In the early days of our ministry, a well-known witch attended services in the church Sue and I were planting in eastern Canada. Several people came to me concerned about the presence of this witch. They wondered if she was trying to work some spell or sorcery on our fledgling congregation.
Several of us met together to pray about the situation. While praying, I saw a vision of smoke (representing the devil) and then a wind (representing the Spirit of God) that came along and blew the smoke away. The smoke had no substance or strength with which to resist the wind. It was suddenly gone.
At the very same time another person saw a similar vision and then a powerful, prophetic word came forth that gave me a new perspective on the devil. God said, “My power is so far surpassing any power possessed by the devil, he is not worthy of the attention you are giving him.”
Satan is a Defeated Foe
When it comes to spiritual warfare, we must realize that there was a tremendous shift that took place at the cross, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. Satan was not annihilated but he was stripped of his authority. He is like a 5-star general who is court-martialed, stripped of his authority, and drummed out of the army.
The general still exists but no longer has any authority. If, however, the general puts on his uniform with all his military medals, he will be able to exercise authority over those who do know the truth of his court-martial. But for those who know the truth, even a private can tell the former general to “get lost.” So it is with even the newest babe "in Christ."
The overwhelming victory of Christ over Satan is delineated by Paul in Ephesians 1:15-23. He speaks of Christ being raised from the dead by the mighty power of God and then being seated at His right hand in the heavenly places.
The “right hand” in Scripture is symbolic of authority and power. Psalm 98:1, for example, says of God, His right hand and His holy arm have gotten Him the victory. When Paul says that Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God, he is saying that Jesus is seated at the pinnacle of the universe, in the place of ultimate authority and power.
This place where Christ is seated is far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come (Eph. 1:21). It doesn’t matter what kind of principality or power it may be–even Satan himself–-the place where Christ is seated is far above them all.
And here is what is incredible! Paul says that the same power that raised Jesus from dead and seated Him in that place of ultimate authority, far above any power possessed by the devil, is now at work in you and me. No wonder Satan trembles at the child of God who knows his/her position and authority in Christ.
T.L. Osborn Understood Satan’s Defeat
I had the privilege of working with the elder statesman of modern, miracle evangelism, the late Dr. T. L. Osborn. T. L was a firm believer in the absolute victory of Jesus over Satan and demonic forces, and he expressed this in his overseas crusades where much fear and superstition existed concerning Satan and demons.
He told, for example, about a miracle crusade his ministry sponsored in Africa. Among the many thousands that had gathered in the open air were hundreds of witch doctors who had come there with their fetishes to cast curses and spells on the foreign preacher.
Knowing this, the supporting pastors wanted to lay hands on him and pray for his protection before going on the platform. T. L. emphatically refused their prayer. He said, “I would not insult my Lord in that way.”
T. L. focused his attention on preaching the good news of Jesus and His victory over all the powers of darkness and hell. Many came to Christ that day and many were miraculously set free from all kinds of illnesses and bondages. And some Christian pastors realized that they did not have to be afraid of the devil.
This New and Better Covenant
Even under the Old Covenant the enemies of God could not cast spells and curses on His people. Balak hired the prophet Balaam to curse Israel but after seven attempts he had to admit he could not do it. How shall I curse whom God has not cursed, Balaam asked (Numbers 23:8).
If this were true under the Old Covenant, how much more is it true under this new and better covenant based on the shed blood of Jesus Christ! Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19. After emerging from the tomb as a mighty conqueror over death, hell, and the grave, He said to His disciples,
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations . . ..