January 7, Message by P. Kevin Clancey

1 Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. 2 Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. 3 He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. 4 He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. 5 He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! (Psalms 103:1-5, NLT)

Let all that I am praise the Lord. So, you get to do that tonight. We’re going to use music to help us. But we’re going to praise the Lord. God has demonstrated His love for us in Christ Jesus. And tonight, you have the wonderful opportunity to say back to Him, ‘I love you too.’ So, I just invite you to do that, to stand and worship Jesus tonight.

25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. 26 My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalms 73:25-26, NKJV)

Every time I recite that psalm, Lord, I also know that it’s not entirely true. I have all sorts of desires and things that aren’t necessarily of you. But Lord, make it true. Make it more true tonight when I walk out of here than it was before I walked in. That you are my heart, my desire. You are my goal, my ambition. You are my Savior. You are the one I love. And you are the one I worship and obey.

King Jesus, Heavenly Father, Spirit, Holy Spirit, thank you. For not giving up when your creation turned against you. For seeking and saving that which was lost.

Thank you that you forgive all our sins, that you heal all our diseases, that you redeem our life from the pit and crown us with love and compassion. That you satisfy us with good things, and our youth is renewed like the eagles. Thank you that everything about Psalm 103 is embedded in this meal.

In this meal, we remember our sins are forgiven, we remember we are healed, we remember we are saved from the pit of death and crowned with the love and compassion of God.

We remember and are thankful for all the good things you pour out upon our lives in this world, and our youth is renewed like the eagles because now, like a small child, we have hope. We have hope. And so we thank you that all that is what communion is about. And so Lord, we take this meal with gratitude because our sins are forgiven, our diseases are healed, you’ve redeemed our life from the pit, crowned us with love and compassion, you renew our youth like the eagles and satisfy us with good things.

Holy Spirit, apply all those things to our life this week. We pray in Jesus’ name.

Lord Jesus, let your glory fall on this place. Let it go forth from here to the nations. Let your fragrance come.

We gather not just for Bible information, we gather not just for the fun of fellowship, but we gather to be transformed by your word, by your presence, by the prayers, by your table, by one another. Every means of grace.

Lord, let it have its work in us that we might be more like Jesus. In His name we pray, Amen.

Alright, so, week one, through the Bible in a year. And man, Genesis 1-12, there’s about 400 sermons in there. So, it was tough to pick one, so I didn’t. I picked three passages. I always just pick one passage and preach that passage. But tonight, I’m going to do three passages.

And those of us who’ve been going through Michael Heiser’s book, you’re going to recognize right away the direction of this sermon. Actually, I’m going through six passages. And so, I’ve got good news and better news for you tonight.

The good news is, in all humility, this is going to be a really interesting sermon. You’re just going to dig it. I mean, you’re just going to like it. And the bad, I mean the better news, not the bad news. The better news is, it might go a long time. It might be a while, but that’s alright. You’ll be alright. You’ll be alright.

Turn to somebody around you and say, “We’ll be alright.” I won’t go too long. But, I want to talk about the three falls. Not just the one fall.

Traditionally, we’ve got the fall in the Garden of Eden. But we’re going to look at Genesis 3, Genesis 6, and Genesis 11 as all very descriptive passages about how humanity has gotten to the place that it’s gotten to where it was utterly lost and in need of a savior.

And so, we’ll look at all three of those. We’re looking at kind of what all three of those, the negative things that all three of those brought to the earth.

And then, we’re not going to end with bad news. We’re going to end with good news.

We’re going to look at 2 Corinthians 5:16-21. We’re going to look at John 8:31-32. And we’re going to look at the Gospel of Luke 10:17-20. And we’re going to look at how the Gospel is actually sufficient to answer all the problems that that little wicked devil and his minions have placed on earth.

And before you get too mad at the devil, you can get mad at the devil if you want, one of the biggest problems is we agreed with him.

The devil has no power but through the agreement and the invitation of human beings. You can’t just, people say, ‘well, how does somebody get possessed?’ It just didn’t happen. They weren’t just walking down the street and a devil jumped in them. Alright, there was an agreement, there was an invitation, it may not have even been their agreement or invitation, it may have been their ancestors. I’m not saying it was fair. It’s not fair, the devil’s not fair, but neither is he omnipotent. Neither can he just do whatever he wants.

And so, we’re going to look at three times where the devil did stuff, we participated in it, and it brought havoc upon the earth. So, Genesis 3 is the classic one. Now, the serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. One day, he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat of the fruit of any of the trees in the garden?”

“Of course, we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied.

It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we’re not allowed to eat. God said, ‘you must not eat it or even touch it. If you do, you will die.’ ‘you won’t die,’ the serpent said. ‘God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you’ll be like God, knowing both good and evil.’ The woman was convinced.

She saw that the tree was beautiful, and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her, so she took some of the fruit and ate it. And she gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it too. At that moment, their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness, so they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord walking about in the garden, so they hid from the Lord God among the trees.

1 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

2 “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied.3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’” 4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. 7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

8 When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. (Genesis 3:1-8, NLT)

All right, so Genesis 3, fall number one, the big one. And what happens here in Genesis 3 is Adam and Eve, you know their story, they’re in the garden, they’re commissioned to spread Eden all over the planet, have dominion over the planet, be fruitful and multiply. They’re God’s agents and God gives them everything, but there’s one boundary. The boundary is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

And so they’re not to eat of that tree. You’ll notice in this passage Eve adds to the Word of God.

