GOD'S VENGEANCE ON EVIL SPIRITS
Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Now is the day when the last three feasts of the Lord, the Blowing of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the feast of Tabernacles, shall be fulfilled spiritually. The three speak of the coming of the King, Jesus, to declare war against His enemies; removal of all of His enemies from His people; and the coming of the Father and the Son to make their home in our personality. These are the three great works of redemption that follow the Pentecostal experience, to which we have become accustomed.
GOD’S VENGEANCE ON EVIL SPIRITS
“What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” (Matthew 8:29)
This Sunday morning, during the service, I emphasized the second of the three last platforms of redemption, that is, the removal of the enemies of Christ from His people. This is typified by the Jewish “Day of Atonement.” There is no more significant convocation in the Jewish calendar.
Let me begin by explaining “redemption” and “salvation.” “Redemption” has to do with wresting us from the possession of Satan and restoring us to the possession of God. “Salvation” has to do with preservation in the Presence of God. Restored possession, and then preservation.
We are redeemed from the hand of the enemy so we may be preserved in God’s Presence. We are preserved in God’s Presence so we may have fellowship with God, and so we may serve Him joyously in our appointed role in His Kingdom.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s God made real to me that it was time to begin the “Day of Vengeance of our God.”
When the Lord Jesus opened the scroll of Isaiah, while in His home synagogue, He read:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:18)
Then the Lord rolled up the scroll and sat down.
When we refer to the Scroll of Isaiah, from which the Lord Jesus was reading, we find there is no concluding period after “the year of the Lord’s favor.” Rather, the verse continues:
To proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, (Isaiah 61:2)
Think about this. The Lord stopped before reading, “The day of vengeance of our God.”
Why did He not include this phrase? Because it was not time for Divine vengeance to be executed upon unclean spirits. This is why the demons asked Christ if He had come to torture them before the time, that is, before the day of vengeance of our God.
The distinction between judgment and vengeance must be clear in the reader’s mind if He is to understand what God is doing with His saints today.
“Judgment” is highly desirable. When Divine judgment comes upon us it shows us what is in us that is evil. This is clarity we want if we love God and want to please Him.
We are not God’s enemies. The devil and his angels are God’s enemies, along with the multitude of unclean spirits that harass mankind continually. It is upon these wicked spirits, ranging in importance from Satan to the least demon, that God’s shall avenge Himself. The Lake of Fire was not prepared for humans but for Satan and his angels. The only human beings who will be placed in the Lake of Fire are those who refuse to be redeemed from Satan and brought into God’ Presence as servants of Jesus Christ.
It is time now for us to be redeemed from the hand of Satan. If we are sons of God we are being led by the Spirit of God. If we are being led by the Spirit of God we are being instructed concerning the wickedness that is in our personality—not all at once, but city by city, so to speak.
When the Holy Spirit points out evil in our behavior, such as lying, profanity, or fornication, we must put it to death. We put the behavior to death by confessing it as sin; by denouncing it as fit only for the Lake of Fire; by renouncing it firmly, saying we never want to yield to that behavior again; and then, with the Lord’s help resisting it whenever it seeks to move us to fulfill its lusts and rebellion.
When we confess our sins, resolving fervently to turn away from them, God forgives our sins and purifies us from all unrighteousness. We simply are not debtors to our flesh that we should yield to its filthy desires at any time or for any reason.
We Christians have been taught for so many years that as long as we are in this world and in our mortal body we are obligated to sin. This is not true. It is a lie Satan has promoted in order to keep us in slavery. If we will follow the Holy Spirit carefully, He shall give us victory over every sin.
What sin is there that is too great for Christ to overcome?
So we understand that the Day of Vengeance is not speaking of vengeance upon people but upon wicked spirits. Divine vengeance will fall on only those people who refuse to be redeemed from the hand of the enemy, preferring to retain their worldliness, the lusts of their flesh, and their self-will.
There are eight behaviors over which the Lake of Fire retains authority. That authority never shall be taken from the Lake of Fire. When we place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ we are protected from the authority of the Lake of Fire. But if we refuse to be redeemed from the hand of Satan, then that protection will be removed and the Lake of Fire will claim its own.
But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
Notice that it is not an abstract spirit of cowardice that shall be confined to the Lake of Fire, but the “the cowardly.” These eight objects of vengeance are those who behave in the specified manner, whether they are devils or people.
