Description: Isaac redug his father's wells until they yielded peace and prosperity. So will our circumstances yield to persistent faith
Subduing the Earth
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
It is really surprising that at a time when we’ve been longer at peace as a nation than at any other
part of our history, and when probably the nation generally is looking in better health than ever
before that there is a rise in teenage suicides. It’s just unbelievable. I don’t have the exact
figures but it is incredible how many teenagers are committing suicide. And it is amazing when you
look at students on the university campuses, how many of them are pretty worn down by anxiety and
worry in these days. Why are they, and why do maybe so many of us find ourselves burdened by
anxiety and worry?
Well, it is because we have a bigger task on our hands than we can manage by ourselves. And I’d
like to point you back to that task that was given to all of us way at the beginning of the world.
It’s a task that our parents reiterate to us and our teachers, and all our mentors lay it on us
again in all kinds of ways. It’s in Genesis 1:28, “And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be
fruitful and multiply.’” Those words we haven’t too much trouble with and we manage. “And fill the
earth,” and that we’ve done too, the Chinese rather better than ourselves, but we’ve done it. But
then this is the one that brings us into such angst, “And subdue it.” “Be fruitful and multiply,
and fill the earth and subdue it.” And that’s the commission that God has given to every man and
woman and not only given it to us verbally and has built it into us.
We all have that built into us. We know that’s what we should be doing. We know we should be
subduing the world. I think most of us are not concerned with Exxon oil drilling off the Santa
Barbara coast and exploiting the seagulls and the fish. We’re all opposed equally to that kind of
subduing the world which involves tearing it apart and destroying it. We don’t believe that and I
think most of us are not concerned with the prosperity teaching where we’ve got to win, win, win all
the time and we’ve all got to be wealthy and have purple Cadillacs. I don’t think we’re caught up
in that, but all of us sense, from when we’re born that we’re meant to bring circumstances under the
control of God’s will. We’re meant to bring our own lives under the control of his will. We’re
meant in some way to manage life.
All our mums and dads impress that upon us, “Now son, now daughter you’re going out to kind of get
hold of life and to bring it into some kind of order,” and from the time we saw our mum working on
the vegetable garden when we were little, to the time we saw our dad trying to build a bookshelf for
our mother in the living room, we got the sense all the time that our job here is to bring things
into order. We find they will not come into order. We win a little maybe up to when we’re juniors
in high school, and maybe we win some as seniors. But as we go to university and then as we get out
into the job world, we find it does not work the way we feel it should work. We find in a way we’re
trying to get it to work and that begins to bring a dreadful angst to us. It brings a dreadful
anxiety, a dreadful worry that eventually drives many of us to that place of quiet desperation where
we just decide, “Well, it’s not going to work the way we thought it was, or the way our parents told
us it was, or the way our school teachers encouraged us to try and make it work. It’s just not
going to work.” So, many of us sink down into just a quiet battle against overwhelming odds.
Now loved ones, there’s a reason for that and we shared it last day. There are two ways to subdue
the world and they’re presented there just over the page from that one. I’ll just spend a brief
moment reviewing this and then go on. It’s Genesis 2:9. There are two sources of energy that God
provided for us to subdue the world. Genesis 2:9, “And out of the ground the Lord God made to grow
every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of
the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” There is the tree of life from himself
[God], his own energy and power, through faith in him, and there is the tree of knowledge of good
It’s the second one that we decided to use and that’s what brings us into such frustration and such
agony of heart. You try to use the knowledge you have to make your finances work and they won’t
work. You try to use your understanding of people to try to get your relationships to go right at
work and they don’t go right. You try to use the reading that you’ve done and the foresight that
other people have given to you about your future and it doesn’t work the way you wanted it to work.
Somehow knowledge does not bring it off. You try all your knowledge of what is right to do and what
is wrong to do and something does not work. You try it with the people at work but they somehow
give a hostile attitude to you or they’re critical towards you and you can’t change it. You try to
make it work in your job situation and somehow there are other forces that are opposing you and that
make it impossible to do anything the way you want it to work. And somehow knowledge does not work.