She says not to eat it or even touch it, or you will die. Nowhere that we know, God ever said you can’t touch the tree. You could carve, you know, maybe there were, maybe, you know, Adam could have carved a heart in the tree and put ‘Adam loves Eve’ or ‘Adam hearts Eve’ or something, you know. Maybe, you know, maybe they could have hugged the tree. They could have been environmentalists and been tree huggers and hugged the tree. Maybe they could have taken the fruit and fed it to other animals. I don’t know.

They couldn’t eat it. That was the commandment. Probably not, probably couldn’t cut the tree down. So they, but who knows? They just couldn’t eat of the fruit. That’s the only command we know. All right, and then they ate of it.

And sure enough, the devil, who always lies by telling the truth, right, you’ll be like God, you’ll know good from evil. It’s true. Not that they’ll be like God. They actually forfeited that part of it. But what they didn’t forfeit was, oh, we now know good and evil.

And whenever the Bible says no, don’t think it means this. It means no in your experience. And what’s the first result of knowing evil? Shame. Shame. They hid. Separation from God.

We’ve often been taught that God is so holy that he cannot look upon sin, and that’s why sin separates us from God, because of the holiness of God. All right, it is because of the holiness of God that sin separates us from God, because we cannot bear his holiness. We’re ashamed, and we run and hide from him.

The book of Revelation says, “We’ll call upon the mountains to cover us up.” C. S. Lewis says there are two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those who say to God, “My will be done.” They both get what they ask for.

We don’t want God because of our shame and because of our desires to garner for ourselves. We think we’re smarter than God, right? How many times have we disobeyed a direct command of scripture, because in our case, we rationalize it didn’t apply.

“Of course, I can sleep with my boyfriend before we get married, because I truly love him and we’re gonna get married.” Well, if he truly loves you and you truly love him, you can wait. “Well, he says he can’t wait.” He can, he just doesn’t think he can. It will not kill him.

No man, even though many have claimed that they would die this way, no man has ever died from abstinence. They just think they will. All right? “What?” Yes, but not abstinence, not abstinence. They’ve consumed, but they haven’t abstained.

So, then the second thing is, God said you would die. And that’s true, they would die. They were cast out of the garden. What other tree was in the garden besides the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? The tree of life. Guess what? Can’t eat there anymore. Can’t eat there anymore. They didn’t die instantly. It took a while, but they died. The wages of sin is death. The big bugaboo. Alright? The last enemy. Yeah, it wasn’t. Yeah, I know. Well, read Revelation. It’s right there in the middle of Revelation.

It’s back in the Garden of Revelation. This is a sermon, guys, not a class. Alright? So just calm down.

Alright. So, fall number one. The consequences. We’re separated from God because of His holiness and because of our shame. And the consequence is what has plagued human beings ever since, death. So that’s part of the evil that’s on the planet. Alright?

We’re not walking with God anymore. We know good and evil. We just don’t know how to conquer evil. We don’t know how to get over evil. And we don’t know our way back to God.

Our moral striving doesn’t work because we’re broke now, alright? We can’t fix ourselves. Alright. Genesis 6:1. This is bizarre. “Then the people began to multiply on the earth, and daughters were born to them. And the sons of God saw the beautiful women and took any they wanted as their wives. Then the Lord said, ‘My spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, their normal lifespan will be no more than 120 years.'”

And in those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on the earth. For whenever the sons of God had intercourse with women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient time. And the Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and He saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.

1 Then the people began to multiply on the earth, and daughters were born to them. 2 The sons of God saw the beautiful women and took any they wanted as their wives. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, their normal lifespan will be no more than 120 years.” 4 In those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient times. 5 The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. (Genesis 6:1-5, NLT)

Alright. The sons of God.

God and the Daughter of Men, many scholars think that these were just human nobles, kind of like the elite, and they found the local barmaids pretty and slept with them, and somehow there’s this kind of like cultural cross, and it wasn’t good, and that sort of thing. But the problem is, and that is much more comfortable to us, but the problem is exegetically the phrase ‘Sons of God’ in the Old Testament refers to God’s divine counsel, God’s angelic counsel.

And somehow, because angels are smart, somehow they figured out. I mean, we know that angels can at least appear in human form, but somehow they figured out a way to manipulate DNA or whatever, to incarnate themselves. They actually had intercourse and for a while on the planet, and I believe this is weird, but I believe it’s what the Bible teaches, they were half-breeds. There were angel-human hybrids, and they were bigger and stronger than normal humans, and they’re called the Nephilim.

And so, in Genesis 6, what we have is human beings engaging now with the demonic. In Genesis 3, they listen to them. In Genesis 6, they had sex with them. Alright, that’s a little bit deeper level.

They engage with the demonic, and this is where in the New Testament, when we deal with demonization, when we deal with people having demons, this is where it comes from. That now human beings are now intricately united, not only with the heavenly realm through God’s creation, but now with the demonic realm. We’ve partnered with it in the most deepest and intimate way.

And now demons have access, and they cause great havoc on the earth. And it says human wickedness grows at this time. People get worse.

