GOD GIVEN AUTHORITY ON THE EARTH
Now I’m going to tackle something that is very important and yet extremely misunderstood by many Christians. As I’ve met many people through the years, one of the most misunderstood things is in this area of ‘authority’. I am going to try to deal with this in the most simple way to understand that I can. As I’ve told you before, my assignment from the Lord is to share with people what I have learned but in an easy-to-understand-way so it’s not so complicated. So that’s what we’re going to do today.
I’m going to start off by reading three verses from Genesis 1, which is as far back to the beginning as we can go in our knowledge about God and man. It’s Genesis 1:26, 27, & 28. “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Now - let’s think about this. The first thing that is mind-blowing is that He created man and woman in the image of Himself. All the other living creatures in the earth are all unique and different from one another - different in looks, in function, in purpose, and on and on. BUT GOD MADE MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE. In other words, mankind was the only part of the creation that was a being with a soul and spirit. The animals, fish, birds, etc. just have bodies.
Then - God gave dominion to mankind. The definition of the word, ‘dominion’, is supreme authority - sovereignty - a territory over which such authority is exercised’.
Now, a lot of people read that but they miss the point that God really did give authority over this earth to mankind - and that means that God was not ruling with authority over the earth - man was! I hear people say all the time, “Why did God let this happen? Why didn’t God just whoosh down and keep that from happening? God can do anything - so why does He let bad things happen to good people?” I have heard this so many times, “Why did God take this person away from me when He knew I loved him so much? Doesn’t He care? I don’t want anything to do with Him. He could have kept him alive.”
God does not “WHOOSH” DOWN FROM HEAVEN INTO THE AFFAIRS OF MANKIND UNLESS HE IS INVITED!!!!!!!! God does not violate His own laws that He has made here on this earth. God loves human beings so much - and He made them with more than just a body - He gave them a spirit and a soul. In that soul, there is a mind, will, and emotions. He will not just jump in a take over a person’s will and make them do what He wants - His will.
Now - it’s true that each human being has a spirit - but when Adam and Eve listened to a snake that Satan had inhabited, and believed that God was keeping something from them - that the spirit of mankind died. Therefore, man’s dead spirit hindered man from being eternal.
Now - when Jesus came - all God and all man - but without sin, He took the sin for all mankind so that man could believe and receive and be BORN AGAIN - thus having a LIVE SPIRIT AND BEING ETERNAL AGAIN.
So - when Jesus came to the earth, He had to come as a man to overdue what mankind had done by submitting to the evil one. A MAN had to pay the price. But, also, A MAN had to operate in authority here on this earth and show the rest of mankind how to do it.
Now, this is a topic that has many areas to understand but, today, I just want to deal with the authority that we have, in Christ, concerning ourselves and the people in our lives. I want us all to get a handle on what this authority is, and how it can have a huge effect on our lives.
Now - think about this - God gave authority to mankind over the earthly things. He didn’t give us authority over other people. Therefore, we can use our God-given authority concerning our own earthly lives, but we do not have authority over other people. You can’t get someone saved or healed with your authority, without the co-operation of the other person.
So - I want you to think about something. You are a spirit - you have a soul - and you live in a body. Your body is earthly. You have been given authority over your own body. Man oh Man - when I began to get ahold of this truth all those years ago, it was a whole new realm for me. Now, up to that time, I had talked to the Lord about my body - aches, pain, sickness, weakness, etc. I had used Scripture verses as I talked to the Lord. Now there’s nothing wrong with that. But when this truth about me having authority over “earthly things - which included my own body,” it was an awakening.
I learned that I could talk to my body, in the name of Jesus and tell it what it had to do. NOW THIS IS A BIGGIE - SO LISTEN CAREFULLY - I HAD TO BELIEVE IT!!!!!!!! If I don’t believe in my heart, I am only like a bell ringing that has no power. Therefore, I began to read the WORD like I never had before. I read, searching for verses about healing - and the more I read, the more I believed. 1 Peter 2: 24 really became alive to me. It says, “By His stripes, you WERE healed.” I would say that verse over and over and then I would say, “If I was healed, then I AM HEALED.” I would imagine myself there watching at the crucifixion of Jesus, watching as they beat Him, (putting stripes on His skin) - It became so real to me - He was taking those stripes for me - then I would begin to say, “Lord You did that for me - so by Your stripes I was healed - and If I was healed, then I am healed.” Then, I would praise Him, and thank Him, and worship Him.
THEN - I would talk to my body - to the part that was giving me a problem. I would actually put my hands on the area of problem and I would command it in Jesus name to obey - because I had authority over it. Sometimes, it would change quickly - other times it would be longer - a little bit at a time.
I’ve had many situations through the years, but the one that was the most dramatic (which I’ve already mentioned to you) was in about 2001, when I was living in Kansas City. My husband had moved to heaven in 1999, and I had been recovering from that. I had horrible pain in my lower back, and was having to be pushed around in a wheelchair. I had been seen by doctors and had had lots of x-rays and tests and was told I would probably be in a wheelchair the rest of my life. I was sitting in my apartment, listening to a tape series of Andrew Wommack’s called, “What To Do When It Looks Like You’re Not Healed.” He talked about a lot of what I was just talking about - taking authority over your own body. Now I had heard most of it before - but this time, I was believing, and believing, and believing - and, while he was teaching, I was doing what he was saying. There was some praise going on at the end of the last tape, and I stood up out of the wheel chair, praising the Lord also. Then - all of a sudden, I realized that all the pain was gone! I started praising Him, almost like I never had before. I looked at my watch and realized that the time had passed when I was supposed to take my pain medication. I just grabbed the bottle and threw it in the trash! I WAS HEALED.
Now, ever since then, there have been lots of other situations. Our bodies are getting older and they want to remind us of that constantly - BUT THE BIBLE SAYS THAT WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS! Some of them have been quick and some of them have taken time. I have been dealing with physical stuff just like everybody else does.
Now, I can hear someone thinking, “You mean, I am actually supposed to look at my own leg, or foot, or hand, or stomach……., and talk to it and tell it what to do??? YES!!!!!!! But you have to believe that you have authority. It really helps you to believe more and more and more, if you just sit and read the Word - especially the New Testament. Reading the Gospels is very helpful - reading about all the healing that Jesus did - then reading the Epistles about all the ways that the first century Christians followed the actions of Jesus.
Think of yourself as a follower (or disciple) of Jesus. Now I’m going to read Luke 9:1-2 - “Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” This is for all of us - it’s not just for the missionaries and preachers and teachers. It’s for all of us. How can you heal others if you can’t take authority over your own body?
Now I want to read some other Scriptures which deal with another area of this authority. First, I want to read 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 - “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
Now - the main underlying point of that is that we’re not just dealing with the flesh - there is a world that we cannot see and that world has demonic activity which is against Christ and the Word of God, but we have been given authority over that unseen realm.
Now here’s a very well-known portion of Scripture - and many people know it and can quote it but, when it comes right down to it, they don’t use their authority that has been given to them. It’s Ephesians 6:11-18 - “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to the end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”
Now this is a very powerful portion of Scripture and I have heard series taught about it, books written about it, and on and on. It has a great deal of truth in it and I am, by no means, going to try to cover it all. I just want to call it to your attention - because, a huge amount of Christians just kinda’ read by this and never really take to the heart the power that God has given to His children against the enemy of God - the devil!
I suggest you get your Bible and read through these verses very slowly and take it in. I wanted to read it today because I want us to clearly see that WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN AUTHORITY OVER THE ONE WHO FIGHTS AGAINST US THE MOST, WITH ALL HIS HELPERS.
Now - let me say this - it isn’t just your body, much of the time that is screaming at you with pain, or weakness, or sickness, and on and on - but often there are demons who are keeping the problem going. We have been given power, in the name of Jesus, over all the power of the enemy - but the majority of Christians do not know it and use it. They just read over verses like I just read and they just figure that was for that period of time, or that it’s for the ‘super saints’ - or they’ve never heard a teaching about it so they just figure it’s not important anymore.
The best way to understand this portion of Scripture and how it works is to read the Gospels and pay attention to the way Jesus took authority. Then He told His followers to go do what He did. The same is true for us. You don’t have to be an ordained or licensed preacher or teacher to take authority over the devil. All you have to do is be a believer in Jesus Christ and use His name. The devil hates the name of Jesus.
Now - this is a very important thing to get ahold of. Remember, you do not have authority over another person’s will. In other words, you can’t make another human being do what you want them to do - your authority is not over other human beings, unless they are also operating in faith, and they are agreeable to you using your faith on their behalf. BUT YOU CAN SPEND TIME PRAYING FOR THEM - THAT “THE EYES OF THEIR UNDERSTANDING WILL BE ENLIGHTENED” (Eph. 1:18) - AND YOU CAN SPEAK TO THE ENEMIES OF GOD WHO ARE INFLUENCING THEM. THE PROBLEM WITH THAT IS THAT, UNLESS THEY CHANGE, THEY WILL ALLOW THE ENEMY BACK IN. YOU CAN ALSO ASK THE LORD TO BRING PEOPLE ACROSS THEIR PATH WHO WILL SPEAK A WORD TO THEM WHICH WILL HELP THEM SEE WHAT THEY NEED TO SEE.
As I said before, I’m trying to make this as simple to understand as possible. This is a very big subject, and there are many, many verses in the Bible that deal with this. So I want to center in on one thing that can be the motivating force to help us all in this realm.
