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Thursday, December 01 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION:
In the past few lessons, we have been learning of truth that have strongly challenged what most of us have been taught and believed in the past. We appreciate that many times it becomes difficult to change our mind sets but it is the truth. It is the truth that truly sets us free! Last week we asked ourselves a very important question “Do Christians Wrestle with Demons?” that brought us to another level of understanding of our place and authority in Christ. We looked at the definition of the word “Wresting” and today we are going to expound on this word!
This is important because once believers understand their authority in Christ and begin to appropriate the finished work of the Cross, they will understand exactly what kind of "wrestling" it is that believers are to engage in. We need to know and teach others what the Word says. We need to know and teach others who we and they are in Christ and what our blood-bought covenant rights and privileges are in our redemption. Our authority over the devil and how to use this authority in Christ to deal scripturally with the powers of darkness.

ONLY ONE FIGHT!
We have only been called to fight one fight! The faith fight—trusting God's Word to work for you—is the only fight the Bible says believers are to fight. The Bible says, “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” (Heb. 4:11). We labour to come into God's rest of faith: “For we which have believed do enter into rest....” (Heb. 4:3). Some believers are labouring trying to defeat the enemy when all they need to do is enter into the rest of faith because they believe the Word. Believers don't have to overpower and overcome the devil or "wrestle" him in their own strength. We only "wrestle" demonic forces by our faith in God's Word from a position of victory seated with Christ because we have authority over demons in Christ. That's why the only wrestling we engage in is the faith fight. If we are in any other fight, we are in the wrong fight: “Fight the good fight of faith ….” (1 Tim. 6:12). You see, sometimes you have to "wrestle” to stay in faith, because as long as the devil can keep you in the sense realm where he is god, and you look at the circumstances, he'll whip you every time. But as long as you stay in the faith realm depending on God's Word to put you over, you'll whip him every time.

FROM THE VICTORIOUS POSITION
One of the interesting revelations we have learnt from this study is that we are an “Occupying Army” and not a “Warring Army”. If you are a believer, you are in Christ and you have authority over satanic forces now. You don't have to labour to attain authority over Satan because Jesus provided that in your redemption by defeating those principalities and powers for you. So you are not coming to prayer with the idea that you have to whip principalities and powers. Jesus did that for you on the Cross.
We have been taught in this assembly that the salvation package is a complete one that was made available over 2000 years ago! That by it we were already healed, made whole, prospered, blessed, victorious, more than conquerors, etc.
Yes, these principalities and powers try to come against our lives. As it is in any war; the occupying army still carry guns to protect territories that have been taken. That is why Ephesians 6:11 says: "put on the whole armour of God.” Although we are not “warring”, we are admonished to stay alert and guard our minds and not be “swayed” by naysayers who want to shift us away from, and try to blind our eyes to our victorious position in Christ (1 Cor. 2:6; Col. 2:15).
So when you come to prayer, always pray from the understanding that the same principalities and powers the Bible says we wrestle against in Ephesians 6:12 were thoroughly defeated, dethroned, and stripped of their authority in your life by Jesus Christ (Col. 2:15).

BE STRONG IN THE LORD
The Bible says in Ephesians 6:10 that the believer is to “... be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” You hear folks say, "Well, I'm trying to be strong." But the Bible doesn't say a thing about being strong in yourself. Paul said, “... when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Cor. 12:10).
Many times in the circumstances we face in life, we can feel weak, empty, and helpless in ourselves. But, thank God, we can lean on the promises of God. We can go to the Rock, and stand fast on His Word. Paul said, “... we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: but we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (2 Cor. 1:8,9).
The reason you need to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might is so that you can stand your ground against the wiles of the devil "in the evil day" (Eph.4:13). The evil day is when Satan will come to test, try, and tempt you, and you will have to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might so you can take your stand of faith against him. One way you become strong in the Lord is by putting on the whole armour of God (Eph. 6:11-18).

You put on the full armour of God for two reasons:
• For protection in your prayer life. Once you have the armour on, you are ready to pray—you are dressed for prayer. The object of putting on the armour is so you can enter into prayer.
• To help you stand in life against the wiles, tests, and trials of the devil.
We have already extensively studied about the armour of God so today we will have a quick recap.

THE ARMOR OF GOD
The Bible says first, "put on the whole armour of God..." (Eph. 6:11). In Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the word for "put" is enduo. It has the sense of sinking into a garment; to invest with clothing, to array or clothe, to endue, have, or put on something.
So to be strong in the Lord you need to put on or sink into the armour of God as your protection against the wiles of the devil. Then in verse 13, the Bible says, "... take unto you the whole armour of God...." According to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the word "take" means to take up. In other words, once you've got the armour of God on, then you've got to do something with it—use it!
Paul used an example of the armour of a Roman soldier here to give us a picture of what the armour of God is like.
The helmet of salvation is the knowledge of your position in God because of your salvation and redemption in Christ. It includes having your mind renewed to know and understand your rights and privileges in Christ and who you are in Christ. The helmet of salvation protects your mind—Satan's chief battleground.
The girdle of truth represents a clear understanding of God's Word. Like a soldier's belt, it holds the rest of the armour in place.
The breastplate of righteousness. That refers to your right-standing with God. When you accept Jesus, you become the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). (Rom. 8:17): "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ"
Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. To be effective in prayer, you must walk in the light of God's Word (1 John 1:7). It's hard to walk when the path before you is dark. But with the light of God's Word, you never have to walk in darkness under Satan's dominion.
The shield of faith. Notice verse 16 says, "above all, taking the shield of faith ... wherewith ye may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."
The sword of the Spirit: Every part of the armour is protective or defensive, except one, and that is the sword of the Spirit. The sword of the Spirit—the Word of God—is the only part of the armour you fight with.
The scriptural way to deal with forces of darkness is with the sword of the Spirit. That was how Jesus dealt with the devil in His earthly ministry. (Luke 4:1,2). In every temptation, Jesus said, "It is written" (Matt. 4:4,7,10; Luke 4:4,8,12). Jesus Himself quoted the Word of God, using the Word against the devil as a sword. In that sense, Jesus was "fighting" or "wrestling" with the devil. But the only weapon Jesus used against the devil was faith in the Word of God.

CONCLUSION
There is yet one more important truth to be armed with as we “fight” the fight of faith and this is, we can't be strong in the Lord without appropriating the saving power of His blood. Read Colossians 1:13,14. Every benefit and blessing we possess in our redemption, including complete and total victory over Satan, is based on Jesus and His triumph over Satan at the Cross. We have victory over Satan because of Jesus' shed blood. The old-timers in Pentecost understood a truth about the blood of Jesus. They would plead the blood against the devil. That's scriptural.
When you plead the blood against the devil, you are really pleading your covenant rights of protection against the enemy (Isa. 54:17; Luke 10:19; Phil. 2:9,10; Col. 1:13).
Revelation 12:11 says: “And they overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.”

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 10:55 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 28 2016

Contributor: Leye Olayiwola

Introduction:

We will continue today in the Spiritual Warfare Series as we discuss and deliberate on another interesting and intriguing question – “Do Christians Wrestle with Demons?” During our discussions last week, we learnt, with appropriate scriptural references that some of what is being taught in the area of spiritual warfare and demonology is scripturally in error. We discovered that most, if not all of the scriptures where war and warfare were mentioned has nothing to do with the Devil but more to do with putting the flesh under and controlling our thought life. We also learnt that we are not a Warring Army but an Occupying Army. Today’s lesson will shed more lights on these truths.

1. Do Christians Wrestle With Demons?
We have been able to see in the epistles, following from last week’s lesson, that the words “war” and “warfare” are used to describe conflicts between the flesh and the mind and between the flesh and the recreated spirit. So what does the Bible have to say about "wrestling"? Does the New Testament teach that believers need to wrestle with demons? 

Ephesians 6:10-17
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[c] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

Let’s consider this scripture in the context of other scriptural references.

• “Wrestling” denotes strenuous effort, doesn't it? According to these scriptures, we do "wrestle" against the devil; we do have the devil to deal with in life. But read that verse of Scripture in context with the whole counsel of God's Word—that Jesus defeated Satan for us and redeemed us from Satan's dominion.
• Well, does the scriptural word for "wrestling" mean war? No, certainly not. There is a vast difference between wrestling and warring. If you've ever seen a wrestling match, you know there is a vast difference between wrestling and fighting a war.
• One of the meanings of the word "wrestle" in W. E. Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words is to sway. If we will let him, the enemy will come against us and try to sway us and get us out of faith and into doubt and unbelief about the Word so he can defeat us. But if we stand our ground in faith, he cannot sway us from the Word. Therefore, the "wrestling" we do is not fighting the devil, but it is a "fight" sometimes to hold fast to our faith in God's Word. ["a wrestling" (akin to pallo, "to sway, vibrate"), is used figuratively in Eph. 6:12, of the spiritual conflict engaged in by believers, RV, "(our) wrestling," AV, "(we) wrestle."]
• You see, the term "wrestling" in Ephesians 6:12 is used figuratively, just as the word "run" is used figuratively in Hebrews 12:1: "... let us RUN with patience the race that is set before us." The Bible doesn't use the word "wrestle" to tell believers to get into heavy spiritual combat to wrestle against the devil in prayer. No, the Bible is trying to show believers that our opposition in this life comes from the spiritual realm and that we are not to fight against flesh and blood, but we are to take our stand on the Word of God and enforce our victory against a defeated foe.
• So if you don't read the entire context of this passage in Ephesians chapter 6, but only focus on verse 12, you can become confused and defeated because you'll think, I'm in for it! I've got to wrestle against all those principalities, powers, and forces of darkness in order to try to defeat them.
• By overemphasizing just that one verse alone rather than the whole counsel of God, people place the emphasis not on what Christ has already done for believers, but rather on what the Christian must yet do in order to get victory over the devil. That is unscriptural because every believer already participates in Jesus' victory over Satan.
• For example, read Ephesians 6:12, "We wrestle against principalities and power," and read that scripture with Colossians 2:15: “... having SPOILED principalities and powers, he [Jesus] made a shew of them openly, TRIUMPHING OVER THEM in it [the Cross].” And then look at Luke 10:19: “Behold, I give unto you [the Body of Christ] power to tread on serpents and scorpions [the devil and his evil forces], and over all the power of the enemy: and NOTHING SHALL BY ANY MEANS HURT YOU.”
• Yes, we are in a battle all right, but it's against principalities and powers that Jesus already defeated in his death, burial, and resurrection! Notice also in Luke 10:20 that Jesus admonished the disciples not to rejoice in their authority over the devil but to rejoice in their relationship with God and in the fact that their names are written in the Book of Life. So our focus is not to be on a battle with a defeated enemy, but it is to be on a relationship with a mighty and loving God.

2 Timothy 2: 3-6
"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits."

• In these verses, Paul uses military, athletic, and agricultural terms to illustrate various aspects of the ministry.
• He uses the word "soldier" in verses 3 and 4 to depict the hardiness, discipline, and dedication it sometimes takes to fulfill the call of God.
• The expression, "striving for masteries" in verse 5 refers to winning first place in an athletic event. And the word "husbandman" refers to a farmer reaping a crop.
• So based on these scriptures taken out of context, if we're supposed to be a "militant" Church so we can fight the devil—then based on Second Timothy 2:3-6, we should also be an "athletic" Church and all come to church in sweatsuits, or we should be an "agricultural" Church and come dressed like farmers!

2. Wrestling In the Spiritual Realm
The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ just needs to learn to stay balanced. Overemphasizing just one scripture to the exclusion of others or exalting something other than God's Word, including unbiblical practices, can get believers off on doctrinal tangents. A person can take any Bible subject and overemphasize it and make the Bible say something it really doesn't say. That's what some Christians have done with this issue of "wrestling" the devil. They have resorted to using fleshly tactics such as yelling and screaming at the devil to try to "defeat" him. But the wrestling the believer does against the forces of evil is not done in the natural realm with fleshly tactics. It's done in the spiritual realm by faith in the Word.

Some believers are even taking the scripture about wicked spirits in heavenly places (Eph. 6:12) out of context and advocating that we have to get up higher physically in order to do battle with the wicked spirits in the heavenlies in prayer! What they really need to do is get down where the real battle is—in the mind and flesh!  Not only that, but the Bible says, “... Whatsoever ye shall bind ON EARTH shall be bound in heaven ….” (Matt. 18:18), and “... if two of you shall agree ON EARTH as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 18:19). The Bible says we are to do these things on earth; it never mentions that we have to get up into the spiritual atmosphere to try to deal with the devil! All that Jesus and the disciples accomplished, they accomplished on the earth, not up in heavenlies above the earth. We are already far above principalities and powers in our position in Christ.

“which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 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.” [Ephesians 1:20-21]
“ even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” [Ephesians 2:5-6]

 A scriptural reference can be found in Acts 16 where the story is told of Paul and Silas.
“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.” [Acts 6:25-26]

Right here on earth, at midnight, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God, and God heard and delivered them (Acts 16:25). You see, praying and singing praises is a type of scriptural "wrestling" in the spiritual realm because you have to stay in faith to do it! And because God responds to faith (Heb. 11:6), He reached down and shook that old jail and delivered Paul and Silas.