And wickedness in the Bible, it’s very interesting what wickedness in the Bible is. Wickedness in the Bible isn’t necessarily being a mass murderer, a serial killer, or a terrible dictator. Wickedness means that which is without anchor, root, or foundation. Psalm 1 is a great example of this kind of wickedness. Let me see if I can get there. I didn’t put it, it wasn’t one of my, we’re doing seven scriptures tonight, people, not just six.

All right. Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join the mockers, but they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted on the riverbank, bearing fruit in each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. But not the wicked. What is the wicked life? They’re like worthless chaff scattered by the wind.

1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. 2 But they delight in the law of the Lord , meditating on it day and night. 3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. 4 But not the wicked! They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. (Psalms 1:1-4, NLT)

All right, I want to stop there.

Wickedness is that which does not have an anchor or root and therefore is tossed by the waves, or blown away by the wind. Jesus said in Matthew 7, “These words of mine, if you hear them but don’t do them, you’re what? You’re like the man who builds his house on sand and when the wind comes and the waves come and the storm comes, the house will collapse because it has no foundation.”

26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” (Matthew 7:26-27, NLT)

What does that mean? It’s wicked.

But the man who hears my words and does them, he’s like the man who plants his house on the rock. In other words, he has a foundation. Exactly what Psalm 1 says.

Psalm 1 says, if you’re wicked, you’re like chaff. You get tossed up in the breeze, the wheat falls back down in the blanket, but the chaff gets blown away. That’s why the wicked will not stand in the judgment. They’re blown away.

But we are like the tree planted by streams of water.

We have roots that go down into the earth and toward the river, and we draw our nourishment and our source from the fact that we are grounded, we’re established in Christ. Humid wickedness is again separation from God, and engaging with the demonic.

We’re in another election cycle. 2024 is upon us. There’s going to be an election coming up, all right? There’s going to be a lot of smoke, man. There’s going to be a lot of smoke.

And I’ve started looking at the polling figures. Brian, have you started looking at the polling figures? All right.

And Brian, I think you would agree with me that it’s interesting, it’s kind of fun, and it means nothing at this early day, at this early age. And why does it mean nothing? Because people are wicked. They’re fickle. They’re fickle. They can be changed by a 30-second sound bite on a biased news feed from either the right or the left that is designed to make them fearful and angry and change their mind without more than 30 seconds of thought put into it. Huh, I wonder if there’s another opinion.

I wonder if there’s another way to look at this. But my trusted source told me this. And the most biased thing in the news is not necessarily what they say. It’s what they don’t say. It is the selective editing. In other words, the stories they tell.

The devil lies by telling the truth. He just does. And we’re wicked. We get blown. We get tossed because we have not learned to put our roots down in His Word, in His Spirit, in His person, in His salvation.

And that’s what you’re doing here tonight, people.

Look, you’re a profound minority, but you’re putting your roots down, and when the storm comes, you’ll remain and the chaff will get blown away. Alright, finally, Genesis 11. At one time, the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylon and settled there. They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” In this region, bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.

Then they said, ‘Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.’ But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower that the people were building. ‘Look,’ He said, ‘the people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them because people can do more together than they can do apart.’

1 At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. 2 As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there. 3 They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) 4 Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.” 5 But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. 6 “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! (Genesis 11:1-6, NLT)

That was my edit, it’s not in the New Living Translation. It might have been in the Old Living Translation, but not in the new one. Alright, come, let’s go down, let us go down, faithful divine council members, let us go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other. In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. This is why the city is called Babel, because that was where the Lord confused the people with different languages.

7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. 9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth. (Genesis 11:7-9, NKJV)

In this way, he scattered them all over the world. Alright, division among the nations. Missiles being fired from the Palestinians into Israel and from Israel to Palestine, from Russia into Ukraine and from Ukraine into Russia. And the history of humanity is the history of petty wars and warriors and everybody trying to take other people’s territory. A big political issue that’s going to be in the 2024 cycle, it’s been in the last two election cycles, is what about our boundaries? What about America’s borders? What do we do about that? And that’ll be discussed.

And the whole reason there are boundaries, and the whole reason there are borders, is because God divided humanity. He did it out of His mercy because when we were wicked and evil, united, we could do great harm. Disunited, as hard as that is, is actually better. It’s the same as in Genesis 6 when He says their days will be a hundred and twenty years. The fact that wicked people die is a mercy. The evil one person can perpetuate on this earth is limited by their lifespan.

The evil one nation can do is limited by the fact that other nations don’t oppose them. You gotta give Germans credit for some moxie. Most times when people start a war, they start a war with another country. But twice in the 20th century, Germany started a war with the world. They were headed that direction. They started a war with the world. And because of that, they lost. But, you know, they had some moxie. And not only did they do it once, they did it twice. They did it twice. Alright, so division among the nations.

And then, as Heizer points out, God disinherited those people. Well, who inherited those people? The principalities, the powers, the fallen angels, the fallen divine counsel inherited those people. They became what the rest of the Old Testament talks about, Baal and Molech, Asherah, the gods of Egypt, and the rest of the Old Testament, really, becomes a story about God against the gods. Capital G God, Yahweh, the Lord, against all the petty, false principalities and powers, localized spiritual forces of wickedness.

That began to rule over those nations that were scattered at Babel, and demanding child sacrifice and blood sacrifice and creating wicked cultures. And the Bible is the story of the redemption of that world. That’s why the Bible says in Isaiah 11, of the increase of his government and peace, there will be no end. God is taking back the world. Well, we’ll get to that, I’m getting ahead of myself.

