The Battle Is In Your Mind
Concerning the believer’s authority, we need to recognize that Satan has
already been dealt with by God. Since Jesus endured God’s wrath at the cross,
He isn’t pouring it out upon us today. Our job is to stand in faith and enforce
what the Lord has already done through His death, burial, and resurrection. One
way we do this is by telling people the truth.
The battle is in your mind. Satan isn’t controlling people through some
demonic power. He’s controlling them through lies and deceptions. By telling the
truth, lies are exposed and people are set free. So much of this “spiritual warfare”
and “intercession” teaching denies the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s
Jesus is the New Testament Intercessor who ended all Old Covenant
intercession. There’s now no need to beg for mercy or to tell God to repent. New
Testament believers praise God for what He’s already done and offer themselves
as a vessel for the Lord to work through.
The real focus needs to be on the way we think. Don’t just pray for someone
and wait on God to touch that person without human intervention. God flows
through people. He uses us. We must preach the Gospel.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and
how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall
they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be
sent?…So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
You can’t just pray and get a person saved, healed, or anything. You must
speak God’s Word. Faith for salvation, healing, and everything else comes by
hearing the Word of God.
“STOP THE PLAGUE!”
Numbers 16 is another Old Testament example that is often used to teach
“spiritual warfare” and “intercession.” People say, “You must stand in the gap,
begging and pleading with God for your loved ones to be saved, healed, or
whatever.” This passage of scripture details what happens right after Korah,
Dathan, and Abiram rebelled against Moses. The earth opened up and swallowed
all three of these men and all that they possessed. (Num. 16:32-33.) Of course,
the people just screamed and ran for fear.
But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the LORD. And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared. And Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of the congregation. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces.
God was upset because the people had come against Moses and Aaron.
Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the
altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make
an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the
plague is begun. And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the
midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the
people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. And
he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed. Now
they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred,
beside them that died about the matter of Korah.
This is another example of where God became angry with the children of
Israel. Moses recognized it, and told Aaron to take a censer and put coals from off of the altar on it (symbolic of prayer). He took this censer—prayer—and stood—interceded —between those who had already died of the plague and
those who hadn’t. Once the plague reached where he stood offering prayers and intercession, it stopped. However, 14,700 people died before Aaron could run in there with this censer and stop the plague.
I’ve literally heard people teaching on “intercession” say, “This is the way it
is. God is holy and man isn’t. He’s so angry at people that He’s about to destroy them. God is sending hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, AIDS, and all kinds of tragedies. God’s wrath has begun, and we as intercessors need to pray and stand between God and these people who are deserving of His wrath. We need to plead for mercy, calm Him down, and beg Him to sit back down on the throne so. He won’t destroy the human race.” People are preaching such nonsense.
A MUCH BETTER JOB
Jesus is the only mediator now between God and man. (1 Tim. 2:5.) There’s
no other mediator and no other mediation that needs to be done. When Jesus died, He forever satisfied the wrath of God. The Lord isn’t ready to destroy this nation or any other. I’m not saying we don’t deserve it. I’m saying God placed the punishment for our rebellion and sins upon Jesus. He’s not giving us what we deserve. It’s not God who is about to destroy this nation or city.
As an individual, you may feel like you deserve the wrath of God. You don’t
doubt that God exists. You just don’t think He’ll do anything for you because you know you aren’t living life the way you should. God is speaking to you right
now, saying, “Jesus has already borne your punishment. He’s already suffered
your pain. I’m not the one bringing tragedy into your life.” You might be
thinking, But I have all kinds of problems. Surely, God is judging me. No, you yielded yourself to Satan and he comes to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10.)
So yes, your life may be a mess—but it’s not because God’s wrath is upon you
and He’s judging you.
God placed His wrath over your sins upon Jesus, and all you must do is
humble yourself and receive the forgiveness He offers as a free gift. You don’t have to beg and plead with the Lord to save you. He’s already done it. He’s already dealt with your sin through the atoning sacrifice of His Son.
You don’t need to beg and plead on an individual basis or on a collective
basis (for a city or country). God’s wrath has been satisfied. If you’re trying to
tell God to repent and have mercy, then you’re trying to improve upon the work
that the Lord Jesus Christ has already done. I guarantee that Jesus did a much
better job at it than what you could ever do.
