How to overcome the spirit of poverty

How to overcome the spirit of poverty

How to overcome the spirit of poverty

Breaking the Spirit of Poverty

 

Having a relationship with Jesus certainly doesn’t mean we’ll be free of problems or struggles. Life can be tough, and even as Christians, we’ll face many challenges.

Before we were saved, we were no threat to the devil. But when we accepted Jesus into our heart, something changed. We took up a new residence in the spiritual battlefield and immediately became an enemy of Satan.

Many of our battles, struggles, and trials in life are rooted in the spiritual realm. As a result, war must be waged on the spiritual battlefield and fought with spiritual weapons.

Overcoming poverty is one example of this principle. Jesus taught us that the devil is a THIEF who comes to steal and destroy God’s blessings in our life (John 10:10). Many Christians unnecessarily suffer financial lack simply because they don’t understand the nature of the spiritual battle they’re in.

 

Your Father’s Blessings

God is a good God. Our Heavenly Father wants to bless us, and He would never send us into battle unequipped. He has given us His Word as “the sword of the Spirit” to overcome the lies of the enemy (Ephesians 6:17). Something happens when we put the Scriptures in our heart and mouth and begin to point them at the enemy.

Remember, victory over poverty is already yours. Through His death on the Cross and His Resurrection, Jesus has destroyed ALL “the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). But now He calls on you to enforce that victory by declaring His promises over your life.

The Apostle Paul wrote that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4). Through the truth of God’s Word, you have been given dominion over financial lack and every other stronghold in your life. So go ahead and let the enemy know he no longer has permission to harass you!

 

Defeating Satan’s Lies

Scripture tells us that the devil is “the father of lies” (John 8:44). Many Christians have believed the lie that God wants them to experience lack instead of abundance. Yet God wants to replace that lie with the truth that He wants you to PROSPER and be in health (3 John 1:2)!

If you’re a child of God, the devil has no rights in your life. But you must move into an offensive position and take back anything the enemy has stolen. Boldly speak to your circumstances, reminding them that you are a child of the King and a joint heir with Christ. Your words create your realities, so make sure they line up with God’s Word.

Don’t stop pressing in until you experience the victory you’ve been promised. Make sure you are taking steps of faith—Sowing financial Seeds in anticipation of God’s abundant Harvests in your life.

In Jesus’ name, you have power over the devil, but he’s not going to give up without a fight. You must realize the authority God has given you and lay an ax to the roots of poverty and financial lack.

May God awaken the mighty warrior inside of you, so you can pull down strongholds in your own life and then go to battle on behalf of your loved ones.

 How to overcome the spirit of poverty

 How to overcome the spirit of poverty

How Do I Get Out of Poverty and Debt?

 

 

Poverty is a lack of money or material possessions. Poverty is usually accompanied by debt obligations to others. Debt, whether or not associated with poverty, is a form of slavery. Following God’s principles will break the hold of both poverty and debt.

How to overcome the spirit of poverty

First of all, you must commit yourself, your finances, your family, and your life to Jesus Christ. Agree to live by God’s principles and seek to know what He has to say to you in your situation. Be absolutely honest about the faults and mistakes in your life, past or present, that may have caused your problem of debt. To escape trouble, you must know what put you there.

 

How to overcome the spirit of poverty

Second, do everything you can to understand God’s principles. The Bible says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). There are many Christians who have no concept whatsoever of the principles of God’s kingdom. They understand neither God’s laws dealing with material prosperity nor their own privileges as children of God. So, for lack of knowledge, they suffer.

People in debt or in poverty especially need to understand a rule of God’s kingdom that I call the Law of Reciprocity. This is a law of cause and effect, of action and reaction. In the area of money, the law is simple: “Give, and it will be given to you: Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38). When a person begins to give to God’s work and to the poor and less fortunate, God begins to give back to him. Regardless of the debt burden, a person should give a very minimum of 10 percent of his income to the Lord. Even if you are at a poverty-level income, you have something you can give to God. Start where you are. Reach out in compassion to those less fortunate than yourself. As a first priority, get into a position to give love, time, energy, and money to other people even if it is only a little bit.

 

How to overcome the spirit of poverty

Next, set up a realistic budget. Most people do not have budgets, and their spending has neither plan nor control. Whatever your income level, you should set up a budget that includes one or more tithes plus offerings to the Lord, which may be in the form of aid to those who are less fortunate (see Malachi 3:10). After setting aside your tithe, establish a realistic plan to pay off your debts. Go to your creditors and obtain an agreement that they will accept your payment schedule. Make it understood that you cannot pay any more than a certain amount, and they will almost always accept your plan.

Once you have done that, you have to resolve in your mind that there will be no more accumulation of debt. You cannot go back to living beyond your means. Make a vow to God that you will not buy anything on credit, and that your lifestyle will be curtailed to fit your income. This takes a definite mental and spiritual commitment. It may take a year, or two years, or five years, but you are going to get out of debt.

It has been suggested by a very wise businessman that part of any budget should go for recreation. There should be some time each month when the family can get away from the pressures of life. Maybe it can be a picnic in the park, a fishing trip, or possibly a night away from home in a motel or resort. Recreation includes anything to get away from the constant pressure and to allow your mind to be recreated in God.

 

Along with recreation, I recommend a Sabbath rest. You cannot work seven days a week. There must be one day a week that is dedicated to God, to thinking about Him, praying to Him, studying the Bible, and resting. All of these things are necessary to prepare your mind and spirit to win the battle.

Then, with all of these things going for you, you need a renewed faith in God. He is the source. As you give to Him and trust Him, God will begin to take you from bondage to debt into His blessings. He will open doors for you and will give you concepts and ideas to help you overcome your situation. You must believe this and expectantly look for His answer rather than to some other person as your source. God is your source.

 

How to overcome the spirit of poverty

Every day, speak words of confidence. Say out loud that you are going to be free from debt and that God is going to put you in a different position. Memorize scripture verses where God says things such as, “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the beggar from the ash heap, to set them among princes” (1 Samuel 2:8). Speak these words over and over again, confidently, knowing that God can do all things and do them well.

 

With that frame of mind, you should be on your way. It may take a year to pay off your debts. In the instances that I know of, the average was about eighteen months. But it may take three, four, or even five years. You will win the battle if you use the weapons that God has made available to you! You can be debt free!

 

The Believer's Authority - Kenneth Hagin

The Believer’s Authority – Kenneth Hagin

The Believer’s Authority – Kenneth Hagin
Foreword
Back in the 1940s, I asked myself the question, “Do we have authority that we don’t know about—that we haven’t discovered —that we’re not using?” I had had little glimpses of spiritual authority once in a while. Like others, I had stumbled upon it and had exercised it without knowing what I was doing. I wondered, “Is the Spirit of God trying to show me something?” So I began to study along this line, think along this line, feed along this line—and I began to see more and more light.

