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Monday, September 19 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

In last week’s study we considered the topic: “The Authority of Jesus and Defeat over Satan & Powers”. We looked at the authority of Jesus and His defeat over Satan and the powers He dethroned in the process.  This defeat we learnt was by His death on the cross and the resurrection from the dead! After Jesus was raised from the dead, the Bible says God highly exalted Him to a position of honour at the right hand of God the Father and gave Him a Name which is above every name. Today’s study is mostly a truth finding adventure. But we will not only find these truths but we will by His grace let them set us free! (John 8:32)
Philippians 2:9-11
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him [Jesus], and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things [beings] in heaven, and things [beings] in earth, and things [beings] under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Ephesians 1:19-22
“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power.... Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.”
God not only gave Jesus a name which is above every name, but at the name of Jesus every being in all three worlds—Heaven, earth, and hell—must bow and confess Jesus' Lordship and dominion. God also seated Jesus in the highest position in the universe, at His own right hand, and made Him head over all things (v.22).
Note that these verses don't say, "God raised Jesus from the dead and set Him above all principality, power, might, and dominion." They say that God set Jesus "far above" all principality, power, might, dominion, and every name that is named.

In this section we shall be looking at points that answer the following questions:
• How does Jesus' seating in the highest position in the universe affect you, the believer?
• What is your position because you're in Christ?
Read Ephesians 2:1,2,4-6
According to Ephesians 2:6, believers are seated with Christ in heavenly places. Joint-seating with Christ is "far above" all principalities and powers of darkness. Evil spirits can't influence the believer who has joint-seating with Christ far above all principality and power! Our seating and reigning with Christ in heavenly places is a position of authority, honour, and triumph—not failure, depression, and defeat.

As a believer, your seating with Christ is part of your inheritance now. This is where you are already seated because when Jesus was seated in triumph, you were seated with Him. The word "hath" in verse 6 is past tense: God has already raised you up together and made you sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus in a position of honour and triumph. You rule and reign with Christ in this life now—if you'll just exercise your rightful authority. Therefore, your position in Christ far above principalities and powers has already been accomplished. But you need to exercise the authority that belongs to you in that position of reigning with Christ over principalities and powers before it will profit you.

Our position as believers is also one of joint-seating with Christ in heavenly places. That may not always be our circumstance, but that is our position. If you want to rise above your circumstances, take advantage of your position in Christ. Look at this passage in Weymouth's translation
Ephesians 2:4-6 (Weymouth): “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the intense love which He bestowed on us, Caused us, dead though we were through our offences, to live with Christ—it is by grace that you have been saved—raised us with him from the dead, and enthroned us with him in the heavenly realms as being in Christ Jesus.”

God enthroned us with Jesus in the heavenly realms. Does that sound like a Church that's defeated and is still having to do battle to gain mastery over Satan? No, God designed the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ to be triumphant because we are sharers and partakers of Christ's victory over Satan.
Because the believer is in Christ, when Christ sat down, the believer sat down with Him far above principalities and powers. The Church, the Body of Christ, is in Christ. The body is connected to the head. Jesus is the Head of His Body—the Church.

If Jesus the Head triumphed over the devil, is the Body of Christ to be any less triumphant since we are in Christ? Of course not! It is our legal right to enjoy joint-seating with Christ in heavenly places in a position of authority and triumph far above all principalities and powers. If you will take advantage of your joint-seating with Christ, you will begin to triumph in life!

Believers don't have to try to be seated far above principalities and powers with Christ. They don't have to pray through to be seated with Christ in heavenly places. They don't have to struggle through to attain that position, or fight through demons to be seated in a place of victory with Christ.
The believer's position and seating in Christ is a fact. It has already happened. That position was attained for us through our Lord Jesus Christ. Now all we have to do is enjoy the rights and privileges that already belong to us as joint-heirs with Christ. Read Ephesians 1:15-23.
“Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."
This prayer of Paul is very important because believers won't be able to take advantage of what rightfully belongs to them in their inheritance in Christ unless the eyes of their understanding are enlightened to see what they really possess in this life. We can't possess what we don't know belongs to us.