All right, so idolatries, principalities, Deuteronomy 32 talks about this. Psalm 82 talks about this, that these beings then, as God scattered the nations, they weren’t left godless. They were left godless in the sense that they didn’t worship the true God, but there are spiritual forces of wickedness.

And the Bible talks about it two ways, it’s very interesting. The Bible will talk about an idol, a statue, a piece of wood, a piece of metal, and God says, “That’s nothing, it’s just a rock, it’s a piece of wood, why do you worship that? You’re stupid.”

But it also talks about it in another way. It talks about that these things are, that these powers and principalities that these things represent actually are behind them. And so, at the battle of Mount Carmel, God has a battle through his prophet Elijah, what? With Baal. It’s not just the priests of Baal, it’s Baal.

And God is showing to Israel, and throughout the whole Old Testament, he’s trying to show to Israel, they’re not the real deal. I’m the real deal, and Israel does this.

Israel says, ‘We believe you, Yahweh, but you know, they help us with our crops. And they got the cutest little temple prostitutes. Oh, I know it’s painful to sacrifice our children, but I mean, after all, you gotta pay a price.’ And God says, ‘No, you can’t mix good and evil. You worship me or you worship them, you can’t have it both ways.’

How many of us Christians want it both ways, right? ‘I want to follow you, Jesus, but I want to do my own thing.’

I surrender all, I surrender all. Except my money and my sex life. All to Jesus, I surrender. Except my habits and my shoes and my time, I surrender all. And you end up surrendering nothing. You end up surrendering nothing.

So, Genesis 3, Genesis 6, Genesis 11, the mess we’re in. Now, we are a good news people. So let me share with you how the gospel of Jesus Christ is more than sufficient to answer each of those problems. 2 Corinthians 5:16-21.

So, we have stopped evaluating others from the human point of view. For a long time, we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now. This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new creation. The old life is gone, and the new life has begun.

16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:16-17, NLT)

And all this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him, for God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself.

No longer counting people’s sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. We are ambassadors, God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God.’ For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be an offering for our sins so that we might be made right with God through Christ. I love how the more literal translations put it. God made Him who knew no sin to become sin. So that we might become the righteousness of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:16-21.

Genesis 3, we’re separated from God. We have God. We have death. 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, we are now reconciled to God. Our sins are forgiven. That’s God’s answer. Our sins are forgiven. My wife and I, we’re going to go to the movies in February because The Chosen is coming out, season 4, and they’re doing three releases in the theaters. We might do that because we never go out on movie dates because there’s never any movies we both want to see, but we both want to see The Chosen, so we’ll probably do that.

So, we’re re-watching season 3, and I love the story where at the end of season 2 or season 1, Matthew’s father, because he’s a tax collector, disinherits Matthew and basically says to his wife, ‘Put on the cover our house with the traditional mourning signs, cover ourselves with the traditional mourning signs, our son is dead.’ We say that actually, right? When we’re really mad, ‘you’re dead to me.’ And in the story of The Chosen, Matthew’s father literally says to him, ‘you’re dead to me and your mother.’

And then, Matthew ends up following Jesus, and his father is there, and Matthew doesn’t see him, but his father is there at the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew is so moved by the Sermon on the Mount, he realizes no matter how painful it is, and he probably is going to get rejected, he’s got to go back and apologize to his parents by becoming a tax collector and bringing shame upon the family and all that. And it’s such a touching scene.

He knocks on the door, and he’s nervous, and he wants to go away, and the dog’s barking so he can’t go away, and all this kind of stuff. And his dad answers the door, and his dad’s name’s Alpheus or something, he says, ‘Alpheus?’ And his dad looks at him, and he says this word, and I cry, because I’m an old sentimental man now, I cry all the time. And he looks at him, and he says, ‘Son, so powerful. We shamed God. We turned our backs on God.’

We rejected God, and because of that, we were dead to Him. But He didn’t leave us in that condition. In fact, Ephesians actually uses that language. While we were dead in our trespasses and sins, God made us alive in Christ.

1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, (Ephesians 2:1, NKJV)

He raised a dead thing, us.

And now, when we knock on the door and He opens it, He says, “Daughter, son, we’ve been reconciled. Our sins, our rebellion has been forgiven. The relationship has been restored.”

Hebrews 4 says, “Because of Jesus, we can go into the throne room.”

We can go before God the Father to find mercy and grace at every time of need. We can talk to God. We can have a relationship with God. We can hear God’s voice. We don’t have to just follow religious rituals and hope that God is listening. We know that He hears us when we pray. We know that He’s near us even when we don’t feel it. He has promised, and His word is true.

And so, we have a relationship with a person we can’t see, touch, taste, or smell. What are the five senses?

See, touch, taste, smell, hear. Our five physical senses. He’s not immediately available to those five physical senses. But, we still, through faith, have a relationship and it is restored.

And then the consequence, death has been defeated. The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23, NKJV)

He’s now the tree of life. He’s now life Himself.

And He rose and He said He’s the first fruits of the resurrection. And if we believe in Him, we will follow Him.

And so, everything that was undone in Genesis 3, Jesus makes way. And then in Genesis 6, we engage with the demonic and there’s human wickedness. And John 8:31-32 say this, it says, “Jesus said to the people who believed in him, ‘you are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’

31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32, NLT)

” Alright, it is discipleship. It is discipleship that sets us free. It’s not coming to the altar and saying the sinner’s prayer. Alright, it’s not that.