An article in The Pentecostal Evangel prompted my study on the words “power” and “authority.” Then I came across a wonderful pamphlet entitled The Authority of the Believer by John A. MacMillan, a missionary to China who later edited The Alliance Weekly. (His pamphlet was reissued several years ago and is available from Christian Publications, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.)

As a result of my studies, I concluded that we as a Church have authority on the earth that we’ve never yet realized— authority that we’re not using. A few of us have barely gotten to the edge of that 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.

Chapter 1. The Prayers of Paul

The authority of the believer is unveiled more fully in the Book of Ephesians than any other epistle written to the churches. Because this book is based on Ephesians, let me encourage you to read the first three chapters over and over again for several days.

 

You will notice there are Spirit-anointed prayers at the end of the first and third chapters. However, Paul didn’t pray these prayers only for the Church at Ephesus. These prayers apply to us today just as much as they did to the believers at Ephesus, because they were given by the Holy Spirit.

 

EPHESIANS 1:16-20

16 [I] Cease not 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 unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 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, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places…. EPHESIANS 3:14-19 14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of 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 by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

 

The turning point in my life came when I prayed these prayers for myself more than a thousand times. I started by reading them aloud, beginning with the first chapter. I personalized the prayers by saying “me” wherever Paul said “you.”

 

For example, reading Ephesians 3:14-17, I would say, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant me, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in my heart by faith ….”

 

I spent much time praying these two prayers on my knees at the altar of the last church I pastored in East Texas. I kept my Bible open before me to these prayers and prayed them for myself several times a day. Sometimes I told my wife I was going next door to the church to pray and didn’t want to be bothered except in an emergency. Sometimes I stayed in prayer two or three days at a time

I spent about six months praying this way 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.

 

I said to my wife, “What in the world have I been preaching? I was so ignorant of the Bible, it’s a wonder the deacons didn’t have to come by and tell me to get in out of the rain!” We must have this spirit of wisdom and revelation of Christ and His Word if we are to grow. It is not going to be imparted to us through our intellect, either. The Holy Spirit must unveil it to us.

 

People often want to know how to pray for fellow Christians. If you start praying these Ephesian prayers for them, you’ll see results in their lives. I suggest you pray the prayers for yourself, too.

 

Years ago, I prayed these prayers twice a day, morning and evening, for a family member. He needed healing desperately, yet he couldn’t seem to grasp what the Bible teaches about divine healing.

 

When I prayed, I inserted this person’s name in the prayers as I had previously inserted my own. Within 10 days, he wrote me, saying, “I’m beginning to see things I never saw before.” (The minute you get scriptural, things happen.) It was surprising how fast my kinfolks changed once I started praying for them scripturally. (I had been praying for some of them for years with no results.)

 

The Authority of the Believer

EPHESIANS 6:12

12 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.

 

Thank God we have authority over such evil spirits through Jesus Christ. We need to understand what Paul said here in the light of what he wrote in previous chapters. We need to realize that we have authority through Christ. 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.

 

However, the authority of the believer is an aspect of the Christian walk that few believers know much about. Some think that authority over the devil belongs to only a few chosen people to whom God has given special power. It doesn’t; it belongs to all the children of God!

 

We receive this authority when we are born again. As we are made new creatures in Christ Jesus, we inherit the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we can use it in prayer against the enemy.

 

But the devil doesn’t want Christians to learn about the authority of the believer. He wants to continue to defeat us anytime he wants. That’s why he will do everything he can to keep Christians from learning the truth about authority; he will fight us more on this subject than anything else. He knows that when we learn the truth, his heyday will be over. We will dominate him, enjoying the authority that is rightfully ours.

 

Ephesians 1:3 reads, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us [the whole Church] with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” The American Standard Version renders “all spiritual blessings” as “every spiritual blessing.” This means every spiritual blessing there is. In Christ, all spiritual blessings belong to us. Authority belongs to us whether we realize it or not. But just knowing this isn’t enough. It’s knowledge acted upon that brings results! It’s a tragedy for Christians to go through life and never find out what belongs to them.

 

The Prayers of Paul

 

Did you ever stop to think about it: Salvation belongs to the sinner. Jesus already has bought the salvation of the worst sinner, just as He did for us. That’s the reason He told us to go tell the Good News; go tell sinners they’re reconciled to God. But we’ve never really told them that. We’ve told them God’s mad at them and is counting up everything they’ve done wrong. Yet the Bible says God isn’t holding anything against the sinner! God says He has canceled it out. That’s what’s so awful: The poor sinner, not knowing this, will have to go to hell even though all of his debts are cancelled! Second Corinthians 5:19 will tell you that.

 

There’s no sin problem. Jesus settled that. There’s just a sinner problem. Get the sinner to Jesus, and that cures the problem. Yes, that’s a little different from what people have been taught, but it’s what the Bible says. 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’s ours.

 

In the natural world, too, things can be ours, yet if we don’t know about them, they won’t do us any good. I’ve told about the time I hid a $20 bill in my billfold and forgot about it. Then I ran out of gasoline one day, started searching through my billfold, and found the $20 bill. I couldn’t say I didn’t have it, because I had it all the time—I had carried it around for months right in my hip pocket. Because I didn’t know what I had, I couldn’t spend it, but it was just as much mine when I didn’t know about it as it was when I did. Years ago I read about a man who was found dead in the small, shabby room he rented for $3 a week. He had been a familiar sight on the streets of Chicago for about 20 years, always dressed in rags and eating out of garbage cans.

 

When he wasn’t seen for two or three days, concerned neighbors went to look for him and found him dead in bed. An autopsy revealed that he had died of malnutrition, yet a money belt found around his waist contained more than $23,000. That man had lived in abject poverty, peddling newspapers for a living, yet he had money. He could have lived in the finest hotel in town instead of that little, rundown room. He could have eaten the best food instead of garbage. But he didn’t use what belonged to him.

 

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 actually perish who wouldn’t have to.

 

Chapter 2. What Is Authority?

 

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….”

 

In speaking about “serpents and scorpions,” Jesus is 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! Does the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ have (or need) any less authority today than it had in the first century? It would be preposterous to think so, wouldn’t it? The value of our authority rests on the power that is behind that authority. God Himself is the power behind our authority! The devil and his forces are obliged to recognize our authority! The believer who thoroughly understands that the power of God is backing him can exercise his authority and face the enemy fearlessly.

What is authority?

Authority is delegated power.

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. Blessed be God, there’s authority that’s vested in us by the Lord Jesus Christ!