When believers get the revelation of their position in Christ, it will make a huge difference in their lives! They will no longer be the “defeated” Church. They will take their place instead as the “triumphant” Church, which was God's design from the foundation of the world. Because of our position in Christ, God is the strength of our life. The psalmist asks the question, "Of whom shall I be afraid?" (Ps. 27:1). We don't have to be afraid of anything, including Satan, demons, or evil spirits because of Jesus' victory at the Cross. (Romans 8:37-39). The Body of Christ—the triumphant Church—is more than a conqueror over all the power of the enemy because we're in Christ (Luke 10:19; Rom. 8:37).
Our joint-seating and ruling with Christ is the climax of the redemptive work of Christ. After the resurrection, Jesus was exalted to the highest seat in the universe. He was given all dominion, all authority, and all power. Not only that, but all dominion, authority, and power was put beneath Jesus' feet, which means it's under our feet since we're the Body of Christ.
That's why Satan can't rule over you unless you allow him to through ignorance of your rights and privileges in Christ or you open the door to him. Too many times, believers just open the door and invite Satan to come in. God Himself is the force and power behind your authority in Christ. The believer who is fully conscious of the divine power behind him and of his authority in Christ can face the enemy without fear or hesitancy.

Monday, September 12 2016

Contributor: Alex Alajiki

Two weeks ago, we studied about revelation in line with the word of God. We discovered that our understanding of spiritual matters is key to our continual successful living as Christians in the midst of adversities in this world.
We cannot gain access to spiritual mysteries unless our eyes of understanding are opened. The major way of gaining this access is by praying with Ephesians 1:16-23; 3:14-21.

 This week, we shall study about the Authority of Jesus, the defeat and dethrone of Satan and powers

1) The Authority of Jesus; Mark 1:21-24; 5:1-13

“Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught. And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”

Demons and evil spirits had wrought evil unhindered down through the ages. Satan and his hosts had reigned as kings in the spirit realm and held men in the bondage of spiritual death. No one had authority to dethrone Satan and his hosts or to rule over them or to even challenge their authority or rulership upon the earth until the coming of Jesus Christ.
There was never any incident in Old Testament when any man exercise authority over Satan. The only record of deliverance was when an evil spirit left Saul while David was worshiping God under the anointing.(1 Sam.16:23)

In the New Testament, we see that demons and evil spirits instantly recognized and knew Jesus. Here in Mark, the unclean spirit in this man not only knew who Jesus was, but he also recognized Jesus' authority. Even the scribes, Pharisees, and the people in the synagogue recognized Jesus' authority. They marvelled and were astonished because Jesus taught with authority, not as the scribes taught. Both men and demons recognized Jesus' authority and bowed before it. Demons feared Jesus because He proved Himself to be the Master over the devil.

2) Jesus' Defeat of Satan; Matt.4:1-11

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’  Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”  Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you,  Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him."

"Then was Jesus led up OF THE [Holy] SPIRIT into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil" (Matt. 4:1). Many times people have the idea that the Holy Spirit only leads us into good, easy places, where the going is never hard. But that's not always true. As we grow and mature in Christ, we find out that sometimes it's in the hard places where we grow the most in God.

During this temptations, Jesus proved Himself to be Master over the devil. Jesus overcame Satan in this encounter with the Word of God. Three times Jesus overcame Satan with the words, "It is written" (Matt. 4:4,7,10; Luke 4:4,8,12). Jesus didn't do "battle" with Satan; He simply stood His ground and overcame Satan with the Word alone. In Jesus' earth walk, from the day of His temptation when He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness to be tempted of the devil, until the day Jesus willingly surrendered Himself to the will of God on the Cross— He defeated Satan in every encounter. Jesus' complete and total victory over Satan is clearly shown throughout the Word of God.

Heb.2:14-15 “ Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."

