THE BELIEVER’S AUTHORITY I

Glory be to God for yet another message. I want to share something important with you today – a five-part series article. I wanted to title this message “We Rule the World,” but all the same it’s all about the Believer’s Authority. Just open your heart as you digest this message – you will be blessed. Before we begin, let us learn something about Satan; we’re not praising him though. Let’s figure out how and why he became what he is today. That wicked one is real, and must be taken seriously. We need not be ignorant of his tactics (2 Corinthians 2:11). John said of him, “…the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19, NIV). Paul called him, “…the prince of the power of the air…”, and placed him at the head of the wicked hordes in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:2; 6:11, 12).

Jesus did not dispute Satan’s claim when he confronted Him (Jesus) and asked Him to bow to him so he would offer Him the kingdoms of this world and their glory (Luke 4:5-8). Satan is a personal being. There are over 40 titles and names for him (Isaiah 14:12; Zechariah 3:1; Matthew 4:1; 13:19; Genesis 3:1; Revelation 9:11; 12; Mark 3:22; John 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4). He appears some 52 times in the Bible. Every book of the New Testament mentions him. Satan, leader of the fallen angels, comes like them into full view only in the New Testament. His name means “adversary” (opponent of God and his people), and the Old Testament introduces him as such (1 Chronicles 21:1; Job 1-2; Zechariah 3:1-2; Job 4:15-21). The New Testament gives him revealing titles: “devil” (diabolos) means accuser.

He is the accuser of God’s people (Revelation 12:9-10); “Apollyon” (Revelation 9:11) means destroyer; “the tempter” (Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5) and “the evil one” (1 John 5:18-19) mean what they say; “prince” and “god of this world” point to Satan as presiding over mankind’s anti-God life-styles (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; 1 John 5:19; Revelation 12:9). Jesus refers to Satan as a murderer and the father of lies. He is both the original liar and the sponsor of all subsequent falsehood and deceits (John 8:44). He seeks at every turn to thwart God’s purposes. Satan was created a perfect and beautiful being by God. He fell in love with himself and was so obsessed with his own beauty and intelligence that he deluded himself into thinking that he and he alone was worthy of worship and adoration.

He corrupted the very wisdom that God had blessed him with. Before his rebel, only the will of God was carried out on earth. A new creature appeared when he wanted to exercise his own will and set himself up as God and see his will carried out. He introduced malevolence into the universe and the world promotes it today. The best explanation of his creation and fall are in Isaiah 14:1-20 and Ezekiel 28:11-19. Satan originally had a great position with God, and was the protector of God’s throne. He resided in the holy mountain of God, was powerful and perfect in wisdom, beauty, character and conduct. He later resorted to violence, pride, untruth, corruption, and sinned in rebellion. He yearned to share God’s position, control the host of heaven, and God’s chosen people. He craved God’s glory, power and authority (Isaiah 14:12-17).

As greedy as he is, he went about deceiving other creatures of God. He was disgraced; God made a spectacle of him before the angelic kings and hosts of heaven. He was expelled from his office of personal guardian to God, and denied further access to God’s innermost sanctuary. Because Satan deceived some angels means that all angels are corrupt? NO! There are good angels, and God uses them to accomplish certain tasks. Angels are spirit beings with intelligence and will, and they are personal, immortal, beautiful and powerful. Only do not forget that fallen angels also exist (Revelation 12:7-9). Originally, God created angels good, because all creation was good at its completion (Genesis 1:31). Sadly, some angels became corrupt following the creation week. These fallen, wicked creatures know Christ (Luke 4:41), are unclean, fierce, and they believe the Bible literally (Mathew 8:29; 8:28-29; James 2:19).

Some fallen angels are bound in prison called Tartarus and kept for judgment because of a specific sin (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). The rest of the fallen angels are temporarily free to roam earth and the heavenlies under the rule of Satan – who himself is a fallen angel. These fallen angels are demons, with Satan as prince (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:7-9). Though they are spirit beings without bodies, they have an ardent desire to occupy a body (Mark 5:1-13; Luke 11:24-26). As the Holy Spirit dwells in us, so do evil spirits inhabit people. These creatures enter only willing victims who have opened themselves up to their influence. It appears that believers cannot be possessed by demons (1 John 4:4; 5:18). The Holy Spirit does not force us to do something. He’s gentle, and only functions in us as we allow Him to.

