Adrian Rogers - The Warfare of Prayer
Be finding Luke chapter 10. The subject today is Kingdom Authority. Today we're going to show you how to exercise that authority in your warfare. We're going to be talking about the warfare of prayer and how to come against Satan and to use the authority that Jesus Christ has given to you. Because, you see, when you were born again, you were born to win, and you have become a spiritual freedom fighter; you are a commando in God's invasion army. And we need to learn this about the church of the Lord Jesus Christ: it's not a cruise ship, and it's not a showboat; it's a battleship. We're at war! We are in a grim conflict. It is a fight to the finish with no holds barred. We cannot be neutral, and we cannot call a truce. General Douglas MacArthur said, "In war there is no substitute for victory".
Now I want you to see today how you and I can enter into this battle with kingdom authority and be absolutely certain that the victory is ours. Luke chapter 10, I begin in verse 17 through verse 19, "And the seventy returned again with joy". Jesus sent out seventy to preach, and they, "returned again with joy, saying, 'Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name.'" Did you get that? "'Even the devils,'" the demons, "'are subject unto us through Thy name.' And He said unto them, 'I beheld Satan as lightning fall from Heaven. 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.'"
Now the word power is used twice in the King James, but the first word may be translated authority. So, there're two different words that He used in the Greek language. It may be read this way in Luke 10:19, "Behold, I give you authority over all the power of the enemy". We're talking today about Kingdom Authority, and we're talking today about taking that kingdom authority in the warfare that is ours, winning the victory in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, because Second Chronicles chapter 20 and verse 15 has taught us, "The battle is not yours but the Lord's".
Three things I want you to learn this morning about kingdom authority. Number one, this kingdom authority has been sovereignly established, this kingdom authority has been sovereignly established. Jesus said in Luke 10:18, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from Heaven". Those early disciples came back and said in verse 17, "Even the demons are subject unto us through Thy name". Now again I want to remind you of what we're talking about when we're talking about authority. Webster defines authority as, number one: the power or right to command, act, enforce obedience, or make final decisions; and then he says: jurisdiction; that is, to rule; and then he describes authority as this: power as delegated to another, authorization; as, he has my authority to do it.
Now that's what authority is in itself, and then it has been conferred or given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ. All authority roots in the sovereign God. Kingdom authority has been sovereignly established. God is the Creator, the Ruler, the King supreme in this kingdom; He rules the universes, and He is sovereign God. Now God, who is sovereign, gave that authority to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. When God created Adam and Eve, He told them to have dominion, but you will remember that the serpent came into the garden, deceived Adam and Eve, they sinned, they yielded their dominion to Satan, they lost their crown, and Satan became the god of this world. But Jesus Christ, the last Adam, left Heaven, came to this Earth, suffered, bled, and died as a man to regain what the first Adam lost. Dominion was legally lost, and dominion has been righteously regained. It was lost by a man, the first Adam; it was regained by a Man, the second Adam.
Last week I gave you these verses. I remind you of them this morning. Hebrews 2 verse 14, "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood". Now when he's talking about children, he's talking about us. We live in flesh and blood bodies. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself," now it's talking about Jesus, "He also Himself took part of the same". Of the same what? "Of the same flesh and blood. That through death He might destroy him that had the power of death," the authority of death, "the devil". Do you get it? You and I are flesh and blood. We are sons and daughters of Adam. Adam lost that authority. Jesus Christ took flesh and blood. Jesus Christ died, paid the penalty of sin, and took the dominion back from Satan, and gave it back to us. That's again the reason the Bible says in First John chapter 3 verse 8, "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil".
Now take your Bibles and put a bookmark there in Luke 10; we're talking about this kingdom authority being sovereignly established, and turn to Colossians chapter 2. Just fast forward over to the right, and you'll come to Colossians chapter 2. Now read with me Colossians chapter 2 verses 13 through 15; incredible verses, incredible verses. Colossians 2 verses 13 through 15. I want you to see what the last Adam did for us and how this dominion has been sovereignly established. Here's what he says, "And you, being dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him," the word quickened means being made alive, "together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it".
Now just keep your Bible open there now, and let's find out how this kingdom authority has been sovereignly established. There are three things that Jesus did for us when He came to this Earth to deliver us from bondage, and three kinds of bondage that He delivered us from. Number one, He delivered us from the bondage of spiritual death. Look in Colossians 2 verse 13, "And you, being dead in your sins, hath He quickened," made alive. Now if you're not a Christian, spiritually you're dead. It's not that spiritually you're sick; spiritually you are dead! But when Jesus Christ came to the sons and daughters of Adam, He gave to us through His death, life and delivered us from the bondage of spiritual death. But not only did He deliver us from the bondage of spiritual death, He delivered us from the bondage of staggering debt. Spiritual death and staggering debt. You see, our sins are a debt that must be paid. Heaven has sued us for damages, and we are in debt because of our sin.
Now what did Jesus Christ do on that cross? Jesus paid the debt. "Jesus paid it all". Jesus paid it all! Look in Colossians 2 verse 14, "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross". Now I'm going to pull over and park here for a moment. I don't want you to miss this. Now listen to it. We are in bondage to spiritual death, He's given us life, but there's also a debt that needed to be paid. In Bible times, if a man was thought to have committed a crime, the accusation would be made against him, if he was a lawbreaker. Then that accusation would be written out and given to a civil magistrate, and this lawbreaker would be put on trial, and if he was adjudicated guilty, they would take that bill that was against him; it was called; are you ready? A certificate of debt, a certificate of debt.
Now let's suppose that he is guilty, and he's sentenced to ten years in prison. They would take this man and put him in prison and take that bill, that certificate of debt, and they would nail it to his prison door. Anybody passing by could see what he had done, what the charges were, what the penalty assessed was, and it was nailed to his door. Now when he had served his ten years, if he's sentenced for ten years, he would be released from prison, a clerk would go get that certificate of debt, carry it back to the judge; the judge would read it, the judge would say, "Has he served his time? Has he paid the debt"? "Yes, Your Honor, he has paid the debt".
The judge would then take that certificate of debt and write across it one word: tetelestai, which means finished, paid in full, it's done. Then he would give to that man that certificate of debt, and that was the proof that he had that he had paid, that it was done, it was finished. Now if a man was to be crucified, they would take the certificate of debt and they would nail it to his cross. That's the reason when Jesus was crucified; over His head was a certificate of debt. It said, "Jesus, King of the Jews". That is, He was dying for insurrection; He claimed to be the king of the Jews, and so that certificate of debt was over His head, and the price for insurrection was death, and He was going to pay that.
Now look again in Colossians 2 verse 14, if you will, because the Bible says that Jesus, "Blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us," that just simply means the certificate of debt, "which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross". Can you imagine the God of the universes going up and down through all of the corridors of time for every soul that was ever born, from the sons of Adam to those who ever will be born, and collecting all of those sins, putting those sins on the Lord Jesus Christ, and nailing it to the cross? And when Jesus died, Jesus paid it all; and when He died, He bowed His head, and what did He say? "Tetelestai"! Paid in full, paid in full, with the crimson blood of the Son of God, and so we now have to understand this.
Now, that debt was against us. Satan is still the accuser. Satan will come to you, and Satan will say to you, "You're not good enough. You don't deserve it. Your sins have not been forgiven". And he will accuse you before God, and he will say to God the Father, "You claim to be so righteous. Adrian is a sinner. If You're righteous, You will fling him into Hell". It's that time my Advocate steps forward, my Lawyer, and He says, "Yes, Adrian has sinned, but for those sins I died, and here is the ordinance, the certificate of debt, signed in my crimson blood, paid in full". And, friend, the next time the devil comes to you to get on your case, and he will accuse you to your face, you just get your certificate of debt and just wave it in his face.
Listen to me. Just wave it in his face! Jesus paid it all, and He, in Colossians 2:14, "Blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, and He nailed it to His cross"! Therefore, the Bible says in Romans chapter 8 verse 33, "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth". Now what did He do when He died for us? He delivered us from the bondage of spiritual death. He delivered us from the bondage of staggering debt; He paid it all. And then He delivered us from the bondage of satanic dominion. Now go back again and look at this verse. Look in Colossians 2 verse 15; oh, I love this one. This talks about what Jesus not only did for us but what He did to Satan when He died. He ruined Satan. "And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it". In what? In His death upon the cross.
