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THE EXORCIST #1

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

Lord's Day Evening, October 8, 2000

"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)

The Exorcist is back. Surprisingly, this twenty-eight-year-old movie about a demon-possessed girl is the number two movie playing in theaters across America. With eleven minutes of edited film added to the original, it is drawing tens of thousands of young people who have never seen it on a big screen at the theater.
I do not recommend this movie. I believe that it helped open up two generations of young people to the demonic.
The Los Angeles Times reports the way thousands of children under the age of 18 sneaked into this movie:
The…high school sophomores, all 15, sneaked into the R-rated movie they came to see, the enhanced re-release of the 1973 horror classic, "The Exorcist." To get in, the boys…buy tickets for a PG movie to show the guard at the main door. Then they wait until any security guards posted at the entrances…stop checking. When the coast is clear, they enter. One friend admits he was scared by "The Exorcist" but, of course, that was the whole point of seeing it (with) the blasphemous vulgarity, twisting necks and spewing bile… (Los Angeles Times, October 4, 2000, page A-7).
Spiritual pornography like The Exorcist has opened a whole new generation of young people to the influence of Satan and demons. Time magazine quoted one Catholic priest as saying, "The culture's lack of a moral anchor, its acceptance of abortion and an increased flirtation with paganism can lead the susceptible to put themselves proximate (very close) to darkness," to the Devil and demons (Time, October 2, 2000, page 74). Although I would disagree on other subjects, I agree with him completely on that point. The violent, blasphemous, bloody movies and video games young people are watching today bring them to the very edge of demon possession - and I believe that many may actually cross the line.
Now, I want to talk about the subject of Satan and demons tonight. We will look at what the Bible says on this subject.

I. First, we will examine the origin of Satan and demons.

Where did the Devil come from? Where did the demons come from? The Bible gives two great passages that help to explain where Satan came from. They are Ezekiel 28:14-17 and Isaiah 14:12-14. The second of those passages of Scripture says this:
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High" (Isaiah 14:12-14).
The Scofield note on verse twelve says, "This tremendous passage marks the beginning of sin in the universe. When Lucifer said, 'I will,' sin began." (Scofield Reference Bible, note on Isaiah 14:12). That's exactly right. Sin did not begin in the Garden of Eden. Sin began in Heaven when Lucifer said, "I will ascend into heaven…I will be like the most High" (Isaiah 14:13,14).
Lucifer was created to glorify and praise God. He was a great angel in Heaven. But instead of serving and praising God, he wanted to take the place of God. He wanted complete control of the universe himself. He wanted to throw God out and reign in His place. He said, "I will ascend into heaven." "I will exalt my throne above the stars of God." "I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation." "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds." "I will be like the most High." I…I…I…I…I…I.
The "I will" philosophy is the spirit of rebellion. When a person says, "I will not believe on Jesus;" "I will not read the Bible daily;" "I will not be in church every Sunday," that person is displaying the same rebellion as Lucifer, the same rebellion as Satan against the authority of God!
But Satan wasn't satisfied with being rebellious all by himself. My mother used to say, "There's safety in numbers." And people will hide in a crowd of evil-doers. People like to excuse themselves by saying, "Everybody is doing it." And I think they got that from the Devil.
When Lucifer rebelled against God, he led a great number of angels in Heaven into rebellion also. The Bible speaks of "the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation" (i.e. their own dwelling place, Jude 6). The Bible says this about Lucifer, "His tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth" (Revelation 12:4). New-evangelical commentator John MacArthur says of this verse, "Satan's original rebellion resulted in one-third of the angelic host joining his insurrection and becoming demons" (MacArthur Study Bible, note on Revelation 12:4). That's where the demons came from. They were once angels, but they joined Satan in rebellion against God, and were cast out of Heaven unto the earth.
Young person, the Devil and demons are very real. And they are against God. The name "Satan" comes from the Greek word "Satanas." It means "adversary" or "enemy." The Bible calls him, "your adversary the devil" (I Peter 5:8); your enemy the Devil! And the Devil is your enemy! He is the worst enemy that you have.

