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Spiritual Warfare - Lesson 2

Spiritual Worldviews

In this lesson, Dr. Breshears discusses various worldviews, particularly within the context of Christianity. The lesson begins by highlighting the extremes of a scientific worldview, which views everything as material and controlled by natural law, and a spiritual worldview that attributes everything to spiritual entities like demons. Within Christianity, Dr. Breshears distinguishes between polytheistic, American monotheistic, and Christian monotheistic worldviews.

Gerry Breshears
Spiritual Warfare
Lesson 2
Watching Now
Spiritual Worldviews

I. Introduction to Biblical Worldview

A. Distinction from a Worldview Course

B. Scientific Worldview: Materialism

C. African View: Extreme Spiritualism (e.g., associating diseases with demons)

II. Different Worldviews

A. Polytheistic Worldview

1. Multiple gods with specialties

2. Importance of keeping gods happy through sacrifices

3. Ancient Near East perspective

4. Examples: Baal and Ashura

B. American Monotheism

1. One God known by many names

2. The elephant metaphor: multiple interpretations of the same deity

3. Perceived universalism of religions

C. Christian Monotheism

1. One God named Yahweh

2. Other gods as idols or "nothings"

3. Tim Keller's perspective: Idolatry as elevating good things

4. Denial of other spiritual beings apart from Yahweh

III. Understanding the Term 'Gods'

A. Use of "Elohim" in the Bible

1. Referring to both Yahweh and other deities

2. Context differentiates meaning

3. The Ten Commandments as an example

B. Differentiating between idols and gods

1. Idols as physical manifestations

2. Gods as spiritual beings

IV. Summary of Creation or Monotheism View

A. Elohim can refer to various spiritual beings

B. Inclusion of both positive (e.g., Michael, Gabriel) and negative (e.g., Moloch, Ball) entities


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  • Discover Dr. Breshears' journey from science to spiritual warfare, debunking scientific explanations for demons. Unveil a seminary student's anxiety battle, uncover curses, theological misconceptions, and inner demonic voices. Prepare for a course on spiritual warfare and staying loyal to God.
  • Gain insights into worldviews within Christianity, including polytheism, American monotheism, and Christian monotheism. Explore the nature of spiritual beings and idols.
  • Gain knowledge of the biblical context of spiritual warfare, the role of supernatural powers in Egypt, the warnings against foreign gods, and the heavenly battles involving angels, emphasizing the importance of exclusive worship of Yahweh and the dangers of idolatry.
  • You'll gain insight into spiritual warfare through Genesis 11, where human defiance led to the scattering of nations and involvement of angelic beings.
  • You will gain insight into a distinct biblical interpretation that views the universe's creation as an act of shaping Eden within a pre-existing cosmic war, and the role of humans in this ongoing battle by cultivating goodness and order to combat evil and chaos.
  • In this lesson, the story of Adam and Eve is analyzed within the context of spiritual warfare, highlighting the serpent's strategy to question God's goodness and encourage independence, while God responds with a call to confession and hints at a future Messiah's role in redemption.
  • This lesson offers an insightful interpretation of Genesis 6:1-4, presenting the "Sons of God" as angelic beings who sinned by marrying humans, leading to the Nephilim, linking this perspective to New Testament passages and the symbolism of baptism as a victory declaration against evil forces, deepening your understanding of the nuanced interpretation of these biblical passages and their importance in Christianity.
  • The passages reviewed in this lesson reveal a unique portrayal of God's actions, using unconventional methods. Challenge common interpretations, caution against single-verse doctrines. Embrace the mystery of God's ways, avoiding rigid interpretations when context is unclear.
  • This lesson reviews a passage in Colossians, offering insights into spiritual warfare and the dichotomy between the kingdoms of light and darkness, emphasizing believers' rescue from darkness into the kingdom of the Son of God, forgiveness of sins, and the essential elements of faith, all of which are vital for confronting demonic accusations and oppression.
  • Learn the core of Ephesians: spiritual warfare, dedication to God vs. Satan, moral maturity, and becoming Christ's partner. Emphasizes unity, living in light, using God's Word, and the power of prayer in this battle.
  • Learn to resist the temptations of the world and the devil by humbling yourself, casting anxiety on God, being self-controlled, alert, and standing firm in faith as taught in James and 1 Peter, emphasizing the importance of using your strengths for God's kingdom and opposing pressures and distortions from the enemy to avoid being devoured.
