Rough Draft Chapter for my next book “…After doing time”
Chapter 10- Our Authority Over Circumstances
In the past few chapters we have established a consistency on the importance of where we place our agreement and understanding precisely what it means to not only ask for forgiveness of sin but to truly repent and turn around. Establishing those two principles was essential for laying the foundation of what would be built in this chapter.
Our greatest internal and physical battles with sin have come from what I would term agreements with sin that we have made and open doors that either we have opened or have been predisposed to through family choices and heritage.
When we consider the natural law of gravity, we understand that if it has mass and is within the earths gravitational field, what goes up must come down. Before we ever understand what gravity is or that it even exists, we learn as children that throwing a ball into the air will result in it falling back down to the Earth. In essence, without recognizing the law at work, we still learn to function within the parameters of that law.
There are also other scientific laws: laws of motion, laws of physics, mathematical laws, etc. all at work on a daily basis in our lives and most of us are completely unaware of them, yet it does not change the fact that they are molding our existence and playing an intricate part in our daily lives.
I believe that this is also the case from a spiritual perspective. We don’t often think of the spiritual realm from the same perspective of reality as the physical realm because we live in a realm where all of our senses respond to physical stimuli. We don’t usually see, hear, smell touch or taste spiritual things so, to many people, the spirit realm is not as real or is almost an afterthought, even being viewed in a mythological sense or at the very least, currently irrelevant perspective that won’t really be relevant until we die.
Most people think of themselves as physical beings existing in a physical realm. But the truth of the matter is, we are spirit beings housed in physical bodies that currently exist in a physical realm. Your human body is the earthsuit for the real you, your spirit. We understand, according to Genesis 1 that the spirit realm created the physical realm. So, with that understanding I ask you, What is more real, the creation or its creator?
Genesis 1:1 (New International Version, ©2011)
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
John 4:24 (New International Version, ©2011)
24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
Just because we do not often physically sense the spiritual realm does not make it any less real. Like the physical law of gravity, Spiritual Laws are at work every day, all around us, whether we understand them or not. Believing in the spirit realm will not change the influence that it has on your life any more than denying the existence of gravity will keep you from functioning under its affects or power. You live within Earths gravitational field, and gravity will always have an influence upon you.
In the same light, realizing (or not realizing) how spiritual laws like faith, words and agreements work does not keep them from being active in your life. They will still function whether you know that they are or believe that they even can. Our knowledge of them simply gives us a better understanding of how to navigate life working with them instead of against them or perhaps better put, our knowledge of them helps us to use them for our benefit rather than our destruction.
Whether we want to admit it and believe it or now, the spirit realm is very much alive and at work in our lives and there are physical decisions that we make that absolutely unleash the power of spiritual laws.
Man was given dominion by God
Genesis 1:26-29 (New King James Version)
26 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.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 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.”
This earth was created by God. According to Genesis 1, God spoke life and what we have come to understand as nature into being with His own words. Then He did something very unique for man. He formed man with His hands and BREATHED life into him!
Genesis 2:7 (New King James Version)
7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Many believe that it was in this moment that the breath of God infused man with his spirit.
As Genesis 1 stated, we were created in the image of God with the absolute intention by God to rule and exercise dominion over the earth that we now inhabit. There was only one aspect of creation that man was to leave alone. God commanded man to not touch one tree.
Genesis 2:16-17 (New King James Version)
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
God set up a physical law in the Garden of Eden that had spiritual repercussions. He told Adam, you can rule the entire Earth and have dominion over EVERYTHING…It’s all yours… but don’t eat the fruit of this tree. If you do, you will die! It was the only rule that God demanded that man follow.
Genesis 3 (New King James Version)
1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
God set up the system and laws for this physical realm. He then gave man dominion over the physical realm that He created. Just like if I gave you a vehicle, it would be yours to do with as you wish. You can drive it, you can enjoy it, you can do whatever you want with it, but if you do something to break the law with the new found freedom that you were given, it may likely become the property of city where you broke the law.
When man broke Gods one law, he literally surrendered the dominion that God had given him to sin. At that point, Satan was given an aspect of control in the Earth that he was not intended to have and that was not previously his to exercise…Authority in the Earth was given to Satan through the vehicle of man, who relinquished his God given authority via disobedience to God and His Word. It was sin that opened the legal doors for Satan to have influence that was not previously his to exercise in the Earth or in man. And it is still sin that opens the doors for Satan to have his influence in our lives today.
The Second Adam
Jesus is often referred to as The Second Adam. People frequently ask, Why did Jesus have to be born into the world? Why couldn’t God just make Jesus appear and do what he had to do to accomplish Gods desires for him? I believe that the answer to this question goes back to Genesis 1 and the aspect of God given authority and also the physical/spiritual laws that God set up in the beginning of the Earth.
