TOTAL DESTRUCTION

TOTAL DESTRUCTION Copyright Š 2006Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

The Lord God commanded the Israelites to totally destroy the enemy in their land. This they were not courageous or determined enough to accomplish. God would have enabled them to do what He commanded had they been willing and obedient.

God has commanded us Christians to overcome, through Christ, all the works of Satan. To this point the Christian churches have not been courageous or determined enough to do what God has commanded. Yet God has made provision under the new covenant to make an end of sin in our life. We can learn from the history of the Israelites, a history of endless conflict and suffering, the results of not obeying God strictly.

TOTAL DESTRUCTION

"Seventy ‘sevens’  are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy."  (Daniel 9:24—NIV)

"To put an end to sin."

The Lord God commanded the Israelites to totally destroy the enemy in their land. This they were not courageous or determined enough to accomplish. God would have enabled them to do what He commanded had they been willing and obedient.

God has commanded us Christians to overcome, through Christ, all the works of Satan. To this point the Christian churches have not been courageous or determined enough to do what God has commanded. Yet God has made provision under the new covenant to make an end of sin in our life. We can learn from the history of the Israelites, a history of endless conflict and suffering, the results of not obeying God strictly.

The sixth chapter of the Book of Romans is the Apostle Paul’s reaction to those who would interpret his doctrine of grace to mean that the new covenant is limited to a blanket forgiveness of the sins of the believer.

If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know our old self was crucified with him so the body of sin might be done away with,  that we should no longer be slaves to sin—Because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. (Romans 6:5-7—NIV)

If we would understand the sixth chapter of Romans we must remember that there is a difference between the forgiveness of sin and the destruction of the bondages of sin, of the compulsions to do things that are sinful.

A careful study of the verses of the sixth chapter will reveal that the emphasis is on the destruction of the bondages of sin.

When the statement is made "anyone who has died has been freed from sin," do we mean freed from the guilt of sin or freed from the practice of sin?

We know from the seventh chapter of Romans that when we assign our first personality to death on the cross with the Lord Jesus we become legally free from the jurisdiction of the Law of Moses. We have been freed from sin in the sense that we can eat pork or wear clothes of different kinds of cloth without having sinned.

But the sixth chapter of Romans is not stressing the removal of the guilt of our sin but the practice of sin. How, then, do we interpret the statement "anyone who has died has been freed from sin"?

I think Paul merely is saying since our adamic nature, our first personality, now is on the cross with Christ, having died with Him, we no longer are obligated to live in our old, sin-prone nature. It is not reasonable, not fitting that we should do so. We have no obligation to that which is crucified with Christ to live according to its desires. Having died on the cross we no longer are slaves to sin.

If we have interpreted Paul correctly, he is claiming that through Christ we have the upper hand over sin. The following verse reinforces this idea.

Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. (Romans 8:12—NIV)

Our old nature, including our body, is on the cross with Christ. It is dead because of the sin that is in it. Because of this we owe it nothing that we should yield to its demands that we break God’s laws.

When we follow the Spirit of God He leads us to put to death the sinful practices of our flesh and soul. By putting them to death I mean we pray and serve the Lord until we no longer are yielding to that which is sinful. We no longer are slaves to sin.

I am not speaking now of some instantaneous experience that removes the desire to sin from us. I am referring rather to daily victory in the daily struggle. It never is the will of God that a Christian walk in known sin. When we are so bound we cannot stop sinning we must come to the elders of the church and ask them to lay hands on us and pray a prayer of release from the particular sin.

You may be surprised to discover when you make up your mind you are not going to yield to a particular sin, denouncing and renouncing it with all the vigor you possess, you most likely will be set free from it.

If you keep falling back, even after the elders lay hands on you, it is possible you never have presented your body a living sacrifice to God. You never have denied yourself, taken up your cross, and followed Jesus. You are not meeting on a regular basis with fervent Christians. You are not reading your Bible each day and spending time in waiting on the Lord in prayer.

If you are not living as a disciple there may be areas in your life that will refuse to yield to the prayer for deliverance. Deliverance from bondage is a reward for serving the Lord. It is not the result of the practice of some sort of religious magic or exorcism.

Take up your cross, set out after Jesus with all that is in you, live as a true Christian disciple, and I think you will find you are overcoming your moral bondages.

It is not very difficult to live the victorious Christian life once you make up your mind you are going to serve Jesus. It often is true (although not always) that we have the problems we do because we are not serving the Lord with a perfect heart.

We understand, therefore, that the expressions "anyone who has died has been freed from sin," and "therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it," are of the greatest significance. They are profoundly significant because they are telling us that we cannot be compelled to sin after we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior.