CONCLUSION
We are not at war against the Devil. He is already a defeated foe! Thank God for the victory that Christ has won for us. Remember, we are NOT a “Warring Army” but an  “Occupying” One. All that is required of us is to stand our grounds and refuse to be “swayed” out of faith into unbelief by the Devil’s antics. Also, we don't need to get up into the heavenlies to deal with evil spirits! We ought to be interested in tapping into the power of God that's already available to us as believers right here on earth! Yes, the word "wrestling" shows us that there is a spiritual conflict between the believer and the devil. But the wrestling is done in the arena of faith—in the spiritual realm—not in the natural realm. It is a fight based on standing firmly on the promises in God's Word and on the finished work of our redemption.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 03:24 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 17 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION
Last week we looked at the topic “The Triumphant Church- Not the Militant or Defeated Church” we learnt that Body of Christ shouldn’t yield in cowardice to the forces of darkness or submit to satanic domination but arise boldly in the name of Jesus and take our place in our inheritance as sons and daughters of the Most High God as the triumphant Church. In today’s study, we will find out if we are or should be Wrestling or Resting.
Spiritual warfare is a subject some Christians are overemphasizing today in a way that is not in line with the Word of God. Actually, some of what is being taught in the Body of Christ in this area of spiritual warfare and demonology is scripturally in error. That's why it would benefit us to study the Word to see how to deal scripturally with Satan and his strategies. Many believers become fearful if you talk about the devil, demons, and evil spirits and their activities. Many people seem to think it would be better not to ever mention the devil or evil spirits. But if you don't teach believers scripturally from the Word of God how to deal with the devil, the enemy will just run rampant and hold high carnival in their lives because they won't know their scriptural authority.

2 Corinthians 2:11 says: “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

THE CHALLENGE
We need to know our enemy. The Bible says we are not to be ignorant of Satan's devices. Satan has not changed the least bit in the world. The devil is the same old devil he has always been, and he uses the same tactics he has always used. He is the same devil Paul had to deal with when he penned these words that we aren't to be ignorant of his devices. And one of Satan's devices is to get people off into the extreme, even in the area of spiritual warfare, so they become unfruitful in the Kingdom of God. There is legitimate spiritual warfare, of course. Spiritual warfare is a Bible subject and one that we should be interested in because every one of us must take our stand in spiritual warfare at one time or another in our Christian life. But we see in the world today a number of challenges that seem to negate this

1. Imbalance:
It seems on any Bible subject; it is most difficult for the Body of Christ to stay in the middle of the road. Many believers either get in the ditch on one side of the road or on the other side of the road. In either ditch, they become ineffective because extremes and excesses never produce any fruit to the glory to God.

2. Wrong thinking
Actually, the greatest enemy that has robbed the Church, even in this area of demonology and spiritual warfare, is wrong thinking and wrong believing. That's what initially opens a door to the devil.
There are those who are thinking wrong and believing wrong about the subject of spiritual warfare, and it is going to get the Body of Christ off track unless we get back on the Word of God. Wrong thinking and wrong believing eventually lead to wrong actions. For example, one error wrong thinking and wrong believing has produced in some believers is that they are trying to fight the devil. We need to look at that practice in the light of God's Word to see if it's scriptural. We need to know what the Word of God says on any subject and think and believe and act in line with God's Word. Then we will get Bible results.

3. Lack of Understanding
The truth remains that there is an adversary arrayed against us and that we are in the army of the Lord. However, people often take those truths and run off with them into extremes and error. Their thinking seems to be, "Well, an army fights the enemy to defeat him, so let's fight the devil so we can defeat him." But Jesus already "fought" the devil and won. That's why Jesus said to us, "Occupy, till I come" (Luke 19:13).
We're to take our stand on the Word against a defeated foe. Therefore, we are in the army of the Lord, all right, but it's the occupying army. The occupying army is not in battle. The occupying army is just enforcing the victory that's already been won by our Commander in Chief, the Lord Jesus Christ. That's why believers shouldn't magnify the battle, they should magnify the triumph!

'WAR' AND 'WARFARE' IN THE EPISTLES
Some people emphasize spiritual warfare to the point that you would think it is the only subject taught in the Bible. But you'll find that real spiritual warfare is entirely different from what many people think it is. For example, as you study the New Testament, particularly the epistles, it is amazing how seldom the words "war" and "warfare" are mentioned. It is also amazing to note that when the words "war" or "warfare" are used in the epistles, never once are the words "devil" or "Satan" used in connection with them. Let's look at the words "war" and "warfare" as they are used in the epistles, which were written to us, the Body of Christ.
In First Corinthians 9:7 for instance, Paul asks the question,
"Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?"
Here, Paul isn't referring to combating the devil. He's simply making the point that ministers should be adequately paid.
2Corinthians 10:3-5 is another place in the epistles where the words "war" and "warfare" are used.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

If you take these verses out of their context you can make them say anything you want them to say. 2Corinthians 10:3-5 has been widely used to apply to battling demons over cities and countries. But it's clear by the context that Paul is talking about something different. Paul isn't referring to battling demonic forces over geographical areas. He is admonishing believers to take control of their own thoughts and imaginations so they can prevent the devil's lies from getting a stronghold in their minds.

What else do the epistles say about "war" and "warfare?"

Read 1 Timothy 1:18,19
How did Paul tell Timothy to war a good warfare? By holding faith and a good conscience. In other words, Paul is simply telling Timothy, "Stay in the fight of faith. Fulfil the call of God on your life. That is how you are going to war a good warfare in this life." The devil isn't even mentioned in these scriptures. The statement is simply a challenge to Timothy as a young minister to fulfil his ministry and not be deterred by any opposition he would face. Paul gives another admonition to Timothy in 2Timothy chapter 2 about warring. Read 2 Timothy 2:3-4

When we read the entire context of this passage, we find it has nothing again to do with the devil. Paul is simply saying, "Stay committed to the call of God on your life, regardless of the cost." Paul is telling believers that there's a price to pay to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ; it takes discipline and dedication. Paul is giving Timothy an illustration to remind and encourage him to keep himself free from the cares of this world and from any hindrances that would distract him from serving God and ministering effectively.

Then in James 4:1,2 we see the terms "war" and "wars" used in reference to fights, controversies, and strife which occurred because of believers' uncontrolled flesh problems. Finally, Peter refers to warfare in 1Peter 2:11 when he says,

"Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul."
Again there is absolutely no reference whatsoever to the devil. Just as James did, Peter uses the word "war" to vividly describe the battle between the lusts of the flesh and the soul—the mind, will, and emotions.

CONCLUSION
We have looked at scriptures in the epistles where the words "war" and "warfare" are used. The devil isn't mentioned one single time in any of these scriptures. Yet to hear some people talk, you would think spiritual warfare is the only subject in the Bible! Doctrinally speaking, some people have made a mountain out of a molehill. I suppose that's because some Christians want to blame everything on the devil. But in the epistles, the words "war" and "warfare" primarily have to do with putting the flesh under and controlling one's thought life. He can only do that by the Word of God and with the help of the Spirit of God.
Many believers are trying to get victory in life some other way. But what they need to realize is that genuine spiritual warfare has to do mostly with the mind and the flesh and fighting the good fight of faith (1 Tim. 6:12). Those who wage a good warfare keep their mind renewed and their flesh in check and know how to stand in faith on the promises in God's Word. We need to keep our bodies under subjection and control our thought life instead of allowing the lusts of the flesh run rampant and uncontrolled. No doubt there is a battle; Ephesians 6:12 says

“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.”

But we are fighting from the winning side because of the victory Jesus won on our behalf! We are not a “warring” army but an “Occupying” one! So let us magnify the triumph of Jesus instead of magnifying the battle!

This study was culled from The Triumphant Church by Kenneth E. Hagin

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 11 2016

Contributor: Nosa Osagie

INTRODUCTION:
Our study last week titled “Reigning in Life” is a clear picture of our position of authority as believers in Christ. The church to me does not look like one being ruled over and dominated by Satan, demons and their evil schemes. In today`s study we will be seeing the Church as The Triumphant Church Not the Militant or Defeated Church.
The foundation to knowing that we are triumphant in Christ, in this world and in the realm of the spirit is the revelation we have, or know in the word of God in Ephesians. 1:18.
To be triumphant in Rome those days was similar to that of a magnificent procession in honour of a victorious general, and the highest military distinction which he could obtain. While to be defeated means to be subdued in a battle or contest.
There are some people today who are talking about the militant Church. Among them are those who say that the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ needs to fight devils in order to be successful. But I'd rather talk about the triumphant Church because that's scriptural. Jesus' triumph over Satan is every believer's triumph. And every believer can enjoy that triumph and victory if he will walk in the light of His inheritance in Christ. Those who continually talk about the militant Church are those who are always trying to fight the devil, they say "we're waging war on the devil. It's going to be tough! we are in for a battle!"

People who talk like that all the time need the eyes of their understanding enlightened to see that the battle has already been won by Jesus Christ. Now they just need to stand in that victory.

FOUNDATION FOR TRIUMPH
Ephesians. 1:17-23 says:
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 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. 22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all”.

The message Apostle Paul gave here is clear, that for us to operate and overcome like Christ, is to have these scriptures settled in our hearts as revelation for ruling and reigning in life. Paul was the Only Apostle that had the full revelation and knowledge of the authority we have and what we stand to enjoy in Christ as believers. Others are:
• Moses: In Exodus 33:12-23 overcame insecurity by revelation.
• Gehazi: In 2 Kings 6:14-17 also overcame fear by revelation.

When the eyes of our understanding have been enlightened to see our rightful position in Christ, that it is a position of victory, then when we do encounter the forces of the devil, we'll know what to do about them. Because of our authority over evil spirits in Christ, we will stand against them with the Word of God and put them in their place. The Body of Christ is triumphant. Thank God we can triumph over sin, sickness, disease, poverty, bareness, depression, ancestral powers and bad habits etc. because of our inheritance in Christ. And we can triumph over the devil, evil spirits, and anything else the enemy would try to bind us with because Jesus has already defeated them for us.
Carnal strength will always fail us if we ever try to apply it to spiritual matters. Believers struggle in battle so many times to get out of sin etc. as Paul did in Romans 7: 14-25. Thank God he cried out for help because his strength had failed him.

WHAT IS REQUIRED OF US
What is ours in Christ requires nothing else but the taking or appropriating by faith the word of God. We don't have to struggle to believe for something that already belongs to us. But we do need to know it's ours or we won't take our rightful position in Christ and take advantage of what is already ours.  What Jesus did, He did for us, and Jesus' defeat over Satan belongs to us. So when Satan comes suggesting sin, tell him “sin shall not have dominion over me”, if he suggest poverty, tell him “He became poor that I be rich”, if he suggests sadness, say “The Joy of the Lord is my strength”, if the devil comes suggesting bareness, say “There shall be non barren in our land” and it goes on and on until we live a life of triumph.

CONCLUSION
The Body of Christ never needs to yield in cowardice to the forces of darkness or submit to satanic domination. No, we must arise boldly in the Name of Jesus and take our place in our inheritance as sons and daughters of the Most High God as the triumphant Church!
In 2 Corinthians 2:14, the Bible says:
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”  

Colossians 2:14 – 15 also says:
“having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

Romans 8: 31-37 says:
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

I would like to ask us the question we were asked last week, with these three scriptures, does this sound like a defeated Church?

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 06:52 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 04 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION:
Last week’s study titled “Only The Truth Acted Upon Sets You Free” was a challenge not to be hearers and “knowers” of the truth alone; but doers of the truth. Because knowing the truth and not acting on it does not guarantee our freedom. Today’s study will reveal to us vital truth about our reigning in life. Because of Jesus' victory over Satan at the Cross, instead of being defeated, conquered, and ruled over, now in Christ we reign as kings in this life here in this world. Because we are in Christ, Satan is under our feet. Before we served as slaves to Satan and spiritual death, but now we reign in life through Jesus Christ. This is part of the riches of our inheritance in Christ.

Romans 5:17
“For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall REIGN IN LIFE BY ONE, JESUS CHRIST.”

Having read this wonderful verse of scripture, let’s ask ourselves two questions:
1. Does this sound like a Church that is being ruled over and dominated by demons and evil spirits? The obvious answer is - No!
2. When does the Bible say we will reign over Satan and his evil schemes against us? In the sweet by and by? When we all get to Heaven? Again, although not as obvious, the answer remains, No.
Believers reign as kings in the realm of life now. We who are born again have become new creatures in Christ Jesus, and we are now the victorious ones, not the defeated ones. We are the triumphant church, not the defeated Church.
We reign as kings in life through Jesus Christ now.
This is part of the wisdom the Holy Spirit is trying to get over to the Body of Christ in these Spirit-inspired prayers in the Book of Ephesians.
In times past, we served as slaves of Satan, but now we walk in the newness of life (Rom. 6:4). Now because of our joint-seating with Christ in heavenly places, we reign as kings through the Lord Jesus Christ.

God’s Desire for Us
Ephesians 1:15-18 says:
“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”

The message the Holy Ghost through Paul is endeavouring to get across to the Body of Christ is that
1. God wants the eyes of our understanding enlightened so we can understand that we reign with Christ in this life.
2. God wants us to know we have victory over Satan in every contest and circumstance, even as Jesus had victory over Satan when He was on the earth. We don't have to struggle to be victorious; we just need to stand our ground with the Word against a defeated foe according to what we already possess in Christ.
It doesn't take all day to stand against evil spirits if you know your authority in Christ. Just speak the Word to them in the Name of Jesus, and they have to go. You don't have to fight with them because they've been defeated and dethroned. By standing on the Word against them, you are standing in Jesus' victory.