That’s not the end, that’s the beginning. Alright, I asked Jill to marry me 44 years ago. She said yes. That wasn’t the end. That was the beginning. That was the end of us dating and kind of being single and being free and doing whatever we want.

And that was the beginning of us being united and starting to become one. When we say yes to Christ, that’s not the end. That doesn’t mean we just punched our ticket to heaven and we can go on living the way we do.

The Bible says, ‘Repent,’ it says, ‘Turn around.’ Alright, turn around. The way you were walking wasn’t working. That’s why I love doing prison ministry. Evangelism is easy with kids in prison. Not kids in prison, kids and prison. Alright, because man, if you’re wearing an orange jumpsuit with a number on it, if you have the slightest bit of self-awareness, you’ve got to be able to say, ‘you know, my choices haven’t worked out well for me. My choices have not worked out well for me.’ And you go into jail and say, ‘Hey, you need to turn around.’

You need to make some new choices. And people are like, “I’m listening.” But man, the rich, successful business people, not until they get sick and dying, they don’t want to hear that. They are doing just fine. I even give a few dollars to charitable causes, and then I brag about it. And brag about it. Alright?

And so, repent. And when you repent, you turn around. And what do you do once you turn around? You follow. Jesus didn’t say, “Say the sinner’s prayer.” He said, “Follow me.” That’s discipleship. That’s discipleship.

We become lifelong students in the school of what it means to become like Jesus. He’s given us a textbook. He’s given us instructors. He’s given us His Spirit. In fact, it says He’s given us everything we need for a life of godliness. We now are lifelong followers in the school of Jesus. And in that, there is healing. We become administrators of His kingdom on earth, and we bring healing and deliverance to the planet. That’s our job. And I’m talking, I’m not just talking about spiritual healing, I’m talking about physical healing. Alright?

It is no mistake that the whole, I mean, I think it’s, I believe in supernatural, miraculous healing through prayer. But it’s also no mistake that the whole industry of hospitals, and the whole medical kind of community, scientific medical community and advancement that rose up, rose up in a Christian context. You say, well, what about, what’s his name, the Greek guy, the, yeah. Yeah, the Hippocratic Oath. Alright? But in Greek and Roman culture, medicine was reserved for the rich. The rich, the powerful, and those we wanted to live.

And a lot of times, there was still this prevailing view. If you’re sick, you deserved it. And, you know, we should leave you alone. Leave you alone. And so, it is only when Jesus came that there began to have this growing awareness that health and healing is God’s idea. Even though it’s right there in Psalm 103. It’s God’s idea. His kingdom, there’s no cancer. His kingdom, no diabetes. I kind of like the way I look in glasses, but I’ll be done with them. Alright?

By the way, Sean, Peter, if you ever get glasses, and you get in an interview and they ask you a difficult question, I’m going to show you a guaranteed move that will impress them. Just do this. It’s 100%. It always works. It always works. It’s like, huh. It just shows them how thoughtful you are. Yeah.

Alright. Alright. There is deliverance. We engaged with wickedness, and wickedness came.

One of the things that shocked me when I first started reading the New Testament, I actually, I started reading the New Testament, and I thought, when I started reading, I became a Christian. I thought, I know, the Bible is just a book on morals, and it’s going to teach, it’s going to tell me to do everything my parents told me to do. It’s going to tell me to be nice to my sisters and to clean my room. And I discovered that it had a lot to say about being nice to my sisters. Right there.

Love your enemies. There it was. Alright? Be nice to your sisters. But it had nothing to say about cleaning my room. I’m sorry, cleanliness is next to godliness. It’s not in the Bible. Alright? It’s just not there. Deal with it, you organized people.

We’re not less spiritual because we’re messy. That’s in the book that was next to the Bible. Yeah. It would have made it into the Bible, but the messy person who was copying the Bible lost it in his papers. Or here’s what really happened.

It would have made it into the Bible, but the messy person was copying the Bible and had a disorganized mess on his desk, and some OCD Nazi came by and threw it away. That’s what happened. Yeah. All right.

However, what shocked me when I read the Bible, the New Testament, the Gospels, was Jesus started casting demons out of people. And I thought, ‘That’s crazy.’ Until once again, God used my sisters. I said, ‘Oh no, I know people with demons in them.’

And so, Jesus started casting demons out of people. And it’s real.

And here’s the problem we make in a Western rationalistic society. We’ll ask questions like this. Is that a mental health issue, or is that demonic? Yes.

Well, wait, science is showing that that problem is brain chemistry. Exactly. It is brain chemistry. Who messed it up? Will medication work? Sure. Yes. Good. We’ll use medication. But we’re treating the symptom. Maybe we can get to the root.

Sometimes it’s blatantly demonic. Other times, Jesus heals people. Sometimes Jesus heals people and casts out a spirit of infirmity. Other times, Jesus heals people. He just heals their physical ailment.

I got to tell you, I am not always sure when people are dealing with demons and when they’re just sick or whatever. A lot of times when I pray for people, I’m just hunting. What’s going to work here? What’s going to help them? Because I’m not that bright. But I have met demons. I mean, I’ve met people who talk to me with different voices.

