Principle Three: Since world evangelization involves invading Satan's kingdom, workers must be prepared to face SATANIC OPPOSITION.
Underwood writes, "from the garden of Eden to the new Jerusalem opposition to the program of God comes from three sources the world, the flesh, and the devil."
WORLDLY opposition is "organized around greed, violence, and selfishness. It is both God rejecting and man deifying." This includes opposition from political and governmental structures, organized religious systems, and financial and economic institutions.
FLESHLY opposition is the result of "the fallen nature of man and involves man's total being--spirit, soul, and body." Underwood writes, "Strangely enough, (fleshly opposition) often comes through religious people.....Study the revivals in America and you will discover that every revival has been opposed, and the strongest opposition usually has come from the descendants of those who were the leaders in the previous great revival. This is a result of man's tendency to institutionalize the work of God."
Finally, opposition comes directly from the DEVIL and his army of demons. Whether through overt demonic activity or coming as an angel of light, Satan is continually resisting the advancement of God's Kingdom. This supernatural satanic power must be confronted with more than mere human strength alone. "When engaged in world evangelization, remember the words of the prophet, "it is not by might nor by power but by my Spirit, says the Lord of host" (Zachariah 4:6)."
Just as the early church in the Book of Acts faced spiritual opposition, so does the church of today. Therefore, in order for the church to be effective in world evangelism, it must acknowledge the reality of satanic opposition, learn to combat this opposition through the power of the Holy Spirit, and become emboldened to act with Kingdom authority to tear down the spiritual strongholds of this present age.
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He Who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4, NKJV).
“ . . . to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me’”
(Acts 26:18, NKJV).
Sixteen New Testament Principles for World Evangelization by B.E. Underwood
Principle Four: Dynamic world evangelization must be accompanied by a MIRACULOUS MINISTRY. Signs and wonders are characteristic of the ministry of both Jesus and his church.
Underwood writes, "The book of Acts is a book of miracles. The spread of the Gospel in the power of the Spirit was attended by signs and wonders. The Biblical record enunciates this principle--it is the New Testament pattern."
Just as Jesus came to preach the Gospel to the poor, heal the broken-hearted, preach deliverance to the captives and bring recovery of sight to the blind, the church of today is to continue this supernatural ministry as it expands God's Kingdom to the ends of the earth.
The exponential growth and expansion of the Pentecostal movement during the 20th century, astounded the church as 70% of all church growth during this time period occurred among Pentecostals and charismatics. Underwood writes, "This (Pentecostal) movement has reestablished the truth that world evangelization is to be attended by the supernatural ministry of Jesus."
In order to overcome the "giants of our time" and evangelize the most resistant people groups, the 21st Century Church must once again become a church filled with power of the Holy Spirit imitating the supernatural ministry of Christ. As we labor is the task of world evangelization, may signs and wonders accompany us, His disciples, to validate our message, penetrate the darkest religions, and usher in an unprecedented end time harvest.
People to People Ministries
[Editor's comment: God has revealed to me that in 2017 that I should make room for more people in my life, including young, emerging, dynamic, and intelligent men and women. God has placed Matt Bennett in my life. It is my responsibility to love him, respect him and pray for him. He is a gifted leader that needs more exposure. I hope you will get to know him. He has wanted to be an engineer, but God called him to preach and to be involved in ministry. From the halls of Georgia Tech in Atlanta to the needy people in the world who need love, care, food and clothing it is amazing what God has done in his life and that of his wife, Janese Pike Bennett.]