(Just a side note. Yesterday’s blog “False Assumptions” had a missing word that made a difference. It was supposed to say “Many in the church erroneously teach that God no longer performs wonders so we just have to get by.” I had left out the “no longer.”)
Today we are going to be looking at the church’s calling to continue the work Jesus started. We are told 1 John 3:8 “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” This work is also supposed to be our job as the church. As we have talked before, Jesus didn’t totally destroy satan, yet, so that means satan is still at work. Revelation tells us Revelation 12:9 “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” satan’s work is to lead the whole world astray. We must always remember that satan wants to deceive you and destroy you. 1 Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The good news is Jesus came to destroy satan’s works. Even better news is that we were to continue doing those works just as Jesus did. Jesus told us John 14:12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” So today our focus is on destroying satan’s work.
Now before I go on I want to clarify for those who think talking about demons, evil spirits, satan and casting them out is charismatic and wrong to focus on; that would be a false assumption as this is a biblical authority given to the church. Yes you may have seen the Benny Hinn’s supposedly casting out demons from people, except the demons were not cast out; they were given to the people by a false prophet. I watched one video of Benny Hinn thrusting his hand towards the person and they fall to the ground. This is called the infilling of satan. It really brings a whole new meaning to deliverance ministry. Instead of being delivered and set free; satan was delivered to them and they were bound. Be careful who lays their hands on you. The likes of the Toronto Blessing sent many demons out into the church and many were and continue to be deceived as you can see in places like Bethel Redding, California. 2 Corinthians 11:13 “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” It was not a blessing but a curse for not testing the spirits. Also it is not just the charismatics who have deceitful workers. Here’s a good example of these false prophets at work. Last year March 30, 2020 when the pandemic was just getting started, Kenneth Copeland said, more like yelled, "In the Name of Jesus, standing in the office of the prophet of God, I execute judgment on you COVID-19. I execute judgment on you, satan, you destroyer, you killer. You get out. I break your power. You get off this nation. I demand judgment on you. I demand. I demand. "I demand a vaccination to come immediately. I call you done. I call you gone. You come down from your place of authority, destroyer. You come down and you crawl on your belly like God commanded you when He put His foot on your head in the Garden of Eden. You will destroy through COVID-19 no more. 'It is finished! It is over! And the United States of America is healed and well again,' saith the mighty Spirit called Peace, who is also the Prince of War, the Lord Jesus Christ." Obviously that was not God speaking and I am pretty sure you don’t need a vaccination for something that is no longer here and healed of. So I ask you to set aside your false assumptions (if you have them) about the demonic and listen to scripture.
satan is at war with the church and is winning. Daniel 11:31 “His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. 32 With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him. 36 “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.” Daniel 8:23 “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy those who are mighty, the holy people. 25 He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.” You may think how is that even possible because Jesus rose from the dead and conquered death. That is true but satan and his minions are still here, that is until he is finally destroyed in the end. Revelation 20:10 “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” For those who refuse to follow God’s word will go with satan. Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Because the church has not followed God’s word wholeheartedly and has added to it and subtracted from it, the church is in rebellion toward God.
Many in the church think they have submitted to Jesus but have been deceived or deluded into following other gospels and worship in vain. 2 Thessalonians 2:9 “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” 1 Corinthians 15:2 “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” Most in the church are unaware that this has happened and they think that the gates of Hades will not overcome because of what Jesus said to Peter. Peter declared that Jesus was the Messiah. Matthew 16:15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.”
So yes many have falsely assumed that everything has been bound but here is the problem. If we had obeyed, everything could have been bound but the church rebelled. Most in the church today are not following the true gospel but only a powerless version of it. They think they are following Jesus but because of the rebellion of the church, truth has been thrown down and our enemies prevail against us. Daniel 8:12 “Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground. 13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled—the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, the surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling underfoot of the Lord’s people?” 14 He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.” This rebellion is not something we are waiting for to happen; it has happened.
The church was warned not to be deceived but they did not listen. satan’s job is to lead the world astray. His main method is to get you to turn from God’s word, as we saw in the Garden of Eden. He will ask did God really say that? He still asks and false teachers teach satan’s doctrines to lead the church astray, away from God. Today every church is in rebellion because they have gone their own way and followed the word’s of men instead of following God’s words. It doesn’t take very long to see what distinctive /system of belief a church follows. Because of this rebellion, God has turned His face from us. Because most in the church have a false view of who God actually is, they think He would not turn His face from us. They even think God would not send us to hell but as we see in Ezekiel He will. Ezekiel 39:21 “I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay on them. 22 From that day forward the people of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God. 23 And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. 24 I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their offenses, and I hid my face from them.” As Jesus and Daniel told us, the church would be taken captive because of our rebellion. satan wants you to believe that the events of Revelation and Daniel are way off in the future and don’t apply to us, meanwhile millions of people who call themselves Christians are dying without knowing the truth. Luke 13:23 “Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!” Don’t falsely assume you are safe and secure because you go to church or even call yourself a Christian.