Taking Responsibility
Luke 10:19 says:
“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you”

We should not give heed to the devil’s suggestions and even to preachers that teach people to fear the devil: You hear them say things like: "You'd better be careful! The devil might hear you." Or "You'd better be careful. The devil might try to lay sickness and disease on you."
We have authority over ourselves and our households. So if the devil ever comes knocking at your door with sickness, poverty, lack, or oppression, tell him, "Don't come to my house. You'll have to go peddle that junk somewhere else because I won't receive it!"
Ultimately every one of us will have to learn to stand against the devil for ourselves because God expects you to take authority over the devil for yourself.
It is also possible to give someone else permission, to pray for you in faith, but, really, you need to do something about taking authority over the devil for yourself. That's one way you grow in who you are in Christ. Take authority over Satan, sickness, disease, or whatever the enemy is trying to get you to receive. Stand against it for yourself in the Name of Jesus. Believers make a mistake by accepting what the devil brings to them.

The Place of Knowledge
Verse 18 says:
“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”

Knowledge is vital to exercising one’s authority because you will be defeated if you don't recognize who is in you and the authority you have in Christ. By failing to recognize that the Greater One dwells in you, you will allow the devil to take advantage of you.
It's one thing for Satan to dominate unsaved people who are in the kingdom of darkness; they're under his authority. But Satan and his cohorts are dominating too many Christians who don't know their authority or don't exercise their authority.
That's why the believer needs to come to prayer understanding that all those spiritual forces have been defeated by Jesus. When the believer prays, he needs to pray from a position of victory because he is seated with Christ in heavenly places, looking down on a defeated foe.
When you come to prayer, pray from a seated position in Christ far above principalities and powers where you have joint-seating with Christ. Jesus' victory is your victory. Because of what Jesus did, you are free from Satan's dominion.
Too often Christians just hang on and try to do the best they can, not realizing what their inheritance in Christ really entitles them to. Instead of taking their rightful place in Christ as victors, they magnify the devil, and that gives him access in their lives.

Your Thoughts and Words
Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life”
Proverbs 23:7a “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he”

You can dwell on the negative side of things and you will become what you dwell on. What you are thinking about and dwelling on is what you are believing. What you are believing is what you are talking about. And eventually what you are believing and talking about is what you will become.
This applies in this area of demons and demonic activity too. If you think the devil's thoughts, you will become depressed, oppressed, and you can go into error. Or you can think on the Word, and your thinking can become enlightened, illuminated, and flooded with light.
You can go around preaching how powerful the devil is, or you can get on the positive side where the eyes of your understanding have been enlightened to see the wisdom of God. Then you will be on the scriptural side and the victory side where you belong as a believer because of your triumph in Christ.
Because I know Jesus defeated the devil, that's what I think on and talk about. And the Greater One puts me over in life and causes me to succeed because I'm giving place to God and the power of His Word, not to the devil.

Conclusion
Some Christians suffer defeat because they believe "greater is he that is in the world than He that is in them." They have it backwards in their thinking. Then they go to confessing that.
Many are defeated in life because they have a negative confession; they're always talking on the negative side of things, and that opens a door to the devil in their life.
They're always telling what they're not and what they don't have and about their weaknesses, failures, and lack. Invariably they go down to the level of their confession.
If you believe and confess that the devil's power is greater than God's power, Satan will defeat you. But if you stand your ground in your blood-bought rights in Christ and confess that, you will rise to the level of your confession and inheritance.
What a change would take place in your life if you stood your ground on the Word of God against every attack of the enemy in every test or trial! What a change would take place if you maintained a positive confession in Christ so you give no ground to the devil in your life!
Then you would rise to the level of your confession—you would take your rightful place in Christ and you would be able to possess what Christ has already wrought for you. You would take your rightful place as the triumphant Church of the Lord Jesus Christ over all the power of the devil.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 05:39 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 02 2016

Contributor: Leye Olayiwola

INTRODUCTION

Another gracious opportunity to learn at the feet of the Father. Thanking God, the Father of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ for the non-scarcity of His word in our midst (Amos 8:11-12). At the last teaching, we considered eight (8) Spiritual Blessings that we as believers in Jesus Christ have received in heavenly places through Christ Jesus. It is very important for us to walk in this consciousness in order to effectively appropriate our authority in establishing and enforcing God’s Kingdom here on earth.
As great as this truth sounds, it is also important to know that we can only derive the benefits of this blessings only if they are acted upon. This is the core of our discussion as we consider the importance of acting on the truths of God’s words in enforcing the freedom that Jesus Christ has already paid for on the cross of Calvary.

1. Knowledge Is Important
Wise people store up knowledge, But the mouth of the foolish is near destruction. [Prov.10:14]
A wise man is strong, Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; [Prov.24:5]
Consciously or unconsciously, our daily decisions are based on what we do or do not know. This is one of the reasons why the bible says that:
Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, And he sins who hastens with his feet. [Prov.19:2]
This simply means making a decision without appropriate and godly knowledge (where applicable) is sin. God, the creator of Heavens and Earth laments about the people without knowledge. He gives ignorance as a basis of rejection. Need we say more about the importance of knowledge? Success in life is premised on the acquisition of knowledge.

2. Acting On The Knowledge (of the truth) You Know Is Even More Important
Any blessing, right, privilege, or authority can belong to you, but if you don't know about it, you won't act on it. Or if you don't act on what you know and exercise and appropriate what has been given to you, it won't benefit you. It won't become a reality to you even though it's your legal possession. That's why you need to have a knowledge of what belongs to you in Christ. But just knowledge of what belongs to you isn't enough. It's knowledge acted upon that brings results. The devil doesn't want the people of God to find out the authority that actually belongs to them in Christ. This is one way Satan tries to defeat the child of God. He knows when the child of God finds out ( and acts on) his legal, lawful authority in Christ, he will enjoy victory over him That's why Satan tries to obscure this knowledge and blind people's eyes and understanding and keep this vital knowledge from them. But when the child of God knows the truth and acts on that knowledge, he can no longer be dominated by the devil.
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”[John 8:32]
You have to know the truth before the truth can make you free. That's what this verse is saying. Then once you know the truth of God's Word about who you are in Christ, it's acting on the truth you know that makes you free.
“But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth].
But he who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and faithfully abides by it, not having become a [careless] listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he will be blessed and favored by God in what he does [in his life of obedience].”
[James 1:22, 25 AMP]

Take note of the phrase “actively and continually obeying God’s precepts”. The words actively and continually can be summarised with the term diligently. It is good to note that results are only obtained through diligent and consistent efforts. This simply means that it is only a relentless, unfailing and unwavering acting on God’s words, despite opposing situations, circumstances, tests and trials that result in total freedom. Not an epileptic form of action. The Word you know that you act on makes you free. When you act on the Word you know, you will enjoy victory over satanic forces in every circumstance of life.

3. Some of the Truths Required To Be Acted Upon
Let us consider some vital spiritual truths that we need to consciously act on and live by as victorious believers.
a. Satan Shall Not Have Dominion Over Believers
The passion with which some so-called believers attribute control and power to Satan when faced with challenges is unbelievable. The Bible says we have been translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God's dear Son (Col. 1:13). Therefore, our inheritance includes the fact that the works of darkness have no legal authority or dominion over us. Paul wrote to the believers at Rome, saying, "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace" (Rom. 6:14). In a sense, sin and Satan are synonymous terms. Therefore, we could read this verse, "Satan shall not have dominion over you." Another translation reads, "Sin shall not lord it over you." You could read it: "Satan shall not lord it over you." Why can't Satan lord it over believers? Because he's not our lord, and he's been put under our feet! Jesus is our Lord and the Head of the Church, not Satan. So when next you’re in the company of a believer who still attributes their situations to the “power” of the Devil, be prompt to correct such person (in love) with this truth.
b. The Shadow of the Valley of Death [Psalm 23:4]
Once we understand that we have been delivered out of Satan's control and we are no longer under the dominion of Satan or spiritual death, we can understand more clearly what Psalm 23 is saying to us. There is a truth in Psalm 23 that the Body of Christ has failed to receive and appropriate for their lives. You understand, of course, that many of the psalms are prophetic or Messianic. But we are living in Psalm 23 right now. Psalm 23:4 is quoted all the time at funerals, but actually this is referring to Satan's domain here on earth, and it is referring to spiritual death, not physical death. You and I are walking through the valley of the shadow of death in this life because Satan is the god of this world. Spiritual death and its effects are on every side. Sin, sickness, disease, poverty, and everything else that Satan brings surround us in this life. But Jesus declared that we are in the world, but not of the world (John 17:16,18). That correlates with a valuable truth we find in Psalm 23:5: "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies....". Who are our enemies? The devil himself is certainly our enemy; the Bible calls him our adversary (1 Peter 5:8). Evil spirits, demons, sickness, disease, and poverty are all our enemies. Anything that would bind or hinder us is our enemy.

c. The Table of Provision [Psalm 23:5]
In Psalm 23:5, God is telling us that right in the midst of Satan's domain where the devil is ruling over those in darkness as the god of this world and where the effects of spiritual death are all around us—God prepares a table for us in the very presence of those enemies! Yes, demons, devils, and evil spirits are here and we sometimes feel their presence and their effect. But even so, God prepares a table for us right in the midst of them! Why does God prepare a table for us in the presence of our enemies? Why don't we just get rid of our enemies? The scripture is very clear about the “tenancy” of the Devil and his demons in Jude 6,7. They are reserved in everlasting chains of darkness for the judgement of the great day. That's why it is so important for believers to stand in their victory and partake of the table of the Lord's provision, because those evil spirits will be here to try to hinder us, tempt us, and keep us from receiving God's best in life.
The reason many Christians are defeated in life is that even though they are seated with Christ in heavenly places at the table of the Lord's provision, they aren't appropriating what belongs to them at that table. All the riches of being in Christ are included at the table of the Lord's provision. Many believers are not even looking at the provisions God has made for them in the Word. Instead of looking at their rights and privileges in Christ, including their authority over the devil, they are looking at the enemy. Their focus in life is on the devil and his works, not on Jesus and His finished work of redemption. They are always talking about devils, demons, and demonic activity instead of the riches of God's abundant grace and the "all spiritual blessings" that belong to them in Christ. They're not standing in the finished work of the Cross as the triumphant Church, reigning in life through Jesus Christ.

Conclusion
We must be relentless in our pursuit of the knowledge of the truth as it relates to every area of our lives. We must also go further in appropriating and acting on these known truths to actualise and activate our already won victory in our spiritual, marital, emotional, financial, physical e.t.c lives in establishing the Kingdom of God in every sphere of lives here on the earth. We need to focus on God and what He has provided, instead of on the devil and what he's doing. We need to focus on the riches of our inheritance in Christ and the rights and privileges that legally belong to us as a result of being in Him. Appropriate for yourself the riches of being in Him. Focus on your heavenly position in Christ where we are seated far above all powers and principalities and all the evil works of the enemy.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 02:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, October 17 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION
In our last study we considered the topic - The Wisdom of Being in Christ. The study focused on the benefits of being spiritually matured in Christ. That when believers have the eyes of their understanding enlightened, they will understand exactly how complete the plan of redemption really is.
Today’s topic – “Blessed With All Spiritual Blessings in Christ” reveals a list of arsenal that a believer should be armed with in exercising their authority over the enemy. EPHESIANS 1:3 says:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS in heavenly places in Christ.” Emphasis mine

In Jesus' redemption, everything Jesus wrought—everything He bought and secured in His victory over Satan—He did for the Body of Christ—you and I. Jesus' triumph and victory belongs to every single believer. Because we are blessed with all spiritual blessings, that would certainly include triumph and authority over Satan, otherwise it wouldn't be ALL spiritual blessings.

THE BLESSINGS
Verses 4-13 tells us of these blessings:
1. Elected as saints: verse 4 says that He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” God has chosen to make us holy and blameless, and all because of His love, His good pleasure, and His grace (verses 5–6). What a blessing, that “even when we were dead in sins” (Ephesians 2:5), God chose to extend His grace to us and offer us salvation. This is even more amazing when we realize that He made that decision before sin even entered into the world.

2. Adopted as Children: verse 5. Not only has God chosen us to be made holy, but He grants us full status as His children, with all the benefits thereof. John 1:12 says, “As many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

3. Accepted in the Beloved: verse 6, where we are made “accepted in the beloved.” The word is related to grace and gives the idea of making us graceful or favourable through Christ, the beloved of God. When we put on Christ, the Father sees His loveliness when He looks at us. The blood of Christ has taken away the guilt of our sins, and we stand before the Father as perfectly accepted.

4. Redemption through His blood: verse 7 Redemption speaks of buying one's freedom, paying a ransom. The price for our sins, the payment to buy us out of eternal condemnation, was fully paid by the blood of Christ. In Christ, we are no longer slaves to sin, but we become slaves to God. Since we are bought and paid for by His blood, we have an obligation to glorify God in our body and spirit (1 Corinthians 6:20).
5. Forgiveness of sins: verse 7 It is closely related to redemption, but looks at the other side of the coin. In paying the ransom for our sins, the debt of sin was cancelled, and we were forgiven. We no longer have the burden of guilt for violating God's holy laws.

