Summary: In addition to the physical realm that we see, there exists an invisible spirit realm that the Bible refers to as the Heavenlies. This invisible realm is inhabited by angels and demons, and affects our world every day.
THE INVISIBLE REALM #1: ANGELS AND DEMONS
INTRO – BARNA GROUP SURVEY:
A new nationwide survey of adults’ spiritual beliefs suggests that Americans who consider themselves to be Christian have a diverse set of beliefs – but many of those beliefs are contradictory or, at least, inconsistent. 59% of Christians said they believed that Satan “is not a living being but is a symbol of evil.” Ironically, a majority of Christians also said that they believe that a person can be under the influence of spiritual forces, such as demons or evil spirits. 64% of Christians agreed that such influence is real. (www.barna.org).
QUESTION: Do angels and demons exist? If we take the Bible as our source, then YES!
THE BIG IDEA: In addition to the physical realm that we see, there exists an invisible spirit realm that the Bible refers to as the Heavenlies. This invisible realm is inhabited by good spirit beings called angels and evil spirit beings called demons, and affects our world every day.
“We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:18).
• Throughout the history of the church, spiritual warfare has been over and under emphasized. When I got saved, there was a big spiritual warfare fad in the church.
• The devil wants you to either believe he doesn’t exist, or to be afraid of him.
THE VISIBLE INVISIBLE REALM: Dust Mites
Tiny creatures. There are about 100,000 mites in a square yard of carpet. In your bed with you last night, you had up to 10,000,000 sleeping with you. They love warm, moist skin. They feed on your dead skin. These creatures have eight hairy legs, no eyes; they are basically one big stomach and a mouth. If you have had a pillow longer than two years, 10% of the weight is dust mite waste. This is the visible invisible world, but there is an invisible world even beyond that.
God was revealing the plans of the enemy King of Syria to Elisha, who passed that intel on to the King of Israel. When the King of Syria found out about this, he sent his horses, chariots and a great army to Dothan to kill Elisha. It was just an ordinary Saturday – Elisha sent his servant out to the local Tim Horton’s to get a coffee and a donut, and he saw that the city was surrounded. He woke up the prophet and said, “Alas, my master, what shall we do?” So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." (v.16). And the servant said, “What’s that then? No more pizza for you before bed!” “And Elisha prayed, and said, "Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (v.17). This was a vision of the Lord’s heavenly army! (2 Kings 6:8-17).
• This is the story of two guys who were seeing into totally different realms.
• This story also shows us what a difference it can make for us to see into the heavenlies.
Daniel was praying and fasting for three weeks, and he had a great vision of a powerful warrior angel. “And he said to me, "O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you." While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. Then he said to me, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me.” (Daniel 10:11-13).
• Notice the word of the Lord to Daniel: “Greatly beloved… do not fear.”
• The angel that visited Daniel gives us a glimpse into the reality of spiritual warfare.
• There are angels (good spirit beings) and demons (evil spirit beings) at war.
The book of Job gives us a glimpse into the invisible realm and we see how Satan was responsible for Job’s troubles – the loss of his children, possessions, and health. (Job 1-2).
• Here we see that both God and Satan have plans for us! Jesus said, “The thief (Satan) comes to steal, kill and destroy. I have come to bring you abundant life.” (John 10:10).