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The Cup of Demons

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1 Corinthians 10:14-22

In C. S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters[1], Uncle Screwtape offers his nephew a little advice on the goal and strategy of temptation. You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy. It does not matter how small the sins are, provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one-the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts. Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape

Contact With Demons Exposition: Contact With Demons Exposition: Contact With Demons Exposition: Contact With Demons Exposition: (1 Corinthians 10:14-22)
Historical/Cultural Background.

The going taboo in Paul’s day was eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols. This practice posed three problems.
• THE SACRIFICIAL DINNER. This posed a problem for the Christian who was invited to this event where meat was served that had just been sacrificed to idols. • THE MEAT MARKET. This involved the question for the Christian regarding whether or not he should buy meat in the marketplace that had earlier been sacrificed to idols. • THE PRIVATE DINNER PARTY. The Christian who was invited to this event held by an unbelieving Gentile had to make the decision as to whether or not he would eat in this particular situation.
Practical Principles Practical Principles Practical Principles Practical Principles
• A PERILOUS ACTIVITY MAY APPEAR SAFE INITIALLY 1 Corinthians 10:19-20 What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? 20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. (NKJV) • PARTICIPATION BRINGS CONTAMINATION 1 Corinthians 10:20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. (NKJV) • CONTACT WITH DEMONS BREAKS COMMUNION WITH CHRIST 1 Corinthians 10:21-22 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He? (NKJV)
Their Entrance — Ground and Hold
Ephesians 4:26-27 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. (NKJV)
• GROUND. The demons need a ground of entrance to get into our lives. “Ground” has been defined as “anything that gives advantage to Satan.” Examples of “ground” that give opportunity for the devil and demons to enter are: uncontrolled anger, disobedience, religious fanaticism, false cults, lust, sensuality, etc. According to Mrs. Penn Lewis, in her book War on the Saints, “This ground needs to be discovered, confessed to God as sin, and then cancelled in the name of Jesus Christ.”
• HOLD. Once a demon gains entrance, it must maintain a “hold” within the person. It is not always the same in every person. In King Saul’s case, his open disobedience to the Word opened the way for a demon to enter his life. The demon’s hold on him was depression and serious anxieties connected with murderous thoughts.
• IMMATERIAL: They are spiritual beings, and as such are not material. Jesus said, “Touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have’ (Luke 24:39). Being spirits they are independent of matter.

• INDEPENDENT: They are personal beings. Personality and corporeality are not to be confused. God is spirit, but He is not corporeal. The same arguments used to prove the personality of God can also be used to demonstrate the personality of demons. They have the power of thought, speech, and of action (Acts 19:15-16), since they have power to influence a human personality. The fact they “did not keep their own domain but abandoned their proper abode” (Jude 6) and that they sinned (2 Peter 2:4), shows they had the power of moral choice. They were sensitive to fear (Luke 8:3 1), and had the power of rage (Matthew 8:28).

• INTELLIGENT: They are intelligent beings. The unclean spirit who controlled the man in the synagogue cried out, “I know who You are-the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24). Their replies to Christ were couched in intelligent language. The evil spirit said to the sons of Sceva, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?’ He could discern the true from the false. Some have suggested that the Greek word demon derives from a word meaning “intelligent.’ But their intelligence is debased and devoted to evil purposes.

• INVISIBLE: They are invisible beings. Being incorporeal, they are neither visible nor tangible. There is no record in Scripture of their taking visible or tangible form. • CONVINCED: They are believing beings. There are no atheists among them. “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder’ (James 2:19). They have faith, but not saving faith, for it does not lead them to repentance. They recognize and confess the deity of Christ, but refuse to give Him their allegiance. They also know who are true believers, and they obey the authority of Jesus’ name (Acts 19:15).

• BODYLESS: They are incorporeal beings, but seem to have a strange passion to possess living organisms, whether human or animal. “The demons entreated Him, saying, ‘Send us into the swine so that we may enter them.’ . . . The unclean spirits entered the swine” (Mark 5:12-13). “Then it goes, and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first’ (Matthew 12:45). It appears they must have control of bodily organs to enable them to execute their hellish assignments. Having once gained control over a human body, they seem to be able to come and go at will. “When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came'” (Luke 11:24

• POWERFUL: They are powerful beings, and exercise superhuman strength. And they are also able to impart superhuman strength to their victims. “A certain man… who was possessed with demons; … He was bound with chains and shackles … yet he would burst his fetters” (Luke 8:27,29). They delight to make use of human bodies for evil purposes.

• COUNTLESS: They are innumerable and well organized, so they can represent their prince in any part of the world (Mark 5:9; Luke 8:30; Matthew 12:28-27).

• DOOMED: They are painfully aware of their impending doom. “What do we have to do with You, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” (Matthew 829, italics added). Their destiny is “the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41-).

• DEFILED: They are all wicked, but not all equally wicked. The unclean spirit who had gone out of a man returned with “seven other spirits more wicked than itself. (Matthew 12:45, italics added).

• MALIGNANT: They have power to inflict physical disabilities. “My son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute; and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth” (Mark 9:17-18)[2].

• IMAGES: Worshiping any image is a place for demon intrusion. That is the most literal and obvious kind of a place for demon intrusion, the kind so frequently denounced in the Old Testament. It is the kind in which a person makes an image with his own hands and then “falls down before it and worships; he also prays to it and says, ‘Deliver me, for thou art my god”’ (Isa. 44:17). Even statues or other images of Christ are not to be revered or worshiped. Only Christ is to be worshipper, not likenesses of Him. They do not represent Jesus Christ, no matter what our claims and intentions are. “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). Even nonliturgical Christians should be on guard, whether in public worship or private devotions, about associating any place, picture, or pattern of worship too closely with God. It is easy for such a thing to come between us and Him, though we may think it helps draw us closer.