Evil spirits pressurise, oppress and force themselves in people they occupy. Being great in number, they give Satan the appearance of being all-powerful, all-knowing, and present everywhere – which he is not (Luke 8:30; Ephesians 6:11, 12). His destructive ferocity comes out in the description of him as a roaring, devouring lion (1 Peter 5:8) and as a dragon (Revelation 12:9). As he was Christ’s sworn foe (Matthew 4:1-11; 16:23; Luke 4:13; 22:3, 53; John 14:30), so now he is the Christian’s, always probing for weaknesses, misdirecting strengths, and undermining faith, hope, and character (Luke 22:31-32; 2 Corinthians 2:11; 11:3-15; Ephesians 6:16). He should be taken seriously, for malice and cunning make him fearsome; yet not so seriously as to provoke abject terror of him, for he is a beaten enemy. He’s responsible for the wickedness in the world today. Though he used to be stronger than us, Christ triumphed over him (Hebrews 2:14-15).

In Christ Jesus we have overcome the devil and his cohorts. This does not mean that the devil is not going to come around. In fact, he’s going to come in different ways. What we need do is to use the resources that Christ supplies against him (Ephesians 6:10-13; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9-10). Satan and his angels wage persistent war against Christians (John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 11:3, 13-15; Ephesians 4:27; 6:12), but they are not a factor. You are of God if you are in Christ. And if you are of God then you belong to Him and have already defeated and overcome Satan, his agents and cohorts because greater (mightier) is He Who lives in you than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). Acknowledge Satan’s reality, taking his opposition seriously, noting his strategy and reckoning on always being at war with him, but don’t fear him. He’s already a defeated foe.

Satan is a creature, superhuman but not divine. He has much knowledge and power, but he is neither omniscient nor omnipotent. He can move around in ways that humans cannot, but he is not omnipresent; and he is an already defeated rebel, having no more power than God allows him (Job 1:12). They have fallen flat; his angels are as defeated as their master. Their intent is to hinder the purposes of God and extend the influence of Satan. They deceive, discourage, destroy, and divide anything having to do with God, His work and His people. Fallen angels may cause physical and mental disease, personal injury, and lead people into immorality (Matthew 9:33; 12:22; Mark 5:2-5; Luke 8:35; 2 Corinthians 12:7; Luke 9:38, 42; 1 Timothy 4:1-3). Individual acts may also lead to sicknesses and diseases, which may not be necessarily caused by demonic activity. However, we don’t care whichever way they come because Satan is the source. This doesn’t suggest that we live anyway we like; sense must be applied.

God has given us knowledge into these things so we need to apply them. We can heal all kinds of diseases no matter how they appear, but we need to make use of knowledge. The devil and his cohorts are always causing trouble. These depraved creatures spread false doctrine, have power to work miracles, and they encourage idolatry (1 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 13:12-15; 1 Corinthians 10:20). Satan has preachers, a church and doctrine (Revelation 2:9, 13, 24; Genesis 3:4, 5). He is the master counterfeiter of God’s work. This depraved spirit being exerts power within the realm of nature politics, religion, and the spiritual realm (Job 1:16-19; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; Revelation 12:10). That’s a good reason to be careful about the kind of doctrine you listen to. Study the Bible to know God’s Word for yourself. Don’t worry, for these evil spirits surely have an end. Things are not going to be like this forever. They shall finally be cast down to the lake of fire (Ezekiel 28:14-16; Luke 10:18; Revelation 12:9; 20:1-3, 7-10).

Hell was never prepared for man, but for Satan and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Like he went about deceiving other angels to follow him, he goes about deceiving people. Be watchful, wary, and stand firm in your faith (Ephesians 4:27; 6:10-18; 1 Peter 5:8-10; James 4:7). Don’t become obsessed with them. No matter the challenges, only remember that you are on God’s side, and nothing can separate you from Him (Romans 8:1; 28-39). When the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future. When Satan was stripped of his rank he was undoubtedly curious to know who God would choose to reign in his place. Would God give rulership of earth to some other powerful angel? Worse yet, would God give dominion to Michael, the archangel who was Satan’s hated enemy?

God’s decision on this matter was surely a source of amazement, not only to Satan, but also to the entire host of heaven. Instead of placing earth under angelic rulership, God created a NEW kind of creature to exercise dominion. The new creature that God made to rule the earth was Man. Satan set out to take the authority of the planet for himself. But will he succeed? We are taking the story from Genesis chapter 3. The Bible records that the serpent was cleverer than any wild animal God had made (Genesis 3:1). Disguised as a crafty serpent, Satan came to tempt Eve. Why does Satan tempt us? Temptation is Satan’s invitation to give in to his kind of life and give up on God’s kind of life. Satan tempted Eve and succeeded in getting her to sin. The serpent, Satan, tempted Eve by getting her to doubt God’s goodness. He implied that God was strict, stingy, and selfish for not wanting Eve to share His knowledge of good and evil.

