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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Dr. Tony Evans » Tony Evans - Taking The Devil To Court

Tony Evans - Taking The Devil To Court

Tony Evans - Taking The Devil To Court
TOPICS: Authority, Spiritual warfare, Devil

God created you and redeemed you with a purpose in mind. It is your spiritual enemy's job and goal to cause the purpose of your life to break down and to not be realized. As I stated earlier, he comes to destroy. He comes to destroy dreams, hopes, destinies, purposes, and ultimately to take your life before it's time. Many of the things that you see happening are people dying before their time. Now there is a time. The Bible says, "It's appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment".

So there is a date, but you don't wanna leave here before the date, but that's his goal. But even prior to that his goal is that you do not realize the appliant purpose, the created purpose. And you have a book. Every Christian has a book, we saw that in Psalm 139 verse 16. And that book lays out what God's design is, his kingdom purpose, his divinely ordained reason for being. So for those who want to reclaim what you have been illegitimately taken, through sin or circumstances, sometimes outside of your control, you need to take the devil to court. You need to take him to court.

Now, a lot of us are trying to fight the devil outside of court, which means it's not legal. You have to fight him legally. That's why the book is full, the Bible is full of legalese, it's full of statements related to judges and laws and statutes and covenants. All of those are legal documentations or positions because there is a legislative tie to a spiritual reality. What you see legislated in the physical was always preempted by a legislation that occurs in the spiritual. So why don't we go to a court scene today so that we can learn some principles about getting back whatever he has stolen from you or whatever life has left for you, so that he doesn't keep being a grifter in your life.

Zachariah chapter 3, we're actually in the courtroom in the book of Zachariah. We have a judge, we have a prosecuting attorney, we have a defense attorney, we've got a client, and they're all in the court in Zachariah 3. "Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him". You remember last time we saw that he is an accuser of the brethren. The word to accuse means to bring legal accusation against. So this is an attempt to bring legal accusation against Joshua the high priest.

Why does he wanna bring legal accusation against Joshua? Look at verse 2, "The Lord said to Satan, 'The Lord rebuke you, Satan.'" We'll pick that up later. "Indeed the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you. Is this not a brand plucked from the fire"? Little history. Because of Israel's rebellion, the Southern kingdom's rebellion against God, they were judged by being taken to Babylon. After 70 years in Babylon and under judgment, they were being restored to Jerusalem.

Joshua was one of the priests, part of this restoration process of getting Jerusalem back online, getting 'em back in sync because of their rebellion. Joshua is called, "A brand plucked from the fire". Joshua is a high priest. He is to lead the spiritual direction for the people. He has a divine purpose, that's why we're told what his job was, he's a high priest. He's got something God wants him to do for Jerusalem. So the reason he is a brand plucked out of the fire is because Satan wants to get rid of him. And he wants to get rid of him because he doesn't want him to leverage kingdom influence for the benefit of God's bigger purpose which is the restoration of Jerusalem.

So he wants to get rid of Joshua so that there is not support for the salvific deliverance of Jerusalem. In other words, he wants to thwart his kingdom purpose. There is a purpose that God has for you. It is a kingdom purpose that's bigger than you, and you are designed to fulfill a kingdom responsibility for the benefit of something bigger than you. So if it's only about you, Satan got you. There is a purpose, and he wants to thwart it. He wants to keep Jerusalem from being restored, he wants to keep our communities from being restored, he wants to keep our families from being restored, he wants to keep our culture from being restored. And how is he doing that? He's getting us engulfed in the fire. You got Christians running around here adopting the culture rather than representing the King and his kingdom.

Now what was giving Satan some cred here? What was giving him some juice? Well, verse 3, "Now, Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel". So he was dressed in unrighteousness. Let's look at something else. We're told in verse 4 he says, "See, I have taken away your iniquity". So he's got filthy garments and iniquity. The iniquity goes a little further 'cause the garments are on the outside, the iniquity is on the inside. So there was dirt in and there was dirt out.

Not only that, verse 5, "Put a clean turban on his head". That means the one he was wearing wasn't clean, he had a dirty mind. What we have to understand is that sin gives Satan legal rights. It gives him... he can now take you to court, he can take you to court, 'cause he got it on you, me, and us. And he can take us to court to thwart God's purpose in our lives because he knows something that either we don't know or we've forgotten, and that is the holiness of God, the righteousness of God, the standards of God. And because he knows that we forget that or don't take it as seriously as we ought to, he uses that in order to break, you'll see that in a moment, to break fellowship with God, in order that purpose cannot be realized.

