There is a common belief in the world that it is somehow sinful for a Christian to be prosperous and walk in the full blessing of God; to be holy, you must be poor or down trodden. This belief can be traced back to the Garden of Eden, when the first man and woman were lied to by the father of lies – Satan the devil. You can read about it in the first chapter of Genesis. But in a nutshell, Satan implied two things: God was lying and couldn’t be trusted; and God was selfish and stingy. The sad thing is, with the exception of a few, man has believed those lies ever since. But the truth of the matter is diametrically opposite to the belief system of this world. God greatly desires that His people walk in the fullness of His blessing – in every area of their lives.
Why the Deception?
The reason for the deception is pure and simple. Satan has set himself against God. Although he was once an anointed cherub (Ezekiel 28:14-17), he decided he would take over the throne of heaven (Isaiah 14:12-14) and led a rebellion against God. Scripture reveals one third of the angels followed Lucifer in his attempted takeover. But Satan and his followers were cast out. In Luke 10:18, Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightening from Heaven.”
Effects of the Deception
With the Church believing all we should expect is to endure this present fallen world until either we get to heaven, or until Christ returns to the earth to set up the Kingdom of God, Satan has had a field day. But immediately after the death and resurrection of Jesus, the church was on fire. Great miracles were the order of the day. The sick were being healed, the dead raised to life, and many were being added to the church daily. As a matter of fact, in Acts 17:6, the Church was causing such an uproar that the Jewish rulers of the city of Thessalonica became envious of the growing number of converts to Jesus and said, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too…” Now that’s some on-fire Christians! But little-by-little, the Church grew silent. What happened?
The truth of the gospel, including the power and authority that Jesus conferred to His followers, has been suppressed on a grand scale. The enemy suppressed the truth by intense persecution and sending in wicked men to infiltrate the Church, who would subvert and water down the gospel of Christ. For the most part, the Church has taken on the role of a poor, powerless, forsaken group of followers of a man called Jesus. Sure, there’ve been pockets of revival, with miraculous manifestations of the Holy Spirit here and there. By the mercy of God, many great things have been established by the church for the good of humanity – like hospitals and schools, etc. But for the most part, the Church has become impotent. Fast forward to the 21st Century. Instead of the Church – the body of Christ – making a difference in the world, it seems they have taken a back seat and fallen completely silent. Most members of the church are as sick and poverty stricken as the world around them, totally defeated in their own lives and unable to help anyone. Poverty and hunger are running more rampant than ever before. The threat of war on a global level is growing by the day. The persecution of Christians is becoming epidemic. Just as Jesus predicted, they will kill His followers and think they are doing God a favor.
The night is far spent, the darkness is growing darker, and it’s time for the followers of Jesus to awake from their slumber. God did not intend for the Church, the body of Jesus, to have no effect on this world. He intends for the body of Christ to allow the Light of the Holy Spirit, which lives within each member, to shine so brightly that it penetrates this present darkness. The time is now. We are not waiting on God – He is waiting on us! It’s time for TRUTH to be restored to the Body of Jesus Christ!
The Truth of the Matter
The followers of Jesus, the Saints of the Most High God, need to study their covenant – the promises made to them. Deuteronomy 28 gives a list of the blessings God will cause to come upon His people. It also has a list of curses that people bring upon themselves if they walk outside His protection – the curses we see running rampant in the world today. It’s through the sacrifice of Jesus, the shedding of his blood, that we may receive forgiveness of all past, present, and future sins – once and for all! But Jesus didn’t just come to pay the price for our eternal life. He also came to give us a better life in the here and now! He said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it in abundance to the full.”
Jesus reinstituted the Blessing on the earth! The sad state of the world around us is a result of the works of the devil – the curse. 1 John 3:8, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” Everywhere Jesus went, He beat back the works of Satan; he fed the hungry, healed the sick, raised the dead. His followers are to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. 2 Cor. 9:11 “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion…” David said in Psalms 68:19, “Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits…” 1 Tim. 6:17, “…the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.” Eph. 5:12, Therefore be imitators of God….and walk in love as Christ…” 1 John 4:17, “…because as He is, so are we in this world.” Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these…” That’s huge! Can you imagine what it would look like if all the millions of Christ’s followers around the world did what Jesus did? And even greater things than He did?
Satan is a defeated foe; he was soundly defeated by Jesus. Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven; and we are seated with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. We, the body of Christ, only need to stand in the victory! The Church is not to be sick, poor, weak or walking in defeat. The Church is Christ on the Earth! We are the victorious ones, beating back the works of darkness, allowing the light of God to shine through to the hearts of men! Jesus said in Luke 10:19, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” Nothing can stop us. Now we are to do what Jesus did: take the gospel to the world, feed the hungry, heal the sick, and raise the dead!
The Kingdom of God marches on! Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God until His enemies are made His footstool. Guess who gets to do that? His body, the Church, on the earth! We know how all this turns out. In Rev. 12:11, we are told, “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.”
Yes, Satan knows his time is short. His carefully woven web of deception is unraveling as the Church rediscovers who they are in Christ! All of heaven’s resources are available to the Church, enabling us to to be distributors of the blessing wherever we go.
No wonder the lengths Satan has gone to cover up the truth. After all, the truth will set you free! Hallelujah! What an awesome God we have!