Satan knew about the love of God. Satan knew about the wrath of God.
But he hadn't heard a word about the grace of God. Dr. Tony Evans talks about the spiritual secret weapon that caught the devil by surprise. God taking the penalty from man so that he could still love sinners without compromising it nature.
Or to put it another way, Satan was raised by grace. This is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans. Author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative.
There's nothing like the element of surprise to change the course of a battle. Today on Good Friday, Dr. Evans explains how God used that tactic to secure our salvation and equip us to fight spiritual battles successfully. Let's join him. I want you to see three things about Jesus today. First of all, I want you to see the person of Jesus. Then I want you to understand the payment of Jesus. And then I want you to come to live under the position of Jesus. When Adam sinned, God told the serpent, this battle's not over, because the woman is going to have a seed.
She's going to give birth to a baby. And this baby, when this baby comes on the seed, this baby will crush your head. God could have crushed Satan, but he didn't want to crush him.
He wanted to embarrass him and then crush him. And he said, I'm going to crush you with something less than you, and it's going to be the seed of the woman. You see, God had to have a man, but it had to be the kind of man who wouldn't do what Adam did. It would have to be the kind of man who, when faced with the devil one on one and faced with the power of God, could choose right.
What we needed was a God kind of man. So what God did was He sent His Son, born of a woman, in order to reclaim the dominion handed back over to the angel Satan and bring it back to mankind. Now Satan is no dummy. When Jesus is being born, he lets out all the stocks, if you remember the Christmas story. He infiltrates Herod to kill all the babies two and under, because he knows he now has a problem on his hands.
God has thrown the proverbial curve ball. Satan, realizing that he was not going to defeat him by killing him at birth, he was not going to defeat him by cursing him in the wilderness, said, well then let me help crucify him. And so what we find in John chapter 18 verse 22 is that Satan entered Judas, Iscariot, and motivated him to go out and to betray Jesus Christ in order to be a participant in the crucifixion. All during this time, Jesus was working miracles but never on his own. Every time you see Jesus doing something, it was always because it is my Father's will, because he had to win it as a man. He could not just reach him and pull out deity, so he would do miracles, but he would depend on his Father.
He would break away for a while, it says, and he would go off to a quiet place to pray. Why does God have to pray? Because he has to win it as a man. He can't win it as pure deity even though he is being.
He's got to win it as the seed of a woman. Jesus did miracles on earth to demonstrate that he had the right to rule and to challenge Satan based on obedience and dependency on God. And Satan knew what he was all about. First John chapter 3 verse 8 says that Jesus came to destroy all the works of the devil. And so the person of Christ led to the payment of Christ.
Colossians 2. In order to conquer Satan, death had to be conquered. You can't conquer Satan until you conquer death, because death is Satan's weapon, because that is the consequence of sin. So in order to conquer Satan, you've got to conquer death, but in order to conquer death, you have to conquer sin, because it was sin that brought death. And there's only one way to conquer death, and that's through resurrection. You've got to have resurrection to conquer death.
You've got to have somebody getting up from the dead if you're going to conquer the dead. God had to deal with the sin problem, and the way he dealt with the sin problem was in the death of Christ. It takes care of the sin problem, so now God is free. But we've got an authority problem.
We've got to deal with this question of who's in charge. Jesus Christ has died. God's wrath has been all against it.
God is now satisfied that Jesus Christ has met his holy demands. That's when something took place most Christians don't know about. People want to know what was happening three days. All we know is Jesus died on Friday and arose on Sunday. No, let me tell you the rest of the story. That's only a little piece of the story.
It's a key piece. But between Friday and Sunday, all kind of activity was taking place, because God did not only have to forgive our sins, he had to get Satan off our backs. He had to release us from his hold, not only judicially, that is legally, so he could make no claim against us, but practically so we could live without him being on our backs. So while everybody thought Jesus was just sleeping in the sepulchre given by Joseph, while everybody thought he was just chilling and his body was cooling out and waiting for God to raise him up, he went on a trip. He went on a trip. He visited Hades. Now Hades is not your common understanding of hell.
