I watched online meetings in Lakeland, FL. The focus was never on Jesus, always on experiences. Lying spirits want us to add to Christ so that in the end we lose Christ.
Demonic doctrine denies or minimizes God's desire for holiness in the church. This is why Paul emphasized that the goal of his ministry was their full maturity in Christ by continuing to live rooted in Christ everyday.
Jude nails it: "They (false teachers) are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality ..." Jude 4.
Question 3: What are some examples of demonic deception today?
Answer 3: There are so many. Let me focus on six very down-to-earth examples. I'm just going to name them and move on. There's no time to explain, refute, or convince.
Deception 1: Jesus is my Savior, but he isn't my Lord. And that's OK. God doesn't care that my heart is rebellious, and my lifestyle is full of intentional sins. All that matters is I've "asked Jesus into my heart".
Deception 2: God is my butler, my genie, my ATM. If If I dream it, if I desire it, then I deserve it and God had better deliver it. Now!
Deception 3: I am the only person who has the right to decide who I am, what I am, and whose I am. So I have the absolute right to choose my gender, my sexual orientation, and my sexual behavior.
Deception 4: I am not. God will never use my life because I'm not talented enough. I'm not strong enough. I'm not good enough. I'm not old enough. I am not.
Deception 5: No Way! I call this the deception of denial. No way watching that show gave demons of lust the right to occupy my life. No way my meditation app caused my nightmares. No way my words put a curse on you. No way that souvenir statue brought sickness into my home. No way!
Deception 6: Demons "shmeemons". All this demon talk is crazy mumbo jumbo. Demons have nothing to do with my sinful obsessions. I just need to be more disciplined and fight harder for holiness.
This is the only deception I want to push-back on today. California pastor, Jack Hayford, said it this way, "You can't disciple a demon and you can't cast out the flesh."
The reason we can't ever seem to get free from certain sinful, habitual, compulsions isn't because we don't want free. And it isn't because we haven't been disciplined enough or prayed enough or tried hard enough. It's because we are captive to a demonic stronghold. We need deliverance as well as discipleship.
Question 4: How can we gain freedom from demonic deception?
Answer 4: Follow the process I outline below:
Wise up. Read, receive and apply Bible truth. The most neglected weapon in spiritual warfare is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God - Ephesians 6:17. It crushes the enemy.
Tear down. Review what you believe. Reject anything that does not square with plain Bible-truth. That's how you destroy demonic strongholds:
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Demonic spirits will fight you every inch of the way. But the truth always wins! Believing the truth is another potent weapon in spiritual warfare: the belt of truth and the shield of faith - Ephesians 6:14, 16 - will protect you and help you stand firm.
Step out. Pray and declare. Again, this is a powerful weapon in spiritual warfare - Ephesians 6:18. You'll need to do this verbally and out loud.
Father, I approach your throne of mercy in the name of Jesus. I can see that I've been leaving a door open in my life to the attacks of lying spirits. I confess that I lack faith and knowledge of your Word so I am vulnerable to demonic deception. Forgive me and help me walk in the freedom of your truth from now on.
Satan and all lying spirits, I bind you in the mighty name of Jesus. I resist you and I reject your lies. I stand in Christ and in his truth. You must go now. The door to my mind and heart is closed. I have overcome you by the blood of the Lamb. Your stronghold in my life is broken in Jesus' name.
Father, thank you for the victory I have in Christ. Help me to walk in the new life he has given me. Please give me a hunger for your Word and the self-discipline to read, study, receive, and apply it.
I pray all this in the name of my God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
My email junk file is full of scams. Google filters them all out, but sometimes I take a look - just for laughs. Apparently, there is a prince in exile who will pay me a million bucks if I'll let him deposit his fortune in my bank account for safe keeping. All I have to do is send him my social security and bank account numbers. WOW! What an opportunity. The weird thing about that is some people will believe it. They'll be deceived and ripped off.
The problem with deception is it's deceptive. We don't know when we're deceived and what we don't know can really hurt us. Sadly, a great many professing Christians are captive to lies that are hurting them and leading them away from Jesus.
If that's you, refuse to live one more second in demonic deception. Come into the light of truth right now: wise up, tear down, step out. Experience deliverance. Ask for help - talk to me and I'll direct you to the right people.
There are people here today who need deliverance. I'm not criticizing you. I want you to get the help you need. While we sing this song, let us pray with you.
Expect a battle. This is war. There is victory in Christ alone. Your enemy must flee:
Revelation 12:10-11 "Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony."