Our Position of Authority Over Demons

I am writing this post to explain something that is very plain and easy to see in the Bible, but seems to be absent from the understanding of many Christians I come in contact with.

According to the Bible, every Christian has absolute authority over every demon, and the devil himself.  And as we will see, this authority is a gift.  It is not the result of hard work, study, holy living, devotion, prayer, fasting, or any other religious activity.

We are going to look at some passages from Ephesians 1 and 2.  Paul, the writer of Ephesians, explains this authority by first showing us the authority of Jesus, and then showing how that relates to us as believers.

Looking to Jesus

Our first passage comes as part of a very long paragraph, and it is difficult to break into the middle of it, so I am going to quote the whole thing here.  Our focus in this passage will be on the later verses.

Ephesians 1:15-21

15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,

16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:

17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,

18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power

20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

21 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.

Notice that it says in verses 20 and 21 that Jesus has been seated at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly places.  Notice also that this is a position that is  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.”

Paul uses the words “principalities and powers” (and so on) to describe demons and evil spirits.  He uses this same terminology later in this same letter when he says this:

Ephesians 6:12 – For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

So, going back to Ephesians 1:20-21, Paul is showing us that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, and He is far above every evil spirit or demon or fallen angel or any other evil spiritual being that exists.

In a kingdom, being seated at the right hand of the king is the highest position that is available.  There is no higher rank than this.  And since the the Kingdom of God is the greatest Kingdom, and since there is no authority in existence that is higher than God the Father, then we know that being seated at His right is to be in a place of unmatched authority.  Jesus is in this place of authority at the Father’s right hand.  Jesus has absolute, unconditional authority over all demons.

But, that was just for Jesus, right?

Please keep the previous information in mind as we continue reading in Ephesians.  And please pay very close attention here.  What you are about to read is so amazing that it is almost hard to believe.

I am going to quote the next  part of the passage here, and we will skip to the end and work our way back.

Ephesians 1:22-2:6

22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,

23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

2:1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,

2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,

3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus

Take a very close look at the last verse above.  Ephesians 2:6.  I want to show it in several different translations, so that you can see what it is saying.

NET – and he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
NIV – And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
NASB – and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
NLT – For he raised us from the dead along with Christ, and we are seated with him in the heavenly realms––all because we are one with Christ Jesus.
NRSV – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
NKJV – and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

God the Father has seated us at His right hand, in the same seat of authority that Jesus occupies (we are with Christ and we are also in Christ).  This is a place that is far above every demon, every fallen angel, every evil spirit, and even the devil himself.   It is the same seat of authority mentioned in the passage that we looked at earlier.

God has chosen to give us, His beloved children, a level of authority in the spirit realm that is above every other created being.

Also, please notice the tense of the verbs.  This is not something that will take place in the future.  The verbs are in the past tense.  It doesn’t say that we will be seated, is says we have already been seated.  This is something that has already happened.  We, as followers of Christ, have already been given authority that is far above the enemy.

Take a moment and let this sink it.  If you have never seen this before, it make take a while.  It is a staggering truth to comprehend.  We have absolute, unconditional authority over all demons.  We are in a position that is far above them.  We are above even the most powerful and highest ranking forces of evil.  This explicitly includes principalities, powers, and every name that is named.

To further emphasize this truth, read Ephesians 1:22-23 again.  It says “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

All things are under the feet of Jesus.  Jesus is the head of the church.  The church is His body.   The feet are part of the body.  All things are under His feet, so all things are under His body…so all things are under the Church.  The picture that God wants us to see is that every demon is under our feet.  We have authority over all demons.

If you believe the Bible, then you need to believe this, because it is in the Bible, and it is true.  It is true whether or not you realize it, whether or not you believe it.  If you will choose to believe it, then you can and will begin enjoying the benefits of it.

A Free Gift from a Loving Father

Authority over the devil and demons is not something that we should be working towards.  It is not a goal or a target.  It is a fact that is true right now.  It is already so.   We don’t have to work for it, it was given to us as a gift.  God gave it to us “because of His great love for us” (Eph 2:4), not because of our hard work and holy living.

When you chose to put your faith in Jesus, several things happened.  You were declared righteous and holy by God the Father (Romans 5:1).  You were spiritually born again (John 3:5-8) into the family of God (John 1:12).  You were given citizenship with full rights into the Kingdom of God (Eph 2:19).  And you were placed into a seat/position of authority that is higher than every other created being (Eph 2:6).

All of this took place the instant you believed.  It was all an act of unmerited goodwill (grace) from your heavenly Father.  You did not work to earn any of it.  It came as a result of faith in Jesus, “not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph 2:8).

It was given as a free gift, totally apart from your own goodness or merit.  Like I said before, you did not earn your place with God by working hard, reading your bible, fasting, praying, giving to the poor, or any other good deed.  It was all a free gift.

Since it was a free gift, and since you already possess all of these things, then you can be very confident that you do not have to achieve any level of performance in order to maintain any of these things…including your authority.

Your authority over the devil did not come as a reward for your holy lifestyle, and likewise it not be decreased or taken away because of any moral or ethical failures, large or small, that you may experience during your life.  Don’t get me wrong…sin is bad, and sin can make things very difficult for you.  But remember this:  your level of authority over the devil is not related to your ability to avoid sin.  You have authority over the enemy, even when you sin.

So never let the enemy lie to you and tell you that you have lost your authority because of something you did.  That is just a lie to trick you into becoming an easy target.

So, what now?

If you have any experience working for different managers, supervisors, or company owners, then you can probably identify with what I am about to say.  There are some people in a position of authority that can speak and people will listen to them.  Then there are other people in a position of authority that can speak and people will ignore them, or disrespect them, or any other variety of responses.

It is possible to have a position of authority…to have authority…but not know how to use it.

You have authority over the devil, but it is not doing you any good if you don’t know how to use it.

In my next post, I plan to spend some time giving some examples of how to use the authority that your Father has given you.  But for now, I want to highlight something from the beginning of the first passage I quoted in this article.

Ephesians 1:15-19

15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,

16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:

17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,

18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power

The writer is offering a prayer here.  Notice that he is not praying for God to pour out His power, or to give the people more authority.  He is praying that the people would open their eyes and realize what they already have.   We do not need to be praying for more power or more authority.  That is actually unbelief….you don’t believe that God gave you what the Bible says that He gave you.  If we want to pray about this subject, we need to be praying that God would help us see what He gave us, and train us and help us learn how to use what He has already provided.

So, in closing, I encourage you to pray something like this:  Father, I believe that you have given me power and authority to represent you, and to destroy the works of the enemy.  Help me understand this.  Teach me how to cooperate with you to do your will, and to use this power and authority to bring glory and honor to Jesus.  Amen.

4 Responses

  1. Just saw this# So very good and encouraging! The eyes of my understanding were enlightened! This was amazing and helpful for me so I will not ever be afraid or intimidated. It is my God given gift to exercise my authority. I actually saw God the Father stomp on the devil so since we are His feet that means we get that foot stomping power too! I was reminded by the Holy Spirit while reading that WE ARE CHRIST’S AMBASSADORS so why wouldn’t he give us the authority to speak and act for the Kingdom as any ambassador would? Thank you, Neal.

  2. Its the too good to be true gospel. I feel that same sense of shock like the disciples that told Jesus, “even the evil spirits were cadt out at your name” and he told them thats nothing I saw Satan fall like lightning. Rejoice rather that your names are written in the book of life. Incredible Jesus! Thank you for this precious gospel!

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