Loved ones, the only thing that will work is life. And the reason for that is in two verses. There
are two problems that you face in subduing the world. Romans 8:20 is the first one. “For the
creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in
hope.” The whole world is subjected to futility. When we rebelled against God, God built futility
into the world. It doesn’t work by it. Murphy’s Law does operate — if a thing can go wrong, it
will go wrong. There are all kinds of things that are built actually by God’s will to go wrong so
that man will never think that things are the way they ought to be so that man will stop short and
say, “There’s something not right here.” And what we do and what Satan does to us is he persuades
us this is the way it’s to be, it’s just a crazy mixed up world. It’s just a twisted world, you
just have to put up with it. And it’s not so. But we find that that’s the way it works. Our
memories don’t work right.
Why aren’t we governed by all the happy experiences we had in childhood. Why are we always talking
about the bad ones that have given us all kinds of complexes? It’s because the world works wrong.
It’s God’s will that we’d remember all the beautiful things and blot out all the bad things, but we
in fact, allow all the bad things to govern us. The world itself is twisted, that’s why when you
try to use your knowledge of good and evil to make it work. You’re opposing something that is built
into the world.
There is only one answer to it and it’s in Galatians 6:14, “But far be it from me to glory except
in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the
world.” God crucified the world in Jesus and remade it. The world as we see it around us still
works wrong but in Jesus that world has been crucified and anybody who has been crucified with Jesus
can live in that crucified and resurrected world. That’s why the Israelites were able to walk
through all kinds of dangers and live a charmed life. That’s why Daniel was able to walk through
the fiery furnace.
There is a way — there is a crucified and resurrected world in which you and I can walk where
things fall right. That’s right, where things fall right. Where it’s not just luck, it is God’s
governing providence around us. There is a way to walk in which we can see circumstances and
people’s hostile attitudes, and even the very ways the financial world operates, we can see that
turned around by the power of Jesus’ death. And that’s the only way that we can walk through this
world and subdue it.
Now if you say, “Well, how do we bring that into actual experience and actual manifestation here in
our lives?” Oh, there’s only one way loved ones. It’s 1 John 5:4, “For whatever is born of God
overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith.” Only by
exercising faith in the fact that the world has been crucified in Christ and then moving in that
faith and acting according to that faith, will we see those circumstances turned around. So Moses
was faced with no water, the children of Israel crying out to him, “Why have you brought us into
this wilderness to kill us here? Why didn’t you leave us back with Pharaoh?”
Moses knew that the world had been crucified in Christ and what looked like a rock could be made
whatever God’s people needed. And he knew that that rock had been changed in Jesus and that God has
the control of matter, and all matter is finally energy and God can change the form of it into
anything he chooses. He knew that that had been done in Christ for the benefit of the body of
Christ and he acted in faith and struck the rock with his staff and the water poured out. And the
whole story of the Old Testament and the New Testament is a continual record of such instances of
men and women acting in faith that God had crucified the world in Jesus, had resurrected it so that
it would work the way God wanted it to.
Loved ones, God has already a planned charmed way for you to live this life and to subdue it that
will work for you if you exercise faith on that fact of Jesus’ death and that’s the only way to
begin to subdue the world. And if you don’t operate it that way you’ll bark your shins continually
up against reality? No, against the ‘mirage unreality’ that Satan has created here in this world
but which we all believe. And so you bark your shins up against his fallen world which actually is
fallen only in appearance. It has actually been crucified in Christ and has been remade and
everybody who operates by that faith proves it.
Oh, I’d put it to you this way, you can either get the money for your bill that you have to pay or
God can arrange that the bill comes late, or he can arrange that the stupid computer is out, or he
can arrange a thousand other things so that the money works outright. Who of us here have not found
things going in amazing ways because God in his graciousness does that for us at times just to show
us. We, dumb-dumbs, think, “Oh, we were lucky,” or, “How unusually kind God was to us.” God is
saying to us, “I will do this for you all the time my children if you will see that I have done this
permanently in my Son’s death and I want you to be able to walk and begin to walk by faith in that.”
Loved ones, there is no reason for any of us to fear. There is no reason for any of us to be
anxious about this world or its circumstances. God has transformed it in Jesus and by our faith in
that we’ll see it work.