So Joshua has some issues. We are told in Proverbs 26 verse 2 that "A curse flutters like a bird in order to find cause". And that the cause, the word there means legal accusation. So it's demons fluttering in order to look for a cause. A cause that can be taken legislatively before heaven to break fellowship and block purpose. So that's our problem. But we find him standing, we're told, before the angel of the Lord, verse 1. Verse 3, standing before the angel, which is the angel of the Lord. It's not an angel of the Lord, it's the angel of the Lord. This is Jesus pre-incarnate. Jesus existed before his physical birth as the second person of the trinity. He operates in the Old Testament as the angel of the Lord.

Prior to the incarnation, the angel of the Lord is the second member of the Trinity, it is Jesus the Christ. Because unless you understand this, then you will not fully grasp why this defense attorney is so critical. 1 John chapter 2 verses 1 and 2, let me read it to you. In 1 John 2:1 and 2 it says, "My little children," Christians, "I am writing to you these things to you so that you may not sin. If anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous".

An advocate is a lawyer 'cause we're in a courtroom. You have a lawyer before the Father, the judge, Jesus Christ, the righteous. He is a defense attorney for my little children, believers. It is the job of Jesus currently, this is his post-ascension job, to represent you in the court of heaven when accusation is registered against you. When Satan comes to legislate, breaking a fellowship in order that he might block purpose, you don't go to court and represent yourself. We have an advocate with the Father. The death of Jesus Christ created imputed righteousness, imputed righteousness. To impute means to credit something, to do a credit is to impute.

2 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 21, "He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in him". In verse 13 of Galatians 3, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law". Okay, the law, remember? Law, we're dealing with legalese now. "The curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.'" The cross. So the curse, the judgment that is against you has been handled by the sacrifice of Christ, which 1 John 2 calls the propitiation, that is, the satisfaction. God is satisfied with your lawyer.

Let me tell you how satisfied God is with your lawyer, Revelation chapter 19 verse 10. Revelation chapter 19 verse 10 says that "Jesus is the key based on the testimony of Jesus". Well, you give testimony in a court. So this thing gets sweeter, not only is Jesus your lawyer, he gets to testify on your behalf, so he gives testimony. And we'll see that next week. But he gives testimony on your case, and here the deal is, the case is legitimate because Joshua has dirty clothes, he has a dirty turban, he has iniquity, so it's not that Satan doesn't have to make up stuff, we give him enough stuff to use. We give him plenty. Tell the truth and shame the devil. If that is not you, I don't even know why you're here.

So he has taken him to court, but he's standing before the angel of the Lord, who is his lawyer, his advocate. And when standing before the angel of the Lord, the principle here is the key. The key is he's got an accuser, Satan accusing him. He's got a judge that has to make a judgment. The goal is to remove fellowship in order to block purpose, but he's standing not before the judge, he's standing before the angel of the Lord. Let me take you back to 1 John briefly because this is the New Testament version of this Old Testament story that I'm going over today.

In chapter 1 of 1 John it says, "This is the message we have heard from him and announced to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth". So you can't be talking about, "I'm close to God," while living in sin. "But if we walk in the light," here it is, "As he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus the Son cleanses us from all sin".

Well, wait a minute now, wait a minute, watch this, watch this, watch this. When is the blood cleansing you? When you're in the light. But wait a minute, wait a minute, I'm confused. I thought if I was in the light, I'm not sinning. That's not what it says. It says, "If we walk in the light like he is in the light, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us," why? Because the light shows your sin. Walking in the light means living in his presence, it means operating with his consciousness. It is honest exposure before a holy God. He's standing before the angel of the Lord like we are standing in the presence of God so the blood can do its work.

Isaiah 43 says this in verse 25, "I, even I, I am the one who wipes out your transgressions for my own sake. I will not remember your sins". Anybody have some sins you want God to forget? "I will not remember your sins," okay. "Put me in remembrance". Whoa, whoa. God says, "Tell me all about it". "Put me in remembrance," tell me all about it, "Let us argue our case together". Oh, we got a case. We're in court. "State your cause". So now you're on the witness stand. "State your cause that you may be proved right". He said, "Don't hide it, state it. I'm putting you on the stand and I want you to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God. I want you to lay it out there, talk to me. State your case".