 

Paul told believers to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might (Eph. 6:10). That means you can step out in front of the devil, hold up your hand, and tell him not to come any closer. Use your authority!

 

 

Once in England Smith Wigglesworth was standing on a street corner waiting for a bus. A woman came out of an apartment house, and a little dog ran out behind her. She said, “Honey, you’re going to have to go back.” The dog didn’t pay any attention to her. He just wagged his tail and rubbed up against her affectionately. She said, “Now, dear, you can’t go.” The little dog wagged his tail and rubbed up against her again.

 

About that time, the bus arrived. The woman stomped her foot and yelled, “Get!” The dog tucked his tail between his legs and took off. Wigglesworth said he hollered out loud without even thinking, “That’s the way you’ve got to do with the devil!”

 

 As a Roaring Lion

In 1942, while pastoring in East Texas, I had a test in my body. I didn’t tell anyone about it except the Lord. I prayed and believed He would heal me. Then I stood my ground. In the nighttime I would be awakened with alarming heart symptoms, and I would get up and pray. I battled that thing for about six weeks.

One night I had great difficulty in getting to sleep. Finally, after praying, I drifted off, and I had a dream. I am satisfied that God has spoken to me only four times in my life through dreams, but a dream like this one was no coincidence. It was from the Lord. When I woke up, I knew immediately what it meant. (If you don’t know the meaning of a dream immediately, forget it.) In this dream it seemed that another minister and I were walking on some kind of parade ground or ball field. There were stands on either side of us. As we were walking along talking, the man jumped and exclaimed, “Look!”

I turned and saw two ferocious, roaring lions. The man started running. I started running with him. Then I stopped and told him we were too far away from the stands to reach safety. We’d never escape those lions. I stopped dead still, turned around, and went back to meet the lions. They came toward me with their fangs bared, roaring. I was trembling. I told them, “I resist you in the Name of Jesus. In Jesus’ Name you can’t hurt me.” I just stood there. They ran right up to me like a couple of kittens, sniffed around my ankles, and finally frolicked off, paying no attention to me.

Then I woke up. I knew exactly what God was saying to me. The Scripture in First Peter 5 came to me. It says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith___” (vv. 8,9). The physical battle I had been fighting was won right then. Instantly the symptoms disappeared and I was all right. I had stood my ground. I wouldn’t give in. I had won. 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. “I don’t know whether I can make it or not,” people say. Certainly you can make it. Don’t even think about it. Be strong in the Lord. Be strong in the power of His might, not your power or might.

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.

 

 

Prophecy

The Holy Spirit says, “Power on earth invested in the Name of Jesus Christ and obtained by Him through His overcoming the enemy belongeth unto the Church. Therefore, exercise that authority, for it belongs to you on the earth, and in this life ye shall reign by Christ Jesus.”

 

Chapter 3. Seated With Christ

 

Matthew 28:18 is another verse where the word “authority” should have been used instead of “power.” In the King James Version it reads, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, ALL POWER is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” It should read, “ALL AUTHORITY is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” When Christ ascended, He transferred His authority to the Church. He is the Head of the Church, and believers make up the Body. Christ’s authority has to be perpetuated through His Body, which is on the earth. (Throughout Ephesians and elsewhere in the epistles, Paul uses the human body as an illustration of the Body of Christ.)

 

Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father—the place of authority—and we’re seated with Him. If you know anything about history, you know that to sit at the right hand of the king or pope means authority. We died with Christ, and we were raised with Him. This is not something God is going to do in the future; He already has done it!

 

God’s Mightiest Work

EPHESIANS 1:18-23

18 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, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own 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 world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

 

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.

 

Remember the text in Colossians 2:15? “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he [Christ] made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it [His death, burial, and resurrection].” 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.”

 

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

The source of our authority is found in this resurrection and exalting of Christ by God. Notice in the eighteenth verse that the Holy Spirit through Paul prays that the eyes of the Ephesians’ understanding—their spirits—might be opened to these truths. He wanted all churches—all believers—to be enlightened. The truth of the authority of the believer, however, is overlooked by many Christians. In fact, most churches don’t even know the believer has any authority! You never will understand the authority of the believer only with your intellect; you must get the spiritual revelation of it. You must believe it by faith.

 

EPHESIANS 2:1-7

1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

 

In the first verse we read, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” Here the Holy Spirit is saying through Paul, “According to the working of the strength of His might when He raised Him from the dead and you when you were dead.” You see, 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! Further into the second chapter we read, “Even when we were dead in sins, [He] hath quickened us together with Christ,.. .And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (vv. 5,6). This passage deals with the conferring of this 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.) As far as I know, churches believe that we were raised up together with Christ. Why don’t they believe that we’ve been made to sit together with Him? If part of this verse is so, the whole verse is so. If the Church ever gets the revelation that we are the Body of Christ, we’ll rise up and do the works of Christ! Until now, we’ve been doing them only limitedly. When we realize that the authority that belongs to Christ also belongs to individual members of the Body of Christ and is available to us, our lives will be revolutionized!

 

1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-14,27

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. [We are Christ. He’s calling the Body, which is the Church, Christ.] 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many … 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. Thank God we are the Body of Christ! 2 CORINTHIANS 6:14,15 14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

 

The believer is called “righteousness,” and the unbeliever is called “unrighteousness.” The believer is called “light,” and the unbeliever, “darkness.” The believer is called “Christ,” and the unbeliever, “Belial.”

 

Seated With Christ

First Corinthians 6:17 says, “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. The trouble with us is that we’ve preached a “cross” religion, and we need to preach a “throne” religion. By that I mean that people have thought they were supposed to remain at the cross. Some have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, have backed up to the cross, and have stayed there ever since

 

We’ve sung “Near the cross, near the cross.” Yes, we need to come by the cross for salvation, but we don’t need to remain there; let’s 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. Many Christians know nothing about the authority of the believer. They really don’t believe we have any authority. They believe they’re barely saved and they must go through life being dominated by the devil while living on Barely-Get-Along Street. They magnify the devil more than they do God. 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.

 

The right hand of the throne of God is the center of power of the whole universe! Exercising the power of the throne was committed to the resurrected Lord. We know that Christ with His resurrected physical body is there in full possession of His rights, awaiting the Father’s time when His enemies shall be made His footstool. Hebrews 1:13 says, “But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?” 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! No wonder Paul said, writing to the Romans, “For if by one man’s offence [spiritual] 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” (Rom. 5:17).

