February 5, 2008
Pastor Mark Driscoll
Part 2: The Devil
... the world, external; the flesh, internal; the devil (in this two when I say 'the devil' I'm including Satan and demons working together in concert). [I'll] start with a quote from William Gurnall, the great Puritan. He's got a, The Christian in Complete Armor is sort of his tome on spiritual warfare. It's sort of a classic Puritan work. It's a huge book. If you want to read it, it will take you forever. There are abridged versions. But he said, "Where God is on one side you will be sure to find the Devil on the other." I like that from Gurnall.
And my experience has been that those who really do have demonic activity, warfare, opposition, tend to be people who love and serve Jesus and are called for his kingdom purposes. So it seems very simple but you think about it. Let's say you're a general and you run an army. You are going to send your soldiers after those who are most strategic on your opposing team. If somebody's already on the field of battle and near death you're not gonna send a soldier to waste a bullet to eliminate them. They're gonna die.
There are others in life who are self-destructing. They're killing themselves with drugs, alcohol, sex. The world and the flesh is doing its work. There's no need to send a demon after them. They're gonna self-destruct. What I tend to find is people who struggle with the demonic, not entirely but often, are those who really do love Jesus. We see Jesus being tempted and opposed by Satan and demons regularly in his life and ministry. We see him [Satan] attacking Adam and Eve. What I find curious in that, as well, most of my demonic counseling work has been with women. I can't explain that. Paul says that women are the weaker vessel. Maybe that's the case. It says that women are more easily deceived. I know that most feminists don't like those verses. If that's true then it means thoat those women who don't like those verses are deceived [chuckles] which is kinda funny. And within that I find that it's interesting to me, just an observation, that Satan didn't even show up and attack Adam until he was married. That sometimes, I believe, Satan really loves to attack families, Christian couples that are called for ministry.
Sometimes people don't have really strong demonic opposition until they step up to serve God in ministry and then there's real serious resistance. Or they get married and then Satan loves to destroy families. Or a married couple steps up and says, "We're going to serve in this way and we're going to be part of his [God's] purposes." In that way you're sort of putting your head up and you should expect bullets to be flying because if there really is a war, and Ephesians 6 says we really are part of a war, then as soon as you wave the Jesus flag and put your head up, your probably one of those people the enemy is going to send a demon to shoot. Whereas the average person, where the flesh and the world is doing its job, there's no need to waste a demon and there's no need to waste a bullet. It's just not necessary.
Speaking of Satan, I got a list of there of three ways he likes to primarily are heresy, false teaching. I get this out of 1 Tim 4:1-2. Paul speaks of those who are demonically inspired. Paul says this to the Galatians as well that those who preach a false gospel are demonically inspired. They're demonically inspired, that false doctrine is a real stronghold of Satan. We live in a day when people question the Trinity, and the Bible, heaven and hell and sexuality. I was watching the Colbert Report last night and Tony Campolo, the evangelical--well, I won't say evangelical--the, I think, formerly, possibly evangelical was on TV. His wife, over the years, has been a very staunch advocate of homosexuality and he's [Tony Campolo] on TV on the Colbert Report with a new book out arguing for homosexuality; saying "We need to love. We need to embrace. We need to encourage our gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender brothers and sisters in Christ." It's false teaching. The world says, "Commit sexual sin"; your flesh says, "That sounds good to me"; and the Enemy says, "Well, if I can just get a pastor to say that we'd really get traction. If I can get a Christian authority and author, I can get them to write a book with a mainstream publisher, then we'd really have some traction. If I can get them to echo what's in the world and help me bait the hook of the flesh, that would be great."
False doctrine is a real issue.
In our day this includes rebellion against authority. I mean think about it, in and of itself that is a demonic doctrine. Not saying that all authority is good, but I'm saying that godly authority is to be obeyed. Children are expected to disobey. Parents, in television shows they watch, encourage it. Women are expected, encouraged, to completely disrespect their husbands. People are encouraged to dishonor spiritual authority in the church. Even pastors and elders are sometimes encouraged to rebel against legitimate authority just do whatever the frick they want. All of it is just--do you say "Is that demonic?"--yeah, it is when you see false doctrine, disrespect for Scripture, dishonoring, disobeying of spiritual authority you know the Enemy's at work. He loves to work through false doctrine, he just does.
And false doctrine, usually, has verses, but it usually doesn't tell the whole truth. It tells part of the truth. I think one of the ways Satan loves to work in false doctrine is reductionism. It's not that you say something that's UNtrue, you just don't say everything that IS true. Prosperity theology is a great example of that. Some people love God in the Bible and they financially prosper. And they [prosperity teachers] read all those texts and say, "That's normative for everyone." The Bible also says there are people like Jesus who were really poor. [Prosperity teachers] conveniently overlook those texts. It is so common that people who are working for Satan actually know verses.
Satan knows verses. He shows up in Genesis 3 and his attack is on God's word. "Did God really say? ... " and he [Satan] changes, subtly--"Did God really say, `from ANY tree that is in the Garden?'" Well, God said you can't eat from ONE tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. So Satan CHANGES God's word and then Eve add to it. "No, God told us we can't eat any, we can't eat of the tree and we can't touch it." God didn't say that. She added to it. So is that a big deal? Well, it is because Scripture is a sword, Hebrews and Ephesians tells us, and if Satan pulls the sword and we don't know how to wield it we're gonna get killed with our own sword. It's a battle theologically, spiritually, it's a battle between truth and error; between true teaching and false teaching; and Satan is, the Bible says, more crafty than any of the other things that God has made. The result is he's very subtle, he's very sly. He knows in a church and a people he's not going to lead people astray if he shows his proverbial hand so he'll misquote scripture, change scripture, interpret scripture, omit certain clear scriptures, and there are certain people who are always susceptible to that because they want to do what the world encourages them to do and they want to feed the desires of the flesh and if, somehow, they can make it seem biblical and Christian and godly then they get to do so with what they consider to be permission and approval.
If you want to help people you've really got to know your Bible, and you've got to be theologically precise. Very theologically precise.
Because so much of what constitutes spiritual warfare is false teaching, is heresy. Sometimes it's very obvious, sometimes [it's] very, very subtle.