All cowardly people. All unbelieving people. All vile people. All murderers. All sexually immoral people. All those who practice magic arts. All idolatrous people. All liars.
We may be taught today that such is the destiny of cowards, of unbelieving people, of the vile, “unless they profess faith in Jesus Christ.” This concept, that “accepting Christ” nullifies the numerous warnings in the New Testament, is a monumental lie. It is Satan claiming, “You shall not surely die.”
God watches to see that His Word is fulfilled. God watches to see that Revelation 21:8 is fulfilled.
Is there a fearful individual (fearfulness reveals a lack of faith in God) who will not confess his timidity to God and be delivered from it? This person shall find his or her home in the Lake of Fire with the devil and his angels.
But what if he or she professes faith in Christ? If the individual refuses to be redeemed from the specified behavior—fearfulness in this case, he or she shall be thrown into the Lake that burns with fire and sulfur. God’s Word shall never be despised or forgotten, no matter how human beings boast themselves of their righteousness and goodness.
No coward, no vile individual, no liar, shall be brought into the Presence of God and serve Him in His Kingdom.
It is not God’s will that any human being be thrown into the Lake of Fire. God has given His Son to make an atonement for our sins. God has given us the Holy Spirit. God has given us the born-again experience in which the Divine Seed has been planted in us.
God has given us the Bible, including the testimony of the Apostles of the Lamb. God has given us various gifts and ministries to build us up in Christ. God has given us access to Himself in the Holy of Holies. All of these aspects of Divine grace are for the purpose of redeeming us from the person and works of Satan. If we refuse to be redeemed from the person and works of Satan, how then can we be saved into the Presence of God and serve Him in His Kingdom?
John the Baptist spoke of our being baptized the Holy Spirit, and then with Divine Fire. Today we are to be baptized with fire. This means the Holy Spirit will abide on us as a tongue of fire, as at the birth of the Christian Church. The Divine Fire will expose every work of Satan that is in us. Our part is to confess our sins and turn away from then. This is the program of redemption that we are to be working out with fear and trembling. The result of redemption is salvation in the Presence of God.
If I am hearing from the Lord correctly we are going to see a great increase in the manifestation of demons in the days to come. The moral restraints that should be coming from the government of the United States are slowly being eroded. The result will be a multiplication of murder, various psychoses, cannibalism, and unbridled sexual behavior including homosexual aberrations, man-boy “love,” incest, various episodes involving teachers and their students, intercourse with animals, and perhaps the harvesting of commercially grown fetuses so their parts can be utilized in the practice of medicine.
The grandeur and might of the United States in the present hour is not due, as some suppose, to democratic government. Rather the blessing of God has been on America because of the number of godly people who feared and served God in the early days of the Republic.
Now the wicked are making their desires known. The Christian churches, having been deceived by the teaching of grace-rapture-Heaven, do not have the spiritual-moral strength to combat successfully the spread of wickedness. The moral fabric of America is being shredded. History points out to us that whenever a nations loses its moral strength, its willingness to legislate moral behavior, God will take away its place among the nations.
The behavior of the American people, unsaved and saved alike, is hastening the day when America sees its power of leadership taken from it and given to a culture that will insist on godly behavior.
The sixth chapter of the Book of Resurrection mentions the doctrines of the resurrection and of eternal judgment. These two doctrines are being restored to us today.
Concerning the doctrine of the resurrection, we now are coming to understand that the goal of redemption is not eternal residence in Heaven but resurrection unto life in the Kingdom of God upon the earth.
We have not understood that we are creating our own resurrection today. We are laying up a treasure in Heaven. That treasure is a body that will clothe our resurrected flesh and bones in the Day of the Lord. The body with which we will be clothed will reveal in itself how we have behaved during the days of our discipleship.
If we have indulged our sinful nature, our heavenly body will reveal in itself that corruption.
If we have followed the Spirit of God in the work of redemption, our heavenly body will reveal in itself that eternal resurrection life.
This is why the Apostle Paul set forth the resurrection as his supreme goal.
As soon as we experience eternal life in our personality, at the onset of salvation, or redemption we might say, we enter the program of eternal judgment.
It appears it has been understood generally by Bible scholars that our judgment was finished when Christ died on the cross. It is true that the judgment on us as a human being was finished on the cross of Calvary. The atonement has been made.
But the Apostle Peter stated that in his day it was time for judgment to begin in the household of God. Is there contradiction here? Not at all.
