Friday, April 15 2016
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
Last week we looked at an interesting and revealing topic titled “Exercising Authority Over Others”. It centred on the fact that there were certain limitations surrounding the exercising of our authority as believers. We learnt that the authority we have over the devil and his agents is in relation to us and those we have a legitimate connection with and that we can only exercise authority in areas within our jurisdiction.
Today we will be considering a topic that looks at where you can step out of the limitations and stand for others. Standing for Baby Christians
"I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” Ezekiel 22:30
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”” Isaiah 6:8
THE BABY CHRISTIAN STAGE
A “Baby Christian” is the first stage a believer steps into after they are first saved. At this point, God permits others to pray for them and carry them on their faith. So as it is with a natural baby, we help because the baby cannot do things for itself. If the baby was hungry, the baby had no means of feeding itself so it cried. You understanding the needs of the baby came forth and fed the baby. Your feeding of the baby was you standing in and filling the gap between the baby’s hunger and the food.
But after a while, God expects the baby to grow, walk, and start doing things for itself because He doesn’t expect us to remain this way; so God puts the baby down and tells him to walk, but many won't. Too many people still want to be babies and have someone else pray for them all the time.
Another characteristic of a Baby Christian is a lacking in knowledge and understanding and so because they do not know any better, God permits others to pray for them and carry them on their faith. We want to help those who can't help themselves, but we need to teach people so they can grow and use their own authority, because the time will come when they will have to use their own authority if they want their prayers answered.
MOVING AWAY FROM THIS STAGE
We ought to grow stronger in faith the older we get, but too often many don't. In many instances as we see today, because of a lack of right teaching, many have remained in that babyhood stage of Christian development. That is why you sometimes hear:
"We used to get healed when we were first Christians, but now we don't."
Or when they don’t get healed they think there is something wrong with the preacher who prayed for them! Paul writing to the Hebrew Christians expressed his “disgust”. He said in Hebrews 5:12-14 (MSG):
“By this time you ought to be teachers yourselves, yet here I find you need someone to sit down with you and go over the basics on God again, starting from square one—baby’s milk, when you should have been on solid food long ago! Milk is for beginners, inexperienced in God’s ways; solid food is for the mature, who have some practice in telling right from wrong.” Emphasis mine
The expectation is that when the time comes, we should move away from childish things. 1Cor.13:11 (KJV)
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
DISADVANTAGES OF REMAINING AT THIS STAGE
People who fail to or never attempt to exercise any faith of their own, but always rely on other people's faith
1. End up being cheap prey to the devil. 1Peter 5:8 says “. . . your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour..." but the believer who has grown from being a baby Christian can do something about him.
That’s why Paul says in Ephesians 4:27, "Neither give place to the devil."
This means you are not to give the devil any place in you. He cannot take any place unless you give him permission to do so. And you would have to have authority over him or this wouldn't be true."
2. They also end up being victims of false prophets as we see in 2 Peter 2:1-3 (LB):
“But there were false prophets, too, in those days, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly tell their lies about God, turning against even their Master who bought them; but theirs will be a swift and terrible end. Many will follow their evil teaching that there is nothing wrong with sexual sin. And because of them Christ and his way will be scoffed at. These teachers in their greed will tell you anything to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago and their destruction is on the way.” Emphasis mine
God wants us to stand for those who are weak (Rom 14:1, 15:1, 1 Thess. 5:14); but His ultimate is that we don’t remain babies forever but that we grow from being weak to becoming strong! That is why He gave gifts in the Body of Christ so that we can grow up into maturity.
“. . . That we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.” Ephesians 4: 13b – 14 (NLT) Emphasis mine
Parts of this study was culled from The Believers’ Authority by Kenneth E. Hagin
Thursday, April 07 2016
Contributor: Alex Alajiki
Last week we did a summary on our ability to exercise authority on earth through the name of Jesus. The New Testament tells believers themselves to do something about the devil. The least member of the Body of Christ has just as much power over the devil as anyone else, and unless believers do something about the devil, nothing will be done in a lot of areas. We have dominion over the kingdom of darkness.
''Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over ALL the power of the enemy: and nothing [nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing] shall by any means hurt you" Luke 10:19
"Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son...." Colossians 1:13
"the Father hath delivered us from the power or authority of darkness."
God already delivered us from the authority of darkness! Therefore, we've got a right to speak to darkness—that is, Satan and his kingdom—and tell them what to do!
Today, we shall look at the limitations of our authority in relation to other people. Understanding of this topic will prevent us from unnecessary prayer failures.