Voices, full-on kind of stuff, I’ve seen full-on kind of stuff, I’ve seen subtle. I think most of it is the subtle kind of stuff, but sometimes I’ve seen those critters boil all the way to the top, you know, and I’ve told you this story before. I’ll never forget that little 15-year-old girl we were having a deliverance session with and this voice that was not the voice of a 15-year-old girl. I know 15-year-old girls can have scary voices, I raised two daughters, I understand that, but this was scarier than even that. And you know, it’s like hissy and growly and, ‘I’m going to hurt you now,’ you know, Linda Blair, and she started digging her fingernails into my palms. And all I said was, ‘In the name of Jesus, stop it,’ and her hand went limp in my hand. And I just remember thinking, ‘Glad that worked, glad that worked,’ and we got that girl delivered of a lot of demons that night.

And there’s been other people that, you know, that I’ve had times where we’ve cast demons out of them, and they’ve manifested, they felt like they were going to throw up, or they, you know, you could actually see it happening. And other times, you didn’t see it happening, but what you did see was the fruit of it later. It’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, this, you know, I got over this.’

I’ll never forget, the first deliverance I did was entirely by accident. A young woman came into my… I think I’ve told this story before, but you forget, so I’ll tell it again. And you know what, you’ve been around a long time, and so I just got so… I only got so many stories. So, this woman came into my office, and she was a young mother, and you know, nice lady, and had two little kids, and she said, ‘I can’t read my Bible.’ I said, ‘What do you mean, I can’t read my Bible?’

She said, whenever I read my Bible, I’m overcome with apocalyptic fear.

I’m overcome with fear that, you know, God’s going to judge the world, and my kids are going to die, and we’re going to get caught in this terrible end times catastrophe, yada, yada, yada. And so, I did some more digging about her past, and found out that she had an aunt who was childless, but who loved her and her brother in a way, but was also deceptive in that whenever she could get them away from her mother, she was a very strict fundamentalist dispensational Christian. Whenever she could get him away from her mother, she’d just start lecturing them that you have to become a Christian, not just a Christian, but my kind of Christian.

You know, or you’re going to hell. Your mom’s probably going to hell, and Jesus is coming back any day. For people who don’t believe like I believe and get raptured, it’s gonna be terrible. The Antichrist is gonna come, and you’re gonna live on seven years on hell on earth, and blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Little eight-year-old and six-year-old like, ‘Okay, thanks for this, you know, thanks for the big wheel for my birthday,’ and she was traumatized by that. Now, as a 20-something mother of two small children, she couldn’t read her Bible. She says, ‘I can’t read my Bible, I’m full of apocalyptic fear.’ I said, ‘Well, for a while, stay out of Daniel, Revelation, and Matthew 24. You know, read the 23rd Psalm.’ That’s not a lot, it’s just any place, any place in my Bible, I’m just filled with fear.

So I thought I’d do this. I’d learned a little bit about inner healing. I said, ‘I’m gonna do this inner healing prayer.’ So I begin to pray. I take her back with her aunt, and have her forgive her aunt. We do all this stuff, and we get done with the prayer. As we get done with the prayer, I asked her, I said, ‘Well, how’d that work?’ She said, ‘Well, as you started to pray for me, I thought, well, this is ridiculous, this is stupid.’ And you know, I felt wonderful about that. It’s like, ‘Ooh, I’m a good prayer.’ you know, it’s like, ‘Yeah, she wasn’t very impressed with my inner healing prayer.’

Then, but she said these words, and I don’t even remember saying this. I don’t remember saying this. This is deliverance by accident. Somewhere in the prayer, I said these words, three words, ‘Fear leave her.’ And she said, ‘When you said these words, “Fear leave her,” she said, I had to open my mouth, it was as if I was throwing up.’ I said, ‘Oh, okay.’

Well, I gave her a little Bible study. I said, ‘you know, like a doctor, take two of these, and call me back next week. Read these Bible verses, and come back next week, and you know, see if you can read these Bible verses on, you know, fear, and cast your cares upon them, and all that kind of stuff.’

And so, she went home, and she came back next week. I said, ‘How’d it go?’ She goes, ‘It’s gone. It’s gone. I can read my Bible. It’s gone. It’s deliverance. Fear left her. I felt like I was thrown up. I think that’s deliverance. I don’t think that’s psychosomatic or anything. I think a demon of fear that had been placed upon her as a young girl by that trauma that she experienced with her aunt or some other something, it left her. It happens, people. It’s real. All right.

Now, idolatry, principalities, powers, spiritual forces of wickedness, they’re real. In Daniel, it says that as Daniel began to fast and pray, Michael immediately came to Daniel with the answer. But it took him 21 days because he had to wrestle with the Prince of Persia. Who’s the Prince of Persia? The Prince of Persia is one of those divine council members who had fallen, who was over the region where Daniel was praying. And he didn’t want Michael to get with Daniel to bring God’s prophetic word to Daniel. And so they wrestled.

And somehow, the more we pray, the more we enable the angels to wrestle those principalities and powers. And here’s what I want to say. I want to read Luke 10. Oh, here’s first what I want to say. Tower of Babel, Genesis 11, languages are confused. Acts 2, the disciples speak in tongues and everyone hears them speaking in their own language. That is profound, not just that the gospel was pronounced and it gave the Pentecostals their foothold for theology.