It is commonly agreed upon by Christians that as long as we are living in the world we can be compelled to sin. "No one is perfect," we exclaim, and continue to yield to sin to a greater or lesser extent. But "freed from sin" means just that. It signifies we are not obligated to sin, the reason being that our adamic personality has been crucified with Christ.

But what are we to do? How do we take advantage of this emancipation proclamation?

First, we must recognize that the sixth chapter of Romans is not a prescription for deliverance from sin, although sometimes believers have attempted to use it as such. The sixth chapter does not tell us how to overcome sin. It does inform us that we are not obligated to sin, and it does warn us that if we choose to be the slave of sin rather than the slave of God and righteousness we shall die spiritually.

The sixth chapter of Romans correctly orients the person who has been baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to the attitude he should take toward the fact of sin in his personality. But it does not tell him how to attack the sin and drive it from himself.

The eighth chapter of Romans, with its emphasis on living in the Spirit of God, probably comes the closest of Paul’s writings to being a prescription for victory over sin. This particularly is true of the following verse:

For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, (Romans 8:13—NIV)

But, one may wonder, how do I go about putting to death by the Spirit the sinful acts of my body?

When we step back for a moment and consider the entire Church Age we can see that the Christian salvation primarily has been limited to forgiveness. Indeed there have been notable saints, particularly but not only in the Catholic Church, who have portrayed the righteous, holy behavior of Jesus. But I think the record is as I have stated—the overwhelming emphasis, even today, is on the viewpoint of Jesus forgiving our sins rather than freeing us from the bondages of sin.

The prevailing idea is, of course, that we have to sin in the present world but when we die we shall be set free from sin. But there is no scriptural basis for the notion that death will free us from the bondages of sin. Sin is a spiritual not a physical phenomenon. Sin came to us from the spirit realm and is maintained by the spirit realm. Dying physically will not provide relief from sin.

The only freedom from the power of sin is found in the Lord Jesus. But how do we get this salvation, this redemption from the hand of Satan, to operate?

Perhaps it is true that the two thousand years of the Church Age parallels the forty years of Israel in the wilderness.

When the Israelites left Egypt God did not permit them to immediately enter the land of promise for the following reason:

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, "If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt." (Exodus 13:17—NIV)

The Jews did fight battles while they were in the wilderness. But when they came to Canaan they were facing ferocious warriors who were determined to protect their native land. This was a different matter from the skirmishes in the wilderness. But after their experiences with God in the wilderness the Israelites were prepared for this violent struggle.

So it is in the history of the Christian Church. It is only now, having two thousand years of Church history to instruct us, that we are ready to enter our land of promise.

Our land of promise, our Canaan, consists of the change of our personality into the moral image of Jesus Christ; untroubled rest in the Father through Jesus Christ; and the possession of the peoples of the saved nations. If we are to invade and conquer in these three arenas we shall have to overcome the fierce opposition of Satan and his forces, who consider the present world and all that is in it to be their personal possession.

So the time is now. We have the authorization of the Scripture declaring that since we have died with Christ we have been freed from sin, that is, released from any and all obligations having to do with our adamic nature. It is dead and we have been legally freed.

The Christian churches are being brought to the brink of Jordan, as it were. The enemy will do all in his power to deceive us or bluff us. But he shall be driven from every part of God’s creation until he can be found only in the Lake of Fire.

Because of the spiritual danger found in such an attack upon the strongholds of Satan, the Lord Jesus has not given us in the Bible clear directions as to how we are to proceed. Rather—and I think this is of the highest importance to understand—Jesus Christ Himself is coming in the Spirit to conduct the war Himself.

There is much talk today, since spiritual war is in the air so to speak, about how we are to go forth and bind all the kings of darkness. I believe we would be wise to cease from our presumptuous, ignorant boasting about what we are going to do and begin to wait on the Lord. Satan is so wise and skillful that he uses all our proud talk to defeat us. We are not wise or strong enough to go to war against the ancient lords of the heavens.

But there is One who is wiser and more powerful than all, and He has the full backing of the Father. That One is Jesus Christ—King of all kings and Lord of all lords. He is the One who will deliver over the enemy to us. But we must learn to wait upon Him until we know what He is doing. We need to follow Him and not try to use "spiritual principles" to drive the enemy from the creation.

Can you see why it is necessary that we follow the Lord and not go forth according to our own ideas?

I would like to turn now to an Old Testament parallel that contains much truth concerning deliverance from the chains of sin. In the Old Testament accounts the enemy consisted of flesh and blood people. Under the New Testament the enemy consists of unclean, rebellious spirits.

But we shall find that the battle the Jews engaged in and the battle we now are engaging in have many points in common.

When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you—(Deuteronomy 7:1—NIV)

First we notice that it is God who is bringing us into our land of promise, and it is God who in the ultimate sense will be the One who drives the enemy from the land.

We see immediately that entrance into Canaan is not a type of our entering Heaven. Heaven is not our land of promise. Our land of promise is change into the image of Christ, untroubled rest in the Father through Christ, and then the possession of the saved nations of the earth.

Satan wars against our being changed into the image of Christ. Satan wars against our entering untroubled rest in the Father through Christ. Satan wars against our taking possession of the saved nations of the earth. None of this has anything to do with our going to Heaven. Perhaps Satan actually desires that we go to Heaven so we will not interfere with his hold on the people of the earth. When Satan murders Christians he sends them to Heaven. So it does not appear he is too concerned about our going to Heaven, just about our being coheirs with Jesus Christ and inheriting the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth.

And when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally.  Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. (Deuteronomy 7:2—NIV)

I think three steps are revealed in the above verse.

The Lord delivers the enemy over to us.

We have defeated them.

We destroy them totally.

We see this pattern operating when the Israelites invaded Canaan.

The Lord delivered the Canaanites into their hand, guiding them by His Spirit, pushing over the walls of Jericho, raining hailstones on the enemy, and so forth. While the Israelite warriors were fighting under the leadership of Joshua, the angels of God were fighting under the leadership of the Captain of the Lord’s forces.

The commander of the LORD’s army replied, "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so. (Joshua 5:15—NIV)

As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the LORD hurled large hailstones down on them from the sky, and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites. (Joshua 10:11—NIV)

As the Lord delivered the Canaanites into their hands, the Israelites defeated them.

It was the third step that was the problem. After the inhabitants of the Land of Canaan were defeated, the Israelites destroyed some of them but not all of them.

They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys. (Joshua 6:21—NIV)

"But I did obey the LORD," Saul said. "I went on the mission the LORD assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal." (I Samuel 15:20,21—NIV)

God had warned the Israelites that if they left any person alive in the land they were to possess, those people would seduce them into sin. This is exactly what happened. The Jews worshiped the gods of the land until they finally were carried away to Babylon and the Temple destroyed.

There is a parallel, as stated previously, between the invasion of Canaan and our taking of the Kingdom of God.

First, we know the Lord God on the cross of Calvary delivered the enemy into our hand. The Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary destroyed the authority of Satan over those who put their trust in Christ. The Lord Jesus destroyed Satan’s authority over us as far as guilt is concerned, and also as far as slavery to sin is concerned.

The removal of guilt has been taught clearly by the Christian ministry throughout the centuries. The removal of slavery to sin has not been taught with anywhere near the same thoroughness that has been true of the removal of guilt.

When we believe in Christ our sins are forgiven. So far so good.

But in addition, when we believe in Christ we have the authority and power to be delivered from slavery to sin.

In many instances we Christians have not understood that part of our salvation includes pressing forward until the enemy has been overcome.

However, there still is a third step. Once we gain the upper hand over the enemy we are to totally destroy him. This the Israelites were loath to do, and they have suffered through the centuries as a result.

They are an example to us of the folly of not doing exactly what God has told us to do.

Let us say we are sinning against God and our wife by committing adultery.

When we come to God, confessing and renouncing our sin, God forgives us. God already has made on the cross complete provision for forgiveness.

Next God enables us to stop committing adultery. This we manage to do by praying and making an effort.

We have been forgiven. We have ceased committing adultery. It is what we do after this that is vitally important.

We must take an attitude toward all forms of unlawful sexual behavior, including pornography, office flirtations, and filthy speech and jokes. We must destroy this enemy totally.

The Israelites, because they were tired of fighting, or fearful, or sympathetic toward the inhabitants of the land, fought against them until they gained the upper hand. But they did not finish the job. They left the Canaanites alive, intermarried with them, and began to worship their gods.

Soon the Jews were worshiping the Baals and the Asherah poles, and were burning their children as an offering to Molech. Why? Because they did not destroy the enemy as God told them to.

God wants us to destroy sin out of our lives. God is more than willing to give us all the wisdom and strength needed to do a complete work. There is to be nothing left of sin in our personality.

We cannot do this all at once and God did not lead them into the land all at once. But when God does deliver some part of our personality into our hand, then we are to decisively, unrelentingly, mercilessly, harshly, drive this area of darkness from us.

