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Clean, but Empty

James Kyle



  • February 19, 2005
    9:30 AM
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as we plan on talking you to record from the lesson study but I was encouraged not to observe why won't I want you to be about on the subject clean but in the you may remember hearing about a man in the news a few years ago his name was Roxy L Ramirez sees now that convicted Rampart division officer who was convicted and jailed as when the LAPD 's most notorious police violence and what happened in Iraq fails lifelessly the stuff that movies are made out he was seduced by power and by the money and by the party lies in a party life and but it was not really for the written for television this was a real-life story Roxio like millions of inhabitants of your is the target of a great battle is waging right now between Christ and Satan he was the victim of a Satanic drive-by he was targeted for Ms. Burke Raffaella was possessed by a dark evil spirit soul powerful but without help he was doomed to lie and rob and kill and he was convicted for is the battle that consumed the pages of history and has stolen the headlines in our national papers yet most people have no idea but this battle between God and Satan is actually going on is the battle between Jesus and bells above and Chapter 11 of the book of Luke gives us a sneak preview about how this battle is that's being fought in every Bible turned to look Chapter 11 I will take a look at the context of this passage in verse fourteen of the Chapter 11 this Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute when the demon left the man who had been mute bespoke wow was a maze Jesus drove out this demon from this man who been unable to speak and by doing so he was attacking the very stronghold of the devil another two groups of people to continue reading the passage to witnesses miracle by Jesus one group in the province as they were amazed by what they saw but there is another group that was actually offended at what they saw and they accuse Christ verse fifteen of being in bed with the devil himself and how can you drive out the devil unless you are a part of the devil and so you have two people liberals were pressed in a maze of those who were offended others were asking for some sign from heaven to demonstrate that this was indeed true but Jesus knew their thoughts and he confronted them in verse seventeen and Luke eleven and he said a kingdom divided against itself will be ruined Sigmund is not war with himself verse nineteen fifty five will be your followers drive out Satan Friday's double stop what was interesting so why did they single out Jesus Prochaska even when their own followers were trying to cast out demons in a diverse twenty 's but if I drive out demons of the finger of God and the kingdom of God has come to you what is missing about that besides duplicity in the crowd with it Jesus did not need the entire harm of God to defeat Satan all he needed was the finger of God we need to be encouraged as one of Satan 's agents seated full minute worry about the devil and I much rather minimizes power we need understand the devil has already been defeated in Jesus we have victory right now the devil is no match for God 's little justice you want to shorten the box of God exalted levels it cannot be done but God had a strategy to get revealed later this passage is in every contest the Loring sides must have both an offense of strategy and a decent discharge of a big football fan and I are watching the offense doesn't may have the ball and I I see the defense totaled one aside from forgot how to stop the opposing team at halftime which is your strategies to meet with the other teams were doing if you going to battle you found offensive and as well as the people strategy you're in trouble God had both if we look at verse twenty one to twenty two we get a glimpse of the offenses strategy verse twenty one says when a strong man fully armed guards his own house his possessions are safe when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up spoil 's the miserable condition of an unconverted sinner is epidemic in our society the human heart was designed to be a part of the habitation of God has become unfortunately the powerless and all of our human talents all of our human powers that could be employed in the service of God are frankly being employed in the service of the devil Satan resides in the hearts of men Satan rules this will is obeying his interests are served and the militia are in his hands the devil my friends is this strong man but Jesus referring to him Luke eleven he does all he can before by his palace against I fortifications they are less green and materialism ease comfort and tolerance of human weakness and human differences think it has erected the battlements of pride and skepticism knowledge wisdom sex without love love without honor marriage without commitments he has protected his palace with the armor of racism and sexism and elitism and in the is defeated by his defendant assisted by selfishness and a walled in by faithlessness Satan is the strongman and he distributes collective children in our ghettos the peoples plot in magazines and cells of mongoose than the engenders and fosters wars among nations and brings them into the land and millions of the people in the world are poor and suffering because the strongman has fortified himself agreed of the Western world not the responsibility but according to verse twenty one he feels that his possession RC of Jesus