2000Part 5
Encourage Someone Today

The Freedom of a New Government
Overcoming Forces of Darkness that Wait to Destroy Believers

Ed Corley

IT IS SIGNIFICANT THAT PAUL, in the Book of Ephesians, brings us first to know our position in Christ before he calls upon us to deal with the things that will corrupt our walk in Christ. What he laid out bears witness with what I have found in my own life. I found out I was complete in Christ and seated with Him in the heavens before I could see how great was the darkness and sin that had ruled in me. When I discovered what is available to me through His cross and in His Kingdom, I found the sin in me could be searched out, destroyed, and replaced with the righteous rule of His Kingdom.

This is another article to stretch us. At least, it's stretching me. It's about the dominion of Christ, not how far it will extend in the world--that's easy: there's no spot on the whole globe where His Name has no authority--but how far it will extend into your life and mine. Is there a spot of ground in you or in me where the authority of His Government cannot reach? Or, should we say where the authority of His Government has not yet reached?

And, we should say, this article is about how far the authority of Christ's Government will reach into the life of someone to whom we are called to minister, or for whom we make supplication in prayer. Many are under some dark dominion they cannot overcome by themselves. This is where intercessors come in.

The questions we have raised above are not easy to answer. This is because we are dealing with forces of darkness that remain secret in the lives of many believers. Even after I came to Christ, dark powers still tried to rule me. Some of them waited for years for their opportune time to rise up and attack. Because I learned slowly that the darkness of my inner man could be overcome and replaced by the light and power of Christ's Kingdom, I suffered--and so did others around me.

Now we're learning we can give the powers of our inner darkness over to the dominion of Christ's Government. The right and wholesome Government of His Kingdom can be set up in us. This requires a candid openness before the Lord--and sometimes, others--withholding nothing. For some, it may require some doctrinal adjustment, especially those who seem to think that a believer in Christ cannot hold spiritual darkness.

Stick around as long as Glenda and I have, counsel and pray with as many people as we have and you will believe differently. Most probably, if you allow the Holy Spirit to examine your own life, you will find darkness there too. But you need not be afraid of it. As we allow the Scriptures to open before us freely--without, of course, the barriers of denominational blindness--we will know both that darkness will try and remain, and also, that it must go when the Government of Christ comes in.

This month as we pray together, we're going to invade the darkness of our inner parts with that bold honesty the Holy Spirit requires.

We must be bold and honest before the Lord, and even others who will pray with us. The hour is late. Too many are failing who once professed they were free from sin's power. They allowed darkness to remain and it has risen up to consume them. Let us pray.

recorded in Ephesians 3:14-19, that gives us direction as we deal with what we call inner darkness. In this passage he makes use of two of the Greek power words we found in Eph 1:19. They help describe what worked to bring about the Resurrection of Christ. And, they point us to the dominion of His Government that will work in us. One word is kratéo which means to take control and set up a new government. The other is dúnamis, the enabling power by which the new Government works.

See this passage. It's powerful. Again, it's part of the supplication Paul made while in prison on behalf of the people for whom he cared back in Asia Minor. We learn from it for our discipline of intercession.

Ephesians 3
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of Whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man...

The words that take our attention are strengthened and might in verse 16.

is from kratéo. We find its remnant in our word "democracy," a government under the people, or in "theocracy," a government under God. The words from Paul's prayer might well be translated "that you might be governed with might." He said, "I am praying that you might be governed by the dynamic ability of His Spirit in your inner man."

Might is from that powerful and basic word for "power" used by the Lord Jesus in Acts 1:8 where He said, But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you. The word is dúnamis. You remember we said it is "the power of ability." The Verb associated with it, dúnamai, means "to be able." When we face all kinds of inability, the Government of Christ's Kingdom comes to our aid and releases its ability in us.

When we get to our "prayer starters" for this month, we will take on some of the things that try to exercise their dominion in us, but which the Government of Christ will overcome in us. They are things that, if left to do their long-term work, produce only sorrow and, sometimes, death, both spiritual and physical.

BEFORE WE CONSIDER the enemies of Christ's Government in us, however, we need to see some of the passages that make use of kratéo and krátos, its Noun form. Most of them are passages that will stretch us--at least they do this to me.

I first became aware of these words from John 20:23. There the Verb form, kratéo, occurs. Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain they are retained. It occurs in the words retain and are retained. It might well be translated, "...whose soever sins you bring under government they have been brought under government." It is here we begin learning we are to minister His Government to others.

Allow me to get a little more technical. This is an important matter at this point. The word retain in whose soever sins ye retain is a Present form of the Verb kratéo. The words are retained in the latter part of the statement are a Perfect form of the same Verb. This means that at any present time, when you retain sins, they shall already have been retained. Quite simply and clearly, this directs us to the finished work of the Lord Jesus. When we enter into this act of government in the life of another person--remember Jesus said whose soever--we do it on the basis of the work that the Lord Jesus has already finished. His perfected work comes into play and there is a release of power from His Throne. So, while we become the agent of its release, it is, actually and in deed, His work.

