Be Numbered Among The Undevourable

1 Peter 5:8
8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

The devil cannot just walk right up to you and rob you of your health, peace or family. He cannot just come into your life to enforce disease and destruction.

If the devil can do that, then he does not have to walk about “seeking whom he may devour”. He only has to walk straight up to anyone he wants to devour and devour him! But since the Bible says that he goes about seeking whom he may devour, the truth then is that there are people whom he cannot devour.

You see, the devil goes about like a roaring lion trying to stir up fear in people with his roars. But the people who are not devourable are those who refuse to be intimidated by his roars because they know that the true Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ (Revelation 5:5), has already come and rendered powerless him who had the power of death. (Hebrews 2:14, NASB) They know that the devil cannot just do anything to them because the Lion of Judah resides in them, and that He is greater than the devil who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

My friend, the Lion of Judah is in you. He has given you rights, privileges, authority and power. He redeemed you with His blood. Therefore, everything about you and your life is redeemed by His blood. So if you are fearful about losing your job, cover your job with the blood of Jesus. If you are worried about your children’s safety in these days of terrorist attacks, plead the blood of Jesus over them. If you have received a bad report from the doctor, speak the blood over yourself.

Whatever you have covered with the blood of Jesus, God declares, “Protected! Redeemed!” And the devil flees when he sees the blood. And when he flees, he takes with him sicknesses, diseases, pains, sufferings, destruction and loss.

Once the devil knows that you know who you are in Christ and what you have in Him, his days of intimidating you are over, and you are numbered among the undevourable!

Matthew 7:21-23 (New International Version)

What Shall We Make of Matthew 7:21-23?

One of the most interesting and controversial passages anywhere in the Bible comes straight out of the mouth of Jesus Christ, and is recorded for us in Matthew 7:21-23:

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'"

Many are teaching that calling Jesus Lord guarantees a person a place in heaven, although Jesus here denies it. According to Jesus, many will call Him Lord, and even have supernatural signs of knowledge and power following their lives, who will not even enter heaven. What a sobering thought!

Some use this passage to condemn everyone in the 20th Century who believes in speaking in tongues, the gift of prophecy, the casting out of demons and miraculous healing being worked in the name of Jesus. Such people would see these practices as sure signs that a person had entered into apostacy, and was a deceiver of the people. I believe that this is a wrong conclusion to draw from the passage for many reasons - not least of all, that it goes beyond what is actually written.

If this was the correct application of that Scripture, then surely Peter, John, Paul and the other apostles were guilty! They did all these things - prophesying, casting out demons and performing wondrous signs in Jesus' name (Acts 2:43; Acts 16:18). Nor can we say that only the apostles ever did these things, for Philip the deacon (not one of the twelve) preached the gospel with miraculous signs following (see Acts 8:5-8). The Corinthian believers had spiritual gifts and prophesied, and Paul encouraged them to do that! (1 Cor. 14:1; 1 Cor. 1:7). Jesus said that anyone believing in Him would do these things (John 14:12; Mark 16:17,18). Those verses say nothing of being anything other than a believer.

Since church history provides strong evidence that these gifts and operations continued even in the sub-apostolic period and afterward to a lesser extent, we really don't have any basis - Scriptural or otherwise, for saying that the Words of Jesus changed their meaning after the Canon was put together. Not unless we are prepared to assert that partial knowledge has also passed away and that we see the Lord face to face (see 1 Cor. 13:8-13).

What then is Jesus wanting to say through in Matthew 7:21-23?

We can see from this passage that having the gifts of the Spirit or looking like you've got them is no guarantee that you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. We must acknowledge that Jesus said that many would come and claim to know Him on the basis of the fact that they moved in power in His name, and they called Him Lord. Since there have not been all that many who would claim that they have done these things, compared to the total number of professing Christians in history, we must conclude that many of the people doing these things today might well fall into the category of hell-bound sinners that Jesus is talking about.

But just who is Jesus talking about? He says it Himself. He is talking to, "you who practise lawlessness", "you whom I never knew", "those who do not do the will of the Father in heaven.". The problem then is not prophesying, casting out demons and doing the signs and wonders in Jesus' name: the problem is sin.

Many in the church today believe that they now that they have "believed in Jesus" they can sin as much as they want or more because they are born-again sons of God that can never lose that status with God. They have confessed Christ as Lord with their mouth at some point, and now they are living pretty much as they want to. There is not that true respect for the authority of Jesus Christ in their lives. They are pretty sure the blood of Jesus covers them no matter what they do, say or believe now. Some of them may actually condemn those who teach the need to be faithful to Jesus Christ.

Some have gone a step further and have embraced the things of the Spirit. They have experienced supernatural confirmation of the reality of the Lord - indeed, many of them have not only spoken in tongues, but also prophesied, cast out demons and ministered healing in Jesus' name. Now all this is commendable and Biblical. But it does not excuse wilful sin.

