All right, let's begin by looking at these questions, and we'll just trust the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom in the order in which we deal with them. Here's a very interesting question. Even though Satan sought to defeat Christ and destroy Him as in the slaughter of the babies by Herod, why did Satan speaking through Peter try to keep Christ from the cross? That's interesting. In other words, they're saying if...if...if Satan tried to kill Him when He was a baby, why did he try to prevent Him from being killed when He was an adult?
Have you ever thought about that? Have you ever tried to figure out the strategy of Satan? It's impossible to figure out. You know why? Because, unlike God, he is not omnipotent. He doesn't know everything, and he really does some dumb things, and he contradicts himself. You don't expect the same kinda consistency out of Satan that you're gonna have with God. Remember this, Satan is corrupt. I'm telling you, he is so corrupt, there's no one more corrupted than he; and you know that with a corruption, comes a corrupt mind faculty. Now, whatever kind of faculty for thinking these angelic beings have, his is really fouled up; and so the one thing you never look for with Satan is consistency. He never is consistent. He's got all kinds of things coming from all kinds of angles that really are inconsistent with themselves.
The only explanation is this. When Christ, the Messiah was being born, it was an obvious effort on Satan's part, try to stop Him from growing up. If he could kill that baby while He was still a baby, Christ could never proclaim His Messiahship. He could never do His miracles. He could never do anything. He could never announce that He was the King, nothing could happen. No fulfillment would ever occur. If he could get that baby and kill that baby, he'd be all right.
First thing he tried to do is get Jesus to join him, right? Matthew 4, "Come on, and I'll give you the kingdoms of the world. Just bow down to Me," and Jesus said, "Nothing doing. I'll wait. The Father'll give Me what he wants to give Me in His own good time. Later on, then he just tried to destroy and disrupt and counterattack Christ's ministry. Finally, in Matthew 16, Jesus announced that He was gonna go to the cross; and Peter, who had an available mouth, a little earlier in the verse, God had used it. Now Satan used it. It's not unlike ours. In Matthew 16, Peter says, "Lord, don't You do that. Don't go the cross," and Jesus knew the source, and said, "Get thee behind Me...what?...Satan. you say, why did Satan try to keep Him from the cross? Because Satan knew that the cross was the deathblow to him. Satan had struggled with everything he knew. He tried to keep Christ on the cross, because he knew what the cross meant. He knew the truth of Hebrews. That He, through His own death would destroy him who had the power of death. So he tried to stop it.
Well, when he realized he couldn't stop Him from going to the cross, when the snowball was really rolling, and it was inevitable, and there was no way he could stop it, he decided to get in on it and kill Him really dead. So he entered Judas, fostered the betrayal, and what I think he thought was that, "I'll do it in my way. Maybe Jesus has a different plan, so I'll get into Judas, and we'll mess the plan up, and maybe the death that I can bring about will not be the atoning, effective death that He's planning." See? And so he entered into Judas, and then he got Christ on the cross, and Christ died on the cross, and then Satan did his best to keep Him in that grave. I mean he had the Roman guards there. He had that thing sealed. He had...everything that he could possibly do. And, you know, that he was really upset when the morning came, and He was gone.
But he hasn't given up yet. He's fighting tooth and nail, and he'll keep fighting in the kingdom. He gets bound for nearly a thousand years. He knows the end of all things. He's listening right now, and he knows if his angels are listening, they'll tell him what I said. He knows. I'm not giving him new information. He knows he's gonna be bound in the pit and cast to the hell that was prepared for he and his angels. He knows. But do you think that, like any dying man, he's gonna give up? He's fighting. He wants to drag as many people into hell as he can. Even at the end of the kingdom, after he's been bound for nearly a thousand years, he starts another rebellion, try to overthrow Christ. He's a never say die character; but one thing you never wanna expect out of Satan is consistency. He's totally inconsistent. He's just like a drowning man. He's grabbing at straws. He thinks this might work, that might work. He gambles on anything. Nothing works.
Just to give you an illustration of how confused Satan's kingdom is, if it wasn't so serious, it'd be hilarious. It's in Acts 19. God was doing special miracles in reaching the people by the hand of Paul, in Acts 19:11. Then in verse 12, it says, "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." That's where you get these faith healers today who say, "Send us $20.00. We'll send you a healing handkerchief."
So they were casting out demons. Well, here was Paul casting out evil spirits, having a great time. Well, "Certain of the vagabond Jews, who were exorcists...here were some professional exorcists. They were frauds, of course. They were demonic...They took upon them to call over them who had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus." So they figured, "Hey, this thing...this little gimmick works real good for Paul. Let's us use it." So they'd say, "We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches. Personally, we don't know Him, but Paul preaches Him." And so they were trying to cast out demons in the way that Paul did. "And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew and chief of the priests, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, 'Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?'"
Now, isn't that amazing? Here were some demon-possessed exorcists trying to cast out some other demons, and the other demons didn't even know that the other demons were trying to do this. So what happens? "The man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overcame them, prevailed against 'em, so that they fled out of the house naked and wounded." One demon-possessed person beat up the other demon-possessed people. You see, Satan doesn't even cooperate with himself. You'd never expect consistency from Satan; and his demons, they don't know what they're doing. They're just as corrupted in their minds and intellects as they are in any other area.
Some Christians in their prayers say, quote, "We bind the power of Satan now that he won't hinder our ministry." And they refer to Matthew 18:18; but this, to me, is not clear what is your comment. Let's look at Matthew 18:18. First place, it has absolutely nothing to do with Satan. You know, half of Christianity is based on verses out of context. That's a very common problem. If you were here some time back when Dr. Rodmarkerwas here, he taught on this particular passage and gave you very clear insight into what it means. It's talking about discipline in the church. Has absolutely nothing to do with Satan.
Verse 15 says, "If your brother trespasses against you, tell him his fault between you and him alone, privately. If he shall hear you, you've gained your brother. If he doesn't hear you, take one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three it may be established. If he shall neglect to hear, tell to the church... the highest court, of course, the local assembly. It probably had reference to the leadership, the elders...If he doesn't hear them, let him be unto you as a heathen man." You see, a failure to submit to the authority of the leaders...removes a person from the assembly. "Treat him like a heathen or a tax collector."
