TOGETHER WITH GOD - Part 1
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
"I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." (1 Cor. 3:6-9)
This is a book for Christians. I had you in mind when I penned these words. Although this book is first and foremost for workers in the Church such as pastors, evangelists, elders, deacons and teachers, it has a message for the unsaved as well!
And even though I wrote this book about 40 years ago, the message is more relevant now, than ever! What an honour to be a labourer in God's vineyard and a worker together with Him! What a thrill to be a vessel fit for the Master's use! In writing to Timothy, St. Paul used these stirring words:
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour and some to dishonour.
“If a man therefore, will PURGE himself from these, he shall be a Vessel unto Honour, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts, but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that all on the Lord out of a PURE heart.”
THE SNARE OF THE DEVIL!
In his great wisdom, St. Paul warns about Satan sneaking himself as a SNARE to corrupt the Ministry of our Lord: “And the servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness, instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them REPENTANCE to the acknowledging of the truth; That they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at His will.” (2 Tim. 2:19-26).
We are inextricably linked to Jesus by His blood and through the Word of God in our hearts. The more we are filled with the Holy Spirit and exorcise authority over the Devil and his evil power in Jesus’ all-powerful Name, he will depart from us! The Bible says: “Submit yourselves therefore unto God. Resist the devil and he shall FLEE from you.” (James 4:7)
A gospel tune states: ‘Oh, to be His hand extended, reaching out to the oppressed; Let me touch Him, let me touch Jesus; so that others may know, and be blessed’.
We must never allow Satan, the world or the flesh destroy our testimony, defeat Christ's purpose in our lives or compromise our message for Him! And must never be corrupted by the lusts, greed, and deceptions of the devil's counterfeit kingdom!
The Scriptures teach that we are sons of God, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, and that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (John 1: 12; Gal.8: 17). We are bone of His bone, flesh of His flesh, and members in particular of His body! (Eph. 5:30)
As born-again, Spirit-filled believers, we are kings and priests unto God, representatives of Christ and ambassadors of Heaven! (John 3:3; Rev. 1:5-6; 2 Cor.5: 20). Because Jesus died for our offences (sins) and rose again for our justification, we are no longer our own. We have been bought with a price and are His personal property and His personal responsibility!
The Bible says: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and that ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Cor. 6: 19-20)
The Word of God says: “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." (1 Pet. 1:18-19)
INEXTRICABLY UNITED WITH JESUS!
We are inextricably united with Jesus Christ through His shed blood, the New Birth and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit! The Bible says: "For in Him we live, and move, and have our being." (Acts 17:28); "If we suffer with Him, we will also reign with Him". (2 Tim. 2:12)
If we deny Him, He will deny us; but if we confess Him before men, He will confess us before His Father and the Holy Angels! (Matt. 10:32-33). Therefore, let us go to Him outside the camp, and suffer shame for His Name, if necessary! (Heb. 13:13)
Personally, I count it a great honour and privilege to have preached the Gospel of Christ to multitudes world-wide, during more than 50 years of Christian Ministry! To have named His name, preached His Gospel and seen His miracles performed in hundreds of crusades, has been a great joy!
To hear the heathen cry out en masse: “I want Jesus! I now renounce the devil and all his works and all his ways! I renounce all sin, falsehood, witchcraft, evil and occultism...And I now receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour, my Master and God”, has been more than fulfilling!
May this book stir your heart, as it has mine! Amen.
CHAPTER 1: AN EQUAL SHARE OF THE REWARDS!
“David enquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them: And He answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.” (1 Sam. 30:6-8)
When David and his companions were living in exile from their native land because of King Saul's demonic rages, they ended up fighting alongside the Philistines.
And when they returned from Aphek, they found to their sorrow and grief that Ziklag was destroyed. Their wives and children had been carried away, and the anger of the men who were with David was so great, they almost stoned him. As always, he turned to the Lord!
Then the answer came: “Pursue, Overtake and Recover.” (1 Sam. 30:8). The Lord assured David that they would recover all. There would be no loss of life of any member of their families. Just as surely as God's Word is true, it happened exactly as He had said. Praise God. There is a message in these three words:
PURSUE, OVERTAKE, RECOVER!
If we pursue the course God has opened to us and fight the Devil, Sin, Sickness, Fear and Poverty, we will overtake the Enemy! We will then Recover our broken relationship with God and man and Recover what Satan has stolen from us! Let us push the battle to his doorstep, and not wait until he comes to ours before we take action! As never before, NOW is the time to go on the offensive! Having declared that, let's do it!