The other obstacle we have is in John 14:30 and it’s the other reason why you find that things will
not work right and that indeed there seems to be some positive force opposing you. And at times we
feel that, we feel there’s something positively evil opposing us. Jesus explains it here not only
has the world been subjected to futility but the prince of this world. John 14:30, “I will no
longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming.” Jesus was referring to the fact
that the soldiers were going to come and arrest him and he was going to be tried and he was going to
be crucified. But he described it as these circumstances being under the ruler of this world. And
the ruler of this world is always working against you and he wants your death, he wants to destroy
you, and he wants to end your life, and he laughs with glee at every teenager that throws himself
off a bridge, or every teenager that commits suicide. And he laughs with glee at every one of us
who gets depressed, or worried, or anxious because that’s what he wants to do. He wants to destroy
He is a murderer from the beginning and Satan is active and alive and wants to destroy you. He does
it by lies all the time, absolutely by lies because he himself has no power. And the reason he has
no power is found there in Colossians 2:15. You might look back you know, to the Verse 13, “And
you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with
him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, having canceled the bond which stood against us with its
legal demands; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the principalities and powers
and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in him.”
Jesus has disarmed Satan and his principalities and his powers. How has he done it? Because he has
canceled the bond that stood against us. The bond was Romans 6:23, “the wages of sin is death.”
Satan would come before God and say, “The wages of sin is death. These people have committed sin,
they deserve death.” And God answered them and said, “They died in my Son Jesus and the legal bond
which stood against them and demanded their death has been satisfied in my Son. I have destroyed
them in him and remade them in him, you have no right to claim any power over them at all. They are
mine and they belong to me.”
All we have to do is face that and see that Satan has already been satisfied and that he has no
right to call us his own, and he has no right and power over us. We believe that Jesus has delivered
us from his power and he has disarmed Satan and Jesus’ power is greater than Satan’s. How do we
manifest that in this present life? James 4:7, it’s so simple. “Submit yourselves therefore to
God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” That’s all you have to do.
And we said last Sunday, you remember, when anxiety and anxious thoughts come into your mind, and
you’re worried, and you go round and round and round and round, — you know the way it goes. We all
know it, we could all tell the same story. You lay in bed and you think the thing through that
you’re going to go through tomorrow morning, you think it through again, you think it through a
third time, and then you go over it again, and again, and again and you find a solution. Then you’re
about to go to sleep and you go over it again in your mind. You know it’s amazing, all you have to
do is stop. That’s it.
The Lord Jesus bends over us and says, “My children, stop. That bluffer, that liar that is getting
you to go over and over this again, it is him that is making your mind turn, and turn, and turn.”
Resist him. Just resist him. Just say, “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Satan, spirit of
worry and anxiety, I rebuke you and command you to leave me.” It’s amazing, that’s all you have to
do. One little word will fell him and that little word is Jesus. Jesus has done all the work. You
don’t have to holler at him. You don’t have to shout at him or you don’t have to put a lot of
feeling into it. You don’t even have to be like C. S. Lewis, try to realize it. You know, “Have I
really commanded him to leave?” No, you don’t, you just have to command him to leave in Jesus’
name. You just have to resist him.
So that’s all we do. We exercise faith that the world has been crucified with Christ and therefore
it works right for us now according to God’s will. And secondly, we simply resist Satan and he
flees from us and the power of the Holy Spirit begins to make life, and circumstances, and people,
and situations work the way God meant them to us for us.
Now loved ones, that’s what these dear men in the Old Testament operated on because the lamb was
slain from before the foundation of the world. And so let’s go now to Genesis. You’ll be glad to
know we’re getting back to it, Genesis 26 and just finish the record of God’s dealings through
Isaac. And you remember, Abraham was the great father of faith and Isaac was his son and so Genesis
26:6, “So Isaac dwelt in Gerar. When the men of the place asked him about his wife, he said, ‘She
is my sister.’” Of course, he didn’t exercise faith and lied. “For he feared to say, ‘She is my
wife,’ because of fear. He was trying to out think them, round and round, “The men of the place
should kill me for the sake of Rebekah’; because she was fair to look upon. When he had been there
a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac fondling Rebekah
his wife. So Abimelech called Isaac, and said, ‘Behold, she is your wife; how then could you say,
‘She is my sister’?’ Isaac said to him, ‘Because I thought, ‘Lest I died because of her.’
Abimelech said, ‘What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with
your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.’”
It’s so beautiful isn’t it? God makes Abimelech concerned about the very thing that Isaac feared he
might do. And God is so often looking after us. “So Abimelech warned all the people, saying,
‘Whoever touches this man or his wife shall be put to death.’” And then in Verse 12, “And Isaac
sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The Lord blessed him, and the man
became rich, and gained more and more until he became very wealthy. He had possessions of flocks
and herds, and a great household.” That’s what God has for us.
