While teaching a week-long course on revival at a Bible school in Canada, I found myself wide awake at 3 a.m. one morning. My mind was gripped with the truth of Satan's absolute defeat through the resurrection of Christ, and I knew I was to share it with the class that morning.
It was appropriate, for I discovered that many had been indoctrinated with an approach to spiritual warfare that attributes too much to the devil and tends to put the child of God in fear. Such an approach relies too heavily on the Old Testament and ignores the cosmic shift that occurred when Jesus was raised from the dead.
Here are five resurrection realities that will remove all fear of Satan and rock this world in which we live.
Resurrection Reality No. 1
Jesus Inflicted on Satan a Mortal Wound and Fulfilled the Prophecy of Genesis 3:15
Genesis 3:15 (NASB) reads, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel."
These words were spoken by God to the serpent after the fall of our first parents. The "seed of the woman" in this passage is an allusion to a future descendant of Eve who will defeat the serpent and reverse the curse brought on by his deception.
According to this prophecy, the "seed of the woman" will receive a temporary wound from Satan—"you shall bruise His heel"—but the "seed of woman" shall inflict on Satan a final and mortal wound—"He shall bruise your head."
The first part of this Messianic promise, that refers to the "seed of the woman," was fulfilled through the virgin birth of Jesus, which occurred without the involvement of a man. The second part of the prophecy was fulfilled at the time of the resurrection when the Seed of the woman bruised the serpent's head, inflicting on him a fatal and final wound.
That Satan had been decisively defeated was obvious when Jesus emerged from the tomb and declared, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth" (Matt. 28:18b). As a Bible school student, I heard a question posed by a guest speaker that I never forgot. He read this passage and then asked, "If Jesus has all authority, how much does that leave the devil?"
The majestic authority of the risen Lord was clearly seen by John on the Isle of Patmos. When John saw Him in His resplendent power and glory, he said, "I fell at His feet as though I were dead" (Rev. 1:17). Jesus then laid His hand on John and said, ""Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, though I was dead. Look! I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death" (Rev. 1:17-18).
Resurrection Reality No. 2
The Believer is Now Seated with Christ Far Above All Principality and Power
If for Paul, the cross of Christ is the ultimate demonstration of God's love, the resurrection of Christ is the ultimate demonstration of God's power. It can be said that the resurrection of Christ is the greatest demonstration of power the universe has ever known, even greater than the power exerted in creation, for the resurrection brought life out of death and defeated the spiritual enemies of God, such as sin and Satan.
The overwhelming victory of Christ over Satan is delineated by Paul in Ephesians 1:15-23 where he speaks of Christ being raised from the dead by the mighty power of God and then being seated "at His own right hand in the heavenly places" (v. 20b).
The "right hand" in Scripture is symbolic of authority and power. Psalm 98:1b, for example, says of God, "His right hand and His holy arm have accomplished deliverance." When Paul says that Jesus is now seated at the "right hand" of God, he is saying that Jesus is seated at the pinnacle of the universe, in the place of ultimate authority and power.
This place where Christ is seated, Paul says, is "far above all principalities, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come" (Eph. 1:21). It doesn't matter what kind of principality or power it may be—even Satan himself—the place where Christ is now seated is far above them all.
And here is what is incredible! In Ephesians 2:5-6, Paul says that those who have put their faith in Christ are seated with Him in that place of authority. In other words, as His people, we share in that authority. No wonder Satan trembles at the child of God who knows his/her position and authority in Christ.
Resurrection Reality No. 3
Christ's Resurrection Power Is at Work in You
In his discussion of the resurrection of Christ in Ephesians 1:19b, Paul says that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is "toward us who believe. The word "toward" is a translation of the Greek preposition eis, which literally means "into." The NIV has translated eis as "for," and the Amplified translates it as "in."
We can say, therefore, that the resurrection power of Christ is directed "toward" us; that it is "in" us, and it is "for" us. Paul alludes to this in 2 Corinthians where he said, "For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that also the life of Jesus might be manifested in our mortal flesh." In other words, we are not yet in heaven. Nonetheless, even here in this fallen world where death is at work, resurrection life is at work in us.