That was profound because what God is saying there, God is saying there, and I’m not picking on you, Pentecostals. I’m almost one of you. What God is saying there is God is saying that because humans were so wicked, I had to divide them in Babel. But now, under the proclamation of the gospel, what can happen? They’re united. We are going to be one. There are going to be no more boundaries.

It’s not going to come about by some new world order, or the, what are people afraid of, the Illuminati, or the Great Reset, or, you know, it’s not going to come about by a handful of billionaires who want to run the world. They’re too stupid. It’s not going to happen. And their babble? They’re going to fight with each other, all right? Do they have Elon Musk on their team? No, he’s fighting with them. It’s not going to work. Don’t stay up at night worried about the Illuminati, the New World Order, and the billionaires.

They’re all going to die. And we’ll have other problems 10 years from now, all right? It’s fine. All right. But at one point, the glory of the Lord’s going to cover the earth as the water covers the sea.

14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. (Habakkuk 2:14, NKJV)

That’s in the Bible. That’s Habakkuk. At one point, all the nations will flow to Jerusalem and worship the one king. The new heavens and the new earth will be united. And there will be one government, one king, one ruler. We will be his administrators, all right? We’ll all have assignments, all right?

Stevan is going to be high up there, serving in the king’s court, doing all sorts of important things. Otz is going to be there. He’ll be running their tech or something. He’ll be there. Icah will be there, crowned as a princess and a great prayer. Brian will be there as just a lifelong faithful disciple. Jamie will be there as this brilliant theologian. Peter and Sean will be there as the great revival leaders of the 21st century revival. And I’ll be the court jester. And we’ll all be there. We’ll all be there, all right?

It’ll be good. It’ll be very good. They don’t now? All right, so God is uniting. But here’s what he said. Here’s how to fight those principalities and powers. Because there’s two ways we deal with them now, that I think are mistaken. The one way we deal with them now is we don’t believe in them. The other way we deal with them now is we try to take them head on. And we’re not the Air Force. We’re the Army. Here’s how we deal with them. Look at Luke 10:17-20.

When the 72 disciples returned, what did the 72 disciples return from? Go preach the gospel. Mission. Go preach the gospel. You’re reading my notes. Go preach the gospel, cast out demons, heal the sick, preach the kingdom, raise the dead. I give you authority to do this. Go do this.”

“They reported joyfully to him, ‘Lord, even demons obey when we use your name.’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ He told them, ‘I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning.’ When?

When you preach the gospel, when you cast out demons, when you heal the sick, when you went on mission, Satan fell. You take out the foundation and the principalities fall. You can walk among snakes and scorpions, ground-level demons, cast out demons, deal with all that the enemy throws. And you can crush them. They can’t injure you. Nothing can injure you. But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you. Rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.

The God gives countless promises that on mission, when you’re on mission for Him, you’re not going to be injured or destroyed. We say, “What about all the martyrs?” you’re not going to be injured or destroyed until your time. No martyr ever died at the wrong time and never died for the wrong reason.

But it is through mission that we do spiritual warfare. That’s the thing they want to stop. They want to stop the preaching of the Gospel. How does the Kingdom expand? Through the proclamation of the Gospel, through action and words.

That’s what they want to stop. That’s what we do. Whenever the devil tells you to stop something, do it. Whenever the devil tells you to stop something, do it. Do it more, do it louder, do it bolder.

John and Peter, hey, stop preaching this gospel. Let me ask you a question. Oh great, Sadducee and Pharisee and counsel in Jerusalem. We’re just uneducated fishermen. We don’t know these deep truths that you know, but we’re just going to ask you a question. Is it better to obey you or God?

All right, we’re going to kill you.

You asked the wrong, well, okay. Okay. Okay. I was, uh, it is, we, we do, we, we go out with mercy. We go out with justice, and we go out with evangelism, but we are engaged. It’s not just us four and no more. Our money’s engaged. Our time’s engaged. Our energy is engaged. We want to expand the kingdom. And I was lamenting this. I was actually with your son, Isaiah, and I was lamenting this.

We’re reading a book on John Wimber, who was committed to spreading the gospel through signs and wonders, and committed to caring for the poor. And I was talking, I was talking, and Isaiah and I were talking. I just said, “Man, it’s so hard because in the first century, signs and wonders work. People were amazed. They said, ‘What’s this all about?’ In the 21st century, you know, somebody gets raised from, has a vision of Jesus, and gets raised from the deathbed and half the medical community goes, ‘Yeah, yeah.'”

It just frustrates me to no end. And Isaiah and I were talking, I said, ‘How do we do mission in Kitsap County and how do we care for the poor without enabling drug addiction and terrible habits and just giving people money and all that kind of stuff? How do we do it in the 21st century?’ And Isaiah’s pretty smart, but he didn’t have any answers and I didn’t either, but we prayed about it.

Then I got an email. A guy’s been emailing me. I think I already shared, uh, he’s out of prison.

He knows he’s in jail. There’s a woman who used to go to our church. The woman said, ‘Hey, you need to contact Pastor Kevin. He’s been emailing me, you know, help me, help me, help me.’ I say, and I keep saying, ‘Come to church, come to church, come to church, and I’ll help you.’ Because I want to give somebody, I want somebody to take responsibility for their own help. And he’s like always the victim, ‘Oh, I can’t, oh, it’s so hard, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, I’m homeless.’

