Heaven Yes! Hell no! The Truths and Tricks of the Devil. The First Trick.
The Relationship God Intended. (Genesis 2:25, NKJV)
When relationships are right you can still be naked and not ashamed. This relationship of nakedness does not depend on age and physical looks but a personal and spiritual relationship with each other and with God. One of Satan’s tricks is getting us to fight against each other and our marriage.
Satan is Cunning. (Genesis 3:1-22, NKJV)
Cunningness of Satan is to be crafty in a way that it results in provoking anger and sorrow. Satan’s goal is to destroy our relationship with God. Remember, Satan is cunning but made by God and controlled by God. God did not create Satan, God created an angel that rebelled and turned into Satan.
The Danger of who we listen to and talk to. (Genesis 3:2-5, NKJV; Romans 13:1-2, NKJV; Ephesians 5:21-25, NKJV)
It is based on God’s Word. You need to know God’s Word and trust someone who also does.
The husband and wife need mutual submission to God. If you are both submitting to God most of the time, you won’t have a problem knowing the will of God. When you don’t understand true submission to authorities, you don’t understand the cunningness of Satan.
Sermon Video Transcription
James Greer (00:01):
I mean God is rocking the house at Journey Church. Amen? Woo wee. Man, I’m glad to see Mr. Charlie back there too. Woo wee! Man, he’s 90 and counting. Amen? Hey, if y’all don’t know it, it’s hard to keep focused during the coronavirus so I’ve written a little brochure talks about refocus. If you have not received one of those or if you’ve not gone through that course, raise your hand and one of the ushers want to give you this because it helps you find out how to focus on peace. There’s some in the back. If you’ve not received this, raise your hand and the ushers should give you one or you should have one right there, huh? Yeah, no? Yeah? Might. Okay. Well, we will get you one. All right?
James Greer (00:49):
Well, we’re starting a new series says Heaven, yes and Hell, no. You gotta be careful with that church because they just like to say hell, no. I know. I’m so excited because one of the things we’re going to do this morning, we’re going to expose one of the main tricks of the Devil. And when I said Heaven, yes, Hell no, it’s the truth and the tricks of the Devil. Well, when I say the main trick of the Devil, that might be better off say the main goal of the Devil, the main goal of Satan is to bring division, distance and destruction between us and God. And then to bring it between you, your mate and your relationships. That’s why relationships are hard. Relationships are hard. It takes work. We inherit a rebellious spirit that doesn’t want to get under our God-given protected authorities.
James Greer (02:02):
Thank you. Whether it’s a husband, a wife, children, employees, employers, policemen, government, politics, nobody wants to get under their God-given authorities. And in fact, let’s take a minute and just pray for our President and First Lady because this, it doesn’t matter if you support that person, you should always honor the position. And that’s what’s happened in America today. If we don’t support a particular person, we don’t honor the position. And because we haven’t learned to honor the position, we’ve got chaos all through the nation. So Father, we just pray for our President and our First Lady. God, we pray for healing, we pray for speedy recovery and we pray for wisdom, God. And it’s in Jesus’ name we pray. Everybody said amen. Okay. So let’s get into Heaven, yes, Hell, no. And the truth and the tricks of the Devil. Really, if you’d really focus in today, you could learn really the relationship God intended for us to have. See, the greatest treat that man ever had was woman.
James Greer (03:14):
See, next to Jesus Christ, men, if you’re married, the greatest gift that God ever gave you is your wife. And all the wives said amen. yeah, man. But the, but the greatest trick that the Devil ever did was to trick Eve and then wimpy Adam follows. And so we gotta understand the truths and the tricks before we can really understand all the tricks of the Devil. So what we’re going to do, number one, number one, we’re going to talk about the relationship God intended for every couple to half. And it can be found in Genesis 2:25. And it said, and they were both what? What were they? The man and his wife and they were not what? Ashamed. It says they were naked, not ashamed. Man, they had no expectation. There was no jealousy, no insecurity, no shame. No cloths being that saved them a ton of money.
James Greer (04:14):
They didn’t even fight about the temperature. Can you imagine? Not too hot, not too cold. It must’ve been something. No scandals, no blaming, no guilt. Matter of fact, their very nature was to agree. They were agreeable. I mean it was unbelievable. There was a oneness that can only come from God. This is God’s will for marriages but sin makes us struggle for that from now on. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight for our marriage. So many marriages, we fight against our marriage instead of for our marriage. I want to give you some insights though that I want to share that really never heard. Number one is when relationships are right with each other and they’re right with God, you can still be naked and not ashamed. That’s for married people only.