This passage I see as a warning even to Spirit-filled believers who have seen the power of God flowing in their ministries. Jesus is saying: "Even all that is not enough. I want your heart. You need to put away sin, independence and let me direct you."

If we have been sinning, or we have not been doing what God wants us to do, the answer is to repent, and renew our love for God. God is willing to forgive - we must be willing to be changed and go in a different way.

Jesus will say to these people, "I never knew you." They did all these great things, but Jesus did not have that close relationship with them. They weren't marching to the orders of the Lord. They used gifts received according to their own desires, and not by the leading of the Lord. The using of gifts and power is never a substitute for a loving relationship with Christ, no matter how much appears to be happening through it all for the Kingdom.

That word know, "ginosko" in the Greek, refers in this context to an intimate relationship of union and approval. That is the kind of relationship a believer needs to have with Christ.

Paul said, "But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him." (1 Corinthians 8:3). Jesus will not say those words of condemnation in Matthew 7:21-23 to someone who truly loves Him. God recognizes, approves and truly works together with those who love Him. If we love the Lord, we will be looking to Him for power to overcome sin before we look for miraculous displays of the power of signs and wonders. It is not that the latter is unimportant - it is part of the portion of a true believer. Not all true believers are willing to embrace it though, due to the fear and misapprehension generated by false teachings. However, the most important thing we must have is true love for God. A faith in God that has no love for God in it is not saving faith.

Because of who Christ is, and what He has done for us, we should all be moved to seek after Him and consistently please Him out of gratitude and holy fear. There is an emphasis in the church today which equates any idea of the fear of God with legalism. But someone truly in love with our awesome God will appreciate Who they are dealing with, and if they do sin, will be quick to confess and repent before God.

Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, He will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make our home with him." (John 14:23).

"Therefore, since we are receiving a Kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:28,29)

Your Sins Will Not Be Screened In Heaven


When I was a young Christian growing up in Singapore, I read a little tract entitled This Was Your Life. In that tract, it said that when you get to heaven, God will replay your entire life, including all your sins, on a huge video screen for all the angels and other saints to watch!

The idea that God was making such a video of my life with the intention of screening it for everyone to watch used to make me feel awful and condemned before God. How could I ever stand boldly in His presence? And how was I going to face my loved ones and Christian friends in heaven?

I was a nervous wreck, thinking about all my sins that God was recording down, until I read this in the Bible: “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” (Romans 4:8) Hallelujah! I jumped for joy when I found out that God was not counting my sins against me, and that He has given me something called “non-imputation of sins”!

My friend, the reason that God does not impute any of our sins to us is that He has already imputed all of them to the body of His Son Jesus when He hung on the cross 2,000 years ago. Not only that, when God punished His Son for our sins, He caused the curse of the law to fall stroke by stroke upon Jesus’ entire body until every curse had been fully satisfied. That is why we have been redeemed from the curse of the law. (Galatians 3:13) That is why, instead of imputing sin to us, God imputes righteousness!

God wants us to know that our sins and lawless deeds He will remember no more. The words “no more” in the original Greek text carry a strong double-negative meaning. In other words, God is saying, “No way, by no means, will I ever remember your sins again!”

Beloved, since God says that He will remember your sins no more, why do you still remember them? Or for that matter, your spouse’s or neighbor’s sins? God does not want you to be conscious of sins because He is not. So rejoice! Come to Him boldly and expect Him to show you mercy and grace because He remembers your sins no more!

God Abundantly Supplies All Your Needs


According to this verse, you are rich. You are not trying to be rich. It does not matter how much you are earning or how much you have in your bank account. You are rich because as your need arises, God’s supply will be there for you.

This was the case for a church member who worked as a consultant. For months, he could not secure any major deals. But while attending one of our church camps held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, he received a word on financial prosperity. After the camp, he extended his stay in Kuala Lumpur and bumped into an old friend who gave him a big project that paid a huge sum! He needed a major breakthrough and God abundantly supplied his need.

In the Bible, there is an account of a couple who had a big need on their wedding day. They had run out of wine. Now, you would expect wedding couples to know how many guests to expect on their big day and to plan accordingly. But perhaps this couple did not have the money to buy enough wine. Whatever the reason was, Jesus saved them from embarrassment and shame. He saved the day when He supplied their need by miraculously turning six pots of water into top-quality wine. (John 2:1–10) Our Lord Jesus abundantly supplied the need of that couple.

Beloved, whatever needs you have, God wants you to know that His supply will be there for you. You have His Word for it. He promises that He will supply all your needs, not just some. And He will supply all your needs according to and not out of His riches. This means that He lines up from A to Z all His riches for your supply! All His riches are yours!