Now notice what the Lord Jesus Christ did to Satan who wants to have dominion over us. First of all, He spoiled him. Know what the word spoiled means? You know what the word means in the Greek language? It means to undress. It means to strip, like you would strip the carcass from an animal, or like you would strip the medallions from a general, or you would strip the royal robes from someone. Here's Satan in all of his arrogance, all of his dominion, wearing all of his medals from Hell, and the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross strips Satan. He takes away all of his authority. He has been stripped, spoiled.
And then the Bible says Colossians 2 verse 15, "He made a show of him openly". What does that mean? It means he's humiliated. Not only is he stripped, but he's standing there naked, as it were: no more authority, no more power, no more dominion. Stripped and shamed. He has been made a show of openly. He doesn't want you to understand that the king has no clothes. He is stripped; he is shamed. And now look in Colossians 2:15, "Triumphing over them in it". He is subdued. Now next time you think about Satan, get those three words: stripped, shamed, subdued. Why? How? By the death of Jesus Christ on that cross. Not only did He pay your debt, not only did He nail it to His cross, and when it was done He said, "Paid in full," but He took Satan's dark kingdom, and He says to Satan, "You are stripped of your authority, you are shamed, and you are subdued! You rule in a doomed domain, and you sail a sinking ship, Satan".
Now, folks, that's the message we need to learn. God has given to us kingdom authority. Now here's the second thing I want you to see. The first thing I said to you was kingdom authority has been sovereignly established. Okay, Got it? Sovereignly established. Secondly, kingdom authority must be strongly enforced, must be strongly enforced. Even though Satan has been stripped, shamed, and subdued, he will not give up anything or anybody without a fight. He does not want you to understand the authority that you have in the Lord Jesus Christ, but Jesus said to His disciples in Luke 10 verse 19, in the verse that we began with, "I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions".
Now this is not for everybody. For those who reject Christ, they're still in Satan's dark kingdom; and for those who reject Christ and will not accept what Christ did on the cross, to them Satan is still the god of this world. Second Corinthians 4:4, the Bible calls him, "The god of this world". Now you and I are not a part of this world, so he's not our god. We have been called out of that dark kingdom into the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We now live in a new kingdom, the kingdom of God, and we now have kingdom authority, but, you see, this kingdom authority must be enforced if we would do what our King wants us to do. Now why did Jesus Christ come to this Earth?
I want you to look, if you will please, in Luke chapter 4. We began in Luke chapter 10; just go to Luke chapter 4. Have you ever wondered why Jesus Christ left the splendors of Heaven, came down to this Earth, suffered, bled, and died? You want to know why He came? Well, He'll tell you in Luke chapter 4 and verse 18. Now the Lord Jesus Christ is in Nazareth; that's His boyhood home. And He enters the synagogue. He takes the Bible. He opens it, the scroll. He turns to the book of Isaiah, and He reads a prophecy from the book of Isaiah that is a prophecy concerning Him, and this is what it says, Luke 4:18, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor," underline poor, "He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted," underline brokenhearted, "to preach deliverance to the captives," underline captives, "and the recovering of the sight to the blind," underline blind, "and to set at liberty them that are bruised," underline bruised.
Now here's why Jesus Christ came: because we were slaves of Satan, we were in bondage to his dark kingdom, and He came to set us free. And to what kind of people did He come? To those who are bankrupt. The word poor here doesn't mean just poor without hardly enough; it means absolutely nothing; abject beggars. And you say, "Well, that doesn't apply to me, because I've got a couple of hundred thousand in the bank". Well, Revelation 3 verse 17 says, "Because thou sayest, 'I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;' and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked". Without Jesus Christ, you are bankrupt, and Jesus came to preach the Gospel to the bankrupt. And then to the brokenhearted.
Do you know anybody today who is brokenhearted? Look around. We have a world that's being baptized in salty tears. Now people may be laughing on the outside, but they're just trying to mask the sorrow and the emptiness on the inside. That's the reason amusement is so big today. As I've told you before, the word amuse means not to think. You put the alpha prefix there, the primitive, "a". Muse is to think. Amuse is not to think. We have a generation that's laughing its way to Hell because it cannot stand to think, because we are brokenhearted. The Bible says in the book of Job chapter 1 and verse 14, "Man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble". Jesus came to these men and women born of woman because they're brokenhearted. Bankrupt, brokenhearted, and then He says, "They are bound". That's so important. They are slaves of Satan.