 

Several translations, including The Amplified Bible, say “reign as kings in life.” Are we just going to reign when we get to heaven? No! We’re to reign as kings in life by Jesus Christ. That’s authority, isn’t it? Whatever the king said was law; he was the last authority. We partake of the authority that Christ’s throne represents. Some of us have exercised a little more authority over the powers of the air than others because we have a little more spiritual comprehension, but God wants all of us to have that spiritual comprehension.

 

Maintaining Balance

 

The Holy Spirit prayed through Paul that we all might have 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. You can take any subject—including the authority of the believer—push it to the extreme, and it becomes harmful and ceases to bless. “Father Divine” was once saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. He had the real thing. Then he began studying these very Scriptures we have been studying. He reasoned, “If we are Christ, then I am Christ. Christ is God, so I am God.” He founded a cult that was very popular. The people worshiped him. 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.

 

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). Someone will ask what the “greater works” are. Well, let’s just do the works Jesus did first and then think about the “greater works”! Jesus didn’t say that only a select few would do these works; He said those who believe on Him would. 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.

 

Chapter 4. Breaking the Power of the Devil

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 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!

 

Adam’s Treason

 

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!

 

The Bible not only talks about the first man Adam, but also about the second Adam, Jesus Christ, who became our Substitute. In First Corinthians 15:45, He’s called “the last Adam,” and in the 47th verse He’s called “the second man.” All that Jesus did He did for us. 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.

 

Authority Now

It’s now, when there is something that will hurt and destroy, that we have authority. But many people believe we can’t have much of anything now. They think Satan’s running everything down here. We must remember, however, that although we are in the world, we are not of the world. Satan’s running a lot of what is here on earth, but he’s not running me. He’s not running the Church. He’s not dominating us. We can dominate him. We have authority over him! Jesus 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” (Luke 10:19). Does the Church in this century 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.

 

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. 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, because Christ is not here in person—in His physical body. We are the Body of Christ. Even though we have prayed, “Now, Lord, You do this and that,” leaving everything up to Him, He has conferred His authority on the earth to His Body, the Church. Thus, 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

 

This became real to me years ago when I was studying along this line. I couldn’t explain it in my mind, but I knew it in my spirit. I began to understand this authority we have. While praying for my older brother’s salvation, I heard the Lord, in my spirit, challenge me. He said, “You do something about it!” I had been praying for my brother’s salvation for many years. He was what you would call the “black sheep” of the family. In spite of my prayers, he seemed to get worse instead of better. I always had prayed, “God save him.” I’d even fasted. I was prone to slip back into praying this way, but after the Lord challenged me to do something about it—after He told me I had the authority—I said, “In the Name of Jesus, I break the power of the devil over my brother’s life, and I claim his salvation!” I gave the order. I didn’t keep saying it or praying it. When a king gives an order, he knows it’s going to be carried out. The devil tried to tell me my brother never would be saved, but I shut my mind off and started laughing. I said, “I don’t think he’ll be saved—I know it! I took the Name of Jesus and broke your power over him and claimed his deliverance and salvation.” I went my way whistling. Within ten days, my brother was saved. The Word works!

 

How To Deal With the Devil

As long as Satan can keep you in unbelief or hold you in the arena of reason, he’ll whip 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 argue with you about the Name of Jesus—he’s afraid of that Name. I have found that the most effective way to pray can be when you demand your rights. That’s the way I pray: “I demand my rights!” Peter at the Gate Beautiful did not pray for the lame man; he demanded that he be healed (Acts 3:6). You’re not demanding of God when you demand your rights; you’re demanding of the devil.

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’s not talking about prayer. The Greek word here is “demand,” not “ask.” On the other hand, John 16:23,24 is talking about prayer: “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” (The Father is mentioned here in connection with prayer, but He isn’t mentioned in the passage from John 14.) The Greek actually reads, “Whatever you demand as your rights and privileges ….” You’ve got to learn what your rights are.

 

Many years ago when I was pastoring a little church in Texas, a woman brought her violently insane sister to the parsonage to be prayed for. Because this woman had tried to kill herself and others, she had been in a padded cell for two years. However, her health had deteriorated, and doctors had recommended a furlough at home for her, because she was no longer considered dangerous. When her sister introduced me as a “preacher,” Scriptures started to roll out of this woman’s mouth. She thought she had committed the unpardonable sin. The Lord told me to stand in front of her and say, “Come out, thou unclean devil, in the Name of Jesus!” I did that, but nothing happened. She just sat there looking like a statue.

 

I knew I had spoken the word of faith. You don’t have to stand there all day long and command devils to come out. They’re going to do it when you tell them to if you know your authority. They have to go once the command is given in faith. Two days later I was told the woman was having a violent attack similar to the kind she had had when she first lost her mind. This news didn’t disturb me. In the Bible we read that when Jesus rebuked the devil in such cases, people would fall and the devil would tear them. I knew the devil was just tearing this woman before he left her for good. I knew she wouldn’t have any more spells, and she didn’t. The doctors pronounced her normal and sent her home for good. Twenty years later she was happy and healthy, teaching a Sunday School class and working in a business.

 

Faith’s Role in Authority

 

Faith is involved in exercising spiritual authority. Yes, there are times when evil spirits come out immediately, but if they don’t when you speak the word of faith, don’t get disturbed about it. I base my faith on what the Word says. Some people’s faith is not based on the Bible, however, it’s based on a manifestation.

 

They operate outside faith in the sense realm. If they get certain manifestations, they think the devil’s gone. But he isn’t gone just because you get a manifestation. He’s still there, and you need to know that and exercise your authority. 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. Before I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, I was a young Baptist pastor. This was during the Depression, and I had a mother and a little brother to help support. My mother’s small income paid the utilities, taxes, and insurance. My income bought our food.

 

I owned only one suit and an extra pair of pants. During those Depression days, much stealing went on, and someone stole both pairs of my pants. They were stolen on a Monday, and I was to preach that Thursday. So I prayed Tuesday as I left my job, “Lord, all I’ve got is a pair of khakis, and I can’t preach in them. They are old work pants.” I told the Lord that by Thursday I expected to see my stolen pants hanging right where they had been. I prayed that the person who had stolen them would be so miserable he would have to bring them back. You see, it’s a wrong spirit that makes someone steal. I was dealing with that spirit and not the person, because we have authority over spirits. I commanded the spirit to stop this action. When I came home on Thursday afternoon, I knew those pants would be there, and they were there. So we can—and should—rise up against the devil.

 

Chapter 5. Exercising Authority

 

The door to exercising authority pivots upon two phrases Paul prayed for the Ephesians: “.. .and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:20), and “.. .hath raised us up together” (Eph. 2:6). Meditate on these two prayers. Learn to pray them for yourself. Feed on their truths until they become a part of your inner consciousness. Then they will dominate your life. But don’t try to accept them mentally; you’ve got to get the revelation of them in your spirit. Notice that not only is Christ 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….” (Eph. 1:21).