The King James Version of the Bible says that Jesus "destroyed" Satan who had the power of death— spiritual death or separation from God. That doesn't mean Jesus destroyed Satan in the sense that Satan ceased to exist. The meaning is a little clearer in the American Standard Version. It says Jesus put Satan "to nought." In other words, Jesus conquered Satan and stripped him of his power and authority.
When Hebrews 2:14 says Jesus destroyed Satan who had the power of death, the Bible is not talking about physical death. Physical death will eventually be put underfoot (1 Cor. 15:54), but until it is, people still die physically. There are three kinds of death referred to in the Bible. First, spiritual death (John 5:24; Eph. 2:1) or separation from God. Second, the Bible talks about physical death (Phil. 1:20,21). Third, the Bible refers to the second death which is eternal separation from God and being eternally cast into the lake which burns with fire and brimstone (Rev. 20:13-15).
Hebrews 2:14 is talking about spiritual death. It's saying that Jesus destroyed the authority of Satan who had power over spiritual death or eternal separation from God. Those who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour never have to fear "the lord of death" and being eternally separated from God. Rev.1:17-18, Col.2:15
1 John 3:8. The reason Jesus came to this earth was to put to nought the works of the devil and reduce him to nothing.

3) Jesus Dethroned Powers; 1 Cor.2:6-7

“We do discuss 'wisdom' with those who are MATURE; only it is not the wisdom of this world or of the DETHRONED POWERS who rule this world, It is the mysterious WISDOM OF GOD that we discuss, that hidden wisdom which God decreed from all eternity for our glory.”

The Body of Christ needs the eyes of their understanding enlightened to understand Jesus' complete defeat of Satan. This is the wisdom of God that God wants each believer to understand. Verse 6 tells us that Satan has been dethroned. The wisdom of the mature or full-grown Christian whose understanding has been enlightened by the Holy Spirit is that Satan has already been dethroned and the believer has victory over him in Christ. Let that sink in! Satan and all of his demon forces are dethroned. "Dethroned" is defined as to remove from a throne or place of prominence: deposed. The word "deposed" means to remove from office, position, or authority, especially high office.

Satan has been dethroned by Jesus Christ at the Cross of Calvary and in His resurrection. Satan has been removed from his throne, his place of prominence, his place of authority—and from his high office. Jesus already did that for every believer. Satan has no authority over the believer, unless the believer gives him access or authority through lack of knowledge of God's Word, disobedience, or failure to exercise his rights in Christ.

The wisdom of God is that believers only need to stand in Jesus' victory over the devil because they are in Christ. Jesus' victory over the devil is their victory. That's why believers don't need to make war on an enemy that is already defeated. Satan still wields power over unsaved people in the world because they don't know he's been dethroned.

Satan's "wisdom" is that he still rules and reigns in the affairs of men who are ignorant of his defeat. Satan has even blinded the minds of some Christians so they believe that too. That's why believers need to get the eyes of their understanding enlightened —to see the truth and power of the finished work of the Cross.

        Most parts of this outline are culled from the Book The triumphant Church by Kenneth Hagin

Monday, September 12 2016

Contributor: Leye Olayiwola


In our last lesson, we considered how we (as believers in Christ Jesus) can exercise our authority over the Devil. We learnt that it is our responsibility (and not God's) to exercise this authority. The gospel according to Mark chapter 16 and verse 17 says: “These signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils.”. During the course of the teaching, we learnt that our responsibility in exercising and taking authority over the Devil is non negotiable because of the authenticity of God's promises in His word. He has given us charge over the earth (Psalms 115:16) and has also given us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57). We will continue in our study by examining the wisdom of God and revelations in line with his Words. In the words of Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 2:7-8 - "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.". Thank God that we have access to this heavenly wisdom. This is the basis for our study this week.

The Wisdom of God (Ephesians 1:16-23; 3:14-21)
• We have been able to established that God has given us authority here on earth. It is very important to mention at this point that in order for us to exercise this authority effectively, the eyes of our spiritual understanding need to be enlightened. The understanding of spiritual matters is key to our continual successful living as Christians in the midst of adversities. We are joint heirs with Christ Jesus. One definition of a Heir says;
"someone who continues to do the work of someone important who has died, or someone who has the same position as the previous person who held that position".
Praise God that Jesus is alive and not dead. This is why the bible says;
"The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together."
[Romans 8:16-17]
Thank God we are seated together with Him at the right hand of the Father. What an honour to be joint heirs with Him.

