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DEMONS AND ANGELS

 

by Dr. Kenneth E. Gillming
President of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International

 

A sermon preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, October 29, 2000

 

(Dr. Hymers’ introduction of Dr. Gillming)

 

You know, there are only two Baptist Bible Fellowship churches in all of the greater Los Angeles area, with over four and a half million people. And I think because we are the only Baptist church of any kind in the civic center of Los Angeles, we have had some of the greatest speakers in the world in our church. We had Dr. Bob Jones, Jr. every Christmas season for eleven years. Dr. Lee Roberson preached here many times, and many other wonderful speakers. But I don’t think we’ve ever had a sweeter, nicer, kinder, gentler man than we have speaking for us tonight. When he answers the phone, he says, "Mr. Gillming." He doesn’t even call himself "Dr. Gillming."
Dr. Kenneth Gillming is the President of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International. And he has a very wonderful and interesting testimony. He was raised in the United Brethren Church. Which, by the time he was a young person, was very liberal and there was very little gospel preaching. Somehow, the pastor of the church he attended brought in an evangelist who preached Hell Fire and Christ’s Blood. And the evangelist held up Jesus Christ as the sinner’s only hope. And Dr. Gillming got saved, and not only did he get saved, he was called into the ministry.
Well, he went away to the United Brethren Seminary, and there he had an experience quite similar to mine. He found that the professors didn’t believe the Bible, and they spent their whole time in the classroom tearing down the Bible, and saying that it is full of errors. So, after one year in that seminary, he quit and came home.
Then one day he looked out the window and he saw a big black car come into the driveway of his family’s farmhouse. This was back in the 40s, and several men got out of that car with black coats and striped grey slacks on, and tall black stovepipe hats. And they came up to the house to persuade him to go back to the seminary. But he very simply told them, "They don’t believe the Bible at your seminary, and I’m not going back."
One of those old men looked at him with an angry scowl and said, "You’ll never pastor a church. We will see to that. You’ll be blackballed." And Dr. Gillming said, "Well, we’ll see about that."
So Dr. Gillming left the United Brethren and began looking for another church to attend. And in 1950, he and his wife found the Baptist Bible Fellowship. And he told me in the car a few minutes ago, "I’m a Baptist by conviction, not by birth." He became a Baptist as an adult - out of personal conviction. And he became a pastor in the Baptist Bible Fellowship.
Now Dr. Gillming is quite a man. He has started twelve churches, all of which are still going on today. He is the founder of the great Cherry Street Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri, which runs over twelve hundred people on Sunday. He founded it in 1959. It is now co-pastored with him by his son, Ken Gillming.
For many years, Dr. Gillming taught at Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. He has taught theology, and church history, and Bible, and Greek there. He’s a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary as it once was, and he’s quite a scholar. He studied under Lewis Sperry Chafer, John F. Walvoord, and J. Dwight Pentecost.
And it’s indeed a very great privilege for our church to have the President of the Baptist Bible Fellowship in the pulpit tonight to preach for us. But before he comes to speak, as always, Mr. Griffith will come to sing for us.
                                      (Mr. Griffith sings "How Big Is God?")
                                (Extended applause – then Dr. Gillming speaks)
Folk, you absolutely overpower me tonight with your kindness, and your welcome. I count it one of the great pleasures of my life to be here in this great church with Dr. Hymers. And thank you, Dr. Hymers, for inviting me to come.
I’m reminded of an advertisement I saw a few years ago. It was an advertisement for piston rings for an automobile, and it showed this enormous football player who probably weighed three hundred and fifty pounds, perhaps a lineman. Great, huge shoulders. Whiskers that looked like barbed wire sticking out of his face, and he had a set jaw, and there in his fingers he held a little white daisy. And the heading said, "Tough, but oh, so gentle." That’s the way this wonderful man, Dr. Hymers, is. He’s tough, but oh, so gentle (applause). I know that he gets some criticism, but the Bible says, "Beware when all men speak well of you." And it is refreshing today to know someone who stands for truth (applause). And I count it a privilege to be a fellow servant with Dr. Hymers. He has been such a gentleman, such a pleasant, wonderful man to be with this weekend. We’ve had some time together.
I might say that the Baptist Bible Fellowship has missionaries in a hundred and ten countries. It’s just unbelievable how many have been saved, and millions and millions, and God is blessing the Baptist Bible Fellowship International beyond all measure. And should the Lord Jesus tarry, I think that we’re going to see some of the great revivals still happening in some parts of the world.
You folk keep right on serving the Lord here, as you’ve been doing, right down in the inner city. I’m proud of you. And, again, I’m glad to be here.
Now, folk, I understand that you’ve been seeing a film about the origin of Halloween, and I want to go ahead a little bit with this same theme this evening.
I practice almost the same thing in my church that I think you are doing. Why should we honor Halloween, which is the high day of the occult? Halloween, to the occult, is the same as Easter is to the Christian. We’ll look at several passages of Scripture tonight and continue our theme, since Halloween is just around the corner.
If you have your Bible, turn to Ephesians, chapter six. We’ll start reading with the eleventh verse:
"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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" (Ephesians 6:11-12).