 

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.) All the authority that was given to Christ belongs to us through Him, and we may 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! Someone will argue, “Well, He can get along without me, but I need Him.” No, He can’t get along without you any more than you can get along without Him. You see, the truth that Paul is bringing out here in Ephesians is that Christ is the Head and we are the Body.

 

What if your body said, “I can get along without the head. I don’t need my head.” No, your body can’t get along without your head. And what if your head said, “Well, I can get along without my body. I don’t need it; I can get along without hands and feet.” No, you can’t. Likewise, Christ can’t get along without us, because the work of Christ and God is carried out through the Body of Christ. His work never will be done apart from us—and we never can get along without Him. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers….” If you take this verse out of its setting and go on talking about this awful fight we’re in against the devil and describing how powerful the devil is, you’ve missed the whole point Paul was making— because that’s not what he’s saying in Ephesians.

 

Remember, when Paul wrote this letter to the Church at Ephesus, he didn’t divide it into chapters and verses. Scholars did that at a much later date to help us in making reference. You can do great harm sometimes by picking one verse out of a chapter, taking it out of its setting, and making it say something it doesn’t say. The Holy Spirit through Paul already has said in the second chapter that we are seated above these powers that we have to deal with. Not only is Christ seated at the right hand of the Father, far above all these powers, but we’re there, too, because God has made us sit together with Christ. Therefore, 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.

 

The Demon Jesus Refused To Deal With

 

In 1952, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to me in a vision* and talked to me for about an hour and a half about the devil, demons, and demon possession. At the end of that vision, an evil spirit that looked like a little monkey or elf ran between Jesus and me and spread something like a smoke screen or dark cloud. Then this demon began jumping up and down, crying in a shrill voice, “Yakety-yak, yakety-yak, yakety-yak.” I couldn’t see Jesus or understand what He was saying. (Through this entire experience, Jesus was teaching me something. And if you’ll be attentive, you’ll find the answer here to many things that have troubled you.) I couldn’t understand why Jesus allowed the demon to make such a racket. I wondered why Jesus didn’t rebuke the demon so I could hear what He was saying. I waited a few moments, but Jesus didn’t take any action against the demon. Jesus was still talking, but I couldn’t understand a word He was saying—and I needed to, because He was giving instructions concerning the devil, demons, and how to exercise authority.

 

I thought to myself, Doesn’t the Lord know I’m not hearing what He wanted me to? I need to hear that. I’m missing it! I almost panicked. I became so desperate I cried out, “In the Name of Jesus, you foul spirit, I command you to stop!” The minute I said that, the little demon hit the floor like a sack of salt, and the black cloud disappeared. The demon lay there trembling, whimpering, and whining like a whipped pup. He wouldn’t look at me. “Not only shut up, but get out of here in Jesus’ Name!” I commanded. He ran off. The Lord knew exactly what was in my mind. I was thinking, Why didn’t He do something about that? Why did He permit it? Jesus looked at me and said, “If you hadn’t done something about that, I couldn’t have.”

 

That came as a real shock to me—it astounded me. I replied, “Lord, I know I didn’t hear You right! You said You wouldn’t, didn’t You?” He replied, “No, if you hadn’t done something about that, I couldn’t have.” I went through this four times with Him. He was emphatic about it, saying, “No, I didn’t say I would not, I said I could not.” I said, “Now, dear Lord, I just can’t accept that. I never heard or preached anything like that in my life!” I told the Lord I didn’t care how many times I saw Him in visions—He would have to prove this to me by at least three Scriptures out of the New Testament (because we’re not living under the Old Covenant, we’re living under the New). Jesus smiled sweetly and said He would give me four. I said, “I’ve read through the New Testament 150 times, and many portions of it more than that. If that is in there, I don’t know it!”

 

Dealing With the Devil

 

Jesus replied, “Son, there is a lot in there you don’t know.” He continued, “Not one single time in the New Testament is the Church ever told to pray that God the Father or Jesus would do anything against the devil. In fact, to do so is to waste your time. The believer is told to do something about the devil. The reason is because you have the authority to do it. The Church is not to pray to God the Father about the devil; the Church is to exercise the authority that belongs to it. “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 believe that certain people have power. No, Jesus said the least member of the Body of Christ has just as much power over the devil as anyone else; and when we start believing that, that’s when we’re going to get the job done. Jesus continued, “I’ve done all I’m going to do about the devil until the angel comes down from heaven, takes the chain and binds him, and puts him into the bottomless pit [Rev. 20:1- 3].” That came as a real shock to me. “Now,” He said, “I’ll give you the four references that prove that. First of all, when I arose from the dead, I said, ‘All power [authority] is given unto me in heaven and in earth’ (Matt. 28:18). The word ‘power’ means ‘authority.’ But I immediately delegated my authority on earth to the Church, and I can work only through the Church, for I am the Head of the Church.” (Your head cannot exercise any authority anywhere except through your body.)

 

The second reference Jesus gave me was Mark 16:15-18:

 

MARK 16:15-18

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 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.

 

He said, “The very first sign mentioned as following any believer—not any pastor or any evangelist—is that they shall cast out devils. That means that in my Name they shall exercise authority over the devil, because I have delegated my authority over the devil to the Church.”

 

Remember, Colossians 1:13 says, “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son….” (One translation says “the Father hath delivered us from the power of darkness.”) Again that’s the Greek word ‘power’ here for ‘authority.’ The verse should read, “The Father hath delivered us from the authority of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” God already has 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!

 

Exercising Authority Over Others

 

Believers have authority over the devil. They can break the power of the devil if he raises his head anywhere in their own life or the lives of their immediate family or loved ones. They have authority there. They’ll be free from the enemy because they’ve got the right to exercise their authority over him. That doesn’t mean, however, that they’ll go down the street casting the devil out of everyone they meet. It primarily means they will exercise authority over the devil in their own lives. You’ve got to realize that you’ve got authority over your own household that you don’t have in my 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 maneuvers in somebody else’s life, but you can’t always cast him out, because you don’t have authority in that “household.” That’s one place we’ve missed it. The next reference Jesus gave me was James 4:7: “.. .Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (the understood subject of this sentence is “you”).

 

The believer has to have authority over the devil, or the Bible wouldn’t tell him to do something about the devil. 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. Notice, too, that the hands are not in the Head; the hands are in the Body: “They … shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” 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 it. After that vision, and after Jesus gave me that verse from James, my spirit told me the word “flee” was significant. I looked it up in the dictionary and found one of the shades of meanings was “to run from as if in terror.” The devil will run from you in terror! Then I knew why the demon in my vision had begun to whimper and cry—he was terrified.

