CHAPTER 19
SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY IN THE AREA OF FINANCES (e³)

“…much more surely will those who receive [God’s] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness[Putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the One Man, Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One”. (Romans 5:17 AMP).

UNDERSTANDING DELEGATED AUTHORITY
When my wife Barbara and I were young Christians, we hosted a small Bible study in our home. In one of the classes we were studying Kenneth Hagin’s The Authority of the Believer, and for many in the class it was difficult to believe that Christ had delegated His full power and authority to ordinary believers like them. But Tim Schlitzer, one of the men in our class, was a traffic policeman. He immediately caught the revelation of the believer’s authority over the devil and his demons. He explained to the class that the city for which he worked had delegated its authority to him to direct traffic; therefore, he understood delegated authority. He further explained that while he had no personal power to make the people obey him, the delegated authority, which had been given to him to enforce the city laws, was backed by the entire power and authority of the city. When he was directing traffic all he had to do was raise his hand and even the largest trucks would stop. It was not his personal power that caused the truck driver to stop; it was the “fear of” or the “respect for” the power of the city which was behind his delegated power that caused the trucker to stop. The same is true of the authority of the believer. It is not the believer’s personal power that causes the devil to stop; it is the “fear of” the power of God that is in back of the believer’s delegated authority that causes him to stop.

EXERCISING SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY IN YOUR BUSINESS
I related earlier in this book that in November of 2002, I turned the management of my architectural and engineering company over to an associate to whom I planned to sell the business the following year, and I began to travel more. During the 2003 fiscal year I spent considerable time traveling and teaching the “business by the Spirit” principles contained in this book. From time to time, when I was in Seattle I would review the company’s financial records, and offer assistance and advice to my associate, but I was not actively involved in the daily management of the firm. When I returned from a trip to Siberia in the spring of 2003, I found that in the first seven months of the fiscal year the firm had lost nearly sixty-five percent of its net worth. We did not have enough work to keep our staff of engineers and architects busy, and we had only a few months before we would have to close the business.

Realizing that my faith was not up to the financial challenge, I began to spend three to five hours a day during the following month meditating on the Word of God, to increase the level of my faith. After a month of meditating on God’s Word I sensed that my faith had grown to the place where I could believe God to not only provide the fifty-five percent of sales that we were behind, but to add an additional fifty percent increase over last year’s sales as well. Over the next three months, our sales averaged 174 percent of last year’s sales, and then just when I was sensing victory, conditions turned for the worse. Over the next four months sales dropped to a disparaging one third of our goal. We had once again fallen considerably behind in our sales, and for the second time it became necessary for me to put additional working capital into the firm. I knew that I was missing it somewhere; but I didn’t know where. Therefore I began to spend considerable time in study and prayer asking the Lord to reveal to me the problem. 

EXERCISING SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY MAKES YOU A “MARKED MAN”
It was during this intensified time of study that I was re-reading Kenneth E. Hagin’s book entitled The Believer’s Authority (2), and I came across the following admonition: 

The Christian who puts on this armor and engages in spiritual warfare is marked. By spiritual warfare I simply mean doing the works of Jesus and taking our authority over the devil as we go about our daily lives. I am not talking about purposely trying to go head-to-head with Satan in some kind of prayer combat. The devil will do everything in his power to keep you from coming into this knowledge of authority over him. He’ll fight you more over this than any other subject. Then, after you have come to the knowledge of this authority, he’ll oppose you and try to steal it from you. There will be tests, and sometimes people fail those tests. The devil wants you to throw up your hands and say the authority of the believer won’t work for you…

…The Enemy will resist your interference in his sphere, because he’s exercising authority over the powers of the air, and he wants to continue to do so. When you interfere with Satan’s kingdom by exercising your spiritual authority, he will attack you in an attempt to get you to back down from using that authority.

If you successfully resist Satan’s attacks in one area, he will come against you in another area. You may as well get ready for these attacks, because they’re coming. In other words, your privileged spiritual position makes you an enemy to the devil.

You see the devil realizes he cannot hold in bondage a believer who knows his authority in Christ Jesus. Such a believer is aware that he is seated with Christ in heavenly places and that the devil is a defeated foe under his feet (Eph. 1:15-2:6). Furthermore this believer is convinced that no work of the enemy can prevail against him in carrying out the will of God on the earth (2). 

Now I had read The Authority of the Believer (1) (the predecessor of The Believer’s Authority), the first time in 1978, and I am certain that I had read this book and the expanded Believer’s Authority or parts of it, some ten to fifteen times in the thirty years that I had been a Christian. But on this occasion, Hagin’s admonition concerning the satanic opposition which will confront the man who dares to challenge Satan’s authority came alive to me; it confirmed the very situation which I was experiencing. I was not only exercising authority over the devil concerning my own business, but I was traveling all over the world teaching others to exercise authority over him in their business activities as well. By doing so, I had become a major target for the devil. I knew I had to win this financial battle because it not only involved my financial future, but my ability to teach “business by the Spirit” principles to other believers as well. The stakes were high, not only for me personally, but also for the kingdom of God. 