Some of you have read my article Putting Off the Old Man in which I told of the man who came to me and released me from the government of a deep bitterness and enmity that was ruling in me and over which I had little control. That man exercised what Jesus said in John 20:23. He retained my sin. But, he did it in the name of Jesus which meant that he released in me the work that Jesus had already completed for me. It was a work of His Government, an act of His Kingdom. It was based on the work Christ Jesus completed when He died, was resurrected and then ascended to the Right Hand of the Father.

Another statement from Him to confirm this is Matthew 18:18. He said, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. From the John passage and from this Matthew passage we find four statements that all make use of Perfect Tense Verbs. They indicate that when you do a certain work, at any present time, it shall already have been perfected. Whose soever sins you remit, they shall already have been remitted. Whose soever sins you retain, they shall already have been retained. Whatsoever you shall bind on earth, it shall already have been bound in heaven. Whatsoever you shall loose on earth, it shall already have been loosed in heaven.

To put it rather crudely, we simply become the spigot through which heaven's work will flow into the earth. We become the agent through whom the finished work of the Lord Jesus finds its release into a situation or into a life. With the authority He has given us, we become the executors of His work in the earth.

We need to never move away from this finished work of His. It becomes the basis for all our living and victory. It is the source to which we look continually to find the resource for every demand, the strength for every kind of weakness, and the provision for every kind of need. In it is the foundation of His Government.

Read our article Putting Off the Old Man and find out more about remitting and retaining. It can change your life as it has thousands of others. In one precious moment, a man came to me and released the finished work of Christ into my life. This was an act of government on his part. In brokenness I had asked him to minister to me.

AS WE GO BACK TO PAUL'S PRAYER in Ephesians 3:16 we learn there is a principle of making supplication for others to request the effective release of Christ's Government into their lives. This is not a prayer of control, but we can consider it a prayer of release. We can be effective in the release of another soul from the rule of sin's inner bondage. Now, if someone loves their sin--as some do--they may consider this a prayer of control, until the Holy Spirit has done His work and the Government of Christ is set in order in them. Then, they will simply consider it a good thing that has happened to them in Christ.

Let me remind you again of something else that comes to us out of this Ephesian passage. We learn to make our request according to the riches of His glory.

One day when trying to hold someone in prayer for the release of Christ's Government in them, I found it difficult to believe. The Lord spoke to me and instructed me to consider along what line I was to make my request. I saw it. I was to make my request according to the riches of His glory. According to in this Ephesians 3:16 passage is from katá. It means "conforming to, in proportion to, or, in virtue of." He was inviting me to make my request in proportion to, or conforming to, the riches of His glory. But then--I couldn't really understand all that was meant by His glory. I had some little understanding that it related to His Government. The same word translated glory, dóxa, could also have use in reference to a "dignitary," or high official of government. But how could my limited mind grasp the extent, or wealth, of His glory?

Then He showed me. The closest thing to which I might compare His glory is the sun. It extends its heat and its light, wonderfully, to everyone of the more than six billion people on earth. If in one day, everyone of these people were to soak all the light and warmth of the sun they could receive, it would not diminish its light or heat even one millionth of a degree. Then He spoke to me: the sun is but a mere spark, a flicker in the night, compared with the wealth of His glory. It is here He is inviting us to bring our petition for ourselves, or for another soul. We are simply to ask Him to reach into the amazing wealth of His Government and get what is needed to set up a new government in the life of someone bedraggled and broken down by inner sin and weakness. What a resource for us all! We can't even begin to comprehend its greatness. Is there enough power, light, grace, strength, and enabling ability available to work in every soul there is, even those we know so well and who seem to be bound so terribly? Oh, my! Yes, there is!

Let us learn to make our petitions for others according to the riches of His glory.

THERE IS ANOTHER PASSAGE making use of our word kratéo that has captured my attention. I trust we can see the insight it gives for it shows the reach of God's Government and how it works in harmony with the Word of His Prophets. See it here in the message Peter delivered on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was first poured out on believers.

As we soak in this passage a while, it will release in us a new confidence regarding the power of God's Government coupled with the power of His Word. In His Word we discover what it is His will to perform. Then we present to His Throne situations that are sometimes so overwhelming to us that we can see no hope for them--apart from the intervention of His power and grace.

Acts 2
Him (Jesus Christ), being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains (birth pangs) of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it.

The word for our attention is holden. It is from kratéo. This shows us it was not possible that death should exercise its government over the Lord Jesus. The tomb was a mere womb, pregnant with the Lord Jesus, waiting for the moment designed by God for the birth pangs of resurrection to begin.

(I wrote about this some time ago in the article When the Tomb Becomes a Womb. It has some very important information regarding what took place when God raised up our Lord.)

Then, see the next verse as Peter's message unfolds: For David speaketh concerning Him... (Acts 2:25). Why was it not possible for Jesus to remain dead in the tomb? Because David spoke something concerning Him. We won't place here what David spoke. Go to your Bible and see. Peter was quoting from Psalm 16. What was in that Psalm had more power than death itself?