And, of course, you know, you say, "Oh, we can't do that to him. Oh, that would be awful. I mean, oh, to put him out like that would be..." and you get real sentimental...and the Lord says, "Listen, when you do My will, don't be afraid. It is secured as such in Heaven. Verily I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven." He's simply saying this. "You do what you're to do to that man. You put him out of that assembly. He has removed himself from authority. He's like a pagan man, because he will not accept the authority of the leaders. You put him out and have the confidence to know that what you do is secured as such in Heaven."
Do you see? That's all He's saying. There's actually nothing to do with Satan. But, you know, people have all these little formulas. "We bind Satan." What does that mean? You know, that's like Satan. Does Satan have to respond to little formulas? "Oh, they said that 'we bind me' thing again. That finishes me." It is not little formulas that either do or don't affect Satan. It is lives, right? You know how to make sure Satan isn't having any effect on your life? Be holy. Then you don't need to say little formulas; and if you're not holy, you could say a whole string of little formulas, and it wouldn't do any good.
I just had the opportunity...I was sent a book by a major publisher. They wanted me to review the book and write a recommendation of the book for their publicity; and they were thrilled about the book, and I read the book, and wrote 'em a note back. I said, "I could never recommend this book. I don't agree with any of it." Well, you know, I know they were surprised, because I never got a reply. Not a word, see. But what the book did, it had chapter after chapter after chapter of formulas. "Now, when this happens, this is what you say to Satan." Well, I don't wanna be talking to him in the first place. I have absolutely nothing to say to him. And then it had a whole string of things that you could say to the Lord that would get the right things.
Listen, folks, when Christianity gets reduced to spiritualized hocus-pocus, we're in trouble. Listen, all you gotta do is put on the armor of a Christian, live a godly life, and you're not gonna have any problems. James put it as simply as I've ever seen it, "Resist the devil and...what?...he'll flee." You don't need magic; but what's happened is people have dragged over the magical charms of the exorcist into Christianity. Now we've got Christian exorcism. You know, the guy who got rid of the demon of postnasal drip and all that. Yeah, I read his testimony. Couldn't believe it.
I suppose I've had the demon of hay fever all these years and didn't know it. I don't believe you need all those little formulas. I think the efficacy of the cross frees us from the power of Satan, and the holiness of our lives, when we walk in the Spirit, when Jesus Christ is central, when we love Him with our hearts, and we give ourselves over to the control of the Holy Spirit, we are so secure, it's unbelievable. And for Christians to be going around looking behind every corner for demons is ridiculous. I mean they're afraid of us. We have too much power...Don't you ever fear them. You have God on your side.
Another question that came in was can Satan hear what we say and know our thoughts? There are a lotta people, you know, who struggle with the idea of whether or not Satan can hear what they're saying. Someone was telling me last week that they're having problems in this one home with Satan, at least they felt it was that, with demons and so forth. And so they said that rather than pray out loud anymore, they all started praying to themselves, so the devil couldn't hear them. Well, you may chuckle at that, but they are really, I think, at the heart of a true point. There is nothing in the Bible to indicate that Satan is omniscient. I can't really give you any Bible verses about this problem; but I can sure tell you there aren't any verses that say he knows everything; and there are not any verses that say he can read your thoughts; but he is able to predict human behavior better than any other being other than God because he's seen it operate for so long. He can anticipate what you might do in a given situation without knowing your thoughts because of his knowledge of humankind, and because he has a supernatural mind.
But in terms of being omniscient and being able to, as Jesus could, read your thoughts, I don't believe the Bible would support that at all. It never tells us that angels are omniscient, and Satan is nothing but a fallen angel; and if a holy angel isn't omniscient, one that has fallen would have less capacity than a holy one, certainly wouldn't have omniscience. So I don't believe Satan can read our thoughts; but he's great at predicting human behavior, because he's seen so much of it; and I'm not sure that it's really important whether he hears what you're praying anyway or not, because, if you're living right, he can't do a thing about it; and if you're not living right, whether he hears it or not isn't gonna make a lotta difference, 'cause you're gonna be messed up anyway.
I was speaking back in this conference in Iowa about this problem. People were asking the question, "How do you deal with demons? Do we need exorcism to get rid of demons?" Well, there are a lotta people today who say you do; and I told you about the man down in Florida who has this kind of ministry. You may have read his book. His name is Bashan or Basham, first name is Don. He's written a book about deliverance, and he gave the story I told you about the doctor who was delivered from the demon of postnasal drip and what a wonderful testimony he had given and so forth. And there is this approach that, whenever you have a demon, there's a certain magical formula you say, or you run around, you plead the blood and something, whatever that phrase means. It didn't...it's not from the Scripture. The blood has already been pled in your behalf at the time of your salvation, and that takes care of it.
There are a lotta people who are advocating little formulas and little sÃ©ance kinda things with a Christian connotation, and they can cast out demons and so forth. But when you get into the Bible, you find, really, that dealing with the devil is as simple as going to Ephesians 6 and putting on the armor of the Christian. You see, in Ephesians 6, it says, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers," right? We're wrestling against demons and against Satan. What do we do about it?
The best place to find out is to read right in that same chapter, isn't it? And it doesn't say, "Go get your demons exorcised with a Christian exorcism." It doesn't say, "Go get somebody to cast your demon out." It says, "Put on the whole armor of God." And what that whole armor really consists of is righteousness. The heart of it is the breastplate of righteousness. A righteous life is invulnerable. You don't have anything to worry about if you're living a righteous life. If you aren't living a righteous life, you can have all the exorcisms you want, and you're still gonna have problems; because where there is unrighteousness, Satan can move right in.
So there is nothing in the Bible that says Satan can read our thoughts. Certainly, demons can hear what we say. They can understand what we say; and, as I said before, they are very good at predicting the common responses of man, because they've been at it for such a long time. And, apparently, interestingly enough, there's a very strong ESP among spirit beings. They have a language of their own and a communication of their own. But don't worry about that, and when I...this lady said to me, "We whisper," I said, "Well, that's foolish." You can go boldly before the throne of grace. In the Old Testament, it doesn't say, "And David whispered to the Lord, and we have no idea what he said." It says, "And David said unto the Lord," and out it came; and you never hear any time in the Apostle Paul's instruction to us about prayer when he says, "Don't talk out loud." When he wanted to pray, he just flat out prayed. It didn't bother him whether Satan heard it, because he was living such a kind of a life that Satan couldn't do anything about it anyway. That's the issue.