Now, I want you to notice something here in this passage. First of all, wrestling. Wrestling is a contact sport. You cannot wrestle without being face to face, and hand to hand, and body to body. And isn’t it a shame that people some places don’t even believe that the Devil and demons even exist? And the Bible says that in this wrestling, we may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil.

When the Devil is wrestling, he does not fight fair. To be wily is to be sneaky, to be dishonest. You’ll notice now some things about the Devil. We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood. He’s not an opponent with a flesh and blood body. He’s not that kind of an opponent. He is in rather principalities and powers. He works in governments, and in places where you don’t expect him to be. He works in nations and in governments. And he is with the rulers of darkness of this world - the underworld. "Spiritual wickedness in high places," some of those places are where you and I don’t get to, but those places affect us.
Now, I want you to turn for a few moments to the fifth chapter of Mark. We talked about the Devil a moment ago. Now we’re going to talk about his demons. Let’s look at the demons in Mark five, verse eight:
"For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit (Jesus is speaking). And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country" (Mark 5:8-10).
Now we’re going to stay here for just a moment, because here is an unsaved man and he is possessed. And here the number of unclean spirits (demons) in this man, he says that they are "legion."
Have you ever seen maggots in a sore? These unclean spirits were in this man and they totally affected his behavior. He was in the tombs, and you know the story. He was in the tombs. And when Jesus came, He cast those demons out of this man.
Verse fifteen,
"And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid."

Now folk, there are legions of demons in this world. One third of all created beings in Heaven one day followed the Devil. They were originally created angels, and now they are demons. And we don’t know the number of them, but there could be millions, or even billions. We don’t know. But we do know that they are everywhere in the world, and they are working the works of the Devil.

And in these last days we will see this activity heightened. If you will look at First Timothy, chapter four, verse one.
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times (which I believe we’re in) some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (of demons)" (I Timothy 4:1).

The content of their messages are against God, and it’s terrible.