II. Then, secondly, let us examine the work of Satan and his demons.

What does the Devil do? What do the demons do? The Bible teaches that they do many things. W. E. Vine lists several of them:
Demons are the spiritual agents acting in all idolatry…every idol has a demon associated with it who induces idolatry, with its worship and sacrifices. They disseminate (or spread) errors among men, and seek to seduce…(W. E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Fleming H. Revell, 1966, page 291).
Evangelical author Dave Hunt points out that "many of the games, toys, videos and films most popular among children and youth involve the occult" (Dave Hunt, Occult Invasion, Harvest House, 1998, page 328). That would include the Harry Potter stories, which glorify sorcery ("white" magic), the Teen-Age Mutant Ninja Turtles (eastern religion learned from a guru), and the Star Wars series (black and "white" magic, yoga, etc.).
And one of the Devil's greatest lies is that you can be a Christian and miss church. "You don't have to join a church to be a Christian," thousands of people parrot. They have been seduced by Satan, the father of lies. The Bible says, "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:47). This is one of the great Baptist doctrines - the primacy of the local church. The New Testament nowhere teaches a "churchless" Christianity. Every believer in the New Testament was an active member of a local church. The modern idea that "You don't have to go to church" is Satanic, a lie from the father of lies, the Devil himself.
Now, the Devil's purpose is to oppose God. He is God's enemy, God's adversary. New-evangelical evangelist Billy Graham correctly said this:
Isaiah 14:12-14 clearly points up Satan's objectives: he works to bring about the downfall of nations, to corrupt moral standards and to waste human resources. Corrupting society's order, he wants to prevent the attainment of order…He uses his destructive power to create havoc, fire, flood, earthquake, storm, pestilence, disease, and the devastation of peoples and nations. The description of Satan's great power ends with the words, 'Who opened not the house of his prisoners' (Isaiah 14:17). This undoubtedly refers to the prison house of Satan, Hades (Hell)…so clearly pictured in Luke 16:19-31. Satan has great power. He is cunning and clever…He will do everything in his power to hold people captive in sin and to drag them down to the prison of eternal separation from God" (Billy Graham, Angels: God's Secret Agents, Doubleday, 1975, pages 67-68).
Though I disagree with him on many things, he is exactly right Scripturally in that statement.
And that's why the Devil puts so many false thoughts into your mind. He wants to destroy you, so he puts destructive false ideas into your mind.
- "Go to Las Vegas instead of coming to church," the Devil says.
- "Believe whatever you want, it's O.K.," the Tempter whispers.
- "You don't need to be converted, you're fine as you are," he tells you.
But you're not O.K.!
Jesus said, "Except ye be converted…ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3). And conversion means change. The Greek word is "strepho." It literally means "turn" in this verse. But you cannot turn yourself. Your mind and heart are held captive by the Devil (II Timothy 2:26). The Bible says:
"In time past ye walked according to the course (i.e. the ways of) this world, according to the prince of the power of the air (i.e. Satan), the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2).
Satan is called "the ruler of this world" (cf. John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11) and "the god of this world" (II Corinthians 4:4). The Devil rules your heart if you are unconverted, if you are still part of the world which he controls. Actually, the Devil is your god (II Corinthians 4:4) because he controls your mind and heart. He is "the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2).
That's why people come to church a few times and then fall away from the local church. "The devil taketh away the word out of their heart, lest they should believe and be saved" (Luke 8:12).
And you are not able to free yourself from the hold the Devil has on your unconverted mind and heart. You are helplessly enslaved to him in your very nature. That's why you will find some little excuse to miss church - because you are still a slave to "the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2). And you cannot free your own mind from Satan's power over you. That's what it means to be lost. You are lost - you are a slave to the Devil.

III. And that brings us to the third point of this sermon - the work of Jesus Christ in freeing you from Satan's power. 

The great evangelist Dr. Asahel Nettleton said:
Nothing can be done toward recovering lost sinners to God without invading the kingdom of darkness. The adversary (Satan) is tenacious of his subjects (i.e. he holds onto you with all his might). He will exert his power to the utmost to retain (or keep) every soul in his kingdom…the devil tries to make sinners believe they are not lost…When the solemn truths of God's word are declared (in preaching) sinners are often alarmed. They are sometimes almost convinced (that they are lost), and begin to say, if these things be so, then my situation is truly alarming. (If it's true that I'm lost, I am in a terrible situation). In this (state of mind) the sinner will (try to find things) which may help him to condemn others and justify himself. If he cannot (find fault with the sermons), he feels an awful condemnation (Dr. Asahel Nettleton, Sermons from the Second Great Awakening, International Outreach, 1995 reprint, pages 162-163).
That's where Jesus comes in. Jesus, and Jesus only, can free you from the Devil and convert you to God and the local church. Only Jesus can save your soul from the Devil and make you a saved church member who attends church regularly. You must be converted by Jesus Christ. He is the only one powerful enough to save you from the devil and a life of sin.
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in trespasses and sins, hath quickened us (i.e. made us alive) together with Christ (by grace are ye saved;)" (Ephesians 2:4-5).
That's why John Newton wrote,
 

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me. 

I once was lost, but now am found, 

Was blind, but now I see.

       ("Amazing Grace, by John Newton, 1725-1807).

 

That's why Charles Wesley wrote the words of the song Mr. Griffith sang at the beginning of the sermon,
 

He (Jesus) breaks the power of canceled sin,

He sets the prisoner free;

His blood can make the foulest clean;

His blood availed (was effective, did the work) for me.

       ("O For a Thousand Tongues, by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).

 

The Blood of Jesus Christ can wash your sins away and convert you. Christ is alive in Heaven at the right hand of God. Come to Christ. Throw yourself upon Him. Be washed from your sins in His Blood. Be freed from Satan's slavery by Jesus. Be converted by Him and come into this local church every Sunday.
Jesus Christ Himself is the true exorcist! He alone can cast the Devil out of your heart and set you free to serve God in this New Testament Baptist Church every Sunday - and throughout the week - and throughout your life! Come to Christ! Come now! He loves you and He wants you! And so do we! We want you to come to Jesus and into the friendship and love of our church! Jesus wants you - and so do we!

Scripture Read Before Sermon: Isaiah 14:12-17.

 

Solo by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith "O For a Thousand Tongues" by Charles Wesley

THE OUTLINE OF

THE EXORCIST #1

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

 

"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).

I. The origin of Satan and demons, Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:14-17;Jude 6; Revelation 12:4.

II. The work of Satan and demons, Isaiah 14:16-17; Ephesians 2:2.

III. The work of Jesus in freeing us from Satan's power, Ephesians 2:4-5.