Hyatt International Ministries
Taking Spiritual Awakening & Biblical Thinking to the Nations
with Drs. Eddie & Susan Hyatt & Friends
Applying Lessons From Scripture, From Life, & From Christian History
Eddie L. Hyatt, D.Min., M.Div., M.A.
Too many Christians see God and Satan as almost equals, with God having a slight edge. This, however, is a blatant lie that Satan, a created being, perpetrates on the unlearned and naïve. Historically, it is a doctrine known as “dualism.” The truth is that Satan was absolutely vanquished by the death and resurrection of Jesus. His defeat was absolute and final. He was not annihilated, but stripped of all rights and authority. This was clearly demonstrated by Jesus on resurrection morning when he walked out of the tomb and triumphantly declared, All authority is given unto Me in heaven and in earth (Matt. 28:19). If Jesus has all authority, how much does that leave the devil? Satan knows that he is whipped. God knows it. It is now time that the church discover this fact.
This fact was made very real to me when a well-known witch attended services in the church Sue and I were planting and leading some years ago 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.
Judson Cornwall tells about having a religious routine that he went through at the beginning of each service in a particular church of which he was the pastor. He began each service by taking authority over the devil, binding all the demons, silencing them, and telling them they had no place in that meeting. He religiously repeated this prayer at the beginning of each meeting. One morning, during his quiet time with God, he heard the Holy Spirit say, “Demons are coming from all over this region to be in your services.” He was shocked and asked, “Why Lord?” The Holy Spirit replied, “Because you give them recognition.” Needless to say, Judson immediately stopped giving such recognition to the enemy.
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.
Stripped of all authority, Satan can only wield influence in the earth through lies and deceptions. That is why Rev. 12:9 refers to him as that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world. Jesus said of him, When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it (John 8:44). This is why Jesus said in John. 8:32, And you shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free. The truth of God dispels the lies of Satan even as light dispels darkness. When the lie is gone, Satan has no ground or place to operate. Nothing, therefore, can take the place of God’s word in the church and in our personal lives.
When Paul went to Ephesus around A.D. 54, he did not get preoccupied with fighting the sin and idolatry that permeated that city. He certainly had opportunity for Ephesus was the center for worship of the famous goddess, Diana, whose magnificent temple was in Ephesus. Paul ministered for 3 years in the shadow of this massive, ornate structure that was often crowded with devotees of the goddess who came from throughout the empire to worship at her shrine. Interestingly, there is no indication that Paul engaged in any kind of “spiritual warfare” against Diana or any demonic principality over Ephesus. In fact, the clear implication of Acts 19:35 is that Paul never preached a sermon against the goddess during his time in Ephesus. Why? He was too busy preaching the truth of Jesus and what He had done. He knew that only the truth of God’s word would dispel the lies by which the people of Ephesus were held captive. His approach was successful for so many Ephesians turned to God that it eventually affected the economy of the city. Acts 19:20 says, So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.
I recently listened to the elder statesman of miracle evangelism, Dr. T. L. Osborn, tell about preaching in a recent outdoor crusade in Africa. Many thousands were in attendance including hundreds of witch doctors who had come there to work their magic against the foreign preacher. Before going on the platform, the supporting pastors wanted to lay hands on him and pray for his protection from the devil. T. L. 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 that day and many came to Christ 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 preoccupied with the devil.
The key to the 16th century Reformation was that Martin Luther rediscovered the power of God’s Word. In a sermon preached in 1522, Luther said, “I simply taught, preached, wrote God’s Word; otherwise I did nothing. The Word so weakened the papacy that never a prince or emperor did such damage to it. I did nothing. The Word did it all.”
The youngest believers in Christ can put Satan to flight if they know the truths of the gospel. This is why the church must rediscover the potency and power of God’s Word to go along with the power of the Holy Spirit that many have rediscovered. If we will get the Word and the Spirit working together, we may see such an upturning for righteousness and God as this world has ever seen.