Not only do we stop committing adultery, we do not call on the telephone and commiserate with our partner in sin. We renounce and denounce it as the spiritual filth that it is. We renounce and denounce office flirtations, telephone adultery, worldly television programs, every form of pornography, unclean speech and jokes— every aspect of the American sickness, which is pathologic physical lust.

We totally destroy it! God forgives us and then delivers it into our hand. We gain the upper hand over it and then set about to totally destroy it from every part of our personality.

We are not to be merciful or kind to lust or to flirt with it. We may be easily affected by romanticism, or art forms, or fleshly beauty or grace, but the Holy Spirit is not. The Spirit is cold, objective, without human sentiment. The Spirit works in the realm of the spirit, not the realm of the flesh and soul. The Spirit of God is not romantic nor is He affected by physical beauty.

The Spirit is pleased when the Word of God is able to divide between our soul and spirit. Such separation seems to require a certain amount of spiritual maturity.

Make no mistake. God is determined to make an end of sin. If you want to have a joyful entrance into the Kingdom of God, arm yourself with a mind to totally destroy sin whenever the Spirit of God delivers the enemy into your hand. Do not be soft, cute, merciful, or silly toward sin. Summon all the power that God gives you and drive it from your life.

Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, For they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. (Deuteronomy 7:3,4—NIV)

The Lord is warning us, from the Old Testament example, not to have anything to do with sin. Sin is contagious. It is like a fire in a wooded area or a structure fire where the firemen, after the fire appears to be out, nevertheless keep watch for several hours to make sure some small area does not smolder and then spring back to life.

So it is with sin. We have to maintain a ceaseless watch. Should we notice the sin coming back we are to bring the full judgment of God against it that it may be irrevocably destroyed—no quarter given! It must be completely destroyed!

This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire. (Deuteronomy 7:5—NIV)

The Israelites did not do this. Many of the Asherah poles, symbols of lust, were kept in the land and soon the Israelites were worshiping them.

We may ask, "Why didn’t they cut them down?"

The reason is, there was strong social sentiment at the time, especially on the part of the Canaanites. It is not that easy to march in like Oliver Cromwell and overthrow the customs of the land, as Cromwell did to the maypole ceremonies in England, for example.

We might think we would be strong and obey God in the face of social disapproval, but would we actually strike out harshly and offend people? What are we doing today? Are we merciless toward the sin in our own life even though "everyone is doing it"? Are we actually doing what God is requiring?

I am not speaking about getting the sin out of other people or acting harshly or critically toward them. I am referring to getting the sin out of our own life. When we do we will find that we are gentle and patient with other people.

When we first came to the church we now are pastoring we preached our usual message of deliverance from worldliness, lust, and self-will, along with many positive aspects of salvation, such as the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles.

At that time the so-called "faith" and "prosperity" messages were sweeping America. You can imagine the contrast between our church and the surrounding churches. We soon gained a reputation for not having "love." It wasn’t that we did not have love for the people, it was that we were not currying favor with them by telling them how pleased God was with them and how He was just about to remove them to Heaven so they wouldn’t have to suffer.

Sometimes on the way home, after the Sunday morning preaching, I would ask the Lord if I had been harsh or gloomy. The answer was always in the form of a question: "Did you preach what the Bible says?"

Now, many years later, we have considerable praise and rejoicing in our services, tambourines, banners, dancing, mime—all of this to welcome the King who is at the gates of the world. The people who have remained with us are growing spiritually. We love the Lord and rejoice much, but we are determined to have nothing to do with sin. It must be destroyed. This is what God desires, and so His Presence can be felt in our assembly.

We do not show love for people when we do not tell them clearly what the Bible says. When we curry favor with the congregation we reveal only love for ourselves at the expense of the destiny of our hearers. This is not love! Do you agree with me on that point?

For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. (Deuteronomy 7:6—NIV)

This is the meaning of holy—to be chosen by the Lord to be His treasured possession. We Christians are not wise when we compare ourselves with the people of the world. God does not judge them as harshly as He does us. God does not require of them what He does of us.

We are "saints." We are "holy ones" of God, called by God, chosen out of the world by the foreknowledge of the Lord. Once we are called to be a saint we have no other calling in life. To be chosen as a member of the royal priesthood is a calling so sublime that all else loses its significance. If we are wise we will give all that we are and possess to lay hold on our calling.

The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. (Deuteronomy 7:7—NIV)

There is a tendency today, at least in America, to associate God with crowds of people. God is not impressed with crowds of people and on occasion has reduced the number of people involved in a particular enterprise so they would not think they had accomplished their goal by their own wisdom and talents.