Remember, if we follow the instructions of God's Word, we shall overcome all our enemies and recover that which Satan has stolen from us; salvation, peace of mind, joy of spirit, healing of body, good reputation, prosperity and abundance!
After the great victory God gave David and his men, some of his soldiers desired to divide the spoils only among themselves. David said, "NO"! Everyone involved in the operation, whether on the front lines or at home must be included in the benefits of the victory.
David knew very well that it was God that had delivered the Amalekites into his hands! He stated, "...but as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike." (1 Sam. 30:24).
For more than 50 years as a God-called pastor, evangelist and an ‘apostle to the poor’, I have had the privilege of bringing this glorious Gospel to millions via television, radio, the printed page and mass crusades across the world.
We have taken the Gospel of Jesus Christ right to the gates of the enemy - pursuing, overtaking and recovering! God has given us great and glorious victories.
Those of you who have stayed on the back lines, however - fasting, praying, giving and sacrificing - will receive just as much reward, as we who has been on the front lines! And don't ever forget that my precious friend!
WHOSE IS THAT LARGE CROWN?
Many years ago, the famous Evangelist D. L. Moody, told a dream he had received from the Lord. It seems that in his dream he was ushered into Heaven by an angelic being. Moody was taken on a grand tour and shown the glories of God's Celestial City.
In a particular room, there were thousands of golden crowns with inlaid diamonds and precious stones. The angel took him by the hand and said, “This crown is yours. When you have finished your life's work for God, you will receive this beautiful crown.”
Moody was excited. The crown looked so beautiful. He felt very good. He then looked about the room and saw many crowns that were much larger than his, and more beautiful. That didn't bother him. He was very happy to be in heaven and to know that he would receive a crown from the Lord.
Out of curiosity however, he asked, "Tell me, if you would be so kind - who will receive that crown?" pointing to the largest, most beautiful one in the great display.
The angel smiled and said: “That crown, Brother Moody will go to the little washerwoman who stayed on her knees and prayed for you, until you gave your heart to Christ.”
ALWAYS NEED FOR PARTNERS!
St. Paul used the word partner to describe his relationship with Philemon: "If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself". (Phil. 17). He also called Titus his partner: "Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellow helper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ". (2 Cor. 8:23)
When Jesus Christ performed a miracle for Peter and John, and their boat was filled with fish, the Bible says, "And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink". (Luke 5:7)
Partners are labourers or workers who share the same goals but may have different jobs to reach those goals!
For more than forty years this ministry has reached masses of heathen for Christ, brought healing to many sick and dying folks and lifted the heavy burdens from a lot of hungry and hurting people.
If ever there was a time the Church needs to be united in one mind and one spirit to do the work of evangelizing and missions, it is NOW! Please remember that all of us have a specific job to do individually and will enjoy the fruits of our labours collectively! St. Paul said: “We are workers together with God”. (2 Cor. 6:1)
And Jesus said: “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
“And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” (John 4:35-36
THE WORLD'S GREATEST CHALLENGE!
“Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:15)
Jesus issued the greatest challenge ever made to mankind when He gave the Great Commission! It has been said: “Christ did not give, the Great Commission, but rather took it away.” He took it away from the Jews who had had it since the time of Abraham, and He gave it to the Gentiles!
There is a clear cut ‘missionary message’ in Gen. 12:2-3, where God told Abraham: “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: And in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed”.
God wanted the Jews to be missionaries, but they weren't able to keep themselves straight, let alone convert others! They were backsliding and worshipping the pagan gods of their neighbours.
The Old Testament prophets were clear on the place of the Gentiles 'in the Kingdom'. The Messiah would bring a light to the Gentiles, and they would trust in Him. (Is. 11:10; 42:6; 49:6; 60:3)
The angels brought the message of Jesus' birth to the shepherds in Judaea saying: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord". (Luke 2:10-11)
A study of the geneology of the Messiah, includes several Gentile women: e.i. Rahab and Ruth! When Jesus re-issued the great commission to His twelve apostles and other disciples, He was challenging them and all who would follow, to do the humanly impossible!
It is not possible, humanly speaking, to win the pagan to Christ. They already have their deities, gods, and holy men. Religions have always flourished with temples, rituals, ceremonies and so-called holy books!
Only by the power of God's Holy Word and the manifestation of the Blessed Holy Spirit and His miracles, is it possible to turn them from their pagan deities to the true God! St. Paul, however, confirmed that with the tools God has given us it can be done:
"For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ." (Rom. 15:18-19)
THE GREAT COMMISSION!