In the early days of our marriage and ministry, Sue and I experienced a series of attacks that seemed to devastate our lives and our ministry. When it seemed all was lost, and the vision had died, I heard the Lord speaking clearly to me, "Don't be afraid of death because I am the Resurrection."
We then put our trust in the Lord as never before and saw Him bring the vision back to life in ways we could never have imagined, schemed or planned. We saw His Resurrection life and power at work even in the midst of death!
From that day, I knew Jesus, not only as the one who heals our hurts, but as the one who raises to life dreams, visions and hopes that have died. I now knew the Resurrection to be more than a past event. I knew the Resurrection to be personified in the person of Jesus Christ who by His Spirit lives in me.
We, therefore, do not have to fear death of any sort, for the one who is the Resurrection and the life now lives in us. John had this revelation, which is why he declared, "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4).
Resurrection Reality No. 4
Satan Is a Defeated Foe Whose Only Weapon Is Deception
Stripped of all authority, Satan can only wield influence in the earth through lies and deceptions. He is like a bold and blustery general who is use to barking orders until one day he is found guilty of treason and court-martialed. He is stripped of all authority, humiliated and drummed out of the service.
Now, if this former general can find some troops that don't know he has been stripped of his authority, he will be able to exercise authority over them. But when the truth is forthcoming, the meekest private can tell him to get lost for his authority has all been taken away. This is the situation with Satan and demons.
This is why Revelation 12:9 refers to him as "that ancient serpent called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world." Jesus said of him, "When he lies, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies" (John 8:44). Satan holds much of this present world in his grasp through lies and deceptions.
This is why Jesus said in John. 8:32, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." The truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what He has done through His death and resurrection dispels the lies of Satan, even as light dispels darkness. When the lie is gone, Satan has no ground or place to operate. Nothing, therefore, can take the place of truth of God's word in the church and in our personal lives.
Resurrection Reality No. 5
There Is No Room for Fear When We Know the Truth of the Resurrection
I recall listening to the elder statesman of miracle evangelism, the late Dr. T. L. Osborn, tell about preaching in an outdoor crusade in Africa. Many thousands were in attendance, including hundreds of witch doctors who had come with their fetishes to work their magic against the foreign preacher.
Before going on the platform, the supporting pastors wanted to lay hands on him and pray for his protection from the devil. Osborne refused their prayer. He said, "I would not insult my Lord in that way." Osborne focused his attention on preaching the good news of Jesus' resurrection that day, and many came to Christ, and many were miraculously set free from all kinds of illnesses and bondages. And some Christian pastors realized that they did not have to fear the devil.
It is said that Smith Wigglesworth heard a loud noise in his basement in the middle of the night and went down to investigate. As he looked around with only a small lamp, he saw what appeared to be a manifestation of the devil in the corner of the room. Smith said, "Oh, it's just you," and walked back up the stairs and went to bed.
We were once visiting relatives, and their small son was very sick. We prayed, but nothing seemed to change. Later, while coming down the stairs, I had a knowing inside that the sickness was caused by a demonic attack against the child. Interestingly, we did not have to do anything else; for from that moment, the sickness was gone. The light had dispelled the darkness.
We are to be sober and alert in our dealings with the devil, but never afraid.
The success of the early church can be attributed to the fact that they preached continually about the resurrection of Jesus. It was not a once a year thing with them; it was an everyday reality in which they lived, walked and breathed. Jesus was alive!
Knowing that we have a message of life—resurrection life—let us never back away from boldly sharing the gospel with even the most difficult cases. Because He ever lives in resurrection life and power, He is able, in the words of the writer to the Hebrews, "save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him" (Heb. 7:25).
This year, let's recover the centrality of the message of Jesus and His resurrection. This is a key to seeing true spiritual awakening in the churches of America and a great influx of souls.
Dr. Eddie Hyatt is the founder of America's Reawakening and is convinced that America about to experience another Great Awakening. His numerous books on the great revivals of Christian history are available from Amazon and his website at eddiehyatt.com. Pat Robertson called his book, Pilgrims and Patriots, which documents America's birth out of spiritual awakening, "a must-read."
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