A quick Primer On Spiritual Warfare Copyright John Edmiston 2003 but may be copied & distributed for non-profit use

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Spiritual Authority
Matthew 10:1 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.
(Luke 9:1 NKJV) Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.
(Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV) And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. {19} "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, {20} "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
(Ephesians 1:20-21 NKJV) which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, {21} far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
(Ephesians 2:6 NKJV) and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
All spiritual authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus Christ. (John 17:2, Matthew 28:18-20, 1 Peter 3:22) He in turn gives it to whosoever He wishes – such as the Twelve or the seventy-two. (Luke 9:1, 10:19)
Notice the word given – spiritual authority is God’s decision, He gives it to whosoever He chooses.
All believers have general authority over demons because they are seated in heavenly realms with Christ. However it is quite obvious that most believers are unable to exercise authority over sickness, death or the weather. This sort of authority is given as the Holy Spirit wills, to those who have the gifts or healing or of miracles.
Authority over major principalities and powers such as Communism is generally exercised by the Church as a whole, or the united churches in a particular city. Ed Silvoso has written on this in his book “That None Should Perish”.
How then can believers gain authority to bind and to loose, to heal, to deliver, to combat territorial spirits and to overcome the powers and principalities in the heavenly realms?
Firstly we must “ask, seek and knock” (Matthew 7:7). We must call on God to grant us the authority we require to accomplish the work that He has called us to do. God calls us to good works, and each of these good works requires some sort of spiritual authority. Even being a parent requires spiritual authority in the home.
Being a pastor or a missionary requires spiritual authority in the place of service and over the powers in that area. Counselling requires authority over indwelling demons and spiritual afflictions to speak the Word with power into a human life. The ministry of healing requires authority over sickness and death.
So we must work out what authority God wants us to have to do His work and carry out His Great Commission. Then we must “ask, seek, and knock” in prayer until we get such authority. This often requires real desperation and pleading with God. We often have to be at the point where we are crying out “Lord, I cannot do this unless you grant me power” before the power and authority is granted. The Lord Gives “authority to His servants and to each his work” (Mark 13:34, Luke 9:1, 10:19))
There are also many verses in the NT about how believers can gain and use their spiritual authority and as we obey these and follow these principles we will grow in authority, power and spiritual effectiveness:

  • Praying in unity. (Matthew 18:19,20)

  • Using the Scriptures –as Jesus did against Satan. (Matthew 4:1-11)

  • Standing on the promises of God. (2 Peter 1:2,3)

  • Praying for things that are clearly God’s revealed will. (1 John 5:14,15)

  • Persistent prayer. (Luke 18)

  • Prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:21, Mark 9:29)

  • Discernment (Romans 16:19,20)

  • Innocence / purity of heart (Romans 16:19,20)

  • Being born-again (1John 5:4)

  • Right doctrine (1 John 5:5)

  • Faith (1 John 5:4, Mark 11:23,24)

  • Fearlessness & boldness (Rev 12:11, Acts 4:29-33)

  • Testifying to Jesus (Revelation 12:11)

  • The blood of Jesus (Revelation 12:11)

  • The name of Jesus. (Mark 16:15-18, Luke 10:17, John 14:13,14)

  • Understanding the indwelling Christ ( 1 John 4:4)

  • Putting on the armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-18, 2 Corinthians 6:7)

  • Understanding Satan’s schemes. (2 Cor 10:3-5)

  • Using our spiritual weapons (2 Cor 10 :3-5)

  • Good works (Romans 12:21)

  • Standing in the peace that Christ has given us. (John 16:33)

  • Binding the strong man. (Luke 11:17-26, Matthew 18:19,20)

  • The word of command (Matthew 8:16, 21:21, Acts 3:6)

  • Anointing with oil (Mark 6:13, James 5:14)

  • Knowing our identity in Christ. (All of Ephesians)

  • Understanding the nature of faith and authority. (Matthew 8:5-13)

  • Faith for miracles – particularly believing that nothing is impossible with God. (Matthew 17:20, 21:21)

  • Destroying the things of darkness. (Acts 19:19)

  • Repentance and confession (Acts 19:18, James 5:16, Acts 3:19)

  • Forgiving sins in Jesus name (Matthew 9:1-8, John 20:23)

  • Resisting the Devil, being vigilant and taking a stand against him. (James 4:7, 1 Peter 5:8,9)

  • Humble service increases our authority (Matthew 20:25-28, Mark 10:42-45, 1 Peter 5:7)

  • Sharing the trials of Jesus means we will reign with Him (Luke 22:28-30, Romans 8:17,18, Philippians 1:29, 3:10.11, 2 Tim 2:11,12)

  • Faithful service to God. (Luke 19:17)

  • NOT through our own power or godliness (Acts 3:12)

  • A special apostolic or prophetic call from God. (Acts 26:15-18, 2 Corinthians 10:8, Revelation 11:4-6)

  • By abiding in the cross and in redemption. (1 Corinthians 1:18-31, Colossians 2:13-15)

  • Accepting the grace of God in the midst of our weaknesses. (2 Corinthians 12:9,10)

  • The strengthening of the Holy Spirit in the inner man. (Ephesians 3:14-21)

  • Depth of Christian character. (2 Peter 1:3-8, 2 Timothy 2:20-26)

  • Persistent long-term obedience, doing the works of Jesus. (Revelation 2:26,27)

  • The baptism of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 3:16, Acts 1:5-8)

To sum up, you must be born-again and baptized with the Spirit and seek authority to be granted you by God so you can carry out your ministry. You should travail in faith-filled prayer and live by the principles of those who God trusts with authority – those who are faithful, humble and obedient and who call upon Him.

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