  • This lesson highlights the significance of facing spiritual forces in Jesus' name, stressing that authority alone isn't enough. Faith, confidence, and prayer-driven competence are vital for effective spiritual warfare. It inspires you to confront spiritual battles like Jesus did, with authority and unwavering faith.
  • This lesson delves into a biblical narrative highlighting Jesus' authority over evil spirits. It emphasizes the transformative power of His deliverance and the profound change it can bring to those tormented by demonic influence.
  • This lesson provides deep insights into Satan's fall in the Bible, covering Old Testament passages (Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28) linked to it, addressing their ambiguity. It also discusses withholding Satan's name due to his evil nature and how Jesus broke his authority in the New Testament, though he remains a threat to believers.
  • This lesson delves into the intricate dynamics between believers, demons, and the world in the biblical context. You'll uncover Satan's mysterious role in Judas's betrayal of Jesus, posing questions about the motivations and divine alignment in this pivotal event.
  • This lesson equips you with the knowledge of how Jesus confronted temptation and spiritual warfare, emphasizing three essential steps: quoting Scripture to the devil, commanding the devil to leave in Jesus' name, and shifting your focus from demonic attack to Jesus' provision.
  • This lesson explores 3 Deliverance Ministry models: 1) Classic - resist Satan's temptations, 2) Power Encounter - deal with sin before casting out demons, 3) Truth Encounter - dispel lies, reclaim identity in Christ. Dr. Breshears prefers the Truth Encounter model while allowing for diverse biblical approaches.
  • This lesson provides comprehensive insights on dealing with the demonic from a biblical perspective, emphasizing the triumph of Jesus over Satan, the ongoing spiritual battles, the importance of faith in the midst of adversity, and the need to follow biblical patterns while avoiding unnecessary fascination with evil and excessive fearfulness.
  • This lesson explores demons and Satan's impact on believers, emphasizing that even righteous individuals can face their influence. It reveals how deception, curses, and accusations can create strongholds in belief systems, perpetuated by Satan. Demons exploit weaknesses, desires, and ignorance, leading to destructive behaviors. The lesson ends with the assurance that believers are never abandoned by the Holy Spirit.
  • From this lesson, you will gain insight into the Dr. Breshear's approach to identifying potential demonic influence in people's lives, focusing on areas like accusing voices, oppressive presence, and occult involvement. He emphasizes the importance of assessing these influences when individuals face issues like anxiety, addiction, or persistent problems. By probing into their experiences and thoughts, the goal is to recognize and address these negative influences, ultimately seeking to remove them from the person's life.
  • This lesson provides insights into assessing potential demonic influence in individuals' lives, offering strategies to distinguish personal issues from demonic influences and empower individuals to confront and overcome such challenges with the authority of Jesus Christ.
  • From this lesson, you will gain insight into the controversial topic of demonic influence and possession within Christianity. The lesson explores the various meanings of "possessed" and the debate surrounding whether a Christian can be dominated or influenced by a demon. It emphasizes that while ownership by a demon is generally denied, the extent of demonic influence remains debated.
  • You will learn a comprehensive approach to address demons in a pastoral setting, emphasizing individual empowerment, cooperation, and the transformative potential of confronting these malevolent forces to achieve freedom and healing.
  • This lesson discusses curses, demonic attacks, and their real-life impact. It highlights curses arising from disobedience, similar to God's curse in the Bible. The lesson promotes rejecting curses and dedicating spaces to God while emphasizing that curses have power only when received, suggesting turning to Jesus for protection and deliverance.
  • Explor the nature, influence, and tactics of demons, dispelling myths of immunity in the US. While prayer and fasting aren't mandatory, living as children of light and invoking Jesus' name is key. Demons may exploit unconfessed sin, deceive, and dwell in specific places. Believers confront them with Jesus' authority, engaging in spiritual warfare to deliver the oppressed.