Satan made Eve forget all that God had given her and, instead, focus on the one thing she couldn’t have. We fall into trouble, too, when we dwell on the few things we don’t have rather than on the countless things God has given us. Satan tried to make Eve think that sin is good, pleasant, and desirable. Satan had already rebelled at God’s authority over him and was defeated. He then rebelled against Adam’s authority over him and was victorious. How? When Eve ate the fruit, she gave some to her husband (Adam), and he ate. By so doing, Adam submitted to the devil. He became a slave to Satan, and that is how man came under his rule. Catch this: “They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity – for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him” (2 Peter 2:19, NIV). “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:16).

That is how come Satan became the master of man. The Bible calls him the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). He became the god of this world after usurping man’s authority. All along Satan’s been finding ways to take the authority the Lord had given to man. What at all is this authority? It is the power to determine, adjudicate, or otherwise settle issues or disputes; jurisdiction; the right to control, command, or determine. Authority is also power or right delegated or given. We’re going to find out where this authority comes from, and the best resource is the Word of God. The only way to know about our right as believers comes from knowing our God and His provision for us in Christ Jesus. One of the things that will cause us to walk in power is to understand the authority of the believer.

Sadly, many believers overlook this subject area. A lot of us have allowed the devil into our marriage, business, relationship, finances etc. He being there is even not the problem but how to get him out. The devil is always going to be around, but how to deal with him is what matters. The English Bible doesn’t always translate the word authority correctly, which causes a little confusion. The Bible translates authority as power, which is also correct but when you translate the word power as power there is confusion. For example, the word translated “power” in Matthew 9:8 is the Greek word “exousia,” which when translated means “authority.” This is different from the word “power” in Acts 1:8 (dunamis), which means (miraculous) power, might, strength. You can see both words in these verses are translated power but one means authority and the other means ability or strength.

Let me give a scenario. I believe you’ve been to a busy street and have a picture of what goes on there. If you go and stand at the crossing of two major roads, you have crowds of people who are pushing by. The street is full of high-powered vehicles rushing along. Suddenly, a man in uniform raises a hand. Instantly, the traffic stops. He waves to the waiting crowd to the cross street, and they all march safely across the road. You would say, “I’ve seen this a thousand times!” Good. What is the explanation? The policeman has very little power. No matter how big or strong he is, all the strength he has could not hold back one of those cars. But he has something far better. He is invested with the authority of the government he works for. That’s all he needs! The moving crowds and vehicles recognize his uniform, depicting where he’s coming from and obey him.

They recognise the authority that’s behind the man. Authority then is not ability but delegated power. Its value depends upon the force behind the user; it doesn’t matter how big or small he is. Any one of those vehicles could crush and kill the policeman. But if they were to try that you would have all the power and might of the whole police force brought out against them with the backing of the government and even the army if necessary. In this case what is important is authority not ability. The policeman in this case didn’t have to be very strong; he didn’t have to go to the gym every night to build up his strength to stop the cars. All he had to do that day was put on his uniform. Anyone that sees him is going to give him the respect he deserves. God expects us to respect authority (Romans 13:1-6).

The Lord God created man in His image and likeness to rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. He blessed man to be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Man was to rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground (Genesis 1:26-28). Dominion, which this verse refers to, is the Hebrew word “radah” and it is “to rule, tread down, subjugate, over take.” Subdue as the verse renders is the Hebrew word “kabash” and it means to “conquer, subjugate, bring into bondage, force.”

Follow along as we throw more light on this topic. God bless you!

3 thoughts to “THE BELIEVER’S AUTHORITY I”

  1. How come man is given so much authority and yet he is in so much bondage how can he assume his authority and change situations and circumstances. A beautiful exposee

  2. Hi THOMAS,
    Its always good to think about the things of God; man’s authority comes with his status and his stand with GOD. So long as man continue to live ‘just’ like a mere human and not see himself as a son of the Most High, a heir to the throne of the Most High, he would remain in bondage (Galatians 4:1-2). Paul said he wants to know HIM, that was a commitment to knowledge; we need to work hard to know what it means to be a child of God.

  3. Wow! Thanks so much Mr Thomas for your comment; the believer’s vested with authority with which he can rule and take charge of his world. Oh, only if we knew who we have become in Christ. And thanks so much sir Laydrown for the beautiful exposé, I’m inpsired. God richly bless you!

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