 

Since then I have seen other demons quake and quiver in fear as I exercised my God-given authority over them. They were not afraid of me, but of Jesus, whom I represent. In the vision Jesus gave me another Scripture that tells us to do something about the devil. This third reference was from First Peter. Peter wrote, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Your adversary means your opponent. This is as far as a lot of people read. They say, “Oh, the devil’s after me!” They ask for prayer so the devil won’t get them —but the devil’s already got them if they talk that way. It’s too late to pray then.

 

What are we going to do about him: Roll over and play dead? Hide our head in the sand and hope he’ll disappear? No, thank God, notice what it says as we go on reading. The next verse reads, “Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions [tests and trials] are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” The American Standard Version says “your faith” instead of “the faith.” I like that better. Jesus said to me in this vision, “Peter did not write this letter and tell Christians, ‘Now, word has come to me that God’s using our beloved Brother Paul in casting out devils, and he’s sending handkerchiefs or cloths, and the diseases are departing from people, and evil spirits are going out of them, so I would suggest that you write to Paul and get a handkerchief.’ ” No, instead of that, he told them to do something about the devil. Why? Because they’ve got authority over him. The Spirit of God through the Apostle Peter wouldn’t tell you to do something you couldn’t do. The reason you can do it is because every believer has the same authority Paul had in Jesus Christ. Peter didn’t tell us that only Paul could cast out devils or that Paul would resist the devil for us. (Why get Paul to do it when you can do it for yourself?)

 

Standing for Baby Christians

 

People are always asking me why they don’t get healed. Some think there is something wrong with the preacher who prayed for them! I explain that when they were first saved, they were baby Christians, and God permitted others to pray for them and carry them on their faith. But after a while, God expects that baby to grow, walk, and start doing things for himself. 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.

 

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. Once my wife and I stayed in a certain couple’s home while attending a convention. The woman had been in our church before she had married. They asked us to pray for their baby boy, just a few months old, who had a rupture. The doctors wanted to operate on him. We cursed the rupture and commanded it to wither and die. In a matter of a few days, it had disappeared completely and the baby never had to have the operation.

 

The baby’s mother said, “Brother Hagin, I don’t mean to be critical, but in our church it seems that we younger people are the only ones who have any faith for healing. I didn’t know who to ask to pray for the baby before you came, because no one ever gets healed here.” We ought to grow stronger in faith the older we get, but too often we don’t. In her church, as in so many, most of the people were saved when they were younger, and God permitted others to pray for them then. But because of a lack of right teaching, they remained in that babyhood stage of Christian development. They said, “We used to get healed when we were first Christians, but now we don’t.” It would make just as much sense for you never to have any clothes of your own—always depending on wearing somebody else’s clothes—as it would for you never to exercise your own faith or do your own praying, always depending on somebody else’s prayers.

 

What happens to people who never attempt to exercise any faith of their own, but always rely on other people’s faith? We just read that “.. .your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour…” But the believer can do something about him. Jesus, James, and Peter tell us to do something about the devil. Paul says in Ephesians 4:27, “Neither give place to the devil.” This was the fourth Scripture Jesus gave me. He explained, “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.”

 

Authority on the Earth

Jesus added, “Here are your four witnesses. I am the first, James is the second, Peter is the third, and Paul is the fourth. This establishes the fact that the believer has authority on earth, for I have delegated my authority over the devil to you on the earth. If you don’t do anything about it, nothing will be done. And that is why many times nothing is done.” Now you can understand why things have happened as they have. We’ve permitted them to happen! Not knowing our authority—not knowing what we could do—we have done nothing, and we actually have permitted the devil to keep on doing whatever he wanted to do. We need to realize this. Let’s wake up. We may have to change our way of praying and get after the devil. I did. It won’t hurt you to change; it’s good for you. We have authority to do this. We’re sitting at the right hand of the Father, far above principalities and powers. If we’re far above them, then we have authority over them.

 

Ephesians 1:22,23 goes on to say, “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church [The feet are members of the body. Feet aren’t members of the head.], Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” As 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. Remember, Jesus said in Luke 10:19 to the other seventy disciples that He sent out, “Behold, I give unto you power [authority] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” How much authority over the devil does the Church have? Any less than this? No, thank God, no.

 

Yet 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. These things are not joking matters. We’re foolish to make light jokes about these things. A preacher once said to me at a convention, “Well, Brother Hagin, I’ve got the devil on the run. The trouble is, I’m running and he’s after me!” Making a statement like that just shows ignorance. In the first place, you haven’t any business running from the devil. The Bible says he’ll run from you. You need to put him on the run. Unfortunately, I think that is the picture of preachers and churches too much of the time; in fact, most of the time. We see it everywhere.

 

Reigning as Kings

Let’s look again at 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.)” The Amplified Bible says we shall “reign as kings in life through the One, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One.” 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. In the next life? No, in this life.

If we’re going to sing something or say something, let’s be sure it’s in line with the Word of God. Some people sing, “Here I wander, like a beggar, through the heat and the cold,” or “Precious Jesus, don’t forget me”—all kinds of unbelief. We’re not wandering like beggars, because we’re not beggars. We’re children of God, heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:17). We’re the Body of Christ. We’re seated with Christ at the right hand of Majesty on High, far above all principalities and power and might and dominion, glory to God! That doesn’t sound like a beggar or “Precious Jesus don’t forget me,” or “If I can just make it in,” or “Standing somewhere in the shadows you’ll find Jesus,” or “Lord, build me a cabin in the corner of gloryland.”

 

I’d rather hear a donkey bray than listen to such songs, but we’ve sung them so long we believe they’re true. People shed a few tears about “wandering like a beggar” and think they’re getting blessed! Too often we Christians act like young birds, having our eyes shut and our mouths wide open. Anybody can come along and feed us anything, and we re ready to accept it. Well, I’m not going to keep my mouth open and my eyes shut; I’m going to keep my eyes open and my mouth shut!

 

Humility vs. Poverty

For example, many Christians equate humility with poverty. One preacher once told me how humble another was because he drove a very old car. I replied, “That’s not being humble—that’s being ignorant!” Driving an old car was that preacher’s idea of humility. Another fellow remarked, “You know, Jesus and the disciples never drove a Cadillac!” There weren’t any Cadillacs then. But Jesus did ride a donkey. It was the “Cadillac” of that day—the best means of transportation they had.

 

Believers have allowed the devil to cheat them out of every blessing they could enjoy. God didn’t intend us to be povertystricken. 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.