When we are baptized in water we are to understand that we have died with Christ on the cross. We now are to count ourselves as dead with Christ and raised with Christ. This is how God views us, if we truly have entered the work of redemption and have not just submitted to water baptism as a formality of religion.
It is appointed to man once to die, and after this the judgment. As soon as we have died with Christ and been raised with Christ, we now are to enter the program of eternal judgment. The program of judgment after resurrection is portrayed in the incident of Lazarus who was called forth from the grave. After this the graveclothes had to be removed from him (symbolizing the work of eternal judgment.)
We ourselves were judged on the cross and Divine vengeance was exercised upon Jesus Christ. Now it is time for God to judge the wickedness that is alien to us but dwells in us nevertheless. We are baptized with the Fire of God’s Presence so all that is alien to us may be removed from us.
The sins of the past have been forgiven. We are dealing at this point with the sinful compulsions of our personality. These must be dealt with one at a time and removed from us. It is necessary that we cooperate with the process of redemption by confessing our sins as the Spirit points them out to us, accepting Divine forgiveness, and in the future refusing to yield to them ever again. It is an eternal judgment on Satan.
This is what Peter means by writing that judgment begins with the house of God.
Remember our statement at the beginning: Divine judgment is not Divine condemnation or Divine vengeance. Divine judgment means only that God is enabling us to differentiate the part of our behavior that is evil from that which is good.
In fact, the writer of the Book of Hebrews informs us that maturity is the ability to distinguish good from evil.
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:13,14)
What a wonderful, and yet dangerous era we are entering!
When I was in Bible school, in the late 1940s, the Lord spoke to me that the next move of God would be judgment on His churches, and that this work of judgment is portrayed by the Jewish convocation of the Day of Atonement.
I had been saved only a few years, not having been brought up in a Christian home. As you can imagine, I was excited because I felt it was God who had spoken to me. But my understanding of what God was saying was definitely limited.
A few years later the Spirit of God caused a revival of confessing sin to break out in the Armory, a large church in Detroit. The news came to San Diego, where Audrey and I were living. As I remember, I don’t think I associated at first that the confessing of sins was what God had referred to as judgment, and the Day of Atonement.
As time went on, and I became more acquainted with Jewish tradition concerning the Blowing of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, the ten intervening days being referred to as the “Days of Awe,” the period when God judges His people, the whole idea of eternal judgment began to take shape in my mind.
This Sunday, the 23rd of April, 2006, I had a strong impression that I should warn the believers that the age of moral and physical horrors is approaching rapidly. Christ is being formed in the victorious saints and caught up to the Throne of God in Heaven. Consequently, as it is written, Satan and his angels are being thrown down to the earth.
Because Satan will be confined to the earth and no longer permitted to exercise wisdom and power from the heavens, he will be furious with those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of the Lord Jesus. He will wage war against them.
This means that the Christian believers of today, many of whom in America do not pray every day and read their Bible, who are morally weak, some watching pornography on the Internet, will be overcome easily. They will be frightened to death when they see the open manifestation of Satan and his demons.
Those of us who prepare ourselves in the present hour will have an abundance of opportunity to strengthen those who want to stand in the Presence of Jesus Christ. We will know in ourselves that Christ has given us authority over all the power of Satan such that we can trample the great lion and the serpent. We will convey that faith to those who are trembling with fear.
But if we do not prepare ourselves today; if we continue with “business as usual,” being occupied primarily with making money and watching television, we will not be able to help ourselves, the members of our family, or anyone else.
Such is the clear burden I had this Sunday. I know it is from the Lord. I know we are going to see Satan and his demons, and their antics, throughout our nation. This is because our government is not insisting on the moral guidelines offered in the Scriptures.
There are some who are fighting a rearguard action on our behalf, striving to warn our people of the wickedness that is occurring in some of the institutions in our land. But barring an outpouring of the Spirit of unprecedented power in the near future, America shall lose its position of leadership in the world and shall be reduced to an inferior position—that is, if it survives at all; if its citizens are not carried off into captivity as has happened in the past to arrogant nations that did not observe the laws of God and of conscience.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say this—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe. (Psalms 107:1,2)
So what are we to say to God when we consider His willingness and ability to deliver us from the person and works of Satan? What are the redeemed to exclaim?
“Thank you, Lord. You are good, and Your love endures forever.”
(“God’s Vengeance On Evil Spirits”, 3612-1)