Spiritual vigilance is our greatest guard against the wiles of the devil. We are in the age of deception where you can no longer take at a face value what you are hearing either from the media or the pulpit. Deception is widespread and there is a reason why this is so, deception is often cloaked as the truth. This is why no one will admit to been deceived! If deception is obvious then no one will be easily deceived! And this is what makes deception so powerful, it's victim only realizes deception after deception has wrought its evil work of pulling us away from the truth and into the abysses and quagmire of the devil's lies. And any departure from the truth means we have been captured and enslaved by the devil!
Peter the Apostle warned us in 1 Peter 5:8-9 to be spiritually vigilant and resist the devil in faith!
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world"
The devil is not the Lion, he only roars like a lion instilling fears into the heart of men. His principal weapon of destruction is FEAR and DECEPTION and the answer to fear and deception is TRUTH and FAITH! We resist the advancement of the devil through the enlightenment of the word. For faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God! If we are to resist the devil in faith then we must be strong in the word! For the strength of our faith is determined by our depth in the revelation of the word!
Today where is that depth in the word? Where is the strength of faith in the church? Where is that child-like faith that takes God at his word? Where is the gospel that Jesus preached? It's not hard to conclude that in the days that we are in the church is fast losing its ground and its power and this is what happens when our faith begins to stand in the WISDOM OF MEN, but not in the POWER OF GOD! And Paul warned about this in 1 Corinthians 2. Let's read what it says.
"And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" (1 Corinthians 2:5)
First Paul wrote about what kind of Gospel he preached, it was the one that was in demonstration of the Spirit and power! And that was the gospel he received from Jesus! Earlier in Romans 15:19 he said the same thing.
"Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ"
Want a definition of what FULL GOSPEL is? Here it is, it is the one preached with mighty signs and wonders, demonstrating the power of the Spirit over the power of the enemy! This my friend is the full gospel, the gospel according to our Lord Jesus Christ, the gospel that saves and deliver! Any other gospel so preached is that of the devil, half gospel at best, it is the one that pitches and base it's faith on the wisdom of men and not on the power of God, from such gospel you want to abstain and desist!
Paul often prided himself on having received his revelations directly from Jesus Christ and there is no other way for he was not a believer when the master was alive! So it was a direct revelation indeed. And when you look at the gospel the master preached it was no different from that of Paul's!
When Jesus first appeared on the scene to declare his mission. He declared in Luke 4:18-19,
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord"
And that's why immediately in Luke 5:17 as he got to preach the Bible says the power of the Lord was present to heal them. The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ does not make excuses for sickness, disease, and plagues, it heals them! That's the gospel we are told to preach, believe, and follow! This is why when Jesus sent his disciples to preach he told them, 'to heal the sick, raise the dead, freely you have received, freely you give". This gospel was meant to be the spiritual antidote to every evil in the world! This gospel was meant to heal the virus and not run from the virus!
The Bible said of Jesus in Mark 3:10, "For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, AS MANY AS HAD PLAGUES. And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God"
People who had plagues, a disease that is virulent by nature, pressed upon him! He didn't push them away, he didn't use gloves to lay hands on them, no! He healed them all! The devils recognised his authority and bowed to him! And as the father has sent him so He has sent us and peradventure we wanted to forget the essence of this gospel, he reminded us again before the leaving the world. He said to all believers in Mark 16:15-16,
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover"
We are to lay hands on the sick, not gloves! We are to be unmolestable by the things that molest men in the world! We are to cast out devils not negotiate with the devils! We are to heal sicknesses and disease, including viruses and plagues, not to worship them! The former is the gospel according to HIM(JESUS) the latter is the gospel according to WHO(WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION) and we are told that our gospel should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the POWER OF GOD!
Where is that power in the church today? Where will power be when we are busy body with worldly matters than we are busy with God? Too much time spent listening to Tedross than listening to Jesus! WHO guidelines are superior to word guidelines? That's the social gospel that has taken over our pulpits today! Social gospel that has breeded believers who have 'a form of godliness but denying the power of thereof'. When you speak at this wavelength they tell you your own faith is too much, 'we have not grown to that level'! You wonder when they will ever grow to that level, for five years from now they are still on that level, making excuse for lack of faith. Even Jesus got tired of the disciples and asked over and again, "how long shall I suffer you, oh ye of little of faith". Stagnant faith soon becomes a spiritual irritant to God!
It is not new to our day, Paul lamented of how they are ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of truth. He was so disappointed with the fact that when they ought to be feeding on the meat of the word they are still feeding on the milk of the word!
This is where we are today as a church, now we interpret scriptures in the light and context of what is happening in the world and not in the context of what the master says or the Holy Spirit reveals! I even saw some articles questioning the origin of laying on of hands from believers! I will suggest all these tepid believers write another translation of the Bible and called it COVID VERSION since all scriptures and truths that we hold so dear are been turned on it's head because of a so called virus that hasn't killed as much as malaria! Sorry I don't respect covid, I respect Jesus! If I don't fear death why should i fear covid when Jesus is the resurrection and the life? I know whom I have believed and I am persuaded He is able to keep me to the end! Any other gospel other than this is that of the devil!
For every affliction in the world the gospel is meant to be good news!
The social gospel tells us we must keep the church lock down to mitigate the spread of the virus, the real gospel tells us that upon mount Zion is deliverance and holiness and the house of Jacob shall possess their possession! The social gospel tells us the church is not a building, yes we know, but the church must need meet in a building. If the senators and legislators are still meeting in their hallow chambers nothing should stop us from doing that as well! This social gospel making round tell us to put our faith in the wisdom of men more than in the power of God!
This is the present spiritual tension and conflict in the body of Christ today, it's the tension between basing our faith on the wisdom of men or on the power of God! That we are even considering which to follow between the two shows how far we have come departing from the faith that was once given to us!
The greatest loss in this is not the physical building of the church that is locked, it is the ease with which Satan can change and corrupt our theology and believes! It is the ease with which we give ground to deception and to the subtilities of the devil, that is what is at stake here! For Paul warned of this in 2 Corinthians 11:3,
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."
In principle when the church accedes to and agree to all this social distancing guidelines, the same guidelines which everyday are been flouted before our very eyes in public space, she has in principle repudiates the faith and the power of God! Standing on the wisdom of men is denying the power of God, there is no middle ground. The marker is laid down between the two divides, now is the time to make that choice and the choice made now is of eternal consequences.
But for me my resolve is unshaking, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the POWER OF GOD unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:16-17)
What is the gospel? This scripture up here is the gospel, the POWER OF GOD manifested for the salvation of humanity! I will not deny that power, that faith, in bringing solutions to the problem of humanity! On this gospel is the integrity of God committed and his righteousness revealed to all generations! Selah!