It is yours! You have all
- what is spiritual authority
- when to use your authority
- and how to use your authority
I cannot teach you how or when to use your spiritual authority until you learn what it is. Are you ready?
1. What is Spiritual Authority?
First, let’s understand that the Bible is clear that all power and authority belong to God and He will deal with people as He pleases. His authority is demonstrated by His judgment on those who ignore or challenge His claim. Jesus, as the Son of God, had His own authority as we see through His teaching and demonstration.
We also know that satan had power over the earth until it was taken away when Jesus rose from the dead.
Before we look at Scripture verses, let’s determine the spiritual authority definition.
In the Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, authority is defined as ἐξουσία, pronounced,
Authority means you have been given the ability or strength to do something.
There are several verses in the Bible when Jesus used His authority. Let’s look at a few of them to gain a solid understanding of spiritual authority in the Bible.
1-A. Jesus’ Authority
- John 5:22-27, Jesus has authority through judgment
- Matthew 7:28, He has authority in teaching
- Mark 1:27, Jesus has power and authority in exorcism
- Mark 2:5, He has authority to forgive sins
- Matthew 28:18, all power given to Jesus
So, from these verses, we see the extent of Jesus’ authority. Now, let’s look at some verses that teach about the authority given to the disciples, and also to all believers.
1-B. Disciples’ Authority
The disciples were commissioned as Jesus’ representatives to spread the gospel and regulate His church. In this commissioning, Jesus gave the disciples power and authority to
- exorcize all devils, Luke 9:1
- heal diseases, Luke 9:1, Matthew 10:8
- cleanse the lepers, Matthew 10:8
- raise the dead, Matthew 10:8
- discipline the church in His name, 1 Corinthians 5:4
- teach God’s truth, 1 Corinthians 2:9
- make decisions to believers as God’s command, 1 Corinthians 14:37
That’s quite a bit of authority!
However, in this post, we’re going to focus on Luke 9:1 and Matthew 10:8, authority over evil, cleansing of lepers, heal diseases and raise the dead.
1-C. The Spiritual Authority of the Believer
When Jesus gave power and authority to the disciples over spiritual darkness, He also gave this power to all believers. When you are born-again, you receive the Holy Spirit and He brings this power and authority to you. This authority is available through faith.
Spiritual authority is using the name of Jesus through faith to do the task you’ve been given.
Mark 16:17-18 says this: And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Luke 10:19, Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Matthew 10:7-8, And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
As a born-again believer, you don’t have to wait for someone else to cast out demons or heal the sick. You have all spiritual power and authority to do this yourself. You caught that, right? In those verses, Jesus delegated authority and power to you!
So, what can you do with this authority?
- cast out demons
- heal the sick
- cleanse those with skin diseases
- raise the dead
- speak in new tongues
- tread on scorpions or serpents or drink deadly things (not on purpose)
2. When to Use Your Spiritual Authority
You can use your authority in Jesus Name when you want to
- cast out demons
- heal the sick
- cleanse those with skin
In addition, you can take authority over the elements (Mark 4:39), over the insects or critters that sting (Luke 10:19) and for supernatural protection (Proverbs 18:10)
Here’s a truth: One night I commanded the wind to stop blowing so strongly over my balcony. My outdoor curtains were in danger of being blown off the PVC pipe they are fixed too and we were heading to bed that night. I stood inside my living room looking outside at the curtains blowing and I commanded the wind to stop blowing around and through my balcony. Within seconds the wind slowed down to a gentle breeze.
I was reminded of Jesus’ words when He spoke “Peace, be still” and also He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…John 14:12.
Another time I commanded wasps to leave me alone as I was harvesting my grapes. The verse that I stood on was Luke 10:19. I gave the wasps permission to stay in areas I wasn’t working and to leave my basket of grapes alone. They obeyed the command. I did this for two harvest seasons and when I was chatting with my
And, yet, another time: I received healing in 1984 but lost it in 2010. When I finally realized in 2018 that I had given up my healing, I had to fight to take back what the devil stole. This post will tell you how I reclaimed my healing but the principle also applies to anything the devil has stolen from you.
3. How to Use Your Spiritual Authority
Let me remind you of the time when Jesus finished the 40 days of fasting in the wilderness.
Do you remember what happened? He had been battling the devil and now we read that the tempter came to Him with three temptations. One at a time, Jesus refuted each temptation with what? The Word of God. He used the phrase “It is written” and defeated the enemy.
This is what you need to do as well. You need to know the content of the Bible. To be able to quote it accurately and to stand on its truth. This won’t come by osmosis. You will need to read your Bible, study it and obey it.
When you know your Bible, you will know
- you are seated in heavenly places in Christ, Ephesians 2:6
- Jesus won the victory
- satan is defeated
- that you can stand on the power of the Word of God
- and that the victory is yours through Jesus Christ
In addition, when the enemy whispers
This is interesting and I want to research this for myself as well. However, here’s a quote about “rebuking” from Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.:
The phrase “I rebuke you” does not occur anywhere in the Bible spoken by a human being dealing with Satan or his demons. Jesus Himself is never quoted as saying it. I examined 11 respected Bible translations on this. (I encourage you to verify this with your own research. The free Biblegateway.com is an excellent Bible search engine). Not once in the 11 translations I checked did Jesus or His disciples say the words “I rebuke you” to Satan or to demons. Not even one time.Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.
You can come against the enemy when he is attempting to steal from you. When he is bent on destroying you, you can rise up in faith and command him to stop. When the doctor pronounces a death sentence on you or your loved one, you can rise in faith and renounce and command the illness or disease to be healed.
Sure, you may have to repeat yourself, after all, Jesus spoke Scripture to the devil three times during His temptation. Simply stand your ground, don’t give up so easily. Fight to win!
