Leon Fontaine - Stubborn Faith
I want to talk to you today about something that changed my life when I was a teenager. Many of you know my story, I was raised in a Christian home, and both of my parents were pastors. My mom was a prolific teacher, my dada preaching machine. So I kind of had the best of both worlds. And they taught me the Word, way before, I mean right from the ground up. But this issue on authority begin to come to me in my late teens. Is there authority that I have? That I don't know I have? I was raised in a Christian home with pastors, and I became very disenfranchised with wimpy, pathetic, judgmental Christians. And I just knew there's gotta be something different than this mamby-pamby, toast soaked in tea kind of living, you know what I mean?
And I begin to ask myself, is there a different Christianity than, than I see so many doing because Jesus didn't function that way. And I set my mind on reading some of the many prolific teachers of the past. And diving into the Word myself. And I found something interesting, when I followed Jesus. Jesus would go places, and demons would scream through people. Meaning demon-possessed people. And they would say things like, and the Bible records two or three instances of this, and then it says many times this happened. Where he'd walk into the Tabernacle and, and all of a sudden a demonically possessed man would go, oh holy one have you come to torment us before our time? I know who you are. Like, this really wimpy pathetic things. And Jesus would just say shut up. Come out of him. And go someplace else, and one time two demon-possessed men, you know if you're going to be a Christian, you can understand there's another dimension called the spirit world, and there are spirit beings.
You know, and the world wants you to stop believing that we have alien entities on this planet in another dimension that are going to try to mess with you. They are, believe me. And usually any doctor who's involved in, you know, the front lines like emergency, paramedics, firemen, boy, you see some of the sickest things that only you, only demonically oppressed would, would cause. But, I begin to look. And this one time Jesus is walking through a place called the Gadarenes. It was a place no one went to, because two demon-possessed men were so violent and so strong, that no one would walk past this cemetery. And Jesus did, and they came screaming out of this cemetery. We know who you are, oh holy one. I don't know if they were screaming, but that was the words they used. We know who you are, oh holy one.
Have you come to put us away before the time? Interesting there's a time, that everything's going to change. Um, and it says multiple times, that when Jesus went somewhere, and why is this important? Because as I begin to study authority, I thought, how come wherever Jesus went, it caused disruption? He must have had some kind of authority I don't understand, and there had to be something, you know someone well he was the son of God. I get you. But the Bible says, He gave up all power and authority associated with His previous position. He's walking the planet as a human being. Then I begin to dive further into the Word of God, and I begin to see incredible teaching. I mean, back when I was a teenager, it was all about the cross. I love the cross. Jesus died on the cross for me, so that my sins would be paid. He went to hell in my place, He arose again, He's sitting at the right hand of the Father. I love the cross. But, the cross is a brutal sign of death.
And then people would, make the cross their doctrinal theme. The cross, the cross, the cross, the cross. The cross, the cross, the cross. And I think like, oh man, like. And then it would always be, you know, pick up your cross daily and follow me. And what that meant to people was, stay meek, and, and trembling, the cross, the cross. I'm a good for nothing, you know, two-toned skunk, lower than a snake's belly, thank You Jesus, You think about me. This is what we thought was humility. And I grew up in a time when humility was the most important thing to the church, but it was focused on so much it was taken out of context. And if you were confident, you were proud. Confidence is not pride. And so everybody would just try to act humble, be humble, and they were so proud of their humility. But I looked and I saw that when Jesus walked around, there was a complete authority that came out of Him.
And I was hungry, I wanted to, function as a believer without having to be this pathetic, wimpy, little Christian. And I hated religion, and I found out as I studied it, that the worst demonic, the worst demons there were at the time were religious demons. Don't ever forget that, the devil goes to church. Some of the people are the most unhappy, are the most judgmental, wicked people have evil spirits called religious spirits. That's why they make your stomach turn, you don't want to hang around them, say oh. Well how could that be? Bible says Satan, is an angel of light. The word 'light', the Bible says Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my pathway. He will use the Word to try to mess with your life, so you need to learn the Word, grow in the Word. And so this issue of is there authority that we have?
