The movie industry has glorified the devil & his demons. They have portrayed him as some mystic, supernatural power that is almost impossible to banish. But nothing could be further from the truth!
At the same time they have portrayed God as a benign grandfatherly bloke who smokes cigars. Or worse, they deny His existence altogether. It is a sad commentary on our society, yet sadder still is the fact that many Christians have been duped as well. They give their lives to Jesus but hold on with their finger tips while the devil beats their brains out.
I have heard many people talk about how bad the devil whipped them. If you listen carefully, you will hear their doctrine loud & clear, “You just never know what God is going to do; it depends on how he feels.”
Now God is not moved by feelings; He goes strictly by His Word. That is why to put a stop to all the myths about satan’s power. To prove this we need to go to the Word of God. Turn with me if you will to Matthew 16: 15-18 (NLT) Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God, Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John,[ because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’)] and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.
In verses 17& 18 Jesus is talking about the rock of faith. He tells Simon Peter that on faith he has just displayed He will build His Church &...the gates of hell will not have power over the person who walks in faith.
God wants us to know that the Church is not going down; it’s going up! Jesus paid the price for our victory with His death on the cross...Colossians 2:15 In this way, he disarmed[a] the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.
We need to speak this word & say something like: Thank you, for disarming the spiritual rulers that were against me & making a bold display of them by triumphing over them on the cross.
The conquest of hostile spiritual forces is described in terms of a homecoming victory celebration of a Roman general. The idea here is that God, through the cross events, divested Spiritual rulers & authorities of their uncontested rule & authority over redeemed people who live under Christs Lordship. The fact that He made a public spectacle of them affirms that they are not annihilated, but that their authority has been curbed.
We will look again at Matthew 16:17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.
Jesus knew that His Father had revealed this to Peter because He knew that a carnal mind is enmity against God. We see in 1 Corinthians 2:14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.
Recognise that the natural mind cannot understand or receive from the Holy Spirit. Know that only the spiritually alive can discern spiritual wisdom.
Holy living calls us to rely totally on God for spiritual wisdom, rejecting the wisdom of the world. Holiness devotes time & energy to knowing the Lord. Choosing to associate with other believers rather than be unduly influenced by the world’s values.
I hear folk say that God didn’t answer my prayers & I have been praying for years & years.
I wonder had they been praying according to God’s Word.
The gates of hell will not have power over the Church. It might be interesting to know what instructions God gave to the Church. In Mark 16:15-18 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
Jesus told them to go in all the world & to preach & publish openly the Gospel to every creature of the whole human race. People from every Christian church accept & attempt to carry out this verse. But we see in verses 17&18 Jesus says believers will cast out demons, speak in new tongues, & lay hands on the sick. Some churches do not practice these things, & many teach against them.
I honestly believe that a few moments of sincere thought will reveal to the seeking soul that if Jesus meant for us to carry out Mark 16, then He most certainly intended for us to carry out verse 17& 18 as well. It is such a dangerous business to pick & choose among scriptures. If we are going to follow the full Gospel, we cannot take the scriptures we are comfortable with & ignore the rest. We need the whole council of God’s Word, not just bits & pieces of it.
Do not try to fight the devil in your own senses. When you are in a spiritual battle, carnal weapons are useless. The weapons that God gave to the Church are not carnal but are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4). Use the weaponry of God.
God created everything with words. Everything we see, even the chair you may be sitting on right now, was made by faith through words. Our words are containers-they carry things. When you say “Lord come into my Life,” the words are so powerful that they regenerate your inner man. The gates of hell will not have power over you-faith filled words. It is written...Thus saith the Lord thy God...Get thee behind me, satan...Get thee hence...Words-not just any words, but the words of God spoken in faith-will get the devil running fast. You need to open your mouth & give him a kick.
We are given a profound promise in Deuteronomy 28:7 The LORD will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven!
Think about that for a moment; that power is available to you. You & I are not the only ones who have found ourselves in a spot of trouble when enemies are raised up against us. David found himself in quiet a predicament. But remember, David was under the old covenant-he couldn’t
come boldly to the throne of grace He had to have a high priest offer sacrifices for his sin once a year. That wasn’t David’s only limitation. He was nothing but a little, ruddy, pimple-faced boy. But God had spoken through his prophet that David would be the next king.
A few years later, David was hiding in a cave with people trying to kill him. I am sure that David sat in that cave thinking, “Lord didn’t you anoint me & call me your anointed? I don’t look anointed I’m stuck in a cave eating beans & berries. What happened”?
David was depressed. But the Bible says that David meditated on God’s Word. & then he came out of that cave & kicked the Philistines in the head.
While he was sitting in that cave, he realised that he was king because God said so. It didn’t make any difference that he wasn’t sitting on a thorn or living in a palace. It didn’t matter what Saul thought or said. David was going to sit on that throne because God said so!
Do not forget that that the devil tried to do everything to destroy God’s plan. But the boy did become king. He did sit on a throne. God did establish him.
Have you ever wondered why a man like David would look over the balcony at Bathsheba taking a bath? Why did he get embroiled in such a mess? The answer is simple; he wasn’t filled with the Holy Spirit. He did not have someone on the inside convicting him. He was still living under the Old Covenant. The Holy Spirit would come upon him, but he wasn’t the temple of the Holy Ghost.
