But deliver us from evil

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren who are in the world”. 1 Peter 5:8,9

The title line above is from The Lord’s Prayer and it is really what salvation is all about. The Lord came to deliver us from all evil by His death on the Cross. At the beginning of His ministry, He announced to all, the purpose of His coming; by reading these words of prophecy about Himself from the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them who are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord”. He came into the world to rescue us from the evil of sin and it’s consequences. Sin produces wretchedness and misery in our lives.

All the evil in the world is the result of disobedience to God (sin). It comes to us through the world, the flesh, and the devil. The world and the world system are totally opposed to the ways of God. We have a fallen nature (the sin nature) and therefore cannot save ourselves. The devil hates those that are walking with the Lord and will oppose us in every way. In this article, we will address our adversary the Devil.

We have a powerful enemy in the Devil, or Satan as he is also known. We can only resist (withstand, oppose) the Devil through faith. We cannot contend with him in our own strength. He is much too powerful. He comes against us in many ways and even masquerades as an “angel of light” (disguises himself so it looks like he stands for good), by using people (including false brethren), or coming to us with something that appears to be from God but is meant for our harm. As the above verse says of him: “As a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour”. Clearly, we are faced with a very powerful adversary. Ephesians Chapter 6 says this of that which we face in the spirit world: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood (these foes are not human), but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”. These principalities, powers, and rulers of this world work in concert with Satan.

The Lord gave Adam and Eve the command to not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Satan came to them and tempted them to doubt God and disobey Him. He comes to us in the same way. He seeks to get us to doubt God’s Word, for he knows that our victory comes only through faith. He is a powerful fallen angel and opposed to God, and all those that believe in the Lord and are living their lives for Him.

So, how do we resist the devil by faith? There is only one way. We must place our faith exclusively in Christ and Him Crucified. Jesus paid the total price for our freedom (“It is finished”) on the Cross. We must place our faith in His great work. Jesus said: “The thief (Satan) comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I come that they might have life, and they might have it more abundantly”. The source of this “life” is Christ (“I am the resurrection and the life”). He keeps us as we place our faith in Him daily. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 says: “But the Lord is faithful (we can depend on Him), who shall establish you, and keep you from evil”.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (within our ability), but mighty unto God (faith in Christ and Him Crucified) to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations (all efforts outside of the Cross), and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (pride), and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (only accomplished by faith in the Cross)”.

The Apostle Paul said of Jesus in Galatians: “Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world”. Truly, salvation (deliverance from all evil) is from the Lord. Victory over the world, the flesh, and the Devil is found in Him and Him alone.

Appendix A

Names of the DevilPrior to his fall (he served the Lord in righteousness for an undetermined amount of time) – Lucifer– meaning morning star (Isaiah 14:12), the anointed one that covers (Isaiah 28:14). After his fall (he led a revolution against God with one third of the angels)- Satan (Job 1:6), god of this world (2 Corinth, 4:4), Devil/ accuser (Matthew 4:1), tempter (Matthew 4:1), adversary (Job 1), dragon (Revelation 12:9), roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8), Beelzebub (Matthew 12:24), Belial (2 Corinth. 6:15), wicked one (Matthew 13:19), serpent ( Genesis 3:1), prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2) and ruler of the demons (Matthew 12:24).

Hell is real! The reason a person goes there is ………

“Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in His salvation”. Psalm 78:22

Psalm 9:17 says, ” The wicked shall be turned into Hell and the nations that forget God”. Jesus also spoke of Hell as a real place. He said, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul (men): but rather fear Him (God) which is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell” (Matthew 10:28). These are hard statements, but Hell is a real place and the Lord’s warning regarding it should give us pause if we do not know Him. The Bible says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 9:10). The question becomes: Why would the Lord send anyone to Hell and how might we avoid going there?

As a result of Adam’s fall in the garden, all of us that came after Adam have a fallen nature. It’s called the sin nature. We have no power over it. We cannot, in ourselves, overcome it. We are, left to ourselves, without hope in the world and doomed (Romans 3:23). The Lord had mercy on us and provided a way out of our dire state. The salvation that cost Him so much (the Cross) is available to us as a gift (Roman’s 6:23). We must come to the realization that we are in desperate need of God and come to the Lord in repentance, accepting the gift that He paid such a great price for on the Cross.

Unbelief is the only reason someone goes to Hell. This is not the Lord’s will for us, but in creating man he has given us a free will. We have a choice to believe God or not to believe Him. He has said He loves us and has proven it by becoming man (the God/Man) and dying for our sins. 1 Corinthians 1:24 says, “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God”. In our unsaved state, we are sinners and need to admit that to God. We must acknowledge that we need a savior and repent of our sins. That is all the Lord asks of us. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him and will sup with him, and he with Me”. This is incredible in itself, that God would come to us individually and in a personal way to offer His love in the form of a complete salvation from our fallen nature. Yes, in spite of our hopeless condition; He comes to us with this wonderful gift of salvation.