Now Christians do not have demon possession. But demons are also a very present problem in our lives. They do not like you as a Christian. And they will stand in your way of doing good. Sometimes in our homes they cause divisions. Sometimes in our churches they cause great troubles. And you never know just where they are going to give us trouble in every place.
There in the Battle of the Bulge, in World War II, it is said that there was a need to press through the enemy line in just one place to give a corridor. And Christians, as the Devil and demons are all around you, they are pushing every door of your life to see if it’s unlocked. Any door that is unlocked will let them give you trouble, and give you problems.
Some of the doors they might enter are these: the door of anger. How many times do we say things we wish we had not said, and do things we ought not to have done. They can ruin your spiritual life by a root of bitterness. That’s what they want to do.
Anyone who is effective in the work of God is one that the demons are after. There is lust, a false pride, and a false guilt. These are doors that the demons might come through.
There is one thing with these beings: they don’t die. That’s why God will shut them up in Hell. Hell was made for the Devil and his demons, but if you refuse to trust Christ, that is where you will go.
I want to give you a story that’s true. It is about Satanists and how they pray. You say, "Pray, Brother Gillming?" A preacher was flying someplace, and the man sitting next to him just paid no attention at all. And when the meal came, the man bowed his head and said a blessing. The preacher said, "I see that you are a Christian." The man coldly looked at the preacher and said, "No - I’m a Satanist. I pray to Satan and thank him for my food and everything." The preacher asked him where he was going and what he was going to do. The Satanist said, "I’m going to New England (I think it was Boston). There are hundreds of other Satanists there." Upon further questioning he told the preacher that these Satanists would be mapping out their strategy. At that time he turned away and would not talk. He was studying.
You see, this is a very real thing. Satan understands that leadership. And you see, again, if I may point it out to you, if a man here sins, he suffers. And if he sins against his family, his family suffers. If he sins against his community, his community suffers. If he sins against his church, the church suffers. And if a world leader sins, the world suffers.
So, you see, Satan is interested in those people who make a difference in principalities and powers and those in high places.
I am reminded of Daniel, chapter ten and verse thirteen, which you need not turn to. But Daniel is asking for God to show him what was going to come - the future. And he prayed for twenty-one days. And after twenty-one days, finally the answer came. And he said there in the thirteenth verse, "The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days." But finally Michael the archangel broke through and brought this answer to Daniel. And I suppose that I am correct when I say that when you pray, sometimes you don’t get an answer to prayer. And then, maybe, just maybe, if you’re a real person of prayer, maybe this has some relationship to you.
When Satan fell he lost his innocence, but he didn’t lose his intelligence. He is called "a liar and murderer." The demons are blindly obedient because if they don’t win, they know what their end will be. And as we read in I Timothy, chapter four, the time is short in the end days and their activity is accentuated. And they will then discourage us.
Now, dear people, we’ve talked about that for a few moments. Let me just say something about the other two thirds of those created beings - the angels of God. In Hebrews, chapter one, verses thirteen and fourteen we read that we have a guardian angel,
"But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" (Hebrews 1:13-14).
A guardian angel. In Psalm 91:11, the Bible says,
"For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways" (Psalm 91:11).

He shall give his angels charge over thee! How many times has it been that maybe by just a second or two you missed death? Some people say, "It was just luck." But I think that guardian angel of yours is such a wonderful protector in the experience of your life.

I know in my own life, time after time I should have been dead. And somehow God in His wonderful working has saved my life.
Now I want to end with a rather interesting story. I’m just going to tell the story, and you be the one who makes up your mind.
There in the summer one time my wife and I had word from her nephew, who was a missionary to Cameroon, Africa. They were coming to Missouri. The only time we could see them was after our service on Sunday night. As I told Norma, my wife, "Honey, just as quick as the service is over we’ll get on the road and we’ll get there in about an hour, or a little over."
It was a nice evening. We were going along on the interstate highway. All of a sudden the car died. I thought, "What in the world has happened?" I looked at my gas gauge and it was empty. My wife said, "How could this be?" I said, "Oh man, I just got so busy that I forgot to put gas in the tank." She said, "We’ll never even see my nephew now. By the time we get some gas it will be so late we won’t get to see them."
I felt really bad. I got out and raised up my hood. We were about fifteen or twenty miles from a gas station both ahead of us and behind us. My wife said, "No one is going to stop."
But I raised up the hood, and before I could get back in the car, a car pulled up behind me. I’m not being funny now, but the man in the car seemed "different." He said, "What’s the matter?" I said, "I’m out of gas." He said, "Well, I’ll run get you some." Just like that he took off.
It didn’t seem five minutes until he pulled in behind me and got a two-gallon gas can out and came up to my car. I said, "How in the world did you get back here so fast?" He just sort of grinned and he took my gas cap off and put the gas in.
I took a ten dollar bill out of my bill-fold and was going to give it to him. He said, "Oh, no. I don’t take money." I said, "Please, I want to pay you this ten dollars." He said, "No, I won’t take anything."
About that time a policeman pulled up, because he thought we were arguing about something. I said, "I’m trying to give this man this money and he won’t take it." The little man said, "God is good," and drove away.
I said to my wife, "Was that an angel? Was that my guardian angel?" I don’t know if he was or not - but he looked "different." And sometimes miracles do happen in our lives.
I’m glad that you’ve had teaching here regarding Halloween, the high day of the Devil and demons. But thank the Lord, we also have angels, who are our guardians.
And listen to me just as carefully as you can. Jesus Christ died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sins. And He rose again. He’s in Heaven, at the right hand of the Father. And Jesus has never turned anyone away who comes to Him. Will you trust Him? Will you repent and trust Him?

 

Solo by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: "How Big Is God?"

 

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