There is an ongoing battle between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. Followers of Jesus, who are in the kingdom of light, have been given authority by God to command demons. By studying Jesus' life and other passages in scripture, we can gain insights into how to respond to the influence of demons effectively.

 

Spiritual Warfare
Dr. Gerry Breshears
th251-02
Spiritual Worldviews
Lesson Transcript

 

What I want to do in this session is just begin talking about a biblical worldview. There are a lot of different worldviews, and this is not a worldview course, but the scientific worldview is everything is just material, everything's trolled by random application opposing the operating natural law. The other extreme of that that I run into on in Africa is everything is spiritual and there's no such thing as viruses. It's demons that are giving you COVID and that sort of thing. So these are two views, but within a Christian worldview, within Christians what I find like there's a polytheistic worldview which says that there's a lot of gods and they're all more or less equal. And so what you do is in the polytheistic worldview is it's like an outlet mall. There's a lot of stores in the outlet mall, but if I'm looking for sunglasses. There are three stores I can go to for sunglasses. I need to figure out which store does sunglasses and which one has the best price for what I want.

So in a polytheistic worldview, you have to find out which god specializes in what you want, and then you have to make that god happy by sacrifice or something like that, and that is what you go to. That's the worldview of the ancient near east. It's polytheistic. There are a lot of gods, and by gods here, I just mean spiritual beings, and of course, that's a big thing too. So in the ancient world, you find gods like Baal. He's the God of reign in power. You find his consort Asherah, who's a god of sexuality. We may know her [inaudible 00:01:46] Aphrodite in the Greek pantheon. In polytheism you go to any god and you just make that god happy to buy whatever you want from it. And then you go home and your goats have kids and you get rain on your crops and all that sort of thing, that's a polytheistic worldview. That's the worldview of the surrounding nations in the ancient world is this polytheistic worldview. Very, very common.

Many gods more or less equal, they're all there, but they have specialties and you need to find the god that does your specialty. Really important thing is don't offend a god because if you offend a god it will hurt you so you want to keep them all happy, but you go to the one that is your specialty for what you want. And that's the worldview that we find represented in the Bible. It's not the biblical worldview, but it's in the world around it. And understanding polytheism is important because that's what's happening is the people in the ancient world ended up going back to a polytheistic worldview. There's what I would call American monotheism. And by American I don't mean Christian, I mean just American. Is that we're in American monotheism, what we believe is that there's just one God and he's known by many different names.

And so this is the famous elephant view of god. So there's one guy goes up and he grabs a hold of something and it's the tail. And he says, god is like a snake. Another goes up and he grabs a leg and says, no, no, god is like a tree. Another guy goes up and he finds the elephant's side, no, no, god is like a wall and so on. And they begin arguing with each other about the nature of god. But really it's all one god, he just has many different facets. Well, not he, it wouldn't be sexist, but the god has many different aspects. And that's the worldview that you find in universities and such like that many times is that all religions are the same and they're all approaches to a god that is out there. And the argument between different religions is just an argument of whether you have a leg or a tail or something like that. And they're just one god. And all religions worship this one god in their own way and they're fighting with each other. But there's more about a business model than about the god that they worship.

There is what I call Christian monotheism, and that's the idea that there's one God and his name is YHWH. He's a creator of heaven and earth and all the other gods, quote, unquote, are really idols. There's nothing out there and the other gods are nothings. It looks at Isaiah 40 and Isaiah 44 and the mockery that Isaiah does of the other gods, and it comes out that these gods they're nothings. They're just idols. There's nothing out there. They're just fake. They're false gods. We use that phrase a lot. Well, those are false gods. There's a true God and then there are false gods. And by that means there's nothing there. And ironically, that ends up being a variation of the scientific worldview because there's one God who's the creator of heaven and earth and there's nothing else in a spiritual realm. So the other gods, they're just idols. So Tim Keller in his Counterfeit God's book, which is brilliant, that the gods are good things put up in the God space. So work is a good thing. And you put that up in the God space and it becomes an idolatry. If you take family and put it up in the God space, that becomes an idolatry. If you take anything and put it up in the God space, it becomes an idolatry.

