Seven Demons that Attack the Church, Part 1
I The Spirit of Religion 'But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.5 'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent. 7 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.' Rev 2:4-5, 7 (NASB)
A This church left their “first love” (not lost)
1 Doctrinally sound, theology solid...everything in order.
a But they lost their passion
b “First love”? Acts 19
aa Baptizing people, laying hands & people filled with the Holy Spirit, magnifying God by speaking in tongues. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. Acts 19:6 (NASB)
bb Casting out demons, healing people with prayer cloths, breaking with the old order.
2 Hard-working church, busy...but the thrill was gone!
a Religion had taken over with its dull duty & tired traditionalism.
b The power of God was missing; demons were no longer fleeing, tongues absent, miracles were a memory.
aa A loveless routine had replaced the power/ passion of the Holy Spirit.
bb The spirit of religion had settled over the church.
B Can any deny the present reality of the destructive power of the demon of religion in the modern church?
1 Nothing any sadder than seeing a church grown cold after revival fires have burned out.
a Like Sampson with his hair cut by Delilah’s shears of religion.
b Blind to the things of the Spirit, go through the motions/traditions without power.
2 This demon must be exposed & expelled.
II The Spirit of Intimidation 'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.11 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.' Rev 2:10-11 (NASB)
A Most people do not set out to be disliked or disowned (want to be liked, accepted).
1 Smyrna endured persecution, members died as martyrs.
a Satan sent intimidation, fear of “what if” among the congregation.
b Peter warmed himself by the fire on the night of Jesus’ betrayal.
aa Remember what drove him over the edge?
bb The voice of a little servant girl.
2 Big Peter finds himself hiding in fear that night.
B Today, the church is silent, cowed down before the world/ governments. This demon must be cast out.
III The Spirit of Compromise And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this: 14 'But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.15 'So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.16 'Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.17 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.' Rev 2:12, 14-17 (NASB)
A Pergumos (60 miles north of Smyrna) was a learning & cultural center.
1 Library had over 200,000 volumes (2nd only to Alexandria).
a Had temples to many deities (Greek outpost)
b Main god was “Asklepion”, who was symbolized by a snake.
aa They believed that their god incarnated into area snakes, so snakes slithered freely around the temple.
bb Those who wanted healing would spend the night in the darkness of the temple, hoping a snake would crawl over them.
2 This was the city in which the church operated, ministered in.
a Had a hard time keeping the snakes from slithering in.
b Church today is similar: snakes of humanism, secularism come in...compromise sets in.
B The church must take active steps to stand strong!
1 Recognize the conflict
a Jesus didn’t tell them to go somewhere else, to an easier people group with promising receptivity.
b You are in a rough spot!
c Operate under the banner of Christ
aa Never in our flesh, strength
bb The moment we do, we find the enemy finds our weakness.
2 Repent of compromise
a There was a serious doctrinal problem at Pergamos. Nicholas taught heresy, got others to follow him.
aa How sad when a church leader takes others with him/her.
b Discipline problem: ignored someone’s sin, let it go.
c Spirit of Balaam (Balak brought Balaam’s ministry)-money becomes the bottom line, goal.
aa Popular preaching replaced prophetic words
bb Image replaced annointing
cc Dulled our sword
3 Must rely on Christ-the Word is powerful. ...for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 2 Cor 10:4 (NASB) Satan can be defeated by the power of the Word.
4 Overcomers are promised gifts.
a Eat hidden manna, not food offered to idols.
b The blessing of Jesus Himself.
aa Set among them a white stone
bb Acquittal, acceptance, acclaim
cc The new name? Jesus!
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