There's one other question in here that relates to that. I'll pull it out at this point, and that is the question, how can I overcome the fear of praying out loud in front of other people? I find myself just saying words to the people. Well, you know that. Sometimes you've heard somebody pray, and you know they're not talking to God. They're talking to you. They say, "Oh, Lord, help this dear brother to do this and do this," you know. It's a sermon couched in a prayer, which is all right once in a while. I wanna defend myself at that point. Sometime in the future, I may need that.
Listen, Scripture nowhere condemns public prayer. Sure it says to pray in the closet before God, but it nowhere condemns public prayer. There is nothing wrong with praying out loud and...and some people may be nervous about it. They may be nervous about it because they're afraid that they're talking to people rather than God. They may be nervous about it because they're afraid Satan will hear. But there is nothing wrong with public prayer. I'm thinking of a passage here in 2 Chronicles, for example. Don't look it up. It's long. But in 2 Chronicles 6:14 through 42, that entire chapter, you have the tremendous prayer of Solomon, and it's a public prayer. The dedication of the temple, and he stands up, and he prays publicly. There's nothing wrong with public prayer. Nehemiah chapter 9, Nehemiah prays publicly. Acts chapter 4, Acts chapter 1, Acts chapter 2, many places public prayer is given. Nothing wrong with praying in public...
Now, there's nothing wrong, also, with praying in private. Our Lord said that the Pharisees oughta quit praying in public and making a big demonstration out of it, and go and pray in their closets before God. Both are acceptable, but what the Lord was saying there was the heart attitude is what really matters... The publican in the...in the temple beat on his breast and said, "Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner." Apparently, he said it out loud. There's nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with speaking your heart out loud. The motive is the issue.
Now, lemme me just another word. Sometimes when you're praying, and you feel like you're talking to people instead of God, it's because you...you are being too analytical. I always tell people, "Don't be self-analytical. Just go ahead and pray. It's all right if they listen." If you're praying in a public place, you expected them to hear, and you expect to use words that are gonna be meaningful to them. When I stand before you and pray, I am not just conscious of God. I'm also conscious that you're here, and I do that, because I wanna take you with me to God's throne, and so I need to be conscious of you; and I need to say things that encompass all of us. And, of course, I'm going to be aware that you're listening. I assume that, so don't be analytical. Don't be self-analytical, and don't expect to have an absolutely pure entrance into the throne of God as if no one else was there when you're in a group. Pray as if you were carrying the entire group, and your thought should be inclusive of them, as well; and you have nothing to worry about if you're a little bashful about praying in public. Don't do it until you get over that, or just a little bit at a time. Sometimes sentence prayers are good. With new Christians, very often we have just a prayer time, and you just say one sentence, and that's it; and if you wanna say another sentence later, you say another one; and everybody just prays one sentence. In that way, you can begin to express yourself to God.
But you don't have all the Thee's and Thou's and all of that. Just say what's on your heart. Prayer is simply communing with God as you express it in whatever way your heart would desire. Don't worry about the results. Humanly, God hears and God knows what's in your heart.
Well, here's another question. Does Satan have access to Heaven? That's an important question. There are three heavens. Third heaven, Paul talked about, didn't he? That's the abode of God. The second heaven is the terrestrial heaven of the stars and everything, and the first heaven would be the atmosphere of the earth. Satan has access to the first heaven. We know he's moving in the atmosphere of the earth. He probably has real good access to the second area, the second heaven. Somebody asked the question, what about UFOs. I think if you check carefully into Satan's strategy, you'll find that probably 99 percent of all UFO appearance is Satan fooling around in the terrestrial atmosphere; and we've talked about that in the past. But does he have access to the third heaven? Yes, he does. Read the Book of Job. He entered right into the presence of God. You say, "I thought he was kicked outta heaven." He was, but once in a while, the Lord let him back just for his own purposes, the Lord's purposes.
But you wanna hear something interesting? Job 1, incidentally, gives you the conversation between God and Satan in Heaven, so he does have access there; and it also says in Revelation that he's night and day accusing the saints before God, isn't he? So somehow he has access; but you know what's really exciting? You read Revelation chapter 12, and there's a war in heaven during the Tribulation, and guess who gets booted out? Satan; and he gets kicked out of Heaven, and he winds up on earth; and when he's got nowhere to go but the earth, that's what sets the Tribulation loose on earth. He wars with Michael and the angels in heaven. It's the holy angels and Michael, who is super-angel, as you know, fighting against Satan and all of his demons; and Michael prevails.
You didn't know. Right, he's God's champion angel. Whenever there's a great war, Michael's out front leading the troops; and so the battle in...in Revelation 12 winds up with Satan being cast to the earth; and when he's left to the earth, all of Heaven is closed to him until such a time as then he is cast into the pit. Yes, he does have access at this particular time.
Another question, and maybe you've dealt with this. What are practical ways of dealing with Satan in terms of fear, especially at night? I don't know if you've ever had that problem. I went through a little phase in my life where night was a fearful thing for me, and it wasn't when I was six. It was when I was an adult; but I used to have a...I'd be just...I don't know what I was afraid of; but I had a little time of about a couple of months there where I was sort of, you know, in bed like this just, you know, checking everything out. And there are people who have this problem. It may depend upon their background and what they were saved out of; but how do you deal practically with fear? Well, I would suggest this method, and I'm not gonna take the time to explain all of it.
I would suggest that you take your concordance and you oughta know what a concordance is. That's the thing in the back of your Bible or the separate little book, and every Christian oughta have a concordance, incidentally. There are three famous ones, Young, Strong, and Cruden's. We always say, "Young for the young, Strong for the strong, Cruden's for the crude." So you can...can pick the one you want. Myself, I use Cruden's; but, anyway, anyway you oughta have a concordance, and sit down with your concordance and find every use of the word fear in the Bible and just trace it through and see if you can't build a little theology against fear.
I think the greatest thing to give you security is to know how the Bible teaches fear and how it deals with it. But lemme just add this. There are two causes of fear, basically. One is a guilty conscience. The other's a lack of trust. Two things cause fear. Sin in your life that you haven't dealt with, and you feel you have a right to being punished, and so you're afraid it's gonna come. Or, secondly, you're afraid because you don't think God can handle your situation. You're afraid you're gonna die. You're afraid you're gonna get sick. You're afraid your kids are gonna get hurt. You're afraid the roof's gonna fall in. You're afraid the demons are gonna get ya. Whatever it is. Comes from two things. No. 1, you have a guilty conscience. No. 2, a lack of faith. Now you can deal with both of those. A guilty conscience - confess your sin and get it all cleaned out. A lack of faith - get your Bible open and read what God says about Himself and learn to trust Him. Okay? And pray.