made a comedy says when the salt has lost its savor it is good for nothing but to be cast out the church represents the salt of the earth as if he are the salt of your the problem why Satan feels that his possessions in the world our soul site is up assault has not left the salt shaker it still sits on the table unleashed upon the world uncommitted fearful and faithless Paul in Romans chapter seven verse twenty four summed up the problem of the center captured by the strong on the says in verse twenty four what a wretched man I am who will rescue me from this body of death Paul understood that in his own abilities by his own willpower he could not free himself from the hold of Satan the strongman had overcome him and even with the best of intentions he still felt that he was a prisoner my friends just when it looked like it was all over when the battlements of hell look like they would indeed prevail in the fullness of time the Bible says God sent his son Jesus to die for the sins of the world and when Jesus came he brought an end to the domination of sin on the planet who will rescue sinners from cycles graphs will Romans seven twenty five tells you thanks to God through Jesus Christ our vote it is Jesus who rescues sinners it is Jesus who liberates us it is Jesus who frees us from sin part of our issue is not that we have not heard about Jesus is that we have not necessarily all of the love of Jesus that we are unfamiliar with this power is that we have not embraced this power it is Jesus who liberates us Luke eleven twenty two says but when someone stronger attacks yes this strongman with well armed but the Bible and Jesus lets us know that there is somebody stronger than Satan your statement that eyeglasses known as a power greater than hatred of power stronger than the love 's a power stronger than greed of force in society stronger than hatred in that force is the love of God Satan may need a strong man armed but our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is stronger than the devil the attacks and overcomes the devil would have about heart center is converted whatever conversion to do God happens it is a victory for the kingdom of God who takes away Satan 's armor when the power send a question in the soul is broken when the stakes are rectified when the eyes are finally opened in the heart is humbled and change them Satan 's armor is removed we can remove his promise from our hearts when we soften our hearts and humble ourselves before God humility is sometimes difficult for many people and as you are as students in the school one of the problems you will face in your careers is learning to be home because we will pump you up as Arnold Schwarzenegger says he will give you large titles and degrees and you'll gained great knowledge and you may be tempted to believe that you know it all it never met a normal of your encountered someone of that ilk they're quite difficult to live with you can't tell them anything they have little people walk beside them to hold up their heads because they're so heavy and it might roll over and in capacitance of them have not had bearers to add no people walk around and proclaim to be for the computer room wisdom and humility is a rare thing upon the plan but unless we humble ourselves before God we cannot disable the strong man who is taking control of our hearts to Jesus is totally committed to the final destruction of the strongman and soulless the church also be committed to a strong man's destruction verse twenty three of Luke says he was not with me is against me won't does not gather with me scatters I was being against God but there really is no place of neutrality allowed in the great controversy you cannot live in spiritual Switzerland you are either on the side of God or you on the side of the devil and there is no middle ground if you're not on God 's program therefore he declares he must be his enemy from the book gospel workers face to nonelectric mutual this quote gospel workers page two hundred ninety this Christian life is more than many take it to be it does not consist wholly in gentleness patience meekness or timeliness these graces are essential but there is need also of current of force of energy and perseverance the path that Christ marked out is a narrow path to enter that path and press on through difficulties and disbursements requires men who are more than weakling there is a certain level of grit and determination we must have in our lives and we must recognize that the Christian graces of Jonah spaces make as the models are important but also requires courage it takes courage to serve God I was total story we recently came back from Russia we had an opportunity to visit our art University of South deep breath of Moscow and I talked to Eugene Zeitz at the present school verity told me why he found himself the ministry today when perestroika came about and the walls in the wall fell between the East and the West the doors opened up for the preaching of the gospel doctors licensed as a pediatrician by training you saw the opportunity to preach the gospel be remembered at his grandfather was a minister he was stolen so impressed by his grandfather 's testimony that Doctor Thiessen put down the stethoscope retrained pick up the Bible began to preach he told me a story about his grandfather however relate the story to you his grandfather was imprisoned for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and Soviet Union Christianity in Athens is not legal religions those put in jail and most of the assets as ministers of that