No loved ones, I’m not saying we’re to be millionaires, but it’s God’s promise and God’s will that
your life should go well. That’s right. Not that you’ll have no trials, but that your life as a
rule will go into an increasingly satisfying experience in him, and an increasing influence for good
so that others will come to him through you. There will come then an inner satisfaction in
yourself, “My life is pleasing to God and it is achieving something for him.” That’s God’s will for
It may be that you’ll get sheep, and oxen, and all prosperity and riches as well, but the great
thing is that it is God’s will that your life should go in some kind of order. It is. So, if
you’re sitting here this evening and you feel, “Oh it isn’t, it isn’t.” Well then first of all have
a look at the things you’re wanting and be sure that God really wants them for you. But then see
that it is his will that you would be blessed a hundredfold. And that he would bless you, and he
would prosper the work of your hands, and that what you set your hand to would succeed. It is God’s
will. Not without some trials because he’ll use the trials to deepen you in himself. But your life
itself will go on from strength-to-strength and from glory-to-glory, that’s his will.
I would say that to any of us. You know, there are many of us here and I know some of your
situations and you know mine, and I would say to all of us it is God’s will that our life would
progress. That it would move on, that it would show order in it, that we in our own hearts –
everybody else might actually say, “That poor man, what he suffers.” But we, in ourselves will know
that our life is going on. It might not go on the way somebody else’s would, but it will go on in
such a way that you’ll know, “Yes, God is bringing me from strength-to-strength and from
glory-to-glory.” That is his will, that we would be blessed a hundredfold.
Now, once that happens of course, you’ll find happening to you what happened to Isaac. And you see
in Verse 14, “He had possessions of flocks and herds, and a great household, so that the Philistines
envied him. (Now the Philistines had stopped and filled with earth all the wells which his father’s
servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father.) And Abimelech sad to Isaac, ‘Go away from us;
for you are much mightier than we.’” And that’ll happen to us. As soon as God begins to bless you
other people will envy you and Satan will release powers against you, and people will oppose you.
So you will have trials and difficulties and you need to be prepared for those.
One or two things that I saw that God was saying to me about them. First of all, we have a tendency
to regard any kind of opposition as an unfair, unjust interruption of God’s dealings with us, or of
God’s plan for our lives. We have a tendency to face opposition and interpret it immediately as an
unjustified unfair interruption in God’s dealings with our lives and we kind of treat it as that and
we try to get it out of the way, and we think, “Get it out of the way, get it out of the way. I
want to get on with what God has for me.” And God is saying, “This is what I have for you right
here. I have an exercise of faith here for you to engage in and I have victory in this realm of
opposition for you.” But we keep saying, “No, no, it couldn’t be that. It couldn’t be that.
They’re interrupting your dealing, Lord, with me.”
And so we keep trying to shove it under the rug, or brush it away, or ignore it and it just keeps on
keeping on. And what God is saying is, “This is part of the world. This is part of the work of
Satan against you that I have destroyed. I have destroyed this in my Son Jesus, have faith in that.
Have faith in that. Praise me and glorify me in the midst of this.” But instead of doing that and
looking at Christ crucified, and looking at Satan with the principalities disarmed, we get into
worry and anxiety over the opposition, or we concentrate on the opposition.
Another thing I saw us doing, is you get caught up in the personalities opposing you. You get
caught up in the personalities. You start trying to work it out and you work out why are they
saying this, why are they doing this, what is he saying this to me for, why are the people in the
office having this attitude to me? And we start analyzing them and the more we analyze it the more
we’re analyzing a work of Satan and the more we analyze a work of Satan the more we get drawn into
that work of Satan, and the more we get drawn into Satan’s power. And we are not to get caught up
in the personalities. Why? Because we wrestle not against flesh and blood. [ Ephesians 6:12] It’s
not the loved ones, it’s not Pontius Pilate. It’s not even the high priest. It’s not even the mob.
It’s Satan that lies behind all those.
It’s interesting at Gordon Peterson’s funeral on Friday, somebody, I think his son-in-law who is an
Arab and he was saying that Gordon was either loved or he was criticized. And I can attest to that,
I think, from what we’ve seen. And he asked him once, “Now, why are you dear men friendly with
these people who criticize you and oppose you?” And Gordon answered, “Because if I keep loving them
then there is always a way back into fellowship.”