You & I have a better covenant than David, because of the blood Jesus shed; we have the Spirit of truth living on the inside of us. We have better promises. Promises like the gates of hell will not have power over us. (Matthew 16:18)
Now when Jesus died He did not go straight to Heaven. First He went to hell & blew the socks off the devil & kicked the doors down. Then Jesus began to preach a revival in hell. The Bible says that He set the captives free & paralysed the demons & devils. He snatched the keys to death &
the grave from satan. Later he was in the throne room of God with a bucket of His own blood & threw it across the alter & declared that man had become the righteousness of God!
Father God looked at His Son & basically said “All claims against man have been satisfied. Any man can come boldly before the throne of Grace!” The reality of redemption through the blood of Jesus introduced a new & better covenant for whosoever believes.
In Ephesians 1:3 it says All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.
The Greek word for praise is epaninos means approbation, commendation, approval & praise.
Epaninos expresses not only praise for what God has done for us, but also for who He is,recognising His glory.
Have you ever wondered what it means to be blessed with spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ. We start getting a deeper revelation of those heavenly places in the same chapter in verse 17-23 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.]
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honour at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.
Now move down to Ephesians 2:6-8 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.
According to Scripture, we died with Christ when He died, we were buried with Him, resurrected with Him, & we now are seated with Him in heavenly places. I hear you ask “How can we be seated with Him in heaven when clearly we are on earth? Simply because we are spirits, we have souls, & live in a body. Physically, we are on earth, but simultaneously we can be spiritually seated with Him in heaven. That belief gives us the ability to enter His rest. The work of Christ is finished & we can enjoy its results. His kingdom offers righteousness, peace, joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17), & it is available to us right now, not just when we get to heaven. God wants us to enjoy the life that Jesus died for to give us starting the moment we accept Him as our Lord & Saviour.
Have you ever entered Gods rest? Have you ever trusted Him completely to do what needs to be done in you & your life? Are you perhaps still working in the flesh trying to do what only God can do & the results are frustration & disappointment? Perhaps you just need to sit down! I do not mean physically but spiritually. We can sit in a chair & still be worried, fearful & anxious. God is not
calling us to rest from our work, but in our work. As we go about our daily business, we can do it all while seated in Christ. He is our Refuge & our Hiding Place.
Be zealous & exert yourself & strive diligently to enter that place of rest. It is available today, so do not let it pass you by. Release all your frustrations & worries-& have a seat in Christ.
Are you now beginning to see why the gates of hell cannot have power over you & the Church. God has seated us in heavenly places with Him & kicked the devil out of heaven a long time ago! There is no force in hell strong enough to have power against the Church. & there is nothing the devil can do that shall have power over you & me.
It is no wonder that Jesus said in John 16:33 ...”be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Do you know what this means? It means that you & I are sitting in heavenly places with Jesus. US! We are there with Jesus because God said it. Just like He said David would be king! If you think it won’t work or sounds too good to be true, than you are calling God a liar. You may think that you did not call God a liar. If you read what God said, you may think that you can’t take it literally. Just like a man I heard of who said “you should never read the book of Revelation because you’ll misunderstand. Misunderstand what? The Word of God? The Word of God is life! The devil tries to keep people from reading Revelation because the first chapter says that anyone who reads it will be blessed (Revelation 1:3).
The devil does not you to be blessed. He does not want you to know that he gets kicked in to the lake of fire. His only power is in deceiving you out out of your power. Instead of letting the devil beat your brains out, be determined to take your blood brought authority & use it against him. Tell the devil “You can’t touch me because you can’t touch Heaven. I am the body of Christ. I maybe the toenail on the smallest toe, but that still places me high above you.”
Listen, the most powerful force on earth today is the body of Christ. When the Methodists, Baptists, Catholic, Assemblies of God, Pentecostals, Presbyterians & Episcopalians get together in the unity of faith, we will evangelise the Word for Jesus (Ephesians 4:13-16) When we all get in one
accord the Holy Spirit will get involved. When we take our doctrines & set them aside & just preach Jesus, the world will get saved.
Jesus died on the cross for you & I & all those people out there. He let people whip Him, spit on Him & pluck His beard out. Today, He’s standing in heaven as King of Kings. He is not beat up, & living in an old shack. He said that you & I are the body of Christ. He said that the Father is excited to see us.
So get excited! When you go up, the devil will go down! You are seated in heavenly places & the gates of hell do not have power over you.
The devil though he had the whole world wrapped up in a package back in the Garden of Eden. He could not figure out any way that God could get the world back from him. He’d destroyed the animal kingdom. He destroyed the vegetable kingdom. He destroyed the human kingdom.
But God is an artist He just started painting a picture right in front of the devil. Looked at the
serpent & said you are going to craw on our belly & eat the dust of the ground all the days of your life.
God said that to the snake because yielded His vessel to satan. Satan is not a snake but a fallen angel.
Then the Lord said, “I am going to put enmity between you & Me; between your seed & the woman’s seed (Genesis 3:15).
Now the devil was confused-Woman doesn’t have any seed. God just continued to paint. Through the ages, satan tried to stop that seed from coming. He just never imagined that Jesus would be born of a virgin. He knew he could destroy anything born of woman, but he just did not realise that Jesus would be born of God.
After the crucifixion & resurrection, the devil said, “If we had known we would never have crucified Him” (1 Corinthians 2:8).
God is still painting that picture, only now it’s you & me that He is talking to. You’re seated in heavenly places with Jesus. He is saying, “The gates of hell do not have power over you. You’re My Church.” You do not have a problem with the devil, he has a problem with you