Follow me, man. Hades was the temporary abode of the dead. When a man died before Jesus died, he went to Hades. Hades had two compartments in it. It had the compartment for those who died in a relationship with God, the abyss, and it had those who died in a relationship with God. And those of you who know the story of the rich man in Lazarus in Luke chapter 16 understands that. It says the rich man died and he woke up in torment. It says in Lazarus, the man who knew God, well he died and he was carried away, catch this, to Abraham's bosom. But the rich man in Lazarus could see one another because there was a little divide that divided the two of them and they could see one another.
They could relate to one another. How come Lazarus didn't go up to heaven as we know it? Because on a layaway plan, you don't get to take it out shed on a layaway plan. You don't get to bring it out. He's still on the layaway plan because he's still operating on an Old Testament system that only provides you a temporary reprieve.
It doesn't solve your problem permanently. But now that the price has been paid in full, you know what you do when you go with the last payment on the layaway plan. You grab that piece of garment and you walk out with it.
So, Ephesians 4 verse 8 says that Jesus Christ led captive a host of captives. He went down and he said, look, time to go boys. Y'all been in this nice place, it's paradise, it's Abraham's bosom, but it's nothing like what I'm getting ready to take you to. It's time to go.
I have paid the full price. It's time to get out of here. You're too close to the other side.
We're going to separate you completely. And he went to the other side. But not only that, not only did he do that, but the Bible goes on to say in 1 Peter chapter 3 verse 18 to 20, he then went over to the abyss where Satan and many of Satan's cronies were incarcerated in the abyss. And it says that he proclaimed victory. He went over to the righteous side and said, let's go. Let me lead captive a host of captives. He went over to the spirit side where the evil spirits were and he says, I want you to know boys, you're not going anywhere.
I want you to know that I have declared total victory over you. What Satan didn't count on was that the death of Christ would satisfy the justice of God in such a way that God could keep his love without compromising his holiness. Or to put it another way, Satan was ace by grace.
He didn't count on that one. Satan knew about the love of God. Satan knew about the wrath of God. But he hadn't heard a word about the grace of God. That was a whole new dispensation. It was a whole new way. God threw some men on him he didn't count on. And that is God taking the penalty from man so that he could still love sinners, pay for sin, satisfy his wrath, and express his love without compromising his nature.
He could do all of that in Christ. You say, but how do I know? Pastor, there's so much going around that people want me to believe. How do I know? Well, you know when you take something out and lay it away because you paid the price, what you get? You've got to have a receipt. You need something to show to let everybody know payment wasn't full.
You don't want any doubt. You don't want them to think when you're coming out the store you stole it. You don't want them to think that it belongs to somebody else.
You want them to know that I paid this in full and I have a document by the owner to let you know that he is satisfied with my payment. Early on Sunday morning, just a little while before day, Mary came to the grave to anoint her Lord. Jesus said, why do you look for the living among the dead? Jesus had a rose. Mary tried to touch him. Jesus said, don't touch me. Don't touch me.
Why? Why couldn't she touch him? Because just a few hours later, just a few hours later, the disciples touched him.
In fact, she got to touch him later, but right there in the garden, he said, don't touch me. Because in the Bible, when the priest was going to offer the sacrifice and take the blood into the holiest of all, you couldn't touch him. You couldn't touch the priest until he had delivered the blood into the holiest of all. You couldn't touch him.
In fact, it would be the death penalty to touch the priest when he was handling the blood. Jesus had a delivery to make first. He had to make a delivery before you could touch him. He had to take that precious blood that cleanses us of our sin and lay it before the throne of God.
Now you can touch him. Because God has been satisfied. The blood has been situated. The holy demands of God has been met.