The Lord cried out “It is finished” on the Cross just before He died. He meant what He said. The sin debt has been paid. We no longer need to be held under its power. We are free. Yes, free and we have the liberty to live godly lives and worship the One that made it all possible (Galatians 5:1). We do this by placing our faith in what Jesus accomplished at the Cross and the Holy Spirit helps us (John 16 & Romans 8:2). The Lord has said that we will be with Him in eternity, have become sons (and daughters) of God, and are made part of the family of God. Psalm 22 says, ” Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”. Praise the Lord for His goodness.

So why would a loving God send anyone to Hell? There is no sin in Heaven, therefore, those that will not repent of sin and go God’s way have in fact sent themselves to Hell. It is not the Lord’s will for anyone to face this end, but if we, as the above verse says, “believed not in God and trusted not in His salvation”, then He has no choice. He has given us every opportunity. As an example, if we find ourselves trapped in a fire and someone comes and shows us the way out, then we need to follow the path to safety or perish in the fire. It is the same with the Gospel; the Lord is showing us the way to safety and we need only follow Him. He is calling out, with mercy and love, offering this great gift to whomsoever will come to Him today. It is an urgent call for the hour is late and we are promised no more than today. The Lord has made every effort to reach us with this wonderful salvation message.

If you have not come to Him in repentance before now; He is calling out to you today. Jesus said, “Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden (life without God) and I will give you rest (the result of placing our faith in Jesus and what He accomplished at the Cross)” (Matthew 11:28). Won’t you hear His voice today and put down your heavy burden. If you make the decision to come to Him, then you have gone from death to life and have become a member of the family of God. The following prayer is the “Sinners Prayer” which has been prayed by millions throughout the years. In it, we admit to the Lord that we are a sinner in need of forgiveness and tell Him that we accept the Lord Jesus as our Savior.

Dear God in Heaven: I come to You in the name of Jesus. I am sorry for my sins, the way I’ve lived, the things I’ve done. Please forgive me and cleanse me with the precious Blood of Jesus from all unrighteousness. With my mouth,! I confess Jesus Christ. In my heart, I believe God raised Jesus from the dead and that He is alive this very moment. I accept Jesus Christ as the Savior of my soul. And I make Him the Lord of my life. And according to Your word which cannot lie, I am washed: I am cleansed: I am forgiven. I am saved. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer and believed it, then as Jesus said in John 3:3, you have been “born again”.

And you shall receive power.

“You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence” Acts 1:5.

When we are born again we are “born of the Spirit”, for John 3:6 tells us “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”. Roman’s 8:14 says “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are sons (and daughters) of God”. The Holy Spirit lives in us and glorifies Jesus (John16:14). He leads us in all truth (John 16:13) and gives us victory over the sin nature (Romans 8:2). Our daily walk with the Lord is one of faith in His finished work on the Cross, allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us.

The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a second work of grace and is available to all those that are born again. It is given to us by the Lord to empower us for service. Jesus is the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit. In Matthew 3.3 John the Baptist says of Jesus, ” He who comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”.

Just prior to His Ascension, Jesus, in speaking to His followers, “Commanded (an order) that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the Promise of the Father (speaking of the Holy Spirit), which, said He, you have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence” (Acts 1:4-5). He told them “But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Jesus here is speaking of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, which is distinct from receiving the Holy Spirit at the initial salvation experience. The word used here for power is the Greek word “dunamis ” and means strength, power, ability and miracle-working power. The Holy Spirit empowers us to preach the Gospel, pray for the sick, walk in the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8-10) and to cast out demons.

On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came in a new and powerful way. “And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire (Matthew 3:11). And they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues (the initial evidence that one has been filled), as the Spirit gave them utterance (the Spirit initiates)” (Acts 2:2).

Peter said in his sermon on the Day of Pentecost “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel (not the fulfillment of); and it shall come to pass in the last days (the days we are in now), saith God, I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh (available to all): and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men will dream dreams: and on My servants and on My handmaids I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:16-18). The next two verses are a continuation of that which was spoken by Joel and concern the time just prior to the Second Coming. They read “And I will show wonders in Heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor and smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable Day of the Lord come” (Acts 2:19-20).

Some believe that this initial outpouring of the Spirit along with the spiritual gifts (e.g. healing, tongues, and prophecy) were given by God to establish the church and that it ended with the apostles (Cessationism). Note though that Peter did not say that it was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel. Also, verses 19 and 20, the continuation of Joel’s prophecy outlined above, speaks of the signs that will occur at the end of the age before the Second Coming of the Lord. Clearly, “those days of my Spirit”, mentioned in verse 18, establishes that this prophecy of Joel spans the entirety of the church age. Also, the worldwide effort (unto the uttermost part of the earth) spoken of by Jesus in Acts 1:8 was clearly not completed by the early church. The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is available to the church today as it was on the Day of Pentecost to enable the church to accomplish the Great Commission.