Jesus is the SON OF GOD. There is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - the TRINITY - OR THREE-PART GODHEAD! Now, I’m going to read John 1:1-5 - “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him, nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” Now I’m going to read John 1:14 - “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Now - the 2nd Person of the Godhead, the Son of God, Jesus, is spoken of, as the WORD, and He is also spoken of as the ONE WHO MADE THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH. He is the One Who became a human being by being born as a baby and growing up as a human being on this earth - BECAUSE ONLY A HUMAN BEING HAS DOMINION OVER THIS EARTH. He - without sin - was the only ONE who could take all the sin of the world upon Himself and pay the price that no other human being could pay.
THEN - when we accepted what He has done and received His salvation, our new spirits are called the “SPIRIT OF CHRIST.” There are scriptures all the way through the New Testament which refer to this. It’s hard for us to comprehend - but listen to Romans 8:9 - “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”
There are about 24 verses which refer to this in the New Testament. So - here’s the truth - your new born again spirit has what Jesus has - He has imparted all His power and blessings to all those who accept what He has done. That means that Jesus wants all His followers to take the same kind of authority here on this earth just like He did, as a part of mankind on this earth.
I, personally, have learned that the only way I can do that is to read the Gospels and see how He did things, and read the Epistles and see how His first followers did things, 2,000 years ago.
One very, very, very, important truth that I have learned is that this authority that we have received in our born again spirit can only be accessed by faith - and that comes through growing in knowledge about what He has given us - and how it worked for Him and will work for us.
So I want to use one story that we’re all familiar with, but it really shows, through Jesus’ actions and words, how His (and therefore, Our) authority here on the earth works. I’m going to read several verses - first Mark 11:12-14 - “Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response Jesus said to it, ‘Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.”
Now - they went to Jerusalem. Now verses 19-24 - “When evening had come, He went out of the city. Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to Him, ‘Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.’ So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.’ Therefore, I say to you, ‘whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them and you will have them.”
Now, I’m sure that you have read these verses, and may have heard people preach about them. I’m just using them now to show us an example of how Jesus used His authority - how He did it - how He acted - and what happened. His example shows us really how faith works. It is to be spoken out of our mouths and we must believe it is a reality before we see it. BUT IT REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY SHOWS US THAT WE HAVE TO TAKE AUTHORITY - OF COURSE, IN THE NAME OF JESUS!
I’ve seen so many people who want healing, restoration of family, financial situations changed, but they really have not understood and operated in the authority that BELIEVERS IN JESUS CHRIST HAVE HERE ON THIS EARTH. Actually, we, who are in our latter years, have a lot of things to deal with. Now we’re all going to die and leave these bodies here on earth and go to heaven, but I really don’t believe that we have to be sick, sick, sick, in order to die. I know lots of Christians who have moved to heaven peacefully - and I don’t want to imply that I am perfect at all this - but I’m working toward getting a better handle on it than I had before - and I really believe that the Lord wanted me to share these truths with you.
This is such a big subject - and we may delve into more of it - we’ll see what the Lord says.
But for now, I really am suggesting that you read all those scriptures in your Bibles and concentrate on the fact that you have GOD GIVEN AUTHORITY IN THE NAME OF JESUS WHILE YOU ARE STILL HERE ON THIS EARTH. BUT YOU ALSO MUST BELIEVE IT. BELIEVING IT GROWS IN YOU AS YOU TAKE IN HIS WORD.
I want to make another suggestion - I was talking on the phone to someone last week, and I was sharing this with that person - and the Lord told me to share this with all of you. When you are reading in the Gospels, read slow - and imagine yourself there in that situation - like there at the fig tree when He cursed it - and then when they went back there and it had died from the roots up. Imagine how you would have reacted. I have imagined being a follower of Jesus when He has healed people, raised people from the dead, when He fed those thousands of people from a few loaves and fishes. I have learned that taking it as reality, instead of just like a story in any other book, causes my mind to REALLY BELIEVE IN MIRACLES.
Believe me - I’ll never forget that man, John Taylor, being raised from the dead in our church that time back in the early 80’s, when Andy Wommack was at our church.
Brothers and sisters, you have to renew your mind so that you think like God thinks, see people like God sees them, love like God loves, believe His Word, and really believe that nothing is impossible with God!!!!
AND JESUS HAS GIVEN US AUTHORITY TO DO WHAT HE DID - WHILE WE’RE HERE!!!!!!
I’m going to close with these precious two verses - 1 John 2:5-6 - “But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him (Jesus) ought himself to walk just as He walked.”
Yes, brothers and sisters - we are to walk through our lives like Jesus did - loving people, helping people, taking authority over demons and sickness, and all things that try to hinder our lives and the lives of others around us. We can’t do that from our natural soul and body - we are to access the power that has been put into our new born again spirit and TAKE AUTHORITY LIKE JESUS DID AS HE WALKED ON THIS EARTH! None of us do it perfectly - because we’re all a work in progress. But, we at least have to begin - and then we mature in doing what He said to do. We do it IN JESUS NAME!!!!!!
Scriptures used for this lesson
1 Peter 2:24
2 Corinthians 10:3-6
John 1:1-5, 1:14
Mark 11:12-14, 19-24
1 John 2:5-6