1) The limitations of our authority; Luke 10:19
''Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over ALL the power of the enemy: and nothing [nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing] shall by any means hurt you" Emphasis mine
Our authority is over all the power of the devil. We can break the power of the devil if he raises his head anywhere in our own life or the lives of our immediate family or loved ones. We have authority there. They'll be free from the enemy because we've got the right to exercise our authority over him. That doesn't mean, however, that we'll go down the street casting the devil out of everyone we meet. It primarily means we can exercise authority over the devil in our own lives.
We've got to realize that we've got authority over our own household that you don't have in the next household. Spiritual authority is much like natural authority. For example, you don't have authority over my money. You can't tell me what to do with my money unless I give you permission to. You don't have authority over my children. You can make the devil desist in some of his manoeuvres in somebody else's life, but you can't always cast him out, because you don't have authority in that "household." We must be careful to understand this limitation and the right of people to allow the enemy in their lives.
“Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” Matt.18:18
“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first ….”
2) Authority is a personal responsibility; Jam.4:7
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
The subject of this sentence is “YOU”. You have to resist the devil for the devil to flee from you.
This Scripture doesn't say that the devil will flee from Jesus; it says he'll flee from you! Similarly, you don't pray that Jesus will lay hands on the sick; you do it.
"They ... shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." (Mark 16:18)
When you lay hands on the sick, you are exercising authority over the devil. That authority is yours whether you feel like you've got it or not. Authority has nothing to do with feelings. But you must exercise your authority before the devil can run from you.
The word “Flee” is very important to understand the effect of our authority on the kingdom of darkness.
“Flee” is "to run from as if in terror." The devil will run from you in terror! Devils are terrified whenever we exercise our authority over them in the name of JESUS. They are not afraid of us, but of Jesus, whom we represent in His name.
3) Authority involves steadfast resistance; 1 Pet.5:8-9
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”
What does it mean to "Resist him, steadfast in our faith”.
To resist something is to “keep it at bay or to fend off its influence or advance”
To be steadfast is to be “resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering”. It is to yield no ground to the devil.
So we are to keep the devil at bay or fend off his influence or advance resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering in faith. Our faith must be in the word of God and the power in the name of Jesus.
The Spirit of God through the Apostle Peter wouldn't tell us to do something we couldn't do. The reason we can do it is because every believer has the same authority Paul had in Jesus Christ.
It is very important we understand the limitations of our authority when dealing with people or situations outside our jurisdictions. This will prevent us from unnecessary frustrations.
Part of this study is from the first chapter of The Believers’ Authority by Kenneth E. Hagin.
Saturday, April 02 2016
Contributor: Leye Olayiwola
It's the end of the First Quarter since we began our study on the "Believers Authority" by Brother Kenneth E. Hagin. It's been very revealing and empowering. We will be looking at the summary of all the studies, so far, in today's meeting. Fasten your seat belt as we take off on this memorable journey of the Believers Authority!
Lesson 1: THE AUTHORITY OF THE BELIEVER [EPH.1:16-20; 3:14-19, LUK.10:19-20]
A) The Prayers of Paul (Eph.1:16-20; 3:14-19)
• We are encouraged to pray for “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God.” And for “the eyes of our understanding being enlightened”.
• We are also encouraged to pray “to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man”.
• We are also encouraged to pray “that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith; that we, being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height and to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that we may be filled with all the fullness of God.
B) Dominion over Principalities, Powers, Rulers of Darkness & Spiritual wickedness in Heavenly Places; Eph.6:12,
• We need to realize that we have authority through Christ over all levels of the kingdom of darkness.
• Our wrestling is with evil spiritual forces.
• Those who live in Christ have been given every spiritual gift and are made alive and enthroned with Christ in the heavenly reality (Eph.1:3; 2:6).
C) The Authority of the Believer; Luk.10:19-20
• We receive this authority when we are born again. As we are made new creatures in Christ Jesus, we inherit the Name and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we can use it in prayer against the enemy.
• We need to know what belongs to us. Jesus said, (John 8:32).
Lesson 2: WHAT IS AUTHORITY? [LUKE 10:19-20]
A) SCRIPTURE ANALYSIS
• Luke 10:19 says: "Behold, I give unto you POWER to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the POWER of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."
Although the word "power" is used twice in this verse, two different words are found in the original Greek. What Jesus actually said was, "I have given you AUTHORITY to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the POWER of the enemy...."
B) AUTHORITY DEFINED
• Authority is defined as delegated power; the power to give orders or make decisions: the power or right to direct or control someone or something.
The value of our authority rests on the power that is behind that authority. God Himself is the power behind our authority!
C) “SERPENTS AND SCORPIONS"
• In speaking about "serpents and scorpions," Jesus was talking about the power of the devil—demons, evil spirits, and all his cohorts. We need to realize that we've got authority over them!
