Coaching Session #8: Our Total Spiritual Authority on Earth
Living in God’s Gospel Blessings:
The Gospel Gives Us the Total Authority
of Jesus on This Earth
I am actually amused by all the end time teaching that says Jesus must return to fight Satan again at the Battle of Armageddon. It be the greatest battle in history. Personally, I think most end time teaching is religious fantasy designed to sell books. There is a new ‘end time scenario’ every year or two, and every single one of them has been wrong!
WHY must Jesus fight Satan again, if he destroyed all his works the first time he came? (I John 3:8).
WHY must Jesus fight Satan again, if he made him a spectacle, and triumphed over him totally? (Col 2:15).
If a nation is in war against another nation, and if they prevail and take the other nation captive and subdue it, do they then return to fight them all over again? No! That nation is under subjection and they are beaten.
Satan Can’t Touch a Believer in Christ
We are told that we who have been born of God cannot be touched by Satan (I John 5:18). Now just ask yourself this: if WE can’t be touched by Satan, how can he touch Jesus? Why does Jesus have to return and fight Satan again? He has been totally subdued, as we just saw.
Satan Is Only a Roaring Lion
Satan is only a roaring lion (I Pet 5:8). This is because Jesus knocked out all his teeth (only spiritually speaking). All Satan can do is roar. He can’t even bite anymore. All he can do is instill fear in folks who don’t know the gospel.
Satan Fell Like Lightning from Heaven
In Luke 10:18, Jesus saw Satan fall ‘like lightning’ from heaven. This was not just a casual fall. This is someone who was kicked out on his butt. He hit hard.
Satan had been in heaven, as we know from Job, and he had been accusing Christians before the throne of God. But, Jesus came to do away with Satan giving us a problem if we believe his finished work. Satan lost all influence he had. With the law gone, Satan has nothing to accuse us of. He has no case. As we lawyers say, “He has no standing to sue.”
Isaiah Was Amazed When He Was Given A Vision of Satan
In Isaiah 14:16, he prophesied about those who will see Satan in the future: “They who see you shall narrowly look upon you, and consider you, and will say, ‘Is THIS the man who made the earth tremble, and made kingdoms shake?’
Isaiah was totally amazed by what the Lord showed him, apparently in a vision. When Satan became visible, Isaiah says we will be totally shocked that his person is the one everyone on earth feared. Jesus triumphed over him totally.
Jesus As Seen in Heaven
In Revelation 5, the Apostle John is being given a tour of heaven, and he is told to look at ‘The Lion’ who is Jesus. He had conquered and was ordained to be worshipped. But…. when John looked at him, he didn’t see a Lion. He only saw a Lamb as if it had been slaughtered. There is a BIG difference between a fearful Lion and a helpless Lamb.
Everyone in the entire spirit world, including Satan, saw Jesus as the Lion. Isn’t it interesting Satan tries to copy Jesus and be like a roaring lion, but without any power?
Only John saw him as a Lamb. How we see Jesus is all powerful in our lives. We need to see him as the Lamb. He is the author of our salvation because he died for us — he was slaughtered as a Lamb. This speaks to Coaching Session #1, our absolute total salvation.
But then we also need to see Jesus as the Lion who has overcome the world, defeated Satan, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven to be at the right hand of Father.
Paul puts it this way: “Jesus has now been made manifest, who has abolished death, and has brought both (abundant, earthly) life, and immortality (eternal life) to light through the GOSPEL” (II Tim 1:10).
Yes, we must see Jesus as the Lamb of our salvation, but when we also see him as the Lion in order to grasp his total power and our total spiritual authority.
Satan Believes and Trembles (James 2:19)
The gospel is the great New Testament battle-ground. Jesus says we must believe the gospel (Mark 1:15). We will be judged by the gospel (Rom 2:16). We’ll be judged by the words Jesus spoke, which is the gospel he told us we must believe (John 12:48). God told Moses he would REQUIRE us to believe the message Jesus would bring, which is the gospel (Deut 18:15-19). Acts 3:23-24 repeats this saying we will be judged for not believing the message of Jesus. Paul says Jesus will return and judge us for not obeying and living his gospel (II Thes 1:7-8).
So Satan blinds our minds to
the glorious gospel of Christ (II Cor 4:4).
He keeps us captive when we don’t
believe and live the gospel truth,
and we must repent to believe the gospel
or stay captive to him (II Tim 2:25-26).
The gospel is the New Testament battle-ground.
The only question we have to answer is
(1) are we going to trust and obey Jesus, or
(2) are we going to listen to Satan?
We Have Been Given All Authority Over Satan
In Luke 10:19, Jesus says we are given ALL authority over ALL the power of the enemy. ALL means ALL. Of course Jesus still has all the authority and power he has delegated to us, so there is no need for another big battle between Jesus and Satan. He is totally defeated 2,000 years ago by the cross of Jesus. There is only enforcement coming. Jesus will return as Acts 1:11 says. He will wrap up earth’s history, and throw Satan into the Lake of Fire.
A Bible Illustration to Show How All This Works
Acts 19 tells a story of some Jews, and some vagabond Jews (meaning they believed in Jesus) trying to take authority over a demon. The demon beat them up, and set them off running naked, even though they used the name of Jesus ‘whom Paul preached.’ It’s interesting they said the Jesus that Paul preached.
