I will be teaching a Bible fellowship in Avon, Indiana on Friday and here are teaching notes. I hope you are blessed by them.
AW Tozer: “The devil makes it his business to keep Christians in bondage, bound and gagged, actually imprisoned in their own grave clothes.”
Tozer-“Satan has been in this business of intimidating and silencing and oppressing the people of God for a long, long time.”
Tozer-“Satan is an old dragon who defies us this hour. He is saying to Christians, ‘I defy you-what can you do about it?’”
John 10:10 (Wuest Expanded Translation)
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I alone came in order that they might be possessing life, and that they might be possessing it in superabundance.
Steal means to take away by stealth not rob by violence. It means to to take secretly and without permission the property of someone.
Kill means to offer as a sacrifice. It is to sacrifice or kill a sacrificial victim.
It referred to the animal sacrifices that were slain and offered on an altar. It was to bring a religious offering to a deity.
Destroy means to put out of the way, abolish and to ruin; the fundamental thought is not annihilation but loss and ruin. It is to render useless, to perish and to be lost.
Apollumi (destroy) as it relates to men, is not the loss of being per se, but is more the loss of well-being. It means to ruin so that the person (or thing) ruined can no longer serve the use for which he (it) was designed.
Life is zoe-the absolute fullness of life in all of its manifestations that belongs to God.
II Timothy 1:1(NIV)
Paul an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,
Acts 10:38 (KJV)
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.
Oppressed-to exercise harsh control over one, to use one’s power against one; to oppress and overpower one; to oppress harshly, to tyrannize and to dominate someone.
Heal-to cure, to heal, to make whole.
I John 3:8(b) (KJV):
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done].
Now the Son of God came to earth with the express purpose of undoing the devil’s work.
This is why the devil has such hatred and hostility toward Jesus for he came for the express purpose of destroying, undoing, dissolving, and bringing to naught the works of the devil. God sent His Son to a dying world for the glorious mission of obliterating the curse of sin, death, and bondage that corrupted the human race in the Garden of Eden. He was sent to restore God’s magnificent purpose and destiny for men, women, and children. God wanted to bring children into His family again who would be fully righteous, justified, sanctified, and redeemed and have complete, vital, and intimate communion and fellowship with Him. God wanted mankind to once again enjoy all the full blessings of the goodness of God. Jesus Christ was the ambassador of the goodness of God and paid the price for whomever wills to come and enjoy all the benefits of His goodness.
The word “destroy” is the Greek word luo, which means: to loose something tied or bound, to break up that which is compacted together, to dissolve, to sever, to break in pieces, to set free, to melt and to demolish. The word means “a destruction by undoing or dissolving that which forms the bond of cohesion.” Jesus Christ came to loosen people from the works of the devil and set them free. We all had a bond of cohesion to Satan’s kingdom through sin and death, but Jesus Christ dissolved the bond, and we broke free. The word luo is used in the gospels when John the Baptist said that he was not worthy to unloose (luo) the thong or strap of Jesus’ sandals. This gives a great mind picture of Jesus unloosening the works of the devil in people’s lives, like un-strapping a sandal, so that the works can be thrown off of the body, heart, and soul of a person and one can enjoy true freedom.
The Greek word luo is used again in Acts 27:41 when the ship taking the Apostle Paul to Rome was “broken (luo) on the violence of the waves.” This was a huge boat with enough room for 276 people, yet the fierce strength of the waves shattered the hinder part of the boat into pieces. Many of the soldiers were saved by grabbing onto a broken piece of the ship and floating to shore. This should paint a vivid picture for you. Jesus Christ shattered the devil’s works into a million pieces by the awesome power of God. Like a ship helplessly run into the ground and continuously beat with the relentless pounding of the waves, Jesus Christ continually pounded the schemes, deceptions, and purposes of the devil with the great force of the Word of God. He was relentless in his destruction of the devil’s works, as the boat of Satan’s kingdom could not escape the light and truth of His purpose upon the earth. Jesus Christ shook and shattered the devil’s kingdom into broken pieces.