My friend, rejoice that you are rich “according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”. This is far greater and more dependable than the temporal riches that you might have from any earthly source!

Believing Is Receiving


You have heard people of the world say, “I will believe it only when I see it.” Generally, that is the way the world thinks. But God’s ways are not like the ways of the world. The world says, “If I can’t feel it or see it, I cannot believe the miracle is here.” God says, “If you believe it before you feel it or see it, you will see your miracle.”

Believing first before seeing the evidence of what we are believing for is called faith. Faith is like a spark and Jesus is the dynamite powder.

In the story of the healing of the woman with the issue of blood, there were many people who touched Jesus (Mark 5:31), but nothing happened to them. They didn’t touch Him in faith. But when the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years came to Him and touched Him in faith, He felt power leave His body (Mark 5:30), and it sparked off an explosion of healing in the woman’s body!

Hearing about how good, kind and loving Jesus was fired her faith to believe that He could and would heal her. So convinced was she (even when the condition in her body was still evident) that she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Did she experience her healing first before she believed? No, she believed first in Jesus’ goodness and power, acted in faith and only then felt the healing in her body.

In the same way, God wants you to believe in His goodness and love toward you. He wants you to know how willing He is to act on your behalf to bless you, and how, with Christ, He will freely give you every good thing. (Romans 8:32)

He wants you to declare by faith that all is and shall be well with you, and to expect to see just that. And then, no matter how long you have had the problem, no matter how bad the experts say it is, an explosion of healing and restoration will take place, and you will receive what you are believing for!

When You See God’s Grace, He Sees Your Faith

Many a time, people ask me, “Pastor Prince, I know that God’s promises are true, but how can I be sure that His promises will come true in my life?”

My friend, if you want God’s promises to be sure in your life, you cannot depend on yourself. If you depend on yourself — your obedience, goodness, service and even faith — you will not be able to receive God’s promises. But when you depend on God’s grace — His unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor toward you — that is when His promises become sure in your life.

This was true of the woman with the issue of blood. (Matthew 9:20–22) She didn’t go around saying, “I must have faith… I hope that I have enough faith… I will have faith… I will not lose faith.” No, she was only conscious of the grace of Jesus — how He always healed the sick, how powerful He was in raising the dead and how willing He was to use that power for her healing.

She just saw His grace abounding toward her, so much so that she said, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” And when she came behind Jesus and touched the very hem of His garment, she was healed. At that same moment, Jesus stopped, turned around and said to her, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.”

When the woman saw His grace, God saw her faith! And so it was by grace, through faith, that God’s promise became sure in her life.

God wants you to see His grace. And when you see His grace, He sees your faith. God says, “For by grace are you saved through faith.” The Greek word for “saved”, sozo, doesn’t just mean to save from hell, but also to heal, preserve and make whole. So it is by grace that you are made whole, kept healthy, preserved and prospered. It is by grace through faith that God’s promises become sure in your life.

My friend, don’t worry if you feel that you lack faith. Begin to see God’s grace in your situation and He will see that as faith. And because He sees your faith, you will receive the breakthrough you need!

Jesus Has Borne Your Diseases

Isaiah 53:4
4Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…

Imagine the dreadful disease leprosy eating a man alive. The poor leper in Matthew 8:2 could stand his suffering no longer, so he came out into the open to look for Jesus. He needed to know if Jesus was willing to heal him. When he saw Jesus, he fell at His feet and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” (Matthew 8:2) The Son of God looked at the outcast with love in His eyes, reached out His hand, touched him and said, “I am willing; be cleansed.” (Matthew 8:3)

Perhaps you are suffering from some disease and wondering if God is willing to heal you? You are not sure if He is willing because just as you have seen people get healed, you have also seen people not get healed. My friend, don’t look to people’s experiences. Look to the cross! As surely as Jesus bore away your sins, He also bore away your diseases!

I want to give you a solid foundation today for believing this truth. In Isaiah 53, the chapter on our Lord’s crucifixion, it says in verse four: “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows”. Now, let’s learn a little Hebrew. The words “griefs” and “sorrows” here mean “sicknesses” and “pains” in the original Hebrew text. So Isaiah was referring to physical healing.

Once, I asked a Jewish friend to read this verse in his Hebrew Bible and tell me what it means. He told me that his Bible says clearly that Jesus has borne our sicknesses and carried our pains.

If that is not enough, look at Matthew 8:16–17: “… they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.’” Matthew quotes Isaiah 53:4, saying that Jesus took our “infirmities” and bore our “sicknesses”. The context here refers to physical healing.

My friend, if you will just believe this truth, your days of sickness will be over. You will walk in greater health because the One who has surely borne your sicknesses and carried your pains says to you, “I am willing, be cleansed!”