Although the book of Revelation (ch.6) teaches that plagues are poured out by the Lamb of God, decades of peace and prosperity have robbed pastors of the ability to teach people how to make war in the Spirit (Ephesians chapter 6 verses 12-18). Whilst many of our brothers and sisters across the planet have been sustained in spiritual sharpness by persecution and poverty, we have lost touch with the fibre of a biblical worldview. My prayer is that God will rouse a Church “asleep in the light” (Keith Green; Ephesians chapter 5 verse 14).
Panic from Heaven
One of the defining characteristics of the Old Testament Holy War is divinely caused turmoil. Dread falls on the enemies of God as a sign of impending judgement (Deuteronomy chapter 2 verse 25 etc.) The prophets teach that at the End the Lord will send plague and great panic (Zechariah chapter 14 verses 12-13) on those who despise his people. In the New Testament, Revelation (chapters 6-18) applies these catastrophes to our planet from the first to the Second coming of Christ. Through the inspired lens of scripture, we can interpret in a spiritual way the panic buying stripping our supermarket shelves. From a biblical worldview, painful anticipation of deprivation in this life is an anticipation of Final Judgement. As 1 John chapter 4 verse 18 says, “fear has to do with punishment”. Of course, the community cannot see things this way, but through prophetic insight God’s people must.
Satan is Alive and Well
Scripture testifies that “the one who has the power of death is the devil” (Hebrews chapter 2 verse 14). When the temporal securities of the “sons of the evil one” (Matthew chapter 13 verse 38) are shaken they cannot help but panic. To put this another way, if you have “a murderer” for your “father” (John chapter 8 verse 44), panic is inevitable in a time of severe tribulation. Christians should understand this, and see themselves as completely beyond such things in Christ.
Safe and Secure
Visited by the devil in person, Jesus was unperturbed (Matthew chapter 4 verses 1-11). When confronted by demoniacs, diseased people, storms and attempts on his life, he never lost peace with his heavenly Father (Luke chapter 4 verses 29-30). This is the peace he gives to us (John chapter 14 verse 27). Being “in Christ” we are as secure in life as the Lord himself. “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians chapter 3 verses 2-3). We are literally, according to 1 John chapter 5 verses 18- 19), “untouchable” to Satan. This imparts tremendous security to the saints to take up the cause of Christ against the universal deceiver (Revelation chapter 12 verses 9-11).
Defy the Devil
“Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. 9 Resist him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world.” (1 Peter chapter 5 verses 8-9. Prayer and praise are blatant acts of defiance before a frightened world panicked by demonic activity. They are reminders to the evil forces in the heavenly places that Christ has conquered them and their doom is coming soon (Ephesians chapter 3 verse 10). Such bold confrontation is the call of the Spirit to the Church today.
I am praying for a chain reaction of Holy Spirit inspired acts of defiance towards the rulers of darkness. This will include a multiplication of prayer across the churches accompanied by full-hearted praise. We are commanded to live like this, and the coronavirus represents a rare heaven-sent opportunity to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians chapter 5 verse 18). COVID19 may yet prove to be the catalyst for national revival through a devil-defying Church.
The Rev. Dr John Yates is an Anglican minister in Perth and has 5 children and 7 grandchildren. He spends time in praying, mentoring and writing.John Yates’s previous articles may be viewed athttp://www.pressserviceinternational.org/john-yates.html