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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
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.
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
(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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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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