TIME IS THE EARTHLY DIMENSION THAT TESTS OUR FAITH
As I read the aforementioned book, I began to see where I was missing it. At the end of each month I would check our sales report to see if we had sold the 150 percent increased monthly sales (fifty percent increase over the average monthly sales for the preceding year). During the first three months that I had believed God for this increase, we had actually exceeded that goal, and I found it easy to rejoice in the Lord. But then when the sales slowed and we weren’t making even a third of our goal, it was not so easy to rejoice. It was definitely not easy to confess victory and thank God for the answer to my prayers when I could see those negative figures on the sales report. Then I realized that by believing God would meet our sales goal every month, I had in effect established a deadline for God to answer my prayer, and that is unscriptural. The writer of Hebrews says, “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:11&12). Time is the dimension of this earthly life that tests our faith, and by expecting God to meet my sales goal every month, I had unconsciously removed the time element from the fight of faith. If we always received an answer to our faith at the end of the month then there would be no fight to the fight of faith. 

Only weeks after I had reread The Believer’s Authority, I also read how the Lord taught Kenneth Hagin to exercise spiritual authority in the area of finances. I describe that principle in the next chapter entitled “Activating the Angels.” Now I had read this principle on several previous occasions; in fact, I had heard him relate it in his Bible seminars. But I guess I had dismissed it as being a little over the top—at least it was over the top of my understanding. But now my back was against the wall, and I had nowhere else to go. If something didn’t change we would soon be out of business; it was only a matter of months. Our sales were now four months behind our goal, so my wife and I agreed on the following prayer: “I claim ____” (and I stated the amount of the four months of sales that we were behind). Then I said, “Satan, in the name of Jesus, I command you to take your hands off our sales” and “Go ministering spirits and cause the sales to come into my company.” Then every time we thought about the situation we simply thanked God that His ministering angels were bringing the required sales into the company. Thirty days later we had received only a small percentage of the monthly sales we had claimed. So we claimed an additional month of sales, and again said the exact same prayer that Barbara and I had spoken in faith just a month earlier. About half way through the following month, we received thirteen contracts totaling over 800 percent of our monthly goal, and we ended the year with 155 percent of the average sales for the three previous years. 

There is a caveat to the above story. Unbeknown to me, Joseph, the man to whom I had promised to sell my company, had apparently became fearful when the devil’s counterattack hit the company and it looked like the company was going to fail. His fear led him to search for work with other firms. Just two weeks before we experienced our breakthrough in sales, he announced he was leaving the firm. As I mentioned in the last chapter, Joseph’s fear caused him to miss his inheritance by two weeks!

The following year I raised our sales goal and claimed 200 percent of the base year’s sales, and when I sold my business, six months later, we had received sales contracts of just over 200 percent.

Jesus assures us of an answer to our petition, but He does not guarantee the time that the answer will manifest in the physical world. Jesus said “For assuredly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them and you will have them” (Mark 11:23&24). We are to believe we receive the answer to our prayer at the time we pray, but the answer may not manifest in the physical world until some time in the future. It is the very fact that we don’t know the exact time that the answer will manifest that requires us to exercise faith. Faith is seeing things that are not visible, as clearly as if they were visible. 

WE ARE TO REIGN AS KINGS IN LIFE

The Apostle Paul said that “those who receive an abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17) The Amplified Version says they will “reign as a kings in life”. A king reigns with authority over his kingdom; he does not allow his enemies to steal his land, his wealth, or to harass his subjects. The believer likewise is to exercise spiritual authority over his family, his property, his business, and his finances. He is to use the authority delegated to him to prevent the devil from stealing from and harassing him, his family and his business. But in order for you to effectively exercise your spiritual authority, you must know (in your spirit) that the full power and authority of the Godhead is back of the authority that Jesus has delegated to you. Sadly, most Christians are either ignorant of their delegated authority or are not fully convinced (in their spirit) that they may exercise that authority over the devil and his demons.

Paul concludes the book of Ephesians by saying, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). Many Christians misread this scripture and try to be strong in “themselves” rather than in the Lord; then when the battle is long and difficult, they become tired and discouraged and are tempted to give up the fight. They don’t understand that it is not their power and might, but the delegated power and might of the Godhead that is behind the authority which Jesus has given to the believer.

You are strong, because the Spirit of God Who is in you, is more powerful than the spirit that is in the world. “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (I John 4:4) Satan is the god of this world and the world financial system, but he is not your god. He that dwells in you is Jesus Christ the anointed one, unto whom all authority in heaven and earth has been given(Matthew 28:18), and He has delegated that authority to you the believer. (Matthew 28:19).