Confession, the Greek word means to say the same thing. It means to come in agreement with. You must say what God is saying. Not what your neighbor is saying, your posse saying, your people saying, or what you think. He says, "You must say what I say about it, you must talk my talk". The word of the testimony must be in agreement with me. I love 2 Timothy chapter 2 verse 25 and 26. He says this in 2 Timothy 2:25 and 26, he says, "With gentleness concerning those who are in opposition," how to relate to people. "If perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses, and escape the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will".

Do you know one of our problems Satan is holding us hostage? Repenting, confession is agreeing with. So the moment that you know you have sinned and you agree with God, boom, the blood of Jesus Christ covers it, that moment, that moment. Repentance is more than that. Repentance is related to a direction. Everybody goes the wrong way sometimes, going the wrong way. That's one option, you just keep going. Another option is you don't care. I mean, "I'm only human. So I'm just going the wrong way". Or you can say, "The longer I'm on this road, the further I'm gonna get from where I should be. 'Cause this is not where I wanna go, this is not the direction I wanna go in, this is not the location I wanna get to".

Well, that means there must be a decision to exit. We'll call that confession off-ramp, okay? So you come to the exit, and now you get off on confession off-ramp. But now you gotta go over an overpass to get to the other side of the highway, we'll call that grace overpass. 'Cause there's a bridge that's been built to take you from the off-ramp over to the other side. So you get off confession off-ramp, you get on grace overpass, but now there's another ramp, we'll call that restoration on-ramp. So you get off confession off-ramp, you cross over grace overpass, you get on restoration on-ramp, and guess what? You are now headed in the right direction. You are now headed, and the beautiful thing is, you don't have to build a ramp, the ramp has already been built.

Confession is agreement when you do something bad, repentance is turning from a different direction. He's standing before the Lord. His guilt is visible, he's not hiding anything, his turban is dirty, his clothes are dirty, and he's standing there. When he is repentant, something happens. "The Lord said to Satan". Now the judge steps in because we have the angel of the Lord, but now we have the Lord himself. "The Lord said to Satan, 'The Lord rebuke you.'" It says, "The Lord said to the devil, 'I have chosen Jerusalem my purpose. I have plucked this brand from the fire. I have changed his trajectory.'"

Did you know you don't have to quit, you don't have to throw in the towel, you don't have to give up on life? Because if you get your case handled by the judge, because the lawyer who represents you also gives testimony for you and is the Son of the judge. What happened with Joshua? It says, "Put clean clothes on him. Remove the filthy garments," verse 4, "Change his clothes". And he says, "Change his turban on his head". I love the end of verse 5, "While the angel of the Lord was standing by". Ah, that's sweet. "You take over, Daddy, I'm just gonna watch this".

And here's what the angel of the Lord says in verse 8 and 6 and 7. "The angel of the Lord admonished Joshua saying, 'Thus sayeth the Lord of host.'" Let me tell you about my Daddy, he wanna tell you something. "If you will walk in my ways, perform my service, then you will also govern my house and also have charge of my courts. I will grant you free access among those who are standing here". Ooh, there's so much in there.

Okay, wait a minute, let's back up. Joshua is the high priest. He's already got a post, but he wasn't doing the post well, but now he gets a recall. He says, "If you'll now line up with me, I'll recall you to your post," but watch this, "I'll also promote you". You're gonna see that next week, "But I also promote you because you will not only govern my house, you will have charge of my courts, and I will grant you access to my environment". I'm gonna give you stuff you didn't even start with. The devil is coming against you, but God has given you a jacket to put on. He wants you to put on the righteousness of Christ, he wants you to put on the confession and repentance of sin so that he can give you back your dignity, give you back your hope, give you back your dreams, give you back your purpose, give you back your legitimate prosperity, give you back the time you have left on this life.

Don't let him take off your jacket, 'cause when you take off your jacket, you lose the power. When you take off your jacket, you lose the ability, when you take off your jacket. But when you put your jacket back on, when you put your jacket back on, when you button it up and tuck it up, then all of a sudden when he comes at you, he has no authority, 'cause you're wearing Jesus Christ. You put on the power and authority of the crucified Christ, who is risen from the dead. Don't leave home without it, keep on your jacket.
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