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Sermon of the Week 
Saturday, March 23 2024

Destroying The Works Of The Evil One

I want to begin with a little story that was shared by missionary, Reinhard Bonnke....

A man had a 2-story house. He heard a knocking, opened the door, and found Jesus there, so he invited Him to live in the house and gave Him  room in the top floor. The man was sleeping and heard a pounding on the door, opened the door a *.......crack and the devil barged in. He had a terrible fight, trying to resist the devil and his temptations, yelling out for help all the time. Eventually, he managed to throw the devil out. In the morning, he said, "Why didn't you help me last night, Jesus? Jesus answered, "You've got this whole big house to yourself, and I've only got one room." The Man said "Well then, You can have the whole top floor, and I'll keep the bottom floor." The man was sleeping and heard a pounding on the door, opened the door a crack and the devil barged in again. He had another terrible fight, eventually, he managed to throw the devil out. In the morning, he said, "Why didn't you help me last night?" Jesus said "The problem is, I have the top floor, but you still have the bottom floor all to yourself." The Man said, "Ah, I see what you mean. From now on, the whole house is yours." That night, the man was asleep, and there was a pounding at the door again.                                                                                                                                 This time Jesus went to the door, opened it wide, and stood in the doorway. The devil looked at Him, bowed very low and said, "I'm sorry, but I think I knocked on the wrong door."

My title today comes from 1 John 3:8 “He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”

We all can see around us plenty of evidence that the Devil has been knocking on a lot of doors. But God goes further than answering the door, He came to destroy the works of the devil... look at....

Deuteronomy 12:2 “You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree”.                                                                                  Not only is God saying to destroy the works of the devil. He’s saying to destroy all evidence that he ever was there! Destroy the evidence, so there is nothing he could point to and use to pull anyone back into it...

Deuteronomy 12:3 “You shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and burn their Asherim with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods and obliterate their name from that place”.

Now, please know that I’m not advocating that we get violent, and start tearing down strip joints, marijuana houses, gang headquarters, and other places of satanic activity, but there is something we can do....

2 Corinthians 10:3-4 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds of the enemy.

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Why would God give us a full suit of spiritual armor and a sword and shield, if we weren’t to do in our day what God commanded His people to do in their day?..... eliminate every trace and all evidence of Satan’s workings. 

A little elderly Christian lady was asked, “Does the devil ever trouble you about your past sins?” She answered, “Yes, I’m sure I’m no different than anyone else.” When the inquirer asked what she did about it, she replied, “Oh, I just tell him to go east.” “What do you do if he comes back?” “Well then I tell him to go west.” “And when he comes back from the west, what do you do then?” She said, “I just keep him going from the east to the west. Because Psalm 103:12 says “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” 

So my question is, why would God tell us to do something that we would not be able to do! Do you understand that God gives us the same armor that He uses to defeat the devil? Didn’t He say in the Word, Put on the whole armor of God.... not just any armor, but the armor of God!

In the book of Isaiah 59:17, we are told, “He put on righteousness as His breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on His head” 

Deuteronomy 33:29 “Blessed are you, O Israel, Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, Who is the shield of your help, And the sword of your majesty! So your enemies will cringe before you, And you will tread upon their high places.”

Psalm 45:3 Gird Your sword on Your thigh O God, O Mighty One, In Your splendor and Your majesty!

Deuteronomy 32:41 If I sharpen My flashing sword, And My hand takes hold on justice, I will render vengeance on My adversaries, And I will repay those who hate Me.

So God allows us to fight with the same weapons which He fights with. Have you thought about exactly what Gideon was saying when He was speaking courage into his small army of 300 who were facing an enemy of more than 135,000? Look at it...

Judges 7:20 And the three companies (of 100 each) blew the trumpets, and broke the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon”.

Gideon is making sure that everyone knows that the sword which will win the battle is the sword of the Lord. Gideon and his troops are the power on earth that by faith and obedience releases the powers of heaven into the earth. God is the conqueror and they are more than conquerors because they get to enjoy the blessings of the victory which God accomplished.

If Gideon were in the new testament, He would be saying “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.”

Notice that Gideon and his army are only taking back what the enemy had taken from them. When God gives you something, and the enemy steals it, it doesn’t mean that it is no longer yours! It’s still yours, even if it’s in the enemies hands... 

