The Freedom of a New Government
Overcoming Forces of Darkness
that Wait to Destroy Believers
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
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.
THERE IS A PRAYER THAT PAUL PRAYED, 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.
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord
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
The words that take our attention are strengthened and might in verse 16.
Strengthened 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
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.
23 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
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
(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
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).
NOW THERE IS ONE MORE PASSAGE 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
• 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
THE INCREASE OF HIS GOVERNMENT
will come upon the world and upon us.
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