The Extent of the Freedom the Lord Jesus,
THERE ARE THREE POWERFUL STATEMENTS in the New Testament regarding what the Lord Jesus, our Substitute, did to the devil, our oppressor. We need to learn these and hold them available for the Holy Spirit to quicken them in us. Be assured of this: our conflict with the oppressor will continue. The intensity of his attacks will increase. But, our faith and security in the Lord will remain strong to the end as the Holy Spirit brings upon us an anointing of confidence.
The words of the context surrounding these three statements are important, but seeing them alone helps us remember them so they can always be resident within us. Mark them in your Bible. Write them out on cards and place them in a prominent place. Memorize them. Meditate on them. Let their power find release in you.
(I encourage you to become familiar with the whole passage containing each of these verses. Know them in the context in which they were written.)
TAKE SPECIAL NOTE of the three words we've underlined. Two of them are the same here, but they are each different in the Original. Our understanding increases as we see their meanings.
In Col 2:15 spoiled is from the Greek apekdúomai. This word means to strip someone of all authority--to despoil, to defrock, to defeat them to the point of utter humiliation. Jesus did this to principalities and powers, the spiritual forces sent from the realm of Satan to oppose Him--and us. Picture if you will a band of captives brought back from battle, defeated and humiliated, paraded in chains for all to see. See that the most prominent ones in the display are the principle ones who led the attack. This is what Jesus did to the principalities, the leaders of Satan's force. They are the giants of his spiritual realm, the ones next to himself who oppose God's rule in the earth. What authority knowing their defeat gives us! We can say to the principalities and powers, "The Lord Jesus has stripped you of all your power. Withdraw from my life. I submit to His authority, not yours." The only hope an evil prince has to accomplish his purpose is when we allow him to do so. Thus, he seeks to work without being detected.
He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it contains some powerful and important words. With boldness, Jesus made a public spectacle of the principalities and powers. Note the word openly. It is from the Greek parresía (par/rheh/SEE-a), an important word for us which we shall see later. It means "with open boldness." The word triumphing is from a word that means to make a public show or spectacle. There was nothing private about the overthrow of Satan. We can participate with the Lord Jesus in making it openly manifest.
In Heb 2:14 the word destroy is from the Greek katargéo. This means to render someone powerless, to take from them all ability to accomplish anything, to reduce them to complete inactivity. Jesus took our place to do this to the devil. He entered the ultimate physical stronghold of the satanic realm, death itself. He destroyed him who held the dominion there. In Rev 1:18 Jesus said, I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. The word power in Heb 2:14 is krátos. It means "governmental power." Thus, Jesus rendered Him powerless who held the dominion in death's realm. No longer can Satan rule us from this sphere. For those of us committed to the Lord Jesus, the beginning of our life, its continuance, and its end are in His hands alone.
In I John 3:8 the word destroy is from the simple and beautiful word lúo. This is the first Greek word I ever learned. I was taught it meant "to loose." When I saw it in this verse, that meaning didn't make sense. I pursued its meaning and found it means "to loose" in the sense of undoing something that has been wrought. It means to untangle, undo, dissolve. We need to know this regarding the works of the devil. The mess into which he brings some lives is so complex and hopeless that only the powerful work of the Lord Jesus Himself can undo it. This is where hopelessness takes exit and we see--over and over again, in life after life--that Jesus can untangle a mess. There's no satanic complication in any life too great for Him.
When the power of the three statements we are considering resides in us, we have bold authority to demand the withdrawal of the enemy from our lives. We cannot deny his determination to hold on, however, if he finds legal ground in us. If there is ground in our life that belongs to his realm, he will harass us to possess it.
Therefore, consider these two statements:
A friend drew my attention to that very important word parresía which we saw in Col 2:15. Literally it means freedom to speak with boldness and assurance. It is often translated confidence or boldness. We could translate it "bold freedom." It is the true "freedom of speech" for which mankind longs. It reaches in two directions. It means bold freedom to stand before the devil and demand his withdrawal from any situation. But it also means bold freedom to come unto our Heavenly Father, converse with Him freely, and live in His Presence.
It is in the direction of these two freedoms that the Holy Spirit is quickening and empowering us for the last days.
We find many people with their confidence weakened in these two areas. They are fearful and ignorant when it comes to dealing with the devil and they are fearful and ignorant when it comes to dwelling in the presence of God.
When I'm tired, when I'm bothered by what someone has done, when I have not been meditating on the Word of God, when I have not been still in His presence, my confidence becomes weak. The enemy rejoices in this. So, with new lessons we are learning to wait on the Lord, to rest in His work, to give attention to Him instead of to those who provoke us.