God gave man authority and man relinquished his authority to Satan via the vehicle of sin. In order for there to be a restoration of that authority, there had to be a sinless man who had not relinquished his own God ordained, God given right of authority and dominion to Satan through willful sin.
Jesus HAD to be a man who entered the earth through the womb of a woman in order to have a legitimate right to the inheritance and dominion that was set up by God with the first man, Adam.
While I recognize that there are different schools of thought on the subject of the Power of God and the Authority of the Believer. I personally believe that God is Omnipotent (which means He is all-powerful) but I also believe that He functions within the laws that He Himself set up for the Earth and subsequently, gave to man. This is why Jesus had to be born as a man, otherwise Jesus would have been exercising authority illegally and outside of the laws that God had set up. He was however, able to exercise mans authority in the earth, because he WAS a man…a man who was infused with the Spirit of God. Like Gods breath, which was breathed into the first Adam, Gods seed was planted into the womb of a woman producing the second Adam, Jesus…The Son of God AND the Son of Man!
To give biblical example for this position on authority, I will point to the words of men who were demon possessed in the bible who I believe were openly questioning and defying the authority that Jesus had in this Earth.
Matthew 8:28-29 (Amplified Bible)
28And when He arrived at the other side in the country of the Gadarenes, two men under the control of demons went to meet Him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce and savage that no one was able to pass that way.
29And behold, they shrieked and screamed, What have You to do with us, Jesus, Son of God? Have You come to torment us before the appointed time?
There are two phrases that I would like to emphasize in what these demons were screaming at Jesus through men that they had possessed. The first is they called him, Son of God.
While it was spiritually understood by the demons that possessed these men that Jesus was the Son of God and carried the Spirit of God, I believe that their words were as much an accusation confronting His authority to be there as they were a declaration of who He was. It is my belief that they were saying, Jesus, you are the Son of God, so what are you doing here right now…we have been given authority and dominion here by man what right do you have to be here? They did NOT call Him the son of man because if they had, they would be acknowledging his authority to be there. I believe that this was a last ditch effort on behalf of the demons to attempt to cite a spiritual law that was understood by the demons and that would also be understood by the Son of God (because it was God who set the laws in motion to begin with), that Jesus was functioning illegally in the Earth.
The second point that I would like to cite from this short verse 29 that I believe further solidifies my position is they asked Jesus, Have you come to torment us before the appointed time?
In order for the demons to make such a statement, there must have been an understanding between God and the demons that there was to be an appointed time of punishment or relinquishing of authority and they did not perceive that to be the moment that was predetermined. As a result, they questioned the authority of Jesus on two levels, the first being his legal right to be there in a position of authority as the Son of God and the second being that He was superseding his authority based upon an agreed time or perhaps spiritual law for when the demons would have to relinquish authority i.e. the appointed time.
What is obvious by the reaction of the demons who Jesus immediately took His God ordained authority over is that Jesus DID have a legal right to be there, he DID cast the demons out of the men and the WERE set free!
**Just a side note for the sake of education, Jesus cast the demons out of the men and into a herd of 2,000 pigs who then ran off of a cliff and drowned themselves, killing all the pigs. Many times people will ask, Why did Jesus send the demons into the pigs? My belief is that it is perhaps because of the religious Jewish leaders (Sadducees) that may have been there amongst the crowd who did not believe in the existence of spirits and likely openly taught against their existence. After an open show of such magnitude in front of so many people, it would have been difficult to substantiate such an excluding belief.
As the Son of God, His authority was questioned. As the sinless Son of Man, Jesus exercised full, legal authority over the defying spirits!
So Why Did Jesus Have To Die?
Entire books have been written on this topic alone but I believe that at least an overview of this subject in important to address as we continue to lay the groundwork for our God given authority in this earth. We’ve heard it said, Jesus died for our sins…but why did he have to die?
Before Jesus died, people would offer the sacrifices of animals as an offering to God for their sin. The priest would sacrifice the animals and the blood of the animal was spilled as a covering for the sin of the person or family offering the sacrifice. Man did not have the freedom to approach God or personally ask God for forgiveness at this point in history. The Priests were the only ones who were given authority to stand before God on behalf of the people. The High Priest was the only man who was permitted to enter the Most Holy Place in the temple where the Spirit of God dwelt. The High Priest would actually attach a rope to himself in the event that he did not properly cleanse himself physically and spiritually and dropped dead in the presence of God when he passed to the opposite side of a foot thick woven cloth veil that was used as a door for the entrance of the Most Holy Place.