What is the Biblical teaching on astrology? What is the Biblical teaching on astrology? My wife and I last night were here for a wedding; and, afterwards, we stopped to get a sandwich on the way home; and we went in; and, as I walked in this little place to get a sandwich, there was on the cash register a little sign that said, "The June horoscopes are in." And I thought, "The June horoscopes, like all the rest, are definitely out." But, anyway, the sign said, "The June horoscopes are in," and I...I thought, "Well, where do you get them?" And I...and I turned around, and there was a dispenser on the wall where you put in a quarter, and you get a horoscope. That's about the most impersonal way I've ever seen it done. Drop a quarter in, and they'll tell you about your destiny.
What about these astrological charts? What does the Bible have to say? Well, we covered that in a tape on demons and magic; and if you want a full understanding of that, you can get that. But lemme just mention a couple of Scriptures that help us. Deuteronomy chapter 17 verse 2. Deuteronomy chapter 17 verse 2. "If there be found among you, within any of thy gates...and this is part of God's instruction for Israel...If there be found among you, within any of your gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee, man or woman who hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the Lord thy God in transgressing His covenant, and hath gone and served other gods and worshiped them, either the sun or moon or any of the host of heaven...that's the stars...which I have not commanded, and if it be told thee, and thou has heard of it and inquired diligently, and behold, it is true, and the thing certain that such abomination is wrought in Israel, then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman who hath committed that wicked thing unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones till they die."
If Carol Righter hadda been alive in the day of Israel, they would've stoned him to death. That's how strong the Word of God speaks against anything connected with worship or seeking to know the revelation of some divine mind through the sun, the moon, or the stars of heaven. It was an offense that constituted an abomination to God, and I would hasten to add that anything that used to be an abomination to God is still an abomination to God; because whatever was abominating to His character is still abominating to His character, because His character has not changed one bit. So that's a very, very clear word. I would add to that Isaiah chapter 47. Isaiah 47 verse 12, and here he was particularly judging the Babylonians, who were really involved in this. "Stand now with your enchantments and with the multitude of thy sorceries, in which thou hast labored from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail. Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators...that's the June horoscopes...stand up and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be like stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame; they shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it."
They're gonna be so consumed, they won't even smolder, is what he's saying. They won't even be worth a coal to get warm over. They're gonna go up so fast in smoke. That's God's attitude toward astrology, stargazing, monthly prognostication. Now, that's fairly clear. No Christian has any business in any sense, under any circumstance, fooling around with that. That simply opens your mind to demonic suggestion; and, if you listen to that suggestion, it isn't that the horoscopes will tell you what you're like, they will simply make you into what they want you to be. People who listen to that begin to pattern their life after that thing until, literally, they become transformed into their horoscope, if you will...
There are others in Acts chapter 7 where it mentions "The tabernacle of Moloch and the star of your God Remphan." This is the worship of Saturn, and it's, again, mentioning the worship of the stars. So this was something that was completely and totally forbidden in the Word of God; and the reason is because the stars can't tell your future. They can't tell your present. No way. That's the revelation of God alone involved in telling the truth. That's just a demonic way to capture the fancy of people so that the demons can persuade them toward a certain behavior.
In Daniel 1, it says, "In all matters of wisdom and understanding, the king of Babylon inquired of them. He found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers in all his realm." When he consulted God's people, he found them ten times better, and that's an understatement. Verse 2 talks more about the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and shows that they were inadequate. They were in error. They were helpless. They were hopeless. In chapter 2 verse 27, it talks about soothsayers, astrologers, magicians again.
So no Christian is to have anything to do with them at any time at all. Don't even fool with that. Don't even play around with it. It just opens up an avenue for Satan to influence you.
What is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? I'd invite you, and you're gonna need your Bible, and you're gonna have to turn quick, 'cause we wanna hurry. But this draws us to Matthew chapter 12. What is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? Jesus presented Himself to Israel as the King, the Messiah, the Anointed One, the fulfillment of all Old Testament prophecy; and, of course, progressively from indifference to total rejection went the Jewish mentality generated by its leaders. And by the time you come to Matthew chapter 12, the consensus of opinion among Jewish leadership is that this man is not just somebody to be ignored. He is somebody to be contended with. He is somebody to be contended with very seriously, because He's satanic. They concluded the very opposite to the truth because of the blindness of their own hearts. And so their conclusion was that Jesus Christ was demonic. Jesus Christ was satanic; and they said that the demons that Jesus cast out, He cast out by the power of Satan.
Now look at Matthew chapter 12 verse 24, and we'll pick up the narrative that explains this issue. "When the Pharisees heard it, they said, 'This fellow casts out demons, not but by Beelzebub, the prince of demons.'...that is by Satan...And Jesus knew their thoughts and said unto them, 'Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation. Every city or house divided against itself shall not stand. And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I, by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore, they shall be your judges." Jesus simply says that the issue here cannot be one of Satan casting out Satan, for Satan would divide himself; and the conflict would arise as to who's doing what by whose power. He zeroes then in on the problem. "If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God is come unto you. If you're wrong, then you've missed the Kingdom, and you've missed the King."
Now go down to verse 31, "Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men. The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven men. And whosoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age, neither in the age to come." Now, here you have this very important area of the unpardonable sin. You have the statement, "It shall not be forgiven," twice. Once in verse 31 and once in verse 32, and people always say, "Well, what is it that cannot be forgiven? What is the one thing that cannot be forgiven?" And some people have said it is rejection of Jesus Christ. That isn't true, because that can be forgiven. You can reject Jesus Christ at one point in your life, receive Him at another point, and have the past forgiven. Is that true?
So it can't simply be rejecting Jesus Christ. The Pentecostal people tell us that the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is when you say their experience in the Holy Spirit isn't valid; and that isn't true either. That isn't even the issue here. Nobody is even talking about that. What is the issue here is simply this. Jesus did what He did by the power of the Holy Spirit. He yielded Himself as a submissive Son to the will of the Father and to the power of the Spirit. When He was baptized, you'll recall in Matthew chapter 3, the Holy Spirit did what? Descended upon Him as a dove and empowered Him for His life and His work among men. He was God, but He set aside the prerogatives of His deity and submitted Himself to the will of the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit.