James Greer (05:08):
You can be naked physically and not ashamed. But you know, it’s really much harder to be personally and emotionally. When you become, you have an unbelievable openness and honesty with each other. I don’t believe that you can live in that state always but I believe every married couple needs to experience that stage. That kind of relationship, that openness and honesty, that truthfulness and trust, I think it can only come through a relationship with God. It doesn’t depend on age. It doesn’t depend on a physical looks. It’s a personal and spiritual relationship with each other and God.
James Greer (06:00):
I don’t believe couples can have this type of relationship without God. It’s only God that can remove shame and guilt. The Bible says in Romans 10:11, it says whosoever believes on Him should not be put to shame. He’s talking about there’s an openness and honesty and a trust and a truthfulness. And in Romans 8:1, it really tells you, there is no condemnation, there is no shame, there is no guilt. But to those who are in Jesus Christ, who don’t walk according to the flesh. When we walk according to the flesh, we don’t have that truthfulness. We don’t have that peace, we don’t have that joy, we don’t have that oneness but according to the Spirit. You understand one of Satan’s tricks is to get us to fight against our marriages instead of for our marriages. In fact, we’re gonna, we’re gonna have a marriage retreat in January.
James Greer (06:52):
I think it’s January 29th and the 30th. And it’s going to be about $130. It’ll be a room and three meals. It’s going to be right there in Woodworth. And one of our first lessons is going to be fight for your marriage instead of against your marriage. Because if you’re not careful, you’ll spend more time fighting against your marriage instead of for your marriage and at Journey Church, we want to teach you to fight for your marriage instead of get your marriage. And everybody said amen. Woo! Another free insight husband and wife. You should put your mate before your kids. Oh, no. Yeah. There’s too many parents, they’re trying to get their needs met through their children. They’re trying to achieve what they did not achieve through the kids. What I’m going to tell you when your kids get older, you’ll be very disappointed because they’re going to go on with their life and you’re going to still be there in their life. Get out of their life. Love your kids. Support your kids. Don’t put them before your mate. Don’t try to get your fulfillment and your achievement through them, especially at sports when you fail and you want them to achieve. Forget it. Let’s enjoy it. Amen? It’s just a game.
James Greer (08:13):
Number two, Satan is very cunning. In Genesis 3:1, he starts out and it says now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord had made. Who made him? That’s right. And cunning means craftiness, shrewd. And I want you to note, Satan, if you don’t know it, you were created. You are not the Creator. And everybody said amen. And he said to the woman has the Lord indeed said you shall not eat of every tree of the garden. He’s cunning. He’s a deceiver. He’s an accuser of the brethren. That’s what happens in our relationship. We start trying to deceive each other. We start accusing each other. And he’s crafty and he’s trying to provoke anger and sorrow. So you do understand that Satan’s goal is to destroy our relationship with God and then destroy our relationship with each other.
James Greer (09:11):
Until you understand what Satan’s goal is, you won’t understand what’s going on in your life. You got to understand from the very beginning, his goal was to separate Adam and Eve from their relationship they had with God. They would walk in the garden and actually talk to God. And Satan doesn’t like that. Satan is jealous of our relationship with God. Satan at one time had an unbelievable relationship with God if you don’t know that. But he was created. He was at essence, at one time, Lucifer was the worship leader. That’s why in every single church in America, if you usually have a problem, it’s in the worship area. Oh, yeah.
James Greer (09:58):
That’s not the song I wanted them to sing. They’re too loud. They’re too soft. It’s all about me. I. How about me? That’s what happened to Satan. And he kept saying I, I, I till he finally got thrown out of Heaven and the worship leader became Satan. And we all inherited that same nature of wanting our own way at the same time. That’s why in every church you’ll ever go in, you’ll always have people worrying about what they want to hear and how they want to hear it. Don’t even realize what they’re doing. He became jealous of God.
James Greer (10:50):
He wanted to be worshiped instead of being the worship leader for God. Therefore, he got thrown out of Heaven. He’s angry and he tries to destroy every relationship that everyone has. He wants to destroy the relationship we have with God. He wants to destroy relationships we have with each other. He’ll do anything to do that. Satan’s goal is ultimately to destroy relationships. That’s why relationships are so hard. Anybody that tells me relationships are not hard, they’re lying. Or you don’t have one. But I want to tell you in 1 John 4:4, God says greater is he that’s in me and he’s in the world. But do y’all really know what happened to Satan?
