The devil is real and he doesn’t like you a bit.
JUNE 12, 2023
The devil is real and he doesn’t like you a bit. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
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Thank you Matthew. If you’ve been with us for a while, you’re aware that last week we finished, and frankly, I was getting tired of it. Every time I write a book, we spend some time on the themes of that book, on this broadcast. And so, we paused in our study in the Book of Acts. We paused to spend some time in several weeks on some of the themes in that book titled Laughter and Lament. And after you’ve spent the months doing the research and writing a book and doing all the interviews and all the other stuff connected with it, and then a bunch of weeks on Key Life, I’m never going back there again. I just want you to know that. So if, back in the olden days we were studying the Book of Acts and I told you that after we finished with the themes of Laughter and Lament, we would come back to the Book of Acts. And I checked and we were up to the 19th chapter of Acts and verses 11 through 20. And that will be our text. Oh, by the way, I hope you had a great week-end. And I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. Let’s pray and then we’ll study. Father, we come into your presence and as always amazed that we’re here. That’s because we believe the lies they told us about you. They told us you were harsh and mean and judgmental. And we had to work hard at it and be good and pure and righteous and you would accept us. And we about gave up. And then you said, welcome. We waited for the kicker that you would give, but you didn’t give one. You just said, welcome and because of the blood of Christ, we are righteous and forgiven, and we are here. Father, we praise you and worship you for your kindness and your sovereignty. You know everybody who’s listening to this broadcast, the hard places and the soft places, and you are sovereign and sufficient over both. And then as always, Father, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast, that you would forgive him his sins cause they are many. We would see Jesus and Him only, and we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. All right. As I said, we’re up to the 19th chapter of Acts and we’re getting fairly close to landing the plane on the Book of Acts. Now, don’t hold me to it, but I think when we finish Acts in a few weeks, we’re going to look at the book of Proverbs and that will be a fun, fun time. I spent a lot of hours preparing for a seminar I taught on the book of Proverbs. And I can hardly wait to share with you some of the things that I learned. But meanwhile, we’re still in the Book of Acts, and I’m reading from the 11th chapter. Paul is in Ephesus, and I’m reading from the 19th chapter, not the 11th, beginning at the 11th verse and going through the 20th verse. And this is what Luke, the physician writes and historian, I might say.
And God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to pronounce the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus who Paul preaches.” Seven sons of Jewish high priest, Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” And the man in whom the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Many also of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who practiced magic and brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord grew and prevailed mightily.
Frankly, if we weren’t going line by line and precept by precept in the Book of Acts, following from the beginning to the end, I would’ve skipped this text. I mean, this is not a text I want to teach on. Okay? I was one time working on a book for new believers. In fact, it’s been reprinted several times, So Now You’re a Christian. And I wrote it during the Jesus movement because there were so many kids and I couldn’t get to them. And so, I wanted to write something that would teach basic doctrine, and that was used by a number of churches around the country for new members and new Christians. And they were coming in droves into the church. And I believe that God is preparing to do that again. But at any rate, I wrote that book and it was published by Revell and it had a chapter in it, and the chapter was on the devil, the basic doctrine, supernatural doctrine of the devil, that every Christian ought to know something about. And when I was working on that, a cup sitting on a shelf above my typewriter, we didn’t have computers in those days. A cup came off the shelf and poured coffee all over the manuscript and my typewriter, and I had hair in those days, and it stood up because the devil is real. Now, C.S. Lewis in a wonderful book, and if you haven’t read it, you ought to get it. He said it was the hardest book he ever wrote. It was called Screwtape Letters and it was from a nephew to his uncle, they were both demons on how to deal with the commission that this young demon had been given to deal with a particular guy or person. And Lewis said he had to reverse everything, when he wrote Screwtape Letters, but in the introduction to that book, Lewis said there are two big mistakes for Christians, and one is to give too much emphasis to the devil, to make him bigger than he is, and to see demons under every bed. Now, we do that sometimes, some people make such a big thing out of this that you would think that we were dualist. And you say, what’s that? A dualist is somebody who believes that the devil and God are fighting and the outcome is yet to be decided. And then they ask, it has to do with the Yin yang principle or the little circle with a black teardrop and the white teardrop. Listen to me, that’s not Christian, it’s not in the Bible, has nothing to do with truth, and that is a lie. As a matter of fact, the devil, and Job makes this clear and so does the rest of Scripture is a lackey of God. He exists because of God. And by the way, that makes me supralapsarian. Never mind, I don’t know what it means either, and you can look it up in a dictionary, but it means that God is really sovereign over all of this, that the devil is not an accident, that he is God’s lackey and that everything that happens, including the devil, is from a sovereign God, who ruled that to be true. And so, if you spend all of your time exorcising demons and saying that demons have to do with everything that you don’t like, that the devil made me do it. If that’s where you are going, don’t do that, because greater is he in you, John the apostle said.
Greater is he in you,
And he’s talking about the Holy Spirit.
then he who was in the world.
And that’s the devil. But with all of that being said, you do need to know something about Satan. The other side that C.S. Lewis said. The other mistake is that when Christians ignore Satan. He’s real. And he doesn’t like you a bit. We’ll talk about it tomorrow and meanwhile, you think about that. Amen.
Thank you, Steve. And as Steve might say, we have now landed the plane on our tour through Steve’s latest book, Laughter and Lament, and resumed our exciting discovery of Acts. More to come tomorrow, hope you will join us for that. Well, there’s a great line from the film, The Usual Suspects, it goes.
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.
Well, way before that movie came out, Steve spoke on this same subject in a sermon called God and the Devil based on Ephesians 6. In this message, Steve explains the reasons for the existence of Satan and how to arm yourself against him using seven weapons in the Christian’s arsenal. Grab your copy of this sermon on CD for free right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. Or to mail your request go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses for the U.S. and Canada. Just ask for your free copy of the CD titled God and the Devil. Finally, would you partner in the work of Key Life through your giving? Giving is easy. Just charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or you can now gift safely and securely through text. Just text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Text that to 28950 then follow the instructions. And listen, if you can’t give, all good, we get it. But do pray for us, would you? Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.