Saturday, October 28, 2023

Enemies of God



Pray for people …


James 4 NKJV

1 ¶  Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?

2  You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.

3  You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

4  Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.


Today is the 23rd day since the terrorists group Hamas launched a murderous surprise attack against unsuspecting Israeli civilians in several Jewish communities close to the border of Gaza. Hundreds and hundreds of innocent children, teenagers, the elderly, and whole families were brutally tortured in unbelievably inhumane ways before being viciously executed or taken captive and dragged awayreminiscent of Hitler and the Holocaust. Hatred of the Jews is demonic.


Hamas should not be mistakenly identified to represent all Palestinians any more than the Nazis in the 1930’s and 40’s represented every German citizen. The government we vote into power does not always end up representing us. However the primary responsibility for dealing with a tyrannical or terroristic government lies first with the people of that nation. 


An historic overview of WWII reveals the Japanese population either could not or would not deal with the kamikaze ideology of their own national leaders. Finally the Japanese military directly attacked the US and forced America along with its allies to mobilize and declare war against Japan.


The unwavering commitment of Japan’s government, its military, and the supporting citizens and industry of Japan to the destruction of America and western ideals, along with their demonstrated willingness tosadistically torture and summarily execute their captives, eventually made it necessary for the United States to do the unthinkable. 


On August 6th, and August 9th, 1945, over 4 ½ years after Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the US detonated two atomic bombs over the densely populated Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The bombings indiscriminately killed an estimated 225,000 people, flattened the cities, and wounded untold numbers, most of whom were civilians. Six days later, the Japanese government surrendered bringing anend to WWII.


The act of dropping those bombs, seen by many as an act of aggression, was truly a last resort defensive move. The realistic expectation of the US and its allies, including Russia at that time, was that the people of Japan either actively allowed or directly supported the decisions and the actions of their government. It was believed that if Japan was not totally defeated, they would rearm and attack again. The goal of the US was to not only defeat the Japanese military but to destroy the will of the people to allow such terror to be perpetrated by their nation ever again. And it worked.


Unfortunately for so many nations throughout history, the common people of the nation are the ones who are left to pay for the decisions of the ones they put into power. Whether higher taxes, or mobilizing militaries, taking land or claiming the lives of sons and daughters, governments are only what the people allow them or want them to be. And, when war breaks out with terrorists nations, it’s the people of those nations who suffer the most.


It is a horrific truth that left to rest, regather, and resupply, those bent on terrorism and indoctrinated to hate will recruit, rearm and reattack at a later date. We simply cannot leave our children and grandchildren and the next generation to deal with that eventuality. As horrible as it is … and it is … it is nonetheless our duty to make sure it stops here, on our watch.


The responsibility of the Church and every Born-Again Believer in Jesus Christ is to pray that this war in Gaza comes to a quick and decisive end, having uprooted the spirit of terrorism from the borders of Israel, and that the Palestinian people be set free from the oppressive lies of the devil who hates Israel and wants to wipe the from the face of the earth. 


This is prophesied in the Psalms by a psalmist prophet named Asaph. There are many other teachers of the Word of God who do a much better job of forecasting the prophetic impact of this event than do IHowever, please allow me to share a brief overview of Psalm 83to confirm what James said about war and the enemies of God.


Psalm 83 NKJV

1 ¶  « A Song. A Psalm of Asaph. » Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, And do not be still, O God!

• Notice what is happeningget involved and stay involved O God.


2  For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; And those who hate You have lifted up their head.

• Don’t just get involved God but, take this attackpersonally. 
• These people are Your enemies, they hate You!


3  They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.

• They have a confederate counsel and are in agreement against the people You have sheltered.In other words: They hate Israel too …


4  They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”

• Their unanimous goal is to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.
• No more remembrance … off the map as it were … 
• Rewrite history so that Israel is not remembered.


5  For they have consulted together with one consent; They form a confederacy against You:

• One voice … one command … destroy Israel.


6  The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites;

7  Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;

8  Assyria also has joined with them; They have helped the children of Lot. Selah

• The one mentioned first is usually the instigator … guess what? 
Tents or tabernacles – talking about camps … many believe these to represent refugee campsin and around Israel.
▪ These are all currently controlled by Hamas by the way. 
The inhabitants of Tyre – Lebanon … not the citizens but those living in the land as a group.
• All the border states of Israel are represented here: Gaza; Lebanon; Syria; Jordan; Saudi Arabia; Egypt


9 ¶  Deal with them as with Midian, As with Sisera, As with Jabin at the Brook Kishon,

10  Who perished at En Dor, Who became as refuse on the earth.

11  Make their nobles like Oreb and like Zeeb, Yes, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,

• Old Testament enemies of God who were destroyed by Jael and Gideon (Judges 5-8).