And what was the result? He says in Colossians 2, he nailed our sins to the cross, verse 19, and he disarmed the rulers and authorities. He made a public spectacle of them and triumphed over them through Christ. Dr. Evans will have more of what happened in the spiritual realm on that first Easter when he returns in just a moment. First, though, I wanted to let you know that today's teaching is from Tony's 12-lesson series on spiritual warfare, a collection that will give you insight into the battle going on behind the scenes of our lives and spells out ways you can avoid becoming a casualty, helping equip you to use God's power instead of your own in fighting the devil's efforts to destroy your life. You can get this important two-volume series on CD or downloadable MP3s as our thank you gift when you make a donation to help keep Tony's teaching on this station. Make the arrangements when you visit tonyevans.org or reach out to our Resource Center for some in-person help at 1-800-800-3222.
That's 1-800-800-3222. We'll get back to our message right after this. Alaska is a land where ancient glaciers drop house-sized chunks of ice into the sea, where grizzlies fish for spawning salmon, where the lush green canopy of trees is offset by distant snowy mountains, and where the word majestic is hardly enough to describe what you see. Nowhere else in North America is the scenery so spectacular and God's creative wonder so vivid. Come journey here with Tony Evans on an unforgettable urban alternative Alaskan cruise. You'll discover powerful scriptural truths from Dr. Evans and other gifted instructors, experience meaningful times of worship, and enjoy inspirational musical performances from talented musicians. There's plenty of time for rest and relaxation, luxurious accommodations, and incredible meals, all while surrounded by the breathtaking creation that is Alaska. To find out more about the urban alternative Alaskan cruise, visit tonyevans.org today.
That's tonyevans.org. Now please don't miss this. Your sin was paid for by the death of Christ. But because Jesus rose from the dead, something else happened according to verse 15. Satan's ammo was deactivated. He took away his weapon. The worst Satan can do to you is kill you.
That's the worst. Anything else is light compared to death. God ripped that from him. He went into his own house of death, not only beat him at death because he rose from the dead, he stole the people out of death who were trapped there. And he redeemed us, Galatians 3.13 says, from the curse of the law. So that roaring lion had his teeth pulled out. That roaring lion had been overcome by the lion of the tribe of Judah.
And now he's on a leash. Jesus says, I took his weapons. Well now, we understand the person of Christ. It had to be a man empowered by God. We understand the payment of Christ.
He was aced by grace. Finally, if you're going to be victorious in this angelic conflict over Satan, who's still alive, who still intimidates, you're going to have to understand your position in Christ. Jesus told his disciples, I got to go. I got to leave here.
Why must I leave? I have to take and sit on my throne. Why you have to sit on your throne?
So that I can run the universe. For now all authority has been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Jesus Christ was enthroned by God the Father and all powers came unto him, including the power of demons. That's why verse 9 says in the same chapter, for in him the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form and in him you will be made complete and he is head and rule over all authority. Ephesians chapter 1 verses 21 and 22 says Jesus Christ sits over all authority as head of the church.
All authority belongs to him. Satan has been rendered powerless. Hebrews chapter 2 verses 14 and 15 says, but what the beautiful thing is, is that the Bible declares we have been raised with him. He not only sits enthroned, we sit enthroned with him. He has partnered with us to share his victory with us.
That word triumph, when he talks about us triumphing with Christ, means that there was a parade given to the Roman soldier to celebrate his victory and all of the spoils went back to Rome as part of the victory. Jesus Christ takes us to heavenly places as part of his victory and we are with him and that's why you see in Revelation chapter 12 verse 11, and they overcame him by the blood. We must understand our position in Christ and we must now exercise authority under his authority. Now this is where the key comes. You can't beat Satan with your authority because you don't have any.
Okay? We have been raised in Christ. We have been seated in Christ.
