There is a system, the anti-christ spirit, with an agenda to attack the church and the Christian. We need to know how to combat this. Don’t blame a devil for everything. Not everything evil is from Satan or a devil. Be careful of extremes.
Idols were used to deceive people.
I Cor 10:19-20 “What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.”
Don’t swing the opposite direction and not give the devil credit for anything. Don’t be like those who won’t acknowledge they’re being attacked. There are times when we need to recognize we’re fighting.
How do we fight?
We have weapons.
2Cor 10:3-4 “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (NIV)
Eph 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
1 Pet 2:1 “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, all evil speakings,”
The battle is warring against our flesh. There is an enemy.
A stronghold is a destructive system of thinking, a preoccupied mind that brings someone under its control, something in your mind or thoughts bring emotions.
Heb 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Thoughts aren’t sin by themselves, but when your mind harbors it and your thoughts become intentions and then actions, that is sin. It all starts between your ears.
A stronghold is one thought after another the devil has put in your mind. It’s a house of lies in your mind. You’ve got a fortress all around you that is impenetrable that has captured you and put you under its control.
Every weapon God has given us has been designed to tear that down. ‘Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.’ You have no excuse to live in constant defeat. There is a battle, but we have been given the power to overcome.
One of the greatest weapons the devil has is deception.
In Genesis 3 Eve hung around the serpent. That was her first mistake. The devil spoke through an animal, a serpent, and began to mess with her mind.
Gen 3:1 “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (emphasis mine).
The devil will challenge what you know about God and His Word. Eve was being attacked, but it wasn’t a physical battle, it was mental.
Satan said, ‘You won’t die, you can be like God.’
She was tempted. Satan told her a lie, that God lied to her. He twisted God’s Words. It worked and he still uses that tactic today.
Satan is called the father of lies. Know God’s Word. That’s how you can combat Satan.
There are deceivers that use the Bible. Know God’s Word for yourself.
Gal 1:7 “Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.”
Jesus had a great experience with John the Baptist, ‘This is My Son, with whom I am well pleased.’
Then, when He went to the desert for that 40 day fast, Satan’s first temptation was ‘If you are the Son of God, then turn these stones into bread.’ He picked on his natural hunger and God’s previous words to Him.
Jesus went straight to the Word. “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone.”
God made everything there is. He created planets and stars by the mere words of His mouth. He is going to raise millions from the dead by His voice. God’s Word has saving power. The power of the gospel brings salvation. His Word is bread for the hungry, sustaining power. It is honey to soften and sweeten. It is regenerates. It’s a sword to fight. It’s a hammer.
What can the Word do to help you fight the devil?
It is truth.
James 1:13-15 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
Another weapon is the weapon of the Name of Jesus.
In answer to the question, ‘What is the most powerful weapon we have against the devil?’ a missionary replied, “Our oneness with God.”
That’s not the oneness of God, it’s our relationship with God. The more connected you are with God, the more powerful you are. It’s all about knowing Him. We need to know Him and draw near to Him. Don’t just know about God, KNOW HIM!
Jesus is the most powerful name.
Mark 3:22-26 “And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils. And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.”
Beelzebub is a derivative of Baal, the Philistine God. The name has significance. People named their children after their gods.
Jehovah, the name of the one true God, meaning ‘He is’, had many attributes added to His name. Jehovah-Jirah, God-my provider, etc.
Beelzebub, means lord of the flies.
When Jesus was born, the angel came and told Mary and Joseph what to name Him. Jesus means, God has become my Salvation. To know His name is powerful.
Phi 2:9-10 “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;”
That phrase, ‘Stop in the name of the law!’ means I carry all the authority that has been invested in the law. When we use the name of Jesus, we carry, or operate in, all the authority that He carries. Satan has to bow to that Name. There is power and authority in that Name. When we cast out devils, we do it in Jesus’ Name. When we heal people, it is in Jesus’ Name. In Scripture, Peter said, ‘In the Name of Jesus, rise up and walk.’ And the man rose up and walked.
Acts 4:10 “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.”
Have faith in that name. ‘This is your victory, your faith.’ We have faith in God’s Word and in His Name—Jesus. Those strongholds fall when you saturate your mind with God’s Word and thoughts on His name.
The 3rd weapon is the blood of Jesus. There’s a battle between your ears. The blood was shed for your sins. There is an accuser and a condemner. He will remind you of your failures and faults. The reason we baptize in the Name of Jesus is to get His blood applied to our lives. He cleanses and justifies us by His blood. We plead the blood (We have an understanding of the blood of Jesus) and it is a strong weapon against the devil.
A witch tried to hex a missionary and his congregation and couldn’t. Every time she tried, all she saw was blood. We are covered and shielded by Jesus’ blood.
Satan will sometimes tell the truth, reminding you of past mistakes, past sins. He’ll even show you pictures. It’s not a sin to look at a billboard and have a thought. It’s when you bring that thought in. How you fight is in Jesus name and plead the blood. ‘Agree with your adversary, but remind him you’re under the blood.’ Yes, I’m a zero, but God put a 1 in front of me. With Him I’m a perfect 10.
Three more weapons: prayer, fasting, and praise.
Fasting alone without prayer is just a diet. Prayer and fasting together are powerful, unleashing something against your flesh and the devil. The old man gets destroyed. When you sacrifice, you are doing some damage in the spirit world.
Prayer isn’t so much as giving God your laundry list, it’s getting in tune with Him. It’s walking in the Spirit. Your faith is high. You are bold. Stay in that Spirit.
You might meet famous people, but that won’t change you as much as meeting with Jesus. When the spirit of the enemy comes in, Jesus’ Holy Spirit in you can push that spirit out.
Your prayers will be so anointed and have a whole new level of authority if you’ll fast.
When faith is coupled with praise in the darkest of all battles, the result is victory. Paul and Silas were in jail and the devil was laughing. They were in prison because they cast a devil out of a girl and she couldn’t tell fortunes anymore. Paul and Silas praised the Lord and their chains fell off and they were set free. There is victory in praise. People who hear you get the victory too.
Praise plus faith in the battle brings victory.
Ask Jericho’s walls how they fell down. There is something about praise. You may be feeling depression, an attack on your mind. It will lock up your mouth. In the time of discouragement, worry, or depression, use one of these weapons, particularly praise, and it will set you free.
Our pastor has a testimony of this. He was very depressed before he knew Jesus. He was lonely and suicidal. That’s exactly what the devil wanted.
He got rid of depression, not by receiving the Holy Ghost that first time, but by praising the Lord. The Lord increased his faith.
Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” (emphasis mine).
This is an exchange, instead of ashes, beauty; instead of mourning, the oil of joy; instead of heaviness, the garment of praise. Praise God!!!!
Excerpted from a sermon preached by: Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
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If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!