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Series: The Finished Works of Jesus
Sun am 28 April 2013 – Kobus Swart
1 John 2:12-14; Deut. 6:4; Isa. 41:4; Isa. 44:6; Col. 2:13-15; Rom. 16:20;
John 12:31; John 16:8-11; John 8:44; Job 1:6-12; Matt. 6:24; 1 Tim. 6:10;
Eph. 4:26-27; (Rev. 12:10); (Matt. 13:8); (Rom. 12:2); (Heb. 9); (1 John 4:4)
There are three main levels of Christian maturity. The Tabernacle of Moses shows three courts: the outer court, the holy place and the Holy of Holies. These courts represent not just our personal journey in God as we grow, but also the restoration-history of the Church. The Bible has many layers of truth; you cannot just stick to the historical side. There is always more to it than you see on the surface – types and shadows of deeper truths.
Jesus referred to three measures of spiritual fruitfulness: 30-fold, 60-fold and 100-fold in our spiritual walk (Matt. 13:8). Many Christians are still in the outer court because of the diet they are receiving from the pulpit. The result is a lingering sin-consciousness (Cf Heb 9 & 10). The three levels of spiritual maturity are also referred to as first day, second day and third day. After many years of experience and having been in many churches, I have not come across a church that is one hundred per cent exclusively a “third-day church.”
Then John mentions three levels of spiritual growth once you have come into the redeemed community: little children, young men, and fathers. I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one (1 John 2:12-14).Many songs in the church still dwell on the fact that sins have been forgiven. It is a wonderful truth but you cannot stay there. We have to go beyond always dwelling on sins and seeking forgiveness. We have to move on to the next level where the young men are defined as those who have overcome the evil one. This is the key of this message. In every church we will still find believers in each of these levels. That makes us a “three-day church.” We can only pray for a constant migration and spiritual growth from level to level. When new people come in and encounter the forgiveness of sins and become new creations in Christ, they start a whole new growth program – children, young men and fathers. We are sold out to the third day truths which God is giving to His Church in this season the apostolic reformation (and what it represents). Our desire is to see a constant growth into mature sonship, where you overcome the evil one with his lies.
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet (Rom. 16:20). Participation! We must work together with God. Why does He need our feet? He wants us involved in the final crushing. Satan has been judged on Calvary but for some reason there is a finishing part that must come when the overcomers in the Church will be used of God to crush satan under their feet. Why will the God of peace crush satan? Because the war is won!
We have to rule out of our mind that God and satan are two antagonistic forces. Our God is Sovereign, He is The Ruler, He is The One and only. Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me (Isa. 44:6).
The name satan comes from the word adversary, accuser. The devil is not in the same position as God; he has never been and will never be. He is a defeated foe. God has never been scared of satan. Sometimes God will allow satan to make trouble, but not because He is against you and me.
Stand on the finished works of Jesus! What happened to satan when Jesus died on the cross and was raised into resurrection life? When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him (Col. 2: 13-15). Satan has no platform to stand on to accuse you and me. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. Instead of confessing the new creation, the victory, the finished works of Christ, we sometimes confess defeat, failure. Some still say he is powerful, but that confession gives him power. You are either going to believe the Word or you will come to your own conclusions. Satan is disarmed; he was made a public display, Jesus Christ triumphed over him at the cross.
The Message version says: When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant cancelled and nailed to Christ’s cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets (Col. 2:13-15). For some reason he was not finally crushed. That is going to be our job (Rom. 16:20). But he has no authority, no right to accuse; and is no longer powerful. Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out (John 12:31). And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged (John 16:8-11).
Why is he still called “the accuser of the brethren”? There is still a measure in which that function is kept alive. He was a serpent in the Garden of Eden, but he is called a dragon in the book of Revelation. He was destined to eat dust (Isa. 65:25). Instead we confess that he is powerful, we give him substance and he becomes bigger and bigger. However, he is defeated, he was judged at the cross! We Christians must not give him a voice to accuse people through our voice. Jesus identified him as the father of all lies (John 8:44). He cannot speak the truth. There may be opportunities when satan will speak factual truth but the purpose is to deceive you and to come in on your blind side. He will use facts to communicate a lie to make us fearful. We must be careful what we voice. We must confess the Word: Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matt.6:10). We need to speak the WORD OF THE LORD. This is not walking in denial, but we need to declare truth over the lie. Greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lie (John 8:44).
The story of Job shows that satan needed God’s permission to touch him (Job 1:6-12). God initiated the whole ordeal.
Is satan a problem to God? No. Has he ever been a problem to God? No. Is satan our problem? No. Then what is really our problem? Think about this: No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth (Matt. 6:24). Most Christians will read you cannot serve God and the devil; this is not what Jesus said. He said you cannot serve God and mammon. We should not work for money, money should work for us. But if it’s only money these leaders are after, they’ll self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after (1 Tim. 6:10-Msg).
Do not give the devil a foot/platform to stand on. Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity (Eph. 4:26-27). Do not give him any opportunity. You do not need to waste energy on a war that was won on Calvary. Soon the true Church of Jesus Christ will experience the corporate crushing of satan.