Rejoice Not, Pastor Phil Sessa

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Luke 10:20, “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”

There are certain expressions used to describe people who seem to listen to one’s good news, and then upon hearing it, they find a way to kill the mood. Some additional expressions are being a “party pooper,” “a kill joy,” “a wet blanket,” etc… These types of people seem to have a “gift” of discouraging people.

This is precisely what I imagine the seventy disciples experienced when Jesus dialoged with them as they came in from the field of ministry. They returned after a powerful time of team ministry, and their highlight was seeing that they were used to deliver demonized people by the name of Jesus. As Jesus hears the words of the disciples he shares what I imagine initially took them by surprise when He states, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.Luke 10:19, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Jesus’ focus here was most likely not on the fall of Satan from Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, but He rather spoke hyperbolically here, pointing out that the ministry of the disciples was a direct assault on Satan’s authority and influence upon those that were just delivered. Satan has been a problem for humanity since the Garden of Eden, with all his influential lies and deceptive tactics, which is why he is called the Father of Lies (John 8:44), who masquerades himself as an angel of light (2Corinthians 11:14) roaming around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1Peter 5:8).

Jesus continues sharing what He sees having happened by saying: “Look I have given you the authority in My name to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” Jesus was saying that the authority to do these miraculous exploits did not originate in the disciples, but originated in Jesus and His authority. Jesus promised protection to His disciples that are in His keeping power which is greater than Satan’s influence (Psalm 91:13).

A flee would have a better chance of defeating a heard of stampeding elephants, than Satan would have of defeating Christ and the Church by his evil influence. Jesus said, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled”, (John 17).” The son of perdition is a reference to Judas, which was a false convert, and I believe is a representative of false converts, which are those that sit among God’s people but are really not Christian, but are goats, or wolves in sheep clothing. He was under the influence of Satan as one recalls Jesus’ words to His disciples, “…one of you is a devil.” Jesus says, “…nothing will ever harm you.” How encouraging are those words toward the genuine follower of Christ? Nothing will EVER harm you, hence wickedness from the kingdom of Satan will NEVER overtake you. Paul writes in Romans 8:34-30, “34 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The real reason to rejoice is not that the demonic spirits are submitting to you, but rather because your name in engraved in heaven! Rejoice because the name demons submit to, is the same name that purchased your salvation! Luke writes, Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name [Jesus] under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” How wonderful it is that God’s children have their names written in His Book of Life (Revelation 20:15). It is not that God’s children will not experience the effects of Satan’s storms, but that they will never overtake the Christian. Remember Job when Satan attacked him, God allowed him to be attacked, but He would not let Satan kill Job (Job 1:12). After going through all that Job went through he cried out, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him (13:15) …For I knowthat my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yetin my flesh shall I see God (Job 19:25).”When one considers all of life’s experiences ultimately what could match seeing God! The disciples saw the demons submitting to them, but Jesus said their names are engraved in heaven; they would see God the Father, as they have seen the Jesus the Son. I look forward to seeing the Lord one day, even though He has done ministry exploits through my life, nothing will match seeing Him as He is. Oh, when we see the source of Gospel Himself what a day, glorious day that will be, and to see our names engraved in the book of life. I close with the words from the famous hymn, What a Day That Will Be:

What a day that will be

When my Je-sus I shall see,

And I look up-on His face,

The one who saved me by His grace.

When He takes me by the hand,

And leads me through the Prom-ised Land,

What a day, glo-ri-ous day that will be.

May you appreciate God’s gift of everlasting life, and may you seek and save the lost so others will know this same salvation.

Until the nets are filled…Blessings, Phillip the Evangelist (Acts 21:8) <><

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