Loved ones, always have that attitude to anybody who opposes you, or anybody who makes things hard
for you. Always love them and keep your heart open towards them because that allows the way back
into fellowship with Jesus for them. But don’t misinterpret Satan as being them. Always see Satan
as being the real enemy and see him as somebody who has been crucified with Jesus.
Another thing that I think we do in the midst of opposition, we fail to see that God is shifting out
the crutches that we need to have finished with and that we need to stop depending upon. Now, I
don’t know how many of you, but I find that it’s very easy to mix up your friends with God and to
begin to depend on your friends more than you depend on God and that’s why God, at times, has to
lovingly allow Satan to remove some of your friends from you so that you’ll lean heavily upon God
alone and depend only on him. So, it’s important to see that opposition has its own uses and God
has sent it to you not to be an unjustified interruption in his dealings with you but through that
opposition to deal with you and allow you to come into an exercising of faith over it.
Now, look at Verse 17, “So Isaac departed from there, and encamped in the valley of Gerar and dwelt
there. And Isaac dug again the wells of water which had been dug in the days of Abraham his
father.” It’s interesting, he kept on. He didn’t break off because of the opposition, he kept on.
“So Isaac departed from there, and encamped in the valley of Gerar and dwelt there. And Isaac dug
again the wells of water which has been dug in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines
had stopped them after the death of Abraham; and he gave them the names which his father had given
them.” And so you keep on keeping on. You don’t give up because of opposition or difficulty.
Whatever the plan is God has revealed to you for your life, you keep on. “But when Isaac’s servants
dug in the valley and found there a well of springing water, the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with
Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, ‘The water is ours.’” So at last he dug up a well and then they came
along, ‘The water is ours.’ “So he called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with
him.” And you will. I think you’d better face it that we’re all going to face the same kind of
opposition Jesus faced. If you set out to be used by Jesus, you’ll find that there’s contention, and
you’ll find that there’s opposition and you just had better of faced it.
If you were doing something for Satan there wouldn’t be half the opposition because he’s the prince
of this world. If you’re doing something neutral, he doesn’t care at all. But if you’re doing
something for Jesus there will be opposition and there’ll be contention and so there was with Isaac.
And then in Verse 21, “Then they dug another well.” He didn’t care — he just kept on keeping on.
“Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that also; so he called its name Sitnah.” And
you see the footnote v, “Enmity.” And you will, you’ll come up against enmity and hostility if
you’re trying to dig wells to get water of life for loved ones. “So he called its name Sitnah. And
he moved from there.” It didn’t bother him, he just keeps on digging. “And he moved from there and
dug another well, and over that they did not quarrel; so he called its name Rehoboth, saying, ‘For
now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.’”
That’s God’s will for you. His will is to bring you into a broad place. Satan’s will is to keep
you in a straightened place. I don’t know how many of you have had worries over finances, anxiety
over people’s attitude to you, you know the way it squeezes you to death? You feel you’re being
driven into a corner, tighter, and tighter, and tighter until you can’t squeeze any longer. That’s
Satan. Satan’s job is to bring you into a stringent place, a narrow place, a straightened place, a
place where you can hardly breathe. God’s will is to bring you into a broad place and if you keep
on keeping on, God will bring you into that broad place and he’ll bring you in by exercise of this
faith that we talked of.
Could I share with you some more of these dear instances where men have done that? MacMillan, you
remember, The Authority of the Believer states, “Just a year prior to this writing contact was made
in a country district with a young pastor and his wife. But in body they were sorely hindered for
long she had suffered from what had been diagnosed as serious heart trouble and for which medical
treatment was being taken. One symptom was the frequent recurrence of severe pains calling fainting
spells. The husband stated that he had several times, on coming into the house, found her lying
unconscious on the floor.
While conversing with the wife she mentioned that her father was a spiritist and that she had been
expert in former days with a planchette. [spirit writing instrument] The question was asked, ‘Is it
not possible that your present physical trouble and your difficulty in receiving healing is due to
the past?’ ‘No,” was the serious reply, ‘For I was never a medium in the ordinary sense. I simply
used the planchette.” And many interesting and remarkable incidents of its use were narrated.