generation all found themselves behind bar all the words you at some point in their lives there are many people who are starving and having a hard time and into jail and one guard who had this habit of front of slicing up bread and putting on this table where he was certain he would munch on bread while the other prisoners had very little to eat is very fastidious about establishing with count the slice the bread he had any kept noticing day after day one slice would be missing in another slice be missing if you try to find out what what prisoner was able to combine and steal this brevity couldn't find out so the slice of regulator thirty one not far ways he can keep his eye on the red to see who was stealing any noticed a chat jumped up on the table grab a slice of bread between his his mouth and jump off the tables are going back to one bearings you followed and the cat went to the barracks door would directly to this evidence Mister I laid bread right next to walk away the Bible says your bread water will be sure latest limited takes curl Rich the serve God we are in a battle a battle for our very and you can't be mealymouthed and well I'm almost committed happily committed while I think I wanted to write you to make up their minds people who recognize their in war recognizably have to be seriously committed I look at what's going on in the Middle East I recommend to people they are who are fanatically committed I'm not praising their fanaticism but I am amazed and impressed at their commitment committed enough to strap pounds of C4 explosives around their bodies and walked into a crowded place and blow themselves up in order to destroy their infidel enemies that takes commitment and I wonder sometimes what we committed to what pain we prepared to endure what inconvenience are we prepared to to endure for God are we afraid to go places that he sends us are we afraid to speak for him when he calls us to the street where his behalf the offense of strategy to Jesus lays down in the eleven basis is Jesus is already slayed the devil on the cross and he goals after his invaluable to run a hearth by his power by Apollo Holy Spirit he thinks the freed men and women from addictions from their habits from the familiar depression from all the things that hold us back in the power of God we can free men and women from these problems just at the demons were cast out here we can do that same thing greater work shall you do Jesus said and I have to we've assumed that great work was for another time but not only is there a office of strategy what about his defense 's strategy will Jesus gave another example in Chapter 11 verse twenty four Turner Whitney Luke at November twenty four this is what an evil spirit comes out of a man it goals through arid places seeking rest and does not find that says I will return to the house I left when it arrived to find the house swept clean and put in order there's a big difference between the devil when the devil comes out and when the devil was cast out at conversion the person spoken of here is someone who starts off with all the best intentions but never fully surrenders themselves to God 's will his heart still remains the Devils house Satan still holds the deed to the property and it may appear that the devil had left the house the unclean spirit looks like it's gone the house is swept clean and put an order and that is really the life of many many Christians they come to church and they look marvelous their house appears swept and appeared clean they are able to mimic all the right words they're able to say I studied myself to less than seven times they pay time they don't have been not be decked in a lot of jewelry they look good and he was the oldest person must really have something I frequently vary they have very very little because we look like they are there because their house this work is clean it is indeed put in order is swept from common pollutions by a forced confession or a partial reformation you may need escape even some of the pollutions of the world but there's nothing inside kid about sixteen years old I remember I had a fairly interesting notion about how one gets the final no one here has this notion because you are all too wise and and well educated to believe this but I believe that God was a great accountant and he kept track of my good and my bad because I read in the Bible as you have read that he has books in the book to be kept in the Angels of recording everything again the place bleeding will wait a minute he's recording everything then I can live the life I want with so on Saturday night when I was planning on going someplace I had no business and doing things that have no right to do I would make sure that earlier in the week I did the Dean and I try to bank up all but my good deeds so that I had a storehouse of them and I could spend them my credit on Saturday night and I recognize that my feeble mind that when I finally got the judgment on you to do is come out on the positive side of the ledger was an accounting procedure involves my good deeds outweigh my bad days I would be entered into the kingdom and I can hang out with Jesus and the saints for attorney none of you think like that but never crossed your mind that's the same fate as the swept and cleaned you can look unpolluted to many additional power and that is not the love and affection and that the real is real real saving grace in the so even though the house was swept it was not washed if the difference we just be swept and Ashley being clean yesterday I had to go home and you do not