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Thursday, July 21 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

In the first and second quarters of this year we looked extensively at the Believer’s Authority; all in preparation for the “practical aspects” of exercising this authority. In this quarter, we will be looking at practical instances of exercising our authority over the devil and his cohorts. To achieve this, it is very important we understand how he takes over people and keeps them in bondage. The primary way Satan tries to gain access to people is through their minds and bodies. The degree to which a person yields to Satan in these areas determines how much Satan is able to influence him or her. Since man is a spirit, he has a soul, and he lives in a body, demons can affect and influence man in his body and soul (mind, will, and emotions), yet not be present in his spirit. To really understand how demons affect people, it's also important to understand the difference between oppression, obsession, and possession. Many people use these terms interchangeably when they are actually referring to three separate degrees of demonic influence.

Oppression is the state of being subject to oppressive treatment. Evil spirits can exert a certain amount of influence as they seek to oppress mankind. Evil spirits can oppress anyone, even Christians if they allow it, from within or without their body or soul. Oppression is an attack against us, from the outside, with sickness, trials, persecution, poverty, etc.
Of course, evil spirits have their widest range of influence if they can embody a human because then they can express themselves in the natural realm. If evil spirits can't embody people, they try to exert influence round about people in the spiritual realm. Many times believers, even Spirit-filled believers, can be oppressed by demons from the outside. Satan tries to oppress us by putting all kinds of pressure on us until we are keenly aware of that pressure. There are also degrees of oppression. In other words, a person can be more oppressed or less oppressed.

Forms of Oppression
1. Sometimes oppression can be manifested as a bad "mood" that tries to come over us (our emotions). That can be the direct result of satanic oppression. Like when you hear people say “It just seems like there's a big black cloud hanging over my head." That's satanic oppression. And people are more oppressed at certain times than they are at other times. But as we rebuke that oppression in the name of Jesus, stand against it and resist it, the devil will flee from us (Matt. 18:18; Luke 10:19; Phil. 2:9-11; James 4:7). Believers don't need to live under the oppression of the enemy.
2. Fear is another form of oppression that comes against many Christians and holds them in bondage and causes them to stumble again and again. Fear can take a hold of believers' minds and cause their spirit not to function as they should—that is, not to be in dominion over their soul and body. But the Bible says God has not given us the spirit of fear (2 Tim. 1:7) so that means we have authority over it. We have a right to stand against fear and rebuke it.
3. Physical oppression can be the direct result of an evil spirit afflicting a person's body with sickness. Luke 13:10-16

Obsession is when the demons take hold of a mind, to make it listen to the words and suggestions of evil, and not the Word of God. Some may be demon obsessed, not knowing they are heeding demonic suggestions, thinking they are doing the will of God. Saul for instance was obsessed with persecuting Christians thinking he was serving God. Acts 8:3
The enemy also follows through from the oppression of bad moods and make its victims to brood and became emotionally upset and increasingly disturbed. The end game is to unconsciously yield to the demon in their minds and emotions.
The enemy tends to make its victims shift their focus from the Word and instead become obsessed with worry. This makes the evil spirit gain more ground in their thinking until their minds are taken over by the evil spirit. This sometimes drive people to a point of entirely losing their minds and become mad and sometimes suicidal!
That's one reason believers need to know how important it is for them to renew their minds with the Word of God and to think God's thoughts instead of thinking on the enemy's thoughts of worry and fear. (Romans 12:2, Phil. 4:8). If they think the wrong thoughts, they can unknowingly open a door to the devil. Believers are not subject to the devil; they instead have authority over him in Jesus' Name. They can resist him (James 4:7), and are not under his dominion in any way, unless they allow him to take dominion over them.

This is usually the final and deadliest stage of the three. Demonic possession happens when a demon moves into the soul of a person, and takes control of the will. Judas for instance opened his heart to evil—in his case by his greed (John 12:6). So it may be possible that if one allows his or her heart to be ruled by some habitual sin, it becomes an invitation for a demon to enter.
Jesus cast demons out of persons that were possessed. The Lord told us, “these signs shall follow them that believe, in my name, they shall cast out devils." Demons once had a body, but in the former creation (as angels - now fallen angels), their souls were not sent to hell and so they were loose, some are still loose today and they desire to possess a body, to do their evil works through such.

It is important to understand these facts about the operations of the enemy and be able to appropriate these truths as we step into what the Lord has called us to do! The enemy starts off by trying to oppress a person by taking control of their thoughts. Thoughts as simple as worry and fear, when the person yields to these thoughts, they become obsessed with them to the point when they finally open the door to the enemy and allow their minds to become possessed with an evil spirit.
Sometimes, obsession is confused with possession, and that makes some think possession can happen to saints. Sometimes, the person is not truly saved, has been pretending, with a religious demon that is good at pretence.
When Jesus dwells in us, the demons cannot move in. True believers are never demon possessed, they may be obsessed or oppressed but never possessed!

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 03:12 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, July 06 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

We have come to the end of the second quarter of our study of the "Believers Authority" by Brother Kenneth E. Hagin. And by God’s grace, we have learnt, practically discussed, and more importantly applied these teachings in our lives! Today we will be looking at the summary of all the studies since the beginning of the second quarter.
Lesson 8: Exercising Authority Over Others - Limitations Text: Luke 10:19
In this study we learnt that authority is a personal responsibility (Jam.4:7), we also learnt that Authority involves steadfast resistance; 1 Pet.5:8-9. We concluded saying that it is very important we understand the limitations of our authority when dealing with people or situations outside our jurisdictions and that this will prevent us from unnecessary frustrations. Although there are limitations, we still do have authority over all the powers 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 because we have a legitimate connection with them and they are within our jurisdiction.
Lesson 9: Standing For Baby Christians Text: Ezekiel 22:30, Isaiah 6:8
In this study we learnt that God seeks those who would stand in the gap (Ezekiel 22:30, Isaiah 6:8); especially on behalf of those who can’t help themselves – “Baby Christians.” God permits others to pray for them and carry them on their faith but He expects also that they move away from this stage (Hebrews 5:12-14, 1Cor.13:11)
We learnt the disadvantages of remaining in this stage: cheap prey to the Devil (1Peter 5:8) and victims of false prophets (2 Peter 2:1-3). We concluded by saying: “God wants us to stand for those who are weak (Rom 14:1, 15:1, 1 Thess. 5:14); but His ultimate expectation 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.
Lesson 10: Authority on Earth Text: Ephesians 1:18-23
In this study we were taken back to the mandate God gave man in Genesis 1:27-28 and how he lost it and how Christ came to restore it! We learnt that a major challenge facing the end time church is in rationalising God's word instead of believing and accepting it. And that we should embrace God’s words as little children (Luke 18:16-17)
We also learnt that the extent to which we exercise our Authority in Christ is to the extent of the knowledge of His revealed Word in us. We can't afford to be negligent in the study of the Word of God and expect to just exercise Authority when we are faced with contrary situations. We concluded by saying “We have no business running from the devil. As a matter of fact, we should be on the lookout for challenging situations where the devil has been in charge and put him on the run.”
Lesson 11: Reigning as Kings Text: Rom.5:17
In this study we learnt that the very notion of reigning carries with it the idea of ruling, of dominion, and of having authority. If believers don’t know that we have the authority to rule and reign on earth then Satan is often able to reign, or rule, in the life of Christians and people around them. (Hosea 4:6).
To reign as kings we received abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness (Eph.2:8). It is the combination of grace and righteousness that gives us the privilege to escape Satan’s condemnation when we sin. We have the authority to rule and reign and have dominion here and now. God's plan for us is that we rule and reign in life as kings: to rule and reign over circumstances, poverty, disease, and everything else that would hinder us. We are to rule over the sphere of influence God gave us. We should not fold our hands and allow the enemy to keep on doing what is contrary to the will of God for our lives and families. We concluded by saying “God want us to use our authority to put our enemy in his place and enjoy life to the full according to His divine plans for our lives.”
Lesson 12: Humility vs Poverty Text: 2 Peter 1:3, Ephesians 1:3
In this study we learnt that poverty is not a proof of humility! And that living deprived and limited doesn’t equate to humility. It’s not being humble but being ignorant!" God didn't intend us to be poverty-stricken. He said we are to reign in life as kings. The idea of poverty just doesn't go along with kings.
