The Victory Of Jesus Empowers Us
In our previous postings we have presented some of the spiritual victories Jesus had over the forces of evil. To date we have discussed Jesus being victorious over an evil establishment, healing the sick and lame, casting out demons and of course, His final victory on the cross. All of these examples support our proposition that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Golden Altar of Incense, the Holy Place and the Tabernacle of Moses. Since the entryways into the Tabernacle and the Holy Place are called; “the Way” and “the Truth” we are well on our way toward explaining what Jesus meant when He claimed to be, ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life”.
We will now look at the implications of Jesus’ victories over evil and identify there is a direct impact on us. The victory of Jesus on the cross set us free from the domination of the forces of evil. More than this however, Jesus has also empowered us to be victorious over all evil as well:
Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:17-19)
You are empowered! The things that Jesus did by the power of the Holy Spirit are available to those who can enter into the Holy Place of Jesus in prayer:
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14:12-14)
Victory in Spiritual Warfare
Victory in spiritual warfare comes through prayer at the Golden Altar. When we look at the life of Jesus we find Him in prayer with the Father prior to taking action. Here is an example of this:
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me. He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, “What? Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.” And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people. (Matthew 26:36-47)
Jesus was in prayer just prior to going to the cross. Therefore, He was enlightened and knew the things that were about to unfold. He knew that He would be betrayed and He that He would have to choose between His life and the salvation of all of us. He sought the guidance of the Father in prayer to ensure His steps were in the Fathers plan. In being faithful to the Father Jesus knew that He would be victorious over Satan and the powers of evil. He knew that He would set us all free by giving His life in exchange for ours.
Jesus also communicated that the way to victory in spiritual warfare is through prayer and fasting:
Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:15-21)
In still another example, we find Jesus staying behind to pray prior to entering into spiritual warfare with the demon named Legion the following day.
Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid. And Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, Lord, save me! And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt? And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, Truly You are the Son of God. When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret. (Matthew 14:22-34)
The storm was fostered by evil spirits that attempted to sabotage Jesus victory by preventing Him and His disciples from getting to the other side. The battle with evil rages but with Jesus we have power over evil.
In this example, the passage presents strong evidence about the power of the saint’s prayers in spiritual warfare:
And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
Note the reference to the smoke and incense that are a reflection of the prayers at the Golden Altar. These prayers are not for enlightenment or for forgiveness of sin but rather for victory in spiritual warfare. They are effective in generating the wrath of God to be manifest upon the earth.
In the next passage, Paul calls us to prepare ourselves for spiritual battle by putting on the uniform of the spiritual solider. Again, this includes constant prayer:
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints; and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:11-20)
So in summary, anyone seeking to be like Jesus should know that Jesus was victorious in a spiritual fight that we could not win for ourselves. This victory restored dominion back to us and therein empowered us to become victorious over the forces of evil. However, just because we have dominion does not mean that all of the battles are over. Satan is still deceiving the world and as a result a war rages between the forces of good and evil. The difference now is that Jesus has given us the power to be victorious in spiritual warfare.
The only problem is that we have to know that we are in a battle and we have to know how to prepare. Like soldiers that have to go through basic and advanced training to become effective in battle, we must also be adequately prepared for warfare. This comes through prayer. We must pray ourselves through the Courtyard and into the Holy Place where the Golden Altar is found. Once there, our prayers will enable us to be able to put on the whole armor of God. But it is up to us to enter into Jesus by seeking to become like Him. All of eternity in the garden with God lies in the balance.
It is up to us to choose. On the one hand we can choose to become spiritual soldiers or relax, enjoy ourselves, live the good life and ignore the evil that is all around us. After all, is this not what Jesus was talking about in the following passage:
Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. (Matthew 16:24-28)
Jesus wants us to take up the role of spiritual warrior and overcome evil. In our next posting we will enter into a discussion about why we should be entering into spiritual warfare.
So until then, may God bless you.