The Greek word luo is also used in II Peter 3:10,12 when the present heaven, earth and elements melt (luo) with fervent heat and dissolve (luo) by fire at the time of the last judgments described in the Book of Revelation. What a mind picture! For something to melt, you have to apply intense heat to it. It requires energy to melt anything. When increasing temperature is applied to an element and it melts, the energy being applied to it is greater than the energy holding it together. The heat overcomes the internal forces of attraction within the solid to transform it into a liquid. Thus it begins to change form and melt.
Jesus Christ put intense heat on the purposes, works, and schemes of the devil and melted and dissolved them. Jesus Christ operated spiritual power, and when this spiritual energy of God was applied to the works of the devil, it was greater than any force holding his works together. The power of God disintegrates any plot, scheme, or purpose of Satan and no matter how attractively it is held together by evil, it cannot overcome the energy and dynamic power that rest in God. Jesus Christ put the intense heat of the truth of the Word of God right upon the kingdom of darkness, and it shined as a brilliant light, exposing the wicked works of the Evil One. This white hot heat of God’s Word melted the hardened and callous hearts of many and melted the devil’s evil foothold of bondage that robs people of joy, peace, love, and wholeness.
Interestingly, this same Greek word, luo, is also used in John 10:35, when it declares, “the scripture cannot be broken (luo).” The devil can never break, dissolve, melt, or demolish the Word of God. I Peter 1:23 says that “the word of God lives and abides forever.” The Word of God is life. The Word of God is good, pure, powerful, and faithful. It cannot be dissolved away into nothing. No matter how much heat or pressure the devil applies to the Word, it does not melt under the burning heat. Satan does not have enough energy or power to break the Word of God. Jesus Christ is the living Word. The devil does not have enough energy or power to break or shatter the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Word of God is so powerful and so energetic that it dissolves and melts every evil work of Satan. Jesus Christ believed, obeyed, trusted, spoke, lived, studied, and knew the Word of God intimately and deeply. Jesus Christ’s main weapon in the destruction of the devil’s works is the Word of God. The Word was his sword of the Spirit. The devil cannot overcome the “It is written” mentality that Jesus Christ demonstrated during his temptations in the wilderness and throughout his ministry. Jesus Christ’s confrontation with the seed of the serpent was clearly defined in their first head to head battle in the wilderness, as Jesus Christ used the Word of God to back the devil down and defeat his temptations.
One of the devil’s main tools in his battle with the Seed of the woman is ignorance. Satan wants to keep people in the dark about the great truths of the Bible. Satan wants to keep people in the dark about the goodness and wonderful character of God. Satan wants to keep people in the dark about the devil’s wicked kingdom on earth and his exercise of authority as the god of this age. Satan wants to keep people in the dark about the great victory of redemption, wholeness, healing, peace, and everlasting life available in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The devil loves to counterfeit the truth and goodness of God. The devil loves to deceive, to camouflage, to mislead, to masquerade, to impersonate, to lie, and to distract people away from the truth of God’s Word and the goodness of God. The devil counterfeits God’s Word with false religion, creeds, and philosophies to divert a person’s attention away from a true knowledge of God. He masquerades evil as good and good as evil. He paints a picture of the true God as a cruel, vicious, uncaring, and evil God, responsible for all the calamity of the world. He makes people turn their back on God in disgust. He makes God seem distant, heartless, cold, and indifferent. He makes people think the devil is an illusion of religious thought, a fictitious bogeyman, a myth for religious control, and simply non-existent.
Jesus Christ declared in the Gospel of John that “there is no truth in him (devil)” and he is “the father of lies.” Jesus Christ calls him “a murderer” and “a thief,” as all his works are set up to steal, kill, and destroy a person from receiving the life and goodness of God and the truth of His mighty Word. Jesus Christ exposed the snare of the devil and made known all his wicked works. Jesus Christ also made known God and His goodness in such a dynamic way, opening the eyes of those who had ears to hear and eyes to see. Jesus Christ came so that all His followers could know the truth of the Word of God and that this truth would set them free.
In our redemption through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, lies the ultimate deliverance and healing from every single oppression, exploitation, domination, depression, tyranny, and work of the devil.
The fatal wound to the head of the serpent was delivered at Calvary and the empty tomb. The death sentence to both the devil and all his works was shouted out to the human race with three words at Calvary and three words at the empty tomb. Jesus Christ cried out, “It is finished” at Calvary, and the angel proclaimed, “He is risen” at the empty tomb. What a Savior who brought us back to the goodness of God!