These are the Words of Jesus Christ we call the Great Commission: “And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
“And these signs shall follow them that believe: In My Name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents (Paul in Malta); and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them (preachers in Soviet prisons); they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:18)
These precious words of Jesus Christ have been confirmed repeatedly beginning on the Day of Pentecost until today and will continue until our Lord returns to receive us to Himself in the Rapture of the Church!
We have the example of the Early Church that against all odds persevered and was victorious in the most difficult of times. The Key is found in this verse: “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following.” (Mark 16:20)
When asked about the great miracles of God that have accompanied my ministry, I have always replied, “I preach the Gospel and God does the miracles!”
THE HOLY SPIRIT WORKS!
In his book ‘When the Spirit Came’ (1928), Moravian Evangelist Rev. John Greenfield wrote: “Of the Apostolic Church in Jerusalem a certain writer has said:
‘Before thirty years had elapsed from the death of Christ, His followers had spread from Palestine throughout Syria; throughout almost all the districts of Asia Minor; through Greece and the Islands of the Aegean sea, the coast of Africa, and even into Italy and Rome’
“And at the close of the First Century JUSTIN MARTYR could truly testify: ‘There is not a nation either Greek or Barbarian or of any other name, even those who wander in tribes or live in tents, among whom prayers and thanksgivings are not offered to the Father and Creator of the Universe in the name of the Crucified Jesus.”
Similar testimony could be given for the Moravian brethren. During the first 30 years after their spiritual Pentecost, they carried the Gospel of Salvation through the blood of the Lamb not only to nearly every country in Europe but also to many pagan nations in America, North and South, Asia and Africa, the West Indies and Greenland.
Greenfield writes: “Fifty years before the beginning of modern Foreign Missions by William Carey, the Moravian Church had led the way into pagan countries both by precept and example.
“Their English Missionary magazine, ‘Periodical Accounts’ inspired Dr. Carey and in a meeting of his Baptist brethren he threw a copy of the paper on the table with these memorable and historic words: ‘See what the Moravians have done! Cannot we follow their example and in obedience to our Heavenly Master go out into the world, and preach the Gospel to the heathen?”
ROUND-THE-CLOCK PRAYER CONTINUED FOR 100 YEARS!
On August 27, 1727, an around-the-clock prayer chain was started that lasted for one hundred years! The well-known German historian of ‘Protestant Missions’, Dr. Warneck testifies: “This small Church in twenty years called into being more Missions than the whole Evangelical church has done in two centuries.”
To take the glorious gospel of the Crucified and Risen Saviour to all creatures, is still a daunting Challenge for the Church in this generation of materialism, unbelief, perversion, and apostasy. We are to take the gospel to the ends of the earth - preaching the good news, healing the sick and casting out devils from those who are sick, oppressed, and tormented! (Matt. 10:1; Luke 10:9, 19; Mark 16:15-18)
And we are to do it in the incomparable name of Jesus!
Our job is cut out for us, and there is much to do before it is all over! St. Paul said that Christ will return for a glorious church without spot or wrinkle, so there is a lot of washing and ironing to do. (Eph. 5:26-27)
The Blood of Christ washes away our spots of sinfulness and the fire of the Holy Spirit irons us out. The Holy Spirit is symbolized as rain, dew, water, oil, wind, and fire!
The Commission to win souls for Christ is urgent, time is short, and the workers are few! Jesus said: “The harvest truly is plenteous but the labourers are few, pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that He will send forth labourers into the harvest.” (Matt. 9:37-38)
There is a bumper crop - but time is running out, dark clouds are gathering, and the storm is threatening. IT IS HARVEST TIME! There is no time to waste. Everyone must go to his post at once, put on the whole armor of God and do battle with satanic forces! (Eph. 6:10-20).
The enemy is approaching! He must be driven away so the harvest of precious souls can be reaped, before it is everlastingly too late!
‘The Harvest Cry’ rings out across the Christian World! Now is the time to pick up a sickle and reap. We must win souls; we must reach the lost at any cost!
Christ's death and resurrection must be heralded, and His power demonstrated to a lost, skeptical, and wicked world. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is our world’s only hope!
WE HAVE NO TIME TO WASTE!
Jesus said "Say not ye, there are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal; that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together." (John 4:35-36).
When God commanded Adam and Eve to "be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth" (Gen. 1:28), He was giving them quite a challenge. And despite the fact that about seven or eight million died in the flood, there are about 7.5 billion people on the earth today!
