Class Notes: 10/24/2012

Satan's assaults can distract, divide and wear down the church but He cannot destroy the church

In our study of Satan and his lies, deceit and murder last time we saw that as human history progressed his attacks became more focused and ultimately became targeted on one individual our Lord Jesus Christ.

This means that not only was our Lord tempted in all points as we are, but because of His unique identity and destiny He was also opposed in ways we will never understand. In spite of this Jesus accomplished His task; In spite of this Jesus accomplished His task; He set out resolutely to go to Jerusalem so that he would be crucified on the cross as our substitute. Luke 9:51;

Heb 4:15; For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

After the crucifixion of our Lord, Satan may again have thought that victory was his because the Savior of mankind was dead. But then three days later He was resurrected.

When the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven and was seated at the right hand of the throne of God according to the prophecy of Psalms 110:1-4, it was clear He was the victor in the angelic conflict.

Psalms 110:1-4; The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for your feet."

v2 The LORD will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, {saying}, "Rule in the midst of Your enemies."

v3 Thy people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power; in holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Thy youth are to you (as) the dew.

v4 The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, "You art a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek."

This statement by God the Father is repeated in Heb 1:13; and we see from this that the Father, fully accepted Jesus Christ's work on the cross and declared that He would be seated next to him until His enemies were completely destroyed.

At the session of Christ, the Church Age was introduced and it would commence ten days later when the Holy Spirit was sent. Acts 2:1-4;

The Church Age was something Satan could never have anticipated or prepared for and something he could not defeat because now, every person who placed his faith in Jesus Christ as Savior would carry within him that same omnipotence that Jesus had through the indwelling and filling of God the Holy Spirit.

Now instead of one man to contend with, Satan had 11; soon the 11 become 120, and before he knew it, there were 3,000, and then a million, and within a short time all over the earth every believer in Jesus Christ had the potential to live in the same power that God in the flesh, in the person of Jesus Christ, had used to defeat Satan with while He was on the earth in his unglorified humanity.

Within 70 years of Christ's resurrection, the written Word of God that contained all of the information that believers needed to have in order to deploy the omnipotence of God under the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit was completed.

This power was made available to every believer on the earth and continues to be available today. This is why our Lord could say in Matt 16:18, "on this rock I will build My church and the power of death will not prevail against it."

We see here that Lord's idea was not that the Church would simply provide a few faithful and courageous people against the onslaught of Satan, instead, He envisioned the Church on the offensive, and that the Church would not be defeated by death because there would always be believers choosing to testify against Satan through their function in the unique spiritual life of the Church Age.

In the ancient world the gate of the city was where all major decisions were made; it was the place of power, authority and judgment. Jesus was saying that Satan's power as the ruler of the world and his power of death Heb 2:14; would never prevail against the onslaught of the Church because he would never be able to destroy every believer in Jesus Christ.

Every believer is therefore a potential threat to Satan. We may not think of ourselves as much of a threat, but when we consider that the omnipotence of God in the person of God the Holy Spirit who indwells us and enables us and empowers us, and the omnipotent power of God's word in our stream of consciousness then we begin to understand something of how Satan sees us.

The Apostle John tells us in 1John 4;4 that "Greater is he who is in you, than he who is in the world"

The spiritual life that is available to every Church Age believer is a miracle waiting to happen. This means that every believer is a walking spiritual weapons system. 2 Cor 4:7;

Satan realizes that he cannot change the fact that God and his power are in us. He knows that we have it all. All of God's power available to us from the moment of salvation. The sovereignty, righteousness, justice, love, eternal life, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, immutability, veracity is all there in the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit.

But he also knows that as baby believers we do not have the Word of God in our souls. Without the Word, we cannot know or use the riches that are ours. Without the Word, which is the sword, there is no weapon for the Spirit to deploy against Satan so Satan does all he can to keep believers deceived by his incessant propaganda and distracted from God's word by their emotions so they never take advantage of what God has given them at salvation.

Eph 4:17; This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,

Eph 5:14; For everything made evident is light, and for this reason it says: "Awake, O sleeper! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!"

Heb 4:12; For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Satan knows that unless we wake up and grow up spiritually by means of God's word the power to defeat him will never be established in our souls. He therefore uses all of his skills in deception to keep us from choosing to grow because he knows that if we grow we will begin to understand that the same power that worked our Lord Jesus Chris in the Hypostatic Union and in the Apostle Paul in the Church Age is available to us.