We are in heavenly places with Christ. It is not your authority. It is his authority that you use. If you don't learn to use the authority of Christ, you can't beat the one Satan beat. Satan knows he can handle your power because you don't have any, when it compares with angels. He knows he can handle you, but he knows he can't handle Christ. So the strategy of the devil is to keep you from living your life in Christ because as long as you are dissected from Christ, the power of God will not be shared with you. In order for you to have authority, you must first be under authority. And the reason why we have so many powerless Christians is because they don't have authority because they're not functioning in their Christian life under authority.
So what's my point? My point is in your Christian life, you don't fight for victory. You fight from victory. You don't fight for victory. I'm going to be victorious over Satan today. No, you fight from victory. Christ has been victorious over Satan today, and by faith, I'm walking under Christ's authority in this world, trusting his blood to give me the power over any attacks of the evil one, or to put it simply, I'm going to wear the armor of God.
That's authority. One day there was a butterfly inside a window pane, fluttering with great fright because it was being pursued by a sparrow. And the sparrow kept pecking at the butterfly, eager to devour it. What the butterfly couldn't see was that the pane of glass that was between them kept the sparrow from doing anything that the sparrow wanted to do. You see, the butterfly didn't understand that the pane of glass, that thin pane of glass, was all it needed to keep away the sparrow, and that the butterfly could have been in the South Pole, and it wouldn't matter because there was a pane of glass separating it from its enemy who wanted to devour it.
But because the sparrow was so close, fluttering right in front of the butterfly's face, the butterfly was terrorized because the sparrow was just too close if the butterfly only understood that that pane of glass was all you need, no matter how close the sparrow seemed to be. When you leave here today, Satan's going to get up in your face. When you go to work tomorrow, he's going to be up in your face trying to devour you. For Satan is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, and it might scare you that he wants to ruin your health and ruin your testimony and ruin your family and raise your children. But if you only remember, Jesus Christ has slid some red glass in between you and Satan, and that Satan can peck at you, and he may seem close, but he can't touch you because the blood of Jesus Christ has separated you. He has been disarmed. So not only do you have to stop being afraid, you can sit on the glass if you want to and mess with him and say, come get me, come get me, because there is something in between him. And then one day, according to Revelation chapter 20, you won't have to worry about it no more, because it says an angel from God will be sent down with a chain, and it will be wrapped around Satan.
And this one who deceived the nations will be thrown into the abyss. And I can imagine now, I don't know whether to be Gabriel, I don't know whether to be Michael, but I can see them wrapping that chain around the devil to incarcerate him, to stop him from deceiving the nations anymore. And I can see how Michael or Gabriel shout out, wow, move out of the way, dead man walking.
I can see him telling you now that he's now being thrown away, dead man walking. Dr. Evans will come back in a moment with a final thought about authority and spiritual warfare. But in the meantime, if you want to find out more about what it means to have a personal relationship with God, visit tonyevans.org and follow the link that says Jesus. There, Tony will help you get your new life started off right with some free video messages about knowing Christ, as well as some helpful downloadable resources. And tonyevans.org is where you can also get information about the limited-time streaming of the popular film Journey with Jesus, featuring Dr. Evans, Crystal, Priscilla, and Anthony Evans.
Journey with Jesus follows the steps of Jesus through the Holy Land and was filmed on location in Israel. Be sure to make this part of your Easter observance this year. Get the details at tonyevans.org. And one final reminder that Tony's entire 12-message series on spiritual warfare is available as our gift to you in return for your donation toward the ministry. Just make your request at tonyevans.org or call our resource request line any time of the day tonight at 1-800-800-3222.
Again, that's 1-800-800-3222. They say thinking you're a success is the first step toward becoming one. Well, on Monday, Dr. Evans will explain when Christians do that, it's more than just our imagination at work. Right now, though, he's back with a final thought for today. So when you leave here today, leaving the authority of Christ, not your authority, not your strength, not your power, they overcame him by the blood. Not only saying the words of blood, but living underneath the blood, because you only get authority when you live under authority. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and is made possible by the generous contributions of listeners like you.
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