Noah faced a great challenge in saving the human race and the seed of the Messiah, when he obeyed the Lord in building the ark which God used to save him and his family. Job, Moses and Elijah all faced great challenges as did Jeremiah, Isaiah and Ezekiel!
Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation, was a man of extra-ordinary faith and took the challenge of God seriously to leave his home and go to the land which God would give him and his seed forever.
When Jesus, however, commanded the Church to carry His Gospel, His power and His name “into all the world”, saving sinners, healing the sick, casting out devils and making disciples for Him, that was the greatest challenge mankind has ever faced!
I believe that the work of ‘world evangelism' is still paramount in the Mind of Almighty God! The Bible says: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come". (Matt. 24:14)
WE MUST DEMONSTRATE CHRIST'S VICTORY OVER SATAN!
Jesus was very practical in His approach to people, and no doubt as He was teaching His disciples, He may have pointed to a nearby field of corn, barley or wheat, comparing it to the harvest fields of lost souls!
Seeing that the crop was young, green, and immature, He admonished them to lift their gaze from the fields of wheat unto the field of souls. Humanity is ripe for a revival of righteousness or judgment!
We may think that we have ample time to fulfill our calling and to do what we ought to do, but Jesus made it remarkably clear that time is short. And that the time to work is now - NOT TOMORROW, BUT NOW!!
The Hymn writer penned the words:
Today is mine, tomorrow may not come. I may not see the rising of the sun. When evening falls, may my work on earth be done. Today is mine, tomorrow may not come!
Our Master said, "I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day; night cometh, when no man can work." (John 9:4)
Time is of the essence. Time is at a premium. Time is in fact, running out! The King's business requires haste and it is an urgent matter indeed to redeem the time because the day in which we live are very EVIL! (Eph. 5:14-17)
Satan's defeat by Jesus Christ, must be heralded and demonstrated so that millions of his slaves will know of his surrender, and ESCAPE his awful prison of abuse, torment, fear and death!
He acts like he is still in control. He still terrorizes and plagues humanity, even though Christ's death and resurrection has stripped him of all legal rights to do so!
SATAN: LEGALLY POWERLESS!
The world must understand that the god of this world is a liar, a deceiver and a murderer. And that the Devil is legally powerless over Adam's fallen race! He has been stripped of all his authority over those who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour!
Here is the Truth: "God hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son. And He is before all things and by Him all consist. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell; And having made PEACE through the BLOOD of His Cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether there be things, in earth, or things in Heaven.” (Col. 1:13, 17, 20)
"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." (Col. 2:14,15)
The Norwegian Bible says, "The letter of debt that was against us was removed." In God's record book, our account was in arrears. We owed a debt we could not pay! Then Jesus paid it for us!
Now we are debt-free!
We were born in sin and are sinners by nature and by choice. We were positioned in enemy territory - citizens of Satan's kingdom. Then Jesus rescued us from satanic tyranny by His death on the cross and our acceptance of His generous pardon! We are now citizens of the Kingdom of God by His love, mercy, and grace!
The BIBLE says: “But this Man, because He continueth ever hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore He is ABLE also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Heb. 7:25)
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God raised Him (Jesus), thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosover shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be SAVED.” (Rom. 10: 9,10,13)
SINNERS MUST HEAR THE GOOD NEWS!
Christ saves from the power of sin. His blood washes away all guilt and condemnation! (1 John 1:7). The oppressed and fearful must hear the Good News!
Jesus Christ has atoned for our sins, paid our penalty and purchased our freedom from all the works of Satan, sin and its penalty. (Heb. 2:14-15). St. Paul wrote, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”. (2 Tim. 1:7)
The sick and diseased must hear the Good News! Christ has destroyed Satan's work which includes the bondage of Sickness and Disease!
The Bible says, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: Who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him." (Acts 10:38)
The literal Greek states, “...healing all who were under the domination and lordship of Satan”.
That divine healing is included in the atonement is definite and sure, since Christ paid the total ransom price to free us all from sin and the penalty for sin, which is death. We can now go free!
There will be no sin in Heaven because Jesus paid for our sins by shedding His blood, and there will be no sickness in Heaven because Jesus paid for all sickness and disease by His death and resurrection!
"Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come. But not as the offense, so also is the free gift.
"For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by One Man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification.
"For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ.
"Therefore, as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous." (Rom. 5:14-19)
JESUS CHRIST OUR SUBSTITUE!
