Summary: This addresses the problem of spiritual forces in the world today
Rev. John W. Gerald
I. THE ENEMY WITHIN
Gen. 7:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
Psalms 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Edwin L. Sabin
An enemy I had, whose mien
I stoutly strove in vain to know;
For hard he dogged my steps, unseen,
Wherever I might go.
My plans he balked; my aims he foiled;
He blocked my every onward way.
When for some lofty goal I toiled,
He grimly said me nay.
"Come forth!" I cried, "Lay bare thy guise!
Thy wretched features I would see."
Yet always to my straining eyes
He dwelt in mystery.
Until one night I held him fast,
The veil from off his form did draw;
I gazed upon his face at last
And, lo! myself I saw.
Rom. 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
The carnal nature received from Adam is the source of all inner struggle with sin.
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
II. THE ENEMY IN THE WORLD
1 Chronicles 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
David, the man of God, was tempted by Satan to do something that displeased God. God wanted David to trust Him with the defense of the nation, but Satan tempted David to explore the strength of the nation by numbering the potential army he could raise. This would take away from his dependence upon God for Israel’s protection.
Luke 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
Satan is always interfering with the spread of the gospel. In these last days, he has been diluting the Word by so many omissions concerning the divinity, the humanity and the sacrifice of Christ.
Eph. 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
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.
There are powerful demon spirits ruling over large principalities of this world. They are able to control the spirit and attitude of great masses of people. They always resist the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are able to keep nations of people in spiritual darkness and bondage for centuries. They make it dangerous for missionaries to penetrate their borders. Though national leaders are their instruments of control, it is not men that we must contend with, it is the spirit world: principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness. The Devil has let these spirits loose even upon America. We have never before seen such wicked influences upon our society.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.