• ANGELS: Worshiping angels is a place for demon intrusion. Paul warns, “Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self–abasement and the worship of the angels” (Col. 2:18). When, overcome with awe, John fell at the feet of the angel who was speaking to him, the angel said, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God” (Rev. 19:10). Angels are created beings and, whether holy or fallen, are not to be venerated or worshiped.

• DEMONS: Worshiping demons is a place for demon intrusion, and is closely associated with worshiping images, behind which are often demons. In Satan cults demons are worshiped directly. Speaking of the Tribulation, John foretells that “The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood” (Rev. 9:20).

• DEAD PEOPLE: Worshiping dead people is a place for demon intrusion. Referring to a place for demon intrusion that Israel learned from Moab, the psalmist wrote, “They joined themselves also to Baal–peor, and ate sacrifices offered to the dead. Thus they provoked Him to anger with their deeds; and the plague broke out among them” (Ps. 106:28–29). We do not worship human beings, whether they are alive or dead, saintly or otherwise. Even the great heroes of Scripture—such as Abraham, Moses, David, the prophets, Mary, or the apostles—are never to be worshiped. That is a place for demon intrusion

• SELFISHNESS: Supreme loyalty in our heart to anything other than God is a place for demon intrusion. Every person is tempted with ambitions, desires, possessions, recognition, and a host of other such things that easily can become idols. “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also,” Jesus said (Matt. 6:21). The greatest heart treasure, or heart idol, is self.

• GREED: Covetousness is a place for demon intrusion. Those who covet or are greedy worship at the shrine of materialism, one of the most popular and powerful idols of our day But Paul says, “For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolator, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Eph. 5:5; cf. Col. 3:5). Acts 5:3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? (NKJV)

• LUST: Inordinate desire, or lust, is a place for demon intrusion. Paul speaks of “enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things” (Phil. 3:18–19). The person whose mind, desires, longings, and appetites are set on fleshly things is an idolater.

• AMUSEMENTS: exposing your mind to Satanic ideas and stories must be constantly avoided. Some examples are:
1. Movies that follow the theme of Satan and his demons. Science fiction that portrays superhuman powers available from cosmic sources leave unguarded minds open to endless fantasies about what if . . .

2. Television programs dealing with the occult directly or indirectly.

3. Music that popularizes demonic activities, words, and mantras.

4. Plays promoting contact with demons.

5. Games which encourage contact with demons and their related activities should be avoided and burned! (This is the scriptural method of with such things.)

6. Literature. The feeding of one’s mind on the lewd information and photographs so widely and easily available gives a ground of entrance for the demons of sensuality.

7. Actual Occult Practice A list of those things which bring with them demonic contact: black magic, astrology, fetishes and talismans, fortune-telling, séance meetings, witchcraft, palmistry, spiritism, ESP (extra-sensory perception), pictures of witches and occult propaganda, voodoo dolls, candles with occult significance, incense, excessive superstition, religious practices that highlight the emotional, cults, Satan worship, tarot cards, Ouija boards, crystal balls, black cubes and related occult practices.

A Defense Against Demons Defense Against Demons Defense Against Demons Defense Against Demons
• We must Confess Jesus Christ as Personal Lord and Savior. (John 12:46) Full deliverance comes only through personally claiming His blood and His victory at Calvary on your behalf.

• We must Cancel All Occult/Demonic Practices. Name the sin specifically and burn every trace of any tangible paraphernalia. A total removal and destruction is the only cancellation that God accepts. Acts 19:11-20 And God wrought special miracles by the
hands of Paul: 12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. 13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. 19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed. (KJV)

• We must Claim God’s Promises. Hebrews 2:14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, (NKJV); 1 John 3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. (NKJV)


We Must Use Our Armor
Ephesians 6:11-18 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. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints — (NKJV)

• Belt of Truth. Implement of battle hung from the belt which held the soldier’s robe together. This means “honesty,” “truthfulness,” “integrity,” and “sincerity. Duplicity brings defeat!.

• Breastplate of Righteousness. This was a heavy piece of armor that completely enclosed the body. This means personal, daily righteousness maintained by confession of sin. Impurity will bring defeat!

• Shoes of Peace. Soles of the soldier were impregnated with heavy, spike-like hobnails which gave him a good footing. This carries with it the idea of “readiness” or “peace of mind.” Anxiety brings defeat

• Shield of Faith. It was a portable door which the soldier hid behind. The shield served as the buffer from the flaming darts of the enemy. Faith extinguishes all the flaming missiles of the evil one. Doubt brings defeat!

• Helmet of Salvation. The meaning of the helmet is assurance of salvation. Lack of assurance brings defeat!
Offensive Equipment (Vv. 17b, 18)
• Sword of the Spirit. Memorizing the Scripture is essential to effectiveness in battle.

• Prayer. This includes petition at all times for others as well as yourself.

• Alertness. The good soldier must be ever alert.

[1] Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, p. 56. [2] J. Oswald Sanders, Satan is no Myth, p. 64-67.


Check Out All The Sermons In The Series

You can find all the sermons and short clips from this series, Brave New World – Devils here.

You can find all the sermons and short clips from this series, Genesis here.

You can find all the sermons and short clips from this series, Lost World – The World that Perished here.

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