Jesus Christ, the Second Adam and Last Adam, humbled Himself and took upon Himself the form of a servant. He was incarnated (God in human flesh), so He could shed His precious blood as God's Lamb to atone for the sins of the whole world, past, present and future!
The Bible says: "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3:8)
When Jesus Christ paid the supreme price and satisfied the demands of Divine Justice, through His vicarious Death on the cross, He made it possible for all mankind to be saved and delivered from Satan's bondage!
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." (Heb. 2:14-15)
In this Scripture we zero in on four words:
DEATH, DESTROY, DEVIL, DELIVER!
Through His vicarious Death for humanity on Calvary's Cross, Jesus Christ effectively and completely Destroyed Satan's power over believers in Christ because He destroyed the Devil. And He now Delivers all who hear the gospel, believe the good news and receive Jesus Christ into their lives, appropriating His promises for themselves.
Satan has had his own way too long! It is time we exposed “this masquerader” for what he is!
We must, of necessity, spread this glorious gospel to the ends of the earth, letting people know that Satan is defeated for time and eternity. It is imperative that we consistently demonstrate this truth by living pure, sanctified and victorious Christian lives!
Jesus Christ declared, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter (gr. parakletos: the One sent alongside to help; Divine Helper) will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
"Of sin, because they believe not on Me; Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." (John 16:7-11)
The literal Greek states that the Holy Spirit has come, “TO BRING A DEMONSTRATION TO THE WORLD OF CHRIST’S VICTORY OVER SATAN”.
WHAT DOES THIS RALLY MEAN?
It means that Satan is already judged and condemned by Christ's victory over him on Calvary's cross! It means that when Jesus cried, "It is finished" (John 19:30), Satan was already defeated! That he is already judged and has no power over those who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour!
The Greek word that Jesus used in verse 30 is tetelestai, taken from the Greek verb teleo which has three essential meanings:
1) "To bring to an end, finish or complete something."
Jesus had finished His ministry and effectively brought to an end, Satan's reign of terror over those who put their trust in Him. St. John brings that out when he writes, "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3:8)
St. Paul wrote: "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." (Heb. 2:14-15)
CHRIST’S VICTORY SPELLS SATAN’S DEFEAT AND THAT EQUALS OUR TOTAL LIBERTY! Through His vicarious death on the cross, Jesus destroyed Satan and his evil power over humanity!
Salvation was now complete! The “Cross of Christ” had conquered Satan’s evil regime. His blood was now flowing, bringing life to all who would believe upon His Name.
2) "To carry out, accomplish, perform, fulfill."
There are 232 Old Testament prophecies which refer to the coming Messiah. Jesus fulfilled them all, to the letter!
When He cried tetelestai, He was saying, “I am the Christ. I am the fulfillment of every Old Testament prophecy concerning King Messiah”!
JESUS had carried out His Father's will and plan perfectly! He had executed to the minutest detail every aspect of His earthly Ministry, and accomplished Salvation's plan for us!
3) "To pay that which was owed."
We were guilty as sin! Our future was doomed, for "the scripture hath concluded all under sin". (Gal. 3:22): "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God". (Rom. 3:23)
God's Word declares, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord". (Rom. 6:23). Jesus Christ is “God's unspeakable gift” to us. (2 Cor. 9:15)
The Bible states, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life". (John 3:16)
JESUS CHRIST PAID FOR MY SINS!
He paid for my redemption through His sacrificial, substitutionary death on the cross and His subsequent glorious resurrection!
St. Paul said, "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's". (1 Cor. 6:20)
"Who (God) hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son, In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins." (Col. 1:13-14)
Again he declares, "...wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved, In Whom, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace". (Eph. 1:6-7)
And St. Peter emphasizes, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things...But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot". (1 Peter 1:18-19)
CHRIST PURCHASED OUR SALVATION!
Christ has purchased our total liberty and freedom by the BLOOD of His Cross! The Bible says, "Christ hath REDEEMED us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us...That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles (heathen) through Jesus Christ". (Gal. 3:13-14)
God's Word declares, "How much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself to God, purge your conscience from dead works". (Heb. 9:16)
Here is an outstanding miracle. When counselling sessions and psychiatric treatments have failed to bring peace to troubled minds and spirits, one dip in the “fountain of blood” and the condemnation and guilt that the tormented one has carried for years or decades, is gone!
Only the BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST AND GOD'S WORD has the power to purge and remove the conscience of guilt, condemnation and fear. Hallelujah!
- To be continued