Now let me read you a verse, that you know, you can read things through religiously, but when you read it through when you're on the hunt, and Holy Spirit can just kind of just phew into your spirit. Listen to this. Luke 10:19 reading from the Amplified translation. It says, behold I have given you authority and power, to trample on serpents and scorpions. Now serpents and scorpions were often used as a figurative look at demons. Why? Because snakes bite you and scorpions sting you, and nothing friendly about them. It says behold I have given you authority, and power to trample. Now, it didn't say to sweetly move out of the way. Trample is a warfare term. We're talking just trample the sucker. We're talking dominate that thing. We're talking authority and power. Behold, I have given you authority and power to trample serpents and scorpions. And physical and mental strength and ability, over all the power of the enemy. All that he possesses, it says. And nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Yeah, but pastor, nothing shall by any means hurt you. But I got, nothing, shall by any means hurt you. Well I remember that, nothing, shall by any means hurt you. Talk about authority. And so verses like this that I had listened to, but they kind of went in one ear and out the other, begin to register in my heart. And I began, okay. That's a whole level of authority, and Jesus is saying, I've given you. You didn't put your name in there, I've given Leon authority and power to trample any snakes and scorpions coming his way. He's got physical and mental strength and ability over all the power the enemy possesses, and nothing shall by any means hurt Leon. Get your name in there and start reading it every day out loud. It will make you wake up to an authority.
Now, dhe devil hates people who find out their authority. Hates it. And so, when you start learning this, you know, there's going to be things that might crop up here and there, and his pathetic little ability to try to turn you away from this teaching. And religion, everywhere I go, when you begin to teach from the Word of God on the authority of a follower of Christ, the authority of a believer. You'll run into Christians all the time, well, you've got to be careful now. And you can just see the religion's push at it. And people will psychoanalyze it, and they'll theologically analyze it, and just kind of clear it out, you know, that no no no, that's not what it means. That would be man taking premise over God. I've heard them all. But after 40 years of preaching I have found, what works. We have authority.
Now, Jesus then says next verse. Nevertheless, do not rejoice that spirits are subject to you. Okay, stop right there. We go right past that line, because we go, but. That your names are enrolled in heaven. That is, that's eternity. If your name's in the book of life, you're going to be in heaven forever. But let's back up. You know when someone talks, something can say something three paragraphs back, and you can't get your brain past that one line they just said? He just said, do not rejoice that the spirits are subject to you. What? Spirits are subject to me? Yes. Why is that important? Because everything evil, everything negative, everything that steals, everything that kills, everything that destroys any area of your life, comes from the evil one. There is nothing in God that will use sickness, He won't use death, He won't use theft, He has, He doesn't need all those sick tools to teach you anything. Okay?
Now, if you're going through stuff and you learn something, great. But He did not put that on you to try to teach you something. All of this negativity comes from the dark side. It comes from the evil one. So when you realize, that spirits are subject to you. You have authority. Authority over spirits of infirmity, for sickness. Spirits of poverty, that can harass your career. Spirits that will attack your mind. Just put a band around your head so tight you haven't had a good emotion in years. They'll try anything in their power. People, oh, I don't know if it's a demon or not. Don't worry about it. You mean, he's like a shark. Drop of blood in the water, they're going to come. Anything that goes wrong, he's involved somewhere. Doesn't mean anything like, powerful, no. Once you understand your authority, that we have authority over all spirits. That Jesus has defeated them so finely.
Now, then I begin to study the book of Ephesians. And I found out that Ephesians, speaks more about the authority of the believer than any other book. That's interesting. So Paul speaking to the Ephesians shows them their authority, but then so does James in the book of James. So does Peter in the book of Peter, and so does Jesus in His teachings. There's literally four of them in each of the books they wrote, that there's focused on. There's authority to a believer. And you better learn it, and you better use it.