I want us to make 7 declarations about taking back what the Devil has stolen...We declare in the Name of Jesus…

1. The favor of God in my life restores everything the enemy has stolen from me according to Exodus 3:21 “I will grant you such favor in the sight of the enemy that when you leave, you will go forth in abundance.                                                                                                                                                2. I am expecting great victories in the face of great impossibilities according to Joshua 11:20 “For it was [the purpose] of the LORD to harden their hearts, to fight against us, so that they would be no more as the Lord commanded.”                                                                                     3. I have found the thief, and he must restore to me seven times what he has stolen, Proverbs 6:31 “When the thief is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house”.                                                                                                                                     4. I am pursuing total restoration of my money, time, opportunities, health and relationships, and I will, without fail, recover all 1 Samuel 30:6 “David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. 18 and David recovered everything that had been taken... 19 Nothing was missing and David brought everything back”.                                                                                                                   5. I am the head and not the tail, above and not beneath. I expect blessings to chase me down and overtake me. Every tongue that rises against me shall fail. No weapon formed against me, my finances, my health, my family or my ministry will ever prosper. Deuteronomy 28:13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the Words of the Lord your God that He gives you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom”.                                                                                                    6. God is turning my situation around right now. As I obey Him and praise Him with a grateful heart, my faith and trust in Him is opening the door for a total and complete restoration of everything that has been stolen.                                                                                                       Romans 8:28 “And I know that in all things God is working for my good because i love him, and I am called according to His purpose in all things”.                                                                                                                       7. I am more than a conqueror! I am not only recovering everything that has been stolen from me, but I am going to a new level beyond what was stolenin Jesus’ Name . Romans 8:37 “For in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I know, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor any power, can separate us from the love of God.”

I got excited when I began to see that God not only allows us to overcome the enemy who wants to steal, kill and destroy, but He destroys all the evidence that Satan would try to use against us. I hope this gets you as excited as it made me!

This is the scripture in Matthew, which finds Jesus in the garden praying. You recall, that He had told the 12 to watch and pray, and when He checked on them, they were fast asleep. He told them “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”.... that was an exhortation for all of us....Then we see Jesus praying with such fervor that His sweat became drops of blood, and in His humanity, He cried out, “ If it be possible, let this cup of suffering pass from me, but nevertheless, not my will but thine be done”..... Certainly a prayer we should all pray daily.... 

We pick this up in Matthew 26: 47 While Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The One I kiss is the man, arrest Him.” 49 Going straight to Jesus, he said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 50 “Friend,” Jesus replied, “do what you came for.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus, and arrested Him. 51 Seeing this, Peter drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.”

Why did Jesus heal the high priest’s servant’s ear? Because what Peter did in cutting off the ear, could have caused him to be executed, and ended his life and ministry. So Jesus had to get rid of the evidence that could have been used to convict Peter, and allow the enemy to end his ministry. If the high priest were to go before Pilate and accuse Peter, he would have no proof at all! Not even a scar remained on the servant’s ear. That is so powerful, because that’s what Jesus did for each one of us!

I’m reminded of my son Chris’s tonsils which were constantly infected and swollen. I had a visiting minister, who I had known for many years, in our service. He had finished speaking and then asked Winnie if she had a son that was present. She went out and got Chris from the boys group, (it was Wednesday night) He came in and the minister prayed for Him. He made a huge GULP, and said that he had swallowed his tonsils. We checked with a flashlight, and sure enough they were gone. Years later in his forties, he went to a doctor for a throat problem, and the doctor asked who did his tonsils, because he had never seen an extraction with absolutely no scar.... Hallelujah!

When I received Jesus, He took all the evidence that Satan could use to convict me, torment me, and destroy me, and eliminated it with His blood. 

So, when Satan and his demons come around looking for something to use to lay sickness, accusations, and destruction on you, He can’t find any evidence to use, if you have repented and put it under the blood. 

Colossians 2:10 “And you are made complete in Christ, who is the head of all principality and power. 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which could be used to accuse us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross. 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it”.

He put everything that could be used against us, out of the reach of Satan, and posted a “No trespassing” around it..... So when Satan comes around with anything of your past to try and accuse you... Tell him to get lost, because there is no evidence that He can use to prove any of it! Jesus took our place, He took my injustice, He took my guilty plea and paid the price so I could go free... He hung on the cross in my place, He died so I could live, then He rose from the grave triumphing over death, so that I can triumph over the grave, The tomb is empty, which means the grave can not hold us! 

We have the righteousness of Christ, the life that we now live we live by the faith of Christ, we overcome because He overcame. We don’t just live a physical life, but we now live a spiritual life that is eternal, for we live by His eternal spirit in us!