Luke 4:18 (Weymouth):
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because
He has anointed me to proclaim Good News
to the poor; He sent me to announce release
to the prisoners of war and recovery of sight
to the blind; to send away free those whose
tyranny has crushed.
We no longer have to be prisoners of war in the spiritual battle that rages with the devil. Jesus Christ opened the prison door of every tyranny of mind, body, heart, and soul and set us free. He crushed every tyrannical work of the devil that had previously broke our heart and spirit. He delivers all those who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity.
The main goal of all of the devil’s works is to separate and keep us from the heart of God. The devil set up many roadblocks and obstructions, beginning with sin and its consequences, that corrupted people’s relationship with God. Jesus Christ unloosed all the obstructions and cleared the pathway to the heart of God. He melted the devil’s work of separation and deception, and widely opened the door of access to our loving Father. Jesus Christ made it available that we might know Him and have full communion and intimacy with Him to such a degree that it overwhelms the heart. The human race feels restless, empty, unfulfilled, useless, valueless, and incomplete without a deep, vibrant, and living relationship with their Creator God Almighty. To know his love, to know his goodness, to know his justice, to know his righteousness, to know his mercy, to know his truth, and to know his faithfulness is the ultimate rush and thrill in life. How exciting to have God as your closest friend, your trusted advisor, your loving parent, and your strong protector. The devil does everything in his power to prevent this. He steals, kills and destroys to keep people from getting to know God on an intimate basis and understand the greatness of his good character. He spiritually blinds people to the heart of God and goodness of God.
Lightfoot: Yes, by a strong arm he rescued us from the lawless tyranny of darkness, removed us from the land of our bondage, and settled us as free citizens in our new and glorious home, where his Son, the offspring and the representative of his love, is King;
MLB (Berkley): He has rescued us from the domain of darkness, and has transferred us into the kingdom of His Beloved Son,
Moffatt: rescuing us from the power of the Darkness and transferring us to the realm of his beloved Son!
NJB: Because that is what he has done. It is he who has rescued us from the ruling force of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son that he loves (NJB)
NLT: For he has rescued us from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, and he has brought us into the Kingdom of his dear Son. (NLT – Tyndale House)
Phillips: For we must never forget that he rescued us from the power of darkness, and re-established us in the kingdom of his beloved Son, that is, in the kingdom of light. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Weymouth: It is God who has delivered us out of the dominion of darkness, and has transferred us into the Kingdom of His dearly-loved Son,
Wuest: who delivered us out of the tyrannical rule of the darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we are having our liberation, procured by the payment of ransom
Deliver (rhuomai [word study] or ruomai or rhyomai from rhúo = to draw, drag along the ground) means to draw or snatch to oneself and invariably refers to a snatching from danger, evil or an enemy. This basic idea is that of bringing someone out of severe and acute danger, and so to save, rescue, deliver, preserve. Rhuomai emphasizes greatness of peril from which deliverance is given by a mighty act of power. In the NT rhuomai is always associated with God as the Deliverer and with a person as the object of His deliverance.
Ephesians 1:19-23 (Amplified)
19And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength,
20Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places],
21Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.
22And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church],(A)
23Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself].
AW Tozer-“It is a delightful thing when you know that you are close enough to the Adversary that you can hear him roar! Too many Christians never get into ‘lion country’ at all”
Tozer-“Brethren, God never meant for us to be kicked around like a football. He wants us to be humble and let Him do the chastening when necessary. But when the devil starts tampering with you, dare to resist him! I stand for believing in God and defying the devil-and our God loves that kind of courage among His people. If you are still wrapped in grave clothes and great fears lie upon you, it is time for you to dare to rise and in sweet faith in the risen Jesus Christ declare: ‘I will not take this any longer. I am a child of God-why should I go mourning all the day?’ Will God answer? ‘All right my child,’ He will answer as the burden rolls away, ‘I have waited long to hear you say that. Jesus is Victor and in Him you overcome’ ”
Excerpts are from my book “The Magnificent Goodness of God and How it Will Transform Your Life”