The Bible says that they are captives, "To preach deliverance to the captives". Put this verse down, Second Timothy chapter 2 verse 26, "That they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will". Your neighbor without Jesus Christ is a captive of Satan. First John 5 verse 19 says, "And we know that the whole world lieth in wickedness". Now what that word literally means is in the bosom of wickedness, like a child, a baby, being rocked in its mother's arms. This world is being rocked to sleep as the demons sing the lullabies of Hell. I look around at our generation today, and I say, "What is wrong with people? Why don't they wake up"?
I'm telling you, ladies and gentlemen, they're bankrupt, they're brokenhearted, they're bound, and they are blind. He's going to open the eyes of the blind; they can't see! Never scold a blind man for not seeing. You say, "Well, I have 20/20 vision". You don't understand what He's talking about. The Bible says in Second Corinthians 4:4, "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not". It's not that their eyes are blind; their minds are blind. They can't understand. The Bible says in First Corinthians 2:14 that, "The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God; he cannot know them, for they are spiritually discerned".
Don't argue with a man because he can't see any more than you would argue with a blind man because he can't see the sunset. Don't scold him for not seeing it. Nobody is ever argued into the kingdom of Heaven. They are blind. They cannot see. Jesus said in John 3 verse 3, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see". And then they are bruised, according to the verse 18. They're bruised, and the Greek word literally means crushed! Satan is cruel! He loves to torment. Acts chapter 10 verse 38 speaks of Jesus, "Who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil". Now think about it. Think about these people who are bankrupt. Think about these people who are brokenhearted. Think about these people who are blind. Think about these people who are bruised. Who's going to do anything for them? Why did Jesus come? He came to these kind of people.
Now listen to me. Please listen to me. Jesus said in John 20 verse 21, "As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you". Your neighbor, the people you work with, they're the ones that are brokenhearted. They're the ones that are bound. They're the ones that are blind. They're the ones that are bruised. They're the ones that are bankrupt, and Jesus came for them. And then Jesus said, "As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you". And He said in John 28 verses 18 and 19, "All authority is given unto Me. Go. Go". We have kingdom authority. Now this kingdom authority must be strongly enforced. Satan is not going to roll over and play dead. You're going to have to come against him in the power of the Holy Spirit. You see, our battle today is not with Washington, not with the White House. Our battle today is not with Hollywood.
Ephesians 6:12, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against," what? "Principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places". We need to learn this. Do you know why we're not winning? Come up close and I'll tell you why we're not winning: we're not showing up for the battle. We're fighting the wrong places. We're fighting the wrong things. In Matthew chapter 16 verses 22 and 23, when Simon Peter came to rebuke Jesus and say to Jesus Christ, "You're not going to go to the cross. 'Be it far from You, Lord.'" Jesus Christ said to Simon Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan".
Now was Jesus calling Peter Satan? Of course not, because Peter was not Satan. Jesus was looking right through Peter to the real enemy who was Satan. You see that? Jesus was not fighting flesh and blood. He knew who the real enemy was, and that's what you and I have to understand today is that we're in spiritual warfare, and this spiritual authority has been sovereignly established, but it must be strongly exercised. We have to learn to take authority. Now, you say, "Well, now, wait a minute, Pastor. I don't understand. You're confusing me. On the one hand, you say that Satan has been stripped, shamed, and subdued, and then on the other hand you say that we have got to strongly enforce this kingdom authority. If it's done, then why do we need to strongly enforce it"?
I'm glad you asked that question. Now I want to try and answer that question for you. You see, even though Satan's defeat is absolute, it must be appropriated. Now that's a key sentence. Even though Satan's defeat is absolute, it must be appropriated. Let me ask you a question: was Jesus' death for sin absolute? Of course it was. When He died on the cross, the Bible says in Second John 2:2, "And He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world". Jesus died for the whole world. Is the whole world saved? Of course not. Was His death absolute? It was, but it's only good to those who appropriate it. Isn't that true? If you don't appropriate it, it won't do you any good. The Bible says John 3 verse 18, "He that believeth on Him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed".
In other words, a man doesn't go to Hell because of his sins; those sins have been paid for. He goes to Hell because he does not appropriate what has already been done. Got that? Now it's the same thing about Holy Spirit power. When the Day of Pentecost came, God poured out the Holy Spirit. You and I don't need to pray for another Holy Spirit; we don't need to pray for another Pentecost. The Holy Spirit has come! Is every Christian therefore Spirit-filled? No! Even though the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was absolute, it must be appropriated; and just as the death of Jesus Christ and just as the power of the Holy Spirit are both absolute and must be appropriated, Satan's defeat is absolute, but you must appropriate it. You understand what I'm talking about?
