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YOU ARE BORN TO SHINE

2 Corithians Chapter 4 verse 6

LETS WORSHIP TOGETHER

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Thursday, February 25 2016

Contributor: Leye Olayiwola

INTRODUCTION

When generals go to war, one of the tactics used in fighting and advancing over the opposition is using spies to penetrate the camp of the opposition in obtaining their (the enemy) strategies. Once this is accomplished, the battle is half won. We will be considering the topic of Breaking The Power of The Devil from this perspective through the scriptures in this study starting from the creation of the first Adam and the victorious rise of the second Adam (Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ).       

THE FALL OF THE FIRST ADAM - ADAM'S TREASON (Genesis 3:1-6)
"But no one can go into a strong mans house and steal his property unless he first overpowers and ties up the strong man, and then he will ransack and rob his house." (Mark 3:27 AMP)

Originally, God made the earth and the fullness thereof, giving Adam dominion over all the works of His hands. In other words, Adam was the god of this world. Adam committed high treason and sold out to Satan, and Satan, through Adam, became the god of this world. Adam didn't have the moral right to commit treason, but he had the legal right to do so. Now Satan has a right to be here and be the god of this world until "Adam's lease" runs out. Satan had the right to rule over us until we became new creatures and got into the Body of Christ, as we see in Colossians 1: "Giving thanks unto the Father... Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son...." (vv. 12,13).
That's why Satan has no right to rule us or dominate us. Yet the average Christian has more faith in Satan's authority and power than in God's! One of the ways to overpower the strong man and incapacitate him is through obtaining knowledge of his strategies. This is being reiterated by Jesus in Mark 3:7. A good understanding of Satan's strategies, which is still being used in deceiving many, will be useful in successfully breaking his power over our lives. An insight into some of his strategies can be found in Genesis 3:1-6. We will consider these in details.

i) Deception (vs 1)
"Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, Has God indeed said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?(Emphasis mine)
This is contrary to what God said in Gen.2:16-17. Satan knows what God said, however, in order to get Eve's attention, he deliberately twisted the truth. The lesson here is never to argue or stay in conversation with the devil. Just KNOW the truth and stand by it, no matter what.

ii) Imperception (vs 3)
"but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die."
It was never mentioned in Genesis 2:16-17 that God said to Adam not to touch the tree. They may have decided that it was safe for them not to touch as a precaution against being tempted to eat of the fruit. Why? Because wisdom dictates that there's no sense in "touching" or fiddling with what you shouldn't "eat". Lesson here is never stay in the vicinity of what you should be avoiding. Sin is subtle and we therefore need to always be sensitive or perceptive. The bible commands that we flee every appearances of evil.

iii) Opposition of the Word (vs 4)
"Then the serpent said to the woman, You will not surely die."
Satan will always counter or oppose the Word of God in our lives, howbeit subtly. God said "for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die". The devil however said, "you will not surely die". God says "the wages of sin is death" and Satan says "the wages of sin is pleasure", Does that sound familiar?

iv) Prioritising Pleasure (vs 5)
"For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil". (Emphasis mine)
This is actually true as we see later in verse 7. Sounds good that their eyes will be opened, doesn't it? This is one of the wiles of the devil. He only lay emphasis on the good side (pleasure of sin). Stolen water is sweet, And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.(Prov.9:17). As good and true as it sounds, is it God's desire or will? There are many so-called "good" ideas (suggestions, counsels, opinions) which may not necessarily be in line with God's will for us. The fact that others are doing it doesn't make it right. By the way, Adam and Eve were already like God.

v) Abominable becoming Acceptable (vs 6)
 "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate."
How come Eve was just "seeing" that the tree was good for food? The tree has always been there and she's never seen it as good for food until now. When you "walk  in the counsel of the ungodly, stand in the path of sinners and sis in the seat of the scornful" long enough, evil things become naturally good and attractive to you. Notice that Eve had stayed in the devil's presence long enough to begin to perceive abonimable things as acceptable.

As a result of all these, Man lost God's presence as detailed in Genesis 3:23-24;
"therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life."

THE VICTORIOUS RISE OF THE SECOND ADAM (1 Corinthians 15:45-47)
We see in Ephesians 6:12 that ".. .we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" [a marginal note calls them "wicked spirits in the heavenlies"].
The Word of God teaches us that these evil spirits (or demons) are fallen angels who have been dethroned by the Lord Jesus Christ. Our contact with these demons should be with the knowledge that Jesus defeated them, spoiled them, put them to nought (Col. 2:15). And now that Jesus has dethroned them, we can reign over them! Our victory over the power of the Devil is appropriated through the following. 

i) Our New Spiritual Nature (1 Cor.15:45)
"And so it is written, The first man Adam became a living being." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit"
Man was created, originally, a spirit-being, in the image of God. After the fall of first Adam, he died by loosing this spiritual nature. Thank God for Jesus Christ, the bible says He become the life-giving spirit.Through this, we have regained our God-nature, our victorious nature.    1 John 5:4 sums this up;
"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" Our faith in Jesus death on the cross, His resurrection, ascension and His seating at the right-hand of God the father is the victory that has overcome the world (the devil and all his works)."

ii) Conferred Power & Authority
"Listen carefully: I have given you authority [that you now possess] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and [the ability to exercise authority] over all the power of the enemy (Satan); and nothing will [in any way] harm you." (Luke 10:19)
Our new creature nature has conferred on us Power and Authority over serpents and scorpions. Serpents and scorpions are symbolic of the inferior power of the enemy (Satan). Take note of the word "have given". This simply means we (believers) already have this Power. We are not going to have it. We have it, praise God!. What for? To break and incapacitate the Power of Satan!