I swept up vacuum the house and swept up the floors by recognizing the floor with only sweat was not cleaned slanted to what what many of you love to do get the bucket in the mock and I mopped the floor you know many of us sleep ourselves enough activity we can do but the washing of our souls is not something we can do we have to be washed by what of the blood of Jesus that's right we all washed by Jesus we can't clean ourselves we need something else from the cleaners edges is that if I washed he not you will have no part of me is not enough for us to clean up our lives not enough that the clean up our act if we have not been washed by Jesus is all about self and it's all going to be defeated in the end because we cannot make ourselves live holy lives sleeping takes off only the loose dirt while the beloved send the processes that are still held onto the next fan is deeply embedded in the walls and less washed whenever if slept but the leprosy of sin is still in-house and only the blood of Jesus can wash that away our hearts have been put in order and garnished but not furnished with the furniture of grapes but the real issue is not that we are clean but is that we are empty and unoccupied to read in the passage we recognize that Christ does not reside in our hearts therefore when the devil returns to his palace he finds it neat and vacant removals van was seven it says seven Center seven so our devil wars that have so this is enough to be clean and empty affect the only way we can be clean is to be fully occupied by the presence of a saving God 's will and democracy is the high road to apostasy in the Bible commentaries with this volume faced in nineteen hundred ninety three we read of self righteousness is a curse a human embellishment which Satan uses for his glory those who garnished the soulless self praise and flattery prepare the way for seven other spirits more wicked than the first in their furry reception of the true these souls deceived themselves to the big popular movement probably in the seventies and and popular psychology did basically was just emitted no I'm okay you're okay were all okay I may have us go through our life I'm better than he is opening so I'm okay just being okay is none of the so flattering it's flattering to assume that I can attain to the holiness of God by my own resolutions this is now February and I remember in our gym were my wife and I go work out what always happens in gymnasiums around January first January second everybody decides that they want to lose you know a hundred pounds or fifty pounds and the quite convinced that in a matter of days but this will happen and so you can get to machine you can get to the wage that all these people you always tell them because the government brand-new finishings and you shiny workout gear that's no fashion designing been to have all the look to wonderfully you think they were world-class athletes you watch them and you keep going about January fifteen half total gone about it Sunday into February you can find as the monarchy was his old owl proud people who were there month after month you're fighting the battle that's really what many peoples Christianity is about we make these resolutions were to do well and they frequently can come after the prayer our devotional experience will be make it up and decision advertisement change our lives and we sleep our house we clean it up but it remains unoccupied and if your house remains unoccupied by the presence of God and a commitment to his tools will then it is merely self flattery and hypocrisy the only true defense against Satan misled Jesus the conqueror after he has cast the devil out set up his palace in your heart there is no safety and just living a clean life and cleanliness does have its place but if our hearts remain empty if the love of Jesus is not filled our very nature we are risk of ending up worse in the again that in the beginning if we are going to try up in the great controversy between Christ and Satan is not only a good offense that we will need but is also a good defense gospel workers face two eighty seven says when one is fully empty of self when every false God is cast out of the soul the fact you this bill by the influence of the Spirit of Christ such a one has the faith that purifies the soul from defilement he has no confidence in self Christ is all in all I was attending Officer basic training forty nine states Army as an Army reserve medical Corps in one of the exercising a doozy of a climate a fifty foot tower and take a rope and repel down the tower I remember of the gang I was hang out with the officers were all laughing at each other saying how easy or how hard this is going to be in and we were watching others coming down then one of these it certainly encouraged us or perhaps terrified us was you have two ways of coming down the tower you need rappel down the wall or you could free repelled on a rope while you watch somebody go ahead of us and they decided they wonderfully repelled on the rope and a testable later themselves in a free withheld and they dropped like a brick something about slowing themselves down was not learned in the end thereof training and they went straight down and crashed on some some tires and the things we look for that person is it okay when I'm free repelling so we decided to go downward felt on the wall I watched a young lady who was a nurse on the officer as he was standing on one side this crying and crying she didn't want to go down the wall than one put on the wall and they were screaming and shouting at her