The apostle Paul, in the scriptures, states that salvation is by faith alone. But the apostle James states that faith without works is of no value..... And yet there is no contradiction in the two... because when the Apostle Paul speaks about justification by faith alone, He’s speaking of salvation. When the apostle James speaks of justification by our works, he is speaking of justifying our faith to our fellow man….he is talking about making our faith visible to other people so they may see and believe.  Sowhat both are saying is correct. 

It was the apostle Matthew who said “men do not light a candle, and put it under a basket, but on a candlestick; and it gives light unto all that are in the house”.                                                                                                                               The Christian author, Winkie Pratney once said, “If you were accused of being a Christian, and they brought you to trial, would there be enough evidence to convict you”.                                                                                           Good works won’t save anyone, but works are the evidence of our faith in Christ.

Paul and James use Abraham as a reference....Abraham is already justified by believing and trusting God, but when he waswilling to sacrifice his only son Isaac, he put works with his faith, and demonstrated his faith to his fellow man by his obedience to God.

Just as the cross has a vertical and horizontal expression, in like manner, our salvation has a vertical expression to God, and a horizontal expression which can be seen by our fellow man. God knows our hearts, but people around us need evidence of our faith by our works.      

Someone once said that faith is like calories, you can’t see them, but you can sure see their results when they’re in you!”

My wife knows that I love her, but if she doesn’t regularly see evidence of my love by my actions, she will wonder if I’ve fallen out of love with her.....                                                                                                                                  So, speaking of showing your faith by your works, There was a young man who was an engineer ..... he was sent to Ireland by his company to work in a new electronics plant. It was a two-year assignment that he had accepted because it would enable him to earn enough money, to marry his long-time girlfriend. She had a job near her home in Tennessee, and their plan was to save enough money and put a down payment on a house when he returned, and have the wedding.                                                                                                                                                        They corresponded often, but as the lonely weeks went by, she began expressing doubts in her letters as to whether he was being true to her or not. She expressed concern that he was a single man exposed to lots of young attractive Irish ladies. The young engineer wrote back, declaring that he was paying absolutely no attention to the local girls. "I admit," he wrote, "that sometimes I’m tempted. But I fight it..... I’m keeping myself for you." In the next mail, the engineer received a package. It contained a note from his girl and.... a harmonica......."I’m sending this to you, so you can learn to play it and have something to take your mind off those girls." The engineer wrote back, "Thanks so much, my darling, for the harmonica. I’m practicing on it every night and thinking of you."                                                                                                         At the end of his two-year stint, the engineer was transferred back to his company headquarters. His fiancé had her whole family with her as he stepped off the plane, but as he rushed forward to embrace her, she held up a restraining hand and said sternly, "Just hold on there a minute, Billy Bob. Before any serious kissin’ and huggin’ gets started here, play me a song on the harmonica I sent you!"

Jesus doesn’t have a branch of Christianity called the “Secret Service”.. We are all part of God’s light brigade! 

Because Jesus took your place, God sees you as His child, you are part of His family, and you have His life residing in you and guiding you.

You are a new creation, You are made complete in Him, You are God’s masterpiece (you’re one of a kind), You are made righteous, You are dearly loved by God, You are forgiven of all your sins, You are redeemed and freefrom the curse of the law, You are blessed, You are chosen, You are called, You are more than a conqueror, You are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, You are being changed into His image, You are healed by Hisfinished work, You are free from condemnation, You are a citizen of heaven, You are free from the law of sin and death, You are reconciled to God, You are joint-heirs with Christ, You are the recipient of grace, You are dead to sin, it has no authority over you, You are one with Christ, You are strong in the Lord, You are victorious, You are never, ever alone, You are sealed by the Spirit, You are God’s possession!....                                                                                                                                         I hope I didn’t wear you out, but that’s only part of the list!!

I would like to ask in closing, that we pray the prayer of Paul which he sent to the church of Ephesus.....

Ephesians 3:14 “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passes all knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that is now workingin us. 21 Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen”.

What a prayer.... but before we go our separate ways.... 

This prayer is for those who have received Christ as savior and lord. Have you received Him? You can take your rightful place among all those we have been talking about today, by simply praying in your heart with me,                                                                                                                 “Lord Jesus, thank you for bearing my sins on the cross, and for taking my judgment, so I can receive Your forgiveness and eternal life. Thank you for  making me your child, and placing your spirit within me. I make you my savior and Lord, Thank you in Jesus Name!

We have seen many healed, and set free, so if you need special prayer, please reach over to someone near you we will come into agreement with you, and believe with you for what Jesus has promised is yours.....

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