This desolation and captivity the church is facing is not how it is supposed to be. The church was called to go out and to continue the work of defeating satan, not to be defeated by him. When Jesus started His ministry He said Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Instead of setting people free from satan the church has taken captive by him Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” When the kingdom comes near, our enemies are defeated. When the Kingdom is not near, our enemies defeat us. The Kingdom coming near means that we have obeyed God’s word wholeheartedly and power from on High will flow. The Kingdom not coming near means we have disobeyed and the church will remain powerless.
These passages describe the ministry of Jesus and show us His works. Matthew 4:23 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.” Matthew 8:16 “When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.” Just because this verse says it was fulfilled didn’t mean it wasn’t to keep going because we saw His disciples do as Jesus did. Mark 1:27 “The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” Luke 4:36 “All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” When the kingdom comes near, there is authority and power to defeat satan, without power we cannot. I am not going to list them all but take a look at the verses throughout the New Testament that talk about the demonic. You can go to Bible Gateway and search these words; evil spirits, impure spirits, demon-possessed, demon. It is important to understand this was a major part of Jesus ministry.
This is why it is so important to understand that Jesus ministry was to continue with His disciples and then the disciples after them and so on and so on. To say this power has stopped means there are no demons and no sickness that we need to be healed of but we know that is not the case. Since there are demons and sickness, there still must be power and authority to defeat satan. Scripture makes it clear that we would be given powerful gifts so that we could do as Jesus did. 1 Corinthians 12:8 “To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.” The teaching of cessationism from the likes of John MacArthur is a doctrine of demons. As I said satan masquerades in the non-charismatic too. MacArthur is just as false as Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland just on the other end of the false teacher scale. 1 John 2:18 “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” MacArthur would be anti-Christ, which means he denies the power and authority Jesus has given us to defeat satan. Therefore he denies the Messiah. You must accept all of Jesus words, especially His gifts. If you do not, you are denying Jesus. These pathetic theories as to why there are no miracles is simply anti-Christ. They are anti-miracle, anti-healing, anti-anointing and anti-casting out demons. This means they are pro-satan. Demons and sickness are still here so the power of God needs to be here too. Therefore we must repent in order to have that power in the church again.
Jesus delivered many from demonic possession. Mark 1:32 “That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.” The demons knew who Jesus was but the church today does not know who the demons are. Matthew 8:29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” Mark 1:24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Jesus also gave His disciples power and authority to do the same, a prelude to Pentecost where the church would continue to do as Jesus did. Luke 9:1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” Matthew 10:1 “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.” Mark 6:6 “Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. 12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” According to some of these theories no one can drive out demons anymore, which is probably why many do not emphasize the demonic.
Even after Jesus gave authority and power to His disciples He told them to wait. Luke 24:48 “You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Acts 1:4 “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After Pentecost, the disciples went and did as Jesus did. Acts 5:12 “The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.” Then their disciples continued to do as Jesus did. Acts 8:4 “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.”
So you have to ask yourself, why is this not what the church is doing today? To say that God’s power for the church has ceased and it was only to start the church is a doctrine of demons, therefore we need the power to defeat those demons. The church and the world are full of demons and no they did not all disappear when Jesus was here in person. Luke 8:30 “Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. 32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. 33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.” To say we do not need demons cast out to day would be turning a blind eye to all that is around us. For example Jesus healed a woman who was bound by satan. Luke 13:10 “On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.” satan had kept her bound for eighteen long years.” Is there really no one out there today that is bound by satan? What about Luke 8:1 “After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.” Is there no one today that needs to be cured of evil spirits and healed? satan does not want the church to believe in this power and authority that Jesus gave us because he knows his works will be destroyed. If we would open our eyes to what scripture tells us plain and simple, then we would turn back, repent and God would turn His face to us once again. Then the Kingdom of God would come near and demons would be cast out and the sick healed.
There is an interesting passage in Acts that talks about this power. In Acts 19 Paul introduces the Holy Spirit to some disciples who only knew about John’s baptism of repentance. They had not even heard that there was a Holy Spirit. After this passage we see the power and authority Paul had. Acts 19:11 “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.” There is a correlation between illness and evil spirits. After this we see this very interesting passage about demons. Acts 19:13 “Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. 17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor.” That just may be too much for the church to accept as possible for today but it shows demons are real. This is why you stay away from the occult, witchcraft, sorcery, new age / eastern medicine, horoscopes etc. and yes even things like yoga and acupuncture. These are very real and very dangerous. There is a power present in this world that other countries may visibly see but here in North America we seem to be too advanced to have any of this demonic influence. Wrong! Demons are still here. This is also like when Ananias and Sapphira died on the spot for lying to the Holy Spirit. That’s in the New Testament and still possible for today. When the Holy Spirit once again moves in power, you will not want to lie to Him.