IN CONCLUSION
Our trouble is that we relegate everything to the future! Most church people believe we will exercise our spiritual authority sometime in the Millennium. If that is so, why does the Bible say Satan will be bound during the Millennium? There won't be any need to exercise authority then, because there will be nothing here that will hurt or destroy. You have authority over the power of the Devil. Our part is to exercise this power and authority in the name that is above every other name. The name of Jesus Christ. hallelujah!!!

Part of this study was culled from The Believers' Authority by Kenneth E. Hagin.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 02:33 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, February 10 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION

In the last study titled “God's Mightiest Work”, we considered the source of our authority, that we are seated with Christ and concluded by saying that one of the major challenges being faced in our world today, as Christians is staying balanced. In today’s study we will be continuing from this conclusion by examining the topic “Maintaining Balance” (as it relates to understanding and exercising our authority in Christ Jesus.)

• WHAT IS BALANCE?
Balance can be defined as “a state in which different things occur in equal or proper amounts or have an equal or proper amount of importance or in the correct proportions”. It also refers to an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

• WHY DO WE NEED IT?
1. We need balance, no doubt – because the lack of it means we are thrown into extremes; and that is where the enemy wants us to be. Because he knows that once he has someone there; they become one-sided (either short sighted or long sighted). Ecclesiastes 7:18 (NIV) says:
“It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God will avoid all [extremes].”
The Message version renders Ecclesiastes 7:18 thus: 
“It’s best to stay in touch with both sides of an issue. A person who fears God deals responsibly with all of reality, not just a piece of it.”

2. We need balance because anyone can take any subject—including the authority of the believer—push it to the extreme, and it becomes harmful and ceases to bless. It's easy to get into the ditch on either side of the road—into excess, wild fire, and fanaticism.
This is the reason why Paul prayed for wisdom, understanding, and authority over the demonic powers and the problems they create through their constant manipulation of men's minds. It seems like it's the most difficult thing in the world for the Church to stay balanced. Let us look at some examples

• EXAMPLE OF THE NEGATIVE EXTREME
Reverend M. J. Divine, was an African American spiritual leader from about 1907 until his death. After studying these very scriptures we have been studying begin to reason this way: “If we are Christ, then I am Christ. Christ is God, so I am God."
He founded a cult that was very popular and his followers worshiped him.
That is why the Bible admonishes us to “ . . . try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1 because according to Matthew 7:21 – “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”

• EXAMPLE OF THE “POSITIVE” EXTREME
The only reason why a “positive extreme” may exist is solely because of lack of knowledge. 
Romans 10:2 says “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” Emphasis mine
Prov. 19:2a (NET) warns that: “It is dangerous to have zeal without knowledge” Emphasis mine
For instance, in 2004 a Taiwanese man jumped into the enclosure of  lions in a zoo and shouted, "Jesus will save you!" Cable TV stations showed the lion ripping off the man’s jacket as he stood in a grassy enclosure that held two of the animals. Without panicking, the man fell back onto a stone ridge, and the lion then jumped at him, biting him in the arm. It also clawed at his trousers before retreating when the zoo keepers intervened.

• EXAMPLE OF THE BALANCED
John Alexander Dowie, a Scotsman who received a revelation about divine healing while ministering before the turn of the century in Australia, crossed the ocean many times during his lifetime. He encountered many storms, but said every time a storm came up, he did what Jesus did: He rebuked the storm and it always ceased. We should not be amazed by this, because Jesus said,
".. .He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:12).
Jesus didn't say that only a select few would do these works; He said those who believe on Him would.

CONCLUSION
In conclusion we will consider how we can maintain balance in our lives as it relates to understanding and exercising our God given authority.

1. Don’t tempt God! Because Jesus said in Luke 10:19 – “that He has given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (Paraphrased). Does not imply that we walk into a cage of snakes and scorpions for the sake of it! Jesus Himself resisted the devil when he suggested the same in Matt.4: 5-7
“Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, it is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."

2. If and when we are faced with the opposition of the enemy, we should not be afraid but be confident that we have the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions – both literal and/or figuratively (of the devil, and his principalities and powers, and all his emissaries), and nothing shall by any means hurt us!
3. Know the Word of God for yourself! And “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves." You will know them by their fruits. Matt. 7:15
4. Don’t downplay the promise of authority you have over the devil! It is not a myth! It is authority backed by the Almighty God Himself! If we have no regard for the authority we have, we will fail to exercise it and consequently the devil will have authority over us instead of the other way round!
5. Allow the Word of God and gifting in the Body of Christ develop you to the point of maturity so you can become “steady”. Ephesians 4:11-14 says:
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.”

Parts of this study was culled from The Believers’ Authority by Kenneth E. Hagin.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 05:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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