When Jesus showed up on the fallen world scene, He left no doubt as to His ownership of it:
He demonstrated authority over the laws of nature by walking on water (Matthew 14:25).
He controlled the forces of nature, altering weather patterns (Mark 4:39).
He trumped the laws of physics, multiplying food, turning water into wine, translating His physical body from one place to another, and destroying trees simply by speaking to them (Matthew 15:36; John 2:9; 6:21; Mark 11:13-14, 20).
He demonstrated authority over the animal world, using a fish to collect the money needed for a tax (Matthew 17:27).
He had dominion over disease, healing multitudes (Acts 10:38).
He even displayed power over death, bringing dead people back to life (John 11:43-44).
In a plan so daring, bold, and staggering in its ramifications that no one could even guess what it was - including satan’s kingdom and even the angels - God had become an adam (a Hebrew word meaning “man”). In doing so, He was legally qualified to redeem humankind and win back their lost authority for them. Ownership of the earth wasn’t the issue, nor was Christ’s personal authority - He had never lost His, here or anywhere else. The issue at hand was authority for the human race - whether or not they would regain their forfeited governmental rights to earth.
When this God-man, Jesus, paid our penalty and restored us to God, in the process He also recovered Adam’s lost authority. It is now safe in the hands of a human who will never lose it again. God’s original plan was restored: There is now a race of humans on the earth filled with God’s life and nature, capable of relating to Him as Father and managing this incredible home He created for them.
If only they realized it!
When we are born again, we are no longer mere humans—adamites—we are a new race of supernatural beings called Christians (“little Christs”). In his first letter to Corinth, Paul chastised the believers for acting like “mere men” (3:3). We are not “merely human”; we are supernatural daughters and sons of the Most High God, filled with His Spirit and anointed to represent Him. God has His family back and can now continue His original plan, which includes this family managing and governing the earth spiritually. He calls this family the “church.”
The church is first mentioned in Matthew 16:18-19:
I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
When Jesus used the word “church” (Greek: Ekklesia), the disciples weren’t hindered by our contemporary ideas as to what it meant. Their paradigm of an Ekklesia differed greatly from what it has become. To us today, the church can be:
1. A worship service
2. A building used by Christians
3. A local congregation of Christians
4. For those who tend toward its literal meaning, it is a “called out”
assembly of people.
The last concept is the most accurate, based on a strict translation, but still falls far short of communicating what an Ekklesia was when Christ made His stunning announcement.
To the Greeks in Christ’s day an Ekklesia was an assembly of people ”called out” of the populace to govern the affairs of a city or nation – in essence, it was a city council, parliament or congress. To the Romans, it indicated governmental authority, as well, but was used more narrowly. To them, it was a group of people sent into a conquered region to rule it, but also to reshape the culture until the region thought like Rome. The Romans realized this was the ideal way to control their empire. They discipled the conquered region’s government, social structure, language, schools, businesses, etc., until the people thought, spoke, acted like, and considered themselves Romans.
When Jesus said He would build His church (ekklesia), He was without question speaking of a body of people that would “legislate” spiritually for Him, discipling nations and extending His kingdom rule, ideals and principles thoughout the earth. His statement that “the gates of Hades will not overpower it” makes much more sense when we understand this. These “gates” are not physical gates, but rather the governmental plans or decisions of hell. In biblical times, gates were often where judges sat to rule, or governing councils of cities met to make decisions; therefore, they often symbolized government (for examples, see 2 Samuel 19:8; Proverbs 22:22-23). In Ruth 4:10-11, the Hebrew word for a gate is actually translated as a “court.”
In this first decree announcing the church, Jesus was stating that He would raise up a spiritual kingdom government on earth, which hell’s government wouldn’t prevail over. He followed this declaration by saying He would give His Ekklesia “keys” (Matthew 16:19), which symbolize authority. Keys lock and unlock, in order to close or open. Christ was declaring His church would have spiritual keys (authority) to lock the gates (government) of hell and open the gates (government) of heaven.
This is accomplished primarily through declarations and decrees made FOR God, not petitions made TO God. When needing provision or help from Him, we do request and petition. When dealing with the powers of darkness and their plans, however, we command and decree. Jesus told us to command His Kingdom (rule) to come and will to be done (Matthew 6:10). The verbs “come” and “be” are in the imperative Greek tense, meaning to command. Christ was saying, “Command My kingdom rule and will to come forth!”
If I were satan and wanted to stop evangelism, the spread of biblical morality, or the influence of God on the earth, I can’t think of a better way than deceiving Christians regarding the meaning of Ekklesia. My first priority would be to keep them from understanding what it means to be the church. The end result would be to leave God and His Kingdom without a functioning government on earth. Then, even though I had lost my authority there, I could still rule.
Obviously, we are not to expand the Christian faith or implement God’s rule on earth through physical force or domination, as some religions do. We are to impact our culture, workplace, city, nation, etc., with the spiritual power of God’s kingdom, spreading His life, love, and Kingdom principles everywhere. Jesus told us to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) and to preach (declare) the good news of Him “to all creation” (Mark 16:15). The Ekklesia in Acts turned their world “upside-down” (17:6 AMP), upsetting status quo everywhere they went – and we should also.
Tomorrow we will discuss one of the ways we do this.
In the dream we discussed last week, God instructed us to release apostolic decrees in order to close and open doors. We are to close doors that have been opened to demonic activity in America, and open the door of awakening and transformation. Let’s do so now, using the following decrees:
Release these decrease with me:
We decree that satan’s ability to devour and destroy America will no longer be successful. We speak to his door of access and command it to close! We declare our faith in the mercy and blood of Jesus - that God has heard the repentance offered up by millions of believers on behalf of America’s sins and is healing our land. We decree that people in government and business will no longer feed our nation to the dragon through sins, compromise, and unholy alliances. We decree that their evil will be exposed, their funds will dry up, and their influence will end. We close the door to their control.
We decree that the evil pictured by Nero - violence, lust for power, tyranny, murder, persecution of the church, insane laws and edicts - will no longer rule America. We close the door to the spiritual powers causing this destruction. We close the door to the destruction of our children, our families, our homes, our cities and our nation.
We speak to the door of promise - the door of the awakening and transformation of nations - and command you to open. We call forth revival, refreshing, remodeling and reformation into America and the world. We prophesy to the wind of God: blow on the dry bones of America and the world. Reconnect our scattered bones, breathe life into us, and make us a great army. Salvation, healing, purpose, and destiny are in this wind - we decree its release NOW!
In the mighty name of Jesus!
Portions of today’s teaching were taken from my book Authority in Prayer.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.