James Greer (11:44):
You’ll know, this is what happens in relationships. This isn’t in there and it’s not in your notes. But in Isaiah 14, let me, let me tell you what happened. It says how are thy fallen from Heaven, oh, Lucifer? That was Lucifer before he became Satan, the worship leader. Son of the morning. Man, he was beautiful. You are cut down to the ground. You are weakened in all nations for you have said in your heart, that’s why you’ve always gotta guard your heart. [inaudible] I will ascend into Heaven. Who will? I. I will exalt my throne above. You know, he’s got a thing with I. Stars of God. I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will be like most high. It seems like to me he had an I problem. Amen? And I, yet you shall be brought down to Sheol to the lowest depths of the pits. He kept saying I, I, I, I. Every relationship when it’s all about you, there’ll be a problem.
James Greer (13:01):
And if you’re not careful, that’s what Satan still does today. He tries to make your relationship and your life be all about you. It doesn’t matter if it’s at church, it doesn’t matter if it’s at worship, it doesn’t matter if it’s in your job, it doesn’t matter if it’s in your family. When it’s all about you, the truth is you won’t be happy. You think if it was only, you got everything you wanted, you to be happy because you want, because you’d want something else. Ezekiel 28 describes his nature. He was very wise, he was very beautiful, he made music before God like a worship leader. When we’re reading about Satan and the serpent in Genesis 2 and 3, he was probably before them like an angel. He wasn’t some ugly serpent like you see on TV. He was probably a good looking son of a gun. He probably caught her attention. She shouldn’t have been looking and talking to him. If it had been me and my wife, I’d said hey, baby, that’s enough. Look at me.
James Greer (14:10):
Hey guys, you don’t want your wife spending too much time with somebody that looks like that. Amen? Speak up. Don’t shut up. That was the problem. Anything and anybody that calls you to have a less relationship with God is being used by the cunning Satan to mess up your relationship. Let me give you, anything or anybody. Let me give you four examples that can come between you and our relationship with God. Number one, with Job, it was his wife and Job’s wife told him do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.
James Greer (14:51):
Job said hey, you’re talking like a fool. We accepted all the blessings of God. Now you’re saying we can’t accept the troubles? Our mates can cause us to have a less relationship with God. Jesus, it was his best friend. It was Peter. Jesus was telling Peter that he was going to have to suffer and everything he was going to have to go through. And Peter, and then he took Peter aside and he rebuked him, saying for it be for you, Lord. And Peter’s rebuking Jesus, that this should happen to you. And you know what Jesus told Peter? He returned and said to Peter get thee behind me, Satan. You’re an offense to me for you are not mindful of the things of God but the things of man. So first of all, Job, when he needed his wife most because he was suffering, his wife said curse God and die.
James Greer (15:49):
That could cause a little trouble between you and God. Second of all, Jesus sharing His heart with His best friends. He’s saying Peter, guess what? I’m going to have to suffer and I’m going to have to die. And Peter takes Him aside and He rebukes Jesus. He says Jesus, don’t talk like that. That ain’t going to happen to you. And Jesus tells him, get thee behind me. You have the mind of man instead of the mind of God. Sometimes those people closest to you, if you don’t have the mind of God, will come between you and God. Third is wealth, money, your job.
James Greer (16:26):
In Mark 10:22 Jesus felt genuine love for this man, 21, as He looked at him. But He said you lack one thing. And He told him, He said go sell what you have and give your money to the poor. And you shall have treasures in Heaven and come and follow me. But you know what happened? The man’s face fell and he went sadly away because he had, he was very rich. He allowed his job, his riches to get in the way Jesus watched him. He turned around and said to the disciples, it’s almost impossible for the rich to get into the Kingdom of God. He allowed his money, his wealth, some of you allow your job to get between you and God. And yet just the opposite is true. The very thing you’re looking for, you can’t find there. That’s why He said in Matthew 6:33, seek ye first the Kingdom of God, His righteousness and you can have everything else. The fourth thing is our hobbies.