• The believer who thoroughly understands that the power of God is backing him can exercise his authority and face the enemy fearlessly.
Lesson 3: GOD'S MIGHTIEST WORK God's [Ephesians 1:18-23]
A) GOD'S MIGHTIEST WORK (Ephesians 1:19-20)
• Verse 19: "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power." In other words, there was such an overwhelming display of God's power in raising Jesus from the dead that this actually was the mightiest work of God ever recorded!
• God wants us to know that He has set Christ "Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named...." (Eph. 1:21).
B) THE SOURCE OF OUR AUTHORITY (Ephesians 2:5-6)
• The source of our authority is found in the resurrection and exalting of Christ by God.
• When we realize that the authority that belongs to Christ also belongs to individual members of the Body of Christ and that this is available to us, our lives will be revolutionized! (1 Cor.12:12-14,27)
C) SEATED WITH CHRIST (1 Corinthians 6:17)
• We are one with Christ. We are Christ. We are seated at the right hand of the Majesty on High. All things have been put under our feet.
• Believers are very "cross" conscious and not "throne" conscious. We should not just remain at the cross. We need to go on to Pentecost, the Ascension, and the throne!
• The elevation of Christ's people with Him into the heavenlies clearly points to the fact that we are to sit with Him, sharing not only His throne but also His authority. That authority belongs to us! (Romans 5:17)
LESSON 4: MAINTAINING BALANCE [ECCLESIASTES 7:18]
A) WHAT IS BALANCE AND WHY DO WE NEED IT?
• Balance is “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.
• We need balance because the lack of it means we are thrown into extremes; and that is where the enemy wants us to be. (Eccl.7:18 NIV)
• 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.
B) EXAMPLE OF THE NEGATIVE EXTREME
• Reverend M. J. Divine, was an African American spiritual leader from about 1907 until his death. After studying these scriptures we have been studying begin to reason that: “If we are Christ, then I am Christ. Christ is God, so I am God." He founded a popular cult and his followers worshiped him.
C) EXAMPLE OF THE “POSITIVE” EXTREME
• The only reason why a “positive extreme” may exist is solely because of lack of knowledge. (Romans 10:2; Proverbs 19:2a). 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.
D) 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. (John 14:12).
LESSON 5: BREAKING THE POWER OF THE DEVIL [EPHESIANS 6:12; COL.1:12, 13]
A) THE FALL OF THE FIRST ADAM - ADAM'S TREASON (Genesis 3:1-6)
Following are Satan's strategies;
• Deception (vs 1): Satan knows what God said, however, in order to get Eve's attention, he deliberately twisted the truth.
• Imperceptions (vs 3): It was never mentioned in Genesis 2:16-17 that God said to Adam not to touch the tree. 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.
• Opposition of the Word (vs 4): Satan will always counter or oppose the Word of God in our lives, howbeit subtly. God says "the wages of sin is death" and Satan says "the wages of sin is pleasure"
• Prioritising Pleasure (vs 5): 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.(
• Abominable becoming Acceptable (vs 6): 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.
B) THE VICTORIOUS RISE OF THE SECOND ADAM (1 Corinthians 15:45-47)
• Our New Spiritual Nature (1 Cor.15:45): 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 John5:4)
• Conferred Power & Authority (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.
LESSON 6: AUTHORITY NOW [EPHESIANS 6:10 - 18]
A) A FEW GROUND RULES
• We must remember that although we are in the world, we are not of the world. (John 17:16)
• Satan's running a lot of what is here on earth, but he's not running everything! And definitely not you and me! (Romans 6:14)
• He's not running the Church. (Matt. 16:18)
• He's not dominating us; we can dominate him. (Luke 10:19)
• We have authority over him! (Luke 10:19)
B) DEALING WITH IGNORANCE
• The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. There are even sincere Christians who believe that demons or the devil do not really exist, but are metaphors for serious human problems.
• Added to this is the erroneous belief that there is nothing we can do about him! But Ephesians 6:10-18 paints a different picture.
• We need to build these truths into our lives by meditating and feeding upon them until they become a part of our consciousness. (Luke 10:19)
• Naturally speaking, we eat certain foods every day because doctors tell us we need certain vitamins, minerals, etc., to build strong bodies. There are spiritual "vitamins" and "minerals," so to speak, we need to take every day, too, to be healthy Christians. (John 8:32)
C) WHY GIVE POWER AND AUTHORITY THAT CANNOT BE EXERCISED?
