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The Believer’s Authority

Bible Topics

The Believer’s Authority

Bob Yandian

After Jesus rose from the dead, He said, “All power (exousia) is given unto me in Heaven and in Earth” (Matthew 28:28).  The Greek word used here for power is not dunamis (ability and might), but exousia, which means “authority or rule.”  So a better translation for this verse would be, “All authority is given unto me in Heaven and in earth.”

Now this is very important:  What God lost in this earth through the fall of Adam was not His power.  When Adam fell, God did not become weaker.  He was as powerful as He ever was.  What God lost in the fall was a channel of authority (man), through whom He could release His power in the earth.

God always invests His creatures with authority.  When Lucifer was on the earth before Adam, God gave him authority.  But when Lucifer rebelled, he terminated his reign on earth.  Then God created Adam and gave him dominion, or authority, over everything on the earth (Genesis 1:28).   However, when Adam disobeyed God and followed after Satan, Adam gave his authority back to the devil.

God had delegated authority over the earth to mankind, but Adam turned from Him and submitted himself and his God-given authority to Satan.  Therefore, man was spiritually separated from God, and God was on the outside of the affairs of men.  He had lost the channel through which He desired to express Himself and reveal His power.

Jesus did not become a man to regain God’s power, but to restore divine authority to man through Himself.  The issue was never a loss of God’s power or His ultimate authority, but to make a way by which man could be reconciled to God (through Jesus Christ) and again become the channel God could use to display His power in the earth.

God wasn’t sitting in Heaven crying, “Oh please hurry Jesus!  I’m so weak and helpless!  Get my power back!”  Jesus had all of God’s power in Him before He came to earth and took on a human body.  He became a man, endured the cross and was resurrected in order to restore God’s authority in the earth through a man – Himself.  Then He passed that authority on to those who would believe in Him – the church.

Matthew 28:18 and 19 could be read “Therefore, or because all authority is given me in Heaven and in earth, go and make disciples of all nations.”  After He rose from the dead, Jesus immediately informed the Church that through Him, man’s authority over the earth and the devil had been restored to believers.

Once again, God had the channel of man to express Himself and release His power in the earth.  When a believer uses the name of Jesus, all of God’s power is there to back it up!

Authority Over the Devil

When Jesus Christ went into the heart of the earth for three days and three nights, the greatest arm wrestling match of all creation took place.  The arm of the Lord (Isaiah 53:1) grasped the arm of Satan’s power, and “the exceeding greatness of God’s power” pressed had against all evil.  In the end, the Holy Spirit’s power slammed the devil’s arm down and triumphantly raised Jesus from the dead!

 At Jesus’ resurrected body burst through the grave clothes, Satan was completely humiliated (Colossians 2:15).  Never again does he want to wrestle with the arm of the Lord!  And he never will, because he has been totally defeated.  First John 3:8 says, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”

When Jesus ascended and was seated at the right hand of the Father, this did not abolish Satan’s authority in the earth, but it put Jesus in the ultimate authority over him.

When Jesus comes back to earth at the Second Advent, He will have Satan thrown into the bottomless pit to be bound for a thousand years.  After this period of time, Satan will be loosed for one more season (Revelation 20:1-3), and then Jesus will totally destroy him and his followers by casting them into the lake of fire forever (Revelation 20:10).

However, during the Church Age, believers have been given authority over Satan through the name of Jesus.  Satan’s present kingdom in this earth is subject to the authority of Jesus Christ, which He has given to the Church. 

Sin, sickness, and demons must bow their knee and obey when a believer exercises their authority through the name of Jesus.  Philippians 2:10 says, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.” 

In Ephesians 1:21,22, the Bible tells us that God raised Jesus from the dead and set Him “far above all principality, and power (authorities), and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world (age, i.e., the Church Age), but also in that which is to come (Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ): And He put all things under His feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.”  All things means all things – poverty, illness, catastrophe – not just demonic powers.  Whether a problem we face comes directly from the devil (demons) or indirectly from the devil (sickness, poverty, or emotional distress), all evil originates with Satan.  Had Lucifer not rebelled and brought sin and death into the earth through the fall of Adam, there would be no evil for us to deal with today.  It is important that we always remember that Satan is ultimately behind every evil work that is coming against our lives.

It’s Up To Us

Ephesians 1:22 declares Jesus to be the head over the church, not the head over the devil.  The devil and his demonic kingdom are under His feet.  That is why verse 21 says that Jesus is far above all principality, power, might, and dominion.  There is something between Him (the head) and His feet – and that “something” is the Body of Christ, the Church.

In order of authority, God as placed the Church directly under Jesus and directly over the devil.  When we understand this fact, we will stop praying for Jesus to take care of the devil!  He has already taken care of him through the cross and the resurrection.  All that remains is for us to enforce His victory as we live our lives here on earth according to the Word of God.

Just before He ascended, Jesus did not say, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; I will come down and stop the devil for them.”  What he did say was, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16:17, 18).

In Matthew 28:18, Jesus declared “All authority is given unto me in heaven and earth.”  But He turned right around and delegated His authority to the Church.  Now it is the believer’s responsibility to become “a doer of the Word” (James 1:22) and take authority given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ and use His name, His Word, and the power of His Spirit to destroy every evil work that comes against our lives.

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