James Greer (17:42):
It’s fun for a season and God’s talking about the seed and the Word of God. And He says now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, they go out and are choked with cares, the riches, the pleasures of this life and there’s no fruit. They’ve allowed the hobbies to choke the pleasures of this life and there’s no fruit to mature. And there’s no love, there’s no joy, there’s no peace. You gotta be careful what you’re allowing Satan to bring distance between you and God. That’s the John 10:10, Jesus came that you could have life and He wants you to have it more abundantly. But Satan came to steal, kill and destroy what you have. The more distance from God you have, the more likely you are to have destruction. That’s why I’m pushing so hard for people to get back in church.
James Greer (18:41):
I understand that you need to be careful. I understand if you have underlying causes, you really need to be careful. I honestly believe though that Satan’s going to bring destruction to so many people that have gotten out of the habit of coming to church and they’re doing the things that I just, the four things that I mentioned and they don’t know it. And then they’ll get more distance and more distance and more distance. That was Satan’s goal in the beginning and that’s Satan’s goal today. And if he can get enough distance between you and God, then he’ll work on your relationships and then he’ll bring destruction. Remember Satan, he’s very cunning. But remember he was created. God is the Creator and he is controlled by God. Every time Satan makes a move, God makes a countermove and his countermove’s always more powerful than Satan’s move.
James Greer (19:38):
God really didn’t even create Satan. He created Lucifer, a beautiful angel who rebelled against God. Third, that’s why it’s danger, you gotta be dangerous who you listen to and who you talk to. In verse 2, and the woman said to the serpent, and if you’re just thinking oh, God, what was he doing talking to a serpent, an ugly snake? No, no, no. Remember he was probably a light, an angel, a type of an angel. We may eat this fruit of the tree of the garden. Here he’s talking to her and they’re having a conversation. But the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said you shall not eat it or touch it less you die. Then the, then the serpent said to the woman you’re not going to die. In other words, he’s trying to make her think God’s holding something out for God knows. See?
James Greer (20:32):
One of the things we sin is we think we’re smarter than God. For God knows that the day that you eat, your eyes are going to be open and you’re going to be like God. You’re going to know the difference between good and evil. This is how you know who you should be listening to. This is one of the ways you know who you should be around. The people you’re around, do they encourage your relationship with God? Are they encouraging you to have a better life? Or are they discouraging you to have a relationship with God? You need to be careful who you listen to and who you talk to because it greatly determines what you do and why you do it. That’s why, that’s why you gotta be so careful. And it’s not just who we listened to and who we talk to. It’s a result sometimes of relationships, sometimes the books we read, sometimes it’s music, sometimes it’s our imagination. So we gotta be careful. It’s important to know who to listen to. Are we listening to, is who we listen to, is it based on God’s word?
James Greer (21:39):
Are we under God’s authority? Do you understand how important it is? Do you understand what could have happen with Adam and Eve? Do you understand that they would have had mutual submission? Do you understand that Eve should’ve gone and asked her husband, wimpy Adam? If Eve would’ve said wimpy Adam, do you think that we should partake of this fruit? And wimpy Adam should have submitted to God and said God, is this for our good? That we wouldn’t be in the situation that we’re in. Amen? Because the husband didn’t submit to God and the wife didn’t submit to him, they allowed distance to come between them all and they had destruction between them and God. Isn’t it great that God went after them anyway? Do you know when they ran and hid from God and God still went after them? Some of you have sinned. I’ve sinned, you sinned. We’ve all sinned. Isn’t it great that God’s still after you to cover your sin and to bring you back to a relationship with Him? Amen.
James Greer (22:44):
But when you don’t understand the submission to authority, it’s because you don’t understand the cunningness and craftiness of Satan. Satan became Satan because he wouldn’t submit to God, to God’s authority. And so he tried to become the authority and God threw him out. It teaches us the importance of mutual submission in marriage. Mutual submission in marriage is for y’all both to agree that God’s Word is always right. Not you or him. Mutual submission has to come to the point if you’re married because you’re going to come to the point that you don’t both agree. I promise you.
James Greer (23:39):
And everybody’s that married, say amen. If not, you’re the wimpy Adam. Mutual submission first. If you’re married, can you say God’s right and we’re wrong? Amen? And so we’re going to say if possible, now see, it might not say James should marry Debbie but God has principles. And second of all, mutual submission agrees that we’re going to talk to each other before any major decision is made. Do you agree that was a pretty major decision that we’re going to make? God had said you got the whole garden of Eden. I’m going to bless you and bless you indeed. You can eat, you can drink, you can do anything you want. You can go anywhere you want. Just that one tree, don’t touch it. Now I think if God said I can do anything, told me I could do anything, go anywhere, unbelievable blessing, that’s the one thing you don’t do, I think you should talk about it before you do it. Amen? And that’s why He’s saying it’s so important that if you’ve got a major decision to be made in your marriage, don’t make it. Don’t go buy a new house. Don’t go buy a new car. Don’t spend a lot of money. Don’t change your job. Don’t change churches by all means without talking to your mate. Amen?