The demon called after them and said, “I know JESUS, and I know PAUL, but who are YOU?”
It might allude us, but why did the demon say Paul? We of course know why he said Jesus, but why Paul? He was still wet behind the ears, spiritually speaking. The other apostles had walked, talked and slept with Jesus, but not Paul. He says he wasn’t fit to be called an Apostle.
Paul didn’t come in until the Damascus Road, about six months after the resurrection of Jesus. He was just the new kid on the block, from a Christian perspective.
You Must See Paul’s Unique Calling by God
Paul was specially chosen by God to show Christ’s work to, and how the gospel will apply to all of us (Gal 1:15-16).
He spent 3 YEARS alone with Jesus in the desert, to be counseled in gospel truth and reality (Gal 1:18). He then spent 14 more years in ‘on the job training,’ with Gentiles in remote areas away from other Apostles, undoubtedly with Jesus close at hand (Gal 2:1).
He was then given a special conference with Father God in heaven about the gospel, where he was told great things he was not even allowed to repeat to us (II Cor 12:1-4). So, no matter how powerful the gospel is, we know it’s even MORE powerful than we can imagine!
WHY was Paul chosen over even the other disciples? I see two reasons for this (there may be more).
FIRST, he knew the OLD Testament better than any other person on earth. He was a Pharisee of Pharisees. He was a lawyer of lawyers. He was extremely well educated. Thus, he could best explain the differences between the Old and New Covenants, as he mainly does in the book of Hebrews. The other apostles were looked upon as being ‘unlearned and ignorant men’ (Acts 4:13).
SECOND, he did not know Jesus personally in his earthly life, although he’d undoubtedly seen him and maybe heard him speak. The other apostles had known Jesus ‘in the flesh,’ and we could say they had ‘an inside connection with God’ that we do not have. We can’t say this about Paul. He had to learn gospel truth by faith — a very big faith job on his part, being a steadfast, stiff-necked Jew. This is the way we must learn gospel truth too: by faith.
In talking about Paul, Acts 9:23 is about his early life, after he became a Christian, and it talks about “after many days.” Now we aren’t told how long this was, and granted, it could be any length of time. But it adds two words to this, “after many days WERE FULFILLED.” I happen to believe this is the time period when Paul spent 3 years with Jesus, and also had his conference with the Father. We are told Paul was called to CONFIRM the gospel (Phil 1:7).
PARENTHETICALLY, it is interesting that Daniel 9:26-27 talks about Jesus CONFIRMING the covenant for one week (meaning 7 years). And this is how he causes the sacrifices to cease. But in the middle of this week (3.5 years) he is ‘cut off,’ meaning he is crucified. Who is left to confirm the New Covenant gospel after Jesus? It is the Apostle Paul! Every teacher I’ve ever heard has said this is all talking about end times: the second coming of Christ. I question this. I see it as being more about the first coming of Christ, and his final sacrifice of all on the cross.
What does Daniel 9:24 says is going to happen when these verses come to pass. See it:
(1) transgression is finished,
(2) sins are finished,
(3) reconciliation is made for iniquity,
(4) everlasting righteousness is brought in,
(5) prophecy and vision is sealed up,
(6) the Most Holy (Jesus) is anointed.
I don’t have space to totally elaborate on this here — the case Daniel makes as compared to the FIRST coming of Christ. But if you look at this closely, it can be describing the finished work of his cross. In fact, I think you have to read more into it to see it as applying to what are still called ‘future end times’ than see it as what happened at the cross of our Lord.
Now Back to the Demon in Acts 19
The demon had said to the Christians, “I know Jesus and I know Paul, but who are YOU?”
Have you ever thought about Satan knowing us? We are told it is more important that God knows us than that we know him (Gal 4:9). But truth is, the spirit world knows us. At least this is true of us who live the GOSPEL.
Ephesians 3:10 is very revealing from a spiritual warfare perspective. It says, “(God’s) intent is that through the church (US), the manifold wisdom of God (the truth of the gospel) should be made known to the authorities and rulers in heavenly places according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Our ‘warfare,’ if you choose to call it that,
is mainly to inform Satan and his demons
that we know the gospel, live the gospel,
and they are subject to it.
This is just living in the AUTHORITY we’re given.
What I’ve discovered in 25 years in the gospel,
is that Satan and his demons stay as far away
from a gospel believer as they can get.
“The devil believes and trembles.”
But the devil doesn’t tremble at others who don’t live gospel truth. To them he says, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?”
The one dividing line is the New Covenant gospel.
To us who believe and live the gospel, Satan says, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, and I know YOU too!”
But as we talked about earlier, the gospel must be lived by receiving, responding, and releasing. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” You can’t just say you know the gospel. Your behavior must coincide with your belief. Satan must see you live the gospel on the outside too.
Again, we are known by God, and Paul says this is the most important aspect of our spirit (Gal 4:9). Another truth is that we are also all known by Satan if we know and live the gospel, then he avoids us like the plague. The gospel gives him nightmares, and so does anyone who lives it!