You don’t need to plead with God to turn His heart toward us. His heart is
already toward us because He loves us. This country is in the process of being
destroyed because of our own wickedness and yielding to Satan. However, God
wants to redeem this country and see us wholeheartedly turn back to Him. He
needs Christians to come out of their prayer closets and stop begging Him for
what Jesus has already provided.
He needs believers to stand up in faith and start taking this good news to
others: “God isn’t mad. He’s not even in a bad mood. God isn’t ticked off. He
loves you and wants you to be free.” Tell people the truth because it’s the truth
that will set them free. (John 8:32.)
It’s not up to God whether the lost get saved or not. He’s already made the
atonement and paid for their sins. He’s extended forgiveness and abundant life,
but they aren’t receiving. He’s sent the Holy Spirit to deal with people and
convict them, but they’re resisting Him. One of the biggest reasons people aren’t
making the right choice is because they aren’t hearing the good news of the
Gospel. They’re being lied to by the devil.
Although Satan is inspiring it, people are the ones who are saying, “There are
no absolutes. Sexual immorality isn’t wrong. There are many roads to heaven,”and such. Through these lies, people have dropped their guard and stopped resisting evil. They’ve embraced sin, and because of it have welcomed Satan right into their life. He’s blinded their hearts from the light of Christ (2 Cor. 4:4), but the antidote isn’t doing “spiritual warfare,” binding demons, and begging God. It’s us standing up, preaching the Gospel, and telling people the truth.
God always backs up His truth with power. (Mark 16:20.) We need to believe the Word and trust the Holy Spirit to demonstrate that power. Jesus had to have miracles to validate what He was saying. He told the religious Jews that if they couldn’t believe because of His words, then to believe because of His
miracles. (John 10:38.) If Jesus needed to have proof for people to believe that
He was sent from God and speaking the truth, then we do too. We need to start
sharing God’s Word and demonstrating His supernatural power. Then people
will turn to the Lord.
SHARE THE TRUTH
One time I met a woman before a meeting in Birmingham who had just been
in the hospital. She’d been laying flat on her back watching me say these things
on television. The doctors had given her up to die. Just a year before, her mother
had passed away from the same exact thing—cancer. This woman wasn’t only
sick in her body, but also sick in her heart and mind. She was hopeless and
fearful because she’d seen other people die of the same disease and the doctors
had told her there was nothing they could do. As she lay there on the hospital
bed, she saw that I was going to be in Birmingham, so she pulled the tubes out of her body, checked herself out of the hospital, and came to my meeting to receive prayer.
I prayed with her and she was instantly healed. Every bit of pain and all the
cancer’s symptoms were gone. At the end of the service, I gave an invitation for
people to be born again. Since she’d never received the Lord, she came forward, gave her life to Jesus, and was born again. She got healed, delivered of cancer, born again, baptized in the Holy Spirit, and spoke in tongues all in one night.
She checked into a nearby hotel and stayed for the next three days’ worth of
meetings, getting built up in her faith. All this came to pass because she heard
the truth and saw the power of God in demonstration.
Some of the doctrines that are held most dear in the body of Christ today
have been established by the devil. (1 Tim. 4:1.) These lies have been rendering
us ineffective. This woman in Birmingham didn’t get healed through somebody interceding for her in some closet. She heard a believer speaking the truth and
giving testimonies of what God had done. The Holy Spirit used these things to
quicken her faith. A woman—who wasn’t even born again yet— pulled the tubes
out of her body, walked out of the hospital, and came to where the believers were meeting.
Faith came to her by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. (Rom.
10:17.) When the truth comes to people, it begins to tear down the lies,
deceptions, and strongholds of the devil. Faith can’t rise in someone’s heart
unless you share the truth with them.
God told Jeremiah:
Behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood,
and it shall devour them…Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD;
and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
JEREMIAH 5:14; 23:29
This is the reason we must speak the Word. Somehow or another, we’ve
gotten away from this. We’ve been diverted and distracted, putting so much of our energy into begging God to do what He’s already done. That’s ineffective.
We’ve been in prayer closets binding Satan and commanding him to let people
go, thinking that if we pray hard enough people will get born again. That’s not
true. The Word says that people must be born again by the incorruptible seed of
(1 Pet. 1:23.)