He’s got, now he’s got a place to live. And I said, ‘Hey, I can’t solve your homeless crisis. I’m just, I’m just honest. I want to help you, but I can’t solve your homeless crisis. I can put you up in a hotel for one night and you’ll be back on the streets, you know. I can get you down to the Salvation Army.’ But anyways, ‘Help me, help me, help me.’ So this time, I got an email and said, ‘Hey, I’m in Seabeck, I want a ride to church.’

“Is there anyone out in Seabeck who can give me a ride to church?” And I thought, “Well, you’re an ex-con that I don’t know, so I’m not going to sick Marsha on you. You know, I’m not that hard of a pastor.”

So, here’s the conviction, right? I don’t want to, because Sundays are busy for me. And Seabeck is way out of my way for Bremerton. I should have thought, “I’ll take him to Poulsbo,” but Seabeck’s way out of my way for Bremerton.

But I just, but you know, it’s like, and the Lord just reminded me of that conversation. How do you do mission and help the poor? And now it’s God’s, what, putting on my email, ‘Hey, here’s a mission opportunity and a way to help the poor.’ So I said, ‘Okay, I’ll come get you. Where do you live?’ It’s like, all right, you know, I’m getting all the directions. 33 minute drive to my house. And then another 30 minute drive back to the church in Bremerton.

Then, another 33-minute drive back to take him out to Seabeck. And, you know, I’m such a humble and godly soul. I looked at that as all delight and joy. No, I looked at it like, “Ah, brother, why can’t this guy get to the church on his own? I mean, how hard can it be? Bum a ride from a friend, come on.” But it’s like, no. And here’s what the Lord revealed to me about my question to Isaiah. He didn’t give me all the answers, but he gave me one answer. If you really…

Want to do this, it’ll be costly. It won’t be easy. It’ll cost you time. It’ll cost you gas. It’ll cost you money. Your heart will get broken. It will be inconvenient. I mean, Paul got beat up in every town he went to. I have yet to be beat up for the gospel. I’m not asking for that, God.

But we’re so addicted to our convenience that we want, I, for years, I got to confess this, you know, I prayed for revival and I wanted God to do something sovereign that would cost me nothing but a few minutes of prayer. And now I’m convinced that’s not going to happen. It never does in church history. It didn’t happen for Wesley or Edwards or Whitfield. It didn’t happen for Chuck Smith and the Jesus Movement people. It’s never happened in the history of revival.

This kingdom, on this broken, fallen world full of devils, has never advanced without a price. And as I read through the New Testament, it seems like that is promised. You’ll pay a price. It’ll cost you something.

And we already do that to a certain extent. We all give of our money and we do send money out in missions. So part of that, you know, we’re sending money to feed poor kids in the Dominican Republic and Africa and to spread the gospel in places like Nepal and Cambodia.

You know, we’ve got fingers all over the world. We help people who are spreading the gospel in places. And we try to do evangelism. I know, you know, Brian and Karen, you guys are always investing in your neighborhood and looking for opportunities. We’re all doing that. But, here’s the deal. It’s going to cost you something. Just embrace that. Don’t run away from it. That’s what the Lord’s trying to show me. Don’t run away from that. Embrace that.

I don’t know if the Navy used this phrase. I know foot soldiers use this phrase when you’re out in the rain, in the mud, and the phrase is, ’embrace the suck.’ Embrace the suck. And man, I know that’s not a spiritual phrase, and I know my wife hates that word, but there it is. It’s like, embrace it.

Listen, life is painful, and it’s a darn sight more painful without Jesus than with Jesus. You see, when you have God and you embrace the pain, guess what the byproduct of that is? He meets you there.

He meets you there. Everybody says, “Oh, I want to have encounter with God. Good. Embrace the call. Step out of the easy and into the call, and you’ll meet Him there.” That’s how we do mission. That’s how we defeat the principalities and powers of this present age. Their kingdoms will fall like lightning. That’s what they hate. That’s what they hate.

Listen, how do we make Bremerton? We’re talking about Bremerton now. How do we make Bremerton a town full of hope and joy? By the gospel.

What else is going to make Bremerton a town full of hope and joy? Bremerton is a hopeless town that has a spiritual condition much like the weather of Washington in the wintertime. It’s gray and damp. It puts me at harm, and does less good for me to go shout at the demons of hopelessness, despair, and depression than simply telling one person about Jesus. Simply loving one person into the kingdom.

The interesting part of this story was, I got in my car, I was driving out there, and I got the email from the guy. “Oh, can’t make it today.” And I thought, you know, my little judgment, why not, what are you doing? You know, got a job interview on Sunday morning, why can’t you make it? And then I got mad. I was mad at him before because he was inconveniencing me, and now I was mad at him because he’s bailing. So anyway, I’m a less than perfect person.

He said, ‘We’ll try next week, so pray that…’ But next week, I think I’ll bring Rick here, because Seabeck’s kind of on the way. It’s smarter, right? All right. All right. So, I’m done. The Lord bless you and keep you.

24 “The Lord bless you and keep you; (Numbers 6:24, NKJV)

What? Preach it, Pastor. Preach it. You want to go longer, seven? Come on, let’s go! All right, all right. Let me tell you 37 other deliverance stories that I’ve had. You know what? I’ll go all night. All right. You do. We’ll go to some all-night place where they give coffee and soda.

Maybe not tonight, though.