This passage also has an interesting outcome after the demon laid a beating on them; everyone was seized with fear and repented. Acts 19:18 “Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.” This is a lot of money. This should also be done today and it is better to burn them than to sell them. It is not only certain trashy books and magazines that you shouldn’t have but on this pile there should be all the books sold by the church growth gurus, all the self-help and how to books that have basically replaced the bible. These gurus have sold a lie that God has given them the plan God had forgotten to put in the New Testament. It appears that the bible needs a lot of help. Men and woman write their books about their false gospels and people follow what they say. Not only do they peddle their books but they have also tampered with the bible. 2 Corinthians 2:17 “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.” Now you have all the study bibles written by each guru based on their own distinct beliefs. They tell you what the bible is saying according to their views. For example the demonic doctrine of the rapture as seen in the movies and fictional books like Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Plant Earth or Left Behind, was introduced in a study bible called the Scofield Study Bible, which first came out in 1909. Scofield promoted a dispensational view that millions adopted as truth and still do. One writer said, "Darby's pre-tribulational view of the rapture was then picked up by a man named C.I. Scofield, who taught the view in the footnotes of his Scofield Reference Bible, which was widely distributed in England and America. Many Protestants who read the Scofield Reference Bible uncritically accepted what its footnotes said and adopted the [rapture doctrine].” If you have this study bible, the burn pile would accept it. (not that you are burning a bible) Does it really matter how much you paid for it? This study bible and others like it have led millions astray in the church. The part at the bottom of a study bible is not the word of God so be very careful.
After Paul was called by God, he was sent out Acts 26:18 “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” Being clothed with power from on High gives power over the demonic. When Jesus came, satan would now be powerless against the church and satan’s power would be taken away. Revelation 12:10 “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Messiah.” 1 Chronicles 29:10 “David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, Lord, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. 11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 12 Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. 13 Now, our God, we give you thanks and praise your glorious name.” Jesus taught us to pray, Matthew 6:“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one, for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
The kingdom that is available to us is one of power. Daniel said Daniel 7:13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. 21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.” Nebuchadnezzar learned that God had great power. Daniel 4:2 “It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me. 3 How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation.” After he submitted to God‘s power 34 at the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. 35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?”
Like Nebuchadnezzar, the church needs to submit to God and turn from our wicked ways. This is the only way satan will be defeated as we cannot defeat him with human power. Yes some have really amazing organizations and put on quite a show on Sundays but there is not the power and authority to defeat our enemies. Paul tells us Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” We cannot win this war with human ingenuity. In the Old Testament there was war between humans, one nation against another. When Israel obeyed they defeated the nations that attacked them but when they turned away, God used Babylon to wage war against them and basically wiped them out except for the remnant. Now there is still war but it is not the battle against a nation’s army but a spiritual battle that we cannot win unless we have power from on High. The problem is that many in the church had been deceived and deluded and now work for satan, so it looks like flesh and blood but it is still spiritual warfare. Yes there are false prophets and teachers but it is satan we are battling against.
The power we are looking for is not man-made. No amount of human training, seminars, schooling or your own fortitude can defeat satan. This power only comes from God. Zechariah 4:6 “So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Unfortunately the church has settled for man-made power, which cannot defeat satan and thus is defeated itself. This is not how it was supposed to be as the church was given the same power and authority Jesus had. The church should have power like this. Zechariah 12:8 “On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord going before them. 9 On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.” When you look at David, he took down a giant with a sling and stones. He said, 1 Samuel 17:45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” Then look at the mighty men around him. 1 Chronicles 12:8 “Some Gadites defected to David at his stronghold in the wilderness. They were brave warriors, ready for battle and able to handle the shield and spear. Their faces were the faces of lions, and they were as swift as gazelles in the mountains. 14 These Gadites were army commanders; the least was a match for a hundred, and the greatest for a thousand. 15 It was they who crossed the Jordan in the first month when it was overflowing all its banks, and they put to flight everyone living in the valleys, to the east and to the west. 22 Day after day men came to help David, until he had a great army, like the army of God.” 2 Samuel 23 tells us about David’s mighty men and all their victories such as “Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter.”