So, in true sense, what Jesus did, He did by the power of the Holy Spirit working through Him. His virgin birth was conceived of the Spirit. His empowerment for ministry was at His baptism and was generated by the Holy Spirit. And so Jesus operated on the principle of submission to the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Now, it was one thing, notice in verse 32, to speak against the Son of Man. To say something against the humanness of Jesus or against His earthly presence or His earthly work. But to blaspheme the Holy Spirit was quite another thing. Now what it means is this. These people had received all the revelation they could receive. They had heard Jesus teach, and He said, "You should believe Me for the words I speak." They had seen the works that He had done, miracle after miracle after miracle, many of them. So many of them that John says in John chapter 20, "I suppose that if all the things that Jesus did were written, the books of all the world couldn't hold them."
They had seen hundreds and perhaps thousands upon thousands of miracles, and Jesus said, "If you won't believe Me for the words, believe Me for the very...what?...works' sake." The point here is, here were a group of men, the leaders of Israel, who had had the epitome of revelation. They had it all. The fulfillment of all Messianic prophecy in the Old Testament, the corroboration by the very statements of Christ and the deeds of Christ that He was the Messiah; and their conclusion was that He was of Satan...
Now, what happened? With all the revelation that God could possibly give them, they concluded the very opposite...And our Lord says, "It's impossible for you to be saved." Why? "Because when you had all the revelation there was, you concluded that I was satanic. That's hopeless. That's hopeless." This then is the unpardonable sin. It was a historic thing. It was committed at a very specific period in time by some specific people who attributed the works of Christ to Satan; and when they evaluated everything that Jesus was and did, they said, "He's from the devil," and that was the opposite to the truth; and Jesus simply said, "If when all the revelation is in, you conclude that I'm satanic, you're done, because you couldn't get any more than all the revelation, could you? You're hopeless. You could never be forgiven. If you spoke a word against the Son of Man, the humanness, the...the...the life of Jesus Christ, you may misunderstand that. You could never misunderstand the work of the Holy Spirit to this extent that when He is pointing to Me as God, you conclude that I'm Satan. You're hopeless."...
Now, can people commit that sin today? No, I don't think so. I think that has to be committed when Christ is here on earth. Notice at the end of verse 32, "It shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age," what age was this? Think about it. Pre-cross, what age was it? Well, it was really the last part of the Old Testament era, wasn't it? It was the Gospel period, before Christ died and rose. It wasn't the church age, was it? No. "Neither in this age, neither in the age to come."
To every Jew, what was the age to come? The Kingdom. I believe this sin will be again committed in the Kingdom when people will see Jesus Christ, and they will see the work of Jesus Christ. He'll be visibly present on the earth. They'll see everything that He does. They'll hear everything that He says, and they'll conclude the same kind of blasphemous conclusion, and they'll be just as unpardonable as these were at that time.
I don't think it has any reference to what a man does today...It...it really falls into the category, kind of, the closest thing to it would be Hebrews chapter 6 where somebody has tasted the heavenly gift, been enlightened, had all the information possible, and fallen away. It's impossible for him to be renewed to repentance. Why? Because when he had all revelation, he didn't believe. Howe's he ever gonna believe at any point less than that? So that is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Attributing the works of Christ while He's here on earth manifesting His deity, to Satan. The opposite conclusion leaves a man hopeless.
Explain 1 Peter 4:6 with reference to 1 Peter 3:19. Now, 1 Peter 4:6 says, "For this cause was the Gospel preached also to them that are dead." Oh, my. Second chance, right? Then you go back to 3:19, "By whom also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison." Now, wait a minute. Preaching the Gospel to the dead in 4:6 and preaching to the spirits in prison in 3:19. What have we here? You have to take the context, folks. First Peter 4:6 means this. "For this cause...that is, because it was so important that men hear the Gospel before they died...was the Gospel preached to them that are now dead that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit."
He's simply saying this. We've always preached the Gospel. We've preached the Gospel to men that are now dead, but we...we preached it to 'em before they died. That's the point. We preached the Gospel to men that are now dead in order that they might be ready for that. That they might be even dead in the flesh, but what? Live. You see, God is ready to judge the living and the dead, and so we preach to men to prepare them for that, and we have preached to some who are now dead; but, though they're dead physically, they're what? They're alive in the spirit.
So 4:6 isn't talking about any preaching to dead people, giving them second chances. It is referring to believers who have already died; and he's simply saying that sinners who do not respond to the Gospel must face the judgment, and some have and some have heard the Gospel and been saved; but some have heard it and died. We preached it to them. They died never having responded to it.
Now go back to 3:19. This is an important verse. What does it mean by whom or which He went and preached to the spirits in prison? Now, let's take the context. Now, some people say this is a second chance. You get down there in hell, and the Lord comes down and preaches to you. Well, look at verse 18, "For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God." Now what incident in the life of Christ is in view here? What is it? His crucifixion, His death. He was put to death in the flesh. Did His body die there? Did His Spirit die on the cross? Did He go out of existence? No. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, small S. It's arbitrary to put a large S there. I don't think he's talking about the Holy Spirit. Jesus was physically dead, but His real self was what? Alive.
How long was His body in the ground or in the grave? Three days. Have you ever thought about where He was? Where was He for three days? Tells you right here. You say it does? Right there. "By His Spirit, He went and preached to the spirits in prison." He did. What happened was this. His body is dead, and so for the time that His body is dead, His Spirit goes somewhere and preaches. Very important to look at the word preached. It's not the word uongalidzo, to preach the Gospel. It's the word kayrusso, to announce a proclamation, to proclaim a victory. Very important to note that difference. He's not preaching the Gospel. He's proclaiming a triumph; and He proclaimed a triumph unto the spirits in prison.
Now, who are the spirits in prison? Tells you in verse 20. "Who at one time were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah." Hmmmmm, whoever these spirits are, they were disobedient in the time of Noah. You know who they were? They were angels, weren't they? They were the angels that did what? That came down an cohabited with the sons of men. They were the angels that sinned in Noah's time. You compare the Book of Jude with this, and you'll find the same indication. Those spirits, now watch, those angels, apparently there was someplace where they could pick up bodies when they needed 'em, and they were the fallen angels, the demonic angels, and they came down and cohabitated with men on the earth. That's why God sent the Flood, because, you see, He had to wipe out that whole messed up society of people that those angel men created or spawned. It was like a whole buncha Rosemary's babies everywhere; and that was what precipitated the Flood; and those angels immediately were cast into chains and bound in prison. In fact, it says in the New Testament, "With everlasting chains."