The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is not being preached as it should in many churches today. Whatever preconceived ideas we may have about this, we owe it to ourselves to seek the Lord about it and ask Him if the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is for today. As one who has received this great gift; I can attest to the fact that it is real and it is definitely for today The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is received by faith. We need only ask the Lord for it in faith. As mentioned, the initial evidence of the baptism is speaking in other tongues (Isaiah 28: 11-12). These are languages spoken somewhere in the world, but not known to those that receive the baptism. Again, the Baptism with the Holy Spirit empowers us for service. Jesus shed His Blood on the Cross for our sins, and to enable the Holy Spirit to come into our lives to help us live godly lives and to give us power for service. The Lord declared in Zechariah 4:6 ” Not by (human) might, nor by (human) power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord”. This is God’s way. There is no other. Let us seek the Lord for all He has for us.

Stand fast, for there’s coming a day. And what a day that will be!

“Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved”. Philippians 4:1

We can see by the above verse just how much Paul loved those in the church of Philippi. He strongly encouraged them to stand fast in the Lord. As we have discussed in past articles, there are enemies of the Cross that try to bring false doctrine into the church. We also battle the general pull of the world, the flesh trying to exert authority, and our mortal enemy, the Devil. We need to be aware of all these enemies of the Cross and stand fast in the faith. Timothy, Paul’s young companion, and coworker, received this instruction from Paul: “Hold fast the form of sound words (doctrine), which you have heard from me (that which was given Paul by the Lord), in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus (what he accomplished at the Cross)” 2 Timothy 2:13. He also encouraged Timothy to “Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12).

Paul sent similar warnings to other churches he oversaw and for good reason. The world is opposed to the Gospel and we are in for the fight of our lives as we hold fast to all the Lord has given us. As mentioned, our fight is one of faith. We will overcome the enemies of the Cross in this way alone. We are told in Ephesians Chapter 6 to “Put on the whole armor of God”. Here, Paul likens our walk of faith to that of a soldier putting on all the armor that will protect him in battle. The object of our faith must always be Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. Jesus fought the battle and won the victory and our faith needs to be in Him, and what he accomplished, to gain the victory for ourselves. We need to do this daily. Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “If any man will come after me (be my disciple), let him deny himself (our own ability), and take up his cross (the benefits of what Jesus there did) daily (must be done each day), and follow Me (Christ and Him Crucified)”. Paul said of this ” I am crucified with Christ (from where all victory comes – Roman’s 6:3): nevertheless I live (new life); yet not I (not in our strength), but Christ lives in me (resurrection life – Romans 6:4): and the life which I now live in the flesh (our daily walk with the Lord) I live by the faith of the Son of God (what he did on the Cross), who loved me, and gave Himself for me (what a great Savior)” (Galatians 2:20).

Paul, in other places in the New Testament, encouraged believers to stand fast or hold fast in the faith. As we have discussed, there were good reasons for these warnings then, and we need to heed these warnings today as well. Some other examples of Paul encouraging believers in this way are ” Let us hold fast to the profession of our faith” (Hebrews 10:23), “For now we live (are comforted), if you stand fast in the Lord” (1 Thess. 3:8), “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21), and “Stand fast in the Lord” (Philippians 4:1). Any time we see “in Christ” or any of its derivatives (e.g. in Him, in the Lord), Paul is talking about what Jesus accomplished at the Cross. In each of these verses, Paul’s admonition to these believers was to stand or hold fast to their belief in Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. Our faith in His great work will be richly rewarded.

The Bible speaks of 5 crowns (used figuratively) that will be given to believers at the Judgment Seat of Christ (where believer’s works are judged and rewarded). They are imperishable and represent a symbol of honor that will be given to believers in Heaven. They are as follows:

The Crown of Life

Given to those that persevere under trials (James 1:12 & Revelation 2:10).

The Crown of Righteousness

Given through the Righteousness of Christ to those that love and anticipate His coming (2 Timothy 4:8).

The Incorruptible (Imperishable) Crown – 

Given to those who faithfully run the race (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).

The Crown of Rejoicing

A reward to saints for their lifetime work (1 Thessalonians 2:19).

The Crown of Glory-

Awarded to those that have faithfully cared for and fed the flock (1 Peter 5:4). This includes apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, ministers and all those that work to propagate the Great Commission.

Although any believer would be honored to receive these crowns, I believe the greatest reward we can receive is to look into the face of Jesus, the One that loved us and died for us. In the words of the song “What a day that will be when my Jesus I will see. When I look upon His face, the One that saved me by His grace. When He takes me by the hand and leads me to the Promised Land. What a day, glorious day, that will be”. It’s hard for us to comprehend that we would actually receive a crown after all the Lord did for us. In Revelation 4:10-11 it says this of a scene taking place in Heaven “The four and twenty elders fall down before Him Who sat on the throne, and worship Him Who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power…”. We owe Him everything!

We look forward to actually seeing the Lord and being with Him forever. David exclaimed, ” I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”. Psalm 23.6. We can certainly take comfort in these words. What a wonderful Savior. What an incredible salvation. Let us, therefore, stand fast and wait, ” For the Lord, Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. Indeed, what a glorious day that will be.