Nevertheless, the point was pressed, ‘In using the planchette, your body had to be surrendered to
the evil spirit. There is little question in my mind that the difficulty lies there. Your
connection with these powers should be acknowledged and confessed. Then a definite stand in the
authority of the Lord should be taken, absolutely refusing the further working of evil spirits in
your body which has been purchased by the precious blood.’
About three weeks after, a letter was received from the sister in question. After the visitor’s
departure the light had come, confession had been made and she and her husband had unitedly refused
the further oppression of the enemy. She has never had another attack of the heart trouble and has
been blessed in their service greatly.”
You’re not meant to lay under physical pain and physical disease permanently. You’re meant to take
authority over it in the name of our Lord Jesus who has borne that sickness in pain for you. And
the Holy Spirit is able, when you do that and when you exercise that faith, he is able to give you
revelation as he gave to these people. He’s able to show you whatever particular hold Satan has
over your body, or whatever way in which you’re yielding to him. And he can reveal that to you and
then it’s automatic because your sickness has been borne in Jesus, it’s automatically lifted.
Another incident from ‘Authority of the Believer,’ “Coming down the West River in the South of China
in 1926, there was a man on board being taken to Hong Kong for a mental treatment. He was a
foreigner and a member of the customs staff. Early in the morning he leaped overboard but was
rescued and placed in a cabin on board. A little later he cut his throat from ear-to-ear. The boat
dropped anchor and native doctors came and sewed and dressed his wounds. After they had left then
the writer was asked to talk with him. He was laying on the cabin bunk with his hands secured by a
rope. As soon as the cabin was entered in before any question was asked he said, ‘They told me to
do it.’ ‘Who told you?’ ‘The voices. They are talking to me all the time. They told me to throw
myself overboard and when I was taken from the water they said there was no hope for me as I had
tried to take my life and said I must cut my throat.’ Then growing excited he cried, ‘They are
talking to me now. They say I must send you away. Go, go.’
He was quite beside himself. The answer was made, ‘These are demon voices that speak with you. I
am not afraid of them. I have come in here to help you.’ After prayer he quieted and no recurrence
of the trouble recurred up till the time he was taken from the boat to the hospital at Hong Kong.
He was not delivered but the trouble was under control while the worker was near. Here it may be
said that demons recognize at once anyone who can exercise the authority of the Lord and they are
afraid of him. But full deliverance in such a case as this cannot take place without the consent of
the one attacked.”
That’s interesting. You have authority over the demons, loved ones, and often you’ll be able to
protect a person from them while they’re in your presence. But of course, unless they submit
themselves to Jesus, they cannot come over into permanent victory over it.
Again from ‘Authority,’ “Previous illustrations are from the personal experiences of the writer.
The following is about a lady, now deceased. In a time in the north of England great opposition was
being manifested to some religious meetings by a group of the rougher sorts stirred by certain
communistic leaders. After a short time the pastor called some of his people together and asked
them to stand with him against the power of the enemy. About a 100 gathered and after prayer they
deafly repeated with him, ‘In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by his authority, we bind the
strong man from stirring up these people and from attacking God’s work.’ And a hymn of praise was
sung and the members disbursed. The very next day trouble arose among the leaders of the
opposition. Some of them left town and no further hindrance to work was encountered.”
It’s good to have the bandage but really what will change the universe is us taking quiet authority
in the name of Jesus over the spirits of skepticism, over the spirits of criticism, over the spirits
of sarcasm that move on the university campus. It’s the same with our own family in the
congregation. It’s good to talk with people but really, talk doesn’t do it. The kingdom is not a
matter of talk but of power, and what does do it is quietly taking authority in the name of Jesus
over the spirits of deception and disunity.
It’s strange, even praying – I think, you know, it’s nice to pray for unity but actually it doesn’t
do much good because the people who aren’t united with you usually don’t hear the prayer and aren’t
open to the prayer being answered. But you can take authority in Jesus’ name against the spirits
that bring disunity because if people are in Jesus there is unity unless spirits of deception
prevent them seeing that unity. And what we can do day-after-day, quietly in our prayer life, is to
take authority in Jesus’ name over those spirits and rebuke them and cast them out from loved ones.
And you know, you may be sitting there saying, “Oh now look, I’ve never done that before.” You
don’t need an experience, you don’t need expertise — you just need to believe that actually in
Jesus the principalities and powers have been disarmed.