6. Knowledge of the mystery of God’s will Vs 8-10: The sixth spiritual blessing listed is knowing the mystery of His will. God has given us wisdom and insight through His Word and has shown us His desire to bring all things together to glorify Christ. Since all of creation was made by Him and is for His good pleasure (Revelation 4:11), the consummation of His plan is when everything and everyone is brought in line to glorify Him. By aligning ourselves with Him by faith, we become part of His perfect plan and purpose.

7. The Inheritance given through Christ: Verse 11. What is included in that inheritance? “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). The riches of glory, the presence of God, the eternal home – these don't even scratch the surface of all the blessings that belong to our inheritance.

8. The Seal of the Holy Spirit: Verse 13. When we become God's children, He places His mark of ownership on us, guaranteeing our eternal security. This is spoken of as the down-payment of our full redemption, to hold us until the day Christ brings us to Him.
All these spiritual blessings are to keep us continually aware and secure in Him when we exercise our authority over the enemy. People who enjoy the blessings of God, including their rightful authority over the devil, just know how to take advantage of what belongs to them to a greater degree than those who don't appropriate the blessings of God. If you don't know about your inheritance and authority in Christ, you will not be able to partake of what is rightfully yours.

CONCLUSION
Every one of us in the Body of Christ is blessed with all or every spiritual blessing in Christ, so no one has a corner on the authority we possess over the devil in Jesus' Name. The least member in the Body of Christ can be fearless in the face of demons, devils, and evil spirits because of who he is in Christ. No one is blessed with any more spiritual blessings than anyone else in the Body of Christ.
It's to be regretted that every member of the Body of Christ doesn't take advantage of what belongs to him, because his authority over the devil belongs to him whether he knows about it or not. But a person can't take advantage of something he doesn't know about or exercise.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 03:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, October 11 2016

Contributor: Noel Osaghae

INTRODUCTION
In last week’s study we considered the topic: “The Seating and Reigning of Christ”. The study was mostly a truth finding adventure. We learnt that our seating with Christ was a part of our inheritance and that our position as believers is of joint-seating with Christ in heavenly places. Although this 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. In the study we stressed that we shouldn’t only find these truths but we should by His grace let them set us free! (John 8:32).
In today’s study we will be looking at the topic: “The Wisdom of Being in Christ.” This study will show us the benefits of being spiritually matured in Christ.
1 CORINTHIANS 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.”

WHAT IS THE WISDOM OF GOD THAT THOSE WHO ARE SPIRITUALLY MATURE IN THE WORD WILL SEE AND UNDERSTAND?
1. It is knowledge of the inheritance that God has already prepared for them in Christ;

It is the wisdom of knowing who they are in Christ. The wisdom of God is that believers only need to stand against demons in the finished work of the Cross—in the victory that Jesus Christ already won for them.
If believers would begin to stand in their position of authority in Christ against a foe that has already been defeated and dethroned, it would solve so many of their problems.
Many well-meaning believers have fallen into the error of thinking they have to do something to overcome the devil. They seem to think that somehow they have to "fight" the devil and conquer him. According to 1Corinthians 2:6, one reason believers have fallen into this error is that they aren't mature in the Word: "We speak the wisdom of God to those who are mature."

People who are wrestling against the devil in their own strength, always trying to defeat a "dethroned power," are not yet mature or full grown in the Word.
The Bible says: "... we speak wisdom among them that are perfect [mature or full grown]: yet not the wisdom of this world.... But we speak The Wisdom Of God ..." (1 Cor. 2:6,7).

2. The wisdom of God is the wisdom of His Word.

Your mind will have to be renewed to the wisdom of God—the wisdom of God's Word—to see what Jesus has already wrought for you in your redemption. That's what will make you mature in your knowledge of being in Christ.
When believers have the eyes of their understanding enlightened, they will understand exactly how complete the plan of redemption really is.
Those who are still waging war on the devil haven't had the eyes of their understanding enlightened to see the wisdom of God. (Ephesians 1:18). But when you are mature in the Word and have the wisdom of God—Bible wisdom—you know Satan and his hosts are already conquered, defeated, dethroned, and deprived of their power and that you are the triumphant one in Christ.
But you will have to stand your ground with the Word of God against Satan because his wiles are deceptive, and he will try to blind your eyes to make you think he has power and authority over you.

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”  2 Corinthians 4:4

He will always try to get you out of the realm of faith in God's Word by making you doubt the Word, doubt God, and doubt what God has told you. That's why the fight against him is in the arena of faith—faith in God and faith in God's Word—not in trying to defeat an enemy who is already defeated.

3. The wisdom of God is only seen in its application
One reason many believers are having so much trouble with the devil is that they are always trying to do something themselves about the devil, instead of acting on what the Word says Jesus already did about the devil. That means they aren't doers of the Word. They say, "Let's declare war on the devil!" and they try to carry out some kind of combat against him.
But when you understand that Satan is dethroned, you know war has already been declared on the devil, and the victory has been won by the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ arose the Victor!
So just take your position of joint-seating with Christ in His victory over the devil. Colossians 2:15 says:
“And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

If Satan and his cohorts have been dethroned, then why are the hosts of darkness ruling over so many believers? Either believers don't know their authority in Christ, or they aren't exercising their authority in Christ.

CONCLUSION
Satan will keep on ruling people in the world who aren't saved, of course, because they don't know any better. But if believers will preach the gospel to unsaved folks, they'll get saved and come out from under Satan's dominion. The Church is to preach the good news to every creature and tell them that they don't have to be dominated by the devil anymore. That's how we are to "wage war" on the devil! When people get a hold of the good news in Christ and are born again, Satan won't be able to rule over them anymore. That is how believers are to put Satan's kingdom to nought and reduce it to nothing.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 01:51 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, September 19 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION
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.

YOUR POSITION IN CHRIST
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.

CONCLUSION
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.
 

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 01:47 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, September 12 2016

Contributor: Alex Alajiki

INTRODUCTION:
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.

Conclusion.
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

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 06:32 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, September 12 2016

Contributor: Leye Olayiwola

INTRODUCTION:

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.

IN CONCLUSION
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.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 02:53 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, August 12 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION
Last week we looked at the ways to deal with evil spirits. Once someone is truly saved and have the revelational knowledge of the power in the name of Jesus; is submitted to God’s authority and finally is armed with whole armour of God he/she can put the devil and his minions to flight!
So many times Christians ask the question, "Why does God permit the devil to do such terrible things on the earth? Why doesn't God do something about the devil?"
There are many things that happen in life that we wonder about. But, really, God is waiting for us to exercise our authority and do something about the devil. His Word stands behind the authority He's given us. But so many times we just bow down and let the devil run over us, waiting for God to do something about the devil, when we just need to take our stand against him with the Word and put him on the run. We need to do something about the adverse circumstances in our own lives by taking authority over Satan and standing our ground against him with the Word, claiming what belongs to us.
Today’s topic is somewhat of a challenge to us! “Believers, not God that must exercise authority over the devil!”
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?
1. THE PROMISE OF HIS WORDS
Jesus speaking in Matt. 18:18 said "Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Emphasis mine.
Jesus has given us the authority. It is whatever we bind and lose not whatever He binds or loses. In other words He is saying, I have given you the authority, you have my backing, go out there and deal with the enemy! This backing is not also limited to pastors and prophets and the likes but to all who are truly born again!

John 1:12 says:But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” Emphasis mine
The One who has all the power (Matt.28:18) has given it to us. Also in Luke 10:19 He said: “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”
It is therefore us that will trample on snakes and scorpions!

In John 14:12 Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, 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.”
Jesus while He was on earth exercised His authority over the Devil and his cohorts and He’s promised those that believe that we will do greater works!

James 4:7 says. “Submit yourselves, then, to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you”
It is therefore us that will put the devil to flight! By submitting ourselves to God and resisting the devil!

Mark 16:17 says: “These signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils.”
It is us that will cast out the devils, not God! We have the authority in the name of Jesus!

2. GOD HAS GIVEN US THE EARTH
Psalms 115: 16 says: “The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD'S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.”
What we, by Adam lost in Eden was by Christ restored on the cross. 1 Cor. 15:21 “For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.”
God’s original plan for us has been restored. So we “own” the earth and have dominion over everything on the earth including the devil and his cohorts. The earth is our domain and we are to reign in this life by Christ! (Romans 5:17“For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”) Kings issue decree and commands (Job 22:28a Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee”) to all the inhabitants of their kingdom and that includes the Devil!

3. WE HAVE ALREADY OVERCOME!
1 Corinthians 15:57 says: “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”
Rom. 8: 37 says “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
1 John 4:4 says “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” Emphasis mine
The word "them" is referring to the Devil. Demons, evil spirits, etc. We have already overcome them because we are in Christ!

CONCLUSION
Some believers seem to have more respect for the devil and his ability and believe in him more than they do in God! That isn’t what should be! We should instead take our place in Christ; stand our ground on God's Word. Be careful about keeping company with people who are always talking about the devil and who don't magnify the Word of God. We have authority over the Devil and his cohorts. The Word of God is clear about it as we have seen! God has given us the earth and the Devil is therefore trespassing! We have the victory over him and the authority to put him to flight. He only pretends to be a roaring lion but he isn’t! So put him in his place – on the run! You don't have to go looking for the devil, but if he shows up, kick him out. You have authority over him in Jesus’ name!

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, August 04 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION
Last week, we looked at the ways evil spirits invite other evil spirits into the lives of their victims. We saw how they operated and how anger, sin, pornography, unforgiveness, bitterness, tattoos, etc. can serve as doorways for them. Even though the Bible teaches us that we have great power over evil, many of us do not live our lives this way. Today, we shall be looking out how to deal with Evil Spirits. This topic has many similarities with the topic “How to Deal with the Devil” we treated a couple of weeks ago.

1. BE TRULY SAVED
Christians are invincible in the face of evil only when they are in total submission to God. For those who are in union with Christ, evil spiritual powers are nothing but “caged beasts”, unable to touch us. (Luke 10:19)
Satan’s entire forces can only resort to idle threats or bribes to entice us into entering their cage where they can rip us apart. Nevertheless, Satan is such a supernaturally powerful evil genius that he can end up luring into his cage every living Christian. The only sure thing to protect us is what the Bible calls death. No one, no matter how terrifyingly cunning, can threaten or entice a dead person.
As soon as you die with Christ, you rise with him and begin reigning with him, with your every spiritual enemy under your feet.

2. USE THE NAME OF JESUS
When hoping to cast out demons, some people act as if there is something almost magical about using the words “blood of Jesus”. The sobering truth is that such words are powerless – and demons know this – unless they cease to be mere words but we are actually redeemed by the blood of Jesus. The potency in the use of the name of Jesus is the knowledge we have of the name and the belief we have in Him! John 1:12 says: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” Emphasis mine

3. STEP OUT OF SLAVERY!
Slaves do not have authority to cast out their masters! John 8:33-34 says: “They answered him, “We . . . have never been slaves of anyone. . . .” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. . . .”
See Proverbs 5:22, Acts 8:23, Romans 7:14, Titus 3:3
You cannot cast out a demon while you are slave to sin. Mark 3:23 says “So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: "How can Satan drive out Satan?”

4. SUBMIT TO GOD!
Instead of making sin our master, we must make God our Master! Unless we keep God as our Master, sin and Satan and his hordes are able to enslave us. This is why “Submit yourselves, then, to God” comes immediately before, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Only when we are in complete submission to God can we expect to successfully resist the devil and his deceptive schemes.

5. OVERCOME FEAR!
Fear will come; and it has torment. We can’t avoid it coming to us, but through Christ we need not bow to it. Isaiah 41:10 says: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” So the choice is ours to make if we allow fear overcome us or trust in the Almighty God’s unfailing promise! The simple way to defeat fear when it comes is by faith in God’s word and His promises. However, faith does not remove fear physically but the effect of fear is neutralized by our faith but love casts fear out!  1 John 4:18 says: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 

6. CREATE THE RIGHT EXPECTATION!
Expect a fight (Luke 4:13).

Demons leave only with great reluctance. They will continue to pester us to see if we really believe we have authority over them or whether they can bluff their way into staying by pretending to be stronger than us. Don’t be surprised or think it indicates you are weak when demons put up a fight.
When we read, “. . . Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (in James 4:7b), let’s not get so carried away with the final result (him fleeing) that we forget that the key word is “resist”. If we have to resist, it must be because he and his minions will put up a fight.
There is a possibility of return
Jesus spoke of a demon who left a man and then returned in Matthew 12:43-45: “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.”
The man happened to have his defences down and so the demon not only re-entered the man but invited seven other demons to join him. It is typical of demons to keep coming back, checking one’s defences to see if they can re-enter.

7. DON’T CARRY THE ENEMY’S BAGGAGE
In John 14:30 Jesus speaking to the disciples said: “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” Emphasis mine.
In other words, he has no hold, no power, and no claim over him!
In Zechariah 3:1-3 Satan came to accuse Joshua the high priest because he had filthy garments on him.

8. ENGAGE IN PRAYER AND FASTING
A spiritual battle must be fought with spiritual weapons. 2 Corinthians 10:4 says: “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” Also in Mark 9:29 where the apostles were unsuccessful in driving a demon out of a boy and afterwards asked Jesus why they could not drive the demon out, Jesus replied and said: "This kind can only be driven out by prayer and fasting."

9. PUT ON THE ARMOUR OF GOD DAILY
“Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For 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. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:11-13

CONCLUSION
The sons of Sceva attempting to cast out a demon in Acts 19:13-16 is an example of how NOT to deal with evil spirits. That they were sons of the chief of the priests didn’t mean they were truly saved. They knew the name of Jesus but were void of understanding, they also didn’t have God’s authority backing them and were not in submission to God! But we have great power over evil, so let’s arm ourselves adequately and put the devil and his minions to flight!