The ultimate attack the enemy deploys against believers is to put them in the place where they “rebel” against God! He thrives when people are ignorant! And when their balance is skewed! The thought of poverty completely negates God’s words of being prosperous and having good success.
We concluded by saying “To continue to live in poverty invariably means we “deprive” the Father of the pleasure He has when we prosper. (Psalm 35:27, Rev. 4:11)  It’s a no brainer; poverty is NOT an indication of humility! Humility is based on the contents of your heart; not what you have or don’t have!
Lesson 13: Exercising Authority in Your Family Text: Acts 16:31
In this study we learnt that to exercise authority, we need to be ready to take responsibility; to stand in the gap (Ezekiel 22:30). We learnt that we should be aware that it may be sometimes difficult to exercise authority at home; because of over familiarity. (Mark 6:4). Also, we learnt that agreement in the family provides a very strong battle weapon against the enemy. The enemy is aware of this so he works hard to break down the unity in the family. (Mark 3:24-25)
Authority operates under authority and within authorities. (Matt. 8:5-13). The more we submit to God‘s kingdom the more authority we‘ll exercise. In conclusion we said: “God didn't intend for the devil to dominate our families. So when he attempts to dominate any member of our family, we should take authority over him; declare that we are the ones ruling over our domains, (our households) through Jesus Christ and put him on the run, and he will run! (James 4:7)
Lesson 14: Learn to be Exalted Text: Ephesians 1:17-23
In this study, we learnt about our exalted position with Christ; that we are already seated with Christ in the heavenly places. Our sitting in heavenly places is based on Jesus Christ's redemptive work that was done, once and for all. (Hebrew 10:10)
The Bible says we are seated "in Christ". So, wherever Christ is seated, that is our location. Why? Because we are seated "In Him" and not beside Him. It is absolutely impossible for you to be in Christ without being seated where Christ is seated. If you are in Christ, you are in this position of Victory because He is in that position.  Instead of trying to win any victory, we need to operate from a victory already won
Lesson 15: The Keys of Authority Text: Revelation 1:18, Isaiah 22:22
In this study, we learnt that keys are only given to those who have authority. (Matthew 16:19). These keys aren’t just the keys to get into the doors of heaven, (salvation) but they are the keys to authority & dominion over every situation in our lives.  It’s access to the throne room. It’s the power to call things as though they are.  It’s the power to overtake the enemy and drive him back.  It’s the power to rip our loved ones out of the enemy’s hands!  It’s the power to call down the blessings and abundance from heaven!
We also looked at requirements we need to meet if we want to operate in God’s authority. Knowledge of the Source of Authority (Matthew 8:8), Obedience to Authority (James 4:7), Faith (Acts 19: 13-16) and the Name of Jesus (Mark 16:17-18).
It is important to note that the enemy tries to discredit the things that give us authority over him such as knowledge, obedience, faith and the name of Jesus but we know better than to trade our access to authority for the trickery of the enemy.
Lesson 16: The Armour of God Text: Ephesians 6:10-17
In this study we looked at the purpose God gave the body of Christ the armour; it is because as Christians we are expected to withstand incredible pressures of life and not be defeated. We cannot possibly stand up against everything the world has to throw at us and still expect to emerge victorious if not for the unbeatable defence, the armour of God! (2 Cor. 4:8-9)
We then looked at the make of the armour; piece by piece. The Belt of Truth - basically knowing the content of God's truth which is absolutely essential for the believer if we must battle successfully against the wiles of Satan, The Breastplate of Righteousness protecting us against false doctrine, false principles, and false information. The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace - suggests that we need to advance into Satan's territory, aware that there will be traps, with the message of peace so essential to winning souls to Christ. The Shield of Faith - our faith in God and what He is capable of doing. The Helmet of Salvation – protecting our minds against discouragement and doubt. The Sword of The Spirit - the word of God, which is a defensive weapon and also capable of deflecting attacks of the enemy. We concluded by saying “In order to live victoriously and never bow down to opposition, we must continually be arrayed with the armour of God.”

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 01:41 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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