But he says, “You must speak to the mountain. You must actually speak. Whatever you bind on earth
has been bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth has been loosed on heaven.” [ Matthew 16:19]
He requires you to do the speaking because that is the exercise and the expression of your faith.
It is by faith, your personal faith that that is manifested here on earth. Jesus will not manifest
it apart from our faith but he will manifest it through our faith.
I think there are just two more that might help you in some way and they’re from Kenneth Hagin.
“Years ago, when my older brother was bound by the devil I said, “Satan, in the name of Jesus Christ
I break your power over my brother’s life.” I have a brother in that situation and I don’t know if
you’ve brothers, or sisters, or mums, or dads. “Satan in the name of Jesus Christ I break your
power over my brother’s life and I claim his deliverance and salvation.” Now if the brother was not
willing to submit to Jesus, that still would not bring victory you see. All you can do is claim
that and stand in authority over that. The brother or the sister finally have to submit their
wills, but yet you can see that this was a necessary prelude to it. “Satan in the name of Jesus
Christ, I break your power over my brother’s life and I claim his deliverance and salvation.’ In
approximately two weeks he was saved. I had been trying to get him saved for 15 years but nothing
had ever worked. When I took this stand and exercised my spiritual authority as a believer it
Now, I’m just saying, have you ever done that? Maybe that isn’t it completely, maybe there’s more
to it in your brother, or your sister’s case. But have you done that, have you taken authority in
Jesus’ name and taken it daily on their behalf? “Someone heard me say this,” what he says I think
is very good for all of us, “Someone heard me say this and said they would try it and see if it
worked. Now I knew it wouldn’t work for them because I hadn’t tried it, I had done it.” That’s
important. There’s a lot of light talk, you know, “Exercise faith, exercise authority,” you know.
“If you have enough faith it will work.” No, no, no, that’s silly.
If you’re crucified with the Lord Jesus, and you’re dwelling close to him, and he shows you that a
certain thing is his will and then you exercise faith, then yes. But if you take it into your own
hands and say, “I can make whatever happen happen by my faith.” No, that’s satanic. You may well do
that but it will bring the kind of chaos that many of us have seen. No, if you’re crucified with
Christ and dwell in him, then his Spirit moves in you and he gives you desires that are his and then
in the light of that you can take authority. And of course, it’s something that you do out of
certainty, it’s not something that you try, you see. I’ll try it. God looks down and says, “He’s
only trying it.” That’s it. Satan looks down and says, “He’s only trying it.” Satan says, “I know
Jesus but who are you? You’re just trying it.”
It’s a deep thing wrought in your position in Jesus on the cross. “Sometimes believers say they
will try something because it has worked for somebody else.” This is the way to come into it, if
they study God’s Word and prove themselves in his teaching and authority, Whatsoever you demand in
my name I will do it. If you say to this mountain, doubting nothing in your heart, “Be removed and
cast into the sea, it will be done. Whatever you desire when you pray, believe that you receive it
and you will have it.” [ Matthew 21:21] “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents
and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall hurt you.” [ Luke 10:19] Study
those passages and let the word of God stir up faith in your heart.
But if they try to act on God’s word without having the word built up in their spirit, the devil
will defeat them silently. You’ll only defeat the devil in combat when you’ve got a foundation of
God’s word and you act upon it. That’s it. Study his word, study these passages that we’re sharing
and Jesus will give you that power and authority.
Why do people lose their healing? When people are in a place where faith is high, where there’s a
mass faith, or where the gifts of the spirit are in an operation it’s comparatively easy for them to
receive healing. This might help some of us, who have been drawn into what seems to me to be a lie.
Oh yeah, it was only a bluff healing. It was only a power of suggestion and when they got home it
wasn’t real. I think his explanation is right. This is what happens in big meetings. “I saw it
happen in the well-known evangelist meeting during the days of the healing revival which was from
’47 to ’58. However, when these people get back on their own, the devil comes along with lying
symptoms. The people don’t have a foundation of faith in them and the devil puts the same things
back on them.” [ Kenneth Hagin]
That’s the reason you see, people get delivered from evil spirits, sickness, a lot of things and the
next time you see them they’re right back where they were. Some people would say, “Well, they never
got healed to begin with.” How could a cripple man walk who had never walked before he hadn’t been