to put on the wall in and she finally did in and it was my turn so I spent up to the wall and then says okay you will you you see how these people going on the quality can read alongside you want take a long time to value and put out quickly while meeting with that done he tattooed across his four head Senator what when I'm quickly well what should have happened recently to loosen my blaze and I couldn't slow myself down there by putting on my back and repelling bouncing off the wall is that he put one so that when I got to the wall and leave all the way back trying to hold myself I had none the friction on the blade and actually what happened is I wound up fifty feet in the air upside down my feet stayed on the wall might it went straight down I could see in my upside down this my friends stretched out on the ground laughing 911 call to resuscitate them they were laughing at me so hard and I am fifty feet in the air feet straight up in the air head straightened out after he in that position one understands what it means to be emptied of self all I want to assemble and if you give me down off the wall this is one prayer you'll never have to hear from me again and I was finally able to write myself and come down that wall I get to be in always the thundering applause of my friends who were laughing hysterically at my plight legs and seven in the inlet and the great adventure called life we can often be tempted to hold on to self art eagle are prized our self-sufficiency but God has a way mercifully of humbling us we must get the artist cells of self and every false God 's and then allow that vacuum of emptiness to be filled by Jesus Christ it is not enough for us to be we empty we must be filled I close with Revelation chapter three verse twenty here are my thesis if I stand at the door and I knock if anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in and eat with him and he with me I wonder this morning how many of us of Jesus standing at the door fearing him knock going through the motions living clean lives that are in latest and the greatest adventure that can ever come to your life the most excitement you'll ever have is when you surrender your heart to Jesus Christ I'm never watching people bungee jump is a buddy or bungee jump I always looked at bungee jumping and I and I saw people tying a rubber band essentially to their ankles and jumping off a bridge and hope the rubber band would finally take them and save them from crashing to the rocks below I heard that explain this as excitement geographers also to LA just walking the school was more excitement than hanging from from a bungee cord just to survive I need that level of excitement but I will tell you once you submit your heart to God and surrender your will is will buckle your seatbelt you're in for a major adventure of your life because God has planned for you yes great things he wants to do with you and through you and I can guarantee you the what God has planned for you may be very different when you have planned for yourself I never planned on being a minister here I have my wife never planned she said she would never marry a minister or physician what was she ever wrong and one move she got both and did he know it when God takes your life into his control he will lead you places that you never dreamed you would be fun standing there in Red Square in Moscow outside linens to absent myself what the poor boy from South Central LA doing in Moscow at the Red Square is that I was living out part of God 's plan for myelin and I recognize I admit a conflict with God I have decided never to think about what I will never do business God has a sense of humor and the first thing I said I won't do is overly okay with thank you very much are you submitted to be yes five years your ticket to New York when a place I used to seven ago although now Lord of the benefits of my uncle I will have to be Stan 's enough atheist in what restoration really is all about is not clean enough from the outside it but cleaning us from the inside we are restored when Jesus lives out his life inside of us when the words I speak no longer mine and I know it because God is give me words to speak when my one big angry but I would have had under one circumstance is now turn to love it I recognize is not the I'm not capable that it's Jesus working in me he is looking for vessel to fill and when he fills your best VM power issue to be something that you would never dreamed you could become so now every morning when I wake up I wake up with gratitude or ask God what will you have me do today and his knowing that I have committed myself to his will as tie bought an item in a marvelous adventure called living where he works his will for my life he desires to work his will for your life that bells about the great enemy of the soul will be slain defeated as an battlements torn down and the house that God built would be filled with this presence let us pray what a father we appreciate the value of living clean why of moral rectitude but father we recognize that there are many people who live moral hourly lives were empty inside we pray for the filling and the indwelling of your Holy Spirit we ask you to occupy our heart to come in and live inside of us we surrender the key to your hands help us to furnish our hearts with the fruit of your spirit love joy peace help us to surrender yourself and allow you to read as lower sovereign and how lives we thank you for the power of your Word today in the name of Jesus we pray amen


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