 

Exercising Authority in Your Family

God didn’t intend for the devil to dominate our families. When our children were small and the devil would try to put sickness on them, I would get mad at the devil and tell him to take his hands off my children. I would tell him, “I’m ruling over my domain. You’re not ruling in this household; I am through Jesus Christ.” I put him on the run, and he ran. You can put him on the run, too. Years ago I was preaching in the North, and I was awakened in the middle of the night. Somehow I knew in my spirit that somebody was in physical danger, and I began to pray in tongues. I asked the Lord what was wrong, and He showed me it had to do with my older brother. I knew his life was in danger. I continued praying quietly in tongues for about an hour and a half. My praying didn’t disturb my wife, who was asleep in bed beside me. Finally I had a note of victory, and I began to sing very quietly in other tongues. Then I went back to sleep.

 

Two days later my sister called me from Texas. She was crying and almost in hysterics. “Dub’s been in an accident, and he’s broken his back,” she cried. “He’s in terrible shape. He’s in Kansas. The doctors don’t know whether he’ll live or not.” “Wait a minute,” I said. “Quiet down. He’s not as bad as they think. If he was, God’s already touched him, because I prayed about that two nights ago, and I’ve already got the answer.” “Have you?”

“Yes, I have. Don’t bother a bit about it. He’s all right.” Two days later she called again. She had checked on his condition and had found that Dub had walked out of the hospital with his back in a cast. He hadn’t died, like the doctors had predicted, and he wasn’t paralyzed.

 

He came to our home in Garland, Texas, and was very despondent and depressed, because his wife had left him and had taken the children while he was gone. I was preaching in my home church that Sunday morning and I tried to get him to go with us, but he wouldn’t. He was a baby Christian, just barely saved. Right in the middle of my sermon, I suddenly had a vision. I had my eyes wide open, but out in front of me I saw my brother in the city park. I heard him say to himself, Well, I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to kill her and then I’II kill myself. I stopped dead still and said, “Wait a minute. I’ve got a little matter I’ve got to take care of here. Then I’ll get back to my sermon.” I spoke to that devil that was tormenting him: “Devil, you stop that right now! I adjure you in the Name of Jesus Christ to leave that man” (the congregation didn’t know who I was talking about, but the devil did). That’s all I said. Then I went back to my sermon.

 

When we got home, my brother was at the house, and he was obviously in good spirits. He said he had walked to the park and had decided to take matters into his own hands. I told him, “Well, I knew that,” and I told him what I had seen. He said, “Something came over me suddenly, and it was like something lifted up from me. It was as if a cloud lifted from me, and I came back to the house whistling and singing.” Dub didn’t know how to touch the Lord for himself because he was just a baby Christian. Sometimes those of us who are older in the Lord have to help baby Christians, and thank God we can. The time will come in their lives, however, when they will have to know how to do some things for themselves. We won’t be able to act for them then.

 

Learn To Be Exalted

We Christians must learn that we are seated with Christ. We must learn to be exalted to the place where God wants us! The Church fails too often in this ministry of authority. Instead, She is bowed down in defeat and is overcome with fear. Ephesians 1:22 says, “And hath put all things under his [Jesus’] feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.” Jesus is Head over sickness, disease, and anything else that’s evil, as He proved when He was here on earth. By reversing the words, we’ll bring out the deepest meaning more clearly: ” .. .head to the church over all things.” Jesus is Head over all things for the Church’s sake. We need to meditate upon these divine truths so that our spirits may fully understand them. Once we do, we’ll reap rich rewards. 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. In Ephesians, Paul prayed that the Church at Ephesus also might have this spirit of wisdom and revelation.

 

God made Christ to be the Head over all things to the Church. It is for our sake that He’s the Head, so that we through Him might exercise that authority over all things. 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 can be ours.

Chapter 1 1.
The Prayers of Paul
Chapter 1 1.
The Prayers of Paul

Keep Winning

Daily Devotional: Keep Winning

Keep Winning

Daily Devotional: Keep Winning

Keep Winning
Daily Devotional: Keep Winning

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

I n life, never be afraid of your adversaries or critics, because they don’t count. Irrespective of the conditions, keep growing; keep winning; keep making progress. Let nothing stop you. The more powerful your critics, the more glorious your life really is. No one would bother about you if you were a failure. When your detractors or adversaries spend time, money, or other effort, in an attempt to get at you and derail you, have no fear. It’s evidence that you’re making an impact. If you remain focused, you’ll keep succeeding, while they keep stumbling, because “no weapon fashioned against you shall prosper” (Isaiah 54:17). 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.” Our opening scripture says, “…If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

David had a beautiful revelation about this. You know he had lots of enemies. In Psalm 27:1-2, he said, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.” Everyone has their place in the Word; that of your detractors is “they stumbled and fell!” Never try to avenge or get back at your critics, or those who have set themselves up as your enemies; they’re in trouble with God. What you should rather do is what Jesus said—pray for them and bless them: “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). Keep making impact for the Lord. Keep winning, and refuse to care about the resultant criticisms and adversities, for they don’t count. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Glory to God!

 

 

PRAYER

Dear Father, thank you for your glory in my life, your indwelling presence that assures me of success and victory every day! I count it all joy to face diverse tests and trials, because they’re for my promotion; they work for me a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, as I keep my gaze on you, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

FURTHER STUDY: Isaiah 54:17; Romans 8:35-39

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Daily Devotionals

Jesus The Creative Word

John 1:9-13 – Receiving Jesus

John 1:9-13 – Receiving Jesus

John 1:9-13 – Receiving Jesus

John
John 1:9-13 – Receiving Jesus

John 1:9-13 HCSB The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. (10) He was in the world, and the world was created through Him, yet the world did not recognize Him. (11) He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. (12) But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name, (13) who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.

The fallen world order does not acknowledge or receive Christ and the New Testament, and particularly Paul gives us a variety of reasons such as: own fleshly inclinations, wrong teaching, our fallen nature, the Devil’s blinding of the heart, Jewish legalism, cultural and spiritual strongholds, and human ignorance, pride and folly. I have listed some verses on this topic below:

WHY PEOPLE REFUSE TO RECEIVE CHRIST

 

Romans 8:7 HCSB For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so.

 

1 Corinthians 1:18-25 HCSB (18) For to those who are perishing the message of the cross is foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is God’s power.

1 Corinthians 2:14 HCSB (14) But the natural man does not welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to know it since it is evaluated spiritually.

 

2 Corinthians 3:14 HCSB (14) But their minds were closed. For to this day, at the reading of the old covenant, the same veil remains; it is not lifted, because it is set-aside only in Christ.

