YOUNG CHRISTIAN, THE DEVIL DOESN’T WANT YOU TO READ THIS!
1. Heaven was polluted with sin. Before the resurrection of Jesus, those who died in faith went to a place of comfort known as Abraham’s Bosom (Luke 16:22). This place was adjacent to, but isolated from hell, the place of torment (verse 23). (Hell had been created for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41).)
Until Jesus went to “…prepare a place …” (John 14:2), heaven was not a suitable home. Before the creation of man, it had been contaminated with sin by the rebellion of Lucifer (Isa. 14:12-16). Jesus told the seventy, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” (Luke 10:18) (There was no contest between God and the Devil.) But heaven still needed to be purified with holy blood.
In his office as High Priest, Jesus sprinkled his blood on the Mercyseat before the throne of God, purging heaven of sin (Heb.9:23-24). This is what he meant when he told Mary in the garden, “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father.” (John 20:17) He had sanctified himself for that duty (John 17:19), and could not be touched until it was finished. (Later, he would allow his disciples to touch him, because he had already executed his responsibility as High Priest (Luke 24:39).)
2. Jesus Went to Hell. Once heaven was prepared, Jesus returned “into the lower parts of the earth.” (Eph.4:9) From there, he led out a great company of the righteous dead to their eternal home in heaven (verse 8).
Jesus had already spent “…three days and three nights in the heart of the earth,” i.e. in hell, as he foretold in Matt. 12:40. Isaiah prophesied that Messiah’s torments there would satisfy the demands of God’s justice. “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.” (Isa. 53:11) And David’s prophecy was also fulfilled: “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” (Act 2:27)
3. Total Victory. Every sort of wickedness converged upon the soul of the Son of God. Depression, Despondency, Malignity–all the powers of evil tormented and oppressed him. Despite the strongest efforts of the hosts of darkness they suffered an enormous reversal. It was impossible for death to hold him (Acts 2:24).
Jesus had “humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Php. 2:8) So now, “God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
“And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Php. 2:9-11)
Then as Jesus walked the corridors of hell, he declared his victory: “I’m Jesus Christ of Nazareth!” Principalities and powers, rulers of darkness, and exalted entities of spiritual wickedness–DEMONS of all ranks–had to bow their knees in subjection. One after another, in their millions, they bowed down and confessed, “Jesus is Lord!”
The habitations of the damned echoed, resounding the cry, “Jesus is Lord!” The sound entered into the hearing of Satan himself. Suddenly, Jesus stood before him and demanded, “I’m Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and I’ve come for the keys.” The Prince of Darkness got up off his throne, bowed himself low, and acknowledged his Master, “Jesus is Lord!” Then as Prince of this world (John 12:31), Prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2), and the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4), he surrendered up the keys of hell and of death. Jesus’ triumph was complete.
4. Satan Was a Sucker. Jesus never shrank from the cross for a single moment. He knew that God’s plan was wiser than anything the Devil could comprehend. He spoke openly of the victory that the cross held for him. “‘And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.’ This he said, signifying what death he should die.” (John 12:32-33)
Paul explains that the forces of evil were completely blind-sided by the wisdom of God. “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: “Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (1Co 2:7-8)
The victory of the cross was absolute. “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Col.2:15)
5. Victorious Life in Christ. Ephesians explains God’s intention in this elaborate scheme: “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places [demonic forces] might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,” (Eph 3:10-11).
By the church. That’s you, young Christian! “…the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col 1:26-27)
It has always been God’s plan and purpose, that believers would, “Go ye into all the world…” and, “In my name shall they cast out devils…” Of course, you’re called to move in the power of God. There will be MIRACLES, just like Jesus and the apostles did. But just like them also, you will need to deal with devils–first, last, and always. The church is called to enforce Jesus’ victory over Satan.
6. God Has No Plan B. After he rubbed the Devil’s nose in defeat, Jesus told his disciples, “All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth.”(Matt.28:18, ASV) He continued by investing the Church with a power of attorney to get the job done, saying, “Go ye therefore, and make disciples…”
God has just one plan for reaching a world that “lieth in wickedness.” (1 John 5:19) You are God’s only strategy to free the minds of mankind with the gospel. “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not…” (2 Co 4:3-4)
The world is being seduced by “doctrines of devils.” (1 Tim.4:1) Islam is growing at a rate three times faster than Christianity. We are losing ground, even as over a thousand souls are perishing every hour of every day. Lost into eternity without Jesus!
It has been said that no battle is ever won until someone runs across a beach with his weapon in his hand. Well, “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;” (2 Cor.10:4) But the principle remains true.
The world cannot be won for God with gilded cathedrals, or high sounding choirs. Christian TV can’t do the job. But you can!
You can walk in the power of God, filled with the anointing of the Holy Ghost. If Jesus cast out devils with his word, you can do the same, knowing that, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper.” (Isa. 54:17)
Young Christian, legions of saints and angels are watching as you read these words. Pick up your weapons and run for Jesus!