When you look at Deuteronomy we are told Deuteronomy 28:1 “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:” So when you obey then 7 The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.” If you don’t obey 25 “The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth.” If you obey Leviticus 26:7 “you will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. 8 Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.” If you disobey and remain hostile towards God, Leviticus 26:36 “‘as for those of you who are left, I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies that the sound of a windblown leaf will put them to flight. They will run as though fleeing from the sword, and they will fall, even though no one is pursuing them. 37 They will stumble over one another as though fleeing from the sword, even though no one is pursuing them. So you will not be able to stand before your enemies. 38 You will perish among the nations; the land of your enemies will devour you. 39 Those of you who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins; also because of their ancestors’ sins they will waste away.” Choose obedience and victory over our enemies not defeat and captivity by our enemies.
Joshua was given a promise when they took the land. Joshua 1:3 “I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.” We too will be crossing the Jordon into the Promised Land and there will be giants but now the Promised Land is the whole world because of this good news. Revelation 11:15 “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah, and He will reign for ever and ever.” To go to the ends of the earth we need power. Sure you can go in your own strength but the kingdom of God will not come near. We know that when the kingdom comes near, we will have victory over the demonic because Jesus said Matthew 12:28 “But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” So that means when the Kingdom of God comes near to us, once again demons will be cast out and sickness will be healed
We have great hope that this power will return and the church will once again be powerful as it was intended to be. Jesus sent out His disciples with power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases. The church was to continue but rebelled so now the enemy mocks the powerless church just as Sennacherib mocked King Hezekiah. They were also surrounded and about to be destroyed. 2 Chronicles 32:16 “Sennacherib’s officers spoke further against the Lord God and against his servant Hezekiah. 17 The king also wrote letters ridiculing the Lord, the God of Israel, and saying this against him: “Just as the gods of the peoples of the other lands did not rescue their people from my hand, so the god of Hezekiah will not rescue his people from my hand.” 18 Then they called out in Hebrew to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to terrify them and make them afraid in order to capture the city. 19 They spoke about the God of Jerusalem as they did about the gods of the other peoples of the world—the work of human hands.” But then Isaiah spoke the word of the Lord and said that the remnant would be saved from his hands. Isaiah 37:6 “Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard—those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 7 Listen! When he hears a certain report, I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.’” “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word the Lord has spoken against him: “Virgin Daughter Zion despises and mocks you. Daughter Jerusalem tosses her head as you flee. 23 Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel! 24 By your messengers you have ridiculed the Lord. For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. 33 “Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the king of Assyria: He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here. He will not come before it with shield or build a siege ramp against it. 34 By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city,” declares the Lord. 35 “I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant! 36 Then the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp.”
The enemy also mocked God’s messengers. 2 Chronicles 36:16 “But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy.” David was mocked Psalm 35:15 “But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee; assailants gathered against me without my knowledge. They slandered me without ceasing. 16 Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked; they gnashed their teeth at me. 24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God; do not let them gloat over me. 25 Do not let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!” or say, “We have swallowed him up.” Jesus was even mocked. Mark 15:31 “In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself!” Luke 4:23 “Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’” The enemy continues to mock the church.
So while the enemy may be gloating over the fallen and powerless church, God will keep his promise to David and the remnant will be restored. Amos 9:11 “In that day I will restore David’s fallen shelter—I will repair its broken walls and restore its ruins— and will rebuild it as it used to be.” So while the church lies in desolation, completely powerless to defeat our enemies, God will raise the church up once again and our enemies will flee and be ashamed. Micah 7:8 “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. 9 Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the Lord’s wrath, until he pleads my case and upholds my cause. He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness. 10 Then my enemy will see it and will be covered with shame, she who said to me, “Where is the Lord your God?” My eyes will see her downfall; even now she will be trampled underfoot like mire in the streets.”
Casting out demons and healing the sick is what the church is supposed to be doing but it is not, so that means we have not obeyed. It does not mean power and authority are no longer available. Because we have rebelled against God, He turned His face from shining on us and removed the available power and our enemies prevailed against the church. Leviticus 26:40 “‘But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors—their unfaithfulness and their hostility toward me, 41 which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, 42 I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. 43 For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees. 44 Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the Lord their God. 45 But for their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the Lord.’”
Daniel prayed, Daniel 9:1 “I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. 3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. 17 Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”
The good news is God will save the remnant of His church. Zechariah 2:10 “Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the Lord. 11 “Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. 12 The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem. 13 Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.” When God dwells among us, once again our enemies will be defeated. We then will be able to say Mark 5:8 “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!” When asked about the church we will say Matthew 11:5 “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Once again cities will be filled with joy. Acts 8:7 “For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.” Then people will say about the church Luke 4:36 “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” because the church will be doing as Jesus did. Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”