We Must Exercise our Spiritual Authority
Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the
people. Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the
synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of
Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to
resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.
We all know the story of when Christ contended with Satan in the wilderness. The utter gall of this creature astounds me; that he would think he could oppose Christ, the Word made flesh, using the Word of God. You see the driving force behind Satan is pride; it’s what led to his fall. These men of the ‘synagogue of Satan’ who contended with Stephen were full of this same pride as those who had Christ put to death.
Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him
speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. And they stirred up
the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught
him, and brought him to the council, And set up false witnesses, which said,
This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and
They don’t like being disputed with and proven wrong, nobody does. However this supernatural stronghold of pride that is evident in all of Satan’s servants caused a spirit of hatred and murder to rise up in these men and seek to destroy Stephen. They have no problem making up the vilest of lies against the true servants of Christ because that same spirit of God dwells within us.
As Stephen’s fellow servants those of us who have the courage to contend with Satan’s servants will experience the same persecution as he did, even unto death. The Word of God is our sword and when properly wielded easily flays the most powerful of Satan’s lies.
When contending with these evil men there are two possible outcomes. Either we will drive them to silence or the spirits within them will rise up and try to take over. I once had a ‘sacred namer’ who was harassing me via private messages. The evil spirit within him was mocking and cursing the name of Jesus to me to the point that God gave me permission to dispatch an angel of the Lord to straighten him out. I never heard from him again. We must quickly and decisively take authority over these situations, always in the name of Jesus.
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears,
ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of
the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them
which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now
the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of
angels, and have not kept it.
Acts seven to me is such an exciting chapter, it just sends a thrill up my spine to read how Stephen under the direction of the Holy Spirit took these men to task. He quite literally schooled these self-righteous and pompous twits who thought that they were the authorities and proceeded to give them a history lesson never to be forgotten. When Stephen spoke these words he spoke with true Godly authority, and those of us who are living the life have this exact same authority.
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
All over the New Testament we are told not to worry about what we are going to say because God will put His Words in our mouths at the proper time (Matthew 10:19-20 KJV) but we must have the courage and conviction to speak them. Having this spiritual authority is useless unless we wield it, which is why one of Satan’s tactics is to get us all cowering when people start bleating “Stop judging meeeee”. We must be vigilant to obey the Spirit when He moves us to reprove and rebuke.
For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey,
who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his
work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not
when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the
cockcrowing, or in the morning:
Some say that we do not have the same authority as the original disciples had however scripture is plain. In truth it has been given to all true servants of Christ until the Master returns. We have this authority available to us yet so few of us use it. What have you done with this authority that the Master of the house gave you?
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue
that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the
heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me,
saith the LORD.
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents
and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any
means hurt you.
What is there to fear? In the above verses God tells us this power and authority is insurmountable. If we are truly His servants then we must have no question in our hearts of this Godly authority. And if we have no doubts yet refuse to wield this authority it is nothing less than dereliction of duties and insubordination. Are you a profitable servant?
For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he
shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even
that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer
darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Another allegory that Christ used was of a man going on a long journey who gives His servants authority over His fortune to invest for Him until He returns. Scripture tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:17 KJV); that is the lesson expressed in this parable of the unprofitable servant who is cast into the outer darkness (Hell). It isn’t enough to have this authority (by faith) we must use it (through works) otherwise it is dead (unprofitable, worthless). The Master of the house has given you this authority, it is absolute and unbeatable. What are you waiting for, what else do you need?
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus
shall suffer persecution.
“Oh look it is Bob; I didn’t know he was a Christian!” Think you will quietly slip into Heaven as a ‘secret Christian’? Think you will deftly avoid being persecuted for His names sake by remaining silent? Are you lying to yourself by saying you are silent out of love for them? Are you afraid the Word of truth will hurt their feelings or offend them? Don’t be a fool! To not use this God given power and authority is to be an unprofitable servant who will not enter Paradise.
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