There is a time for thousands of people to be involved in a Christian activity. There are other occasions when just a few are needed. In fact, much of the Bible is an account of God using one person to do His will.

Let us never make the mistake of viewing the involvement of many people as being more significant than that which God is doing with one person or a handful of people. Desiring to accomplish the work of the Kingdom by means of numerous people, great amounts of money, and worldly techniques leads to Babylon—man-directed religion.

But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 7:8—NIV)

It is God who began the work of salvation in our life. We did not choose Christ. Christ chose us. We seem to forget that on occasion.

God desires that we be holy and wholly consecrated to His Person, way, and work. God does not need our help, actually. He permits us to work alongside Himself that we might learn of Him and might share in the inheritance.

But He doesn’t actually need us!

It seems to me I can see the great Babylon shaping up, along with the False Prophet and Antichrist. Powerful social forces are leading us toward these gigantic group efforts.

The safest place is the shadow of the Almighty. This is our hiding place, our fortress, our rock. Men may plan and work to accomplish "great things." Let’s you and I be content to know the Lord, who often works quietly and in secret. How comforting it is to know we do not have to join some great movement of people and wear ourselves out with their mighty plans. We can rest in the secret place of the Most High, do whatever simple thing we have been commanded, and look forward to going home to be with the Lord some day—when our work has been finished.

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. (Deuteronomy 7:9—NIV)

One of the most important aspects of gaining the total destruction of the enemy is that of keeping God’s commands. There are numerous commands found in the New Testament that have been issued by Jesus Christ and His Apostles. However, contemporary theology has manufactured reasons why these commands do not need to be kept or cannot be kept—sometimes, should not be kept.

Here is the massive error of contemporary Christian theology—to insist God loves us and receives us even though we do not keep His commandments. But it is not possible to gain total victory over the enemy until we keep God’s commandments. Because God has given us grace through Jesus Christ does not mean we do not have to keep Christ’s commandments, it means we do not have to keep the Law of Moses. Grace always teaches and helps us live righteously. When it does not it is not the grace of God.

But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction; he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him. (Deuteronomy 5:10—NIV)

There has been an overemphasis on the goodness of God and a neglect of the severity of God. We have the expression today "God’s unconditional love." God’s love always has been conditioned on man’s response.

"Those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction."

God has not changed. Christ has not changed. The present overemphasis on God’s love, ignoring as it does the bulk of the Scriptures, springs from the soul of man, from man’s love for himself. It is not of the Spirit of God and it leads to sin.

It is true that God has endless patience with us, and when we truly repent God receives us. But we always reap what we sow, for this is an unchangeable Kingdom law and is not affected by mercy, love, or grace.

Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees and laws I give you today. If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the LORD your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your forefathers. He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land—your grain, new wine and oil—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land that he swore to your forefathers to give you. (Deuteronomy 7:11-13—NIV)

All of these blessings were dependent on the Israelite being careful to obey the commandments God had given. The same is true today. If we love Christ we will keep His commandments. Only then will God bless us. To teach otherwise is to bring one’s self and his hearers to destruction.

You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless, nor any of your livestock without young. The LORD will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will inflict them on all who hate you. (Deuteronomy 7:14,15—NIV)

The Christians of today, at least in America, are looking for formulas or "secrets" by which they can get things from God, such as blessing, fertility, freedom from disease. We are not supposed to be trying to get things from God. Our task is to seek His will and then obey it. From our obedience to Christ’s commandments comes every blessing, every healing.

The need for today among us Christians in America is to seek God’s Person and will and then to respond with love and stern obedience. Only then will there be a chance that our nation will be spared the fury of Divine judgment.

You must destroy all the peoples the LORD your God gives over to you. Do not look on them with pity and do not serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you. (Deuteronomy 7:16—NIV)

As I said, we are to be merciless toward the sin in our own life. We are to confess it, denounce it, renounce it, turn away from it with all the strength that God gives us. We are not to let the tiniest particle of it remain in us. We are to cast it out as the spiritual filth that it is.

You may say to yourselves, "These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?" But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt. You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the miraculous signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the LORD your God brought you out. The LORD your God will do the same to all the peoples you now fear. (Deuteronomy 7:17-19—NIV)

Many of the Lord’s people are afraid of Satan. They believe he is so powerful that they are condemned to continue in sin and the Lord Jesus Christ is not strong enough to do much about it. They are afraid to challenge Satan. They are hidden in their closets of unbelief and ignorance.