So watch this. Give you a little chart, a little diagram. Line 1, you have angels, two kinds of angels: holy, elect angels; fallen angels. Two kinds of fallen angels: loose ones known as demons, and bound ones. Two kinds of bound ones: permanently bound, temporarily bound. Say, "What's the difference?" The permanently bound ones are these. Everlasting chains. The temporarily bound ones are the ones that come out of the ground in...in Revelation 9. Remember reading in the Tribulation? "Like locusts coming out of the pit."
So, you see, these are the demons bound in prison. Well, here's the point. Satan's great blow at Christ was what? The cross. In the midst of the cross, Christ descended down into wherever those demons were held, Tartarus, the place of their captivation; and He went and proclaimed His triumph over them. Then He went over to Paradise and scooped up the Old Testament saints and led captivity captive and hauled 'em up to Heaven. He was busy...You say, "Oh, boy, how did you ever concoct such a thing?" Well, it's right there in the passage, plus look at verse 22. "He is now gone into Heaven on the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers being made...what?...subject to Him." That tells you who they were right there. They were angels, authorities, and powers, all terms describing demons.
Colossians 2:14 supports this understanding of the passage. "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances against us, He nailed it to His cross." Now watch, at the same time He was on the cross, He "Spoiled principalities and powers." Who are they? Demons. "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. He spoiled them, made a show of them openly, triumphing over them." Openly at the cross, Christ proclaimed His triumph over demons. That is the meaning of that passage. The Bible teaches nowhere a second chance for salvation...
If only a few make it to Heaven and many to hell, does not Satan triumph over God? Turn in your Bible to Matthew chapter 7 and verse 13; and this is the Scripture that brings that question to bear. "Enter in at the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in that way. Because narrow is the gate, and hard is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." And so the question arises, if a few people go to Heaven, and many people go to hell, doesn't Satan triumph over God?
Well, I think we have to keep several things in mind. No. 1, Satan is not the king of hell. Satan is not the one who rules in hell. Satan is a victim in hell, along with everybody else that is there. There is no triumph for Satan. There is only total defeat. In Revelation chapter 20 and verse 10, it says, "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are; and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." Hell is a torment for Satan, just as it is for anyone else. Satan is not the king of hell. You say, "Who is?"
Matthew 10:28, as long as you're in Matthew, might turn over to 10:28. "And fear not them who kill the body...Fear not them who kill the body." The Lord is sending the apostles out to preach. He knows there's going to be some persecution, and Satan is gonna oppose, and He says, "Don't fear them who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." And the Him there is not Satan, but it is God. God is the one who destroys soul and body in hell, who brings about torment, who brings about punishment. God is the one who prepared hell, and God is the one who is the sovereign over it. So there is no victory for Satan period in anything, in anyone's life...It is God, according to Matthew 25:41, who has prepared hell or "everlasting fire for the devil and his angels."
So there is no such thing as a triumph in Satan's area. God triumphs. He triumphs over sin by punishing those who refuse Him. He triumphs over sin by redeeming and taking to Heaven those who receive Him. But it is always and only God who is the victor. You see, for people who deny Christ, who reject God, who refuse salvation, for them to spend an eternity without God, for them to receive His punishment is, in fact, God's power and God's sovereignty in action, not Satan's victory. Satan will be a victim just like all others who join his rebellion.
And, frankly, Satan is not attempting simply to gain a kingdom. He is not attempting, as it were, to gain followers. He already has that. What he is attempting to do is overthrow God; and he dupes people into assisting him in that foolish endeavor. God even has given to him the power of death, which power has been broken by our Lord Jesus Christ's death on the cross. So God never loses the battle to Satan. There is no victory for Satan whatsoever; and men who go to hell, go there, not because Satan has won them. They were born in sin. They go there because they refuse God, not because Satan triumphs; and their refusal is a matter, according to the Scripture, of this. They love darkness rather than light, because...what?...their deeds are evil. Man loves sin, and, consequently, will spend eternity without God if they continue in their sin.
Another question...Where does the worship of Mary come from? Now, I think this is an important question. You know, today there are many people in the Catholic church who I keep running into who have committed their lives to Jesus Christ, and I think this in much...much of the case is in spite of Catholic church, not because of. But through even those things, the Spirit of God has directed them to the truth of the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. But Mariolatry is probably the most serious poison of the Roman system; and it is a very important question about where Mary worship came from.
Basically, it came out of the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD. It didn't come out of Scripture, because it isn't in Scripture. You see, the Catholic church teaches that there are two sources of truth. Two sources of divine revelation. One is the holy Scripture. Two is the holy Catholic church. So if the church says something is revelatory, it is. If the Pope speaks ex cathedra, that's like the voice of God, and has equal weight with Scripture. If a church council says, "This is revelation," it is. So you'll read a Catholic theology like Ott's Theology, which I was reading this week, and you'll read in there, and it'll say such and such and such is true, and instead of giving you a Scripture reference, it'll just say the Council of Ephesus 431. Or it'll say such and such and such and such, and then it'll give you Pope Pius XII, because that's equal revelation; and therein lies the conflict.
Now this is what the Council of Ephesus in 431 declared, and I'm quoting from the Council, "If anyone does not confess that the Emanuel Christ in truth is God, and the holy virgin is the mother of God, theotacas...he is to be judged," essentially is what it says. Serious. Anybody who denied that she was the mother of God. Now that's a heavy statement, folks. She was the mother of the human Jesus; but it is not accurate to say she is the mother of God, for that indicates that God was born.
Now, subsequent councils repeated and refined this particular statement of Ephesus. Ott, in his book on page 197, says that "Mary is the spouse of the Holy Spirit, and she is to be honored as the wife of the Holy Spirit." Now again, you see, this is pushing her into deistic identity. In fact, the Catholic church has made the Song of Solomon refer to Mary and the Holy Spirit. There is no Scripture for Mary worship. Pope Pius IX, in one of his...I think it was called Bull Ineffabilis... promulgated the following doctrine: Quote, "The most holy virgin Mary was preserved free from all stain of original sin." End quote. So said Pope Pius IX, so it became divine revelation. She was sinless. Ott says, and he's the Catholic theologian, "The doctrine of the immaculate conception of Mary is not explicitly revealed in Scripture; but it is believed by the Catholic church because of the council. The Council of Trent said, 'No justified person can for his whole life avoid all sins except on the ground of special privilege from God such as the church holds was granted to the blessed virgin. She was born sinless and she stayed sinless.'"