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 06:15 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, August 02 2016

Contributor: Nosa Osagie

INTRODUCTION
Last week we looked at “Distinguishing the Difference between Oppression, Obsession and Possession”. We were able to clearly differentiate between oppression, obsession and possession. Oppression is an attack against mankind in form of fear, sickness, bad moods, nightmares, trials, persecution, poverty and so on.
Obsession is when an evil spirit get hold of someone`s mind to make it listen to words and suggestions of evil and not God`s word.
Possession is when a demon moves into the soul of a person and takes control of their will, emotions and desires.
Today we are looking at practical ways of how evil spirits let other evil spirits into people. It is important to know that a person can welcome an evil spirit into their soul without even knowing it and it is also important to understand how the enemy works, so that we can better be equipped to stand against his tricks. Paul said that they were not ignorant of Satan's devices... 2 Corinthians 2:11.

THE SPIRITS NEED A BODY
We should know by the Spirit of revelation that in the spirit world, the human body is a house. God sees the human body as a potential dwelling place, which is His original purpose. Scripture calls the body of the believer the temple, house or building of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:19. But the devil and his demons sees the human body as a place to live also. What we should understand here is that God`s spirit need a body to dwell in and the devil spirit need a body to dwell in as well.
“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 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. 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.” Matthew 12:43-45.
We will notice that the evil spirit refers to that man as his house, meaning having full possession, ownership or in control of him. Evil spirits crave bodies to live in, and to express their nature through. Without such a body they are restless, just like a homeless person. As God will not, cannot, impose Himself on someone, neither will evil spirits. God will come in where He is invited and welcomed, Revelation 3:20 also are evil spirits.

HOW THEY OPERATE
First of all, an higher rank of evil spirit comes into a person`s mind with evil suggestions, evil thoughts, pressure of life, sin etc. (oppression)
Second stage is, if the person allows those evil suggestions and so on to settle in his or her mind (obsession), the evil spirit will now let other spirits in and then gain control (possession) of their lives. For example, if a man allows into his life the suggestion of stealing a pen, that evil spirit will invite the spirits of armed robbery, drugs, drinking, smoking, killings etc. meanwhile it was just a common taking of pen from the start.

HOW EVIL SPIRITS ARE LET IN
Demons cannot just enter into any person that they choose to; there must be an open door for them to have entrance. There are several ways that evil spirits can gain access into a person’s life. We are going to be discussing some of the common openings below.

(i) Anger: Ephesians 4:26-27 says,
 “Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.” Anger can simply be an emotion, but if you let it linger, it becomes sin and gives “place to the devil.”

(ii) Un-forgiveness: Having un-forgiveness and resentment towards others is a major open door for evil spirits. In Matthew 18:15-35. At the end of the parable the unforgiving servant is put into a prison to be tormented. Withholding forgiveness from others puts you into a spiritual prison and gives the devil God-given permission to torment you; this is a serious issue and a major root cause for many other pproblems. 2 Corinthians 2:10-11.

(iii) Sin: When we embrace sin instead of repenting of it, we come into agreement with the devil; and this gives him access to an area of our lives. This is not stumbling into sin and then confessing and repenting of it. It`s agreeing with sin, justifying it in our minds, and embracing it. This type of attitude towards sin can open the door for evil spirits.
Romans 7:5-25

(iv) Pornography: One of the most devastating problems that has ensnared many people is the sin of pornography. Many of these same people will testify that they were ensnared with just a “peek.” This one “little fox” led to their downfall. Many, out of curiosity, just went to a site to see what was there. This is one of the devil’s tricks to get people ensnared. Satan is the power behind this attraction to all forbidden sexual images. People that are trapped today can tell you there is an evil “drawing” that compels them to return again and again. Many are desiring to be free, but seem hopelessly gripped by this evil desire. Matthew 5:28. The only way out is, confess to the Lord and ask Him to forgive you and help you out and then talk to the pastor and your partner, parents or guardian. Block all of those sites and take your PC from private rooms to the common rooms and get rid of all those magazines, videos and sinful materials in your possession to be burnt.

(v) Bitterness: When a person turns bitter against anybody, it invites an evil spirit into their system that will aggravate the cells in their body, which will cause abnormal growths, tumours, cancer and such like. Hebrews 12:15.

(vi) Tattoos and Piercings: Tattoos have witchcraft roots and so many people today are having tattoos because of some evil witchcraft influences in their lives that they are unaware of. They do not realize that partaking of these can open the door to wrong and defiling influences in their lives. 1 Kings 18:28, Lev.19:28.

(vii) Others: Evil videos, immoral music, immoral dressing, wicked Internet games, horror videos, wild parties and violent videos are ways the evil spirits want to gain access, control and destroy people, especially our youths. And the list goes on.

CONCLUSION
Believers should not be afraid and think that an evil spirit can come out of a person and enter them. Evil spirits don`t have that right, it`s only when they are invited in or “doors” are opened for them. Our spirit man needs to filled up of God`s fullness which is God`s word, praise, worship and the fruit of the spirit, so that when the evil spirit comes, suggesting evil thoughts there will be no room for him. Ephesians 4:27 says “neither give place to the devil.”

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 05:53 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, July 21 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION
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
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
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.

POSSESSION
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.

CONCLUSION
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

Introduction
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
Thursday, June 23 2016

Contributor: Nosa Osagie

INTRODUCTION
In our last study, we looked at the topic, “The keys of Authority" and we were told that "keys" are given to those who have authority especially to those that have submitted themselves under a greater authority, which is God’s. Today we shall be looking at the topic "The Armour of God"
Ephesians 6:10-17 says:
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For 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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God"

• THE FOUNDATION
What is an Armour? An Armour is a military equipment used for defence, protection, covering and shielding. Wikipedia defines it as “a protective covering that is used to prevent damage from being inflicted to an object during combat``
Apostle Paul is a man we know that is familiar with this Armour; having been frequent with the Roman soldiers. He was arrested, beaten, summoned to courts, and imprisoned by the Roman soldiers so many times because of the Gospel. Paul having stayed in Rome for two years under the watchful eyes of the Roman soldiers, has seen the Roman soldiers arrayed in their armour, understood the function of the armour piece by piece, what purpose it served and why it was important. As the Roman soldiers need the physical armour to fight so Christians need the spiritual armour to successfully fight as well. (Acts 28:30-31)

• THE PURPOSE FOR THE ARMOUR
God gave us the armour 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 Corinthians 4:8-9 says:
"We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed"

• THE TYPES OF BATTLES WE FIGHT
No man has ever seen the devil physically to fight with him, so our battles are spiritual in nature. The devil uses three major ways to attack believers, through the world, our flesh and himself. What the devil really uses as attack against believers are tricks, deceptions, lies, strategies, ignorance, craftiness, manipulations, manoeuvring and so on as Ephesian 6:11 says "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." An example of his wiles is his conversation with Eve in the garden of Eden: " . . . did God really say you should not . . .”

• THE ARMOUR PIECE BY PIECE
Apostle Paul identifies six pieces of armour that God arrays His church with to withstand everything the devil throws at us.

The Belt of Truth (Verse 14a) "Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth." The Belt of truth is 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. Without knowing basic biblical teachings, we are subject to being "carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming" (Ephesians 4:14)

The Breastplate of righteousness (Verse 14b): Our mind and emotions are the two areas where Satan most fiercely attacks believers. He wants to cloud our minds with false doctrine, false principles, and false information to mislead and confuse us. Our protection against such attacks is the breastplate of righteousness. (Proverbs 11:4)

The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace (Verse 15): The picture of the preparation of the gospel of peace as shoes 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 devil has many obstacles placed in the path to stop the propagation of the gospel. (Isaiah 52:7)

The Shield of Faith (Verse 16): This is our faith in God and what He is capable of doing. It’s not our everyday kind of faith but relying on God when faced with battles. (Daniel 3:16-18) verse17 "Our God is able to defend us... (Shield us from the fire)."

The Helmet of Salvation (Verse 17): The head is the seat of our mind, basically Satan throws attacks to our security and assurance in Christ Jesus by ways of discouragements and doubts. The devil points to our failures, our sins, our unresolved problems, our poor health, or to whatever else seems negative in our lives. He wants us to lose confidence in the love and care of our heavenly Father. Let’s reassure ourselves we’ve been saved by grace. (1 Thessalonians 5:8)

The Sword of The Spirit (Verse 17b): Apostle Paul clearly states that the sword of the spirit is the word of God, which is a defensive weapon and also capable of deflecting attacks of the enemy. (Hebrew 4:12-13) This is the only offensive weapon mentioned in the armour of God (Jeremiah 23:29) says “Is not my word like fire...”

Praying always with all prayer (Verse 18): When we pray always we maintain and refresh our armour. (Jude 1:20) says "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost"

CONCLUSION
In order to live victoriously and never bow down to opposition, we must continually be arrayed with the armour of God which is to put on the whole of Christ. Romans 13:14 "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 04:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, June 10 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION
In our last study, we considered the topic; “Learn to be exalted.” We learnt that Our "High Priest" offered Himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, and that He’s now seated in the place of honour at God's right hand. And that our being in Christ entitles us to sit where Christ sits. In today’s study we will consider the topic: “The Keys of Authority”
Revelation 1:18 says; "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."
Isaiah 22:22 says: “And the key of the house of David will I lay on his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.”

THE FOUNDATION
A key is (usually) a metal implement that is turned to open or close a lock; start or stop an equipment, cars, and other engines. When reference is made to keys; it can also imply something of crucial importance. So in relation to the “Keys of Authority”, we will refer to that which opens, and gives us access to authority; as well as the crucial understanding we need to possess for the “unlocking” of the authority we have been given.

THE KEY AS A SYMBOL OF AUTHORITY
Usually, keys are only given to those who have authority. And the Bible says He has given us the keys of the Kingdom. Matthew 16:19 says “And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
So the enemy has no authority over us anymore. Instead we have authority over Him in Jesus’ name! We have authority to bind and lose and authority to trample on snakes and scorpions!
Revelation 1:18 says: “I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for ever more, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Jesus Christ took the keys away from the devil, glory to God!
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! 
However, just like these keys, we have to do something with it; we must take action.

PRINCIPAL REQUIREMENTS
Let us consider four principal requirements - keys that can unlock the authority we have been given. We need to meet these requirements if we want to operate in God’s authority.
1. KNOWLEDGE OF THE SOURCE OF AUTHORITY
Our authority is dependent upon our knowledge and understanding of the situation we are in. Authority operates under authority and within authorities. We must realize that our authority is a delegated authority that comes from God.
The centurion in Matthew 8:8 understood delegated authority.  He had an active faith – not a passive one.  He went to Jesus and asked Him to heal his servant. Jesus said that he would go to him but the centurion stopped him, “no need to go all that way Lord, just say the word and I know it will be done. I have servants under me – I say go they go, do this and they do it.”
He understood authority.  His authority did not come from himself either.  He had a commander over him. The military, and people above him is where his authority came from and he understood that all it took was a word.
2. OBEDIENCE TO AUTHORITY
We must be obedient to God’s will and His authority for us to have authority. We must be submitted to God’s authority in our lives as well as authority He has delegated in leadership.  The world has taken the word submission and made it into a “weak thing”.  So that as soon as the word submission is mentioned, everyone gets into an uproar. If we are not submissive to the divine line of authority in our lives, we will have no authority. Also, if we do not submit, we open ourselves up to the enemy. James 4:7 says: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Submit to God – that’s your line of authority.  You can’t say you are submitted to God and then not be submitted to your pastor; you will be out of the line of authority.
3. FAITH
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. If one does not have faith or believe that they have authority then they would not be able to exercise it. And even if they go out to “exercise authority” without faith, the devil will see through their emptiness as in the case of the sons of Sceva. Acts 19: 13-16: “Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, we adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.  And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.”
4. THE NAME OF JESUS
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Mark 16:17-18 (Emphasis mine)
The name of Jesus has tremendous power and authority (Philippians 2:5–11)! In Acts 16:17–18, we read of how Paul commanded an evil spirit out of a young girl in Jesus’ name. We see the same in Acts 3:6–9, 16.

CONCLUSION
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. That is why he works hard to keep people in darkness (ignorance) – lacking in the knowledge of the authority they have over him (Hosea 4:6)! He makes people resent submissiveness in the name of liberality because he knows that is the only way we can put him to flight (James 4:7)! He beclouds the minds of believers with doubt; negating the potency of faith and dragging them into his zone – the place of reason where he has the advantage and because they have lost the faith needed to exercise authority, they are unable to deal with him! (Mark 11:23)  He has tried to cheapen the name of Jesus and make it into a curse word.  For instance, why don’t people say “Oh, Buddha,” or “Oh, Muhammad”, because there is no power there! So to those he has deceived into treating the name with levity, it becomes nothing to them; like the sons of Sceva. But we know there’s power in that name! (Philippians 2:5–11)
We know better than to trade our access to authority for the trickery of the enemy. So let’s hold on tightly to the keys of our authority in Christ!

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 01:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, May 29 2016

Contributor: Leye Olayiwola

INTRODUCTION:

In our last lesson, we considered taking authority in our families as body of believers. The need to take responsibily, agreeing as a family (a very strong reason why we should not be unequally yoked with unbelievers) and bringing ourselves under God's authority were discussed, among other things. This week, we will be looking at how we can take and remain at the exalted place where Christ is seated. This, as we will see, is very crucial in maintaining our victorious status here on earth, over all the powers of the enemy.