 

SATAN DOESN’T HAVE AUTHORITY OVER YOU, THE BELIEVER

Satan has authority over the people in the world, but he doesn’t have authority over you the believer, because God has delivered you, the believer, out of Satan’s kingdom and conveyed him into the kingdom of God. “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13&14). Spiritual authority over the devil and his demons is one of the spiritual rights and privileges that belong to the believer. But you cannot exercise the authority of the believer with your mind; you must exercise the authority of the believer by believing the Word with your spirit! 

 

GOD’S POWER IS BEHIND THE BELIEVER’S AUTHORITY

The apostle Paul compares God’s power toward us who believe with the mighty power that He used when He raised Christ from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-23). Satan and all of his demons opposed the resurrection of Christ, but God’s power overcame those demonic hoards, raised Christ from the dead, and made Him to sit at His right hand in heavenly places—far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named—and placed Him as head over all things for the church (Ephesians 1:19-23). Christ was made to be head over all things for the believer; that’s you and I—we are the Church. Paul states further that when the believer accepts Christ, he is raised up together with Christ and seated together with Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:4-6). That statement means that the same authority that was conferred upon Christ was also conferred upon you, the believer. 

 

JESUS HAS DELEGATED HIS AUTHORITY TO US

If you are to effectively exercise your authority over the devil, then you must get the scriptures listed at the end of this chapter into your spirit by meditating upon (thinking upon and confessing) them until they are thoroughly established in your spirit. Many believers know these truths in their head, but we cannot exercise spiritual authority with head knowledge; spiritual authority must be excised with your spirit. 

 

WHATEVER WE ASK (DEMAND) IN HIS NAME HE WILL DO

Jesus has delegated the right to use His name to the believer, and He has given you and me specific instructions concerning the devil. Jesus said, “…I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:17-19).

The word “authority” used in this scripture is a translation of the Greek word dunamis (doo’-nam-is); it means “miraculous power.” We are to approach the devil as one having the delegated authority of Christ, and we are to demand that the devil obey us and stop his attack against us in the name of Jesus. To the natural eye, it may look like nothing has happened, but as you stand your ground, the devil’s attack will weaken and eventually retreat. I like to compare it with standing on the seashore and a wave is approaching you. It comes at you in a powerful intimidating way, but as it comes nearer and nearer it begins to slowly lose its power, and finally it stops and retreats back in the direction from which it came. That is the same thing that will happen to the devil when we use our God-given authority to rebuke him.

Since 2003, I have made it my habit to meditate upon (think upon and confess) the following scriptures in order to establish faith in these truths in my spirit. Not only has this meditation increased my authority in the area of finances, but also my authority in praying for healing and miracles. I trust that you will also make these scriptures a part of your daily meditation.

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, “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” (Mathew 28:18-20).

 

“…I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you (Luke 10:18-19).

 

“And these signs will follow those who believe; In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:17&18).

 

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

 

The Apostles Paul, James, and Peter all gave instructions to the believer concerning the devil; I have included them below for your review. As I confess these scriptures, I sometimes personalize them as I have below with the Apostle Paul’s prayer in the first chapter of Ephesians:

“God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, give to me the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You, that the eyes of my understanding may be enlightened; that I may know what is the hope of Your calling, that I may know the riches of the glory of Your inheritance in the saints, and that I may know the exceeding greatness of Your power toward us who believe, according to the working of Your mighty power which You worked in Christ when You raised Him from the dead and seated Him at Your right hand in heavenly places, 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. And You put all things under His feet and gave Him to be head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all (My personalization of Ephesians 1:17-23).

Paul went on to say in the second chapter of Ephesians, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which You love me, even when I was dead in trespasses, You made me alive together with Christ, (for by grace I have been saved) and You raised me up together, and made me to set together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (My personalization of Ephesians 2:4-6).

The Apostle James said, “…Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

The Apostle Peter said, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8&9).

WE ARE TO DO BUSINESS UNTIL CHRIST RETURNS
I think it is also important for you to understand that as a Christian businessperson, you are engaged in spiritual warfare because the devil and his demon forces are arrayed against you. You must understand that even though Jesus has already fought the devil and won the victory, He has delegated to you the responsibility to enforce His victory. Therefore we are to take our stand on the Word of God, in prayer and confession, to enforce the victory that Jesus has won for us. His disciples thought that His kingdom would come immediately, but Jesus told them a parable and said, “…Do business until I come” (Luke 19:13).
(1) Reprinted by permission. Authority of the Believer, by Kenneth E. Hagin, © 1967, Rhema Bible Church/Kenneth Hagin Ministries, Tulsa, OK. All rights reserved.

(2) Reprinted by permission. The Believers Authority, by Kenneth E. Hagin, © 1984, Rhema Bible Church/Kenneth Hagin Ministries, Tulsa, OK. All rights reserved.
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