3-A. The Armour of God
If you are familiar with the Bible, you may recall the portion of text in Ephesians 6:10-18 which teaches believers how to dress up for spiritual warfare. It is the
This is an excellent passage filled with information about spiritual battles. You get a glimpse of the spirit realm and can see the intensity of evil. This is the reason that we are given spiritual
Who or what are we fighting? It is not people,
- it is a battle against principalities,
- and rulers of darkness
Ephesians 6:10-18 describes each piece of
It tells you that you need this
Paul also emphasizes that we are to stand, withstand, stand and remain standing. Four times in this passage he mentions ‘stand.’
This is important. He doesn’t say sit, nor does he say to retreat in certain scenarios. Nor does he say to give up after so many tries. He simply said to “stand!”
3-B. Binding and Loosing
Ah! this may be new to you, or you may have heard of it but not given it any particular thought.
Turn with me to Matthew 6:10 which refers to the will of heaven be done on earth. Turn over a few more pages to Matthew 16:18-19 where Jesus teaches about giving the disciples (and us) the keys of the kingdom of heaven to whatever you bind and loose on earth shall be bound and loosed in heaven.
You cannot do this frivolously. This is serious business here.
You need to remember that you
- are in control
- set the rules of engagement, not the enemy
- bind the demonic activity
- determine through Holy Spirit what the source is of the demonic activity
- is there participation in the occult?
- are there any generational curses?
- has the person has listened to and believed lies?
- is there sinful behaviour?
- remove or break the legal right of demonic activity by
- recognition of sin
- confession of sin
- repentance of sin
- asking forgiveness from God
- acknowledging the sin activity as dead on the cross
- using your authority as a believer of Jesus Christ
- command the demons to go to the feet of Jesus
Remember this: Demons must obey lines of spiritual authority. There is no grey area here, they must obey your spiritual authority. If they are resisting your commands, first, make sure you have dealt with the legal grounds for infestation. If they still will not budge, refer to Jesus to rebuke or deal with the spirit. Simply say, “Lord Jesus, I submit this demon of darkness to You as an insubordinate and defiant spirit. I ask You to do whatever You choose. Demon, I command you to go to the feet of the true Lord Jesus Christ, now.”
Here is further teaching about “rebuking” that I really think you should read by Pastor Jim Feeney and called, Rebuking Demons: How to and Not to.
Should I Use the Authority or Pray?
Another thing to remember about your spiritual authority and that is that you do not have to beg. Authority doesn’t ask the demon what to do, it commands the demons!
You don’t need to ask God to do this work. In fact, He won’t. Why? Because Jesus quite clearly said that we are to do the binding and loosing, to command evil spirits to flee, to heal the sick, to cleanse the lepers, to raise the dead. Take a look again at the verses listed under 1-B Disciples Authority and 1-C The Believer’s Spiritual Authority up above to let them soak in deep.
Have you read any verses where Jesus asked God to heal the sick or rebuke the demons? No, right? Well, that means that Jesus did those works Himself, and when He delegated this work, He intended for you to do this work yourself.
You have been given all authority to use the Name of Jesus against the powers and principalities of this world.
Oh, and your authority doesn’t work through your thoughts. The enemy cannot read your mind, only God has that ability. To use your spiritual authority, you must speak out loud. Proverbs 18:21 reminds us that death and life are in the power of the tongue so command the evil spirits with the spoken word.
You don’t need to yell and scream at the demons. You can speak in a normal voice. I’ve even whispered the command during the night hours when my husband was sleeping. I didn’t want to wake him but I needed to deal with the enemy so I’d speak out loud but in a low voice. It isn’t the loudness of the voice that the demons listen to, it’s the authority of the Name of Jesus that they obey.
On the Matter of Prayer
Oh, yes, I remember that James mentioned in James 5:13-15 to pray for the sick. There is a place for prayer for healing, by all means, but we also have been given the right to use the authority over sickness and disease. We pray for healing but we can also command healing.
Mark 16:17-18 teaches that healing can come from laying on of hands. Healing can also come from having faith for healing like the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, Mark 5:30.
Jesus said that those who believe will have the Holy Ghost flowing out of their innermost being, John 7:38-39, and even Peter’s shadow healed people, Acts 5:15.
So, yes, there is a need for prayer but don’t forget you have been given the authority to use the Name of Jesus to take command over evil spirits.
Let me remind you again of these words that Jesus said in John 14:12: …He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…
If you’ve read the four gospels and are familiar with all the miracles and works that Jesus did, you can expect to do greater works than these. Why? Because Jesus said so. It shouldn’t be a surprise to you, it should be the norm.
That’s a Wrap
Well, that’s been a very interesting study on using your spiritual authority.
Let’s do a quick recap. You have the authority to
- heal the sick
- raise the dead
- cast out
cleansethose with skin diseases
To be successful in using your authority, you need to
- know your Bible
- use the Armour of God
- know how to bind and loose
- know when to use your authority or to pray
Through all of this, remember, you are accessing your spiritual authority through faith.
Has this post has been helpful to you in learning about spiritual authority? What part in particular ‘spoke’ to you the most? I’d love to hear from you!
Cindy Barnes has been called by God in the early 80s to be a teacher of His Word. She is a serious student of the Word, focusing on the Inductive Bible Study Method since 2007. Her passion is to teach women how to study the Bible using this method. In addition, she desires for women to develop an intense yearning to draw closer to God through reading and writing out the Bible.
Cindy teaches hundreds of women in her private online Bible Study Group who express their joy of growing deeper in their spiritual walk.
You can stay in touch with Cindy on Facebook through 215 Ministry.