Now this whole confusion goes back, really, to the amalgamation of the Babylonian cultism and the early Christian church. The founder of Babylon was Nimrod. Nimrod was an apostate of the patriarchal age. Remember reading about Nimrod in Genesis? He persuaded his followers to build a tower to Heaven, and thus began pagan worship. Nimrod was the grandson of Ham. He had a wife who was really bad news. Her name was Semiramis I. With Nimrod and Semiramis I there was the beginning of Babylonian idolatry. Semiramis became the mother of the cults. She became the famous mother whose name is different in different cultures. Sometimes she's Diana. Sometimes she's Ashtoroth. It just depends on where you are. Sometimes she's Osiris, connected with Isis. Various different names as the Babylonian mystery cult spread. When Babylon was finally destroyed, the high priest of Babylon with all of his cultism that went back to Semiramis fled to Rome, and Rome became the center of the Babylonian cults.
Interestingly enough, it also became the center of the Roman church; and the cult of Semiramis, the high priestess, was mixed with Christianity and gave birth to modern Mariolatry; and the interesting thing to note is that the worship of Mary today as the mother and the virgin is not really Christianity, but it is an acquiescence to Babylonian cultism. For Semiramis was...was impregnated by a sunbeam and gave virgin birth to a son. Her son is known in the Old Testament as Baal. The son was killed by a wild boar. For 40 days he was dead, according to the legend. At the end of 40 days, he rose from the dead because his mother spent 40 days in mourning and fasting and, therein, is the basis of Lent. It isn't scriptural. It's Babylonian. So, you see, the whole thing was...was mashed together in Rome. And, incidentally, you can read about the Queen of Heaven. That's the Catholic church term for Mary. You read about it in Jeremiah 44 and Ezekiel 8, and it's talking there about Ashtoroth and Semiramis, the high priestess of Babylonian cultism; and it calls her the Queen of Heaven. So, you can see where the problem came.
So the worship of Mary is not scriptural. In fact, Mary had to be redeemed...just like anybody else. She was a wonderful woman. Mostly they...they got this thing going, because they took the statement that Mary, from Elizabeth, you know, "Blessed art thou among women," and so forth and so on, and they made that the center of the whole Mariolatry.
Another question, and this I thought was interesting. Do you think the Christmas tree comes from Jeremiah 10:3 to 5? That is interesting. Look at Jeremiah 10. And, you know, this, again, is an illustration, I think, of something we have to be so careful of. Another question that came in is...was this. Do you think that Santa is merely changing the letters of Satan to make Santa? Of course not, no more than Santa Barbara or Santa Monica. That just means saint, that's all. That's from the word agios, which is holy. Has nothing to do with inverting Satan around; but here's another one. Jeremiah 10:3, "For the customs of the peoples are vain; for one cutteth the tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and gold, fasten it with nails and hammers, that it move not." Now that sounds exactly like you putting your Christmas tree up. "They are upright like the palm tree, but speak not."
Now wait a minute. Nobody ever thought they were supposed to speak. "And they must be carried, because the can't go of their own." Well, nobody ever thought that a tree would walk either. "Don't be afraid of them, for they can't do evil, neither also is it in them to do good." Well, no one expected that either. There's no morality to a Christmas tree.
Folks, the point is this is not talking about a Christmas tree. You say, "Well, what is it talking about?" The word tree should be translated wood. They carve an idol out of wood. That's the point of the passage. The vain customs of the heathen. What did they do? They cut down a...a wood, and they carve it into an idol, and they deck it with silver and gold, and they fasten it and make it stand up; but you know what? You have to carry it, 'cause it can't walk. You don't need be afraid of it, 'cause it can't do anything anyway; and it can't say a word. What a stupid thing to worship. That's the point of the passage. Nothing to do with a Christmas tree. No, the Christmas tree did not come from Jeremiah 10:3 to 5.
I...I would like to know more about Scripture verses regarding life on other planets and UFOs. What does the Bible have to say about flying saucers, UFOs, and life on other planets? Absolutely nothing. Next question...No, the Bible doesn't say anything about that. The reason is it would be a little difficult for the...the people in the Scripture. You say, "What about Ezekiel 1?" No, no, no. It's not theseall those wheels within a wheel. That isn't describing UFOs. Please don't do that to Ezekiel. Don't do that to the glory of God by dragging your own Whirling Dervishes into that chapter.
Now, people who believe there's life on other planets have absolutely no basis for believing that. People say to me all the time, "Do you believe there's life on other planets?" I say, "No." And they say, "Why not?" I say, "I don't have any evidence of it." And it's very difficult for me to believe something for which there is absolutely no evidence. One person said to me, "What about John 10 where the Lord said, 'I have sheep of another fold.'"...Boy, that is really the worst interpretation I ever heard of John 10.
That is the Gentiles, folks. The Gentiles, and they're all on this planet, believe me. The Jews were the sheep of one fold, and the Gentiles were sheep of another fold. No, not people on other...you say, "Well, wait a minute, there is evidence." What evidence? "UFOs." I believe the only evidence that I read out of UFOs is demonic; and I've endeavored to support this; and I have a large, very, very well-documented study on those of many, many pages. This is another demon manifestation for the captivating of the human mind to set up the strategy for the Tribulation, and...or at least to set up Satan's control of the system. I don't have any questions about that at all. I really believe that; and I don't think I'm way out on a limb. I think that Satan is accommodating the mentality of today. And you remember I told you about that book I read that was written by those demons that was a part of that secret society in Santa Monica, and nobody was ever supposed to have that book, and some guy smuggled me a copy; and they've got their explanation of the Rapture in it.
Sure, they...they know what they're gonna say when the...when the Rapture happens. You know, that's amazing, because I know there are some Christians who even question the Rapture. The demons don't even question it...I mean they've got a strategy figured out. They're going to say, according to what this fellow told me in this whole situation that he was in, they're going to say that, "All of these Christians were holding back society from reaching the next level of consciousness, so we removed them." Pretty clever.
And one of the ways that they're beginning to gain control, you know, this is interesting, but one of the most well-known mediums, one of the mediums who is most dominant in the cult of demon worship, one of the very highest mediums is head of meditation for the United Nations. These people are in positions of tremendous importance, and with all the UFOs and everything, the people are aware now that there is somebody out there, that there is a power, a supernatural power of the air. And, believe me, it's gonna be easy for Satan to move right on in and take over when we're gone. I don't believe there is anything more to UFOs than manifestations of supernatural powers by Satan himself. Okay.