SEATED (Ephesians 1:20; 2:5-6)

" which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places," [Eph.1:20]

"even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,"[Eph.2:5-6]

Paul says in his epistle to the Ephesian church that we are already seated with Christ in the heavenly places. What does this mean since we are still on earth? We will consider the spiritual significance of "seating"in order to have a good and proper understanding of our victorious authority.

In the old testament, there is no mention of a seat in the holy of holies where the priests usually perform their priestly works of cleansing. Why? Because the priests work of sacrificial cleansing of sins was never done and so he could never sit down and rest in the fact that he was finished for good.

"And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified." [Heb.10:11-14]

Fast forward to the New Covenant (Testament),

"So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit." [John 19:30 Emphasis Mine]

When Jesus said that "it is finished"it comes from the Greek word "teleo" which means to "bring to an end", it is accomplished, to complete. The greek construct of this sentence essentially means "paid in full." It is an accounting term that was used to say "paid in full". That is why Jesus sat down at the right hand of the father according to Mark 16:19;

"So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God"

Jesus Christ's redemptive work was done, once and for all according to Hebrew 10:10;

"By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

Our "High Priest" offered Himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then He sat down in the place of honor at God's right hand. Hallelujah!

TAKE YOUR SEAT (Ephesians 2:4-6)

"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus," [Ephesians 2:4-6]

Take note that the Bible did not say we are seated with Christ, beside Christ or because of Christ. The bible says we are seated "in Christ". The insight here is that wherever Christ is seated, that is our location. Why? Because we are seated "In Him" and not beside Him. That is just the truth.

What is the qualification for seating with Him? Our salvation. When a person has repented and placed his trust in Christ, then he's finished all he needs to do to be seated in Christ. The moment we trust in Christ, we are "made alive together with Christ". In contrast to being in Adam where we were all dead, now in Christ we have all been made alive.

"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive" [1 Cor.15:22]

Now that we have been made to "sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus" it simply means that our works are done. We are not saved by works but saved for good works. This is why we are as good as in heaven already and we are essentially already seated there with Christ because God sees things that are not yet as though they already are because in His mind, they are.

 VICTORY IN CHRIST

Following on from our discussion, 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. The battle then, rather than win a victory, is to BELIEVE. Our battle is never to win ground or gain position. Rather, our battle is to believe and HOLD FAST to what Christ has already given us, and to the reality of BEING SEATED IN CHRIST. From a practical standpoint therefore;

  • Instead of asking God for a victory, ask Him to bring you into conformity with Christ
  • Instead of begging God to do what He has already promised, ask Him to show you what He has already promised, and to do whatever it takes to bring you into oneness with Him over it.
  • Instead of you getting depressed over your present trial, realise that the victory is already certain - and that what God wants is for you to refuse any less.
  • Finally, victory in Christ is not so much that I have gotten out of trial, or solved it. Rather, victory in Christ is when trial can do nothing to get between myself and God.

CONCLUSION

We Christians must learn that we are seated with Christ. We must learn to be exalted to the place where God wants us. We need to meditate upon these divine truths so that our spirits may fully understand them. Once we do, we'll reap rich rewards and give meaning to our Christian lives. When we have this reverent attitude, the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, can lift us into a place where we can see the true meaning of God's revelation. When we understand what belongs to us, we will enjoy the victory Christ has for us. The devil will fight to keep us from getting there, but through stubborn faith in Christ, the victory is ours in Jesus name. Amen

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

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 03:56 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 19 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION

Last week’s study dealt with the misconception that equates poverty with humility. We learnt that what God requires from us is modesty and not poverty! God wants us to be humble but not poor! He wants us to reign as kings; but the idea of poverty just doesn't go along with kings! In today’s study titled “Exercising Authority in Your Family.” We will be studying how to apply some of what we have learnt so far in exercising authority in our families. It is important we learn to apply this authority in our families because whatever we permit (loose, release, allow) on earth will be permitted in heaven! (Matthew 18:18-19)
 

Acts 16:31 - “So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.””

1. TAKING RESPONSIBILITY
To exercise authority, we need to be ready to take responsibility; to stand in the gap (Ezekiel 22:30). In Joshua 24:15 (KJV), Joshua took responsibility on behalf of his family when he said:
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Emphasis mine)
We have been taught that there are certain limits in exercising authority over others but these limitations do not exist with our family members. 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 lives or in the lives of our family members because in this domain, we have the authority to deal with him!

2. AUTHORITY ON EARTH ALSO MEANS AUTHORITY AT HOME!
Jesus Christ has given us Authority which we now possess, over all the powers and the undue influences of the devil. Luke 10:19 (AMP) says:
“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."
This authority holds also in our families! We should be aware that it may be sometimes difficult to exercise authority at home; because of over familiarity. In Mark 6:4 Jesus said:
"A prophet is not without honour except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home."
The enemy usually plays this card too. So we should know how to deal with him when he does. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

3. FAMILY AGREEMENT IS A STRONG WEAPON
Matthew 18:18-19 says: “Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven” (Emphasis mine)
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 (NLT) says: “A kingdom divided by civil war will collapse. Similarly, a family splintered by feuding will fall apart.” (Emphasis mine)

Authority involves steadfast resistance. 1 Peter 5:8-9 says
“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.” (Emphasis mine)
So we are to keep the devil at bay or fend off his advance resolutely and with unwavering faith. Eccl 4:12 (NLT) says:
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.(Emphasis mine)

4. AUTHORITY OPERATES UNDER AND WITHIN AUTHORITY
Authority operates under authority and within authorities. In Matt. 8:5-13 we read about the faith of the Centurion. The most distinguishing element of the Centurion‘s faith was his recognition of authority. Our stand as one taking authority must be based on the understanding that the level to which we operate in God‘s authority depends on how much we come under God‘s authority. The more we submit to God‘s kingdom the more authority we‘ll exercise.

5. GIVE NO ROOM FOR THE WORKS OF THE FLESH!
The enemy intends to keep us locked away in the dungeon of sin by making us satisfy our flesh instead of our spirits. He knows that the carnal and double minded man cannot exercise authority over him (Acts 19: 13-16) and neither can he receive anything from God. (James 1:8) So he subtly works at keeping Christians in the “arena of reason”; away from the “arena of faith and the Spirit”.  We need to therefore deal with the devil and his operations by applying the following:
• Don’t entertain unbelief (Mark 11:23)
• Don’t Meddle With Evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22)
• Counter Temptation with the Word of God! (Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4)
• Run From Sin! (1 Corinthians 6:18a)

CONCLUSION
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)
There’s great strength when a family is united. Our adversary knows that “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated” (Eccl 4:21a) so he looks to isolate his victims because he also knows that two can stand back-to-back and conquer. (Eccl 4:21b)  So we should not allow him tear us apart. A clear understanding of who we are, what we have and how we should live makes exercising our authority over and on behalf of our families possible and tremendously effective!

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 06:49 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, May 13 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION
In last week’s study, we looked at an interesting topic titled: “Reigning as Kings.” 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. We can reign because God gave us: abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness.
In many ways, these special gifts from God enable us to be prosperous too! In today’s study we will look at one of the tricks the enemy attempts to play on unsuspecting Christians in a topic titled “Humility vs Poverty.”
It is important to consider this subject because many Christians equate humility with poverty. But that’s simply another trick of the enemy!

2 Peter 1:3 “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:” Emphasis mine
Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”  Emphasis mine

POVERTY IS NOT A PROOF OF HUMILITY!
Driving an old car, living in a squalor, deprived and limited doesn’t equate to humility. "That's not being humble—that's being ignorant!"
Humility is the quality of having a modest or low view of one's importance. In other words, you have a modest view of your importance “in your own eyes”; but all the time knowing that in the eyes of God you are extremely important! To the point that He sent His only Son to die for you! And He gave you all things that pertain unto life and godliness!
There are those who support their claim; justifying that poverty is a sign of humility by statements such as: "You know, Jesus and the disciples never drove fancy cars!" Well, there were no fancy cars back then; but Jesus rode on a donkey. It was the "fancy car" of that day—the best means of transportation they had.
What is required from us is modesty – not poverty!

GOD’S INTENTION FOR BELIEVERS
Psalm 35:27 says: “Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.” Emphasis mine
Note that the Bible DID NOT say “which hath pleasure in the POVERTY of his servant.”
Also, from last week’s study, we learnt that God expects us to reign as kings! (Romans 5:17) So, we should keep that in our minds when we are faced with those who don’t know any better; those blinded by the trickery of the devil wanting to make us believe we should live our lives less than what God intended for us!
Many believers have allowed the devil to cheat them out of every blessing they could enjoy; because of the way they think and the way they believe the promises of the Father.
God didn't intend us to be poverty-stricken. He said we are to reign in life as kings. Who would ever imagine a king being poverty-stricken? The idea of poverty just doesn't go along with kings.

THE PLAN OF THE ENEMY
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! It was his rebellion that drove him from heaven and he wants believers “sent away” from God’s presence by putting us in opposition to what God’s words say. For instance Joshua 1:8b says:
“. . . for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
But the thought of poverty completely negates God’s words of being prosperous and having good success.

CONCLUSION
God wants us to be humble but not poor! He wants us to reign as kings; but the idea of poverty just doesn't go along with kings! How in this world for instance will someone who is poor lend to nations? Deuteronomy 15:6 says:
“For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.”
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!

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

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 09:29 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 05 2016

Contributor: Alex Alajiki

INTRODUCTION

Last week, we discovered from scriptures our authority on earth. We saw that from the beginning, according to Gen.1:26, God gave us authority on earth but Adam gave it up through sin. Jesus came and restored greater authority to man through forgiveness of sins and restoration of Kingdom authority and power in Luke10:19. Jesus delegated His authority over the power of the devil on earth to us (believers). The devil has no power or influence over any circumstances in our lives than the one we have given him. We simply give him this power when we don’t exercise our authority.

Today, we shall be studying how to reign as kings on earth through the authority given to us by Christ.

     
1) What is Reigning? Rom.5:17 (NKJA)

“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”

“For if by the trespasses of the one, death reigned as king through the one, much more shall they who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign as kings in the realm of life.” Weymouth’s translation.

It is true that we’ll reign with Jesus during the Millennium according to Rev.20:6. But our reigning with Christ actually starts from earth. We are to reign in the here-and-now.
The Weymouth’s translation uses the word “king”. 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 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge . . . .”

Notice that Romans 5:17 doesn’t say, “Jesus Christ will reign through you.” No! It says, “…THEY [that’s us] which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” This verse says that you and I will reign. Of course, it’s by, or because of, Jesus Christ that we have this authority, but He has given us the authority to rule and reign!


2) What We Received; Rom.5:17

“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.).”

Romans 5:17 mentions two things we have received: abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness. It’s receiving the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness that enables us to reign. If you don’t know what we received, we’ll be hindered in reigning.

Eph.2:8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Our salvation is by the grace of God and it is a gift from God which we did not work to get. Grace is God's kindness and patience and love given to us when we deserve the opposite.

We’ve also received the “gift of righteousness.” What does the “gift of righteousness” mean? First, it’s a gift, which means we didn’t do anything to earn or deserve it. Second, it means we have been made right with God. It means we have right-standing with God.


2 Cor.5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”   The truth is, we can’t grow in righteousness. In other words, we can’t have any more right-standing with God than we have right now. Even when we get to Heaven, we won’t have any better standing with God than we have right now.

Unlike the sacrificial blood of animals in the Old Testament, the blood of Jesus Christ does not cover our sins. The blood of Jesus washes away our sins (Rev. 1:5). We’re not a “covered creature”; we’re a new creature! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

The combination of grace and righteousness also give us the privilege to escape Satan’s condemnation when we sin. If I sin and lose my sense of righteousness, I quickly turn to God and say, “Dear Lord, I’ve sinned. I’ve failed. I didn’t want to, but I missed it. Forgive me.” Then Jesus goes to the Throne Room of God and says, “I took his place. I shed My blood for him.” And, Hallelujah, God sees Jesus instead of me! God sees what Jesus did to wash away sin, and He counts me righteous because of Jesus.

First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins . . . .” When I sinned, I lost my sense of righteousness. When I confessed my sin, God forgave me. But if that’s all that God did, I’d still have a “spiritual inferiority complex.” I’d still be ashamed to come into His Presence. I’d still lack boldness in approaching Him. But 1 John 1:9 goes on to say God is “. . . faithful and just to forgive us our sins, AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.” God cleanses me from all unrighteousness! If I’m cleansed from my unrighteousness, that means I’m righteous. I can start ruling and reigning.

3) What Do We Reign Over? Luke 10:19
“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

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 reign because we have authority. We reign by Jesus Christ.

This was the original mandate given to Adam from the beginning in Gen.1:26-28                           

“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

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.

Conclusion.
You can be saved and still continue to be ruled by the devil; by sin, sickness, poverty, fear, and bondage. God doesn’t want us to go through life struggling and barely make it into Heaven. 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.

