“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed of the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38).
Oppressed: (Gr. Katadunasteuo): To exercise dominion against by a ruler, authority, or might
Oppression comes from those in power, who exercise their might by coercive restrictions upon the people. It is an evil that is employed by tyrants, oppressive forms of governments, and most authoritarian regimes. In the spiritual sphere it is the power of dark forces, demonic powers under Lucifer, Satan, the devil, who oppress and exercise dominion against those to whom they have gained control.
In the 1843 Christmas Carol, O, Holy Night, written by the poet, Placide Cappeau, we find the faith-filled words, “And in His Name, all oppression shall cease”. No truer words have ever been penned.
From the days of the Pharoah’s of Egypt to the Philistines of Canaan, from the Amorites to the legions of Rome, oppressors have tried to exercise dominion against the people of God. Down through the history of the Church, oppressors of one stripe or another have sought to stamp out the embers of faith, to quench the fire and light of the Gospel and have violently opposed Christ and the saints who follow Him wherever He leads.
However, as we look closer into the arena of dominion, authority and power, we discover there are not only earthly powers there are also heavenly powers. There are dominions, realms and principalities and there is the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God has come, it is being established on earth, and will be fully confirmed in power at the return of the King.
All Oppression Shall Cease. The Scriptures give us great hope against our oppressors. The Psalmist wrote: “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble” (Psalms 9:9). “Lord, you have heard the desire of the humble, you will prepare their heart, you will cause your ear to hear; to judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress” (Psalms 10:17). The time of oppression shall cease for the Lord shall be a refuge for His people and they shall take shelter in the shadow of His wings (cf. Psalms 57:1).
“The Lord executes righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed” (Psalms 103:6). The Spirit of the Lord is with us now. The same Spirit that was in Christ “who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil” is in us by faith. To us has been given the chosen fast “to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke” (cf. Isaiah 58:6).
We are the intercessors, the warriors of prayer, called to walk in the chosen fast of the Lord, to preach the Word, to live in the Kingdom and see it established in the earth, to tear down strongholds (II Corinthians 10:4), to live by faith, and believe the promises of God, to see the salvation of the Lord.
To those who are in Christ, all oppression shall cease. In Him we find our rest, we find our refuge, we find our peace. In Him we find our strength, our joy, our hope, our shelter in times of trouble. In Christ we overcome, we walk in victory, in triumph, in the Cross, in the Resurrection and in the Life. We are the Redeemed, the Chosen, the Elect of God.
“Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. . .Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (I John 3:1-2).
Lord, let your eternal Kingdom be established now on earth, even as it has been established in the heavens. Let all oppression cease and let your Spirit reign forever in our hearts as your people in the freedom of your love and the comfort of your peace.