12  Who said, “Let us take for ourselves The pastures of God for a possession.”

• The reason is expansion. 
• They want the pastures … the land … not the treasures like are desired in the Ezekiel 38 war.
Which I believe may be a post-rapture war.
And which the Psalm 83 war might be a trigger for.


13  O my God, make them like the whirling dust, Like the chaff before the wind!

14  As the fire burns the woods, And as the flame sets the mountains on fire,

15  So pursue them with Your tempest, And frighten them with Your storm.

• Deal with them as verse 9 begins … 
• Why? Why is all this happening?


16  Fill their faces with shame, That they may seek Your name, O LORD.

• That they may seek Your name, O Jehovah.


17  Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; Yes, let them be put to shame and perish,

18  That they may know that You, whose name alone isthe LORD, Are the Most High over all the earth.

• That they may know that You … You are LORD!


James also gives us only one remedy for the conflicts of our souls just like the conflicts between nations … Acknowledge the LORD God Almighty! Make Jesus your Lord! Every knee will bow …


Hatred of God and hatred of the people of God, Israel according to the Bible, is demonic. Jesus was born in Israel; He ministered in Israel; He was killed in Israel; He rose from the dead in Israel; He went to heaven from Israel; and He is coming back to Israel … Israel is the chosen of God and the Jews have lived in Israel for over 4000 years; 2600 years before the founding of Islam. 


Hatred of Israel and the God of Israel is nothing new and it is of the devil. The Bible gives us only one remedy for lasting peace.


James 4 NKJV

7  Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

8  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you …


If you are in conflict of the soul this morning or if you are standing in a battlefield, even in the information battlefield and you don’t know what to think or what to do … take direction from the Word of God this morning. 


Pray and submit yourself to God and His will for you life and for this world. Don’t allow the devil to feed your mind or control your emotions. This is not the worst day of God’s life and He has a plan that is beyond our imagination and beyond our control. 


Draw near to God in prayer, worship, and in the Word. Perhaps for the first time in your life you need to let God be God … He is the only One who can be! Let’s pray for peace …


Part I: Be Strong in the Lord

Ephesians 6:10-18



We are beginning a new sermon series on the Armor of God. What is the Armor of God? Why does it matter? What difference will it make in my life? We will look to answer these questions and then some. We will go through each piece of the armor and get a better understanding of it and how to equip ourselves with them.



First, we are going to set the stage. Paul the Apostle is writing to the church in Ephesus. He ministered to the people there for a short time during his Second missionary journey (Acts 18:18-21) and then for more than two years in his third missionary journey (Acts 19:1-41). Paul saw many people come to Jesus and successfully planted a thriving church in the city. However, the church had its fair share of issues.


Ephesus was a port city, also known for its trade. It was also an important city in the Roman Empire. One of the things Ephesus was known for was the Temple of Artemis where people would come to worship the goddess by having sexual interactions with its harlots. There were many other strange norms in the city of Ephesus where the church Paul was writing to resided. Paul was writing to inform them concerning their faith and address some of the issues that came with living in Ephesus. Paul covers the position we have in Christ along with the basics of our Christian walk.


Paul covers:

• All that God has done for us
• The position we have in Christ
• The new life we have in Christ
• The community we are born-again into
• How we should conduct ourselves as Christians


Last on his list of things to address was spiritual warfare. Lets pick up in verse 10 of Ephesians 6.


Ephesians 6:10-13 NKJV

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.


Lets take this verse by verse


Be Strong in the Lord:

V10 - Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might…”


Finally” in verse 10, Paul is saying

In light of all that God has done for you
In light of the standing you have with God in Christ
In light of the wonderful mystery that God has revealed to us through Christ
In light of the new life He has given to you in Christ
In light of the standard in which He has called you to live as a believer
In light of all these things, there is a spiritual battle


Paul encourages the church to be strong, but not in their own strength. The words be strong” actually mean to be strengthened.” The apostle was saying to be strengthened in the Lord. We have to be strengthened through the power of His might. 