                  Part of this study is from chapter five of The Believers’ Authority by Kenneth E. Hagin.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 03:33 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 03 2016

Contributor: Leye Olayiwola

INTRODUCTION

In our last lesson, we studied how we can stand for baby Christians. The baby Christian stage is the first stage after a believer gives his or her life to Christ. Truth is that every born again Child of God has gone through this phase at one stage of our growth. It therefore follows that we will always have believers who are at this stage, on a regular bases, as more and more people come to the knowledge of Christ. Also in this category are believers, who "By this time ought to be teachers, yet still need someone to sit down with them and go over the basics of God again........" according to the words of Paul in his letter to the Hebrew Christians. We also considered the need for believers to move away from this stage considering the many disadvantages associated with the baby stage. We will be looking at the Believers Authority on Earth.         

THE MANDATE (Genesis 1:27-28)
Can we go on a journey, through our imagination, for a second? Imagine the event in the garden of Eden. What if Adam and Eve did not eat the forbidden fruit? What would you and I be doing right now? Would our Christian experience be different from what it is now? Sure you can add to this list of imaginations. A particular moment during creation in Genesis 1 stands out;

"So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them [granting them certain authority] and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subjugate it [putting it under your power]; and rule over (dominate) the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and every living thing that moves upon the earth.” Emphasis Mine [Genesis 1:27-28 AMP]

Man was given authority right from creation. Why? because God, in His infinite wisdom, knows Man will need it to be able to fulfil  the mandate of fruitfulness, multiplication, replenishment and dominance over other creations. The fall in the garden of Eden became irrelevant as soon as Jesus declared in Matthew 28:18;

"Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me". (Matthew 28:18 AMP)

The same Authority was restored back to us. To carry out the same mandate given to Adam in Genesis chapter 1, here on Earth!

THE DEVIL IS NO MATCH (Luke 10:19)
"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 AMP]

A major challenge facing the endtime church is in rationalising God's word instead of believeing and accepting it. This is the reason why Jesus, in commending little children, said in Luke 18;
"But Jesus called them to Himself, saying [to the apostles], “Allow the children to come to Me, and do not forbid them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God [with faith and humility] like a child will not enter it at all.” Emphasis Mine [Luke 18:16-17 AMP]

• One unique attribute of children is in their willingness and ease at believing whatever they are told even if it seems outrageous. This is how Jesus wants us to receive spiritual things - with faith and humility. Jesus said in Luke 10:19; ".......I have given you authority [that you now possess]...."

• Imagine for once how a child will take this and interprete it? Simple. The child believes and acts like he has possess it! That's exactly how God wants us to believe and act.

• We can sometimes complicate things when we put too much analysis into it. Jesus is simply saying He has delegated His authority over the power of the devil on earth to us (believers).

• It also means the devil has no power or influence over any circumstances in our lives than the one we have given him. We simply give him this power when we do nothing!

EXERCISING THIS AUTHORITY (Ephesians 1:19-23)
"and [so that you will begin to know] what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power is in us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of His mighty strength which He produced in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion [whether angelic or human], and [far above] every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and world but also in the one to come. And He put all things [in every realm] in subjection under Christ’s feet, and appointed Him as [supreme and authoritative] head over all things in the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills and completes all things in all [believers]." [Eph.1:19-23 AMP]

• We have been taught that the value or effectiveness of any Authority is in the Power behind the Authority. This scripture qualifies the Power that is behind the authority we have in Christ. Couldn't have been described or qualified in a better way than with the words immeasurable, unlimited and surpassing greatness. In simple words, this power is LIMITLESS!

• Verse 22,23 goes on to say, "And He put all things in subjection under Christ's feet and appointed Him as head over all things in the church,..". The feet are members of the body. John A. MacMillan pointed out, how wonderful to know that the least members of the Body of Christ—those who are the very soles of the feet, the little toenail, or the little toe—are far above the mighty forces we have been considering

• We need to arm ourselves with this knowledge and wake up. This will require us to change our ways of praying (if required). We have been given authority to do this. We are sitting (symbol of authority) with Christ at the right hand of power, which relative to where principalities and powers are located, is very FAR. If we are far above them, it therefore follows that we have AUTHORITY over them.

• If you'd listen to the average Christian talk or hear some preachers preach, you'd get the impression that the devil is bigger than everybody and that he's running everything. Yes, he is the god of this world, so he's running the world system. But we're in this world, not of this world, the Bible says, so he's not running us. The devil has been walking on us too long. Time to swap function, taking authority over every contrary situation, delivering every captive (howbeit lawful) of the devil and his hosts.

• The extent to which we exercise our Authority in Christ is to the extent of the knowledge of His revealed Word in us. Christ shows us an example of how to exercise authority in Matthew 4. He addressed the Devil with the Word of God - "It is written!!!". 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. That will just be like Samson getting up to fight the Philistine hosts after the Holy Spirit has departed from him!
 
CONCLUSION
We have no business running from the devil. As a matter of fact, we should be on the look out for challenging situations where the devil has been in charge and put him on the run. Jesus Christ has given us Authority which we now possess, over all the powers and the undue influences of the devil. We should also take this a step further by making desciples of nations (people) by bringing them into the kingdom and teaching them how to exercise this authority over every situations and circumstances contrary to God's word.

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

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 05:19 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, April 15 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION
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

CONCLUSION
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

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 01:50 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, April 07 2016

Contributor: Alex Alajiki

INTRODUCTION

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 ….”
Math.12:43-45


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.


Conclusion
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.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 01:36 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, April 02 2016

Contributor: Leye Olayiwola

INTRODUCTION

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
• Discouragement
• 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.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 02:28 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 29 2016

Contributor: Alex Alajiki

INTRODUCTION:
Last week, we considered the topic “Faith's Role in Authority”. We discovered that there is an important link between faith and exercising authority. Lack of understanding of this link will frustrate the believer from exercising authority. Authority is only realized through faith in God’s Word; therefore, authority and faith must go hand in hand. Faith and boldness are developed through sound knowledge of God’s words and submission to His authority.
Today we are looking at Exercising Authority. Let us start with the analysis of an experiment;

Some years ago, an experiment in human behaviour produced intriguing results. Those taking part were divided into two groups. One group were appointed as guards (Victors) and were put in charge of the other group, who were assigned to be prisoners (Victims).What happened?

Within a few days, it was reported, most of the guards (Victors) had become bold and assertive, while the prisoners had become cowed and subservient. The conclusion that researchers came to was this: You gradually become whatever you are told or accepted that you are.

                           “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”   Prov.23:7


1) Christ’s Position with God; Eph.1:19-22

“and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His 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 age but also in that which is to come.”

When Jesus rose from the dead, he already defeated the host of hell according to Col.2:15 “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

Then God raised Him and seated Him at His right hand in heavenly places, the position of authority and power. “He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places”
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 according to
Phil.2:9-11 “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

2) Our Position in Christ Jesus; Eph.2:4-6

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
The moment we are born again, our sins are not only forgiven, we are also made a new creature according to 2 Cor.5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

Our new identity in Christ Jesus made us to be joint heir with Christ and heir of His father according to
Rom.8:16-17 “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 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.”

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. That's where we are now, positionally speaking: We're seated at the right hand of the Father with Christ. The act of Christ's being seated implies that, for the time being, at least, certain aspects of His work are suspended because we are to continue with His work on earth according to John 20:21 “So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

3) The Authority of Our Position; Luke 10:19
“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

Our authority to trample on all powers of the devil is because of our seating position in heavenly places in Christ Jesus according to Eph.2:6 “and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

Eph.1:20-21 “which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 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.”

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. And one aspect of His work that the word of God tells us to do is to conquer the devil! In fact, Christ can't do His work on the earth without us just like we cannot exercise authority without Him.

Conclusion.
Ephesians 6:12 says, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers...."
Since we are already seated far above the kingdom of darkness, in our battle against the enemy and his forces, we need to keep in mind that we're above them and we have authority over them. The Word tells us that Jesus has conquered them. Our job is to enforce His victory. His victory belongs to us, but we are to carry it out using the authority of His name.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 04:22 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 21 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION
In the past few weeks in our study of the authority of the believer we have been considering very interesting and engaging topics. Last week we looked at one of these topics: “How to “deal” with the devil.” In last week’s study we first looked at the enemy’s subtle weapon– “unbelief & doubt". These two are the opposite of the core matter of today’s topic “Faith's Role in Authority.”

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.

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.
We can learn a lot from the story told in Mark 9:17-29 about how faith allows us to access our authority.
When the disciples came across an unusually strong demon that wouldn't budge (verse 18),
“Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

Jesus made it clear that they lacked faith by calling them faithless (verse 19).
““You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

He also made it clear that some demons are so strong that a higher than usual level of faith is required to cast them out (verses 28 and 29),
“And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
And that we can gain that higher level of faith through prayer and fasting (verse 29).

In Matthew 17:20 we see the same story narrated slightly differently by Matthew
"And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."

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. It takes faith, that knows, to recognize and embrace Godly authority. Because we believe God our faith responds with boldness, righteous indignation, assertiveness, perseverance, patience, and discernment. When we do not act in authority we are not recognizing what Christ has provided us. We are being misled and deceived by religious tradition, worldly thinking, and demonic trickery.

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.
In John 6:69, Peter said to the Lord: “And we have believed and know that thou art the Holy One of God.”
In 2 Timothy 1:12, Paul said
“I know him whom I have believed.”

The Samaritans told the woman who brought Christ to them,
“Now we believe, not because of thy speaking; for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world” (John 4:42).

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. If we do not know in our hearts what God has empowered and commissioned us to do then we will miss it spending our days living far less than sons and daughters of God!

PITFALLS TO LOOK OUT FOR
• Faith Based on Manifestation
The faith of some people operate in the “sense realm” and not based on the Bible. These people believe that if they get certain manifestations, then the devil is gone. So once he knows you operate is such a realm, he tricks you with these “manifestations” but he isn't gone. He's still there but wants you to believe he is gone, and you need to know that and exercise your authority.

• Discouragement
When circumstances don't change immediately, some people become discouraged and slip back into the natural. They start talking unbelief and they defeat themselves. They give the devil dominion over them.
As Smith Wigglesworth often said, "I'm not moved by what I see. I'm not moved by what I feel. I'm moved only by what I believe." So stand your ground.

• Failing to Obey Authority
Authority operates under authority and within authorities. In Matt. 8:5-13 we read about the faith of the Centurion. Emphasis on verse 8-10
“The centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, Go, ‘and he goes; and to another, Come, ‘and he comes; and to my servant, Do this, ‘and he does it." When Jesus heard it, He marvelled, and said to those who followed, "Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!
The most distinguishing element of the Centurion‘s faith was his recognition of authority. Rom. 13:2 says: “Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”
We are being robbed from in this life if we do not from our heart understand the authority that belongs to believers. For us to operate in God‘s authority it is all related to how much we come under God‘s authority. As we live to God yielding our life to the Spirit we are coming under God‘s authority more and more. The more we submit to God‘s kingdom the more authority we‘ll exercise.

CONCLUSION
The Bible gives an interesting account that very well summarizes today’s study in Acts 19: 13-16
“Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, we adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.  And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.”
Faith holds an important role in exercising authority. If one does not have faith or believe that they have authority then they would not be able to exercise it. And even if they go out to “exercise authority” without faith, the devil will see through their emptiness as in the case of the sons of Sceva.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 10 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION
Last week we looked at an interesting topic that answered some of the misconceptions about when believers should exercise their authority. We learnt that although all Christians have been given authority over demons, only very few even understand it, much less use it. There are those who believe we can't exercise any authority until the millennium reign; they think Satan is the one running everything down here and that we cannot do anything about it! We also emphasized one of the greatest tricks the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. Because there are even sincere Christians who believe that demons or the devil do not really exist, but are metaphors for serious human problems. But we know better and in today’s study we will be looking at how to “deal” with the Devil.

1. 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!  But as long as Satan can keep you in unbelief or hold you in the “arena of reason”, he'll beat you in every battle. But if you'll hold him in the arena of faith and the Spirit, you'll whip him every time! He won't and can’t argue with you about the Name of Jesus—he's afraid of that Name. Mark 11:23 (AMP) says: “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea!’ and [a]does not doubt in his heart [in God’s unlimited power], but believes that what he says is going to take place, it will be done for him [in accordance with God’s will].”
Once the issue of unbelief is dealt with then you can handle the devil and put him where he belongs!

2. 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)

• COUNTER TEMPTATION WITH THE WORD OF GOD!
Just as Jesus countered his temptations with the Word. See Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4. Also John 8:32 says: "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."
• LOOK OUT FOR THE WAY OF ESCAPE (1 Cor.10:13)
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”  There may be a way of escape for temptation but not for sin!

• DON’T MEDDLE WITH EVIL 1 Thessalonians 5:22 (AMP)
“Abstain from every form of evil [withdraw and keep away from it].”
Don’t linger, don’t hang around. Don’t give in to your fleshly desires. It is only when you “entertain” evil that sin can get hold of you! James 1:14-15 (NLT) says:
“Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”

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

• TAKE AUTHORITY OVER THEM!
Luke 10:19 (NIV) says: “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”
Peter at the Gate Beautiful demanded that the lame man be healed (Acts 3:6).
“Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
When you make the demand, it is not from God; but from the devil. You are exercising your God-given rights when you do. When Jesus made this statement in John 14: "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do... If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it" (vv. 13, 14). He was not talking about prayer. The Greek word here is "demand," not "ask." The Greek actually reads, "Whatever you demand as your rights and privileges."  You don't have to stand there all day long and command devils to come out. All you need to do is to speak the word of faith. They will obey when you tell them to if you know your authority. They have to go once the command is given in faith.

