Part 5 - The Doctrine of Demons
Demonology, is the theological term given to the biblical study of demons. One generally finds that when dealing with this particular area, one of two extremes tend to surface. On one extreme there are the liberals, which refuse to even acknowledge the existence of the demonic realm in any meaningful way whilst at the other extreme are the hyper-spiritualists who overplay the realm of the demonic to such an extent that the devil gets the blame for everything. All such extremes are to be avoided and highlight the importance of gaining a good solid foundation in this very important topic. Whilst many sound believers would shun such extremes, there are notwithstanding, Christians who are so terrified by the demonic realm that they can’t sleep at night without a light on.
In this fifth teaching part in our foundational series, we shall set ourselves the task of trying to gain a biblical understanding of demons; what they are and what their nature, function, and activity is in the world today. We shall seek to answer the question of who Satan is, how he fell from grace and what his final state shall be. In gaining such insight, we shall be emboldened to take a stand against the forces of darkness knowing who we are in Jesus Christ, the authority that He has given to us as believers and the victory that He has won for us at Calvary!
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A number of significant occurrences took place in the Bible at wells. At Beersheba (the well of an oath), Abraham entered into a covenant with Abimelech; at Beerlahairoi (the well of Him that liveth and seeth me), the Angel of the LORD visited Hagar in her distress. Who can forget Eliezer, the servant of Abraham, who at well was given a bride by God for his master's son Isaac? Fast forward some 2000 years and we have yet another encounter with a woman at a well, this time Jesus and the woman of Samaria. At this well, Jesus offers living water, that if a man drinks he shall never thirst again, an internal well springing up within him into everlasting life!
This sermon is a call for reality in the Christian life!! Just as in the days of Isaac when the Philistine enemies filled his father’s wells, many Christians sadly have allowed their wells to be filled with dirt and on account of this no longer sense and experience the vital reality of God the Holy Spirit within them bringing forth the fruit of joy and peace! Dry and dead religion has become their portion. My dear Brethren, there is some re-digging to be done so that once more we might sense the presence of God in our Christian experience. At all costs, we must maintain reality with God!
Diamonds are among the most prized gems in the known world today and are renowned for their dazzling beauty and sparkling array. Yet, the story of this precious stone is one of great affliction from start to finish. One hundred miles beneath earth’s surface, at temperatures in excess of 20000C, and at phenomenal pressures, the diamond is formed.
This sermon is an exhortation to have joy in the midst of tribulation!! Joy, “knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope” (Rom 5:3-4). As gold tried through the fire and is purified, and as the sweet flavours of food are more concentrated in the higher temperatures of a sealed pressure cooker; so precious Christ-like character is wrought in a Christian soul under the extreme pressure and fierce heat of tribulation!
Part 4 - The Doctrine of Angels
What are we to make when Christians become obsessed with angels? When a leading charismatic figure claims to have personal visitations from a female angel called Emma? Is it biblical to call down healing angels in a Church meeting or any type of angels for that matter? What do angels even look like and what is their function? Typically, in many artistic impressions they are depicted as winged chubby infants with ruddy cheeks floating around in play. One thing is for certain, much superstition surrounds the topic of angels, spurred on not least by the resurgence of interest in the occult via the New Age movement which has come into the mainstream over the last 30 years. The fascination with angels today has led many undiscerning enthusiasts onto dangerous ground as they actively seek to make contact with these spirit beings for spiritual guidance and insight. With biblical illiteracy at a high, sadly, even professing Christians have allowed the influences of Hollywood to inform their understanding of angels rather than the Word of God.
We intend in this teaching not to rest our understanding of angels in the realm of speculation, but instead, our desire is to open the Bible and to allow it to speak with authority into this subject so as dispel myth and inform a biblical worldview.
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When a baby’s born, no sooner than it’s come out of the womb, it craves one thing and one thing only…milk! Some 8-12 times a day, it desires to feed on that white liquid and thereby feeding, it grows!! Is it too much to ask that what is true in the natural, ought also to be true in the spiritual? When a soul passes from death into newness of life, the first thing that soul ought now to crave is the milk of God’s Word!! “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1Pe 2:2). Moving on from milk, the infant progresses to solids and through length of time and continual feeding, grows from boyhood to manhood! I say again, is it too much to ask that what is true in the natural, ought also to be true in the spiritual lives of God’s people?
This sermon is an exhortation to the Body of Christ calling God’s children to a place of spiritual maturity. Gone are the years of infancy for those saved of many years, the time has now come that we ought to be teachers. May the Lord challenge and encourage His people by His Word through this stirring sermon.
“Tis so sweet to walk with Jesus, step by step and day by day; stepping in His very footprints, walking with Him all the way. Step by step, step by step, I would walk with Jesus; all the day, all the way, keeping step with Jesus” (A.B Simpson). Oh, how many are caught up with the burden and grief of trying to keep step with Mr and Mrs Jones when we’re called instead to keep step with Jesus! To take our eyes off the Lord and to begin comparing ourselves with others, is breeding ground for all manner of strife and division, contention and envy.
This sermon is an exhortation to us all to keep our eyes on Jesus Christ and not to allow what the Lord is doing in others’ lives to be a hindrance to what God is wanting to do in our own lives! We’ve each been called by name to the Saviour into a personal relationship. The good Lord deals with each of His children as it so pleases Him. May we resist the temptation to compare ourselves with others and in so doing to become envious. Walking with Jesus must be our primary focus! One person put it this way; “Resentment comes from looking at others, contentment comes from looking to God”.
Part 3 - The Attributes of God
When speaking of the attributes of God, what we are really referring to are the characteristics of God, those qualities that describe who God is. The God of the Bible is unique and His characteristics define His very nature. By studying the attributes of God as defined by the Bible, we gain an understanding of who God is and what He is like. Sadly, the tendency of many in our current day towards theology (the study of God) is one of apathy and even scorn. Theology is seen to be too technical and unnecessary for the common Christian who hasn’t the time or care to pursue such academic matters. Instead, what we see generally is that theology has been sacrificed on the altar of experience. However, without the sound foundation provided by sound theology, one cannot truly experience God aright. Thus it is essential that we grasp the character and nature of God which will inform a proper biblical experience!
In this important teaching, we shall look at thirteen core attributes of God and shall draw practical relevancies for each which shall serve to build our faith in the pursuit of drawing near to God.
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