• All the authority that can be exercised upon the earth has to be exercised through the Church (you and me), because Christ is not here in person—in His physical body. (matt.28:18)
• The Church in this century does not have less authority than it did right after Jesus' death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and seating at the Father's right hand. If it has less authority today, it would have been better for Jesus not to have died. But no, bless God, we have authority.
• Exercising or taking authority implies rebuking, commanding, binding, casting out, loosening and giving orders in Jesus’ name! The devil may try to challenge your authority by his cunning suggestions but we know that when a king gives an order, he knows it's going to be carried out.
LESSON 7: HOW TO DEAL WITH THE DEVIL [JOHN 14:13-14]
A) A SUBTLE WEAPON OF THE ENEMY – “UNBELIEF & DOUBT”
• Unbelief and doubt especially against the ability of the Almighty God, His promises and our position in Christ is a subtle weapon the devil uses against us. We usually don’t easily identify it because it’s not aggressive!
B) DEALING WITH THE DEVIL AND HIS OPERATIONS
• Operation #1: He sends evil (temptation) ahead. Targeting our minds and using the weapon of lies and deception (Genesis 3:1-7) - (a) Counter temptation with the word of God (Matt.4:1-11); (b) Look out for the way of escape (1 Cor.10:13); (c) Don't meddle with Evil (1 Thess 5:22)
• Operation #2: He sends his agents (demons, sickness) to steal, kill and destroy. Targeting our bodies using the weapon of suffering and afflictions. (John 10:10a) - (a) Take authority over them (Luke 10:19; Acts 3:6).
• Operation #3: He toils with our emotions – our wills using the weapon of pride - (a) Give no room for the works of the flesh. (Eph.4:26-27); (b) Run from sin. (1 Corinthians 6:18a; 2 Timothy 2:22; 1 Corinthians 10:14). You don’t get any brownie points for hanging around sin!
• Operation #4: Discouragement! - Refuse to be discouraged!
• Operation #5: He engages himself (but only when you give him a foothold)- (a) Resist him by first submitting to God (James 4:7); (b) Use the Blood (Rev.12:11); (c) Set him up - against the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 59:19b).
LESSON 8: FAITH'S ROLE IN AUTHORITY [MARK 9:17-29]
A) THE RELATIONSHIP
There is an important link between faith and exercising authority! The understanding of this is mostly the missing link why some Christians cannot manifest in their authority. Authority is only realized through faith in God’s Word; therefore, authority and faith must go hand in hand working together.
B) FAITH GIVES ACCESS TO AUTHORITY
• Faith is involved in exercising spiritual authority by providing access to authority. And authority will not become a force within us until we take God‘s Word to heart and obey it—through Faith. (Mark 9:17-29)
• Authority is exercised with confidence not doubt or timidity. Authority comes from the heart not from the head. Authority demonstrates and speaks in accordance or agreement with God‘s authority.
C) AUTHORITY IS HINGED ON KNOWLEDGE
• Our authority is dependent upon our knowledge and understanding of the situation we are in. Without knowledge, it is impossible to have faith. (John 6:69)
• The opposite of knowledge is ignorance; and that is a realm the enemy wants people to live in! If Satan can get us to believe that this authority was only for a certain few disciples and apostles then and not for us now, we will have doubt in exercising it.
D) PITFALLS TO LOOK OUT FOR
• Faith Based on Manifestation
• Failing to Obey Authority
LESSON 9: EXERCISING AUTHORITY [EPH.1:19-22, 2:4-6]
A) Christ’s Position with God; Eph.1:19-22
• When Jesus rose from the dead, he already defeated the host of hell according to Col.2:15
• Then God raised Him and seated Him at His right hand in heavenly places, the position of authority and power.
• His position and authority is far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. All other authority is made subject to Christ.
• This authority is exercise on earth through the name of Jesus Christ which is above every name. (Phil.2:9-11)
B) Our Position in Christ Jesus; Eph.2:4-6
• The moment we are born again, our sins are not only forgiven, we are also made a new creature. (2 Cor.5:17).
• Our new identity in Christ Jesus made us to be joint heir with Christ and heir of His father. (Romans 8:16-17)
• This new positional reality was confirmed when Jesus rose from the dead and we were raised and seated with Him in heavenly places. In the mind of God, we were raised when Christ was raised. When Christ sat down, we sat down, too.
C) The Authority of Our Position; Luke 10:19
• Our authority to trample on all powers of the devil is because of our seating position in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Eph.2:6)
• Christ is not only seated at the right hand of the Father, above all the powers in Satan's realm, but we're there, too, because God "hath raised us up together." Not only have we been made to sit, but notice where we are sitting: "Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion...."
• All the authority that was given to Christ belongs to us through Him, and we can exercise it. We help Him by carrying out His work upon the earth.