James Greer (24:50):
That’s why it’s so important to talk to each other before you make a major decision. They would’ve talked to each other and then they could’ve said what would God have us to do? It would’ve changed the outcome. Do you know that most marriage relationships, if you had stopped long enough to realize who the real battle is with, that Satan’s trying to get us to fight each other and we’d stopped long enough to say what would God have us to do? It would reduce the battle, reduce the pressure and have the right outcome. So you men, you gotta be careful who you listen to as well.
James Greer (25:37):
Her husband was right there with her. The wife shouldn’t have been listening to Satan. The husband shouldn’t have been listened to his wife at this time. Men, you’re to respect your wife, love your wife, provide for your wife, protect your wife. But listen to God first and then your wife. Closing, I want to ask you something. Be truthful. How are your relationships? How are your relationships with your mate, your parents and your friends? See, I don’t think your relationships can be right unless your relationship’s right with God. If you’re here today and your relationship’s not right with God first, I mean as your Savior, if you’re not sure if you died, you’d go to Heaven. When I give the invitation in just a minute, I pray that you would come and say hey, I want to give my life to Jesus Christ. Some of you have done that but you know your relationship is not right with God.
James Greer (26:42):
You don’t have that oneness, you don’t have that openness, you don’t have that honesty. And you want to come and you want to have that. You want to have truthfulness and trust with each other and most of all with God. You know, when we sin and we don’t confess it, there’s a barrier between us and God. And it shuts off that peace and love and that joy and you know it. And God will just stir your heart right now and you’ll say I’m just not where I should be. I don’t have the relationship with God so therefore it’s messing up my other relationships. And this morning I want to come and I want to get my relationship with God right because I want my other relationships to be right. So in just a minute, I’m going to have Darryl come up and I’m going to give an invitation. It’s for everyone here. Is your relationship where you can be truthful and honest? Do you have God in the center of it? What have you allowed to become between you and God?
James Greer (27:51):
Is it a hobby? Is that your job? Is it a friend? Is it a mate? And you need to look hard at it right now and say hey, I don’t want anything to come between me and God because I know only when I put God first, then will God meet every other need in my life. Have you been listening to the wrong people? Are the people that I’m with, the they, are they encouraging me to be a better Christian. Or are they a discouraging me? See, if the people that you’re with, if they’re not encouraging you to be a better Christian, they don’t need to be in your circle anymore. You need to get the right people in your circle and get them out of your circle. You need to be able to ask God is this the wise thing to do in the decisions that I need to make?
James Greer (28:52):
Mutual submission. We agree that God’s right and we agree to talk to each other before we ever make another major decision. Let’s stand and let me pray with you. There’s no better time than to get your relationships right then this morning. Father, I thank you for today. I thank you for your Word. I thank you for the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit here this morning. God, I pray for some freedom. There’s people that came this morning, they’re just struggling. And they know there’s something between their relationship between them and God. They know that that’s what’s messing up their personal relationship with each other and their friends and their mates and their boyfriends and their girlfriends and mothers and their fathers. And God, I pray right now, they’d let down their guard. For those that are not sure that they’re saved, I pray this morning that they’d step out. All they need to do is say hey, I’m not sure and those that are down front can help them do that. Maybe you haven’t been publicly biblically baptized and we’re going to do that later on today and you want to get baptized. We can, we can help you with that. And you can do it today or you can do it next week. Maybe you want to join the church. Maybe just need somebody to pray with you and pray for you. Whatever God’s laid upon your heart, I pray that you’d let God have His will and His way. It’s in the precious name of Jesus we pray. And everybody said amen.
On behalf of Pastor James, we’re so glad you joined us this morning. If you still want to pray with someone, we have somebody on standby right now. Click the link below and they’ll pray with you and for you. Because of your generosity, Journey Church is going to have our first drive-in Halloween event and it is The Greatest Showman. We want you to come and be a part. So look for it on Facebook, look for it everywhere. And y’all come and visit us.
Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.