The destructive government ruling in some for whom we are called to pray is so strong that it tests our faith to believe they can ever be free. It's almost like they are enclosed in their tomb, sealed and doomed to remain in their darkness. But then, some intercessor begins to care, and begins to know the Word of God that speaks of their release. The intercessor who makes supplication based on the Word of God has the hope of a resurrection that will reach into any dark circumstance of any soul. Believe it!

Dear Lord, if Your Word could prevail in the tomb of and break the stronghold of death on the Lord Jesus, then it can prevail in this situation I now hold before You. I hold this person before You, in the light of Your Word and because of Your resurrection, I loose him (or her) to know the power of them both.


NOW THERE ARE SEVERAL PRECIOUS PASSAGES that have often taken my attention. Only recently did I discover that they make use of the word kratéo. It is translated in so simple a manner that it almost escapes our attention. See this in Matthew 9:25 But when the people were put forth, He went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. It's in the word took (kratéo). That was an act of government in which Jesus took command of a situation that was bound in hopelessness.

I remember one of the first times I saw a miracle. I had newly come to believe there was power in the Name of Jesus to heal. A friend and I went to see a woman who lived in our community and who had, according to all reports, backslidden from the Lord. She was, they say, eaten up with cancer. We went to her dark hospital room where she lay sleeping and alone. Not wanting to waken her, we simply stood on each side and prayed quietly. I remember taking her left hand, gently holding it, and with a bold confidence releasing her from cancer's stronghold.

We had just become aware that when the Lord Jesus died, He not only took our sins, He took our diseases.

After we left, she awoke, healed. The next Sunday she came to the church where I was Pastor and which she had left when she turned back into the world. She stood and testified of God's amazing power and love.

I didn't know what we were, in fact, doing when we went to her hospital room. Now I know. We were acting in accord with the government of God's Kingdom, just as Jesus was when He took the maid by her hand.

There is another sweet passage that for years has held my attention. Only now do I see into it and know why. Jesus, with some of His disciples, had come as visitors to the house of Simon Peter and Andrew. Peter's mother-in-law lay sick of a fever. When Jesus found this out, He came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her; and she ministered unto them--Mark 1:31.

This seemed so simple a story, till I realized it was an account telling of the power of God's Government as it was released through the Lord Jesus. So great was its power, that it followed Him even into His social engagements. Any home into which He entered became, as it were, the center of the universe and the Holy of Holies where God dwelt. Where He was, the Kingdom was, and its power was. The very grasp of His hand carried with it the authority and dynamic ability of that Kingdom.

As we grow in knowing Him and believing Him, the same will become true with us, for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5).

at which we should look. It's that intriguing account at the end of Luke's Gospel where we find some men walking along the road, bewildered and confused over all that had happened over the recent days in Jerusalem. Jesus came with them, but they were ignorant of Him. Their eyes were holden that they should not know Him (Luke 24:16). In holden we have our word kiatéo.

What does this mean?

It means there was a stronghold on their minds. Their perception was under the government of their old way of seeing things. They saw as natural men saw, but they could not perceive or understand what they were seeing. A kind of blindness governed them so they could not know that the Lord was with them.

There are two parallel statement in this Luke passage. See them together.

But their eyes were holden that they should not know Him--:16.
And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him-:31.

There's something interesting about the words know and knew in these verses. They're both from the Greek epiginósko, which means "to acknowledge." It is possible to know the Lord without acknowledging Him. It is possible to see His handiwork, hear His Word, even to love Him in great measure, and still not acknowledge Him. This is when one's eyes are holden.

There's something else interesting about the word holden as it comes from our word kratéo. The way it is spelled in this Luke passage lets us know this was a condition that had existed over a period of time. It was their custom not to see.

Just think of it! The Kingdom of Christ breaks down our blinding customs. What material this is for intercessors! Won't you please take the matter from here as you proceed to become an instrument of release for His finished work?

THIS MONTH as we take our "prayer starters," we will consider some of those Scriptures the Lord Jesus probably discussed with those men on the Emmaus road. He opened to them what was in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning Himself. There is a notable one they must have discussed, however, that we do not take on. It is Isaiah 53, one of the most striking and beautiful passages in all the Bible describing the work of His Redemption. Space prevents our consideration of it here. Even though it makes no mention of His Kingdom, His Rule, His Dominion, His Reign, or His Government, it is exceedingly important to it all. The Redemption is, itself, governmental. It is in it that we are released from the power of darkness and...translated...into the Kingdom of His dear Son--Colossians 1:13.

All the Scriptural knowledge of what we call the early "New Testament Church" came from the Old Testament. Those early preachers spoke clearly of Christ's death and resurrection, basing it all on those Scriptures. They spoke freely of His Kingdom with its foundation in the Scriptures of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms. Thus, we will make free use of those same Scriptures as we move on in our praying. There is much in them that pertains to our day. They wait for our searching hearts to find them out--and to respond to the rule of Christ's government.

NOW, go to the Prayer Starters for this month and see how
will come upon the world and upon us.

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