Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, July 23, 2000, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.
DON’T BE CAUGHT IN FELLOWSHIP WITH DEVILS
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:14-21
Text: 1 Corinthians 10:20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.
Introduction: You would not think that a true believer in the Lord could have fellowship with devils, would you? Yet the implication of the warning is that it COULD happen. If it could happen to ANY church, it would be the church at Corinth. They had PROBLEMS … BIG time. Yet, they were one of God’s churches.
In the Old Testament, the children of Israel sometimes went into apostasy and actually worshipped devils, offering sacrifices to them:
The first occurrence of the word, “devils,” in the Bible refers to the fact that the Israelites committed spiritual adultery with them. (See also Deut. 32:17; 2 Chr. 11:15; Ps. 106:37 for similar OT references.)
Leviticus 17:7 And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a statute for ever unto them throughout their generations.
Most of what we know about devils comes from the New Testament. Devils, or unclean spirits as they are also called, work primarily on your INSIDE, especially your MIND. Devils can give supernatural strength, as the wild man of the Gadarenes had, who burst chains asunder when he was bound. Devils can give extraordinary perception, such as some of the true spiritists and mediums have. There was a woman who followed Paul who told the TRUTH about Paul’s mission and identity, but she was possessed of devils.
Some devils are more wicked than others.
Some people have more devils than do others. Mary Magdalene had seven cast out of her. The man of Gadara had MANY devils in him.
Devils cause disease, destruction, and deception. While not every disease is caused by sin, Satan, or spirits, sometimes a health problem is the work of unclean spirits. Even the apostle Paul called his health problem, which God allowed him to have for his own spiritual growth, “the messenger of Satan” (2 Cor. 12:7).
Devils are RELIGIOUS. They believe that there is one God, according to James 2:19. They know who Jesus is. They know who Paul is. They know some of YOU by name. They get involved in worship. They seek to BE worshipped. Some Israelites worshipped them in Old Testament times, and some people in the Tribulation Period will worship them, according to Rev. 9:20.
I believe that devils have their own churches, their own “bibles,” and the Bible is clear that they have their own DOCTRINES (1 Tim. 4:1). A Baptist preacher out in Los Angeles, CA named R.L. Hymers has published a book in which he indicates that you people who believe your King James Bible is inspired and inerrant are holding to a doctrine of devils. I disagree. I believe GOD taught me to believe my Bible, and I believe HYMERS is the one who is full of the devil and in fellowship with devils.
Born again people need to realize that even though they cannot be seen with the physical eye, DEVILS are REAL. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you are immune to influence from unclean spirits. You KNOW you aren’t in good fellowship with God all the time. When you aren’t in fellowship with God, must I spell it out for you who is your fellowship partner?
I want to give you a few characteristics of devils that will help you recognize their work in the areas of worship, the spirit, and the mind.
I. DEVILS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH CONFUSION AND DISORDER
1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
This was said to the church that was warned about having fellowship with devils!
A. They cause confusion and disorder in the heart and mind
- Unclean spirits attack your mind, prompting and promoting doubt, discord, depression, and despair.
B. They cause confusion and disorder in the home
- Your problem may not be that you are married to an old grouch.
- It may not be that your wife is a nag.
- It MAY be that you are under spiritual attack!
C. They cause confusion and disorder in the house of God
- Disagreement – If a church votes on something (I don’t recommend that churches vote on ANY- thing, but rather follow the leadership of the man of God, who was given the oversight by the Holy Ghost), and the vote is split, that doesn’t mean they were wrong in even trying. It means that one side of the split is being deceived by unclean spirits! God the Holy Ghost is not confused!
Some of the most nervous, high-strung people you will ever meet are Pentecostals, charismatics, and some Baptists who are always drawn to camp meetings. I know independent Baptist preachers who have that “camp meeting spirit,” and they have a difficult time of talking calmly or sitting still for five seconds.
Isaiah 30:7 For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still.
Isaiah 30:15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
II. DEVILS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH CARNALITY IN DRESS
Luke 8:27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.
A. They cause a distraction from holiness
- David was distracted by the nakedness of Bathsheba.
B. They cause a dissatisfaction with one’s spouse or single status
C. They cause a defilement of one’s purity
D. They cause a destruction of one’s testimony
If you are dressing to entice the opposite sex rather than to glorify God, you are in fellowship with devils. You should dress to honor God, not attract the lustful gaze of others!
III. DEVILS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH COWARDICE AND DISTRESS
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
A. In salvation
- They make you afraid to trust Christ.
B. In service
- They make you afraid to take a task.
- They make you afraid to fight a good fight.
- Fight for your pastor! Fight for your church!
- Fight for your God and His cause!
C. In soul-winning
- They will do their best to stop you from soul-winning. When you choose to stay home, or you choose to just “visit” and not witness, you are in fellowship with devils. They don’t mind you visiting people, if you don’t try to get them saved.
IV. DEVILS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH A CLOAK OF DARKNESS
Mark 5:5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
Hopefully, you don’t like spending time in the dark … in graveyards … and other such places.
Roaches like darkness; believers should walk in light!!!
Satan is the prince of darkness! He wants to hide the gospel (2 Cor. 4:3-4)!
A. Beware of hidden areas
- Watch out for dark places.
- Does a dark, smoke-filled room remind you of heaven?
B. Beware of hidden affections
C. Beware of hidden activities
- Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
Are you in fellowship with devils?
Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord …
And get in fellowship with JESUS!
“What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms …!”