Don't Let the Devil Steal Your Identity- Part 2

Don't let the devil steal your identity

This teaching is part two in the series “Don’t Let the Devil Steal Your Identity”

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This teaching is Radio Antioch Podcast Episode 31. To watch, click on the player above. To download audio and video , click the Icons at the bottom of the post..

Luke 22:1-6

Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, [2] and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. [3] Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. [4] And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. [5] They were delighted and agreed to give him money. [6] He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.

So in these chapters we are approaching the time of Jesus last Passover, before his crucifixion and resurrection. Prior to this, Satan had been working on Judas, tempting him to be offended.  You can find the slow unraveling of Judas’ identity as one of the twelve.

(By the way- Have you ever wondered what the title “Iscariot” means? It actually means “One of Kerioth”. Keroth was a town in southern Judah. So the nickname “Judas Iscariout” literally  means “Judas of Kerioth”. )

One of the first mentions of Judas’ change of heart is when Jesus first introduced the thought of His body and Blood being given to establish the new covenant:

John 6:53-71

Jesus therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. [54] “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. [55] “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. [56] “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. [57] “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me. [58] “This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate, and died, he who eats this bread shall live forever.” [59] These things He said in the synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum. [60] Many therefore of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” [61] But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? [62] “What then if you should behold the Son of Man ascending where He was before? [63] “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. [64] “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. [65] And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father.” As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him anymore. [67] Jesus said therefore to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” [68] Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. [69] “And we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” [70] Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” [71] Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.

So it seems that many of those who had followed Jesus at the beginning took an offense at this teaching, and a number fell away. In these verses we see the revelation that even one of the twelve was falling away. But while he had lost faith in Jesus, Judas found it convenient to continue in his ministry as one of the twelve.

John 12:3-6

Mary therefore took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. [4] But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, [5] “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii, and given to poor people?” [6] Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.

This type of statement is exactly what you would expect from man’s religion. It sounds good and righteous on the surface. surely it would be better to take care of the poor! But it ignores honoring the Lord who is present among us!

So we see Judas falling away. Satan is now working all of the “hooks” he has in Judas’ life. He is now using his position in ministry to steal from the Kingdom work for his own benefit, while looking all pious and religious on the outside!

So it is even today. Most of the people listening tonight have made a decision to follow Jesus. In Him, we have a new identity. But the enemy is trying hard to exploit any “hooks” he may still have in you to get you to lose the identity and inheritance you have in Christ. Some may be tempted to obvious sin, like stealing. Others take an offense at the radical worship of Jesus, and then miss out on a move of God.

Perhaps the suffering Messiah that Jesus was to become did not fit with Judas’ vision for a conquering messiah… Or maybe the gospel message of Jesus as the sacrifice for many offended his educated theology. You find this today in some of our liberal churches…We start to drop off some of the radical messages of the gospel, for a more “contemporary” or “sensitive” or “relevant” gospel. If you ask me, you can replace the words contemporary, sensitive or relevant with “watered down” and be closer to the truth!

Going back to Luke:

Luke 22:14-20

When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. [15] And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. [16] For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” [17] After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. [18] For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” [19] And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” [20] In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you..

There are a lot of ideas in these last few verses: Jesus is the new covenant. Those who partake in Him are grafted into the people of God. Before this, the Jewish people had a covenant with God through Abraham. In the coming years this new covenant would bring millions of Jews and now Gentiles into relationship with the Lord.

Luke 22: 21-23  But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. [22] The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him.” [23] They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.

So Jesus reveals to them that the enemy is trying to cause them to fall away. In fact, you see their flesh being stirred up even now:

Luke 22: 24-30

Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. [25] Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. [26] But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. [27] For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. [28] You are those who have stood by me in my trials. [29] And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, [30] so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

The high priests who were trying to destroy Jesus had their identity in their priesthood, and would do any evil to protect their ministry, even if it totally missed God’s will. Jesus had given them a new identity in the New Covenant of His blood. Now, he teaches them that their identity is in serving the Kingdom, not in being great themselves.  But he also reveals that if they give themselves up to be the servant in this Kingdom, that they also will be given a measure of rule in Christ. They were not to find their identity in what position they have in religion, or even what they have accomplished, but rather they are to find their identity in this new covenant, in this new body of Christ.

But the devil is still trying to cause them to fall away, and will be testing any hook he still has in them:

Luke 22: 31-34

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. [32] But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” [33] But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” [34] Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

The language here implies the idea that Satan has “asked and obtained” similar to the devil arguing with God about Job. Notice that Jesus here refers to Peter by his given name, “Simon”  and not by the name Jesus himself had given him in Matthew chapter 16:

Matthew 16:13-18

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” [14] They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” [15] “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” [16] Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” [17] Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. [18] And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

So Peter is one of the first to name Jesus as the Christ, and receives the new name of “Peter”, which means “the rock” . But on this night Satan is going to come against them all when circumstances grow dire, and each will fall away for a time. Jesus seems to point to this, referring to his disciple not as “The Rock” but rather by his birth name.  But Jesus also reveals that He has prayed that Peter would be strengthened in that new identity, eventually becoming “the rock” a leader in the new move of God. But here in the hour of testing there was a contest of destiny going on that would change the history of the world.

Luke 22: 35-38

Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” ”Nothing,” they answered. [36] He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. [37] It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” [38] The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”"That is enough,” he replied.

Let me challenge your thinking a bit here: When the seventy had been sent out, Jesus had sent them out money, or baggage, or even shoes. This was a temporary mission that was to increase their  faith and model to the world that the Kingdom was at hand. But now, he tells them that they will need their money and their possessions, and even a sword every now and then.  So here is a heavy thought: There is a prevailing thought in our churches that the Kingdom work is done among the walls of the churches. But Jesus is now preparing to release the disciples into a mission that would be clarified in the great commission: To go into all the world. That mission has already extended over two thousand years, and we still have not made it to all of the people groups on earth! There is a growing understanding in the body of Christ today that to be the kingdom people that the church is called to be, we don’t just do Christianity at church. No, it takes our money, and our possessions. We represent the Kingdom not only in the four walls of the church, but in the highways and byways of commerce, at the market, at the school, and at the office! And yes, sometimes the Lord can even use armies to bring about His purposes! He was speaking a new identity to them: A tough, never take “no” for an answer group that would take the gospel to the world.

And yet, the great trial and their personal fallings away and failures were yet before them this night.

Friends, Jesus was speaking a new identity into them this night. A new identity in the New Covenant of Christ. A new identity that would send them into the nations. A new call not to be a people who would lord their position over others, but those that would lay down their lives as servants to a call higher than themselves- The Kingdom of God. And yet we see Satan present even here- challenging the identity of each of them- One had already fallen, another would deny before the cock crows, and each would flee when the soldiers came, with only one at the foot of the cross. That call goes on today- Jesus is calling each of us to take up our place and our destiny in His kingdom, and the enemy is hurling every lie, sin and deception that he can find a way to hook on to you. Like Simon, when he became Peter the Rock- Whom do you say Jesus is? What identity will you accept for yourself- Once again I say unto you- “Do Not Let the Devil Steal Your Identity!

Credits

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