I was in a conference in the southern States as a young man, and this precious grey-haired gentleman got up to teach, and we'd come to hear him and other speakers. And, and he begin to share a story that changed his life. And he said, Jesus appeared to me. And that kind of set me back because I don't know too many people that Jesus would appear to them. He explained why. He said as Jesus was talking to me, we were talking about things, and then he said this little imp demon kind of just runs in the middle of us and wah! And just starts, you know, yakkity yak yak, just kind of interfering. And he's going, hello Jesus? Like, do something, is what he's thinking. And Jesus just kept talking to him. But he wasn't hearing anything. And he just got so ticked off he said get out here in Jesus' name. And the thing, whoop, was gone.
And then he says to Jesus, I haven't been hearing you. Like, why didn't you deal with that? And Jesus said to him, I can't. He said what? And he said go to the Word of God and you'll find there's nowhere in the new covenant where you pray to the Father to deal with the devil. The authority has been given to the church. And the church is to bind, to loose. The church is to use the authority that they have. You see, you have been given authority. And you have a responsibility to use it. If you do not become responsible to use your authority, then God is helplessly looking on. And someone is saying you can't call god helpless, oh yes I can. God is helpless in changing a man who refuses to accept Him. He has to honour the freedom He gave him, right to the door, and the gate of hell.
Freedom's been given to every human being. And when God gives something, He's not taking it back. He's not lying. It's not just well gosh golly gee, I didn't really mean that. No, there's an authority that's been given to you that you better learn, and you better use. Or the things the enemy will do in your life, and you can pray, beg, plead, where's God? Jesus help me. And you don't understand the new covenant, the help has been done. The help has come. He has given you all things that pertain to life and godliness, and the authority that goes with it is yours. So Ephesians is a book that teaches on this a lot. And if you want to really begin, read the book of Ephesians over and over. Now, don't use a King James. I love the King James, but King James English is 400 years old and probably 100 words they use aren't even, don't even mean the same thing. So get a New King James, or get a translation that's accurate, that speaks in modern-day vernacular.
Now, I'll give you just a couple verses. Just a couple. Because it's so stunning, I could teach in here for hours on just this portion of scripture but in Ephesians 1 and verse 20, it says, which God worked in Christ. It's talking about Jesus. When He raised Jesus from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand. Where is God's right hand? In the throne room of heaven. So Jesus who died on the cross, rose again, He took your sin and mine, He arose again with new life which is yours and mine, and then He ascended to the throne room, and He is seated at the right hand of God. The right hand of a throne, has always been the place of power. Whoever the king sits there in history, was his right hand, is the right hand. It's where we get our term, the right hand man. Who's your right hand man? It means, who's managing, who's administrating, who's got the power, who's got the authority that takes yours and goes and gets it done? To the right hand of God, is Jesus. And, He's still in His earthly body. Okay?
So He's there, and it says He's seated at the right hand in heavenly places. Then it says this Jesus, seated at the right hand of the Father, is far above all principalities and powers. And dominions. Now, principality, power, and dominions is just a 3-400 year old terms that means demons, you know, our enemy. And so it's saying how far above is the authority and the power of Jesus. Well, a little bit? No. It is so far above, it says far above. How much? Far! How far is far? Far! How far? Far. Jesus is seated so far above every demonic entity, and every bit of dominion that they might have with unsaved people and ungodly countries. And every name that is named. You could name a country, you could name a disease. You could name something that's negative, and He is so far above that. And it says, and He's put all things under His feet. Whose feet? Jesus' feet.
Now this is important because then it says, and He gave Jesus to be the head over all things to the church. That's, now church doesn't mean religious people. It means born again Christ followers. Okay? There's lots of things called church in Christianity out there. They don't even come close to Jesus. But then it says, the church, which is His body. Whose body? Jesus' body. So, He's the head, we're the body. The fullness of Him who fills all in all. Did you know that Ephesians, and many other portions of scripture, Romans, and others I can think of. They continually try to explain to use that Jesus is the head but you're the body. Meaning, the authority that's in the head is managed by the body. Okay?
If my head is going I want a drink right now. Well, my head's not going to move the glass. But the hand goes out and grabs the glass. So, He is trying to teach to all these different pictures that Jesus is the head of the church. He sits at the right hand of the Father. And He is the head. We are the body of Christ. You hear it all the time. Well what does that mean? It means you share the authority that Christ has. Then, listen to this. Ephesians 2, he keeps praying. And, I just read to you from Ephesians 1. Ephesians 2, and by the way there was no chapters and verses in the original letters. They we just added later on for reference's sake and for teaching's sake.