Let me direct you to several places in the New Testament that use parresía to speak of our bold freedom in the Presence of God. Soak in these verses. They provide valuable information for the time of trouble.
• Eph 3:12--(Jesus Christ) In Whom we have boldness
(parresía) and access with confidence by the faith of Him.
In Christ we have freedom to come into the presence of God with the
assurance that He receives us as He receives His Only Begotten Son. What
confidence this gives us when we pray! And remember, we have a dual position
with Him--on earth and in heaven. We are there in Him; He is here in us.
With confidence, we can stand in the midst of trouble, demand the withdrawal
of Satan's forces, and rejoice in the presence of God without changing
our physical location.
Many of us have thoughts and ideas that were placed in us as we were
growing up that now hinder our relationship with the Lord. How many times
we have heard, "God will get you for that!" We come to think of Him as
an unapproachable Magistrate in heaven Who keeps record of all wrongdoing.
Sin does demand judgment, but the Lord Jesus has taken ours and has opened
the way for us to come on into His Father's loving arms.
I remember teaching from that wonderful Chapter 4 of Zechariah.
As usual, my instruction for instructing others was coming from the Holy
Spirit. I had just graduated from Seminary where I had received instruction
from the learned Doctors of Theology, but everything was flat until the
Holy Spirit came upon the scene. Let me draw your attention to some of
Zechariah's verses I was considering in those days. They, like other Scriptures
we have known for years, are taking on new dimensions of understanding
as we draw closer to the end of this age.
The angel didn't undertake to explain what the candlestick of all gold meant, or the bowl upon the top of it, or the seven lamps or the seven pipes. He simply said: This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. (4:6b) Zechariah was a Prophet among the Jews when they were returning from their captivity in Babylon. They were under the leadership of a man called Zerubbabel. There was much intrusion and opposition from the enemy, especially as they began rebuilding the temple that had been destroyed in the overthrow seventy years before. This was a prophetic word to Zerubbabel assuring him the work on the temple would come to completion.
As a type, Zerubbabel foreshadowed the Lord Jesus and His work in building a temple for the last days. Many of the terms Zechariah used were end-time terms. In fact, there are about thirty verses in the Book of Revelation that use terminology from Zechariah. One is Rev 2:1 where we see the Lord Jesus walking in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. Here we perceive that they represent the church. This was something Zechariah could not fully understand in his day. The seven lamps and the seven pipes represented the work of the Holy Spirit Who, for Zechariah's day, would anoint the people rebuilding the old Jerusalem temple. The whole word pointed, however, to a far greater anointing that would come upon those involved in the building of the end-time temple--of which you and I are a part.
Zechariah asked, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? (4:11) I'm glad he asked. I would never have understood.
The answer came: These are the two anointed ones, that stand
by the Lord of the whole earth. (4:14) Literally, this means,
"These are the two sons of oil." They were standing upon the right
side and upon the left side of the candlestick. They
were also standing by the Lord of the whole earth. They had a dual
position--in the presence of God and by the sides of the candlestick.
Thus they brought the presence of God with them to the candlestick.
At this point I needed more instruction than Zechariah received. This could only come from the Lord. I asked what was the meaning of the two anointed ones represented by the two olive trees? He did not then lead me to Rev 11 which speaks, indeed, of the two olive trees and identifies them as my two witnesses who will stand in the last days of this age. If I had seen this at that time, I would have left the matter and considered that it had no immediate meaning for myself or those with me. At that time the Holy Spirit just kept me in Zechariah. Then it came to me, apart from considering any other Scripture, that the two anointed ones had final reference to the twofold anointing that would come upon the church in the final days--to demand the withdrawal of Satan and to keep us in the presence of God.
The interpretation that came to Zechariah regarding his vision was a word for the ancient Jews as they returned from their captivity. They would finish their work not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. But the interpretation did not remain for them alone. It shoots like an arrow to our time. It has cast its shadow over all the people through the ages who would receive its principle. The enemy has opposed the church from the beginning and will continue his pursuit to the end, with more vigor than ever. When man has exhausted every human device against him and failed, then we shall see--more than at any time in history--that our triumph is not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord.
Might is from a military word. It means an army of trained
soldiers who are equipped, powerful, and wealthy. Might
is not part of the answer for completing the work of the end-time
temple. Power is from a word meaning human strength and
efficiency. Neither is power a part of the answer. It is
by the Spirit of the Lord--and this alone--that the temple shall
be completed and anointed for its end-time purpose. We are that temple,
the dwelling place of God.
© Berean Ministries
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