• So what is this wisdom?

Wisdom is the correct  application of true knowledge. Wisdom answers the How question. God is all knowing;
"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and decisions and how unfathomable and untraceable are His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO HAS BEEN HIS COUNSELLOR? " [Romans 11:33-34]
God is wisdom personified;
"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honour and glory forever and ever. Amen." [1 Timothy 1:17]
To God our Saviour, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, Dominion and power,
both now and forever. Amen.
[Jude 1:25]
It therefore follows that when we talk about the Wisdom of God, we are simply inquiring about God's ways (Hows) of doing things. Understanding of His mysteries as it relates to our dominion and authority as fellow believers in Jesus Christ is key to our triumphant reign over every situation and circumstances of life.

• As joint heirs, we have obtained an inheritance. The believer's inheritance in Christ is the wisdom of God which has been hidden throughout previous ages until it was revealed through Jesus Christ. Grasping this truth and walking in the reality of God's inheritance for us as siants of God is the key to taking our place as the triumphant Church, reigning as kings in this life. The riches of our inheritance are revealed more fully in the Book of Ephesians 1:16-23 and 3:14-21 than in any other book of the Bible. There are spirit-inspired prayers in these verses of scriptures given by the Holy Spirit to the Body of Christ. As believers, we need to personalise these prayers, praying them as often as we can. As a matter of fact, we need to do this daily. The impact and result will surely exceed our wildest imaginations.
• The relevance of these Pauline prayers is that the Holy Spirit wants the eyes of our understanding opened to enable us understand and appropriate Jesus' complete victory over Satan in the triumph of the Cross. He wants us to understand what Jesus' seating on High really means to the believer. The wisdom and knowledge the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to us is the believer's joint-seating with Christ as a benefit of our redemption. Joint-seating with Christ is a position of authority and triumph over Satan. God wants us to see what we have as rights and privileges by being in Christ.

Revelations in Line With the Word - Testimonies of Brother Kenneth Hagin
In this section of the teaching, we will among other things, be considering the encounters of Brother Kenneth Hagin (of blessed memory) as a result of praying in line with the scriptures in Ephesians chapters 1 and 3. I believe strongly that we, as believers, can achieve more if we will be desciplined enough to sit down with not just these verses of scriptures, but the word of God generally.
• The Holy Spirit, writing through Paul, wants you as a believer to pray for the eyes of your understanding to be enlightened. The word "enlightened" means illuminated or flooded with light. Another translation says to pray that the eyes of your heart will be flooded with light.
• Believers have been ignorant of Satan's devices, so he has been able to take advantage of them. But the Spirit of God wants believers to get the wisdom and revelation of the knowledge of Jesus and His Word so the eyes of their understanding will be enlightened to know their authority in Christ.
• After consistently praying with these verses of scriptures for a number of months, the Lord began to consistently show Brother Hagin revelations and visions in line with the Word of God. He received so much revelations from the Word of God after consistently praying with these scriptures for six months, than he had done in fourteen years of ministry. He also had eight different face to face encounters with Jesus Christ in the course of nine years.
• One of the revelations that the Spirit of God brought to Brother Hagin was the believer's authority in Christ over Satan. He received divine understanding concerning demons and evil spirits. This came after praying for his eyes of understanding to be enlightened. Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, gave him biblical truths in that vision so believers could be enlightened about Satan's wiles and strategies and not get off into error.

God wants believers to know they are no longer subject to Satan because they have been delivered from his dominion and authority (Col. 1:13). God wants the Body of Christ to know that we aren't a defeated Church—we are a triumphant Church. We are to reign in life through Jesus Christ because we have a position of authority over the devil. When the eyes of our understanding are enlightened, we can stand in our place of authority as the triumphant Church upon the earth.

Part of this study was culled from "The Triumphant Church" by Kenneth E. Hagin.


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