But later on in the same letter, it says, in Ephesians 2:6, and God has raised us up together, and made us sit together, in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. As the right hand of God is Jesus, the head of the church. The head. We are the body. But then He says, and you are seated with Him. You're not no low down, good for nothing, you know, unrighteous two-toned skunk, the scum of the earth. No. You're made in the likeness and the image of God. So loved that He sent His Son to die. And He's not wanting you to stay at the cross. Why? Because it says, He seated you. If God seated you with Jesus at the throne, what are you doing staying at the cross? They had a whole doctrine of this, you know, Jesus keep me near the cross. Stop, ehh, ehh, ehh. Too late, God already moved you. You're seated with Jesus at His right hand, what's this keep me near the cross?
I'll never forget the cross. I often, spend time just thinking about what He did and the price that He's paid. But I'm not, I'm not standing near a cross. I'm seated at the right hand of the Father. And when you see confident Christians, everyone thinks they're arrogant. Everyone thinks, oh too much pride, look out for pride. You know, cool. I agree. You better define humility, because it is not this, you know, walk around. You know, cheap and poor and bad posture, and poor clothes and bad wheels or whatever else you think humility is. No wonder generations won't serve God, when we teach them to be subservient to the enemy. And every one of his plans. Instead of recognize you my son are a Bible-thumping, tongue-talking, devil-stomping, born-again child of the king. Nothing else. You've been raised up together and made to sit in heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, right now. That's what your position is. Seated with the Father.
Now, how much authority does Jesus have? Well, how much authority does the throne have? If He was sitting beside some king of a country, then whatever authority that king has, to the right hand who administrates and manages it, that's the amount of authority and power they use. Where's Jesus? At the right hand of God? But if you can keep people from understanding authority, and make them think that Christians, we just cross our hands and go God bless you. Bless you. And of course, bow your head a little bit. You look humble. And don't walk with a, you know, you've got your chest out and your stomach in. Just, kind of, you look proud. Just walk like a Christian. Love you, oh don't hate me, don't hate me. God bless you.
Are you kidding me? You think Jesus walked that way? Wherever Jesus went, things screamed and cried out, and sickness left. When you understand the authority of the believer, he's not saying we wrestle with demons, it's so bad. He's just saying, stop thinking it's people. Don't let your guard down. I find in my life, there's just simple things sometimes I haven't done, like. I'll get going on things God's called me to do and things God hasn't called me to do, which can be a real drainer to your energy, your health, your emotions. There's times I pushed myself too hard. There's times I forget the authority I've got and so I tried every month to spend time in Ephesians, or in great teaching on the authority. Because you tend to begin to drift back towards just being a mere human being.
But you my friend, are not a mere human being. You are blood-bought. You are a child of God. You sit at the right hand of Him, you are seated with Christ in heavenly places. And the authority you have, you must learn through learning God's Word and rising up. There's things you have authority over, and there's things you don't have authority over. But in your life, you have all authority. And in your family, you've got authority. And you'll learn that if you want prayer, and if you're in agreement, then together I can use the authority of God, and pray over you. But just to go around thinking I've got authority, I'm going to tell you what to do and what's going to happen in your life, no you don't.
There's specific ways to pray with authority. You can't command someone to receive Christ, but you can bind the lies of the enemy. You can command, the pleasure that goes with sin to be stopped. Because these things don't have to do with His will, this has to do with Satan's repertoire of power. Alright. So, understand you have authority. Recognize, it's time for me to read the Bible. If you come to church, and there is no way for you to take notes, or you don't go home and get that message and write it out, you're making a huge mistake. The Word of God is of no value to you in me.
If you don't understand your authority and then use it, in the name of Jesus, I command the assignment against my marriage stopped and broken, in the name of Jesus. I command the assignment against my children who aren't serving God, broken. I command the assignment against my body, get off me. You have absolutely no hope. My stubborn faith will take you out every time, is how you begin to think about the enemy and whatever he's doing. Nothing, shall by any means hurt you.