A few years ago I was in Sierra Leone, Africa, preaching a series of prophecy meetings. The meetings I was holding were part of a larger partnership campaign between ShareHIM and Southern Adventist University. I was preaching in an open-air square in the middle of a neighborhood from a wooden platform. But on the last Sabbath afternoon, several of the speakers and attendees from the meetings in my area gathered together in the basement of a church for a mass baptism. One by one the candidates were dipped under the water and raised in newness of life. Near the middle of the service, however, a woman stepped into the water and the pastor raised his hand. As he began lowering her towards the water, she suddenly began to struggle. She threw herself against the pastor causing them both to fall into the water. It took several men to hold her and calm her down. It turns out that this woman had been dealing with demon possession for a long time, but she hadn't had an episode for nearly a year, ever since she began studying to become a Christian. The devil wasn't ready to lose her yet, however.

Living in America, I feel like we sometimes forget about the conflict going on around us in the spiritual realm. Even though I know it exists, I had never had a personal encounter with demon possession until that day in Africa. Paul told the Ephesians, "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12). Tomorrow evening the Approaching Storm Seminar will be continuing with a presentation on the fall of Lucifer and the reason we are in the middle of this great controversy between Christ and Satan. We will also be looking at the end of the conflict and the hope that we have as Christians when evil will be no more. In the meantime, however, remember that God's side is winning and He wants you to join Him. Will you accept the invitation?

Choosing the winning side,

Pastor Sutherland

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