Spiritual Authority

Ultimately the battle is between good and evil, between the Spirit of truth and the father of lies, between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness, which is ruled by Satan. But the real questions is: who has the right to rule? Dominion was originally given to Adam and Eve and their descendants. They were to rule over the birds of the sky, the beasts of the field, and fish of the sea. However, when they sinned, they forfeited their right to rule and Satan became the rebel holder of authority. This work of Satan is what Jesus came to undo (1 Jn. 3:8).

You cannot have two sovereigns ruling in the same sphere at the same time. Jesus said, “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out” (Jn. 12:31). In preparation for that Jesus chose twelve disciples. “And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all demons and to heal diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing” (Luke 9:1,2). This was their first assignment to go out on their own, and the first instruction included power and authority over demons.

Authority is the right to rule, whereas power is the ability to rule. Authority is the issue in spiritual warfare. When there is social chaos people ask: “Who is in charge?” In other words, “Who is in the position of authority to do something about this?” The ultimate authority of the universe is God. We were intended to be His agents on earth, before the fall, but Satan usurped that authority. Jesus came to get it back, and that is exactly what He did. “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:18,19).

If that is true, then how much spiritual authority does Satan have on planet earth? None. He has been dethroned and disarmed by Jesus. We have been commissioned to go into all the world and make disciples. Jesus couldn’t delegate that responsibility unless He had the authority to do so. This authority is not over each other. This is the spiritual authority that those who are in the kingdom of God have over demons. We have the authority to do God’s will, because of our position in Christ. We are children of the King, and seated with Christ in the heavenlies places, i.e. the spiritual realm (Eph. 2:6). Every child of God should know their identity and position in Christ. Satan can’t do anything about that, but if he can deceive you into thinking it isn’t true, you will live as though it isn’t.

Dr. Neil

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