Summary: Today's sermon is about Satan's strategy against the church that includes three Satanic spirits, the spirit of offense, the spirit of complacency, and the spirit of religiosity. It also give's Jesus' strategy to combat these false spirits.
Satan’s Strategy Against the Church
Last Saturday at the ministry clinic in Las Vegas, I knew what the Lord wanted me to talk about with the church, which just so happens to perfectly fit into those doctrines that Satan has covered over in our lives and in the church.
The speaker talked a little bit about the spirit of offense. And what has been ministering to my heart is how this is one of the strategies Satan uses within the church to divide us.
It’s part of the doctrine of the personage of Satan, and while I talk on this in our series “Wells of Living Water,” I didn’t have time to go in depth on Satan’s strategy against the church.
Further, as I began to pull this together there was a hesitancy on my part seeing that the last time I spoke on this doctrine and the doctrine of hell, all hell broke loose.
But ignorance isn’t bliss; it’s foolishness and will lead to more division, apathy, and hypocrisy. In fact, I feel like God is saying what He said through the Apostle Paul about not wanting us to be ignorant. And while he wrote this to explain the Rapture, I believe the Holy Spirit is saying it now to help us understand how Satan is operating within the church.
There may even be some who will argue and take offense at what I’m about to say; yet their negative response only reveals the accuracy of it. I know that sounds like I’m covering all my bases and discounting what others may think, and that is the last thing I want to do, but not to mention this is to keep it covered over, preventing us from getting to God’s living water for health and healing.
What I want to talk with you about is that the spirit of Satan is alive and well within the church, and this spirit is evident in three very real areas; that is, within the church there exist the Satanic spirit of offense, complacency, and religiosity.
These are part of Satan’s overall strategy against the church that’s designed for one thing and one thing only, and that is to steal our joy, kill our love, and destroy our faith.
“(Satan) the thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” (John 10:10 NKJV)
1. The spirit of Offense
“It is impossible that no offenses should come.” (Luke 17:1a NKJV)
Jesus is saying we will always encounter offences, and goes on to say that those who do so with evil intent watch out. It’s not that there won’t be offenses, there will be, but it’s how we handle them that will determine our spiritual health.
We have all had our feelings hurt at one time or another. We have all felt insulted by someone or felt like an injustice was done to us.
But when this happens we have to learn how to let them go, how to resolve them, and then how to forgive and move forward, otherwise; resentment set in, followed by bitterness, indignation, intolerance, hatred, and finally revenge.
As you can see, therefore, offense may possibly be the greatest tool the enemy uses today, not only in the church, but also in our relationships. And the sad part is that we’re not even aware that it’s one of Satan’s tools, and we’re not taught how to handle these situations.
I have seen and have been hearing a lot more about believers in Jesus Christ who have in some way, shape, or form been offended by something someone has either said or did, and unfortunately they’re still holding unforgiveness in their hearts.
I hear it mainly in what they say about how they were hurt, whether it was in a church or in a relationship. In fact, most divorces and church divisions began with tiny seeds of offense that were not properly dealt with, and so they’re blown completely out of proportion.
What is an offense?
An offense today is looked upon as a violation that causes hurt or pain, either emotionally or physically. And let me say there’ll always be offenses because of humanity’s sinful condition.
The Greek the word for “offence” is where we get our English word, “scandal.” It means to put a stumbling block in someone’s way to cause a fall, and to be led into sin resulting in becoming offended and angry.
And so the spirit of offense is a trap Satan uses to take captive believers and prevents them, and the church, from moving fully into God’s blessings. It literally chokes out all civility, tolerance, and forgiveness. It misconstrues conversations, a person’s appearance, and automatically assumes the worst about everything and everybody.
But the presence of this spirit of offense shouldn’t take us by surprise. Listen to what Jesus said would be a sign the end is near.