But see, there's nothing out there in terms of spiritual being. There's only with one, YHWH, the creator of heaven and earth, father, son, Holy Spirit, triune God and nothing else, there's no other spiritual beings. That's what I call Christian monotheism. There's no spiritual being. The other gods are nothings or the good things that you worship as if they were God. It is completely unsatisfying. Keller's book is brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant on what we do as Americans, but I think it's wrong by ignoring the reality of the spiritual beings. And the problem comes in that word gods. And that's the one that's used in all the Bible translations. And I need to give you just a little bit of Hebrew. Is this okay? Can I do Hebrew in this course?

Okay, let's look at it. So I want you to look at Exodus chapter 20. Exodus 20, of course, is the Ten Commandments. And these are the big words of script... And in fact are 10 words is what they are in Hebrew. And so God spoke all these words and the first commandment he gives is a first statement, I'm the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of line of slavery and then coming out of you shall have no other gods before me. And then verse four, you shall not make yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or birth below. You should not worship them because I'm a jealous God and all that. So when I look at this, and I'm looking here at the NIV, but translations are all the same. I am the Lord.

That's four capital letters. That means that's YHWH, the proper name of God. I am YHWH, your, and the word that translated God there, the Hebrew word Elohim. So I am the Lord your Elohim who brought you out of Egypt. And in verse three it says, you shall have no other Elohim before me. Are you confused yet? Okay, let's make you more confused. Go back to verse one. And God spoke all these words, that's Elohim. So and Elohim spoke all these words. I am YHWH, your Elohim. You shall have no other Elohim before me. So in the first verse, a little grammar here, what is the function of Elohim in the first verse? This is Exodus 20 verse one. Elohim there is the subject of the verb spoke, so God is a person who speaks. And then he introduces himself, my name is YHWH and I am your Elohim. And if I look at that, that possessive there sounds like there are other Elohim, I am YHWH, your Elohim. And that is exactly what is reinforced in verse three. You shall have another Elohim before me.

Now, in the translations, what we do is we capitalize it when it's talking about YHWH. So it's capital G God. And then in verse three, where it's not talking about YHWH, it's talking about other Elohim. We do lower case and make it plural. We make it gods. And that's really confusing because it's the same Hebrew word. Now, in fact, what happens word Elohim in English word God are same because I can use God in English and refer to the triune God, father, son, Holy Spirit to maker of heaven and earth. Or I can use the word God and be talking about Kali or Brahma, the Hindu gods or Jupiter, the Roman God or Zeus, the Greek God. And I can use that same word to refer to Jupiter or Kali or whoever that I used to use for God. And the context tells you whether I'm using God, YHWH or God, a different thing.

The difference is there a reality behind this? Because I can say, well, college, it's a cultural force, it's a cultural thing. The power of death in the Hindu society or something like that. And they've taken this idea and personalized it and made it into a God. Or is it really a spiritual being that can really do things? That's the question. So the function of the word God or the functional word Elohim in Hebrew is the same. It refers to different kinds of things we worship. And the question is, are these personal beings? YHWH is clearly personal. Are these other god's personal? And that becomes the question we've got. So when the saying here, God spoke all these words, I am YHWH your God, you shall have another gods before me. What are they referring to? Is that just idols? Well, I don't think so because the fourth verse, you shall not make for yourself an image or idol of anything else.

It seemed to be differentiating God, spiritual being, from idol, this worldly physical manifestation of some sort of statue or a [inaudible 00:11:15] or a painting or something like that, we call them idols. An idly put on your shelf. And what I'm suggesting to you is an idol is this world representation of an invisible, real spiritual being. This is what I would call a creational monotheism worldview. Is that confusing? I mean, totally. Probably. But let me just summarize this one more time for you. The word Elohim in Bible can refer to a wide variety of spiritual beings. And that can be all the way from YHWH. It can be Michael and Gabriel, the good guy angels. And I think it can be Moloch, or Chemosh, or Baal, or Asherah, or a whole raft of bad guy angel level beings. And that's what I'm going to suggest to you is the word Elohim can refer to any of those, and they are real powerful spiritual beings.

And your question is, Gerry, come on, they're nothings. There's only one God. Well, yeah, kind of. Let's look a little bit more at Bible and see if I can confuse you one step forward. Okay. You ready?