Consecrating oneself through prayer, praise, profession and prophecy is the weapon the believer uses to bring revival to the nations.
By Michelle Heng
Mark 4 is not a passage usually quoted in the context of spiritual warfare, but in his sermon over the weekend of Oct. 6 and 7, the second of seven weeks before City Harvest Church begins its Arise & Build season, senior pastor Kong Hee shared that Jesus was not rebuking the natural elements of wind and water when He silenced the storm.
Instead, He was silencing a demonic entity in the storm that had wanted to stop Jesus and His disciples from reaching Gadara, a part of the Decapolis, a group of 10 cities that eventually played a vital role in early church history.
Demonic principalities rule over geographical territories, and these forces have to be resisted and dethroned before the kingdom of God can be established and revival can come to a nation.
The significance of the figure “10” is not lost on CHC—the church’s outreach efforts during its Crossover Project impacted 10 nations in Asia; additionally, Singapore is part of ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), which comprises 10 nations: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore.
Building on the previous week’s message of believing and confessing, the theme of spiritual warfare sought to rouse the congregation to consecrate themselves through prayer, fasting and reading the Word as the church enters one of the most challenging periods of its history, bringing to mind a prophesy that Phil Pringle, CHC’s advisory pastor, had uttered four years ago.
On March 16, 2008, Pringle had declared that the church would double its size, but only after a trying time; its people would have emerged from the wilderness, from a trial, a fight with the devil, and opposition from all sides. Indeed, the trial came five years later in June 2012 as charges were brought against the church’s leaders.
Kong also shared a documented account of a missionary who ministered at the Brazil-Uruguay border. When this minister approached people to give out tracts at the Uruguayan side of the border, people immediately rejected him and refused to hear him speak. On the other side, however, the Brazilians were extremely open to hear the gospel.
One day, this missionary approached a woman with a tract on the Uruguayan side; twice he was rejected by her. When she crossed over to Brazil, he was prompted to approach her one more time. To his surprise, she had a total change of attitude and opened up her heart to hear him. Later, he learned that a group of intercessors had been praying years for an open heaven over Brazil.
“Revival begins and ends with geographical boundaries, and we need to pull down strongholds over each country.” Kong said.
THE DUTY OF RESISTING IS OURS TO CARRY OUT
Kong cited a 1952 incident that happened to American preacher Kenneth E. Hagin, in which he had a vision of Jesus, and He was giving him important instructions. A demon then appeared, attempting to distract him by making noise and throwing dark smoke up such that it blocked his vision of Jesus.
Wondering why Jesus was not doing anything about the demonic nuisance in front of him, Hagin, finally exasperated, commanded the demon to stop talking and leave. Immediately, it did. Jesus said to him, “Kenny, if you hadn’t done anything about that, I couldn’t have.”
It was a revelation to Hagin, who learned that the duty to resist the devil (James 4:7) was the believer’s and not God’s.
ANGELS RIDE ON THE WINGS OF PRAYERS
Underscoring the importance of persisting in prayer in spiritual warfare, Kong shared that angels ride on the wings of the prayers of believers, just as an archangel responded to Daniel’s fasting and praying in Daniel 10:12-13—but not before he overcame the “king of Persia”—the demonic strongman of the region. “Imagine if Daniel had stopped praying and fasting because nothing happened during these 21 days; his breakthrough would not have come!”
Satan is a deceiver, tempter and accuser, but Christians have three powerful weapons against him.
1) The Word Of God
Jesus is the living Word, and the Bible, as the written Word are equally powerful, but only when it is being used.
2) The Name Of Jesus
Believers have the legal authority (power of attorney) to use the name of Jesus to defeat the devices of satan. The name of Jesus is akin to a spiritual “blank check” that believers cash in when they wage spiritual warfare.
3) The Blood Of Jesus
Satan’s favorite role is to be an accuser of the brethren, but as Revelation 12:10-11 states, the blood of Jesus is a reminder of what happened at the cross—the defeat of satan. Through the blood, Christians are now forgiven, righteous, sanctified and made the temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, believers need to “apply” the blood of Jesus through their testimonies.
Kong then shared a powerful account of how revival came to the Philippines through an American minister, Lester Sumrall. Back in 1953, a 17-year-old street prostitute named Clarita Villanueva was caught soliciting business from a plainclothes policeman.
Thrown into prison, Villanueva, whose mother was a fortune-teller involved in the occult, began to experience demonic attacks at night. When morning came, she would be found with puzzling, horrifying bruises and vicious bite marks all over her body.
Many doctors and psychiatrists were brought in to help her, but to no avail. As this point, God spoke to Sumrall to minister to her. Twice he resisted but on the third time, the instruction came with the warning that no revival would come to the Philippines if he did not do so.
Sumrall finally visited Villanueva in prison and performed a spectacular deliverance in front of national and international media by pleading the blood of Jesus over her. The result of this public display of God’s power was not just a free building permit for Sumrall’s future meetings—a total of 150,000 salvation decisions were made within six weeks at these meetings, and revival came to the nation.
Just as Jesus rebuked Satan in the wilderness by quoting Scripture, “It is written…”. Believers activate their weapons by speaking them. “Never get impressed by demons and their ‘powers’. Be impressed by God!” Kong proclaimed.
Quoting 1 Timothy 6:12, he also stated that spiritual warfare is a fight of faith, fought with the spiritual weapons of prayer, praise, profession and prophecy. Kong talked about Moshe Dayan, the famed Israeli military leader who demonstrated the power of profession when he proclaimed that Israel’s biggest weapon was Scripture from Psalms 121:1-2—“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth,” and subsequently led his greatly out-numbered troops to victory during the Six-Day War in 1967.
Human resource executive Jenna Ching, 32, said, “This year’s Arise & Build definitely feels different—during such a trying time, we are actually strengthening our resolve to keeping on building God’s house, to keep believing and speaking out our faith!”
Echoed 27-year-old consultant Edwin Ong, “Unlike the previous Arise & Build sessions I experienced since Hollywood days, this year’s different. I feel we are at the junction of something bigger to come. I’m looking forward to what God is going to do in City Harvest Church; history is in the making!” Andy Chia, 22, an undergraduate, added, “I am inspired to rise up to intercede and stand in the gap for the church. Money will come, revival will come!”
Do join City Harvest Church in its churchwide day of fasting on Oct. 10, from 6 a.m to 6 p.m.