Before a soldier is outfitted with the equipment needed to fight and win in battle, they go through physical training; boot camp if you will. During this time they are trained to strengthen their bodies that they may be able to stand strong with the equipment given to them. The armor is important, but a soldier must be able to stand strong in order to use the armor properly.


Similarly, before we can take up the armor of God, we too must be strong in the Lord! Not in our own power, but in the power of His might. The power of His might is the same power that rose Jesus from the dead. It is the power of the Holy Spirit! Let us be strong not in our own strength, but in the strength of His mighty power.


A soldier doesnt get ready for battle, during the battle. Instead, he prepares for the battle before it takes place! If a battalion of soldiers wait until the battle commences to begin getting ready, then they will have already lost! In the same way, If we wait until the day of temptation to begin getting ready, then we have already lost the battle. Dont wait for the battle to start to begin preparing for the battle. You have to be ready before it begins. 


We must be strengthened by the Lord through the power of the Holy Spirit.


So, how do we do that? How do we become strong in the Lord? How should we be embowered by the Holy Spirit for battle?


By putting on the whole Armor of God!


Put on the Full Armor of God:

V11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.


We become strong in the Lord by putting on the whole Armor of God. Now, these are not physical pieces of armor that we are equipping ourselves with, but spiritual. Every piece of armor is a physical representation of a spiritual application that prepares you for the attack of the enemy.


Verse 11 also says that putting on the armor of God allows you to be able to stand against the wiles” of the devil. 


Wiles = Schemes; Trickery; Deceit


The spiritual application of the armor of God prepares you to be able to withstand the deceitful schemes of the devil. Whether you believe it or not, the devil is scheming against you. He is trying to get you caught in a trap, trying to get you to believe a lie, trying to trick you into a false narrative. Not just you, but he is also after your family as well. The only way to overcome is to be strong in the Lord. 


The devil will ultimately lose in the end. Jesus says that He has overcome the world and He has overcome the devil. In Christ, we have overcome the world as well. The armor of God gives us the power to stand strong against the deceitful schemes of the enemy. We must be strong in the Lord.


Getting to the Root:

This is an important point that Paul is bringing up. Look at what he says in verse 12


V12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.


What it is saying is that the putting on of the armor of God is a reminder that there is a spiritual influence to some (or most) physical problems. Whether it is marital problems, issues at work, stress, fear, anger, addiction, etc, they all have a spiritual root. However, the issue you see with your eyes is simply the fruit. If all we do is deal with what we see above the ground, all we can do is manage it. Why? Because we are not getting to the root of the problem. If we want to get rid of the problem completely then we have to get to whats under the ground; we have to get to the root. 


Paul is saying that we are not wrestling with evil people, but the spiritual forces working behind the scenes to do evil things. People and problems are not your enemy, the devil and his schemes are your enemy.


In other words, the next time someone snaps back at you or starts talking crazy, remember that they themselves (flesh and blood) are not the enemy. Talking crazy back and trying to put them in their place will only make the situation worse. They are not your enemy, the devil who has tricked them into believing a lie is the real enemy. He is trying to trick you and lead you into a trap. 


Knowing this


Withstand the Attack of the Enemy:

V13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.


Knowing that our enemy the devil is scheming to trick and entice you into a trap, put on the full armor of God so that you will be able to withstand” the evil day. To withstand is to resist or defend. The evil day is the day or moment of temptation. We cannot withstand the devil in our own strength. Instead we can only be strong by putting on the whole armor of God. 


Throughout the series, we are going to look at each piece of the armor, why it is important, and how to equip ourselves with it. This is so that we can be prepared for the attack of the enemy and withstand his schemes against us. 


We will take a look at:

Belt buckle of Truth
Breastplate of Righteousness
Boots of the Gospel of Peace
Helmet of Salvation
Shield of Faith
Sword of the Spirit; the Word of God





1. A spiritual battle is being waged
• There is a spiritual battle being waged
• This is not a God vs the devil battle
• Instead, the devil is scheming against you to trick you into a trap
• You must be aware that there is a battle happening to deceive you every day
2. You must be strong in the Lord
• Therefore, we must be strong in the Lord
• You are not strong enough to win on your own
• You need to be strengthened with power from the Holy Spirit
3. Equip yourself with the Armor of God
• We do that by equipping ourselves with the Armor of God
• You have to be prepared before the battle begins
• You are prepared when you put on the armor of God to start the day