February 5, 2008
Pastor Mark Driscoll
Christus Victor (Part 3)
What I do then in explaining this to them, I tell them, "Look, if you wanna know more about the Bible and what it says about Satan and demons here's what the Bible says." I give them a list. I send this to them as a pdf. I go from Genesis to Revelation. I just give them all the chapters in the Bible that talk about Satan and demons and all the verses. And some folks who are neatniks they'll just go through the Bible and highlight all the verses and read it for themselves. That's totally fine. I also give them a summary of places they can read if they want to get the highlights.
The first thing I do is "Tell me everything and read your Bible so you have an understanding of what we're talking about."
Moving on to page 8, here's what I do then. First, I share the Gospel with them and make sure they're a Christian. Do you love Jesus? Have you repented of your sin? Do you know, do you understand that Jesus' death was in your place for your sin? Do you have personal faith in the Lord Jesus alone? I make sure they're a Christian. I don't assume anything. I don't care if they're a member of the church, I don't care if they're a DEACON in the church. I wanna make sure they're a Christian and sometimes I've been surprised. Some people, they don't really love Jesus. They don't really know him. So, first things first, they gotta be a Christian and you share the Gospel.
Second thing, I explain the world, the flesh, and the devil, kinda like I did with you. You got three ways the enemy comes at you--the world (temptation externally), the flesh (sinful response internally), before we talk about the devil let's talk about your personal sin, let's talk about your own repentance, your own moral responsibility. Where has your flesh fed the world? Where have you sinned against God? What things do you need to repent of? What changes do you need to make? Let's not blame everything on the devil like Eve did in Genesis. Right? Her answer was "the devil made me do it." Lots of people love to use the devil as their escape clause and I won't let `em. I'll talk about footholds and handholds again, you know, when you sin and you don't repent and you're living in sin and rebelling and believing lies and accusations you're giving your enemy footholds, he's making more ground.
Then I explain our trial. I take them to 1 John 6, 4 rather. I just read these to you and you can take these home with you. It says, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God." It goes on and on and on that the real spirits confess that Jesus Christ is God and he's the Lord. The first thing is we need to test the spirits. What we're going to talk about is a counseling session that tests the spirits.
Second thing, I read Ephesians 6. I say, "Well, here's how we're gonna test the spirits, we're gonna do the stuff that Ephesians 6 speaks of." Got a brand new Bible here. Ephesians 6 he says, beginning in verse 10:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. (spiritual warfare). For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers of this present darkness, (that is Satan and demons) against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may withstand the evil day and having done all, stand firm. Stand, therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, as shoes for your feet having on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one. (that may include vain regrets, accusations, condemnations, fiery darts) Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit which is the word of God, praying at all times in the spirit with all prayers and supplication. To that end keep alert (I'll come back to that, make note of that) with all perserverance making supplication and prayer for the saints.
See, first we're gonna need to do a trial to test the spirits. How're we gonna do that? Here's what we're gonna do--truth and scripture, faith (trust in Jesus), prayer, repentance of sin, nothing freaky, nothing crazy, no Exorcist, no Rosemary's Baby, none of that. The same stuff we use for Christian life and spiritual warfare and all its kinds and sources. Now what I would say as well, in Ephesians 6, it's important to note that he is writing to a church and too often, in the modern era, all application of scripture is almost exclusively individual. It's corporate here. The CHURCH needs to be praying, reading its Bible, demonstrating faith. It's an issue of being part of a loving, spiritual community, not just going it alone dressed up like the soldier that all the kids saw in elementary school.
1 Peter 5:8
Be self-controlled and alert--
This is important because when you're dealing with someone there are two ways of dealing with someone who has demonic issues. One is to speak directly to the demon. If you do the demon takes over the person. This is where their eyes roll back in their head, this is where their voice changes, this is where they demonstrate supernatural strength, this is where things go nuts. Don't ever do that. People need to be self-controlled and alert. You don't allow a demon to take over a person. You don't speak directly to a demon. I'll explain that a little more fully as we go. There's two ways to do that kind of demonic investigation and spiritual warfare trial.
In any good trial you need ground rules, a bailiff to enforce them, bring in the person, get the truth, sentence them, condemn them, that's all we're talking about. It's a trial. It's a trial and the worst thing you can do is let a demon take over a person. I've seen it on a few occasions. I've seen people try and kill themselves, they were just sitting my office just talking. [makes a "whif" sound] voice changes, appearance changes, bodily posture changes. I've seen little, tiny women demonstrate full man masculine voices, superhuman strength. I've seen things levitate in my office. Crazy stuff. You don't want that and I'll tell you that right now.
I've seen people try to kill themselves. I had one gal (I've had witnesses for all of this, you NEVER do this alone, you have a godly witness there) I was just sitting there talking to this gal and I said, "Tell me about your past and life and tell me your story." And immediately her voice changes and she grabs herself by the throat and is choking herself. And we're just sitting in my office. Turning blue, could've killed herself. There was a friend of mine there with me (this was early on in the church) you know, he's a new Christian, he looks and me and he's like, "What do I do?" What do 'I' do? I don't know what to do here. This is--I didn't know what I was doing. You just start talking to a demon and next thing you know they start taking over a person and that's not what you want. But that's the crazy stuff that gets on television.
Some of you guys, you may have seen a guy, Bob Larson is his name, and he does this kinda crazy weird stuff on TV where people, if it's true (who knows it is), they appear to manifest full demonic control and people show up and they're, "Oh, that's amazing. That's cool." No, no, no Satan's proud. He's arrogant. He loves to show off. He loves to be demonstrating power. Don't let him do that. I don't speak directly to the demon. I'll explain what I do do in a moment. I speak to the person and then the demon answers them. In that way it's more like a translator. right? If someone, let's say they're someone who didn't speak in a language that I knew, and there was somebody there who was bilingual, I would have that person speak to the translator and then tell me.
That's how we do it. I'll ask the person, I'll ask questions, they'll get it cuz it's a trial, they'll get an answer, they'll hear it or see it, and then they'll tell me. The other way is to speak directly to the demon but the only way the demon can speak back to me, then, is to take over and control that person's whole body and I don't want that to happen. I want them to be self controlled [and] alert. I want them to know what the enemy's been doing. I want them to be aware. And if they're already hearing vain regrets, accusations, lies, voices [then] the enemy's talking to them all the time anyways so they just need to learn to interpret that that's not the voice of the Lord and then communicate that to me.