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In His life Jesus did not stop with loving what was right. He also hated what was wrong (Heb 1:9a). With the power of the Holy Spirit He went about doing "good" and delivering folks from (d)evil (Acts 10:38). But during His ministry He did not eradicate all evil from the world. He repeatedly acknowledged that "Satan" was the prince of this wicked world system (Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). Even after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, apostle John observed, "The world around us is under the power and control of the evil one" (1 Jn 5:19b). It is the Second Coming of Christ that will ring the deathbell for evil. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" 1 Peter 5:8 The very name of the devil is "accuser of the brothers" (Rev 12:10). This he does "day and night." Christ counteracts it by His advocatory ministry which He keeps doing "forever" (Heb 7:25). The devil is a non-stop accuser whereas Christ is the never-ceasing Advocate! Alleluia! "Don't be afraid! Speak out! Don't be silent! For I am with you" (Acts 18:9,10a) Satan will not ignore any genuine work of the Kingdom. He will fight it tooth and nail, because any gains to the Kingdom of God is loss to his own kingdom. Here are some general guidelines we can learn from the early Church to handle opposition in the ministry— Never get angry with the hearers of the Gospel who oppose the message. They are simply victims of the Enemy. "The god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe, lest the light of the Gospel... should shine on them" (2 Cor 4:4). Keep proclaiming the Gospel again and again faithfully and prayerfully. The Gospel is the power of God that commands on the hearers, "Let there be light!" Pray for a mighty manifestation of God's power which will silence the opposers (Acts 4:14). The prayer of the early Christians recorded in Acts 4:24-29 is a model prayer worth memorizing. When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will raise up a banner against him on behalf of God's army (Isa 59:19b). Remind yourself frequently as to wherefrom you have received authority to preach the Gospel. Here's Christ's Great Commission: "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore!" (Mt 28:18,19). We cannot stop or return unless He orders so! Paul wrote to Timothy: "I charge you before God: Preach the Word!" (2 Tim 4:1,2). When the authorities strictly warned the apostles not to preach the Gospel, they answered, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge!" (Acts 4:18,19). The Church always needs men like Brother Andrew (1928-), who "smuggled" millions of Bibles into the Communist world because he decided to obey God rather than men, and dared to face the consequences! Don't be afraid! It is only natural to fear threats. But this fear can be overcome if you keep in mind the following facts: You will not die before God's appointed time; People can kill your body but cannot touch your soul; Blessed are you when you are persecuted for the Name of Christ; Anyone who touches you touches the apple of God's eye; If you have to die for the cause of the Kingdom, it is the responsibility of the Heavenly Father to take care of your family; Great will be your reward in Heaven for all that you suffer. These were the thoughts which made the persecuted disciples dance with joy (Acts 13:49-52). The devil was put to shame! God laughed!
Job 1:1-12 And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” -Job 1:7
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