If we grow, we will realize that God has a plan for our lives, a plan as specifically tailored to us as Paul's was to him, a plan that will turn us into heroes of "the faith" that will enable us to become friends of God.

The choice to make this happen is ours. Our free will is the only link between God's power that is latent in us when we are born again and God's power being actively deployed through us in spiritual maturity.

1John 5:4-5 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world our faith (our doctrine).

v5 And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

As finite beings with all of our human limitations, we are pitted against an enemy superior to us in wisdom, in strength, in power, and in numbers. We have to understand that on the cross Jesus Christ won the strategic victory.

This means that He turned the tide of the invisible war. When God sent His Son into the world and He died on the cross He paid the penalty for our sins; His death broke the back of the devil and with his resurrection He tore down the gates of the devil's prisoner of war camp aka the world or the cosmic system.

But the war is not over, and we are still on the battlefield. Whether we as individuals win our personal tactical victory will depend on whether we will choose to personally apply the things gained through Christ's strategic victory in our own lives.

If we want to win the moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day battles, we have to deploy the assets that God has provided for us and follow His game plan that is revealed to us in the Word. Without a clear and accurate understanding of the Word, it is impossible for any believer to stand against the strategy and tactics of Satan.

When the Apostle John talks about those who are "overcomers," he uses the Greek military term "nikao" that refers to peace that is achieved thorough military victory. When believers "overcome the world" it means that they have peace through victory. John is talking about the spiritual peace that comes through spiritual victory in the invisible war.

In 1John 5:4; the apostle makes a declaration of fact. The neuter "whatever" states the principle that whatever is born of God is victorious over the world but the realm of flesh is always conquered by the realm of the Spirit.

The word translated "everyone" Net note 10 is the present active indicative of "nikao." It refers to continuous victory in an ongoing struggle. The key to this victory is "our faith" or more accurately" our doctrine" that John says has overcome the world.

John's second use of "nikao" is an aorist participle. In Greek, the aorist tense refers to something that takes place at a point of time. The aorist participle in Greek always precedes the action of the main verb.

What that means in this sentence is that the momentary victory of faith in Christ (for salvation) precedes and provides the basis for the ongoing victory in the life of faith.

Salvation is the once and for all positional victory; spirituality is the ongoing day by day experiential victory.

To be overcomers means that we live in a realm of peace that is not an external peace, but an internal peace that is based on reconciliation with God that is provided by the finished work of Our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Cor 5:20-21;

This is the same concept that our Lord described to his disciples in Matt 11:28-30; that is offered to all believers. This peace is a birthright of the spiritual birth it is not a tranquil physical environment.

v28 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
v29 "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.
v30 "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light."

He was offering peace with God and personal rest of soul. In the passage, He talks about two different kinds of rest. One is the rest that Jesus gives as a result of our union with him.

"Come to me and I will give you rest." The other is a rest that we acquire from the metabolization of His word under the ministry of God the Holy Spirit "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me and you shall find rest for your souls."

He restates this in the upper room in John 14:27; "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage".

The rest that He gives to all who come to Him and the rest that we find through Bible study are two different things. One is a rest of position; the other is a rest of practice. One is a rest that is eternal; the other is a rest that is moment by moment.

One of the reasons Satan hates us so much is that in our position in Christ we are higher than the angels.

Eph 1:3; Blessed (be) the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly (places) in Christ,

Col 3:1; If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Many of the things that he tried to achieve through his arrogance and rebellion are freely given to us when we believe in Christ. If he cannot keep us from receiving eternal life, he will still do everything he can to keep us from enjoying the riches of God's grace while we live on earth in his world.

But God has given us everything that we need to overcome him because we can share in Christ's victory over Satan day by day by our continuous occupation with TLJC and the deployment of His word. Heb 12:2; Matt 24:35; Eph 4:19-24;

When John uses the present tense and the active voice for the verbs translated "conquered" Net note 16 and "believes" in 1 John 5:5, he is telling us that the one who chooses to keep on believing is the one who will keep on overcoming the world.

Faith, exercised moment by moment, brings spiritual victory, freedom, and peace to the soul. But that faith must always be in the person and work of Christ.

Anytime we lose sight of the victory of Jesus Christ on the cross, if we do not apply the meaning of the cross to our lives, then we will not have inner peace and the enemy will have won another round in the tactical war. All victory is found in Jesus Christ.

John 16:33; "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."

Rom 8:37; But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.

1Cor 15:56-58; The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;
v57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
v58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not (in) vain in the Lord.

2Cor 2:14; But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

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