 

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 HCSB (3) But if, in fact, our gospel is veiled; it is veiled to those who are perishing. (4) Regarding them: the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 HCSB (4) since the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments (5) and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

 

Ephesians 2:1-3 HCSB And you were dead in your trespasses and sins (2) in which you previously walked according to this worldly age, according to the ruler of the atmospheric domain, the spirit now working in the disobedient. (3) We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and by nature we were children under wrath, as the others were also.

 

Ephesians 4:17-18 HCSB Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thoughts. (18) They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts.

 

Colossians 1:21 HCSB And you were once alienated and hostile in mind because of your evil actions.

This is a convincing enough lists of verses – some folks are perishing in stubborn unbelief and spiritual blindness. Such people need a lot of patient prayer and witnessing if they ever are to believe. I was an anti-Christian atheist prior to being saved and many thought I could not be saved – but nevertheless God “got me”.

Yet we need to put an end to Pollyanna views such as: “If we just preach the gospel everyone will believe.” If Jesus Himself could not get everyone to believe, even with all the miracles He performed and His wisdom, love and grace – then we need to accept that this is “something fundamental” in humanity. In fact there are almost two types of people “those who are perishing” and “those who are being saved” and it is seems that it is with difficulty that many of those who are perishing find Christ.

One reason that the world does not acknowledge Christ because the “ruler of this world” is the Devil (1 John 5:18,19) and he has absolutely zero intention of letting this world be released into the freedom of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19-25)

Therefore intercession and spiritual warfare must precede evangelism if the Devil’s grip on fallen humanity is to be broken. Much prevailing prayer has preceded every great revival – (see Dr. Stewart Robinson’s excellent review article Praying the Price of Revival http://aibi.gospelcom.net/prayer/payprice.htm) and here is a link on Prayer Evangelism: http://aibi.gospelcom.net/articles/prayer_evangelism.htm

The natural human mind is not a level playing field. It does not naturally think the thoughts that accompany salvation. It rushes into folly and gossip and pornography and tabloid rubbish and totally ignores, ridicules and dismisses the deep things of God.

Humanism, which almost deifies the natural human intellect, is without a good explanation for the lust, cruelty, evil, folly, and madness of humanity. Humanism can never properly explain Auschwitz or Rwanda or the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

The world did not acknowledge Jesus, His own received Him not, yet some did believe and He gave them the power to become sons of God. That is the power to be eternal beings of great glory and authority.

The basis of this sonship is being “born of God”, that is a spiritual birth that comes from God, not a literal or physical birth from mankind or the human will (see John 3:1-18). In the new birth we are born as eternal spiritual beings, who are citizens of Heaven (Ephesians 2:19, Philippians 3:20), and are seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6, 1:20).

The world can give us all sorts of other powers – the power to earn money or the power to be famous or the power to rule nations, but only Jesus Christ can give us the eternal and holy power that will last forever, the power to become a son of God.

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John

John 1:6-8 – John The Baptist

John 1:6-8 – John The Baptist
John
John the Baptist

John 1:6-8 – John The Baptist

John 1:6-8 HCSB There was a man named John who was sent from God. (7) He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. (8) He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light.

 

If you have been watching the news about Iraq recently you may have heard about the persecution of the Mandeans – modern-day followers of John the Baptist. In fact in the first century John the Baptist got such a large following among Jews and other folk in the Middle East that quite a bit of the New Testament is spent explaining the connection between the two cousins – John and Jesus. In Acts 19 Paul has to explain the gospel more fully to a group of John’s disciples in Ephesus as the changeover from following John to following Jesus was not as automatic as we may think.

In Matthew 11:11-13 Jesus says that His cousin John was the culmination of the Law and the Prophets and the “greatest of those born of women”. Yet John, despite his greatness “was not the light”, but rather, like all the prophets of old, John ‘bore witness to the Light”. John “prepared the way of the Lord” by helping Jews take the necessary steps of faith so they could be ready to hear the message of Jesus.

“There was a man named John who was sent from God.” Those “sent by God” are apostles (that is what the word apostle means). Apostles are not sent from a nation as an ambassador, or from a company as a representative but directly from God so as to speak on His behalf.

 

Those sent from God are sent with a particular message to a particular people – just as Jonah was sent to Nineveh with the commission to warn them of impending judgment. Thus John the Baptist was sent to the desert of Judea with the message “repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand” and a purpose “to be the voice crying in the wilderness prepare ye the way of the Lord.”

John thus prepared the way for Jesus by calling the Jewish people to repentance, so Jesus could call them to faith in Him. The New Testament makes clear that we cannot have biblical faith apart from moral regeneration. The faith of the positive thinkers is not enough. New Testament faith has a direction and that direction is into God, and into His nature.

We cannot remain in sin and truly believe in Jesus, because if we truly believe what Jesus said we will believe what He said about sin and righteousness and repentance.

Believing in Jesus is not just believing that He exists, or that He is loving and nice, or even that He is God, it is also believing what He said and thus obeying His commandments. If Jesus says “do not lay up treasure on earth’ (Matthew 6:19) and we do so then we are not believing what He said.

 

Believing in Jesus requires stern moral commitment. It is more than a warmed heart; it is a morally changed life. John came as a preacher of righteousness and moral regeneration so that people could be convicted of their sin and turn to God for mercy and a new life in Christ.

The modern debate on grace is often misconstrued. Grace is not God excusing you from all sorts of abhorrent moral behavior, nor is it a free pass into heaven for the unrepentant. Grace is given to make us holy. Grace calls us from wickedness to repentance, grace reveals the way from repentance to faith in Christ, grace grows us from initial faith to deeper sanctification and grace frees and transforms us along the path from sanctification to ultimate glorification.

Grace gives people the chance to become like Jesus. Grace makes the highway of holiness one that is free from condemnation so that we have the courage to travel along it. Grace is not the same as freedom from condemnation, which is only part of the story. We don’t sit down in the road saying: “Wow, I am free from condemnation.” The idea is to keep moving toward Christ-likeness.

It is much easier to tell a convicted and repentant sinner about Jesus, than a complacent and self-satisfied person who is uncaring of the state of his or her soul. So John came to stir people up so that they would care about their souls and seek God.

 

John came “so that all might believe through him.” He was a prophet who had as his objective – that others would believe in Jesus. Our ministries should be the same – pointing always to the Savior.

“He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light.” No matter how great our intelligence or insight or calling we are not the Light. Only Jesus is the light. Sometimes we make a preacher or teacher or founder of an organization or denomination another “light”. That is wrong, they may give witness to the light, but they are not the light. You can disagree with me and still be wonderfully saved, but you cannot disagree with Jesus and be saved. Jesus is the Truth and I and all other ministers of the gospel merely point to Him.

The Mandeans need Jesus. They need the Light. No man born of woman can guide us. Only Jesus is the Light of our lives.

 

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