You must say, "I'm going to take my authority in the Lord Jesus. I appropriate it. I stand on it, and I come against Satan's dark kingdom". Now I must leave that point because time is gone, and let me just come to the last and the final thing. This kingdom authority, sovereignly established, must be strongly enforced. Thirdly, it must be strategically exercised. It must be strategically exercised. Don't just sally forth against the devil if your heart is not right with God. There must be the right people. I'm talking about people whose hearts are clean. I've told you before that you will never, listen, you will never be over until first of all you're under, and if you even as a child of God dare to come against Satan with the heart of a rebel, you're going to be in serious trouble.
I was reading about seven men. They were sons of a man named Sceva. They were exorcists; that is, they claimed to be able to cast out demons. And there was a demon-possessed man, and the Bible says in Acts 19 verses 11 to 16, these son, seven sons of Sceva came to this man, and they said, "We adjure you in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches to come out of him". The Bible says that man turned on them, stripped all the clothes off of them, began to beat on them, and they fled, wounded and naked. One demon-possessed man put seven men to flight. They were trying to take authority over the devil, but what was wrong with them? They didn't know Jesus Christ personally; they had secondhand religion. "In the name of Jesus," they said, "whom Paul preaches".
Friend, I want to tell you something. It better be in the name of Jesus that you know, and don't you come against the devil and say, "You remember what Adrian said up there devil? I'm coming against you in the name of Jesus whom Adrian preaches". That won't work. That won't work. It is in the name of Jesus whom I know. "Demons are subject to us in Thy name". There has to be the right person, and then you have to come from the right position. What is your position? Remember what we told you about Ephesians 2 verse 6? That we're seated with Jesus in the heavenlies.
Let me tell you a different way to pray. Stop praying from Earth to Heaven, and start praying from Heaven to Earth. You're seated with Jesus in the heavenlies. You are enthroned with the Lord Jesus Christ. When He died, you died. When He rose, you rose. When He ascended, you ascended. When He is seated at the right hand of God, you are in Him, seated with Him, and now you have throne rights and kingdom authority. And now rather than praying to Heaven, you just pray from Heaven. And Jesus says in Matthew chapter 18:18, "I say unto you that whatever you bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven; and whatever you loose on Earth will be loosed in Heaven".
That doesn't mean that Heaven seconds the motion. The Greek language says, "Whatever you bind on Earth is already bound in Heaven. Whatever you loose on Earth is already loosed in Heaven," but what you and I need to do is to exercise our kingdom authority. Time is gone. Let me tell you this, and then we're going to pray. There was a man who was born in France. That man born in France moved to England, and he became a citizen of the British Empire. Now Britain, England, defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. When that man was a citizen of France, for him Waterloo was a defeat, Napoleon was a Frenchman, the war was lost, and that man as a citizen of France was a loser. But now when he left France and became a citizen of England, for him Waterloo was no longer a defeat; for him it's now a victory.
You, without Jesus, are in Satan's dark kingdom, and Calvary, for you, is a defeat, but when you come into the kingdom of His dear Son, it is for you now a victory. Understand that? We have kingdom authority. He has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son. Folks, are you understanding this? Just do you understand a little bit of it? Do you understand what I'm saying to you? Our enemy has been stripped, shamed, and subdued, and Jesus said, "I give you authority over all the power of the enemy". Don't you think it's about time we started using it?
Let's bow our heads in prayer. Lord, seal the message to our hearts. In Jesus' holy name. And now while heads are bowed and eyes are closed, remember the man who came from France became a citizen of Great Britain? Would you like to come out of the kingdom of darkness and let Calvary be for you a victory today? Would you like to come into the kingdom of God's dear Son? Would you pray a prayer like this:
Lord Jesus, I need You. I'm a sinner. Thank You for paying for my sin. I turn from my sin and I turn to You, and I trust You right now. Come into my heart. Forgive my sin. Save me, Jesus.
Would you pray that prayer? "Save me, Lord Jesus". Did you pray it? Then pray this:
Lord, I receive it by faith like a child. Now because You died for me, help me to make it public and not to be ashamed of You. In Your name I pray. Amen.