Another question. How can angels be sexless if they married with the daughters of men and produced monsters? That is a loaded question. That is like saying, "When did you stop beating your wife?" There is no good answer to that question. Because there are some assumptions there that we have to back up and understand. No. 1, it...it doesn't say that they produced monsters. No. 2, how can angels be sexless if they married? Who said angels are sexless? Now, let's go back to Genesis 6 and look at this very knotty problem. K N O T T Y.
Genesis chapter 6 verse 1, "It came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were fair. They took them wives of all whom they chose." Now, the sons of God here, I believe, are angels. I think that's the proper interpretation. So angels saw the daughters of men, human women, cohabitated, and they produced, verse 4, "Giants in the earth in those days. Now, mighty men, men of renown," verse 4 says.
Now, the question comes, "How could angels cohabitate with women if angels are sexless?" The answer is who said angels are sexless? That is not in Scripture. It does not say in Scripture anywhere that angels do not have any capability of identifying with a sex. The Scripture that people have in mind is Matthew 22:30; and it says in Matthew 22:30, "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like the angels of God in Heaven." All it says there is that the angels don't marry. It doesn't say that they are not of any sex.
You say, "Yes, but Hebrews 1 says they are ministering spirits, and a spirit does not have a sexual identity, because he is a spirit, not a physical being," and I agree. But angels have some form. Now, we talked about this in our series. They have some kind of form. It isn't a form like we know. First Corinthians 15:44 says, "There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." They have some kind of spiritual form. They take some substance, some form. Now, notice, whenever that form becomes visible to men, it is a male form. Whenever angels appear as men, whenever they're form is somehow translated into a capacity for the humans to see, it is a male form. For example, Mark 16:5, and...and after the resurrection, "Entering the sepulcher, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were amazed." And we know, of course, this was an angel; and when he appeared, he appeared as a male. So angels have some kind of a body, and when that body becomes apparent to men, it is a male body.
In fact, in Luke 24:4, it mentions two angels at the resurrection, both of them are categorized as men. In Matthew 28:3, the same thing again. "His countenance was like lightning." So somehow, some way, angels can materialize to be seen by human beings. Hebrews 12 says that, "Some have entertained angels unaware." They look so much like they were human that the folks entertaining them were not even aware that they were angelic. In Genesis 18 and 19, three men visited Abraham and Sarah, and they were angels; and, perhaps one of them even a theophany of God. Jacob wrestled with an angel. Daniel 10 records reference to an angel there. Many times in the Bible, angels are seen by men and always in a male form. They were attacked, you remember, in Sodom, as being desirable males by those that were human homosexuals in the community.
So there's no reason to think that angels would have to be incapable of cohabiting when, in fact, it is possible for them to assume some kind of male form. Now, these demonic angels in Genesis 6, they were fallen angels. In Genesis 6, somehow took on that human form, cohabited with women to produce what was a demonic human half-breed, if you will. Something that's been modernized in the concept of Rosemary's Baby.
Another question. Turn to Revelation 22:18. We'll take a couple more and be done. Verses 18 and 19, "For I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Tree of Life and out of the Holy City, and from the things written in this book."
Now what that verse simply says is, "You can't add anything to revelation, right? If you do, shall be added unto you the plagues. You can't take away anything. If you take away any, things shall be taken away from you the right to the Tree of Life, Holy City," so forth. The question is does this refer to just the Book of Revelation or the whole Bible? That's an important question. Lemme answer it this way...
Let's say that it refers only to the Book of Revelation. That would be the closest possible interpretation, right? This book. "I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book." Let's say he's talking about Revelation. Now, listen to me, friends. If you can't add anything to Revelation...you can't add anything to the Bible either. Right? 'Cause it's the end. I don't know why people get so confused about that. They say, "Does this just mean you can't add to Revelation?" Yes, it just means that; but if you can't add to Revelation, you can't add, because that's the end of the Bible. Seems fairly clear to me.
Then the person asked a second question. Does this warning apply to David Wilkerson's vision? Have you seen the book or you've heard about the book called The Vision? Well, you don't need to worry about it, but David Wilkerson had a vision, supposedly God gave him. Does this apply to that?...I believe this is one of the great errors of the charismatic movement, and I call it an error in area of understanding Biblical inspiration and revelation. They are still getting revelation from God, when the Bible says you can't have anymore. I think it applies in a very real sense...
People are saying, "Well, these people are inspired. When you speak in tongues, that's God speaking His revelation. When these guys have visions, that's God speaking. Oh, we agree they're not as inspired as Paul. They're not as inspired as David, and they're not as inspired as...as John and so forth and so on. There are different degrees of inspiration." Baloney. There are any degrees of inspiration. Either God said it or somebody else said it. God isn't saying, "I'll say three words, then you say three. But I'll give you a general idea, you carry it yourself." Ohhhhh...God either breathed it out or He didn't. The words are either God's Words, or they aren't God's Words.
You say, "But a guy like Wilkerson, man, sometimes it's Biblical." Well, when it's Biblical, it just, you know, it's Biblical; and when it doesn't say what the Bible says, it isn't God, because you can't add anything. There's no more inspiration, and one of the great heresies today is that there are people getting more revelation from God. All the revelation in the New Testament is completed. The canon is closed. The Biblical writers are already identified. They're aren't any more. They're aren't any more apostles. That settles the issue.
But listen to me, people. Every time somebody allows more revelation, all they do is confuse the issue. You want some illustrations? Joseph Smith. Mary Baker Eddy. Judge Rutherford. Annie Besant. Madame Blavatsky. On and on and on and on it goes. Ellen G. White. Whoever you...whenever people start getting more revelation from God, you have the makings of a cult. It just doesn't work that way. Same thing happened in Roman Catholic church when they started saying tradition was equal to revelation. Just destroyed the truth. No, there is no more revelation.
We'll have some counselors in our counseling room when we're dismissed, in our prayer room, and they'll be waiting there to talk to you; and if you've never invited Christ into your life, if you've never opened up your heart to Him, this would be a great time to do it, and to pass out of that system of Satan into the Kingdom of God. To be a part of God's gracious covenant. To experience the wonderful grace of Jesus, if you will. To know what it is to have life, eternal life abundant.
Father, we come to You tonight thanking You. These have been patient folks tonight...and they've really had their minds filled...I pray that their hearts would be filled with the Spirit. Thank You for giving us answers. Thank You for how it all ties together. Thank You for proving again to us that men couldn't write this Book. You do. Help us to be all You want us to be...In Jesus' name. Amen.