The truth is, the Lord Jesus Christ is so much more powerful than Satan there is no comparison. Jesus Christ is a King. When we give so much credit to Satan, the King becomes jealous and turns away from us. He Himself met Satan in battle and conquered him. Christ is waiting for us to discover this fact and to stop repeating how we must sin as long as we are in this world. The Scripture does not teach this!

If Satan could have stopped anything it would have been the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He was completely unable to do this. There is nothing Satan can do about anything Christ desires. Satan cannot shut a door Christ opens or open a door Christ shuts.

Satan does not hold even the keys of Hell and death. Jesus has these keys and uses them as He will.

Jesus has all authority and power in the heavens and on the earth. Satan must always bow the knee to Jesus Christ. There is nothing He can do about it. God has given everything to His beloved Son.

How long are we going to forget about the authority and power of Christ and insist that even though we have received Jesus we can be compelled to sin against our will? We are mistaken in this.

The biggest factor in your being able to lead a totally victorious life is not whether God is willing for you to do so. The biggest factor is your willingness to believe in the power and faithfulness of God. If you do not become a victorious saint it is because you have chosen your sin over God’s will and power.

Any one of us can be an overcomer. Christ stands ready to help us. It is entirely our decision.

Moreover, the LORD your God will send the hornet among them until even the survivors who hide from you have perished. (Deuteronomy 7:20—NIV)

There are areas of darkness and death in our personality that hide from us. God has His ways of bringing them out so we can identify them and renounce them. To man has been given the authority of Divine judgment. Therefore it is of the greatest importance that when we become aware of a problem in our life we name it and pronounce it worthy of the Lake of Fire.

As long as we are gentle and kindly toward the sin in our life it will remain, even though once in a while we are heard to say we are sorry that we have done this or the other. Getting rid of sin requires determined war against the enemy. There never is a letup.

The warfare will continue when the Lord returns, although at that time it will be war against the sin in the world rather than in our own personality.

The important lesson we are to learn in this life is that sin is to be utterly destroyed from the creation of God. This attitude is to be instilled in us to such a degree it will remain with us for eternity. If we have willingly adopted this attitude, then, when we die, the Lord will take care of whatever sin remains in us. The Lord’s purpose has been accomplished in us. We now love righteousness and hate sin.

But if we do not adopt the attitude of war against sin we have no guarantee of what will take place after we die. We still are part of God’s problem of rebellion in His creation even though we have made a profession of faith in Christ. We have not been faithful in the little things and it is certain we shall not be entrusted with the greater.

God has determined to put an end to sin. As an individual, we either are working with the Lord to accomplish His goal or we remain part of the problem. This is true whether or not we profess to be a Christian.

The entire Bible is a book of warfare, first against the Canaanites and now against the spiritual forces of the heavens that have rebelled against the Father. We may have a great desire to escape trouble but God has a great desire to remove sin from the universe. If we are willing to set aside our own interests at this time and join with God in His effort to rid the world of sin, the hour will come when we will be allowed to experience the bliss of Paradise.

Paradise was on the earth at one time but was removed because we yielded to the will of Satan. In order for Paradise to be restored and maintained there must be those who join with God in the battle against sin. Of course, the battle begins in our own personality and is conducted by the Spirit of God.

Do not be terrified by them, for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God. (Deuteronomy 7:21—NIV)

It has been my experience that fear of the devil is one of the main hindrances that prevent believers from launching out in the life of victory. They tend to huddle in the supposed safety of their familiar condition and surroundings. At least this is true in America.

We fear the devil too much and Christ not enough!

We need to look up to God! We need to consider the greatness of His power and the faithfulness of His promises. There is no way in which Satan can harm us when we are abiding in Christ. The angel of the Lord is stationed around those who fear the Lord. Satan does not have enough authority or power to penetrate the wall erected by the angel of the Lord.

We are absolutely safe provided we are dwelling in Christ. We are not absolutely safe just on the basis of having made a profession of Christ. We are protected only when we are meeting the Bible requirements, that is, when we are dwelling in the secret place of the Most High.

So let the fear of Satan be banished from your mind and heart. There is nothing Satan can do when we are living in Jesus.

The LORD your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. (Deuteronomy 7:22—NIV)

As the Israelites were conquering one city the Canaanites were maintaining the farms and safety of the cities yet unconquered. They did not realize this but they actually were holding the properties in trust until such time as the Israelites arrived and took possession of them.