Operation #3: He toils with our emotions – our wills using the weapon of pride

• GIVE NO ROOM FOR THE WORKS OF THE FLESH!
That is why the Bible in Ephesians 4:26-27 (MSG) says:
“Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.”
Instead of allowing anger rest in our bosoms (for instance), forgive. 2 Cor.2:11 says if we forgive, we . . . “. . . Keep Satan from taking advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his schemes.”
Pride is usually one of the reasons we are unable to let go and forgive and therefore unable to submit to God. Also, sin in general (when harboured) renders us powerless!
Romans 13:14 says: "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires." 
How? Ask yourself these questions
• Where and when, are you usually tempted?
• Is there a particular space that often is harder?
Prepare for that time, remove opportunity for temptation. Avoid situations before you even get in them.

• RUN FROM SIN!
1 Corinthians 6:18a says: Flee immorality.”
2 Timothy 2:22a says: “Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness”
1 Corinthians 10:14 says: “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry”
You don’t get any brownie points for hanging around sin!

Operation #4: Discouragement!

• REFUSE TO BE DISCOURAGED!
For every battle, we need courage. So the devil comes with discouragement - a loss of confidence or enthusiasm; dispiritedness. Especially by making people focus on their sins, weaknesses and failures because he knows that it's impossible for him to defeat you as long as you keep on fighting, so he tries to persuade you that you're a hopeless case, so you might as well surrender and give up. Deut. 31:8 says: “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you."

Operation #5: He engages himself (but only when you give him a foothold)
• RESIST HIM!

Not by engaging with him but by first submitting to God. James 4:7 (NIV) says:
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
As long as you are submitted to God, the devil is no match for you!

• USE THE BLOOD!
Revelations 12:11 says:
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives to the death.” Emphasis mine

• SET HIM UP!
. . . Against the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 59:19b says: “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.”

CONCLUSION
To deal with the devil, you have to be adequately equipped. Ephesians 6:13 says: “Therefore take up the whole armour of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”  In verse 17b of the same chapter, the Bible talks of the one offensive weapon in the entire armour; "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God"!
The Word of God as a matter of fact, is "Quick (alive) & powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword!" (Hebrews 4:12).

Finally, don’t engage the devil in his territory (the arena of reason); but if he dares come into your territory, ensure your lifestyle (the word of your testimony) is right and because we have been made more than conquerors, your victory is sure!

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 05:06 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 07 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION
Last week we looked at breaking the power of the devil. We embarked on an intelligence gathering mission - identifying the operations of the enemy to be able to break his power.
Today we will be looking at an interesting topic that answers some of the misconceptions about when believers should exercise their authority. Christians have been given authority over demons, yet very few even understand it, much less use it. There are those who believe we can't have much of anything now; they think Satan is the one running everything down here and that we cannot do anything about it!

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)

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. Though one does not have to believe in the devil to be saved, such beliefs which are in direct conflict with the Scriptures have to be one of the devil's most effective deceptions. The devil dwells in darkness or hiddenness. If he can make Christians believe that he does not exist, he has certainly been successful at hiding himself. 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:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Emphasis mine
In Luke 10:19, Jesus also said:
''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".
We need to build these truths into our lives by meditating and feeding upon them until they become a part of our consciousness.
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 (NIV) says:
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

WHY GIVE POWER AND AUTHORITY THAT CANNOT BE EXERCISED?
Jesus said in Matthew 28:18, "...ALL POWER is given unto ME in heaven and in earth." 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.
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.
Many problems exist because we permit them to—we're not doing anything about them. We're the ones who are supposed to do something about them, but we're trying to get someone else, including God, to do something about them. When we are faced with difficult circumstances we need to remember our authority! There are some situations that require more than only prayers but by exercising our authority. Matt. 18:18 talks about exercising our authority:
“Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
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 need to know that when a king gives an order, he knows it's going to be carried out.

CONCLUSION
We are the Body of Christ. Even though we have prayed, leaving everything up to Him, He has conferred His authority on the earth to His Body, the Church. And what use is authority if it cannot be exercised when it is needed?
The 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 that will hurt or destroy. It's now that we must exercise the authority we have been given; especially when there is something that will hurt and destroy, that we have authority.
Luke 10:19 (AMP) says:
"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." Emphasis mine

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

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 07:20 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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
Thursday, January 21 2016

Contributor: Leye Olayiwola

INTRODUCTION: One of the highlighted points in last week's teaching was that "The value of our authority rests on the power that is behind that authority. God Himself is the power behind our authority!" What an awesome time it has been since this series began. We also had a deep study on the scriptural analysis of Power and Authority amongst many other topics. It is strongly recommended that you get a copy of the study if you do not have it.
This week, we will continue on the topic of authority as we consider, in more details, how we have become partakers of divine Authority with Christ and the relevance of this gracious divine priviledge to our Christian lifestyle. 

GOD'S MIGHTIEST WORK (Ephesians 1:19-20)
"And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward 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,"
• Notice especially the nineteenth verse: "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!
• The Resurrection was opposed by Satan and all his cohorts. However, his forces were confused and defeated by our Lord Jesus Christ, who arose, ascended, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father, far above them (Col.2:15)
• These are the same demonic powers we have to deal with, but, thank God, Jesus defeated them. Other translations say He "put them to nought" or "paralyzed them." We must daily walk in this consciousness. The devil and his cohorts are no match to us (by His grace).
• In ancient times, victorious kings bringing back captives would have a parade, making a show of them openly. Jesus did this with the devil, putting him on display before three worlds—heaven, hell, and earth—after He defeated him. God gave us this account in the Scriptures so we in this world would know what had happened.
• God wants us to know what happened in the death, burial, resurrection, and seating of Jesus Christ. He 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).

THE SOURCE OF OUR AUTHORITY (Ephesians 2:5-6)
"Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:"
• The source of our authority is found in the resurrection and exalting of Christ by God.
• The same verb in Ephesians 1:20 that expresses the reviving of Christ from the dead expresses the reviving of His people in Ephesians 2:1. In other words, the act of God that raised Christ from the dead also raised His Body. In the mind of God, when Jesus was raised from the dead, we were raised from the dead!
• Eph. 2:5-6 deals with the conferring of authority. Notice that the Head (Christ) and the Body (the Church) were raised together. Furthermore, this authority was conferred not only upon the Head, but also upon the Body, because the Head and the Body are one. (When you think of a person, you think of his head and body as one.)
• 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)

SEATED WITH CHRIST (1 Corinthians 6:17)
"But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit."
• 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 cross is actually a place of defeat, whereas the Resurrection is a place of triumph. When you preach the cross, you're preaching death, and you leave people in death. We died all right, but we're raised with Christ. We're seated with Him. Positionally, that's where we are right now: We're seated with Christ in the place of authority in heavenly places.
• We need to be delivered from the bondage of death and walk in the newness of life. We're not at the cross. We died with Christ, but He has raised us up together with Him. Glory to God, learn how to take your place of authority. (Hebrews 1:13)-The right hand of the throne of God is the center of power of the whole universe!
• 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)

CONCLUSION
One of the major challenges being faced in our world today, as Christians is staying balanced. 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. 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. Let's go down the middle of the road and maintain balance. As we study what the Word of God teaches and educate our spirits about the authority of the believer, I believe we'll be able to walk in this great truth more and more.
This study was culled from The Believers’ Authority by Kenneth E. Hagin.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 01:35 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 14 2016

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION

In last week's study we looked at the authority of a believer. We considered the prayers of Paul and learnt that we inherit the Name and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we can use it in prayer against the enemy. We concluded by saying that only a few of us have gotten to the edge of the believer’s authority, but there was hope that before Jesus comes again, a whole company of believers will rise up with the authority that is theirs. In today’s study we will look at what this authority is all about; when Jesus said:

“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.  Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” Emphasis mine

SCRIPTURE ANALYSIS
The translators of the King James Version translated many words consistently, but not the Greek words for "power" and "authority". For example, in the King James Version, Jesus says in 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 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...."

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!
It means one has the ability to issue decrees as we see in Job 22:28
“Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.”
Also see Matthew 18:18
“Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Policemen who direct traffic during the rush hour just raise their hands and the cars stop. These men don't have the physical power to stop the vehicles if the drivers choose not to stop. But they don't use their own strength to stop traffic; they are strong in the authority that is invested in them by the government they serve. People recognize that authority and stop their cars.

“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 devil and his forces are obliged to recognize our authority because of the power behind our authority!
The believer who thoroughly understands that the power of God is backing him can exercise his authority and face the enemy fearlessly.
Paul told believers to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might (Eph. 6:10). That means you can like the policeman step out in front of the devil, hold up your hand, and tell him not to come any closer. Use your authority!
Ephesians 6:10 says,
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."
Many people read that verse and think the Lord is telling them to be strong in themselves. But the Scripture doesn't say a word about being strong in yourself. It says to be strong in the Lord.

CONCLUSION
First John 4:4 says, "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."
"He that is in the world" is Satan, the god of this world and the head of principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this world. But the power that's in you is greater than the power that's in the world, because the power that backs our authority is greater than that which backs our enemies.

This study was culled from The Believers’ Authority by Kenneth E. Hagin.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 07:12 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, January 08 2016

Contributor: Alex Alajiki

INTRODUCTION:

The purpose of our studies this year is to build up every believer with the word of God until we are filled with the fullness of God in every area of our lives. We shall accomplish this by focusing on the reality of who we are and what we have in Christ. And how to properly enforce the defeat of the kingdom of darkness so as to advance the kingdom of God on earth.
We shall be using “The Believers' Authority” and “The Triumphant Church”, both books by |Kenneth E. Hagin, among other materials, along with our Bible, to gain knowledge and revelation.

We must deliberately give ourselves to diligent studies if we must gain mastery in things of the Kingdom of God. Ignorance of this subject matter may be very devastating for end time Christians, who are in constant conflict with a defeated, but furious and strategic enemy.
     
1) The Prayers of Paul; Eph.1:16-20; 3:14-19

“do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.”

“ For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

We are encouraged to read, meditatively, the first three chapters of the book of Ephesians, several times, to fully grasp the revelations on the authority of the believer in this book.

• 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”.  Just like Jesus told Peter in (Matt.16:17 “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”), we all need supernatural insights.
• We are also encouraged to pray “to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man”. According to 1 Sam.2:9 “He will guard the feet of His saints, but the wicked shall be silent in darkness. For by strength no man shall prevail.”
• 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. Without being grounded and rooted in the love of God, we can never be filled with all the fullness of God. John 13:32-33

“No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” 1 John.4:12-13

“I spent about six months praying this prayers during the winter of 1947-48. Then the first thing I was praying for started to happen. I had been praying for "the spirit of wisdom and revelation" (Eph. 1:17), and the spirit of revelation began to function! I began to see things in the Bible I had never seen before. It just began to open up to me. I advanced more in spiritual growth and knowledge of the Word in those six months than I had in 14 years as a minister and in more than 16 years as a Christian. That was one of the greatest spiritual discoveries I ever made.” – Kenneth Hagin.

2) Dominion over Principalities, Powers, Rulers of Darkness & Spiritual wickedness in Heavenly Places; Eph.6:12,

“ For 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.”

We need to realize that we have authority through Christ over all levels of the kingdom of darkness. Our combat with the devil always should be with the consciousness that we have authority over him because he is a defeated foe The Lord Jesus Christ defeated him for us according to Col.2:15 “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

Our wrestling (Struggle), combat or battle is not with human beings, nor against our own corrupt natures, but with evil spiritual forces. We must not shy away from the reality of organised kingdom of darkness that are influencing human affairs on earth. They have strategically corrupted the systems of this world by influencing man against God. They battle to diminish our power and influence on earth and labour to deface the heavenly image in our hearts by making us to focus and be preoccupied with earthly things all day long ( Matt.6:19-21, 25-33). The only opposing forces against them are the true Christians and the forces of the kingdom of God.

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). His own enthronement in the heavenly reality includes the subjection of every power (Eph.1:20). The evil forces may rule darkness and evil, but we as Christians no longer live there (Eph 5:8,16). Believers have the task in this unseen reality to make God’s wisdom known to the evil spiritual powers (Eph.3:10) and to stand against them (Eph. 6:10–13). Our enthronement with Christ above the evil powers determines how we live on earth. We must realise that our struggle against these evil forces is a struggle against subjected powers.

3) The Authority of the Believer; Luk.10:19-20
“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

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.

Salvation belong to the sinner through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The poor sinner, not knowing this, will have to go to hell even though all of his debts are cancelled according to 2 Cor.5:19.
The sinner doesn't know what belongs to him, so it won't do him any good. By the same token, if Christians don't know the things that belong to them, they won't do them any good. They need to find out about what belongs to them. That's why God put teachers in the Church. That's why God gave us His Word: to tell us what is ours.

We need to know what belongs to us. Jesus said, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). In Hosea God says, "My people [not sinners, not the world] are destroyed for lack of knowledge...." (Hosea 4:6). People are actually suffering or destroyed despite the fact that they got everything to prevent them from such fate in life.

Conclusion.
A few of us have barely gotten to the edge of this believer’s authority, but before Jesus comes again, there's going to be a whole company of believers who will rise up with the authority that is theirs. They will know what is theirs, and they will do the work that God intended they should do.

                  Part of this study is from the first chapter of The Believers’ Authority by Kenneth E. Hagin..

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 01:49 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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