“The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8
As He was coming down from the mountain one time, Jesus was suddenly approached by a social outcast of the day – a leper. He has just delivered a fantastic message to crowds concerning the kingdom of God. Now this leper comes pleading: “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus’ immediate response is, “I am willing, be cleansed.” This is the kingdom. Not only in word, but in power (1 Cor 4:20). In Mark chapter 1 at the outset of His ministry we see this dynamic even more emphasised, as the crowds are astonished because His teaching is with authority, namely, that He is casting out demons while He preaches!
Acts 10:38 gives us the ultimate revelation on this matter, that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth, and He went about doing good and healing ALL who were oppressed by the devil. If you read the gospels, there is not one person He turned away because of some lame pseudo-Calvinistic philosophy that it wasn’t God’s timing or God wanted them to suffer in order to teach them. He healed everyone, sickness and oppression was from the devil. Period.
He called us to the same. In Matthew 10 He gave His disciples authority over unclean spirits, over sicknesses, and gave them the message that would bring the power: The kingdom of heaven is at hand. You can’t preach that message without God coming and backing it up with power. He will always validate His word, “These signs shall follow they who believe…” Too much these days we preach out of man’s wisdom and philosophy, and because of the age of Enlightenment and the intellectual West, that is seen as okay, whereas demonstrating power is not – it is cultic. Yet Paul would have had that the Corinthians didn’t rest their faith on the wisdom of men but on the power of God (1 Cor 2:1-5). Wow!
I find it glorious that the Lord would take us, the very people who were once separated from Him and living in rebellion, redeem us, cleanse us, turn us around, and then call us into fighting the very darkness that once held us bound! So, let’s start fighting!
I’m burning to see this world drained of every evil thing. The cross has utterly made the provision for this to occur, He is making ALL THINGS new, and is creating a new heaven and a new earth. There will be a time of the restoration of all things, when we will rule and reign with Him.
On our recent missions trip to Norway, we saw three elderly ladies’ arthritic condition dramatically improve so that on the evening of the day we prayed for them they were helping and serving and enjoying the time, being able to do things they hadn’t done for years. A stroke victim whose entire left side of their body had been made numb by the stroke felt a warm sensation right the way down her side when we prayed for her. A hard young atheist gave his life to the Lord. The husband of a woman in the church gave his life to the Lord. A man who said “If God doesn’t heal me tonight I won’t believe in Him” – guess what – He was healed. Also on a recent short ministry trip to the Isle of Wight, we saw a man’s aching back completely healed, freed up to move without pain; a girl who had pain in her feet from an accident four weeks earlier healed, so that she could run around; and many other testimonies of the nature of the Lord as being a GOOD GOD.
He is good, and His love endures forever! This is a truth that ought not just to be understood as a dogmatic truth but as a truth which should manifest itself. Paul saw his commendation as being in the fact that truth manifested, it wasn’t simply taught by words, but it was demonstrated by the authentication of the Holy Spirit’s power. (2 Cor 4:2)