In Hebrews chapter 9 the bible goes into detail about what Jesus (aka. The Messiah in this scripture) accomplished when He died and how it affected the previous relationship and rituals set up for sin atonement.
Hebrews 9:11-28 (The Message)
11-15But when the Messiah arrived, high priest of the superior things of this new covenant, he bypassed the old tent and its trappings in this created world and went straight into heaven’s “tent”—the true Holy Place—once and for all. He also bypassed the sacrifices consisting of goat and calf blood, instead using his own blood as the price to set us free once and for all. If that animal blood and the other rituals of purification were effective in cleaning up certain matters of our religion and behavior, think how much more the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out. Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God.
16-17Like a will that takes effect when someone dies, the new covenant was put into action at Jesus’ death. His death marked the transition from the old plan to the new one, canceling the old obligations and accompanying sins, and summoning the heirs to receive the eternal inheritance that was promised them. He brought together God and his people in this new way.
18-22Even the first plan required a death to set it in motion. After Moses had read out all the terms of the plan of the law—God’s “will”—he took the blood of sacrificed animals and, in a solemn ritual, sprinkled the document and the people who were its beneficiaries. And then he attested its validity with the words, “This is the blood of the covenant commanded by God.” He did the same thing with the place of worship and its furniture. Moses said to the people, “This is the blood of the covenant God has established with you.” Practically everything in a will hinges on a death. That’s why blood, the evidence of death, is used so much in our tradition, especially regarding forgiveness of sins.
23-26That accounts for the prominence of blood and death in all these secondary practices that point to the realities of heaven. It also accounts for why, when the real thing takes place, these animal sacrifices aren’t needed anymore, having served their purpose. For Christ didn’t enter the earthly version of the Holy Place; he entered the Place Itself, and offered himself to God as the sacrifice for our sins. He doesn’t do this every year as the high priests did under the old plan with blood that was not their own; if that had been the case, he would have to sacrifice himself repeatedly throughout the course of history. But instead he sacrificed himself once and for all, summing up all the other sacrifices in this sacrifice of himself, the final solution of sin.
27-28Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences. Christ’s death was also a one-time event, but it was a sacrifice that took care of sins forever. And so, when he next appears, the outcome for those eager to greet him is, precisely, salvation.
When Jesus is referred to as the Lamb of God this is what is being referred to. Under the Old Covenant, the people would bring their best animal, many times what was referred to as a spotless lamb or best sacrifice (without defect or physical problems) to the priest and the priest would offer the sacrifice to God. The blood of the sacrificed animal would cover or atone for the sins of the people. When Jesus spilled his blood, He was the FINAL spotless lamb to be sacrificed. He was the perfect, sinless sacrifice for us…
2 Corinthians 5:17-19,21 (New International Version, ©2011)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sinfor us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Jesus took the sin of all mankind upon himself as the spotless, sinless Son of God. God offered His only Son to be the final sacrifice for the sin of the world in accordance with His own laws and covenant that He himself set up with man. It was the blood of a perfect, spotless sacrifice that had to be spilled.
For this final sacrifice, an animals blood was not worthy. Only the blood of the worlds perfect, sinless man, Gods son was able to bridge the divide that was in existence between God and man since sin entered the world thousands of years before with Adam.
John 3:16 (New International Version, ©2011)
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
As Jesus drew his last breath, he let out a final statement…It is finished…and the course of history was changed! The personal relationship between God and man that we were created to have and the authority of man in this earth was re-established in a moment!
Matthew 27:51 (New International Version, ©2011)
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split
The foot thick temple veil that physically separated man from the presence of God tore in two as the final high priest offered the final sacrifice of His own life and blood as an offering for the world.
When this happened, mans sin separated relationship with God was finally reconciled and we were place in restored place of communication and God intended authority in this Earth as is outlined in Mark 16 by Jesus himself:
Mark 16:17-18 (New International Version, ©2011)
17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
Through the renewed relationship between God and man via the sacrifice of Jesus:
1. Spiritual authority was regained: In my name they will drive out demons.
2. Authority over the animals of the world and the plants was re-established: they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all.
3. And victory over the curse of sin (sickness and death) was restored: they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.
Because of this sacrifice that Jesus made, we can exercise authority over demonic strongholds in our lives! Even though, we may have opened the door ourselves through our actions and previous sin, we CAN absolutely take back the authority that we have given to our enemy if we will repent of it, submit it, renounce it and place our agreement in the word of God by taking authority over it in the name of Jesus!
It is finished…
Even if you didn’t know it… It IS finished!
In our next chapter we will discuss how we renounce the sin and take back the authority that we have given to the devil through our past choices…