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Summary: (PowerPoint Slides freely available by emailing Emile@Wolfaardt.com) We have been at war but not in a war. Understanding the critical fight we are engaged in, and the stakes we are fighting for.

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Spiritual Warfare (SW-02)

Authority that Overcomes

Matthew 28:18-19

We are standing in the face of the greatest confrontation mankind has ever known. I am further persuaded, that other than Calvary, we have entered the most intense concentration of that battle humanity has ever gone through. I do not believe the wide circles of the American church or the wider circles of the Christian Church around the world realize how critical the time is in which we are living. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, the Gospel and the anti-Gospel, the truth and the anti-truth, the Christ and the antichrist. It is clear to see that the avowed enemies of the Christian Church are becoming more emboldened and more brazen than ever before. My friend, this confrontation involves the entire Church both collectively and individually whether it likes it or not - and you and I must take it up whether we want to or not.

Your Bible is quite clear: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12)

The problem is not this war. My Bible tells me in 1 Sam. 17:47 that ". . . the battle is the LORD’s." It being His battle, we read in 1 John 3:8 that "The Son of God appeared for this purpose - to destroy the works of the devil." We know He accomplished that because at Calvary Jesus declared, "It is finished" (John 19:30) and in Colossians 2:15 we read "When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through the cross." Well that is good and right for Jesus Christ, but how does that affect us? In Luke 10:19 Jesus said "Behold, I give unto you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing will injure you."

You see my friend, the problem is not this war. Victory has been convincingly gained by Christ and completely given to the Church. However, the powers of darkness have pulled off an amazing coup. They have managed to convince the Church not only that it does not have the victory, but, in many instances, that it cannot have the victory. Think about it - while the American Church is undoubtedly more ‘resourced’ than the church has ever been in its entire history, Satan has lured us into believing we cannot impact things like global poverty, social justice and national spirituality at a large scale level, and that we cannot heal the sick, forgive sins, overcome temptation at a personal level.

Now ironically, if we persist in this deterministic view of the future, not only can the church not make a difference, but neither will God. Why? Because God has chosen to limit the expression of His power to the level of our faith. When the church determines it cannot do it - it effectively locks God out of the equations because God does nothing but through the church, on behalf of the church and in response to the faith of the Church.

God did not build a powerless church - but He did give her the right to choose whether to walk in His power or not.

God did not build a defeated - but He did give her the right to choose whether to walk in His victory or not.

God did not build a sinful church - but He did give her the right to choose whether to walk in His righteousness or not.

The Church is not primarily the victim of the devil, the world or the forces of darkness. She is the victim of her own choices.

Now the good news is that God did not leave us here to merely wring our hands in despair! He gave us the right to His victory, to His power, to His throne. He gave us weapons and orders to take the battle to the enemy - and when we do that He promised us because of what Jesus Christ had accomplished - the gates of Hell would not prevail against us! Christian - are you listening to me! He promised us because of what Jesus Christ had accomplished - the gates of Hell would not prevail against us!

So where has the dis-connect come? Where has the sense of defeat come from? Where has the global and personal sense of failure, despair and powerlessness come from? How come we so seldom see the dead raised, the sick healed or the captives set free?

The title of my message this morning is this:-

Authority that Overcomes

I believe one of the greatest misunderstandings in the Church is in the area of her authority. Let me tell you about this authority.

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