Each day, if we are pressing forward in the Lord, we have a bit more of Christ formed in us. But much if not most of our personality is still the old unchanged adamic nature. If the Lord were to remove all of our adamic nature before Christ had been fully formed in us, Satan would gain an advantage over us. The spirits that had been driven from us would return, find the house decorated but empty, and enter their former positions in us.

It is well that we move along at God’s pace. Our change from the adamic soul to a life-giving spirit cannot be hurried by our spiritual zeal. Each day Adam should decrease and each day Christ should increase. The transformation will occur if we faithfully press forward in Christ at all times. It is this change of personality that itself is the Christian salvation. The new creation is not pointed toward residence in Heaven so much as toward the establishing of the Kingdom of God on the earth.

But the LORD your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed. (Deuteronomy 7:23—NIV)

We in America are greatly disturbed over the immoral practices, murders, and other sins that are increasing. God has the power to give our nation into our hands but only when we ourselves have been freed from sin. The focus of the Holy Spirit, in the present hour, is not as much on what is taking place in the secular society as it is on the personality of the believer. It is time now for us who are Christians to be delivered from worldliness, lust, and self-will. God’s hands are tied, as it were, while there remains so much sin in the churches.

God will deliver the enemy into our hands. He indeed will throw them into great confusion until they are destroyed totally. But only after all sin and idolatry has been removed from His people. God cannot work through unclean churches!

He will give their kings into your hand, and you will wipe out their names from under heaven. No one will be able to stand up against you; you will destroy them. (Deuteronomy 7:24—NIV)

From the smallest demons to the mightiest of the fallen angels—all must be crushed under the feet of God’s people. All must bow the knee and confess that Jesus is Lord.

We are to show them no mercy whatever. Remember that! No mercy whatever!

We are to wipe out from God’s creation the very memory of these idolatrous spirits. When we are abiding in Christ, working alongside Him, they cannot resist us. They cannot resist us now and they shall not be able to resist us then. They shall be destroyed—utterly! totally! completely! finally! The memory of what has been is to be driven into the dark fires that give no light. God is ready to make all things new, not all new things but all things new. Everything that God has made from the beginning will be brought into the new age, but only after every memory of the rebellion has been crushed and thrown into eternal fire.

The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire. Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the LORD your God. (Deuteronomy 7:25—NIV)

The Scriptures are clear that when the Lord returns, and we with Him, the wealth of the nations will be ours for the taking. We then shall have to make certain we are hearing from the Lord at all times so we do not make an Achan-like mistake.

But in terms of now: as the Lord gives us victory over sin we may become careless. We may think of ourselves as God’s pets. We may be tempted to partake of what is unclean, such as malice or unforgiveness or the various kinds of lust and perversion, thinking that no matter what we touch will be accepted by the Lord.

While it is true that no demon is a threat to us while we are abiding in Christ, it is true also that we must continue to keep Christ’s commandments and listen for the will of the Spirit at all times! Satan fell while he was one of the guardians of the very Throne of God in Heaven.

There never will be a time from now to eternity when we are to become careless regarding stern obedience to the Father. His will is all that matters in Heaven and upon the earth.

When I first became a Christian, a half-century ago, I gained the impression from what the other Christians were saying that it was impossible to do God’s will. The assumption was that nobody was doing God’s will perfectly; that such a thing was unheard of. However we would go to Heaven if we took the "four steps of salvation."

Today I realize what a lie this concept is—that no one can do God’s will. It is true rather that every creature, angelic or human, is to do God’s will in perfect detail and at all times.

One single disobedience on the part of Eve and Adam has brought on us six thousand years of insane howling agony, as is true today. Maybe you can see from this how important it is that God’s will is performed at all times in the smallest detail.

Anything else is absolutely unthinkable!

The concept has taken hold that God’s will is impossible to obey for one reason or another. Nothing could be further from the truth. God gives each of His creatures one simple thing to do, one manageable act to perform. And God always provides the grace so we can do what He has commanded.

May God soon drive from the Christian churches, and then from the entire creation, the satanic lie that no one can do God’s perfect will.

Right now ask God what His will is for you, telling Him clearly and determinedly that as He provides the grace you will do exactly what He says.

Now the ball is in God’s court. You will find that in almost every instance He will just tell you of His love. In the few cases where there is something you should be doing, He will give you wisdom and strength to know what steps to take. Do so! Do whatever He tells you to do! Do it now and do it with all your heart!

Do you want to be regarded as a disobedient child? Do you want to face an angry Father when you die and pass into the spirit realm?

Don’t lie to yourself that you are saved by grace and so Christ will receive you warmly. Christ will receive no individual warmly who disobeys God. You can count on that.

How we have been lied to, we Christians! We don’t even know the Lord, we just know our traditions.

The times of this ignorance God is willing to wink at provided that now we go to God, tell Him we have been ignorant of His plan of salvation and from this point forward we are determined to do His perfect will.

God’s loving nature is such that He is willing to receive any person who comes to Him with an attitude of humility and obedience.

But the Christians who are smugly secure in their "eternal security" are unprepared for the age of moral horrors we are entering. Unless they repent and turn from their vain traditions of lawless grace and a "rapture" from trouble they are going to experience prolonged, intense fiery judgments.

Why wait to find out if I am correct? All I am doing is admonishing you to seek God and do His will. How can that be incorrect?

A friend of mine, a young man, of excellent habits, having an aptitude for scholarly pursuits and a genuine call to full-time ministry, was just denied entrance to a seminary because he does not believe in eternal security. Can you imagine such blindness on the part of the administration? They are turning away one of the finest candidates that will ever apply to them because he does not subscribe to the readily disproved, destructive doctrine of eternal security (once an individual makes a profession of Christ he can never be denied entrance to Heaven).

Personally I am thankful they did not receive him, for he is outspoken in his beliefs and he and they would have been in combat within the month.

You and I and everyone else are to do the Father’s will at all times, under all circumstances. Anything else is absolutely unthinkable. All who persist in disobeying God from this point forward (for the trumpet of the Lord is sounding in the spirit realm—the Kingdom is at hand!) will experience very severe chastening in the hope they will repent and choose to obey the Father with a whole heart.

God will always help every individual who desires to do His will.

How could we have been so deceived?

Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Utterly abhor and detest it, for it is set apart for destruction. (Deuteronomy 7:26—NIV)

This is how we are to regard sin. We are to "utterly abhor and detest it."

All sin of every sort has been "set apart for destruction." As Matthew tells us in the thirteenth chapter, all that offends God shall be removed from the Kingdom. After that, those who offend shall be removed.

This means each one of us will be given an opportunity to surrender that which is displeasing to the Lord. However, if we choose to cling to our sinful, disobedient behavior, we ourselves shall be removed from the Kingdom. This is true whether or not we have "accepted Christ.’

We have made accepting Christ an alternative to righteous behavior. Receiving Christ is not an alternative to obeying God and living uprightly in His sight. Rather, receiving Christ is the means whereby we obtain forgiveness and then the grace to live so as to please God.

The totally unscriptural concept that accepting Christ is an alternative to righteous behavior has so deceived the Christian people that numerous churches are little more than prisons of unclean spirits. The things that take place in such churches range from unforgiveness, bitterness, and rage to the wildest forms of sexual anarchy, and everything in between. And all of this demonic revelry proceeds from the Christian doctrine that once we make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ we are eternally protected from the anger of God that is directed toward unrighteous behavior.

Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers. Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 6:8-10—NIV)

There were problems in the church in Corinth, including incest, lawsuits among Christians, divisiveness, selfishness, and drunkenness during the Communion services, and inappropriate speaking in tongues when the believers were gathered together. There have been similar problems in the Christian churches ever since.

There are many passages, such as the above, that tell us plainly fleshly, soulish, self-willed behavior will never have a place in the Kingdom of God.

But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, (Malachi 3:2,3—NIV)

"I baptize you with  water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire." (Matthew 3:11,12—NIV)

At some point the Lord Jesus must come to His people and purify their conduct. I think this is taking place today. I think we have come to a new day in the churches, a day of denouncing, renouncing, and turning away from sin. There seems to be Power present now that is assisting us when we make the effort to overcome sin.

The Blowing of Trumpets follows the celebration of Pentecost. So it is that the trumpet of war is sounding in the churches—war against the sins of the flesh and soul that bind God’s people. The Lord is coming soon. His way must be prepared. His way is prepared when we seek His face and purify ourselves from all sin.

We must be holy as He is holy or we shall never see Him.

We are in a moral mess today in the Christian churches, and political skullduggery, covetousness, moral uncleanness, and lying abound.

Notice what God declared thousands of years ago:

"Seventy ‘sevens’  are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy."  (Daniel 9:24—NIV)

"To put an end to sin." "To bring in everlasting righteousness."

And what does the Apostle Paul say?

If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know our old self was crucified with him so the body of sin might be done away with,  that we should no longer be slaves to sin—Because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. (Romans 6:5-7—NIV)

God has made provision through the Lord Jesus Christ to not only forgive all of our sins but also to free us from slavery to sin. It is required of us that we place our faith in Christ until we press through to complete freedom from sin.

I think such is the burden of the present hour.